Who is Deathwing and why we should kill him

For me, this whole expansion Deathwing is just that angry dragon who goes around burning everything and giving you an achievement because you Stood in the Fire.  It's hard to rally emotion up to fight him other than annoyance because Deathwing interrupted my questing/herbing/archaeology.
Espenartman on Deviantart
So who is Deathwing and why do I have to hate him?  Let's go back and find out a bit more about him.

Excerpts from Charge of the Dragonflights, Brill Town Hall
Before the Titans departed Azeroth, they charged the greatest species of the world with the task of watching over Kalimdor, lest any force should threaten its perfect tranquility. In that age, there were many dragonflights. Yet there were five flights that held dominion over their brethren. It was these five flights that the Titans chose to shepherd the budding world. The greatest members of the Pantheon imbued a portion of their power upon each of the flights' leaders. These majestic dragonsbecame known as the Great Aspects, or the Dragon Aspects.

Khaz'goroth, the Titan shaper and forger of the world, bestowed some of his vast power upon the mighty black wyrm, Neltharion.
"My blessing upon you will seem humble compared to those which have been bestowed upon the others: the managing of time, of life, of dreams and magic. I offer you the earth. The soil, the ground, the deep places. But know that the earth is the basis of all things. It is where we are rooted. Where you must come from, if you are to go to. Here is whence true strength comes. From deep places...within the world, and within oneself."
- Blessing of the Black Aspect, given by Khaz'goroth
The great-hearted Neltharion, known afterwards as the Earth-Warder, was given dominion over the earth and the deep places of the world. He embodied the strength of the world and served as Alexstrasza's greatest supporter.
Neltharion was created to be an agent of good.  So how did this mighty and noble Wyrm go from being good to the Destroyer of the World?

Excerpts from the War of the Ancients, Scarlet Monastery Library
The details of the event have been lost to time, but it is known that Neltharion, the Dragon Aspect of the Earth, went mad during a critical engagement against the Burning Legion. He began to split apart as flame and rage erupted from his dark hide. Renaming himself Deathwing, the burning dragon turned on his brethren and drove the five dragonflights from the field of battle. Deathwing's sudden betrayal was so destructive that the five dragonflights never truly recovered. Wounded and shocked, Alexstrasza and the other noble dragons were forced to abandon their mortal allies.
I went digging on WoWWiki and found a little more information:
The inner-voices of the Old Gods convinced Neltharion that he could have power beyond his imagination if he served them. The voices made him paranoid of even his own black dragonflight. Neltharion began to yearn for a world dominated by his black dragonflight — a world in which the other dragonflights ceased to exist and Ysera and Alexstrasza would be his petty slaves for mating.

The Old Gods convinced Neltharion to create the Dragon Soul. With the help of goblins, Neltharion created a simple golden disc made of his blood and forged in the goblins' cauldrons and anvils deep beneath the earth. Empowered by Neltharion's magic, the simple disc was magically shielded so that the other Dragon Aspects could not see within it. There was an evil within the disc, some taint of the Old Gods, though what exactly it is not known.
Sigh.  Sex slaves.  Why do these males always go crazy and have a thirst for sex slaves?  Is that the ultimate bad boy thing?  Look at Illidan and his sex slaves in Black Temple...
When the Burning Legion entered Azeroth during the War of the Ancients, Neltharion saw the opportunity to complete his Dragon Soul. Guided by the voices of the Old Gods, he first captured demons of the Burning Legion, and added their powers to the Dragon Soul. Neltharion then convinced Malygos to help him with the other Dragon Aspects (Malygos was his closest friend). All of them agreed to give a portion of their powers to the Dragon Soul, including all dragons of their dragonflights. Neltharion proposed that the Dragon Soul disc could be a weapon of great power to destroy the demons of the Burning Legion. Unknown to the rest, Neltharion was the only one who did not give of his powers to the Dragon Soul.

The creation of the Dragon Soul as seen in Yogg's mind chamber
Neltharion, the Dragon Aspects and their dragonflights flew toward Zin-Azshari where the night elves held the demons at bay. The dragons awaited Neltharion's first attack. He grabbed the Dragon Soul and by channeling his destructive power through it destroyed thousands of demons with one swing of radiant magic. The Dragon Aspects watched in horror as Neltharion also killed hundreds of night elves and other allies along with the demons.

Neltharion revealed the depths of his betrayal at last. Now with the disc at his command he wanted all races and the demons to see his power and to bow to him. The Dragon Aspects attacked Neltharion in an attempt to take the Dragon Soul from him and to reason with him in hopes of determining the cause of his perfidy. Malygos' blue dragonflight surrounded Neltharion, but with a swing of the Dragon Soul, most of the blue dragons perished. The next swing of the Dragon Soul paralyzed all dragonflights and the Dragon Aspects in mid-air, rendering them unable to move or speak. Neltharion then struck out at the Dragon Aspects and their dragonflights, destroying many and scattering them far across the land.

Neltharion's betrayal struck a great blow to the Aspects, and their fear of being destroyed like the blue dragonflight kept them in seclusion. In desperation, the Aspects shielded themselves and hid to become undetected even by each other. 
And so the Dragonflights left the War of the Ancients to the mortal races.  In his craze for power he decimated his allies and his kin, alienating all those around him.  So what happened to the Dragon Soul?
The growing corruption in Neltharion's heart warped his body, and the once beautiful dragon took on a more demonic appearance - his body cracked open, revealing his molten heart, and magma and fire flowed off his chest. His eyes became aflame in red, demonstrating the magnitude of his power and the depths of his evil. Thus was Deathwing the Destroyer born, and the Dragon Soul was renamed the Demon Soul.

Well that explains why Dragon Soul and Demon Soul seem to be used interchangeably...

Deathwing in Human Form by the AWESOME Glenn Rane
Deathwing returned to his lair beneath a mountain. His proximity to the Demon Soul was ripping his body apart, so the goblin smiths forged an armor of adamantium to serve as a vessel to contain Deathwing's raging powers and keep them in check.  Only the adamantium plates kept the power from destroying his body.

However, Malfurion Stormrage used the Emerald Dream to find Deathwing's lair and stole the Demon Soul from the black dragon, who tried to pursue the thief in vain. Illidan and Varo'then captured Malfurion and took the Demon Soul back to Zin-Azshari, to Mannoroth the Destructor, the general of the Legion's armies. It was used to power up the portal that would allow Sargeras to enter Azeroth.

Deathwing tried one last time to recover the disk, when it was being used by both Sargeras and the Old Gods, and actually succeeded in reaching it. He was almost destroyed in the attempt, but after he got the Demon Soul, an enormous surge of power made him lose his grip on the disk, and sent him spiraling far away from the portal.

After the Burning Legion was defeated, the Dragon Aspects sealed the Demon Soul with their energies, so that Deathwing should never be able to manipulate the Demon Soul. It was hidden in an undisclosed location by Malfurion at the request of the Dragon Aspects. No longer in possession of the artifact and now unable to use it, Deathwing vowed to destroy most life and to wreak havoc on the planet. With his powers over earth, Neltharion caused volcanoes to rise along with the destruction already caused by the Well of Eternity's implosion, sinking most of Kalimdor below the ocean.
My, my.  Temper, temper.  That's a massive tanty, sinking a lot of the land mass below the ocean.  That probably explains a lot really.  Being the Earth-Warder, and the Old gods being sealed within the Earth, he would be the most susceptible to their whisperings.
The Old Gods had manipulated Deathwing into creating the Demon Soul, but their true intention was that the demons would inform their lord Sargeras of the great power of the weapon used against them. Sargeras would no doubt want the Demon Soul to power the gateway that would let him enter Azeroth. By using the Demon Soul to amplify the gateway, the three Old Gods hoped to escape their prison beneath the planet.
In the Second War, ten thousand years later, Deathwing found out the location of the Dragon Soul.  Because of the enchantment placed on it by the Dragon aspects, he couldn't manipulate it but he could control someone who would be able to.   Through visions, he managed to get Zuluhed the Wicked, Chieftain of the Dragonmaw clan to find the Dragon Soul, who gave to Nekros Skullcrusher.  Nekros used it to enslave Alexstrasza and use her children to fight for the Horde.

Korialstrasz of the Red Dragonflight, under the guise of Krasus of the Kirin Tor, sent his student Rhonin to rescue Alexstrasza, who with a gem created from a scale of Deathwing (given to him by Deathwing himself) destroyed the Dragon Soul, returning the contained powers to the Dragonflights.

Deathwing vs Alexstrasza

So that's the end of the Dragon Soul eh? Now we adventurers are heading back into the past to get the Dragon Soul (since it was destroyed) so we can give it to Thrall so he can get rid of Deathwing.  Hence all those lead up instances featured in Patch 4.3.  The are great instances, by the way, not difficult to heal really, and gives some great story and Lore behind the whole why we hate Deathwing saga.


  1. Ooh, what a great post Nav :)

  2. Navimie,

    Great Lore explanation of Deathwing and how the current content is surrounding the mysterious powerful artifact of the Demon Soul. Bet you did a lot of solid research and the pictures included really made this a great read.

    Pictures really do break up the wall-o-text nicely. I want to learn secondary profession of using pictures in posts. Please point out the nearest trainer?

  3. @Draccus - I agree about the pictures breaking up walls of text. I'll PM you some ideas?

  4. I hate him because he's a goddamn dragon!

  5. Great post Nav, and his story is interesting... I just wish there was more of that visible IN GAME during Cataclysm. Ah well, I want everything.

  6. @Glow - LOL Glow, it's there! Time to revisit Yogg's mind room! And not to mention the new War of the Ancients instance, you can see a bit of the story there...

    @Lacrox - well, yes it's obvious why you hate him :)


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