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For strategy on the Blackwing Lair encounter, see Nefarian (tactics).
For strategy on the Blackwing Descent encounter, see Nefarian (Blackwing Descent tactics).

Nefarian (also known as Blackwing) is a black dragon and the eldest son of Deathwing.[3] He appears in his human guise as Lord Victor Nefarius, the Lord of Blackrock. Holding the Blackrock clan and various clans of ogres under his control, Nefarian rules from his lair at the top of Blackrock Spire. Nefarian speaks Common, Darnassian, Draconic, Dwarven, Goblin, Gnomish, Low Common, Orcish, Thalassian and Zandali.[2] (MG 170-171)

Chris Metzen is believed to be the voice of Nefarian (though there is no definite proof that this is true).[4]


Lill Nefarian By Eppon

The black dragonflight was among the greatest threats to mortal life the world has ever known. Led by the fallen Aspect, Deathwing, the black dragons ravaged and subverted the kingdoms of humanity and elves for generations. Yet, during the Battle of Grim Batol (nearly fifteen years ago), Deathwing was defeated by his fellow Aspects — though he managed to escape complete destruction at their hands. While he was regaining his strength in Deepholm, the random destruction indicates no direct control over his diabolical flight.

Since Deathwing's departure, his eldest children have arisen to lead their brethren and recoup their failing numbers. Deathwing's eldest son, the malicious and cunning Nefarian, has claimed the burning fortress of Blackrock Spire and Blackwing Lair as his aerie.

Nefarian has been experimenting with the blood of all of the various dragonflights to create a chromatic dragonflight of unstoppable warriors. In this task, he has succeeded his father and, aided by his sister, he plans to use them to rally the Black Dragonflight to his command.

In Blackrock, aided by his loyal dragonspawn, he fights a constant battle with Ragnaros and his forces for control of the mountain and, ultimately, control of the entire region. To this end, he made efforts to bolster his forces like his father Deathwing in ages past. Nefarian delights in capturing Ragnaros' elemental minions and using them for his own insidious purposes.

He has struck up an alliance with Rend Blackhand, though he only uses him and his Dark Horde to further his own goals. Nefarian's mad bid for dominance has even attracted the ire of the red dragonflight — in the form of the red dragon Vaelastrasz —which has always been the Black flight's greatest foe. Though Nefarian's intentions are known, the methods he is using to achieve them remain a mystery.

With the black dragonflight once again under solid leadership and with the support of these new chromatic dragons, he plans to strike back against the other dragonflights, as well as the mortal nations of the world.

World of Warcraft

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

Nefarian appeared in World of Warcraft as the final encounter in Blackwing Lair, implemented in patch 1.6.

The Head of Nefarian begins the quest The Lord of Blackrock for the Horde and the Alliance. It drops from Nefarian in Blackwing Lair. Like the Head of Onyxia, Nefarian's head may be delivered either to King Varian Wrynn in Stormwind for the Alliance or Thrall in Orgrimmar for the Horde. Wrynn will send you to Field Marshal Afrasiabi in the Valley of Heroes, while Thrall will send you to Overlord Runthak near the gates of Orgrimmar.

Turning in the head grants everyone in the city the Rallying Cry of the Dragonslayer. Provided they are level 60 or lower.

Burning Crusade

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

With the coming of Patch 2.1.0, it seems that Nefarian had died in-universe. Lady Sinestra, added in the patch, says during an event involving her and a Dragonmaw fel orc named Overlord Mor'ghor:

You have no doubt heard about Nefarian's failures on Azeroth... While he has fallen, the experiment continues. My master... He continues the work that his progeny began.

This seems to imply that Nefarian is dead, or at least presumed dead by the black dragonflight.

Wrath of the Lich King

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

Varok Saurfang mentions that he put the head of Nefarian on a pike,[5] implying that the adventurers of the Horde defeated Nefarian, as opposed to the Alliance defeating Onyxia.[6]

Nefarian in Blackwing Descent


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

Nefarian appears to have been ressurected into some degree of undeath, and is featured in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. He's located in Blackwing Descent.[7] Indeed, Nefarian continues his experiments to create the most powerful dragon (as shown in various battles) with the help of Maloriak. There are some theories about who resurrected Nefarian: the first idea is his father, but the Head of Nefarian was on a pike in Orgrimmar[8] and there is no trace of Deathwing in the orc's capital city (unlike Stormwind). Currently, no sources point to a reliable theory. However, since he refers to years of work on his recent projects[9], it would appear that he was raised in undeath somewhere shortly after his death, and therefore not by his father, who recently returned from Deepholm. It is however possible that these experiments (mainly Chimaeron and Atramedes) were begun before his death. This is most likely since he has his living look in the flashback before the fight against Atramedes. Also, his three brides Desperiona, Sethria, and Valiona appear to be leading assaults against Nefarian's adversaries, possibly to avenge their fallen mate.

Night of the Dragon

Novels This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft novels or short stories.

During the book Night of the Dragon, Kalecgos and Krasus reveal that Nefarian, the eldest and most powerful of Deathwing's children, had been slain by brave fighters. Kalec later mentions to Dargonax that Nefarian's mother, Sintharia, abandoned him to his enemies after he failed her (though considering the circumstances, it's possible that Kalec twisted the truth to try and turn Dargonax against Sintharia).[10]

Sintharia, Nefarian's Mother and creator of Dargonax and the Twilight Dragonflight, referred to Dargonax as Nefarian on a few different occasions.[11] While never really explained a few different opinions could be speculated. One that Nefarian's body or essence was used to create Dargonax or that Dargonax is Nefarian resurrected. Sinestra shows spite towards both Onyxia and Nefarian throughout the novel and so one could infer that she is not referring to Dargonax with motherly love of Nefarian. At the end of the book it is assumed that Dargonax and Sinestra are both killed, however the Twilight Dragonflight continues to exist either through Deathwing's doing or through Sintharia's false demise as well as both Sinestra and Nefarian being present in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.

In combat

Nefarian depicted in World of Warcraft.

Nefarian usually enters combat in human form at first, summoning his many minions and allies while he wears down his enemies with powerful spells. If seriously threatened, he takes on his true form, using his shadow flame breath to incinerate anyone who is not properly protected. He uses his corrupted power ability to incapacitate whatever characters he feels are the greatest threat. If badly wounded, Nefarian uses his powerful magic to retreat. If prevented from retreating, he uses his most powerful spells and abilities to turn his enemies against each other, and to drain their health and spells while restoring his own. Nefarian’s breath, known as shadow flame, is among the deadliest of any dragon’s attacks. Any living target affected by Nefarian’s breath is set afire with shadow flame, taking terrible damage. The only protection from this attack is the scales of another powerful black dragon.


Nefarian's human form, Lord Victor Nefarius.

Over the years, Nefarian has been given a few names, including:

Following the dragon naming conventions, his proper name should be Nefarion (as males of the Black Dragonflight use the -ion suffix) but it's unknown if that really is his name and he chooses to spell it differently to differentiate himself (similar to how Sintharia renamed herself Sinestra even though "Sinestra" doesn't follow the Twilight Dragonflight naming conventions)


Dialogue with Rend Blackhand

Lord Victor Nefarius: Excellent... it would appear as if the meddlesome insects have arrived just in time to feed my legion. Welcome, mortals!
Lord Victor Nefarius: Let not even a drop of their blood remain upon the arena floor, my children. Feast on their souls!
Lord Victor Nefarius: Foolsss...Kill the one in the dress!
Warchief Rend Blackhand: Sire, let me join the fray! I shall tear their spines out with my bare hands!
Lord Victor Nefarius: Concentrate your attacks upon the healer!
Lord Victor Nefarius: Inconceivable!
Lord Victor Nefarius: Do not force my hand, children! I shall use your hides to line my boots.
Warchief Rend Blackhand: Defilers!
Warchief Rend Blackhand: Impossible!
Lord Victor Nefarius: Your efforts will prove fruitless. None shall stand in our way!
Lord Victor Nefarius: THIS CANNOT BE!!! Rend, deal with these insects.
Warchief Rend Blackhand: With pleasure...
Lord Victor Nefarius: The Warchief shall make quick work of you, mortals. Prepare yourselves!
Lord Victor Nefarius: Taste in my power! (upon buffing Gyth)
Lord Victor Nefarius: Your victory shall be short lived. The days of both the Alliance and Horde are coming to an end. The next time we meet shall be the last.

Quotes within Blackwing Lair

Corrupting Vaelastrasz:

  • Lord Victor Nefarius: Ah, the Heroes, you are persistent aren't you? Your Ally here attempted to match his power against mine....and paid the price. Now he shall serve me. By slaughtering you.
  • Lord Victor Nefarius: Get up little Red Wyrm, and destroy them!

Stealing the Red Scepter Shard:

  • Lord Victor Nefarius: Looking for this: [Red Scepter Shard]? Come and get it...
  • Lord Victor Nefarius: I wonder, heroes, what will you do when I manage to destroy this shard? Will the world be beyond Salvation?
  • Lord Victor Nefarius's laughter echoes through the halls of Blackwing.
  • Lord Victor Nefarius: What's this? A chip in the shard? Finally, a weakness exposed... It won't be long now.

Quote within Blackwing Descent

Enter Blackwing Descent on normal difficulty
  • Welcome to my personal sanctum heroes! I hope you find the accomodations to your liking. Within you will find many of my failed experiments and... ultimately... my greatest triumph!
Enter Blackwing Descent on Heroic difficulty
  • Mortals that fancy themselves HEROES have entered the Broken Hall! Oh, I do hope this 'raid' will amuse me more than the last!
  • Ha ha ha ha ha! The heroes have made it to the glorious finale! I take it you are in good spirits? Prepared for the final battle? Then gaze now upon my ultimate creation! RISE, SISTER!
  • Behold, the Broodmother... Onyxia... REBORN. Perhaps my finest work.
  • My dearest sibling... do you hunger? THEN FEAST UPON OUR ENEMIES!
Phase 1
  • See how the shadowflame animates the bones? They fight at my command!
Phase 2
  • Curse you mortals! Such callous disregard for one's possessions must be met with extreme force. I hope you can swim... in molten lava!
Phase 3
  • I have tried to be an accomodating host, but you simply will not die. Time to throw all pretense aside and just KILL YOU ALL!
  • Flesh turns to ash!
Killing a player
  • It has been a pleasure.
  • You really have to want it.
  • Nefarian laughs.
  • Defeat has never tasted so bitter...
Death of Maloriak
  • Lord Victor Nefarius yells: Congratulations! Allow me to grant you a title befitting the amazing achievement you just performed! Henceforth, you shall be known as the Slayer of Incompetent, Stupid and Disappointing Minions!

Intro of Atramedes, discussion with Maloriak.
Images of Lord Victor Nefarius, Maloriak, and a whelping appear before the group.
Lord Victor Nefarius: Ah Maloriak how gracious of you to finally appear from that quarantine you call a laboratory. What have you got this time?
Maloriak: My sincerest apologies for the disturbance, my liege. But I believe I have something you may be very interested in!
Lord Victor Nefarius: By all means, enlighten me.
Maloriak: Yes, yes!
Maloriak: By extracting agents from the blood of various dragonflights I have created a salve that bestow the wearer sight beyond sight!
Maloriak: Sense beyond this realm of mortality!
Maloriak: Atramedes! Your master beckons.
The whelp, Atramedes moves forward.
Maloriak: I present to you experiment number 25463-D!
Maloriak uses his salve on Atramedes, causing the whelp to glow orange before becoming disoriented.
Lord Victor Nefarius: It appears as though your experiment has failed. That whelp has gone completely blind! Look at him.
Lord Victor Nefarius: LOOK AT HIM!
Maloriak: How could this be!? I will dispose of him immediately!
Lord Victor Nefarius: No, not yet.
Lord Victor Nefarius: This object of your chagrin may still prove... valuable... to me.
Lord Victor Nefarius: Leave now, pathetic alchemist. I anxiously await your next failure.
Maloriak: Yes, my lord
The images fade away.
During the fight again Chimaeron
  • Lord Victor Nefarius yells: Ah, Chimaeron! Truly a living testament to my scientific prowess. I reworked and twisted his form countless times over the years and the final result is truly something to behold.
  • Lord Victor Nefarius yells: Stop fighting yourself THIS INSTANT Chimaeron!
  • Lord Victor Nefarius yells: A shame to lose that experiment...



World of Wacraft lore lesson 48 Nefarian

Nefarian lore lesson

10-man Heroic

10-man Normal

25-man Normal

External links


Preceded by:
Patriarch of the black dragonflight (with Onyxia)
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Orgrim Doomhammer
Ruler of the Blackrock Spire
Succeeded by: