- Alexstrasza The Life Binder
- Nozdormu The Timeless One
- Ysera The Awakened
- Mertithra Of The Dream
- Malygos The Spell-Weaver
- Kalecgos The Steward of Magic
- Nelthrarion The Earth-Warder
- Wrathion The Black Prince
The lore of World of Warcraft has always featured a wide variety of dragons, and with the release of the latest expansion; Dragonflight, these powerful creatures have once again become central to the main storyline. If you are a newer fan of Warcraft lore, then you may not know about the long history behind how the dragons came to be, and the backstories of their different flights and leaders.
A flight is a certain faction within the hierarchy of dragonkind, and the leader of each flight is called an Aspect. Although certain characters have come and gone, the power of these individuals has always been tremendous, and their stories have existed even before WoW's initial launch. Let's take a closer look at just who these amazing characters are, and what we might expect from them going forwards into Dragonflight and beyond.
Alexstrasza The Life Binder
Possibly the most famous Dragon Aspect is Alexstrasza the Life-Binder. The leader of the Red Dragonflight, and one of the original Dragon Aspects, Alexstrasza joined her fellow future Aspects in their great battle against Galakrond, 'the progenitor of dragonkind'. A gigantic dragon, Galakrond, had become increasingly corrupted by Old Gold influence, and eventually, consumed by his own hunger, he began to devour anything in his path, including preying upon his own kind.
Threatened with the destruction of their race in the cold lands of Northrend, five brave proto-drakes banded together to bring him down and a great battle ensued over the zone of Dragonblight. Having defeated the behemoth, Alexstrasza and her allies were awarded with great power from the overlords of Azeroth, known as the Titans, and officially became the Dragon Aspects, tasked with defending the planet from threats both external and internal.
Becoming an intelligent life form, unlike that of her proto-drake predecessors, Alexstrasza took command of the Red Dragonflight, who were awarded with dominion over life by Eonar the Life-binder, and charged with the protection of Azeroth. Alexstrasza has always taken this duty seriously, and the dragon queen has been the de facto leader of the Dragon Aspects ever since.
Able to morph into a high elf form, Alexstrasza has always shown kindness, wisdom, and generosity towards mortals, and has been willing to cooperate with them to defend the planet on many occasions. However, the Red Dragonflight has been very active in the wars of Azeroth, and due to various acts of mistreatment, many red dragons harbor resentment toward the mortal races, although they will generally put this aside to unite against a common foe.
Alexstrasza has personally been active within World of Warcraft, and you can meet her in various locations such as Wyrmrest Temple or the Chamber of the Heart. She has fought against enemies such as Deathwing and the Twilight Dragonflight, where she would lose her mate, Korialstrasz. The queen of dragons has been a fan favorite for many years, both for her striking appearance and strength of character, and Alexstrasza will certainly play a central role within the Dragonflight storyline and hopefully for many more years beyond.
Nozdormu The Timeless One
The only other original living Dragon Aspect is Nozdormu the Timeless One. Leader of the Bronze Dragonflight, Nozdormu was granted his powers by the leader of the titans; Aman'thul the Highfather. He and his flight are charged with dominion over the sands of time, and must defend Azeroth from past, present, and future threats.
Similarly to Alexstrasza, Nozdormu has been active in defending Azeroth from a variety of enemies, fighting against the Burning Legion in the War of the Ancients, and is especially prevalent during the Cataclysm expansion, guiding adventurers through multiple time-based instances.
Nozdormu is a particularly interesting character, as he and his flight are closely connected to the Infinite Dragonflight. Black and white dragons who work against the Bronze, the Infinite Dragonflight is led by Murozond, who is in fact Nozdormu from an alternate future timeline. Fighting him in the End Time dungeon, you will learn a lot about how the Infinite Dragonflight work, as they invade various timelines and seek to circumvent the natural progression of events. Nozdormu and his brood are active in maintaining the natural timeline, and he has been a stalwart guardian of Azeroth throughout his many years on the planet.
Choosing to appear as a high elf in his mortal form, Nozdormu has been a benevolent ally to the mortal races, although due to his responsibility, he can at times be distant and reserved. Most players will know the Bronze Dragonflight from their interactions with characters such as Chromie, who herself is a bronze dragon called Chronormu. Residing in the Caverns of Time, the flight will be ever-present throughout Dragonflight and are the go-to characters for when we interact with various timelines.
Ysera The Awakened
Probably the saddest story belongs to Ysera the Awakened. The original Dragon Aspect of the Green Dragonflight, Ysera was granted dominion over the Emerald Dream by the titan; Eonar the Life-Binder. A utopian instance of how Azeroth would be if corruption and strife were not present, Ysera bravely defended the Dream from the encroaching Emerald Nightmare, and was central in the creation of Nordrassil, one of the world trees of Azeroth.
Along with the other original Aspects, Ysera was instrumental in defending her home from enemies such as Deathwing, and has always been closely tied to nature and protecting the wild. The Green Dragonflight normally utilizes nature-based attacks and has been in World of Warcraft ever since Classic. Although prone to corruption, the Greens have always been the kindest and most generous of the flights, often aiding mortals in their adventures, or healing them at crucial moments.
An especially close bond with Alexstrasza and a wise nature led to Ysera becoming a fan favorite, which made the events of the Legion expansion especially sad. With the return of the Dark Satyr; Xavius, the Emerald Nightmare conducted a direct attack on the Emerald Dream, and Ysera fell victim to Xavius' machinations while attempting to defend the zone of Val'sharah. Completely corrupted by his evil magic, adventurers had to slay the once great dragon, and her spirit was claimed by Elune; the Moon Goddess, who ascended her to the Shadowlands, in one of the saddest in-game cutscenes you're likely to see.
Ysera was not gone forever though, and you can meet and interact with her in the Ardenweald zone in Shadowlands. She is a key quest giver and central to the Night Fae storyline, as her spirit is restored along with Ardenweald itself. While she remains in the spirit world in both her dragon and high elf forms, Ysera can still communicate with you via the Emerald Dream, and could appear once again as a major character during Dragonflight.
Mertithra Of The Dream
Probably the least known Dragon Aspect, Merithra of the Dream is one of Ysera's daughters, and the current leader of the Green Dragonflight. A prominent figure during the War of the Shifting Sands, Merithra can initially be met deep within the Ahn'Qiraj raid, where she was captured by the Old God; C'thun.
During the Battle for Azeroth expansion, Merithra engaged in the fight against the Old God N'zoth and can currently be found in the Chamber of the Heart, where she led the defense of the Emerald Dream, and took charge of her Dragonflight, helping to empower the Heart of Azeroth.
You would be forgiven for not recognizing the character, as she has not been particularly central to the storyline for the majority of WoW expansions. She shares many of her mother's qualities and seems to be a capable and wise leader, but is certainly more peripheral compared to characters such as Alexstrasza. However, with Dragonflight being based around advancing the lore of the Dragon Aspects and exploring the Dragon Isles, we may get to learn much more about Merithra going forward.
Malygos The Spell-Weaver
The original Aspect of the Blue Dragonflight was Malygos the Spell-Weaver. He and his brood were granted dominion over magic by the titan; Norgannon the Dreamweaver, and were given great power and strength to defend Azeroth. The eldest Dragon Aspect, Malygos, did not share a similar attitude to his companions, and possessed a deep distrust of mortals. Despite being highly intelligent, Malygos detested other magic users, and believed he and his flight were the only ones capable of controlling the powers of the arcane.
One of the first Dragon Aspects players were able to fight, Malygos started the Nexus War in an attempt to stop mortals corrupting Azeroth with their use of magic, as he attempted to gather and contain all magical power for himself, within Coldarra. Drawing his Blue Dragonflight to him, Malygos altered the flow of magic, forcing the races of Azeroth to unite against him, lest he claim absolute magical power.
Classic Wrath of the Lich King players will be familiar with Malygos, as he is a raid boss with the Eye of Eternity instance. Players fight alongside Alexstrasza to bring him down, and after a fun fight, Malygos is slain, crying out to his sister to not trust the mortals. His heart is taken back to Wyrmrest Temple where the other Aspects mourn their brother's fall to madness. Always a prideful character, Malygos did indeed aid his brethren in defending Azeroth, but his in-game story was largely limited to Wrath of the Lich King, and it is unlikely we will see him return in any aspect.
Kalecgos The Steward of Magic
After Malygos' demise, the leadership of the Blue Dragonflight was in limbo. Kalecgos and Arygos both vied for control, with each having differing opinions of how the flight should interact with the world. Kalecgos wanted the blue dragons to take a more active role in engaging with the mortal races, and it was not until the Cataclysm expansion and his stand against Deathwing, where he assumed power and became the Dragon Aspect of Magic.
First found in a corrupted form in the Sunwell Plateau raid, Kalecgos has been around for a long time, and served as the Ambassador of the Blue Dragonflight before his ascension to leader. He has taken an active role in aiding players in multiple expansions, and has close ties to Jaina Proudmoore, an Archmage and one of the most popular Warcraft characters. Helping us throughout multiple expansions, Kalecgos is often called upon to deal with matters of magic or the unknown. Despite being younger than the original Aspects, Kalecgos has wisdom beyond his years, and has always championed the mortal races against the variety of threats Azeroth has faced.
Kalecgos will definitely play a large role throughout Dragonflight and beyond, as he seeks to further understand the rules of magic, and players can expect him to be a stalwart ally in the future.
Nelthrarion The Earth-Warder
Perhaps the greatest tale of the Dragon Aspects is centered around Neltharion the Earth-Warder, or his alter-ego; Deathwing. Granted dominion over the earth by the titan; Khaz'goroth the Shaper, Neltharion was initially a steadfast ally of his brethren, and defended Azeroth against many an enemy. Neltharion was the most powerful Aspect, and the strongest warrior in the group, although he was rash and prone to anger.
His resentment at bearing the weight of the earth is what led to his eventual corruption, and the whispers of the Old Gods slowly began to infest his mind, turning him against his allies. He sought to rule over the other flights, and raise his Black Dragons above all others, dominating all life on the planet. During the War of the Ancients, Neltharion sought to betray his fellow Aspects, and convinced them to lend their power in the creation of an ultimate weapon; the Dragon Soul. Once empowered, he stole the weapon, using it to destroy thousands of demons, but also announcing himself as the ruler of Azeroth. The other Aspects fled, hiding themselves so that Neltharion would not find them.
Unfortunately for him, Neltharion's power had become too great, and the weight of earth had become unbearable. He was forced to retreat to Highmountain, where corrupted goblins were forced to build him a suit of adamantium armor, to contain the raw power that surged within him. He assumed the name of Deathwing, the Destroyer, and tried to retain the now-named Demon Soul against the forces of Sargeras, the Mad Titan.
The exact details of his rise are a long and intriguing story, but in essence, Deathwing was forced to flee to Deepholm, and would not be met by players until the Cataclysm expansion, when he emerged into a new world, filled with hatred and a burning desire to destroy all life.
He had lost the Dragon Soul, but Deathwing was perhaps the strongest being on Azeroth, and was able to destroy the land with his wing beats alone. Aided by the Twilight's Hammer, Twilight Dragonflight, and Ragnaros the Firelord, Deathwing created a twisted new dragonflight, called the Chromatic, and sought to dominate his former brethren. Knowing they were in grave danger, the remaining Aspects were able to recover the Dragon Soul, and with the help of the Orc Shaman; Thrall, used it to bring down the Destroyer in the Dragon Soul raid.
However, Deathwing's power was so great, the Aspects were forced to give up their remaining titan powers in order to empower the Dragon Soul, allowing Thrall to deliver the finishing blow as Deathwing sank beneath the Maelstrom. No Dragon Aspect has done more damage to Azeroth, and none has ever achieved a greater power than Deathwing, making him one of WoW's most iconic villains.
As well as being a formidable character in his own right, Deathwing sired many other prominent villains. Nefarion and Onyxia were his children, and both have proven to be dangerous enemies of Azeroth, and are two of the most notorious bosses we have ever fought. Creator of the Drachtyr, Deathwing's legacy has lingered long past his demise in the Cataclysm, and the story of the Black Dragonflight has largely been one of evil, at least until the emergence of its new leader.
Wrathion The Black Prince
One of the last remaining members and leader of the Black Dragonflight is Wrathion the Black Prince. Son of Neltharion, Wrathion is a suave and mysterious character whose popularity has increased in recent expansions. Primarily appearing in his human mortal form, Wrathion has a storied past as he strove to break free of his father's shadow. Initially intending to eradicate his fellow Black Dragons, Wrathion now cuts a more benevolent figure in his interactions with players.
First encountered in the Cataclysm expansion, Wrathion shot to prominence during the Battle for Azeroth, where he aided us in defeating the Old God N'zoth in Ny'alotha, saving Azeroth in the process. Although a corrupted version of him is actually the first boss in the instance, Wrathion opens the Carapace of N'zoth for us, and takes a direct role in marshaling the attack, relying on his close friendship with Anduin Wrynn, leader of the Alliance. They originally met in Mists of Pandaria, where Wrathion served as our guide in crafting our Legendary Cloak, and whilst receiving a much-needed visual update, his smarmy personality has remained a popular aspect of his character.
Wrathion is sure to play a part in the future story, and although his motivations have at times been suspect, he is essentially good and could play an important role in restoring his Black Dragonflight to their former strength.
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