Timeline (Ultimate Visual Guide)

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For other timelines, see Timeline (disambiguation).

This is the timeline presented in the Warcraft Ultimate Visual Guide, Updated and Expanded released in May 2016. The first version appeared in Ultimate Visual Guide, released in October 2013. It was spread over several pages (updated and expanded):

  • page 28 has year -10,000 to year 0
  • page 29 has years 3 - 5 to year 8
  • page 30 has year 18 to year 26
  • page 31 has year 27 to year 31


All dates measured from beginning of First War.

Year Event Description
-10,000 The War of the Ancients An ancient race called night elves recklessly pursue the use of arcane magic and manipulate the powers of the Well of Eternity. Their efforts catch the attention of Sargeras, the fallen titan. War erupts between the night elves, and the demonic hordes of Sargeras' Burning Legion. The Well of Eternity is destroyed, and the Great Sundering splits the continent of Kalimdor. The World Tree Nordrassil is created.
- 6,800 Quel'Thalas Founded The Highborne sorcerers of night elf society are banished from Kalimdor after continuing to use forbidden arcane magic. The banished night elves arrive in the Eastern Kingdoms, transforming into high elves. The high elf kingdom of Quel'Thalas is founded, and the high elves use a vial of water from the Well of Eternity to create a new fount of power, calling it the Sunwell.
- 2,800 The Troll Wars The high elves of Quel'Thalas fight a brutal conflict with the native Amani trolls of the region. The human tribes join together to form the great nation of Arathor. Facing certain defeat, the high elves ally with the humans to combat the troll menace. The high elves teach select humans magic in exchange for their aid. The Amani trolls are defeated.
- 230 War of the Three Hammers In the mountain peaks of Khaz Modan, the dwarven High King Modimus Anvilmar dies, and civil war erupts among the the Bronzebeard, Wildhammer and Dark Iron clans. The Bronzebeard clan emerges as the victor and takes control of the dwarves' capital city of Ironforge.
0 The First War Sargeras launches another attack on Azeroth, using orcs from the world of Draenor as his pawns. Orc forces spill through the magical gateway called the Dark Portal, which links Azeroth to Draenor. The orcs leave a swath of devastation in their wake.
3 - 5 The Fall of Stormwind The kingdom of Stormwind is unable to withstand the might of the orcish Horde. King Llane Wrynn is assassinated, and the capital Stormwind City, is razed. The survivors, including young Prince Varian Wrynn and Sir Anduin Lothar, flee north to the kingdom of Lordaeron. Lothar tells King Terenas Menethil II of Stormwind's fall and the impending orcish assault. Terenas unites the seven human kingdoms, and later the dwarves, the gnomes, and the high elves, forming the Alliance of Lordaeron to combat the bloodthirsty forces of the Horde.
6 The Second War After brutal and bloody fighting, the Alliance of Lordaeron triumphs over the Horde at Blackrock Spire. Anduin Lothar is slain by orc warchief Orgrim Doomhammer. General Turalyon leads the forces of the Alliance after Lothar's death, and crushes the remnants of the Horde armies. The remaining orcs are rounded up and placed in internment camps, and the Dark Portal is destroyed.
8 The Destruction of Draenor The orc shaman Ner'zhul utilizes the rift that remains after the Dark Portal's destruction to send orcs into Azeroth once again. Alliance forces, calling themselves the Sons of Lothar, journey through the rift to Draenor, where they continue to fight the remaining Horde forces. Ner'zhul opens multiple portals across the world of Draenor. Strained by the vast energies that result, Draenor is shattered; a large fragment becomes the realm of Outland.
18 The New Horde The orcs held in the Alliance's internment camps are freed by Orgrim Doomhammer, Grommash Hellscream, and Thrall, an orc who was raised by humans as a slave and gladiator. Thrall is named warchief of the new Horde.
20 The Third War The Burning Legion launches another assault on Azeroth using the Lich King. A plague of undeath spreads throughout the kingdom of Lordaeron, resulting in the rise of the Scourge. Prince Arthas Menethil falls to corruption, taking up the cursed runeblade Frostmourne and murdering his father, King Terenas II. The Sunwell is defiled, and the demon lord Archimonde is summoned into Azeroth. Many survivors flee to Kalimdor, including humans led by Lady Jaina Proudmoore, and orcs led by Warchief Thrall.
21 The Battle of Mount Hyjal On Kalimdor, the orcs establish a home in Durotar, allying with the Darkspear trolls and the tauren. The survivors in Kalimdor are brought together by the Prophet Medivh, and unite against Archimonde's onslaught. Archimonde is defeated at Mount Hyjal, but the World Tree Nordrassil is badly damaged, resulting in the night elves' losing their immortality.
22 Rise of the Lich King Arthas Menethil travels to Northrend. The banshee Sylvanas Windrunner establishes the Forsaken, taking control of the former kingdom of Lordaeron. Arthas ascends Icecrown Glacier, shattering the Frozen Throne and taking his place as the Lich King.
25 The Gathering Storm King Varian Wrynn of Stormwind is kidnapped, and his son, Anduin Wrynn, is temporarily crowned. The black dragon Onyxia is discovered in Stormwind City. An assault is launched on Blackwing Lair, home of the black dragon Nefarian. In the deserts of Silithus, the qiraji launch an invasion at the behest of the Old God C'Thun. Kel'Thuzad launches an attack on Azeroth from the dread citadel Naxxramas in the Eastern Kingdoms.
26 The Burning Crusade The blood elves of Quel'Thalas join the Horde. In Kalimdor, the draenei crash-land off the northern coast, and ally with the Alliance. The Dark Portal is rebuilt and re-opened by Lord Kazzak, and both Horde and Alliance forces travel to Outland. There, the orc Garrosh Hellscream is discovered by Warchief Thrall, and taken back to Azeroth to act as an advisor. Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider of the blood elves allies with the Burning Legion, attempting to summon the demon lord Kil'jaeden to Azeroth. The Sunwell is restored with the heart of the naaru M'uru.
27 The Wrath of the Lich King The Lich King launches a new assault on Azeroth, attacking Stormwind City and Orgrimmar. Alliance and Horde forces both travel to Northrend to combat the Lich King. The Argent Crusade is established. Death knight defectors from the Lich King's armies form the Knights of the Ebon Blade, allying with both Alliance and Horde. Garrosh Hellscream is sent to lead the Horde forces in Northrend. The Lich King is defeated.
28 The Cataclysm Thrall steps down from his position as warchief and appoints Garrosh Hellscream as the new leader of the Horde. The former Dragon Aspect Deathwing bursts through into Azeroth from the Elemental Plane, shattering the surface of the world as tensions between the Alliance and Horde continue to build. The worgen of Gilneas join the Alliance, and the goblins of the Bilgewater Cartel join the Horde. The elemental lords Ragnaros and Al'Akir are slain. as well as Cho'gall, leader of the Twilight's Hammer cult. The Dragon Aspects expend their titan-given power to kill Deathwing, and the Age of Mortals begins.
30 The Invasion of Pandaria All-out war erupts between the Alliance and Horde when Warchief Garrosh Hellscream destroys the city of Theramore with a mana bomb. Archmage Rhonin dies, and Lady Jaina Proudmoore takes his place as leader of the Kirin Tor, a council of some of Azeroth's most powerful magi. Pandaren residents of the Wandering Isle ally with both the Alliance and Horde as the continent of Pandaria is discovered. The sha are released on Pandaria, and the Thunder King, Lei Shen, is resurrected. Garrosh orders the assassination of the Darkspear leader, Vol'jin. Jaina forcibly removes the Horde from Dalaran, throwing the magocratic city-state's support behind the Alliance. Vol'jin begins the Darkspear Rebellion, pitting Horde against Horde. The Alliance covertly assists the Darkspear rebels, and Garrosh's reign as warchief is ended.
31 Assault of the Dark Portal Garrosh Hellscream is taken to the Temple of the White Tiger in Pandaria to stand trial for his crimes. During the trial, Garrosh escapes justice. In the Blasted Lands, the Dark Portal's energies shift from green to red, and new orc invaders emerge from the portal, calling themselves the Iron Horde. Both Alliance and Horde forces launch a defense to combat the new threat, eventually leading an assault on the Dark Portal itself. Azeroth's defenders charge through the portal, determined to dismantle it from the other side and defeat the Iron Horde.


  • Despite the quest-line available in World of Warcraft (and thus in year 25), The Comic retconned Onyxia's revelation shortly before the events of the Wrath of the Lich King.