Mord'rethar: The Death Gate

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Mord'rethar: The Death Gate

Mord'rethar: The Death Gate is the first line of defense used by the Scourge in Icecrown. Behind this gate lies the Valley of Lost Hope.

In the assault on Icecrown, Horde forces dishonorably attacked Alliance forces who were busy fighting the Scourge at the Broken Front and trying to capture this gate.[1]

In order to destroy Icecrown Citadel, the gates in Icecrown must first be taken.[2] This is why players of both the Alliance and Horde are sent to sabotage these gates, so the army can conquer the gates. These quests are either given by Koltira Deathweaver or Thassarian, depending on one's faction, and involve killing Pustulent Horrors and throwing their spines into plague cauldrons to turn the plague into corrosive acid (the latter is better for the troops than the first, according to the death knights[3]), as well as taking out a powerful zombie, Coprous the Defiled.

After the player has completed these quests, the Death Knight quest giver deems the assault by the big army on the gate to be doable, and sends the player to Aldur'thar: The Desolation Gate.


  • The "Mord" in "Mord'rethar" is likely, in one way or another, derived from the ancient Germanic word *murþrą (pronounced "moor-thra"), associated with death and criminality. This word, in various forms, is present in several European languages, both modern and historical, mostly in its northern regions. In Scandinavian languages, such as Norwegian, Icelandic, or Old Norse, it has evolved into mord, or morð, meaning "murder", and matching with both the name of the gate and its description. In Old English, the same word transformed into morþor (pronounced morthor), and acquired the additional meaning of "great crime" or "great sin", though eventually losing it as it became the modern English word murder. The Old English word, in its original form and meaning, was also revived by Tolkien for his Lord of the Rings, where he used it for the kingdom of the book's main antagonist, Sauron - Mordor. Considering the design of the Icecrown Citadel was inspired greatly by Barad-dûr and other dark citadels from Lord of the Rings, the Lich King's association with death and murder, and the many Scandinavian elements present Northrend (such as the vrykul), the connection between "Mord'rethar" and "*murþrą" is very likely.

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