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Were you looking for the version as a boss in the World of Warcraft: Legion Emerald Nightmare raid, see Boss Cenarius?

Color art of Cenarius.

Cenarius is the Lord of the Forest and patron god of all druids except for Zandalari and Kul-tiran druids (along with Elune and Ysera, his mothers, for the night elf druids). He is one of the most powerful and influential demigods of Azeroth.

Cenarius has close ties to the Emerald Dream and its inhabitants including the Wild gods. This is due to his father being a Wild god and his adopted mother Ysera being the guardian of the Emerald Dream. He is not himself titled as a Wild god, though he is obviously part one. He is a demigod, which as such, is more than a wild god, being the child of also Elune.

He is voiced by Tom Wyner in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and Neil Kaplan in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.


The giant creature’s body resembles a cross between the lower portion of an elk and the upper torso of male night elf. Standing perfectly motionless on four heavily muscled legs, the creature exudes an air of serene confidence. Its body glows with a soothing green light that strangely contrasts with the stern look on its face.[2] (S&L 78)


Birth and children

The tauren myth "The White Stag and the Moon" tells of the birth of Cenarius from the union of the moon named Mu'sha and the white stag named Apa'ro.[1] [2] Ysera taught Cenarius the secrets of the Emerald Dream and the natural world.

Elune birthed Cenarius, but gave him up to Malorne because Cenarius was more a creature of the mortal world and could not be with her. Malorne, who had relations with both Elune and Ysera, knew that he could not properly care for his son, but Ysera's love was so great for Malorne that she took Cenarius as her own. Hence being his mother (or adoptive mother).
— As written by Richard A. Knaak seen here hosted by the owner of Icon-blizzplanet-22x22.png BlizzPlanet.

The demigod grew into a powerful and cunning being, the union of the heavens and the earth. He has many powers over nature, which he inherited from his father Malorne. He fathered many children. His daughters are known as the fey dryads including Lunara and his sons as the wise Keepers of the Grove, or simply "keepers", including Keeper Remulos, Ordanus, and Zaetar.

The family tree of Cenarius.

According to a night elf legend mentioned in the titles "Warcraft III manual", Manual of Monsters, and Horde Player's Guide, centaur were Cenarius' bastard children. According to legend, he fathered at least one centaur called simply "the centaur" (who in turn was the father of centaur clans himself).[3] (HPG 209) This means he directly fathered some of the centaur clans. This could include some of the clans living in the Eastern Kingdoms, the Marauders, the Stonetalon tribe, and the Krenka tribe of the Barrens. These centaur tribes have nothing to do with the five tribes Zaetar fathered in Kalimdor. Some believe that Cenarius was the sire of the centaur in the Barrens.[1] (WRPG 154)

Night elves are sometimes referred to as "Cenarius' favored children", because of their connection to dryads and keepers, which are described as having the upper body of night elves.[citation needed]

Cenarius claims kinship with the night elves as well, but has never said in what way.[4] (WoE 47)

Cenarius the Shan'do

Cenarius instructs Malfurion, Tyrande, and Illidan.

Tauren believe that Cenarius' earliest known association with mortal races was with the tauren, to whom he first taught the ways of druidism. For countless ages, before the dawn of recorded history, they aided him in protecting the balance of the natural world.

Nethaera suggests that, while Taurens believe that they were the first to discover druidism, this is the belief of Tauren mythology and is currently held by most Tauren as being untrue. This belief does explain the opposing viewpoints of Tauren and Night elf druids.

Malfurion Stormrage became the first mortal druid on Azeroth.[3]

The War of the Ancients and the Long Vigil

Cenarius as seen in Warcraft III.

When Archimonde began his first invasion of the world of Azeroth, Malfurion Stormrage and the priestess Tyrande Whisperwind called upon Cenarius for aid. Realizing the cataclysmic nature of the threat the Burning Legion posed, Cenarius amassed an army of woodland allies. They battled Azshara and her followers and the Legion's diabolical agents, finally destroying the Well of Eternity in a cataclysmic explosion that sundered the world.

After Illidan recreated the Well of Eternity on Hyjal Cenarius aided Malfurion in imprisoning the rogue night elf beneath the earth.

Cenarius taught the night elves the ways of the forest, and druidism became widespread among the males. The elves became allied with many of Cenarius' faithful creatures, perhaps most notably the feral hippogryphs who then allowed themselves to be ridden by the night elf archers. Following the druids' entrance into the Emerald Dream Cenarius helped Tyrande and the Sentinels during the Long Vigil. He and his children, the Keepers of the Grove and their dryad sisters, helped to patrol the woodlands from the Moonglade.

The Return of the Legion

Cenarius as seen in Warcraft III

Following the arrival of the orcs on Kalimdor, Grom Hellscream was sent to harvest lumber in Ashenvale. This caught the attention of the Sentinels who then immediately attacked the orcs. After Grom held them off, Cenarius himself was brought to the forefront.

Mannoroth, hoping to use the orcs one last time, spilled his blood into a Fountain of Life, corrupting it utterly. Grom was brought to the fountain, where he convinced his clan to drink the demonic blood with him, despite objections that doing so would go against everything Thrall had taught them. After imbibing, the Warsongs were transformed into powerful chaos orcs who could stand up to the might of Cenarius.

In a titanic battle, Cenarius was killed by Hellscream, as Mannoroth had hoped. Mannoroth appeared before Hellscream and his troops moments later and enslaved them, since by drinking his blood they had made themselves susceptible to his control once again.

Grom Hellscream standing over Cenarius' body, holding Gorehowl

The death of Cenarius at the hands of the orcs, demon-tainted or not, enraged the night elves, cementing their view of the savage, green-skinned (although red-skinned at that moment) creatures as their enemies. When Malfurion considered the possibility of allying with Jaina's and Thrall's forces, observing that they fought against the undead as well, Tyrande vehemently rejected the idea and cited the fact Cenarius had been killed by them as proof that they were the enemy.

Since his father Malorne was said to have a strong connection with the Emerald Dream, due to its connection to nature, Cenarius' spirit was able to live on in the Emerald Dream as a spirit of nature. The night elves believe he sleeps in the Emerald Dream while his wounds heal, and that he will some day join them again.[5] (WoWRPG 251)

The only clue to Cenarius' current activities comes from a conversation his son Remulos has with the spirit of Malfurion when players complete a particular quest. It appears Cenarius is now helping Malfurion combat The Nightmare that is disrupting the Emerald Dream, causing the corruption of The Four Dragons among other things.

It is believed that he will manifest a new body and return to the world if given enough time to recover.[6] (LoM 15)

In Cataclysm

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

Cenarius makes a return with Malfurion Stormrage in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm to fight Ragnaros in Mount Hyjal.[7] While offering quests at the Gates of Sothann, he also appears at the Sanctuary of Malorne

[27, 63]

during the Firelands Invasion.


At the Gates of Sothann[73, 75]

In Legion

World of Warcraft: Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

BlizzCon Legion The Emerald Nightmare Cenarius.png

Cenarius, close to the corruption of the Emerald Nightmare, is a boss of that raid in Val'sharah. Upon defeating Cenarius, Malfurion, who aids in the encounter, pauses to begin cleansing his mentor. [8][citation needed]



Memorable quotes

  • "You have done what few others could do, and in doing so, you almost lost yourself forever."
  • "The night elves grow more arrogant. They take what does not belong to them and trespass where they are not wanted. It is their assumption that everything falls under their domination. Although they did not quite intrude upon my realm, I chose to make them do so in order to teach them a lesson in humility and manners."
  • "Who dares defile this ancient land? Who dares the wrath of Cenarius and the night elves?"
  • "You cannot defeat me, for I am the heart of the land!"
  • "I defeated your kind in ages past and I will do so again!" (mistaking to orcs for demons)
  • "Let battle be joined!"
  • "Demon-spawned wretches, you will all die!" (referring to the orcs)

Statistics of Cenarius at Level 10 from Warcraft III

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III.

BTNEntanglingRoots.png BTNEnt.png PASBTNThorns.png BTNTranquility.png
Entangling Roots Force of Nature Thorns Aura Tranquility
Cenarius's abilities in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos.
Unlike other Keepers of the Grove, he had five abilities.
  • 4000 HP (+340% more than a regular Keeper of the Grove)
  • 1000 MP (+59% more than a regular Keeper of the Grove)
  • 111-167 chaos ranged damage (+193% more than a regular Keeper of the Grove)
  • 4 divine armor (-34% less than a regular Keeper of the Grove, but divine armor only takes damage from chaos attacks[9])
  • Attributes
    • 53 Strength (+66% more than a regular Keeper of the Grove)
    • 20 Agility (-29% less than a regular Keeper of the Grove)
    • 63 Intelligence Primary Attribute (+50% more than a regular Keeper of the Grove)
  • Abilities
    • Entangling Roots (DoT and incapacitate)
    • Force of Nature (summons Treants from trees)
    • Thorns Aura (enemy melee units attacking units with this buff receive a percent of their attack damage back to them)
    • Tranquility (AoE heal around caster)
    • Cyclone (incapacitates target) (not present with regular Keepers of the Grove)

Fan made HD model of Cenarius, by Daerone.


The name Cenarius could have possibly come from the word "Centaurus", Latin for Centaur. This would be quite fitting, given his anatomy and his connection with the Warcraft centaurs.

Alternatively or collectively, Cenarius could also be based upon Cernunnos, a Celtic nature god who was often depicted with antlers, similar to Cenarius. Cernunnos is also worshiped by neo-druids, and was worshiped by ancient druids. "Cernunnos is the god of all wild things and nature, woodlands, fertility, and the hunt."


  1. ^ a b c WRPG, 44
  2. ^ S&L, 78
  3. ^ HPG, 209
  4. ^ WoE, 47
  5. ^ WoWRPG, 251
  6. ^ LoM, 15
  7. ^ "Your successes in Hyjal will ultimately lead you to the assembly of the Ancients, who have set a plan in motion to bring a powerful ally and demigod back into this realm."
  8. ^ Beta and alpha footage, ingame voice files.
  9. ^ Though the game states that "divine armor only takes damage from chaos attacks", standard attacks do manage to inflict a small amount of damage to Cenarius. Thus, it is possible to kill Cenarius without drinking from the corrupted Fountain of Life, by hitting him with a tremendous number of standard attacks quickly enough to exceed his high rate of regeneration. (One way to do this is by luring him into attacking a massive number of towers.) However, killing him this way does not allow you to diverge from the storyline; the level simply ends in victory and the cut scenes go on as if you did in fact drink from the fountain.

Patch changes

Icon-time.svg This section concerns content that is out-of-date.
  • World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Patch 4.2.0 (2011-06-28): Added at Sanctuary of Malorne.
  • World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Patch 4.0.3 (15-Nov-2010): Added at Gates of Sothann and around Sulfuron Spire.

See also

External links

Gates of Sothann Sanctuary of Malorne
Alliance Sulfuron Spire Horde Sulfuron Spire