The 50 Greatest Video Game Villains Of All Time

Credit: Matt Becker (compilation); Capcom, NetherRealm, Nintendo (artwork)
Credit: Matt Becker (compilation); Capcom, NetherRealm, Nintendo (artwork) /
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The Lich King
Credit: Blizzard /

Greatest Video Game Villains – #5 The Lich King (Arthas)

Game(s): Warcraft III, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

Background: Arthas Menethil was the Crown Prince of Lordaeron and a Knight of the Silver Hand. Trained as a paladin and a renowned swordsman, he was sworn to protect the human race. Trouble hit when the plague of the undead began ravaging through Lordaeron, turning citizens into undead zombies. Arthas was forced to set fire to the city of Stratholme and slay its citizens in an attempt to stop the plague infection. Arthas snapped, making it a personal vendetta to stop the Scourge leader Mal’Ganis and followed him to the icy lands of Northrend.

There he took possession of the Lich King’s soul-consuming blade Frostmourne, which drained the last bits of sanity he had left and started his quick downward spiral. Back in Lordaeron, he slew his own father and used his new necromantic powers as a Death Knight to infest the lands with undead. After returning to Northrend and conquering the Frozen Throne, Arthas merged with the Lich King to become the new leader of the Scourge. With an overwhelmingly huge undead army at his disposal, he lead an invasion on Azeroth and became one of the most powerful beings the world has ever seen.

Why He’s One Of The Greatest Video Game Villains: Arthas is a unique villain in that players of both Warcraft III and the World of Warcraft got to witness this once righteous hero descend into madness. His thirst for vengeance enveloped his mind, leaving him vulnerable to the manipulative powers of Frostmourne and the Lich King. What Arthas had fought so hard to destroy ended up controlling him and turning him into a true monster, until he eventually merged with the Lich King and completely lost his human personality. With the Scourge army at this command, both the Horde and Alliance factions (longtime enemies) were forced to unite against him to save Azeroth. The final battle against the Lich King is the last raid boss of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion in the World of Warcraft. The epic story line built up throughout the expansion and culminating in this final battle is arguably one of the most defining moments in the history of the game.

Next: 4- Kefka