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The Gnarled were a group of thousands of living trees that were gifted with intelligence and will when Gnarlgar channeled the Spirit of Life into the forests of Talador, roughly 2,000 years before the opening of the Dark Portal. They uprooted themselves and walked the earth just as their creator did. Gnarlgar ordered them to form the front lines of the primal army, enchanting their trunks and boughs to ward off the flames and shadowy curses of the Apexis arakkoa.[1]

When the primals marched on the Apexis alongside the newly created Sporemound Taala, the Apexis unleashed their superweapon, the Breath of Rukhmar, killing Taala and incinerating thousands of the Gnarled, the botani and the genesaur.[1]

Gnarled Ancients are summoned by Yalnu and appear during garrison invasions.