Frostmourne Lore: The Lich King’s Power – World of Warcraft

Frostmourne is the most famous weapon in the World of Warcraft universe, and if you have played either World of Warcraft or Warcraft III, you will more or less know that it and its wielders shaped the world of Azeroth in many negative ways. 

Today we are going to dig as deep as possible to find Frostmourne’s origins and story throughout the years and discover all the horrible things it committed. 

Forging Frostmourne

Together with the Helm of Domination, Frostmourne was forged by the order of Zovaal the Jailer, one of the Eternal Ones and ruler of the Maw in the Shadowlands. The jailer’s plan was to send these artefacts to Azeroth so that whoever donned them would then help him enter the world and use its World-Soul to reshape reality. Pretty much Thanos, but less purple. 

Zovaal gave Frostmourne and the Helm of Domination to the nathrezim, beings that include old acquaintances like Mal’ganis and Thicondrius and apparently working for the Burning Legion. The nathrezim’s mission was to bind the spirit of Ner’zhul, the deceased chief of the Horde of Draenor, to these two items and become the first Lich King

Ner’zhul, who was definitely not happy to be the pawn of the Burning Legion, hatched a plan while being frozen in ice atop the Frozen Throne in Northrend. He wanted to send Frostmourne out into the world, so that whoever picked up the sword would become his pawn. 

Frostmourne’s New Pawn: Arthas Menethil

Arthas Menethil as a Death Knight

Prince Arthas Menethil, heir to the throne of Lordaeron and Knight of the Silver Hand, greatly debilitated from a losing war against Mal’Ganis and committing war crimes against his own people, reached Northrend and met Muradin Bronzebeard, an old friend of his.  

Muradin told Arthas that he was there in search of an incredible powerful weapon, called Frostmourne, and that he and his party were blocked by the advancing undead army. Arthas, almost driven mad by vengeance, sought in Frostmourne an opportunity to turn the tides of his quest. 

When the two reached the weapon (and after that Arthas committed some other war crimes along the way, including burning his army’s ships and betraying his mercenaries) Muradin, who read an inscription close to the blade, told Arthas that the weapon was cursed and that they should abandon the idea of freeing the sword.  

Arthas did not listen to his old mentor, and freed the weapon, causing a trap to spring and almost kill the dwarf. 
From the moment Arthas wielded the blade, the voice of Ner’zhul started speaking in his mind, telling him to leave Muradin and go.  

Arthas went back to his camp and army and launched an attack to Mal’Ganis and their scourge. Mal’Ganis did not expect Arthas to attack him now that this one had started undergoing Frostmourne’s corruption and was easily overcome by Arthas’ newfound powers. After killing Mal’ganis, Arthas’ fate was sealed: he ran in the snowstorm of Northrend, alone, later to become a Death Knight loyal to the Lich King. 

Frostmourne’s Victims 

Uther the Lightbringer

In his time as the Lich King’s Death Knight, Arthas killed and shattered the souls of numerous important characters of World of Warcraft lore. Here’s a list of the most important ones slain by Arthas and Frostmourne: 

King Therenas Menethil II 

One of the first victims of Frostmourne wielded by Arthas, is Arthas’ own father. After coming back from Northrend, the Kingdom of Lordaeron welcomed Arthas with open arms. 
Arthas entered the throne room, knelt before his father, and told him that he should bear the weight of his crown no more. He subsequently drew Frostmourne and killed the king where he stood. 

Uther the Lightbringer 

Uther the Lightbringer was Arthas’ former mentor and Supreme Leader of the Knights of the Silver Hand. He had witnessed Arthas’ madness in the culling of Stratholme and banished him from the Knights of the Silver Hand way before Arthas turned into a dark knight.  
Now enemies, Uther met Arthas in Andorhal and, after an epic duel where he had initially the upper hand, he ended up killed by Arthas. 

Sylvanas Windrunner 

Yes, THAT Sylvanas Windrunner. Before being the banshee queen of the forsaken and later, leader of the horde, Sylvanas was a high elf of Quel’Thalas. She was deadly wounded while protecting Quel’Thalas from Arthas’ invasion to reach the Sunwell.  
Instead of killing her, he mutilated her and then impaled her with Frostmourne, denying her soul from eternal rest. She later became a banshee loyal to Arthas. 

Archmage Antonidas 

Antonidas was the leader of the Kirin Tor who ruled over Dalaran. He also was Jaina Proudmoore’s Mentor, and this makes him quite important since Jaina was Arthas’ former lover. 
He died while protecting the city from Arthas’ invasion to retrieve the book of Medivh and Gul’dan’s skull

Illidan’s Attack and the Rise of Arthas 

Illidan Stormrage

While Arthas was out killing important characters and waging war left and right, Illidan Stormrage almost destroyed Icecrown Citadel and the Frozen Throne with a spell. He was stopped by Maiev and his brother Malfurion because the spell could have pretty much destroyed the entire world. Even though the spell failed, it did enough damage to weaken Ner’zhul’s hold over some of the scourge like Sylvanas Windrunner and other undead. They escaped the Lich King’s grasp and went on to become the Forsaken

Months after Illidan’s first attack, he tried a second attack on Icecrown Citadel, but Ner’zhul, knowing that an attack would overwhelm his now decreasing powers, had already recalled Arthas in Northrend.  

Illidan and Arthas clashed at the Court of Bones, but Arthas bested him. He did not kill Illidan but told him to leave Azeroth to never return.  

After that, Arthas ascended to the Frozen Throne, where he donned the Helm of Domination and fused his own conscience with Ner’zhul’s and became the new Lich King. 

The Fall of the Lich King and The Shattering of Frostmourne

Tirion Fordring wielding Ashbringer

Around five years later, and with the new World of Warcraft Expansion: Wrath of The Lich King, Arthas wakes up from his slumber and starts causing an incredible amount of trouble in the lands of Azeroth. Both Horde and Alliance, aided by the Knights of the Ebon Blade (Death Knights freed from Arthas’ forces) and the Knights of the Silver Hand led by Tirion Fordring wage war to Icecrown Citadel. 

While pushing to the top, the two political parties find Frostmourne in the Halls of Reflection unattended. They manage to commune with the Sword and the souls trapped inside of it and end up communicating with no other than Uther the Lightbringer, which tells the heroes that the Frozen Throne can’t be empty, and that somebody must take Arthas’ place as the new Lich King once defeated. 

In the last battle at the top of Icecrown Citadel, Horde and Alliance fought Arthas in one of the most epic battle ever. This time, Arthas will lose to Tirion Fordring and his Ashbringer, a sword even more powerful than Frostmourne.  
Tirion shatters Frostmourne and kills Arthas. The Lich King position will be filled by one of my personal favorites, Bolvar Fordragon, who will keep the undead scourge in check with his will of steel. 

As for Frostmourne’s shards, well, they can be acquired in the Legion expansion by the Death Knight class to be reforged into Icebringer and Frostreaper, blades of the fallen prince.  


That was a difficult, but passionate article to write! I loved Frostmourne and Arthas’ story and I still manage to replay at least Warcraft III once a year just because it introduced me to RTSs when I was a kid. If you enjoy reading about World of Warcraft lore, you should check out this article about Deadmines!

If you instead like the undead like the Scourge or the Forsaken, what about reading if Zombies can really exist in real life?

I really hope that you, dear reader, enjoyed reading this article, and I will see you in the next one! 

2 thoughts on “Frostmourne Lore: The Lich King’s Power – World of Warcraft”

  1. Pingback: MMORPGs… but Played Offline | The Analytical Geek

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