Alas, Poor Koltira

This post contains SPOILERS for a quest chain in the Western Plaguelands. Consider yourself warned!

Lore-wise, Death Knights don’t get a lot of love in Cataclysm. Presumably, once Arthas was dealt with they all went home from the northern front and tried to find whatever place they could back in the land of the Living. Some very likely gave themselves back to the grave. For those of us who have carried on, our main story, the story of our vengeance against the man who turned us into the monstrosities we have become, is over.

I guess most of us found better things to do than stand around giving out quests, because there are only a handful of Death Knight NPCs outside of Northrend and Ebon Hold. However, there are two who play a significant role in the conflict over the town of Andorhal in the Western Plaguelands: Koltira Deathweaver and Thassarian. These two, introduced as BFFs during the Death Knight starting quests*, have often represented the Ebon Blade’s contribution to their respective factions. Rather than working directly with the Ashen Verdict in Icecrown, we see them commanding Horde and Alliance forces against the Scourge from their airships. But they’ve also represented the faction- and race-blindness of the Ebon Blade, as they are close friends despite this.

In Cataclysm, Koltira and Thassarian have each been put in charge of pushing the last of the Scourge out of the town of Andorhal. The Forsaken and the human forces of Stormwind are both trying to lay claim to the town, putting the old friends at odds with each other. After defeating the Scourge they declare a secret truce, but their peace is broken when a group of humans take it upon themselves to attack the Forsaken. When Sylvanas finds out, she promises a harsh punishment:

(Feel free to skip to about 4:45 for Sylvanas' confrontation with Koltira.)

What I find most interesting about this from a lore perspective is how much control Sylvanas has over Koltira. He’s not your average Forsaken, and he doesn’t owe anything to her unless there’s something we haven’t been told. It makes sense that he would have pledged loyalty to her rather than Lor’themar Theron or Garrosh Hellscream, but not so much that it could have been assumed. A woman who openly recruits former Scourge loyalists to her cause would surely be more than happy to give Death Knights a home in her army, but she can’t force them. Koltira made a choice to serve her and she treats him like property to be beaten into compliance if necessary.

There’s a lot going on with Sylvanas in this expansion that seems to be leading somewhere, and the cliffhanger nature of Thassarian’s declaration that he’s going to Tirisfal Glades to find out what happened to Koltira suggests they will be part of it. Blizzard has to have some resolution planned for that. There’s been speculation that the “Lich Queen” may not survive to the next expansion as her behavior continues to go above and beyond what even her allies consider acceptable. If Thassarian blows the lid off of what’s going on in the Undercity that may provide the catalyst. But if Sylvanas falls, who will lead the Forsaken? This is a plot thread that bears watching.

* Their close friendship - and possibly the fact that one of them is an elf - has led to Koltira and Thassarian being frequently “shipped” as a romantic pairing. I would be deeply amused with Blizzard if they made such a badass gay couple canon, but I’m leaving that opinion out of this.


  1. "But if Sylvanas falls, who will lead the Forsaken?"

    ...I suggest to Blizzard that they make Thassarian and Koltira leaders!

    Also I hope nothing traumatizing happens to Koltira. It just seems every major belf/ex-helf NPC ends up being screwed in lore (Kael'thas is a prime example, but Sylvanas is one as well).

    You can probably also add: the entire population of Quel'Lithien Lodge (minus one) to that too.

  2. maybe Lillian Voss will take the Banshee Queens place