In an interview, Nathan Weaver says that he conceived the vision for the band and wrote the first two songs “Wolves in the Throne Room” and “Black Tea” at an Earth First! rendezvous in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in 2002. The band has often performed outdoors and has expressed support for radical environmentalism.
The band was formed during April 2003 when brothers Aaron and Nathan Weaver bought an old farmstead called Calliope, which had previously been rented by students of the nearby Evergreen State College, on the outskirts of Olympia, WA. They then started working on the music that would become the 2004 Demo. Afterwards, Rich Corle joined the band and contributed to what is still the band's current sound. In interviews Aaron states that it was the brothers’ goal to create a musical expression of an expanding consciousness that linked the mythic and apocalyptic visions of black metal with “life-changing actions on the physical plane." Nathan Weaver managed an all ages art and performance space in Olympia called Manium. It was shut down by the City of Olympia in 2007 for safety violations, resulting in a great deal of local protest and controversy.
In mid 2004, guitarist-vocalist Nick Paul joined the band and the group recorded the 2004 Demo. This recording featured a stronger crust punk and thrash metal influence.
Nick Paul left the band amicably in late 2004. The addition of vocalist and guitarist Richard Dahlen solidified the band’s line-up. The band went on to record the 2005 Demo, and the Diadem of 12 Stars and Two Hunters albums.
Wolves in the Throne Room has toured the west coast of the United States extensively. In the fall of 2007, the band toured the continental United States. In 2008 the band played on the 13th edition of the Roadburn festival in The Netherlands followed by a 2009 appearance at the French HellFest.