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For the character from the Warcraft film universe, see Blackhand (film universe).
For the character from an alternate universe, see Blackhand (alternate universe). For other uses, see Blackhand (disambiguation).
Image of Blackhand
Title The Destroyer,[1]
Blackrock Chieftain
Gender Male
Race Orc
Character class Warrior, Raider
Affiliation(s) Blackrock clan, Sythegore Arm, Horde, Shadow Council
Occupation Warchief of the Horde, Chieftain of the Blackrock clan
Location Various
Status Deceased[2]
Relative(s) Urukal (mate), Dal'rend, Maim (sons), Griselda (daughter)

Blackhand was the chieftain of the mighty Blackrock clan and the first Warchief of the Old Horde[1] until he was killed by Orgrim Doomhammer near the end of the First War. He was known throughout Draenor and Azeroth alike as a brutal tyrant.


Legends: A Warrior Made

WoW-manga-logo.png This section concerns content exclusive to the World of Warcraft manga.

Blackhand once visited the Frostwolf Village only to witness a large fire. Blackhand saw Draka hardly able to lift a bucket of water, and he took it as a sign of weakness on the part of the Frostwolf clan. He told that if such a frail child had been born in Blackrock clan they would have killed her. Because of this, Garad exiled Kelkar, Zuura, and Draka to the outskirts of the village.[3]

Battle with ogres

A warlord with massive musculature and a dominating presence, the chieftain of the Blackrock clan formed brilliant strategies and maintained rigorous order within his armies. He could always turn the tide of battle. He could always find the enemy's weakness. When ogres attacked and his clan faced annihilation, he orchestrated a daring last-minute triumph alongside his second-in-command, Orgrim. On the eve of battle, the chieftain reclaimed a famous weapon, the Doomhammer, and restored hope for victory.[4][5][6]

Rise of the Horde

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft novels or short stories.
Blackhand waging war on the ogres.

As all the chieftains, Blackhand was present during a Kosh'harg festival in Nagrand. Later on he went to a meeting to Oshu'gun, where Ner'zhul told them that draenei were their enemies. At first, Blackhand roared in distrust to Ner'zhul's declaration, but changed his mind after learning that other shamans had visions similar to the one described by Ner'zhul. After this, Blackhand then started to attack draenei hunters.[7]

A Raider of the Sythegore Arm, and one of the most honored warriors in the Horde, Blackhand became the renowned chieftain of the powerful Blackrock clan on Draenor.[8] Known as a tactical genius and a ruthless dictator who demanded respect from his warriors, his ego and lust for power made him very easy to manipulate — a fact which Gul'dan discovered very quickly. Through political manipulation and by stoking the embers of Blackhand's ego, Gul'dan was able to convince the Blackrock chieftain that he was a respected equal in the warlock's dark scheme, both the public leader of the Horde and a member of the secret Shadow Council; he was in fact merely a means to an end for the evil warlock. With popular support — no doubt manipulated by Gul'dan — Blackhand was elected Warchief of the newly-formed Orcish Horde, but kept in line with Gul'dan's objectives through subtle bribery and outright blackmail.

One day, Gul'dan approached Blackhand and asked him and his clan to create a pair of daggers for his personal assassin, Garona Halforcen, to use. More specifically, he wanted the daggers to be created from a mysterious type of ore no orc had ever seen before and to be imbued with a power that would only reveal itself when the time was right. Blackhand agreed to make the weapons himself in his foundry. As he quenched the blades, he felt a terrible, dark presence fill them with unspeakable might — the raw hatred of the demon lord Kil'jaeden sinking deep within the daggers and radiating untamed agony. The Warchief named the weapons  [Anguish] and  [Sorrow], for he knew they would never be satisfied unless they were drinking the blood of new victims.[9]

Blackhand eagerly offered all of his shamans, cut off by the spirits for waging their demon-incited war against the draenei, to become the first Horde warlocks. In order to increase the number of warriors the Horde would be able to field against the draenei, Blackhand even had his own children's ages accelerated, making them battle-ready. He commanded Durotan to do the same with his Frostwolves, but refused, and so Blackhand gave him another task - to lead an attack on Telmor. After its fall, Blackhand's family moved to the town. The Warchief also enlisted the aid of a group of ogres led by Krol. Commanding from the Hellfire Citadel, Blackhand directed the later campaigns against the draenei, including the invasion of the draenei temple of Karabor. After Karabor's fall, the orcish clans gathered at the Throne of Kil'jaeden, where everyone was certain that Blackhand was going to be the first to drink the blood of Mannoroth, but instead it was Grommash Hellscream who stepped first. Blackhand himself refused his daughter Griselda from drinking. After the orcs consumed Mannoroth's blood, the draenei's stronghold of Shattrath City fell and Blackhand searched for the body of the Prophet Velen in the ruins, but with no success.[10]

The First War

Doomhammer holding the severed head of Blackhand.

Leading the Horde through the Dark Portal after defeating the draenei and after the first failed attack on Stormwind Keep, Blackhand conducted the entire war effort against the Kingdom of Stormwind in what became known as the First War. During the War, his daughter disobeyed him and fled to the Deadmines with Turok and his ogres. Blackhand learned about this and sent a group of warriors to kill Griselda and her new friends.

Soon after Gul'dan fell into a coma after attempting to steal information pertaining to the Tomb of Sargeras from the mind of Medivh, Blackhand was left vulnerable. Seizing the opportunity provided by the powerful warlock's incapacitation, Blackhand's second-in-command, Orgrim Doomhammer — later known as the Backstabber for the deed he was about to commit — decided to seize power from the puppet Warchief, hoping he could lead his wayward people from the path they had taken. Orgrim wasn't pleased at forced to kill as he served him as his second-in-command and was sworn to fight beside him. But tradition allowed a warrior to challenge his chieftain for supremacy and Doomhammer was forced to do that. Doomhammer defeated Blackhand in a mak'gora[9] and crushed his skull[11] becoming both Warchief of the Horde and Chieftain of the Blackrock. Orgrim then led the Horde to the victory in the First War.[12]


Notable appearances
Location Level range Health range
Chess Event 70 92,306

Appearance and retcons

Blackhand's design has changed significantly several times since his original introduction. In artwork for the Warcraft I and Warcraft II game manuals, as well as in the canceled Warcraft Adventures, he was depicted with a distinctive antlered helmet, a feature that is noticeably missing from his first World of Warcraft appearance in the form of a chess piece in the Karazhan Chess event. His appearance in Warcraft Legends - A Warrior Made is identical to his chess event model.

In the alternate universe of Warlords of Draenor, Blackhand was depicted as bald, with scarred, burnt skin, glowing eyes, smoldering black armor and with a fist encased in molten rock. The origin of the stone hand was explained in the web comic Blackhand, which depicted the unnamed Blackrock chieftain being enveloped by lava and his fist encased in stone by the furies upon attempting to retrieve the Doomhammer. After the battle against the ogres was won, the Blackrock orcs took to calling their chieftain "Blackhand". Several sources, including Words of Wind and Earth, the shaman artifact reveal, N [100R] Blackhand's Secret and Azeroth Armory, indicated the events of the comic to be canonical for the main universe Blackhand as well, retconning his previous depictions.

However, with the release of World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, Blackhand's design was changed to be nearly identical to his appearance in the Warcraft movie, with a black hand tattoo in place of a stone fist. Matt Burns explained that Blizzard had ultimately decided to move away from Blackhand's Warlords of Draenor design and backstory; the main universe Blackhand may still have helped Orgrim retrieve the Doomhammer, but he was not consumed by fire.[13][14] Notably, Blackhand is the only character whose design from the movie was later adopted by the canon universe.


Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans

WarcraftAdventures logo 16x42.png This section concerns content exclusive to the canceled game Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans and is therefore non-canon.

In the canceled Warcraft Adventures, Blackhand briefly appeared during a cutscene. It was mentioned that Durotan, Blackhand and Doomhammer were three blood brothers,[15] but that Gul'dan eventually manipulated the orc against his former friends.

Blackhand's antlered helm could be found in the stomach of Deathwing as an easter egg.

Alternate timelines

Alternate Blackhand appears in the alternate Draenor in the past during the war in Draenor.

Blackhand from a separate timeline[16] appears in the Warcraft film universe.


This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

Even though the story of Blackhand's hand changed from being transformed into stone to simply being tattooed black, he likely still derived his name from his hand's appearance. If so, the Blackrock chieftain's original name is unknown.


Patch changes


  1. ^ a b Ultimate Visual Guide
  2. ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 123
  3. ^ Legends Volume 4, A Warrior Made--Part 1, 131
  4. ^ The Characters of Warcraft: Blackhand
  5. ^ Blackhand
  6. ^ Words of Wind and Earth
  7. ^ Rise of the Horde
  8. ^ a b Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, The History of Orcish Ascension, The Mastery of Forces - Medivh and Blackhand
  9. ^ a b Blood Ledger
  10. ^ Rise of the Horde
  11. ^ Tides of Darkness, chapter 2
  12. ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 121
  13. ^ Matt Burns on Twitter (2017-03-11). Retrieved on 2017-03-16. “Yeah that was something we ultimately decided to go away from in Chronicle. Not to say he didn't help Orgrim get the--
  14. ^ Matt Burns on Twitter (2017-03-11). Retrieved on 2017-03-16. “--hammer back, but just the stuff related to him being "consumed" in fire.
  15. ^ Bill Roper on Gamespot
  16. ^ Micky Neilson on Twitter

External links

Preceded by:
Chieftain of the Blackrock Clan
Succeeded by:
Orgrim Doomhammer
Preceded by:
Ruler of the Blackrock Spire
Succeeded by:
Orgrim Doomhammer
Preceded by:
Warchief of the Horde
(conjointly with Gul'dan)
Succeeded by:
Orgrim Doomhammer