Field Photographer Friday is a weekly look at the lore and history behind locations around World of Warcraft. This week we’re taking a look at Orgrimmar! Normally this post will be on Fridays, but to correspond with the site launch, this first one is happening on a Monday.
As warchief, Thrall established Orgrimmar as the central Orc city after the Third War, which took place long before World of Warcraft’s time. The city is named after Orgrim Doomhammer, former Orcish Warchief and Thrall’s mentor. Today, it serves as the main Horde capital city, housing members from all of the main Horde races.
Orgrimmar did not always look how it does today. Prior to the Cataclysm, most structures in the city appeared much more humble. A far cry from the aggressive, heavy iron appearance today.
During the Elemental Unrest event leading up to the Cataclysm expansion, parts of Orgrimmar were burned down or damaged. Orgrimmar needed to be rebuilt, so Thrall appointed Gazlowe to do the job. Gazlowe is the former Chief Engineer of the Horde and current goblin leader of Ratchet, a small goblin port town in the Northern Barrens. Not long after rebuilding had begun, Garrosh Hellscream was appointed as Warchief of the Horde. His vision of the Horde and Orgrimmar itself greatly influenced the final architecture of the city.
No longer is the zeppelin tower the main focal point. Grommash Hold, the diplomatic center of the Horde, was moved front and center.
During the Mists of Pandaria expansion, Garrosh became increasingly tyrannical and corrupt by sha energy from the Heart of Y’Shaarj. Fearing a rebellion, he placed the city under martial law. All non-orc districts saw an influx of Kor’kron guards, elite orc fighters whose job is to guard the Warchief. At the height of his insanity, Garrosh had deep caverns and rooms excavated underneath Orgrimmar and Ragefire Chasm. In the very the last room, the Underhold, he conducted his operations and top secret research; the Heart of Y’Sharraj hanging from the ceiling.
Not long after the caverns were completed, Alliance and Horde heroes alike took part in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid to put a stop to Garrosh. The raid took players through the Valley of Strength, The Drag, and the Cleft of Shadows before heading deep underground through parts of Ragefire Chasm and other areas made specifically for the raid. As you would expect, the heroes were victorious and Garrosh’s tyrannical reign over Orgrimmar and the Horde ends.
Under the new Warchief, Vol’jin, martial law is lifted in the city and the Kor’kron are removed from most districts; returning once again to guarding the Warchief in Grommash Hold. During Warlords of Draenor, Vol’jin has many of the underground tunnels destroyed, leaving only Ragefire Chasm behind as it has always existed.
It remains to be seen what will happen to Orgrimmar going forward. It’s not always the focal point of the story, but as the Horde capital it sees a hand in all operations - good or bad.
Recommended Reading for Orgrimmar
The former slave known as Thrall brought unity to the Horde, turning ravagers into architects and securing a future for his people. -Battle.net
Orgrim Doomhammer was the Warchief of the Orcish Horde and Chieftain of the Blackrock clan during the end of the First War and the entirety of the Second War. -Wowpedia
Gazlowe is the official leader of Ratchet in the Horde-aligned territory of the Northern Barrens. He was formerly the Chief Engineer of the Horde engineering works in Durotar -Wowpedia
Garrosh Hellscream, former Warchief of the Horde, is a living testament to the dangers of unchecked aggression.
Join me every Friday as I work to expand my lore knowledge while completing the Field Photographer achievement. Read lore summaries for each location and follow up with resources where you can go more indepth! I encourage you to share your own selfies and any additional lore resources you know of in the comments below, or tweet me @PrestonDvorak. Bonus points* if the selfie is somewhere you shouldn’t be (such as an Alliance player in Orgrimmar)!
*Points are meaningless and have no monetary value, but they’ll never give you up or let you down.