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For information on the "Cannibalize" racial ability, see [Cannibalize].
A Forsaken cannibal and his meal in the Trading Card Game.

Cannibalism is generally considered the practice of eating the flesh of other sapient beings, though the term is somewhat inconsistent as detailed below.


Among the aell people, devouring a romantic partner who is suffering and near death is considered a supreme act of love.[1]

Aqir and their offshoots

Aqir eat sapient races,[2] including even fellow creations of the Old Gods like n'raqi and k'thir.[3] However, eating other aqir (as well as aqir offshoots like mantid) makes them sick.[4]

Every mantid generation, the young hatch in incredible numbers and then swarm toward the rest of Pandaria, devouring anything in their path.[5] Newly hatched mantid have only two instincts: kill and feed. They turn on one another, devouring the weak and leaving the strongest to mature. Those hatched during a swarm - the swarmborn - are turned loose on their enemies instead.[6] After the transfer of power from one mantid empress to the next, remains of the previous empress are fed to her successor.[7]

During the War of the Spider, nerubian spiderlord Vorus'arak and his brood escaped the Scourge through tunnels, but as his great strength flagged he was forced to consume much of his own young.[8]

Broken draenei

Desperate Broken will sometimes resort to cannibalism.[9] The Lost Ones who live in the Fallow Sanctuary also eat humans.[10]


Centaur roasting a dead orc as food.

Centaur from Kalimdor are cannibals and don't keep humanoid prisoners for long.[11][12] In Desolace, the Maraudine planned to cook and eat Melizza Brimbuzzle, a goblin.[13] Aratas' centaur army roasted and ate many of the orcs they captured and planned to serve the remaining ones at Aratas' "war feast". The soldiers considered orc meat to be tastier than tauren.[14]


Proto-dragons are not normally cannibalistic although they taste the blood of their rivals in duels but do not consume the dead. This changed with Galakrond who devoured other proto-dragons to absorb their life essence and then vomited them back up as the not-living, undead proto-dragons who would attack the living. It was noticed that proto-dragons that were bitten by them would develop a hunger that would cause them to act like Galakrond and try to devour their living companions. Coros, in an attempt to gain protection from Galakrond had started to emulate him by practicing cannibalism and encouraged his companions to do the same. This didn't work however and they were all devoured by Galakrond.[15]

Dragons are known to occasionally devour mortals; dragon creeps in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos had the "Devour" ability [16], Alexstrasza swallowed her captor Nekros Skullcrusher whole and alive[17] and Onyxia tried to eat the adventurers who faced her in her lair.[18][19]


The ettin of Highmountain eat tauren that have been cooked over bonfires.[20]


It is a common tradition that when a gnoll dies, the members of his/her clan devour the body.[21] To a gnoll, meat is meat, and they will even go so far as to kill and cannibalize outcasts who return to their territory.[22] They absolutely hate ogre meat, however.[23] "More bones to gnaw on" is commonly said by gnolls when they encounter another humanoid race.


The notoriously long-lived magnataur are rumored to engage in cannibalism during times when food is scarce.[24]


A group of mur'gul feasting on humanoid heads on the Broken Isles

Murlocs in Nazjatar only eat three things: crabs, fish, and people.[25]


A corpse cooking in a cauldron in Dire Maul

The Warmaul ogres were known to eat orcs[26] and Broken.[27]

The Gordunni are said to eat humans, elves,[28] and presumably other humanoid races they've had conflict with. They even keep slaves just to eat them later, as seen in many ogre mounds in Outland.

When eating humans, Gordunni ogres prefer to devour them alive due to it being "fresher". When it is cooked, however, the body is cooked with the blood still inside the carcass.[28] Night elf meat is considered horrible-tasting to ogres.[28]

The ogres' progenitors, the ogron, had similar habits before their slaughter. Most of the world's other races were beneath their notice, save when they could serve as food or slaves. Even their relatives, the ogres and orcs, quickly learned to fear the ogron's attention.[29]


The Bonechewer clan of orcs practiced cannibalism, as well as decorating themselves with the remains of their victims.[30][31] Members of the clan were witnessed eating a human soldier alive during the infiltration of Menethil Harbor[32] In the Tomb of Sargeras, Tagar Spinebreaker could recognize dried orc blood by taste and threatened to drink a demon's bone marrow.[33]

Laughing Skull cuisine was notable for its complex spices and unusual ingredients sourced from the island of Farahlon, often including sentient creatures such as botani and lobstrok.[34]

Pale orcs are known to eat their victims alive.[35]


Usually found in groups, podlings do not seem afraid of taking on prey several times larger than themselves. They are capable of overwhelming and devouring humans and other larger humanoids.[36]


Saberon cook and eat other humanoids such as orcs.[37]


Saurok resorting to cannibalism.

Saurok of the Skumblade tribe consider their enemies to be walking meat.[38] The Skumblade view all outsiders as a threat, but enjoy reaping the rewards of their conflict, as the corpses left behind mean more meat and filth for the scavengers to collect.[39] A dead Skumblade is food for the tribe and filth to keep the enemy away. Flesh and the consumption of flesh denote strength to them.[40]

The Trapped Saurok in the Mogu'shan Palace at the time of N'Zoth's return can be seen devouring one of their own.[41]


Sirens use their enchanting voices and songs to lure sailors into shipwrecks to devour them.[42]


Skardyn have a mouth full of sharp, reptilian teeth they use to devour any kind of meat they come across, no matter what state it's in.[43]They consider dwarves from the Bronzebeard clan good eating.[44]


Troggs are known to engage in cannibalism; they consume stone and anything else they can acquire — including other troggs.[45]


Most trolls seem to practice cannibalism. Several specific troll tribes have been confirmed as cannibalistic, including the Mossflayer and Vilebranch tribes. Furthermore, all of the currently known tribes of ice trolls practice cannibalism. Sand trolls, forest trolls, and jungle trolls are also frequently cannibalistic, though not always. Even the mysterious dark trolls are believed to be cannibals for the most part. Yet there are several notable exceptions. For example, the Zandalar and Revantusk tribes do not consume troll flesh, although individuals like Khal'ak might. The Darkspear tribe, too, was cannibalistic until it joined the Horde, at which point the Darkspears officially gave up cannibalism.[46]

When eating humans, trolls prefer to drain the body of blood and stripping the stringy meat from the bone to make into jerky.[28]

Forest trolls

It seems that forest trolls practice cannibalism more for the meal than the magic, seeing it as more of a food source than a method to tame spirits.[47] It should be noted that not all troll tribes engage in this practice. The Revantusk trolls, for example, describe the cannibalism of their enemies, the Vilebranch, as "depraved."[48]

Blood trolls

The Natha'vor tribe of blood trolls is known for its heavy ritualistic practice of cannibalism, the women eating the males of the tribe and anything they capture believing that the practice grants them greater power.[49][50] Their three most powerful witch doctors are called "corpse mongers".[51]


Creatures of the Scourge such as ghouls,[52] crypt lords,[53] zombies,[54] or the flesh titan Thaddius[55] are compelled by the Lich King to eat cadavers. It is meant both as a way for the undead to renew their strength[56] and to spread the Plague of Undeath, as the partially-eaten corpses later rise as undead.[57] Death knights of the Scourge are also known to have eaten meals consisting primarily of humanoid meat, vermin, and insects.[58]

Free undead like the Forsaken can still [Cannibalize] other beings, and some do in fact have a hungering for living flesh.[59][60]


Wendigo are cannibalistic.[61]


Halford Ramsey being tempted by human flesh.

Worgen without morals or those struggling for control have been tempted by human flesh.[62][63][64]

In search of his son in Duskwood, Karlain, Revil, and Ambrose spoke to a feral worgen Wolf Cultist, who said he has eaten many young men before. Later at Roland's Doom, they were stalked by Shagra and Gorfang, who called them meat and food. While Gorfang wanted to share the meat with the pack, Shagra did not, and attacked Karlain and his companions declaring his intent to eat them. Both were killed by Ambrose, who died when the rest of the pack arrived. Later, after Karlain's son Mardigan was turned into a worgen, he was found drooling over the corpse of Ambrose.[62]

After the Wolf Cult attacked Stormglen and killed those that resisted, Halford Ramsey recognized the scent of blood from his detective work. Where he should have been repulsed by the scene, he was excited.[64] While Alpha Prime lead the worgen attack on Gilneas, Halford Ramsey saved a woman and child from being eaten by worgen, but in doing so found himself tempted to eat them himself, and was scared off by gunfire.[63]

In Shadowfang Keep, Bloodfang Berserkers enjoy meat found in piles, and when Ivar Bloodfang tells them to dispose of Baron Ashbury's corpse, they begin to salivate heavily.[65]

In the RPG

Icon-RPG.png This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

Black dragons

Most black dragons follow the instructions of another only if they expect a benefit or they're confident that the other dragon could eat them.[66]


Centaur are occasionally cannibalistic.[67]

Forest trolls

In contrast to their wily jungle troll cousins, forest trolls are savage and unrelenting creatures. Not only are they cannibals like other trolls, forest trolls live for slaughtering lesser races, especially the high elves, whom they despise.[68]


There are no male harpies. They capture males of other humanoid races and force them to mate. [...] Harpies resort to magic and potions to ensure cooperation, and employ their captives until they succumb to disease and malnutrition... at which point, the males become food for the roost.[...] Humanoid races are occasionally kept as mates, but they are more frequently eaten.[69]

Jungle trolls

The Darkspear trolls come from a dark and bloodthirsty history of sacrifice, cannibalism, and black magic. They consider spirits to be individuals much like living creatures. Spirits are greedy, hostile, and dangerous. Trolls also believe their ancestors linger on as jealous spirits who miss the land of the living and require blood sacrifices to appease them.
Trolls sacrifice and eat their enemies. They conduct these practices for two reasons. First, they believe the sacrifice of sentient creatures appeases malicious spirits. Second, they believe that after death, an enemy's spirit can visit misfortune on its killer. By consuming the flesh of their enemies, trolls believe they can also consume their enemy's spirit, or at least damage it enough to render it impotent.
The orcs' influence tempers the Darkspear trolls' spiritual beliefs. The trolls willingly support Thrall and the Horde, and they understand that their destructive rituals offend their allies. Under Thrall's tutelage, the Darkspear trolls abandoned the sacrifice of sentient creatures and took up animal sacrifice instead. These trolls no longer eat their enemies but practice other methods of trapping, injuring or destroying enemy spirits. These methods include witch doctor blessings, the burning of enemy hearts, drowning corpses, and head-shrinking.
Most members of the Horde look askance at the practice of head-shrinking, but consider it a step up from human sacrifice and cannibalism. Some trolls have techniques to shrink skulls as well, which involve removing key pieces and reconstructing the skull as a smaller version using animal parts and resins to hold it together.[70]
In most tribes, jungle trolls regularly practice cannibalism. Jungle trolls believe that by eating the flesh of their enemies, they not only appease the spirit of the deceased but also consume a portion of that spirit. Thus, by cannibalizing fallen foes, jungle trolls make sure that the mischievous spirits of their enemies do not visit misfortune upon them. They thus have no qualms about devouring an enemy defeated in combat, be he troll or not. Though until recently the Darkspear trolls adhered to these ancient beliefs, their interaction with the Horde has taught them restraint and other virtues. Other beliefs, especially those of the orcs, also “pollute” their ancient traditions...The Darkspear tribe no longer practices cannibalism — at least not openly.[70] Some trolls revert to their old ways out of misunderstanding, and some refuse to adapt, but most accept the Horde's ways as their own.[71]
Darkspear tribe are an entirely different group; before the Third War, they lived on the Broken Isles, on an island near the Maelstrom, practicing their ancient cannibalistic variety of voodoo and tainted shamanism.[72]


The massive magnataur of Northrend are constantly hungry due to their ever increasing size, and when raiding human caravans will eat the humans, horses, and anything they can find that won't break their teeth.[73]

Murlocs and mur'gul

The mutant murloc is a new breed of murloc which has appeared in recent times, originating from an unknown source beneath the Maelstrom. These creatures surpass their brethren in cruelty, hunting humans and others not for sacrifices but for pure joy of torture. Mutant murlocs enjoy blood sport and their victims' agony. Many eat victims over a period of days, careful not to kill them too soon. More prosperous mutant murlocs use healing magic to sustain the entertainment longer.[74] They were said to become increasingly common than their normal counterparts.[75]

These creatures were once murlocs, but were cursed and twisted by the powers of the Burning Legion. The mur'gul delight in capturing both humans and murlocs — torturing and then eating their victims. They infest the sea, clambering aboard vessels and slaying everyone onboard.[76]


Watch out also for isolated pockets of cruel satyrs and harpies, either of whom will kill you first, eat you second, and ask questions last.[77]


The Forsaken and certain other undead also engage in cannibalism, eating humanoids and undead when they require sustenance.

Forsaken are undead, and thus are unable to heal without magical aid. Studying ghouls and abominations, some Forsaken mimic their ability to devour flesh to restore their own.[78]


Savage wendigo have been known to be cannibalistic.[79] It's implied that they eat their own species.[citation needed] 


Worgen never challenge leadership; the patriarch leads until he is physically incapable of doing so any longer, at which point his younger kin devour him. The worgen see this not as cruelty, but a great honor — they consume the bodies of their fallen unlike that of their victim's bodies. They believe the flesh and blood of their own kind improve their strength and cunning. [80]

Pure killing beasts, worgen tend to attack any creatures that they encounter, regardless of whether animal, humanoid, Scourge or something even more fearsome. Strangely, however, worgen refuse to feed on the remains of their victims, preferring to shred and tear the corpses and then to return immediately to prowling. Rumors suggest that worgen somehow receive sustenance continually from their native dimension... as well as guidance from a distant force.[80]

In the film universe

Icon-film-40x16.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft film universe and is considered non-canon.

The Red Walker clan was one of the few known orc clans, the other being the Frostwolves, to have rejected joining Gul'dan's Horde.[81] Due to Draenor's hardships (longer winters, short springs, and summers, a shortage of game to hunt) the Red Walkers struggled to find enough food to survive, so they turned to eating draenei and later orcs as well, convinced that flesh was flesh.[82] When Durotan led a party north to aid the spirits, the Red Walkers took advantage and struck out against the Frostwolves in order to wound them and use them as a food supply, but they were annihilated when Durotan came back in the midst of the fighting.[83]



This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

In World of Warcraft, cannibalism appears to be the practice of consuming the flesh of a sapient humanoid species by another sapient humanoid species, whether one of their own or one of another.[12]

This is in contrast to the English definition which describes cannibalism as being performed exclusively among members of the same species.[84]

Other possible cannibalism

While described as cannibals by some sources, or seemingly meeting the criteria of cannibalism as described regarding the trolls, the status of these races as cannibals is unconfirmed.

See also


  1. ^ World of Warcraft: Sylvanas, chapter 22, pg. 259 (ebook)
  2. ^ N [50] A Balanced Diet
  3. ^ N [50] Fetid Filets
  4. ^ N [50] Meat Alternatives
  5. ^ World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria FAQ
  6. ^ N [30-35] Not Fit to Swarm
  7. ^ The Empress
  8. ^ N [10-50] Vorus'arak's Carapace
  9. ^ N [25-30] Crazed and Confused
  10. ^ N [38] Galen's Escape
  11. ^ Hatred of the Centaur
  12. ^ a b Old Hatreds - Enlist the Tauren: "The centaur are cannibals and do not keep prisoners for long."
  13. ^ N [10-30] Get Me Out of Here!
  14. ^ Bloodsworn, pg. 102
  15. ^ Dawn of the Aspects
  16. ^ Dragon (Warcraft III)
  17. ^ Day of the Dragon, pg. 355
  18. ^ Onyxia yells: How fortuitous. Usually, I must leave my lair in order to feed.
  19. ^ Devour
  20. ^ N [45REWQ] Lords of the Hills
  21. ^ Traveler, pg. 355
  22. ^ Traveler: The Spiral Path, pg. 54
  23. ^ Traveler: The Spiral Path, pg. 45
  24. ^ Wrath of the Lich King Expansion Features/Bestiary
  25. ^ N [50] We've Got Crabs!
  26. ^ H [15-30] Finding the Survivors
  27. ^ A [15-30G] Corki's Ransom
  28. ^ a b c d Traveler, pg. 247
  29. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 36 - 37
  30. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal manual, 15. 
  31. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 39 - 41
  32. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, chapter 10
  33. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, chapter 12
  34. ^  [Spoons and Forks]
  35. ^ H [10-40] Winds of Change
  36. ^ A [10-40] Gloomshade Grove
  37. ^ Murgok#Quotes
  38. ^ Skumblade Brute#Quotes
  39. ^ Skumblade Scavenger#Quotes
  40. ^ Skumblade Fleshripper#Quotes
  41. ^ File:Trapped Saurok - Cannibalism.png
  42. ^ A [10-60] The Castaways
  43. ^ Night of the Dragon, pg. 131
  44. ^ Night of the Dragon, pg. 125
  45. ^ Lore Keeper of Norgannon
  46. ^ Troll Compendium/Troll Traits#Cannibalism
  47. ^ Tides of Darkness, pg. 63
  48. ^ H [48] Cannibalistic Cousins
  49. ^ N [20-60] Killing Cannibals
  50. ^ Corpse Monger Jal'aka#Quotes
  51. ^ N [20-60] Just Say No to Cannibalism
  52. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Manual, 101. 
  53. ^ Quotes of Warcraft III/Undead Scourge#Crypt_Lord: "I'll consume the living and the dead!"
  54. ^  [Dual-Plagued Brain]: "Living Flesh eases the pain... Please, I just need a little. A finger or ear would do..."
  55. ^ Thaddius yells: Eat...your...bones...
  56. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Manual, 43. 
  57. ^ Dark Mirror
  58. ^ Corpulous' Mess Hall Rules
  59. ^ Baron Ashbury#Quotes: "And perhaps the best part, I now have a hungering for the flesh of other humanoids. Cannibalizing their rotten corpses grants me power. Yes, DE-LI-CIOUS..."
  60. ^ H [10-30] Hearts-is-Hearts
  61. ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Game Manual
  62. ^ a b Dark Riders
  63. ^ a b Curse of the Worgen Issue 4
  64. ^ a b Curse of the Worgen Issue 3
  65. ^ Shadowfang Keep
  66. ^ Dark Factions, pg. 147
  67. ^ Manual of Monsters/Appendix Three
  68. ^ Horde Player's Guide, pg. 9
  69. ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 56
  70. ^ a b Horde Player's Guide, pg. 93
  71. ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, pg. 65
  72. ^ Horde Player's Guide, pg. 166
  73. ^ Lands of Mystery, pg. 125
  74. ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 63-64
  75. ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 116
  76. ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 65
  77. ^ Lands of Mystery, pg. 51
  78. ^ Horde Player's Guide, pg. 31
  79. ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 105
  80. ^ a b Lands of Conflict, pg. 195
  81. ^ Warcraft: Durotan, pg. 45
  82. ^ Warcraft: Durotan, pg. 303 - 304
  83. ^ Warcraft: Durotan, chapter 27-29
  84. ^ Merriam-Webster -- Cannibalism. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved on 2014-09-19.
  85. ^ N Inscription [50] Sacrificial Writes
  86. ^ A [10-30] Rock Lobstrock!
  87. ^ N [36] Hungry!