- For the quests in the Halls of Reflection, see and .
- "Whomsoever takes up this blade shall wield power eternal. Just as the blade rends flesh, so must power scar the spirit."
- —The inscription on Frostmourne's pedestal
Frostmourne was the runeblade that Ner'zhul, the Lich King, thrust from the Frozen Throne, intending that Arthas Menethil — his unwitting potential host — would discover it on the continent of Northrend. It was wielded by Arthas, the new Lich King, until it was destroyed following his defeat in Icecrown Citadel.
- See also: Frostmourne origin retcon.
When Ner'zhul was transformed into the Lich King by Kil'jaeden, his disembodied spirit was shackled to a magical suit of armor as well as the runeblade Frostmourne, and trapped within an icy tomb called the Frozen Throne. Both the armor and the blade were crafted by the Nathrezim for the purpose of containing and controlling the Lich King.
Ner'zhul's Plan to Escape
Ner'zhul was not content with being a pawn for the Burning Legion, however, and began working on a plan for escape. The first stage of his plan was set in motion when he used his powers to push Frostmourne through the ice and out of the Frozen Throne, and plunge it into the snows of Northrend to await one who would claim it and become the Lich King's agent. Ner'zhul found his agent in Arthas Menethil, the young prince of Lordaeron who had come to Northrend in a quest to end the plague.
Muradin Bronzebeard, a dwarven explorer based at the time in Northrend, was searching for the weapon after hearing of Frostmourne's power when Arthas and his men arrived. When the forces of the dreadlord Mal'Ganis began to close in around them, Arthas and Muradin set out to claim it.
Deep within a hidden cave, Frostmourne was guarded by The Guardian and several revenants who tried to warn Arthas of the danger, but he ignored the warning and destroyed them. When they found the sword, Muradin read the inscription on the dais:
Muradin realized then that the blade was cursed, but Arthas said he would gladly bear any curse to save his homeland. Upon speaking those words, the ice encasing the sword shattered and exploded outward. A jagged shard struck Muradin, seeming to strike him down. Arthas, ignoring the loss of his friend, discarded his hammer, , and took hold of the blade.
In the Hands of Arthas
With the sword in hand, Arthas returned to his base and staged a counterattack against Mal'Ganis, quickly destroying the dreadlord's base. Mal'Ganis confronted Arthas, telling him that Ner'zhul had known he would take the cursed sword, and that it had now stolen Arthas's soul. He spoke as if he believed Arthas was now on his side, but to his surprise Arthas used the runeblade to slay the dreadlord on the Lich King's command. With his soul forfeited to the Lich King, Arthas ran off into the frozen wastes of Northrend.
Now a death knight of the Scourge, Arthas killed and converted his former army before returning to Lordaeron, where he was hailed with a royal welcome. Arthas proceeded directly to the throne room, where he killed his father, King Terenas, and set the Scourge loose throughout the city.
Some time after the Burning Legion's defeat at Mount Hyjal, the demon hunter Illidan Stormrage used a powerful spell to attack the Frozen Throne, where the Lich King was imprisoned. Though the spell was unsuccessful, it widened the crack through which Frostmourne had been thrust, and the Lich King's power began to wane, so he recalled Arthas to Northrend to aid him. Arthas defeated Illidan and ascended the spire of the Frozen Throne, then plunged Frostmourne back into the ice and donned the helmet sealed within, becoming the new Lich King.
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich KingThis section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
The Frozen Halls
Just after he is defeated in the Pit of Saron, the leper gnome Krick lets it slip that Arthas leaves Frostmourne unattended in the Halls of Reflection, his private sanctum in the Frozen Halls of Icecrown Citadel.
After surviving the Pit of Saron, the guides for the adventurers braving the Halls (Jaina Proudmoore for the Alliance or Sylvanas Windrunner for the Horde) lead the way into the Halls of Reflection. As Krick promised, Frostmourne stands alone, floating serenely above an altar in the center of the entry chamber. Jaina or Sylvanas attempt to commune with the souls trapped within the blade to find the key to the Lich King's weakness. They are contacted by the spirit of Uther the Lightbringer, who warns them that another must take the Lich King's place in order to keep the Scourge under control.
Fall of the Lich King
During the final battle against the Lich King at the Frozen Throne, Frostmourne was shattered by Ashbringer, wielded by Tirion Fordring. The thousands of souls trapped within the blade swarmed the Lich King, suspending him in the air, where he was finished off by the champions assembled to defeat him.
On the Dedication of Honor monument at the center of Runeweaver Square in Dalaran, a bust of the shattered hilt of Frostmourne is shown at the feet of the statue of Tirion Fordring. The current location of Frostmourne's remains are unknown.
CurseThis section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG, and thus unlikely to be canon.
Frostmourne has the ability to drain life from its victims — and to drain the soul of anyone whom it connects to. The Lich King is capable of seeing through the eyes and hearing through the ears of anyone who wields Frostmourne; this ability cannot be stopped by any mortal means. The Lich King can communicate with the wielder at will telepathically, on any plane and at any distance. The Lich King uses this ability to try and corrupt the wielder over time. This has several effects. An individual who wields Frostmourne will not part with it willingly. Over time the person will go from good to neutral and finally to evil. A non-undead evil wielder will then become undead. Finally the sword is able to suck the being's soul into the sword. Frostmourne then retains the memories and skills of its victim. In fact, as long as the wielder's original body remains within one mile of Frostmourne, the sword maintains control of the body, and he may not be completely aware that his consciousness has shifted to the weapon. Beyond one mile, the sword cannot control the wielder's body, and the wielder of course finally becomes quite aware of his current state (if he is not already).
The Lich King can take possession of a soulless body that comes in contact with him and Frostmourne at the same time. The soul within Frostmourne is destroyed unless it willingly merges with the Lich King, becoming lost as a separate entity for all eternity. If a soul merges with the Lich King, he gains all the skills and memories of the victim. He has only done this one time, with Prince Arthas Menethil.
In Warcraft IIIThis section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III.
In Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Frostmourne increased Arthas' base damage by 22 points and allowed him to deal chaos damage, which was fully effective against all types of armor (including that of buildings and divine beings). For balance reasons, this effect was only applied during the Frostmourne mission and not during the Path of the Damned or Legacy of the Damned campaigns.
In Warcraft RPGThis section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG, and thus unlikely to be canon.
In Manual of Monsters, Frostmourne is an artifact-level bastard sword with the following abilities: an increased chance to hit, increased damage, an increased chance of scoring a critical hit, an increased attack speed, the ability to strike incorporeal creatures as though they were fully corporeal, the ability to cause bleeding wounds and reduce the victim's stamina, bonus damage against good-aligned beings, bonus damage against living beings, and a life-draining effect that heals its wielder when he deals damage.
In Arthas: Rise of the Lich KingThis section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft novels or short stories.
In Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, Arthas is able to wield the runeblade almost effortlessly, despite its size and weight. It slices through most opponents with minimal resistance, and shatters most weapons it comes in contact with, including the elven runeblade Felo'melorn. Those slain by Frostmourne have their souls drawn into the weapon.
Theoretical stats for Frostmourne as a World of Warcraft item were shown during the Lore Panel at BlizzCon 2007, likely as a joke. The quote on the item tooltip, "Hail to the King, Baby!", is a phrase popularized by Bruce Campbell's Ash at the end of Army of Darkness.
The developers said they were "still working the fine details" and that the Equip effect was "shot down by various powers-that-be" (illustrating the potential problem with a screenshot of the new Lich King, Private Ownusohard). However, they closed with "we'll get something to you guys, we promise."
List of Souls
The following characters were slain by Frostmourne or otherwise lost their souls to it. With the possible exceptions of those brought back as undead creatures, it is presumed that their souls remained trapped in the sword until its destruction.
- Arthas Menethil (Warcraft III; first soul claimed)
- Captain Falric (killed in Northrend, Arthas: Rise of the Lich King; resurrected later)
- Captain Marwyn (killed in Northrend, Arthas: Rise of the Lich King; resurrected later)
- King Terenas Menethil II (killed in the Imperial chamber of Capital City, Warcraft III)
- Gavinrad the Dire (killed near Andorhal, Warcraft III)
- Sage Truthbearer (killed near Andorhal, Warcraft III)
- Uther the Lightbringer (killed near Andorhal, Warcraft III)
- Sylvanas Windrunner (killed in Quel'Thalas, Warcraft III; resurrected as a banshee)
- King Anasterian Sunstrider (killed on the Isle of Quel'Danas, Arthas: Rise of the Lich King)
- Dar'Khan Drathir (killed on the Isle of Quel'Danas, Arthas: Rise of the Lich King; resurrected later)
- Genjuros (killed in Alterac Mountains, Warcraft III)
- Haomarush (killed in Alterac Mountains, Warcraft III)
- Khanzo (killed in Alterac Mountains, Warcraft III)
- Mazrigos (killed in Alterac Mountains, Warcraft III)
- Throk'Feroth (killed in Alterac Mountains, Warcraft III)
- Jubei'Thos (killed in Alterac Mountains, Warcraft III)
- Landazar (killed in Dalaran, Warcraft III)
- Conjurus Rex (killed in Dalaran, Warcraft III)
- Antonidas (killed in Dalaran, Warcraft III)
- Halahk the Lifebringer (killed in Lordaeron palace gardens, Warcraft III)
- Magroth the Defender (killed in Lordaeron palace gardens, Warcraft III)
- Jennalla Deemspring (killed in Lordaeron palace gardens, Warcraft III)
- Sapphiron (killed in Northrend, Warcraft III; resurrected as a frost wyrm)
- Overlord Drakuru (killed atop Voltarus, Wrath of the Lich King)
- Dranosh Saurfang (killed in Northrend, Wrath of the Lich King; resurrected later)
According to King Terenas Menethil II's spirit, there are thousands of souls contained within the blade.
- Despite being the new Lich King, Bolvar Fordragon does not wield Frostmourne since it was shattered by Tirion Fordring. The blade was forged by The Nathrezim, for the sole purpose of controlling the Lich King. Not knowing it would one day be claimed by Arthas Menethil and undo the demon's hold on the Lich King. It was the prince of Lordaeron's destiny and his alone to wield the sword.
- The chances that Tirion Fordring would allow Frostmourne's actual hilt to be displayed on the Dedication of Honor are little to none. According to Blizzard, the shards have gone missing since the battle of the Icecrown Citadel and have not been seen since then.
- Frostmourne is clearly inspired by the sword Stormbringer wielded by Elric of Melniboné in the fantasy series of books by Michael Moorcock. Stormbringer is a black blade covered with runes that steals the souls of those killed by it and was featured in the book called, not coincidentally, The Stealer of Souls by Moorcock, published in 1963. Also, Stormbringer has a sister sword called "Mournblade" which may have also been the reason Arthas' sword is called "Frostmourne".
- Frostmourne could, conceivably, have been inspired by Excalibur, the sword of legendary King Arthur. Both swords grant power to their respective wielders (whether it be political or magical), both have inscriptions upon their pedestals, and the two famed wielders, Arthur and Arthas, have similar names.
- A hidden cave can be found in the action game X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Inside the cave, Wolverine finds a skeleton with a yellow exclamation point () above his head, like a WoW questgiver, and a sword which is a replica of Frostmourne. Finding this room unlocks the "WoW!" Achievement/Trophy, depending on whether the game is being played on the Xbox 360 or the PlayStation 3. The description of the Achievement confirms the reference: "You feel cold as you examine the skeleton and read the name "Arthas" etched into the nearby sword."
- In Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock both Arthas (as the Lich King) and Frostmourne (his guitar) are unlockable after earning 1600 stars and reaching level 71.
- Frostmourne shares similarities to another blade, that is present within the game series: Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. Both can absorb souls, and both are wielded by nobles who were corrupted.
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 204
- ^ a b Manual of Monsters, pg. 174
- ^ "The Scourge of Lordaeron: The Shores of Northrend", Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ a b c d "The Scourge of Lordaeron: Frostmourne (Warcraft III)", Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ Frostmourne (Warcraft III)
- ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 174-175
- ^ http://www.epicweapons.com
- ^ a b c http://www.ateliers-nemesis.com