The Story of Varok Saurfang in Battle for Azeroth


Saurfang plays a pivotal role in Battle for Azeroth and he’s the embodiment of the Horde’s moral grayness. Blizzard has recently released a new cinematic starring him and Zappyboi to calm down the Horde audience, but what exactly is the fate of the High Overlord in Battle for Azeroth?

The following article contains spoilers!

War of Thorns // Burning of Teldrassil (Alliance PoV / Horde PoV)

Saurfang leads the march on the kaldorei that culminates in Sylvanas burning down the World Tree. He plays an important role during the Killer Queen quest, where he aids Sylvanas in the fight against Malfurion, delivering a dishonorable blow that he ultimately regrets. Then, he allows Tyrande to take wounded Malfurion to Stormwind, instead of simply killing him, as ordered by the Warchief.


High Overlord Saurfang: Make haste! The warchief awaits!

High Overlord Saurfang: The warchief faces Stormrage alone! I must…

Malfurion Stormrage: ARGH! Saur…fang?!

High Overlord Saurfang: A dishonorable blow. I… regret it.

Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: Regret nothing. You did well.

High Overlord Saurfang: It was not my place to interfere.

Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: My victory was inevitable. He was merely wasting my time.

Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: Finish him and be done with it. Take a moment, if you like… then take his head. Meet me at the World Tree.

Malfurion Stormrage: You have led… your Horde… in service… of death. You will… regret this day…

Tyrande Whisperwind: Malfurion…NO!

Tyrande Whisperwind: You did not kill him, orc. Why?

High Overlord Saurfang: I struck without honor. I did not deserve to end him.

Tyrande Whisperwind: This entire war is without honor. How dare you spill so much innocent blood… for nothing!

High Overlord Saurfang: Not for nothing. We spill blood so that the Horde will endure.

Tyrande Whisperwind: Because you spared Malfurion, I will offer you a choice.

Tyrande Whisperwind: Attempt to stop me from taking him away, and die… or remain there, kneeling in the dirt, and live.

High Overlord Saurfang: You have a choice as well. Take him to Darnassus and both of you will fall when we conquer it… or flee somewhere far from here, so that you both survive.

High Overlord Saurfang: Come, champion. We must follow our warchief to… victory.

Old Soldier Cinematic

In the Old Soldier cinematic, Saurfang reacts to the Burning of Teldrassil. We can see a flashback of his son’s death. If you haven’t played WoW in Wrath, Saurfang’s son died at the Wrathgate. Lich King later raised him as a Death Knight and made him a boss in Icecrown Citadel, where Saurfang was present at that time to collect his body. Anyway, Saurfang’s pissed at Sylvanas at 1:22 and tells her that the attack was dishonorable and that the Alliance will seek vengeance soon.


High Overlord Saurfang: There is no honor in this! They will come for us now! All of them!

The next portion of the cinematic is about Saurfang’s PTSD and inner struggles with the Horde.

Battle for Lordaeron [More Info]

The Alliance strikes at the Undercity and seeks to claim Lordaeron for their own. Later in the scenario, Sylvanas uses blight and Saurfang is not really a fan of her choice.


Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: Prepare the Blight! Let it rain down upon their armies!

High Overlord Saurfang: There must be another way, Warchief!

Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: This is no time for sentiment, High Overlord!

Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: War demands that we take a more direct approach.

I’m going to use the video by Athelarius for reference here.

Sylvanas tells you to show your enemies no mercy, Saurfang does the direct opposite, again, talking about honor.


Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: Slay them all, champions! Mark my words, King Anduin and his army did not come here for their amusement. They mean to destroy us! Show them no mercy, for they would show you none in return!

High Overlord Saurfang: Maintain your honor, heroes. Lok-narash.

Saurfang goes missing at this point. The Horde forces retreat and you regroup at the courtyard. This portion is really interesting. If you’ve been reading the article up to now, you can clearly see that honor has been the leading motif for Saurfang. Sylvanas tells him that honor means nothing to a corpse and that he will perhaps have a chance to say hello to his son.


Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: So good of you to finally show up, High Overlord.

High Overlord Saurfang: I had to see it for myself. Was this your plan all along? Is this how you meant to achieve victory? This… honorless travesty?

Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: Honor means nothing to a corpse, Saurfang. You have the luxury of underestimating death, but it is something with which I am intimately familiar. Maybe you don’t care if your people die so long as it is honorable. But to me, this Horde is worth saving. Anyone who disagrees does not deserve to stand among us. So die your warrior’s death, High Overlord Saurfang. It means little to me. Perhaps I will raise your broken body to serve me once more. Or perhaps you will have a chance to say hello to your son.

The Alliance perspective is a little different and we learn that Saurfang gets captured by Anduin.


Anduin Wrynn: Stand aside, Saurfang. This war is not yours to bear alone, and there is no honor in killing you.

High Overlord Saurfang: Your father was a man of honor, boy. You know nothing of the sort. I will NEVER stand down! I eat, sleep, and die by the sword. What price have you paid for your people?

Anduin Wrynn: My father gave everything for the Alliance. The question is, are you willing to do the same for the Horde?

High Overlord Saurfang: MY LIFE FOR THE HORDE!

Saurfang tells Anduin that Varian was a man of honor, letting him collect the body of Deathbringer Saurfang back in Wrath.

Later, Saurfang demands an honorable death, but Anduin decides to imprison him instead.


High Overlord Saurfang: No! I demand and honorable death!

Anduin Wrynn: My father once said that Varok Saurfang embodied the honor of the horde…

Anduin Wrynn: He admired you for that, and so do I.

Anduin Wrynn: Listen to me. There is no honor in this.

High Overlord Saurfang: That is not for an Alliance king to decide!

Anduin Wrynn: At this moment, it is.

Anduin Wrynn: Take him to the Stockades. 

Anduin Wrynn: When I return, we will speak of honor… and how it may yet be reclaimed.

High Overlord Saurfang: If… you return.

The Stormwind Extraction Scenario [More Info]

The scenario is the Horde intro to Battle for Azeroth. Sylvanas sends you on a mission to free Princess Talanji and Zul from the Stockades. You encounter Saurfang in one of the cells, but he clearly tells you that he does not want to return back to Orgrimmar.


High Overlord Saurfang: I have lost track of the time I have sat in this cell. But it matters not in the end. After all she has done, I will never return to her Horde. Make sure you know the difference between loyalty and honor. And pray you never have to choose.

Rokhan: You not be comin’ wit’ us.

High Overlord Saurfang: We both know you are not here for me. Those you seek are down the hall.

First Arcanist Thalyssra: I see… If you are certain, High Overlord.

High Overlord Saurfang: I am. Lok’tar.

That’s all we know so far about Varok Saurfang in Battle for Azeroth. Only time will tell if he’s going to redeem the Horde. ! Would you like to see him as Warchief despite his inability to act? Let us know in the comments!

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