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Not to be confused with Void (cat) or Shadow (disambiguation).

Death crept nearer, and the Void called out to Alleria, begging her to give over her soul entirely and become a manifestation of power even greater than her sister. It was tempting. Oh, it was tempting. Abandon your flesh, came the whispers. Abandon your flesh.”

Alleria Windrunner hearing the call of the Void[1]
The Void as depicted in Chronicle Volume 1.

The Void (also referred to as Shadow)[2][3][4] is one of the six cosmic forces in the Warcraft universe, its antithesis being the Light, and is a force situated outside the barriers of reality. Although contradictory by their very nature, the Void and the Light are bound together on a cosmic scale, and the two cannot exist without the other.[5] The Void is ruled over by the void lords, merciless and cruel beings that seek only to twist reality into a realm of eternal torment. They created the parasitic, eldritch horrors known as the Old Gods to corrupt and transform the planets they infested into places of despair and death.[6] Nevertheless, the Void itself is not necessarily "evil"; it is a primal force with its morality characterized by how it is wielded.[7]

Pure Void cannot exist within the physical universe but shades of it manifest as shadow magic[8][9] (or void magic)[3][4] and can be a source of terrible power, the kind of power that comes at a price,[10] as the very nature of the Void is hostile to what the mortal know as life and sanity,[11] and will do whatever it takes to drive them to madness.

The Void cannot fully see destiny, though neither can the Light, for neither is singularly responsible for creation. The Void seeks every possible path and sees them all as truth.[11]

Origins and characteristics

“The void sucks at your soul. It is content to feast slowly.”

Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron
Concept art of the Void magic in Dragonflight.

As stated by the Grimoire of the Shadowlands and Beyond, the cosmic force of Void was conceived by the First Ones, as well as the other forces five other governing forces of reality.[12] 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.[13]

According to Chronicle Volume 1, before life began and before even the universe existed, there was only the Light as an unfettered, shifting ocean of living energy swelling across all of existence, unfettered by time and space. However, as some of its energies faded and dimmed, pockets of cold nothingness were created. From the absence of Light in these spaces, a new power coalesced and came to be. This was the Void, a dark and vampiric force driven to devour all energy, to twist creation inward to feed upon itself. The Void quickly grew and began to move against the Light, and before long, the mounting tension between the two forces ignited a series of explosions that ruptured the very fabric of creation, giving birth to the physical universe. The most unstable energies coalesced into an astral dimension known as the Twisting Nether. Light and Void collided and bled together at the edges of this realm, throwing it into turmoil.[14]

The void lords and their servants are in a perpetual power struggle with the other five cosmic powers of reality. The Void and the Light, being opposite counterparts, have notably been locked in conflict since before time itself began, waging their massive battle across countless worlds and planets and affecting millions of lives, with the Void regarding the Light as voracious and stagnant, "a force that granted them fleeting moments of peace in exchange for absolute obedience".[11] The naaru T'uure notably sacrificed herself in a massive Holy Nova to save an entire world Karkora from Dimensius the All-Devouring. Some of the Void's servants apparently regard the naaru as "beloved brethren that lost the true path" which will return to their embrace eventually, despite their war being of a scope that would apparently destroy most mortal minds, well predating both the draenei and the entire history of Azeroth.[15] The Void has also attacked the Shadowlands in eons past with forces described as practically "infinite",[16] inflicting massive damage against Bastion in particular, and would have purportedly destroyed all of the Shadowlands had the kyrians not barely managed to stop them.[17]

Planets corrupted in the Great Dark Beyond.

The very creation of the Old Gods and their nearly successful corruption of multiple titan worlds, including Azeroth, at least at one point in its history, was ultimately to corrupt all existence and allow the void lords to manifest in the physical cosmos; the Pantheon and Sargeras have both attempted to oppose the Void in different ways, with the former being responsible for the destruction of the Black Empire and the latter unleashing his Burning Crusade against them. The Void-corrupted titan would have allegedly been unstoppable by any force in the universe, including the Pantheon themselves.[18]

In one instance, the Void was able to attack and permanently destroy every demon on a small Legion prison world, dragging them through the Twisting Nether before butchering them; Lothraxion described even the Legion's enslavement as far preferable to the horrors of what the Void-spawn endured. The naaru which Illidan encountered before his defeat on Outland, likely Xe'ra, stated that the Void was "a more potent foe by far than the Burning Legion".[19] Harbinger Skyriss insisted that no force in existence, including the Legion, harbors the strength to bend their knee. According to Xal'atath, the Legion's invasion is ultimately futile, as dreams and demons alike can be corrupted, and not even the extinction of all things would really save the Legion from the Void.

Although the nathrezim have attempted to manipulate the void lords on the orders of the Eternal One Denathrius,[20] the Void appears somewhat aware of their machinations, and regards Death as "the true enemy" which seeks the death of all possibilities and all futures.[21]

Shadow magic

Main articles: Shadow (magic), Shadowflame

Shadow magic (or void magic) is the manifestation of the Void as it cannot exist in its pure state within the Great Dark Beyond. A source of terrible power, wielding its power creates a hunger for more power, which can be a trap. Once someone starts using the shadow, they will belong to the Shadow.[22] Shadow abilities are able to impart feelings like despair, doubt, and panic.[23] Nevertheless, the Void itself is not necessarily "evil"; it is a primal force with its morality characterized by how it is wielded.[24]

Shadowflame is a type of magic created from a combination of elemental fire and shadow magic.[25] It is a corruptive power that deteriorates both mind and body with insidious haste.[26]

Prominent figures

Void realm

The Void realm in Shadowmoon Valley, on Draenor.

Bc icon.gif This section concerns content related to The Burning Crusade.

The Shadow Realm is a plane of existence visited by the arakkoa that is related to the Void.

Warlords of Draenor This section concerns content related to Warlords of Draenor.

On alternate Draenor, using a Void Lantern allows seeing into the void realm.

The Edge of Reality is a location within the Void[27] where void energy ripped through the sky.[28]

Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.

On Argus, Zuraal the Ascended in the Seat of the Triumvirate sent the adventurers into the void realm.

Races of the Void

“You should hurry and defeat the fallen titan... there are greater battles yet to fight.”

Xal'atath, Blade of the Black Empire

Creatures of the Void are naturally chaotic. They are a necessary part of the universe, but they must be kept in check by the Light.[29] Many of the Old Gods' minions make extensive use of shadow magic. The terrifying dagger known as  [Xal'atath, Blade of the Black Empire], which was used by dark priests during the height of the Black Empire, used powerful Void energies and mind magics to warp everything around it for nefarious purpose.[30]

Like the other cosmic forces, beings of the Void can normally only be permanently killed in their realm. If killed in the mortal realm, their essence returns to the Void to reconstitute, though some exceptionally powerful forces can intervene in the process.[31]

Old Gods

The Old Gods were created by the malignant entities known as the void lords, and they live only to transform the worlds they infest into places of despair and death. Physical manifestations of the Void, they are nightmares incarnate: mountains of blighted flesh and writhing tentacles that grow like cancers within the worlds of the Great Dark Beyond. Their goal is to find and corrupt a world-soul in order to create a dark titan that would annihilate the universe.[32] Twilight magic is presumably Old God magic of the void branch.[33]

Void lords

The void lords are evil entities composed of pure shadow energy. These beings are cruel and merciless beyond mortal comprehension. Driven by an insatiable hunger, the void lords seek to devour all matter and energy in the physical universe. In their natural state, the void lords exist outside reality. Only the most powerful of these entities can manifest in the physical universe, and only for limited amounts of time. To maintain their presence in reality, the void lords must consume untold amounts of matter and energy.[34] They instead created the eldritch Old Gods to find and corrupt a titan world-soul and turn it into an unspeakably dark being that not even the Pantheon would be able to stand against.[35]

Dark naaru

It is exceedingly rare for a naaru to fall into a void state, and even rarer for them to be brought back into the Light. A naaru's fall into the void represents a catastrophic loss for the naaru and 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.[36]

The few cases of dark naaru that Locus-Walker knows of all involved mortals in some way, which he thinks carries fascinating implications.[37]


Voidwalkers are the most common type of Void being. Enigmatic and emanating pure demonic fury, a voidwalker is sometimes the last thing someone encounters before crossing over into death.[38]


There are many different types of beings that originate from the Void. Although they aren't demons,[39] they are often classified as such for gameplay reasons.[40] In Warlords of Draenor, most void creatures are classified as either elementals or aberrations (although the void revenant Nhallish is classified as undead).

  • Voidcaller Voidcaller — Void creatures draped in cloth and carrying lanterns that bridge the realms of the living and the dead.
  • IconSmall VoidGod.gif Void god — A very powerful type of Void being, created when a naaru is drained of its light.
  • IconSmall VoidLord.gif Voidlord — Large, powerful Void beings, armored in plate.
  • IconSmall VoidRevenant.gif Void revenant - Parasitic void-beings that tear holes through the planes of reality.
  • Voidwraith Voidwraith — Slender, wraith-like beings similar to voidwalkers.
  • IconSmall VoidTerror.gif Void hound - Hounds with two heads and one eye for each head and many more above its head.

In the RPG

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

The Shadows are the dark, malevolent forces seeking the world's (or even the universe's) dissolution; the "light" includes the virtuous, heroic forces preserving order and goodness. Their deeds and the powers they wield make up the stuff of legends... if not myths.[41] The Shadow Plane is an integral part of the universe, woven into every other plane of existence. It is from here that spells conjure shadow magic.[42]

Notes and trivia


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.


See also


  1. ^ Shadows Rising, chapter 9
  2. ^ File:WoW Chronicle Magic.jpg
  3. ^ a b Matt Burns on Twitter (2017-08-02).​ “Mainly because we felt like it was the most commonly used term when referring to that kind of magic.”
  4. ^ a b Matt Burns on Twitter (2017-08-02).​ “The two are pretty much interchangeable as far as the chart goes. We were just trying to use "shadow" in that specific case.”
  5. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 10
  6. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 21 - 24
  7. ^ Blizzblizz - Entrevista com Interview, 27:43
  8. ^  [Ur's Treatise on Shadow Magic]
  9. ^ N Priest [45] Safekeeping
  10. ^ N [35-40] Disrupt the Rituals
  11. ^ a b c A Thousand Years of War, Part Three – Shadow & Light, pg. 36-37
  12. ^ World of Warcraft: Grimoire of the Shadowlands and Beyond, pg. 150 - 151
  13. ^  [Expedition Report A37J - Part 1]
  14. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 30 - 31
  15. ^  [Xal'atath, Blade of the Black Empire]
  16. ^ N [51-60] Wicked Gateways
  17. ^ N [51-60] Warriors of the Void
  18. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 23
  19. ^ World of Warcraft: Illidan, pg. 274
  20. ^  [Enemy Infiltration - Preface]
  21. ^ Windrunner: Three Sisters
  22. ^ A Thousand Years of War, Part One – Two Bright Lights, pg. 19
  23. ^ Ask CDev#Ask CDev Answers - Round 3
  24. ^ Blizzblizz - Entrevista com Interview, 27:43
  25. ^ The Amalgamation Chamber
  26. ^ N [70] Battlefield Triage
  27. ^  [Voidtalon of the Dark Star] - "I believe you misplaced this in the void"
  28. ^ Ner'zhul (tactics) - "Omen of Death" spell
  29. ^ N [25-30D] Unbound Darkness
  30. ^ Legion: Priest Artifact Reveal
  31. ^ Ezgi Pajecki 2020-09-26. Maldraxxus, Shadowlands and Beyond - Interview with Steve Danuser. Lorekeeper. Archived from the original on 2020-09-27.
  32. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 26 on e-book
  33. ^ Jeremy Feasel on Twitter: "Old god magic, void I think?"
  34. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, 24-25 on e-book
  35. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 21
  36. ^ Ask CDev#Ask CDev Answers - Round 1
  37. ^ Locus-Walker#Quotes
  38. ^ Major Payne's Pet Menagerie: Lesser Voidcaller
  39. ^ Ask CDev Answers - Round 4
  40. ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter (2014-03-07) - "Real answer: Void is different from nether. We consider voidwalkers "demons" for gameplay but different origins!"
  41. ^ Shadows & Light, pg. 9
  42. ^ Shadows & Light, pg. 132
  43. ^ World of Warcraft: The Dragonflight Codex, pg. 85
  44. ^ Ability rogue envelopingshadows.png Tearing the Void — Aku'mai widens the portal, allowing more pieces of himself to emerge from the void.
  45. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 128
  46. ^ Of Blood and Honor, chapter 1
  47. ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, quotes from the Priest and Uther the Lightbringer.
  48. ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter (2014-03-07)
  49. ^ B [120] The Precious 13-Tooth Gogglegear