For the zone after worgen starting experience, see Ruins of Gilneas.

Gilneas (pronounced Gil-NEIGH-uhs) is a human nation and kingdom[1] located in the peninsula south-west of Silverpine Forest on the continent of Lordaeron. The kingdom was founded following the splitting of Arathor and is ruled by the House of Greymane. Besides the peninsula, the kingdom also included the island of Zul'Dare.

Gilneas is a large peninsula that juts into the sea south of western Lordaeron. Silverpine Forest lies to the north-east and Kul Tiras awaits across the sea to the south. Lord Genn Greymane never supported the Lordaeron Alliance in the Second War. Thus, after the war, he constructed the Greymane Wall: a massive barrier spanning the entire northern border. The enormous wall barricades Gilneas from Lordaeron. Gilneas does not allow anyone in or out, and no one knows what has been transpiring there since the end of the Second War.[2]

It was later found that the Worgen curse has swept mercilessly across the nation, turning nearly all of its inhabitants to savage beasts. However, the denizens somehow retained their will unleashing a bloody civil war that wrecked the whole nation. Following the Cataclysm and an invasion by the Forsaken, Gilneas has rejoined the Alliance.[3]


Gilneas flag

The Gilnean flag.

Following their victory in their war against the trolls, the empire of Arathor entered into a period of prosperity and growth. After the death of King Thoradin, the empire began to expand, founding new city states in the wilderness- including Gilneas. Each city grew and prospered. Both Gilneas and Alterac developed strong armies, which explored the world. Over time, the power of Gilneas and the other city states grew as that of Strom waned; eventually, they developed their own customs and beliefs and the empire splintered into independent kingdoms.[4]

By the start of the Second War, Gilneas was one of the most powerful human nations, and because of this, the kingdom's ruler, Genn Greymane, was not a strong supporter of the Alliance, believing that his own armies would be more than enough to deal with any threat. Despite this, Gilneas was not neutral towards the Horde, and did join the Alliance late in the Second War, although Lord Greymane constantly argued against its existence from beginning to end. He never actually supported the Lordaeron Alliance in the Second War.[2] Shortly after the Horde was defeated, Greymane pulled his nation's "support" from the Alliance, refusing to spend his nation's resources on keeping the orcs alive in internment camps or in rebuilding other nations devastated by the war. Greymane's isolationism may have been influenced by Daval Prestor, secretly the black dragon Deathwing in human form, who Greymane had supported to the throne of Alterac.

Some time after the Second War, Greymane constructed the Greymane Wall— an enormous stone barrier that now separates Gilneas from Lordaeron.[5] Attempting to forever remove his nation from what he considered "other people's troubles", he barricaded Gilneas behind the wall. No one, not even other humans were allowed to enter Gilneas. Even during the Scourge's invasion of Lordaeron, while human refugees came begging to be allowed in, the Greymane Wall remained closed. Nevertheless, more refugees and other nations have entreated Gilneas for aid. These unfortunates never see a Gilnean and are easy prey for the worgen that occasionally stray south from Shadowfang Keep.[1] Gilneas has not been affected by the Scourge. Although the land connection to Gilneas is closed, ships from this self-isolated nation have been spotted throughout the world, such as the pirate ship Heedless of captain Baron Longshore.

A small group of soldiers known as the Gilneas Brigade joined the Human Expedition led by Jaina Proudmoore during the Third War, but they likely were not sent by Genn Greymane, as Gilneas was secluded from the rest of Lordaeron since the end of the Second War.

In World of Warcraft

Cataclysm-Logo-Small This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

Gilneas is set to be introduced in the Cataclysm expansion, as the level 1-12 starting zone of the new playable worgen race. Players enter the story as a human. The quests will teach them how the worgen curse came to be, how the humans of Gilneas came to be affected by it and lastly with the player him/herself being infected with the worgen curse[6]. Further on there will be the shattering of the Greymane Wall, which forces the Gilneans to re-enter the conflicts they sought to escape. The threat of Forsaken attacks, and an offer of aid from the night elves brings Gilneas into the Alliance, which serves as a counterpart to the introduction of the Horde-allied Goblins of Kezan. In-game, Gilneas appears to be a dreary and rainy territory, reflecting the cursed nation itself. The Greymane Wall will receive a graphical update to match the new style of Gilneas (a Victorian style).

It must also be mentioned that, much like when Quel'Thalas was introduced in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, the Peninsula of Gilneas will have a considerably different landmass than it does on the current maps. Prior to the Cataclysm Gilneas appeared as a small, thin peninsula roughly the same size and shape as Silverpine Forest to the north. After the Cataclysm the Gilnean peninsula appears slightly shoter but significantly wider (even accounting for the land that sinks into the ocean during the Worgen starting experience).

Players are introduced to several heroes and patriots of Gilneas in the starting experience who are trying to repel the invading Worgen from their city. Players will be introduced to the prince of Gilneas Liam Greymane, the mayor of DuskhavenGwen Armstead, the treacherous Vincent Godfrey, the leader of the northgate rebels Darius Crowley and his daughter Lorna Crowley, the alchemist Krennan Aranas and the King of Gilneas himself Genn Greymane. After the battle with the Worgen, some of the population of Gilneas City including the player are transformed into feral worgen. At the time of the first Forsaken invasion of Gilneas, the player is given a potion by Krennan to give control of his/her mind back. During the battle the Forsaken bombardment of the unstable land begins to weaken and the battlefield collapses into the ocean killing many of the forsaken invaders as well as some of the Gilnean's. The Forsaken send reinforcements and they quickly capture Gilneas City and begin enslaving the surrounding population. As the rest of the Gilnean people travel to a safer area fleeing from the destruction of the Cataclysm as well as the Forsaken they are joined by Darius Crowley and those loyal to him who have all been transformed into Worgen and have saved their sanity due to the help of the Night Elves and the powers of the tree Tal'doren. It is at this time that Genn reveals himself to be afflicted with the Worgen curse too. With the Gilnean's united they liberate the town of Emberstone and its mine freeing the Gilnean's who were enslaved there and together launch a multiple sided assault on their capitol to reclaim it known as the Battle for Gilneas City. The reclamation is a success but Liam is killed in the attack by Sylvanas Windrunner. The next day the Forsaken use their plauge on the city. Luckily most of the population is evacuated but once again the city is back in Forsaken control. Many of the Gilnean's then flee from their home with the help of the Night Elf reinforcements too Darnassus but some remain behind under Darius Crowley to form the Gilneas Liberation Front.

Horde players are sent into Gilneas from quests in Silverpine to stop the Worgen and fortify their hold on the kingdom. This effort though fails greatly as the Forsaken underestimated the Worgen's strength and their entire second invasion crumbles as soon as the 7th Legion arrives and completely pushes the Forsaken out of Gilneas and back into Silverpine.

The current state of Gilneas and its future however are not clear. Officially the Alliance controls Gilneas with skirmishes on the border (as is the purpose of the battleground) but this story has not come to a conclusion as Genn Greymane remains in Stormwind City, the bulk of its population remain in Darnassus and the zone itself is totally empty with no npc's, mobs or even critters populating it.

One of the new battlegrounds in Cataclysm will be called Battle for Gilneas, which appears to take place on borders of Gilneas with the Forsaken attempting to invade and the Alliance repelling them.


Gilneas is located on the peninsula south of Silverpine Forest.

The human kingdom had supported the Alliance during the Second War, but King Greymane had no qualms about severing all ties to the outside world when it became clear that the Alliance needed Gilneas more than Gilneas needed the Alliance. Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, darkness fell on Gilneas after the Greymane Wall's gates had been closed, and the worgen curse ravaged the nation. Before long, Gilneans were fighting against Gilneans in a bloody civil war that left the kingdom in tatters. Remarkably, the people of Gilneas have somehow managed to hold on to the last vestiges of their humanity... for now.

People and culture


Two human Gilneans in conversation.

A person from Gilneas is referred to as Gilnean.[1] Like their leader, Gilneas' people are burly and gruff. Extremely isolationist, they supported the Greymane Wall's construction. They speak common, and have their faith in the Holy Light. Their resources are unknown.[2] Moreover, their costumes, weapons, architecture and accents have great Victorian connotations, which along with the cold and rainy weather of the peninsula, give the feeling of being in the London of the nineteenth century.


The Greymane Wall in World of Warcraft as seen prior to patch 4.0

Lord Genn Greymane, a brawny warrior who is in his seventies, has ruled Gilneas for decades.


Gilneas concept art

Gilneas concept art

Gilneas is a large peninsula that juts into the sea south of the western regions of Lordaeron. Silverpine Forest lies to the north-east and Kul Tiras and Crestfall await across the sea to the south and Tol'Barad stands to the east. Because of its nearness, Zul'Dare is considered part of Gilneas.

Gilneas is a cold, rainy place, mainly because The Great Sea surrounds the peninsula on three sides, making sea storms common. High cliffs on the shores protect Gilneas from sailors’ curious eyes. The Greymane Wall is the only evident site in Gilneas.[1][2]

Maps and subregions

WoW Icon 16x16 In-game

Adjacent regions

Zone Name Faction Level Range Direction Access
Teldrassil Alliance 15 1-10 Northwest across the sea Via evacuation



The worgen curse that started from Shadowfang Keep and swept across Gilneas left its people irrevocably transformed. Almost the entire human population has been turned to the beastly worgen, a humbling failure for Genn Greymane in his efforts to keep his people safe. The reaction of the people to this change will likely be greatly varied, and has yet to be revealed. Preliminary dialogue from Cataclysm has revealed that Gilnean mages and healers went to great strides to fight the affliction.

Gilneas has undergone deep changes in the wake of its cursing, and while the people maintain their free will, the impact of the curse remains to be seen.

The forsaken, led by Dark Ranger Thyala, have begun an invasion on Gilneas.

Gilneas in Warcraft II


Gilneas' flag from Warcraft II

WC2BnE logo 16x42 This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness.

Leader: Genn Greymane

Nation Color: Black

Background: Despite the impending Orcish invasion, Gilneas has remained separate from the Alliance of Lordaeron. As ruler of one of the strongest human nations, Genn Greymane is convinced that his own armies can deal with any threat, and has therefore remained unmoved by Lord Lothar's pleas for unity. Despite this apparent disdain for the Alliance, the denizens of Gilneas harbor no fondness for the orcs or their allies and are prepared to meet them blade for blade.[7]

Gilneas in Warcraft III

WC3RoC logo 16x32 This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III.

In the Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Orc Campaign: The Invasion of Kalimdor in Chapter Three: Cry of the Warsong, one of the human factions you face has the force name Gilneas Brigade, implying that people from Gilneas travelled to Kalimdor with Jaina and are very likely still with her now.




  • It is said that at one time the kingdom of Gilneas had land only at the tip of the peninsula that bears its name[8] (however, its said elsewhere that Genn Greymane owned the entire peninsula even back then).[5][9]
  • Gilneas will be added to WoW in the future. It is not currently a part of the physical geography of the game world. As of patch 3.2, on the other side of the Greymane Wall there is only a small, flat area, bordered by the ocean. This is to be changed in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm as this is to be the new worgen starting zone.
  • If you get a view of the inner side of the wall you may see that the inner gate is broken down from the inside.
  • Before the announcement of the draenei as the Alliance race in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, there was speculation that the worgen and Gilneas would enter the game at this stage. The rumour again came out in July 2009 with the revelation of worgen Hallow's End masks. It was finally confirmed at BlizzCon 2009.
  • In response to a question at BlizzCon, Metzen mentioned that they had "forgotten" about Gilneas. Later, in an interview at 2009 New York Comic Con, he mentioned that Blizzard has some "very, very, very interesting plans for Gilneas", but he would not reveal any further details.[10] It was revealed to be that the Gilneans had turned into worgen and have now joined the Alliance.[3]
  • After Patch 3.1.0, the loading screen/ship route from Menethil to Theramore no longer crosses Gilneas.
  • A coin fished from Dalaran's fountain called Genn's Copper Coin reads "Pah, the fountains in Gilneas could grant ten times as many wishes as Dalaran's!"
  • Gilneas Sparkling Water can be purchased in the Old Hillsbrad Foothills section of the Caverns of Time instance. This water replaces Purified Draenic Water, which wouldn't have been found on Azeroth at the time the instance takes place.
  • The tents in Warcraft III had the symbol seen on the banner of Gilneas on them.
  • Gilneans' clothes appear to be Victorian in style. This, combined with the cold, gloomy and rainy atmosphere of Gilneas, would appear to indicate that Gilneas is based on nineteenth century England. Some Gilnean buildings, such as Greymane Manor and in Greymane City, have "onion domes" on them, possibly indicating a Russian influence in elements of their architecture.

See also


External links

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