While waiting for Diablo 3 to come out, I have been playing Diablo 2 for the first time with a buddy. While playing, I've heard several characters mention the Prime Evils. The game doesn't really do a great job of explaining story.

Who are they? I think I understood that Diablo himself is one. Who are the others? How did they get to be Prime Evils?

I don't like wiki-anything answers. I will accept as canon anything from a Diablo game, novel, or official Blizzard chat.

  • 7
    They are evils one, three and five.
    – Xantec
    Commented Apr 30, 2012 at 20:05
  • @Xantec that's about on-par with Blizzard's usual writing talent - wouldn't be surprised to see that twist come in Diablo III. Commented Apr 30, 2012 at 20:11
  • 6
    @Xantec ONE IS NOT PRIME! ;)
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Apr 30, 2012 at 22:06
  • 4
    @Xantec - You probably should have went with 2, 3, 5. Mentioning 1 in a list of primes and skipping over 2 hurt my soul.
    – Dason
    Commented May 1, 2012 at 0:32
  • 1
    It's ok. Just blame it on Duriel.
    – Dason
    Commented May 1, 2012 at 2:26

3 Answers 3


I remember the Diablo I manual, as a wee child, detailing the backstory. Here are snippets from the manual:


“Seven is the number of the powers of Hell, and Seven is the number of the Great evils.”

Duriel, the Lord of Pain

Andariel, the Maiden of Anguish

Belial, the Lord of Lies

Azmodan, the Lord of Sin

As the Lesser Four continuously vied for the control of those forces that dwelled within their realms, the Greater Three held absolute power over the whole of Hell.

Mephisto, the Lord of Hatred

Baal, the Lord of Destruction

Diablo, the Lord of Terror

Taking snippets out of so this answer remains succinct:

The Three Brothers ruled over the Lesser Four by brutal force and malicious cunning. Being the eldest and strongest of the Evils, the Three Brothers were responsible for countless victories against the armies of the Light.

The Prime evils were the main three bad guys in the world, holding rule over Hell and assaulting the heavens.

With the ascension of Man and the subsequent standstill of the Great Conflict, the Three Brothers began to devote their energies to the perversion of mortal souls.

The Prime evils now become more sinister and work on corrupting man.

In their ignorance, the Lesser Evils began to believe that the Three were afraid to continue the war with Heaven. Frustrated by the cessation of the war, Azmodan and Belial saw the situation as their chance to overthrow the Prime Evils and take control of Hell for themselves.

With this change of plan of the Prime Evils, led to them being overthrown.

The Prime Evils, weakened and bodiless, were banished to the mortal realm where Azmodan hoped that they would remain trapped forever.

This is where the Horadrim come in to trap and bind the prime evils

Eventually, a secretive order of mortal magi was gathered together by the enigmatic Arch-Angel Tyrael. These sorcerers were to hunt the Three Evils and put an end to their vicious rampage.

They track down Baal and Mephisto:

Mephisto and Baal, trapped within the swirling, spiritual constraints of the Soulstones, were then buried beneath the dunes of the desolate Eastern Sands.

And latter after much searching Diablo:

After a great battle which claimed the lives of many brave souls, the Lord of Terror was captured and imprisoned within the last of the Soulstones by a group of Horadrim monks led by the Initiate Jered Cain.

Some time passed and Tristram grew up around the monastery, with Diablo still captured beneath it in his soulstone, which is where the first game begins.

  • +1, I missed the "what" part of the question when I answered.
    – dlanod
    Commented Apr 30, 2012 at 22:29

The Paladin entry in the Diablo II manual calls out the Three Prime Evils by name.

[The Paladins] resolved to fight the true source of corruption, the Three Prime Evils - Diablo, Baal, and Mephisto.


According to the diablo wikipedia entry, they are Mephisto, Baal, and Diablo.

The Horadrim captured the three prime evils, first to be captured was Mephisto, Lord of Hatred, then Baal, Lord of Destruction, and finally Diablo, Lord of Terror.

Why they are called the Prime Evils, according to diablowiki.net:

The Prime Evils, also known as the Three Brothers, are the rulers of the Burning Hells, and the three most powerful demons in existence. They are the "greater half" of the Great Evils, and in some level of contest or conflict with the Lesser of the Great Evils.

  • I forgot to mention in my question, I don't accept wiki answers. They're just too inaccurate for legitimate answers. I prefer straight canon sources. Commented Apr 30, 2012 at 20:51

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