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The centuries-long war with Angmar occurred between the Northern Dúnedain kingdoms of Arnor (mainly Arthedain) and the forces of Angmar led by the Witch-king.

History

After a thousand years of peace that followed the War of the Last Alliance, evil once more began to spread across Middle-earth. While Gondor in the south was strong, the Northern Dúnedain were divided into three petty squabbling kingdoms, Arthedain, Cardolan and Rhudaur and in their division Sauron sensed an opportunity. In the year 1300 of the Third Age, the Nazgûl re-appeared. The Witch-king settled in Angmar with its capital city at Carn Dûm, and after having built an army, in TA 1356 attacked the Kingdoms of Arthedain and Cardolan in alliance with Rhudaur. This attack was repelled, but in TA 1409 Angmar annexed Rhudaur and launched a great assault, which destroyed Cardolan and resulted in the Destruction of Amon Sûl. Angmar was repelled from Fornost and was for a time subdued by reinforcements from Lindon and Lothlórien and in TA 1851 lost a war with Arthedain. However the North Kingdom's strength continued to dwindle and in TA 1974 the end came; Fornost was captured and the North Kingdom fell.

King Eärnil II of Gondor, after receiving a request for help, dispatched a formidable force commanded by his son Eärnur and defeated the forces of the Witch-king at the Battle of Fornost a year later. Despite the victory of the allies on the field, the Dúnedain of Arnor were so weakened that the realm could not be restored. Its remnants, however, continued under the leadership of the Chieftain of the Dúnedain.[1][2]

Portrayal in adaptations

Video games

Electronic Arts' The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II: The Rise of the Witch-king tells a zoomed-in and thorough story of the evil Witch-king's rise to power, domination of Angmar and invasion of the great Kingdom of Arnor. In the campaign, the player must dominate the land of Angmar, gather a huge army, and then launch a massive invasion that will span half a millennium in Middle-earth's history.

Campaign story-line

The following battles are expanded upon and experienced in The Rise of the Witch-king:

Foundations of Angmar

The Witch-king and Morgomir arrive at a barren land to the North near the Ettenmoors. They immediately notice a relatively intelligent warrior-troll, Rogash, and recruit him on the promise that they will reunite the Snow and Hill-Trolls. These three Angmar Champions rush to the fighting Trolls, and the Witch-king fulfills his promise to Rogash and unites them. The Witch-king orders the foundation of three mighty Angmar fortresses while his armies eliminate the Black Númenóreans in the area, freeing other trolls in the process. Soon after, a great army of Black Númenóreans arrive to eliminate the intruders, but the Witch-king and his troll army easily overcome them. The Witch-king forces the allegiance of the Black Númenóreans, and Angmar is successfully founded.

Fall of Rhudaur

A group of Hill-men of Rhudaur begin to rebel against Arnor, led by Hwaldar. Hwaldar is seized and arrested, but Morgomir recognizes a valuable ally to control the Hill-men of Rhudaur. The Witch-king and his army eliminate the Loyalists and recruit the rebels. Soon after, they destroy the Dúnedain guarding Hwaldar and free him. They then proceed to attack the mighty Arnor fortresses in Rhudaur, but the attack (while successful on one fortress) weakens the Angmar forces badly and King Argeleb I soon arrives to finish them off. Morgomir brilliantly trains the Thrall Masters to replenish the Angmar army and wipe out King Argeleb and his army. They then destroy the other fortress, claiming total control over Rhudaur.

Invasion of Amon Sûl

Further invasions from Angmar are thwarted by King Arveleg I, who uses the Palantír of Amon Sul to foresee attacks. To proceed in Arnor's destruction, the Witch-king must destroy Amon Sûl and claim the Palantír.

Rogash, Hwaldar, Morgomir, and the Witch-king are all involved in this battle. The forces of darkness start off by destroying five Mallorn trees that power various defenses of Amon Sûl. After they are destroyed, they proceed in destroying the main fortress. Reinforcements of Arnor later arrive, but the enemy wipes them out completely. The Angmar forces turn back towards Amon Sûl and begin destroying the structures in the fortress despite heavy resistance. Angmar eventually summons two Mountain Giants and proceeds to attack the watchtower, destroying it once and for all.

Though Angmar has destroyed Amon Sûl, Arveleg has escaped with the Palantír. The Witch-King sends Morgomir to retrieve it.

Dark Lord's Eye

A small Angmar scout party sent by Morgomir pursues Arveleg. The Dire wolves make a mad rush for King Arveleg, while the Thrall Masters summon Gundabad Orcs to attack the Tower Guards. The combined forces successfully wear down Arveleg, but before he is killed he smashes the Palantír, causing a huge explosion killing everything nearby.

Morgomir and more powerful forces later arrive and notice a shard of the Palantír, which is still filled with power. Arnor also notices it and sends orders to retrieve it. Angmar and Arnor compete and race for mastery of the shards, partially since both of their powers have been nullified by the blast and are regenerated with the Palantír shards. Angmar gets most of them, but when Arnor brings some to their outpost Morgomir and his forces destroy the outpost. After the Arnor outpost is destroyed, Morgomir easily gathers the seven shards and gains victory for Angmar.

Barrow-downs

Cardolan wasn't affected by the destruction of Amon Sûl so the Witch-king attacks the Barrow-downs, planning to draw out Cardolan's forces into a foolish and self-destructive charge. He sends Hwaldar to claim the royal barrow. To assist the conquest, Hwaldar destroys the attacking forces and kills some Dúnedain rangers that planned attack the reinforcements of Angmar. With him are some Thrall Masters and Sorcerers that have gained power from the Palantír shards. When Hwaldar reaches the Royal Barrow, Cardolan becomes enraged and sends its forces to destroy him. But, the Rhudaur Warriors hold back each attack and the Sorcerers cripple and destroy Arnor's soldiers, turning some of them into corrupted Wights. As time passes, more Sorcerers, Thrall Masters, and Trolls arrive; at one point, Morgomir joins the battle. In the end, the Prince of Cardolan himself arrives to answer the challenge, but so does the Witch-king and Rogash at the same time. The Prince is eventually killed by the Witch-King and his forces, and Cardolan is laid bare to the enemy.

Carn Dûm

Glorfindel, Elrond and the Elves prepare to lead a charge on the capital of Carn Dûm, in an attempt to destroy Angmar and give Arnor time to recover. The Witch-king lights a beacon to call Rogash, and some builders and Hwaldar begin setting up defenses. By the time the Elves attack, Carn Dûm is ready. Despite this, the battle originally goes ill for Angmar as more and more trebuchets and Elves pound on the assault. Just as Carn Dûm appears to be taken, Rogash and Morgomir arrive with armies of Trolls. With these powerful new reinforcements, Carn Dûm is saved from the Elves. Glorfindel is defeated, but before he can be killed he is rescued by the Elves (later to launch a more successful invasion of Angmar. He is also one of the heroes in the good campaign on Battle For Middle Earth 2). In the meantime, however, Angmar is weakened but not destroyed, and the Witch-king continues to plan the next assault even as both Angmar and Arnor recuperate.

Plague Bearer

After an unsuccessful attack by Men and Elves on the fortress of Carn Dûm, the Witch-king contemplates his next move. The audacity of his enemies angered him greatly, and an example should be made. However, Angmar has been significantly weakened, and his next attack needs to be planned in order to prevent failure.

With the help of Morgomir, he decides to unleash a terrible plague upon the unsuspecting Arnor, created by his Black Númenórean sorcerers. These wicked men, already deeply immersed in the Dark Arts, have become even more powerful due to acquiring the shards of the Palantír; their powers have already been demonstrated in the Battle for Cardolan. However, the Witch-king needs a ground zero from which his diabolical plague will spread. With utter malice, he chooses the most sacred ground in all of Arnor: the Barrow downs. These quiet and dignified monuments of the Dúnedain are essential to the morale of Cardolan, which Angmar is perfectly aware of.

Morgomir is to lead the attack on the Barrow downs. Cardolan's forces, outraged at this desecration, sends its own armies (led by Captain Carthaen) to destroy Angmar's forces even as the Sorcerers begin corrupting souls. Morgomir, however, instructs his Sorcerers to cast their own terrible spells on the Cardolan army, weakening it significantly. To finalize victory, Morgomir summons a tortured, evil ice werewolf to crush the opposition. The Sorcerers complete the plague, and the Barrow-wights are fully created. Captain Carthaen is soon trapped by the Sorcerers, and Morgomir stabs him with a Morgul-blade. And so, Karsh the Whisperer is created.

Fornost and the Fall of Arnor

Angmar has almost completely dominated Arnor, but Fornost still remains to be taken. The Dúnedain and their allies all gather for this final assault. In order to prevent a foolish advance (and subsequent destruction), the Witch-king prepares a base and gathers his forces first. After all the preparations, they begin the assault. Angmar starts by destroying the front gate and some of the outer defenses. Combining the fury of the Angmar army and deadly Angmar ice powers, the Witch-King slowly wears down the fortress one building at a time. Casualties are both sides are high as the Dúnedain desperately battle for their lives and Angmar's army fights in a berserk rage. In the end, the citadel of Fornost is destroyed and the structure falls. Angmar has achieved complete victory over Arnor, and has now opened the opportunity for complete domination of the North.[3]

Domain of Angmar and defeat

The Witch-king now sat the throne in the king's palace, and the realm of Angmar reached the zenith of its power.

Earnil sent his son Earnur, who mustered a great army, including Eotheod horsemen. The Gondorian force was put to sea. Arriving at 1975, there were so many ships that the fleet filled Forlond, Harlond, and the Grey Havens; amazing the people of the North, even though this was but a small part of Gondor's strength. Círdan summoned the Noldor, Sindar and what remained of the Men of Arnor, then the allied host marched across the Lune to challenge the occupiers of Fornost. The Hobbits claimed to have sent archers to aid in the battle, as well.

Círdan and Earnur, son of the steward, combined their forces, along with the remnant of Arnor's army, in the greatest joint Elf-Man army since the War of the Last Alliance; this great Host of the West re-crossed the River Lune and marched northward.

The Witch-king, confident and proud after his recent victories, did not prepare for a siege, but sent his army out to face the Host of the West. The Men and Elves came down from Hills of Evendim and engaged the forces of Angmar in the plains between Nenuial and Fornost. The Host of the West had the better of the fighting, and the Angmarim began to retreat back to Fornost.

Suddenly, out of the north, came the main body of the Gondorian cavalry, which had passed around the Hills and outflanked the enemy. They fell upon the Angmarim and scattered them in a great rout. The Witch-king gathered what troops he could and tried to lead them back to Angmar but was overtaken by the cavalry of Gondor led by Earnur.

At the same time a force of Elves led by Glorfindel came up out from Rivendell and the remnants of Angmar's army were utterly destroyed, but the Witch King fled back to Carn Dum. Angmar's mountainous strongholds there and in Gundabad would not fall for over another 500 years.

In fact, being pushed back from Eriador seem to have led the Witch King to focus his efforts on attacking the Wilderland. In 2340, an Orc raid into Greenwood resulted in the deaths of at least one pair of Silvan Elves. The Elvenking Thranduil had the Orcs hunted down, and adopted the oprhaned Elf, Tauriel. In 2480, Orcs and Goblins from Angmar began to settle the passes and caverns in the Misty Mountains, including the since-deserted Dwarven realm of Moria and the tunnels near the High Pass (which became Goblintown).

Angmar's power also had indirect outcomes: the Balrog of Moria was awoken during its reign, resulting in the Dwarves' flight, and the One Ring was found in the Gladden Fields by two Riverfolk Hobbits, Deagol and Smeagol, with the latter killing the former and taking the Ring into the caves underneath Goblintown.

Meanwhile, in the South, Boromir I of Gondor defeated the forces of Minas Morgul in the south, causing the eight other Nazgul to flee to Angmar.

Eventually, Carn Dum fell and the Witch King and all eight other Nazgul were defeated and entombed with all their possessions within the High Fells of Rhudaur.

Aftermath

The defeat of Angmar ushered-in the Watchful Peace, which lasted for 400 years before the Necromancer appeared and the War of the Ring was eventually begun.

The Angmar War left Arnor destroyed, with only a remnant of the Dunedain surviving as Rangers. Eriador was largely depopulated, leaving Lindon, The Shire, Breeland and Rivendell as the main settlements.

Orcs and Goblins maintained their strongholds in the Misty Mountains, most notably in Moria (under Azog), in Gundabad (under his son Bolg) and in Goblintown under the Goblin King. Another Goblin domain was in Mount Gram (presumed to be in the Ettemoors) under Golfimbul, who led an invasion into Eriador and the Shire, where he was defeated by Bandobras Took in the Battle of Greenfields. Trolls resided in the Ettenmoors, and when the evil of the Necromancer grew, three such Trolls - Bill, Tom and Bert - ventured south into a forest on the outskirts of Staddle which became Trollshaws. These Orc and Troll population would prove instrumental to Sauron's cause in the Quest of Erebor and the War of the Ring.

In 2940, Sauron's initial objective was to reclaim the lands of Angmar so as to defeat the Elven kingdoms of Greenwood, Lorien and Rivendell. He tried to stop a Dwarvish quest to reclaim Erebor, which he intended to capture in order to secure Angmar's eastern flank, and sent two armies from Moria and Gundabad to take it from the Dwarves. This intention was foiled in the Battle of the Five Armies.

Nevertheless, the residue of Orcs and Trolls in the North was used by Sauron to attack Lorien and the Woodland Realm, unsuccesfully, during the height of War of the Ring. Bree and the Shire were also harassed to a lesser extent.

Translations

Foreign Language Translated name
Afrikaans Angmar Oorlog
Albanian Lufta e Angmar
Amharic አንግማር ጦርነት
Arabic الحرب أنغمار
Armenian Անգմար պատերազմ
Azerbaijani Angmar müharibə
Basque Angmareko Gerra
Belarusian Cyrillic Ангмар вайна
Breton Brezel ar Angmar
Bulgarian Cyrillic Ангмар война
Catalan Guerra del Àngmar
Cebuano Ang Gubat sa Angmar
Chinese 安格馬战争
Chinese (Min-Nan) Angmar Chiàn-cheng
Croatian Angmarski Rat
Czech Angmar Válka
Danish Angmarkrigen
Dutch Angmaroorlog/De Oorlog tusen Arnor en Angmar
Esperanto Angmar-milito
Estonian Angmar Sõda
Faroese Angmarkríggj
Finnish Angmarin sota
French Guerre du Angmar
Galician Guerra do Angmar
Georgian ანგმარი ომი
German Angmarkrieg
Greek Άνγκμαρ Πόλεμος
Gujarati અંગમાર યુદ્ધ
Hausa Angmar yaki
Hebrew מלחמת אנגמר
Hindi एंजमर युद्ध
Hungarian Angmar Háború
Icelandic Angmar Stríð
Indonesian Perang Angmar
Irish Gaelic Cogadh na Angmar
Italian Guerra del Angmar/Guerra tra Angmar e Arnor
Japanese アングマール戦争
Kazakh Ангмар соғыс (Cyrillic) Angmar soğıs (Latin)
Korean 앵 마르전쟁
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Ангмар согуш
Latin Bellum Angmar
Latvian Angmar Karš
Lithuanian Angmar Karas
Luxembourgish Angmarkrich
Malaysian Perang Angmar
Macedonian Cyrillic Ангмар војна
Manx Caggey Angmar
Marathi अंगमार युद्ध
Mongolian Cyrillic Ангмар дайн
Nepalese एङ्गमार युद्ध
Norwegian Angmarkrigen
Occitan Guèrra dau Angmar
Old English Angmargefeoht
Persian آنگمار جنگ
Polish Wojna Angmar
Portuguese Guerra do Angmar
Punjabi ਅੰਗਮਾਰ ਦੀ ਜੰਗ
Romanian Războiul de Angmar
Romansh Guerra Angmar
Russian Ангмарские войны
Serbian Ангмарски рат (Cyrillic) Angmarski rat (Latin)
Sinhalese ඇන්ග්මාර් යුද්ධය
Slovak Angmar Vojna
Slovenian Angmarska vojna
Spanish Guerra del Angmar
Swahili Vita vya Angmar
Swedish Angmarkriget
Tagalog Digmaang Angmar
Tajik Cyrillic Ангмар ҷанг
Tamil ஆங்கமர்
Thai อังก์มาร์สงคราม
Telugu అంగ్మార్ యుద్ధం
Turkish Angmar Savaşı
Turkmen Angmar Uruş
Ukrainian Cyrillic Анґмар війна
Urdu انگمر جنگ
Uzbek Ангмар урушин (Cyrillic) Angmar urushin (Latin)
Vietnamese Chiến tranh Angmar
Welsh Rhyfel Angmar
Xhosa Imfazwe yaseAngmar
Yiddish אַנגמאַר קריג
Yoruba Angmar Ogun
Zazaki Cengê Angmar

References

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