We are the Forsaken. We will slaughter anyone who stands in our way.
~ Sylvanas greeting Horde players.

Sylvanas Windrunner is the ruler of the Forsaken of the Warcraft franchise. As of World of Warcraft: Legion, she is the new Warchief of the Horde. As a result, she will be the main antagonist for the Alliance's storyline in the upcoming World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth.


Sylvanas Windrunner was in a family with two other sisters and a brother. One of her sisters, Alleria, went missing during the Second War, her other sister, Vereesa, is the current Ranger General of the Silver Covenant, and her brother, Lirath, was murdered by Orcs. Sylvanas became the Ranger General of Quel'thalas, the kingdom of the High Elves. When Arthas and the Scourge invaded, she led her armies against the mindless invaders. She encountered Arthas many times during the battle, but was eventually killed by the ruthless Death Knight. He raised her into undeath as a banshee, and was one of his top lieutenants, along with the Archlich Kel'Thuzad.

The Lich King 's powers were waning and with them, Arthas’ powers. Sylvanas found herself regaining control and along with many of her loyal banshees began making plans for Arthas’ demise. She agreed to ally with the dreadlords who also sought Arthas’ death, but on her own terms. Sylvanas had taken the opportunity presented by the Lich King’s waning power to reclaim her body. Using the powers Arthas had granted her, she possessed it and once again walked in flesh — albeit dead flesh. As Arthas had sought to mock and torment her, now Sylvanas returned the favor, firing a special poisoned arrow into him that paralyzed the traitor prince of Lordaeron. He bellowed in rage and demanded that she finish him off, but she reminded him of his words to her when she’d demanded a clean death. She had no intention of granting him death at all. She would, instead, make him suffer.

Intending to settle down to a long period of torment, Sylvanas was interrupted by the Kel’Thuzad, who destroyed her banshees and forced her to withdraw. Soon Arthas was gone from Lordaeron, striving to return to Northrend and the Lich King. This left Sylvanas in an unusual position. The three dreadlords who allied with her now sought utter control of Lordaeron, yet the Scourge no longer held the region. Those converted to undead by Arthas were slowly becoming free of the Lich King’s grasp, and these forsaken souls regained a measure of their former selves only to find themselves trapped in a horror of an existence. Sylvanas could understand it all too well. Dominated by the Lich King, she’d had no choice but to follow a dangerous tyrant, but now she could decide for herself what course of action to take.

During the final days of the War Against the Lich King, Sylvanas took part in the final battle at Icecrown Citadel, where a brave hero presented to her a vial of her blood which was found on the corpse of Arthas himself. She returned to the Undercity to plan for the future, where she led an attack on Andorhal. The Scourge remains and an Alliance army were there, as well, and Sylvanas was forced to fight both of them. The Scourge leadership was taken care of quickly, but the Alliance was more resilient. Sylvanas, learning that her top Death Knight Koltira Deathweaver had a friendship with the Alliance Death Knight Thassarian, brought her Death Knight champion back to the Undercity to warp his memory of his friend through torture.

Her war crimes, repugnant even to other Horde members and to an embattled world, were already apparent before the advent of the Lich King. Sylvanas maintained extensive slave pens in Undercity where captives from all of Lordaeron were brought to be tortured, vivisected and experimented on, an action Thrall's knowledge would likely result in the Forsaken's expulsion from the Horde, if not outright destruction. Her methods of using human, dwarf and even orcish captives as experimental subjects for her plagues, as well as usage of plague on several cities are an often overlooked/ignored aspect of her due to her popularity by fans regarding her villainousness.


  • Arthas kills Sylvanas and raises her as a banshee in Warcraft III but in the Lament of the Highborne cutscene shows Arthas playing Sylvanas' body on an altar and effect a ritual to turn her into a banshee.
  • Sylvanas' appearance varies with the clothes she wears, but generally she is bluish-gray of skin with striking blonde hair. She wears plentiful lower armor, but her chest is more bare. She usually carries a quiver of arrows and a bow with which to shoot them with.
  • She is the very first known female character in World of Warcraft that has been granted the title of Warchief, as well as the second non-orc to become Warchief.