- This article is about Arthas' life as a human. For his existence after he was transformed, see Lich King. For other uses, see Arthas (disambiguation).
Paladin of the Silver Hand
|Class||Death knight, formerly paladin|
|Former affiliation(s)||Kingdom of Lordaeron, Alliance of Lordaeron, Silver Hand, 1st Legion|
|Occupation||The Lich King|
|Former occupation(s)||Prince of Lordaeron, Revered champion of the Silver Hand|
Terenas & Lianne (parents),|
Uther (adoptive uncle)
|Mentor(s)||Uther the Lightbringer, Muradin Bronzebeard|
|Companion(s)||Trueheart & Invincible (steeds), Ner'zhul (formerly conjoined spirit)|
Arthas Menethil, Crown Prince of Lordaeron and Knight of the Silver Hand, was the son of King Terenas Menethil II and heir to the throne. He was trained as a paladin by Uther the Lightbringer and was inducted into the Order of the Silver Hand. Arthas also had a romantic relationship with the kind sorceress Jaina Proudmoore. Committed to the protection of his people, Arthas was determined to stop the plague spreading throughout Lordaeron.
Despite his promising beginnings, Arthas became one of the most powerful and evil beings Azeroth would ever know. Although he killed the necromancer Kel'Thuzad, Arthas was unable to stop the spread of the plague and resorted to increasingly desperate methods, such as purging the city of Stratholme. Taking up the cursed runeblade Frostmourne, Arthas was able to defeat the demon Mal'Ganis, but he lost his soul in the process. Becoming a death knight of the Scourge, he led the undead in destroying Lordaeron, Quel'Thalas, and Dalaran. Arthas later made his way to the Frozen Throne of Icecrown and merged with the Lich King.
Ruling as the Lich King for years afterward, Arthas had the last remnants of his humanity destroyed and was ultimately defeated in combat by Highlord Tirion Fordring and his champions of the Light. Cradled by the spirit of his father, Arthas Menethil died, leaving the mantle of the Lich King to be taken by a noble soul who would contain the power of the Scourge.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Arthas: Rise of the Lich King
- 1.2 Knight of the Silver Hand
- 1.3 Champion of the Lich King
- 1.4 Lich King of the Scourge
- 1.5 World of Warcraft
- 1.6 Wrath of the Lich King
- 1.7 Death
- 1.8 Edge of Night
- 2 Legacy
- 3 Locations
- 4 Abilities
- 5 Personality
- 6 In the RPG
- 7 Memorable quotes
- 8 Notes and trivia
- 9 Kill count
- 10 Alternate timelines
- 11 In other media
- 12 Inspiration
- 13 Gallery
- 14 Videos
- 15 Patch changes
- 16 See also
- 17 References
- 18 External links
Arthas: Rise of the Lich King
Prince Arthas Menethil was born to King Terenas Menethil II and Queen Lianne Menethil, four years before the start of the First War. The young prince grew up in a time when the lands of Azeroth were ravaged by war, the Alliance was crumbling, and darker clouds still loomed on the horizon.
As a young child, Arthas became best friends with Varian Wrynn and often sparred with him, though Arthas was less experienced. He also watched as his future steed, Invincible, grew up. As a youth, Arthas was trained in combat by Muradin Bronzebeard, the brother of the dwarven king Magni Bronzebeard, and became an adept swordsman. At the same time he learned the ways of the Light under the tutelage of Uther the Lightbringer. He also developed an interest in Jaina Proudmoore when she was staying in Lordaeron while on her way to Dalaran, where she would be studying. Some time later, Terenas arranged a political marriage for Arthas' sister Calia with Daval Prestor. Calia was distraught by the decision and hoped Arthas would marry for love rather than politics.
Arthas was inducted into the Knights of the Silver Hand at the young age of 19. The ceremony was held in the Cathedral of Light in Stormwind City, and was attended by prominent figures such as Genn Greymane, Thoras Trollbane, Daelin Proudmoore, and Jaina Proudmoore, whom Arthas had not seen since childhood. Archbishop Alonsus Faol led the initiation process, which included four of the five original paladins: Uther, Tirion Fordring, Saidan Dathrohan, and Gavinrad the Dire. Arthas was presented with the holy warhammer called by Gavinrad and had the ceremonial silver plates placed upon his shoulders by Uther. While in Stormwind, Arthas visited the newly crowned king, Varian Wrynn, and sparred with him while recounting old memories. He also met the recently born prince, Anduin Wrynn, who gripped his finger.
Arthas once visited Durnholde Keep and saw the famous orc gladiator Thrall. He stayed in the keep during the night and Aedelas sent Taretha to Arthas' chamber to please him. However, Arthas only talked with her and he noticed that Taretha reminded him of Jaina Proudmoore, whom he had begun to fall in love with. Later on, he rode on Invincible only to have an accident which caused Invincible to suffer a mortal wound. Arthas had no other option than to kill his beloved steed in order to stop its suffering, an act which would haunt him for the rest of his life.
Arthas once stayed in Dalaran so he could spend time with Jaina. During his visit, Antonidas organized a banquet for Arthas and Kael'thas, who happened to be there at the same time. At the banquet, Arthas and Antonidas spoke of the orcs strange lethargy, Terenas's health, Stormwind, the young Anduin Wrynn, and Arthas' relationship status. Kael'thas, who was also fond of Jaina, was upset when he saw Arthas kissing her.
Having grown into a strong, confident young man, Arthas was headstrong and somewhat arrogant, though none could dispute his bravery and tenacity. Arthas came to be considered one of the finest swordsmen in Lordaeron, and was famed for counterattacking and defeating the forest troll warbands of Zul'Aman when they began raiding the settlements along the border of Quel'Thalas.
Later on, Arthas invited Jaina to Lordaeron to celebrate the festivals of Noblegarden and Hallow's End. During that time Arthas revealed that he was courting Jaina to the public. Eventually, however, Arthas began to question whether the two of them were ready to be together. Arthas abruptly ended the relationship so Jaina could focus on her magical studies in Dalaran and Arthas could focus on his commitments to Lordaeron.
During the trial of Tirion Fordring in Stratholme, Arthas served as one of the four jurors. Like the other judges, he was shocked when Tirion admitted his guilt, which led the paladin to his excommunication and his exile.
Knight of the Silver Hand
Plague of Undeath
Troubles began to stir in Lordaeron. Orcs broke free of their internment camps, and there was distressing news of a plague that had gripped the northlands. Arthas and Uther were sent to Strahnbrad to defend the town from orcish raids. The young prince defeated the black drake Searinox to retrieve its heart for the dwarf Feranor Steeltoe to forge into an Orb of Fire. Arthas used this magical item to help defeat the orcs and kill the Blackrock clan blademaster leading the raids.
Weeks later a more vile threat arose in the form of the Plague of Undeath. Jaina and Captain Falric were sent to help Arthas, now 24 years old, investigate the strange disease. They fought against the undead at an infested granary, then encountered the necromancer Kel'Thuzad in the town of Brill and pursued him to Andorhal.
Kel'Thuzad had already infected the stored grain in Andorhal and shipped it out to outlying villages. Before Arthas killed him, Kel'Thuzad spoke of Mal'Ganis, a nathrezim demon who led the Scourge. Jaina and Arthas traveled north to confront him in Stratholme.
Along the way, Arthas and Jaina stopped at Hearthglen where they hoped to rest. Instead, they were warned of an approaching army of undead. Arthas ordered Jaina to find Uther and seek his aid while he remained behind to defend the town. To his horror, Arthas discovered that the plague was not merely a means of mass murder, but rather the means of turning innocent townsfolk into undead creatures. Arthas' forces barely held out and were on the verge of defeat when Uther arrived with reinforcements and saved the village.
While traveling to Stratholme, Arthas was met by the enigmatic prophet Medivh. He gave him the same advice he gave Terenas — to travel west to Kalimdor. Arthas argued that his place was with his people, and vowed that he would not abandon them. Jaina suggested that the prophet might be right, but Arthas paid her no heed and continued to Stratholme.
Culling of Stratholme
When he arrived at Stratholme, Arthas found that the grain had already been distributed. He knew the people of Stratholme would soon become undead, and ordered Uther and his knights to purge the entire city. Horrified, Uther rebuked him by saying he would not follow such an order even if Arthas were already king. Proclaiming that Uther had committed treason, Arthas relieved him of his command and suspended his paladins from service. Several soldiers, such as Sir Thomas Thomson, left with Uther — as did Jaina — while those who remained loyal to Arthas joined him in slaughtering the infected citizens.
As Arthas began to slay the citizens of Stratholme, he was met by Mal'Ganis himself, who was working to claim their souls. Arthas sought to destroy them before Mal'Ganis could reach them, and eventually demanded a final showdown with the dreadlord. Mal'Ganis slipped away, however, vowing to meet him in Northrend. Arthas then set fire to Stratholme, and those fires burn to this day.
Arthas followed Mal'Ganis with a detachment of his troops. They arrived a month later in Daggercap Bay. As they searched for a proper place to set up camp, Arthas' men came under gunfire before being recognized by the dwarven explorers' guild. Arthas was shocked to come upon his good friend and former mentor Muradin Bronzebeard. At first, Muradin thought Arthas was leading a rescue party sent to save his men, who had been besieged by the undead as they searched for the runeblade Frostmourne, but Arthas admitted it was mere coincidence. Together they destroyed the nearby undead camp, but there was still no sign of Mal'Ganis.
As Muradin and Arthas continued their search for Frostmourne, an emissary from Lordaeron arrived in a zeppelin and spoke to Captain Luc Valonforth. He bore orders from Uther and Terenas, instructing Arthas and his men to return home. When Arthas returned to his base, the men had abandoned their posts and were making their way through the forest towards their ships. Arthas had no intention of leaving before Mal'Ganis was destroyed. With the help of some indigenous mercenaries, he managed to reach and burn his ships before his men got to them. When his men arrived, Arthas betrayed the mercenaries by accusing them of destroying the ships. To Muradin's disgust, they were promptly killed. Arthas told his men they had no means of going home, and the only way they were leaving Northrend was through victory.
Arthas and his troops continued to press on to Draktharon Keep in search of Frostmourne. As he arrived, Mal'Ganis appeared to him, and foretold his death. Arthas went to search for Frostmourne with Muradin, leaving his captain to defend the camp.
Using an ancient waygate Arthas, Muradin, and a small group of men traveled to the vicinity of the fabled runeblade. Arthas was soon confronted by the Guardian, who tried to keep him from Frostmourne, apparently for his own protection. The Guardian fell, and Arthas and Muradin claimed their prize. Muradin, reading an inscription, reported that the blade was cursed. He pleaded with Arthas to forget his desire for vengeance and lead his men home, but Arthas was adamant. Arthas asked the spirits of the cavern for the sword to be released from its icy prison, proclaiming that he would "give anything or pay any price, if only they will help him save his people". When the weapon broke free, Muradin was struck by a rogue shard of ice, rendering him unconscious. Arthas moved to help Muradin, but was dissuaded by the call of Frostmourne in his mind. Arthas discarded his holy warhammer, , then picked Frostmourne up and returned to his base, leaving Muradin for dead. With Frostmourne in hand, Arthas defeated Mal'Ganis's army, destroyed his base, and finally confronted the demon.
Mal'Ganis told him that the voice he was now hearing was that of the Lich King. However, Arthas replied that voice was instructing him to destroy Mal'Ganis, much to the dreadlord's surprise. After slaying the dreadlord, Arthas fled into the frozen north, leaving his troops to fend for themselves. Arthas soon lost the last remnants of his sanity.
Champion of the Lich King
In Northrend, Arthas became the first of the Lich King's death knights. He was given a suit of saronite armor, and slew many of his own men. Some among them (like Falric, Marwyn and Thassarian) were raised as death knights in Arthas' service.
Arthas returned to Lordaeron months later, and the kingdom rejoiced at the return of its champion. Flanked by Falric and Marwyn, Arthas entered the imperial chamber and knelt before the throne. After telling his father that he no longer needed to bear the weight of his crown, Arthas walked up to Terenas and ran Frostmourne through his heart. The king's bloodied, broken crown remains lost to this day. As he drew Frostmourne, Arthas remembered the words of his old friend Varian describing his own father and king Llane being stabbed in the heart.
Arthas then unleashed the Scourge upon the Capital City. He soon found Vivian, wife of the fallen hero Killoren. Sensing a conflict within Thassarian, Arthas ordered Thassarian to kill Vivian - his mother - in order to prove his loyalty.
Leaving Falric and Marwyn to oversee his forces in the city, Arthas ran to the Balnir Farmstead. There he used his necromantic powers to raise his faithful steed Invincible into undeath, allowing it to serve as his mount once again.
A few days later, Arthas appeared in Vandermar Village at the bidding of his new master, the Lich King. There he met Tichondrius the Darkener, a dreadlord like Mal'Ganis. Thinking that the dreadlord was Mal'Ganis out for revenge, Arthas immediately threatened him, only to discover that this dreadlord had come to congratulate Arthas for his efforts. When spoken to Arthas said he no longer felt remorse for any of his actions, though deep in his heart he knew this was a lie. Tichondrius explained that the sword was designed to steal souls, and that Arthas' own soul was the first one it had claimed.
Arthas assembled the members of the vile Cult of the Damned that were hiding in Vandermar, and was aided by their magical abilities as he traveled to Andorhal where he was to recover Kel'Thuzad's corpse. He confronted the paladin guarding the crypt, Gavinrad the Dire, who had given Arthas his holy warhammer at his induction ceremony into the Silver Hand. After killing Gavinrad, he recovered the remains of the necromancer. This brought Kel'Thuzad's ghost into being, and he secretly instructed Arthas not to trust the dreadlords. Arthas quietly contemplated this.
Kel'Thuzad's remains were badly decomposed and needed to be taken to the mystical Sunwell in Quel'Thalas to be revived. Tichondrius sent Arthas to recover a mystical urn, which could be used to transport Kel'Thuzad's remains. However, the urn was in the keeping of the Knights of the Silver Hand. Arthas killed two paladins, Ballador the Bright and Sage Truthbearer, who both condemned Arthas' betrayal. He then faced Uther the Lightbringer, who explained that the urn held the ashes of his father, King Terenas. The two engaged in a duel with Uther initially having the upper hand, knocking Arthas down and sending Frostmourne flying from his hands. As Arthas awaited the killing blow, the sword seemed to find its own way into his hands and he was granted more power by the Lich King. The battle began to turn in Arthas' favor. Eventually, Uther, covered in blood from his wounds, fell to his knees and told Arthas he hoped there was a special place in hell waiting for him. Arthas replied that they may never know because he intended to live forever, then delivered the killing blow. He seized the urn and abandoned his father's remains, which suddenly swarmed on him with the wind, choking him and burning his eyes. Arthas had the remains of Kel'Thuzad placed within the urn, and then began the long journey to Quel'Thalas.
Fall of Quel'Thalas
Arthas met heavy resistance from the elves, rallied by Ranger-General Sylvanas Windrunner. Driving their forces before his undead army, he steadily pushed her people back in a swath of destruction towards Silvermoon. Sylvanas tried to warn the vast elven capital of the coming of the Scourge, but Arthas destroyed her camps and killed the Ranger-General. To make her pay for her perceived insolence towards him, Arthas corrupted her elven spirit, transforming it into a horrendous twisted form (a banshee) and enslaving her to the will of the Lich King, forcing her to slay her own people.
Arthas and the marching armies of the Scourge annihilated Silvermoon, leaving it in ruins. On the road to the Sunwell, he fought Grand Magister Belo'vir and left him critically injured after severing his right arm. Arthas also faced Anasterian Sunstrider, the aged High King of Quel'Thalas, and killed him with minimal struggle. Arthas then used the Sunwell to bring Kel'Thuzad back as an undead lich.
Arthas confronts Sylvanas.
Destruction of Dalaran
As the pair traveled to Alterac, Kel'Thuzad explained the full extent of the "second invasion" and the Lich King's plan. Arthas and Kel'Thuzad went to the Alterac Mountains to destroy encampments of Blackrock clan orcs who had taken control of a demon gate, which the lich would use to speak to the demon lord Archimonde. The Scourge destroyed the orcs, and after Kel'Thuzad received orders from Archimonde, they set out for the powerful seat of the world's mages, the city of Dalaran. Archimonde instructed them to acquire the spellbook of Medivh, which would allow Kel'Thuzad to summon Archimonde into Azeroth.
Despite the Kirin Tor's valiant efforts to repel the invasion, the Scourge fought through their magical defenses and fortifications, killed the Archmage Antonidas and claimed the Book of Medivh.
Arthas and his troops repelled the mages' vast counterattack as Kel'Thuzad began the lengthy summoning of the demon lord. Once Archimonde arrived, he proclaimed that the Lich King was of no further use to the Legion, and Tichondrius was placed in command of the Scourge. Arthas was left to wonder what would become of him and Kel'Thuzad, but the lich replied that all was going as the Lich King foresaw. The pair disappeared as Archimonde took his revenge on the city, destroying Dalaran with a single powerful ritual.
Invasion of Kalimdor
Arthas was next seen in Kalimdor on the Lich King's orders, joining the Legion's invasion not to aid them but to secretly undermine their efforts. From the shadows he influenced the Scourge, causing them to disobey their demon masters. This slowed the Legion's progress towards Hyjal Summit and sometimes even allowed the Legion's enemies to escape. When Arthas considered another way to more severely damage the Legion, he noticed Tichondrius and the Skull of Gul'dan which the dreadlord had used to create Felwood and corrupt the surrounding forests. The death knight was aware that he could not destroy Tichondrius directly without attracting Archimonde's attention. When he discovered Illidan Stormrage, Arthas realized that he could manipulate someone else to kill the dreadlord instead.
Arthas sensed Illidan's yearning for power and approached him in Felwood. He told the recently freed demon hunter how to claim the skull's powers as his own, whereupon he could destroy Tichondrius. Illidan agreed to his plan, and Arthas disappeared again, awaiting to be teleported by Kel'Thuzad.
Arthas remained on Kalimdor until after the Battle of Mount Hyjal, which resulted in the obliteration of the Legion forces. Following Archimonde's death, the allied forces launched a counterattack on the demonic remnants. Arthas only narrowly escaped the attack. He rallied as many of the Scourge as he could before retreating back home.
Return to Lordaeron
Archimonde left a trio of dreadlords behind in the ruined palace gardens of Lordaeron to ensure that the nation remained under control, and to watch over the cunning servitors of Ner'zhul. When the demon lord was defeated, however, they were not originally aware of it. This changed several months later, when Arthas returned to reclaim his throne. He threatened the dreadlords, who immediately fled, and then called Sylvanas and Kel'Thuzad to his side. Together they crushed the remaining human refugees in the area, who were led by the paladins Halahk the Lifebringer, Magroth the Defender, and Dagren the Orcslayer. However, during the climax of the battle, Arthas had a painful seizure, and felt the Lich King calling out to him. Despite his diminished powers, Arthas fought on until all the remaining humans were killed.
Little did Arthas know that the Lich King's power had dwindled to the point that Sylvanas was no longer under his control. In secret, she attended a meeting with the three dreadlords, who told her that the Lich King's power was waning, and so the time had come to claim her vengeance.
Arthas was ambushed in the capital city, and was forced to collect what loyalists he could find and fight his way through the dreadlords' forces, which included the powerful abomination Bloodfeast. As he arrived on the city's limits, he was saved by a cadre of banshees, who told him that Sylvanas had sent them to see him safely away. However, as they neared an empty spot in the forest, Arthas received another vision from the Lich King, who told him he'd been betrayed. Sylvanas then appeared and shot him with a paralyzing arrow. Kel'Thuzad stepped in and chased her off at the last moment.
But the Lich King's mental cries pierced Arthas' mind - he was told to return to Northrend, for demonic forces (later revealed to be Illidan and the naga) were working to destroy the Frozen Throne and end the self-proclaimed king's reign. Immediately, Arthas prepared his fleet and set sail for Northrend, leaving Kel'Thuzad behind to watch over Lordaeron.
Escape to Northrend
Three weeks later, Arthas landed upon the familiar coast of Northrend, and unexpectedly found himself being attacked by blood elves led by Kael'thas, hungry for vengeance at their kingdom's destruction. Arthas was unexpectedly saved by a large crypt lord who introduced himself as Anub'arak, the former king of Azjol-Nerub. Kael'thas warned that though the preliminary scouting force may have fallen, their main army would not be so easily defeated, before teleporting away to safety.
Arthas worried that he may be right, and that they would never reach Icecrown Citadel before Illidan, but Anub'arak thought differently. He suggested that they delve into the shattered kingdom of Azjol-Nerub, using the underground passageways to beat Illidan to the Glacier. Seeing little other choice, Arthas agreed.
Anub'arak suggested raiding the hoard of Sapphiron, an ancient blue dragon and servant of Malygos, and equipping themselves with the dragon's treasures. Not only did they slay the dragon, but Arthas used what power he had left to raise Sapphiron into a powerful frost wyrm.
Race to the Frozen Throne
When he came to the doors of Azjol-Nerub, Arthas found himself being fired upon by dwarves, who revealed themselves to be followers of Muradin who had remained there when their leader appeared to die. Now, they were led by Muradin's second in command, Baelgun Flamebeard. Leaving Sapphiron outside, Arthas battled through not only Baelgun's dwarves, but also the nerubian survivors, as he delved into the broken Spider Kingdom. Anub'arak's aid was invaluable, as he circumvented many traps which would have cut Arthas' stay fatally short.
When Arthas faced off against Baelgun, the dwarf warned that the shifting earth had released an ancient evil from below the kingdom. As Arthas and Anub'arak delved deeper into the kingdom, that evil became apparent - the faceless ones, a powerful, vicious race thought only to exist in legend. Arthas and Anub'arak even managed to defeat the incredibly powerful forgotten one.
As they made their way to the Upper Kingdom, an earthquake collapsed part of the passage they were in, separating Anub'arak from Arthas. The young king had to rely upon his wits to see himself through several daunting booby traps before Anub'arak dug his way to Arthas. Once reunited, the crypt lord complimented the young death knight, saying he now understood why Ner'zhul had chosen him as his champion. As they climbed out of Azjol-Nerub, the Lich King contacted Arthas once again, and explained that he was losing his power because the Frozen Throne had been cracked and his energy was seeping from it. Ner'zhul replenished Arthas' powers, knowing he would need them in the coming battle.
When they finally reached the surface, they immediately had to contend with Illidan's forces. Vashj's naga and Kael's blood elves were there to contest Arthas' minions at every turn. With Anub'arak's help, Arthas fought his way through their forces and magically activated the four Icecrown Obelisks around the glacier, opening the doors to the Frozen Throne. However, Illidan was waiting for him. Arthas warned him to leave Azeroth and never return.
Arthas and Illidan's fight, as seen in World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3.
The Lich King triumphant
After a short but intense battle, Illidan inadvertently left himself open and Arthas took advantage of it, slicing open the demon hunter's chest with Frostmourne. Illidan collapsed in the snow, as Arthas turned towards the doors of Icecrown. According to Matthias Lehner, the duel with Illidan was the only battle in which Arthas came close to dying, although Arthas was at the mercy of a killing blow during his battle with Uther.
Arthas entered the hollow glacier and beheld a winding pinnacle chained to the ice. As he strode up the stairs towards his destiny, the voices of those he had forsaken flooded through his mind. He heard Muradin Bronzebeard, Uther, and Jaina calling out to him, yet he ignored them, continuing his ascent. Finally, he reached the pinnacle and before him he saw an icy cask. Inside was a suit of armour, arranged as if seated on a massive throne. Now only one voice spoke to him - the rasping whisper of Ner'zhul:
"Return the blade... complete the circle... release me from this prison!"
With a great cry of strength, Arthas brought Frostmourne to bear against the Lich King's icy prison and with a haunting scream, the ice that encased the Frozen Throne and the armour exploded, and shards of the ice scattered on the ground. With Ner'zhul's helm at his feet, Arthas leaned forward, picked it up, and placed the unimaginably powerful artifact on his head.
"Now," they spoke together, "we are one."
Lich King of the Scourge
- Main article: Lich King
For years, Arthas dreamed and reflected on his past. Eventually he banished the last vestiges of his humanity, and consumed Ner'zhul's spirit to become the sole personality of the Lich King.
As the Lich King, Arthas instigated another Scourge invasion of Azeroth, provoking a counteroffensive in Northrend by the Alliance, the Horde, the Argent Crusade, and the Knights of the Ebon Blade. By doing so, he lured powerful heroes to Northrend and placed many challenges before them, seeking to weed out the weak and make the strong question their own morality. He planned to raise the world's greatest fighters as his new champions, and use them to spearhead attacks on their homelands, in a reflection of his own journey.
World of Warcraft
A player who stands in the throne room of Lordaeron (and turns the ambient volume up) can hear an echo of Terenas's voice, confused by what Arthas was about to do.
Wrath of the Lich King
Prince Arthas appears in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King within the Culling of Stratholme wing of the Caverns of Time. The player accompanies him through the town as he kills its plagued population (and agents of the infinite dragonflight attempting to kill him).
The player can also see him in flashbacks on the Forgotten Shore, when the Alliance Emissary arrives to order the troops home (in the quest ) and in Frostmourne Cavern, where he claims the cursed runeblade Frostmourne. The flashback itself is essentially the cutscene from Warcraft III where he claims Frostmourne — with an ending revealing that after Arthas left the cavern with Muradin supposedly dead, Muradin awakened with amnesia and wandered outside the cavern.
In a quest chain given by Matthias Lehner (an anagram of "Arthas Menethil") in Icecrown, the player can actually take on the role of Arthas in two critical moments in his history: When he turned on his own men and raised them as the undead in the quest and his epic duel with Illidan in .
Arthas' plan nearly succeeded when a group of adventurers, led by Tirion Fordring, assaulted Icecrown Citadel and ascended to the Frozen Throne. The Lich King froze Tirion in a block of ice, and once he was satisfied that the adventurers opposing him were "the greatest fighting force" on Azeroth, he killed them with a single mighty blow. Just as he was about to raise them into undeath, Tirion freed himself and destroyed Frostmourne with the Ashbringer. This released the souls inside, which attacked and immobilized the Lich King. The spirit of Terenas then resurrected the fallen heroes, who helped Tirion mortally wound Arthas. With Frostmourne destroyed and the Helm of Domination out of reach, the Lich King returns to who he once was: Arthas Menethil. As he lay dying, comforted by the spirit of his father, Arthas asked if it was over, to which Terenas replied "At long last. No king rules forever, my son." Arthas said that he saw only darkness before him, with his eyes rolling back and his hand falling lifelessly to the ground.
In his last moments, Arthas saw the kyrian Devos arriving alongside his old teacher Uther to claim his soul. On Devos' urging, Uther subsequently cast Arthas' spirit into the Maw—the realm of eternal suffering.
Arthas dies in the arms of his father's spirit as Tirion Fordring looks on.
Edge of Night
After the Lich King's defeat, Sylvanas went to see the Frozen Throne. She found Arthas' discarded armor, but his body and the remnants of Frostmourne had already been removed. After committing suicide, Sylvanas's soul was sent to a realm of darkness where she encountered the tormented spirit of Arthas.
"She sensed a familiar presence. Recognized it. The taunting voice that had once held her in its grasp. Arthas? Arthas Menethil? Here? His essence rushed to her, desperate, then shrank away in horrified recognition. The boy who would be Lich King. Just a scared little blond child, reaping the aftermath of a lifetime of mistakes. If any part of Sylvanas's soul were not at that moment torn and tormented, she might have even felt—for the first time—the slightest glimmer of pity for him."
Arthas appears in , a flashback quest in Felwood that allows the player to relive the first encounter between Arthas and Illidan.
Tides of War
When Jaina and Thrall met at Tidefury Cove, she remembered Arthas as an example of one of her failed love interests. Later on, Kalec was able to persuade Jaina not to go through with her plan to kill the citizens of Orgrimmar by pointing out that not only had Arthas used the same logic to justify the Culling of Stratholme but that he had been acting out of misguided compassion rather than hatred, which made what Jaina was planning to do even worse.
When one of the Knights of the Ebon Blade enters the Blades of the Fallen Prince, reforged from the shards of Frostmourne, echoes of Ner'zhul and Arthas can be found within. When Arthas is defeated he says he sees only darkness, while Ner'zhul exclaims that his plans have been ruined.
Throughout the Broken Isles, frost death knights wielding the Blades of the Fallen Prince will occasionally encounter Memories of Arthas that give them cryptic messages. While the memories don't refer to any one being by name, they imply that the darkness never dies and that while the death knights may believe they are free, they exist only by "his" will and do as "he" commands.
Battle for Azeroth
When Katherine Proudmoore goes to Fate's End to rescue her daughter Jaina from Gorak Tul, she is pulled into visions of Jaina's past. One of these visions is Jaina witnessing Arthas declare his intent to purge the city of Stratholme before its population can turn into the undead. Jaina then laments not stopping him, believing that if she had he never would have become the Lich King and that he'd still be alive.
|Location||Level range||Health range|
|Culling of Stratholme (instance)||80|
|Echo of Arthas Menethil||98 - 110||1,346,093|
|Memory of Arthas||100 - 110||614,430|
Culling of Stratholme
- Main article: Arthas (Stratholme)#Abilities
- Consume Minions — Consume up to 5 nearby Ghoulish Minions to restore 10% health and mana per minion consumed.
- Deathstorm — Strikes an enemy with a deathbolt that arcs to another nearby enemy. The spell affects up to 12 targets, causing Shadow damage to each.
- Gift of the Lich King — Raise ghouls from dead Lordaeron Footmen in the target area.
- Soul Cleave — Inflicts weapon damage to an enemy and its nearest allies, affecting up to 3 targets and restoring 5% of your mana.
- Annihilate — Leap at Illidan dealing weapon damage +520000 and stunning him for 6 seconds.
- Deathstrike — Deals weapon damage +26000.
- Parry — Parry Illidan's next attack and regenerate 25% of your mana if successful.
- Stomp — Knock Illidan back.
As a human, Arthas was a man of action - brave, impulsive and straightforward. He was an inspiring leader, leading his men by example and more than once leading charges in his campaigns against the Plague. In conversations with others, he appeared witty and easy-going, yet able to hold true to his decisions and convince others to accept them. At the same time, Arthas was vindictive, quick to anger, and exceptionally arrogant, often being reprimanded by Uther for his hastiness (as at Stratholme) and even naming his horse "Invincible" as (it is implied) a symptom of his self-aggrandizement. He never took well to losing and had difficulty admitting his mistakes. He always sought the approval of others (such as his father) and often felt underappreciated. He could not stand the thought of others betraying his trust, going as far as making Jaina promise never to deny him anything.
After he murdered his father, Arthas claimed he no longer felt remorse, shame, or pity, which may be explained by him losing his soul to Frostmourne. He became a ruthless and cynical person with a grim sense of humor, regularly mocking his enemies and gloating over their defeats or deaths (e.g. as he did with his former mentor Uther). This is perhaps most notable in his resurrection, control and torture of Sylvanas Windrunner—specifically raising her as a banshee for him to toy with and force her to murder her own kind. Even as a death knight, though, Arthas felt as though the last remnants of his humanity were holding him back, and he still regularly thought of Jaina and his past life. He also still showed a degree of attachment to things he valued in life that echoed his humanity, most notably Invincible.
Before he awoke as the Lich King, Arthas extinguished the final spark of goodness that remained within him, and thereby gave Frostmourne the final piece of his soul. He also removed his heart and threw it into the forgotten depths beneath Icecrown. As the Lich King, he was cruel, merciless, and utterly lacking in any kind of humanity—even when seeing his former love, Jaina, in the Halls of Reflection, he remained unmoved by her attempts to bring him back to the Light. He also retained his sense of arrogance, which more than once almost caused his demise (e.g. at the Wrathgate, where revealing himself exposed him to Putress's plague attacks), until it finally did, at the hands of the very adventurers he had brought to Northrend in the hopes of inevitably forcing them to serve him. Arthas may have regained a measure of humanity in his final moments, but only after Frostmourne was shattered and the souls it had stolen were released.
Arthas was friends with Jarim Balnir, despite their differences in station. He was also close with his royal guards particularly Captain Falric. Arthas met Varian when the Prince of Stormwind came to Lordaeron in the company of Lothar and Khadgar, and the pair would occasionally spar together. Arthas also became good friends with his mentors, Uther and Muradin. Jaina and Arthas were close friends for many years and eventually became lovers. Though Arthas abruptly ended their relationship when he decided he wasn't ready to marry yet, he was determined to remain friends with the sorceress. Arthas and Jaina would reignite their romance, but the events of the Third War got in the way, and it would change both of their lives forever, starting with the Culling of Stratholme.
As a death knight, Arthas seemed to enjoy conversations with his new allies, Kel'Thuzad and Anub'arak. He was not above expressing gratitude to Kel'Thuzad, and one of his final phrases before departing to Northrend was "You have been a loyal friend", something rarely heard from a dark lord addressing his minion.
Arthas cared deeply for his people and sought their approval in return. He rarely let his title stand in the way and often treated commoners as near-equals. It was Arthas' empathy that would ultimately lead to his downfall, as he was driven to the edge by the sight of his people falling before the Scourge. Once Arthas was convinced the only way to save his homeland was to destroy Mal'Ganis, he became determined to accomplish that at any cost.
After learning Frostmourne had stolen his soul, one of the first things Arthas reflects on is whether he truly saved his people by taking it up. With his mind twisted by Frostmourne's curse, Arthas comes to look upon the undead soldiers of the Scourge with affection, viewing them as his new subjects. He is described as feeling a form of sadness as he releases some badly damaged minions from his grip during the battles of Quel'Thalas, and he was outraged when Anasterian damaged his steed, Invincible.
When Balnazzar, Detheroc and Varimathras managed to usurp control over most of his warriors, Arthas realized that the undead were more like weapons or tools than subjects. That the loyal subjects he'd "made" would betray him came as a shock. Even so, the Lich King Arthas still seemed proud of his ability to "stir the hearts" of his "people." At one point, the Lich King referred to his Scourge minions as his "children".
In the RPG
Letters concerning Arthas
Uther Lightbringer to Mimblis Evermorne
Mimblis Evermorne was a fellow paladin of Uther Lightbringer. This letter was sent in the year 24.
Mimblis, Greetings, my friend. I hope the Light finds you well.
The young Arthas fills me with hope. He recently became a full paladin, and is nearly all I could hope for in a Knight of the Silver Hand. He is strong and powerful, with a devotion to his people that borders on zealousness. He's a fine paladin and will make a fine king when our beloved Terenas leaves us. Arthas has some growing to do, so I hope King Terenas will remain here for some time.
The only thing that bothers me about Arthas is that he has a disturbing quality in him. Sometimes, in training, I have seen him go a little far while sparring. He is so dedicating to winning the match that he forgets that it is only for training. He lacks control; I suppose it's a sense of ruthlessness that lies under his honorable exterior. I have full confidence that he will use this dedication to battle for his people, and I look forward to testing him. Once he really wets his sword, I can begin to teach him control. I don't want to rein his power just yet, until I can see what he's capable of.
Arthas loves his people very much. We recently visited some of the poorer villages outside of Lordaeron, giving healing to those in need. I wanted to test his healing powers, as well as see how he interacted with his people beyond the wealthy nobles in the city. He was full of pity for these people, weeping for a woman who had lost her leg in a wolf attack. After healing her pain, he set out on horseback, searching for the wolf. He slew three, bringing the pelts back to the woman to serve as her blankets. I was touched, but again, a little alarmed at his single-mindedness. She was grateful, and as we were there to serve the wounded and sick, our work was completed.
His relationship with Jaina Proudmoore is one I must watch. Lordaeron has never had a mage as a queen, but if she and Arthas wed, that's what we will be faced with. Perhaps it will be a good union of magic and politics, or at least bring the mages and paladins closer together. I will watch them carefully. A good thing about Jaina is that she will soften his hard edges. While she attacks her obstacles with a firm and unyielding mind, she is more diplomatic and cerebral in her approach, while Arthas may simply hammer on something until it disintegrates. They will make a strong union: he is the naked steel of a sword, and she is a fist in a velvet glove. I have confidence that they will receive public support, and I will lend them my support as well. I watch Arthas training on the field, and feel he can take on anything. He attacks with a single-mindedness that I know he will apply toward anything in life, be it physical confrontations or political. King Terenas has a good son. I have total confidence in Arthas. Yes, he has more to learn, but don't we all? He'll overcome his weaknesses and become a wise king, in time.
Looking forward to our trip to Stratholme,
Arthas to Magni Bronzebeard
To King Magni Bronzebeard, Lord of Ironforge,
It is my sad duty to bring you very grim news. I am certain you know of Muradin's mission here in Northrend to strike at the Scourge and discover useful artifacts. We fought together against the Scourge, and although I survived, Muradin fell to the undead and demons. I grieve for my brave friend and your valiant brother. Yet know that his heroic death was not in vain, for his life ensured my victory against the Lich King's minions — and my recovery of the ancient sword known as Frostmourne. I shall be returning to Lordaeron soon. With Frostmourne in hand, I come to reestablish order and bring forth a shining new age. Muradin's remaining clansmen here will take his body back to Ironforge. You cannot know how deep are my sympathies. I know that this letter offers small consolation, but I felt you should learn of Muradin's death as soon as possible. You have lost a brother, and I have lost a valued friend.
May the Light preserve our peoples,
— Prince Arthas Menethil
- Faith alone is not enough to stop the enemies of the Light. (Wrath of Turalyon flavor text)
Reign of Chaos
- For unit quotes, see Quotes of Warcraft III/Human Alliance#Arthas.
- For unit quotes, see Quotes of Warcraft III/Undead Scourge#Arthas.
- "Can the formalities, Uther. I'm not king yet. It's good to see you."
- "Gentlemen, meet Miss Jaina Proudmoore, special agent to the Kirin Tor, and one of the most talented sorceresses in the land."
- "The plague was never meant to simply kill my people. It was meant to turn them... into the undead! Defend yourselves!"
- "Then we should strike at their leader! I'll go to Stratholme and kill Mal'Ganis myself if I have to!"
- "Nothing he can say will make me abandon my homeland, Jaina. I don't care if that madman has seen the future. Let's go."
- "This entire city must be purged."
- "Damn it, Uther! As your future king, I order you to purge this city!"
- "Then I must consider this an act of treason."
- "Lord Uther, by my right of succession and the sovereignty of my crown, I hereby relieve you of your command and suspend your paladins from service."
- "I'll hunt you to the ends of the earth if I have to! Do you hear me? To the ends of the earth!"
- "Uther had my troops recalled? Damn it! If my warriors abandon me, I'll never defeat Mal'Ganis. The ships must be burned before the men reach the shore!"
- "I would gladly bear any curse to save my homeland."
- "Damn the men! Nothing shall prevent me from having my revenge, old friend. Not even you."
- "Now, I call out to the spirits of this place. I will give anything or pay any price, if only you will help me save my people."
- "You waste your breath, Mal'Ganis. I heed only the voice of Frostmourne now."
- "He tells me the time for my vengeance has come."
- "You no longer need to sacrifice for your people. You no longer need to bear the weight of your crown. I've taken care of everything."
- "This kingdom shall fall, and from the ashes shall arise a new order that will shake the very foundations of the world."
- "I've damned everyone and everything I've ever loved in his name, and I still feel no remorse. No shame. No pity."
- "We may never know, Uther. I intend to live forever."
- "After all you've put me through, woman, the last thing I'll give you is the peace of death."
- "Citizens of Silvermoon! I have given you ample opportunities to surrender, but you have stubbornly refused! Know that today, your entire race and your ancient heritage will end! Death itself has come to claim the high home of the elves!"
- "Wizards of the Kirin Tor! I am Arthas, first of the Lich King's death knights! I demand that you open your gates and surrender to the might of the Scourge!"
- "My master sees all, demon hunter. He knows that you've sought power your whole life. Now it lies within your grasp! Seize it, and your enemies will be undone."
The Frozen Throne
- "Greetings, dreadlords. I should thank you for looking after my kingdom during my absence. However, I won't be requiring your services any longer."
- "I have returned, lich, but you will now address me as King. This is, after all, my land. Now we must secure the kingdom by scouring the last remnants of humanity from it!"
- "Take me back to the capital. I have a long journey ahead of me."
- "You have been a loyal friend, Kel'Thuzad. I don't know what the future holds, or if I'll even return, but I want you to watch over this land. See to it that my legacy endures."
- "Sorry we don't have time to chat, great wyrm. We've come to murder you and steal whatever artifacts you've been hoarding over the centuries."
- "Muradin's dwarves? Doesn't anyone stay dead anymore?"
- "I saw another vision of the Lich King. He has restored my powers! I know now what I must do. It's time to end the game... once and for all."
- "Illidan has mocked the Scourge long enough! It's time we put the fear of death back in him."
- "The Frozen Throne is mine, demon. Step aside. Leave this world and never return. If you do, I'll be waiting."
Arthas: Rise of the Lich King
- No we. No one tells me what to do. I've got everything I need from you—now the power is mine and mine alone. Now there is only I. I am the Lich King. And I am ready.
World of Warcraft
Wrath of the Lich King
- Main article: The Truth Shall Set Us Free#Notes
- Main article: Frostmourne Cavern (quest)#Notes
- Main article: Lich King (tactics)#Quotes
- Main article: The Call of Icecrown#Notes
Battle for Azeroth
- Main article: Defense of Quel'Danas#Notes
- Main article: The Setting Sun#Notes
- Main article: The Fall of the Sunwell#Notes
Notes and trivia
- Arthas died at the age of 31.
- The spot where the Lich King raised Ras Frostwhisper as a lich in Stratholme is considered holy ground by the Scourge.
- In the Matthias Lehner questline, Matthias said that the fight between Arthas and Illidan was the only battle where Arthas came close to being killed. However, this was contradicted by Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, as Uther also almost killed Arthas, and was about to land the killing blow until Frostmourne magically flew into Arthas' hands and Uther's heart.
- Before World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, after the Legion left to invade Kalimdor, Kel'Thuzad told Arthas about Illidan Stormrage. He teleported Arthas directly to Illidan's location in Felwood in Kalimdor.
- Prince Arthas is one of the four possibilities for a Time Anomaly summoned by mages wearing the Raiment of the Arcanic Conclave.
- In Warcraft III, Arthas is voiced by Justin Gross. In subsequent appearances, he is voiced by Patrick Seitz (paladin/death knight Arthas) and Michael McConnohie (Lich King Arthas).
- Arthas appeared in nearly every campaign in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, with Exodus of the Horde and The Invasion of Kalimdor being the exceptions.
- Arthas' first line ("Can the formalities, Uther") caused a big argument among the game developers as to whether or not canning existed in Lordaeron.
- Arthas wields Frostmourne with his left hand during the undead campaigns in Warcraft III, but with his right hand in most other depictions, including the Warcraft III cinematics.
- Arthas' Warcraft III model has blue eyes, but he has green eyes in Warcraft III artwork and in World of Warcraft. In Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, he is described as having sea-green eyes.
- Before leaving for Northrend to aid the Lich King, Arthas intended to use the Undercity as the Scourge's seat of power.
- Alex Afrasiabi originally said that Arthas "never died" and the Matthias Lehner questline involved Arthas removing his heart because the "incessant drumming" of living hearts disgusted him, but this was later contradicted by Arthas being described as an undead in Rise of the Lich King, and as having felt the Lich King's power pierce his heart, stop his breath, and freeze his veins when he donned the Helm of Domination. It added that his hair and skin grew pale, plants died at his touch, living animals feared him, and he did not tire. Chronicle also described him as an undead and the game categorized him as an Undead creature.
- Arthas was described as a black rider.
- Chief Archaeologist Letoll once claimed to have heard that Arthas' "cousin's" skeleton was frozen beneath a glacier in Winterspring.
- Arthas appeared in the nightmares of both Jaina Proudmoore and Sylvanas Windrunner.
- can be fished from the Dalaran Fountain.
- Arthas and Terenas briefly appear in , a story told by Lorewalker Cho.
- Players can transform into Arthas using .
- One of the battleships used during the naval missions on the alternate Draenor bears the name "Arthas's Downfall".
- Garrosh Hellscream compared Anduin Wrynn to Arthas by mentioning a golden-haired, beloved human prince who turned his back on the Light. Alonsus Faol later stated that Anduin reminded him of Arthas when the latter was younger and still followed the Light. Unlike Garrosh, Faol meant the comparison as a compliment.
- In a PC World article, Arthas was voted #19 of the top 47 "most diabolical game villains of all time".
- A 14-foot statue of Arthas can be seen at the Calligraphy Greenway in Taichung, Taiwan.
- In the end credits for Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, Arthas was the lead guitarist for Tenth Level Tauren Chieftain.
- “Men, women and children... None were spared the master's wrath.”
- — Falric
Arthas' personal kill count contains several characters in Warcraft's lore, including the kings of three powerful nations. This list includes:
- Slave Master (killed in Strahnbrad, Warcraft III)
- Searinox (killed near Strahnbrad, Warcraft III)
- Blademaster of the Blackrock Clan (killed near Strahnbrad, Warcraft III)
- Kel'Thuzad (killed in Andorhal, Warcraft III; resurrected as a lich)
- Venim Iceblade (killed near Hearthglen, Warcraft III)
- Calis Wraithson (killed near Hearthglen, Warcraft III)
- The Guardian (killed outside Frostmourne Cavern, Warcraft III)
- Mal'Ganis (killed in Northrend, Warcraft III; returns in Wrath of the Lich King)
- Captain Falric (killed in Northrend, Arthas: Rise of the Lich King; resurrected as a death knight)
- Captain Marwyn (killed in Northrend, Arthas: Rise of the Lich King; resurrected as a death knight)
- King Terenas Menethil II (killed in the imperial chamber of Capital City, Warcraft III)
- Gavinrad the Dire (killed near Andorhal, Warcraft III)
- Ballador the Bright (killed near Andorhal, Warcraft III)
- Sage Truthbearer (killed near Andorhal, Warcraft III)
- Uther the Lightbringer (killed near Andorhal, Warcraft III)
- Sylvanas Windrunner (killed in Quel'Thalas, Warcraft III; resurrected as a banshee)
- King Anasterian Sunstrider (killed on the Isle of Quel'Danas, Arthas: Rise of the Lich King)
- Dar'Khan Drathir (killed on the Isle of Quel'Danas, Arthas: Rise of the Lich King; resurrected later)
- Genjuros (killed in Alterac Mountains, Warcraft III)
- Haomarush (killed in Alterac Mountains, Warcraft III)
- Khanzo (killed in Alterac Mountains, Warcraft III)
- Mazrigos (killed in Alterac Mountains, Warcraft III)
- Throk'Feroth (killed in Alterac Mountains, Warcraft III)
- Jubei'Thos (killed in Alterac Mountains, Warcraft III)
- Fordred Aran (killed in Dalaran, Warcraft III)
- Landazar (killed in Dalaran, Warcraft III)
- Conjurus Rex (killed in Dalaran, Warcraft III)
- Antonidas (killed in Dalaran, Warcraft III)
- Dagren the Orcslayer (killed in Lordaeron palace gardens, Warcraft III)
- Halahk the Lifebringer (killed in Lordaeron palace gardens, Warcraft III)
- Magroth the Defender (killed in Lordaeron palace gardens, Warcraft III)
- Jennalla Deemspring (killed in Lordaeron palace gardens, Warcraft III)
- Bloodfeast (killed in Lordaeron palace gardens, Warcraft III)
- Sapphiron (killed in Northrend, Warcraft III; resurrected as a frost wyrm)
- Forgotten one (killed in Inner Kingdom, Warcraft III)
- Baelgun Flamebeard (killed in Azjol-Nerub, Warcraft III)
- Lana'thel (killed in Northrend, Wrath of the Lich King; resurrected as blood-queen of the San'layn)
- Overlord Drakuru (killed atop Voltarus, Wrath of the Lich King)
- Dranosh Saurfang (killed in Northrend, Wrath of the Lich King; resurrected as a death knight)
- Vardmadra (killed atop Balargarde Fortress, Wrath of the Lich King)
In other media
- An enemy named Lord Arrgthas appears in AdventureQuest. His description says he is "not a lich king just yet".
- In Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, both Arthas (as the Lich King) and Frostmourne (his guitar) are unlockable after earning 1600 stars and reaching level 71.
- Arthas appears in Snow Fight, a children's book written by Chris Metzen and illustrated by Wei Wang.
- Arthas is a playable character in Heroes of the Storm.
- One of his skins, "Frost Wyrm Arthas", depicts an alternate reality in which the Ashen Verdict failed to defeat the Lich King. The description reads, "After the death of the Ashen Verdict's champions none could halt the Lich King's advance. As a reminder of his victory, he grafted the bones of his fallen servants onto his armor."
- Prince Arthas is an unlockable, alternate hero for the paladin class in Hearthstone, and the eighth alternate hero to be revealed. He is rewarded when a player completes the extremely difficult task of defeating the final Lich King encounter in the Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion with all nine classes.
- In the League of Explorers adventure, Arthas' signet ring can be found in the Hall of Explorers wing.
- On July 31, Hearthstone Game Director Ben Brode released the rap video "Ben Brode- ARTHAS", showcasing the prince's fall to evil.
- His flavor text reads: "The boy who would be King... LICH King. Obtained by defeating the Lich King with every class."
Arthas could be seen as a "reverse" version of King Arthur. Frostmourne is comparable to the Sword in the Stone/Excalibur, Ner'zhul (or Kel'Thuzad) could be seen as roughly equivalent to Merlin (the wizard figure behind the king), and Uther shares his name with King Arthur's father. In contrast to Arthur, Arthas destroyed a Camelot-styled kingdom and built its opposite.
Hernan Cortes, a Spanish conquistador, made a very similar decision to Arthas in Warcraft III. When Uther convinced King Terenas II to send ships to Arthas' expedition in Northrend as a way to tell them to go back home to Lordaeron, Arthas decided to burn the ships to continue his campaign against Mal'Ganis. Due to half of his men protesting and wanting to go back to the mainland, Cortes decided to burn his ships until victory was achieved against the Aztecs so he could claim their land. That manner of decision was also believed to have been made, before Cortes, by Umayyad commander Tariq bin Ziyad in order to conquer Hispania (modern-day Spain) and make it Al-Andalus. Cortes is believed to have been inspired by Tariq bin Ziyad's strategic movement of conquering Cortes's own hometown.
Arthas also draws parallels with Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. Anakin is another prominent example of the "fallen hero" archetype in modern fiction. Like Anakin, Arthas began his career as a promising knight sworn to altruism and justice, under the tutelage of an experienced warrior who attempted to instil these values in his pupil. Both men were eventually seduced by dark powers, and aided in the destruction of their orders and the killing of their mentors. Both ended their lives not as Darth Vader or the Lich King, but as Anakin Skywalker and Arthas Menethil, respectively.
Prince Arthas, depicted with other heroes from Warcraft III.
Heroes of the Storm concept art for Prince Arthas, wielding Frostmourne.
Crown Prince Arthas in Hearthstone.
Warcraft III: Reforged concept art and old and new model.
Arthas' armor model used in a Battle for Azeroth in-game cinematic.
"King Arthas Menethil" imagined by Pulyx45699, as used in Tribute.
Uther fighting Arthas.
Arthas in the Lament of the Highborne machinima.
Arthas in Lordaeron's imperial Chamber.
Arthas riding Invincible.
Arthas in Northrend.
Arthas the death knight.
Arthas from Ghostlands.
Arthas and Terenas in Cho's story.
Arthas on the cover of the novel Arthas: Rise of the Lich King.
Arthas sitting on the Frozen Throne.
Arthas in Icecrown.
Arthas outside Icecrown Citadel.
Arthas in the Frozen Halls.
Arthas in the Wrath of the Lich King cinematic.
Arthas in the Heroes of the Storm cinematic.
Arthas artwork from the Heroes of the Storm site.
Arthas in Snow Fight.
Heroes of the Storm
The Arthas action figure.
The Lich King Arthas action figure by DC Direct.
The Arthas toy from BlizzCon 2013.
Luchador Arthas from BlizzCon 2013.
"Prince Arthas" by Pulyx45699.
- The Prince and the Prophet
- Arthas' Betrayal
- The Revelation
- Sylvanas' Farewell
- Boiling Point
- A Long Time Coming
- The Ascension
- Fall of the Lich King
- The Story of Arthas Menethil
- Patch 3.0.3 (2008-11-04): Added.
- ^ The Sunwell Trilogy
- ^ Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne manual, pg. 6, quote: "And Arthas, the newly crowned king of Lordaeron..."
- ^ a b Ultimate Visual Guide
- ^ a b Blood of the Highborne
- ^ Chris Metzen on Twitter (2012-10-22). "Dead as a doornail. :)"
- ^ March Badness
- ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter
- ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos manual, Human History (since the end of the second war)
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King
- ^ Of Blood and Honor
- ^ Of Blood and Honor
- ^ The Defense of Strahnbrad
- ^ Blackrock & Roll
- ^ Ravages of the Plague
- ^ The Cult of the Damned
- ^ March of the Scourge
- ^ The Prince and the Prophet
- ^ The Culling (WC3 Human)
- ^ The Shores of Northrend
- ^ Dissension
- ^ Frostmourne (Warcraft III)
- ^ The Cinematic Art of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (2009), pg. 30
- ^ a b Death Knight
- ^ Arthas' Betrayal
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 21, 35, 133-134
- ^ Trudging through the Ashes
- ^ Digging up the Dead
- ^ The Fall of Silvermoon
- ^ The Revelation
- ^ Blackrock & Roll, Too!
- ^ Under the Burning Sky
- ^ The Destruction of Dalaran
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 77 - 78
- ^ A Destiny of Flame and Sorrow
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, chapter 21
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 80
- ^ King Arthas (Warcraft III)
- ^ A Kingdom Divided
- ^ The Flight from Lordaeron
- ^ Sylvanas' Farewell
- ^ The Return to Northrend
- ^ Into the Shadow Web Caverns
- ^ The Forgotten Ones (WC3 Undead)
- ^ Ascent to the Upper Kingdom
- ^ Boiling Point
- ^ A Symphony of Frost and Flame
- ^ A Long Time Coming
- ^ a b
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, chapter 17
- ^ The Ascension
- ^ a b Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 306
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, epilogue. "Arthas, the Lich King, alone in his glory and power, slowly opened his eyes."
- ^ Warcraft: Legends Volume 4 Fate. "Ner'zhul is no more. He is consumed. There is only Arthas now... Arthas, whom you shall serve for all eternity."
- ^ BlizzCon 2010 Lore Q&A Panel. "Yeah, Ner'zhul is done. He served us well in that capacity, but really the Lich King idea... really has the ultimate expression, you know, as Arthas or whatever. Ner'zhul's done."
- ^ Lich King (tactics)#Quotes
- ^ 1up - WotLK preview
- ^ Afterlives: Bastion
- ^ Edge of Night
- ^ Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 84
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 21, 35, 133-134
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 93
- ^ Reign of Chaos: Trudging through the Ashes
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 158 - 162
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 161
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 1
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 18
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 97
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, chapter 11
- ^ The Frozen Throne: Sylvanas' Farewell
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 204
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 223, 236
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 237
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 270
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 269
- ^ Wrath of the Lich King: Opening Cinematic
- ^ Manual of Monsters
- ^ Lands of Conflict, 75
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, chapter 21
- ^ Spell
- ^ Video Games (Selected): World of Warcraft
- ^ Warcraft III - Design Insights Highlights 01: Human Campaign
- ^ World of Warcraft Official Strategy Guide
- ^ BlizzCon Day 2 WoW Lore and Quests panel liveblog
- ^ Shadow's Edge#Whispers
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 203 - "stradding the worlds of life and death"
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 191 - "alive after a fashion"
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 301
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 193
- ^ Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 53
- ^ Legends: Nightmares
- ^ Stormrage
- ^ War Crimes
- ^ Before the Storm, chapter 9, pg. 74
- ^ A King is Born in Taiwan – Unveiling the Arthas Statue
- ^ Golden, Christie. "Ten", Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects, 219 (ebook). ISBN 978-1439-19663-2.
- ^ The Four Lich Kings Bohemian Rhapsody Performance Mode!
- ^ Heroes of the Storm Official Game Site
- ^ Hearthside Chat with Dave Kosak: Knights of the Frozen Throne Missions (2017-07-27). Retrieved on 2017-07-28.
Terenas Menethil II
Ruler of Lordaeron
Lich King of the Scourge (conjoined spirits with Ner'zhul)
Arthas Menethil (alone)
Arthas Menethil and Ner'zhul (conjoined spirits)
Lich King of the Scourge (alone)