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Mak'gora

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For the duel from the Warcraft film universe, see Mak'gora (film universe).

Mak'gora (also written as mak'gora[1] or Mak'Gora[2][3]) means "duel of honor"[4] and is an orcish custom whereby someone may challenge another person to individual combat. The ritualistic duel[5] has been often used to obtain a position of leadership, such as a fight for the position of group leader,[6] clan chieftain,[7] or Warchief of the Horde, but not necessarily. Mak'gora is practiced by ogre clans as well.[8]

Description

Mak'gora used to be traditionally a combat to the death, but under Warchief Thrall's rule it became a non-lethal combat, though participants can choose to forgo this change.[1]

The rules of a Mak'gora seem to be different between each Mak'gora, since they are chosen and set by the participants themselves. Generally, there are thus no specific rules. The only consistent theme in all Mak'gora is that the pair must fight to the death or until submission. Magic, for example, has never been stated to be forbidden, and has, in fact, been used in multiple Mak'gora duels and thus seems to be permitted. Similarly, many Mak'gora duels have involved both fighters wearing body armor as well, but it can also be forbidden when explicitly required.

Refusing a Mak'gora can mean dishonor.[7] When used as a fight to the death, being spared can be perceived as a grave insult for orcs, at least for Thunderlords.[7] In one unnamed orcish clan, the participants were expelled from their clan and left for dead when they refused to kill each other during their Mak'gora.[9]

In ogre clans, only an ogre may challenge another ogre to a mak'gora, but the challenger may then choose a champion to fight on his/her behalf.[8]

For example, the rules chosen for the Mak'gora between Garrosh and Cairne were:

  • One weapon was allowed.
    • A blessing of this weapon by a shaman of their choosing was permitted.
  • Both body armor and clothing were forbidden, only a loincloth was allowed.
  • Each participant had to have at least one witness.
  • The combat was to the death.[10]

The rules chosen for the Mak'gora between Shagara and Ashra were:

  • One weapon was allowed.
  • Body armor was forbidden, but not clothing.
  • The combat was to the death.[6]

In many other Mak'gora, rules are sometimes not even defined, for instance in both the first and the second Mak'gora between Thrall and Garrosh, or the Mak'gora between Varok Saurfang and Malfurion.

Known Mak'gora

The first mak'gora between Thrall and Garrosh.
The mak'gora between Ashra and Shagara.
  • Issued by Fenris Wolfbrother to Garad. Garad called Fenris a coward for secretly hunting gronn with the Thunderlord clan. Garad defeated Fenris, but would not kill his own son. Insulted by being spared, Fenris left the Frostwolf clan and joined the Thunderlords.[7] It is possible that this holds true for the main universe.
  • Issued by Orgrim Doomhammer to Blackhand the Destroyer,[11] calling Blackhand a traitor who had sold their people into servitude to dark forces.[12] Orgrim won with a blow that crushed Blackhand's skull, taking control of the Blackrock clan and the Horde at the end of the First War.[13]
  • Issued by Garrosh Hellscream to Thrall. The duel, in the modern way, was interrupted when the Scourge invaded Orgrimmar.
  • Issued by Cairne Bloodhoof to Garrosh Hellscream, who requested it to be a traditional duel. Garrosh chose Magatha Grimtotem to bless Gorehowl, who secretly applied poison to the blade. Cairne died when the poison prevented him from avoiding the axe. Because of the use of poison, Garrosh felt that Magatha cheated him out of a real victory.
  • Issued by Ashra Valandril to Shagara. Ashra did not understand or care what Mak'gora entailed and just wanted a martial challenge to see who was truly fit to lead. Ashra lost but Shagara did not kill him.[6]
  • Issued by Ga'nar to Durotan. Ga'nar believed that Durotan was not handling the Frostwolf Orcs as well as he should have been, and challenged his brother in the middle of the Horde Garrison. Durotan and Draka defused the situation, and Ga'nar backed down.
  • Issued by Thrall to Garrosh Hellscream. Garrosh lost and was killed by Thrall.[14]
  • Hans'gar and Franzok are twin brothers who were each unwilling to slay the other in the rite of mak'gora and were banished from their clan.
  • Issued by Malus to King Gordok, but the latter refused as the opponent wasn't an ogre. Instead, Malus's companion, the ogre Throgg, challenged the King in Malus's stead, yet Malus chose to be Throgg's champion and fight. Gordok died and Malus became new King Gordok, leader of the Dire Maul Gordunni clan.[15]

Threatened Mak'gora

  • Malkorok threatened to challenge Baine Bloodhoof with a Mak'gora if his objection to Garrosh's use of molten giants against Northwatch Hold was meant as an insult. Baine diffused the situation by stating he only spoke out of concern that abusing the elements in such a way may lead to another Cataclysm.[16]
  • Varok Saurfang wished to engage in a mak'gora against Garrosh Hellscream in the aftermath of the Alliance-Horde war. The deposed warchief stood accused of war crimes against Azeroth, to be judged in a courtroom presided over by the August Celestials. Saurfang believed Garrosh's earnest love for his people had earned him a right to an orcish mak'gora — in defeat, a death at Saurfang's hands; in victory, the chance to repent. Although Garrosh was not given a death penalty by the Celestials, he escaped before Saurfang's challenge could be revisited.[17]
  • Varok Saurfang attempted to challenge Malfurion Stormrage to a mak'gora to buy time during the Horde's attack on Astranaar, but Malfurion did not care for it and simply attacked him.[18]

Trivia

  • A popular misconception among the fanbase is that Thrall cheated in his final mak'gora against Garrosh when he used elemental magic. However, there has never been any rule forbidding the use of magic and spells. Moreover, there is precedent for the use of magic in mak'gora, as both Shagara and Ashra made extensive use of it during their mak'gora. Thrall had also already used magic in the first mak'gora between him and Garrosh, by throwing lightning bolts. Another misconception is that Thrall became a weaker shaman after Garrosh's death because the elements felt like he used them in vengeance. In reality, it was his guilt and internal struggle that were the reason for him not hearing them anymore.[19]

See also

References