Orgrimmar has been the central hub of the orcish community since the end of the Third War. The city was founded by Thrall and named after his friend and mentor, the former Warchief Orgrim Doomhammer. It is a fortified complex guarded by stout walls, massive gates and tall towers. The mountainous ranges of northern Durotar form a natural barrier to the rear of the fortress, and parts of the complex are carved into the mountain itself.
Orgrimmar is openly hospitable to all members of the Horde and is an important center of commerce. Visitors may fly into the city by way of zeppelin or wyvern, or simply walk through the fortress’s main gates.
Thrall led the orcs to the continent of Kalimdor, where they founded a new homeland with the help of their tauren brethren. Naming their new land Durotar after Thrall's father Durotan, the orcs settled down to rebuild their once-glorious society. The demonic curse on their kind ended, the Horde changed from a bloodthirsty, warlike juggernaut into more of a loose coalition, dedicated to survival and prosperity rather than conquest. Aided by the noble tauren and the cunning trolls of the Darkspear tribe, Thrall and his orcs looked forward to a new era of peace in their own land. From there, they began the creation of the great warrior city, Orgrimmar.
Today, Orgrimmar lies at the base of a mountain between Durotar and Azshara. A warrior city indeed, it is home to countless amounts of orcs, trolls, and tauren. An increasing amount of Forsaken are now joining the city, as well as the blood elves who have recently been accepted into the Horde.
The city was attacked by the Scourge during the duel between Thrall and Garrosh. The duel had to stopped as orcs and some others leaders of the Horde went to defend the city.
Wrath of the Lich King
During the War against the Lich King, Putress betrayed Forsaken. Sylvanas and her loyal Forsaken took the refuge in Orgrimmar. From there, Sylvanas, Thrall and horde adventurers returned and liberated Undercity. During that time, all merchants and services have been shut down as the Warchief prepared for an unavoidable conflict.
As whole Azeroth fell into the mists of Emerald Nightmare, so did Orgrimmar with its citizens.
Orgrimmar was attacked by raging elements but the attack was successfully repelled.
Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm
After the War against the Lich King and War against the Nightmare were over, a great celebration was held in honor of Garrosh and those who died and survived on Northrend. Nevertheless, raging fire elements burned plenty buildings in Orgrimmar and the city needed to repair. Thrall asked Gazlowe to do so and determined to set off to Nagrand in order to help raging elements. Before leaving, in Grommash Hold Thrall appointed Garrosh to lead the Horde.
Garrosh Hellscream has recently rebuilt most of the city’s architecture, and now Orgrimmar’s fortresses rank among the most imposing on Azeroth. Spiked metal towers line the city’s streets, and the red-and-black banners of the Horde wave from every post. Most of the various races have separated into their own districts, from the tauren in the Valley of Wisdom to the trolls in the Valley of Spirits. Grommash Hold towers over all else, allowing Garrosh Hellscream to keep a close watch on his people. There is also a district known as the "Goblin Slums" near the Valley of Spirits. There is also a rear gate leading to Azshara. The Valley of Honor has also become the second trade district, with its own bank, auction house and inn.
Tides of War
With the Cataclysm over and the threat of Deathwing subsided, a summit of the Horde's leaders was held in Orgrimmar. Here, Garrosh informed his allies about his desire to forcibly expel the Alliance from Kalimdor, and claim the continent for the good of the Horde. Garrosh intended to scour Theramore from the continent, and stunt the Alliance's military presence. With that done, he then aims to take the night elves' land.
After the successful destruction of Theramore, the battle force returned to Orgrimmar to celebrate their victory. Many cheers rose to Garrosh's victory.
Mists of Pandaria
Over the course of Mists of Pandaria, Garrosh becomes increasingly crazed and tyrannical, turning the Horde against him and Orgrimmar changes to reflect this.
Orgrimmar is effectively put under martial law, as Garrosh continues to opress the non-orc members of the city. All non-orc districts of the city lose most of their supplies and are heavily guarded by the Kor'kron, under suspicion that they might be working with the rebels. The supply lines to Orgrimmar from the Northern Barrens are cut off and Vol'jin has taken the strategic settlement of Razor Hill from Garrosh's loyalists, essentially putting the city under threat of siege from the rebellion to the south as well as the Alliance armada amassing to the east.
During the Siege of Orgrimmar, the city is put under siege by the forces of the Horde rebels and the Alliance. Kor'kron barricades block access to most of the city's districts. Vol'jin's revolutionary forces have entrenched themselves along the main road, launching a frontal assault on the city's gates to break into the Valley of Strength. Alliance frigates storm the Bladefist Bay and landing parties attempt to capture the docks around Orgrimmar. Invading forces discover a massive underground compound constructed by Garrosh's forces for his own purposes. Skirmishes at the gates occurred before a full-scale battle erupted between the forces led by Vol'jin and the defenders still loyal to Garrosh. Despite Vol'jin's attempts to ram the gate and attack the walls with siege engines, the walls could not be breached. The arrival of a combined rebel and Alliance armada under the command of Lor'themar Theron,Varian Wrynn, Jaina Proudmoore, and Sylvanas Windrunner disabled Orgrimmar's naval defenses. Eventually the Kor'kron were pushed back into the gates and the arrival of Night Elf reinforcements under Tyrande Whisperwind. Night Elf glaive throwers brought the gate down, and the allied forces charged into Orgrimmar. The Valley of Strength was quickly liberated, and the death of General Nazgrim brought the upper city under Alliance/rebel control. The Underhold eventually fell when adventurers defeated and imprisoned the Warchief Garrosh. Vol'jin was quickly nominated and initiated as the new Warchief by Thrall and the other Horde leaders. Alliance forces left the city, and the rebels began rebuilding the damage that was done during the siege.
People and culture
Although orcs comprise the majority of the city’s inhabitants, there is a strong troll presence here as well, primarily in the Valley of Spirits. With the recent change in leadership, Garrosh Hellscream has refurbished Orgrimmar's rustic and wooden architecture into reinforced steel and iron. The Horde races also use Orgrimmar as a center of trade, not only of physical goods, but ideas as well. For example, a number of different holidays are celebrated here, including a tauren festival for the winter solstice and a number of others.
The most significant figure in Orgrimmar was undoubtedly Warchief Garrosh Hellscream himself before his defeat during the Siege of Orgrimmar.
Orgrimmar is located in the far north of Durotar, at the foothills of the mountain range that separates Durotar from Azshara. Several valleys have been dug out from the mountain and provide a way of naturally dissecting the city into various zones, including the Valley of Spirits, Valley of Strength, Valley of Wisdom, and the Valley of Honor. Several specialty shops are found in the Drag, a pathway that leads from the Valley of Strength to the Valley of Honor. Those searching for potions or training in the darker arts of the rogue or warlock find a tunnel leading down to the Cleft of Shadow from the Drag.This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
Orgrimmar received a heavy redesign in the Cataclysm. The tauren, trolls, and goblins each have their own sections of the city now, complete with architecture that reflects their culture. They are respectively the Valley of Wisdom, Valley of Spirits, and the newly added Goblin Slums. Each of these areas has their own bank, auction house, and trainers. Architecture in the remaining sections of Orgrimmar, minus the seedy Cleft of Shadow, reflect a Northrend feel, with blackened metal and giant structures. A number of buildings have been completely moved, like the main auction house in the Valley of Strength. Garrosh has built Grommash Hold, the main seat of power, within this Valley, offering a giant symbol of imposing power to those visiting.
There are other changes of note. A rear entry now leads to Azshara, accessed by passing through the Valley of Honor. The Valley of Honor is now also a second trade district for those wishing to avoid the hustle and bustle of the Valley of Strength and also houses most of the profession trainers. The Drag is now open-air, and there are more entry points into the Cleft of Shadow from other Valleys. Perhaps the most notable change is that the zeppelin towers that once stood outside the gates of Orgrimmar have been demolished and brought inside, rebuilt upon the Orgrimmar Skyway; the wyvern master has also been moved here, and the Western Earthshrine, offering portals to all the newly discovered zones in the Cataclysm as well as Tol Barad, rests across the divide.
- Main article: Orgrimmar NPCs
From his throne in the Valley of Wisdom, Warchief Thrall ruled with the support of the elder far seer Zor Lonetree and the Darkspear hero Vol'jin. Together they formed a wise and noble leadership, capable of guiding the Horde in conflicts with opposing factions such as the Alliance, Scourge, and Burning Legion. While regarding the latter two as nothing but vile enemies, which they are, Thrall was attempting to repair the Horde's relationship with the Alliance. However, animosity between these factions remained during his rule, and have now spilled over. The continued aggression of the Kul'Tiras forces from their base in Tiragarde, combined with several incidents on Azeroth's northernmost continent, have clearly indicated not everyone was keen on pursuing peace.
Prior to his fall from grace and subsequent imprisonment, Garrosh Hellscream ruled in Thrall's stead, intent on showcasing the might of the Horde. His attitude distanced some heroes of the Horde from him that were more intent on peace, chief among them Vol'jin. Garrosh, increasingly mad with power, expelled non-orcs from the city and fortified Orgrimmar. In addition, his loyal troops, now fashioned the True Horde, had been waging war on Pandaria against the Alliance. Vol'jin, with the aid of several other Horde leaders as well as support from the Alliance, began to fight back and started an uprising called the Darkspear Rebellion against the dictator Garrosh. As his "True Horde" began to fight against the Darkspear Rebellion and the Alliance, Garrosh recovered the Heart of Y'Shaarj and brought it back to Orgrimmar. Eventually, the city came under siege as the Horde and Alliance attacked. Garrosh's loyal belligerents, the Kor'kron Guard under Malkorok, defended Orgrimmar while Garrosh was seeking to unleash the power of Y'Shaarj. However, Garrosh was defeated and made to stand trial in Pandaria for his atrocities and crimes. Thrall then appointed Vol'jin as the new Warchief of the Horde in the presence of all the other Horde leaders. Vol'jin was approached by King Varian Wrynn and they agreed to end the war between the Alliance and the Horde. With Vol'jin as the new head of state for the Horde, it can be assumed that the prior non-orc residents of Orgrimmar began to return and rebuild.
Points of interest
Note: Coordinates are not exact. General locations shown. Click to enlarge maps.
- Main article: Orgrimmar quests
Patches and hotfixes
- Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Received major overhaul.
- Patch 1.3.0 (07-Mar-2005): Patrolling scouts that can see through stealth and invisibility have been added to Orgrimmar.