Bolvar Fordragon – Lore Sundays

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With the announcement of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, we saw what happened with the Lich King. Bolvar Fordragon was the one to succeed Arthas after his death and become the next Lich King. Now, it is time for you to know the lore behind Bolvar Fordragon, Jailer of the Damned. Last week we went through the story of Turalyon, another famous Paladin of the Alliance.

Bolvar’s Early Life

Highlord Bolvar Fordragon was respected paladin of the Alliance. Shortly after the third war, King Varian went missing under strange circumstances. At that time, Stormwind was going through a state of chaos. Young Anduin was given the crown so that the order could be preserved. Highlord Bolvar Fordragon acted as a Regent Lord of Stormwind at these troubled times. He also was appointed as Supreme Commander of Stormwind’s forces on behalf of Anduin.

Highlord Bolvar Fordragon at his early days
Highlord Bolvar Fordragon
(artwork by unknown)

During that time, Highlord Bolvar was under magic influence done by Lady Prestor. She was a royal councilor to Anduin but under the guise of an actual human. Her real form was a black dragon by the name of Onyxia. After some time, Lady Prestor’s act was revealed and she was confronted in the Stormwind Keep. Highlord Bolvar was part of the fight that emerged and was focused on protecting the young King. Unfortunately, he failed to do so and Onyxia managed to capture Anduin before teleporting to her lair. Upon Varian’s return, Highlord Bolvar Fordragon was left in charge of Stormwind while Varian and adventurers went on a mission to slay Onyxia.

Wrath of the Lich King

Upon Varian’s return, Bolvar aided in defense of Stormwind against a surprise Scourge attack. The defense was successful and Highlord Bolvar Fordragon was credited for the aid. After that, Bolvar led the Alliance armies to Northrend to battle the Scourge. There, he aids the Alliance heroes in defeating the lich Thel’zan the Duskbringer, a powerful commander of the Scourge.

Highlord Bolvar Fordragon
(artwork from Hearthstone)

In Northrend, Highlord Bolvar Fordragon also led the Alliance army in a mission to defeat Arthas, the Lich King. In a bold maneuver, his forces laid siege to Angrathar the Wrathgate, the rear entrance of the Icecrown Citadel. His forces were also accompanied by the forces of the Horde led by Dranosh Saurfang.

Bolvar and Dranosh in front of the Wrathgate
(artwork by Konstantin Turovec on ArtStation)

During the attack, Dranosh Saurfang was killed and fell to the might of Lich King’s runeblade – Frostmourne. This left Bolvar alone to lead the attack with both of the Horde and Alliance’s armies. Not long before Dranosh was killed, a surprise plague explosion attack rang the battlefield. Behind it was Grand Apothecary Putress and a number of his plague catapults. He announced to the Horde leader that the Forsaken have neither forgotten or forgiven him before launching the attack. The plague catapults struck down on the armies and Bolvar ordered a fallback. Unfortunately, he was struck down by the plagued gas and fell down. Just as he gasped his last breaths, Alexstrasza the Life-Binder and her red dragons arrived. They breathed cleansing flames across the battlefield, searing away the poison from the air and the plagued flesh from the bodies.

What was left at the battlefield was just the ash of the burned bodies of both the Alliance and Horde’s forces.

After the fire of the red dragons, what was left behind was the ash of the fallen warriors. The other alive warriors from both Horde and Alliance already left the battle. Due to the toxic clouds, both of the armies were left to retreat before the red dragons came in.

Bolvar Fordragon after the fire of the red dragonflight
Bolvar Fordragon after the fire of the red dragonflight
(artwork by Tooth on ArtStation)

Bolvar Fordragon was among the fallen and presumed to be dead after the fire. What was not known is that the paladin survived the flames. Actually the flames of the dragons re-shaped his life, re-shaped his destiny. There is an interesting bug in the game from a dialogue between Korialstrasz and Alexstrasza. Due to a bug which allowed some players to speak Draconic, players were able to read and translate Alexstrasza’s words:

They must not discover the fate of the young paladin. Not yet.


Fall of the Lich King

Later on, the forces of the Horde and Alliance finally made their way to the Icecrown Citadel. Only then, it was revealed that Bolvar Fordragon is actually alive and held captive. He was captured by the Scourge alongside Dranosh Saurfang after the battle. Arthas, the Lich King tortured them both in order to break their will. Bolvar has been kept somewhere between life and death by the flames of the red Dragonflight. Despite the Lich King’s extensive efforts to corrupt him, Bolvar refused to yield.

Bolvar held kaptive by Arthas, the Lich King
Bolvar held kaptive by Arthas, the Lich King
(artwork from World of Warcraft Trading Card Game)

After Arthas, the Lich King was slain, the spirit of his father appeared in the throne room. King Terenas warned the adventurers that there always must be a Lich King, for the good of Azeroth. There must be a jailor of the damned, as without him, the Scourge would be too dangerous. Somebody would need to take Arthas’ place and keep the Scourge in control. Tirion Fordring took up the Helm of Damnation and wanted to bear this burden. It was then when Bolvar appeared and stopped him. He was talking atop of the Frozen Throne, his body wrapped by the dragons’ fire. As his last act of service for Azeroth, Bolvar insisted to be the jailor of the damned. Bolvar Fordragon sought to keep the Scourge under control.

Burning Bolvar Fordragon on the Frozen Throne
Bolvar as the new Lich King
(artwork by Glenn Rane on ArtStation)

After he put on the Helm of Damnation, he encased in the ice of the Frozen Throne. He warned Tirion that no one must know of his fate and what happened there. Bolvar instructed him to tell the world that the Lich King is dead – and that Bolvar died with him.


Bolvar was the Jailor of the Damned for a long time until the recent events. He kept the Scourge under his control as the new Lich King for a long time. Sometime after Sylvanas Windrunner abandoned the Horde, she visited the Icecrown Citadel. There, she fought against Bolvar, the Lich King and eventually defeated him. After winning the battle, she took the Helm of Damnation from him. Bolvar remarked that the helm would be her prison if she would wear it and become the lord of the Scourge. Instead, Sylvanas split the helm in two and destroyed the Lich King. By doing so, she also pierced the veil between Azeroth and the Shadowlands.

The Lich King, Bolvar Fordragon
The Lich King, Bolvar Fordragon
(artwork by Bayard Wu on ArtStation

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