World of Warcraft

WoW: The Phoenix from the Ashes: The Return of Kael'thas in Shadowlands

In World of Warcraft, when one speaks of the tragic story of a prince, a fateful name comes to mind for most players - Arthas Menethil. Given the great suffering that the treacherous heir of Lordaeron brought to all of Azeroth in the Third War, it is not surprising that another great prince, whose fate was no less dramatic and sorrowful, fades into the background.

Table of Contents1

. The Pride of Quel'Thalas2. The Third War3. The rise of the Sin'dorei4. The end of old alliances5. A new alliance6. The Return of the Prince to ShadowlandsKael'

thas Sunwalker was both a shining hero and sinister villain during his lifetime. A strong leader, the high elf prince influenced the history of Azeroth as much as the other great leaders of the Warcraft universe. Kael'thas' rise to prominence in The Burning Crusade ended in a devastating cataclysm that nearly dragged Azeroth into the abyss. His dark legend became a monument that reminds his people to this day that pride always comes before a fall. But if you thought the prince's death also meant the end of his bittersweet story in World of Warcraft (buy now €14.99 ), you're in for a surprise. Because Prince Kael'thas reappears as a protagonist in WoW Shadowlands. What role does he play in the battle for the Shadowlands? What intrigues is the lost prince of the blood elves in Revendreth involved in? And the most important question at the end: Is Kael'thas Sunwalker friendly or hostile to our heroes?

The Pride of Quel'Thalas

To understand Kael'thas' story, we have to go back a few years. Prince Kael'thas was the only son of Anasterian, the last king of the magical elven kingdom of Quel'Thalas. As Anasterian's heir, Kael'thas held the high office of archmage in Dalaran. He was a member of the Council of Six and advisor to Antonidas, the leader of the Kirin Tor. Kael'thas was the epitome of a high elf prince. A powerful mage, accomplished fighter, and diplomat, he radiated power and dignity in equal measure. He valued humans as allies, but had little regard for the other races of Azeroth. After the defeat of the Horde in the Second War, Kael'thas spoke openly that there was no place for Orc survivors in Azeroth. He considered the orc prisoners, who were imprisoned in camps in large numbers after the war, to be savage and inferior creatures. Kael'thas' perfect demeanor lent his words great power, and nearly all apprentice mages looked up to him with awe. Countless women's hearts flew to him in both Dalaran and Quel'Thalas. For a time, however, the prince's interest was focused on a young pupil of Antonidas. His crush on the daughter of the Lord Admiral of Kul Tiras, however, was one-sided. Although Lady Jaina Prachtmeer admired Kael'thas as a role model, the mage did not succumb to his charms. For her heart already belonged to another man - Prince Arthas of Lordaeron. This unrequited love story made waves in the Eastern Kingdoms. Nevertheless, no one could have guessed at the time that Arthas would not only rob Kael'thas of the woman of his dreams, but also destroy the life and future of the elven prince.

The Third War

The Sunwell was the magical heart of Quel'Thalas until its destruction in the Third War. Death Knight Arthas abused its power to resurrect the necromancer Kel'Thuzad. Prince Kael'thas had to seal the Well to save his people from certain death. Source: Buffed A short time later, Kael'thas in Dalaran received terrible news. A gigantic undead army crossed the borders of Quel'Thalas and marched straight toward the Sunwell, the sanctuary of the high elves. The prince immediately returned to his homeland. But he was too late! Prince Arthas, who betrayed Lordaeron and led the undead army of the Scourge, brought the high elf kingdom to its knees in no time. All that Kael'thas found upon his return to Quel'Thalas were gigantic piles of corpses, burning ruins, and a corrupted Sunwell that radiated only death magic instead of light magic. The few survivors of this catastrophe fled to Silvermoon, where, utterly terrified, they dwelled in droves in vaulted cellars and under the city's bridges. Many high elves viewed the return of their prince with suspicion. Some were so bitter that they even blamed Kael'thas for the misfortune. After all, in recent years the elven prince had paid more attention to the concerns of the people of Dalaran than to the needs of his own people. The fact that he came too late to protect his homeland from the Scourge weighed heavily on Kael'thas' conscience until his death. And though it rumbled fiercely in Silvermoon, he was not ready to abandon the remnants of his people.

The Rise of the Sin'dorei

Kael'thas buried his father Anasterian, who died defending Quel'Danas, and summarily assumed leadership himself. In doing so, he rejected his father's crown. The prince justified his decision by saying that Anasterian would be the last reigning king of Quel'Thalas forever. A return to normality was out of the question anyway; after all, the threat of the Scourge's dark power was far from being banished. To save his people from certain death, Kael'thas had to choose between eternal damnation or an uncertain future without the magic of the Sunwell. With a heavy heart, the prince chose the second path. In a night and fog action, he and a small group of mages, warriors and priests collapsed the Sunwell. The corrupted source of magic dried up, but the price for saving the high elf people was immeasurably high. Cut off from the light of the Sunwell, the magic addiction drove countless high elves mad. Others, however, fell into a strange lethargy that sooner or later drove them to their deaths as well. To boost the morale of the survivors, Kael'thas gave an encouraging speech in Silvermoon, and he gave his people a new name in memory of the many victims - Sin'dorei, which means "Children of Blood" in Thalassian.


inhabitants of Quel'Thalas were henceforth referred to everywhere as Blood Elves.

The End of Old Alliances

Warcraft 3: Grand Marshal Garithos hated the elves so much that he constantly sent Kael'thas and the blood elves on suicide missions. Source: Blizzard No one knows whether or not Kael'thas was aware of the irony of his thinking about the orcs' weakness at the time. After all, his people were in comparable trouble to the orcs after the lost Second War. What's more, a few years after the Third War, the blood elves were even forced to ask Thrall, one of the orcs in question, for official induction into the Horde. But before that could happen, Kael'thas had to learn some cruel lessons,

one of which was taught to him by a human named Othmar Garithos. There is little solid information about the Grand Marshal of the Alliance, who gave himself this imposing title after the fall of Lordaeron. He was the son of a minor baron who ruled over a small village in the borderlands between Lordaeron and the Elven Kingdom. The orcs ravaged his home and killed his family during the Second War, a cruel crime for which the young Garithos blamed the high elves. Therefore, Garithos saw the new power structure in the Eastern Kingdoms after the Third War as an opportunity to take revenge on the hated elves.

Although Kael'thas was aware of this, the blood elves had no choice but to ally with Garithos


The war against the Scourge cut Quel'Thalas off from the rest of the human kingdoms. While the prince was willing to renew the alliance with the humans, Garithos distrusted the blood elves. The Grand Marshal sent Kael'thas and his mages on dangerous missions on purpose. Secretly, he hoped that the blood elves would fail or, at best, die. His evil wish almost came true, too, had Lady Vashj and the naga not rushed to the prince's aid on one of these kamikaze missions. But instead of admitting his cruelty, Garithos used the Naga incident as an excuse to accuse Kael'thas and his followers of treason. He had the Sin'dorei arrested and thrown into the dungeon of Dalaran. There the prince and his blood mages were to languish until the death sentence was carried out.
Eredarlord Kil'jaeden makes contact with Kael'thas through Illidan and Lady Vashj, and later forces him to serve the Burning Legion. Source: Blizzard

A new alliance

Kael'thas chose the phoenix as his heraldic animal because the mystical bird symbolizes rebirth. He wanted his people to be reborn like a phoenix from the ashes. Source: buffed Kael'thas succumbed to his hunger for power at the end of TBC and ended up as a slave to the Burning Legion. Source: Buffed Garithos' hatred and open racism eventually destroyed the fragile alliance between humans and Sin'dorei. More than that, Kael'thas even lost his faith in the strength of the alliance after these events. Strictly speaking, it was Garithos, not Arthas, who dealt the death blow to the original alliance. The fact that the Grand Marshal was merely a puppet for the terror lords of the Burning Legion did not matter much. Garithos' words and actions reflected poorly on the last humans of Lordaeron, who, like the elves themselves, were struggling to survive at the time. In Kael'thas' eyes, it was every man for himself from then on. So it was no great surprise that the elf prince accepted Vashj's offer, hoping that the new alliance with Illidan and the Naga would save his people from the brink of extinction. He and many other blood elves then followed Stormrage to Outland. A few months later, Rommath, one of Kael'thas' closest confidants, returned to Quel'Thalas. He was not alone, but brought a mysterious prisoner to Silvermoon. A naaru named M'uru was to be a gift from the prince to help the Sin'dorei overcome their magic addiction, even without the Sunwell, and reclaim their homeland. The rest is history. In the Fortress of Storms, where he found the naaru, the prince lost control of the powers he was trying to master. His tragic story finally

ended on

the Isle of Quel'Danas, where he served Kil'jaeden and the Burning Legion as a slave.

The Return of the Prince in Shadowlands

Those who remember the buck-wild battle against Kael'thas and his minions in the Fortress of Storms or on the Terrace of Magisters will surely revile the blood elf prince as a villain. At the same time, we must not forget that the Sin'dorei owe their salvation to Kael'thas. The prince could not have known that his prisoner, the naaru M'uru, would cleanse the Sunwell, but it was his decisions that rekindled the blood elves' hopes for a glorious future. Is that why Kael'thas will get a second chance in Shadowlands? According to Blizzard, we can expect a similar "Redemption Story" to Illidan Stormrage in WoW: Legion in the next expansion with Kael'thas' return. We currently only know this much, that the prince's soul will have to serve its time in Revendreth as punishment for its numerous sins. But Kael'thas seems to be involved in an intrigue in the Shadowlands that threatens the natural order throughout the realm of the dead. And although he appears as a boss adversary in Castle Nathria, Shadowlands' first raid, the former prince appears not as a villain but as an ally whom our heroes must help. Dataminers have even discovered the first sound files of Kael'thas. His words sound very bitter and during the Venthyr campaign the prince shows honest remorse for his past deeds in Azeroth and Outland. On the other hand, he titles himself as Sun King, aka Sun King. This is strange, after all, he has never held the title of King. According to Kael'thas, his father Anasterian Sunwalker was the last Sun King of Quel'thalas.

Recommended Editorial ContentAtthis point you will find external content from [PLATTFORM]. To protect your personal data, external content will not be shown until you confirm this by clicking "Load all external content": Load all external content I agree to external content being displayed to me. This means that personal data is transmitted to third-party platforms. More about this in our privacy policy. External contents Read more in our privacy policy.

What torment is this?
I serve the Lich King? No! That cannot be! Trouble me no longer!
Gold. Why would I need gold?
Very well. Is that all?
Remember the Sunwell.
Do not presume to judge me.
I will contemplate my... transgressions.
Until you need me, yet again.
All I did was for the Sin'dorei.
You address the Sun King.
Is it a sin to fight for survival?
My power is mine to wield.
If you have something to say, then say it!
I can learn to be humble, but never meek.
And what would you ask of me?
I suppose I have time to listen.
The Ven'thyr can torment me quite well without your help.
I thought my deal with Kil'Jaeden would save the Sin'dorei. But it just got worse all the time!
As you can see, Magister's Terrace was merely a setback.
True arrogance is wasting time pestering a bound soul when the Shadowlands are in peril!

We don't want to spoil too much at this point. This much can be said: Kael'thas has a score to settle with an old rival, who is also staying in the Shadowlands. Who could this opponent be? Is it Arthas? Or Garithos? Will we meet Kil'jaeden? Or are we in for a showdown with Dark'Khan Drathir? That high elf who allied himself with Arthas and delivered his people to the Scourge. The fact is, Kael'tha's Sunwalker had many enemies even in his lifetime. That's why it's so hard to figure out who exactly he's targeting in Shadowlands. Who knows, maybe the prince is targeting all of his rivals at once, in which case his story would actually span several patches, just like Illidan's story. We are curious!

Support buffed - it only takes a minute. Thank you!

All readers get free daily news, articles, guides, videos, and podcasts on World of Warcraft, Pokémon Go, and other favorite games from us. Up until now, we've funded this site through advertising and kept it as free of paid articles as possible, but since COVID-19, that's become increasingly difficult. Many companies are cutting or eliminating their advertising budgets for 2020. Budgets that we unfortunately have to rely on if we want to continue offering buffed free of charge in the future in the form we're used to.

That's why we're turning to you now. You can support us as buffed supporters so that we can continue to offer our content free of charge in the usual form without introducing a paywall or publishing misleading news. Every contribution, big or small, is valuable. Support buffed - it only takes a minute.

Support now

We thank you in advance

. Also read these interesting stories 0

WoW TBC Classic: SSC and/or TK? Warcraftlogs Poll on Phase 2 Raids

On Warcraftlogs, you can currently have your say on exactly how the World First race in TBC Classic Phase 2 should be rated. 1

WoW: No content drought after all? Hints of patch 9.1.5 discovered

Is WoW facing a content drought in the coming months? The discovery of some dataminers gives hope for patch 9.1.5. 1

Blizzard loses game director and lead designer for Diablo 4

The Diablo 4 team loses its game director and lead designer in one fell swoop. 05:55
WoW Shadowlands: First look at Torghast - Video World of Warcraft from €14.99 to the home page to the gallery The links marked with * are affiliate links. Affiliate links are not ads, as we are independent in our research and selection of featured products. For product sales we receive a small commission, which we use to partially finance the free content of the website. 0