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This article is about the lore of the Emerald Dream aspect of existence. For realms sharing the name, see Emerald Dream (US RPPvP server) and Emerald Dream (EU PvE server).

The Emerald Dream

The Emerald Dream (also known as the Dream of Creation,[1] Green Dream[2] or simply the Dream[3]) is an ethereal, vast, ever-changing world of spirits and untamed nature, that exists outside the boundaries of the physical world,[4][1] and is the verdant realm of the Dragon Aspect Ysera. As the Emerald Dream is a realm of life, its mirror representing death is the Shadowlands.[4]

The Emerald Dream is basically how the world would have been, if intelligent beings had not altered Azeroth's surface.[5]


Note: This is a generic section stub. You can help expand it by clicking Sprite-monaco-pencil.png Edit to the right of the section title.

The benevolent Titans created the Emerald Dream to serve as the underlying blueprint for the Planet Azeroth. After the Titans had shaped Azeroth, they sent Ysera into an eternal trance and charged her with watching over all of Azeroth from the Dream. As a result, green dragons guard every portal into the Dream, and they always see both the landscape of Azeroth and the corresponding dreamscape. This enchanted vision, known as dreamsight, allows green dragons to perceive their surroundings with perfect clarity despite the dragons' closed eyes.[6]

During the War of the Ancients, the druid Malfurion Stormrage made use of the Emerald Dream to enter into the palace of Queen Azshara and thwart the plans of Lord Xavius.[7]

As part of an ancient pact made between Ysera and Malfurion Stormrage, the druids are required to spend long periods of time sleeping in the Emerald Dream in exchange for their powers over the forces of nature, presumably so that they will better appreciate that which they have pledged themselves to preserve. Recently, strange events have been transpiring within the Emerald Dream and it appears that Malfurion himself may be trapped within its confines (see Emerald Nightmare).

In World of Warcraft

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

Currently, there are no entrances in World of Warcraft that lead to the Emerald Dream. Thus, it is impossible for players to enter it. A few exceptions will allow players to access it temporarily, but the areas visited are merely phased versions of places already found in Azeroth, and not actual areas found within the Dream. While it is still inaccessible, several players have either requested or suggested an "Emerald Dream Expansion" based on the lore so far (see Speculation).


Most references to the Emerald Dream in the original version of the game occur in Moonglade, which is the haven for the druids on Azeroth. The references occurs in quests which involves Keeper Remulos, a Keeper of the grove and the ruler of Moonglade. Likewise, much of the Nightmare's influence upon the Emerald Dream involves the green dragonflight, the protectors of the Emerald Dream under the jurisdiction of Ysera.

One of the earliest mentions of the green dragonflight's corruption - and thus the Nightmare's influence - was the dragon Eranikus within the Temple of Atal'Hakkar, a lvl 45-50 dungeon. The dragon, along with an army of lesser green dragons, had been dispatched by Ysera to take care of the trolls within the temple in the Swamp of Sorrows. There, the trolls attempted to summon Hakkar the Soulflayer, a powerful Old Gods-like being. The temple was smashed to bits by the dragons, but they ultimately fell to Hakkar's corruption themselves. The Shade of Eranikus is now the final boss within the dungeon. A similar result of the Nightmare's corruption can be found in the Wailing Caverns where several druids have gone into madness.

A portal leading to the Emerald Dream.

In patch 1.8.0, the Dragons of Nightmare were also added to the game. These dragons were once the lieutenants of Ysera, protecting the Emerald Dream from evil and whatnot. They have, however, also been corrupted by the Nightmare, twisting their powers and turning the dragons into what they once fought. There are four of them, each having emerged from one of the four portals connecting Azeroth to the Emerald Dream. They are found in Duskwood (Twilight Grove), the Hinterlands (Seradane), Feralas (Dream Bough), and Ashenvale (Bough Shadow). Although the portals are inactive, the dragons can be fought and killed, all of them being outdoor raid-bosses.

Each of the Dragons of Nightmare also drops a [Nightmare Engulfed Object], which comes from the Emerald Dream. This item gives a quest which requests the player to hand it in to Keeper Remulos. Purifying the object reveals that it is actually the ring of Malfurion Stormrage, who is fighting the Nightmare inside the dream. The brief dialogue with Malfurion, who is communicating with Keeper Remulos, implies that the Nightmare does not only corrupt the Emerald Dream, but also seeks to invade Azeroth.

The story behind the Nightmare's corruption of the Emerald Dream was further fueled by the Scepter of the Shifting Sands quest chain, added in patch 1.9.0. Requesting the player to craft [The Scepter of the Shifting Sands] in order to open the raid-dungeons Ahn'Qiraj, the player would seek out the red, blue and green dragonflights to acquire the shards the scepter was made of. The [Green Scepter Shard] focuses on the green dragonflight, combining the fate of Eranikus in the Sunken Temple with the one of the Dragons of Nightmare.

It is revealed that Eranikus holds the Green Scepter Shard, but will not give it up while under control of the Nightmare. Malfurion Stormrage, again communicating from the dream, sends the player to Keeper Remulos which tells that Eranikus must be summoned and defeated in Moonglade in order to be freed from the Nightmare. To summon him, Keeper Remulos requires fragments of the Nightmare's corruption. Three of these fragments drops from random lesser green dragons which are also found at the Dragons of Nightmare's locations. The fourth one drops from a satyr which preaches the Nightmare's power. When Eranikus, now Tyrant of the Dream, is summoned, he declares that he will destroy both Moonglade and Malfurion. Holding Eranikus back, Tyrande Whisperwind eventually arrives and cleanses the dragon with the power of Elune. Redeemed and freed from the Nightmare's grasp, Eranikus hands over the shard and returns to the Emerald Dream to fight the Nightmare.

In Burning Crusade

World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.

The Swift Flight Form quest chain describes how the Emerald Dream is under assault from outside forces as well, lead by an ancient arakkoa spirit called Anzu.

One of the Emerald Dream's two in-game appearance so far.

In Wrath of the Lich King

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.

So far, the Emerald Dream can only be visited two times:

In Legion

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

Note: This is a generic section stub. You can help expand it by clicking Sprite-monaco-pencil.png Edit to the right of the section title.

Access to much of the Emerald Dream (and the Emerald Nightmare) will be greatly expanded, with high level druids having access to the dreamways to travel around Azeroth. All players are able to visit the true Emerald Dream briefly after completing the Emerald Nightmare raid.[citation needed]

According to Malfurion, "Merely an echo, but Val'sharah is as close to the Dream as this world can come."[8]



It appears to those who travel within it as how Azeroth would have been if intelligent beings had not altered its surface,[5] such as humans or elves,[9] with the cut forests, farmed prairies, diverted rivers or built cities. It is a vision of the world as a verdant natural paradise. Tranquil forests stretch away in every direction, and rolling hills and majestic mountains mimic Azeroth's landscape.[2]

Azeroth and the Emerald Dream are quasi-duplicates of each other — the Emerald Dream is Azeroth as seen through a magic lens, untouched by the hands of mortals. The mountains are in the same places in both worlds, but where a human metropolis stands in Azeroth, a lush field, vacant of artifice, grows in the Emerald Dream.[2]

The Emerald Dream is the Azeroth that would not have been split by magic into the four landmasses of today — within it is the original greater landmass of Kalimdor, covered in the hazy emerald green forests of aeons past.[citation needed]

The Emerald Dream was originally described as a "a vast, ever-changing spirit world, existed outside the boundaries of the physical world. From the Dream, Ysera regulated the ebb and flow of nature and the evolutionary path of the world itself."[10] This implies less stagnation than the Emerald Dream described in other sources.


Art of the "Emerald Paradise".

The plane is an exact twin of the world it echoes, save for the lushness of vegetation and the lack of corruption by intelligent creatures. However, there are several places of interest in the Dream not found in Azeroth:[11]


The Emerald Dream also has multiple layers, described by Cenarius as different testing versions of Azeroth.[12] These layers were created because the titans invested a great deal of work in perfecting their design of Azeroth, so, the finished design of the planet was the product of many previous flawed or unfinished models.[6] Each layer represents an abandoned segment or idea that the titans tried and ultimately discarded. Malfurion observed that it looks like neither the mortal plane nor the Emerald Dream. He saw that one mountain peak lacked its northern face, while another peak looked as if someone had started molding it like clay but had lost interest. These older layers were normally uninhabited, invisible[12] and incomplete, therefore limited in scope, relative to the finalized Dream.[6] But they could be accessed by any who knew how to navigate them.[12]


The Dream can be affected by all dreamers to a minor and temporary extent. However, no living creature except the titans has ever been able to permanently change the Dream. Ysera herself cannot control or shape the Dream, which has its own ecology and a variety of inhabitants, both sentient and non-sentient.[6]

Time is meaningless inside the Dream. As a result, the green dragonflight, which spends the majority of its time in the Dream, is extremely long-lived. Ysera's consorts in particular almost never emerge from the Dream and are effectively immortal, as are all other permanent denizens in the Dream.


The Emerald Dream can be visited in dreams or in the flesh.[9] Although the druids enter the plane through their connection with nature, accessing the Emerald Dream via more conventional magic is possible, but the plane's natives do not look kindly on intruders.[2]

Some creatures cannot help but dream of the plane and find themselves there without any preparation or conscious intent;[9] these dreaming creatures arrive in the Emerald Dream and often have prophetic and helpful visions.[2] Other creatures intentionally use dreams to reach the Emerald Dream, such as the druids.[9]

When an individual's spirit visits the Dream, leaving the body behind, that individual will manifest his or her dream form, which normally looks and behaves much as that individual's physical body might. Hence, for most creatures, moving through the Dream is achieved in the normal fashion, despite the realm's chiefly spiritual character. These rules do not apply to druids of sufficient skill or experience, who are trained to see beyond physical reality. These druids might be capable of abnormal movement in the Dream (e.g., a night elf who can sprint at a greatly accelerated rate, walk through solid objects, or fly). It is quite rare to see such unusual capabilities in non-druids, but it is not beyond the realm of possibility.[6]


Main article: Emerald Nightmare

For all its wonder, the Emerald Dream is not without its dangers. Those who visit via their dreams are welcomed and enfolded within the natural balance, but those who bring their physical selves face suspicion and hostility.

A darker force has found its way into the Emerald Dream as well. Called the Nightmare, this mobile area of corruption stems from the twisted thoughts and fears of sleeping beings’ subconscious minds. The Nightmare travels slowly through the Emerald Dream, leaving corrupted, vicious animals and Unwaking travelers in its path. None, not even Ysera, knows why the Nightmare exists — nor why its boundaries grow.[2]



The entire plane is the dominion of Ysera, the mighty green dragon Aspect, and she and her brood ensure that none despoil this paradise.[2]

Races and creatures

Warcraft RPG - may not be canon This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG, and thus unlikely to be canon.

Creatures of the Emerald Dream.

Nature is in a perfect balance in the Emerald Dream. Animals of all types inhabit the world, including some that are extinct on Azeroth and subspecies that never got the chance to evolve. Many fey creatures, such as sprites, dryads and keepers of the grove, also roam the Dream. However, it is not only the inhabitant creatures that roam the Dream. Creatures from Azeroth constantly visit, though they may or may not know it.[2]

List of races:[13]


Questionmark-medium.png This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials.*

Rumors dating back to the early development phase of World of Warcraft in 2003 suggest that the Emerald Dream would have been added in an 'at that time' future patch or expansion pack as an endgame zone or as a new continent. Newer speculation suggests that the Emerald Dream was originally intended to be an endgame instance, but got scrapped because Blizzard wanted it to be the main theme of an expansion. Tigole stated in late May 2007 that Blizzard had "actually done a lot of work on the Emerald Dream but we scrapped what we had for bigger, grander plans."[14]

Blizzard quotes

Back before WoW's closed beta phase, Tigole mentioned interesting details about the Emerald Dream, that seem to support the idea that it will be released.

Tigole on Sat, 06 Dec 2003 06:01:04 PST[citation needed]

Actually, we have some pretty cool stuff planned for druids. They will definitely have a link to the Emerald Dream. There's also a zone on the way to the peak of Mount Hyjal called Moonglade that will be very core to druid characters. Our *master of Warcraft lore*, Chris Metzen, is never short on ideas when it comes to the druid class. I was running around the Emerald Dream last Thursday... you guys are in for a treat. The level designers are doing a killer job.

Tigole on Sat, 06 Dec 2003 22:01:05 PST[citation needed]

The Emerald Dream is shaping up to be extremely cool. We don't want to preview any of that content yet as it is *endgame* and we want some surprises for players. [...] The zone is massive and beautiful. And once the content team is done with it, it will be exceedingly challenging >=]

Nethaera on Wed, 06 Sep 2006 08:19:20[citation needed]

As for the Emerald Dream, there are no plans for anything as of yet but it is a consideration for the future. The Emerald Dream opens up a lot of different opportunities and the Burning Crusade is definitely not going to be the last of the expansion packs. There are many different places and storylines that can be pursued. The story is going to keep growing and as it does so, people will get to experience it.

Gamescom 2015

At Gamescom 2015, during the announcement event for World of Warcraft: LegionWorld of Warcraft: Legion, Alex Afrasiabi gave the audience a description of the new zone of Val'sharah. During his description, he dropped some hints that we will get to see some of the Emerald Dream in the coming expansion.

Alex Afrasiabi on Thurs, 06 Aug 2015 [citation needed]

If we can’t fight Xavius and stop the Nightmare from coming into our world, it is pointless. Pillar or no pillar we can’t beat the Legion. So what are we gonna do? We are going into the Emerald Nightmare, and we are going to dispense some justice, and while we are there we are going to get a couple of big glimpses into the Emerald Dream (and we have talked about it for a while).


See also Emerald Dream Expansion Ideas.

Currently the Emerald Dream is only explorable two times in-game. The Emerald Dream will likely have more in-depth appearances in WoW at some point in the future, but it's still unclear if it will be a new zone, a world spanning several new zones (Emerald Paradise, etc.), an instance, an expansion pack, or anything else. It is a fact that five Great Trees already exist in Azeroth, with swirling green portals in front which are believed to be entrances to the Emerald Dream. These portals are in Duskwood (Twilight Grove), Feralas (Dream Bough), Hinterlands (Seradane), Ashenvale (Bough Shadow) and Crystalsong Forest (The Great Tree) in Northrend. Currently none of these portals do anything if a player steps through them. Crystalsong's tree does not even have a portal. However the portals in Ashenvale, Feralas, Duskwood, and the Hinterlands are protected by high level elite dragonkin. Starting in patch 1.8.0, the Four Dragons, who normally live in the Emerald Dream, began emerging from the portals at regular intervals. However, they were removed at the release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (Patch 4.0.3) and one of them, Ysondre, was converted into a quest NPC in Ferelas.

In the War of the Ancients Trilogy, the Emerald Dream is accessed by Malfurion and Cenarius by achieving a deep meditative state. Therefore, it's unclear if it will be accessible to non-druids, or if it will indeed be something that can be entered via the aforementioned portals at all. It is possible Blizzard could even add a new high level druid spell to port them directly to the Dream itself from anywhere.

The plot of Stormrage seems to resolve any plots related to the Emerald Dream, decreasing the likelihood of its inclusion in World of Warcraft.


Questionmark-medium.png This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials.*
  • The concept has some resemblance to the similarly named Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime
  • The Emerald Dream may have been influenced by H. P. Lovecraft's Dreamlands. The Dreamlands is a vast, alternate dimension that can be entered through dreams, similar to astral projection or lucid dreaming. Experienced dreamers are among the most powerful inhabitants of the Dreamlands and may become its permanent residents after their physical deaths.
  • The Emerald Dream is also very similar to the "Feywild" in Dungeons & Dragons. There, the Feywild is described as a parallel plane, containing an "echo" of the "real world", or what the "real world" would look like if civilized races had never occupied it.
  • Another similarity to the Emerald Dream is Tel'aran'rhiod, a parallel world in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, that is normally accessed through dreams. There are specially gifted people called "Dreamwalkers" that are able to access this reality at will.




Wow Pro Lore Episode 6 The World Tree and the Emerald Dream-0

Tankingmage's video narration with machinima


WoW Pro Lore Episode 44 - The Emerald Dream

The Emerald Dream summary


External links