The legendary Uther Lightbringer was the first Paladin of the Knights of the Silver Hand and a champion of the Light, sworn to defend the Alliance of Lordaeron from any potential threat. Wise, pious, and a beacon of hope to his allies, Uther is regarded as one of the greatest knights to ever live.
The kingdom of Stormwind was once a land of peace and prosperity. The age of tranquility came to a sudden end when orcs swarmed into Azeroth from the Dark Portal—a magical gate that connected the world of Azeroth with the orcish homeworld of Draenor. The Orcs assaulted Stormwind’s kingdom, eager to plunder and claim its lands for their own. This was the start of what is now called the First War.
The clerics of Northshire took up arms to defend their lands from the orcish invasion, but it became evident that it would take incredible efforts to defeat the evils that threatened them. Their holy order of clerics took great losses; as strong as they were in spirit, they lacked the formal martial training of knights and had little understanding of the art of war.
Archbishop Alonsus Faol formed a new order that would combine the restorative and destructive powers of the Light with the strict martial training of the knights. Archbishop Faol chose his apprentice Uther to be the first of this new order. These holy knights became known as Paladins, with Uther being appointed the First Paladin.
The order started by Archbishop Alonsus Faol was known as the Order of the Silver Hand. The Archbishop recruited knights willing to learn how to wield the Light and clerics ready to take up arms for their noble cause. The Paladin’s potent combination of fighting prowess and holy powers made them incredibly formidable opponents in battle, and Uther was the greatest among them.
After the First War, many of the survivors of Stormwind traveled to Lordaeron to seek aid and succor from King Terenas Menethil II. The leader of Lordaeron formed alliances between the human kingdoms to unite them against the orcish Horde that swarmed over the lands.
The orcs assaulted numerous cities and key points throughout the Eastern Kingdoms, with the Alliance doing their best to try and stop the them. However, not all human kingdoms within Lordaeron rallied to the Alliance’s cause. The Kingdom of Alterac, led by Lord Perenolde, chose to instead strike a deal with the Horde, fearing that the Horde would emerge victorious over the newfound Alliance once the smoke had cleared. This treachery caused numerous problems for the Alliance, and led to an attempt on Uther’s life.
The Horde’s forces were slowly weakening against the growing Alliance. In a mighty push, the Alliance assaulted a major Horde fortress located in the Burning Steppes. Uther and his Paladins were on the front lines in the battle of Blackrock Spire, and he earned the honorific “Lightbringer” after the battle.
With the capture of the Horde Warchief, the Alliance pressed on to the orc’s last stand: the Dark Portal itself. General Turalyon led the Alliance’s charge against the orcs at the Dark Portal in what was considered the fiercest battle of the Second War. The Azerothian side of the Dark Portal was destroyed, thanks in part to the bravery and skill of Uther Lightbringer and the Order of the Silver Hand.
After the Second War, Uther continued to bravely serve the Alliance and its people, mentoring new Paladins to the Order and serving as a shining example to aspiring knights and clerics throughout the Eastern Kingdoms. Uther took on the task of tutoring King Terenas’s talented son, Prince Arthas Menethil, in the ways of the Paladin. Arthas and Uther trained together for years and grew as close as a family.
As the Third War began, Uther’s assistance was requested and he met with the young Jaina Proudmoore. Jaina brought dire news—the mysterious plague that was ravaging the kingdom was turning the infected into the undead Scourge, and Hearthglen was under attack from the seemingly endless army of undead victims that had fallen to this horrific illness. Uther and his Paladins came just in time to help Jaina and Arthas, saving Hearthglen with their combined efforts.
Determined to save his kingdom, Arthas pressed on to Stratholme, but it was too late—the townsfolk had consumed tainted grain, the mechanism for quickly and efficiently spreading the plague throughout the kingdom, and would soon become the Scourge. Arthas ordered Uther and the Knights of the Silver Hand to destroy the town and the innocent people within. Uther adamantly refused the orders of the young Prince, telling Arthas he would not follow such an order—even if Arthas was the king himself. Furious with Uther’s defiance, Arthas accused Uther of treason and relieved Uther from command of the Knights of the Silver Hand and ordered those loyal to Lordaeron to join him in purging Stratholme of the impending evil. Uther took the Paladins that remained loyal to him and left Stratholme, abandoning Arthas to his barbaric actions.
Uther informed King Terenas Menethil of his son’s inhumane actions in Stratholme, and much to the sorrow of the King, they agreed that Arthas’ judgment, and perhaps sanity, was wavering. Terenas sent an emissary to recall Arthas’ expedition in Northrend and order their return to the Kingdom of Lordaeron.
Arthas returned some time later, to the joy and celebration of Lordaeron’s townsfolk. However, Uther and the townsfolk were all shocked as Arthas drew the cursed Runeblade, Frostmourne, and slew his father in the Lordaeron throne room.
Uther had lost his king and one of his closest friends. He vowed to personally guard the king’s remains, which were placed in a ceremonial urn within Andorhal. There would be no safe haven for Uther and the remaining Order of the Silver Hand. Arthas, now a death knight, commanded his undead forces and swarmed the town, intent on taking Terenas’s urn for their own dark purposes. Uther would not back down from the impossible odds, bravely and defiantly standing toe to toe against the death knight to defend Terenas’ remains in a battle for the ages. Uther met his end at the hands of his former pupil, whom he once loved and cared for like his own son.
Uther’s tomb can be found in the Western Plaguelands, a shining beacon of hope in a land once overcome by darkness. His legacy lives on through the actions and teachings of the Paladins, Azeroth’s brave defenders of the Light.
Uther’s legend lives on in Hearthstone, and his legacy of the Light (and how to swing it) shines on in every Paladin today. One of the Paladin’s staple abilities, the Hand of Protection, erects a Divine Shield around a minion, protecting it from a single source of damage. Protect your minions from even the most devastating damage with a Hand of Protection and they’ll thank you for it!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this look into Uther’s history and his role in Hearthstone. What class would you like to see featured next? Tell us in the comments below!
Read about the history of the other Heroes of Hearthstone here: