“Where’s Mankrik’s wife” is one of World of Warcraft’s longest-running memes, and it it all started with a forgettable little quest. Back when World of Warcraft first launched in 2004, Horde players would venture into the vast Barrens and would encounter an orc named Mankirk who had been separate from his wife during a quillboar attack.
It was an infamously difficult quest to complete because the Barrens was one of WoW’s biggest zones and Mankrik’s directions to her possible location were so vague. There weren’t any markers directing you where to go back in those days, so players could spend hours looking for her. Most would turn to Barrens chat—a zone-wide chat channel—to ask for help, which in turn spawned the meme.
That it became a big in-joke with the community is pretty dark because Mankrik’s wife is never recovered. Instead, players find a dead orc woman labelled as “beaten corpse,” assume it’s her, and return to tell Mankrik the bad news.
This tiny story never really got a proper conclusion. In the Cataclysm expansion, Mankrik’s quest was removed from the game and he was relocated near a newly-created monument to his dead wife, named Olga. And that was that.
Fast forward 10 years, though, and some keen players found an NPC named Olga trapped in Warcraft’s version of the afterlife. Called the Shadowlands, it’s a kind of multiverse of heavens and hells. Each soul that dies on Azeroth is judged by their deeds and sent to one of these realms to live forever. Olga, it seems, had a fighting spirit because she was sentenced to live her afterlife in Maldraxxus, a realm of undead soldiers locked in constant war.
If you don’t have access to the Shadowlands beta, you’ll have to wait until it launches on November 23 to see her for yourself. According to Wowhead, she’s found in Burning Thicket, in the western part of Maldraxxus, and is found fighting monsters as a member of the Undying Army. If you talk to her, she’ll say that “[the monster’s] screams aren’t as satisfying as quillboar, but they’ll do.”
All this time I viewed Olga as a victim, someone slaughtered by the cruel quillboar, but it turns out she’s actually kind of a badass. Anyway, it’s neat to see Shadowlands conclude one of Warcraft’s longest running jokes.