Playable races in World of Warcraft e
Alliance 15.png Bc icon.gif Draenei ( Battle-B-logo.png Lightforged) · Dwarf ( Battle-B-logo.png Dark Iron) · Gnome · Human ( Battle-B-logo.png Kul Tiran) · Night elf ( Battle-B-logo.png Void elf) · Cataclysm-Logo-Small.png Worgen Both 15.png Mists-Logo-Small.png Pandaren Horde 15.png Bc icon.gif Blood elf ( Battle-B-logo.png Nightborne) · Cataclysm-Logo-Small.png Goblin · Orc ( Battle-B-logo.png Mag'har) · Tauren ( Battle-B-logo.png Highmountain) · Troll ( Battle-B-logo.png Zandalari) · Undead

The Horde is made up of orcs, Forsaken, tauren, trolls, blood elves, goblins, and most recently, pandaren (Huojin). Misunderstood and cast aside, these diverse and powerful races strive to overcome their differences and unite as one in order to win freedom for their people and prosper in a land that has come to hate them.
In the Horde, action and strength are valued above diplomacy, and its leaders earn respect by the blade, wasting no time with politics. The brutality of the Horde's champions is focused, giving a voice to those who fight for survival.[2]

The Horde is one of the two major political factions of the mortal races in Azeroth, its counterpart being the Alliance. The Horde, a faction founded by orcish immigrants from Draenor, has survived in the hostile world of Azeroth by forging alliances (some trusting, some less so) with local races such as the tauren people, the trolls, and the undead of the Forsaken.[3]

Although its ideals, policies, and beliefs have been revised and membership has changed over time, it is the same Horde inherited by Thrall of the Frostwolf Clan (son of Chieftain Durotan) through Warchief Orgrim Doomhammer.[4]

However, since the mantle of Warchief was passed on to Garrosh Hellscream, the Horde's alliance with other races has began to suffer heavily due to Garrosh's warmongering. A direct example of this are the trolls under Vol'jin leaving Orgrimmar because of Garrosh's hunger for war and Sylvanas Windrunner ignoring the warchief's commands and using her plague on her enemies.

Eventually, the Horde was fractured in two and a civil war erupted, between Garrosh's followers and the Darkspear Rebellion led by Vol'Jin. With the help of the Alliance, the rebels ultimately overthrew Garrosh Hellscream. He was then arrested to stand trial in Pandaria. Thrall appointed Vol'Jin of the Darkspear trolls then as the new Warchief of the Horde, and King Varian Wrynn agreed to put an end to the war.

During the first (failed) assault on the Broken Shore, Vol'jin was mortally wounded in the battle. He later passed away whilst sitting on the throne. Before dying, he passed the Warchief mantle to Sylvanas Windrunner.

Major members

Major member races include:

  • IconSmall Goblin Male.gif IconSmall Goblin Female.gif The Goblins of the Bilgewater Cartel Icon Cataclysm 18x18.gif .
    • With the Cataclysm consuming their home island of Kezan, the goblins of the Bilgewater Cartel are shipped across the sea, intended for slave labor in Azshara, when they were caught in a naval crossfire (between a fleet of the Alliance and a single vessel of the Horde) off the Lost Isles. While there, they were attacked by the Alliance and ally with the orcs to defeat their mutual foe, the hostile natives of the Lost Isles, and dissent from within their own ranks.
    • Led by Trade-Prince Gallywix.
    • Capital is Bilgewater Harbor in the heavily-reshaped Azshara.
    • The goblins use hot rods as mounts, which are like "cars".

Horde Forces


The uneasy truce between the Alliance and the Horde in the aftermath of the Third War was soon broken when several battlegrounds between various forces of the factions have erupted:

  • Bc icon.gif Thrallmar - is the name for the Horde expeditionary forces to Outland seeking to find what has become of their old world.
    • The expedition's settlements are scattered all over Outland's zones, except Nagrand and Netherstom.
  • Bc icon.gif The Mag'har orcs of Nagrand - a clan of orcs that wasn't corrupted by demons and remained in Outland through all the wars of Azeroth.
Northrend (Horde Expedition)
  • Wrath-Logo-Small.png Warsong Offensive - The main forces of the Horde's expedition to Northrend, led by Garrosh Hellscream.
  • Wrath-Logo-Small.png The taunka - Ancient relatives of the tauren, were thought to be lost until re-discovered by Garrosh Hellscream and his orc forces upon their arrival in Northrend. They were welcomed into the Horde soon after Roanauk Icemist was rescued.
  • Wrath-Logo-Small.png The Hand of Vengeance - A group of Forsaken forces that have been sent to Northrend by Sylvanas Windrunner to bring Undercity's vengeance upon the Lich King. Their method is the delivery of the latest strain of their deadly Plague.
  • Wrath-Logo-Small.png Sunreavers - The blood elven members of the Kirin Tor, named for their leader. The Horde, traditionally barred from Dalaran, was allowed entry to the city due to their efforts. Enemies of the Silver Covenant.
Pandaria Forces
Draenor Forces
Broken Isles Forces

Other members, factions and allies

Wolves serve as mounts and are often seen as the symbol of the orcs of the Horde, especially the Frostwolves.


These are neutral or friendly to the Horde, but are not true members of the Horde. They have treaties or contracts with the Horde.

  • The forest trolls of the Revantusk tribe in the Hinterlands, led by Primal Torntusk, are independent, though loosely allied with the Horde. While not members of the Horde, they are its friends. They know compassion, though they find it a bit difficult to relate to the Darkspear jungle trolls, having once been enemies.[11]

Former Horde forces

See History of the Horde


Crest of the Horde during the Third War.
Orc Heros.jpg
Notable figures from the Third War, from left to right: Cairne Bloodhoof, Samuro, Drek'Thar, and Rokhan. All of these Heroes also helped Rexxar in his journeys.
See also: History of the Horde, Dark Horde, Fel Horde

In the past, the Horde referred to the orcs and their battle thralls from both Draenor and Azeroth, such as trolls and ogres. Following its utter defeat at the end of the Second War, the Horde's dark power was broken, allowing Thrall to awaken the dormant spirituality of his people and free them from the Burning Legion's control.

During the events of the Third War, Thrall has made lasting bonds with the tauren chief Cairne Bloodhoof and the troll shadowhunter Vol'jin of the Darkspear clan. The ties between the three races are very close, as they all share many similar cultural views. With the help of the tauren, both the orcs and the tribe of trolls have established a place for themselves in Kalimdor. Since then, certain ogre tribes, as well as the Forsaken and blood elves have chosen to affiliate themselves with the Horde.

The present Horde is mostly about surviving in a land that has come to hate them. The orcs are hated because, much like the Forsaken, they were formerly mindless, controlled beings. Though redeemed, they are not forgiven by many members of the Alliance who believe them to be their old selves still.[12][13][14] The trolls, tauren and their other allies are the ones who understood them, and so they are hated for that. An interesting fact is that every prominent Horde leader has been allied with certain members of the Alliance in times of war.


Although its name would imply otherwise, the Horde may actually be viewed as a more centralized body than the Alliance, as Orgrimmar is the obvious center, Thrall is the undisputed leader, and he stands as Warchief over the entire Horde, holding dominion over the Darkspear Trolls and tauren tribes alike[15] (though he treats his fellow racial leaders as equals).

Although the name of this geopolitical entity suggests disunity and disorganization, the Horde is in truth a centralized nation with its own government, complete with the usual obstructionist bureaucracies and paper-pushing nonentities, backed by a well-equipped, properly trained and battle-hardened military. As of the time of the conflict on the Broken Shore, Sylvanas Windrunner is Warchief of the Horde. Her promotion following the death of the wise troll Vol'jin surprised many leaders of the Horde, as Windrunner is seen by most to be a bloodthirsty and ruthless leader, and her ascending to the throne at a time of tenuous relationships with the Alliance raises many questions for the future of Azeroth.

Prior to Vol'jin, the Horde endured the leadership of Garrosh Hellscream, a warmonger thrust to center stage by the sudden departure of Thrall following his choice to embrace shamanistic roots. Hellscream's ancestry was soaked in blood and reigned over by constant battle, however; he led Horde forces during the Northrend campaign and gained a reputation as a fierce, if headstrong, warrior. At the time that Hellscream rose to the title of Warchief, he was fresh from a series of controversial actions related to the aforementioned campaign against the dreaded Lich King, and his hand in the death of Cairne Bloodhoof following the Tauren's voiced opinions only worsened matters.

Contributing further still to the collapse in relations between the Alliance and Horde was the sudden re-appearance of Deathwing and the subsequent Sundering, an event that saw many areas of Azeroth warped by the malevolent flight of the twisted dragon. A series of battles erupted between forces of the two factions, most notably in the Stonetalon Mountains, where troops under the command of Overlord Krom'gar committed atrocities against Night elf druids and Tauren alike following the latter's disapproval at the bombing of a druid training camp. These war crimes were later pointed against Hellscream during his trial in Pandaria.

During his time as Warchief, Thrall accepted ambassadors from the numerous tribes and organizations around Azeroth and beyond, sometimes allowing into the fold of the Horde various factions that might benefit the greater good of the world or the faction in particular. Most notably, the goblins under Trade Prince Gallywix were allowed to join the Horde and establish their own sector in Orgrimmar shortly after the Sundering, as their technological expertise and pull with the various trade organizations around Azeroth would finally provide a counter to the gnomes and dwarves of the Alliance. Thrall also established a kinship with the human settlement of Theramore, led by the valiant Jaina Proudmoore, though these relations were severed by Hellscream-- indeed, Garrosh declared a state of war between Theramore and the Horde, resulting in a siege that culminated with the mana-bombing of the settlement and the deaths of scores of civilians.

The Horde is, as one may infer from the above information, quickly capable of moving to a war footing. The orcs, flagship race of the Horde, are known for their prowess in and enjoyment of mortal combat, especially with their primordial enemies, the Humans. Other client races, including the Tauren, are more inclined toward peace, while many leaders of the goblins simply prefer turning a profit to twisting a blade. In a more formal, diplomatic analysis of the Horde, one may find the disparate and rejected elements of Azeroth, so often thrust into the limelight of nightmares and horror stories by the members of the Alliance, coming together to establish their own nation, their own safe haven. Despite their somewhat monstrous appearance, the majority of the Horde is not evil; much like the Alliance, it is comprised of diverse factions and individuals who possess a wide range of values and virtues. The plague-loving undead, the trolls and their struggles with the voodoo as well as their imperial past, the corruption of the orcs by the blood of Mannoroth whose bones now decorate the throne of the Warchief-- these are just a few of the hindrances to a permanent peace within the Horde, not to mention the numerous vengeful vendettas held by leading elements of the faction, most notably Sylvanas and her loathing of the Lich King as well as her continued rivalry with the noble King Greymane of Gilneas.

The Horde's attempts to drive the Alliance from the key territories of Warsong Gulch and Alterac Valley remain ongoing, as well as the Forsaken's ambitious campaigns in the Arathi Highlands and Hillsbrad Foothills. Following the Cataclysm, a state of war also existed between the Dragonmaw clan and the Wildhammer dwarves in the infamous Twin Peaks area of the Twilight Highlands. In addition to the sizable forces needed to maintain a running conflict in these locales and others, the Horde also guards vast tracts of land at home; thankfully for them, the troops there and abroad have been supplemented by a number of Pandaren recruits and additional conscripts from the orcish villages in both the original Outland and the Draenor of a parallel dimension, exploited by the exiled Hellscream.
Burning Horde banner in the Barrens.jpg
The Horde's history is laced with conflict.

Despite the above-mentioned disputes and outright wars with the Alliance, a number of key instances have found the two factions cooperating against a greater evil. Repeated attempts by the Burning Legion to burn Azeroth to cinders as a part of their demonic crusade have been repelled by these factions combining the powers of their greatest adventurers. Furthermore, the malevolent works of Illidan Stormrage and Arthas Menethil, two titans of lore whose corruption shook the foundations of the world, were stopped only by combinations of Horde and Alliance troops, though disaster and conflict often loomed over their vague cooperation.

There have also been two invasions of significant Horde capitals by elements of the Alliance and Horde. The first was the Battle for the Undercity, where the treacherous Varimathras turned against his master, Sylvanas Windrunner, before her elevation to the rank of Warchief. This betrayal was swiftly put down after it nearly destroyed the Horde-Alliance cooperative attempting to defeat the Lich King in Northrend following a vicious assault by Grand Apothecary Putress on the forces of both factions. Some years later, a force led by King Varian himself, alongside Thrall and the secondary leaders of both sides, embarked on an unprecedented expedition to remove Garrosh Hellscream from his seat of authority in Orgrimmar. Battling the "true Horde," the troops of both factions were also forced to duel with the looted evils of Pandaria, a continent devastated by Hellscream during his earlier campaign.

According to some intelligence reports from SI:7, it believed that new members have to swear a blood oath to the Horde. It is unknown if this remains true at present, though the Horde remains loyal to its cause and its Warchief nonetheless; there have been a number of incidents, including the treacherous massacre at the Wrathgate and the prolonged conflict in Pandaria, where members of the Horde have eagerly let their blood be spilled in the name of victory.

The two Hordes

"Horde Races" by Chris Metzen.[16] From left to right: half-orc, tauren, goblin, and orc (Horde).[17]
"Forsaken" by Chris Metzen.[18]

Although the Horde in the MMORPG is a single faction, it is actually divided in two or more distinct parts (partially including the Dark Horde in the Burning Steppes but not the Fel Horde in Outland). It is both a geographical division and an ideological one.

  • Two small orc factions use the same rationale to pursue completely opposite goals. Both factions display utter loyalty to the Horde. The Horde is their family, their home, and they take great pride in serving it. These orcs believe the Horde comes first in everything. One faction has come to terms with the Horde’s association with the Alliance. By joining arms with the Alliance, the Horde was able to assist in preventing the destruction of the world. These orcs consider their success a sign that Thrall and the Horde are on the right path to strength and glory. The other faction feels that Thrall betrayed the Horde by allying with humans. They consider the Horde corrupted, tainted and weak. These orcs fight for their lost glory using any tools at their disposal, including arcane magic. They dream of one day becoming powerful enough to destroy the mock Horde that exists today and replace it with the old and glorious empire the Horde once was. Faithful of the Horde can be of any class, but those who support the current Horde never become warlocks, and those who denounce the current Horde never become shamans.[19] This situation causes a rift within the ranks of the proud orcs, and it grows increasingly difficult to tell friend from foe.[20]

The Horde of Kalimdor

The Horde of Kalimdor followed mostly Thrall's leadership. They included most of the orcs, the tauren, the Darkspear trolls and some ogres. They were united by a shamanistic culture, honor, and their respect for Thrall, who they considered their hero and affirmed leader. This Horde was the result of the actions in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos.

The orcs were undergoing a cultural revolution as they felt the unnatural, arcane bloodlust leave their bodies, giving them calmer and more focused states of mind. They, for the most part, followed Thrall as he forged ahead to reform the Horde both inside, with his shamanism, and outside, with the founding of Durotar. Still, not all orcs were pleased with these movements, namely the evil orcs who still reside on Azeroth. These orcs, who include a good number of the surviving warlocks, actively raid Alliance and independent caravans and towns, and renounce all that Thrall proclaimed the Horde is. Like the two faces of the Alliance, the different Horde factions meet rarely; but there are some orc warlocks on Kalimdor who would very much like to retake control of the Horde forces, and they are gaining strength in the wilderness to do so.[21]

While geographically separated, the Frostwolf Clan in the Alterac Mountains share their shamanistic culture; and the uncorrupted Mag'har in Outland would also fall in this group.

The eastern Horde

The Horde of the Eastern Kingdoms includes the Forsaken, the blood elves, and sometimes the evil orcs of the Dark Horde.[22]

While Thrall freed most of the orcs held in Lordaeron and brought them to Kalimdor, other orc clans remained in the Eastern Kingdoms, mostly in the southern part of the former kingdom of Azeroth. Orc warlocks and other clans that refuse Thrall’s leadership are strongest in Azeroth around the Burning Steppes and the Blasted Lands. Many of them prefer to stay near the Dark Portal through which they first entered Azeroth, and some warlocks still try to tap into the magic holding the portal in place.[21] Most of them are part of the Dark Horde, who follow Rend Blackhand as their warchief and are opposed to Thrall. The Forsaken of Lordaeron will, of course, happily aid the Horde in the area. They don’t care whether the orcs are evil or not; it’s actually easier for them if their allies are evil.[21]

The Forsaken are nominally allied with the Horde but serve only themselves.[23] They are much darker than their allies from Kalimdor, do not necessairly consider Thrall as their leader and certain members of their race do not care about honor, morality or even other races. Not all Forsaken are evil, but the many are, and other races definitely view them as such. A non-evil Forsaken must work hard to prove his neutral (or perhaps, good) intentions. Few good Forsaken exist, but many evil ones do, and their leadership is definitely up to nefarious ends.[24][25][26]

Blood elves despise most other races, but they are coming to accept that the Forsaken are different, or at least share the same goals.[27] Most blood elves are not insane or evil - they just choose to fight fire with fire. They were suffering for lack of the Sunwell; they all needed -- and still need -- to feed on arcane energies, even though most of them aren't spellcasters. The most powerful blood elf spellcasters are insane, as the magic they wield is corrupting.[27][28] The western Horde recognizes the blood elves as dangerous, volatile and ultimately destructive.[29]

Even if many Forsaken and some blood elves are evil, this "second Horde" cannot currently be considered as a danger to the world, as Thrall's Horde has kept them mostly in check. The Forsaken's Royal Apothecary Society surely have questionable plans, but so far they keep fighting the Scourge and left the rest of the world alone for the most part (except for a few deals with the Grimtotem tribe, and spreading diseases and enslavement of druids in Ashenvale forest, among other things).[30][31]

It is so far unknown how much The Battle For The Undercity affected both the Society's manpower as well as its reputation among the Forsaken, or the Forsaken's standing among the other Horde races. Since then, Thrall has dispatched Kor'kron guards to the Undercity to keep watch on the Royal Apothecary Society, and a conversation between Overseer Kraggosh <one of the guards> and the Faranell <grand apothecarist> indicates the strain between the two groups.

Relations between the groups

The relations between the two groups are not cordial. The orcs, tauren and jungle trolls do not trust the undead. Many see the Forsaken as betrayers in their midst, standing as allies while secretly using their comrades to further their own goals.[32] They are wise to the possibility of betrayal, and they keep a wary eye on their pale allies.[33]

There is also racial animosity as blood elves reek of fel power, offending the spiritual senses of the tauren.[28] The Horde orcs, darkspear trolls and tauren distrust the blood elves, as their addiction to magic makes the high elves look like amateurs. The blood elves are dangerous, and the Horde races can smell the rotten magic on them. In particular, the orcs revile the blood elves because they see them as descending down the same path toward damnation that so corrupted the orcish people — the orcs can smell the demon taint on the blood elves and know how badly it will twist them. The blood elves disdain the Horde as barbarians who refuse to grasp power in front of them. They especially dislike the orcs, who should have been strong enough to control the power the demons gave them instead of falling under their command.[34]

Since the Horde is leery of the Forsaken, it keeps watchful eyes on them. For example Ambassador Galavosh was sent by Thrall to make sure the Forsaken are honest and dismiss their evil tendencies. Galavosh is suspicious of the Forsaken as well.[23][35]

While the Forsaken were let into the Horde for various reasons, including the Earthen Ring to help create a cure for undeath; Sage Truthseeker, believes however, that while Earthen Ring had pure intentions towards their plagued brethren, who is to know the motivations of those whispering in the ears of the Elder Council? He believes that the Forsaken whom the Horde allied with had a history wrought with deceit. He believes the pact was too hasty, and that perhaps Cairne Bloodhoof <Cairne> would have been wise to heed the warnings from Orgrimmar.[36] The Forsaken have absolutely no intention of throwing aside their dark ways. They joined the Horde because they saw them as the strongest — and most tractable — faction. While they maintain the illusion of allegiance, the Forsaken’s goals are not the same as their allies'.[37]

Thrall and Cairne remain suspicious of the Forsaken.[38] Thrall freely admits he isn't pleased about allowing the Forsaken joining the Horde, and expects them to betray him, but he simply felt that he needed allies — even if those allies were not completely trustworthy.[39][40] He had only grudgingly, accepted the Forsaken into the Horde as he needed them as much as they needed the Horde.[38] A number of Horde members in Durotar are disturbed by the growing presence of the Forsaken in their lands.[41] Tauren rarely trust the Forsaken with more than a nod and a place to set their withered feet.[42] They are less thrilled at the presence of the Forsaken at Thunder Bluff, who they grudgingly tolerate due to their alliance. The tauren place a strong emphasis on the value of life, and the unlife of the Forsaken stands as an affront to their beliefs.[43] They consider the Forsaken abominations — much like all other undead.[40] Trolls are suspicious of the Forsaken, but so is everyone else,[44] they have little trust for the manipulative Forsaken, whom they believe will visit only misery and strife upon their allies.[45]

Interestingly, a few Forsaken seem to genuinely like the Horde — they see the Horde as a group of outcasts, which is something the Forsaken can respect. These few legitimate Horde supporters also tend to focus on the sides of the Horde they like — like warlocks and the Grimtotem tribe. Others are fairly open in their contempt of the Horde.[40] The Forsaken remain on good behavior when with Horde member races, but secretly distrust and mock their allies. They feel the Horde is made up of brutish and ignorant peoples, and are full of pride that they have manipulated the Horde into accepting their allegiance. They will not openly betray the Horde — not yet — but they are slowly eroding the sense of peace and unity the Horde was experiencing after the Third War.[46]

Surprisingly there are even Forsaken that do not trust many if not most of their kind, for example Roberick Dartfall, Kegan Darkmar, Trevor, and Leonid Barthalomew the Revered. Apparently these Forsaken do not like to be judged for the actions of many of their kind, and want to be judged for their individual actions.[47] Though at least some of these end up leaving the Forsaken altogether to join other forces like Argent's Dawn, such as Leonid, or those that aspire to leave such as Trevor.[48]

According to Thrall, in Rise of the Horde, the Forsaken are merely "befriended".[49]

In World of Warcraft

In World of Warcraft, the distrust by other Horde races to Forsaken is mentioned within quest dialogue in the game.[36] In which case, because Forsaken's loyalty is being questioned they cannot do certain quests for the Horde.

One major element showing the difference between these two "sub-factions": Forsaken and blood elves begin with a friendly reputation with Undercity and Silvermoon City, but only neutral with Orgrimmar, Thunder Bluff, and Darkspear trolls. Orcs, trolls, and tauren begin the game as Friendly with their respective factions (Orgrimmar for the orcs, Darkspear tribe for the trolls, and Thunder Bluff for the tauren) and Neutral with Undercity and Silvermoon. A notable exception to this are Undead and Blood Elf Death Knights, They start Friendly with the Orcs due to game mechanics setting them from Unfriendly to Friendly regardless of race upon completion of the final starting quest.

While most Forsaken are not trusted, the Horde still works with members of the Forsaken, like Kirith, who was Trebor's lieutenant.[50]

In Legion

As the Burning Legion descended onto the world again, Warchief Vol'jin was mortally injured during the battle with the Legion. Upon his death, Lady Sylvanas was made Warchief.

In Battle for Azeroth

Continuing her established pattern of making controversial decisions, Warchief Sylvanas attempts to unite the Horde with the promise of battle. In a strategic move to weaken the Alliance presence in Kalimdor to almost nothing, she orders the Horde, led by Varok Saurfang, to rampage from Ashenvale up through Darkshore with the eventual goal of attacking and burning the World Tree, Teldrassil, into the sea. Apparently expecting the the Alliance counterattack on her stronghold beneath the ruins of Lordaeron, she has uses the blight to severely weaken the besieging Alliance forces. The Alliance is victorious in Lordaeron with the unexpected help of Jaina Proudmoore, but Sylvanas had already directed Saurfang to evacuate Undercity. Even the rest of the Horde leadership must guess what the Dark lady plans next.


Physical strength

If you put an orc, a tauren, a human and a dwarf in a room with no weapons, most everyone can make a good guess as to who would come out alive. The front lines of the Alliance’s armies are always in danger against the physically stronger Horde.[51] The Horde can boast of many strengths in its army; what it lacks in mobility it makes up for in sheer power.[52]


Unlike the Alliance, the Horde has had clear leaders for every race represented in its ranks, and none question that Thrall is the leader of the Horde. The clearer hierarchy makes things a bit more organized for the Horde, although they have the disadvantage of being allied with people who have no interest in the Horde and care only for themselves; the Forsaken.[20] A wise general learns to balance the orcs' battle rage with cunning tactics.[53]


With Thrall's departure from the Horde, there are signs of internal strife among the Horde leaders. While Garrosh Hellscream has been named the acting Warchief, several of the other Horde leaders have expressed a strong dislike for both Thrall's decision for his successor and Garrosh himself. Cairne Bloodhoof challenged him to an honorable duel in the wake of Garrosh's ascension, Vol'jin gave him a veiled death threat, and Sylvanas Windrunner has come into conflict with him on both an ethical and a tactical level- the use of Val'kyr to raise new soldiers, and the Forsaken Blight as a weapon. Although some of these rifts improve over time (the coming to power of Baine Bloodhoof and Thrall's intervention with Vol'jin), there are still signs of lasting tension.

Military tradition

Since Garrosh Hellscream rose to power, the Horde has become a highly militaristic society, with every member of the faction doing their part to help the Horde rise up to glory after many years of oppression. This type of militaristic thinking has ensured the Horde's readiness to wage war on a massive scale, and expand its borders ever further. Basically it has a much higher percent of its populace at arms at any given time than for example the Alliance has. Many a clan and nation have made the mistake of angering the Horde.


The Horde is renowned for its use of unconventional tactics, sometimes of questionable morality. It is ready to exterminate entire populations, use plagues, nuclear weapons, sabotage and wars of attrition to achieve victory. Combined with the fanatical dedication of its soldiers and officers, the Horde is willing more willing to accept even heavy losses in order to achieve victory in a battle. The Forsaken Undead are known to interrogate and persuade prisoners to join the Horde, or use them as living subjects for their biological and chemical experiments.


All in all, it can be argued that Horde's military technology is more advanced than that of the Alliance's, considering that the Goblins have always specialized in explosives and weapons instead of means of transportation and civic technologies, like the Alliance. However, Alliance still has a technological edge over the Horde in these areas, not to mention their devices are much safer than the ones Goblins are capable of manufacturing. The Forsaken have long traditions of biological weapons and plagues used for fighting their enemies. They also are quite capable of producing fine mechanical components required for rifles, engines and bombs.

Goblin technology

Since the Bilgewater Cartel joined the Horde, Horde has improved its technological capabilities vastly. They are capable of building advanced warmachines, including submarines, projectile weapons, gunships, cannon batteries and even atomic-powered devices, as the battles at Stonetalon Mountains have shown.


The Horde may seem to be an unstoppable juggernaut, but like the best-laid walls, they have their weak points. In the past, these weak links kept the Alliance from losing the Second War.[54]


Unlike the Alliance, a lot of mistrust exists within the Horde, especially toward the Forsaken and blood elves. Recently, due to the Darkspear Rebellion, there is also growing tension between orcs loyal to Garrosh Hellscream and the Darkspear Trolls (or their allies).


Perhaps one of its weaknesses, the Horde was partly a group of disparate tribal groups bound together by extreme circumstances. Tact was often a last resort, and most preferred to talk with their fists. Even the Forsaken were bloodthirsty and prone to violent rages, as well as an inherent distrust in anyone else.[54] While the bloodlust of the sin'dorei is less overt and more contained by a veneer of elegance and refinement, in truth they can also revel in death and cruelty to the same degree as any of the Horde's other member nations.

A cunning Alliance general can incite rages in a warband and laugh as the Horde's best laid plans fall apart while the savage elements among them fly mindlessly into combat.[54]

Orcs connect with their legacy as mighty warriors, as barbaric, demon-bred savages, and as shamanistic spiritualists. Despite the fact that they are no longer under demonic influence, orcs can still enter bloodthirsty frenzies.[55] When engaging in combat, bloodlust flows over orcs; they fly into blind and frightening rages, cleaving through foes with axes.[53] Although Thrall gradually learned to control it, the novel Lord of the Clans depicts him at times experiencing the bloodlust himself.

The Darkspear jungle trolls are steadfastly loyal to the orcs. Though they practice voodoo and many retain their savage natures, Thrall lets them live in his borders and generally do what they want.[44][56]

The Trolls are about as prone to rages as orcs.[54]

The Ogres are some of the most powerful creatures the Horde can muster, they are even less subtle than the orcs. Ogres care little for well-laid plans and strategies, charging into combat and swinging clubs with the smallest provocation.[53]

Forsaken culture is colored by white-hot rage toward the Lich King and an almost equally intense devotion to their queen.[57] Although the fury of the Forsaken is generally more intellectually inclined and controlled, and while this certainly is not true of all of them, at their heart they are capable of being exactly what they appear; a raging, voracious army of cannabalistic zombies, intent on the eradication of (most humanoid) life.


With Thrall's departure from the Horde, there were signs of internal strife among the Horde leaders. While Garrosh Hellscream had been named the acting Warchief, several of the other Horde leaders had expressed a strong dislike for both Thrall's decision for his successor and Garrosh himself. Cairne Bloodhoof challenged Garrosh to an honorable duel in the wake of Garrosh's ascension, Vol'jin gave him a veiled death threat, and Sylvanas Windrunner had come into conflict with him on both an ethical and a tactical level — the use of Val'kyr to raise new soldiers, and the Forsaken Blight as a weapon. Although some of these rifts improved over time (the coming to power of Baine Bloodhoof and Thrall's intervention with Vol'jin), there are still signs of lasting tension.

Delusions of Grandeur/Thirst for Glory

Although the Horde has much improved under the rule of Garrosh, it still suffers from its officers pursuing personal glory instead of obeying even direct orders from above. Sometimes this has led to the Alliance taking advance of the situation and turning would-be successful attacks and operations into disasters by luring Horde commanders into making foolish orders or otherwise distracting them. This is especially typical when it comes to Orcs, who still have some memory of the old days when the faction was an unorganized confederation of tribes, who simply charged head-first into battle, forgetting all order and reason. Garrosh Hellscream has tried to weed this off by executing generals disobeying his orders. However, he is prone to short-sighted decisions and quick outbursts himself.

Small forces

Despite their power, the Horde lacks the numbers it once enjoyed. They are the underdogs now, and it becomes easy to simply overwhelm their forces with greater numbers. Strength is good, but the many are stronger than the few.[54] The tauren used to roam Kalimdor in great numbers. The constant skirmishes with the centaur tribes have whittled away at their numbers. The war with the Burning Legion diminished their population even more. Their alliance with the orcs and their spiritual strength are what saved them from extinction. Their populations are too low; one of their main goals — now that they are not looking over their shoulders every instant for a centaur attack — is to build their population back up.[58]


For Horde characters, there is a specific Horde reputation bar that is hidden (an Alliance bar also exists for those characters). It can be improved like all of the other factions and it appears in the armory listing of the character. Like Steamwheedle Cartel reputation, gaining "Horde" reputation also acquires reputation for all five racial factions.

Quests that give Horde rep
Name Amount of Reputation
Horde 15.png  [57] Lethtendris's Webω τ ϖ 500

Checking reputation

To see the Horde faction reputation, use the following code but adjust the number in the parentheses (it depends on how many factions are listed above "Horde"; factions marked as inactive are ignored): /run SetWatchedFactionIndex(12)





  • Data-mined content from Legion-Logo-Small.png Legion suggests that Vol'jin has gone missing[59] and Sylvanas has been elevated to Warchief.[60]


  1. ^ Based on official totals in various official sources, including Lands of Mystery, Lands of Conflict, and various blood elf/high elf percentages given in various sources. The 38,580 blood elves under Kael'thas have been subtracted from original 330,790 total as his faction is no longer part of the other blood elves. See talk page.
  2. ^ Darkmoon Faire Cataclysm Promotion: Fortune card
  3. ^ "Beginnings and Ends"
  4. ^ Horde Player's Guide, 165-176
  5. ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos - manual, 84
  6. ^ Eitrigg's Wisdom#Dialogue
  7. ^ Prologue
  8. ^ "Eternity's End: The Awakening of Stormrage", Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. Blizzard Entertainment.
  9. ^ Theldurin the Lost
  10. ^
  11. ^ Horde Player's Guide, 10
  12. ^ "The Founding of Durotar: A Blaze of Glory Map: Theramore Isle", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment. Admiral Proudmoore: Can your blood atone for genocide, orc? Your Horde killed countless innocents with its rampage across Stormwind and Lordaeron. Do you really think you can just sweep all that away and cast aside your guilt so easily? No, your kind will never change, and I will never stop fighting you..
  13. ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, pg. 55. Quote: Although the brave and foolhardy Proudmoore and the men and women who followed him are gone, many of Theramore's citizens agreed with their actions.
  14. ^ Horde Player's Guide, pg. 175. Quote: For the time being, the Horde is now our most "obvious" enemy, in that they are numerous, and old hatreds put the fight with them at the top of nearly every priority list.
  15. ^ World of Warcraft manual, 182
  16. ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 47
  17. ^ The tauren and orcs are allies of the Horde, the half-orcs are affiliated with either Horde or Alliance, and goblins are Independent.
  18. ^ Manual of Monsters, 138
  19. ^ Horde Player's Guide, 85-86
  20. ^ a b Horde Player's Guide, 177
  21. ^ a b c World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 12, 166
  22. ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 166
  23. ^ a b World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 51
  24. ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 53
  25. ^ Lands of Conflict, 105, 107-8
  26. ^ Horde Player's Guide, 76, 154, 181
  27. ^ a b Monster Guide, 64
  28. ^ a b Monster Guide, 65
  29. ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, 15
  30. ^ Lands of Mystery, 44, 48
  31. ^ Forsaken Diseases
  32. ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 370
  33. ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 371
  34. ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, 68-69
  35. ^ Lands of Conflict, 108
  36. ^ a b Horde 15.png  [38D] Compendium of the Fallen
  37. ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 371
  38. ^ a b Horde Player's Guide, 151
  39. ^ Lands of Mystery, 42
  40. ^ a b c Horde Player's Guide, 181
  41. ^ Lands of Mystery, 34
  42. ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 47-48
  43. ^ Lands of Mystery, 147
  44. ^ a b World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 50
  45. ^
  46. ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 167
  47. ^ Lands of Conflict, 106
  48. ^ Horde Player's Guide, 170
  49. ^ Rise of the Horde, 123
  50. ^ Kirith
  51. ^ Alliance Player's Guide 182
  52. ^ Horde Player's Guide, 190
  53. ^ a b c Horde Player's Guide, 191
  54. ^ a b c d e Horde Player's Guide, 192
  55. ^ Horde Player's Guide, 12
  56. ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, 23
  57. ^ World of Warcraft manual, 51
  58. ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, 64
  59. ^ Dalaranω ϖ
  60. ^ The Call of Warω ϖ

See also

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

This wiki contains inaccurate and out-of-date information. Please head over to for more accurate and up-to-date game information.