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Our bond is iron, our will unbreakable. Who will stand against us?
- Grommash Hellscream
The Iron Horde is the name given to the new Horde created under the vision of Garrosh Hellscream after he escaped imprisonment at the hands of the Alliance, Horde, and pandaren and travelled back through time. Garrosh Hellscream returned to Draenor at the time shortly before his father Grommash was to drink the blood of Mannoroth 35 years earlier. His intention was to not only stop the orcs' corruption and enslavement to the Burning Legion (which ultimately lead to the destruction of their home world), but to also influence an outcome and path where the new Iron Horde (pure-blooded and uncorrupted orcs) could lead a new era of conquest. Garrosh equipped the Iron Horde with technology from his time. His intent was to re-align the Dark Portal and bring this army into the present to crush his enemies on Azeroth.
Some time after Garrosh's death at the hands of Thrall, Grommash again refused to accept the blood of Mannoroth when Gul'dan once again urged him to drink it. When he refused, Gul'dan imprisoned him and assumed control of the Iron Horde. Some of the Iron Horde would later fall under the effects of the Blood Curse that Gul'dan developed. Kilrogg Deadeye was the first to drink the blood of Mannoroth and become corrupted.
The Shadowmoon clan is led by their chieftain Ner'zhul. These orcs make their home within Shadowmoon Valley. They are profoundly linked to the spiritual world and have many seers, astrologers, and speakers of the dead among their ranks. Their strength lies within their mastery of the dark arts.
The Blackrock clan is led by Blackhand himself. These orcs make their home within Gorgrond. The Blackrock are a disciplined, organized, and militaristic clan who boast expert smiths and metalworkers. Well-armored, they utilize brute strength and weaponry to destroy their foes.
The Shattered Hand clan is led by the twisted Kargath Bladefist. These orcs make their home among the Spires of Arak. These former slaves have been drawn together through a macabre embracing pain, both self-inflicted and imposed upon others. It is through this pain that they believe they gather strength, and their reputation as relentless and dirty fighters is well-earned.
The Warsong clan is led by legendary Grommash Hellscream himself. This orc clan makes their home in the lush land of Nagrand. The mounted raiders of the Warsong favor speed and maneuverability in battle — they move quickly, strike swiftly, and are away before their enemies know what hit them. Their war cries inspire their allies and strike fear into all those who dare get in their way.
The Thunderlord clan is an orc clan that lives within the Frostfire Ridge. The clan is known for its excellent hunters, which are specialized in hunting down Draenor giants. They use the skeletal remains of the killed giants as settlements. Like the other orc clans, the Thunderlord clan has received the call for orcish unity from the Iron Horde. They are on the verge of joining the Iron Horde, but the Frostwolf clan attempts to stop them.
The foundation of all Iron Horde technology is a primitive, coal-fired centrifugal engine which can be used to turn wheels, belts, and chains, allowing for the construction of crude vehicles and siege weapons, including tanks, cannons, and chariots. The Kor'kron Iron Star, an early, unmounted version of this engine, was first unleashed by orcish siege engineers during the final battle of the Siege of Orgrimmar, and it is this technology that Garrosh smuggles into the past.
The Kor'kron Iron Star was incorporated into the final encounter with Garrosh during the Siege of Orgrimmar specifically to foreshadow the Iron Horde.
Despite being shown together with the other warlords, Durotan and Gul'dan and their respective clans and tribes were not a part of the Iron Horde.
Despite Garrosh creating the Iron Horde in an effort to prevent the orcs from being cursed and bound to the Burning Legion as they were in his time line, they still eventually do so following Garrosh's death.
This is due to Kilrogg Deadeye, instead of Grommash Hellscream (as it was originally).
Initial planning for Warlords of Draenor began prior to the launch of Mists of Pandaria, with developers considering several different possibilities for Garrosh's new Horde, including a "Dark Horde" and a "Mongrel Horde," which would have been comprised of displaced races such as gnolls, kobolds, troggs, and centaurs.