NPCs come in many different sizes, shapes, and flavors. Some NPCs are cute and funny while others are menacing and mean. And some are just really really badass, so much to the point where you feel compelled to make Chuck Norris jokes about them.
Now I know a lot of people think Garrosh is badass, but let's not kid ourselves, ok? There's clearly a difference between being a pigheaded bully and a true badass who has a noble cause, but plays by no one else's rules. Garrosh is just a schoolyard bully, a bully on testosterone!
5. Garona Halforcen
"I can make you look like an accident."
Yes, she was once a ruthless assassin who betrayed King Llane, but really, he was filthy alliance scum to begin with. Besides, she's way past all that drama now, and is dedicated to eradicating the Twilight Cult once and for all.
You have to admit that many rogue NPCs strike you as "cunning" or "sly", and Garona is probably the only exception to that. She's brutal and unapologetic and merciless, just how an orc should be.
"Da Horde is my people, if it be war you bring, den I stand against you."
You think Garrosh is badass? How about the guy who openly threatens a big brute like Garrosh right to his face?
"And when tha time comes dat ya failure is complete and ya "power" is meaningless, I will be dere to end ya rule, swiftly and silently. Ya will spend ya reign glancin' over ya shoulda and fearin' tha shadows, for when tha time comes and ya blood be slowly drainin' out, ya will know exactly who fired da arrow dat pierced ya heart."
Did you know Vol'jin spent months in the deep, ancient jungles of the lost isles, battling the ancient Loa spirits in order to become a shadow hunter? Did you know that he single-handedly led the charge against Zalazane and took back the Echo Isles? Did you know that he dared take up arms against the entire combined forces of the Zandalari, Amani, and Gurubashi trolls for the sake of the Horde?
I admit Vol'jin, as the troll racial leader, has somewhat of a special place in my heart. But even without being a troll I think he earns a place as one of the most badass NPCs.
3. Illidan Stormrage
"Imprisoned for ten thousand years. Banished from my own homeland. And now you dare enter MY realm? You are not prepared...YOU ARE NOT PREPARED!"
Hey, I never said that only the good guys can be badass. Out of all the raid bosses who try so hard to be badass (Arthas comes to mind...he tried harder than anyone else and just came off as whiney), Illian really takes the cake.
Let's break it down - first of all, he turned all crazy and evil because the woman he loved chose his harmless & boring brother over him. That's kind of a romantic way to go batshit psycho if you ask me. Everyone else is all like "oh the Old Gods whispered some enticing words" or "Oh I was just suuuuuper power hungry". No, that's not how Illidan rolls. He's all like "I'm heartbroken and hell bent on revenge!"
Secondly, he burned out his own freaking eyeballs and made a demonic pact and basically sold his soul for power. I know all the cool kids are selling their souls these days, but how many kids ritually burn off their eyeballs?
Third, have you SEEN the BC opening cinematic? Illidan's bitter, chilling words are the first things to greet you. And the oft-parodied outro, "You are NOT PREPARED!" is still one of the most popular boss quotes of all time. He's been exiled to Outland, he's super pissed, and now you DARE set foot in Outland? Into HIS realm? You are clearly NOT PREPARED!
And lastly, even when you kill him, he gets the last word: You have won... Maiev... But the huntress... is nothing... without the hunt... You... are nothing... without... me...
Out of all the raid bosses with anger/revenge/demonic/girl issues, Illidan is definitely the most complex and the most badass.
2. Grand Apothecary Putress
"Now, all can see this is the hour of the Forsaken!"
Technically he is a bad guy since you kill him during the battle for the Undercity. But I dunno, I think of him as somewhat of a misguided hero. Sure, he ended up killing a bunch of innocent people but let's remember that half of them were alliance, our sworn enemies. The other half were unfortunately Horde, but I dunno, I always think of the Forsaken as kind of out for themselves anyways. Sure, they're part of the Horde and all, but they're really in it just for their own benefit. I don't think for one second the Forsaken care for the "Blood and Honor" shit that orcs are always going on about.
So in that light, Grand Apothecary Putress was serving his own people, in his own twisted way. Besides, you have to admit there is a significant element of badass-ness in the way that he will stop at nothing for revenge. What he wants is revenge against Arthas and the scourge, and he will stop at nothing to get it. Just mark his words as he unleashes the deadly plague upon the undead and living alike:
"Did you think we had forgotten? Did you think we had forgiven? Behold, now, the terrible vengeance of the Forsaken! Death to the Scourge! And death to the living!"
I just love those first two sentences - the Forsaken have NOT forgotten, and they certainly have NOT forgiven Arthas. And their vengeance is terrible indeed.
And now...the most badass NPC of all time...
1. High Overlord Varok Saurfang
"I am he who watches they. I am the fist of retribution. That which does quell the recalcitrant. Dare you defy the Warchief? Dare you face my merciless judgement?"
Saurfang is legendary in the world of warcraft. Numerous Saurfang jokes are known across the fields of Azeroth (Chuck Norris is Saurfang's alt, Saurfang's hearthstone crits for 1337k damage, Saurfang uses [Thunderfury] for mining). He is a veteran from not only the first and second, but the third war as well. He's lived through the War of the Shifting Sands all the way to the fall of the Lich King. He rules with an Iron Fist and is the loyal protector to the Horde and the Warchief. Just listen to his bone-chilling speech prior to the battle with the Qiraji:
"An orc - a true orc warrior - wishes for one thing: To die in the glory of battle against a hated enemy...We defend. We stand. We show that as one. United. We destroy. Their god will fall. To die today, on this field of battle, is to die an orcish death. To die today is to die for our little ones. Our old ones. Our… loved ones. Would any of you deny yourselves such a death? Such an honor?"
What is probably the most badass of all, is that he isn't a single-minded brainwashed maniac like most other badasses. Much like Vol'jin, he is a rational and intelligent leader. Varok's true badassery comes from the fact that he is incredibly wise, and he'll cleave you in the face with his axe if you try to do something stupid. He's a veteran and he's seen all the bloodshed and horror of war, and so different from the petulant Garrosh who just wants to crack open skulls. He's known personal tragedy too, like the loss of his only son at the Wrathgate and the heartbreaking reanimation of his corpse into a Death knight. He weeps as he picks up the broken body of his son at the footsteps of Icecrown Citadel, and says these memorable words:
"Honor, young heroes... no matter how dire the battle... Never forsake it!"
We salute you, High Overlord Saurfang...you are the greatest badass to walk on Azeroth!
(No alliance are mentioned in this list because alliance are in general wussies)