Welcome to Character Corner, where we dive into the life and exploits of various lore figures in the Warcraft universe. This week features the fierce and proud Varian Wrynn, King of Stormwind!
Varian Wrynn is the son of the late King Llane Wrynn. His journey to adulthood and kingship is marked by the constant loss of loved ones to treachery and betrayal. Varian is wary of outsiders and distrustful of most. As a child, he watched his father get stabbed in the back by Garona, the half-orc assassin they had come to know and trust. While Stormwind burned around him, Varian was forced to flee with Anduin Lothar, the mage Khadgar, and the band of Stormwind refugees.
The survivors found refuge in Lordaeron under the shelter of King Terenas Menethil. Varian grew grew close to Prince Arthas, a couple of years his junior. The two were best friends and King Terenas thought of Varian like a son. Prompted by Terenas, the Alliance of Lordaeron was formed with the other surrounding human kingdoms. After a brutal war, Stormwind was reclaimed and Varian ascended its throne at age 18. With the threat of orcs still present, Varian himself rode throughout his kingdom to fight the orc remnants. In his absence, the House of Nobles looked after Stormwind City.
Unbeknownst to Varian, the House of Nobles had been infiltrated and bewitched by Lady Katrana Prestor, better known as the black dragon Onyxia. Under Onyxia’s influence, the House of Nobles refused to pay the Stonemasons guild the full compensation for their work rebuilding Stormwind. This caused the Stonemasons to riot in the streets, during which Varian’s wife, Tiffin, was struck by a stray rock and killed. Tiffin’s death sent the king into a deep depression. The Stonemasons, led by Edwin Van Cleef, left Stormwind and formed the Defias Brotherhood. Since that day, the Defias proved to be a constant thorn in the King’s side.