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Warcraft: Lord of the Clans is a novel by Christie Golden based in Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft Universe. It was published by Pocket Books. The story of the novel was originally going to be used in the adventure game Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans until it was canceled. It is the second book released in the Warcraft Universe after Warcraft: Day of the Dragon. It is part of the Warcraft Expanded Universe.


The book tells the tale of Thrall, a young orc orphaned by assassins who kill both his parents. After being found by a human named Blackmoore, Thrall is taken to his castle, where he is raised to fight in gladitorial games to earn the alcoholic Blackmoore money. After escaping the castle with the help of a human girl, Taretha, Thrall travels to reunite the orcs.


This book contains the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Distillation: The original source for the plot was a Full Throttle-like game starring Thrall. While never released, all the material release concerning the game indicates that the book is quite an improvement.
    • Though never released, someone managed to get a hold of it here. As expected, the game didn't particularly hold up to Blizzard's standards, though the voice acting is absolutely fantastic.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Subversion is the whole point. This is the beginning of the the end for Orcs' long-standing reputation as the embodiments of nastiness.
  • Anticlimax Boss: There's no doubt as to the outcome when Thrall finally gets to Blackmoore. It was even in the trailer for the game.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Blackmoore comes from a shamed noble house. He is willing to reclaim the family's position by any means necessary, including raising Thrall to use as a puppet general, thereby gaining command an army of orcs to use against Lordaeron.
  • Captain Ersatz: A lot of Thrall's backstory owes itself to Ben Hur and Spartacus. Thrall, of course, ends up better than Spartacus.
  • The Clan: The Frostwolves are all a bunch of uniform good guys. They're JERKS to Thrall in the beginning, but they're good guys.
  • Drop the Hammer: The Doomhammer.
  • Dead Little Sister: Taretha. Technically inverted since she's older.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Sergeant.
  • Fantastic Racism: Thrall is frequently subject to this.
  • Genius Bruiser
  • Gladiator Games
  • Gladiator Revolt
  • The Horde: Thrall makes The Horde 3.0. It's not yet an Alliance, consisting of just orcs.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Both played straight and averted. The main villains of the story are all human, and by the end of it, you're cheering Thrall on as he and the Horde storm Durnholde. At the same time, however, Thrall is well aware of humanity's capacity for good as demonstrated by Taretha and Sergeant, and when he sees the collective spirit of the human race during his shaman training, he finds that it's closer to his human friends than Blackmoore.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Langston to a certain extent. Blackmoore is actually just a gigantic bully but does too much evil to be considered sympathetic.
  • Kick the Dog: Blackmoore has dozens of moments like this in his treatment of Thrall and Taretha Foxton.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: It is immensely cathartic when Thrall corners Blackmoore and puts an end to him.
  • Magic Knight: Thrall is proficient in both melee combat and spellcasting (as a Shaman).
  • Meaningful Name: Thrall keeps the name, which means "slave", so that neither he nor Blackmoore will forget what the latter has done when the former comes back with a vengeance.
  • Messianic Archetype: Thrall is basically a cross between Moses and Spartacus, plus some green paint.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: During the siege, Sergeant sees that Blackmoore's gone mad and that Langston is completely useless, but takes up the responsibility of defending the keep because they all think that Thrall won't stop until Blackmoore's dead.
  • No Name Given: Sergeant. Lampshaded a couple times.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: Thrall has this moment just before his final battle with Blackmoore.
  • The Obi-Wan: Thrall has a couple of mentors. The most prominent being Warchief Doomhammer.
    • Regarding shamanic stuff, Drek'thar definitely fills the role.
    • Drek'thar also points out, in a strange and roundabout sort of way, Blackmoore was one too.
  • Oh Crap: Sergeant and Langston's reaction when Blackmoore pushes Thrall too far, triggering his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Old Master: Sergeant is the only decent man in Durnholde.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: A bit of Fridge Brilliance when you realize that the previous two books chronologically had treated them as total monsters.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy
  • Red Right Hand: Amongst the Orcs, Thrall's blue eyes mark him as untainted despite having green skin.
  • Re Lex: The words in the orcish phrase "Kagh! Bin mog g'thazag cha!" seem to match the English words, "Run! I will protect you!" one-to-one.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The big finale. Thrall is a tremendously mellow guy, for an Orc. The measures necessary to get him up to this are damn near ridiculous. And horrifying.
  • Smug Snake: Blackmoore
  • The Siege: Completely subverted. The bad guys are the few defenders manning the great fortress, while the hero is leading the massive horde trying to rip the place down. They even succeed too.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: Thrall does this to Langston, reducing him to a crying baby,
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Thrall feels this way after being complimented by Blackmoore as the latter is mortally wounded and tells him "You are... what I made of you... I am so proud..."
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