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Old 03-02-2002, 02:33 PM   #1
Gorin Icearms
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Tolkien Who were the Ringwraiths?

I mean who were they before they went wraith. One was the Witch-king of Angmar, but who were the others?
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Old 03-02-2002, 02:39 PM   #2
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Weren't they the "Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die"? They were the 9 mortal kings that Sauron gave rings to.
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Old 03-02-2002, 02:41 PM   #3
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Yes but who were they?
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Old 03-02-2002, 02:44 PM   #4
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Postal workers.
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Old 03-02-2002, 02:45 PM   #5
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[img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 03-02-2002, 03:06 PM   #6
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Sorry, I don't know. I guess one of them must be Isildur's dad, though.
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Old 03-02-2002, 03:57 PM   #7
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Elven-Maiden, Isildur's father, Elendil, was not one of the RingWraiths. Elendil led the Last Alliance with Gil-galad, and died in the Siege of Barad-dûr. His sword Narsil was broken in the battle, it was reclaimed by Isildur and with the broken shards of the sword, he cut the ring from Sauron's hand. This was the sword that was later reforged into Andúril, Aragorn's sword.

You remember Faramir's and Borimir's dream,
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Seek for the sword that was broken, for in Imladris it dwells.
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Part of Aragorn's Poem:
from the ashes a fire shall be woken,
a light from the shadows will spring,
renewed shall be blade that was broken,
the crownless again shall be king."
[ March 02, 2002: Message edited by: Joy ]
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Old 03-02-2002, 04:05 PM   #8
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Sting

It doesn't seem to be recorded, unless Tolkien addressed it in his letters. They were all ensnared around the same time of the Second Age, and I wonder if they were not all allies or sub-cheiftains under King Angmar. Perhaps it was he who distributed the other rings, promising long life and power to them in exchange for their help in his wars.

Of course, that's just speculation. I have read nothing that would confirm that.
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Old 03-02-2002, 04:07 PM   #9
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The name of only one of the ringwraith's is known: Khamul, the 'Black Easterling'. It is also known that 3 of the Ringwraiths were Numenoreans. Everything else, however, is a mystery. Not even the Witch King's real name is recorded.
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Old 03-02-2002, 04:17 PM   #10
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Silmaril

all the Ringwraiths were Chiefs of Men corrupted, one by one, by Sauron. He gave them rings and thus ensnared them.
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Old 03-02-2002, 07:38 PM   #11
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Actually, I think it is possible to make some reasonable guesses into some of the details of the Nazgul.

I think it reasonable to suppose that in his lifetime the man that became the Witch-King was in fact a king. I would guess that he probably was not one of the Numenoreans, except that the Numenoreans were a cut above other men, and the Witch-King was a cut above the other Nazgul. Still I lean (for no explicable reason) towards a non-Numenorean origin for the Witch-King.

Khamul was obviously an Easterling of some sort. For the same inexplicable reason I tend to think that he was also a king while he was "alive."

Moving to the three Numenoreans (assuming that the Witch-King was not one of them) I think that it would be a fair bet that at one time one of them had been the king (or whatever other type of ruler) of the Numenorean colony at Umbar. (Yes, I know somebody will say, "but then why couldn't the Witch-King have been the ruler of Umbar?" I don't know so don't ask me!) For the other two, I always thought of them being wizards or sorcerers or something of that ilk.

For the rest, you would probably have a cross section of all the different types of people. Some Haradrim and other Southern folk, as well as various and sundry types of Easterlings. Maybe there was one from the Northmen as well.

Just some idle and unprovable speculation.
(But I don't think that my guesses are far out though.)
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Old 03-02-2002, 08:01 PM   #12
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The Eye

In the little legacy/poem that tells a story about the ring, it tells about how 9 rings of power were given to men, and how they were doomed to die. They became wraiths when they were corrupted by the rings of power, and were connected and drawn to the ONE RING when it was on the bearer's finger.

Elendil was not a ring-wraith because he was out to stop the evil of Sauron, not to spread it.

As for the names of the ring-wraiths, all I know is that they were all kings of men, including the witch-king.
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Old 03-02-2002, 08:09 PM   #13
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I don't think that all of them were necessarily kings. I think that some of them may have been just really powerful sorcerers. I might be wrong on that point though.
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Old 03-03-2002, 12:22 AM   #14
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<center><font color="red">My colleagues were great Kings and Sorcerors of the Black Numenoreans, Easterlings and Southerlings.

However, I personally was a captured princess of Fornost who was tortured and lost her memory, mindlessly accepting Sauron's ring and therefore becoming a Nazgul [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 03-03-2002, 11:19 AM   #15
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Sting

I would guess that the Witch-King was descended from the Edain but never actually went to Numenor. Only a guess though.
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Old 03-03-2002, 01:29 PM   #16
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Sting

Which only goes to show:

Beware of those 'bearing gifts.' Like Annatar.
[img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]

Tolkien could've written another LoTR sized book on the Second Age, especially involving the seduction of the Nine to the Rings, who they were, where they were from. All I know is, I wouldn't want to meet one in a dark alley. Or two...Or Nine for that matter...
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Old 03-03-2002, 04:04 PM   #17
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No. They were all kings. As is clearly stated in both the movie and the books. After all, why just hand out 9 rings of power to random men walking by? [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]
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Old 03-03-2002, 05:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Men proved easier to ensnare. Those who used the Nine Rings became mighty in their days, kings, sorcerers, and warriors of old. They obtained glory and great wealth, yet it turned to their undoing.

-Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age
From the way that is phrased I would assume that they were not all kings. If they were, why call them anything else?
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Old 03-03-2002, 05:58 PM   #19
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Pipe

I like the postal workers theory! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

Seriously...there were some groups of men who had no real "kingdom" so to speak. They were loosely organized, so maybe the men in charge of those groups could be to whom Tolkien referred to. I think (not really able to recall anything clearly thanks to extra strength sinus meds right now) I read about a reference to them in Unfinished Tales.
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Old 03-03-2002, 10:21 PM   #20
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Exactly Kuruharan! Thank-you!
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Old 06-06-2002, 03:49 PM   #21
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I see the socities of the Eastelings as orgnized as clans, and the Hradrim in tribes, so they could have easly been kings as well as soccers, shamen, or witchdoctors,
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Old 06-07-2002, 03:56 PM   #22
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Only two of the Nazgul are identified in writings of Tolkien...The Witch King of Angmar, (who I assume is one of the Numenoreans), and Khamul, Shadow of the East. In the Middle Earth collectible card game, they were all given names. Where these names came from, I have no idea.

#1 Witch King
#2 Khamul the Easterling
#3 Dwar of Waw
#4 Hoarmurath of Dir
#5 Akhorahil
#6 Ren the Unclean
#7 Adunaphel
#8 Indur Dawndeath
#9 Uvatha the Horseman
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Old 06-22-2002, 12:05 AM   #23
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Ring

The Witch-King was called Murazor. He was one of the kings of the house of Numenor. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 06-22-2002, 03:31 AM   #24
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What NicktheOrc said is completely false.
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Old 06-23-2002, 10:39 AM   #25
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so who were they, isn't is said in one of the books? [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]
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Old 06-23-2002, 10:47 AM   #26
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Are you sure that the Witch-King was not a nazgûl before he made the realm of Angmar? I have always thought that he was a wraith before he made Angmar, because if he was still enjoying the fun it is to have a magical ring, why should he destroy Arnor? Wouldn't he have been to selfish to aid Sauron unless he was totally under Sauron's dominion?
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Old 06-24-2002, 09:27 PM   #27
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Quote:
I have always thought that he was a wraith before he made Angmar
You are correct sir.
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Old 02-25-2005, 11:39 PM   #28
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the names of the nazgul

Murazor(witchking)
Khamul
Dwar
Indur
Akhorahil
Hoamurath
Adunaphel
Ren
Uvatha
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Old 02-25-2005, 11:50 PM   #29
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The only Nazgul that J.R.R. Tolkien has given names to are the Witch-King of Angmar and Khamul the Easterling. Three of the Nazgul are said to 'be of high Numenorean race'. All the supposed 'names' given to the Nazgul are made up, either by the makers of trading cards or random websites. Or just randomly .
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Old 02-26-2005, 02:41 AM   #30
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Quote:
Men proved easier to ensnare. Those who used the Nine Rings became mighty in their days, kings, sorcerers, and warriors of old. They obtained glory and great wealth, yet it turned to their undoing.

-Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age
This quote, that Kuruharan has posted already before, does only imply, that they became mighty in their days, kings, sorcerers, and warriors of old after they had received their Rings.
Consequently it could be, that some of the Nazgûl were normal Men, with no title or noble origin. The Rings made them mighty, it must not be, that they had been mighty before.
That let to the question, on which criteries Sauron has chosen the Ringbearers. Surely were most of them Númenórians, they are supposed to be more powerful as normal Men because of their origin. That there are at least some Númenórians, shows this footnote of Letter 156:

Quote:
There were evil Númenórians: Sauronians, but they do not come into this story, except remotely; as the wicked kings who had become Nazgûl or Ringwraiths.
And that not all are Númenórians is shown in the title of Khamûl: the Easterling.
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Old 02-26-2005, 05:24 AM   #31
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The only name Tolkien mentions in connection with the nazgul is Khamul, there is a slight possibility that Gothmog the lieutenantof Morgul may have been a nazgul. The Witch-King of Angmar is a title not a name. Tolkien wrote books, he didnt sanction any card games, computer games or role-playing games, so which nutter has decided to give names to the nazgul is irrelevent. So to end all the speculation, here are the only words that matter:


1. The Witch-King of Angmar.

2. Khamul the Black Easterling.

3. Gothmog(A big maybe).

4. Nazgul 4.

5. Nazgul 5.

6. Nazgul 6.

7. Nazgul 7.

8. Nazgul 8.

9. Nazgul 9.

So until a hidden manuscript of Tolkiens turns up naming them Tom, Dick and Harry, we will have to call them The Nazgul.
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Old 02-28-2005, 07:46 AM   #32
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Gothmog was a commander of the armies of Mordor, but was he a nazgul?
I don't think so. (But I don't know what was he then...)
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Old 02-28-2005, 09:32 AM   #33
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Gothmog was a commander of the armies of Mordor, but was he a nazgul?
I don't think so. (But I don't know what was he then...)
This is both unknown and unknowable. The only "evidence" that he was a Nazgul is the line of reasoning:

1. After the Witch-king's death, the second in command of the army would have taken over.

2. The second in command must have been the second most important member of Sauron's forces present at the battle.

3. The Nazgul were present and are more important than any other of Sauron's minions.

4. Therefore Gothmog is a Nazgul.

This line of thought does actually make some sense, but it's certainly not airtight. And that is that. I'm afraid there's even less room for a well-argued position here than in the Balrog wing debate.
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Old 02-28-2005, 10:05 AM   #34
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To add further to the reasoning of Aiwendil: Gothmog is called The Lieutenant of Morgul ie Minas Morgul, that is where the Nazgul dwell. Can anyone seriously consider that anything but a Nazgul would be the second in command of their own power base, certainly not that orc from the film, who looked more like Pumpkinhead.
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Old 02-28-2005, 11:22 PM   #35
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The title taken by the Lord of the Nazgûl in the middle of the Third Age, when he founded the northern realm of Angmar in opposition to the northern lands of the Dúnedain (Arthedain and its allies). I thought that he became witch king of angmar after he was a wraith.
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Old 03-01-2005, 10:43 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IlfirinMelme
The title taken by the Lord of the Nazgûl in the middle of the Third Age, when he founded the northern realm of Angmar in opposition to the northern lands of the Dúnedain (Arthedain and its allies). I thought that he became witch king of angmar after he was a wraith.
He was a wraith. It was a wraith that he was the Witch-king. In fact, he had been a wraith for LONG time before he became the king of Angmar. If we assume that he got his ring in the mid-Second Age, and that it didn't take more than a century or two to wraith-ify him (if I may be permitted a bit of errant word-making), then he was a wraith for something close to an age before Sauron decided to give him a kingdom.
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Old 03-02-2005, 04:27 AM   #37
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In Of the Rings of Power and the Second Age it says that after Sauron had gathered the Rings of Power to himself he
Quote:
dealt them out to the other people of Middle Earth, hoping thus to bring under his sway all those that desired secret power beyond the measure of their kind
so it was Sauron that dealt them out.
In the Silmarillion Tolkien wrote
Quote:
...In the south and in the further east Men multiplied; and most of them turned to evil, for Sauron was at work.
.

We also know that the Harad-men and the Easterlings worshipped Sauron; he was their overlord, so I would suggest that more than one of the Nazgul were Easterlings or Southerners, tribal chieftans, warlords, men of power at any rate. We don't know how large the eastern areas went, but they had a lot more men than Minas Tirith did, as we saw in the battle before the Morannon, so probably large. This is all a long way of saying I think that the Nazgul (apart from the Numenoreans) were of eastern and southern extraction
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Old 03-02-2005, 06:32 AM   #38
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Okay, Gothmog was a nazgul then...
But I just thought about the name. Can you think about a numenorean (even a black numenorean) lord naming his son Gothmog? Or did Gothmog take the name afterwards? (Oh my big mouth - it should be shut forever, because this leads to another topic- the names of the ringwraiths. Was Khamul called "the black easterling" before he became a nazgul? Or did he get a new "nazgul-name", like the Witch-king of Angmar?) While writing this post my thoughts about the topic changed a lot. So try to survive me...
My point is that logically (note I'm not saying this is true - just logic) Gothmog was a nazgul and named after his nazgul-becoming. (And this makes my notations fully meaningless. Poor me... )
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Old 03-02-2005, 06:52 AM   #39
Halbarad
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I don't think Gothmog was a Nazgul for two reasons: The Witch King wouldn't have tolerated a being with as much power as one of the other Nazgul in his place. Instead he would have had a lesser servant (but still evil and fulfilling the other requirements) that he would be able to dominate, and who would be able to run things while the Nine were off on business.

Actually, the second reason is less debatable than the first, but I'll let the first stand.
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Old 03-02-2005, 07:08 AM   #40
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A clever point, Halbarad - I think I shouldn't say anything because you all have influenced my opinion and I don't know what to say. Probably the best thing to do is to forget this topic, which can't be solved, and to return to the original topic. (I know this current topic is related - even very much related to the original topic, but still...)
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