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Know Your Lore: The Kaiju of Azeroth and Outland

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Okay, let's just put our cards on the table. I just saw Godzilla, I liked it, and now we're going to do a KYL about giant monsters in World of Warcraft because I'm still all sorts of giant monster marking out. So here goes another list. What are the rules? Simple. It has to be a giant. How big is giant? It's sort of a you know it when you see it but to give you an idea, High King Maulgar isn't big enough.

Also, if there are two giant monsters that are exactly the same, I'm only using one of them.

So let's get on board the monster train. This isn't a worst to best style list - it's just giant monsters, robots, and other critters.

The Fel Reaver

Yes, the Fel Reaver. While Void Reaver might be the one that drops the better loot, the Fel Reaver was the monstrous robot that made us all wet ourselves when we first stepped through the Dark Portal and began exploring Hellfire Peninsula. The Fel Reaver made such an impression that many of us will stop in Hellfire even today just to kill it.

Thrym, the Hope Ender

I chose Thrym over Thaddius even though Thaddius came first because Thaddius is stuck inside Naxxramas, and Thrym is walking around Zul'Drak. Also, Thrym is enormous. Thrym might be the largest thing on this list. Since Thrym is identical to Thaddius, we're left with the unpleasant notion that Thrym is constructed from a very large amount of corpses. The very idea of Thrym is terrifying - a demonstration of just how horrifyingly far the Scourge will go to remove all life from Azeroth.

The quest where we take Thrym out is actually pretty fun. You get to ride on your own giant to fight him. But as large as the giant you ride into battle (Gymer) is, he simply is no match for Thrym in terms of pure size.

King Mukla

It's a giant gorilla. Look, seriously, that's what we have here. A giant gorilla who wanders the forests of Stranglethorn Vale being a giant gorilla, holding a tauren princess captive. What more do you need?

King Mosh

Unfortunately King Mosh was in a completely different jungle (the untamed primordial Un'Goro Crater) and thus never came into conflict with King Mosh. This giant devilsaur wasn't really special, he just was the biggest and most annoying of an entire crater full of annoying giant devilsaurs. There would be other giant devilsaurs of a similar type over the years (King Krush in Sholozar Basin, for just one of many examples) but Mosh was the first.

Ozumat

Ozumat is the only creature on this list big enough to be a facehugger on an elemental lord, big enough to actually close off two entire wings of a dungeon complex, and big enough to kidnap Neptulon entirely. We still don't even know where Ozumat took the lord of all water. This king of all Kraken definitely deserves a slot on the list.

Kazzak

Kazzak in his original incarnation wasn't that large, especially compared to some of the titans of size on this list, but he was big, and he only got bigger after he moved from the Blasted Lands to a post atop the Throne of Kil'jaeden. Kazzak, a doomguard of the Burning Legion, was in fact the reason that the Dark Portal opened at the end of classic WoW, as he used a powerful magical artifact to travel back to Outland after having been stranded on Azeroth following the end of the Third War. Kazzak and his minions roamed the Tainted Scar before he made his escape, keeping it and the surrounded area infested with demons, a taint that has remained in the area to this day. Kazzak's position as one of the first giant-sized world bosses earns him a position on this list.

XT-002

The upgraded version of the Fel Reaver, this annoying giant mecha is the creation of Mimiron, the titanic watcher and inventor of Ulduar. Guarding the way past the Scrapyard, the true tragedy of XT-002 is that his mind was that of a child who believed Mimiron to be his father. In striking him down, we essentially killed a little boy. This is a level of pathos that, frankly, I wasn't expecting from a giant yellow robot.

Chromatus

Technically, Chromatus may be the largest being on this list. A stitched together monstrosity with the heads of dragons from the bronze, black, red, blue and green flight, awakened by the death of Arygos (son of Malygos) and the magic of a surge needle by the Twilight Father himself, this behemoth dragon dwarfed even the dragon aspects. Created by Nefarian, this biggest and most dreadful of all Chromatic dragons was so enormously powerful that in the end, the aspects could not destroy him.

Gruul the Dragonkiller

Largest and most powerful of the known gronn, this creature may indeed be their father - the other gronn of outland are said to be his seven sons. Gruul rules from his lair in the shattered mountains of Blade's Edge, with the corpses of the black dragonflight impaled on the huge spikes of the region. The ogres and gronn of Outland all acknowledge his supremacy. Vast and powerful, Gruul is so large he barely fits within his own lair.

Gormok the Impaler

Chosen to represent the magnataur, Gormok is simply a massive taurid creature, a combination of a giant and a mammoth. He's not particularly notable in and of himself, but it would feel strange to have a list of giant creatures of Azeroth and not include a magnataur.

Deathwing

Frankly, if you want to talk about the Godzilla of the Warcraft setting, Deathwing would be it. At turns devious and political (as he was in Day of the Dragon) and savage, raw power unchecked, as we saw him during the Cataclysm, Deathwing was truly a force to be reckoned with. It took his own creation, the Dragon Soul, and the power of all of the other aspects combined to finally stop him. In his final moments he was massive enough that an entire small army could do battle with his back. Now, all the dragon aspects were massive - I could easily place them all on this list and it would be accurate enough. But Deathwing just earns it.

Honorable mentions include Oondasta and Thok the Bloodthirsty (I couldn't pick just one), the Sha of Anger, the whale shark from Vashj'ir, and Lord Ryolith from the Firelands.

What giant monster or machine did I leave off the list? Who did I forget? Who would you rather see on here?
While you don't need to have played the previous Warcraft games to enjoy World of Warcraft, a little history goes a long way toward making the game a lot more fun. Dig into even more of the lore and history behind the World of Warcraft in WoW Insider's Guide to Warcraft Lore.

Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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