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Tirion Fordring was one of the first members of the Knights of the Silver Hand, the order of Paladins, hand-picked by Archbishop Alonsus Faol. After he was exiled for defending the Orc Eitrigg, who had saved his life after the two battled, Tirion lived in solitude for many years. Seeing his son become a member of the Scarlet Crusade and witnessing their atrocities, Tirion vowed to restore the Order of the Silver Hand.
Years later, when the Lich King attacks the rebelling Death Knights of the Ebon Blade, Tirion joins the Death Knights to fight Arthas, the Lich King. The leader of the Ebon Blade, Darion Mograine, who has been incapacitated, throws the Corrupted Ashbringer to Tirion, who cleanses it and restores it to its former glory as a weapon made to kill the Undead Scourge. Driving Arthas off, Tirion forms the Argent Crusade, made up of the Argent Dawn and the Knights of the Silver Hand, in order to combat the Lich King and the Scourge, and enlists the help of the Knights of the Ebon Blade.
When the champions finally confront the Lich King on his Frozen Throne, on top of Icecrown Citadel, Tirion is there with them. Tirion promises Arthas a clean death if he surrenders, but Arthas throws the offer in his face. As Tirion tells the champions to attack and the fight starts, Arthas encases Tirion in a block of ice and, after fighting the champions and killing them (when he is at 10% health) reveals that the only reason he let the champions get this far was so that he could turn Azeroth's finest warriors into Death Knights, to serve him. He wants Tirion to witness his triumph. As the champions lie dead on the floor, Tirion prays to the Light to give him the strength he needs, and he breaks out of his ice tomb. Tirion shatters Frostmourne, the Lich King's runeblade, using the Ashbringer, releasing all of the souls trapped inside, including that of Arthas' father, Terenas Menethil. Terenas revives the champions as Arthas is suspended in mid-air, tormented by the souls previously trapped inside Frostmourne, thus bringing an end to Arthas' reign.
Following Arthas' demise, Tirion learns that there must always be a Lich King to keep the undead Scourge in check, and he offers to wear the crown and sit on the Frozen Throne. However, Bolvar Fordragon, an Alliance champion tormented by Arthas, tells him that he will take his place. Tirion leaves the Frozen Throne, honoring Bolvar's wish to keep these events a secret so that the world may live free from fear of the Lich King, and returns to his home of Hearthglen to rid it of the remnants of the Scarlet Crusade.