The innkeeper

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Medal ranked 1.png
Everyone’s welcome at my inn! There’s rarely a dull moment around here.[1]

Harth Stonebrew,[1] better known as the innkeeper, is the dwarven patron of the tavern in which games of Hearthstone take place. Players can play against him in Practice mode. He also acts as voice-over "announcer" for the game's tutorial battles and events such as disconnects, as well as introducing the player to some of the game's mechanics, such as completing their first Arena run. The innkeeper has also served as announcer for matches in the Hearthstone World Championship.[2]

"Innkeeper" is also the name for Rank 1 in Ranked Play mode, which bears the innkeeper's likeness.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

These quotes are spoken by the innkeeper upon starting the game.

Original
  • Welcome to my inn!
  • Busy night... but there's always room for another!
  • Boys - look who it is!
  • Pull up a chair by the hearth!
  • Welcome back!
  • Ohohoho - it's good to see you again!
  • Ha, find a seat if you can!
Naxxramas
  • Come in, and shut the door, it's cold out there!
  • Welcome! Boys, make some room by the hearth, won't you?
  • Warm your frozen boots by the fire!
  • Have you seen the weather out there? Ohh! At least it's warm in here!
League of Explorers
  • There you are! Back from your adventures?
  • Come in, come in! Tell me about your travels!
  • Everyone - get in here and say hello!
  • Ready for an adventure?
  • Oh, you're back! Let me get you a drink!
  • What treasures are you seeking today?
  • The inn is brimming with explorers tonight!
  • Oh! I can tell you have some new stories tonight!
Whispers of the Old Gods
  • Hahaha... Forget what frightens you, and find a table!
  • I'm glad you're here, friend, there's a chill outside.
  • Oh it's dark out there, come in where it's bright.
  • The inn is oozing with cheer today!
  • Do you hear whispers? Och, let me shut the windows.
Patch 6.2.0.15181
  • The inn is really coming to life today!
  • Exciting night? Woah, tell me about it!
  • The party's already started. Come on in!
  • Welcome to the party!
Mean Streets of Gadgetzan
  • Careful out there after dark.
  • Come in off the streets, you'll be safe and warm!
  • Isn't a big city marvelous?
  • Come on in! ... but, no shenanigans, eh?
  • Where are your journeys taking ya?
  • Hurry in, before someone steals your seat!
Journey to Un'Goro
  • You're back! Come tell us a story or two.
  • Hold on to your mug, we're in for a wild night!
  • It's a jungle out there, come in and cool off!
  • Ohh, something special's cooking tonight.
  • Here, have a seat. You must be ravenous!

Lore[edit | edit source]

In terms of Hearthstone lore, the innkeeper stands on the dividing line between the main Warcraft universe and the magical card game that is Hearthstone itself. Original to Hearthstone, the innkeeper is in many ways the game's central character: the kindly patron who runs the tavern in which the player's matches are played. It is he who welcomes the player back to the tavern each session, and makes sure they can find a table on which to play some cards. He helps new players to learn the game's ropes, and always finds the time to play against anyone who can't find a partner. The innkeeper may even be in charge of handing out rank medals to players, and possibly other rewards, as well as arranging themed games each week.

The innkeeper notably seems to come up with catchy new greetings in keeping with the latest expansion or adventure to be released. He also occasionally tells stories of recent happenings in the tavern (see below), which likewise fit with the theme of upcoming expansions and adventures. While the identity of the game's makers are unknown, all of this suggests that the innkeeper at least keeps an ear out for rumours regarding the game's development, as well as keeping up with the latest packs and adventures released.

While his tall tales are of uncertain canonicity, the innkeeper himself appears to canon in the wider Warcraft lore,[3] although he has yet to appear in World of Warcraft.

The innkeeper's blogs[edit | edit source]

The Innkeeper's Journal or The Innkeeper's Tale is an occasional blog series featuring excerpts from the Innkeeper's journal, documenting events within his inn. The first blog, Patron Dispenser, was released 2014-11-03, the second, High Stakes, was released 2014-11-05, the third, The Innkeeper's Tale, was released 2015-05-12, the fourth, A Mysterious Patron, was released 2015-06-03, and the fifth, A Rattlin' Rally, was released 2015-07-08.

The first two blogs each featured art from an upcoming - and at the time unannounced - Goblins vs Gnomes card, with the story also hinting at the card's function. The fourth hinted at the introduction of the first alternate hero - Magni Bronzebeard. The fifth hints at The Grand Tournament expansion, which was only rumor at the time.

Patron Dispenser[edit | edit source]

Innkeeper's Journal - Patron Dispenser.jpg
Everyone’s welcome at my inn! There’s rarely a dull moment around here. The place is always humming with the sound of patrons busy playing a few rounds of Hearthstone, enjoying a few drinks, and sharing their latest tales brimming with epicness before heading off to their next adventure. Me? I serve the drinks, give some good advice when needed, and make sure everyone leaves with a few stories to tell their friends.
It never ceases to amaze me all of the fantastical ways travelers make their way to my inn. Some arrive to kick up their heels and throw back a pint after arriving on foot or mount, but some really know how to arrive in style. Why, just the other day, a mage arrived via portal! Sometimes, if you catch the angle just right, you can get a glimpse of where they came from right in the middle. That’s always a good icebreaker, and it really puts a smile on their faces when you find some common ground! “I’ll summon ya up a brew!” I always say to the mages, but they somehow always seem to have their own refreshments on them.
Note to self: No outside food or drink at the inn![1]

High Stakes[edit | edit source]

Innkeeper's Journal - High Stakes.jpg
A game or two of Hearthstone at the Inn can really draw a crowd! To make sure everyone can see the action, sometimes the tauren and the draenei have to stand in the back—can’t have them blocking the view. I can’t help it if some of us are a bit smaller in stature.
Speaking of getting a crowd going, just the other day there was a particularly rousing game of Hearthstone happening in the back corner of the Inn. The crowd was really cheering, hooting and hollering, but everyone was giving the table itself a particularly wide berth. An odd sight indeed!
The crowd was watching two goblins, entirely focused on their Hearthstone board—playing speed rounds using real sticks of dynamite as timers! I wasn’t particularly fond of having an open-air window in the corner of the inn, so I strongly suggested they continue their dangerous game outside. The goblins sat outside and continued their game as all the patrons peered out the windows to watch.
When a turn finally went a little too long, the poor fella on the wrong end of that stick was madder than I’d ever seen a goblin be . . . ever. Luck was apparently still on his side, though, because he came through in piece. In fact, he seemed madder about the loss than he was about his singed eyebrows! I’m sure he’ll be back tomorrow though.[4]

The Innkeeper's Tale[edit | edit source]

It started in the inns and taverns, and the sight was always the same: two players studying the game board intently, laying down cards, smiling or snarling as they won or lost. Crowds soon gathered to watch. The game's popularity surged, and before long, you could find Hearthstone game boards all across Azeroth. You'd see players in cities, in merchant convoys, on ships at sea, in barracks and tents within military outposts. You've probably even spotted a few games in your garrison shortly after you arrived on Draenor.
But it began in the inns, and if you want the true Hearthstone experience, there's no better place to play. And there's one inn that rises above all the rest. The one with the innkeeper.
The Innkeeper's Tale - The Innkeeper's Tale.jpg
The one where it truly began.
It's not easy to find. Most visitors can't tell you how they got there. A squad of orcs will say they stumbled in off the streets of Orgrimmar during an unseasonable storm. A caravan of gnome traders might claim they slogged through the Swamp of Sorrows for days before finding the inn in the middle of nowhere.
All around the inn's common room, you will find stories of hard travels, tough fighting, and dangerous adventuring, of digging through snowed-out mountain passes and trudging across unforgiving desert plains.
There is one constant: all found the inn when they needed it most, when they thought they couldn't walk another step or face another day. They discovered the right inn at the right time.
It doesn't matter what faction they represent, what world they hail from, whether they walked into the common room alone or with a group, whether they're unarmed or clad in the finest armor. There to greet them all is innkeeper Stonebrew, the dwarf with a twinkle in his eye and quick hands that can top off a mug and slide it into your grasp before you sit down. If you're looking for a game of Hearthstone, he'll find you an empty seat. If you want to learn how to play, he'll sit across from you and walk you through a friendly match. If you want to watch others compete, he'll lead you to a spot with a view. Whatever you need to warm your soul or soothe your worries, he'll provide.
The Innkeeper's Tale - The Innkeeper's Tale2.jpg
Just don't cause any trouble.
Oh, sure, the inn gets rowdy from time to time; there's no debating that. When two salty types sit down at a Hearthstone table, it's not uncommon to see a few punches traded once the match ends. Ask any dwarf: a night of fun isn't done without a brawl or two. But stick to your fists. Don't pull out any weapons—no blades, no clubs, no axes, no magic with ill intent. Cross that line… well, don't say you weren't warned. The innkeeper is stronger than he looks. You'd probably find yourself flying out of the front door before you landed a single blow, and if you were very, very lucky, you'd end up on a street in a city you recognized.
And this should go without saying: don't cheat. The innkeeper hates cheating. There are tales of poor souls who are doomed forever to draw nothing but Magma Ragers and Angry Chickens for the rest of their days. Play fair, and you won't need to learn firsthand whether those stories are true.
When the night is old and last call is long past, you may find yourself leaving the inn with a Hearthstone board tucked under your arm. Keep it. Most people have trouble finding this inn more than twice in a year. But with a game board of your own, you can share the Hearthstone experience with anyone you please. Plenty of folks even gather together in large groups every week. If someone else has already started one of these Fireside Gatherings near your abode, join in! A night of camaraderie and fellowship has more power than most would suspect.
If there's not a gathering near you, perhaps you are meant to start one yourself. Either way, it's difficult to stay away from the sounds of laughter and cheering. Sit down at a table, strike up a conversation, and join the fun. You never know whom you'll meet.
Maybe you'll even cross paths with a familiar, friendly dwarf as he refills your mug, slaps you on the back, and howls with you as a competitor clears the board with an impossibly lucky play. You won't see him arrive, and you won't notice him leaving, but that's not so strange.
A night of fun is a powerful thing, after all.[5]

A Mysterious Patron[edit | edit source]

The Innkeeper's Tale - A Mysterious Patron.png
It was a busy night like any other as groups of adventurers and heroes huddled around a heated game of Hearthstone in the Inn’s common room. There was an air of tension as the game in progress began to go into its final rounds, both opponents staring into their hand of cards with intense focus. Spectators wrung their hands and watched each play with bated breath, hoping their favored player would emerge victorious.
A collective gasp and hearty applause accompanied the epic final plays by both opponents, followed by excited chatter and the sound of mugs clinking together in celebration. The winner boasted merrily to the gathered crowd while his opponent ponderously mulled over his plays, unsure as to where he went wrong. The innkeeper grinned broadly to himself, as he wiped down the bar; this night, like every night before it, was just the start to another rousing story these patrons would later regale to their friends.
Eyes flickered over to the door of the inn as it swung open, heads absently nodding in greeting to the visitor. Some gazes held at the door, and ever so slowly, the excited chatter that filled the inn with a buzzing din hushed to a whispering murmur. The innkeeper looked up, curious as to what could possibly calm the raucous energy that had previously filled the air.
An imposing, broad-shouldered figure lingered at the door. Patrons squinted, their eyes adjusting to the light as they tried to make out the newcomer. Hesitation brought with it a mild tension as for a brief moment, no one moved or spoke.
The innkeeper’s warm, hearty laugh echoed throughout the common room as he gestured the newcomer inside, breaking the sudden silence. The patrons laughed along with his infectious guffaw. Mugs were hefted high, and cries of challenge were shouted, clamoring to be heard.
Oh, the stories that would be told tonight![6]

A Rattlin' Rally[edit | edit source]

The Innkeeper's Tale - A Rattlin' Rally.jpg
The Inn is the kind of place that will always welcome anyone and everyone who’s willing to play fair and have fun, so we get all sorts here. Still. . . Some crowds leave a real impression!
Today was somethin’ else! The air was filled with the happy hubbub of folks dueling away and enjoying one another’s company, no matter where they hailed from; nothing too out of the ordinary. The funny thing was, most of ‘em were wearing the shiniest armor you ever saw—including the magic-using types! I even saw murlocs all geared up in plate, clankin’ about like wee fishy-smellin’ mechs. I’ll never forget the young Dwarven lass leadin’ a majestic unicorn around the common room! That seemed to make the other patrons nervous, since getting impaled is usually inconvenient, but they had nothin’ to worry about.
Soon enough, everyone finished their brews (even the unicorn!), wrapped up their Hearthstone games, and got back to whatever journey they were on. It was an inspiring sight, and I admit that I was sorry to see ‘em go.
I have to wonder where they were all headed. Of course, the Inn has a knack for putting itself right where the excitement is, so I reckon I’ll be findin’ out soon enough![7]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • One of the earliest pieces of innkeeper art (see below) shows him with a collection of medals, suggesting he may be the person in charge of awarding ranks and arena medals to players, or else has recently earned these medals himself. Note that the picture shows the original medal system, used prior to Patch 1.0.0.4217.
  • The innkeeper has a pet (or at least companion) rat, named Sarge.[8][9] Originally featured in promo art from the time of the game's launch, Sarge has since appeared in most art depicting the innkeeper, such as that created for BlizzCon each year, as well as some key art for new features and content releases. Sarge was first shown wearing the "Three-Star Master" medal, indicating the second highest ranking in Ranked play during the early beta.
  • The art seen in-game comes from the TCG card named Alliance The Perfect Stout.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The innkeeper was inspired by the narrator in the indie action RPG Bastion, which Ben Brode was playing during the period in which he was building the Tutorial.[10]
  • The startup quote "Everyone - get in here and say hello!" is based on the summoning quote of Grim Patron. Its use here is likely due to the phrase's high popularity among the community, especially in the months following the release of Blackrock Mountain, which saw the Patron Warrior deck become one of the strongest in the meta. The phrase's popularity is reflected in the creation of sites such as http://everyonegetinhere.com.

Voice artist[edit | edit source]

  • The innkeeper is voiced by Terrence Stone.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

The Innkeeper.jpg
Innkeeper, full art
In the Curse of Naxxramas trailer
Gamescom 2015 promotional art
BlizzCon 2015 promotional art
BlizzCon 2016 promotional art

Patch changes[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Innkeeper's Journal - Patron Dispenser. (2014-11-03). 
  2. http://www.twitch.tv/playhearthstone - Hearthstone Americas Championship, 2015-10-11.
  3. Muffinus on Twitter. (2016-11-27). 
  4. Innkeeper's Journal - High Stakes. (2014-11-05). 
  5. The Innkeeper's Tale. (2015-05-12). 
  6. http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/blog/19534827/the-innkeepers-tale-a-mysterious-patron-6-3-2015
  7. http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/blog/19822385/the-innkeeper’s-tale-a-rattlin’-rally-7-8-2015
  8. Samwise Didier on Twitter. (2016-03-07). 
  9. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2016-11-05). 
  10. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2016-04-24).