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 Uther the Lightbringer.
Let me know in the comments about any errors or inconsistencies you may find. Feedback is greatly appreciated. Enjoy!
Order of the Silver Hand (Warcraft 2 Era)
When he was young, Uther Pendragon worked as a cleric in the Church under the guidance of the Bishop Alonsus Faol. He had a strong connection to the Holy Light from an early age, a talent that he maintained to the day of his death. During the events of the First War, Uther decided to take up arms and defend the Alliance kingdom from the Orc invasion. Before the war was over, the young man rose to the rank of the Knight. Alonsus Faol was also promoted to Archbishop, continuing to serve as Uther’s spiritual mentor after the war.
When Stormwind fell to the Orcish Horde, the Archbishop Faol realized that faith alone is not enough to combat the Horde. He asked King Terenas, Arthas’ father, for permission to make a new elite squad of fighters, that were loyal to the Church. Terenas agreed and Faol proceeded to train four of his top clerics (Uther Lightbringer, Saidan Dathroan, Tirion Fordring, Turalyon) in the art of war. Thus, he created four warriors with both the gift of Light and martial prowess. The first Paladins were born. Gavinrad the Dire was the fifth Paladin to the roster, and he was recommended from the leader of the allied forces, Anduin Lothar.
The first four Paladins (Uther the Lightbringer, Tirion Fordring, Saidan Dathroan and Turalyon)
Due to his truly impressive capabilities in both combat and healing, Uther became the first Paladin and leader of the Knights of the Silver Hand at Alonsus Chapel in Stratholme. During this time, he also maintained a close relationship with Prince Arthas. Before the fall of Stormwind and the arrival of Prince Varian, the Lightbringer served as both a training partner and a spiritual father to King’s Terenas boy. However, several years later, this would prove a fatal mistake.
The Second War (Warcraft 2 Era)
During the Second War, Uther aided in the victory of the Alliance over the Horde, that was weakened by Gul’dan’s betrayal. Uther was sent in Darrowmere Lake on a mission to aid those suffering from the war where he was ambushed by Alterac pirates. The paladin defeated the pirates and uncovered a conspiracy which would reveal that the king of Alterac, Perenolde, had betrayed the Alliance. Uther also participated in the battle for Blackrock Spire where he received his nickname “Lightbringer” by Turalyon.
The Blackrock Mountain where the last battle of the Second War took place
Years of Peace (Warcraft 3 Era)
When the Second War ended, the Knights of the Silver Hand returned to Stormwind City to help with the reconstruction of the town. There, they created a big church, named the Cathedral of Light, that helped the sick, injured and older people. Uther continued to serve the Alliance as a Paladin by settling civil disputes and healing the wounded.
The Cathedral of Light in Stormwind
Uther soon started to tutor King Terenas’s son again in the way of the Holy Light and in fighting. He also gave Arthas his blessing when the young Prince was inducted to the Silver Hand. When Thrall began to gather the Orc clans and he destroyed several of the Orc internment camps, Uther was dispatched to take care of the young Warchief. However, Thrall was able to evade the Paladin’s hunt for a long time.
Arthas (Warcraft 3 Era)
Uther abandoned the hunt for Thrall and was not brought into action again until he was unexpectedly met by Jaina one day. Jaina informed the Paladin about an attack to Artha’s forces from the Scourge in Hearthglen. Uther and the Knights of the Silver Hand immediately rushed to the defense of the town. It was when Arthas realised that the plague was not a mass murder weapon, but rather the means of turning innocent townsfolk into undead creatures. Artha’s forces barely held out until Uther and his knights arrived saving the day. The next day, Uther gathered the remaining troops and began the march to Stratholme.
The defense of Hearthglen by Arthas until Uther’s arrival
Culling of Stratholme (Warcraft 3 Era)
When they arrived at Stratholme, Arthas found out that the grain has already been distributed and that the people of the town will soon become undead. In one of the most important Warcraft moments, he ordered Uther and his knights to purge the entire city, killing everyone. Uther strongly disagreed, asking the young prince if he had lost his mind and stating that he would not follow such an order even if Arthas were his king.
Arthas proceeded to relieve Uther of his command and suspended his paladins from service. Half of the forces were against this butchery and left with Uther, including Jaina. The rest of the soldiers followed the prince into the slaughtering of the infected citizens. When they slayed every single citizen in Stratholme, Arthas confronted Mal’Ganis only for the demon to escape via a portal and teleport to Northrend, the northest region in Azeroth and a place of eternal winter.
Northrend (Warcraft 3 Era)
Arthas and his remaining forces pursued Mal’Ganis into the cold north. When they arrived in Northrend, they found out that Muradin was already there in the search of the famous runeblade Frostmourne. The two heroes merged their groups and started the quest for Frostmourne. Uther advised King Terenas to call his son back immediately. Terenas agreed and sent an emissary to Northrend.
When the messenger from Lordaeron arrived with strict orders from King Terenas for Arthas and his men to return back immediately, the prince defied his father’s order and with the help of some local mercenaries he secretly burned his ships before his men got to them. With no way of returning back, Arthas informed his men that the only way they were leaving Northrend was through victory over Mal’Ganis.
King’s Terenas emissary orders Arthas to retreat
Arthas finally did return some weeks later, though he was somehow different. Nevertheless, ‘s capital Lordaeron’s capital threw a festival to celebrate their returning hero. The festivity turned to horror as Arthas proceeded into the throne room and impaled his father on the runeblade Frostmourne. During this time, Uther was in Caer Darrow where the island was under attack from the Scourge.
Uther vs Arthas (Warcraft 3 Era)
Arthas father was ceremonially cremated and ensconced within a magical urn. Uther personally volunteered to guard the urn in Andorhal. However, Arthas and his undead servants intercepted the Paladin’s party in an attempt to steal the urn for necromantic purposes. Uther felt disgusted about the young Prince’s actions and challenged the Death Knight to a duel. In this epic battle, the Paladin managed to gain the upper hand by disarming Arthas from Frostmourne and knocking him down.
The duel between Arthas and Uther
His Light’s aura grew blindingly bright as he prepared the killing blow, when suddenly the sword seemed to find its own way back into Arthas’ hands and he was granted more power by the Lich King. Arthas drove the runeblade deep into Uther’s chest, who fell to his knees. Uther, covered in blood from his wounds, told Arthas he hoped there was a special place in hell waiting for him. Arthas replied that they may never know because he intended to live forever, then delivered the killing blow. Uther had such a strong connection with the Holy Light that Arthas did not manage to resurrect him as an undead.
Halls of Reflection (Wrath of the Lich King Expansion)
Uther returned as a ghost in the Halls of Reflection. The Paladin’s spirit is summoned from Frostmourne, warning players that someone must take the place of the Lich King if Arthas is destroyed and that the Lich King can only be destroyed at the place he was created (meaning the Frozen Throne). However, when Arthas arrived, Uther’s soul is sucked back into the cursed blade. Uther will probably return in Shadowlands, but we can’t know for sure just yet.
Uther’s spirit in the Halls of Reflection, warning the adventurers about the Lich King’s powers
I plan on making one big Warcraft lore post per week and maybe another article mid-week (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!
If you want, you can also check my other Warcraft Lore articles.