From Wowpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the animal demigods, see Ancient Guardian. For their counterparts on Draenor, see Draenor ancient.
Ancients, souls of the forests
Concept art of ancients of wind and war.
Character classes
Racial capital
Racial leader(s)

Circle of Ancients (presumed)

Racial mount

Not applicable

Primary language(s)
Secondary language(s)
Average height


Concept art of a tree of life and an ancient of wonders.

Ancients are demigod-like trees. The wisps act in unison with the night elves and serve to strengthen the demigod-like trees known as the Ancients.[1] The ancients were among the first creatures of Azeroth, the first guardians of its life.[2]


The ancients are giant, sentient trees that sometimes serve as advisors and protectors of the night elves as NPCs, but also wander the lands as hostile monsters. They lack apparent independent construction of settlements, but are otherwise highly intelligent. They can also root into the ground to become more of a tree.

Male figures with hooded faces and whose flesh, what little there was visible was oak bark, fought in the War of the Ancients.[3]

Able to live for thousands of years, the lifespan of an ancient makes those of night elves look very short. As such, they see time differently from the mortal races, and often times, years are seen as akin to seconds. For example, though Gnarl had known of Anessa's death during the Third War, when he met up again with her father, Broll Bearmantle just before the time of the Cataclysm, he gave his condolences as if the incident had only just happened.[4]

Some ancients resemble normal trees.[5] At least some of these tree spirits can transform into humanoid forms.[6]

In the RPG

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

The mighty tree has a massive face shaped in its trunk, with wise, deep-set eyes. It moves with gigantic root-like feet, and two great branches end in huge bark-skinned hands.[7]

Ancients are intelligent, tree-like guardians and lorekeepers allied with the night elves. In times of peace, many night elf healers, druids of the wild, and priests study under the ancients' tutelage. In times of war, the ancients stand alongside their night elf allies and fight just as fiercely. They are staunch defenders of the Moonglade of Mount Hyjal and other sacred places.[7]

Ancients are some of the most important creatures in night elf society. They resemble sentient trees, but their wisdom and insight are almost unparalleled. Many of them are thousands of years old. They assist their night elf allies with guidance, education (particularly in the druidic arts), and protection — they are large and powerful, and are protectors of the forest. They are large enough to carry night elves, and some are so enormous that a few night elves make their homes in them.

Most ancients resemble deciduous trees that live in temperate climates, such as oaks and maples. A few evergreen ancients also exist. No reliable reports of tropical ancients have yet surfaced, but the night elves claim that they can exist — and if a colony of night elves moves to the tropics and brings along the appropriate druidic magic, tropical ancients may indeed grace Azeroth's surface.

Ancients speak Darnassian. A few also speak Common. Their voices sound like ancient trees creaking in the wind.

Ancients are traditionally friends of night elves and good-hearted, but the recent Third War makes them suspicious of non-night elves. They give outsiders a chance to prove their good intentions; but if roused to anger ancients are implacable foes. Some ancients patrol their territories, but most spend their time standing still, virtually indistinguishable from normal trees. An ancient may watch intruders, perhaps moving in secret to dog their path. If the outsiders do nothing to harm the forest or nature's balance, the ancient leaves them alone. If the outsiders appear to share the same ideals as the ancient (destroying corrupted creatures or protecting trees from other intruders, for example), the ancient reveals itself and lends assistance. If outsiders abuse the land, the ancient rumbles to a fury and attacks with mighty swings of its arms.[8]

Additional info

  • Classifying ancients:
    • Some ancients are classified by WoW Icon update.png World of Warcraft as being of the elemental creature type (as are most plant creatures in-game), others are giants, and still others are uncategorized. It is not clear why, as no distinct difference between the kinds of ancients can be brought to light. Several treants, like the Withered Ancients and the Crazed Ancients, also have the term "ancient" in their name, but these are much smaller and weaker than regular ancients.
    • In the The RPG Icon 16x36.png RPG, which has a different classification system altogether, ancients are not elementals but instead are large ambulatory plants.
  • Ancients are also native to Outland. There once was a grove of ancients in the Blade's Edge Mountains, its name forgotten. They lived there in ancient times before the destruction of Outland. Mosswood the Ancient is one of the last of these ancients.[9][10]
  • They may be counted as Ancient Guardians. The Ancient of War is called "this ancient guardian" (possibly as a description) on the same page that "the spirits of the Ancient Guardians" are mentioned.[11] Though there is a capitalization discrepancy, the animal demigods were not directly mentioned or described in the Warcraft III manual besides that, while the trees were.
  • The missing ancient types in WoW were explained by Ask CDev. The ancients suffered heavy losses during the Third War, with many, especially the varieties that were never in great supply to begin with, returning to the forests to hopefully spread their seeds and replenish their numbers undisturbed.
  • The "Tropican Ancients" mentioned in the RPG make a limited appearance in Warlords of Draenor through several of the Draenor Ancients having tropical fauna.[12]
Corrupted ancient as seen in Warcraft III.

Types or subraces of ancients

As a companion pet