WoW Arthas Menethil Story Review

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Soon heroes will be able to travel to the cold shores of Northrend and meet the fearsome Lich King once again. But how did the do-good young Prince turn from a noble paladin into a terrible monster? What did he go through and how did the story of Arthas Menethil start in WoW?

Young Paladin

A blond boy named Arthas was born in Lordaeron, kingdom of men, ruled by his father Terenas Menethil II. His childhood was passing almost carefree until orcs invaded Azeroth and people of Stormwind fled north. That’s when he met Llein Wrynn’s son, Varian, who he became a close friend with. His other childhood friend was beautiful mage Jaina Proudmoore, who’s been staying in Lordaeron often. As the years passed, the prince was taught close combat disciplines by Muradin Bronzebeard, brother to king of the dwarves – Magni, and the Light magic by Uther the Lightbringer, one of the original paladins. At the age of 19 he swore allegiance to the Knights of the Silver Hand. The way of the young paladin has began.

The nature and appearance of Arthas is quite simple to describe: he is a fiery and confident man who is incredibly loyal to his homeland. He is willing to defend it at all costs. His blond hair and regal facial features only emphasize his belonging to the proud Menethil family. It should come as no surprise that he was the most coveted guy of Lordaeron in those days.

After the ceremony where Arthas was declared a paladin, he and Jaina had their first romantic relationship, but this was soon severed as it prevented the sorceress from learning the mysteries of arcane in Dalaran, while the prince had military and strategic meetings to attend to.

Plague in Lordaeron

When the news of a mysterious plague from the north reached the Kingdom, Arthas and Uther set out to defend human lands. Along the way they encountered orcs, which they managed to eliminate, yet hot-headed Arthas was ready to accuse them of spreading the plague. Then came the Jaina, sent from Dalaran as reinforcements bearing news far more sinister, than remnants of Orc invaders. In the Brill village, the paladins and enchantress met Kel’Thuzad, a Kirin Tor mage turned necromancer, whose pursuit led the group to Andoral. There heroes managed to learn that almost all the grain in Lordaeron is infected with a plague which kills people and makes them rise from the dead, and that a huge army of undead is moving towards the Kingdom. The heroes joined forces and were able to kill Kel’Thuzad, with Arthas making the killing blow.

This City Must be Purged

The path led heroes to the city of Stratholme. With a quick look around Arthas made his mind on the idea that they’re too late. Every single resident of once thriving city was infected. Or so Arthas thought.

«This city must be purged» – said Arthas, with a hard tone in his voice, and a burden on his heart.

He walked to a peasant that was admiring his Prince mere moments ago, and crushed his head with a single strike of Light’s Vengeance – a holy weapon of a paladin. Jaina and Uther tried to dissuade him, but all attempts proved futile — the prince dismissed the teacher and turned his back on his beloved.

The young paladin took a squad of knights with him and set out to mercilessly kill all civilians. In the process Arthas crossed paths with a demon, a Dreadlord named Mal’Ganis. Arthas immediately figured out that he was behind the infection of Stratholme, and tried striking him down, yet his attacks were of no effect to the Nathrezim. In an instant Mal’Ganis knew that he could manipulate the Prince, and in a taunt challenged him to a duel to the death in the cold heart of Northrend.

With his pride taken hits, Arthas saw the only way ahead of him.

«Father… forgive me for what I have to do…»

Arrival at Northrend

After a while Arthas managed to gather a small army and arrived at Northrend. There he met his old friend Muradin, who had disappeared in search of an ancient artifact, capable of killing a Nathezim called Frostmourne. At the same time the prince received letter from his father, who asked him to return home. This only infuriated the willful paladin and it was decided to burn all ships, so no one could leave until Arthas help a decapitated head of the demon in his hands by the horns. He wouldn’t risk doing it personally, so he hired local mercenaries. He returned to the docks ahead of his men and carried out his plan. When Lordaeron forces returned to base camp, he lied that they had been betrayed by the mercs and had them killed. Muradin, however, saw right through Arthas’ lies. It scared him to see a boy he helped raise become this ruthless liar and murderer who wouldn’t stop at anything to carry out his plans.

Joining forces, the dwarves and humans set out for the ice caves, where they managed to find the cursed runeblade Frostmourne. Old dwarf warned Arthas that the sword-weilder must sacrifice their soul in order to use it, but the Prince was undeterred — he retrieved the sword from its ice prison. One of the ice shards hit Muradin, but Arthas felt no compassion and just left leaving Muradin to die.

Arthas returned to his camp where met Mal’Ganis. A dialogue with Nathrezim ensued — the prince learned that the voices that he started hearing in his head right after taking the Frostmourne belongs to the Lich King. The fight ensued and Arthas finally had his revenge, putting an end to the Dreadlord.

Death of Terenas Menethil II

It has been months since Arthas managed to free the sword. His mind was clouded and there was nothing left of the prince’s personality except his darkest traits. Finally, Arthas returned home. He was greeted in the kingdom as a hero who had managed to stop the undeath in the north, but people had no idea that there was no trace of the light left in Prince’s soul. Upon entering the throne room, he knelt before his father, as a final gratitude, but a moment later took a sword and “succeeded Terenas Menethil II as a king with a strike to heart.

Kel’Thuzad, Dalaran and Burning Legion

The prince knew that Kel’Thuzad had all the answers, but the necromancer was dead, and it took a tremendous amount of energy to bring him back to life. He gathered all strength and stormed Quel’thalas, where he inflicted a crushing defeat on the elves. There he also met Sylvanas Windrunner, whose soul had been consumed by Frostmourne. Without deliberation, the Death Knight returned the elfess in the form of a Banshee, bending her to his will. Kel’Thuzad was resurrected with the power of Sunwell and Arthas learned about the Burning Legion and that the Lich King was created by Kil’Jaeden, an ancient Eredar. In Shadowlands, players learn that the true creator of Frostmourne is Zovaal.

Death Knight continued his march through the Eastern Kingdoms. With an army of dead he reached Dalaran, where he obtained the magic book that allows to summon the Burning Legion into Azeroth. Kel’Tuzad succeeded in summoning the ancient demon Archimonde, who stated that the Lich King was no longer needed by the Legion and handed over command of the Scourge to Tychondrius. A few months passed and the prince appeared in Kalimdor, where he met with Illidan Stormrage. There he gave the elf information about how to destroy Tychondrius, and disappeared.

It was not easy for the prince to return to Lordheron — Silvana managed to break free from the Lich King’s influence and set up an ambush. The elfess managed to hit Arthas with a paralyzing arrow, but in the moment of vengeance Kel’Thuzad intervened and she had to retreat.

Arthas vs Illidan Stormrage

For a long time, Arthas heard Ner’zhul’s voice in his head, calling him to return to the northern lands of Northrend. He arrived on the north continent and found a new ally — It was an ancient ally to the scourge named Anub’arak. It informed the death knight that Illidan Stormrage was closing on the Icecrown Citadel. Taking advantage of the underground ways of the ancient kingdom of Azjol-Nerub, the death knight was able to reach the Ice Throne faster.

The meeting with Illidan was unexpected — he was no longer an elf, but the instrument of the Legion’s vengeance, a half-demon assassin with tremendous power. A fierce battle began, from which the death knight emerged victorious, and Illidan was banished to Outland.

Helm of Domination

Ner’Zhul continued to lure the prince to the top of the Ice Crown, where the necromancer’s prison was located. He broke the eternal ice and put on the Helm of Domination, joining his souls with Ner’Zhul. And that’s when the most fearsome and powerful Lich King was born.

«Now, we are one!»

Lich King in WoW

After merging with Ner’Zhul, he fell into a long sleep. The Lich King had destroyed whatever humanity remained from the light prince and was ready to enslave all of Azeroth. He lured the warriors of Azeroth into Northrend, where he planned to inflict a crushing defeat on them, but the greatest heroes fought back the evil atop the Icecrown Citadel. Before he died he managed to see the ghost of Terenas, who said: «No king rules forever my son» This phrase has been iconic in World of Warcraft ever since.

An interesting fact is that alchemists can create a unique elixir called Gift of Arthas, which increases the resistance to shadow by 10 and curses enemies.

Arthas Story in Shadowlands

In Shadowlands expansion the developers decided to remember the fallen prince again. In the video about Uther’s life in the afterworld among the Kyrian, heroes can see what happened to Arthas in Shadowlands. The dying phrase «I see only darkness before me» has a new meaning, because the hero saw the Kyrian and the crucible of the Maw descending to him. It was there Uther dropped the soul of his former apprentice and condemned him to eternal torment.

With the release of the Sepulcher of the First Ones raid, the heroes saw prince’s fading soul. When Kingsmourne was purified, the final wisp of Arthas’ soul escaped its prison and disappeared in the wind, finally putting this story to rest.

Wrath of the Lich King Classic is coming and now is the great time to remember iconic heroes of the Warcraft universe. If you are planning your journey to Northrend as quickly as possible, then the fastest leveling in WotLK guide will definitely help you.

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