- This article is about the structure. For the raid known in-game as "Icecrown Citadel", see Icecrown Citadel (instance). For the 5-player instances, see Frozen Halls.
Icecrown Citadel is the greatest fortress of the Scourge and the last bastion of the dread Lich King. Located in the frozen wastes of Icecrown on the continent of Northrend, the Citadel is built around the Frozen Throne that once held the spirit of Ner'zhul until he joined with Arthas Menethil to become the new Lich King. Constructed from saronite, the Citadel is inhabited by some of the strongest and vilest of the Lich King's minions - a great army of the living dead standing between their dark master and those who seek to destroy him.
The name of Icecrown became infamous when Kil'jaeden hurled the Lich King back into the mortal world. Ner'zhul's prison slammed into Icecrown Glacier. Here the Lich King remained until Arthas Menethil freed him and the two merged in Arthas' body. The merging created such a large explosion that a large portion of the glacier was blown away. It left a gigantic spire of ice: the Frozen Throne, upon which sits the Lich King, ruler of the Scourge.
Wrath of the Lich King
This section concerns content related to Wrath of the Lich King.
Icecrown Citadel dominates Northrend - visible from farther away than nearly any other structure and home to the greatest army of undead in the known world. Inside dwells the Lich King - a tyrant with nearly godlike power over his tireless, seemingly infinite subjects - and the will to bring Azeroth to its knees.
An assault on the mighty citadel is among the most dangerous undertakings in the history of Azeroth - and the most pivotal. The legendary heroes Highlord Tirion Fordring of the Argent Crusade and Highlord Darion Mograine have joined forces to lead the charge through Icecrown's fortified gates, and both the Horde and Alliance have sacrificed lives - indeed, whole battalions - to get this far. They dare not fail. The Lich King's reign must end.
Icecrown Citadel is a massive structure located on the Dragonblight-Icecrown border. Its southern entrance, Angrathar the Wrathgate, is surrounded by the Court of Skulls, and flanked by Fordragon Hold and Kor'kron Vanguard. The fortified northern entrance to Icecrown Citadel, surrounded by the Court of Bones, is found in the mountains of southern Icecrown. It is surrounded by gigantic ramparts and massive, blade-like spires, the towers are an imposing landmark of the Icecrown skyline, emitting a beacon of light from its pinnacle.
Icecrown Citadel is home to the final encounter in Wrath of the Lich King, featuring the Lich King as the final boss. Although players interact with Arthas numerous times during the expansion, including during an event at Angrathar the Wrathgate in the Dragonblight, the instance where the final battle against him will take place was not formally announced until nearly a year after the release of the expansion. The developers have stated that they feel it was a mistake to release Black Temple, wherein the Illidan encounter takes place, as soon as they did (a mere four months after the release of Burning Crusade). Their goal for Wrath of the Lich King was to ensure that Arthas did not become just another farm boss too soon before newer, more challenging content is released.
Icecrown Citadel received an exterior redesign in patch 3.3.0, with the opening of the raid instance inside; the central spire became much taller and more cylindrical, and a platform of ice was added at the spire's summit (where the Frozen Throne will be inside the instance).
In the RPG
From the name one would assume Icecrown Citadel was an enormous fortress planted on the glacier, with thick walls, sturdy guard towers, and massive front gates. Not quite. Most of the Citadel lurks below the surface. The glacier is split, creating a deep fissure. Scourge forces lurk down there, and they have carved levels into either side of that massive split and created bridges, walkways and even solid floors across the gap. Not surprisingly, Icecrown Citadel is a cold, unforgiving place. It has no decorations, no furs or rugs, no fires, nothing to provide comfort or warmth. The Scourge creatures move silently from one problem to another, focused on their tasks. All manner of undead dwell here, including zombies, wraiths and beings composed of cold energy. At the bottom of the rift is the Frozen Throne, the heart of the Scourge and the Lich King's personal seat. This throne is the remains of the block of ice that first brought Ner'zhul to Azeroth, the same block that held him prisoner until Arthas freed the ancient orc shaman and merged with him. Arthas sits on the Frozen Throne.
Notes and trivia
- Despite the final cinematic of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne shows the Throne Chamber and its spire being in an iced cave that melted down leaving the spire in an open area, various sources such as War of the Spider (History of Warcraft) and Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Game Manual#War of the Spider stated that the Icecrown Citadel was constructed several years after Ner'zhul the Lich King was sent to Icecrown Glacier in Northrend on Azeroth. This was reconfirmed in the Death Knight manga (which depicts the citadel following the fall of Quel'Thalas close to its Wrath of the Lich King depiction), in World of Warcraft: Game Manual which says that the spell that Illidan Stormrage used in Dalaran with the Eye of Sargeras was targeted at the citadel of Icecrown, as well as in World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3.
- The in-game architecture of Icecrown Citadel and the outlying Scourge fortresses bears a striking resemblances to artwork of Orthanc, Barad-dûr, and countless other dark citadels from The Lord of the Rings.
- In Hearthstone, the Icecrown card back was rewarded for achieving Rank 20 in Ranked Season 5, which took place during August 2014. The flavor text reads: "In the frozen heart of Icecrown Citadel, a hero's mettle will be tested. Bring a parka."
Icecrown in Death Knight.
Image of the Frozen Throne at Icecrown Citadel from Lands of Mystery.
A rare glimpse into the new interior of the Citadel, from Warcraft: Legends Volume 4.
Artwork of the new interior of the Citadel, from BlizzCon 2009.
Another Peter Lee-drawn Icecrown Citadel.
The original Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne login screen featured a much darker version of the Frozen Throne at Icecrown Citadel.
The Scourge assembled to defend Icecrown in The Frozen Throne.
The obelisks surrounding the citadel.
The gates leading to the Frozen Throne.
The final version of the login screen in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.
Wrath of the Lich King
The Stairway to the Frozen Throne in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King.
The updated model of Icecrown Citadel in Patch 3.3.0.
- Patch 3.3.0 (2009-12-08): Model updated to go with the new instance.
- Patch 3.0.3 (2008-11-04): Added.