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 The Frozen Throne!
The Frozen Throne was originally a diamond-hard block of ice that was cast down to Azeroth from the Twisting Nether. It was the physical embodiment of the Lich King’s spirit until Arthas Menethil shattered it with the runeblade Frostmourne. The remnants of the block of ice resembled the form of a throne, giving way to its name: The Frozen Throne.
The block of ice was originally created by Kil’jaeden the Deceiver, acting leader of the Burning Legion. It was created to contain the spirit of Ner’zhul after his physical body was destroyed as punishment for trying to escape his blood-pact with the Burning Legion. After Ner’zhul’s spirit was twisted into that of the Lich King, the block of ice was cast down to Azeroth.
The block of ice crashed into a glacier in Icecrown on the Northrend continent. From there, the whisperings of the Lich King snaked their way out across Azeroth, growing its Scourge army. Some time after, Kil’jaeden tasked Illidan Stormrage with destroying the Throne when Ner’zhul’s spirit began rebelling. Illidan collected powerful artifacts and used them to create an earthquake centered around Icecrown and the Frozen Throne. While he failed to destroy it, he did damage it, causing the Lich King’s power to begin seeping out.
Following his failed attempt, and once again at the orders of Kil’jaeden, Illidan led a direct assault on the Throne. He was defeated by Arthas Menethil who took it upon himself to ascend the icy spire and shatter the Throne himself. Shattering the ice revealed the Helm of Domination, which contained the Lich King’s spirit. Arthas donned the Helm, effectively merging his spirit with Ner’zhul’s and creating a new Lich King.
While the new Lich King lay dormant, the Icecrown Citadel was built around the Frozen Throne by its Scourge minions. Upon awakening, and sometime shortly before the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, the Lich King had the area in and around the Citadel built up to further his plans to conquer Azeroth and defeat the Burning Legion. This was the setup for the overall story in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion and the basis for the Icecrown Citadel raid.
Prior to his defeat, Arthas had captured the Alliance paladin Bolvar Fordragon and chained him to the top of the Frozen Throne. From here, the Lich King tortured Bolvar relentlessly, but Bolvar never surrendered to his will. Following the Lich King’s defeat, the spirit of Terenas Menethil, Arthas’ father, was released from Frostmourne. He stated that an uncontrolled Scourge would be much more dangerous, and that there must always be a Lich King. As his last act of service to Azeroth and final defiant gesture against the evils of Azeroth, Bolvar asked that the Helm of Domination be placed on his head. As the Lich King, he would work tirelessly to contain and control the Scourge from within. After sitting on the Throne, he encased himself in a new block of ice, sealing himself away much like Ner’zhul’s spirit before him. For gameplay purposes, if you head to The Frozen Throne in game, you will still find Arthas Menethil as the Lich King.
With the Scourge presumably under control, the Throne is sure to sit alone atop its spire for decades to come. While no one can question the strength of Bolvar, it remains to be seen if even he can resist the deceptive whisperings of the Lich King’s thirst for power and dark past.
Additional Lore Resources for The Frozen Throne
Recommended Reading for characters related to the Throne
Arthas Menethil - +
Kil'jaeden - +
Ner'zhul - +
Illidan Stormrage - +
Bolvar Fordragon - +
Terenas Menethil - +
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)!