The Warcraft Lore series is a collection of articles delving deep into the history of many important Warcraft figures and events. Since World of Warcraft’s story is ongoing in the famous MMORPG and in some new novel publications, I will try to constantly update these articles. My main sources are Warcraft books and comics, Warcraft 1 / 2 /3, World of Warcraft, WoWWiki, WoWpedia, YouTube and some theory-crafting sites. The following article will inform you about the history of Ragnaros the Firelord.
In the end of the article you can find a mini Glossary that may prove helpful if you are new to Warcraft lore, some Bonus Content that I managed to find about “Ragny” and a small Poll about a future article (If you want another article of course xD) . Let me know in the comments about any errors or inconsistencies you may find. Feedback is greatly appreciated. Enjoy!
BY FIRE, BE PURGED
Primordial Azeroth (Pre-Warcraft Era)
During Azeroth’s early days, the world was ruled by the elementals (spirits with physical form based on a certain element). The main elemental factions was Water led by Neptulon the Tidehunter, Earth led by Therazane the Stone Mother, Air led by Al’akir the Windlord and Fire led by Ragnaros the Firelord. There is also a fifth element (Spirit) but the lore is not very clear and it’s irrelevant to Ragnaros. We will discuss about it in a later article. These four leaders were called Elemental Lords. Their factions constantly fought with each other, trapped in an endless Elemental War. A small note, Ragnaros’ hammer is called Sulfuras and it’s an obtainable legendary within World of Warcraft.
Ragnaros the Firelord, Al’Akir the Windlord and Neptulon the Tidehunter
Old Gods Arrival (Pre-Warcraft Era)
When the Old Gods invaded Azeroth, the Elemental Lords decided for the first time in their life to work together, uniting their armies against the Black Empire. However the Old Gods with the help of the Aqir defeated the Elementals and enslaved them. Years later, when the Titanforged arrived to destroy the Black Empire, the Old Gods used the Elemental Lords against the Titan’s creations. Ragnaros and his fiery nation fought Odyn and Tyr for days but, ultimately, he lost this battle as well. When the Titans defeated the Elemental Lords they decided to banish them to a parallel universe called the Elemental Plane.
Al’akir was banished in Skywall, Therazane in Deepholme, Neptulon in the Abyssal Maw and Ragnaros in Firelands, later added to the popular MMORPG as a Raid in Cataclysm. In this universe, the elementals continued their civil war, now called the Elemental Sundering. During this war, Ragnaros and his two lieutenants, Garr and Baron Geddon, confronted Al’akir’s son, Thundernaan. The Prince of Air fought bravely but he was no match for the Firelord. Ragnaros literally absorbed him and he stored the remains of his spirit into two Bindings that he gifted to his trusted lieutenants. Millennias later, these Bindings would form one of the most iconic legendaries in the game, Thunderfury Blessed Blade of the Windseeker.
The Titans banish the four Elemental Lords in the Elemental Plane
War of the Three Hammers (Pre-Warcraft Era)
Ragnaros remained banished for many years, until a desperate dwarf decided to summon him. The War of the Three Hammers was a war between the biggest dwarf clans (Bronzebeards, Wildhammers and Dark Irons) for the control of Ironforge. Bronzebeards emerged victorious but the Dark Iron dwarves weren’t happy with that. Therefore, they decided to make a suicide attack to the Bronzebeards and Wildhammers at the same time. However, things did not go the way they hoped it would. They were defeated in both fronts and the other clans united and marched against them. In a desperate attempt to defend their city, Thane Thaurissan leader of the Dark Iron, called upon a divine power.
Ragnaros entered the world of Azeroth once again in an apocalyptic way, shattering the Redridge Mountains and creating the volcano later known as The Blackrock Mountain. He immediately killed Thaurissan & his advisors (These are The Seven bossfight-event from World of Warcraft’s 5-man dungeon Blackrock Mountain) and he enslaved the rest of the Dark Iron Dwarves. After witnessing the “cataclysm” caused by Ragnaros, the Bronzebeard-Wildhammer Alliance halted the siege and returned home. Ragnaros also created a Firelands-like domain inside the mountain and named it Molten Core. He then proceeded to sleep in order to recover his power after giving Majordomo Executus the power to awaken him.
Thane Thaurissan summons Ragnaros during the War of the Three Hammers
The Molten Core (Vanilla)
Some months after the release of World of Warcraft, adventurers found a way to enter the Molten Core. After killing many of Ragnaros’ lieutenants, Garr and Baron Gedon included, they managed to reach Majordomo Executus, whom immediately surrendered. The adventurers spared his life in exchange for leading them to the Firelord. Majordomo kept his promise, guided the players to the center of the Molten Core and proceeded to summon his master. Ragnaros awake from his slumber, instantly killing the Majordomo for waking him up “too soon” and for letting a group of people invade his sanctum. After that, for a third time in his life, he was defeated by the adventurers and was banished back into the Firelands.
Majordomo Executus awakens Ragnaros
The Hour of Twilight (Cataclysm Expansion)
After his defeat in Molten Core, Ragnaros was banished back to Sulfuron Keep, his main base of operations in Firelands. When Deathwing arrived, shattering the world, the Firelord seized the opportunity, allied his fiery army with Neltharion and launched a full scale assault on Mount Hyjal in an attempt to burn the World Tree. In the same time, a new Order was founded by the World’s shamans and druids called the Guardians of Hyjal. With the help of the demigod Cenarius, his student Malfurion Stormrage and the most powerful Tauren druid, Hamuul Runetotem, they managed to defend the World Tree and push Ragnaros back into the Firelands.
Some weeks later, Thrall abandoned the mantle of the Warchief when he noticed that elementals suddenly stopped communicating with him. Every shaman in the Warcraft Universe is connected to the Elemental Plane and has the ability to communicate with the elements. Thrall was one of the strongest shamans on Azeroth and still the elementals remained silent. He decided to traveled to the Maelstorm, along his wife Aggra, in order to investigate this anomaly further.
Thrall meets Ragnaros the Firelord
Go’el worked day and night until he finally managed to get an answer to his elemental call. However, the elemental that answered was Ragnaros the Firelord, giving the shaman a vision of a destroyed Azeroth with flames engulfing both the World Tree and Orgrimmar. He, also, warned Thrall that the Hour of Twilight draws near. Stunned, Thrall fell to the ground and the cackling Firelord dissipated After the vision incident, the armies of Azeroth prepared to battle the Firelord once again, but this time, the fight would be in his domain.
After defeating several of his lieutenants, the group of adventurers managed to reach the Sulfuron Keep. When Ragnaros realized that he is losing the fight, he attempted to withdraw from the battle. However, Cenarius, Malfurion and Hamuul intervened, rooting the Firelord by solidifying the lava around him. With nowhere to run, Ragnaros bursted out of his lava pit. The forces of Azeroth with the help of the Guardians of Hyjal managed to overpower the Elemental Lord, killing him inside the Firelands. Due to Ragnaros dying in his plane, this defeat led to his permanent death. After many millenias, the Firelord has fallen.
Ragnaros the Firelord giving his final battle inside the Firelands
Too Soon (Battle for Azeroth Expansion)
Seven years later, a new group of Dark Iron fanatics appeared in the Firelands, calling themselves the Cult of Ragnaros. This organization attempted to resurrect the fallen Firelord but was ultimately stopped by the adventurers and Anvil-Thane Thurgaden, who had just arrived to Firelands to rebuild the Black Anvil. The cult’s leader, High Justice Grimstone, managed to escape and he is alive to this day. Despite the cult’s goals in resurrecting their God, it is unknown if Ragnaros can be revived.
Malfurion Stormrage with his mentor, demigod Cenarius, and Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem
- Ragnaros is a playable hero in Blizzard’s MOBA Heroes of the Storm.
- Ragnaros is also a card in Blizzard’s card game, Hearthstone. (A Lightlord counterpart card exists as well, healing instead of dealing damage)
- During the Midsummer Fire Festival, a seasonal event in WoW, high-level players can prevent another Elemental War. The Earthen Ring send adventurers across the globe on a quest to save the world from an Elemental War. The Twilight’s Hammer plans to summon the Frost Lord into the world so that he may face Ragnaros bringing an Elemental War to the world once again. Players are then sent to Slave Pens to face Ahune and defeat him before he may gain full strength and begin his attack on the Firelord.
- If you buy the 15 years Anniversary Collector’s Edition of World of Warcraft, it contains a 33cm tall statue of Ragnaros the Lightlord.
- Ragnaros must be very old according to Majordomo Executus, claiming that “He who was ancient when the world was young”
- An extinguished Epic version of Sulfuras was added to the game during the Cataclysm expansion.
- While so powerful, Ragnaros lost a minimum of four times in his entire “fiery” career.
- At some point after Ragnaros and his minions settled into the Molten Core, the lava elemental Lord Roccor ended up angering the Firelord and was expelled from the core and forced to guard Blackrock Depths in isolation. Little did Ragnaros know that this was Roccor’s plan all along; loathing the scheming and backstabbing of his fellow fire elementals, the mighty being came up with the risky gambit just to avoid serving alongside them. You can find Roccor in World of Warcraft’s 5-man instance, Blackrock Depths.
- Ragnaros has no known relatives.
- Ragnaros was the second Elemental Lord to permanently die. The first one was Al’Akir.
Aqir – Servants of the Old Gods, that during the Troll Wars years later, were split into three sub-races. The Nerubians of Azjol Nerub, the Qiraji of Ahn’Qiraj and the mantid of Manti’vess.
Azeroth – The planet. Azeroth is split into four great continents. Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms, Northrend and Pandaria.
Adventurers – The players of World of Warcraft. You. Me. We.
Blackrock Mountain – A volcano in Burning Steppes / Searing Gorge (Eastern Kingdoms).
Deathwing / Neltharion – Deathwing the Destroyer, formerly known as the Earth-Warder, was one of the five Dragon Aspects and leader of the black dragonflight.
Elemental Plane – Elementals don’t die like human beings. When they die in Azeroth, their physical form is destroyed and they are banished into the Elemental Plane. In order for them to die permanently, they need to die inside the Plane.
Go’el – Thrall’s original name. Thrall means slave in the human tongue, a name Go’el decided to keep so he can always remember his roots.
Ironforge – The capital city of the dwarves located in Eastern Kingdoms. It is the ancestral home of the Bronzebeard dwarves. Nowadays, the Council of Three Hammers rules the kingdom of Khaz Modan from the throne room within the city. The Great Forge area gave the city its name.
Maelstorm – The center of Azeroth. More info about it in a future article.
Majordomo Executus – Second in command in Ragnaros’ army. When he died, Fandral Staghelm took his place, changing his name to Majordomo Staghelm.
Mount Hyjal – A region in Kalimdor, where the World Tree nourishes.
Origrimmar – Capital of the Horde.
Redridge Mountains – A region in Eastern Kingdoms.
Titanforged – Titan’s creations that protected Azeroth from the Old Gods corruption. You can find many of them in Ulduar (Freya, Hodir, Thorim, Mimiron, Loken, Odyn, Tyr, Raden, Archaedas etc).
Titans – The Gods that created the world (more information about them in another article).
Warchief – The leader of the Horde.
World Tree – World Trees are ancient, massive trees connected to the Emerald Dream, and which serve as home to the night elves. The first one, Nordrassil, was created by the Dragon Aspects to seal the second Well of Eternity. The elves would later use a branch from Nordrassil to grow Andrassil, but they were forced to fell it when the Old God Yogg-Saron tried to corrupt it, renaming it Vordrassil.
What do you want to see in a future article?
I want all these Warcraft lore articles to be “interactive” with the reader, so I will mention some hot Warcraft lore topics below. If you aren’t bored, you can leave a comment (either in our Facebook page or in the Reddit post) with the topic that you would like to see in a future article. Of course, you can write your own suggestions as well.
A) The Kingdom of Arathor (Ancient Human History)
B) Some orcish Warlord (Grommash, Doomhammer, Blackhand etc)
C) The Troll Wars (Aqir vs Trolls)
D) Some Warcraft 1 / 2 / 3 figure (Thrall, Jaina, Muradin, Cairne, post-Arthas etc)
E) Medivh the Last Guardian
F) Titan Lore (Creation of Azeroth, Primordial Era etc. Really old stuff)
Z) Old Gods (You…will…die…)
I plan on making one Warcraft lore post / week and hopefully some videos in the future. If you enjoyed the article and want to support me, feel free to throw a like on my site’s Facebook Page and a follow on Reddit. Thanks for reading!