The subject of this article or section originates from non-canonical sources. To find out about what is considered "canon" see LOTR:Canon.
Karsh, born a human named Carthaen, is a character created for the Electronic Arts video game The Battle for Middle-earth II: The Rise of the Witch-king. Karsh is a hero for the Angmar faction, and was known as a "whispering" wraith, but has the same physical appearance as Barrow-wights.
Portrayal in adaptations
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II: The Rise of the Witch-king
Life as Captain Carthaen
Karsh was originally of the race of Men as Captain Carthaen, a Captain of Arnor and was a celebrated leader of his time. He was a close friend of the last Prince of Cardolan and commander of the Dúnedain Rangers, and aided him when Angmar attacked his realm. He fled, not because he was a coward but to protect the people of the land. He was one of the few soldiers of Cardolan who survived the onslaught.
He defended Cardolan from the Witch-king and his servants, but during an assault on the Barrow-downs, the burial grounds where the ancient Kings of Arnor lay, he failed, and at the end Carthaen fled for reinforcements. He returned with reinforcements to face Morgomir's army and his necromancers, however, they were also defeated. With his reinforcements dead, he retreated deeper into the land. He returned once more with more reinforcements, the majority of which were cavalry, when Morgomir sent his necromancers to the Hill of Kings. In this battle, he also, failed in defeating Angmar.
Carthaen returned but Morgomir and his Dark Rangers proved to be far too strong for him, and once again, he had to flee. He returned when the Great Plague was created, he led the back striking of Angmar but failed. Soon, Morgomir and the Barrow-wights trapped him in the royal barrow.
Life as Karsh
Carthaen's body was destroyed when Morgomir stabbed him with his Morgul-blade, but his spirit was corrupted, and he was transformed into one of the deadliest servants of the Witch-king: Karsh the Whisperer. Karsh became Leader of the Great Plague and went around seeking victims across Arnor. He hunted the Witch-king's enemies, whose screams were rarely heard, due to his deadly swift attacks, which could transform his prey into wraiths themselves.
After the fall of Fornost, and the triumph of the Witch-king, Karsh was the first to attack the Elves and killed many hobbits and Dúnedain. When Glorfindel and Eärnur attacked Angmar, the forces of the Elves and Gondor were too much for him and Elrond of Rivendell killed him by his magic Noldor sword. The spirit of Carthaen went to the Halls of Mandos and Karsh's body destroyed. The soul of the brave Arnorian Captain at last became free.
Captain Carthaen is a non-canonical character and appears only in the video game The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II: The Rise of the Witch-king.
Karsh's abilities makes him a counter for any hit and run tactics, as two of his abilities make getting away from him rather difficult. His first ability Chill Soul reduces the movement speed of any hostile units around him by 50% and deals damage over time. His next ability Blink allows him to teleport to a given location, allowing him to immediately teleport on top of a target and apply Chill Soul to force the opposition to deal with him, the teleport also acted the same way as Rogash's leap in that it scattered units and deal damage. His third and final ability Whisper of Death deals extreme damage to any living target, but is useless against any undead units. Just like normal Wraith's he gains health for every time he hits an enemy or a structure, which can make him a good meat shield against cheap units.
Behind the scenes
- Karsh at Wiki for Middle-earth