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Orgrim Doomhammer, also known as the Backstabber by loyalists of Gul'dan and Blackhand,[1] was the Warchief of the Old Horde and Chieftain of the Blackrock clan during the end of the First War and the entirety of the Second War. The orcish capital of Orgrimmar, the Horde-controlled town of Hammerfall in the Arathi Highlands, and the flying battleship Orgrim's Hammer patrolling the skies of Icecrown, are named in his honor.

HordeOrgrim Doomhammer
Image of Orgrim Doomhammer
Title Warchief of the Horde, Blackrock Chieftain,
The Backstabber,
The Doomhammer
Gender Male
Race Orc
Character class Warrior
Affiliation(s) Horde, Blackrock clan
Former affiliation(s) Old Horde, Thunderlord clan
Occupation Warchief of the Horde, Chieftain of the Blackrock clan, formerly Second-in-Command to Blackhand
Location Buried in Hammerfall, Arathi Highlands
Status Deceased
Relative(s) Telkar (father), Gelnar (ancestor)
Student(s) Thrall (heir and protegé)
Companion(s) Durotan (best friend)
I rule the Horde now, Gul'dan. Not you, not your warlocks. Doomhammer alone. And there will be no more dishonor. No more treachery. No more deceit and lies!
— Orgrim to Gul'dan after the First War

Biography

Early life

  This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft novels or short stories.

Orgrim of the Blackrocks and Durotan of the Frostwolves originally met whilst secreting away as children from the sleeping tent during the Kosh'harg festival in Nagrand. The two troublesome youths escaped past their sleep time to spy on the clans' councils, only to be severely disappointed. Deciding instead to spend the rest of the night challenging each other, they soon formed a bond that, while technically not forbidden, was considered against tradition by the Blackrock and Frostwolf clans they belonged to. Orgrim and Durotan never stopped being friends.

During a race through Terokkar Forest, they accidentally stumbled upon a raging ogre, and in a last burst of speed, ran for their lives. Seemingly out of nowhere, a brigade of draenei appeared and rescued the lads, who spent the rest of the day with Restalaan, and conferencing with Velen.

Blackhand's second-in-command

Upon the death of his father, Orgrim became wielder of the Doomhammer and in time arose to second-in-command to Blackhand.

When ogres attacked the Blackrock clan and they faced annihilation, Orgrim returned to the pool of lava where Doomhammer was forged. Haunted by the prophecy that the last of his line will carry it to doom his people, he hoped to unmake its destiny and keep its power. The elemental spirits were displeased with Orgrim's pride and took back the Doomhammer.[2][3] Blackhand then somehow helped to retrieve the Doomhammer.[4][5] The ogres were then defeated, after which he returned the hammer to Orgrim.

He accompanied Blackhand to a summit of the orcish clans near Oshu'gun, where Ner'zhul told them that draenei are their enemies and need to be killed. Though Orgrim was internally opposed to the war against the draenei, he followed Blackhand's orders, and even gave in to the blood lust Gul'dan had cultivated. But, like Durotan, he began to wonder if the orcs had been deceived. He was one of the few orcs that didn't drink the blood of Mannoroth, claiming to be unworthy to drink from the same vessel as the Warchief and chieftains. Though Blackhand was gullible enough to believe this excuse, Gul'dan was not, and would remain wary of Orgrim from that point on.[6]

The First War

 
Orgrim Doomhammer brandishes the head of Blackhand.

In the year 1,[7] before Orgrim killed Blackhand, Durotan and Draka met with Orgrim in Loch Modan. The Frostwolf clan had been exiled for Durotan's refusal to follow Gul'dan's schemes. Durotan had known about Gul'dan's treachery and his pact with Kil'jaeden, but had been silent about it. He eventually decided to tell Orgrim about Gul'dan and the Shadow Council, and Orgrim decided it was time to stop the evil warlock.[8] On his way back home, Durotan was ambushed by Gul'dan spies, and he and his mate were killed. Their unnamed baby was thought dead, but was instead found and raised by humans.

Orgrim was also sent by Blackhand to ally with the forest trolls led by Zul'jin. An effort which ended unsuccessful.[9]

Doomhammer was one of Blackhand's most trusted lieutenants, commanding a number of battles against the forces of the Kingdom of Azeroth. Establishing an outpost in The Swamp of Sorrows, battling in the Borderlands, leading the attack and the destruction of Grand Hamlet. He was also tasked with leading the orcs into the Dead Mines and to kill the renegade band of ogres led by Turok and Griselda Blackhand. In Redridge Mountains he defended an outpost and dealt with the human attackers. He also led an attack on Sunnyglade. Ultimately, the towns Northshire Abbey, Goldshire and Moonbrook were also destroyed.[10]

But Orgrim was less and less convinced about the decisions Blackhand made, and was growing more suspicious about Gul'dan's motives. When Gul'dan fell into a coma, trying to pry the secrets from the head of the dying Medivh, Orgrim took this chance to seize power by killing the Warchief, becoming the leader of the Horde and leading the orcs to victory in the First War.[11] Unlike Blackhand, Doomhammer decided he would not be a puppet to Gul'dan and his Shadow Council. Doomhammer captured Garona and tortured her into revealing the location of the Council, seeking to destroy it because he believed it to be a corrupting influence over the Horde. Orgrim then killed as many warlocks and members of the Shadow Council as he could manage, effectively crushing their power.

The Second War

 
Gul'dan "submitting" to Doomhammer.

When Gul'dan awoke, he found that the new Warchief had destroyed the Shadow Council - branding the warlock caste as traitors and executing many of them - and intended to slay him as well. Begging at Doomhammer's feet, Gul'dan reminded him that with the Shadow Council gone he was the last true sorcerer within the Horde, and that they would need him against the human wizards. The warlock promised that he would create an army of all-powerful necromancers, loyal to the Warchief: the death knights. Doomhammer readily agreed, despite (correctly) suspecting Gul'dan of treachery. Doomhammer also disbanded the Wolfriders after Gul'dan told him they would join Rend and Maim to avenge Blackhand, who had been a Raider.

A bitter enemy of the Alliance, Doomhammer was in the front ranks as he led the Horde into Khaz Modan and the Second War. Although he commanded the Horde with an iron fist, Doomhammer also demonstrated his prowess as a diplomat as he made new allies for the Horde among the goblins and trolls of Azeroth.[12] Doomhammer claimed the Blackrock Spire as the Horde's base of operations, and allowed Zuluhed of the Dragonmaw clan to pursue his research into the Demon Soul. This led to the enslavement of the dragonqueen Alexstrasza, and the breeding of dragons to help the Horde in the war.[13]

Under his command, the Horde was able to wreak havoc on the northlands, conquering most of Khaz Modan and gravely damaging Lordaeron and Quel'Thalas. Orgrim also made a pact with Lord Perenolde, the ruler of Alterac. The treacherous human allowed Orgrim and the Horde to pass unimpeded through the mountain passes towards Lordaeron's Capital City, in exchange for the assurance that his nation would not be attacked by the Horde. Orgrim, though suspicious of the human's motives, agreed.[14]

However, Doomhammer was correct in his previous assessment of the perfidious Gul'dan. When the Horde was launching the final and massive attack on Lordaeron's Capital City, Gul'dan's Stormreaver clan, along with Cho'gall's Twilight's Hammer, and all others loyal to the warlock, abandoned the Horde and set sail to the south. Chasing him to the Tomb of Sargeras, Orgrim sent part of the Blackrock clan and the Black Tooth Grin clan to engage both the Stormreaver and Twilight's Hammer forces. Gul'dan and his warlocks entered the Tomb of Sargeras but were slain by the demons within. The rest of the clan members were annihilated by Orgrim's forces.[15]

Weakened by losses caused by Gul'dan's treachery, Doomhammer was forced to fall back from the human capital of Lordaeron to his fortress at Blackrock Spire. There he fought the final battle of the Second War against the Alliance of Lordaeron, leading a charge from Blackrock Spire to clash with Anduin Lothar and his paladin guard. Human and orc battled one another in a titanic conflict that left both warriors drained, but the Warchief was able to vanquish the Regent of Azeroth. Some believe that Doomhammer did not win fairly and that Lothar was killed after being ambushed by Horde warriors.[16][17][18] Nevertheless, Lothar's death did not have the effect that Doomhammer intended. Rather than being demoralized, the Alliance - led by Lothar's lieutenant, Turalyon - rallied, whipped into a frenzy that shocked even the Warchief himself and all but destroyed Doomhammer's forces,[16] chasing them back to the Dark Portal. Orgrim himself was defeated and captured by Turalyon, soon after Lothar's death.

Meeting with Thrall

After the defeat at Blackrock Spire, Doomhammer was captured and held as an oddity (by his own words) in the palace of King Terenas of Lordaeron. On his side, Terenas fervently hoped that a treaty could be arranged with the former warchief.[19] However, Doomhammer was able to escape easily from Capital City and made his way to an internment camp, where he saw what had become of his people. Rather than the bloodthirsty warriors he had led in battle, Doomhammer found only lethargic, wasted souls. Despairing, Doomhammer very nearly fell victim to the lethargy himself, but managed to retain enough of himself to escape from the internment camp. He lived as a hermit in the less-traveled areas of Lordaeron, until one day, he was contacted by Drek'Thar of the Frostwolf clan.

The elder shaman informed Doomhammer that there was a young orc staying with the Frostwolves high in the mountains of Alterac. This orc, discovered to be the long-lost son of Durotan, had escaped after being raised a slave by humans and had begun searching for his people. Durotan's son, Thrall, was determined to find a way to free the captive orcs and restore them to their former glory. Orgrim had heard of this Thrall before from Grommash Hellscream, whom Thrall had met before he began searching for his clan. Hellscream had nothing but good things to say about the youth.

Intrigued, Doomhammer paid a visit to the Frostwolves to see Thrall for himself, but made it clear beforehand that he didn't want Thrall to know who he was. When Doomhammer arrived nobody referred to him by name or told Thrall about him. When Thrall met Doomhammer that night, he did not realize he was dealing with the former leader of the Horde of whom he had heard so many great things; he only saw a strange orc warming himself by the fire. As the night wore on, Thrall became increasingly annoyed by the secretive demeanor of the stranger, and by his talk of how there was no point in trying to fight the humans. When Thrall insisted that the freedom of the orcs was worth fighting for, the stranger asked him what he was doing hiding in the mountains with the other Frostwolves if he really believed that. Becoming more angry, Thrall argued that he would travel south in the spring to join Grom Hellscream and the Warsong clan, that together they would storm the camps and liberate all of the orc prisoners. The stranger scoffed at the notion and contemptuously dismissed Hellscream as a "demon-ridden dreamer." Thrall had heard enough and challenged this stranger, who had repaid the hospitality of the Frostwolves with insults, to single battle. This was precisely what Doomhammer had hoped would happen. He had implied the Frostwolves were cowards and that the orcs as a race could not defeat the humans in order to see whether Thrall would stand up for his clan and people, and Thrall had not disappointed him. Now Doomhammer would see whether Thrall's fighting skill was equally impressive.

Liberation of the orcs

 
Orgrim Doomhammer

Losing to the young shaman, and being shown mercy, he revealed himself as the Warchief of the Horde. At first Thrall was aghast at how he had treated such an important person as Orgrim Doomhammer, and began to apologize profusely. Orgrim stopped him and told him it was not necessary, explaining his reasons for staying anonymous. He went on to explain that he had a plan to break free the imprisoned orcs, and Thrall and Drek'thar agreed to help.

Along with Hellscream and the Warsong Clan, they were able to easily storm four internment camps freeing the orcs held inside. At the fifth, however, the Alliance was prepared and held a force of mounted knights. They ambushed the orcs and in the midst of their bloodlust the orcs fell victim to the knights' charge. In the midst of the chaos created by Thrall to cover their retreat, Orgrim was mortally wounded by a strike to the back — impaled by a charging knight's lance with enough force to pierce the back plate of his armor and his body, denting the breastplate from the inside. With his last breath, Orgrim gave the title of Warchief, along with his great warhammer and black armor, to Thrall. The former internment camp where he fell is now the Horde base of Hammerfall, located in the Arathi Highlands.

Doomhammer's legacy

After the orcs found a land of their own, which they called Durotar after his father, Thrall established the city of Orgrimmar in honor of the venerable Warchief, his mentor and friend.

Doomhammer's name also lives on in the Orgrim's Hammer - a powerful flying warship that serves as the mobile Horde headquarters in Icecrown, the seat of the Lich King, in the frozen wastes of Northrend.

The Doomhammer and the plate

Orgrim wore the plate until he was slain in Hammerfall. Since that moment the plate was worn and the hammer carried by Thrall, fulfilling his weapon's ancient prophecy. He made sure to restore, but not replace, the back plate pierced by the lance that took Doomhammer's life.[20] Since the Cataclysm, Thrall had the plate delivered to Orgrimmar as the part of orcish culture.[21] When Thrall took charge of the Horde's side of a campaign into the Draenor of yet another alternate timeline he once again donned the black armor of his mentor.

Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans

  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, Orgrim first appeared as an hermit living alongside several hell-hounds. As he, Durotan and Blackhand were three blood brothers,[22] he warmly greeted Thrall and explained him the story of his father and the Old Horde. After the scattered clans were united, Doomhammer supported Thrall's rise as the new warchief.

Unlike his canon counterpart he was to survive the story, and was to be played by Peter Cullen.

In the RPG

  This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.

Personality

 
Doomhammer artwork from Shadows & Light.

Doomhammer is a warrior born, his leadership ability forged in combat. He is unendingly loyal to those who prove their strength and service, but quick to avenge himself on those who attack him or his allies. Among the orcs, his gruff, curt manner is respected, but to others he can seem dismissive and contemptuous. Understanding the value of protecting an army’s leadership, battles often found Doomhammer in a far-off command tent. Yet whenever possible, he is a howling, bloodthirsty presence on the front lines, personally leading his troops to victory. Though he is a towering figure in his black armor, Doomhammer can hide himself completely in as simple a disguise as a tattered cloak in order to move undetected among his enemies.[23]

Combat

Doomhammer doesn’t hesitate to strike the first blow in combat, usually striking from surprise using one of the Blackhand’s fangs hanging from his belt. Wielding the Doomhammer, he leaps fearlessly into any number of enemies and becomes a whirlwind of destruction. Distrustful of spellcasters but confident in his armor, Doomhammer usually first attempts to kill any wizards among his enemies. On occasion, he will save the strongest among his enemies for last, relishing the chance to hone his martial skill against a worthy opponent.[23]

Weapons and armor

Doomhammer's Plate was, of course, once worn into battle by the mighty Doomhammer. The half-plate armor is a black iron and mithril alloy, giving the armor an overall dull black appearance.[24] Aside from the plate, he wielded Blackhand's Fangs.

Alternate timelines

In the alternate timeline where Thrall died as an infant, Orgrim Doomhammer was killed in a single combat by Aedelas Blackmoore during the Battle of Blackrock Spire. His weapon, the Doomhammer was shattered and his black armor reforged and worn by his slayer. The rest of the orcs weren't placed in the internment camps but were taken by Blackmoore who then conquered Lordaeron and became its King.[25]

Orgrim from yet another timeway[26] appeared before the main-unverse Thrall entered the King Blackmoore's world. Thrall, disguised as a warlock Thra'kash, witnessed the discussion of Doomhammer and his parents, Draka and Durotan. Orgrim sent them to the safety and assigned Grukar and Thra'kash to accompany them.[27]

Another Orgim is briefly encountered in the alternate Draenor in the past during the war on Draenor.

Orgrim Doomhammer from a separate timeline[28] appears in the Warcraft film universe.

Quotes

  • "Have a care, warlock. Remember what happened to your precious Shadow Council. I can crush your skull in an instant, and then where will your destiny lie? And do not think this abomination will save you. I have felled ogres before, even the gronn. I can and will do so again. Your goals are no longer important. Only the Horde matters."[29]
  • "Yours is the title of warchief, Thrall, son of D-Durotan. You will wear my armor and carry my hammer."[3] (Spoken to Thrall while dying)
  • "You will lead them... to victory... and you will lead them... to peace."[3] (Last words)

Trivia

  • It was previously stated that he met with Durotan in Year 0.[30]
  • Orgrim was described to have bright gray eye color and brown face.[31] Warlords of Draenor and the Blackhand comic depicted him and the Blackrock orcs with gray skin.
  • According to older sources, Orgrim Doomhammer had risen to power through the Thunderlord clan which had strong ties to the Blackrock clan.[32] However, Rise of the Horde does not mention it and describes him only to be a member of the Blackrock clan.
  • An unused NPC representing Orgrim is situated in the same ID range as other legendary warriors presumably meant to appear in Skyhold. He and most of these NPCs didn't make it out of the Legion alpha stage.
  • There has been some comedic association with Orgrim Doomhammer and the real-life rapper/musician M.C. Hammer. The racial dance of the orcs is that performed by M.C. Hammer in the music video of the song, "You Can't Touch This," and a satirical version of the cover of Hammer's album, "Please Hammer Don't Hurt Them," was submitted to one of Blizzard's fan art contests, with Orgrim depicted on it.

Gallery

References

Preceded by:
Blackhand
Position:
Chieftain of the Blackrock Clan (Azeroth)
Succeeded by:
Rend Blackhand
Preceded by:
None
Position:
Chieftain of the Blackrock Clan (Lordaeron)
Succeeded by:
Jubei'Thos
Preceded by:
Blackhand
Position:
Ruler of the Blackrock Spire
Succeeded by:
Nefarian
Preceded by:
Blackhand
(conjointly with Gul'dan)
Position:
Warchief of the Horde
Succeeded by:
Ner'zhul
Preceded by:
Ner'zhul
Position:
Warchief of the Horde
Succeeded by:
Thrall