Sylvanas Windrunner is a fictional character who appears in the Warcraft series of video games by Blizzard Entertainment. Originally introduced in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, she received a dramatic redesign in World of Warcraft: Legion to her current appearance, much more in line with her in-universe lore depictions. Once a high elf ranger-general of Silvermoon, Sylvanas was murdered by Arthas Menethil when she led a doomed resistance against his invasion. In one climactic battle, that left the capital city of Silvermoon in ruins, he managed to finally beat the elven general, ripping her soul out and transforming her into a banshee. This newest agent of the Lich King was empowered by hatred of the living and an everlasting desire to rule over her new brethren. In The Frozen Throne, Sylvanas was able to regain her free will and body and founded the Forsaken faction of undead while styling herself as the "Banshee Queen". With her new undead forces vowing to avenge her death, they set out to wage war against the Scourge and its dreaded Lich King.
Sylvanas has become one of the most iconic and noted characters in Warcraft lore, and has received generally positive critical reception from players and journalists alike. She is often praised for being a capable military leader and at the same time a sympathetic figure in the game's narrative arcs. The character has been voiced by Patty Mattson since World of Warcraft patch 3.2 but prior to that she was voiced by Piera Coppola. Prior to her Forsaken joining the Horde, her brethren and much of the world began to refer to her as the "Dark Lady" in recognition of the fearsome entity she was becoming. And as of Patch 7.0.3 in the online game, she is also the incumbent Warchief of the Horde, standing as one of the most powerful political leaders in all of Azeroth.
Sylvanas has consistently ranked as one of the most popular characters in the game, and is easily listed among the most recognizable figures (alongside Sarah Kerrigan from StarCraft and Tyrael from Diablo as well as Tracer from Overwatch) from Blizzard Entertainment's published titles. Her storyline and character development have also been regarded as one of the best examples of archers in fiction with excellent backgrounds.