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Grommash "Grom" Hellscream was the chieftain of the Warsong clan, and best friend and chief advisor to Warchief Thrall. He was the first orc who drank the blood of Mannoroth the Destructor, thus binding the Horde to the Burning Legion — and he would eventually pay the ultimate price to free himself and his people from the curse.
Grom acts as a key protagonist during Warcraft 3 and functions as the main antagonist of Warlords of Draenor.
"Grommash" means "The Giant's Heart" in orcish. Grom, a powerful blademaster, was the best friend and adviser of Thrall, so much so that Thrall considered him a brother. They would eventually fight against the demonic entity that bound the orcish race to slavery: Mannoroth. The two orcs won, but at a terrible price; Grom's life. He lies buried in Ashenvale, in the area now known as Demon Fall Canyon, which is near the site where he and Thrall destroyed Mannoroth. Leaving a candle here during the Harvest Festival will allow the player to read "The Horde's Hellscream." In memory of him is Grommash Hold, in Orgrimmar, as well as the Grom'Gol Base Camp in Stranglethorn Vale. Just outside the hold was Mannoroth's armor, however it has since been relocated outside the Tauren area, complete with axe-hole and a plaque dedicated to Grom. His axe, , now belongs to his son Garrosh Hellscream. It drops from of Karazhan.
Grom Hellscream is playable in missions of Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal. His clan is also clearly evident throughout the human campaigns. His missions in the Warcraft II expansion include destroying an order of death knights loyal to Mogor the ogre-mage. Grom is one of a few heroes of the orcish Horde that makes a reappearance in both the ill-fated Warcraft Adventures game and the Lord of the Clans novel which both roughly lay out the same story. Grom also makes an appearance (unnamed) in the short story Unbroken, by Micky Neilson, during the sacking of Shattrath City by the orcish Horde.
Invasion of Azeroth
One of the orc chieftains of legend. Prior to the creation of the Dark Portal, Grom Hellscream was the uncontested leader of the Warsong clan, marked by his slim build and black-tattooed lower jaw. Suspicions floated away the previous chieftain's death, giving rise to the notion that Grom usurped the position, rather than gain it though heredity like Durotan. Though he was stubborn, he was the first to give heed to the prospect of war when Ner'zhul warned the other clans of a "new old enemy", the draenei. He lead the invasion against Shattrath City against the draenei; he was described as being a tattooed, fiery-eyed massive orc carrying a wicked two-handed axe, with raven-hued hair, and his lower jaw had been colored as black as pitch. He fought against Nobundo and succeeded in taking the city.
His clan was spared the defeats of the Second Great War, Gul'dan having manipulated Grom into staying behind on Draenor. The Horde was defeated by the Alliance of Lordaeron with Grom and his clan never having faced the humans in battle.
He was used with effectiveness by Ner'zhul in the aftermath of the Second War. His forces, combined with that of the Bleeding Hollow clan led by Kilrogg Deadeye, were used in strategic hit-and-run raids designed to retrieve some of Azeroth's most powerful magical artifacts.
Revitalization of the Horde
With the destruction of their only passage home and the successful vanquishing of the orcish strike forces, Grom and the Warsong clan were forced into hiding in the wilds of Lordaeron. They eked out an existence on the edge of human civilization for nearly 15 years. All of this time, Grom was forced to fight the demonic curse that had left him weakened and listless. Where other orcs gave into this malaise, Grom fought it to the end of his days. As the number of free orcs was diminished by conflict and old age, their situation looked more and more hopeless. The young and weak were unable to thrive in this harsh environment and the day of reckoning looked to be closing in on the Warsong clan.
Then Grom had a young orc named Thrall seek him out. Inspired by Thrall's courage, strength and mercy, he accepted the young outcast and taught Thrall more of the ways of the orc nations. When the humans searching for Thrall got too close, Thrall left his side. He was given Grom's necklace as a symbol of the trust placed in Thrall by Grom. The Warsong clan led by Grom was reunited with Orgrim Doomhammer and Thrall's lost clan, the Frostwolves. Battling against the human internment camps surrounding the stronghold of Durnholde, the two clans set about freeing and reinvigorating the orcish nations.
While the orcish horde was looking for land to settle on in Lordaeron, they were instructed by the new Warchief Thrall to journey across the seas to the strange new continent of Kalimdor.
Invasion of Kalimdor
When Grom began to again feel the twinge of the demonic curse, he proved unable to resist the sweet nectar it promised him. After attacking a human settlement at Stonetalon Mountain, disobeying direct orders from Thrall, he was given what was presumed to be an easy, out of the way mission to clear land and gather lumber for the new Horde's settlement. However, the night elves were angered when Grom's orcs began to cut down the trees in Ashenvale Forest and attacked without explanation. He received help from the goblin Neeloc Greedyfingers who gave him goblin shredders for killing a furbolg. The Warsongs under Grom managed to successfully defend themselves and kill their attackers, but by doing so they caught the attention of the demigod Cenarius. Determined to avenge the deaths of the night elves who had fallen against the Warsong Clan and protect the forest from what he saw as further desecration, Cenarius attempted to slaughter the orcs. Cenarius appeared to know something of the history of the orcs and was convinced they were "demon-spawned wretches" who deserved only death. In an exchange with the demigod during one skirmish Grom vehemently told him that the orcs no longer served any demons, but Cenarius didn't believe him and continued his attempts to kill them all. The orcs quickly discovered that Cenarius was invulnerable to conventional attacks. Death at Cenarius' hands seemed inevitable.
One of the troll witch doctors accompanying the Warsong Clan told Grom he sensed strange energies nearby which might be able to aid them in defeating Cenarius. When Grom investigated he discovered a fountain of blood. This was the doing of the pit lord Mannoroth, who had originally enslaved the orcs after Gul'dan convinced them to drink his blood with promises of power. Mannoroth saw Cenarius as a formidable obstacle standing in the way of the Burning Legion, as he had been during the War of the Ancients. The demon poured more of his blood into the fountain on a suggestion from Tichondrius, hoping that the orcs would once again drink it and become sufficiently re-energized with demonic power to kill Cenarius. There was also another reason Mannoroth hoped they would partake of his blood...
When Grom brought his troops to the fountain, the witch doctor told him that he could sense that the fountain contained demonic energy. One of Grom's soldiers told him that if they drank from the fountain they would be going against everything they had been taught by Thrall. But to Grom these things did not matter. Desperate to preserve his clan from this new threat, Grom drank from the fountain and either persuaded or forced those under his command to do likewise. Driven again by the demonic energies, Grom attacked and destroyed the demigod Cenarius' forces. Even the demigod himself was no match for the enraged orc chieftain's demon-enhanced might.
After Cenarius fell, Mannoroth appeared. By drinking the Blood of Mannoroth, the Warsong Clan were once again susceptible to the vile pit lord's control. When Mannoroth told him this Grom was horrified, but that horror was one of his final independent thoughts before Mannoroth exercised control and turned Grom and the rest of the clan into his slaves, causing them to despise Thrall and the rest of the Horde and make war on them and the humans, under Jaina Proudmoore, whom Thrall had since allied with. Determined to save his old friend, Thrall confronted Grom after fighting through the corrupted Warsong clan. When Thrall reached him, Grom told him the horrible truth of the demonic curse. The orc clan chieftains had willingly taken the bloodlust offered by the Burning Legion. They were not so much cursed as doomed by the willing choices made by their power-hungry leaders.
Thrall (with the help of Cairne Bloodhoof and his tauren) managed to capture Grom and bring him to Jaina, who worked with other magic-users from both her forces and Thrall's to perform a ritual that would release him from his blood curse.
Redemption and death
Upon learning the truth, Thrall and Grom set out to hunt down Mannoroth and located the vile demon in what is now Demon Fall Canyon in Ashenvale. Bellowing in rage, the Warchief struck out at Mannoroth with the Doomhammer, but the demonic leviathan shrugged off the attack and stunned Thrall with a vicious counterattack. After being taunted by Mannoroth that they were the same, Grom charged him and sank Gorehowl into Mannoroth's chest, shattering the breastplate and slicing through to the infernal heart of the demon. Mortally wounded, Mannoroth exploded in an inferno of flame, and Grom took its full fury alone. In a burst of hellfire, Mannoroth the Destructor was dead...
With nothing remaining of the pit lord but the shattered armor, Thrall made his way to where Hellscream lay in the dust. The crimson glow faded from his eyes; the blood curse which had damned his race for decades was finally over. With his best friend and Warchief at his side, the still-undefeated chieftain died at the site of his greatest triumph, both over the corruption of the Burning Legion and over the whispers of his own soul. With Mannoroth gone, the Legion's hold on the orcish race was forever shattered. Even those who had drank the blood of Mannoroth (willingly or otherwise) found that the curse had lifted, and that their souls were free from the shackles of demonic corruption. With that knowledge, Grom Hellscream left the mortal plane a redeemed spirit.
Grom has become a center of heated dispute after his death. Hellscream is generally viewed in the Horde as a hero and a savior, who fought a constant battle with his inner self which ultimately culminated into the death of Mannoroth and the end of the Blood Curse on the entire orcish race. However, he was also the very first chieftain to readily agree and eagerly partake of Mannoroth's blood, and retake it once more in Ashenvale, which indirectly resulted in the death of the night elf demigod Cenarius. To the outrage of the night elves, the orcs refuse to claim responsibility for Grom's actions. It was not the orcs who killed Cenarius, but fel orcs, and it was the orcs who took it upon themselves to slay their wayward brethren. By taking responsibility for Grom's actions the orcs would be acknowledging that they are still the old Horde.
Nonetheless, despite Grom's two instances of self-chosen corruption, he still remains a cultural hero, and his death is honored every year by thousands of Horde citizens. The legacy of Hellscream continues to be the major dampener that prevents orcs and night elves from cultivating a cordial relationship.
The great hall where Thrall holds court has been dubbed Grommash Hold, in honor of Thrall's fallen friend.
Grom was "slender, but tall and imposing", as mentioned by both Durotan and Thrall. However, his slenderness has changed overtime as he has drunk the blood of Mannoroth twice. As a normal brown skinned orc, he was well-muscled. Having drunk the blood of Mannoroth for the first time, he became a tainted orc, growing even more masculine. Becoming a chaos orc must have removed his slenderness and replaced it with massive strength and muscle, which explains why he was able to strike Mannoroth dead while Thrall couldn't do so.
Grom Hellscream's age
Grom Hellscream is an interesting case study in the changing timelines of the Warcraft universe. In the Warcraft III manual, Grom is dated at age 46. He is also listed as "…one of the first orcs to fall victim to the demons' curse on his race." Now this is very interesting, because that means that Grom has survived from the initial Burning Legion impressions on the orcs, clear through both great wars to the beginning of the Reign of Chaos.
In the original game's manual, we get the history of the world of Warcraft to the present date. This history is as transcribed by Garona of the Shadow Council. She details the initial portal rifts as taking a period of time for the orc warlocks to secure passage for a single clan.
At this point, we can start a timer. Garona tells her audience that the Shadow Council had made a "… request that they cease their war on other orc clans for one year." The orc clans push through a host of warriors that attack the nation of Azeroth's seat of power, Stormwind Keep. There they are pushed back by knights of Stormwind. Then, according to Garona, "It has been some fifteen years since this costly decision altered the course of our destiny." She has described there 16 years of history (however later timelines strip out most of these years in favor of 1 year between the initial decision and the First War, see Timelines).
Between the First War in the game Warcraft: Orcs and Humans and the Second War in the game Warcraft II, it is well established within the intro that six years pass (however later official timelines by Blizzard cut it down to two years between first and second war). That makes 22 years since the opening of the rift if using the old timeline (However it is only about 5–6 years since the opening of the rift if using one of the later timelines).
In the old timeline Beyond the Dark Portal manual implies that events of the expansion start one year after the Second War began, so about 23 years, however it is unclear when the expansion ends. Since we can't seem to date the length of time between the end of the expansion, we'll have to use the dating from the Warcraft III manual. However, in the newer timelines only about 7–8 years pass from the time of the first war for both Warcraft II and its expansion.
Here's where it gets interesting again. According to the Warcraft III manual, Thrall is discovered "during the dark days of the First War" and that he escapes from Durnholde, "Nineteen years passed…"(although strangely even the date of this event is set at different points of time on different timelines, including the version described in TBC) In the novel "Lord of the Clans" it takes Thrall about one year from his escape to his bittersweet and triumphant return to his childhood home. That gives us 20 years from the end of the First War if using the WC3 timeline. In this timeline, Grom would have had to be chieftain of his tribe at a maximum age of ten years old. This is validated from the novel "Rise of the Horde". When Durotan sees Grom during Ner'zhul's council he remarks on the "young chieftain of the Warsong clan," implying on his unusual youth for his position.
To make matters worse in some of the other 'official' timelines, the events of when Ner'zhul first contacted Kil'jaeden, was around 100 years before opening of the Dark Portal. Since Grom was supposed have been alive at the time, this would have made him over 100 years old at the time the portal was opened. It is said that orcs that have drunk the blood of demons can live for a very long time, since the fel magic sustains them.
PersonalityThis section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG, and thus unlikely to be canon.
Grom Hellscream moves with a warrior’s grace and his reflexes are fast and abrupt. He is proud of his achievements but willingly serves Thrall (or any other master), as he is content in his role as chieftain of the Warsong clan. Grom is honorable and admires his enemies’ fighting prowess. He is devoted to his race and his traditions. Though Thrall has calmed his soul, Grom still seethes with suppressed rage. He speaks with a deep, guttural voice that is used to command. Grom was one of the most Bloodlust-ridden orcs of all time during battle, but still was able to control it during battles.
CombatThis section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG, and thus unlikely to be canon.
Grom is devastating in melee and he knows it. He eagerly charges into the thickest part of any battle, giving in to his rage, and lays waste with the mighty Gorehowl. Though he knows that slaying enemy wizards and healers is to his tactical advantage, he cannot resist going toe-to-toe against powerful melee fighters. Against such opponents he uses his critical strike and maximum damage abilities, and uses blade whirlwind when lesser foes surround him.
Monument to Grom HellscreamThis section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft. Located in the southeastern part of Ashenvale, there stands a , located presumably at the spot he was slain in the aftermath of Mannoroth's death. The exact coordinates are [82, 78] and the inscription reads as such:
- "Here lies Grommash Hellscream, Chieftain of the Warsong Clan.
- In many ways, the curse of our people began and ended with Grom. His name meant "Giant's Heart" in our ancient tongue. He earned that name a hundred fold as he stood alone before the demon Mannoroth — and won our freedom with his blood.
- Lok'Tar Ogar, Big Brother. May the Warsong never fade.
- — Thrall, Warchief of the Horde"
In CataclysmThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
In Warlords of DraenorThis section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.
- Main article: Grommash Hellscream (alternate)
In the movieThis section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft movie or its sequels.
Grommash makes several cameo appearances in the movie, albeit without any spoken dialogue.
Level 10 Grom Hellscream (Possessed) Statistics in Warcraft III
|Wind Walk||Mirror Image||Critical Strike||Bladestorm|
|Grom Hellscreams abilities in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos.|
|The same as the regular Blademaster.|
- 1025 HP
- 540 MP
- 52-74 (+11 Item)
- 9 Divine armor (+7.3 item)
- 37 Strength (+11 Item)
- 38 Agility (+11 Item) Primary Attribute
- 36 Intelligence (+11 Item)
- Wind Walk
- Mirror Image
- Critical Strike
- Items (Reign of Chaos Orc campaign: By Demons Be Driven level)
In the battle with the Humans in Kalimdor
- Grom: Save your breath human! You'll need it to scream when I start tearing off your limbs!
In the battle with the Humans in Kalimdor
- Grom: Don't lecture me, pup! The wretches deserved death! Don't you feel it, Thrall? It's like the old days... like the demons are near!
After he drank the blood of Mannoroth
- Grom: Yes! I feel the power once again! Come, my warriors! Drink from the dark waters and you will be reborn!
After killing Cenarius:
After meet Thrall in his encampment:
- Grom:Ah, Thrall. You always believed the demons corrupted our race, but it's only a half truth. We gave ourselves up willingly on Draenor! The other chieftain and I.. we drank Mannoroth blood, Thrall. We brought this curse for ourselves!
After killing Mannoroth:
- Grom: Thrall... the blood haze has lifted... the demon's fire has burnt out in my veins....I...have...freed...myself...
- Thrall: No, old friend...you've freed us all.
Before drinking the blood of Mannoroth (Alternate Timeline in Warlords of Draenor)
- Grom: And what, Guldan, must we give in return?
- Guldan ...everything.
After killing Mannoroth (Alternate Timeline in Warlords of Draenor)
- Grom: We will never be slaves! But we will... be conquerors.
- Grom's name may be of Slavic origin. Grom (Гром) means thunder in Bosnian, Macedonian, Croatian, Polish, Russian, Serbian, and Slovenian making his given name thematically linked to his surname.
- It is greatly implied that his son is trying to live up to his father's accomplishments, although Grom would probably be disgusted with his son's actions.
- Grom would actually be a skillful Warchief, unlike his son, as Grom understood what was in the best interests of the Horde and wouldn't go to war recklessly, as shown when he didn't attack Jaina's soldiers after she managed to help Thrall free him from the blood curse.
- Book Warcraft: Lord of the Clans & Rise of the Horde, by Christie Golden
- Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal
- Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
- Official Lore
| Preceded by:|
Chieftain of the Warsong Clan
| Succeeded by:|
| Preceded by:|
None, Position established
Warchief of the Iron Horde
| Succeeded by:|