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Why is Thrall actually green and not brown in WoW?

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You know him as a warchief, shaman and diplomat in armor or tunic: Thrall, the orc with the hammer of fate and the iconic green skin. But why is Thrall actually green in World of Warcraft – and not brown like his Frostwolf clan?

Thrall was born as Go'el in Alterac Valley, far from Outland, where the green orcs actually originated. Since Battle for Azeroth at the latest, every player should know that orcs were originally brown, even if they don't know the lore.

With Battle for Azeroth, Blizzard introduced the allied people of the Mag'har, the “uncorrupted”, original orcs, which also included Thrall's parents: Draka and Durotan. Nevertheless, Thrall has a different skin color.

To answer the question very briefly: Thrall inherited his skin color from his parents – although they weren't originally green either, but had brown skin. However, there are somewhat complicated connections behind this.

Who is Thrall anyway? If you somehow missed it or are just diving into the lore with Dragonflight: Thrall is probably the most famous orc in Warcraft. You meet him several times in the game and he has played a key or at least important role in almost every expansion of the game. In the original, Thrall is spoken by Chris Metzen himself Lore God from Warcraft.

Here you will find a summary of the entire World of Warcraft lore so far.

Thrall most recently appeared as an important intermediary for the new expansion The War Within:

World of Warcraft: The War Within – Cinematic Trailer

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Bad Blood: Why Orcs Turn Green at All – Or Red

The first truly green orcs emerged from the blood of the pit lord Mannoroth. Under the tutelage of Gul'dan, the famous orc warlock, orcs drank the demon's blood. The first of these was Grom Hellscream, the father of Garrosh.

The blood not only turned the orcs green, it also clouded their minds. The bodies became stronger, the orcs themselves became more ferocious. After his drink, Grom immediately demanded the flesh and blood of Draenei so that he could drink his fill.

In the book “The Rise of the Horde” by the well-known author Christie Golden there is a section about exactly this fact. Thrall's parents, Draka and Durotan, were themselves brown-skinned Mag'har.

Durotan notices a young orc practicing the sorcerer's art scraping off some dry skin. New, green skin can be seen underneath. Many experts conclude from this: mere proximity to devilish magic is enough to color the orcs' skin.

Since Draka and Durotan were present at both the construction of the Hellfire Citadel and the opening of the portal, there is a good chance that some Fel corruption took hold of at least Draka and possibly her unborn child without completely transforming her.

But wait: Why are the orcs in Warcraft 3 first green and then red?

Orcs' skin color is apparently affected by the concentration of Fel Corruption that has penetrated them. A little bit just makes them green. However, there were orcs who then drank more demonic blood or were otherwise affected by Fel corruption.

The skin of these orcs eventually turned red, their will even weaker, their desire to fight even greater. You can meet these orcs in the game on the Hellfire Peninsula as “Fel Orcs.”

In the Warlords of Draenor cinematic you see an uncorrupted Grom rejecting blood. The expansion explores what would have happened if the orcs had not allowed themselves to be corrupted:

WoW: The cinematic trailer for Warlords of Draenor

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“Back to the Roots” – Orcs become Mag’har?

By the way, blood elves have green eyes for a similar reason. The high elves' originally mana-blue eye color became green through the use of Fel magic and their dependence on it.

The elves are able to regain their natural eye color if they are “clean” of devil magic long enough. According to theories, orcs just need to stay away from devilish Fel magic long enough to return to their natural skin color.

However, it has not yet been officially confirmed whether this really works. At least in WoW it's pretty easy: you just have to change your race from Orc to Mag'har. How true to the lore this is remains to be seen…

There are fans who suspect that the Fel contamination causes a genetic change. This means: Orcs that are green once remain green and only have green offspring. However, Thrall, a green orc, and his companion Aggra, a Mag'har, only have children with brown skin. That would disprove the theory. Then again, it's not clear whether our understanding of biology even works on Azeroth.

Thrall himself is known not only for his exploits, but also for his close friendship with the human mage Jaina Proudmoore. The former mistress of Theramore has a moving story herself: WoW: “All I ever wanted to do was study” – The story of Jaina Proudmoore

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