Liches in the Warcraft games look cool. In particular, this is the Naxxramas model of Kel’Thuzad. If you are unfamiliar with either of those names, there’s a pretty dandy, 3-page short story which explores them a little bit. Or if you don’t care, that works too. Neither are really important to the artwork.
The sort of half spectral, half physical design is pulled off really well here. The ornate robes might seem unnecessary and out of place. But liches were once human, why wouldn’t they manifest with some of the trappings of earthly power to which they still cling? Their skull becomes bestial, with sharp teeth and horns, because why WOULDN’T an evil ritual meant to overcome death cause a person to gain demonic features? I like the chains the most, I think. Normally chains on a ghost represent the weight of guilt. It’s about justice for those who have done wrong. Here, I think, the chain is the only remaining connection between the lich’s body and soul. The chain cannot be damaged directly, but its presence lets those who see a lich know that their phylactery is intact. Were the phylactery destroyed, the chains would break.
Also, mateys, do not forget that today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Avast!