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I was cast out by my comrades. Exiled. Forced to wander the frozen wastes...but I was not alone. Not entirely. The voice, now my only companion, guided me to my destination. Strange, nightmarish creatures awaited me at the entrance. I felt my blood run cold, as cold as Icecrown itself. Inside, I bore witness to horrific acts, demonstrations of power, power that could be mine for the asking. Terrified, I ran...but did not get far. All too soon, my choice was made. Too late did I realize that such power does not come...without a price. Now, the world shall pay a far greater toll, for I have returned. I am Kel'Thuzad....and your curiosity will be the death of you.
~ Kel'Thuzad during the Naxxramas preview monologue.

Kel'Thuzad is the founder of the Cult of the Damned and one of the principal agents of the Lich King. Formerly a mage of the Kirin Tor, he willingly became a Lich in service of the Lich King, and has since become the Lord of Naxxramas. He is the final antagonist in classic World of Warcraft, the supporting antagonist in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, and a major antagonist in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands.

He is voiced by Michael McConnohie.



Kel'Thuzad was originally a member of the Council of Six, the high masters of the Kirin Tor – masters of Dalaran. He was the most eager to gain access to the Guardian's library, Medivh's hoarded depository of knowledge, and was extremely upset when it was lost. When Medivh died, Kel'Thuzad was one of the most interested in questioning his apprentice, Khadgar, particularly about the Order of Trisfal, which he stated was relevant when discussing Medivh. Kel'Thuzad later came to be considered somewhat of a maverick, due to his studies into the forbidden magic of necromancy. He became frustrated by what he saw as his peers' outmoded and unimaginative precepts.

Fall into Darkness

A few powerful individuals across the world received a mental call from the Lich King, Kel'Thuzad amongst them. He then used every bit of will he had to communicate with the mysterious voice he heard. Deciding that the Kirin Tor were too weak to seek the power of the dark arts, Kel'Thuzad swore to learn all he could from the Lich King. After giving up his fortune and prestigious political standing, he went on a journey alone to Northrend where he saw the Lich King's power first hand, deciding that serving him would be both wise and fruitful. He finally arrived at the Icecrown Glacier and was shocked when the undead guards let him pass as if he was expected. At the bottom of the glacier, Kel'Thuzad came before the Frozen Throne and offered his soul to the Lich King. The lord of the dead was pleased with this offer and promised him immortality and power in exchange. Eager for power, Kel'Thuzad accepted his first mission go out into the world a found a new cult with the Lich King as its god. The dark lord also kept Kel'Thuzad's humanity intact so as to help him with this mission.

Creating the Cult of the Damned

The necromancer returned to Lordaeron in disguise and used his powers of illusion and persuasion, fortune, and intellect to gather a cult from the downtrodden and disenfranchised masses of Lordaeron. Kel'Thuzad promised his new acolytes social equality and eternal life in exchange for their loyalty to Ner'Zhul. His goal of corrupting the citizens' faith in the Holy Light and bringing them to the side of the Lich King went surprisingly well. Kel'Thuzad was careful to keep the Cult of the Damned secret from Lordaeron's authorities as it grew in size and influence.

Striking Lordaeron

Kel'Thuzad's success prompted the Lich King to unleash his final assault on humanity. He placed his plague energies into portable devices known as plague cauldrons, which he ordered Kel'Thuzad to transport to villages controlled by the Cult of the Damned for hiding. They would then generate a plague that would seep out across the farms and cities of Northern Lordaeron. The plan worked like clockwork, contaminating Lordaeron's villagers almost instantly. Those infected died and arose as the Lich King's undead minions and the cultists under Kel'Thuzad's command were eager to die and be raised as the living dead in service of Ner'Zhul. As the plague spread and number of zombies grew, the necromancer named it the Scourge, for it would soon scour humanity from the world.

Meeting with Arthas and Resurrection

Kel'Thuzad was ordered by the Lich King to oversee the infection of a small town called Brill. While there he encountered Arthas Menethil and Jaina Proudmoore and fled with the two following him to Andorhal. Kel'Thuzad told the prince about Mal'ganis in Stratholme and found himself hunted by an enraged Arthas. Before his death, he said that his demise would mean little. They were not finished with each other yet. After Arthas's journey to Nothrend, defeat of Mal'Ganis, and transformation into a new servant of the Lich King, he was sent to retrieve Kel'Thuzad's remains. After slaying the paladin guarding it and recovering his objective, Arthas began to see the necromancer appear before him as a ghost. He could only be seen by the fallen prince and told him not to trust the dreadlords, explaining to him that they acted as the Lich King's jailors. Kel'Thuzad promised that when he walked the Earth again, he would explain to Arthas all of Ner'zhul's plans. He watched over the fallen prince as he journeyed through Quel'Thalas, fighting his way through the two elf gates, while meeting opposition from Sylvanas Windrunner. After Arthas entered Silvermoon and reached the Sunwell, he placed Kel'Thuzad's remains in the waters and, with help from Tichondrius, he was reborn as a lich.

Summoning the Burning Legion

As Kel'Thuzad and Arthas journeyed to Alterac, the lich explained to him that the Scourge was meant to act as a harbinger of the Burning Legion and that he would act as the summoner of the legion's leader, Archimonde. They slaughtered the orcs guarding a demon gate that Kel'Thuzad needed to commune with the eredar warlock. The lich proceeded to contact Archimonde, who told him that they needed to steal the Book of Medivh from Dalaran. After Arthas and Kel'Thuzad attacked Dalaran, killed Antonidas, and stole the book, Kel'Thuzad began the long summoning ritual while Arthas defended him from attacks by Dalaran and the Kirin Tor. Finally the lich completed the ritual and Archimonde entered the mortal world, now free to unleash his wrath on Lordaeron. His first action was to promote Tichondrius to leader of the Scourge, rendering Arthas and Kel'Thuzad useless. However Kel'Thuzad was perfectly confident in the Lich King's grand design and they disappeared as Dalaran was destroyed.


After the Legion left for Kalimdor, Kel'Thuzad remained as one of the Lich King's lieutenants in the Capital of Lordaeron alongside Sylvanas Windrunner. They both found out about the fall of the Burning Legion long before the dreadlords who had remained after the Legion had left. When Arthas returned and chased off the dreadlords, Kel'Thuzad was relieved to see him and they turned their attention to the human villages attempting to escape. A fitting sacrifice to the Lich King, according to the lich. As they were fighting through the humans, Arthas felt a sudden pain and Kel'Thuzad offered to recall their forces. The fallen prince forbade this and they continued their massacre. After it was over, the Lich King sent Arthas a vision telling him to return to Northrend. Kel'Thuzad made the preparations for his departure, but they were suddenly ambushed by the dreadlords, and cut off from each other. The lich found his way out of the city and later found Arthas in the clutches of Sylvanas and her banshees. Kel'Thuzad saved him just as she was about to strike the final blow. The former elf escaped after her banshee sisters fell and the lich escorted Arthas to the shore where a fleet of ships awaited him. After telling Kel'Thuzad he had been his most loyal servant and a albeit twisted friend, Arthas told him to remain in Lordaeron so as to ensure his legacy. The lich swore to carry out that mission on what life he had left and as Sylvanas and the dreadlords conflicted with each other, Kel'Thuzad took his forces into hiding in the necropolis, Naxxramas, where he plotted for his return to power in the Plaguelands.

Shadow of the Necropolis

Years later, after the heroes had fought and killed the Old God C'thun, Kel'Thuzad began spreading the Plague of Undeath throughout Azeroth once more. Entire cities were being infected, and the Scourge was returning. With the help of the Argent Dawn, the disease had been dealt with, and the Scourge was sent back into the Plaguelands. The Argent Dawn eventually learned who was behind all this, and built an army to storm the halls of Naxxramas. Kel'Thuzad was well protected, however, and the army of heroes had to fight off some of the Archlich's most horrific creations, such as Gluth, Thaddius, and Grobbulus. They were all killed eventually, and the upper level of Naxxramas was unlocked. One last obstacle remained, however, and that was the Frost Wyrm, Sapphiron. The Frost Wyrm was killed, and Kel'Thuzad was vulnerable... or so they thought. From the frozen wastelands of Northrend, an entire army of the Scourge spewed through portals scattered across the room. The army of the dead was dealt with in time, and Kel'Thuzad joined the fray. After a long fought battle, Kel'Thuzad was defeated. His phylactery was taken back to the Argent Dawn, and was given to a priest named Father Inigo Montoy.

Kel'Thuzad in World of Warcraft

War in the Frozen Wastes

Almost two years later, Illidan Stormrage had been killed and Kil'jaeden was banished back to the Twisting Nether. The heroes of Azeroth were not done yet, for the evil Lich King had returned to finish what he began so long ago. The Argent Dawn said that they never received Kel'Thuzad's phylactery, and it was recently revealed that Inigo Montoy was a spy for the Scourge, and took the phylactery back to Northrend to resurrect the Archlich. Kel'Thuzad was revived, and Naxxramas had returned. Kel'Thuzad rebuilt his monstrous creations, and assaulted the gates of Wintergarde Keep. The heroes once again attacked Naxxramas, and slew his rebuilt monstrosities. Sapphiron had also been resurrected, and the heroes had to fight him once more. Kel'Thuzad used the same tactics he used in his last battle with the heroes, and was killed once again. The status of his phylactery is currently unknown, meaning he could return once again soon.


  • Hello again, children. I am Kel'Thuzad, and I've come to deliver a warning: leave well enough alone. Your curiosity will be the death of you. (To Arthas and Jaina after they followed him into the ruined town of Andorhal)
  • We have been discovered, my brothers! Flee and continue with the operation! (After Jaina and Arthas uncovered his operations in Brill.)
  • Trust not the dreadlords! They are the Lich King's jailors! (To Arthas, referring to Tichondrius.)
  • I have returned as promised! The Lich King has granted me eternal life! (After using the Sunwell to reincarnate himself into a lich.)
  • ... His (Medivh) knowledge of demons alone is staggering. I suspect he was far more powerful than anyone ever realized. (To Arthas, before beginning the summoning process)
  • I shall await my eternal reward.
  • Who dares violate the sanctity of my domain? Be warned: All who trespass here are doomed!
  • Enjoy! ...or I will FREEZE THE BLOOD IN YOUR VEINS.
  • Minions, servants, soldiers of the cold dark... Obey the call of Kel'Thuzad!
  • Naive...fool. My death will make little difference in the long run...for now...the scourging of this land...begins. (As he died at the hands of Arthas and his forces)
  • Of course I played well. I'm Kel'Thu-freakin-zad! (in Hearthstone, upon using the 'Well Played' emote)


  • Kel'Thuzad was a wizard in Warcraft RPG and was changed into a necromancer in World of Warcraft RPG.
  • Despite having a new, unknown voice actor in Wrath of the Lich King, Kel'Thuzad still uses his original laugh.
  • He has a pet based on him, Lil' K.T.
  • Although the tier 9 Alliance Warlock set is named after him, he was never a warlock himself.
  • In Warcraft franchise, like the others liches, Kel'Thuzad has four fingers, but in Heroes of the Storm, Kel'Thuzad has five fingers.
  • He has a house cat named Mr. Bigglesworth, which could be a reference to Dr. Evil's cat of the same name in the Austin Powers film series.
    • Ironically, the Lil' K.T. pet will kill Mr. Bigglesworth to infuriate Kel'Thuzad.


           Warcraft Logo.png Villains

The Alliance
Stormwind: Archbishop Benedictus
Lordaeron: Garithos | Aedelas Blackmoore | Captain Skarloc | Lieutenant Drake
Kul Tiras: Daelin Proudmoore | Jaina Proudmoore | Chief of Chaplains | Chief Petty Officer | Captain Thornby
Gilneas: Lord Vincent Godfrey
Ironforge: Twinbraid

The Horde
Blackrock Orcs: Blackhand | Orgrim Doomhammer | Rend Blackhand | Jubei'Thos
Iron Horde: Grommash Hellscream | Ner'zhul | Teron Gorefiend | Gul'dan | Garona Halforcen | Cho'gall | Kilrogg Deadeye | Kargath Bladefist | Overlord Mor'ghor | Zul'jin | Chieftain Zul'Marrosh | Hex Lord Malacrass
Orcs: Garrosh Hellscream | General Nazgrim | Malkorok | Warlord Zaela | Overlord Krom'gar | Warlord Rok'nah | Urtrak | Blood Guard Porung
Ogre: Imperator Mar'gok
Goblins: Trade Prince Gallywix | Candy Cane | Chip Endale
Tauren: Magatha Grimtotem
Blood Elves: Kael'thas Sunstrider | Overseer Theredis | Sharth Voldoun
Forsaken: Sylvanas Windrunner | Grand Apothecary Putress | Brothogg the Slavemaster | Calder Gray | Castillian | Hagara the Stormbinder | Stalvan Mistmantle | Apothecary Keever

The Twilight's Hammer
Cho'gall | Archbishop Benedictus | Warmaster Blackhorn

Burning Legion
Sargeras | Kil'jaeden | Archimonde | Mannoroth | Tichondrius | Varimathras | Balnazzar | Mal'Ganis | Anetheron | Mephistroth | Detheroc | Xavius | Kazzak | Highlord Kruul | Lord Jaraxxus | Queen Azshara | Sironas | Giselda the Crone | Shadow Council | Burning Blade Clan

Illidan's followers
Illidan Stormrage | Kael'thas Sunstrider | Lady Vashj | Mekgineer Steamrigger | Mennu the Betrayer

Lich King/Arthas Menethil | Kel'Thuzad | Anub'arak | Sindragosa | Dar'Khan Drathir | Blood-Queen Lana'thel | Ymiron | Overlord Drakuru | Arugal | Amnennar the Coldbringer | Four Horsemen | Highlord Mograine | Baron Rivendare | Ras Frostwhisper | Gothik the Harvester | Masophet the Black | Mirdoran the Fallen | Noth the Plaguebringer | Orbaz Bloodbane | Abomination
Cult of the Damned: Lady Deathwhisper | Grand Widow Faerlina

Scarlet Crusade
Balnazzar | Grand Inquisitor Isillien | Brigitte Abbendis | Renault Mograine | Sally Whitemane | Darion Mograine | Crusader Lord Valdelmar | Archbishop Landgren | Huntsman Leopold | Mataus the Wrathcaster | Scarlet Commander Marjahn

Black Dragonflight
Deathwing | Nefarian | Onyxia | Sabellian | Sinestra | General Drakkisath | Maloriak

Elemental Lords: Al'Akir | Ragnaros
Fire Elementals: Lord Rhyolith | Baron Geddon | Majordomo Staghelm | Majordomo Executus | Shannox | Riplimb and Rageface | Baron Charr
Water Elementals: Princess Tempestria

Old Gods
C'thun | Yogg-Saron | N'Zoth | Y'Shaarj | G'huun
Servants: Queen Azshara | Harbinger Skyriss | Warlord Zon'ozz | Morchok | Yor'sahj the Unsleeping | Loken | Myzrael

Lei Shen | Shan Bu

Zovaal | Sylvanas Windrunner | Helya | Mueh'zala
Forsworn: Devos | Lysonia
Maldraxxi: Kel'Thuzad | Vyraz
Venthyr: Sire Denathrius | The Tithelord | Lord Chamberlain | General Kaal | General Grashaal

Gorak Tul | Gorak Zhar | Ingra Maloch

Void Lords
Dimensius the All-Devouring

Abercrombie | Abominable Greench | Ahune | Aiden Perenolde | Alpha Prime | Black Stalker | Bloodsail Buccaneers | Charlga Razorflank | Dagran Thaurissan | Edwin VanCleef | Engineer Overgrind | Epoch Hunter | Felendren the Banished | Gearmaster Mechazod | Goldtooth | Gorefiend | Goren | Grand Empress Shek'zeer | Hakkar the Soulflayer | Headless Horseman | Hogger | Jammal'an the Prophet | Kanrethad Ebonlocke | Leper Gnomes | Maggot Eye | Magnataurs | Magtheridon | Malygos | Marez Cowl | Medivh | Mekgineer Thermaplugg | Murloc Sorcerer | Murlocs | Murmur | Murozond | Naj'tess | Omen | Ortor of Murkblood | Pholx | Podlings | Priscilla Ashvane | Quagmirran | Talon King Ikiss | Taragaman the Hungerer | Thaddius | Thaurissan | The Cleaner | Ultraxion | Zar'Jira | Zelfrax | Zevrim Thornhoof

Playable Characters: Jaina Proudmoore | Gul'dan | Garrosh Hellscream | Illidan Stormrage | Lei Shen
Classic: Edwin VanCleef | Al'Akir | Lord Jaraxxus | Grommash Hellscream | Hogger | Sylvanas Windrunner | Ragnaros | Onyxia | Malygos | Deathwing
Curse of Naxxramas: Kel'Thuzad Baron Rivendare | Thaddius | Grand Widow Faerlina | Gothik the Harvester | Noth the Plaguebringer | Heigan the Unclean
Goblins vs. Gnomes: Trade Prince Gallywix | Mal'Ganis | Dr. Boom | Mekgineer Thermaplugg
Blackrock Mountain: Nefarian | Rend Blackhand | General Drakkisath | Maloriak
The Grand Tournament: Anub'arak
League of Explorers: Rafaam
Whispers of the Old Gods: Old Gods (C'thun | N'Zoth | Y'Shaarj | Yogg-Saron) | Fandral Staghelm | Cho'gall | Malkorok
One Night in Karazhan: Prince Malchezaar | Terestian Illhoof
Mean Streets of Gadgetzan: Don Han'Cho | Aya Blackpaw | Kazakus
Knights of the Frozen Throne: Lich King/Arthas Menethil | Death Knights | Professor Putricide | Sindragosa | Archbishop Benedictus | Blood-Queen Lana'thel
Kobolds and Catacombs: King Togwaggle | The Darkness
The Witchwood: Hagatha the Witch | Splintergraft | Arugal | Shudderwock | Glinda Crowskin | Lord Vincent Godfrey | Captain Shivers | Infinite Toki
The Boomsday Project: Dr. Boom | Boommaster Flark
Rastakhan's Rumble: Zul'jin | Hex Lord Malacrass | Hakkar the Soulflayer
Rise of Shadows: League of E.V.I.L. (Rafaam | Madame Lazul | Hagatha the Witch | Dr. Boom | King Togwaggle | Rakanishu | Vessina | Ol' Barkeye | Kriziki | Captain Eudora | Squeamlish | Mr. Chu | Tekahn | George the Fallen | Lackeys)
Saviors of Uldum: Tekahn | Plague Lords (Vesh, Plague Lord of Murlocs | Kz'rath, Plague Lord of Madness | Xatma, Plague Lord of Death | Icarax, Plague Lord of Wrath)
Descent of Dragons: Malygos | Murozond | Deathwing | Galakrond | Kronx Dragonhoof
Ashes of Outland: Reliquary of Souls | Lady Vashj | Kanrethad Ebonlocke | Kargath Bladefist | Teron Gorefiend | Magtheridon | Kael'thas Sunstrider | Xavius | Mannoroth | Rusted Legion (Mecha-Jaraxxus)
Scholomance Academy: Kel'Thuzad | Darkmaster Gandling | Ras Frostwhisper | Vectus | Theolen Krastinov | Instructor Malicia | Rattlegore
Madness at the Darkmoon Faire: Old Gods (C'thun | N'Zoth | Y'Shaarj | Yogg-Saron | G'huun) | Dark Inquisitor Xanesh
Forged in the Barrens: Kazakus | Death Speaker Blackthorn | Plaguemaw the Rotting | Mordresh Fire Eye | Serena Bloodfeather | Tamsin Roame | Neeru Fireblade | Mutanus the Devourer | Lady Anacondra
United in Stormwind: Lady Katrana Prestor | Archbishop Benedictus | Anetheron | Tamsin Roame