World Of Warcraft: Best Orc Characters, Ranked (2024)

Orcs are one of the titular races in the Warcraft franchise. Their first appearance dates back to the first game, Warcraft: Orcs and Humans Back then, the orcs were an antagonist faction with little depth or nuance, but this drastically changed as the world gradually developed.


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Orcs are a race defined by their traditions, which make them seem savage and aggressive to some, but not inherently evil. Many orcs were manipulated into drinking the blood of Mannoroth in their old home world of Draenor, making them more vile and dangerous. However, the orcs have cleansed themselves of this curse and are now free to pursue their own goals. Here are some of the most impressive orc characters that left a trace in the story of Warcraft.

10 Varok Saurfang

The Old Soldier

World Of Warcraft: Best Orc Characters, Ranked (2)
  • First appeared in World of Warcraft

Varok Saurfang is an old veteran of the Horde. During the time of the Genocide of Draenei, he was among the orcish warriors who committed countless atrocities upon Horde's enemies. By the time of World of Warcraft, he lives with the guilt of his actions and seeks to repent by protecting Azeroth from new threats.

Varok remained in the background for a while, with occasional appearances, such as him leading the Might of Kalimdor into the gates of Ahn'Qiraj or fighting against Scourge in Northrend. However, he returned to take a central role in Battle for Azeroth, challenging Sylvanas Windrunner and ultimately meeting a tragic demise.

9 Eitrigg

An Unexpected Friend

World Of Warcraft: Best Orc Characters, Ranked (3)
  • First appeared in Of Blood and Honour

Eitrigg is a fairly minor character who, nevertheless, managed to end up as one of the main representatives of Orcs, especially during Legion and Battle for Azeroth. Eitrigg's story can be traced back to the Second War when he met a human Paladin, Tyrion Fordring, and spent some time with him.

This fateful meeting sown seeds for a strong bond of friendship that would last through multiple years, and it also questioned both Eitrigg's and Tyrion's perspectives. They thought of little of the enemy race but had an opportunity to learn more. After this, Eitrigg always brought an open-minded and balanced perspective to the Horde.

8 Blackhand

The First Warchief

  • First appeared in Warcraft: Orcs and Humans

Warchief Blackhand is a pivotal figure in Orcish and Horde's history, even though he never had as much control as his title would suggest. He was a chieftain of the Blackrock clan, a mighty warrior and a leader, and among the first to drink fel. Gul'dan considered him a good puppet and manipulated him to become the first Warchief of the Horde, leading their might into Azeroth.


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Blackhand was the Horde's leader when the armies invaded and fought the kingdom of Stormwind. While Blackhand was a figurehead orc followed, the true power was held by Gul'dan and his warlock council. This changed, however, when Blackhand was challenged to a duel with Mak'gora by Orgrim Doomhamer. The current Warchief is lost, so we are closing this page of Horde's history.

7 Durotan

An Honorable Chieftain

World Of Warcraft: Best Orc Characters, Ranked (6)
  • First appeared in The Last Guardian

Durotan is another of the old Horde chieftains. He was the Warchief of the Frostwolf clan during the invasion of Azeroth. However, he was different from most other chieftains. Durotan's brethren readily accepted the gift of fel, but Durotan refused to dabble in its powers. His skin turned green later due to close contact with corrupted orcs, but he never drank Mannoroth's blood.

Durotan was a part of the Horde's invasion of Azeroth, but he didn't remain a part of it for long. Durotan and his clan disapproved of countless atrocities committed by other orcs and eventually left the Horde. Gul'dan sent his assassins to kill Durotan before he could become a problem. His agent murdered both Durotan and his wife Draka, but not before they bore a son, Go'el.

6 Grommash Hellscream

The Liberator

World Of Warcraft: Best Orc Characters, Ranked (7)
  • First appeared in Warcraft 2: Beyond the Dark Portal

Grommash Hellscream was known to be one of the fiercest and bravest Orc warriors ever. As chieftain of the Warsong clan, he made a name for himself on Draenor. He was also the first to drink fel and thus bears the burden of someone who accepted the curse that later overtook all orcs. In Warcraft 3, Grom sacrifices to destroy Mannoroth and free his brethren from this curse.

In World of Warcraft, an alternative version of Grom Hellscream appears in Warlords of Draenor expansion, where he changes the tides of fate by refusing to drink the blood of Mannoroth. He becomes the Warchief of the Iron Horde faction, a new version of the Orcish Horde that relies on technology and development rather than magic and fel.

5 Gul'dan

The Selfish Warlock

World Of Warcraft: Best Orc Characters, Ranked (8)
  • First appeared in The Last Guardian

Everything that led to Draenor's corruption and eventual decay can be traced back to Gul'dan, a warlock who served Kil'Jaeden and introduced fel to other Orcish clans. Gul'dan was the true leader of the Horde before Orgrimm's ascension. He only pursued his selfish motives and desire for power, a drive that eventually made him betray the Horde and try to claim the power of the Tomb of Sargeras, meeting his demise.


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Gul’dan appears in Warlords of Draenor, as well. An alternative version of him tries to turn the Horde towards the Legion but faces considerably more difficulties than his main timeline counterpart. He survives the expansion to play a role in the next one, Legion. He opens the gateway for countless demons to invade Azeroth before dying in Nighthold.

4 Ner'zhul

The Broken Soul

World Of Warcraft: Best Orc Characters, Ranked (10)
  • First appeared in Warcraft 2: Beyond the Dark Portal

Few characters in the Warcraft universe have gone through as much pain as Ner'zhul did. On the surface, he might seem similar to Gul'dan, a shaman of the Shadowmoon clan that the Legion contacted. However, Ner'zhul genuinely cared for his people and abandoned the Legion when he realized their intent. He was also the one responsible for the cataclysm that made Draenor Outland.

Ner'zhul escaped the cataclysm but was caught by Kil'Jaeden, who ripped the spirit from the orc's body and made him into the first Lich king. After that, Ner'zhul's soul was tied to the helm of domination as he exerted influence over Arthas Menethil. He did not meet his final demise until Shadowlands expansion, during which his soul was defeated and put to rest.

3 Orgrim Doomhammer

The Mighty Warlord

World Of Warcraft: Best Orc Characters, Ranked (11)
  • First appeared in Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness

One of the most well-known and revered orcs in the Horde in Orgrim Doomhammer, and for a good reason. He was originally a warrior in the Blackrock clan and a close friend to Durotan. After his friend's death, Orgrim challenged Blackhand to a duel and killed him, following it by murdering most members of Gul'dan's council. Here, Orgrim assumed the post of the Horde's Warchief.

He has gone on to fight combined Alliance forces in Eastern Kingdoms. His campaign was a tremendous success on most fronts as he managed to push the Alliance back to its capital of Lordaeron. However, the Alliance's counterattack threw Orgrim's forces back and dismantled the Horde, putting orcs in captivity. Orgrim spent his last days in exile, eventually encountering Durotan's son.

2 Thrall/Go'el

The Savior Of the Horde

World Of Warcraft: Best Orc Characters, Ranked (12)
  • First appeared in Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos

The son of Durotan was the sole survivor of the purge that Gul'dan ordered. His mother, Draka, sent him down a river until he was found by humans. He lived in brutal conditions as a slave with the name of 'Thrall' that his captors gave him. However, he managed to break free and gain respect from other orcs, eventually uniting the clans again and becoming Warchief himself.


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Ever since that day, Thrall has gone on multiple challenging adventures. He fought against the Lick King in Northrend, against Deathwing when he reigned destruction upon Azeroth, and even against his own old friend, Garrosh Hellscream. After all of this, Thrall spent years for peace above all else, trying to enjoy a quiet life in Nagrand with his wife and children.

1 Garrosh Hellscream

Creator Of The 'True' Horde

World Of Warcraft: Best Orc Characters, Ranked (14)
  • First appeared in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

Garrosh Hellscream is a controversial character that has been developed over multiple expansions. In Burning Crusade, he is seen in Nagrand, lacking confidence and constantly brooding about his family's sins. If the player completes a certain questline, they can help him regain confidence, which becomes one of Garrosh's defining character traits in the next expansion.

After the victory against the Lich King, Garrosh became the Warchief of the Horde after Thrall passed the post on. Garrosh led the war effort against the Alliance, eventually alienating many races in the Horde. Garrosh created a 'True Horde' that only consisted of orcs and goblins, but it was defeated by the combined forces of the factions. He died on Draenor after helping to form the Iron Horde.

World Of Warcraft: Best Orc Characters, Ranked (15)
World of Warcraft

November 23, 2004
World Of Warcraft: Best Orc Characters, Ranked (2024)
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