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The Morgul-knife was a short blade carried by the Witch-king of Angmar during the Third Age, and used to stab Frodo Baggins at the ancient watch-tower of Weathertop.


It is unknown if there was more than one Morgul-knife, as only that used by the Witch-king is mentioned in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Elrond, however, references the blade as "a Morgul-knife", possibly implying it to be a type of weapon.[1]

Alternately described as a long knife and a blade, it was used by the Nazgûl to poison enemies. As explained by Elrond, the purpose of the knife was to break off in the wound, leaving a shard in the victim's body. The remaining blade would soon turn to dust, and the shard works its way through the body to the heart. If the shard of the blade stays in the victim for too long, the victim becomes a wraith.[1]


Aragorn observes the Morgul-blade that the Witch-king used to stab Frodo.

It is unknown when the knife was created, but was known to be in use by the Witch-king by the late Third Age.

On October 6 TA 3018, the Witch-king used the knife to stab Frodo Baggins at Weathertop, during the Nazgûl's attack upon him and his companions.[2] Though the knife's blade dissolved soon afterwards, a fragment remained within Frodo's wound, working its way toward his heart and threatening to turn Frodo into a wraith. Elrond was able to remove the shard and heal the wound, but each year on the anniversary of receiving the wound Frodo became seriously ill. Only his eventual departure to Valinor, also known as the Undying Lands, offered a permanent cure.[3]

Athelas (or Kingsfoil) was known to slow the poisonous effect of the Morgul-blade, though true healing was necessary in order to fully cure a victim.[2] This remedy was also known to heal the effects of the Ringwraiths' Black Breath.[4]

Portrayal in adaptations

The wound received by Frodo Baggins from the Witch-king

The Lord of the Rings film trilogy

In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, the Witch-king uses the Morgul-knife, referred to as the "Morgul-blade", to wound Frodo as in the book. However, it disintegrates very shortly thereafter, as opposed to the period in the novel. Also, the shard of this blade doesn't remain in Frodo's wound but his condition after being stabbed is much more dramatic than in the book.

The Hobbit film trilogy

Elrond, Gandalf, and Galadriel discuss the appearance of the Morgul-knife

In the film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), a shade of the Witch-king uses a Morgul-blade to attack Radagast the Brown at Dol Guldur, but Radagast fends off the shade and takes the weapon, giving it to Gandalf. Gandalf later tries to use the Morgul-blade as proof that the White Council should attack Dol Guldur, but Saruman overrules him. Saruman believes that there is no proof that it could be a Morgul-blade. Galadriel points out that the blade was buried with the Witch-king of Angmar by the men of the north within the High Fells of Rhudaur. Elrond adds that it was in a cave sealed by powerful Elven magic.

In the film The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013), Kíli is wounded by a Morgul-arrow to the thigh. He nearly dies, but is saved by Tauriel, as she treats him with Athelas and Elven healing. Although it is a Morgul-weapon, if wounded by an arrow, the victim does not turn into a wraith, although the same healing and treatment is required.

Video games

  • In EA's Battle for Middle-earth II, the Mordor faction has access to the Nazgul hero unit with the Morgul Blade ability. This ability stuns a unit and turns it into a wraith when it is killed under this effect. The wraith can then be controlled by the owner of the Nazgûl.
  • In EA's BFME II: Rise of the Witch-king, Captain Carthaen was stabbed with a Morgul-blade by Morgomir and became Karsh the Whisperer after the Dark Plague Ritual on the Barrow Downs; Carthaen became a wraith that journeyed across the Northern lands hunting for the enemies of the Witch-king. His tortured spirit became free after Elrond of Rivendell killed him with his Ñoldorin sword. The spirit of Carthaen went to the Valar and Karsh's body was later destroyed (in the campaign).
  • In The Lord of the Rings Online, the Ranger Amdir was wounded by a Morgul-blade at the beginning of the Man and Hobbit Epic Quest lines. Even after Strider's attempt to cure him with Kingsfoil gathered by the player, Amdir leaves with the Cargul during the assault on Archet. His appearance has changed when the player encounters him again in the Blackwold's Hideout, where he is shown to be transforming into a wraith. Amdir runs away from the hideout, and is encountered again under Marshwater Fort. Later, fully under the Enemy's control, Amdir fights against the player a final time and is defeated.


Foreign Language Translated name
Albanian Morgul-teh
Arabic مورغول نصل
Armenian Մորգուլ-բերան
Azerbaijani Morgul bıçağı
Belarusian Cyrillic Мо́ргул лязо
Basque Morgul aho
Bengali মর্গুল্-ব্লেড
Bulgarian Cyrillic Моргул блейд
Catalan Fulla de Mórgul
Chinese (Hong Kong) 魔窟劍
Chinese (Mandarin) 魔古尔之刃
Croatian Morgul Oštrica
Czech Morgul-čepel
Danish Morgulklinge
Dutch Lemmet van Morgul
Estonian Morgul tera
Finnish Morgulin veitsi
French Lame de Morgul
Georgian მორგული-დანა
German Morgulklinge
Greek Μόργκουλ Λεπίδα
Gujarati મોર્ગુલ-બ્લેડ
Hebrew מורגול להב
Hindi मोर्गुल ब्लेड
Hungarian Morgul-penge
Icelandic Morgul-blað
Italian Lama di Morgul
Japanese モルグル 刃
Kannada ಮಾರ್ಗುಲ್-ಅಲಗು
Kazakh Моргұл жүзі (Cyrillic) Morgul jüzi (Latin)
Korean 모르굴 날
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Моргул лезвие
Latvian Morgul asmens ?
Lithuanian Morgul geležtė
Macedonian Cyrillic Моргул сечило
Malaysian Morgul Bilah
Maltese Xafra tal-Morgul
Marathi मॉरगुल ब्लेड
Norwegian Morgul-blad
Persian تیغ مورگول
Polish Ostrze Morgulu
Portuguese Lâmina de Morgul
Punjabi ਮੋਰਗੂਲ ਬਲੇਡ
Russian Моргульский клинок
Sanskrit मोर्गुल् धारा ?
Serbian Моргул сечиво (Cyrillic) Morgul sečivo (Latin)
Sinhalese මොර්ගුල් තලය
Slovak Morgul čepeľ
Slovenian Morgul rezilo
Spanish Cuchilla de Morgul/Puñal de Morgul/Hoja de Morgul
Swahili Jani la Morgul
Swedish Morgul-klinga
Tamil மொர்குல் பிளேடு
Telugu మొర్గుల్ బ్లేడ్
Turkish Morgul namlu
Ukrainian Cyrillic Мінас-клинок
Urdu مورگول بلیڈ
Uzbek Моргул пичоқ (Cyrillic) Morgul pichoq (Latin)
Vietnamese Morgul phiến
Welsh Morgul Llafn
Yiddish מאָרגול בלייד