War Crimes

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War Crimes
War Crimes full cover.jpg

Hardcover: 368
Paperback: 400


Hardcover: Gallery Books
Paperback: Pocket Books

Publication date

Hardcover: May 6, 2014
Paperback: May 26, 2015


Hardback, Paperback, Digital, Audiobook

Retail price

US: Hardcover: $26.00


Hardcover: 1451684487
Paperback: 074347130X


Hardcover: 978-1451684483
Paperback: 978-0743471305

War Crimes is a novel by Christie Golden, bridging the gap between the events of the Siege of Orgrimmar and Warlords of Draenor. It focuses on the trial and sentencing of Garrosh Hellscream, deposed Warchief of the Horde. The trial is presided over by the faction leaders, all of whom are present.[1]

Tyrande Whisperwind is tasked with leading the prosecution, while through a series of events, Baine Bloodhoof finds himself needing to give Garrosh a fair defense. The Bronze Dragonflight use their time powers to provide looks back into the past at pivotal moments in Garrosh's history. Other major characters include Thrall, Jaina Proudmoore, Varian Wrynn, Anduin Wrynn, Sylvanas Windrunner (who has her own important subplot), and the newly-elected Warchief Vol'jin. While the novel includes an all-star cast, it focuses mainly on those with intimate history and ties to Garrosh.


Cover art.

The brutal siege of Orgrimmar is over. Garrosh Hellscream, the most infamous orc on Azeroth, now sits in chains. His tyrannical leadership of the Horde has been ended by his many enemies, and he must answer for his crimes.

Renowned leaders from across the world gather in Pandaria to witness Garrosh's trial. Visions of his past atrocities are presented in vivid detail for all to see. But as history is revisited, old grievances and bitter memories come back into the light, and those in attendance begin to wonder if anyone among them is truly innocent. Mounting tensions and rising enmity steer the court to the brink of chaos... as the world waits with bated breath for the verdict on the war crimes of Garrosh Hellscream.

From Blizzard[2]
Alliance and Horde forces have stripped Garrosh Hellscream, one of the most reviled figures on Azeroth, of his titles as warchief. Now, on the legendary continent of Pandaria, he will stand trial for his transgressions. As the trial unfolds, agents of the bronze dragonflight present shocking visions of Garrosh's atrocities. Unbeknownst to anyone, shadowy forces are at work on Azeroth, threatening not only the court's ability to mete out justice...but also the lives of everyone at the trial.


Major Supporting Minor Visions Mentioned




  • Both Golden and Micky Neilson worked on the novel's outline, while Chris Metzen and Dave Kosak worked on the "brainstorming" session with Neilson. An early idea for the novel involved Garrosh being hunted down, tracked down by Varian and Thrall. Here, he wasn't captured. Going down the path of "what if he had been captured," they settled on the trial idea, as it "hadn't been done anywhere else." It was at this point that Golden was contacted concerning the project.[3]
  • War Crimes was the second multi-character (POV) Warcraft novel Golden had worked on, the first being The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm. While writing she used color-coded index cards to correspond to various aspects of the plot.[3]
  • A plot thread considered early on was the conflict between Sylvanas, Garrosh, and Greymane concerning the issue of Gilneas. The plot thread was not pursued. Aethas Sunreaver was another plot thread that was decided to not be pursued.[3]
  • An unnamed night elven priestess and a white-haired human warlock appeared in the novel helping Varian to fight the attackers. These two characters are based on Christie Golden's in-game characters.[4]
  • Only a few of the alternate timeline characters appeared.[5]

Discrepancies and retcons

  • The book says that Thrall left for Nagrand right after the Cataclysm shook Azeroth.[6] In the game chronology, however, Thrall left for Nagrand during the Elemental Unrest which was the precursor to the Cataclysm. Similarly The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm describes various turmoils (fire in Durotar, drought in Mulgore, and upheaval in Dun Morogh) in the world, but not Deathwing's Cataclysm. It is also specifically said in the Shattering in Drek'Thar's and Thrall's visions that a cataclysm is about to happen.
  • Garrosh Hellscream, shown in a vision in Warsong Hold, is described with Gorehowl in his hands.[7] At this point he didn't receive the weapon.
  • When describing the activating of the  [Divine Bell], he is said to do so with Gorehowl.[8] In the game he used a ceremonial weapon.
  • Wrathion is described to have been sired by Deathwing,[9] even though it has been said that Deathwing is not his literal father.
  • Tyrande Whisperwind's current hair color in the game is teal. In the book she is described as having blue hair[8] (which was her original hair color).
  • Perith stated that he joined up with Baine at Camp Taurajo the night of Cairne's death, which was backed up by a vision of him being there.[10] However following Cairne's death Perith made his way towards Drek'Thar, and later Thrall and didn't join up with Baine until after Thunder Bluff was retaken from Magatha Grimtotem. He even said to the orcish elder shaman that Baine had escaped the Grimtotem attack on Bloodhoof Village but hasn't heard of him since.[11]
  • According to the book, Thrall met his parents in an alternate history of a malfunctioning timeway,[12] but in Twilight of the Aspects, he didn't want to intervene in the events of his parent's assassination because the true timeway was to be preserved.[13]
  • While the War of the Ancients Trilogy mentions more male siblings of the Windrunner sisters,[14] War Crimes says Lirath was the only brother of the sisters.[15]
  • Sylvanas Windrunner's hair is described to be pale blond in life[15] while in Tides of Darkness she was described to have dark blond. Loreology confirmed to be an intentional retcon.[16]
  • It was previously established that Sylvanas died and was raised by Arthas Menethil near a spire near Fairbreeze Village between Silvermoon and the Elrendar.[17] Here it is stated that the spire where she died was the Windrunner Spire in Ghostlands.[18] World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3 later reinforced the Rise of the Lich King version, hinting it was a mistake.

Audiobook edition

An unabridged audiobook edition was released by Simon & Schuster Audio in May 2014. It was narrated by Scott Brick.



  1. ^ First Look at Christie Golden's War Crimes "... For one thing, all of the faction leaders will be gathered together in one place."
  2. ^ https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/story/book/war-crimes
  3. ^ a b c 2014-05-16, Blizzplanet Interview – World of Warcraft: War Crimes by Christie Golden. Blizzplanet, retrieved on 2014-07-19
  4. ^ Christie Golden on Twitter
  5. ^ Christie Golden on Twitter
  6. ^ Chapter 18
  7. ^ Chapter 10
  8. ^ a b Chapter 6
  9. ^ Chapter 5
  10. ^ Chapter 25
  11. ^ The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm, chapter 24
  12. ^ Chapter 7
  13. ^ Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects, chapter 7
  14. ^ The Well of Eternity, chapter 2
  15. ^ a b Chapter 14
  16. ^ Loreology on Twitter (dead link)
  17. ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, chapter 19
  18. ^ Chapter 12

External links