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My open hands will reward my friends, but let my enemies beware!
~ Varian Wrynn
My son, a terrible darkness has returned to our world. As before, it seeks to annihilate everything that we hold dear. I go to face it, knowing I may not return. All my life I have lived by the sword. I've seen kingdoms burn, and watched brave heroes die in vain. It's been difficult for me to trust after losing so much. But from you I have learned patience, tolerance, and faith. Anduin, I now believe as you do, that peace is the noblest aspiration. But to preserve it, you must be willing to fight!
~ Varian's last message to Anduin

King Varian Wrynn was a central protagonist in the Warcraft franchise. He was the King of Stormwind and the High King of the Alliance as well as father to Anduin Wrynn. He is killed by Gul'dan on the Broken Shore, after leading the Alliance into battle against the Burning Legion. After his death, his son Anduin takes over the crown.


King Varian is a ruler with a fierce love for his people and his son, Anduin. He would willingly give his life to save his people. He is driven by ancient principles few understood today—a code of conduct that demanded something more of its leaders. He believes in the principles of truth, honor, justice, and duty. Though the events of his life have left him severely distrusting of the Horde, he has shown a willingness to attempt peace. Before he was kidnapped by the Defias, he was en route to a peace summit with Thrall. Unfortunately, manipulations of the Twilight's Hammer made the conference with Thrall a disaster, and reinforced his little love for the Horde. His reasons for his hatred are many: when Varian was a young boy, he saw his father murdered by the half-orc Garona; the orcs' warchief, Orgrim Doomhammer, slew the valorous Anduin Lothar, who had delivered Varian safely to Lordaeron after the fall of Stormwind; Varian was later enslaved by the orcish gladiator trainer Rehgar Earthfury; and at the Wrath Gate, many brave Alliance soldiers died at the hands of the Forsaken's Royal Apothecary Society. Varian, who had always been wary of the orcs, discovered that the Royal Apothecary Society had been developing the new plague for years. The events that transpired during the battle for the Undercity convinced the human king that the Horde has been left unchecked for too long and sought to dismantle it entirely; an attitude that grew worse throughout most of the Scourge war. However, after witnessing the fate of Dranosh Saurfang and sympathizing with the father's plight of Varok Saurfang, his attitude began to soften; bidding his men to stand down and allow Varok to retrieve his son's corpse, an action that moved Jaina to tears. Throughout the course of the Shattering, Varian slowly grew more tolerant and diplomatic, taking many lessons from his son. He also reconciled his fury at tragedies he's endured with his hot-blooded behavior, enabling him to become more level headed in administering the justice he desired. Unlike Garrosh he did not use the Cataclysm to gain military advantage and focused on the more pressing threat of Deathwing and the Old Gods. By the time of the Pandaria Campaign, Varian has become far more composed and confident; proving his new attitude by rejecting the notion of utilizing the Sha as a weapon, leading a careful, controlled, and strategic operation to free the Temple of the Red Crane from Horde control, earning the respect of his allies, and ultimately declaring the war to be over with Garrosh's arrest, willing to give the Horde a second chance under their new Warchief.

Powers and abilities




  • Varian was born 10 years BDP which makes him 42 years old at the time of his death on the Broken Shore.
  • As of Cataclysm, Varian was one of the four surviving Alliance rulers from the Second War, the others being Gelbin Mekkatorque, Kurdran Wildhammer and Genn Greymane; King Terenas of Lordaeron, King Thoras Trollbane of Stromgarde, Admiral Proudmoore of Kul Tiras, Lord Perenolde of Alterac, Antonidas of Dalaran, King Anasterian Sunstrider of Quel'Thalas and King Magni Bronzebeard of Ironforge have all died (all murdered with the exception of Perenolde, died in prison; and Magni, petrified during a ritual and presumed deceased at the time) in the interim.
  • Varian's name was originally Varien. It was later retconned to Varian. When spelled with an "a", there is the implication that Varian was named after his grandmother, Queen Varia.
    • Alternatively, his name possibly is taken from "valiance" - great courage or determination.
  • Varian's rise (or re-rise) to power is very similar to that of Conan, who started off as a simple pit fighter to eventually rise to becoming King. Given Varian's temperament, fighting ability and appearance the similarities are striking.


           Warcraft Logo.png Heroes

The Alliance
Stormwind: Llane Wrynn | Anduin Lothar | Tirion Fordring | Marshal Reginald Windsor | Varian Wrynn | Anduin Wrynn
Lordaeron: Uther the Lightbringer | Turalyon | Terenas Menethil | Falric | Darion Mograine
Stromgarde: Danath Trollbane
Dalaran: Khadgar | Antonidas | Jaina Proudmoore
Kul'Tiras: Daelin Proudmoore
Gilneas: Genn Greymane
Ironforge: Muradin Bronzebeard | Magni Bronzebeard
Night Elves: Malfurion Stormrage | Tyrande Whisperwind | Illidan Stormrage | Maiev Shadowsong
Draenei: Akama | Yrel
Wildhammer Clan: Kurdran Wildhammer | Falstad Wildhammer
Pandaria: Chen Stormstout | Li Li Stormstout

The Horde
Durotar: Thrall | Nazgrel | Drek'Thar | Gazlowe | Rehgar Earthfury | Rexxar | Gar'thok | Morg Wolfsong | Samuro
Darkspear Tribe: Sen'jin | Rokhan | Vol'jin
Goblins: Gazlowe
Ogres: Gog the Gronnslayer
Tauren: Cairne Bloodhoof | Baine Bloodhoof | Bovan Windtotem
Blood Elves: Lor'themar Theron | Halduron Brightwing | Valeera Sanguinar
Forsaken: Sylvanas Windrunner
Orcs: Thrall | Nazgrel | Drek'Thar | Durotan | Gar'thok | Morg Wolfsong | Rehgar Earthfury | Samuro

Knights of the Silver Hand
Uther the Lightbringer | Darion Mograine

Dragon Aspects
Alexstrasza the Lifebinder | Nozdormu the Timeless One | Ysera the Awakened | Kalecgos

Argent Crusade
Tirion Fordring | Maxwell Tyrosus | Aliocha Segard

Army of the Light
Xe'ra | Turalyon | Lothraxion | Fareeya | Rosallas | A'dal

A'dal | Tiras'alan | Ishanah | Voren'thal the Seer | Lady Liadrin

Adventurers | Brightwing | Chronormu | Leeroy Jenkins | Lunara | Medivh

Playable characters: Uther the Lightbringer | Leeroy Jenkins | Reno Jackson | Rokara
Curse of Naxxramas:
Goblins vs. Gnomes:
Blackrock Mountain:
The Grand Tournament:
League of Explorers:
Whispers of the Old Gods:
One Night in Karazhan:
Mean Streets of Gadgetzan:
Knights of the Frozen Throne:
The Boomsday Project:
Rastakhan's Rumble:
Rise of Shadows:
Saviors of Uldum:
Descent of Dragons:
Ashes of Outland:
Madness at the Darkmoon Faire:
Forged in the Barrens: