- This article is about the structure. For the raid known in-game as "Icecrown Citadel", see Icecrown Citadel (instance). For the 5-player instances, see Frozen Halls.
Icecrown Citadel is the greatest fortress of the Scourge and the last bastion of the dreaded Lich King. Located in the frozen wastes of Icecrown on the continent of Northrend, the Citadel is built around the Frozen Throne that once held the spirit of Ner'zhul until he joined with Arthas Menethil to become the new Lich King. Constructed from saronite, the Citadel is inhabited by some of the strongest and vilest of the Lich King's minions - a great army of the living dead standing between their dark master and those who seek to destroy him.
The name of Icecrown became infamous when Kil'jaeden hurled the Lich King back into the mortal world. Ner'zhul's prison slammed into the glacier. Here the Lich King remained until Arthas Menethil freed him and the two merged in Arthas' body. The merging created such a large explosion that a large portion of the glacier was blown away. It left a gigantic throne in its place thus creating the Frozen Throne. Upon which sits the Lich King, ruler of the scourge.
From the name one would assume Icecrown Citadel was an enormous fortress planted on the glacier, with thick walls, sturdy guard towers, and massive front gates. Not quite. Most of the Citadel lurks below the surface. The glacier is split, creating a deep fissure. Scourge forces lurk down there, and they have carved levels into either side of that massive split and created bridges, walkways and even solid floors across the gap. Not surprisingly, Icecrown Citadel is a cold, unforgiving place. It has no decorations, no furs or rugs, no fires, nothing to provide comfort or warmth. The Scourge creatures move silently from one problem to another, focused on their tasks. All manner of undead dwell here, including zombies, wraiths and beings composed of cold energy. At the bottom of the rift is the Frozen Throne, the heart of the Scourge and the Lich King’s personal seat. This throne is the remains of the block of ice that first brought Ner’zhul to Azeroth, the same block that held him prisoner until Arthas freed the ancient orc shaman and merged with him. Arthas sits on the Frozen Throne.
The above description from Lands of Mystery may seem confusing, as images of the Throne Chamber obviously depict a spire with the Frozen Throne at the top. This would be understandable if the size of the rift created by the impact with the Glacier was ridiculous. The rift may be so large the entire spire is below average ground level. The entire spire counts as the Frozen Throne, the area just around the spire is also known as the Throne Chamber, and Icecrown Citadel may be the fortified rift as a whole. Both Arthas and Kel'Thuzad traveled downward before ascending the spire. For context, "The Lich King sits on the Frozen Throne at the bottom of the rift, inside of the Icecrown Citadel".
The Throne Chamber may not be much of a chamber anymore, as evidenced by the cinematic at the end of the Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne Undead campaign where the tower was exposed, but it seems to have been covered again by the Lich King. Also, the water seen in both the final mission and the cinematic is nowhere to be found. At BlizzCon 2009, it was said that the Lich King will be fought at the pinnacle of Icecrown Citadel. It seems the bottom of the spire is at the bottom of the former 'rift' (if there is one), and the Frozen Throne is at the top of the spire, at the top of the Citadel.
Wrath of the Lich King
This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
Icecrown Citadel is a massive structure located on the Dragonblight-Icecrown border. Its southern entrance, Angrathar the Wrathgate, is surrounded by the Court of Skulls, and flanked by Fordragon Hold and Kor'kron Vanguard. The fortified northern entrance to Icecrown Citadel, surrounded by the Court of Bones, is found in the mountains of southern Icecrown. It is surrounded by gigantic ramparts and massive, blade-like spires, the towers are an imposing landmark of the Icecrown skyline, emitting a beacon of light from its pinnacle.
As noted earlier the Citadel itself (possibly) stretches far under Icecrown and Icecrown Glacier, and the rift. The Frozen Throne itself was located on an island in the rift of the glacier towering above most of the underground Citadel.
Icecrown Citadel is home to the final encounter in Wrath of the Lich King, featuring the Lich King as the final boss. Although players interact with Arthas numerous times during the expansion, including during an event at Angrathar the Wrathgate in the Dragonblight, the instance where the final battle against him will take place was not formally announced until nearly a year after the release of the expansion. The developers have stated that they feel it was a mistake to release Black Temple, wherein the Illidan encounter takes place, as soon as they did (a mere four months after the release of Burning Crusade); while this was somewhat remedied with the release of Sunwell Plateau, making Kil'jaeden the final boss encounter of Burning Crusade, their goal is to ensure that Arthas does not become just another farm boss too soon before newer, more challenging content is released.
Icecrown Citadel received an exterior redesign in patch 3.3.0, with the opening of the raid instance inside; the central spire became much taller and more cylindrical, and a platform of ice was added at the spire's summit (where the Frozen Throne will be inside the instance).
The in-game architecture of Icecrown's Scourge-controlled fortresses (especially Icecrown Citadel) bear striking resemblances to artwork of Orthanc, Barad-dûr and countless other citadels from The Lord of the Rings.
Warcraft III Screenshots
- Patch 3.3.0 (08-Dec-2009): Added.