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Not to be confused with Abyssal Maw, Maw of Souls, The Maw (Val'sharah), or maw creature.
NeutralThe Maw
Level: 60
The Maw concept.jpg
PvP status
Maw guards.

The Maw is one of the realms of the Shadowlands. This horrific place houses the most vile and irredeemable souls in existence—ones deemed by the Arbiter to represent a threat to the Shadowlands if left free. Ruled by the enigmatic Jailer who none have ever seen—at least none have seen and escaped to tell—the Maw inspires nightmares and legends even among the denizens of the Shadowlands. No one has ever escaped this vile place, and any foolish enough to venture here are never heard from again. At its center lies Torghast, a cursed otherworldly prison where the wickedest souls in the universe are locked away. The Maw is antithetical to Oribos.

Around the time of the Burning Legion's third invasion of Azeroth,[1] the machine of death was broken, and all souls who enter the Shadowlands now pour directly into the Maw. As a result, the Maw grows larger and more powerful while other parts of the Shadowlands have become deprived of anima—soul essence—and started withering. Sylvanas Windrunner has been working with the Jailer for some time and has been seemingly perpetrating acts to bring about great amounts of death in the world of the living. As she fed the Maw with new souls, both she and the Jailer have grown more powerful. Thanks to their intimate connection to Azeroth's world-soul, adventurers will be able to escape the Maw and further explore the Shadowlands, though some of their allies will be left behind.[2][3]

The Maw will be a max-level zone designed for exploration and open-ended play, without settlements or inns to let players catch their breath.


To be cast into the Maw is to be doomed to a bleak eternity. it is a tumultuous, hopeless land where the vilest souls in the cosmos are imprisoned forever. Should the ancient evil chained here break free, all of reality will be consumed.[4]


Maps and subregions

Map of the Maw.


Instance name Level range Group size Approximate run time
Instance portal Torghast, Tower of the Damned 60 5

Notes and trivia

  • The Maw is the dark afterlife that Sylvanas saw after committing suicide in Edge of Night.[5]
  • Souls from the Burning of Teldrassil were sent to the Maw.[6]
  • It is equivalent to real-life religious belief of Hell in Warcraft universe.

Patch changes