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This article is about the lore of the Light. For the paladin ability, see [Holy Light]. For the Pet Battle ability, see [Light].

“No one feels he deserves it. And you know why? Because no one does. It’s grace, pure and simple. We are inherently unworthy, simply because we’re human, and all human beings—aye, and elves, and dwarves, and all the other races—are flawed. But the Light loves us anyway. It loves us for what we sometimes can rise to in rare moments. It loves us for what we can do to help others. And it loves us because we can help it share its message by striving daily to be worthy, even though we understand that we can’t ever truly become so.”

Uther the Lightbringer to his apprentice Arthas Menethil[1]
The Light as depicted in Chronicle Volume 1.

The Light (also known as the Holy Light,[1][2][3] Holy Light of Creation[4] and light of Creation[5]) is an endless, shimmering sea of energy situated outside the barriers of reality and one of the six cosmic forces in the Warcraft universe. Its antithesis being the Void, which was born from the absence of the former, the two cannot exist without the other.[6] The Light is the source of all life in the cosmos,[7] but not necessarily "good"; it is a primal force with its morality characterized by how it is wielded.[8] The Light cannot fully see destiny, though neither can the Void, for neither are singularly responsible for creation. The Light seeks one path and shuns all others as lies.[9]

Pure Light cannot exist within the physical universe but shades of it manifest as Holy magic.[6][10] Its positive energies,[11] residing in every living being, in every heart and soul,[12] is everywhere, binding all sentient beings together as one,[12] as it pervades and shines through everything, resonating within all things in the universe.[13] The naaru, enigmatic beings composed of shards of fractured Light, may be the purest expression of the Light in the physical universe. They taught the use of the Light to the draenei and other enlightened races, such as the humans,[14] but others have come into the study and practice of Light-based magic of their own accord,[15] such as the tauren who revere the sun god An'she.

Origins and characteristics

Vindicator Maraad wielding the powers of the Holy Light.

As stated by the Grimoire of the Shadowlands and Beyond, the cosmic force of Light was conceived by the First Ones, as well as the other forces five other governing forces of reality.[16] According to the broker Al'firim's interpretations of the First Ones' writings, the cosmos began with six forces (or possibly a different number) existing in opposition to each other until they came together (or were brought together) and gave form to a design. Each "architect" gave a portion of themselves, and thus "the pattern was drawn". With a framework in place, all things in the universe came to be, like a fungus growing upon the frame. The six forces were now in balance, and others arose from their intersections—a simple structure growing infinitely more complex.[17]

According to Chronicle Volume 1, before life began and before even the universe existed, there was only the Light. The Light existed as a boundless sea of living energy, swelling across all of existence, unfettered by time and space. Yet as the ever-shifting sea expanded, pockets of cold nothingness appeared, giving birth to a second, opposite force. This was the Void, a dark and vampiric force driven to devour all energy, to twist creation inward to feed upon itself. The growing tension between the two opposing energies eventually ignited a series of cosmic explosions that gave birth to the physical universe, the Great Dark Beyond.[7] The cataclysmic birth of the cosmos sent shards of fractured Light flying through the cosmos, suffusing the newly formed planets of the universe with the spark of life and giving birth to countless life forms, the most common of which were primordial elementals. Occasionally, these shards of Light would gather and form clouds of Light from which powerful beings would emerge, among which the benevolent naaru.[7] The most unstable energies created by the cosmic explosions coalesced into an astral dimension known as the Twisting Nether, while Light and Void collided and bled together at the edges of this realm, throwing it into turmoil.[7]

The Void and the Light, being opposite counterparts, have been locked in perpetual conflict since before time itself began, waging their massive battle across countless worlds and planets and affecting millions of lives,[9] with the Light regarding the Void as "horrors to be resisted". On the other hand, some of the Void's servants apparently regard the naaru as "beloved brethren that lost the true path" who will eventually return to their embrace.[18] The forces of the Light have also been locked in a cosmic power struggle with the Burning Legion for thousands of years, with the Xenedar described as the Light's largest remaining refuge, and the only one capable of waging war against the demons. The Dark Titan Sargeras allegedly believed he had already defeated the Light, instead focusing his efforts on the Void,[19] although it was ironically the Army of the Light which ultimately helped end his Burning Crusade.

Long ago, the forces of the Light additionally assaulted the Shadowlands realm of Revendreth in retaliation to an affront against them by Sire Denathrius.[20] The affront was the nathrezim, Denathrius' creations, infiltrating the forces of Light and being discovered.[21] The location of the battlefield between the Light and the Venthyr is now a Light-scorched ruin known as the Ember Ward.[22]

Holy magic

Main articles: Holy, Moonlight
King Anduin Wrynn using the Light to heal the wounded Alliance forces during the Battle for Lordaeron.

Holy magic is the manifestation of the Light in the physical realm.[6][23] Summoned by emotions,[13] willpower or faith in one's ability to do so,[24] its powers can be harnessed to heal, cleanse, protect, harm, restore life to the dead, and is efficient against the undead and demons. Most of its practitioners are called priests or paladins, devoted to cleansing the universe of darkness.[15] Learning to wield this healing force[25] takes years of discipline,[26] as it is necessary to learn to abnegate oneself through meditation, in order to become conduits for the Light.[13]

The moonlight is a type of holy magic[27] that can be used by the followers of the moon goddess Elune, notably the night elves or the tauren (who revere her as Mu'sha in their mythology).


The Light is a fundamental force, but it has been personified many times by its followers and others, believing that it had a "will", or that it made deliberate choices, or that it was "good", while the Void was "evil", but such concepts do not apply to the Light and the Void, they are simply primal forces with their morality characterized by how they are wielded.[28]

  • The general belief was that mortals were chosen to act as vessels for the Light's will.[29]
  • Dansel Adams interpreted the disappearance of Naxxramas when it teleported as "a miracle of the Light".[30]
  • Tirion Fordring directly addressed the Light and asked it to grant him one last blessing in his battle against the Lich King.[31]
  • There are human sayings such as "Light be with you" and "Light willing",[32] or draenei ones such as "May the Light embrace you", "Open your heart to the Light" and "Light protect us from this madness".
  • Others such as Revil Kost and Ambrose also believed that the Light was some kind of abstract deity that guided mortals for some benign purpose and all actions and fates were all constructs of its design.[29]
  • High General Abbendis believed that the Light had called to her,[33][34] and that it had taken notice of its believers' good deeds, works, and prayers. She stated that the force of its voice had clarity and sense of purpose. However, the entity that called her was actually something else far more sinister - as she said that it commanded her to abandon the Scarlet Crusade to its doom, an act she believed was dishonorable - the dreadlord Mal'Ganis.

Prominent figures

Light realm

Similar to other cosmic forces, beings of the Light can normally only be permanently killed in the realm of Light. If killed in the mortal realm, their essence returns to the Light to reconstitute, though some exceptionally powerful forces can intervene in the process.[35] The opposite is also possible, the naaru A'dal once saved Crusader Bridenbrad from undeath[36] by bounding his soul to the realm of Light away from the Shadowlands.[37]

Some souls appear to travel to a Light-based afterlife after dying, such as Uuna's parents, who are waiting for her to join them.[38]

Races of the Light

The naaru Mi'da in Hearthstone.

Though rarely seen, the creatures of the Light have been observed to be naturally orderly. They are a necessary part of the universe, much like their counterparts of the Void. And as the Light must keep the Void in check,[39] it would follow that they must also be kept in check by the Void for there to be balance.


The naaru are a race of living, sentient energy beings made up of scintillating holy energies from clouds of fractured Light gathered.[40] Though born in the Great Dark Beyond, not within the Light, they are its purest known expression, and have vowed to bring peace and hope to all mortal civilizations and waylay the forces of the Void.[41] They are known to travel through dimensions,[42] and are the sworn enemies of the Burning Legion.[43] However, the naaru themselves have different objectives; for example, A'dal sought Illidan's death, while Xe'ra apparently wanted to forge him into a Lightforged soldier capable of destroying the Legion and the Void. Some of them, such as Xe'ra and the Light Mother have even displayed blatant disregard for mortal creatures' free will, and despite likely doing what they believe is correct, have demonstrated borderline fanaticism, apparently believing the ends justify the means.

It is exceedingly rare for a naaru to fall into a void state, and even rarer for a fallen naaru to be brought back into the Light. A naaru's fall into the void represents a catastrophic loss for the forces of the Light, and it is the saddest, most heart-wrenching event for the naaru to witness. Conversely, a naaru being reborn into the Light brings renewed hope and sense of purpose to every naaru.[24]


Encountered only recently, Lightspawn appears to be the Light's counterpart to voidwalkers, and can always be found amongst the battlefields of the Light.[44] At least one was seen to have acted on its own to attempt to stop a necromantic ritual on Exile's Reach, but it was captured instead,[45] until he was freed by an adventurer and left Azeroth. A handful of others can be found in the Netherlight Temple, the order hall of the Conclave, at the service of the naaru Saa'ra. Some of them are also at the Ember Ward in Revendreth, at the site of the Light's assault upon the realm in the Shadowlands.

In the RPG

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

See also: Church of the Holy Light#In the RPG

Followers of the Holy Light do not worship any gods or beings, the power comes from some benevolent force, known simply as the "Light".[46]

Different cultures and organizations' reverence for the Light is collectively called the Faith of the Holy Light. Most humans, dwarves, and some high elves follow the path of the Holy Light. It is a faith that advocates purity, goodness, kindness, and compassion in the face of adversity. Those who belong to this faith are among the Burning Legion's greatest foes.[47] Some organizations are heretics of the Holy Light — while they still follow the holy light, they have altered aspects of the philosophy.

Notes and trivia

  • In the older games, the Light was sometimes referred to as the "spirit of humanity",[48] or the "spirit of mankind".[49]
  • The naaru bestowed a blessing, the [Gift of the Naaru], upon the draenei to signify their new connection with the Light.[51]
  • Tyrande Whisperwind teaches that the Holy Light worshipped by the humans and the Light of Elune are closely related.[52]
  •  [Shu-Zen] is said to be a holy gift from the Light, and provides faithful companionship to any that would defend Azeroth from the maddening whispers of the Old Gods.
  • Ner'zhul realized that the paladin Turalyon was not just a warrior, but akin to a shaman-except that the forces he tapped were somehow on a grander scale than a mere planet's.[53]
  • According to Farseer Nobundo, the Light did not forsake the Broken. It is in fact the fel energies that infused them, and degraded their bodies, that caused a break in their ability to be heard and to hear the Light.[54]
  • Uther's Tomb is sacred to followers of the Light.[55]
  • According to Mathias Shaw, many of those present in the Cathedral of Light for the induction of Arthas Menethil into the Order of the Silver Hand noted that the Light itself seemed uncertain whether to bless the young prince.[56]
  • The perspective of the practitioners of the Holy Light is closely linked to agathism in its philosophy, where the end result is good, even with the evil in between. It is also tied to holism, psychometrics (on oneself), humanistic psychology, transcendentalism, and theological over-optimism. The philosophy shows characteristics of real-world philosophies and religions, such as Transcendence, Pantheism, and the Society of Friends (Quakerism).
  • The Light similarly exists in the Diablo universe.


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.
  • The "will of the Light" may also be that of beings of Light, like the "Void's will" may be the will of the void lords'.
  • It is speculated by some that since the Void lords rule over the Void, there could be entities that rule over the Light as well, commonly referred to as "Light lords" by the fans. This is because of the opposite nature of the Void and the Light.


See also


  1. ^ a b Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 62
  2. ^ Tides of Darkness, chapter 5
  3. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, chapter 5
  4. ^ The Burning Crusade Townhall: FAQ - Races
  5. ^ Sunwell Plateau epilogue
  6. ^ a b c World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 10
  7. ^ a b c d World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 18
  8. ^ Blizzblizz - Entrevista com Interview, 27:43
  9. ^ a b A Thousand Years of War, Part Three – Shadow & Light, pg. 36<-37
  10. ^ N Priest [45] Safekeeping
  11. ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Game Manual, pg. 4 - 5
  12. ^ a b Tides of Darkness, pg. 267
  13. ^ a b c World of Warcraft: The Comic, Issue 22: Whispers
  14. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 142
  15. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 21
  16. ^ World of Warcraft: Grimoire of the Shadowlands and Beyond, pg. 150 - 151
  17. ^  [Expedition Report A37J - Part 1]
  18. ^ Xal'atath, Blade of the Black Empire#Locations
  19. ^ A Thousand Years of War, Part Two – The Emerald Star, pg. 18
  20. ^ N [58-60] Refuge of Revendreth
  21. ^ N [60] Convoy of the Covenants
  22. ^ Z'rali#Quotes
  23. ^ Jeremy Feasel on Twitter
  24. ^ a b Ask CDev - Round 1
  25. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 109
  26. ^ World of Warcraft: The Comic, Issue 21: Secrets
  27. ^ Ask CDev - Round 2
  28. ^ Blizzblizz interview with Johnny Cash and Michael Bighby
  29. ^ a b Dark Riders
  30. ^  [News From The North]
  31. ^ Lich King (tactics)#Quotes
  32. ^ A Thousand Years of War, Part One – Two Bright Lights, pg. 4
  33. ^  [The Path of Redemption]
  34. ^  [The Diary of High General Abbendis]
  35. ^ Ezgi Pajecki 2020-09-26. Maldraxxus, Shadowlands and Beyond - Interview with Steve Danuser. Lorekeeper. Archived from the original on 2020-09-27.
  36. ^ N [25-30] The Boon of A'dal
  37. ^ Ezgi Pajecki 2020-09-26. Maldraxxus, Shadowlands and Beyond - Interview with Steve Danuser. Lorekeeper. Archived from the original on 2020-09-27.
  38. ^ Uuna's Doll#A Dark Place
  39. ^ N [25-30D] Unbound Darkness
  40. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 18 - 19
  41. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 13
  42. ^ World of Warcraft: Paragons, pg. 912
  43. ^ The Mechanar. Retrieved on 2016-03-18.
  44. ^  [Lightbinders]
  45. ^ N [6-10] Freeing the Light
  46. ^ Alliance Player's Guide, pg. 152
  47. ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 71
  48. ^ Warcraft: Orcs & Humans manual, Azeroth Army of the First War, Cleric
  49. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, Paladin Spells
  50. ^ Warcraft I manual#Cleric Spells
  51. ^ Burning Crusade Behind The Scenes - The Draenei (2008-03-19). Retrieved on 2016-05-26.
  52. ^ A IconSmall NightElf Male.gifIconSmall NightElf Female.gif Priest [2] Meditation on Elune
  53. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 617
  54. ^ Farseer Nobundo#The Exodar
  55. ^ Campaign Holy Ground: Uther's Tomb
  56. ^ World of Warcraft: Exploring Azeroth: The Eastern Kingdoms, pg. 17