|“||This kingdom shall fall, and from the ashes shall arise a new order that will shake the very foundations of the world!||„|
|~ Arthas, moments after murdering his father King Terenas Menethil.|
Arthas Menethil is a fictional character from Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft universe of games, novels and media. He serves as one of the main protagonists in the Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and the main antagonist in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. He is also the titular antagonist in Wrath of the Lich King, the second expansion pack of the World of Warcraft massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG).
During his rise to power as a Death Knight, he stabbed his father in the face and later killed his mentor Uther with the runeblade Frostmourne. He then proceeded to wage war on his own kingdom, unleashing his undead army. He is also the mortal host to the Lich King and is the commander of the Scourge, an evil undead legion intent on wiping out all life from the face of Azeroth in order to raise them as members of the Scourge. The Lich King is the final boss of the titular expansion, where players face the lord of darkness in his saronite fortress known as Icecrown Citadel.
Prince Arthas Menethil was born four years before the outbreak of the First War. King Terenas II and Queen Lianne were overjoyed and all of Lordaeron celebrated Arthas' birth.
At the tender age of nineteen, Arthas fulfilled his father's hopes by being inducted into the Knights of the Silver Hand; after which the paladin (and longtime friend) Uther the Lightbringer became Arthas' mentor.
Five years later, Arthas and sorceress Jaina Proudmoore (who Arthas has pined for since childhood) began investigating a deadly plague that was distributed as grain to the surrounding cities and towns. This grain would then be used to make bread. After consuming the plagued bread, the individual would eventually fall seriously ill and die. After death, they would be resurrected as minions of the undead Scourge.
Arthas and Jaina tracked and dispatched Kel'Thuzad, the necromancer who was orchestrating the plagued grain, in the Alliance city of Andorhal. Shortly after, the two learned that the city of Stratholme had already become infected. Arthas felt that the only way to ensure his people's safety was to execute all men, women, and children that resided in Stratholme, cutting off any chance for the undead to spread. After hearing of Arthas' impulsive plan, Uther voiced his feelings regarding the prince's plan, asking if Arthas had lost his mind. Arthas, blinded by pride, considered Uther's opposition an act of treason, and, by his rite of succession and the sovereignty of his crown, stripped Uther of all authority and suspended the paladins of the Order of the Silver Hand from service indefinitely. Uther warned Arthas that he was crossing a terrible threshold by putting this genocide into action. Arthas then turned to Jaina, who he was surprised to see walking with Uther, and asked her to partake. Filled with sadness, Jaina told Arthas that she couldn't watch him murder innocent people. After feeling as though two of his closest friends had abandoned him, Arthas lead a regiment of soldiers and mages into Strathholme to begin the slaughter. This event would come to be known as "The Culling of Stratholme".
Eventually Arthas came upon the dreadlord Mal'Ganis within Stratholme, who claimed ultimate responsibility for the plague. Eluding capture, Mal'Ganis challenged the prince to a final confrontation on the continent of Northrend, where he would meet his destiny. Arthas, burning with thoughts of revenge, vowed to end the dreadlord no matter where he may be. The prince set off for the arctic shores of Northrend.
After landing on Northrend's icy shores, Arthas encountered dwarves under attack by the Scourge. The dwarves' leader, Muradin Bronzebread, had been searching for the fabled runeblade known as Frostmourne. Muradin had known Arthas as a child, and watched him grow.
Meanwhile in Lordaeron, at Uther's urging, King Terenas sent word to Northrend for Arthas and the rest of his fleet to return to Lordaeron immediately. Arthas' soldiers gladly prepared to obey. Not to be undermined by Uther, Arthas refused to abandon the hunt for Mal'Ganis when his fleet has been recalled by the Emissary. Instead, the prince secretly hired mercenaries to sink his own ships. As the ships burned, Arthas publicly blamed the mercenaries for the fleet's destruction. Enraged, Arthas' soldiers killed the mercenaries, who ruined their chance of going home.
Now trapped in Northerend, Arthas and Muradin's forces struggled to hold off the Scourge onslaught. In the meantime, the pair tracked down Frostmourne, which was in a large cavern, encased in ice, and hovering over a pedestal. Muradin noticed an inscription on the pedestal, which warned that whoever wields Frostmourne will not only have unlimited power, but will also curse the wielder's soul. Muradin immediately disregarded any thoughts of using the runeblade as it was cursed, and advised Arthas that the two of them should just leave. Despite Muradin's warning, Arthas swore he would pay any cost for victory, and shattered the ice to free Frostmourne. One of the ice shards flew out and killed Muradin in the process. It would be revealed later that Muradin had, in fact, NOT been slain, but instead knocked unconscious for a while, as he aids in the charge on Icecrown Citadel years later.
With the power of Frostmourne, Arthas led his troops to victory against the Scourge. With victory in sight, Mal'Ganis appeared again to the prince. The dreadlord hadn't known that Arthas would know about Frostmourne, and by the time the realization of his master's betrayal set in, Frostmourne had already descended and ended his life. With total victory achieved, Arthas would then wander Northrend - becoming insane as the power of the cursed blade spoke to him within his mind.
Despite his actions, Arthas returned to Lordaeron a hero, and was welcomed home by his father in loving faith. Upon entering the throne room, he knelt before his father with the most vile intention in mind. After rising to his feet, he removed his hood and revealed his pale face and pure white hair to his shocked father. Within the blink of an eye, Arthas darted forward and forced his father to his knees, all the while his former captains (now Death Knights of Arthas'), Falric and Marwyn, killed the guards within the throne room. Confused and betrayed, King Terenas asked his son what this was all about. With a heartless and cold tone, Arthas whispered to a heartbroken Terenas: "...succeeding you...father.". Before Terenas could process his son's words, Arthas plunged Frostmourne into his father's chest, and claiming the king's soul. This marked the first soul ever to be taken by the sword. After murdering his father, Arthas and his Scourge minions ravaged Lordaeron and killed any living person in sight. After the destruction of his kingdom, he was then instructed to retrieve Kel'Thuzad's remains. After locating the remains, the former necromancer also communicated with Arthas telepathically. Acting as a sort of advisor, Kel'Thuzad instructed Arthas to locate a vessel in which they can put the remains so they are safe for transporting. With this, Arthas tracked down an urn suitable enough for the remains, only to discover that it was being used already. Uther was transporting the urn to be buried as it contained the ashes of King Terenas. Uther and Arthas exchanged heated words and, after tempers flared, exchanged blows. Arthas would eventually kill Uther, dump out the ashes of his father, and place Kel'Thuzad's remains into the phylactery. Knowing the remains wouldn't stay in tact much longer, Kel'Thuzad implored Arthas to prepare an invasion force and march on the only place the necromancer could be resurrected: the fabled Sunwell within Quel'Thalas - kingdom of the high elves.
The elves fought bravely against Arthas but were defeated - Arthas would kill and resurrect Ranger-General Sylvanas Windrunner into a banshee servant for her defiance.
With the help of his new servant Arthas captured the Sunwell and through its magic resurrected Kel'Thuzad as an undead lich - the demon lord Archimonde ordered Arthas to retrieve the spell book: the Book of Medivh.
Arthas invaded the city-state of Dalaran and retrieved the book, using it to summon Archimonde into the world of Azeroth.
However Arthas proved disloyal to Archimonde and helped seal his fate by having the demon-hunter Illidan Stormrage steal the Skull of Gul'dan, without this powerful artifact Archimonde was defeated.
However his victory was shortlived as the call of the Lich King soon saw Arthas return to Northrend - upon arriving he was attacked by elf survivors of the Scourge attack upon Quel'Thalas, now allied with Illidan Stormrage and seeking to destroy the Lich King.
With help from the evil Nerubian race, Arthas defeated the elves, but with Illidan's army already heading for the Icecrown Citadel, Arthas began to fear he would not reach the Lich King in time so opted for taking a shortcut through the ancient underground city of Azol-Nerub. The shortcut paid off and Arthas intercepted Illidan, defeating him in single combat and banishing him from Northrend - he then entered Icecrown Citadel and merged with the Lich King and take his place upon the Frozen Throne as the new king of all undead.
As the new Lich King, Arthas seeks to destroy all life on Azeroth and rule over a world of undead bound to his will (although a part of Arthas remains good and keeps that from happening), everything else is secondary to him though due to the grand-scale of his plan many smaller-scale plots and schemes are formed along the way - all of which ultimately link back to his main objective: ending life and enslaving the undead.
It must also be noted that Arthas now defeated Ner'zhul and what's left of his humanity on a dream like state when he was inactive...Making him the dominant spirit and having control of the new powerful entity...Therefore he is not a host of Ner'zhul anymore because he is the Lich king it self.
The Lich King awoke and started to make his plans come true in person. He soon removed his heart, as he believed anything making him mortal made him weak. Then he went Sindragosa's Fall, and he thrust Frostmourne through the ice. It blew all the snow of the area, and from the ice emerged Sindragosa as the Queen of the Frost Wyrms. He then began his major attack on Azeroth by sending plagued grain to all of the capital cities of the main races of Azeroth. Those who ate it either became ghouls, zombie-like servants of the Lich King, or were cured before that happened. He then sent many of his Scourge minions into the cities of The Horde and The Alliance, which by then the leaders became enraged and sent heroes to Northrend.
The Scarlet Enclave and The Battle for Light's Hope
Soon the Lich King decided to send his new order of Death Knights against the Scarlet Enclave, the remaining forces of the Scarlet Crusade, which were a group of crazed paladins and priests who saw anyone who wasn't part of them to be evil and should be killed. Soon his new death knights had killed many of them and drove the remainder of them off. Those who survived went to Northrend to form the Scarlet Onslaught.
The Lich King soon turned his attention to the Argent Dawn, who resided in Light's Hope Church nearby. He sent his order of death knights to destroy them, led by the son of the Ashbringer Darion Mograine. The Ashbringer was a paladin by the name of Alexandros Mograine whom crafted a blade which could destroy unholy beings in the flash of an eye, which was also called The Ashbringer. His son Darion now wielded the blade in a corrupted state. When the death knights were sent to end the Argent Dawn, the death knights failed and were defeated by the Argent Dawn. There, a vision came of Darion and his dead father talking, as Darion watches. Soon the Lich King comes and shows all the death knights he used them to bring Tirion Fordring out of hiding, a great paladin. Darion comes to realise everything, who attacks the Lich King and obviously the Lich King easily swats him away. Darion throws the Ashbringer to Tirion, which is purified. Tirion attacks Arthas, whom retreats. The death knights there form the Knights of the Ebon Blade, and Tirion brings the Argent Dawn and the Knights of the Silver Hand to create the Argent Crusade. They both serve the purpose to kill the Lich King.
Angrathar the Wrathgate
The Alliance, led by Bolvar Fordragon, and the Horde, led by Saurfang the Younger, make a massive attack together on Angrathar the Wrathgate, a gate leading to the inside of Icecrown Citadel. The Alliance is the first to attack, and the Lich King sends out a number of undead to fight them. Then the Horde comes along and helps clear out the undead. After that Bolvar shouts, calling Arthas a traitor and ordering him to come out and fight them face to face. In reply, Arthas comes out, and summons a small number of undead while making a speech to the attackers. Saurfang then runs to attack the Lich King, but is easily slain. The Lich King then uses Frostmourne to consume Saurfang's soul. After, a loud boom is heard, and Grand Apothecary Putress and his undead are seen on a ledge above. He shouts, "Death to the Scourge, and death to the living!" as he unleashes the New Plague, which he created, upon the Scourge and Alliance and Horde alike. The undead walk away, as The Lich King walks back into Icecrown Citadel. Soon after the Red Dragonflight comes and bring down the flames of life. Bolvar is brought back to life, and is brought back into Icecrown Citadel along with Saurfang's body.
Small hint of humanity left
In the Halls of Reflection, Either Jaina or Sylvanas will attempt to communicate with the spirits in Frostmourne and the spirit of Uther comes out. He explains that the small piece of Arthas is all that keeps the Lich King form having the Scourge from wiping out Azeroth and the only way to kill the Lich King is to fight him at the Frozen Throne. The Lich King arrives and sends Uther back into Frostmourne and some of his Scourge minions try and kill the party but his minons fall and he tries to kill them only for them to escape.
Siege on Icecrown Citadel
|“||No questions remain unanswered. No doubts linger. You ARE Azeroth's greatest champions. You overcame every challenge I laid before you. My mightiest servants have fallen before your relentless onslaught... your unbridled fury. Is it truly righteousness that drives you? I wonder. You trained them well Fordring. You delivered the greatest fighting force this world has ever known... right into my hands! Exactly as I intended! You shall be rewarded for your unwitting sacrifice. Watch now as I raise them from the dead to become masters of the Scourge. They will shroud this world in chaos and destruction, Azeroth's fall will come at their hands. And you will be the first to die. (Laughs evilly) I delight in the irony.||„|
|~ Arthas revealing the campaign in Northrend and the siege of Icecrown was all for naught|
After a long fight, the Lich King becomes fed up and kills all the players. He then reveals that the entire campaign in Northrend and the siege of icecrown citadel was all a trap. Arthas's real goal is to gain control of the Alliance and Hord's champions, and turn them into powerful undead champions who would then proceed to annihilate all life in Azeroth. All of his servants that the players destroyed were all tests to prove that they were indeed the greatest champions. The Lich King then raises Frostmourne and begins to turn them into Scourge.
But before he can finish, Tirion uses the power of the light to break free from the ice and jumps up and shatters Frostmourne with the Ashbringer. The spirits of Frostmourne are unleashed and swirl around him. His father, Terenas Menethil ll, resurrect the players to end it once and for all. The players finally defeat Arthas. He falls the Helm of Domination falls off of him head, and he reaches for it but falls.
Death of the Prince of Lordaeron
Arthas lays, Frostmourne shattered at his side. His father sits next to him, as Arthass' eyes turn to sea green from glowing blue, hinting he was finally free of the Lich King's influence. He asks if its over, almost glad to be free of the Lich King, and his father replies saying that no king rules forever. The prince proclaims that he sees only darkness before him, as his eyes roll backward, and dies in his fathers arms able to rest in peace. Terenas tells Tirion there must be a Lich King, and Tirion takes up the helm ready to become the Lich King. However, Bolvar is chained up on the Frozen Throne, burnt and somewhat undead. He asks Tirion to make him the Lich King, and Tirion finally agrees. Bolvar tells him to never let anyone know what happened there, only that the Lick King is dead and that he died with him. Tirion puts the Helm of Domination on Bolvar's head, as he becomes the new Lich King.
Ruthless, cruel and utterly without mercy - even as a human Arthas was a man who grew to value nothing other than victory and self-preservation, a master of manipulation and fear. He is a tyrant and dark-lord who is worshiped as a death-god by some while deemed a monster by others - despite this he is an exceptional leader and a legendary warrior.