- Were you looking for the boss of the Black Temple raid, <The Betrayer> or the World of Warcraft: Illidan book? Or perhaps the Harbingers animated short Part 3.
Illidan Stormrage is a night elf born Demon Hunter and the founder of the Illidari. He was the former self-proclaimed Lord of Outland, ruling from the Black Temple until his defeat. While being born one of the Kaldorei, as stated by Maiev Shadowsong, he became "neither night elf nor demon, but something more". He is the twin brother of Malfurion Stormrage and was in love with Tyrande Whisperwind. Once an unusually gifted sorcerer, the extent of his powers became difficult to classify due to his powers increasing in large bursts as a Demon Hunter and his having absorbed the powers of the dangerous fel object known as the Skull of Gul'dan.
His pursuit of power and arcane mastery led him to commit a number of horrific acts against his own people and the races of Azeroth, including defecting to Sargeras during the War of the Ancients and creating the second Well of Eternity. For his actions, he was imprisoned for ten thousand years, until his release during the Third War. He came to be called the Betrayer for his acts against the night elf people and carried the title of Lord of Outland. Seeking to bring down her erstwhile prisoner, Maiev allied with Akama to invade the Black Temple, where she cornered Illidan in his inner sanctum and struck him down, bringing an end to one of the most tragic stories in Azeroth's history.
However, Illidan's motivations were revealed to be more complex than previously realized - as he only had the salvation of Azeroth from the Burning Legion in mind. To this end, after his body was stolen by the Gul'dan from an alternative timeline - the prime naaru Xe'ra put events in motion that would eventually lead to the revival of Illidan - of whom she considered the "child of Light and Shadow", and the only one who could stop the Legion.
Illidan made his debut in World of Warcraft as the final boss of Black Temple in patch 2.1. He was voiced by Matthew Yang King in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne and the Black Temple Gameplay Trailer and by Liam O'Brien in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, and World of Warcraft: Legion.
War of the Ancients
Illidan, also known as the Betrayer, was the twin brother of Malfurion Stormrage. He was a practitioner of Highborne magic. In his youth, he attempted to master the druidic forces as his brother had, but the sorcery called to him in a way that the magic of the land did not. Unlike his brother, Illidan was born with amber eyes; which was regarded by the elves as a sign of a great destiny— however, this actually indicated inherent druidic potential. While Malfurion and Tyrande had found their destiny, Illidan was still searching for his. Though not a Highborne himself, he became the personal caster of the military leader, Ravencrest.
When Sargeras' invasion of Azeroth had begun and Azshara's treachery became known, Malfurion convinced Illidan to leave his queen. Illidan followed his brother. However, as Cenarius and the dragons entered the battle, Malfurion came to understand that their adversaries were too powerful to fall in combat. To end the invasion, Malfurion plotted to destroy of the Well of Eternity, which appalled Illidan. The Well was the source of his magic— and likely of the elves' immortality as well, and its loss was a price far too dear for Illidan to pay. In addition, the night elf found that he increasingly admired the powers of the Burning Legion, seeing a magical purity that underlay their chaotic behavior. While the night elves struggled to maintain their ground, the Burning Legion's numbers did not seem to permanently diminish. The satyr Xavius seized upon Illidan's doubts, exploiting his confusion, and planting seeds of distrust into his mind. This led Illidan to seek out the power the Burning Legion was using so he could become stronger. While he felt in his mind that he was seeking this power to help defeat the Burning Legion, he actually helped them by giving Sargeras the Demon Soul which allowed them to open the portal.
Illidan had strong feelings for Tyrande Whisperwind, a novice priestess in the Sisters of Elune. Illidan so desired to impress Tyrande that he often acted without thinking, particularly in magic; he never realized that these displays weren't quite what the priestess was looking for in a mate. But while Illidan struggled to win her heart, none of them realized that the battle was over soon after it had begun; Tyrande had chosen Malfurion almost from the beginning. Xavius knew of this and used this to darken Illidan's thoughts, convincing him that if Malfurion were to die, Illidan would no longer have a rival for Tyrande's love. Finally, the sight of Tyrande in the arms of his brother, Malfurion, shattered his final ties to the defenders.
Illidan, with a new plan spurred into his mind, journeyed to Zin-Azshari. There, he feigned allegiance to Azshara and Mannoroth. Illidan's plan was to obtain the Demon Soul, an artifact of great power created by Deathwing also known as Neltharion the Earth-Warder, which had the ability to close the portal which was allowing the demons to enter Kalimdor. However, to put this plan in action, Illidan had to gain more power. Illidan was eventually brought before Sargeras himself, who quickly discovered the night elf's plan to obtain the Demon Soul for the Legion. Sargeras was pleased with this plan and gave Illidan a "gift" in return for his allegiance. Illidan's eyes were burned out by Sargeras himself, despite still being beyond the portal and orbs of mystic fire set in their place that allowed Illidan to see all forms of magic and arcane tattoos covered his body. Azshara was fascinated by the "new" Illidan (who was wary of her advances), but remained cautious, sending Captain Varo'then to accompany Illidan in his search for the Demon Soul.
After the Great Sundering, Illidan, who had filled seven vials with water from the Well of Eternity, scaled the peaks of Mount Hyjal, where he found a small, tranquil lake. There, he poured the contents of three of the vials into the waters. The chaotic energies quickly manifested, tainting the lake and twisting it into a new Well of Eternity. Illidan's joy was short-lived, however, when his brother, Malfurion, Tyrande and the rest of the kaldorei leadership discovered him- and all were horrified at what he'd done. Unable to accept that his brother had committed such treachery, Malfurion tried again to explain to Illidan the folly of his ways. The magic, he insisted, was chaotic by nature and it could only bring about destruction so long as it existed. Illidan refused to listen, so enraptured by the magic's power that his brother seemed to him an unknowing fool. Illidan claimed that magic would be needed should the Burning Legion ever return.
The lack of remorse shook Malfurion to his core and he raged at his brother, understanding now that Illidan was lost forever to the magic's sway. He ordered him imprisoned deep below Hyjal in a jail kept far from sight and mind.
Release from prison
Illidan languished for 10,000 years in a lightless prison. Califax, a Keeper of the Grove and a contingent of night elves (including Maiev Shadowsong) kept constant guard over the Betrayer. Release came at the unexpected hands of Tyrande, who slaughtered the night elf guards in the hopes of using Illidan against the Legion, which had returned to Azeroth at the hands of the Scourge. With his love for Tyrande undampened through the millennia of confinement, Illidan agreed to help. He swore to throw back the Legion and to depart from the night elves forever.
Malfurion opposed Tyrande's decision, thinking the release of Illidan a catastrophic mistake. Frustrated that his brother remained unchanged and eager to prove to him that the demons had no hold over him, Illidan left Malfurion behind, leading a force of night elves into Felwood to hunt down the Legion. While in Felwood, he encountered Arthas, champion of the Lich King, and they engaged in combat. The fighters were equally matched and the combatants reached an impasse. Illidan stopped the duel and demanded to know why Arthas had tracked him. Arthas responded openly, telling Illidan about the Skull of Gul'dan, the demonic artifact that had corrupted Felwood. He explained that if the artifact were destroyed, the corruption of the forests would halt. To ensure that Illidan would take the bait, Arthas spared no detail of the Skull's power, adding that his master knew of Illidan's thirst for power. Although Illidan did not trust Arthas, he nevertheless sought the Skull and its power out.
A great Demon Gate defended the Skull as Illidan and his forces had to fight mightily to gain access to the artifact. Driven by necessity and influenced by the belief that with the increased power, he could at last redeem himself in the eyes of Tyrande, he shattered the demonic seal and used the Skull's powers for his own. Strength he found, but peril greater than power came to him at once. The battle for control of the Skull came with a heavy price and the artifact's powers changed him. Transformed into a demon, Illidan wrapped himself in shadow and utterly destroyed Tichondrius and his demonic forces. But with victory came devastation. Tyrande and Malfurion sensed the demonic power lurking within Illidan and turned away with disgust and despair. Malfurion chastised his brother, convinced that Illidan had traded his soul for more power. Enraged, Malfurion banished his brother from the forests.
Feeling his sacrifice and effort were unappreciated, Illidan muttered "So be it... brother" and left the night elf lands.
After the Legion's defeat, Illidan was visited by Kil'jaeden, who, while noting Illidan's track record with the Legion, offered him one final chance to serve them. He told Illidan to seek out the Frozen Throne and destroy it. Ner'zhul had grown far too powerful for Kil'jaeden to control and Illidan was to remove him from the equation in exchange for more power and magic than he could dream of. Kil'jaeden granted him the Orb of Kil'jaeden to aid him in this task.
By harnessing Gul'dan's enchanted skull, Illidan came to possess the warlock's memories and a plan came to mind, but he would need allies to help him. He decided to enlist the aid of some old friends.
Illidan called the naga to the surface. The naga, formerly the quel'dorei servitors of Azshara, were eager to take vengeance upon the night elves and the other land-walking races that had been spared from The Great Sundering. Azshara sent her handmaiden, Lady Vashj, to establish contact; the naga, respecting Illidan's magical talent, accepted the alliance and Vashj eventually came to lead those who would be known as "Illidan's Naga". But Illidan still had the troublesome warden, Maiev Shadowsong, to deal with, as she had persistently chased him all over Kalimdor. Illidan then allied with a group of satyrs, known as Illidan's Servitors. Then he ran to the port of Nendis with his naga and satyr minions protecting the way up behind him. Maiev killed the furbolgs and defeated his forces, but when she came to the port, Illidan hijacked a boat and set sail, while a cadre of naga stayed behind to scuttle the ships and ruin all hopes of following him.
With the naga swimming in his wake, Illidan came ashore on the Broken Isles— the ruined remains of Suramar (ironically, the same city where Illidan grew up) which Gul'dan and his warlocks had razed twenty years before and the home of the Tomb of Sargeras.
Confrontation on the Broken Isles
Despite their best efforts, Illidan's servants had not been successful in destroying the boats. Maiev and the Watchers arrived on the Broken Isles shortly after Illidan and the two forces battled across the watery terrain. Illidan reached the tomb and Maiev was quick to follow. With Gul'dan's knowledge, Illidan quickly traversed the Tomb and came to the chamber which contained the Eye of Sargeras. Maiev came upon him as he and Vashj were activating the powerful artifact and, as vengeance for her imprisoning him for 10,000 years, Illidan used the Eye to bring the Tomb down around her and then quickly escaped through the underwater passages used by the naga. Though he killed Naisha and all the other Watchers within the Tomb, Maiev escaped with her magical abilities. On the surface, Illidan and Maiev battled for supremacy as the Warden sent out a runner to gather reinforcements from Ashenvale.
Malfurion and Tyrande arrived on the Broken Isles with reinforcements as Maiev's base was being overrun. When they struck back, Illidan's forces crumbled, but he and his retainers fled before they were seriously harmed. Tyrande pursued them out of the base and Illidan ensnared her to protect himself, warning her not to interfere. He fled across the sea once again. During this battle, Tyrande finally revealed why she had spurned Illidan: too drunk with his rising magical and political power, he had forgotten his own inner strength. Malfurion, despite his increases in power, held on to that strength within him. Armed with this knowledge, Illidan finally came to grips with his feelings.
Illidan landed on the shore of Lordaeron and quickly made his way through Silverpine Forest to get to Dalaran, where Illidan began to use the Eye of Sargeras to break apart the polar ice cap and destroy Icecrown and the Frozen Throne. But he was interrupted by Maiev and Malfurion, and the spell failed. Malfurion had felt Illidan's spell tearing the land apart and concluded that he was a danger to the world and had to be stopped. Illidan, who was entangled by his brother, called Malfurion a fool as he was destroying the Lich King, their common enemy. Malfurion was furious at him for causing the loss of Tyrande, who had been, according to Maiev, killed. Illidan was heartbroken that the woman he loved was dead, but Prince Kael'thas, the night elves' newest ally, thought that perhaps it was premature to presume her dead. Kael'thas explained that Tyrande had not been "torn apart" by the undead, as Maiev had told Malfurion, but had instead fallen into a river and been swept away by the currents. Malfurion immediately arrested the Warden and promptly went in search of Tyrande. Illidan begged to be allowed to help his brother track down the beloved priestess. Illidan and his personal guard of naga found Tyrande under heavy attack from a massive undead force.
Illidan and his naga battled their way through the undead until they reached her. Tyrande was taken aback by Illidan's service to her, and when he delivered her safely to Malfurion, she was astonished. Illidan assured Tyrande that even if he became a monster, he would always look out for her. Malfurion told Illidan he was free to go on the condition that he never threaten the night elves again. Illidan, wishing for an end to the conflict with his brother, agreed.
Escape to Outland
After Malfurion let him go, Illidan created a portal to Outland and fled immediately, pursued by Maiev. Now that he had failed to destroy Ner'zhul, he knew that Kil'jaeden's wrath would not spare him, so he wanted to find a world where he could remain free from Kil'jaeden. He felt that Outland, the ruined remains of Draenor, was just such a place.
Illidan was chased down on the shattered world until he was captured by Maiev and the Watchers, and imprisoned once again. But he was saved by Kael and Vashj. Illidan accepted the allegiance of the blood elves, and made Kael his second-in-command. The Sin'dorei, coupled with the naga, would be very invaluable to his plans. Illidan continued his original plan - to rid Outland of demonic influence so that he could stay out of Kil'jaeden's grasp. To do this, they laid siege to the Black Temple of Magtheridon, the Pit Lord who had taken control of the world. But first, Illidan systematically shut down his dimensional gates to stem the flow of reinforcements. Eventually, they succeeded.
When they came to the Black Temple, Illidan was approached by Akama of the Broken, who pledged the allegiance of his race. Akama's broken felt indebted to Illidan and his army for aiding them in their fight against the fel orcs of Magtheridon, who had laid siege to their village with the intent of slaughtering them all. They laid siege to the Black Temple and destroyed Magtheridon's defenses, and then defeated the Pit Lord in battle himself. Magtheridon noted wryly that Illidan had great power, and asked if the Legion had sent him as a test. Illidan laughed, saying that he was not a test, but a replacement, and imprisoned Magtheridon beneath Hellfire Citadel and kept sealed in place by the fel orc jailor Keli'dan the Breaker.
The March on IcecrownAs Illidan rallied the forces of Outland under a new banner, a storm of fire and smoke descended upon the Black Temple, and Kil'jaeden appeared in all his unholy glory. Chastising Illidan for his foolhardy attempts to flee his wrath, Illidan quickly claimed that he had been gathering his forces for a second attack on the Frozen Throne. Kil'jaeden, seeing that Illidan's new comrades "showed some promise", agreed to give Illidan one more chance to appease the demons.
Illidan, Vashj, and Kael laid siege to Northrend and battled Anub'arak's forces as they trudged through the snow towards the Icecrown glacier. But Ner'zhul, knowing he would be overrun if he didn't do something, called Arthas to Northrend to complete the plan he had set in motion so many months before. Finally, Illidan's forces arrived at Icecrown as Arthas and Anub'arak dug their way out of Azjol-Nerub, and the two factions squared off in a titanic battle as they tried to gain control of the four mystical obelisks surrounding the glacier. After a long battle, and control going back and forth between the two enemies, Arthas activated all obelisks, and the doors to the Frozen Throne were opened.
But Illidan was not finished yet. Meeting Arthas at the glacier's base, the two warriors engaged in single combat. After a few minutes of exchanging blows, however, Arthas overcame Illidan's defenses and cut him down. Illidan Stormrage was badly wounded, but not killed. After it became clear for Vashj and Kael that they could not destroy the Frozen Throne, they retreated, eventually back to Outland, taking Illidan with them.
Note that the in-game animation between Illidan and Arthas was originally planned to be a video cinematic. Time constraints, however, forced the scene to be done inside the game. The developers have said that their greatest regret about this change is that many assumed Illidan died, when the video would have revealed that Illidan survived to watch Arthas's transformation.
In The Burning CrusadeThis section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
According to the manual included with the Burning Crusade expansion, Illidan knows that Kil'jaeden has not forgotten his failure to destroy the Frozen Throne. It says that he anticipates an offensive from the Legion and is "preparing accordingly." In the game it is revealed that one of the ways Illidan is preparing is by creating new fel orcs to fight for him, using the blood of the imprisoned Magtheridon. It says that he and his allies fight to ensure that all portals to Outland remain tightly sealed while he strengthens his power base. It also implies that the Horde and Alliance will want to use those portals because of Outland's strategic importance.
Battle of the Crimson Watch
- Lord Illidan Stormrage yells: What manner of fool dares stand before Illidan Stormrage? Soldiers, destroy these insects!
Waves of demons and blood elves attack the party, and the players must defeat the waves, finally battling Torloth the Magnificent. After Torloth falls, Illidan shouts out to the player who landed the killing blow, challenging him to come to the Black Temple and take him on:
- Lord Illidan Stormrage yells: So you have defeated the Crimson Sigil. You now seek to challenge my rule? Not even Arthas could defeat me, yet you dare to even harbor such thoughts? Then I say to you, come! Come <name>! The Black Temple awaits...
This suggests Illidan losing his mind over his defeat at Arthas' hand, not believing it himself; on the other hand, Illidan did technically survive the encounter, and if "defeat" for Illidan is defined as death, then Arthas did not actually defeat him. Such nuances of logic are common with Illidan, often employed when defending his actions to others.
Involvement in the Netherwing Quests
The final quest of the long grind to reach Exalted with the Netherwing is called — it involves speaking with a projection of Illidan himself. Overlord Mor'ghor, leader of the Dragonmaw's nether drake project, presents the player as the new Highlord of the Dragonmaw, but Illidan sees through the illusion and orders the Overlord to kill the player. Yarzill the Merc, a nether dragon disguised as a goblin, helps the player escape to the Lower City of Shattrath where they will receive one of six Netherwing Drakes as their new mount.
Master of the Black Temple
- Main article: Illidan Stormrage (tactics)
Adventurers of both the Alliance and Horde were assigned to penetrate the Black Temple and eliminate Illidan.Template:Why? Akama and his "associate", Maiev Shadowsong, are covertly involved in the effort.
During a quest, it is revealed that Akama has conspired to end Illidan's tyranny by allying with Maiev and later freeing her. In the Black Temple raid encounter, Illidan is the final boss and is fought by both Akama and Maiev along with the players. During the battle, Maiev taunts Illidan several times in reference to the pain that he has caused her, from forcing her to guard his prison for 10,000 years by committing his crimes to causing the death of Naisha. In the end, when Illidan is near death, Maiev remarks that he is beaten, but as he dies Illidan says that the huntress is nothing without the hunt. With the drive for vengeance gone, Maiev states that she is indeed nothing. Akama then took the Black Temple and swore to fill the halls with light once again. This however, was changed in the expansion Legion, where it is shown that Illidan simply loses consciousness after the battle with Maiev and Akama instead of dying.
In Wrath of the Lich KingThis section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
Illidan appears in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King as part of the quest  . The quest is a recreation of the duel between Illidan and Arthas at the gates of Icecrown Citadel. The player, in the role of Arthas, must defeat Illidan to complete the quest.
StormrageThis section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft novels or short stories.
In CataclysmThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
Illidan makes an appearance (in flashbacks) in Felwood In three of Feronas Sindweller's quest chain, where both his conversation and battle with Arthas, his battle for the Skull of Gul'dan and his battle against Tichondrius is shown.
This is the first time in-game where Illidan is shown with a model how he looked before he became a Demon hybrid.
While visiting the past, through the Caverns of Time, he makes an appearance in the Well of Eternity. He aids heroes throughout the instance.
Revelations of the Past
In the Pursuing the Black Harvest scenario, it is revealed that Illidan Stormrage had discovered an untapped store of raw arcane energy in the Shrine of Lost Souls. With arcane power of that magnitude, he was able to bind many demons to his will by offering them to sate their thirst for magic from that place in exchange for their loyalty. In that way, he was able to gain the support of many demons and maybe regain some of his own sanity by freeing themselves from the addiction to the Legion's magic.
During the Blizzcon 2010 World of Warcraft Quest and Lore Q&A panel, Chris Metzen was asked about the possibility of Illidan being revived or redeemed, and Metzen replied that it was something he would really like to do and that he is a sucker for a good redemption story.
At the Blizzcon 2011 World of Warcraft Open Q&A panel, Metzen was again asked about reviving Illidan. He asked the crowd if it was something they would like to see, the crowd exploded and cheered in response, and he said they would work on it. He later revisited the topic during the World of Warcraft Lore Q&A panel, after being asked about the dead bodies of important villains. Metzen indicated that based on fan reaction they would most likely bring Illidan back, and would have to decide on a way to revive him, noting that his corpse would be very significant.
Confirmed returnThis section concerns content exclusive to Legion.During Gamescom 2015, Illidan was confirmed to return. The latest Developers Q & A stated that Illidan will be very mad about his defeat at the Black Temple, however, it remains to be seen how he'll react when those same heroes ask for his help against the Burning Legion. More information will be released at the upcoming BlizzCon, however, there was a screenshot on a website of Illlidan fighting with Gul'dan suggesting that Illidan will be making a return in Legion.
In LegionThis section concerns content exclusive to Legion.
After the fall of the Black Temple, the corpse of the lord of Outland, Illidan Stormrage, disappeared. No one knows the true fate of Illidan's remains, but legend holds that Warden Maiev Shadowsong took his broken body to the Vault of the Wardens so that Illidan's dark, lingering soul could serve the rest of his eternal sentence — along with his followers, the feared Illidari. Justice to be forever served...
During the Demon Hunter Campaign, Illidan is summoned from the Swirling Pool in The Fel Hammer by the player and Kayn Sunfury / Altruis the Sufferer. As Illidan's spectral image shows, his soul is still in the Twisting Nether. He gives the player two missions: find Akama, who knows very detailed information about the Legion and convince him to join the demon hunters in their campaign against the Legion; and regain the Sargerite Keystone to invade the Legion's worlds. After Illidan is spotted by a demon, he tells the player that they will not contact him like this in the Swirling Pool again, and he trusts the player with the Illidari- officially proclaiming him/her as leader of the Illidari. The spectral image then fades.
In the Class Hall final quest, it is assumed that Niskara was one of the Legion's world that Illidan Stormrage wanted to invade and Kayn Sunfury presumed that he was one of his dreams. The Fel Hammer starts a massive bombardment on the demons of Niskara with the assistance of the Coilskar Naga and the Ashtongue Broken while the player glides onto Niskara with the demon hunter heroes Jace Darkweaver, Allari the Souleater, Kayn Sunfury / Altruis the Sufferer, Asha Ravensong, Belath Dawnblade, and Kor'vas Bloodthorn. After some Fel commanders are crushed, the heroes gather at a Niskaran structure where Fel flames are engulfing the entrance, creating a barrier. Kayn Sunfury / Altruis the Sufferer asks the player to order the Fel Hammer to bring down the Fel Barrier, and it is there that the player meets Varedis Felsoul and Caria Felsoul, with the image of Kil'jaeden himself watching in amusement. However, they are slain by the demon hunters, making Kil'jaeden furious, and fulfilling Illidan's dream.
Light's Heart revelations
Legion (Patch 7.1) spoilers →
Origins to Demon Hunter in player's Order Hall details Illidan's early days. It begins with showing his birth in Val'sharah with his twin brother Malfurion Stormrage. It goes on to show Illidan and his golden eyes, a symbol of power among Elves. It continues through, allowing the player to play as Illidan in his attempt to vanquish demonic forces in Black Rook Hold. Finally, it shows Illidan's eyes being burnt out, his acquisition of the Fel from Sargeras, and his transformation into a Demon Hunter.
Relationship between Illidan and Malfurion
By way of comparison, in the novels written by Richard A. Knaak, Malfurion is more tolerant and forgiving of his brother, who is portrayed as often selfish, reckless, out of control and not completely sane. Rather than becoming part of the "lynch mob" who want Illidan summarily executed, Malfurion speaks on his behalf, endorsing his knowledge of the Burning Legion as vital tactical information... giving an undeniable reason to bury Illidan rather than kill him.
When we first were introduced to Malfurion and Illidan in Warcraft III, Malfurion objected fiercely to the idea of freeing Illidan, in the belief that his crimes were unforgivable and that he should stay locked up. When they were reunited Illidan was bitter about how he had been punished and Malfurion was disgusted to be in the same room as Illidan, still nursing a grudge over Illidan's betrayal. Illidan, who seemed to be the more forgiving one at the time, was eager to prove to his brother that the demons had no hold over him. Later, after Illidan used the powers of the Skull of Gul'dan for himself and took on a demonic appearance, Malfurion demanded to know where his brother was, implying he still had some affection for him. After Illidan revealed that he was the demon, Malfurion, rather than killing him, simply banished him. Obviously, Malfurion knew Maiev Shadowsong would want Illidan imprisoned but still chose not to act. Rather than object, Illidan simply walked away.
Illidan was next seen in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. After the two worked together to save Tyrande, Illidan seemed to have forgiven Malfurion for disrupting his attempt to destroy the Frozen Throne, even though it would leave him at Kil'jaeden's mercy. Malfurion's last words to Illidan included an ominous threat about what would happen to him if he ever did anything against the kaldorei again. This too, Illidan accepted without objection. Illidan admitted that he had known only "ages of hate" for his brother, but for his part he wished it to end. This is perhaps the closest thing to a peace that the brothers have achieved. Illidan then departed telling Malfurion he doubted they would ever see each other again.
In World of Warcraft (see below), Malfurion's words indicate that he does not wish to fight his brother, and he says that if he is forced to, things will not be as they were at the Well at Zin-Azshari.
As of the Burning CrusadeThis section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.From Malfurion's conversation with Remulos:
- Malfurion Stormrage says: Cenarius fights at my side. Illidan sits atop his throne in Outland – brooding. I'm afraid that the loss to Arthas proved to be his breaking point. Madness has embraced him, Remulos. He replays the events in his mind a thousand times per day, but in his mind, he is the victor and Arthas is utterly defeated. He is too far gone, old friend. I fear that the time may soon come that our bond is tested and it will not be as it was at the Well in Zin-Azshari.
The exact meaning and implications of this are not known. It is however likely that Malfurion fears that the bonds between him and his brother Illidan will be tested in the near future. For 10,000 years ago, during the War of the Ancients, the two brothers were forced to work together to throw back the Burning Legion at The Sundering, which is when they chose their separate paths. Now, with Illidan's death we will never know if they could have co-operated again.
Relationship between Illidan and TyrandeKaldorei and the Burning Legion continued, Illidan tried to talk to Tyrande about choosing him instead Malfurion, claiming that he was dangerous with his druidic path. Tyrande told him that she though that he was the dangerous one, and that she feared he was losing himself to the corruption of magic. Illidan was heartbroken. He knew that she had chosen Malfurion, and in response he realized that he wanted his own brother dead. Illidan later sided with the Burning Legion, while unbeknownst to him, Tyrande was captured. She later escaped and ran into Illidan (who after some time betrayed the Burning Legion). When she saw what Illidan had become when Sargeras gave him his so called 'gift', she was horrified. She tried to reason with him to leave the demon's service.He acknowledged to her that he was pretending to be on their side so that he could make his plan to become a hero to his people. After the great battle in the palace of Zin'Azshari and the Great Sundering, Illidan created a new Well of Eternity after also killing some Kaldorei soldiers who had been trying to stop him. For this act he was imprisoned deep below the World Tree Nordrassil on Mount Hyjal.
For more than 10,000 years Illidan suffered in darkness until Tyrande released him from his prison to redeem himself by fighting the Burning Legion. After many centuries, Illidan still cared about Tyrande. He even said that he would not fight because of his people, but only because she asked him to. However, Illidan's twisted way of redeeming himself and saving his people didn't end well for them. He turned into something he hated the most, a demon. For this act, he was banished from his homeland by his brother Malfurion. Tyrande was horrified of what he had become and she did not object to his banishment.
Their relationship came to a conclusion when Illidan threatened the entire world. It turned out that he was trying to destroy Northrend and in doing so killing the Lich King (who was under the command of the great demon lord Kil'jaeden). Tyrande sought to stop him with the aid of his brother Malfurion. Illidan was surprised when Tyrande arrived to stop him. She told him that he had become a monster, which he didn't take lightly, but he said he cared about her and that he wanted to show her how powerful he was. Tyrande said something that haunted Illidan for more than 10,000 years: "Raw power is no substitute for true strength Illidan. That is why I chose your brother over you". When Tyrande was fighting the undead alone and fell into the river, Malfurion and Illidan fought a large undead army to save her. Illidan completely destroyed the undead army and rescued her. Tyrande was surprised by this act and asked why he would risk his life to save her. He told her that whatever he may be in this world, no matter what, he always cared about her. He made his peace with them, but he was not forgiven for the crimes he had committed. Knowing that he was no longer welcome on Azeroth and that Kil'jaeden's wrath would be inevitable, he was left no choice but to create a portal and retreat to Outland. He bid them farewell and after 10,000 years he finally left Azeroth on relatively good terms with them.
PersonalityWar of the Ancients began, Illidan was described like a rash, reckless young boy often doing something without thinking. Unlike his twin brother Malfurion, he didn't want to follow the druid's path simply because it was too slow for him to learn, indicating that he is impatient. Tyrande was his best friend, and he found her very beautiful, often making her blush with compliments. In time he would develop romantic feelings for Tyrande. He knew that Tyrande would have to choose him or Malfurion, so he tried to impress Tyrande so that she would choose him. When the First War began, his personality changed greatly. He was more reckless than ever, especially with his use of arcane magic. He even killed some of his people unintentionally while he fought demons, because he was not careful enough. Illidan became power-hungry; he admired demon magic so much that he himself used their own magic against them, something that Malfurion and Tyrande didn't find appropriate. During the ongoing battle between Kaldorei and the Burning legion, Illidan finally came to his breaking point when he learned that Tyrande chose Malfurion over him, something that led him to betray them and side with the demons. After the Great Sundering, Illidan's lust for power led him to create another Well of Eternity so that arcane magic wouldn't be lost. For this act he was imprisoned for eternity, and earned the title the Betrayer.
After 10,000 years, Illidan was released from his prison by Tyrande so that he could help fight the Legion during their second invation. After all those centuries, Illidan still cared about Tyrande, but he was still furious at his brother for imprisoning him. Illidan was still power-hungry, which lead him to search for and absorbed the Skull of Gul'dan which turned him into a demon. In the end he was banished by his brother with no objection from Tyrande. After all that had happened, Illidan was almost the same as he had been previously. In addition, he became more ruthless after spending so much time in prison.
Illidan: King or Pawn?In the last battle of the War of the Ancients, Illidan begins casting a spell to reverse Sargeras's portal. Tyrande senses that several someones have augmented his spell — and these someones were darker than even Sargeras. These beings were clearly the Old Gods, who wished to redirect Sargeras' portal to their prison beyond the mortal plane instead.
It is also quite possible that Illidan's more recent actions are also aided by the Old Gods. Given that the naga are presumed to follow them, it has been suggested that Vashj and her ilk answered Illidan's summons as part of the new plan (though given Azshara's previous association with him, there are other explanations). Illidan might be an attempt to position a powerful pawn in the midst of a strategic location.
Also, most cases when a being encounters Old God intervention, the being goes "insane". The insanity noted
by Malfurion Stormrage may also indicate the Old Gods had a part in the chain of events in Illidan's life.
The Old Gods' plans go deep, far deeper than anyone could imagine. They had plans, upon plots, upon plots, all of which centered upon a single goal: freedom. It is not crazy to ask, wouldn't they have had a final plan, in case their original one failed? No clear evidence exists either way...but that's likely what they intended.
However, the story of World of Warcraft: Illidan and recent events in Legion may quash much of the speculation about Illidan's sources of power and end goals. Also, it changes the sources of aid and potentially points to the naaru instead of the Old Gods.
Powers and abilities
While Illidan fought demons, he also learned from them and used their own magic against them, something which both his own brother Malfurion and his long childhood friend Tyrande didn't find appropriate. During the war, he sided with the Legion and Queen Azshara. He was brought forth to speak with the lord of the Burning Legion, Sargeras himself. In return for his allegiance, Sargeras burned out his amber eyes and replaced them with green, fiery orbs. Through his new eyes, Illidan could detect any form of magic and detect the power of beings around him. Illidan's entire body was also covered with arcane markings, which increased his arcane power. Illidan had became the first demon hunter.
Ten thousand years later, during the second invasion of the Burning Legion, Illidan absorbed a powerful demonic artifact called the Skull of Gul'dan, turning him into an immortal demon. Illidan stated that with this power, he was stronger than any of Archimonde's lieutenants. He destroyed Tichondrius, the most powerful of the dreadlords, with little effort. He also had the ability to transform into a full demon, making him even more powerful. Illidan is skilled in melee combat, especially with the Warglaives of Azzinoth, which were once the weapons of the powerful doomguard captain Azzinoth, a demon he slew 10,000 years ago. He can strengthen them to become even more deadly.
It is speculated that Illidan's loss to Arthas was due to the Lich King giving the small remainder of power he had to ensure Arthas' victory and, in the full spectrum, the survival of the Lich King. In the book Arthas: Rise of the Lich King their fight was longer. Illidan brought Arthas to his knees with one spell. When Illidan went for a finishing blow, Frostmourne urged Arthas to rally and he struck Illidan with all of his strength.
Illidan is immortal. In the demon hunter starting experience he reveals he has an immortal demon soul and that he cannot truly die. Instead, his soul makes its way to the Twisting Nether until it can find another suitable body to inhabit.
- "You are NOT prepared!"
- "I'm blind, not deaf."
- "I come to offer my services to my queen...and to the lord of the Legion!"
- "Well? Come with me... if you'd like to live long enough to see me save this world!"
- "Imprisoned for ten thousand years. Banished from my own homeland. And now you dare enter my realm? You are not prepared..."
- "You are not prepared!"
- "Now I am complete."
- "Isolation can do that to the mind. Now, after all the long centuries you kept me chained in darkness, it is only fitting that I bury you in turn."
- "Whatever I may be - whatever I may become in this world - know that I will always look out for you, Tyrande."
- "We have had much strife between us, my brother. I have known only ages of hate for you. But, for my part, I wish it to end. From this day forward, let there be peace between us."
- "Perhaps hiding here was not the most prudent decision."
- "You have won... Maiev... But the huntress... is nothing... without the hunt... You... are nothing... without... me..."
- "...you are not prepared..."
- "Now, follow me mortals. Into the abyss.."
- "So many demons, not enough time."
- "Death to the legion!"
- "We will take this war to the Legion's World."
- "Sometimes the hand of Fate... must be forced!"
- "My destiny is my own."
- "I am my scars!"
- "There can be no chosen one... only we... can save ourselves!"
- "The hunter is nothing without the hunt."
- "At Last!"
Finale at the Black Temple →
Finale at the Nighthold →
Xe'ra tries to give the light to Illidan →
- Because the interlude in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne shows Illidan in as a full night elf when he struck the deal, it is often presumed that Illidan's new appearance (horns, wings, smoke, hooves and burning hoof prints) was a result of Kil'jaeden's further empowerment. It should be noted, however, that most sources, including the Warcraft Encyclopedia, only mention his demonic transformation when discussing the Skull of Gul'dan; no mention is made of further transformation during his meeting with Kil'jaeden.
- Although Malfurion said Illidan's transformation by the Skull of Gul'dan had cost him his soul, there has so far been no evidence that this claim was anything more than hyperbole. It is likely Malfurion was merely shocked at seeing Illidan in demonic form and was speaking metaphorically. There is no evidence that Illidan's personality has drastically changed as a result. Until it is established, the possibility remains that the only change in Illidan seems to be slight insanity (though after reading the War of the Ancients trilogy, one is forced to wonder if Illidan was not insane before he consumed the Skull of Gul'dan).
- At some point, Illidan tried his hand at writing, authoring a book entitled The actual book itself starts a level 54 Druid quest. It's doubtful the text was well-received among the Cenarion Circle or the green dragonflight. Note that all of the Dire Maul books have silly names and/or flavor text (, the mage book, being a good example of this).
- When the player rescues Illidan in Outland during the Blood Elf Campaign, Lady Vashj says that the blood elves are the descendants of those Highborne who served Illidan years ago. Curiously, Illidan himself never actually commanded any Highborne in the War of the Ancients (either version). This error can be explained by the fact that in the trilogy, Vashj was a little naive, and preoccupied, and was not very informed as to the exact nature of Illidan's "employment" with her Queen.
- Originally, Illidan and Malfurion were identical apart from their hair and eye color. Their various transformations have made it much easier to tell them apart.
- Illidan was listed as a sorcerer and fighter in the original Warcraft RPG, which used 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons base classes. This was changed to a mage and warrior in the World of Warcraft RPG, which uses the classes seen in-game. In the novels, he is referred to as a sorcerer, though this may not be an indication of class.
- Since the RPG is not canon, its classifications are largely irrelevant. Illidan likely started as druid, but before learning much, switched early on to a mage which he remained for a long period of time, and eventually became a demon hunter that he presumably will remain until his final death.
- If you look closely at Illidan in Warcraft III, you will notice that at least one of his blades has the face of a panda painted on it (Samwise Didier's trademark). One place it can be seen clearly is in the cut scene in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne at the end of the Night Elf campaign when Illidan says goodbye to Tyrande and Malfurion.
- On closer inspection the panda face on Illidan's changes when he is transformed by the skull of Gul'dan the change being the face changing from happy panda to angry panda, this change is accompanied by Illidan growing horns and wings of a demon and burning the ground on which he walks.
- At release, when there was no high level content, it was announced by Ordinn that "the most powerful NPC is Illidan." When asked where he was, Caydiem responded. "Illidan is shy."
- Illidan's famous quote, You Are Not Prepared!, has often been used by lore fans as a joke when he is defeated or something like that.
- In Overwatch, another Blizzard game, you can have a profile picture of Illidan's Head, and a spray of him with the words "You are not prepared!" sprawled across a green banner.
- Many similarities can be observed between Illidan and the Queen of Blades Sarah Kerrigan of StarCraft franchise. These include:
- Both Illidan and Sarah Kerrigan are Heroes Sargeras imprisoned by Pantheon and Illidan as Sargeras's Jailor and Amon killed by Sarah Kerrigan in Xel'naga Form.
- ^ a b Illidan Stormrage Quote: "Demon type: Unique".
- ^ Manual of Monsters, p. 179. Quote: "As an immortal night elf, his passion for magic..."
- ^ Manual of Monsters, p. 179. Quote: "...Illidan became a hybrid creature with demonic powers all his own."
- ^ Legion
- ^ Warcraft III, Alliance Player's Guide, pg. 47-48.
- ^ Manual of Monsters, 178
- ^ World of Warcraft Conversion Document, ?
- ^ Manual of Monsters, 178, World of Warcraft Conversion Document, ?
- ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 180
- ^ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=1438
- ^ http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/encyclopedia/508.xml
- ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 189
- ^ a b "Terror of the Tides: Rise of the Naga", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ http://www.blizzard.com/shared/blizz-com/images/war3x/brady/page3.jpg
- ^ Akama says: "The Light will fill these dismal halls once again. I swear it."
- ^ http://warcraft.blizzplanet.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/IllidanvsGuldan.png
- ^ The Sundering, pg. 257
- ^ The Sundering, pg. 262
- ^ Personal playthrough during BlizzCon 2015
- ^ World of Warcraft RPG Conversion Document, pg. 3
|Felwood||Well of Eternity|
- Official lore
- Action figure
| Preceded by:|
Lord of Outland
| Succeeded by:|
| Preceded by:|
Master of the Black Temple
| Succeeded by:|
| Preceded by:|
Wielder of The Skull of Gul'dan
| Succeeded by:|