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I was once a Farstrider. I swore an oath to defend Silvermoon and its people to my dying breath. It was not enough. My homeland still burned. But those days are long past, and history will not repeat itself. I am Sylvanas Windrunner, queen of the Forsaken. And if you will not serve me in this life, then you will do so in the next.
~ Sylvanas Windrunner.

Sylvanas Windrunner is the ruler of the Forsaken of the Warcraft franchise. As of World of Warcraft: Legion, she is the new Warchief of the Horde. As a result of her actions that caused the Horde to be divided, Sylvanas becomes one of the two secondary antagonists in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth (alongside Queen Azshara), and one of the main antagonists (alongside the Jailer) of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands.

Appearance

During her lifetime, Sylvanas had long blonde hair that "floated like water" and was "translucent in sunlight". She took great care of her appearance: "It wasn't enough for her to be the best huntress in the family. She also had to be breathtakingly beautiful for all those who had the honor of meeting her. She was of such vanity." Her eyes were "grayer than green or blue."

After becoming a banshee, Sylvanas now has pale, bluish skin, although she is in better conditions than most of the other undead who are visibly decaying in appearance. Her skin shines with a white or silvery glow that becomes red when she is agitated. Her hair, once blonde, is now black as night and strewn with white locks. Sylvanas still wears the garment she was wearing at the time of her death, although her coloring has been darkened. For some reason, her body bears no scars from the countless wounds she received on the day she died. As when she was alive, she prefers to remain hooded.

Sylvanas carried with her the Sunstrider's Longbow, which once belonged to Dath'Remar Sunstrider, who gave it to Sylvanas when she became Ranger-General. At some point, she discarded her previous bow and started using a new one called the Deathwhisper from Icecrown Citadel.

Sylvanas' armor consists of a detailed chest plate that exposes her toned midriff and greaves atop a light, green cotton trousers. Her gauntlets are decorated with a large gem on each, and her spaulders are adorned with spikes, skulls and white feathers than match her own blanched hair. She wears a crimson hooded cloak, tattered and ripped at the bottom, the hood of which is nearly always up. She keeps her quiver and her bow slung across her back most of the time, and can often be seen with her two blades sheathed at her waist.

History

Sylvanas Windrunner was in a family with two other sisters and a brother. One of her sisters, Alleria, went missing during the Second War, her other sister, Vereesa, is the current Ranger General of the Silver Covenant, and her brother, Lirath, was murdered by Orcs. Sylvanas became the Ranger General of Quel'thalas, the kingdom of the High Elves.

The Second War

During the second war, most of the high elves forces were sent to help the Alliance. Some time after this, the Eversong forest began to mysteriously burn, it turned out that the Horde was planning to invade the kingdom of Quel'Thalas. Alleria Windrunner, Sylvanas' sister, managed to notify Sylvanas of the Horde's plans and after many battles, the Horde had to retreat. Soon afterwards, the Dark Portal was destroyed and the war was over. Sylvana's youngest brother Lirath was killed when the Horde attacked the Windrunner clan, Alleria swore to avenge the death of their younger sibling.

Invasion of Quel'Thalas

Then came the day she had feared so long when Arthas Menethil, the traitor of Lordaeron arrived at Quel'Thalas with his army of undead, the Scourge. She encountered Arthas many times during the battle, Arthas started the invasion attacking small villages in the area, killing everyone he came across. Sylvanas and her troops moved to try to chase him out of the kingdom but his forces were far too powerful. Sylvanas and her troops therefore moved further into Quel'Thalas to try to defend Quel'Thalas inner gate. Sylvanas chose to destroy the bridge that led into the kingdom and then locked the gate with the key of the three moons. The key was destroyed and the three parts were hidden deep in the forests.

However, Arthas managed to gather all the parts of the key and led his army into the heart of Quel'Thalas and its capital, Silvermoon. Sylvanas sent runners to alert Silvermoon about the invasion but the runners never showed up. Sylvanas and her troops fought bravely in battle, but Arthas and the Scourge managed to overpower the remaining of her troops and she was eventually killed by the ruthless death knight. At the death knight's mercy, Sylvanas begged for a quick and peaceful death, but Arthas growing annoyed of her efforts to stop him, decided to raise her into undeath as a banshee, and became one of his top lieutenants, along with the Archlich Kel'Thuzad.

The Dark Lady

The Lich King's powers were waning and with them, Arthas’ powers. Sylvanas found herself regaining control and along with many of her loyal banshees began making plans for Arthas’ demise. She agreed to ally with the dreadlords who also sought Arthas’ death, but on her own terms.

Sylvanas had taken the opportunity presented by the Lich King’s waning power to reclaim her body. Using the powers Arthas had granted her, she possessed it and once again walked in flesh — albeit dead flesh. As Arthas had sought to mock and torment her, now Sylvanas returned the favor, firing a special poisoned arrow into him that paralyzed the traitor prince of Lordaeron. He bellowed in rage and demanded that she finish him off, but she reminded him of his words to her when she’d demanded a clean death. She had no intention of granting him death at all. She would, instead, make him suffer.

Intending to settle down to a long period of torment, Sylvanas was interrupted by the Kel’Thuzad, who destroyed her banshees and forced her to withdraw. Soon Arthas was gone from Lordaeron, striving to return to Northrend and the Lich King. This left Sylvanas in an unusual position. The three dreadlords who allied with her now sought utter control of Lordaeron, yet the Scourge no longer held the region. Those converted to undead by Arthas were slowly becoming free of the Lich King’s grasp, and these forsaken souls regained a measure of their former selves only to find themselves trapped in a horror of an existence. Sylvanas could understand it all too well. Dominated by the Lich King, she’d had no choice but to follow a dangerous tyrant, but now she could decide for herself what course of action to take.

World of Warcraft

During the final days of the War Against the Lich King, Sylvanas took part in the final battle at Icecrown Citadel, where a brave hero presented to her a vial of her blood which was found on the corpse of Arthas himself. She returned to the Undercity to plan for the future, where she led an attack on Andorhal. The Scourge remains and an Alliance army were there, as well, and Sylvanas was forced to fight both of them. The Scourge leadership was taken care of quickly, but the Alliance was more resilient. Sylvanas, learning that her top Death Knight Koltira Deathweaver had a friendship with the Alliance Death Knight Thassarian, brought her Death Knight champion back to the Undercity to warp his memory of his friend through torture.

Her war crimes, repugnant even to other Horde members and to an embattled world, were already apparent before the advent of the Lich King. Sylvanas maintained extensive slave pens in Undercity where captives from all of Lordaeron were brought to be tortured, vivisected and experimented on, an action Thrall's knowledge would likely result in the Forsaken's expulsion from the Horde, if not outright destruction. Her methods of using human, dwarf and even orcish captives as experimental subjects for her plagues, as well as usage of plague on several cities are an often overlooked/ignored aspect of her due to her popularity by fans regarding her villainousness.

More recently, Sylvanas launched a genocidal attack on the Night Elf homes of Teldrassil and Darnassus, completely destroying both and killing any who did not escape in time. This atrocity against her own race of origin provoked a new wave of Alliance-Horde hatred and violence, sending Azeroth into bloody warfare once again. 

Quotes

I am Sylvanas Windrunner, Ranger-General of Silvermoon. I advise you to turn back now.
~ Sylvanas Windrunner to Arthas.
We are the Forsaken. We will slaughter anyone who stands in our way.
~ Sylvanas greeting Horde players.
If you can see yourselves as I see you; Toy soldiers in tin plates... Beasts who howl for honor... Standing as one. Savor it... Nothing lasts!
~ Sylvanas revealing her true nature.
FOR THE HORDE!!!
~ Sylvanas rallies her forces during the Battle for Azeroth Cinematic trailer.
The capital city is ours, but we are no longer part of the Scourge. From here on out, we shall be known as the Forsaken. We will find our own path in this world, dreadlord... and slaughter anyone who stands in our way.
~ Sylvanas to Varimathras
No doubt I am your favorite Windrunner sister... right? Right?
~ Sylvanas to the Horde players
You will not escape me that easily, Arthas! I will have my vengeance!
~ Sylvanas to Arthas
It is this night that our enemies fear us the most. It is THIS night that we show our enemies what it means to stand against the Forsaken!
~ Sylvanas during the Hallow's End event

Gallery

Images

Videos

Trivia

  • Arthas kills Sylvanas and raises her as a banshee in Warcraft III but in the Lament of the Highborne cutscene shows Arthas playing Sylvanas' body on an altar and effect a ritual to turn her into a banshee.
  • Sylvanas' appearance varies with the clothes she wears, but generally she is bluish-gray of skin with striking blonde hair. She wears plentiful lower armor, but her chest is more bare. She usually carries a quiver of arrows and a bow with which to shoot them with.
  • She is the very first known female character in World of Warcraft that has been granted the title of Warchief, as well as the second non-orc to become Warchief.

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           Warcraft Logo 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 the Destroyer | 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
Zandalari

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

Scourge
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

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

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

Mogu
Lei Shen | Shan Bu

Other
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 | Helya | 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 | Quagmirran | Talon King Ikiss | Taragaman the Hungerer | Thaddius | Thaurissan | The Cleaner | Ultraxion | Void Lords | Zar'Jira | Zelfrax | Zevrim Thornhoof

Hearthstone
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 | Gothik the Harvester | Noth the Plaguebringer
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: Murozond | 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)

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