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View Poll Results: Gothmog was
A Nazgūl 15 34.09%
A Black Numenorean 21 47.73%
An orc chieftan 8 18.18%
Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-04-2005, 12:04 PM   #1
Fordim Hedgethistle
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Gothmog: the poll

Ha ha!! Another raging debate that needs settling….

Read, and then decide:

Who/What is Gothmog?
Gothmog????
Gothmog a nazgul?
Gothmog?
Gothmog and Sauron
The WitchKing and Gothmog

(And you can all blame Nilpaurion Felagund for this one…)
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Old 08-04-2005, 02:49 PM   #2
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The madness continues!

I salute you Fordim (and Nilp). Now let me read through those threads. Incidentally, how come Hog isn't an option?

EDIT TO ADD: Black Numenorean or some other twisted sort of Man. He might never have been to Numenor...
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Old 08-04-2005, 04:38 PM   #3
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Well after reading a bit...Two things came to me I didn't relize we don't know what the mouth of Sauron was either is it possible gothmog and the mouth are the two mysterious blue wizards as I recall from UT neither of the blue wizards had known names outside of those given them by the valar without a dictionary at habd what does gothmog translate too is there a translation?
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Old 08-04-2005, 07:44 PM   #4
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Gothmog- of the Lord of the Rings, is- in my humble opinion, mind- a Nazgul. For reasons more clearly stated elsewhere (no, I don't know where- ask someone else) he was most logically, as Lieutenant of Morgul, a Nazgul.

Of course, that's just my opinion and interpretation of the text.
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Old 08-04-2005, 07:53 PM   #5
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I would think that it would logically be a Nazgul. Sauron would want, if possible, somebody like a Nazgul to lead if he were not there. Why? He has great power and influence and essentially has no will but Sauron's will; therefore he would make the greatest leader in Sauron's mind. That is why his first in command was a Nazgul and so would his second.
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Old 08-04-2005, 08:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morsul the Dark
Well after reading a bit...Two things came to me I didn't relize we don't know what the mouth of Sauron was either is it possible gothmog and the mouth are the two mysterious blue wizards as I recall from UT neither of the blue wizards had known names outside of those given them by the valar without a dictionary at habd what does gothmog translate too is there a translation?
We do know that the Mouth was a Black Numenorean, presumably of great age -- definitely a Man, and so not one of the Blue Wizards.
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Old 08-04-2005, 10:26 PM   #7
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I think it could be a toss-up between Nazgul or some sort of man (Black Numenorean).

As stated in one of those Gothmog threads I started I basically ruled out that he was an orc. I just don't imagine Sauron trusting an Orc enough to be second in command to his entire army. Though since Tolkien did never say the possibility is still there, but to me I'm 99 percent sure Gothmog wasn't an orc. Simply for the reason that I don't see Sauron giving an Orc that hight up in position. What would you argue, 3rd in command (Witch-king, Mouth of Sauron, Gothmog)?

It's reasonable to suspect he's another Nazgul. I mean if the Witch-King is first in command another nazgul could be second in command (would make sense). Problem is I thought Tolkien only came out and said he named two nazgul and he didn't feel it necessary to name them all (but I could be wrong).

My guess has always been Black Numenorean. Gothmog does not sound like a "man" name, however is it possible that his name was forgotten and was later named Gothmog? Sort of like how the Mouth of Sauron's name was forgotten.
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Old 08-04-2005, 11:05 PM   #8
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Gothmog II

Whatever Gothmog was, he almost certainly wasn't going by his real name. The original Gothmog was Morgoth's Lord of Balrogs, who killed Fėanor and Fingon, before himself being killed by Ecthelion (a different one, not Boromir's grandfather ) in the Fall of Gondolin.

One question is, was Gothmog the "real" name of the Head Balrog? Tolkien doesn't seem to have decided what the origin of the name was. It may contain the same root as Morgoth, "the Black Enemy", which was actually the Sindarin translation of the name given to The Bad Guy Formerly Known As Melkor, by Fėanor. Was Gothmog the Balrog Lord's real name, or just the name by which the elves referred to him?

I can't see a human being given the name Gothmog at birth, although perhaps for an orc it's plausible. It seems strange, though, if Gothmog was really a Sindarin name of insult, why Sauron would pick that as a pseudonym for his lieutenant. It would make sense that Sauron would want to give one of his top lieutenants the same name as one of the top lieutenants of his former master (although Sauron's Gothmog wasn't nearly as fearsome), so maybe Gothmog was the Balrog Lord's real name.
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Old 08-05-2005, 11:48 PM   #9
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Pipe Gothmog.

He wasn't an Orc, as Sauron wouldn't trust command of his main force to an Orc.

He couldn't be a Nazgūl, as Gothmog is an Sindarin name, and all of the Nazgūl are either Nśmenórean or Easterling Men, with names derived from their languages.

He is most possibly a Black Nśmenórean. We have precedent for a lieutenant to be a Man. Most of you remember the Mouth of Sauron, right? He was the Lieutenant of Barad-dūr.

I'm pretty sure he was a Black Nśmenórean.

To those interested, here is where the whole thing started.
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Old 08-05-2005, 11:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nilpaurion Felagund
He couldn't be a Nazgūl, as Gothmog is an Sindarin name, and all of the Nazgūl are either Nśmenórean or Easterling Men, with names derived from their languages.
Does that hold water, though?

After all, Sindarin was one of those languages of Numenor...
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Old 08-06-2005, 12:01 AM   #11
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Pipe Re:

But surely Sauron started recruiting Nazgūl potentials during the years of Anti-Elven Nśmenor. Those chaps would have Adūnaic names.
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Old 08-06-2005, 12:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nilpaurion Felagund
But surely Sauron started recruiting Nazgūl potentials during the years of Anti-Elven Nśmenor. Those chaps would have Adūnaic names.
That early on? I dunno for sure...

And anyway, Sauron himself used Elven letters on the ONE RING, of all things.

I'm not sold that it was a Nazgul (although I do think it most likely), just playing-

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Old 08-06-2005, 01:04 AM   #13
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Pipe Oh good grief!

Humm. This just reminds me how long it has been since I read The Lord of the Rings.

Looking at the characteristics that Orcs show throughout The Lord of the Rings, I think that it is unlikely that Sauron would place one in charge of his armies. Orcs are very little more than a mindless rabble from what we see. I do not think Sauron was that stupid.
I've not cast a vote yet as I think I'll need to think about it for a while. But so far, I don't think I'd be voting Orc. I'm also doubting Nazgul as I think all the other Nazgul are named at some point, aren’t they? (I can't honestly remember) But then again, The King of Angmar later became "The Witch King" so Sauron was a name changer.
However, if Sauron wanted to name a second in command after the king of Balrogs, then I suppose a Nazgul would be the obvious choice...

[EDIT] I've just voted Nazgul as it seemed the most likely.
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Old 08-06-2005, 05:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nilp
He couldn't be a Nazgūl, as Gothmog is an Sindarin name, and all of the Nazgūl are either Nśmenórean or Easterling Men, with names derived from their languages.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil
Sindarin was one of those languages of Numenor...
Akallabeth:
Quote:
So it cames to pass that, beside their own names, all the lords of the Numenoreans had also Eldarin names
"Beside their own names" implies that the Adunaic names were primarily used, with Sindarin names used in records or in communicating with the Eldar, that is, less frequently.

That said, I'm not yet decided, and haven't yet been through all the threads on the matter.

EDIT:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nilp
But surely Sauron started recruiting Nazgūl potentials during the years of Anti-Elven Nśmenor. Those chaps would have Adūnaic names.
Quote:
Originally Posted by North-Victor
That early on? I dunno for sure...
According to Appendix B, The One Ring was forged in about 1600 S.A. The Nazgul only appear at about 2251 S.A. though, so that should be the latest date of the Nazgul recruitment. About 1800 S.A. The Shadow falls on Numenor.

So yes, it would appear Sauron had started to choose his Nazgul potentials early on, but they would probably still have Adunaic names. So I don't think Gothmog could be a Nazgul.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil
And anyway, Sauron himself used Elven letters on the ONE RING, of all things.
What other letters were there to use?

Actually, what if Gothmog was simply the name given by the West to the lieutenant? In that case, he would have a different name in the black speech, and so all this language debate would be pointless...

Sigh. I think my brain might explode. Good job, Fordim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hookbill
I'm also doubting Nazgul as I think all the other Nazgul are named at some point, aren’t they?
Nope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hookbill
But then again, The King of Angmar later became "The Witch King" so Sauron was a name changer.
I'm quite sure these names were given to the W-K by Men, not Sauron.

I prefer the Balrog wings debate...

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Old 08-06-2005, 12:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Actually, what if Gothmog was simply the name given by the West to the lieutenant? In that case, he would have a different name in the black speech, and so all this language debate would be pointless...
I don't think it stands to reason that the good guys would name their adversary randomly after a balrog of the First Age.

I also think Tolkien would have made it clear if Gothmog was a Nazgul, a Black Numenorean, etc. Never was Gothmog described in the way of the other Nazgul (striking fear into the heart of his enemies, etc.), and Tolkien went out of his way to describe the dark origins of the Mouth of Sauron, making him seem like something of an anomaly in the Third Age. Withholding Gothmog's race is to me either an indication that Tolkien didn't want us to know, or that he figured the reader would assume the lieutenant was a regular man or orc - the two races which made up the vast majority of Sauron's fighting force. Orc is obviously more likely, because as far as we know there were no living men in Minas Morgul.
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Old 08-06-2005, 02:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Son of Nśmenor
I don't think it stands to reason that the good guys would name their adversary randomly after a balrog of the First Age.
Who says it was random?

Gothmog- if a non-Nazgul- stands in about the same relation to the Witchking and Sauron as the first Gothmog did to Sauron and Morgoth: a second lieutanent not entirely associated with the first, and not quite as "prominent" in the tactical command.

And if we remember the Translator's Conceit, then it is entirely possible that Gothmog is a name inserted later by Frodo/Pippin/Gondorian transcriber to name the "Lieutenant of Morgul".

~Voted for Nazgul, but not convinced,

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Old 08-06-2005, 02:24 PM   #17
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Thumbs up

If we look at this logically, and think, "Who would Sauron most likely put second in command to Old Witchie?" And "Who would old Witchie put as his second?" it would have to be someone weaker than the Witch King, but much stronger than anything else in his armies.
A Nazgūl is beginning to look more likely to me now, as it seems that that would be the obvious choice. Something that both Orcs and men would fear more than anything of their own kind. Orcs and men could easily rise up against a captain who was of their own kind, being the jealous type. And Look at how Sauron (and Melkor) ruled the Orcs, "In fear" keep them in line. One of their own kind would not be able to do this effectively. So, in keeping with Sauron's character, A Nazgūl would be the most likely lieutenant to the Witch King.
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Old 08-07-2005, 01:16 AM   #18
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Are you all kidding? Gothmog is obviously a pink Orcish individual whose eyes show strains of mutation.
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Old 08-07-2005, 01:39 AM   #19
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Seriously, though, I'm quite undecided whether he is a Black Nśmenorean or an Orc chieftain. He being a Nazgūl is out of the question - at least for me - since it doesn't seem to make sense for the Witch-King to have another second-in-command other than Khamūl.

Oh, and as Hookbill said, the Orcs serve Sauron in fear, plus they barely show any influence or aura of authority over their fellow bad guys.

That leaves me with the second option - that Gothmog is a Black Nśmenorean who rose to the heights of Sauron's army the way Grima probably did in Rohan.

Maybe Mouth and Gothmog were close buddies in Nśmenor?
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Old 08-07-2005, 01:58 AM   #20
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Pipe Gothmog the Orc.

Have you seem Grishnįkh, Shagrat, and Gorbag lately?

I don't think Sauron would want an Orc being second-in-command of a major stronghold of his.
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Old 08-07-2005, 05:36 AM   #21
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The Short One adds a Twist

Here's something to consider: Did Tolkien himself actually know what Gothmog was?

Think about it. There is one tiny, fleeting reference to him. It's entirely possible that Tolkien simply made up a name for a lieutenant on the spot (choosing Gothmog for fairly obvious reasons) and didn't give him any history or race.

In any case, I resent the lack of a cop-out option, Fordim. "Tolkien didn't care" would have done nicely.
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Old 08-07-2005, 10:55 AM   #22
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In one of those old threads, someone suggests that Gothmog is Tom Bombadil.

There is also reference in those threads to the fact that Tolkien had originally written that all the Nazgul fled the Pelennor after Witchy died. Is that in HoME at all?
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Old 08-08-2005, 11:40 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lhunardawen
Seriously, though, I'm quite undecided whether he is a Black Nśmenorean or an Orc chieftain. He being a Nazgūl is out of the question - at least for me - since it doesn't seem to make sense for the Witch-King to have another second-in-command other than Khamūl.
Ah, but it says that Khamūl was the Nazgūl in charge of Dol Guldur- whereas Gothmog is the "Lieutenant of Morgul". And the chain of command might be such that the army would follow the orders of the second Morgul Nazgūl before following the orders of the second Nazgūl.

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Old 08-08-2005, 11:45 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Formy
And the chain of command might be such that the army would follow the orders of the second Morgul Nazgūl before following the orders of the second Nazgūl.
And surely the lieutenant of Morgul would hand over command to his superior, Khamul? Ooh, but what if Khamul wasn't there...?

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Old 08-08-2005, 11:57 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the guy who be short
And surely the lieutenant of Morgul would hand over command to his superior, Khamul? Ooh, but what if Khamul wasn't there...?
Oh, I think that Khamul was there- I'm just not convinced that the Nazgul had a chain of command, as such. Clearly, the Witchking is their leader, but I don't know if Khamul would automatically be in charge in his absence. If I recall aright (and no guarantees that I do), Khamul is merely described as the "second greatest" of the Nazgul...

Furthermore, Khamul is definitely said to be the most affected of the Nazgul by sunlight and water. And remember that the sun had just broken through when the Battle of the Pelennor began, so perhaps Khamul was a bit too queasy to take command.

And anyway, it might well be that Khamul wasn't as adequate a general as "Gothmog".

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Old 08-08-2005, 12:07 PM   #26
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The Encyclopedia of Arda claims:
Quote:
As second-in-command to the Lord of the Nazgūl himself, he clearly had very great authority over Sauron's forces, and this has led some to suggest that Gothmog was also one of the Nazgūl. This by no means impossible, but it is notable that Frodo and Sam, who saw the Witch-king lead his armies from Minas Morgul, only observed one Nazgūl leading the host.
Which is an incredibly good point. Surely the lieutenant of Morgul would... be with the hosts of Minas Morgul? But Frowise only saw one Nazgul, The Witch-King.

Well, that seems concrete to me. I'll just sit and wait for Formendacil to come back and blow gigantic holes in it.
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Old 08-08-2005, 12:08 PM   #27
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I always assumed Khamul was off trying to lay the smackdown on Lorien...

But, I do believe Khamul would have taken over with the death of the Wiki (bless him). In any case, Gothmog is only mentioned at this one point. I am unsure (being at work, and without the books), and so I think he probably died at Pelennor. If this is the case, he is not a Nazgul, as I recall (mistakingly?) that the other eight Nazgul were with Sauron when he fell.

Now, Gothmog is seen whipping Easterlings into a frenzy upon the Wiki's death. From what I recall, probably mistakingly, Easterlings have no great love of orcs. So why would they listen to an orc commander? If not a Nazgul, he must be a man, to me.
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Old 08-08-2005, 12:20 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainofDespair
I always assumed Khamul was off trying to lay the smackdown on Lorien...
I think Khamul was probably in the South. I'm not sure about references to all the Nazgul being present at the Battle of the Pelennor, but I think that such is the case with regards to the Battle of the Black Gate- and if Sauron had all of them hanging around Mordor then, I think it likely (but not certain) that he had them all around for the assault on Minas Tirith.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TGWBS
Which is an incredibly good point. Surely the lieutenant of Morgul would... be with the hosts of Minas Morgul? But Frowise only saw one Nazgul, The Witch-King.

Well, that seems concrete to me. I'll just sit and wait for Formendacil to come back and blow gigantic holes in it.
I'll do my best.

Fellbeasts.

The Nazgul can fly- and do fly. There is no need for all of them to watch over the army on the road.

In addition, we know that Sauron had other, singular, uses for them, such as patrolling the Dead Marshes (see the chapter with that name) or investigating mysterious border incidents (right after Frodo and Sam escape the Tower of Cirith Ungol, a Nazgul appears to find out what on earth is going on).

Furthermore, this evidence falls apart on the basis of the fact that while the army may only have marched with the Witchking, there were clearly several Nazgul present at the Siege and the Battle.
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Old 08-08-2005, 02:43 PM   #29
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gothmog...the crazed i-am-the-real-dark-lord evil (and incredibly ugly) HOBBIT!!! sorry sort of a joke please just ignore me
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Old 08-08-2005, 02:55 PM   #30
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I've always imagined Gothmog as some sort of man, so I'm voting for Black Numenorean. Pretty much all evidence in favor of this has been said, I think. CaptainofDespair and TGWBS have good points on this. I think the only thing we all can agree on is that he was not an orc.
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Old 08-09-2005, 03:24 AM   #31
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I haven't voted yet so let's see if I can organize my thoughts while I write and come into some proper conclusion. On the first time I read LotR Gothmog was an orc to me. I didn't really think if it was logical because I like to read the books as a story not an encyclopedia. Besides, I think Gothmog sounds very orcish. At least it doesn't sound like a name of a Ringwraith. However, after doing a little brainwork I don't believe that he was an orc.

Do you know what was a Lieutenant's place in historical battles? Was he at the front marching with the troops or was it possible that he came to the battlefield some other way (here: flying a Fell beast)? I don't know how much we can trust Frodo's observations of just one Nazgul. He fell asleep or passed out while Morgul's host was crossing a bridge. Before it Frodo seemed to be so caught in the fear of failing that I don't know if he had noticed if there had been two Nazguls instead of one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RotK, The Siege of Gondor
It was no brigand or orc-chieftain that ordered the assault upon Lord of Mordor's greatest foe.
Does this mean that usually there could have been just some extra ugly and nasty orc or man leading a charge against an enemy?

But later on almost the same sentence is repeated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rotk, The Battle of Pelennor Fields
But it was no orc-chieftain or brigand that led the assault upon Gondor.
It is clear that this is a very important battle. Losing isn't an option. I doubt that Sauron would have trusted an orc or ordinary man to be Witch King's substitute. Of course Sauron didn't think that anything would happen to WK but still.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Battle of Pelennor Fields
Gothmog the lieutenant of Morgul had flung them into the fray; Easterlings with axes, and Variags of Khand, Southrons in scarlet and out of Far Harad black men like half-trolls
Gothmog leads men. I don't think men would take orders from an orc. It seems natural that a man, a Black Numenorean if you like, would command them. Also, I think that Tolkien would have mentioned if Gothmog was a Nazgul. Like SoN said:
Quote:
Never was Gothmog described in the way of the other Nazgul (striking fear into the heart of his enemies, etc.)
I'm going to vote for Black Numenorean.
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Old 08-09-2005, 08:39 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dancing spawn of ungoliant
Do you know what was a Lieutenant's place in historical battles? Was he at the front marching with the troops or was it possible that he came to the battlefield some other way (here: flying a Fell beast)?
A lieutenant was traditionally the deputy of the commander in chief. So say if Bedford was commander in chief of the English, his main lieutenants would have been Salisbury and Warwick - individual army leaders themselves with their own entourages and aides. Similarly a commander of a contingent of the main army would have been the lieutenant to the commander of that army.

The lieutenant would have worked in a myriad of ways depending on the needs of the day.
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Old 08-09-2005, 09:02 AM   #33
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How did Frodo (or whoever told him about Gothmog) come to know the name of the lieutenant?
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Old 08-09-2005, 09:06 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eomer of the Rohirrim
How did Frodo (or whoever told him about Gothmog) come to know the name of the lieutenant?
Translator Conceit.

RE: Lieutenants

A lieutenant refers either to a military deputy or to the lowest rank of commissioned army officer. Since the second is clearly not the case, the "Lieutenant of Morgul" means that Gothmog is the deputy commander of Morgul- the Witchking's right hand man.
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Old 08-09-2005, 09:18 AM   #35
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So maybe it is all lies. Or maybe Aragorn was actually quite friendly with one Southron and managed to get his name into the history books as a mighty captain.
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Old 08-09-2005, 09:24 AM   #36
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Yes, but there are possibly several Lieutenants of Morgul. Why would there be only one? And, why would a Commander like the Wiki take his best sub-commander? He had no reason to believe he would fall, being empowered by Sauron's magic. So, the Wiki would take one of his lessers, as a back-up. His chief lieutenant of the citadel might be preparing a second wave (as we all should know, orcs lose troops by the thousands at any given time, and thus it would be wise to have a fit commander to come forward after Pelennor to both mop up, and continue the rampant slaughter that would carry into Rohan and Eriador).

I also don't trust Encyclopedia of Arda's claims that Gothmog was the second-in-command of Morgul, as it says something which I believe is a fallacy. TGWBS posted this from Arda:
Quote:
As second-in-command to the Lord of the Nazgūl himself, he clearly had very great authority over Sauron's forces
. If Gothmog had such great power, he would have kept the Orcs from fleeing, if he was indeed a Nazgul. But, he only was able to muster the Easterlings. Why only them?
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Old 08-09-2005, 09:37 AM   #37
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Excellent point, maybe....Sauron Had his own Fellowship if you will like Captain said mybe there were many lietenents... One Orc one Easterling One harad..(wait are those the same as easterliongs? I forget.)

Gothmog could be the Easterling commander.

But then again it Sauron saw Aragorn he might have panicked and sent WitchKing's second in command.

More to the point though about the orcs fleeing Didn't they basicly fear their commanders if this were so they would take their first chance and run
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Old 08-09-2005, 09:49 AM   #38
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Gothmog was not the Easterling commander. He was the lieutenant of Morgul.
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Old 08-09-2005, 09:55 AM   #39
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"THE" Lieutenant of Morgul... not "A" lieutenant of Morgul. And as for the pertinent quote, from the great book itself, it has already been posted on this thread.

Quote:
Gothmog the lieutenant of Morgul had flung them into the fray; Easterlings with axes, and Variags of Khand, Southrons in scarlet and out of Far Harad black men like half-trolls
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Old 08-09-2005, 10:09 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil
"THE" Lieutenant of Morgul... not "A" lieutenant of Morgul. And as for the pertinent quote, from the great book itself, it has already been posted on this thread.
'The' can be loosely put either way. He was 'The' Lieutenant of Morgul 'at' Pelennor. Or, it could be taken strictly. I take no preference. However, again with the quote, he only rallied men (whom I bunch together under the category 'Easterlings', as my book only says Easterlings, oddly enough. Mine says something to the effect of 'Bearded Easterlings with Great Axes', and only that). A mighty captain of the fallen Wiki should have been able to rally the Orcs as well. He did not. He could not. A mighty Nazgul whom, if Sauron would have wanted to win the battle despite the losses, would have infused him with his power, if he had not already done so. But, alas, he was not infused with any such power, and nor did he rally the fodder that was the Orcs. The Nazgul are the most feared minions of the Dark Lord, and are basically extensions of him, and would thus be able to rally such lowly peons as the Orcs.

I've always pondered one thing though...

Could Gothmog be a more 'Mannish' reincarnation of the spirit of the original Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs? Yes, I know that sounds silly...

Note: I did not find mention of this in this particular thread, so I may have skipped something. If so, disregard the comment.
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