Know Your Lore: Anduin Lothar, the Lion of Azeroth
Anduin Lothar was one of the great heroes of the Alliance — in fact, he was pretty much the impetus for the the original formation of it, just after the end of the First War. With the Warcraft movie coming out next year, we know we’ll be seeing some version of the events of the First War, including Anduin Lothar himself. Although Lothar’s story begins well before the First War, it’s really during this time period of Azeroth’s history that his role amps up to heroic proportions — and while we may not see exactly what we’re familiar with from Warcraft‘s history, it’s still not a bad idea to revisit this hero of old.
Anduin Lothar spent his youth in esteemed company — he was childhood friends with both the king’s son, Llane Wrynn, and Medivh, the son of the court conjurer. When he came of age, he joined Stormwind’s military and quickly joined the ranks of the king’s guardsmen, eventually earning knighthood and a place in the Brotherhood of the Horse. King Adamant Wrynn III held a lot of respect for Lothar, and when the orcs arrived on Azeroth, Lothar was insistent that Stormwind take the fight to them, a sentiment Adamant agreed with.
When Adamant died and Llane became king, he carried on taking the advice of his childhood friend — why wouldn’t he? And because of their efforts, the orcs were largely held back and contained in the Swamp of Sorrows, keeping Stormwind safe and untouched. It wasn’t to last, however. Lothar’s loyalties stood with King Llane, but Llane was just a little too trusting, and maybe a little too naive as a result…something that would eventually cost Llane dearly.
Medivh’s apprentice, a young mage named Khadgar, arrived at Stormwind’s castle with an unlikely companion in tow — a half orc woman named Garona. Together, they sought to inform King Llane of the unthinkable, that Medivh was the man responsible for bringing the orcs to Azeroth in the first place. King Llane didn’t want to believe them, and sent them away, unwilling to accept the idea that his old friend Medivh would willingly betray Azeroth itself.
But Anduin Lothar heard their words, and had to make a decision — follow his instincts, or follow his allegiances. Luckily, instinct won out, and he traveled to Karazhan with Khadgar, Garona, and a small group of troops. Together, they confronted Medivh in his tower, and discovered that the magus wasn’t what he appeared to be. After an intense battle, Khadgar managed to stab Medivh in the heart, and Lothar struck the final blow, beheading the magus and bringing an end to whatever plans he might have had.
This did not stop the Horde. In fact, it only paved the way for the Horde to conquer, although Lothar could hardly have known at the time what his actions would accomplish. While Medivh was engaged in battle, Gul’dan, the orcish leader of the Shadow Council, was trying to pluck the location of an artifact of great power from his mind. When Medivh abruptly perished, Gul’dan was thrown into a coma. Because of that coma, Orgrim Doomhammer was able to defeat Blackhand, and claim leadership of the Horde.
And he was utterly ruthless. While Lothar and his men returned to Stormwind, they found their kingdom in ruins — the Horde had risen up and utterly demolished the countryside, forcing the residents of the kingdom to hide. King Llane perished at the hands of Garona, and his young son, Varian, was far too young to take the crown himself. Left with no other choice, Anduin Lothar gathered the beleaguered citizens of Stormwind and fled north, across the sea. It seemed the Horde had won.
Anduin Lothar may have watched his beloved home fall down around him, but he was hardly in a position to give up. And he knew for a fact that if the Horde were left to its own devices, it would soon conquer the rest of the world as well. With that in mind, he took Stormwind’s survivors to the kingdom of Lordaeron, to seek refuge, tell King Terenas Menethil II what had happened to Stormwind, and warn him that if nothing was done, Lordaeron and every other human kingdom on Azeroth would surely fall.
Terenas took the warning to heart. And he also formulated a plan — an alliance of all human kingdoms, as well as the dwarves of Khaz Modan, and their allies, the gnomes. There was one more set of allies to bring to the table, and those involved Anduin Lothar directly. Lothar wasn’t just a heroic warrior, he was also the last descendant of the Arathi bloodline, and because of this, he had a link to the high elves, who had pledged a vow of loyalty to King Thoradin during the Troll Wars long before. This link allowed King Terenas to persuade the high elves to join the allied forces, and the first Alliance, the Alliance of Lordaeron was born.
The united human kingdoms of the north didn’t exactly trust each other, but agreed that the orcs were a far larger threat. And because of his neutral standing among all the united kingdoms, his skill as a warrior, and his years of experience, Anduin Lothar was named Supreme Commander of the Alliance forces. His second in command was a paladin named Turalyon, and rounding out his commanders were Grand Admiral Daelin Proudmoore — whose daughter Jaina would have her own rise to history years down the road — Uther the Lightbringer, leader of the Knights of the Silver Hand, and lastly, Medivh’s former apprentice Khadgar.
Despite their best efforts, the Horde managed to push their armies all the way to Lordaeron’s shores — but for some reason unknown to Lothar, the Horde withdrew. Little did he know that Gul’dan had betrayed Orgrim Doomhammer, taking his followers and deserting the Horde armies, leaving Doomhammer with no choice but retreat. However, Lothar and the Alliance armies pressed the advantage, pushing the Horde forces back and liberating Khaz Modan. Bolstered by the victory, Lothar continued to push the Horde forces all the way south into Stormwind, and then beyond, finally confronting Orgrim himself at the foot of Blackrock Spire. And there, the leader of the Alliance forces faced the leader of the Horde armies in single combat, and perished.
Although Orgrim expected this victory to demoralize the Alliance armies, it had the opposite effect. Turalyon stepped forward to lead, and the Alliance fought with a renewed surge of fervor. The Horde armies quickly fell apart, and the Horde was defeated. Anduin Lothar never lived to see his homeland restored, but his leadership over the course of humanity’s most troublesome period of history would not be soon forgotten.
Legacy and the Warcraft movie
Lothar never lived to return to his home, nor did he see Stormwind’s walls rebuilt to their former glory, nor did he see Prince Varian crowned king. But his legacy continues to live on. In the Burning Steppes, a statue, pointed defiantly at Blackrock Spire, was built of Lothar’s final stand, to commemorate his final battle. The Alliance Expedition that later traveled to Draenor called themselves the Sons of Lothar in his memory, saying they wanted to name themselves after the greatest, most selfless man they’d ever known. And his name lives on as well — King Varian Wrynn named his son Anduin in honor of the man who shepherded them from Stormwind’s crumbling ruins, and led them back to victory.
Exactly how much of Anduin Lothar’s tale we’ll see in the Warcraft movie is as yet undetermined — he will be making an appearance, played by Travis Fimmel, also known for his work on the History Channel series Vikings, and we know we’ll be seeing Medivh, Khadgar, Garona and Llane as well. All signs indicate we’re going to see a slightly different version of the events surrounding the First War play out, but unless they drastically change the story for the purpose of the film, it’s unlikely we’ll see Lothar’s fall. But we do know this — Anduin Lothar was a hero, and without him, there would be no Alliance today. He was a good man, a selfless man, devoted to Stormwind and to Azeroth itself until the bitter end, determined to see his home restored and Stormwind’s people safe and sound. Hopefully we’ll see the Warcraft movie do justice to this triumphant hero when it hits theaters next year.
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