Silvana Windrunner has been a core character in the Warcraft universe. Players first encountered her in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, when Arthas and his army of Scourge invaded Quel’Thalas. At the time, Silvana was a pathfinder and led the defense of elven territories against a deadly plague. Though her will to win was strong, Frostmourne proved stronger and Arthas personally killed the elfess, turning her into a banshee, a ghost called to serve the king of the dead.
For a long time, Silvana wandered like a ghost until she was able to return the body and free herself from the shackles of the Lich King. Arthas returned to Northrend, and the Banshee Queen made an ally with Thrall and joined the Horde as a powerful ruler in the north of the Eastern Kingdoms.
Silvana began to lead the Forsaken and freed Nathanos to train new fighters, then began a campaign to eliminate the presence of the Scarlet Crusade in the Tirisfal Glades. Her units included some of Azeroth’s best spies, while the city of the dead itself began to produce a deadly plague.
Sylvanas in all expansions
In TBC the Banshee Queen did not leave her people even after her death and helped Quel’Thalas for a long time. It was her words that influenced Thrall in his decision to join the Blood Elves in the Horde.
If you fulfill one of the quests in the Ghostlands where you have to return a Banshee necklace, you can hear the famous Sylvanas theme «Lament of the Highborne».
Wrath of the Lich King
Scourge army again floods the cities of Azeroth, the Banshees help the Horde in defense of Orgrimmar, and after victory and declaration of war to the King of the Dead, goes to Northrend. Development of the plague was in full progress, due to which Silvana was fully confident in her powers, but Putress disobeyed her and used lethal weapons without warning during the events of attacking Angrathar, the Wrathgate.
At the same time, demons invaded Undercity and the queen was nearly killed. She had to flee to Orgrimmar and regain strength. Horde and Alliance forces launched a counterattack and the city was retaken, but a conflict started between the factions, which Jaina Paudmoore managed to prevent.
Windrunner and the rest of the heroes of the Horde went to storm Arthas’s private chambers, where they discovered Frostmourne. There the Banshee Queen struck up a conversation with the spirit of Uther the Lightbringer, who warned that when Arthas dies someone will have to take his place on the throne, and he can only be killed at the top of the Icecrown Citadel. At the same time, Arthas appeared and he and Silvana began to fight. The heroes were one step away from death, but a Horde warship arrived just in time to save the rest.
After Arthas’s death, the Banshee Queen lost the meaning of her existence and committed suicide by jumping on saronite spikes from the top of the citadel. At that moment, she was approached by the Val’kyrs, who had broken free of the Lich King’s domination and offered an alliance. Now their fates were closely linked, and as long as any of the Val’kyrs lived, Silvana would also live.
The events at Angrathar did not stop the Banshee and the production of plague continued. At this time Garrosh, who became the new chieftain of the Horde, led the siege of Gilneas and was opposed to Silvana’s methods, but she defied him and the people of the city suffered a plague attack.
During the attack on Gilneas, the Banshee Queen nearly killed Genn Greymane with a poisoned arrow, but Prince Liam shielded his father and died himself. King Genn promised vengeance, after which a real confrontation began between him and Windrunner for years to come.
After some time, the Banshee Queen brings Lord Godfrey back from the dead, who eventually deceives and kills her. Val’kyrs Agatha, Arthur, and Daschle sacrifice themselves and bring her back to life.
Mists of Pandaria
In this expansion, the Banshee Queen did not appear until after the start of the Siege of Orgrimmar. She despised Thrall’s decision to appoint Vol’jin as chieftain and had no intention of obeying him until he proved his loyalty to the Horde.
Silvana was against the faction’s decision to judge Garrosh and wanted to kill him personally. To do so, a special poison was created to slip into the former leader’s food, but Verisa the Winrunner informed young Anduin of the poison at the last minute and he saved Garrosh. Silvana was furious and went to the wastelands, where she destroyed every living thing around and swore never to love again.
Warlords of Draenor
The journey to alternate Draenor almost entirely bypassed the Banshee Queen. Silvana supported the Horde throughout the assault and collected some samples for experiments.
A demon army invaded Azeroth and the factions were forced to unite to fight back. The Alliance and the Horde went by storm to the Broken Isles, where the queen’s squad had to cover the allied forces. The leader of the Horde, Vol’jin, was mortally wounded, after which he commanded Silvana to save the Horde and retreat. The Alliance heard the horn of retreat and took the queen’s actions as a betrayal. In the same battle Varian Wrynn, king of the Alliance, died heroically. In dying condition, Vol’jin informed Sylvanas that she must take his place.
As the battle with the Legion continued, the Banshee Queen set herself a new goal — to gain immortality, since only 4 of the 8 Val’kyrs who had sworn allegiance after Arthas’s death remained alive. To do so, she needed to find a way to create her own Val’kyrs, and she turned to one of the first, named Helia.
By striking a bargain with Helia, Silvana obtained a Soulcage capable of bending any creature to her will. With this item, she went to Eyre, one of Odin’s main Val’kyr, but the plan was interrupted by Genn Greymane, who managed to catch the queen unawares and destroy the Cage.
The battle with the Legion came to an end and Windrunner decided to take the side of the Horde of the Highmountain Tauren and the Nightborne of Suramar.
Battle for Azeroth
The events of the expansion began with the defense of Lordaeron and a massive counterattack on the Dark Shores, from which the Banshee Queen emerged victoriously and burned the world tree Teldrassil. Saurfang was furious and accused Silvana of dishonor. A veritable genocide was staged, in which thousands of innocent night elves died. Tyrande planned revenge on the Banshee Queen, but she managed to kill only one of the four remaining Val’kyr.
A massive war began in Zandalar and Kul’Tiras. The Horde gained new allies in the form of Mag’hars and Zandalars led by Princess Talanji and Silvana was enraged by Varok Saurfang’s escape.
The Alliance allied with Saurfang, who turned to Thrall for help, after which the army approached the gates of Orgrimmar and the orc challenged the Banshee Queen to a sacred duel of Mak’gora. Before the battle, Silvana declared that the Horde and all around it were nothing. Varok fell in a dishonorable duel, and the queen escaped.
Windrunner traveled to the Icecrown Citadel, where she fought Bolvar Fordragon, who took the throne to contain the Scourge. Silvana emerged victoriously and destroyed the Crown of Domination, thereby opening a portal to the Shadowlands.
At this point, it became known that after attempting to kill herself, Silvana made a deal with the Jailer and switched to his side. It was from him that she received orders to start a massive war in Azeroth that would force all living beings to kill each other and get into the service of Zavala.
Sylvanas in Sanctum of Domination
In patch 9.1, the heroes of Azeroth traveled to the Sanctum of Domination, where they were to meet the Banshee Queen face-to-face. After a long battle, Silvana comes to her senses and realizes what horror she has committed during her time under the influence of the Jailer. Notably, after defeating the boss players can get a legendary bow — Rae’shalare Death’s Whisper and Vengeance Reins mount.
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Zavala returns the banshee to the blue crystal, which was apparently part of Silvana’s soul, which Arthas once absorbed with the Frostmourne.
This section is written for those who are already familiar with the completed Shadowlands storyline or want to review it of their own free will. If you don’t want to see spoilers, it’s best not to read any further.
After the events in Sanctum of Domination, Silvana falls into a nightmare where she constantly relives the horrific things she did while alive.
More details are revealed in Christie Golden’s recent novel named «Sylvanas», which describes the events of the Jailer’s deal with Windrunner and his deception, which the Banshee Queen blindly believed.
Moreover, to gain the queen’s trust, Zovaal informed of five signs:
«Expect five signs that will prove the truth of my words. The fierce darkness will return. You will have to step out of the shadows and lead. A blade will pierce the heart of the world, and you will have to feel the blood of that wound in your hands and turn your eyes to its power. Finally, you will overthrow the king, and split the very heavens»
We are familiar with each of them personally — the invasion of the Legion, Sylvanas becoming leader of the Horde, Sargeras sword in the heart of Azeroth, Azerite in the hands of the queen, and the battle with Bolvar followed by the split over the Icecrown.
One is left wondering what will happen to Sylvanas in the future. She has been a key character in the story for three additions. More details about Sylvana’s fate will be known after the announcement or the release of the new expansion.
«You can not kill hope!» — Varok Saurfang