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The 5 biggest betrayals in World of Warcraft history

Betraying your kind for more power is pretty common in the World of Warcraft universe.

World of Warcraft is one of the MMORPGs with the vastest, deepest lore. From Warcraft III to the Warcraft movie, this universe is filled with notable characters, from valiant heroes to powerful villains. The story of World of Warcraft span over generations and countless events, some grand and some small, and some which shaped Azeroth as we know it. In this article we will go over the biggest betrayals in World of Warcraft.

Deathwing

Deathwing the Destroyer – at one point known as Neltharion the Earth-Warder – was one of the five Dragons that the Pantheon had endowed with the power of immortality, in the hope that they would protect the world from any outside thread.

Voices from the Well of Eternity persuaded Neltharion that only he could balance Azeroth and protect it properly. Deathwing fell progressively into madness, and his lust for power never stopped. 

During the War of the Ancients, when the Legion was invading Azeroth, Deathwing came up with a plan to stop the demons. His plan was to create a Dragon Soul, a powerful item that could stop the demons from invading Azeroth. To do so, Deathwing needed a portion of all aspects’ powers. The four other dragons all agreed, and Deathwing was able to create the Dragon Soul. Once filled with all this power, Deathwing betrayed his kind by freezing all other dragon aspects.

Neltharion, who once was one of Azeroth’s keepers, is now known as Deathwing the Destroyer. His betrayal is one of the most well known of the World of Warcraft universe. Deathwing is also the main protagonist of the Cataclysm extension.

Dar’Khan Drathir

Dar’Khan Drathir was a high elf magister tasked will looking over Sunwell, the source of high elves’ magic. 

When Arthas and his undead army went to conquer Silvermoon in hopes to revive Kel’Thuzad with the power of Sunwell, the high elves managed to push them back thanks to their powerful magic. Dar’Khan went up to Arthas and offered to share with him the secret to defeating their magical defenses if the Lich King granted him more power. Arthas made Dar’Khan a powerful necromancer, as he betrayed his own kind and allowed the undead to take over the city.

After Arthas and his army conquered Silvermoon, Dar’Khan tried to betray the Lich King. Arthas killed him and forced him to obey as an undead servant. Dar’Khan lead an army of zombies created by the corpses of his opponents. He is later killed in a blood elves assault. 

Sargeras

Sargeras was one of the Titans roaming the universe to protect life against all threats. He was even appointed as the Champion of Titans by his peers. Sargeras was the one supposed to protect life, yet he ended up being the one that destroys it with his army, the Burning Legion.

Like all other Titans, Sargeras was in charge of keeping a balance between good and evil in the universe. He defeated hordes of demons, but soon realized that his efforts were vain, as the demons didn’t die but went back to the Twisting Nether. They would then come back with new bodies and continue to destroy all life forms they met.

Sargeras discovered that some demons were wielding the dark powers of the Void. The Titan was scared by this never-ending source of power, and went to the Pantheon to warn them against this threat. Sargeras told the Pantheon that the only way to stop the Void from corrupting the entire universe was to kill all life in the universe. The Titans, whose sacred mission is to protect life at all costs, did not agree. Sargeras betrayed the Pantheon, killed them all, and kept their souls captive for thousands of years.

Away from the rest of the Titans, Sargeras kept looking for a solution to protect the world against the Void lords. He decided to raise an army to prevent the contamination of life by the Void. To do so, Sargeras simply returned to his original plan to kill everyone, as the Void couldn’t corrupt what is dead. Sargeras and his Burning Legion are responsible for the destruction of entire planets and the death of many innocents.

Sicco Thermaplugg

Sicco Thermaplugg was a high-ranking gnome whose actions resulted in one of the most tragic betrayals in World of Warcraft. He is responsible for the deaths of 80% of the population of Gnomeragan. 

Thermaplugg wanted to reach the highest level in gnome society by becoming the High Tinkerer. However, he didn’t get the role, and it was instead given to his friend Devlin Mekkatorque. For years, Thermaplugg plotted to replace Mekkatorque as the High Tinkerer. 

When a horde of troggs attacked Gnomeragan, Thermaplugg finally came up with a plan to make Mekkatorque look incompetent and take his place. Thermaplugg told Mekkatorque about a gas he made, which could kill all the troggs while being inoffensive for the gnomes. As Mekkatorque trusted his old friend Thermaplugg, he sprayed the gas on all Gnomeragan through the ventilation system. 

What Thermaplugg didn’t tell Mekkatorque is that the gas was not safe for gnomes. Thermaplugg estimated its dispersal will result in the death of a third of the population, and intended to blame Mekkatorque for the death of the gnomes. With Mekkatorque out of the equation, Thermaplugg could finally take on the role of High Tinkerer he believed he deserved. 

However, the gas didn’t kill a third of the gnome population. It killed almost everyone. It didn’t even kill all of the troggs, and the radiation changed forever the population of Gnomeragan. Sicco himself was infected, and turned into a plague gnome. He took over Gnomeragan, pushed away the surviving gnomes, built several machines to protect the city, and tamed the remaining troggs, turning them loose on any intruders. 

Years later, Mekkatorque was finally able to defeat Thermaplugg and bring peace back to Gnomeragan. The gnomes’ capital would never be the same after Sicco’s betrayal, and is now a dungeon heroes can crawl in World of Warcraft.

Gul’dan

Gul’dan’s is one of the most popular betrayals in the World of Warcraft lore, and shaped Azeroth as we know it.

Gul’dan was a powerful orc shaman, who learned his way with magic from Ner’zhul, chieftain of the Shadowmoon Clan, and spiritual leader of the orcs. In his lust for power, Gul’dan was approached by Kil’jaeden who offered him more power if Gul’dan rallied orcs to the Burning Legion. Gul’dan didn’t even think twice, and betrayed his kind to become a powerful warlock.

During the First War, Medivh asked Gul’dan’s help to free Sargeras. If the warlock could help free the Titan from the Tomb of Sargeras, he would be granted godlike powers. Gul’dan, in his perpetual greed for more power, agreed. He helped open the Dark Portal between Azeroth and Draenor and corrupted many of the Horde, getting them to follow Sargeras’ orders blindly. 

During the Second War, Gul’dan was in charge of disabling Silvermoon’s magical defenses so the Horde could take the city. Instead of doing that, he used the high elves magic for his own purposes. He created his own army and set sail to the middle of the sea to find the Tomb of Sargeras. However, finding the tomb didn’t bring Gul’dan the power he was promised. He died there, as his betrayals and lust for power didn’t protect him from being manipulated by Sargeras.

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Ophélie Castelot

I was born with a gamepad and played my first MMORPG at 8. I'm scared to death by Resident Evil's dogs. FPS enthusiast, I like to pewpew people. I love both video games and writing, so naturally, I'm a gaming writer. Want to pitch an idea or debate the latest game you played? Let's talk!
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