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Arthas Menethil was the prince of Lordaeron and son of Terenas Menethil. Arthas is an idealistic, yet somewhat rash, young man who dreams of one day succeeding his father as King of Lordaeron. Arthas became an apprentice paladin at nineteen and has served as a favorite pupil of Uther the Lightbringer ever since. Though Arthas loves the kindly Uther as an uncle, he longs to take command of his own destiny and become a hero like those brave veterans who fought the orcs during the Second War. Despite the heartache he felt when his brief affair with the sorceress, Jaina Proudmoore, came to an end, Arthas remained remarkably committed to his roles as both the Prince of Lordaeron and as a holy paladin. He had a deep reverence for the holy Light and wanted nothing more than to safeguard his beloved people from harm.
When Arthas took up the fight against the Scourge, he became increasingly frustrated and stymied by the seemingly unstoppable enemy. Arthas took increasingly extreme steps to conquer them. Finally Arthas' comrades warned him that he was losing his hold on his humanity. Arthas' fear and resolve proved to be his ultimate undoing. He tracked the plague's source to Northrend, intending to end its threat forever. Instead, Prince Arthas eventually fell prey to the Lich King's tremendous power when he took up the cursed runeblade, Frostmourne, believing that it would save his people. Though the sword did grant him unfathomable power, it also stole his soul and transformed him into the greatest of the Lich King's death knights. With his soul cast aside and his sanity shattered, Arthas led the Scourge against his own kingdom. He murdered his own father, King Terenas, and crushed Lordaeron under the Lich King's iron heel.
When the Lich King was threatened by the forces of Illidan Stormrage, Arthas traveled to the Frozen Throne of Northrend and broke the ice surrounding his master, donning the Lich King's helm and merging with him. He took control of the Scourge as the Lich King, and years later challenged the Alliance and the Horde by initiating attacks on their cities. This led the Alliance and the Horde to march on to Northrend to war against him. Arthas is a raid boss and the primary antagonist to the World of Warcraft expansion Wrath of the Lich King. He was mortally wounded after being defeated by Tirion Fordring and adventurers in his fortress Icecrown Citadel. He was succeeded as Lich King by Bolvar Fordragon.