Hearthstone interactions: The lore and layers behind the Warchiefs of the Horde
Hearthstone characters such as Thrall, Garrosh, and Sylvanas all originate from the World of Warcraft universe. Here’s the lore behind them plus some Hearthstone interactions!
The majority of Hearthstone’s cards and heroes are from the World of Warcraft universe. Some characters even have special Hearthstone interactions that showcase this. Let's take a look at the Warchiefs of the Horde!
Hearthstone players who go into the Hunter's Book of Heroes adventure would encounter Warchief Blackhand as a boss. The Chieftain of the Blackrock clan also served as the first Warchief of the Orcish Horde.
However, it wasn’t a spot earned without Gul’dan’s influence. Our favorite Hearthstone Warlock was just as cunning in the World of Warcraft universe as he manipulated Blackhand from behind the shadows.
Players who remember Hearthstone’s Blackrock Mountain adventure might also recall an orc named Rend Blackhand. This mighty character is Blackhand’s son.
Orgrim Doomhammer: Hearthstone interactions and lore
Having slain Blackhand in a battle to the death, Orgrim Doomhammer became the next Warchief of the Horde. He later donned his legendary armor as he helped free the orcs from the Alliance.
Orgrim also did this alongside a young orc named Thrall. Although Thrall represents the Shaman class in Hearthstone, he started out as a gladiator fighting in the Alliance’s Durnholde Keep. When Orgrim was fatally wounded during the liberation of the orcs, he named Thrall as the next Warchief of the Horde. Orgrim gave the young orc the Doomhammer.
In Hearthstone, Orgrim is a boss in the Book of Heroes adventure for the Paladin class. As for his hammer, it’s the Shaman class’ mighty weapon that’s equipped with Windfury.
Of course, we cannot forget about Ner’zhul who was the Warchief of the Horde in Draenor. He was also the Shadowmoon clan’s chieftain and an experienced shaman.
Due to the manipulative Kil'jaeden, Mannoroth, and Gul’dan, Ner’zhul agreed to a pact that forever changed the orcs. The orcs suffered from bloodlust and lethargy, which led to suffering in Alliance camps prior to their liberation. Ner’zhul was later bound to the Lich King’s Frozen Throne.
In Hearthstone, Ner'zhul is a boss in a Book of Heroes chapter for the Warlock class. His story and interactions with Gul’dan further emphasized the latter orc’s cunning ways.
Before Thrall was the Warchief of the Horde, he fought in the pits of Durnholde Keep. It was thanks to a friend named Taretha Foxton that he escaped the Alliance’s clutches.
Alongside Orgrim, Thrall helped liberate the orcs from camps. Later, he donned Orgrim’s armor and wielded the Doomhammer. Thrall also helped Grom Hellscream free the orcs of the blood curse. Later, Thrall learned how to be a Shaman under the tutelage of Drek’Thar of the Frostwolf clan.
As Warchief of the Horde, Thrall made alliances with other inhabitants of Azeroth. He stepped down and went to the Earthen Ring after the Great Cataclysm event caused by Deathwing.
In Hearthstone, Thrall represents the Shaman class. He can summon totems and wield Doomhammer as a weapon there just as he did in World of Warcraft.
“And you are what Taretha made you. And Sergeant, and Hellscream, and Doomhammer, and I, and even Snowsong. You are what each battle made you, and you are what you have made of yourself... the lord of the clans.”
Garrosh Hellscream: Hearthstone interactions and lore
When Garrosh Hellscream first met Thrall, the orc was inspired to learn that his father, Grom Hellscream, managed to rid the orcs of the blood curse. Up until then, Garrosh lived in shame because his father was the first orc to drink Mannoroth’s blood. Growing up, Garrosh was also ill and got left behind in Nagrand.
After Thrall told Garrosh about Grom, Garrosh became more confident. He fought for the Horde, which was led by Thrall at the time. He found success in Northrend during the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Garrosh even presented an important lesson of honor before he became a major antagonist.
When Garrosh’s hunger for power was put to a stop, he went on trial in Pandaria. This event was interrupted before the final verdict when Kairoz, a bronze dragon, took him to an alternate Draenor. Garrosh attempted to right the potential wrongs of his father before he was defeated by Thrall.
In Hearthstone, Garrosh represents the Warrior class. He can wield Gorehowl, which once belonged to his father. If an opposing player summons Cairne Bloodhoof in front of Garrosh as the hero, then Cairne says, “Garrosh, you are not fit to rule the Horde." Similarly, if a player summons Vol’jin in front of him, the troll mocks Garrosh by asking, “Who be da Warchief now?”
“I understand battle, yes,” he said. “Tactics, how to rally troops — these things I know. Let me serve that way. Find me a foe to face and defeat, and you will see how proudly I will continue to serve the Horde. But I know nothing of politics, of... of ruling. I would rather have a sword in my fist than a scroll!”
Vol’jin and his Hearthstone interactions
After Garrosh, Vol’jin became the Warchief of the Horde. The Darkspear troll became the leader after Garrosh was defeated during the Siege of Orgrimmar.
During the Mists of Pandaria expansion, Vol’jin also made allies in order to stop Garrosh’s rule. When the troll recovered in Pandaria, he met a human named Tyrathan Khort there. They worked together to heal and later came to an understanding of each other.
Vol’jin’s time as the Warchief of the Horde ended during the Legion expansion and in the middle of the Battle for the Broken Shore. While fighting against the opposing forces, Vol’jin was mortally wounded by a poisonous spear. He later named Sylvanas Windrunner as the next leader.
In Hearthstone, Vol’jin is a legendary minion from the Priest class. When played against Garrosh, he says, “Who be da Warchief now?” The Darkspear troll is also represented by the legendary Shadow Hunter Vol'jin card from the Forged in the Barrens expansion.
The former Warchief of the Horde. The Banshee Queen. The Dark Lady. Sylvanas Windrunner has many titles. She started out as a blood elf and a ranger-general for Silvermoon City. However, that position ended when Arthas Menethil, also known as the Lich King, transformed her into a banshee during the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.
After breaking free of the Lich King’s clutches, Sylvanas led the undead and later joined the Horde with her forsaken forces. When she became the Warchief of the Horde, other members of it doubted her loyalty and intentions. She later defeated Varok Saurfang in a duel to the death.
Her goals were revealed in the Shadowlands expansion, as her deal with the Jailer involved bringing souls to his realm. However, Sylvanas was later betrayed and imprisoned in the Shadowlands.
In Hearthstone, Sylvanas is a legendary card with Deathrattle, commanding an enemy minion once activated. She is also an alternate hero for the Hunter class. Her sisters Alleria and Vereesa Windrunner also appear in the card game.
Do you have a favorite era of the Horde? Or a favorite Horde leader? Whether heroic, villainous, or something in the gray area, the Horde has a long history of leaders. Their appearance in the Hearthstone universe makes them all the more memorable.