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 Thandol Span!
Thandol Span consists of two massive bridges spanning Thandol Valley between Arathi Highlands and the Wetlands on the Eastern Kingdoms continent. They serve as the only land connection between the northern and southern portions of the continent.
Following the dwarven civil war known as the War of the Three Hammers, which took place hundreds of years before World of Warcraft's time, the victorious Bronzebeard clan sought to bolster relations with their Wildhammer brothers. This was made difficult by the Thandol Valley, which separated the Bronzebeard clan in Ironforge from the Wildhammer clan in the Hinterlands. Its steep cliffs and watery floor made passing it on foot impossible.
Never ones to be deterred from an engineering challenge, Madoran Bronzebeard and the dwarves of Ironforge went to work on two massive bridges. Each bridge was capable of supporting an entire army, and their construction lead to great prosperity for the two dwarven clans. The bridges were so significant that the area became known as Thandol Span.
Around World of Warcraft's release, the bridges suffered a major attack from the Dark Iron dwarf clan, the third clan that suffered a loss in the civil war. They were successful in destroying one of the two bridges and damaging the other. With the help of Alliance heroes, the Dark Iron dwarves were pushed back and the remaining bridge was secured.
During the Cataclysm expansion, the hostile Dark Iron dwarves completely left the Thandol Span area after it was infiltrated by Twilight Cult members. Heroes teamed up with Thargas Anvilmar to clear the Cult members from the area, once again securing the bridge. It's unclear exactly what the Twilight Cult wanted with the bridge, but it was likely a strategic move in their overall war plan.
Thandol Span is unlikely to see any major changes going forward. It's one of the most pivotal, and possibly most underrated, pieces of infrastructure on Azeroth, and certainly on the Eastern Kingdoms continent. It isn't flashy or pretty, but it gets the job done and is sure to stand as a testament to dwarven engineering for hundreds of years to come.
Additional Lore Resources for Thandol Span
Madoran Bronzebeard - +
Thargas Anvilmar - +
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 @PrestonDvorak. Bonus points if the selfie is somewhere you shouldn’t be (such as an Alliance player in Orgrimmar)!