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Please do not add clan names to this page unless they are established in Warcraft lore.

The old orcish Horde, dwarves, and other races are separated into many clans. What defines a clan, and how one is started, is largely up to interpretation. The term clan is sometimes used interchangeably with the term tribe. The RPG describes the organization of murloc clans as being larger than murloc tribes.[1][2]

Centaur tribes/clans

Clan and tribe appear to be interchangeable terms when referring to centaurs groups. Centaur clans are led by khans.

Dwarven clan system

Dwarves count their blood connections in many ways. The most prominent of ties is the clan.[3] The main dwarven clans are the Bronzebeard clan, the Wildhammer clan, and the Dark Iron clan. Each of them have smaller clans, like Rom's clan,[4] the clans of the Twilight Highlands, and the Shadowforge clan, respectively.

Each main clan is ruled by a thane.[5]

Icon-RPG.png This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.
Icon-search-48x48.png This section contains information that needs to be cleaned up. Reason: Ironforge clan doesn't exist

Dwarven culture is made up by a clan-like caste system. The original clan that evolved from the earthen was known as the Ironforge clan. It later split into the three main Clans known as the Dark Iron clan (Ruled by line of Thaurissan), Ironforge clan (ruled by members of the Bronzebeard clan), and the Wildhammer clan (ruled by line of Wildhammers), but many lesser clans exist as well.[6][7]

Family names often indicate clan names as well and are the lesser clans within one of the three main dwarven cultures. Some family names are names of honor earned through some feat, which replace the family's true name. For example, Falstad Dragonreaver's real name is Falstad Wildhammer. In which case the new name may be passed on to their descendants or not, depending on the choice of the individual.[8] Another example are some of the members of the "Thunderaxe" family who joined the Dark Iron clan during the War of the Three Hammers, taking on the name "Pikesplitter".[9]

Dwarven clans

Mogu clans

The mogu, introduced in Mists of Pandaria, also have a clan-based system.

Murloc clan system

A murloc clan is an organized from multiple tribes in an area. Each tribe to its own village of usually six to twelve individuals.[1][11] Every so often a clan meets to discuss issues of importance.[12] However, keeping a large group of murlocs coordinated and in agreement for any significant length of time is difficult.[11]

Orcish clan system

Orc Clan Banners.jpg

There are several orcish clans, some older than others. Some, like the Bleeding Hollow clan, appear to be ancestral and well-established, indicating perhaps that they evolved over time out of a family or tribal network. Some, like the Shattered Hand clan, would appear to be associated with a specific class within orc society (in this case, rogues), leading to speculation that they may have originated as some form of class-oriented guilds.

Orcish clans ruled most of Draenor

Many Orc clans appear to be huge, ruling huge swaths of lands, including much of Draenor, somewhat similar to a human nation.

Some clans also accept members from other races, adopting them into the clan. Laughing Skull clan was led by an ogre Mogor, and had ogre members. Twilight's Hammer clan was once led by an ogre, Cho'gall, and has been accepting in humans and other races from the Alliance as of late.

In the World of Warcraft, when an orc player takes out a charter to add a new guild to the registry of Orgrimmar, the guild master there refers to it as adding a new clan to the Horde.

Still, other clans, like the Black Tooth Grin clan and Stormreaver clan, were clearly organized recently (relatively speaking), by specific people, for a specific purpose. In this case, loyalty in the clan tends to be solely to the clan leader, and when this leader dies, the clan tends to disintegrate.

Orc clan leaders are referred to as chieftains, while the leader of all clans is called a warchief. Thrall used to be the Warchief of the New Horde. The chieftain is usually the strongest member of the clan and, according to the old orcish hierarchy, to become one you must first fight the old chieftain to the death. Alternatively, you can inherit the status of chieftain.

When Thrall brought about the new Horde, the clan system was largely abolished. Although many orcs still proudly carry the name of their clan, the clans themselves are all united under the banner of one Horde.[13] The orc Urtrun Clanbringer is the guild master of Orgrimmar and describes many clans fighting beneath the banner of the warchief; Orgrimmar itself is said to be home to many of the orc clans of Durotar;[14] and orc adventurers are said to belong to a clan.[15] The Warsong, Frostwolf, Blackrock, Shattered Hand, and Dragonmaw clans all retain some individualism.

Orc clans

Main clans:

Other clans:

Unnamed clans:

  • The many unnamed clans fighting for Orgrimmar mentioned by Urtrun Clanbringer.
  • In the Second War one unnamed clan was left in the Hinterlands to distract the Alliance while the rest of the Horde marched to Quel'Thalas,[17][18] but the clan was annihilated by Lothar and his warriors.[19]


Clans of the Iron Horde:

Other clans:

Ogre tribes/clans

Manual of Monsters refers to ogres as having tribes, but later books refers to them as having clans, for example, Horde Player's Guide of 2006. In The Burning Crusade ogres are described as being in tribes or clans.

Vrykul Clans

The vrykul are also organized into clans:

Pandaren clans

The initial development of Pandaria's pandaren had them divided into their own clans. The concept didn't make it into the game.

See also


  1. ^ a b Manual of Monsters, pg. 63
  2. ^ Dark Factions, pg. ??
  3. ^ Night of the Dragon, chapter 1
  4. ^ Day of the Dragon, chapter 15
  5. ^ War of the Three Hammers (History of Warcraft)
  6. ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 67
  7. ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 98
  8. ^ Alliance Player's Guide, pg. 168
  9. ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 131
  10. ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 162
  11. ^ a b Lands of Conflict, pg. 135
  12. ^ Dark Factions, pg. 10
  13. ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 114
  14. ^ Orgrimmar faction description: Founded by Thrall, this Horde capital city is home to many of the proud orc clans of Durotar.
  15. ^ H [12] Dark Storms: You do your clan proud, <name>.
  16. ^ a b Cycle of Hatred, pg. 97
  17. ^ Tides of Darkness, pg. 166
  18. ^ Tides of Darkness, pg. 325
  19. ^ Tides of Darkness, pg. 332
  20. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2
  21. ^ Harbingers - Gul'dan
  22. ^ Alliance Player's Guide, pg. 60