When it comes to the World of Warcraft storyline, we immediately think of Sargeras and the Burning Legion as the be-all and end-all villains of the series, right?

We might be wrong.

After listening to recent Lorewalker Cho sound files I started thinking…

Though Sargeras is and has been a name synonymous with the phrase “main antagonist of WoW,” Blizzard seems to be building up N’Zoth to match or be set upon an even higher pedestal of malevolence than the Fallen Titan.

Will Sargeras be but a stepping stone to the real villain of WoW: N’Zoth?

N’Zoth’s Accomplishments:

Although we don’t know much about the third named Old God, Chris Metzen, the Vice President of Creative Development at Blizzard Entertainment said the following about him at a 2010 Blizzcon Lore Panel:

You haven’t seen who signs Deathwing’s paychecks yet… The third Old God is N’Zoth, and we’ve suggested I think directly that, uh, he was the critter responsible for the spark of the Emerald Nightmare, and he’s got all sorts of other weird shit goin’ on, so, he’s a real problem.

We already know N’zoth is responsible for:

1. Corrupting Deathwing

2. Saving the High Elves and Azshara and morphing them into the Naga.

3. The True Master of the events of Cataclysm

4. The cause of the Emerald Nightmare.

It’s alluded he’s somewhere in the ocean and most likely in the same location as Azshara who is comparable to Archimonde or Kil’Jaeden in strength.


“You haven’t seen who signs Deathwing’s paychecks yet…”

All of this though isn’t my main reasoning for saying that N’zoth may be the true villain of Warcraft. Think about the following:

1. N’Zoth is hinted at having been free this entire time and in fact slumbering. This means instead of aiding his Old God brethren he decided to stay hidden (C’thun’s death, Yogg Saron’s death).

2. It was explicitly stated in the dungeon journal for Warlord Zon’ozz that C’thun and Yogg’Saron were actually at war with N’Zoth.

3. Now, even when we’re actually aware of his existence, he still doesn’t act and allows the final fragment of existence that was Y’Shaarj to be purged from this world.

4. Instead of introducing N’zoth as the next big bad guy, Blizzard chose to bring us to Pandaria and finish off Y’Shaarj.

5. There is only (as far as we know) one more Old God left imprisoned aside from N’Zoth (IF he’s imprisoned).

N’Zoth may have us right where he wants us. He’s letting each and every one of his “comrades,” or rather enemies, be killed off to bide him more time and maybe even build more power.

Not just that, but N’Zoth is letting US kill off his competition instead of doing it himself.


Although we don’t know exactly which character from Lovecraft lore N’Zoth is based upon — if it is based on Nyarlathotep, it could very well end up looking like this.

Or this.

N’Zoth is planning something massive; the TRUE Hour of Twilight. Leaving a slumbering Old God unchecked, imprisoned or not, especially one who has caused most of the misfortune that the universe of Warcraft has suffered through, is horrible in the long run. This has been N’Zoth’s plan all along.

He has WANTED us to kill off the other Old Gods, thus leading to more and more corruption flooding through the veins of the planet.

He has been distracting us after all this time, building up something: What this something may be, we can’t know yet. But it will be something unspeakably malign, baleful, and malevolent. Blizzard is hinting at the fact N’zoth may either be the penultimate or ultimate enemy for the Warcraft universe. Based on everything he’s capable of, he may even be on par with Sargeras in strength.

If that’s the case, you’re probably wonder why this giant squid hasn’t killed us all already?

He thinks he’s smarter than us. Actually, I think he IS smarter than us. Whether N’Zoth’s hubris proves to be a key component in taking the fight back to him or not, the pieces are certainly in place for Blizzard in terms of building up this Old God to maybe usurp Sargeras as the “final”, or rather “main”, antagonist of World of Warcraft.

Want to read more WoW musings by Adventures in Poor Taste authors? Head to our World of Warcraft page.

WoW Lore lovers: Craving more info about N’Zoth’s pulling of strings behind the scenes or the War of the Ancients and the events that lead up to the Great Sundering of Azeroth 10,000 years ago? Pick up Warcraft: War of the Ancients #3: The Sundering (Bk. 3) from Amazon.

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  • KZMach

    But was Sargeras ever the real enemy? The Old Gods knew about him, and manipulated Azshara and her Highborne into drawing the attention of the Burning Legion, and then into trying to summon Sargeras. As is said in the WOTA books, the Old Gods (or at least one of them) thought that Sargeras coming into Azeroth would free them/him… Who knows they even had a hand in corrupting him,

    • aernath

      That’s quite logical actually, after all it was Titans who enslaved the Old Gods, therefore corrupting a Titan may very well be their only way to salvation.
      And this also explains Sargeras may not be the biggest baddest dude either, he’s just some greater corrupted agent; a higher level version of Deathwing.

  • A Dog

    I wrote this in an article about a year ago and it was posted to mmo-champ. I have since then deleted the blog because I didn’t update it enough to pay for the domain name, but hey, stay original you guys!

    • ChristinaRiccisUncle

      Let me guess, you’re the person who sued the Wachowski Brothers because you really wrote the script for The Matrix too, right?

      Loved that scene where you made Keanu say, “I know kung-fu!”

    • SplashRange

      Well i hope since then you have learned the meaning of penultimate.

    • SplashRange


  • MagmaScythe

    First off, N’Zoth was not the one responsible for the Naga. That was the doing of the Old God that resides under the seas who will be based off of Yig. An intresting thing is Yig was based off of Quetzalcoatl who Hakkar was modeled after, meaning that Zul could play a roll here. I wouldn’t say N’Zoth is the end all boss of the Old Gods. They are all on the same terms of power, were stuck in an endless cycle of chaos, war and destruction with each other pre-titans, and we have only been able to defeat them at a fraction of their true forms. I do agree that Sargeras will not be the final villain in Warcraft, but I believe there is something more to Azeroth’s true identity that the Titans may fill us in on after we take down the fallen one(Azathoth).

    • Grandpasoul

      That’s right! But Azshara made a pact with the old gods turning all of her people into the Nagas.

    • Niftu Cal

      http://wowpedia.org/N'Zoth except that is speculated to be N’Zoth…


    Hold on. Are you telling me that WoW still has some story / lore left ? I thought that the “story” part ender with WC3 / Vanilla WoW, From that point they just raped the storyline every possible way, bottomlining it to another “greatest threat ever, no place to run and hide” scenatio

    • Asphyxiate9

      All the story has been great, people just skim over it and say “lol dragons” or “lol pandas”.

  • Podd Socks

    the trials and tribulations of azeroths ever changing world are always an interesting read.

  • Ryan

    So WoW just took a bunch of H.P. Lovecraft shit and put it in their game?

    • John Belrose

      Basically, however, the same could be said about Lovecraft taking things from other mythologies and giving them a darker and more sinister slant.

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  • Metronil

    people still play this game? LOL!

    • Neil deGrasse Bison

      Look out, everyone: We got a real MMO bad-ass on our hands. He must have moved on to “bigger and better” things — like sitting on his right hand for twenty minutes before masturbating instead of his left.

    • duh

      we all know if you spent time reading this you probably still play

  • Hands

    Didn’t Metzen say in a panel once that the third old god is under Ashenvale in the Blackfathom Depths?

  • Dudemeister

    I’m pretty sure they’re building up N’zoth to make him the boss of the next expansion or so, they’ve only started their emphasis on him within recent times, I guess that means they want to try and build up his reputation before letting you kill him.

    I don’t doubt that Sargeras, a being that of which we knew about since early years of Warcraft (not world of warcraft, just warcraft in general) is going to be something of what we’ll be calling the “end boss” and main antagonist of WoW.

  • disqus_ECVAu1dP3O

    I’ll save you the trouble: New Raid: N’Zoth is raid boss, random heroes go in and kill it.

    That’s WoW’s storyline for you: Big fucking whoop.

    • Alex Romero

      Yeah, it’s almost like it was a videogame or something.

      • disqus_ECVAu1dP3O

        Sorry for the reaaaaally long delay in responding, but felt like I should chime in:

        The previous Warcraft games are a vastly different entity to World of Warcraft, particularly in their storytelling. They don’t devalue the strength of their established characters by making them irrelevant next to some random interloper who decides to go Super Saiyan. That kind of thing happened in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, and look at the debauchery it inflicts on their established lore. Beats the Emperor and Vader on his own? Completely nullifies their significance.

        This would be fine if Blizzard didn’t consider WoW to be canon to the lore, as it would mean that a good storyline could be established. Alas, they don’t, and WoW’s lore is a joke compared to other storylines of games in its genre.

        • Macklewhore

          You should write an article for them explaining how “WoW’s lore is a joke compared to other storylines of games in its genre.” I’d find that fascinating, honestly.

          I do agree with you that fighting Vader and the Emperor is stupid in the Force Unleashed, although I think in that case those characters are so popular and iconic in the Star Wars mythos that their inclusion could be considered even more forced and contrived in nature.

          With Vader and Emperor, it’s more like “Hey, this is Extended Universe. So who really cares? It doesn’t apply to canon.” With WoW, I think they genuinely are looking to progress the storylines they’ve had with some of their famous characters in a logical manner.

          What would you rather see in WoW for villains and storyline?

          • disqus_ECVAu1dP3O

            Well that would be well and good if Force Unleashed wasn’t *sold as canon*. Its canonicity is still disputed today, and so the result is that if a lot of people hadn’t called out on its bullshit, it would be official story by now. Needless to say, that would have sucked. Massively.

            As for WoW, I would prefer villains that last longer than their expansion covering. Blizzard seems too caught up in the idea that once a villain shows up as the main antagonist of an expansion, they have to die.

            Have they ever considered allowing villains to live longer than a single damn raid pack? They don’t have to die to drop special items. Why not have them retreat and the loot comes through raiding the fortress’s coffers? That way you don’t keep losing all your interesting antagonists and have to replace them with less compelling ones. Alas, Illidan, Arthas and Deathwing are dead, and they were easily the most interesting villains of the franchise. Now you have all these half-baked derivatives that aren’t nearly as impressive, and those pre-WoW villains that are still alive are more than certain to die in their own designated expansion if Blizzard follows this expendable mentality. It’s simply a bad way of telling story to a game that is supposed to promote longevity.

            Speaking of derivatives, that’s the other problem inherent in WoW’s storytelling – much of the questing and areas are highly derivative and borrowed from pop culture, to the point that it’s no longer much of a homage. You can say they’re just sounding off various influences or video games or what-have-you, but their borrowing of subcultures has extended to the point that it’s far beyond any measure of artistic subtlety. Excluding the highly obvious Greek, Norse and Egyptian mythology that entire zones and story arcs are based around, there are instances like the Harrison Jones entry where scenes have been ripped off wholesale from their real-life counterparts (e.g: the Lancaster bomber fight, Salah, the light staff, etc.). Now it was a nice nod when he appeared at the entrance to Zul’Aman, and it was even passable that he had a few quest lines in Wrath. But then they went completely overboard and decided, “Let’s rip-off every memorable scene in Raiders because we can’t think of anything good”. This kind of thing has happened throughout, and because of it WoW has a hard time forging its own identity in terms of creative story. So much of it is derivative and borrowed that it can no longer stand up on its own in terms of creative merit. Was this the case with Warcraft 2 and 3? No. Why? Because they made their own interesting storylines that weren’t directly taken from another game or movie.

        • ave

          Then again

          The old gods were mention in warcraft II and III.

          You killed Deathwing in WCII

          archimonde was made up for WCIII thus insulting that established lore that kil’jaeden was the leader of the burning legion

          Arthas was a ripped off of the Queen of blades storyline in Starcraft

          Pandaren first appeared in WCIII but pandaria existed in lore in WCI and II

          The orc were treated like part of the burning legion tell the expansion pack of WCII

          Medivh was brought back to life in WCIII some how

          Illidan died at the end of WCIII

          Titans were part of warcraft lore since II

          and to top it all off sargeras was still only mention in lore and it has been almost 25 years!!! SARGERAS IS DEAD AND THATS IT! Deal with it.



  • Blade

    N’Zoth is the next Old God to be revealed in WoW period…whoever dislikes this will have to get over it

  • meow

    Blizzard Entertainment employees are responsible for anything that happens in the game, no fictional character.

    • Blizztarded

      Why does anybody post comments like this, ever?

      Holy SHIT, N’Zoth isn’t a sentient being? Warcraft is a story written by human beings on Earth?! Next you’re gonna tell me Santa Claus isn’t real!

      • meow

        Santa Clause is real, he was a saint.

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  • GVS_Rags

    1: N’Zoth’s name comes from Zoth-Ommog from Lin Carter’s Xothic Cycle, not Nyaralathotep

    2: the Old Gods in Warcraft are far stronger than the Titans. It took multiple Titans to take Y’Shaarj down, and pretty much all of them to imprison the rest.

    3: The lore contradicts itself on if their is a fifth Old God or even possibly more than five. We know literally nothing about this “the fifth”

    4: Blizzard employees have stated at Blozzcon that while the Old Gods are stronger, Sargeras will remain the “main antagonist” of Warcraft

    5: The Old Gods were not killed (except Y’Shaarj) when players beat C’Thun and Yogg-Saron, they’re only defeating a physical form, they’re still alive in the Dark Below

    6: N’Zoth isn’t necessarily in competition with Yogg and C’Thun, the lore says that three of the Old Gods are allied as to escape imprisonment and since N’Zoth and Yogg both use Faceless Ones, and since C’Thun and N’Zoth both use Aqir, we can safely assume it’s these three

    And finally: the Old God under the sea could very well be N’Zoth, we don’t know

  • Bievahh

    I don’t thinkl N’Zoth is equal to Sargeras in power. Blizz stated that the strongest Old God was Y’Shaaj and the Titans were able to kill him and recently it came out that after Sargeras destroyed the world the demons were held the fel energy gave him a lot more power than he previously had and he was able to kill all of the Titans, none of them are alive anymore. N’Zoth could be the final enemy but I have a feeling it’s something else that has to do with the void unless the void is just the void and no main entities come from it other than the Old Gods.

  • Gabriel Easterling

    Why does everyone assume that the other old gods are DEAD? Only Y’Shaarj was confirmed to be dead, and even then he left behind remnants of himself. You didn’t kill C’Thun or Yogg-Saron, you just held them back.