Icecrown Citadel in Northrend sits atop the largest glacier on Azeroth, Icecrown Glacier in Icecrown. It is here that Ner'zhul — transformed into the Lich King — was cast into the world of Azeroth. Recently, the Scourge has created this massive fortress, surrounding the Frozen Throne that lies hidden underneath. It's planned to be added to the game in patch 3.3, making it the pinnacle of the Wrath of the Lich King raid instances.
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.
Note: The above description may seem confusing, as images of the Throne Chamber obviously depict a spire with the Frozen Throne at the top. This is more understandable when the size of the rift created by the impact with the Glacier is realized. The rift is 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 is 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. At BlizzCon 2009, it was said that the Lick 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', 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.
The fortified entrance to Icecrown Citadel 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 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 might be home to the final encounter in Wrath of the Lich King, featuring the Lich King as the final boss, though it is still unknown if he is going to be killable or not. 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 is not expected to open until some time after the expansion's release. 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; while this was somewhat remedied with the release of Sunwell Plateau, making Kil'jaeden the final boss encounter of The 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.
It has now been confirmed at BlizzCon 2009 that there will be 12 bosses in the Raid instance, and a 5 player dungeon divided in 3 wings with 8 bosses in total.
- Sindragosa, former consort of Malygos, raised as the Queen of the Frostbrood. Shown in several promotional pieces and the login screen, but has yet to appear in the game beyond a projection.
- Lich King, the leader of the Scourge has been confirmed as a boss in the upcoming patch in a BlizzCon 2009 panel.
There are many possible encounters within the Citadel. Viable candidates include:
- Pai Stormbringer and Ul'haik Hadanot, mortal co-leaders and seconds in-command of the Cult of the Damned. Although Kel'Thuzad was defeated for a second time in Naxxramas, the cult still maintains a heavy presence.
- Falric and Marwyn, Arthas' captains from Warcraft III and Arthas: Rise of the Lich King.
- Salanar the Horseman, Orithos the Sky Darkener and Knight Commander Plaguefist, last seen in the Scarlet Enclave. It seems they did not join the Knights of the Ebon Blade, as they are nowhere in the current game after the initial death knight quest chain.
- Prince Theraldis and Prince Atherann, the only two San'layn known to be alive.
- The Turned Champion and the Immolated Champion seen in a vision when fighting inside Yogg-Saron's mind.
- Mal'Ganis, who escaped after the true identity of Barean Westwind was unveiled and who is still plotting revenge on the Lich King.
- Considering that many old characters like Archmage Arugal, Baron Rivendare, and Kel'Thuzad have returned to battle in Northrend, bosses from older instances may re-appear, such as Amnennar the Coldbringer, Ras Frostwhisper, Darkmaster Gandling, or Dar'Khan Drathir.
- Anub'arak, Azjol-Nerub and Trial of the Crusader were merely setbacks!
- It may be possible that players may have to face leaders of the opposite faction, leading their own assault inside Icecrown Citadel. Although it is doubtful that Thrall or Jaina Proudmoore would be involved as bosses (both wanting peace with the opposite faction) it is probable that Varian Wrynn and Garrosh Hellscream would be.
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.
- ^ Lands of Mystery, 106
- ^ a b c Lands of Mystery, pg. 108.
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, 299
- ^ http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/underdev/1p11/roadtodamnation3.html
- ^ http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=138018&page=1
- ^ Re: 3.3 is the Age of the Warriors
- ^ Re: 31 bosses in icecrown raid.
- ^ http://www.blizzard.com/blizzcon/recaps/raid_dungeon-panel.xml