Neutral 32
The Destroyer, The Black Scourge, The Death Aspect; formerly Neltharion the Black, The Earthwarder
Race(s) Black wyrm
?? Boss
Occupation Aspect of the black dragonflight, former guardian of Azeroth, enemy of non-draconic life
Status Eternal, Active
Relative(s) Sintharia (former prime consort), Nefarian, Onyxia, Sabellian, Neltharaku (children),
Alignment Chaotic evil[1]
The massive monstrosity before you rises up like a black, crag-covered mountain of scales and hide. The head is a spade-like terror spiked with cruel red eyes that shine with a frightening malevolence. Rivulets of lava and magma are visible beneath the great wyrm’s scorched scales.[2]

Deathwing, the Destroyer,[3] originally Neltharion, the Earth-Warder, is one of five Dragon Aspects and leader of the black dragonflight. Thousands of years ago, Neltharion was empowered by the Titan Khaz'goroth with dominion over the earth and the deep places of Azeroth. However, driven mad by the Old Gods, he turned against the other Aspects during the War of the Ancients, capturing a portion of their power in the Demon Soul. Among both humans and dragons his name has become one whispered with a feeling of fear and contempt.

During the Second War, Deathwing adopted the form of Lord Daval Prestor, seeking to gain the vacant throne of Alterac and eventually destroy the Alliance of Lordaeron. During the events of the novel Day of the Dragon, the Demon Soul is destroyed, and Deathwing is defeated by the other Aspects.

After suffering the latest of various defeats, Deathwing retreated to the elemental plane Deepholm to recuperate. From Deepholm, Deathwing secretly observed his former mate, Sintharia, experiment with the creation of the Twilight Dragonflight in the abandoned Wildhammer stronghold of Grim Batol. Following her death and the events of the novel Night of the Dragon, Deathwing elected to continue his late consort's work with the Twilight Dragonflight.

Though long believed by both the mortal races of Azeroth and members of his own Flight to be dead, Deathwing currently resides in Deepholm where is regaining his strength and plotting a Cataclysmic return to Azeroth.

Deathwing will make his return as the main antagonist in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the third expansion.[4] This marks his formal debut in World of Warcraft's present time, as his only appearance in a Warcraft game (to date) since Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal has been a flashback in Ulduar.

Biography Edit

Early history Edit

Neltharion originally was the mighty black wyrm chosen by Khaz'goroth and given dominion over the earth and the deep places of the world. He was empowered by the titans as one of the five Dragon Aspects.

In peaceful times, Neltharion's wisdom and power were renowned, he was known as Neltharion the Earth-Warder, a great protector of the land. Then came the madness that destroyed Neltharion's mind, caused by some unknown crisis in the distant past, which changed him and his kind forever. The ultimate cause of his fall into madness, was the item of great power known as The Dragon Soul, later known as The Demon Soul. The inner-voices of the Old Gods convinced him that he could have power beyond his imagination if he served them. The voices made him paranoid of even his black dragonflight. When he succumbed, Neltharion ceased to exist, taking up a new name and a bitter purpose. He became Deathwing and his subjects were placed beneath the iron rule of a tyrant. Upon his irrevocable shift to evil, he turned against his destiny, and his mind unwound, causing suffering wherever he could.[2][5] Although originally bearing another name, he himself had long ago chosen Deathwing as his title, to better show his contempt and intentions for the lesser creatures around him.[6]

War of the Ancients Edit

Neltharion has control over the land and its fathoms, including lava. His main attack, and that of his dragonflight's, is to use his breath as a cannon of lava. He can live within volcanoes and high temperature areas. Neltharion wanted a world where only he and his dragonflight and some servants that yield to him could exist — a world where all the other dragonflights no longer existed and where Ysera and Alexstrasza would be his petty slaves for mating.

The Old Gods convinced Neltharion to create the Dragon Soul. With the help of goblins, Neltharion created a simple golden disc made of Neltharion's blood and forged in the goblin's cauldrons and anvils deep beneath the earth.

Empowered by Neltharion's magic, the simple golden disc was shielded magically so that the other Dragon Aspects couldn't see within the disc. There was an evil within the disc, some taint of the Old Gods. It is unknown as to what content of the Old Gods the disc had. Neltharion captured a demon of the Burning Legion during the War of the Ancients and placed the Dragon Soul on its forehead. The demon was consumed, leaving just his ashes and skull. Neltharion removed the disc from the remains of the demon's skull.

Back in the den of the Dragon Aspects, Neltharion convinced Malygos to help him with the other Dragon Aspects. All of them agreed to give a portion of their powers to the Dragon Soul, including all dragons of their dragonflights. Neltharion proposed that the Dragon Soul disc could be a weapon of great power to destroy the demons of the Burning Legion.

Neltharion, the Dragon Aspects and their dragonflights flew toward Zin-Azshari where the night elves held the demons at bay. The Ancients had not come. Seeing the sky full of dragons, the night elves thought they were now going to win the war. Heralded by the black dragon Neltharion, the dragons awaited his first attack. Neltharion grabbed the Dragon Soul and by channeling his destructive power through it destroyed most of the demons with one swing of radiant magic. The Dragon Aspects watched in horror as Neltharion also killed hundreds of night elves and other allies along with the demons.

Neltharion revealed the depths of his betrayal at last. He was the only one who did not give of his powers to the Dragon Soul. Now with the disc at his command he wanted all races and the demons to see his power and to bow to him. The Dragon Aspects attacked Neltharion in an attempt to take the Dragon Soul from him and to reason with him in hopes of determining the cause of his perfidy.

Malygos' Blue Dragonflight surrounded Neltharion, but with a swing of the Dragon Soul most of the blue dragons perished. The next swing of the Dragon Soul paralyzed all dragonflights and the Dragon Aspects in mid-air, rendering them unable to move or speak. Only Alexstrasza was allowed by Neltharion to speak when he wished.

The growing corruption in Neltharion's heart warped his body, as the angelic dragon began taking a more demonic appearance similar to how Sargeras changed to a more demonic form after his corruption. Neltharion's body cracked open, revealing his molten heart, and magma and fire flowed off his chest. His eyes became aflame in red, demonstrating the magnitude of his power and the depths of his evil. Thus was Deathwing the Destroyer born, and the Dragon Soul was renamed: the Demon Soul.

Rise of the Destroyer Edit


Deathwing struck out at the Dragon Aspects and their dragonflights, destroying them and scattering them far across the land. In desperation, the Aspects shielded themselves and hid to become undetected even by each other.

Neltharion's betrayal had struck a great blow to the Aspects, and their fear of being destroyed like the blue dragonflight kept them in seclusion. Deathwing returned to his lair beneath a mountain. His proximity to the Demon Soul was ripping his body apart, so the goblins forged an armor of adamantium to serve as a vessel to contain Deathwing's raging powers and keep them in check. Only the adamantium plates kept the power from destroying his body.

However, at BlizzCon 2009 it was said that his plates were made of iron.

The Old Gods had manipulated Deathwing into creating the Demon Soul, but their true intention was that the demons would inform their lord Sargeras of the great power of the weapon used against them. Sargeras would no doubt want the Demon Soul to power the gateway that would let him enter Azeroth.

By using the Demon Soul to amplify the gateway, the three Old Gods hoped to escape their prison beneath the planet. However, Malfurion Stormrage used the Emerald Dream to find Deathwing's lair and stole the Demon Soul from the black dragon. Malfurion could hear the voices of the Old Gods coming from within the Demon Soul, asking him to wield the power. He used the Demon Soul to escape by opening a path through the mountain.

The more Malfurion used the Demon Soul's power, the more tainted he became with the voices. Malfurion finally broke away from the corrupting thoughts, and put the Demon Soul away, lest he be tempted to use it.

Illidan and Varo'then captured Malfurion and took the Demon Soul. Varo'then, successor in command in replacement to Lord Xavius by order of Queen Azshara, held the Demon Soul on their way back to Zin-Azshari. During his travel, even Varo'then felt the whisperings of the Old Gods. Once at the palace, Varo'then gave the Demon Soul to Mannoroth the Destructor, the general of the Legion's armies. It was used to power up the portal that would allow Sargeras to enter Azeroth.

After the Burning Legion was defeated, the Dragon Aspects sealed the Demon Soul with their energies, and now Neltharion may never use the Demon Soul. The artifact was hidden in an undisclosed location by Malfurion at the request of the Dragon Aspects. No longer in possession of the artifact and now unable to use it, Neltharion vowed to destroy most life and to wreak havoc on the planet. With his powers over earth, Neltharion caused volcanoes to rise along with the destruction already caused by the Well of Eternity's implosion, sinking most of Kalimdor below the ocean.

Certain legends surrounding Deathwing claim that as the Earth-Warder, Deathwing shaped the land so the races would not go to war over land and resources. When he went mad, Deathwing lowered the mountains and allowed the races to intermingle. He ruined fertile land and destroyed other terrain so that the races would be forced to fight for food. Deathwing's efforts gave birth to an occupation that has remained with all races since then: war.[2][5]

War, again Edit


Ten thousand years later, after the Second War, Deathwing ended up in a fight with some of the archmagi of Dalaran and feigned defeat, falling into the sea, where most of the council assumed at the time that he died.[7] He was not dead, however, and he took a human guise, pretending to be a heroic noble named Lord Prestor in an effort to be declared king of Alterac, where he could manipulate the Alliance from within.[8]

After Ner'zhul reopened the portal to Azeroth, he sent emissaries to the remaining Blackrock clan forces stationed at Blackrock Spire, in order to get red dragons as mounts. They were refused by Rend but later approached by Deathwing, whom had been recently beset on all sides by Alliance forces until the arrival of the fresh Horde forces. He offered his own children for assistance in exchange for safe passage to Draenor. They agreed and Deathwing helped them prepare for several key battles to steal two artifacts from the Alliance in order for Ner'zhul's newly reformed Horde to create new portals to other worlds. They then fled back to the Dark Portal to Draenor. He believed the world would be a relatively safe haven for his offspring and secreted away a cache of black dragon eggs there. While at his great mountain lair, he was attacked by the forces of the Alliance Expedition and was defeated.[9] However, he survived yet again. Having escaped back to Azeroth, he re-assumed his identity of Lord Daval Prestor, the noble.

Soon after Ner'zhul recklessly opened multiple portals on Draenor, the magical stress tore the planet apart. The energies released in this catastrophe altered Deathwing's eggs, resulting in the nether drakes: partially corporeal and partially ethereal dragons who possess the ability to shift between the astral and physical planes. Without Deathwing's guidance, these otherworldly nether drakes are just now finding their own way among the blasted ruins of Outland.

Lord Daval Prestor Edit

File:Daval Prestor.jpg
Main article: Lord Daval Prestor

For a time during and after the Second War, Deathwing disguised himself as a human nobleman named Lord Daval Prestor and attempted to gain control over the nation of Alterac (Alterac had been annexed by the Alliance after Lord Perenolde's betrayal) by marrying Calia Menethil, the daughter of King Terenas.

Through magic, he managed to make himself extremely popular with King Terenas and the nobles (including, surprisingly, Genn Greymane of Gilneas, and Lord Admiral Daelin Proudmoore of Kul Tiras) and for a while gained strong influence in the decisions of state. Using subtle magic, he was able to ensnare the minds of the human leaders and forced them to grant him the title of king of Alterac.[10] His ultimate goal was to obtain a high level of power and influence within the Alliance, so he could destroy it from within. He attempted to begin his campaign against the Alliance by pitting the kingdoms of Lordaeron, Stromgarde, Gilneas and Kul Tiras against the Kirin Tor of Dalaran - who Deathwing considered threats to his new identity.

Day of the Dragon Edit

Sometime during the Second War, Deathwing discovered the Demon Soul's location. Although he couldn't wield its power because of the enchantment placed upon it by the Dragon Aspects, he realized that he could manipulate someone else to do so. Eventually, he found the perfect pawns: the orcs of the Dragonmaw clan.

Kryll, a goblin servant of Deathwing, was sent to infiltrate the Dragonmaw clan and to serve the warlock Nekros Skullcrusher. Nekros ended up being manipulated by Kryll into doing Deathwing's bidding. Nekros was given the Demon Soul by his chieftain, Zuluhed the Whacked, who believed that the warlock would have more luck in using it than the shaman himself had. Although Nekros had no clue as to the power he was wielding, he was able to tap into enough of its power to kidnap Alexstrasza, her elder consort Tyranastrasz and some of her eggs. The goblin served as an "advisor" to Nekros, whispering ideas to the orc in order to further Deathwing's aims.

Deathwing used his many pawns to manipulate the mage Rhonin. He saved the young mage and, consequently, Falstad Dragonreaver and Vereesa Windrunner several times, hoping to use them to get him in a position close enough to the Dragonqueen to either capture her himself or kill her. Rhonin was also being manipulated by the red dragon Korialstrasz, Deathwing's nemesis, into an attempt to free Korialstrasz's lover Alexstrasza, trapped in Grim Batol. Deathwing tried to frighten the orcs into believing that the humans were attacking, so that they would move Alexstrasza, and more importantly her eggs, north to Dun Algaz; this left her open to attack and her eggs vulnerable. Deathwing wished to steal Alextrasza's latest cache for himself to create a new dragonflight — though bearing the crimson scales of the Dragonqueen, they would be raised by Deathwing and carry his hatred for the mortal races.

His attack, however, failed. Rhonin discovered the weakness of the Demon Soul and destroyed it, releasing all the powers of the dragons who had given their power ten thousand years earlier. Deathwing was sent retreating with four very angry, fully-empowered Dragon Aspects on his heels, though he managed to elude them in the end.

When Deathwing was forced to go into hiding, he was no longer able to keep up the disguise. Lord Prestor mysteriously vanished, and Deathwing's influence over the nobles disappeared along with him, although his daughter Onyxia followed in her father's footsteps taking the Prestor name to attempt to also manipulate the Alliance. The only one to ever fully uncover the truth about his identity was the dragon mage Krasus, the mortal form of Korialstrasz (so presumably Alexstrasza knows as well). However, the Kirin Tor were able to discern that he was powerful being hiding in a human form. The mage Rhonin recognized the form Deathwing took as Daval Prestor, but did not know his name.

It is said that it will be long before he attempts to once again cause havoc upon the world. Onyxia and Nefarian, offspring of Deathwing and masters of the Black Dragonflight in the absence of their father, now try to take control over the world. Onyxia's lair is in the Wyrmbog in Southern Dustwallow Marsh on Kalimdor, while Nefarian's lair is now Blackrock Spire, atop Blackrock Mountain in the Burning Steppes.

Onyxia is posing as a human counselor for the new child King of Stormwind under the name of Lady Katrana Prestor (an homage to her father's alias during the Alterac crisis). Nefarian poses as a human named Lord Victor Nefarius, Lord of the Blackrock Mountain. He was able to enslave the Blackrock Clan orcs who now serve him. Nefarian wishes to take control of the lower Blackrock Mountain, trying to destroy the Dark Iron Dwarves and Ragnaros. Once the nuisance has been dealt with, Nefarian plans to take control of the world.

Night of the Dragon Edit

Template:Seealso Deathwing's location is totally unknown,[2] though Korialstrasz was "almost positive" that he was truly destroyed this time.

Unfortunately, unknown to Korialstrasz or the world, Deathwing is still at large, hiding deep beneath Grim Batol. He has begun his own experiments to improve upon the horrific twilight dragons created by his mate Sintharia, continuing his mad schemes to usher in a new day for his own breed of dragon...

Deepholm Edit

Template:Cat-section Hidden away in a secluded sanctuary, the corrupted Dragon Aspect Deathwing has waited, recovering from the wounds of his last battle against Azeroth and biding his time until he can reforge the world in molten fire.[11]

At BlizzCon 2009, it was revealed that Deathwing has been hiding in Deepholm, the Elemental Plane of Earth. After years of revitalizing and healing, he bursts out from Deepholm, tearing a rift between the Elemental Plane and Azeroth, causing the Cataclysm.[11] His subsequent flight to Grim Batol in the Twilight Highlands lays waste to much of the landscape of the world. He now resides in Grim Batol, continuing his horrible experiments.

In World of Warcraft Edit

Wrath of the Lich KingEdit


Template:Wotlk-section Deathwing makes his debut in World of Warcraft during the battle against Yogg-Saron in Ulduar. He appears in human form with his original name, Neltharion, along with the other Aspects, during a flashback of the creation of the Dragon Soul, ten thousand years earlier.

This is Deathwing's first appearance (albeit something of a cameo) in a Warcraft game since Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal.

Cataclysm Edit


File:Deathwing Cataclysm 2.jpg
File:Deathwing Cataclysm 3.jpg

Deathwing will finally appear in World of Warcraft's present in the third expansion, Cataclysm, announced at BlizzCon 2009 and will be the final boss encounter of the expansion. During the lore panel at BlizzCon, Chris Metzen explained the circumstances behind his corruption and the part he plays in the coming earth-shattering changes to Azeroth:

"And what has happened in recent years is that the whispers of the Old Gods have gotten worse, the power of the Old Gods has seen rising with C'thun and Yogg-Saron, there are more, their power has magnified Deathwing's power, you know, tenfold. He's a very, very powerful dude these days."[12]
"What has happened to spark the Cataclysm is that Deathwing, with his bachelor pad in the plane of earth that we call Deepholm...Deathwing has awoken from his slumber and literally erupted into the world. And he is so powerful that his literal explosion into the physical plane of Azeroth is what has caused the Cataclysm - tidal waves, massive volcanic eruptions at a global level....tsunamis, freak storms. No part of the world has been left untouched."[12]

His work with the twilight dragonflight will also be expanded upon in the Twilight Highlands that surround Grim Batol.

Deathwing will be the last Dragon Aspect to finally appear in dragon form in the game, and the second that can be fought by players (the first being Malygos).

Few have fallen as far from grace as ancient Neltharion has. As one of the five Dragon Aspects chosen by the titans, he was given dominion over the earth and the deep places of the world. He embodied the strength of Azeroth and served as the greatest supporter of the Dragonqueen, Alexstrasza. But mighty, kind-hearted, and wise as he was, even Neltharion was not beyond the reach of dark forces sleeping beneath the surface of Azeroth. Over time, sinister whispers sank their claws into the dragon's thoughts, seeding Neltharion's mind with madness. He betrayed the other Aspects, and when he turned against his brethren and let corruption take complete control, he ceased being Neltharion the Earth-Warder and became Deathwing the Destroyer. Eventually, he was defeated by the combined might of the other Aspects—defeated, but not destroyed. Hidden from the world, he has been licking his wounds and nourishing his burning hatred. His return will change the face of Azeroth… forever.[13]

Personality Edit

While Deathwing was once a benevolent entity, he is now completely evil. He hates all mortal races, and wishes to kill them all. He's also utterly insane, most notably shown when he had the Demon Soul. Deathwing was attached to it, such that even when warned by the goblin alchemists who made his armor that the Demon Soul's energies would kill him if he kept it with him too long, it wasn't enough for him to let go of it. The only way someone could take it from him is if he was dead.

In spite of his insanity, Deathwing does display a degree of cunning. Although he hates mortals, he is apparently willing to tolerate them if it they can prove of any help in his plans, though inevitably he would do away with them when they had outlived their usefulness.

Despite Deathwing's overall loathing of mortals, he has respect for, and perhaps even a fear of, Medivh, stating in Day of the Dragon, that he would never willingly face Medivh in combat, though this might technically be fear of the portion of Sargeras locked inside Medivh.


Deathwing is a terrifying opponent who is as cruel as he is vicious. He cares nothing for honor or nobility, striking with whatever weapons and cunning he has at his disposal, reveling in causing earthquakes and ripping open volcanic fissures. He often sends his minions into combat while he surveys the battlefield, striking at whatever weaknesses he discovers.[citation needed]

Names and title Edit

He is usually referred to as "Deathwing" by the majority of beings. Only a few mages, night elves, and dragons still call him "Neltharion". However, over the years Deathwing has been given many names, including, but probably not limited to:

  • Neltharion the Earth-Warder
  • Neltharion the Betrayer
  • Deathwing the Destroyer
  • Deathwing the Worldbreaker
  • Xaxas (night elven name; lit. "chaos", "fury" "elemental fury" in Darnassian).[14]
  • Blood's Shadow (orc name)[15]
  • Lord Daval Prestor/King Prestor the First, ruler of Alterac.[16] (human disguise)
  • The Black Scourge (used among dragons)
  • The Dark One[6]
  • Death Aspect
  • Blackwing Greatfather (Used by the Gronn)

Memorable quotesEdit

War of Ancient TrilogyEdit

  • "You will learn to show respect. You are in the presence of my glorious self, I, Neltharion. I am the Earth-Warder. You will treat me with the reverence I deserve."
  • "You know me... but I do not know you. You would speak against me... make the others see me as you do... you would have them distrust their comrade of old... their brother... You will not be allowed to spread any of your malicious falsehoods..."
  • "For it to be as it must, yes." (responding to Ysera question about the Dragon Soul's glow)
  • "It is done! All that which must be given has been given, I now seal the Dragon Soul forever!"
  • "Yes, and you will press him time and time again with it, will you not?" (in a discussion about whether Nozdormu should be granted more time for his choirs or not)
  • "Do you like fire? I'm full of it."
  • "No! I will say what will be done from here on! I, not you, Alexstrasza! Be silent!"
  • "After I have slain all of you, I shall take your eggs, Alexstrasza, and create my perfect world!"

Beyond the Dark PortalEdit

  • "My children! My children, murdered! Come forward, disgusting, cowardly wretches, murderers of defenseless infants, and know torment and madness before I devour you whole! Who will be the first to be blasted to ashes?" (yelling at the gronn)
  • "Puny mortals! I have had many names throughout history, all of them spoken with dread: Neltharion, Xaxas, and many more. Yet you shall know me best as Deathwing, for so I am! I am the bane of life, the darkness within history, the lord of death, the master of destruction. And I tell you now, and so it is true, that this world is mine!"
  • "You may have won this battle, I give you that. But hear this, and hear it well. I have seen you, mage."

Day of the DragonEdit

  • "I am power incarnate! You are nothing but shadows of the past!"
  • "Have you not been through enough? Will you continue to fight what you cannot defeat?"
  • "What are they to me - or, for that matter, even you? I will never understand that!"
  • Deathwing: I have faced the ravages of time, the curse of nightmares, and the mists of sorcery, thanks to the others! What weapons do you bring?
    Alexstrasza: Life... hope... and what they bring with them...
    Deathwing: Then you're as good as dead already!

Thrall's encounter with Deathwing Edit


Thrall may have once encountered Deathwing, but the story of that event has never been told. According to GameSpot,[17] present Horde Warchief Thrall would have met with Deathwing in order to match wits, within the canceled game Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans. Whether this is now part of lore remains to be seen, since no other source mentions a meeting of the two. The reason why Deathwing would be smoking a hookah here is blamed on "miscommunication", though Blizzard decided to leave it in.

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. Shadows & Light, 92
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Shadows & Light, 93
  3. Monster Guide, 39, 41
  4. BlizzCon 2009
  5. 5.0 5.1 Manual of Monsters, 29
  6. 6.0 6.1 Day of the Dragon, 135
  7. Day of the Dragon, 3
  8. Shadows & Light, 94
  9. Shadows & Light, 57
  10. Lands of Conflict, 34
  11. 11.0 11.1 Blizzard Entertainment. An ancient evil lies dormant within Deepholm, the domain of earth in the Elemental Plane. (English). ''World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Retrieved on 2009-08-25.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Chris Metzen. [BlizzCon 09 Deathwing! (New Cataclysm end boss exclusive)] (English). Youtube interview. Retrieved on 2009-08-25.
  13. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Features - Lore
  14. Day of the Dragon, 136
  15. The Well of Eternity, 101
  16. Day of the Dragon, 87
  17. Bill Roper. Warcraft Adventures. PC Gaming Graveyard 3. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2007-08-15.

External links Edit


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