Note: this article is about Arthas' life as a human. For his existence after his transformation, see the Lich King.
| Arthas as seen in Warcraft IIIArthas Menethil was the heir to the throne of Lordaeron. He had a romantic relationship and was a well trained soldier. Everything looked promising for Arthas, but when the Scourge launched the plague invasion on his homeland, he became more and more possessed trying to find a way to end it. He slowly lost his way of judgement, and soon ordered an entire city to be purged, Stratholme. From here, Arthas lost more and more of his judgement, which eventually led him to claim the cursed runeblade, Frostmourne, for himself in order to save his homeland. The runeblade tormented his body and he soon became one of the most powerful and evil beings in Azeroth.Voice Actors Arthas Menethil Justin Gross - Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Patrick Seitz - World of Warcraft The Lich King Michael McConnohie – World of Warcraft|
Backstory Arthas, as seen in the Culling of Stratholme instance in World of Warcraft Prince Arthas Menethil was born to King Terenas Menethil II, four years before the start of the Second War. He was trained in combat by Muradin Bronzebeard as a skilled swordsman and as a paladin by Uther the Lightbringer, Arthas was inducted into the Knights of the Silver Hand. It was during this time that Arthas met the youngest daughter of Daelin Proudmoore, the sorceress Jaina. She and Arthas shared a strong friendship that lead to very serious romance, however the Scourge invasion and their duties to Lordaeron and Dalaran forced them to put their relationship on hold for a time.
Culling of Stratholme Arthas claiming Frostmourne In the Warcraft III story arc, Arthas is best know for the purging of Stratholme. When Uther refused to purge the city as ordered, Arthas charged him with treason, despanding the Order of the Silver Hand. He demanded that any true to the king stay with him and see to the town's destruction. Jaina turned and followed Uther to Arthas' surprise. As Arthas began to slay the citizens of Stratholme, he was met by Mal'Ganis himself. After destroying the city, Arthas arrives at the only part of Stratholme not infected and finds Mal'Ganis. Mal'Ganis flees, however, vowing to meet him in Northrend.
The Runeblade, FrostmourneArthas followes Mal'Ganis to Northrend, where he meets his mentor, Muradin Bronzebeard, who was searching for the runeblade Frostmourne. After some time, Arthas and Muradin findes the runeblade, but is confronted by the Guardian, who tried to keep him away. Muradin warns Arthas, reading an inscription, that the blade was cursed, but is struck by a rogue shard of ice when Arthas picked up Frostmourne, leaving Muradin for dead. Arthas defeated Mal'Ganis' undead army and finally confronted the demon, Mal'Ganis tells him that the voice he was now hearing was that of the Lich King. However, Arthas replied that voice was instructing him to destroy Mal'Ganis. After slaying the dreadlord, Arthas fled into the frozen north where he soon lost the last remnants of sanity. Months later, the prince returned to Lordaeron, he approached his father and kneeled before the throne. However, Arthas rose and drew Frostmourne and killed his father, King Terenas. He then fled from the scene, disappearing for weeks. Then in Vandermar village, Arthas was confronted by a dreadlord, Tichondrius the Darkener, who at first reminded him of Mal’Ganis.Tichondrius explained that Arthas’ new weapon, Frostmourne, was forged by the Lich King and was designed to steal souls, Arthas being the first one claimed. Arthas then continued in assembling the Cult of the Damned and used their magical powers as he traveled to Andorhal to recover Kel’Thuzad’s corpse.
Fall of Quel'Thalas Arthas as a Death Knight in Warcraft III Once he obtained the corpse, Kel’Thuzad’s ghost was brought into being and instructed Arthas not to trust the dreadlords. To revive the corpse, it would have to be transported to the Sunwell in Que’Thalas by using a mystical urn. The urn was, however, protected by the Knights of the Silver Hand. Arthas, on his quest to obtain the urn met with Uther the Lightbringer who explained the urn he sought contained his father’s ashes. But without hesitation, Arthas murdered Uther and took the urn; he then replaced his father’s remains with those of Kel’Thuzad. Arthas used the Sunwell to bring life to Kel’Thuzad. After they reached the demon gate in Alterac to speak with the demon lord Archimonde, it became clear that they would have to obtain the spell book of Medivh in the city of Dalaran to summon the demon lord into Azeroth. They eventually killed the Archmage Antonidas and claimed the Book of Medivh. Once Archimonde was successfully summoned, he claimed that Lich King was to be replaced by Tichondrius as the Scourge commander. Arthas and Kel’Thuzad then disappeared again. Several months later, Arthas confronted the demon hunter Illidan instructing him on how to claim the Skull of Gul’dan’s, currently controlled by Tichondrius, eventually leading to Tichondrius’ death and the disappearance of Arthas again.
The Race to the Frozen Throne After the death of Tichondrius, the dreadlords left behind to control Lordaeron fled once Arthas returned for his throne. Once the land was rid of all remaining human refugees, the Lich King returned to take control and ordered Arthas to travel back to Northrend to defend the Frozen Throne. When Arthas arrived in Northrend he was attacked by Kae’thas and an army of blood elves. The former king of Azjol-Nerub, Anub’arak, was able to save Arthas from the onslaught and they continued toward Icecrown. Once they finally reached their destination after various attacks from groups of dwarves loyal to Muradin they were confronted with Illidan’s forces. Arthas, with the help of Anub’arak, fought his way through the forces of naga and blood elves. Using the Icecrown Obelisks he was able to open the doors to the Frozen Throne. However, to his surprise, Illidan was waiting for him. Arthas on his throne The battle that ensued ended with Arthas slicing open Illidan’s chest with Forstmourne. With Illidan defeated, Arthas turned toward the doors of Icecrown. Once he reached the pinnacle he discovered a suit of armor inside an icy cask. A strange voice whispered in Arthas’ ear “Return the blade…complete the circle…release me from this prison.” Arthas using Frostmourne broke the icy prison, the throne exploded and a thorny helm, once belonging to Ner’zhul, fell at his feet. He picked it up and placed it on his head, at this moment he heard another whisper; “Now, we are one!” Ner’zhul and Arthas’ spirits had fused into a single being. The outer wall of Icecrown fell away and only the single pinnacle behind the throne remained. Today, the new Lich King sits silently upon his Frozen Throne, still as a statue, and waiting…
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
The Death of Arthas Arthas lying in his fathers arms in his last moments The Heroes of Azeroth will be fighting together with the legendary heroes, Highlord Tirion Fordring, High Overlord Saurfang, Muradin Bronzebeard, Highlord Darion Mograine and King Varian Wrynn as they battle against the master of the Scourge, the Lich King. After a long an epic battle, the Lich King will fall, and so does its presence from Arthas' body. He is lying in his ghostly father's arms as he apologizes and takes his last breath.
Arthas lies supine, the shattered remnants of Frostmourne beside him. He starts as the ghost of Terenas Menethil materializes over him, and the characteristic blue glow dissipates from his eyes. As Terenas kneels next to him, Arthas places a hand on his father's chest. Arthas Menethil: Father! Is it... over? Terenas lays a comforting hand on Arthas' gauntlet. Terenas Menethil II: At long last. No king rules forever, my son. Arthas Menethil: I see... only darkness... before... me... Arthas' eyes roll back into his head and he dies, his hand falling to the ground. Terenas closes his son's eyes and gently lays him on the ground as Tirion walks in. Terenas Menethil II: Without its master's command, the restless Scourge will become an even greater threat to this world. Terenas stands, facing Tirion. Terenas Menethil II: Control must be maintained. There must always be a Lich King. Terenas' ghost disappears.
For more info on the Lich King after this event, see the Lich King.