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Who Is The Smartest NPC In Azeroth?

According to Wowhead, a database for all things World of Warcraftthere are over 145,000 different NPCs in the world of Azeroth. Trying to find and figure out the smartest NPC out of all of them can be daunting, but a few players tackled the task on a Blizzard forum.

World of Warcraft's map is giant, and Reddit user jetpacksforall estimates that it would take 9 hours to walk across the map. During the time you spend roaming around, you'll probably hear about these characters through lore or other quests in the game.

There's no exact definition of "intelligence" though, so there's been a bit of discourse over which character is the smartest. There isn't a clear winner, but three characters in particular are definitely in the running. Some players have strong feelings for or against these NPCs, which can muddy the waters even further. Either way, there's a case that can be made for Velen, Lor'themar, and Sylvanas being the smartest NPCs in Azeroth.

Velen

On the Blizzard forum, a user named Thor puts the Prophet Velen in the running for smartest character. He mentions that he can see into the future and that he's crazy old (like 30,000 years old).

Blizzard's character lore for Velen mentions that it's "impossible to truly understand the age and wisdom of Velen," which is a pretty big testament as to just how smart this character is. The page mentions that Velen claims to be the only prophet that can see what's going to happen in the future, simultaneously giving him a significant burden and making him a pretty good contender for the smartest NPC is Azeroth. 

Players who want to see Velen's brilliance for themselves can find him in the game at the Bloodmyst Isle and The Exodar. There are also several quests that mention Velen, including one early draenei quest highlighted by Youtuber Bue. Velen is a valid and understandable option for the smartest Azeroth NPC, but he's not a clear winner.

Lor'themar

User Lenastus from the Blizzard forum argues that perhaps the smartest NPC is Lor'themar, based on his portrayal as a "good strategist and intelligent leader." The leader of the Blood Elves can be found in Silvermoon City, and players can interact with him in a number of quests.

It makes sense to consider him one of the smartest NPCs in the game. When there's no clear way to actually measure a particular character's intelligence, simply using the things an NPC has accomplished is a great way to go about it. Lor'themar has been a prominent leader of the Blood Elves, leading them Several other users on the Blizzard forum agreed, liking Lenastus' vote. Wowhead describes, in detail, how much Lor'themar contributed to the wars of his race, and how he brought the Blood Elves out of near ruin when their magic threatened to overwhelm them. 

At the very least, there is something to be said about his emotional intelligence. In Blizzard's lore page for Lor'themar, the character writes about how he was "certainly lying to [himself]" and hopes for his own heart to remain by the end of the war. He's a conflicted character because he's so smart.

Sylvanas

Scanning through the forum page, one name shows up more than any other character: Sylvanas. Even the original creator of the thread, Nommi, votes for Sylvanas because of her cunning ways. As of the Shadowlands expansion, Sylvana is taking souls into another dimension, starting with the Lich King himself. As pointed out by PC Gamer, Sylvanas somehow found a way to literally rip a hole into another dimension. This isn't something that's been done in the WoW universe, and while it might seem crazy, there's definitely a hint of genius behind it. 

Sylvanas is one of the original Warcraft characters, and her lore spans multiple games. To this day, she's one of the biggest characters in WoW, and Wowhead reports that she was the leader of the Horde after the Legion expansion (and then quickly overturned). She's in the running for the same reason Lor'themar is— her military prowess speaks to her intelligence. 

User Mollymauk argues that she relies too much on her emotions to be considered the smartest NPC. Even so, Sylvanas has made enough of an impact on the game to be a staple character in WoW.