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I am Lei Shen, slayer of kings and gods. You have made a grave mistake.
~ Lei Shen

Emperor Lei Shen, the Thunder King, was the first emperor of the mogu and the secondary antagonist in World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. He is the main antagonist of the "Thunder King" patch. Although he died many years before the game takes place, he was resurrected by the Zandalari during the course of the Kun-Lai Summit story-line.


Rise of the Thunder King

After being infected by the Curse of Flesh like many other creations of the Titans, the mogu fell into a dark age known as the Age of a Hundred Kings. It was in this period of turmoil that Lei Shen was born to a mogu warlord. Coming to be fascinated by the Titans, Lei Shen sought to restore his people to the glory they had lived in while the Makers still roamed Azeroth. Upon his coming of age, Lei Shen announced his intentions to seek out the mogu gods in the Thundering Mountain, where none of his brethern dared to set foot.

Finding and beating the Titan Ra-den, Lei Shen is said to have torn out the Titan's heart and gained its power over the elements of the storm. His followers christened him the "Lightning King" after his new powers, but Lei Shen shunned this title, saying that lightning "strikes in an instant and is over in a flash". Instead, he insisted on being called the Thunder King, since thunder strikes before lightning does and remains long after it is gone, as well as scattering lesser creatures in fear. Remaining on the Thundering Mountain, he established a palace upon its summit, forbidding any he deemed unworthy from setting foot inside.

Reign of Terror

Lei Shen next set out to secure his power, killing or enslaving anyone who dared oppose him or his armies. Most of his fellow mogu submitted to his rule, seeing a chance to reclaim the glory they had known under the Titans. Lei Shen transformed Pandaria into a mighty empire, organizing language, currency and law. Any non-mogu races were seen as inferior and were enslaved, put to work erecting buildings and monuments like Mogu'shan Palace and Mogu'shan Vaults (the latter built to hide the empire's greatest weapons and secrets). Special hatred was reserved for the pandaren, who Lei Shen saw as a potential threat. They were forbidden from learning to read or write and their leaders and scholars were executed.

Knowing that the powerful mantid would never accept his rule, Lei Shen had his slaves build the Serpent's Spine, a gigantic wall sealing off his empire from the mantid lands. One of the few races who he considered anything less than slaves were the trolls of the Zandalari Empire, who he allied with in putting down a pandaren revolt. However, Lei Shen eventually died and the pandaren succeeded in earning their freedom. Lei Shen was buried in the Valley of Emperors, hidden in Kun-Lai Summit.  However, despite being dead, the power he got from Ra-den remained with him and preserved his body.

Thunder Strikes Again

After the events of Cataclysm, the Zandalari sought to reestablish their empire after much of Zandalar Isle was damaged by the second Sundering brought about by Deathwing. The Cataclysm also disappated the mists hiding Pandaria from the rest of Azeroth and the trolls set about restoring their former allies to power. To this end, Zandalari forces under Prophet Khar'zul recovered Lei Shen's body and brought him back to life. Although the player tries to prevent the ritual, Lei Shen escapes to the Isle of Thunder (the peak of the now-sunken Thundering Mountain) and begins to gather his Zandalari and mogu armies to the island fortress to take back his empire.

Seasons Change and Tyrants Die

As Lei Shen slowly began to assault the shores of Pandaria, the Shado-Pan (legendary Pandaren defenders) sought to contain his legions within the Isle of Thunder. Shortly after landfall, it became apparent that the Shado-Pan were going to require non-Pandaren assistance in order to contain the legendary threat.

Recognizing the threat that Lei Shen posed, the Kirin Tor under Jaina Proudmoore and the Sunreavers under Lor'themar Theron lead an assault on the Isle of Thunder, battling the mogu, the Zandalari and each other. The Shado-Pan also join the attack, hoping to bring down the greatest enemy the pandaren people had ever known.

Little by little, the Alliance, Horde and Shado-Pan wear down Lei Shen's defenses, assisted by the player. Eventually, the Throne of Thunder raid is opened up and the player is given a chance to take on the Thunder King himself, fighting through the Zandalari, mogu, fearsome monsters lurking in the caverns beneath the palace and twisted creatures created by the mogu as living weapons. At last, Lei Shen falls once more. To ensure he can never be reborn, the Black Prince Wrathion, last of the Black Dragonflight and son of Deathwing, devours Lei Shen's heart. 

The Ballad of the Thunder King


  • Lei Shen appears to have been inspired by Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. Like Lei Shen, Qin Shi Huang was capable of both great leadership and great cruelty, organizing the country's infrastructure in a way never seen before while also building the Great Wall of China using a slave labor force and persecuting scholars and the learning classes.


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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