Why are Malfurion and Illidan Stormrage at odds in World of Warcraft? Here’s what went down between these iconic twin brothers.

Hailing from the World of Warcraft universe, Malfurion and Illidan Stormrage are twin brothers at odds. What happened between them? Why did they clash? Read on for a quick overview of their conflict and a comparison of these iconic siblings showcased in games like Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm.

Illidan and Malfurion in Hearthstone (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Illidan and Malfurion in Hearthstone (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

Are Malfurion and Illidan brothers?

Yes, Malfurion and Illidan Stormrage are brothers in the World of Warcraft universe. While Malfurion is the leader of the night elves, Illidan is "The Betrayer" who was imprisoned for over 10,000 years.

These brothers also love Tyrande Whisperwind, who is the high priestess of Elune. In addition to clashing over their love for Tyrande, Malfurion and Illidan notably clashed during the War of the Ancients.

Tyrande Whisperwind artwork (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Tyrande Whisperwind artwork (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

Brothers at odds

During this war, Illidan joined the Burning Legion as a means to gain more power, obtain the Demon Soul, and stop the enemy invasion. Meanwhile, Malfurion's idea was to destroy the Well of Eternity to put an end to the enemy forces. Illidan opposed this idea because he drew his powers from the well.

The Burning Legion used the Demon Soul artifact to strengthen themselves, but Illidan eventually reunited with his people and worked with Malfurion. Together, they closed the portal that allowed more enemy forces into their world. After the portal's destruction, the well became unstable. This divided their home into smaller continents.

Illidan Stormrage artwork (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Illidan Stormrage artwork (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

Afterwards, Illidan created a new Well of Eternity using vials from the original one. Malfurion and Tyrande were shocked because they believed that the well's magic only meant more destruction. Illidan asserted that the use of magic would be necessary in the future. The creation of this well branded Illidan as "The Betrayer" and resulted in his imprisonment of over 10,000 years. Meanwhile, Malfurion slept for 10,000 years in order to help sustain the World Tree that was created to protect the well.

During the events of Warcraft 3, Tyrande released Illidan so he could assist in fighting more enemies. Illidan later sought out the Skull of Gul'dan after Arthas' machinations. When Illidan destroyed this skull, he became a demon. Illidan thought he was redeeming himself, but Malfurion and Tyrande were opposed to his actions and saw them as another means to gain power.

Malfurion Stormrage artwork (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Malfurion Stormrage artwork (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

When Illidan became the jailor for Sargeras, who was the one behind the War of the Ancients, he left a message for Malfurion. Illidan acknowledged how Malfurion and himself clashed in terms of the means to reach an end. He also wanted to end the strife between them, believing that Malfurion can take care of their home with the help of Tyrande's counsel.

Illidan versus Malfurion in Hearthstone

In Hearthstone, Illidan represents the Demon Hunter class while his brother is of the Druid class. Illidan's hero power, Demon Claws, costs one mana and grants him the ability to attack an opponent. Meanwhile, Shapeshift is Malfurion's hero power. It features an increase in attack and armor for two mana.

Illidan versus Malfurion in Hearthstone (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Illidan versus Malfurion in Hearthstone (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

When Hearthstone players select Illidan as their class and encounter Malfurion as their opponent, then there is a unique interaction between the two brothers.

  • Illidan: It isn't over between us, brother.
  • Malfurion: You have much to answer for.

Illidan and Malfurion in Heroes of the Storm

In Heroes of the Storm, Illidan and Malfurion's difference in nature are showcased once again. While Illidan is a melee assassin, his brother is a healer. Illidan makes use of his basic attacks alongside his nimble abilities. As for Malfurion, he makes use of his Regrowth and Moonfire combo to heal allies.

Malfurion in Heroes of the Storm (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Malfurion in Heroes of the Storm (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

When they end up on the same team, Illidan and Malfurion have unique voice lines at the start of the game.

  • Illidan: Shall we, brother?
  • Malfurion: Lead the way.
  • Malfurion: Nature abhors the fel, Illidan. You must see that.
  • Illidan: Get over yourself.

If either of the brothers eliminate each other, then there are special voice lines for that, too.

  • Illidan: And so it ends, brother.
  • Malfurion: Forgive me, brother.

Malfurion and Illidan Stormrage are brothers at odds within and outside of the World of Warcraft universe. However, there's no denying that they can work together to overcome great foes.

For another iconic sibling rivalry, check out our piece on Hanzo and Genji from Overwatch 2.

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