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Old 03-19-2001, 11:51 AM   #1
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Ok,in UT it says the Nazgűl who spoke to Gaffer Gamgee the night Frodo left Bag End was named Khaműl. It further states that after the Black Captain,Khaműl was the most sensitive to the presence of the Ring. This made me wonder: Since the Ring was so close to him,why couldn't Khaműl feel it? It was even dark,when the Nazgűl were at the height of their powers. And even if he didn't feel it,shouldn't he at least have gone to Bag End and checked? After all,this was surely the most important mission his master had ever given him. Any thoughts?

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Old 03-19-2001, 12:53 PM   #2
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Re: Lazy Nazgul


Gaffer sounded frank- for he was dead sure Frodo was gone. Also, maybe, Nazgul was over-confident too - underestimating hobbits and their courage, or maybe catching with them on the road by night suited him better, as well as an idea was more pleasant
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Old 03-19-2001, 05:27 PM   #3
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Lazy Nazgul

I can't answer your question except to say that I've just started reading UT and if this is the sort of thing I can expect to find there, it's going to be a good reading experience.

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Old 03-20-2001, 08:59 AM   #4
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Lazy Nazgul

It's also interesting that the Gaffer, Farmer Maggot and Butterbur all stand face to face with a Nazgul and are undaunted (they all give the wraith attitude, basically), whereas later the Nazgul are able to strike sheer terror into soldiers of Gondor just by flying ovehead. Obviously the wraiths are able to appear, or be, more or less terrifying, as they wish. The BBC dramatization of LotR takes note of this difference, and has the wraiths speak in a &quot;normal&quot; voice in the encounter with Maggot, e.g., but in a more raspy sinister voice on Weathertop and in a shrieking call when they fly over Frodo, Sam and Gollum.

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Old 03-20-2001, 09:09 AM   #5
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Lazy Nazgul

I'm sure they could turn on the &quot;charm&quot; as needed!

It may be possible that they were also under orders to quietly deal with the Shire-folk, so as to retrieve the Ring without danger of alerting other folk, such as Rangers or Wizards or High Elves wandering about...

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Old 03-20-2001, 10:09 PM   #6
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Lazy Nazgul

I've also wondered about why he didn't just go over the hill and check the actual residence of &quot;Baggins.&quot; Also, if this was such an important mission, and I can only imagine the retrieval of the One Ring would be exceptionally important, why only one Nagzul in the Shire? Even if they were to deal with things quietly it would have made sense to split the Shire up.



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Old 03-21-2001, 09:38 AM   #7
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> UT and Nazgul

Aldaron said&quot;I've just started
reading UT and if this is the sort of thing I can expect to find there,
it's going to be a good reading experience. &quot;
you are in fact correct , UT is a gold mine , I actually think the writing throughout is superior to the LotR.

Gilthalion said&quot;It may be possible that they were also under orders to quietly deal
with the Shire-folk, so as to retrieve the Ring without danger of
alerting other folk, such as Rangers or Wizards or High Elves
wandering about... &quot;

In addition I think the wraiths were very unusedto being in populated towns and such and trying not to terrorize!
They may have been abit off balance because of that.

It was probably painful and disorienting for them to see and thus remember 'normal ' life before they succumbed to the dark side.
Not to mention that fate was not on the side of the Nazgul .


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Old 03-21-2001, 11:10 AM   #8
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: UT and Nazgul

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Yet this weakness they [the Ringwraiths] had for Sauron's present purpose: so great was the terror that went with them (even invisible and unclad) that their coming forth might soon be perceived and their mission be guessed by the Wise.<hr></blockquote>I don't think the Nazgűl had the ability to &quot;dial-down&quot; the terror factor. I think the cited examples are more indicitave of Tolkien's love of the courage and tenacity of the &quot;common man&quot; even (maybe especially) in the face of great danger.

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Old 03-21-2001, 11:12 AM   #9
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: UT and Nazgul

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> I don't think the Nazgűl had the ability to &quot;dial-down&quot; the terror factor. I think the cited examples are more indicitave of Tolkien's love of the courage and tenacity of the &quot;common man&quot; even (maybe especially) in the face of great danger.<hr></blockquote>
A bit of both, I would say.

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Old 03-21-2001, 11:21 AM   #10
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: UT and Nazgul

Hmm -- the soldiers of Gondor were &quot;common men&quot; faced with great danger, yet were completed daunted. So were Merry and Pippin on Weathertop, with the added factor that they should have tried to protect their friend Frodo (didn't they just throw themselves on the ground when the wraiths approached?) Was the Gaffer that much more courageous than Merry or the soldiers? I think it's more logical to assume that the wraiths COULD appear less threatening if they wished.

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Old 03-21-2001, 11:33 AM   #11
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: UT and Nazgul

Good points, O. My reply is that the soldiers were men in the midst of battle with full knowledge of the danger that they faced. On Weathertop, Merry and Pippin faced several Nazgűl, not just one alone. I think the Gaffer was (a) naturally more curmudgeonly and irascible than the others and (b) just ignorant of the danger he was facing.

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Old 03-21-2001, 11:45 AM   #12
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: UT and Nazgul

Well if the Gaffer was ignorant of the danger then somehow the Nazgul didn't convey his terrifying-ness (?) to him, which is basically what I'm saying, I guess. Anyway I admit that the passage you quoted only makes sense if the wraiths could NOT &quot;dial back&quot; their terror, but that may just prove that Tolkien -- like all writers, even great ones -- is sometimes inconsistent. Gilthalion's and Lindil's explanations above seem better to explain the difference in the wraiths' effect on various mortals. Which reminds me --when Gloin reports on the wraith's visits to Dain, doesn't it also sound as if the wraith was trying to appear friendly? &quot;You will have friendship of Sauron&quot;, he says something like that, and Dain says he must consider what the message means &quot;under its fair cloak&quot;. (Don't have books here, going by memory.)

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Old 03-21-2001, 11:59 AM   #13
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: UT and Nazgul

your conversation made me think about the subject and i think that in bree the nazgul were both terrifying and both rather &quot;normal&quot;, maybe strange to butterbur.
because when merry returns he says that he felt something dark and terrible and &quot;fell over&quot; then he was found by one of butterburs servants.
i dont think that butterbur or farmer maggot had more courage than merry, i guess the nazgul COULD &quot;dial back&quot; their power.


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Old 03-21-2001, 12:25 PM   #14
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: UT and Nazgul

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> But Sauron did not underesteem the powers and vigilance of the Wise, and the Nazgűl were commanded to act as secretly as they could. Now at that time the Chieftain of the Ringwraiths dwelt in Minas Morgul with six companions, while the second to the Chief, Khaműl the Shadow of the East, abode in Dol Guldur as Sauron's lieutenant, with one other as his messenger. The Lord of Morgul therefore led his companions over Anduin, unclad and unmounted, and invisible to eyes, and yet a terror to all living things that they passed near. It was, maybe, on the first day of July that they went forth. They passed slowly and in stealth, through Anórien, and over the Entwade, and so into the Wold, and rumour of darkness and a dread of men knew not what went before them.<hr></blockquote>Even though the Nazgűl had been ordered to act in secret, this is the effect they had on the areas through which they passed. When they were ordered to dispense with secrecy and ride openly:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> They rode then through Rohan in haste, and the terror of their passing was so great that many folk fled from the land, and went wildly away north and west, believing that war out of the East was coming on the heels of the black horses.<hr></blockquote>Here's the cite you mentioned, O:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> And then his fell voice was lowered, and he would have sweetened it if he could.

...At that his breath came like the hiss of snakes, and all who stood by shuddered, but Dáin said: &quot;I say neither yea nor nay. I must consider this message and what it means under its fair cloak.&quot;<hr></blockquote>Clearly, the Dwarves were not impressed by this mockery of an offer of &quot;friendship&quot;, even though the Nazgűl was trying to be as &quot;charming&quot; as he could be.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000005>Mister Underhill</A> at: 3/21/01 1:26:52 pm
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Old 03-21-2001, 02:20 PM   #15
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: UT and Nazgul

I begin to think that it is not so much a matter of the Nagul &quot;dialing back&quot; their terror in the case of Gaffer Gamgee, Barliman Butterbur, or the Dwarves.

Rather it seems a matter of the exertion their power of terror at Weathertop, the plains of Rohan, and from Osgiliath to the gates of Minas Tirith.

Not that I imagine that they were endurable for any period of time at all. At that, they had to be cloaked. But I think that uncloaked (&quot;...Gandalf the Grey uncloaked!&quot and exerting a negative form of the awe that the Maia could &quot;radiate&quot; in full force presentation, the Nazgul made their victims utterly terrorized.

Also, in the Osanwe-Kenta that lindil speaks of, it tells of how Tolkien imagined the operation of the various telepathies took place. There are conscious factors present in this sort of mind-to-mind communication.

While the Nazgul naturally would tingle your spine, turn your bowels to jelly, and render you a shrieking hysteric, they on occassion cloaked themselves so as not to be seen, and used their merely hideous voices, rather than the terrifying presence that they presented in battle and the horrifying fear that they kindled wordlessly in the mind and heart.

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Old 03-21-2001, 02:40 PM   #16
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Not that it really changes the argument much...

...but does it actually say that the messenger to the dwarves was a Nazgul? I was under the impression that it was just another one of Sauron's minions. If he was so worried about secrecy, would he send one of his highest, most terrifying servants on &quot;missions of goodwill&quot; for the &quot;least of rings that Sauron fancies&quot;?

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Old 03-21-2001, 02:43 PM   #17
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: UT and Nazgul

I was going to say something similar -- maybe the Nazgul ALWAYS carried with them a certain basic level of dread, which they cd not conceal; this allows their presence to be felt even when they wish to be secret. E.g. Aragorn on Weathertop reports to the hobbits (after going scouting in the dark) that he cd &quot;feel no sign of their presence&quot; (or some thing like that, still no book, going by memory again) -- i.e. he scouted for them by walking around to see if he felt THE TERROR. And for the Gaffer and Maggot to face even this residual level of terror shows great courage on their part. But when they wished, the Nazgul cd be even more terrifying -- uncloak themselves, as Gilthalion says --as in Rohan and at Minas Tirith, when even hardened soldiers quailed at their approach. So maybe they cd not dial back their basic terribleness, but they cd dial it UP when they wished to daunt their foes.

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Old 03-21-2001, 03:05 PM   #18
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: UT and Nazgul

I'd go along with that. I think the terror factor increased when they were working/traveling in concert as well. Maybe that's one of the reasons why they split up to search the Shire and surrounding areas.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000005>Mister Underhill</A> at: 3/21/01 4:07:30 pm
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Old 03-21-2001, 05:18 PM   #19
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Dial down

The Black Riders were still men if wraiths and black magicians and vessels of Sauron's will.
But I think like all Men there would be ups and downs to their ablities and feelings,
their terror could def. be modulated or they would not be able to communicate w/ someone like Gamgee.
All the beings of M-E, like ourselves could 'put forth their power' when will or occasion demanded.
Aragorn at tims appeared more noble or full of power than at other times, there is no reason to think the Black Numenorean wringwraiths would not have had the ability to display their various powers at will.




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Old 03-21-2001, 05:32 PM   #20
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Dial down

They were undead wraiths, no longer &quot;men&quot; in any meaningful sense of the word. There is reason to believe it -- Sauron's hesitation to use them because they couldn't move about without radiating fear and terror and alerting anyone who knew anything to their presence.

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Old 03-21-2001, 05:55 PM   #21
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Lazy Nazgul

How's this for a theory? The Nazgul lgain in power as they near they're master? That's just a theory.

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Old 03-22-2001, 06:02 AM   #22
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Lazy Nazgul

I, too, wondered if the messenger to the Dwarves were a Nazgul.

But what other messenger could Sauron trust to deliver a Ring? (Even if he meant to renig, presentation is everything!)

I also thought of the &quot;fell voice&quot; and how he could NOT &quot;sweeten&quot; it. He is described, I think, only as &quot;a rider.&quot;

While no claim is made that this is or is not a Nazgul, it rather seems that way.

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Old 03-22-2001, 09:28 AM   #23
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Lazy Nazgul

Mr. U -- how about my theory that they cd not hide their &quot;basic&quot; level of terror, thus Sauron's hestancy to use them when secrecy was needed (and Aragorn's &quot;scouting&quot; of them on Weathertop), but that they cd INCREASE their terror when needed, thus explaining their effect in Minas Tirith and Rohan?

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Old 03-22-2001, 10:16 AM   #24
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Re: Lazy Nazgul

I think Mr. Underhill agreed with your <img src=wink.gif ALT=""> theory!

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Old 03-22-2001, 11:54 AM   #25
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Re: Lazy Nazgul

<img src=laugh.gif ALT=":lol">

I expressed general agreement to the ideas put forth by both O and Gil. Perhaps you missed that post yesterday, O.



</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000005>Mister Underhill</A> at: 3/22/01 12:56:19 pm
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Old 03-22-2001, 12:44 PM   #26
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Lazy Nazgul

Sorry, I DID miss that, Mr. U.

Reading RWG's post -- I also remember now that Gloin doesn't refer to the visitor as a wraih or Nazgul -- is it possible that the dwarves didn't know what a ringwraith was, and so simply described the visitor from Mordor as best they cd? The Hobbit doesn't say that the wraiths fought in the Battle of Five Armies, does it?

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Old 03-23-2001, 01:14 AM   #27
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Lazy Nazgul

I'm quite sure that the wraiths did not fight in the Battle of the Five Armies. Goblins and Wild Wolves on the one side, Dwarves, Elves and Men on the other. Eagles to the rescue.

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Old 03-23-2001, 07:15 AM   #28
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Nazgul and the Dwarves

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> But what other messenger could Sauron trust to deliver a Ring?<hr></blockquote>
RWG: I doubt he was expecting the dwarves to actually have the Ring, much less hand it over to his messenger. He was just seeking information and direction to narrow down his search, and a human messenger could be trusted to do that.

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Old 03-23-2001, 11:30 PM   #29
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Nazgul and the Dwarves

i thought it was sauron himself that delivered the ring to the dwarves...
im not sure if this has been answered by someone else but i think the reason why gondorian soldiers were more afraid of the soldiers was because a) they were so close to mordor and the ring wraiths are stronger there, or b)the hobbits and innkeeper didn't know as much about the black riders so they didn't know what the ring wraiths could do

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Old 03-23-2001, 11:41 PM   #30
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Nazgul and the Dwarves

You mean the rings, not ring, right?
he gave 7 to the dwarves and all were in his keeping or lost i believe it was written somewhere.
I think your arguement was also pretty valid, i would expect the nazgul to be more terrifiying closer to sauron.



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Old 03-24-2001, 01:28 AM   #31
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Nazgul and the Dwarves

yeah, whoops

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Old 03-24-2001, 07:38 AM   #32
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Nazgul and the Dwarves

I think the point that RWG <img src=wink.gif ALT=""> was trying to make involved the delivery of the dwarven ring of Thror in exchange for information about the &quot;least of rings.&quot; Could Sauron trust any other emissary to do that? (Assuming he would keep his bargain, as I think he would, since upon gaining the One Ring, the ring of Thror (then to be Dain's) would be subject to him...)

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Old 03-24-2001, 11:16 PM   #33
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Nazgul and the Dwarves

He could trust all of his ringwraiths, the nazgul. Or mabye his highest in command, the closest to him.

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Old 03-24-2001, 11:26 PM   #34
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Nazgul and the Dwarves

i think all his ringwaiths because they are all slaves to him.

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Old 03-26-2001, 11:22 AM   #35
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Which Ring?

I was working under the assumption that RWG meant delivery of the One Ring to Sauron.

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Old 01-26-2008, 08:03 PM   #36
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Lazy Nazgul

Hmm... here is a thread worthy of reviving. I don't know how to explain why the Nazgul didn't sense the presence of the ring. I was hoping that a more notable and more knowledgeable Downer could answer that question.

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Old 01-27-2008, 01:04 PM   #37
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Here

Oh my, I'm flattered

Anyway, my personal belief is that the Nazgul felt the Ring only very vaguely, more if it was on someone's hand currently. The Nazgul did not feel the Ring almost ever during the hobbits' journey through the wilderness. I have the feeling I was responding to similar question recently on another thread - remember the scene in Imlad Morgul when the Witch-King passes the bridge of Morgulduin and suddenly feels Frodo's presence. Khamul, of course (unlike WK), knew that the Ring was supposed to be around, and also was, as it was mentioned in the first post, more sensitive to its presence. Nevertheless, when Frodo was near (overhearing the conversation), Khamul concentrated on other things (the interrogation of Gaffer) and later, Frodo was further from him and also, there were more hobbits around, which confused the Nazgul: to what was said in the first post, I might add that not only in dark, but also in loneliness they were strongest. I think the presence of many people could have disturbed their feelings.
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Old 01-28-2008, 03:08 AM   #38
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Hello, I have just registered, though I have been reading threads on this forum occasionally. The present subject seems very interesting to me. I have been recently discussing it on another forum, so I have decided to post my 2 cents here as well.

To begin with: how do the nazgul sense the Ring? It seems reasonable to suppose that the ring emits some signal (an Osanwe-kenta signal, most likely) that the nazgul are able to detect. The nazgul have to "tune" to the Ring's signal to find it.

The question is whether the Ring emits its signal all the time, or only when it "knows" that the target (a nazgul) is nearby? And if the latter is true, then how can the Ring "know" it?

I don't think the Ring had any usual senses: sight, hearing, smell etc. More likely, it could only process the feelings of its current holder - Frodo. So when Frodo saw the nazgul or knew the nazgul are (or might be) nearby, he became frightened and the Ring sensed his thoughts and feelings and started to emit its signal.

When Frodo was completely unaware of the danger, even when a nazgul was really quite near, then the Ring couldn't sense the nazgul either and didn't emit its signal.

That might explain the incidents with the Gaffer (Frodo was not yet frightened at all, he even considered revealing himself to the stranger) and on the road in the Shire (there Frodo was only slightly frightened and not yet quite sure of what, and the nazgul stopped, also feeling something - but not yet sure what exactly, maybe he only smelled some hobbit flesh nearby).

The following night, Frodo was already quite frightened when he saw the nazgul, so the Ring's signal was stronger and the nazgul was much more "tuned" to the signal - he dismounted and went in the right direction. Also it has happened at night, when nazgul were more powerful. But for the Elves, Khamul would have found the Ring.

Frodo was aware of the pursuit and quite frightened all the way to the Ferry - and Khamul sensed the Ring all the time, and missed the hobbit by mere minutes:
" As soon as the Elves depart [Khamul] renews his hunt, and reaching the ridge above Woodhall is aware that the Ring has been there. Failing to find the Bearer and feeling that he is drawing away, he summons [his companion] by cries. [He] is aware of the general direction that the Ring has taken, but not knowing of Frodo's rest in the wood, and believing him to have made straight eastwards, he and [his companion] ride over the fields. They visit Maggot while Frodo is still under the trees. [Khamul] then makes a mistake (probably because he imagines the Ringbearer as some mighty man, strong and swift): he does not look near the farm, but sends [his companion] down Causeway towards Overbourn, while he goes north along it towards the Bridge. They tryst to return and meet one another at night; but do so just too late. Frodo crosses by ferry just before [Khamul] arrives. [His companion] joins him soon after. [Khamul] is now well aware that the Ring has crossed the river; but the river is a barrier to his sense of its movement." - Marquette MSS 4/2/36 (The Hunt for the Ring) published in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion p.116.

In the Prancing Pony Frodo was peacefully sleeping through most of the attack, I believe, waking only at the end of it - so the Ring should have been "silent". Thus the two nazgul who directed (or perpetrated) the sack of the hobbit-sized room in the Prancing Pony couldn't even tell that the Ring was in the same building, but upstairs.

The problem of the nazgul was that only the Witch-King and Khamul could sense the Ring really well. And neither of them was in Bree while the hobbits were there. The WK was still at Andrath and Khamul was at Crickhollow. The rest of the nazgul were just... well...not too good to put it mildly.
The two in Bree were especially bad: they had almost captured Merry, but panicked when Nob came shouting with a lantern... Pitiful indeed. Also, finding nothing at the Pony, the two nazgul got upset and went south to Andrath to report to the WK - leaving Bree and the East Road unguarded. That's how they lost the trail of the hobbits between Bree and Weathertop.

After that, the Ring, feeling Frodo's fear, must have been emitting its signal almost constantly, and indeed as we can see in the "Hunt for the Ring", published in the Reader's Companion: "But [the Witch-king and Khaműl] remain watching Weathertop. Thus they become aware of the approach of Frodo on Oct. 5." And that is one day before Frodo actually reached Weathertop! Not bad...

Unfortunately, the incidents that happened later (Emyn Muil, Dead Marches), are more difficult to explain. Well, perhaps there were lesser nazgul involved, whose ability to sense the Ring was no match for the WK's and Khamul's. Also, they were not expecting to sense the Ring at all, were not "listening" to its signal.

As for the incident in the Morgul Vale, I think it proves my theory.
First Frodo sees the WK, recognizes him and gets frightened. (Here the Ring likely "goes off like a fire alarm". Then and only then the WK senses the signal and stops. (Note that the WK had time to ride from the Gates of Minas Morgul all the way down to the Bridge before he felt anything - because Frodo was unaware of him and the Ring was not emitting).
'Even as these thoughts pierced [Frodo] with dread and held him bound as with a spell, the Rider halted suddenly, right before the entrance of the bridge, and behind him all the host stood still"

The Wk stops and tries to locate the source of the signal. Then the Ring "asks" to be put on. Frodo almost complies. But then Frodo finds Galadriel's Phial and gets shielded: "As he touched it, for a while all thought of the Ring was banished from his mind. He sighed and bent his head."
Likely, as Frodo's mind becomes blank, the Ring's signal stops and the WK looses it. The Morgul Lord is in a hurry and has no time to investigate the matter - but for the war, the WK wouldn't have been deterred so easily. He has sensed the Ring all right.

Does it fit?
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:31 AM   #39
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That's really an interesting theory, and a good one also. Nothing in the books, as far as I am aware, says that the Ring really worked this way, but nothing also says that it didn't and the theory is believable at least.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordis
The problem of the nazgul was that only the Witch-King and Khamul could sense the Ring really well. And neither of them was in Bree while the hobbits were there. The WK was still at Andrath and Khamul was at Crickhollow. The rest of the nazgul were just... well...not too good to put it mildly.
The two in Bree were especially bad: they had almost captured Merry, but panicked when Nob came shouting with a lantern... Pitiful indeed. Also, finding nothing at the Pony, the two nazgul got upset and went south to Andrath to report to the WK - leaving Bree and the East Road unguarded. That's how they lost the trail of the hobbits between Bree and Weathertop.
I like the analysis of the two Nazgul - it's interesting how this brings some information about the individual Nazgul. In fact, it will make an interesting thread to try to find what we can collect about every individual Ringwraith, to give them some - though only very little - personality. Hmm...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordis
Unfortunately, the incidents that happened later (Emyn Muil, Dead Marches), are more difficult to explain. Well, perhaps there were lesser nazgul involved, whose ability to sense the Ring was no match for the WK's and Khamul's. Also, they were not expecting to sense the Ring at all, were not "listening" to its signal.
I think there is no problem with this theory. Indeed, the Nazgul are not "listening", probably they are other Nazgul than Khamul or WK (maybe even these "losers" from Bree? ), and they are flying, which is, I can't actually explain why, but I think different than if they were riding on the ground. They probably cannot concentrate much when flying anyway - less than on a horse, probably.
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Old 01-28-2008, 09:23 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legate of Amon Lanc View Post
That's really an interesting theory, and a good one also. Nothing in the books, as far as I am aware, says that the Ring really worked this way, but nothing also says that it didn't and the theory is believable at least.
Thank you, Legate.
I think it stands to reason that the Ring was operating and operated by Osanwe. It had no buttons on it, after all - if one wished to give it a command, it was an act of mind and will. And the Ring did affect the mind of the user (or bearer) and it enabled a competent user to read minds of other ring-wielders.
The idea that the ring emitted its signal only with a target "in sight" is only a guess, but I think it explains a lot.

Quote:
I like the analysis of the two Nazgul - it's interesting how this brings some information about the individual Nazgul. In fact, it will make an interesting thread to try to find what we can collect about every individual Ringwraith, to give them some - though only very little - personality. Hmm...
I will be happy to start such a thread, based on LOTR, HOME 6-8, UT and the Reader Companion info. But will it be interesting for the people around here? I know nobody here yet.
Also, my preliminary estimate is that it will give us too little... except of course on Khamul and the WK, and that it will entail some conjecture as well.

Quote:
probably they are other Nazgul than Khamul or WK (maybe even these "losers" from Bree? ), and they are flying, which is, I can't actually explain why, but I think different than if they were riding on the ground. They probably cannot concentrate much when flying anyway - less than on a horse, probably
They were probably some of the lesser nazgul: in early March 3019 both the WK and Khamul were probably quite busy preparing their respective fortresses for the coming war. I think Khamul did return to Dol Guldur and led the abortive attack on Lorien on March 15.

As for flying - it is interesting to note that the nazgul only got their Fell Beasts two months ago at best - maybe even more recently:

It was no doubt at the end of 1418 that Sauron (S. likely aided by Angmar) bethought him of the winged mounts; and yet withheld them, until things became almost desperate and he was forced to launch his war in haste.-Marquette MSS 4/2/36 (The Hunt for the Ring) p.263

Maybe they were training over Dead Marches? Perhaps they were too intent on just staying in the saddle to look around much?
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