|Title||Betrayer, Huntress, Leader of the Watchers|
|Race||Night elf (Humanoid)|
|Level||72 Elite (?? Boss in Black Temple)|
|Character class||Priestess (previously); Warden (WC3); Rogue, Fighter, Warden (WCRPG)|
|Affiliation||Ashtongue Deathsworn, Night elves, Watchers, Elune|
|Position||Warden, Bounty Hunter, and eventually Executioner of Illidan Stormrage.|
|Location||Warden's Cage, Shadowmoon Valley or Black Temple, Shadowmoon Valley|
|Relative(s)||Jarod Shadowsong (brother)|
- "She has become vengeance itself, bound forever to the hunt. I only pray that in her zeal, she doesn’t cause even more havoc than Illidan."
- — Malfurion Stormrage
Warden Maiev Shadowsong, along with her younger brother Jarod Shadowsong, played a key role in the battle against the Burning Legion during the War of the Ancients. In the aftermath, Maiev asked to be and was appointed the jailor of Illidan Stormrage and took on the mantle of leader of the Watchers. After Illidan rose to power in Outland, Maiev was imprisoned at the Warden's Cage in Shadowmoon Valley, where Akama and his Ashtongue Deathsworn served as her jailors.
Maiev allied with Akama and snuck into to the Black Temple during a Sha'tari attack, where she joined Akama and the adventurers he had rallied in the final battle against Illidan. Fuelled by the desire for vengeance, Maiev struck the final blow that ended the Betrayer's life...but instead of relishing in her victory, she became a shell of her former self, admitting that with Illidan now dead, she was nothing.
Maiev is voiced by the actress Debi Mae West in both Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne and World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. She appears to be alive in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and is under the service of Akama. On the other hand, the loading screen image might only reference tribute to her achievements alongside Akama in the Black Temple, and does not insinuate her being alive or dead. Maiev's alliance with Akama seems shady overall as she does exclaim "Curse you, Akama! I am not a pawn in your game...my will is my own. When I unleash my wrath upon Illidan it will have nothing to do with your foolish scheme!" after a player completes the Burning Crusade pre-BT quests Quest:Akama.
The War of the Ancients
Maiev was originally a young priestess of Elune during the War of the Ancients. She was stationed at the Hajiri temple in northwestern Kalimdor just before the War of the Ancients. Like the rest of the sisterhood, Maiev took up arms against the Burning Legion at the start of the invasion, joining the resistance under Kur'talos Ravencrest. She could do little but observe the destruction, and witnessed demons slaughtering her family and friends. She was horrified. When Tyrande was declared the new High Priestess, a disgruntled Maiev raised an opposition, though she knew better than to deny Tyrande's power. Following her disappearance and the death of Marinda, Maiev was elected High Priestess by default. This reunited her with her estranged brother Jarod.
Maiev was an opponent of the leadership of Desdel Stareye, but took no action for fear of dividing the troops. She urged Jarod to do something, but her brother wouldn't listen. After Stareye fell in "combat", and Jarod was recognized commander of the host, Maiev neglected to say, "I told you so". Maiev continued to serve with distinction, and grudgingly relinquished the office of High Priestess back to Tyrande. When she miraculously survived the War of the Ancients, she was certain that arcane magic was a horrid, filthy power that had brought doom to the world. Maiev was selected as Tyrande's second in the sisterhood, and accompanied the leaders of the night elf survivors to their inspection of a water source upon Mount Hyjal's summit. There they discovered that a pristine lake had been transformed into a new Well of Eternity by Illidan Stormrage.
Outraged, the night elves hastened to apprehend the traitor. During Illidan's capture, he unleashed an arcane attempt to resist arrest that nearly claimed the lives of all in the party, rendering Dath'Remar Sunstrider and Jarod comatose. Only the efforts of Tyrande, Shandris Feathermoon, and Dath'Remar's wife ensured Illidan's capture and the heroes' survival.
Knowing full well where Illidan's ruthless schemes would eventually lead, Illidan's brother Malfurion decided to deal with his power-crazed brother once and for all. With Cenarius's help, Malfurion sealed Illidan within a vast underground barrow prison, where he would remain chained and powerless until the end of time.
The second Well of Eternity's creation shocked Maiev, and she was glad when Malfurion imprisoned Illidan beneath the earth. In fact, she approached the druid and demanded that she be allowed to watch over him, ensuring that he never escaped to wreak his evil. The young elf's zeal and skills impressed Malfurion, and he appointed her Illidan’s eternal jailor.
Thus it came to pass that Maiev led the Watchers, a specialist sect of night elves who were not Sentinels, dedicated to the imprisonment of the Betrayer and the upkeep of the Barrow Deeps. Though her primary charge was Illidan Stormrage, Maiev, as senior warden, also served as bounty hunter and assassin of enemies and escaped criminals. Cenarius stationed Califax and a number of tamed beasts to aid them in their task. Maiev served well for 10,000 years, training constantly.
After The Third War
After ten thousand years of security, the Barrow Deeps were raided by Tyrande Whisperwind, who recklessly murdered the Watchers and Califax, and then released Illidan from his prison, hoping to use him to defeat the Legion. However, when he absorbed the Skull of Gul'dan, he was banished from Ashenvale. Despite Illidan's major contribution to the war effort by slaying the dreadlord Tichondrius, Maiev concluded that the Skull of Gul'dan made Illidan even more unstable (the truth of the deduction has yet to be established). She resolved to hunt him down and lock him away again.
With her lieutenant Naisha at her side, Maiev pursued Illidan throughout Kalimdor. With his impromptu force of satyrs and other corrupt creatures, he managed to keep her at bay, but to her credit, Maiev stayed close to him as he fled.
Finally, Maiev closed in on him in Queen Azshara's former provincial holdings, now on the coast of Kalimdor, where he had destroyed many fishing villages and left nothing but mutilated bodies and flaming footprints in his wake. But Maiev found some tracks which she could not identify...
Maiev soon found the creatures who had made the tracks. They identified themselves as the naga, and professed servitude to Illidan. Maiev defeated them, but was troubled that they were burning boats, and thought that perhaps Illidan meant to flee across the ocean. Maiev took to the port of Nendis, where she found Illidan stealing away in a transport. The naga began to destroy the ships, but Maiev killed them before they completed their task. Maiev quickly found some transport ships, and took the Watchers across the sea.
They stopped unexpectedly soon when they came across some islands which were not on their maps, but Maiev knew where they were, as she had once spent a great deal of time there. The Broken Isles were the remains of Suramar. As she established a base camp, Maiev found landmarks she recognized from the ancient, ruined city, such as the library of Izal-Shurah, and the Boughs of Azshara. Naisha realized that the city must have been raised from the seafloor for some sinister purpose, and Maiev commented that few powers were capable of such a thing.
Maiev found the answer when she came across Drak'Thul, a former warlock of the Stormreaver Clan. Drak'Thul told her that he was hunted by ghosts, and that if Maiev rid the island of them he would tell her his tale. The warden later found the ghosts of which he spoke: animated orcish corpses fighting one another, as if reliving a battle fought in their former lives (in fact they were former members of the Blackrock Clan, the Twilight's Hammer Clan and the Stormreaver Clan). Maiev destroyed the summoning pits that kept bringing the dead orcs back to repeat the cycle of battle and death and then returned to Drak'Thul to inform him that the dead would no longer trouble him. Drak'Thul then told her his tale as promised. He recounted how he had been a disciple of Gul'dan, the warlock who raised the islands twenty years before to search for the powers of the Dark Titan. Gul'dan hoped to gain power, but instead he and the rest of his Stormreaver clan unleashed crazed demons who slaughtered all but a handful of the warlocks, Drak'Thul among the survivors. He had lived on the island since, haunted by the ghosts of his dead comrades. Maiev told him that he deserved a far worse punishment than that for what he and the Stormreavers had unleashed. Troubled by the news, Maiev suspected that the Tomb of Sargeras was Illidan's goal here, as well. After battling through his ample forces of naga, Maiev and Naisha chased Illidan into the Tomb itself.
While there, Maiev read magical orcish runes Gul'dan had created to relate his tale. It continually referenced an "Eye," which seemed to be an artifact, and Maiev guessed that this was what Illidan sought. Maiev and Naisha realized that the Eye must have been tremendously powerful for Gul'dan to have been lured by it so potently. It was never revealed how Maiev gained the ability to read orcish runes.
Maiev soon had a run-in with the leader of the naga, Lady Vashj, who told her that the night elves' justice had no place in the Broken Isles. Maiev asked Vashj what she knew of their justice, and Vashj replied that she was once a night elf herself, and that the explosion of the Well of Eternity had transformed them into the naga. She may have actually recognized who Vashj was from Tyrande's accounts of the events at Zin-Azshari.
Maiev, however, displayed a simple revulsion for the Naga, and chased Illidan into the central chamber, where he had already found the Eye of Sargeras. Since Illidan had been confined by Maiev for ten thousand years, he felt that trapping her in the tomb (alive or otherwise) was the least he could do to repay her, caving in the Eye Chamber before teleporting himself out. Naisha and the Watchers were stranded, but Maiev, using her abilities, teleported through the temple and reluctantly left her forces to die in the dark tomb.
Maiev battled an army of naga as she sent a runner out to sea to get a message to Malfurion Stormrage to plea for assistance. She was being attacked by a large naga force led by Serena Scarscale. After a desperate battle, the runner was away, and Maiev quickly returned to her base to defend her Watchers.
After taking heavy damage, on the island of the Broken Isles south of Izal-Shurah, Maiev was finally reinforced by Malfurion, but was displeased to find that Tyrande had come along as well. She snidely proclaimed that Tyrande deserved to be locked in a cage just as Illidan was, to which Tyrande fired back that she was doing what was right at the time. Before they could come to blows, Malfurion told them to let it be for now and focus on the matters at hand, namely winning the battle against the naga forces led by Lady Serpentra. After they defeated the naga, however, Illidan took to the sea and fled once again. The three heroes were quick to follow.
They arrived upon the shores of Silverpine Forest in Lordaeron. After Malfurion left them to commune with the forests, Maiev bowed to Tyrande's greater knowledge of the Alliance and Tyrande met Kael'thas, the prince of the blood elves. When told of Illidan, Kael thought that perhaps that was the reason that the undead were so agitated in Dalaran. Maiev wanted to get back on the hunt as soon as possible, but Tyrande wished to help Kael; Maiev's objections were silenced when Kael agreed to help them fight Illidan. The two warriors escorted Kael's caravan to Pyrewood Village, where they were suddenly ambushed. Kael and Maiev saw his caravan across the river while Tyrande held the line on the bridge. When she called down the stars of Elune to destroy the undead, Elune's fury was unleashed. The bridge, unable to stand the weight of a fully armored night elf on tigerback, crumbled beneath Tyrande, and she was swept down the river.
Kael was about to attempt to save her when Maiev stopped him. She knew that time was growing short, and that Illidan had to be stopped, and insisted that Tyrande had been prepared to make the sacrifice if needed. She demanded that Kael help her find the demon in return for her assistance protecting his caravan. Kael helped her track Illidan to Dalaran's ruins, where they met up with Malfurion, who had felt the land being torn apart and seen a vision that it was Illidan's doing. He suspected the worst and feared for the fate of the world itself. Maiev told Malfurion that Tyrande had been torn apart, and that his only recourse was to gain revenge on Illidan. Maiev reminded Malfurion that Tyrande would never have come to Lordaeron and met her alleged death if not for Illidan's actions, and thus he was to blame. Malfurion's grief and anger made him completely focused on stopping and punishing his brother, just as Maiev had hoped.
With the help of Kael and a paladin of the Silver Hand — Magroth the Defender — Maiev and Malfurion pushed back Illidan's naga on the Dalaran ruins and destroyed the Naga Summoners casting spells around the Eye. Cornering Illidan with the night elf and Alliance forces, Malfurion grimly told his brother that for what he had done this time confinement would not be sufficient and that he was to be put to death. Maiev enthusiastically volunteered to execute him personally then and there. Illidan explained that his spell had not been meant to harm anybody but the Lich King at Northrend and his undead servants, whom the Night Elves surely had no love for. His spell had been specifically targeting the area where the Frozen Throne was based. Not placated, Malfurion raged that Illidan had given no thought to the cost of his actions and that Tyrande had died because of him. Illidan was shattered by this statement, since he had never wanted anything to happen to the woman he loved and had even tried to dissuade her from following him to Lordaeron since he was concerned for her safety. Then Kael spoke up, much to Maiev's chagrin, saying it was premature to pronounce her dead. The blood elven prince explained the bridge's collapse and the noted absence of tearing apart. Malfurion, understandably furious with Maiev for her lies, entangled her. He asked her bitterly who the "betrayer" was now.
They found Tyrande in Silverpine Forest, now with more hope, Illidan was quick to volunteer the services of his naga who could scour the river and reach Tyrande faster than the night elves. Malfurion accepted his offer, and they were able to save Tyrande.
When Maiev finally did get free (exactly why it took her so long isn't explained), she tracked down Malfurion, and found him allowing Illidan to go free. Furious at his apparent folly, she took what Watchers would follow her and pursued Illidan into the portal he had formed, ignoring Tyrande's insistence that Illidan was no longer a threat. Malfurion alone knew what Maiev had become: she was now vengeance itself.
When she arrived on the other side, she found herself in the ruins of the orcish homeworld, Draenor. Now, though, without his servitors to protect him, Illidan was easy prey. Maiev and her followers pursued him long and hard in the desolate, broken wasteland, and eventually, she caught him and imprisoned him under a magical sedative.
As she was escorting him back to her base, however, Maiev was ambushed by Vashj's naga, and — to her shock — Kael's blood elves. The Watchers fought Illidan's forces back and forth for control of Illidan's prison wagon, but eventually Kael and Vashj were victorious, and the wagon was secured at his base. There have been rumors that an unidentified pandaren assisted in the rescue, but these have been neither confirmed nor disproved (see "Appearance in The Frozen Throne campaigns" section of Pandaren Brewmaster).
The Burning CrusadeThis section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
Maiev first appears in the Warden's Cage in Shadowmoon Valley, guarded by Akama and his Ashtongue Deathsworn. She is indignant that Akama seems to be merely sitting there, scheming, while Illidan's grasp over Outland tightens. However, Maiev and Akama join forces to overthrow Illidan, and enter the Black Temple aided by their allies (at the end of the Medallion of Karabor quest chain). Akama begins the encounter with Illidan and aids the party in battling him. At some point towards the end, Maiev joins the party and helps out by laying traps to incapacitate Illidan. During the battle, Maiev taunts Illidan several times in reference to the pain that he has caused her, from forcing her to guard his prison for 10,000 years by committing his crimes to causing the death of Naisha. In the end, when Illidan is near death, Maiev remarks that he is beaten, but as he dies Illidan says that the huntress is nothing without the hunted. With the drive for vengeance gone, Maiev states that she is indeed nothing.
Post-Cataclysm - World of Warcraft: Wolfheart
Maiev appears in Wolfheart as one of two primary antagonists. She is revealed as being still alive and living in Darnassus as leader of the Watchers. She is ultimately shown to be behind the assassinations of the Highborne which causes conflict between the Highborne and Malfurion. She takes Malfurion captive and attempts to kill the rest of the Highborne. It is stated that she has gone mad, along with some of the other Watchers. She is defeated by Jarod Shadowsong, whom hesitates slaying her, allowing her to escape. She is, as of now still alive and on the run from Jarod and his new squad.
Personal traitsThis section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG, and thus unlikely to be canon.
Maiev is a driven, austere individual. She both fears and despises arcane magic, and shows her derision openly to its practitioners. Aloof and silent, Maiev is always concerned with her duties or latest assignment. She does not care for the company of others; she refuses to let interpersonal relationships interfere with her cause. Maiev moves with fluid, deadly grace. Her voice is velvet-covered steel. Maiev is cold; her only warmth comes from her rage when she thinks of the Legion’s destruction and Illidan’s horrible treason. Hers is an achingly lonely existence.
Maiev sees things very much in black and white, and in recent years, lost belief in the concepts of rehabilitation or redemption that she was trained to uphold in Elune's name. She is unwilling to forgive any association that is tied to the Legion or brings harm to others, whether a large one such as Illidan's ultimately siding with Azshara and causing the deaths of millions of life-forms or a comparatively small one such as Drak'Thul's presence during the raising of the Tomb of Sargeras, leading to the deaths of many orcs.
Maiev is loyal to her comrades and determined to ensure they come to no harm. Her fury at Illidan was originally motivated by her disapproval of his actions with Azshara and the fact that he nearly killed Jarod. Later, she is driven to blind hatred after his murder of Naisha and the other Watchers.
By tracing her personality first as a priestess, then as a warden, and finally as vengeance, we can see how she came to hate Illidan in particular. Her election as Illidan's jailor really meant that she became as much a prisoner as he; they merely occupied opposite sides of the bars. Given that, her resentment and rage towards Illidan is easy to understand.
Her first motivation was to punish Illidan for his transgression (which a Kaldorei tribunal sentenced him to, not she), then to stop him from killing anyone else, and finally, pure vengeance.
CombatThis section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG, and thus unlikely to be canon.
Maiev prefers to strike vulnerable targets from surprise, often sending her forces to distract the enemy while she uses her blink ability to appear behind them. She throws a slicing torrent against lesser opponents, or uses her Fan of Knives if surrounded. If facing her quarry, she uses the umbra crescents greater shadow strike ability before moving in to attack. After one strike, she blinks away and casts hold person. If the target succumbs to the spell, she moves forward quickly to finish him off or secure the captive. If he resists hold person, Maiev activates her weapon's quickened shadow strike abilities to assail her target at range. If the enemy still stands, she uses her own lesser shadow strike ability and charges into melee, where she wields her umbra crescent with two hands. If pressed, Maiev flees via blink, greater invisibility, and expeditious retreat.
According to The Frozen Throne, Maiev was "slain", and several other sources say that Maiev Shadowsong died or is believed to have been slain (see Alliance & Horde Compendium page 9, Shadows & Light page 51 and Alliance Player's Guide page 68, and Warcraft Encyclopedia).
The "death" originates from the mission, The Search for Illidan, in which the mission objective is to slay the guardians of the cage, the Watchers, carrying Illidan to the Sentinels base. There were four guardians included Maiev;
Lord Illidan has been captured by the cunning Warden in a cage of magical enchantments. Slay the guardians of the cage and take it from the Night Elves before they reach safety the safety of their base.
To complete the mission objective, Maiev must be "slain" along with the other three Watchers, in order to unlock the next mission. After being "slain", she is resurrected several times from an invulnerable Altar of Elders (though it became vulnerable if the complete night elf base was destroyed) in the Sentinels base. Her death can be explained away with the resurrections.
Here's the corresponding quote from Shadows & Light:
Sinking into vengeful madness, Maiev pursued Illidan all the way to Outland. Emotion clouded her vision, and Illidan slipped away from her several times. Finally, when Maiev was all but blinded by frustration and vengeance, the Betrayer got the better of her. Maiev died alone on the red sand, unmourned, unsung, with none to remember her fall, her soul empty of all but rage.
The warden article in Alliance Player's Guide discusses the information from an in-universe POV, and mentions that other wardens believe she died, and the ways they view her "failure". Here is the corresponding quote from Alliance Player's Guide;
The most (in)famous warden is Maiev Shadowsong, the woman responsible for keeping the most dangerous prisoner in night elf history - Illidan Stormrage. Maiev failed in her duties, as all know, and hunted Illidan across Azeroth and Outland to retrieve him. Her hunt and failure embittered her, and when Illidan bested her in Outland, Maiev died alone and hollow on an alien, red world. Despite Maiev's failure, many young wardens see her as the epitome of dedication. Though her charge escaped, she pursued him across the worlds, giving up only when death prevented her from continuing her chase. Other wardens view Maiev with ambivalence, seeing her single-minded focus as responsible for her failure.
Warcraft Encyclopedia explains further;
Her lengthy absence from Azeroth, together with Illidan's continued freedom, has led the night elves to presume her dead
However, her appearance in the Black Temple proves she was not dead, merely imprisoned. Her fate following Illidan's demise is not known, but it is possible she died as her purpose in life was gone once Illidan was destroyed. However, given the lack of evidence either way, she might still be out there somewhere...
Wolfheart - WoW Novel
Maiev is revealed to be still alive and living in Darnassus as leader of the Watchers. She is wounded badly by her brother Jarod Shadowsong at the end of the book before escaping Jarod and Malfurion.
- “Blood elves and naga! Your bastard races are an affront to everything the night elves stand for!”
- “Illidan has grown powerful - of that there is no doubt. He consumed the energies of the Skull of Gul'dan. Now he is neither night elf nor demon – but something more.”
- “Naga? Many craven races have tempted our wrath over the centuries. None have survived!”
- “Illidan has much to answer for. He'll wish he were still chained in his cell when I get through with him.”
- “I am the hand of justice, Illidan. Long ago, I swore an oath to keep you chained... and by all the Gods – I shall!”
- “Illidan Stormrage, for recklessly endangering countless lives and threatening the very balance of the world, I hereby sentence you to death!”
- “Their fury pales before mine, Illidan. We have some unsettled business between us.”
- “He is right. I feel nothing. I am...nothing.”
- “Where’s Illidan?” – her wish made at the Dalaran fountain.
- "My long hunt is finally over. Today, justice will be done!" 
- There is a shrine in Azshara known as Shadowsong Shrine. It is not clear what relation this has to the Shadowsong siblings.
- It has been hinted that Maeiv's appearance and, to some degree, personallity has been inspired by the comicbook character "Judge Dredd"
- Although she is a Night Elf, her in game model is based off the female Blood Elf's model.
- Perhaps Ironically, the name Shadowsong is one of the random Demon Hunter names from Warcraft 3.
| Preceded by:|
Leader of the Watchers
| Succeeded by:|
| Preceded by:|
High Priestess of Elune (interim)
| Succeeded by:|