The ultimate guide to Warcraft lore in print
Want to get into Warcraft’s lore and story, but don’t know where to begin? The following is a guide to all canon novels, manga, comics, and short stories related to World of Warcraft listed in chronological order. This means that instead of being listed by when the material was published, it’s being listed by its order in the Warcraft lore timeline so you can start at the beginning and read your way all to the end if that’s what you want. For frame of reference, all material is sorted by the game title and expansion in which it takes place.
To make the chronology work, you’ll find some stories show up on the timeline twice, because events within the story include flashbacks to earlier points in time. Warlords of Draenor (an alternate history of the events on Draenor) and the Warcraft movie (a retelling of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans) are both in their own sections, as neither ties into the game’s timeline.
Now let’s dig in to all of the Warcraft lore you can find in print.
- Early Azeroth history
- Warcraft: Orcs & Humans
- Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness & Beyond the Dark Portal
- Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos & The Frozen Throne
- World of Warcraft
- World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
- World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
- World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
- World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
- World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
- World of Warcraft: Legion
- World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth
- World opf Warcraft: Shadowlands
- World of Warcraft: Dragonflight
- Warcraft/World of Warcraft miscellany
- Warcraft movie novels and comics
Early Azeroth history
- World of Warcraft: Chronicle Vol. 1 by Chris Metzen, Matt Burns, and Robert Brooks. Chronicle covers the history of the Warcraft universe — it’s not a typical novel so much as a written history. Volume 1 details history from the beginnings of the cosmos all the way up to the onset of the First War.
- World of Warcraft: Chronicle Vol. 2 by Chris Metzen, Matt Burns, and Robert Brooks. Volume 2 of the Chronicle series covers the ancient history of Draenor, as well as the First War, the Second War, and the destruction of Draenor.
- Dawn of the Aspects, parts 1-5 by Richard A. Knaak. The Aspects have expended the last of their powers to defeat Deathwing, but where does this leave the dragonflights? Kalecgos, former Aspect of the Blue Dragonflight, finds a mysterious artifact that may hold the answers… if the visions don’t kill him, first. All visions in this five-part story take place before the War of the Ancients, present-day material takes place during Mists of Pandaria.
- Death From Above by Robert Brooks. Long, long before the Pandaren rebelled against their Mogu masters, Mantid and Mogu repeatedly clashed atop the Serpent’s Spine. While Mantid swarms may be predictable, the actions of the Paragons are definitely not. This story tells the tale of Kil’ruk the Wind-Reaver, and the epilogue for the story takes place during Mists of Pandaria.
- The War of the Ancients Trilogy by Richard A. Knaak. This series has three parts: The Well of Eternity, The Demon Soul, and The Sundering. The novels follow the story of the War of the Ancients, set during the reign of Queen Azshara, and tell the tale of Azshara’s fall, the arrival of the Burning Legion, and the rise of Tyrande Whisperwind and Malfurion Stormrage – all through the eyes of travelers that have been sent back in time by Nozdormu.
- World of Warcraft: Curse of the Worgen Issues 1-5 by Micky Neilson and James Waugh. The kingdom of Gilneas has been beset upon by monstrous Worgen, but the origins of the creatures date back farther than anyone in the kingdom could possibly know. Flashbacks in this series take place just after the War of the Ancients.
- The War of the Shifting Sands by Micky Neilson. Although this story involves the opening of the Gates of Ahn’Qiraj, the flashbacks in the tale date back to the original War of the Shifting Sands, 1,000 years before the orcs first appeared on Azeroth.
- Rise of the Horde by Christie Golden. The Orc clans of Draenor find themselves embroiled in war against the Draenei, and inadvertently succumbing to dark powers they barely comprehend. This is the story of Ner’zhul, Gul’dan, and the events leading up to the First War.
- Unbroken by Micky Neilson. Shattered by the systematic slaughter of his people, the Draenei Paladin Nobundo finds himself succumbing to a disease that severs his connection to the Light. Will the elements of Draenor’s shattered husk help him find his way? This short story takes place just after Shattrath’s fall in Rise of the Horde, and follows Nobundo’s journey through Draenor after Beyond the Dark Portal.
Warcraft: Orcs & Humans
The First War
- The Last Guardian by Jeff Grubb. The mysterious tower of Karazhan is home to one of the most powerful men on Azeroth, and holds far more secrets than even Khadgar, apprentice to Medivh, can begin to fathom. This tale takes place during the First War, and covers the story of Medivh, Khadgar, and Garona.
Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness & Beyond the Dark Portal
The Second War
- Tides of Darkness by Aaron Rosenberg. This is a novelization of the events of Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness, mostly from the Alliance perspective, and covers the Second War. This novel is also where Alleria Windrunner and Turalyon are first introduced.
- Beyond the Dark Portal by Aaron Rosenberg and Christie Golden. This is a novelization of the events of Warcraft 2: Beyond the Dark Portal, mostly from the Horde perspective. It covers the events following the Second War, as well as the formation of the Alliance Expedition and the shattering of Draenor.
- Day of the Dragon by Richard A. Knaak. Alexstrasza, Aspect of the Red Dragonflight, has been captured and enslaved by the Demon Soul. Seeking to free her, her consort finds an unlikely ally in the mage Rhonin. Takes place just after the Second War.
- Lord of the Clans by Christie Golden. The story of the Orc Thrall, son of Durotan, and his rise from slave to Warchief of the Horde. If you’ve done Caverns of Time: Durnholde Keep, you’ll recognize a lot of familiar faces and events in this novel.
- Genn Greymane: Lord of His Pack by James Waugh. The story of Genn Greymane and his struggle to lead his people. This story takes place at two different points in the timeline: flashbacks to shortly after the Second War, involving Greymane, Gilneas, and the withdrawal from the Alliance of Lordaeron.
- Of Blood and Honor by Chris Metzen. The Second War is over, and paladin Tirion Fordring wants nothing more than to live a peaceful life with his family and govern the town of Hearthglen. But an unexpected encounter with an Orc named Eitrigg leads to an unlikely friendship that changes the course of his life for good.
- Road to Damnation by Evelyn Fredericksen. Obsessed with forbidden magic, the mage Kel’Thuzad trades his allegiance to the Kirin Tor to the service of a new master… the Lich King. Takes place just before the events of Warcraft 3.
Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos & The Frozen Throne
The Third War
- Arthas: Rise of the Lich King by Christie Golden. The story of Arthas, Prince of Lordaeron, and his eventual descent into darkness and rise as the Lich King. The majority of the book takes place just before and during Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne, but both the prologue and epilogue of the book take place just after the end of The Burning Crusade.
- Ashbringer, Issues 1-4 by Micky Neilson. This four-part comic takes place during the Third War, telling the tale of the Mograine family and the legendary blade, Ashbringer.
- World of Warcraft: Death Knight by Dan Jolley. This manga is the story of Thassarian, once soldier of Lordaeron, the first Death Knight to leave service of the Lich King and rejoin the Alliance. Events in this book span between Warcraft 3 and Wrath of the Lich King.
- Blood of the Highborne by Micky Neilson. Lady Liadrin was once a devout follower of the Light, but when the Scourge threatens the Sunwell, causing its destruction, she finds herself locked in a crisis of faith. Flashbacks in this story take place prior to the Second War. Please note that this novella is only found in the World of Warcraft: Paragons anthology.
- World of Warcraft: Chronicle Vol. 3 by Chris Metzen, Matt Burns, and Robert Brooks. This volume of the Chronicles series is focused on the events leading up to and including the Third War and the rise of the Lich King, documenting events such as the first contact between the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor in thousands of years, the transformation of Illidan Stormrage after consuming the Skull of Gul’dan, the attack of the Scourge, the return of the Burning Legion, and more.
- Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy by Richard A. Knaak. The Sunwell has been destroyed, yet hope is not lost. This manga trilogy is the story of a woman named Anveena Teague, who attracts the attention of the blue dragon Kalecgos and holds a secret that shocks them both. The story takes place after the destruction of the Sunwell in Warcraft 3. Players may note that both Anveena and Kalecgos later make an appearance in the Sunwell raid during The Burning Crusade.
- Vol’jin: The Judgment by Brian Kindregan. Vol’jin, son of Sen’jin, has been sent to the forests of First Home to complete the coming of age ritual and become a shadow hunter… but the visions of the spirits tell him more about his future than he could have ever imagined. This story takes place just before Thrall arrives on the Darkspear island during Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos.
- The War of the Ancients Trilogy by Richard A. Knaak. Rhonin, Krasus, and the orc Broxigar are sent back in time by Nozdormu to the days of the War of the Ancients. The opening and end of the series takes place just after the Third War, although the main events of The Well of Eternity, The Demon Soul, and The Sundering take place during the War of the Ancients.
- Cycle of Hatred by Keith R.A. DeCandido. The Third War was a success, and the Legion has been defeated — but can Thrall, Warchief of the Horde, and Human sorceress Jaina Proudmoore keep the peace between their people alive? This story takes place after the end of the Third War, before the events of World of Warcraft begin.
World of Warcraft
- The War of the Shifting Sands by Micky Neilson. Although this story involves the opening of the Gates of Ahn’Qiraj during World of Warcraft, the flashbacks in the tale date back to the original War of the Shifting Sands, 1,000 years before the Orcs first appeared on Azeroth.
- World of Warcraft: Shadow Wing Vol. 1, The Dragons of Outland, and Vol. 2, Nexus Point, by Richard A. Knaak. This manga takes place prior to The Burning Crusade. Blue dragon Tyrygosa and Jorad Mace have made their way through the newly opened Dark Portal. There, Tyrygosa discovers the Netherwing, a flight of dragons that might just help Malygos, Aspect of the Blue Dragonflight, regain his sanity at last.
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
- Night of the Dragon by Richard A. Knaak. A sequel to both Day of the Dragon and the Shadow Wing manga series, this book covers the origins of the Twilight Dragonflight that will be encountered later on, in Cataclysm.
- World of Warcraft: Illidan by William King. This book covers Illidan’s view of the Burning Crusade expansion up to and including his defeat in Black Temple, as well as Maiev and Akama’s stories from the same time period.
- World of Warcraft: The Comic series, Vol.1 and Vol. 2 (Issues 1-14), by Walter and Louise Simonson. This half of the Warcraft comic series takes place during The Burning Crusade, and covers the disappearance of King Varian Wrynn prior to World of Warcraft’s launch, and his return to the throne and defeat of Onyxia.
- World of Warcraft: The Comic series, Vol. 3 and Vol. 4 (Issues 15-25), by Walter and Louise Simonson. This half of the Warcraft comics series begins just prior to Wrath of the Lich King‘s launch and ends at some point during Wrath of the Lich King. It starts right after the first series leaves off, and involves diplomatic attempts between Varian Wrynn and Warchief Thrall, ending in disaster with the reappearance of the Half-Orc assassin Garona. Also covers the story of Cho’gall and the Twilight Cult, which later feature in the Cataclysm expansion.
- World of Warcraft: Mage by Richard A. Knaak. This manga takes place in Dalaran, and covers some of the events surrounding the Nexus War between the Kirin Tor and Malygos, Aspect of the Blue Dragonflight. This story takes place just before Wrath of the Lich King.
- Garrosh Hellscream: Heart of War by Sarah Pine. This short story focuses on Garrosh Hellscream. The story takes place just after the trailer for the Ulduar patch, but flashback scenes take place just after Garrosh arrives on Azeroth after leaving Nagrand in The Burning Crusade.
- Lor’themar Theron: In the Shadow of the Sun by Sarah Pine. Although the Sunwell has been restored, the Blood Elves are still recovering from Kael’thas’ betrayal and the events of The Burning Crusade. Lor’themar Theron now leads the Blood Elves, but can he stand tall when demands from Sylvanas call his beleaguered people to Northrend? Takes place between The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King.
- Li Li’s Travel Journal. The story of Li Li Stormstout, niece of infamous explorer Chen, and her travels from the Wandering Isle and beyond. The introduction to this 11 part novella takes place at an unknown period prior to Pearl of Pandaria, but the later entries in the tale detail Li Li’s experiences during Mists of Pandaria.
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
- Pearl of Pandaria by Micky Neilson. Li Li Stormstout, niece of famous explorer Chen, sets out from the Wandering Isle on a search for her beloved uncle. Takes place at an unknown period during the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.
- Glory by Evelyn Fredericksen. A short glimpse at the events of the Wrathgate cinematic through the eyes of an Orc Warrior. Although this short story is no longer available on the official site, it has been archived on Wowpedia.
- World of Warcraft Special Issue 1: Beginnings and Ends by Mike Costa. Taking place somewhere after the defeat of Algalon in Ulduar, this one-shot special issue comic covers the stories of the inhabitants of Azeroth, as seen through Algalon’s eyes. Although out of print, this comic didn’t have a ton of story — it was mostly an introductory piece for characters later introduced in the graphic novels Dark Riders and Bloodsworn.
- Sylvanas Windrunner: Edge of Night by Dave Kosak. The Lich King has been defeated, but Sylvanas Windrunner must visit the Frozen Throne to confirm his death with her own eyes. What she finds at the top of Icecrown Citadel changes her fate — and the fate of the Forsaken — forever.
- Stormrage by Richard A. Knaak. The Emerald Dream has been corrupted from within, and Malfurion Stormrage struggles to defeat the Nightmare before it reaches beyond the Dream and into Azeroth itself. This novel addresses the corruption of the Emerald Dream and the absence of Malfurion Stormrage, first introduced in World of Warcraft.
- The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm by Christie Golden. The elements of Azeroth are lashing out, leaving the very world embroiled in turmoil. Meanwhile, political struggles in both Alliance and Horde lead to clashes that neither side may fully recover from. This is the lead-in novel for Cataclysm.
- World of Warcraft: Shaman by Paul Benjamin. The Earthen Ring desperately seeks to soothe the troubled elements of the world, but when a mysterious stranger arrives, offering a new kind of magic, the Shaman must decide whether he is hero, or heretic. Takes place just before the release of Cataclysm.
- The Council of Three Hammers: Fire and Iron by Matt Burns. Varian Wrynn may have reformed the Council of the Three Hammers, but the Bronzebeard, Wildhammer, and Dark Iron clans continue to clash in the halls of Ironforge. This short story takes place between The Shattering and Cataclysm’s launch.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
- World of Warcraft: Dark Riders, by Mike Costa and Neil Googe. An Alliance mage named Karlain embarks on a journey to retrieve a powerful artifact being sought by the Dark Riders of Deadwind Pass. Part of the tale of the Scythe of Elune, this graphic novel takes place some point prior to the Scythe’s arrival in Gilneas during Curse of the Worgen.
- Gelbin Mekkatorque: Cut Short by Cameron Dayton. Although Gnomeregan may not be fully recovered, Gelbin Mekkatorque is still able to revisit his former quarters in the depths of the city — and unexpectedly encounters a familiar face while he’s there. This short story takes place at some point after Cataclysm’s pre-expansion attempt to reclaim Gnomeregan.
- Tyrande & Malfurion: Seeds of Faith The shores of Darkshore have been shattered, and the Night Elves are suffering from massive losses. Tyrande Whisperwind takes a trip to Feathermoon Stronghold to save her daughter of the heart, Shandris Feathermoon. Takes place immediately after the Shattering in Cataclysm.
- Baine Bloodhoof: As Our Fathers Before Us by Steven Nix. Baine Bloodhoof now stands as leader of the Tauren. But self-doubt plague’s Cairne’s son as he wonders if he is competent enough to lead in his father’s footsteps, especially in the face of ongoing tension with the Horde’s new Warchief. Takes place after Cataclysm’s launch, and the Goblin’s inclusion into the Horde.
- Gallywix: Trade Secrets of a Trade Prince by Gavin Jurgens-Fyhrie. The story of Gallywix — his origins and how he rose to power on the isle of Kezan. Because Kezan’s history isn’t really defined the Warcraft timeline, we have no frame of reference for where most of this story takes place. However, the story ends with Gallywix in Azshara, as depicted in Cataclysm.
- World of Warcraft: Curse of the Worgen Issues 1-5 by Micky Neilson and James Waugh. The kingdom of Gilneas has been beset upon by monstrous worgen, but the origins of the creatures date back farther than anyone in the kingdom could possibly know. Flashbacks in this series take place just after the War of the Ancients.
- Genn Greymane: Lord of His Pack by James Waugh. The story of Genn Greymane and his struggle to lead his people — this takes place at two different points in the timeline. Flashbacks to shortly after the Second War involve Greymane, Gilneas, and the withdrawal from the Alliance of Lordaeron, while current events take place just after the Worgen starting zone quests.
- Wolfheart by Richard A. Knaak. The Worgen wish to join the Alliance, but King Varian Wrynn stands in their way — can they help the Human King understand himself? Meanwhile, tensions among the Night Elves are on the rise due to the reappearance of the Highborne of Eldre’Thalas. Maiev Shadowsong is tasked to track down a murderer, while Ashenvale reels from ongoing attacks by Garrosh Hellscream and the Horde.
- Velen: Prophet’s Lesson by Marc Hutcheson. Prince Anduin Wrynn has left his father’s side to study the Light with the Prophet Velen, leader of the Draenei. But when Velen’s visions threaten to shut the Prophet out from his people, it’s up to Anduin to open Velen’s eyes before tensions between the Draenei and Alliance refugees rage out of control.
- Varian Wrynn: Blood of Our Fathers by E. Daniel Arey. Remembrance Day should be a day to honor the heroes of the past. But Stormwind lies in pieces due to Deathwing’s attack, and King Varian Wrynn struggles with trying to inspire his people, rebuild his kingdom, and repair his fracturing relationship with his son Anduin.
- Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects by Christie Golden. Thrall has stepped down from his position as Warchief to focus his efforts on mending the fractured world. But self-doubt plagues him, even as he is sent on a random errand by Ysera, Aspect of the Green Dragonflight. Yet this humble task takes Thrall on a journey that spans Azeroth and the timeways of history itself, forcing him to reevaluate his purpose in the world, and aid the tormented Dragonflights in the process.
- Charge of the Aspects by Matt Burns. The Aspects have been reunited at last, and a new Aspect has been chosen for the Blue Dragonflight, yet the work of the dragons is far from done. The dragons must put an end to the Hour of Twilight, and search for a way to defeat Deathwing before it’s too late to save Azeroth.
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
- Quest for Pandaria, parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 by Sarah Pine. Li Li Stormstout has found her uncle and returned to the Wandering Isle, but her journey is far from over — and she wants to find the lost continent of Pandaria, the one place her uncle has never been.
- Li Li’s Travel Journal The story of Li Li Stormstout, niece of infamous explorer Chen, and her travels from the Wandering Isle and beyond. The introduction to this 11 part novella takes place at an unknown period prior to Pearl of Pandaria, but the later entries in the tale detail Li Li’s experiences during Mists of Pandaria.
- Trial of the Red Blossoms by Cameron Dayton. Ten is nothing more than a thief, but when the young Pandaren makes the mistake of accidentally crossing the Shado-Pan, his life changes forever.
- Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War by Christie Golden. Garrosh Hellscream now leads the Horde, and has set his sights on conquering Kalimdor. As tensions between the Alliance and Horde rage on and the fate of Theramore hangs in the balance, Jaina Proudmoore is forced to choose between the diplomatic life she’s always loved, and the tides of war and fury that wage within.
- Strength of Steel by Raphael Ahad. Shipwrecked on Pandaria, the Dragonmaw Orc Koak finds himself the unexpected recipient of a new companion — a cloud serpent hatchling. Thus begins his journey to discover what it truly means to be a serpent rider, and a member of the Horde. This story begins at the launch of Mists of Pandaria, and stretches throughout the expansion’s timeline.
- Dawn of the Aspects, parts 1-5 by Richard A. Knaak. The Aspects have expended the last of their powers to defeat Deathwing, but where does this leave the dragonflights? Kalecgos, former Aspect of the Blue Dragonflight, finds a mysterious artifact that may hold the answers…if the visions don’t kill him, first. All visions in this five-part story take place before the War of the Ancients, present-day material takes place during Mists of Pandaria.
- Death From Above by Robert Brooks. Long, long before the Pandaren rebelled against their Mogu masters, Mantid and Mogu repeatedly clashed atop the Serpent’s Spine. While Mantid swarms may be predictable, the actions of the Paragons are definitely not. This story tells the tale of Kil’ruk the Wind-Reaver, and the epilogue for the story takes place during Mists of Pandaria.
- Bleeding Sun by Matt Burns. Although tauren Sunwalker Dezco has finally found the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, the cost of the journey has been a heavy one. While he struggles with finding his place in the Vale, Dezco comes across the Golden Lotus, and discovers his sacrifices are far from over.
- The Blank Scroll by Gavin Jugens-Fyhrie. While searching for powerful artifacts for the Horde, the Goblin Ziya stumbles across a curious and dangerous relic, and a mysterious Lorewalker named Shuchun. While she may appear just as innocent as the relic she tries to protect, both Shuchun and the relic are full of unexpected surprises.
- The Jade Hunters by Matt Burns. The Dark Iron are still trying to prove their worth to the Alliance as allies, and three dwarves have been tasked with gathering jade to help rebuild the Serpent’s Heart statue. This short story takes place during Mists of Pandaria, after the events in the Jade Forest.
- Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde by Michael Stackpole. Darkspear leader Vol’jin is taken to the Shado-Pan Monastery after a failed attempt on his life by a Horde assassin. While there, he discovers the return of the Zandalari, and the rising threat of the Thunder King. Can Vol’jin recover in time to prevent the upcoming conflict — and will he still remain loyal to the Horde?
- Over Water by Ryan Quinn. Swept overboard while trying to sail home, Alliance soldier Tarlo Mondan finds himself rescued and adopted as the fourth member of a very different kind of Pandaren fishing crew, obsessed with big catches and even bigger tall tales.
- The Untamed Valley by Robert Brooks. Garrosh Hellscream has been defeated, but loyalists still threaten to wreak havoc on Pandaria. Night Elf Sentinel Commander Lyalia and Draenei Vindicator Maraad attempt to track down the loyalists and work together with a friendly group of Pandaren Tillers to bring the plans of the loyalists to a halt.
- War Crimes by Christie Golden. Garrosh Hellscream stands trial for his crimes in the Temple of the White Tiger. But both Alliance and Horde find themselves confronting their own pasts while deciding Hellscream’s future.
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
This version of Draenor is a different reality than our own, so the timeline it follows and the events that occur on the world do not tie in to the timeline established by pre-existing works — these short stories and comics exist separately.
- Blood and Thunder by Raphael Ahad. Twenty years before the formation of the Iron Horde, Garad’s son Fenris makes a decision — and a challenge — that will change the course of his life forever.
- Blackhand by Robert Brooks. Faced with the possible extinction of his clan, the leader of the Blackrock must look for help from unexpected sources, and pay a costly price for his clan’s survival.
- Hellscream by Robert Brooks. Garrosh Hellscream has arrived on Draenor thanks to the machinations of the Bronze dragon Kairoz, but Garrosh’s motives and plans are his own. And when the time comes to meet his father, Garrosh sets in motion a series of events that will change the course of Draenor’s history.
- Gul’dan and the Stranger by Micky Neilson. Gul’dan seeks power and glory, both for himself and for his people. But a sudden visit from a hooded stranger has Gul’dan questioning whether the Orc clans can be bent to the will of the Burning Legion as easily as he’d thought.
- Code of Rule by Ryan Quinn. The once-mighty Ogre empire has caught the attention of the Iron Horde. Facing the prospect of his people’s extinction, Imperator Mar’gok must make a choice: Join the Iron Horde or be crushed beneath it.
- Apocrypha by Matt Burns. In the wake of Skyreach’s fall, the Arakkoa Reshad tells the tale of Iskar and Viryx, two Adherents of Rukhmar who find themselves caught in the secrets of Terokk’s past, and the truth of the Outcast curse.
World of Warcraft: Legion
- World of Warcraft: Illidan by William King. While the events in the book take place during Burning Crusade, the Demon Hunters’ origins are explored in this novel, and the end of the book ties into the beginning of the Demon Hunter starting experience in Legion.
- Magni: Fault Lines by Matt Burns. Beneath Ironforge, a former King awakens from his crystalline slumber. But will Magni Bronzebeard reclaim Ironforge as his own — or is his purpose far more dire than anyone on Azeroth imagined? This free comic leads directly into the events of Legion.
- Nightborne: Twilight of Suramar by Matt Burns. Long thought lost, the ancient city of Suramar stills stands. Living in isolation for 10,000 years, the Nightborne are approached by Gul’dan with an offer that could change the future of their people forever. This free comic takes place shortly before the beginning of Legion.
- Dark Mirror by Steve Danuser. Nathanos Blightcaller takes part in a mysterious ritual at the behest of Sylvanas Windrunner. But the Banshee Queen’s demand stirs up old forgotten memories of the life Nathanos Marris lived before he became Forsaken. This short story takes place some time just before the Broken Isles scenario and events in Legion, with flashbacks to the Second War, and the fallout from the Third War.
- Highmountain: A Mountain Divided by Robert Brooks. The tribes of Highmountain have spent thousands of years protecting the Hammer of Khaz’Goroth. But when the Burning Legion invades the Broken Isles, the future of the Hammer, and Highmountain itself, is thrown into uncertainty. This free comic takes place just after the Broken Isles scenario in the Legion launch event.
- Anduin: Son of the Wolf by Robert Brooks. Anduin Wrynn has long been a proponent for peace on Azeroth. As he reads a letter from his father, Anduin questions whether he can lead while still keeping true to his beliefs. This free comic takes place just after the Broken Isles scenario in Legion.
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth
- Reunion by Andrew Robinson. Having distanced herself during the events of Legion, Jaina Proudmoore returns to the ruins of Theramore in this comic, reflecting on how her decisions have shaped her life. Believing war between factions to be an unavoidable future at this point, Jaina returns home to confront the shadows of her past. This free comic takes place some time just after the conclusion of Legion, before the Warbringers: Jaina animated short.
- The Speaker by Matt Burns. No longer the leader of the Dwarves, Magni Bronzebeard now acts as Speaker for the world-soul of Azeroth herself. But after the disastrous events at the end of Legion, the world is irrevocably wounded — and Magni can no longer hear her voice, only her screams. Riddled by unsettling memories, Magni travels to Silithus in an attempt to rekindle his connection with the world. This free comic takes place after the end of Legion, and just before the introductory events to Battle for Azeroth.
- Three Sisters by Steve Danuser, Christie Golden, and Andrew Robinson. Alleria Windrunner has returned to Azeroth — but the fate of her sisters is still of great concern, particularly Sylvanas Windrunner. Calling on both Sylvanas and Vereesa, the three come together and attempt to take back the undead-riddled ruins of Windrunner Spire. But have the three sisters been divided by fate and circumstance, or are they still a family? This free comic takes place after the conclusion of Legion.
- Before the Storm by Christie Golden. Despite the defeat of the Burning Legion, Azeroth has been grievously wounded. The world is dying — and from the heart of its wound, a mysterious new substance called Azerite pours fourth. Both Alliance and Horde are desperate to uncover its secrets, and the threat of war looms over the factions once more. In the face of it all, King Anduin Wrynn has an unorthodox plan that might just forge that lasting peace between factions that he so desperately hopes for. But can Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner truly trust the Alliance king, and embrace the idea of peace? This novel takes place just before the events that lead into Battle for Azeroth.
- A Good War by Robert Brooks. Varok Saurfang has lived a long and storied life in service to the Horde, through many wars and conflicts. But the Horde’s latest Warchief may just top every prior leader with a devious plan to take the battle to its end and secure victory for the Horde once and for all. The plan is brilliant…but will the Warchief’s zealous nature betray both common sense and every ounce of honor the old Orc holds dear? This novella takes place simultaneously with the events of Elegy, and tells the story of the lead-in events for Battle for Azeroth from the Horde perspective.
- Elegy by Christie Golden. King Anduin Wrynn tried for peace, but failed — and now the Horde prepares for war once again. But Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner is far more clever than the Alliance realizes. After faking an attack on Silithus, the Warchief’s plan is fully realized — she intends to take Ashenvale, and then Darnassus. Can Tyrande Whisperwind and Malfurion Stormrage stop the Banshee Queen before her plan reaches its horrifying conclusion? This novella takes place simultaneously with the events of A Good War, and tells the story of the lead-in events for Battle for Azeroth from the Alliance perspective.
- Mechagon by Matt Burns. Most Gnomes would say that Mechagon Island is merely a legend — but not Kervo the Explorer. Rumored to hold the secrets of immortality, Mechagon has been the focus of his research for years. But even if Kervo manages to find Mechagon, can he unravel its secrets before his own time runs out? This free comic takes place not long before we discover the island in Battle for Azeroth.
- A Moment in Verse by Madeline Roux. With the war over, First Arcanist Thalyssra finally gets her visit from Lor’themar Theron. It’s an evening of poetry… and of romance. This story takes place after the defeat of N’Zoth and the end of the Fourth War.
- Shadows Rising by Madeline Roux. The Fourth War may be over, but Sylvanas Windrunner is still out there. When an attempt is made on Queen Talanji’s life, she questions her place in the Horde. Meanwhile, both Alliance and Horde attempt to track down Sylvanas and her allies. This story takes place after the defeat of N’Zoth and the end of the Fourth War.
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands
- We Ride Forth by Robert Brooks. The prelude to Shadowlands, this story sees the new incarnation of the infamous Four Horsemen — Darion Mograine, Inquisitor Sally Whitemane, Former Horde General Nazgrim, and Thoras Trollbane — as they travel to Icecrown Citadel to determine what their master, the Lich King Bolvar Fordragon, has been doing… and to decide whether they need to stop him.
- Terror by Torchlight by Christie Golden. Two men, puckish and piratical Flynn Fairwind and spymaster Mathias Shaw, seek the means to prevent an undead army from overwhelming Duskwood. This short story serves as an introduction to Exploring Azeroth: The Eastern Kingdoms and takes place just before the opening events of Shadowlands.
- Exploring Azeroth: The Eastern Kingdoms by Christie Golden. Set just after the events of Terror by Torchlight, Flynn Fairwind and Mathias Shaw explore the Eastern Kingdoms — the continent that most Warcraft fans would have heard of first, as it’s the very place that Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness took place. This volume shows what was going on in Azeroth during the opening of Shadowlands.
- Exploring Azeroth: Kalimdor by Sean Copeland. Meant to cover approximately the same period of time as The Eastern Kingdoms, this book focuses on Rexxar and Zekhan as they travel on numerous adventures across Kalimdor in the wake of Battle for Azeroth, leading up to Shadowlands.
- Sylvanas by Christie Golden. Who is Sylvanas Windrunner? Why did she take the actions that led to the events of Battle for Azeroth and Shadowlands? This novel is the definitive one stop place to read about the life, death, and undeath of the former Ranger General of Silvermoon, Banshee Queen of the Forsaken, and Warchief of the Horde. Set during the period of Shadowlands between patch 9.1 and 9.2, with flashbacks to previous eras in Warcraft history from the period before the First War on.
World of Warcraft: Dragonflight
- Visage Day by Steve Danuser. Technically not set during Dragonflight, this short story explores the concept of Visage Day, when Dracthyr choose their humanoid Visage forms. one that will play a role in the Dracthyr of Dragonflight once we get to play them.
- The Vow Eternal by Christie Golden. Wrathion attends the wedding of Lor’themar Theron and First Arcanist Thalyssra, and muses on why he cannot locate the Dragon Isles. Set shortly before the rediscovery of the Dragon Isles in Dragonflight.
- The Dragonflight Codex (A Definitive Guide to the Dragons of Azeroth) by Doug Walsh and Sandra Rosner. This book won’t be out until 2023, but it appears to be a big book of Dragon facts that we’ll be learning in Dragonflight.
Warcraft/World of Warcraft miscellany
- Folk and Fairy Tales of Azeroth by various authors. This collection of stories cannot be nailed to a specific time period as it ranges from the mythic past to the period just before Dragonflight. Some of the stories, such as One Small Tuskarr or The Uninvited Guest are not set in any specific period of time at all.
- Exploring Azeroth: Northrend by Alex Acks. This volume (third in the Exploring Azeroth series) may be set during Shadowlands, or during the three year gap between the end of Shadowlands and the beginning of Dragonflight. It’s due out on November 15, 2022.
- Warcraft: Legends by various authors. This five-volume series is a set of anthologies that include short stories from all over the timeline. None of the short stories are hugely important to understanding current events in Azeroth, but I’d recommend reading them just for fun if you’re interested in game lore.
Warcraft movie novels and comics
Please note that Warcraft movie material is not canon within official game lore. The story is a retelling of events in Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, and as such cinematic universe does not tie into the game timeline in any way.
- Warcraft: Durotan by Christie Golden. A prequel to the movie itself, Durotan tells the story of the Frostwolf Clan’s journey prior to the events of the film, including the slow decay of Draenor and introduction of both Gul’dan and Garona.
- Warcraft: Bonds of Brotherhood by Paul Cornell and Chris Metzen. Also a prequel to the film, Bonds of Brotherhood looks back on Llane, Lothar, and Medivh’s relationships when they were younger, as well as telling the stories of Llane’s ascension to Stormwind’s throne, the fate of Lothar’s family, and Medivh’s first encounters with the fel.
- Warcraft Official Movie Novelization by Christie Golden. This adaptation of the Warcraft movie contains all scenes and dialogue from the film itself, but includes additional material, scenes and character moments to help round out Warcraft‘s story.
Anne Stickney, Matthew Rossi, and Elizabeth Harper contributed to this post