This is a featured article.

"Upon it sat a shape, black-mantled, huge and threatening. A crown of steel he bore, but between rim and robe naught was there to see, save only a deadly gleam of eyes: the Lord of the Nazgûl... now he was come again, bringing ruin, turning hope to despair, and victory to death. A great black mace he wielded. "
The Return of the King, "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"

The Lord of the Nazgûl, sometimes known as the Witch-king of Angmar, was the leader of the Nazgûl (Ringwraiths) and Sauron's second-in-command during the Second and Third Ages. His true identity is unknown; once a king of Men, possibly of Númenórean heritage, he was corrupted by one of the nine Rings of Power that had been given to the lords of men, becoming a wraith in the service of Sauron.  

After the first defeat of Sauron in the War of the Last Alliance, he lay low for over a millennium but eventually reappeared to found the evil realm of Angmar, where he gained the epithet "Witch-king" and ruled for more than six hundred years until the Númenórean line of kings of Arnor was brought to ruin.

He returned to Mordor to facilitate Sauron's return to power, then took the Gondorian citadel of Minas Ithil and refortified it as the fearful Minas Morgul, and there snuffed out the line of kings of Gondor too. He led Sauron's armies in the War of the Ring, stabbed Frodo Baggins on Weathertop during the first months of Frodo's venture out of the Shire to Rivendell, and at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields he besieged and broke the gates of Minas Tirith and killed King Théoden of Rohan.

Chief lieutenant and greatest servant to the Dark Lord across over four thousand years of Middle-earth history, he was a king, a mighty warrior and an undying sorcerer of incomparable fear and dread. In his hour of triumph at the Pelennor however he was killed by the hobbit Meriadoc Brandybuck and Éowyn, niece of Théoden, at the end of the War of the Ring. 

Biography

The Second Age: the Nine Rings and the advent of the Nazgûl

The Witch-king when he was a mere human

The forging of the Rings of Power began some 1500 years into the Second Age. In SA 1600 Sauron forged and donned the One Ring for the first time, and in SA 1693 began the War of the Elves and Sauron during which the Dark Lord recovered the Nine Rings and gave them to mighty lords and rulers of Men. The mightiest of all of them was likely a king and a powerful sorcerer, but little is known of his and their earthly life except that over the coming centuries they prospered as their power, wealth and mortal lifespans extended under the corrupting influence of their rings. The only certainty is that eventually he and all the others slipped into the shadow-world and became Nazgûl – Ringwraiths – enslaved wholly to the will of Sauron.

The first sighting of the Nazgûl in Middle-earth was reported in SA 2251. For the next 1200 years the greatest among them, known simply as the Lord of the Nazgûl, would serve Sauron as the commander of his army. He fought in the Age's climactic war against the Last Alliance of Elves and Men between SA 3434 and SA 3441, when the Dark Lord was eventually defeated and the One Ring cut from him. With Sauron's spirit and power dissipated the nine Nazgûl were no longer able to maintain their physical presence and they too disappeared – at least temporarily – from Middle-earth.

The Third Age: return and the arising of Angmar

The Witch-king's true undead appearance in the first Lord of the Rings film

One thousand years into the Third Age, Sauron took form in the world again and, incognito, founded the fortress of Dol Guldur in southern Mirkwood in TA 1050. This signalled the return of the Nine to Middle-earth. Their chief, re-empowered, would set about enacting his master's long vengeance upon the Realms in Exile of the Dúnedain, ruled by the descendants of the Faithful of Númenor who had (unlike Sauron) escaped its destruction and who subsequently brought him low with the Last Alliance.

By now the Dúnedain realm of Arnor, northern sister-kingdom to the southerly Gondor, had already become split into three following a civil war. It was into this febrile situation that the Lord of the Nazgûl reappeared in TA 1300 and began to fulfil Sauron's plan to bring down the North-Kingdom altogether. Adjacent to its territories he founded the dark domain of Angmar – where, from his capital of Carn Dûm, he began his campaign of open war with the three divided successor-states (Arthedain, Rhudaur, and Cardolan) of the former Arnor. It was after several conflicts with the Dúnedain of the North that they labelled this new threat's undead sorcerer-chieftain with the title of "Witch-king, Lord of Angmar".

The Witch-king's conquest of the North

In TA 1356, the "Witch-king" invaded Rhudaur and replaced the Dúnadan king of the land with a hill-chief allied to Angmar. King Argeleb of Arthedain was killed trying to defend Rhudaur against Angmar. In TA 1409 the troops of the Witch-king assaulted the fortress of Amon Sûl (Weathertop) and burned the tower, during which conflict King Arveleg of Arthedain was killed. The Witch-king and his Rhudaur allies then invaded and overran the kingdom of Cardolan.

Now, the only resistance against the Witch-king's forces was the western kingdom of Arthedain. They invaded Arthedain and came close to destroying it, but King Araphor with the help of the elves of Lindon and Rivendell managed to defeat the invading forces.

The Witch-king in his throne of Angmar

An uneasy peace descended, but the deathless Witch-king could continue his war for hundreds of years. In TA 1636, he sent evil wights to the Barrow-downs in Cardolan in order to prevent the rebirth of that kingdom. Ultimately, in TA 1974 the Witch-king claimed victory in the north, when his forces captured Fornost Erain, the capital of Arthedain. With its fall, the final bastion of the old North-Kingdom collapsed, and although Arvedui Last-King attempted to escape via the far north he was drowned in the Icebay of Forochel and the last remnants of the lost realm of Arnor were extinguished.

The Witch-king took his seat of power in the newly conquered Fornost. But his glory did not last long, for the next year an army of Gondor under their general – and heir to their throne – Eärnur landed at the Elven harbours of the Grey Havens. Too late to save their north-kindred, they were nonetheless joined by the Elves of Lindon and the remnant of the northern Dúnedain and they marched on the Witch-king.[2]

The Battle of Fornost

Eärnur's host did not meet the Witch-king at Fornost Erain itself, but on the plains west of it toward Lake Evendim, near the site of the ancient capital of the kings of Arnor, Annúminas. The combat though would be forever known as the Battle of Fornost. Crucially, the cavalry of Gondor split off before the arrival of the Angmar forces and rode north into the Hills of Evendim to wait in ambush; as the main part of the Gondorian army met the enemy in battle, the cavalry emerged from the hills to strike the rear of the army of Angmar. This pincer movement served as the turning point in the battle, and allowed the Dúnedain to gain the decisive advantage.

Realizing that his forces were all but completely crushed, the Witch-king attempted to flee back eastward – but an Elven army from Rivendell led by Glorfindel came up out of the south and blocked his escape, destroying what was left of his crumbling army. As a last resort, the Witch-king revealed himself in person and challenged Eärnur. As the Gondorian general attempted to attack, however, his horse was overwhelmed with fear of the Nazgûl-lord and bucked. The Witch-king, taunting Eärnur, fled the battlefield once and for all. When Eärnur attempted to follow, Glorfindel stopped him with a warning that would become prophetic in the future:

"Do not pursue him! He will not return to these lands. Far off yet is his doom, and not by the hand of man shall he fall."

The Witch-king, beaten, yet having successfully brought down the northern Dúnedain kingdoms, fled the North. Angmar was left leaderless and soon collapsed.

Return to Mordor and the rise of Minas Morgul

Minas Morgul, the final seat of the Witch-king

Despite the rout, the Witch-king had fulfilled his mission to destroy the successor kingdoms and royal line of Númenor in Eriador, and so now he returned to Mordor after centuries in the north. Although Sauron was still hiding in Dol Guldur (disguised as "the Necromancer"), the Nazgûl rallied back around their chief. Together, the nine Ringwraiths laboured to rebuild their master's power in Mordor, gathering huge Orcish hordes about themselves. In the year TA 2000 they came out of Mordor and began attacking Gondor, which was recovered from the Great Plague but devastated by the Wainriders. In TA 2002 they captured the Gondorian citadel Minas Ithil, and took the place for their own. It became known as Minas Morgul – the "Tower of Sorcery" – and remained a place of great evil for centuries thereafter.

In TA 2043, King Eärnil II of Gondor passed away and his son Eärnur, the Witch-king's old foe, inherited the throne. Upon his coronation, the Nazgûl-lord challenged the king to single combat, but Eärnur refused. However, seven years later in TA 2050 the Lord of Morgul again challenged him – and this time Eärnur accepted. The Gondorian monarch rode out of Minas Tirith to meet his enemy in combat at Minas Morgul. He entered the dread city's gates... and was never seen again. Thus ended the reign of the Gondorian kings and began the rule of the Stewards of Gondor. In TA 2063 the Watchful Peace began when Sauron fled Dol Guldur to avoid the investigations of Gandalf and hid in the East, and the Nazgûl remained quiet in Minas Morgul for the next 400 years.

In TA 2460, the Watchful Peace ended when Sauron, still identified only as the Necromancer, returned with increased strength to Dol Guldur, and in TA 2475 the Lord of Minas Morgul led hordes of Orcs and Haradrim against Gondor's capital Osgiliath and seized its eastern half. The city was ruined, and the great stone bridge linking the east and west banks of the River Anduin was destroyed, dealing a devastating blow to the morale of Gondor.

The Witch-king at Barad-dûr, by John Howe

In TA 2941, after Gandalf finally confirmed that it truly was Sauron in disguise, the White Council belatedly moved to expel the Necromancer from Dol Guldur. Sauron however simply withdrew to his old stronghold of Mordor, openly declared himself once more in TA 2951 and began the reconstruction of the Barad-dûr. He began preparations to find his One Ring and sent three Ringwraiths to reoccupy Dol Guldur. And in TA 3018, with the capture and torture of Gollum, the Dark Lord learned where the land of the Hobbits lay. Unfortunately, Gollum had lied, and the Wraiths went to Saruman, who refused to tell them the location of the land of the Halflings. The Lord of the Nazgûl however chanced upon Grima Wormtongue in Rohan, who, for fear of his life, told where the Shire was. Sauron opened the gates of Minas Morgul and sent forth the Nine disguised as Black Riders to fetch his Ring.

With an attack on Osgiliath that was in fact a ruse, the Nazgûl and an army of Orcs were able to cross the river and ride west.

The War of the Ring

The Ringwraiths rode swiftly from Mordor to the lands of the Shire. They continued to search for the "Baggins" Gollum had told of until they tracked the name to Buckland. The Nine Riders raided Buckland but could not find the Ring.

The Nazgûl-lord led four others of his kind to Weathertop – the ruined watchtower he had destroyed and burned some 1600 years earlier as Witch-king of Angmar – where they discovered Frodo, Aragorn, and the other hobbits. The Nazgûl attacked the party and their chief impaled Frodo with a Morgul-knife. Though they were driven off by Aragorn, Frodo's wound threatened to turn him into a wraith like the Nazgûl. Fortunately for the stricken hobbit, Elrond Half-Elven sent Glorfindel to guide Frodo to Rivendell where Elrond could heal his wound, and in a race to Rivendell Glorfindel lured the Ringwraiths into the River Bruinen. Here, Elrond released a great flood, with Gandalf giving the waves of the torrent the form of horses. This flood destroyed the physical forms of the Nine, killed their horses, and sent the Wraiths back to their master in Mordor, buying the Fellowship time to plan an attack.

With their return to Mordor, Sauron bestowed upon the Nazgûl great winged creatures as their new mounts. The Dark Lord used the lesser eight Nazgûl for reconnaissance work and as the occasional shock troop. Their leader, however, returned to Minas Morgul and resumed the role of commander of Sauron's forces. He then began battles to capture Osgiliath, finally issuing from Morgul Vale with a great host. However, at the bridge over Morgulduin he paused, feeling the Ring nearby – until Frodo touched the Phial of Galadriel, turning aside his enemy's thought. It would prove the closest the Nazgûl-lord would come to recovering his master's prize.

Siege of Gondor

The final Battle of Osgiliath was fought on March 13, 3019 against Faramir's rangers. Faramir's forces could not hold the Orc hordes under the control of Gothmog, and pulled back to Minas Tirith assailed by flying Nazgûl, losing many in the retreat. A second time the remnant went forth from the Gondorian capital, but from that assault only Faramir returned, gravely wounded, in Gandalf's arms. With Gondor's defeat at Osgiliath, nothing stood in the way of Sauron's ambitions of destroying Minas Tirith and the Free People's hopes.

The Lord of the Nazgûl during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields

On March 14, Orcs, Haradrim, and Easterling forces numbering over 200,000 marched on the gates of Minas Tirith. Sauron had imparted his Black Captain with newfound strength; he appeared on a black horse, his presence casting a shadow of utter paralysis and fear upon defender and foe. Crying incantations in "some forgotten tongue", he enhanced the power of the mighty battering-ram Grond and weakened the already damaged gate of the city. The great ram broke open the gate, and the Lord of the Nazgûl rode in.

The defenders inside fled, terror-stricken by his dark presence. However, his entrance was halted by Gandalf the White, the only one able to withstand his power. There was a duel of words between them, and the Nazgûl-king doffed his hood revealing a crown on empty air, mocking Gandalf as "old fool" and bidding him die. Threateningly he drew his blade, which blazed of its own accord. Gandalf held firm, ready to do battle – but before they could clash the horns of Rohan sounded, signalling the belated arrival of aid to Minas Tirith. The Ringwraith then withdrew to order the forces of Mordor's defence against this new threat.

Downfall

The Lord of Morgul mounted his winged fellbeast and rallied his troops against the furious charge of the Rohirrim. The army of Rohan was slowed, the initial charge blunted by their encounter with the Mûmakil, allowing the hosts of Mordor to reorganize. The Morgul-lord seized this opportunity to strike down King Théoden while his troops were in confusion. Flying on the back of his beast he drove down upon the king, and the advancing Rohirrim horses panicked as his beast attacked. Théoden's horse Snowmane became frightened, was struck by a black dart and fell upon its master, crushing him.

As the Nazgûl hovered on his great beast over the dying Théoden, the king's niece Éowyn and the hobbit Meriadoc Brandybuck stood in his way.

Éowyn: Be gone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!
Nazgûl: Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shriveled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye.
Éowyn: Do what you will, but I will hinder it, if I may.
Nazgûl: Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!
Éowyn: But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Eomund's daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Be gone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.

The Witch-king's last moments

Éowyn slew his winged beast with a single stroke of her sword, severing its neck. The Wraith-king arose, and giving a cry of hatred he shattered her shield and broke her left arm with a single blow of his mace. But as he towered over her, preparing to deliver the final blow, Merry stabbed his sword – an enchanted Barrow-blade, one of the few weapons that could have penetrated his defences – from behind into the sinew of his knee, breaking the spell binding his undead flesh to his will. While the Lord of the Nazgûl was distracted, Éowyn drove her sword where the head of the wraith would have been, slaying him.

The prophecy made by Glorfindel at the Battle of Fornost so many centuries before had thus come to pass. For not by the hand of [a] man had he failed, but by those of a hobbit and a woman. Now, with his death, the tide of the battle had changed, and ultimately the outcome of the War.

Aftermath

Only a few days later, during the final council of war before the assault on the Black Gate, Gandalf predicted that the defeat of the chief Nazgûl was one of several factors that would undermine Sauron's confidence in the superiority of his forces. The Dark Lord's growing awareness that he was facing the Heir of Isildur in Aragorn, the shock loss of the Battle of the Pelennor, and the fall of his single most powerful servant, all made him more likely to throw his entire remaining strength at whatever force of Gondorians and Rohirrim challenged him in an attempt to annihilate them once and for all – thus giving Frodo and Sam their one slender chance to pass unhindered through Mordor and convey the One Ring to Mount Doom:

Gandalf: [Sauron] studies the signs: the Sword that robbed him of his treasure remade; the winds of fortune turning in our favour, and the defeat unlooked-for of his first assault; the fall of his great Captain. His doubt will be growing, even as we speak here. His Eye is now straining towards us, blind almost to all else that is moving. So we must keep it.

This counsel proved correct, and no more than ten days later, Sauron himself was finally defeated when the Ring was unmade in the Cracks of Doom. The remaining Ringwraiths perished in the cataclysmic eruption of the mountain. [3][4][5]

Powers and abilities

As a Nazgûl, the Witch-king had a wide arsenal of powers. He was surrounded by an aura of fear, enough to make trained soldiers run in terror. Besides the common Black Breath, any weapon that struck the Nazgûl-lord would be destroyed (a fate shared by Merry Brandybuck's and Éowyn's swords), and its bearer would be poisoned. This was so severe that it was worse than a blow from his mace.

The Witch-king – as the title suggests – was also a feared sorcerer, having powers over the physical world, breaking Frodo's sword with just a move of his hand and weakening the Gates of Minas Tirith allowing the battering ram Grond to break them. The spell he used to weaken it also caused it to explode in a flash of lightning. He could light objects with sorcerous fire. He was stronger at night time. His power fluctuated greatly over his existence, as his strength was bound up with Sauron's own; the more powerful Sauron became, the more powerful the Nazgûl became.

Roots in mythology

An undead "witch-king" named Þráinn appears in Hrómundar saga Gripssonar, a work of Norse mythology. A "witch-king" also appears in Greek mythology, Aeëtes of Kolkhis, who more resembles the Witch-king of Angmar. The former, however, was more likely an inspiration for Tolkien, as he fancied and studied northern mythologies much more than southern mythologies (Greek, Roman, etc.).

Speculation on name

The Lord of the Nazgûl's true name is never given, and therefore he is known only by a host of epithets.

Properly, Witch-king is solely the title/description applied to him for the middle part of the Third Age by those in the North of Middle-earth, during his years as dread sorcerous ruler of Angmar. The phrase Witch-king of Angmar, in full, is only used by Tolkien once – in Appendix B to The Lord of the Rings, in the entry for the year 1409 of the Third Age.

Beforehand, and again afterwards following his return south to Mordor, he was more commonly known as simply the Lord of the Nazgûl and versions such as Nazgûl-lord, Wraith-king, etc.; and, after his taking of Minas Ithil, as variants on the Lord of (Minas) Morgul. Other honorifics such as the Black Captain are applied to his role as leader of the forces of Morgul during the siege of Minas Tirith.

The perhaps more distinctive moniker Witch-king (or Witch King) is however used frequently on merchandise and other supplementary materials derived from the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, contributing to its higher profile in the present day – including the title of this page.

At the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, Éowyn challenges him with the words: "Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion!" It is supposed that the word dwimmerlaik is formed from the Old English words "gedwimer" (sorcery), and "lic" (corpse, as in 'lich'); in Rohirric the term is said to mean 'spectre' or 'work of necromancy'.

Among Tolkien fans he has sometimes been called by the soubriquet Angmar, the name of the realm he once founded and ruled (similar to how a real-life earl/duke/marquess etc. is referred to by his peerage: e.g. Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, is simply "Wellington"). Many also identify the Witch-king as one of the three Black Númenóreans who Tolkien stated had become Nazgûl; or possibly Isilmo, a Númenórean prince and father of Tar-Minastir. In the now-defunct Middle-earth Role Playing game, he was named Er-Murazor, a Númenórean prince, though this is strictly non-canonical. In the Angband computer game he was listed as Murazor, the Witch-king of Angmar.

Portrayal in adaptations

Films

The Lord of the Rings film trilogy

"Do you not know death when you see it, old man? This is my hour! You have failed. The world of men will fall."
The Witch-king to Gandalf in the The Return of the King

The Lord of the Nazgûl appears in all three of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films. He is portrayed by Brent McIntyre in wraith form in The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers and by Lawrence Makoare in The Return of the King. Ben Price portrays him in human form in flashbacks. He is voiced by Andy Serkis.

In The Fellowship of the Ring, he appears unnamed as one of the nine Nazgûl. He is shown briefly as a king of men in the prologue, and serves as one of the primary antagonists throughout the film alongside the other Ringwraiths. He is the Wraith who stabs Frodo with a Morgul-blade on Weathertop, although this is only revealed in The Return of the King by Gandalf.

The Nazgûl-lord returns in The Two Towers atop his fellbeast, hunting for the Ring in the Dead Marshes. His presence causes Frodo to once more feel the wound dealt by him at Weathertop, as later confirmed in the next film.

It is only in The Return of the King that the "Witch-king" is identified by this name and becomes an antagonist separate from the other Nazgûl. He is now identified by a distinctive helmet and armour, and wields a giant flail and flaming sword in battle. The Witch-king first appears in an introductory scene via Gandalf's description, and is later seen by Frodo, Sam and Gollum leaving Minas Morgul with a massive army.

The Witch-king confronts Gandalf and Pippin in Minas Tirith.

He serves as Sauron's commander at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, giving orders to the orc lieutenant Gothmog. During the battle itself, the Witch-king joins the other Ringwraiths in destroying various buildings and material inside Minas Tirith while the orc army besieges the city. In an extended scene, he confronts Gandalf and breaks the wizard's staff using dark magic. As he is about to strike down Gandalf, the reinforcements of Rohirrim arrive and the Witch-king departs for battle. Later, as Théoden musters his knights to attack the Haradrim, the Witch-king swoops out of the sky and causes Théoden of Rohan to be crushed beneath his horse. As he is about to finish off the stricken king, Éowyn arrives and confronts him. The two duel briefly before Merry stabs the Witch-king in the leg, disabling him and allowing Éowyn to deliver the killing blow. Unlike the novel, the Witch-king does not know of Éowyn's gender when their duel at the Pelennor begins; Éowyn only takes off her helmet right before she deals the final blow.

The height of the Witch-king's powers and skills are demonstrated during the films. In The Fellowship of the Ring, for example, he easily evades the torch held by Aragorn at Weathertop and fights the Ranger sword-to-sword before he is backed onto the edge, forcing him to retreat; in the extended version of The Return of the King, he is portrayed as more powerful a sorcerer than even Gandalf. It should be noted, however, that the novels also portrayed the Witch-king's powers as varying significantly, as he and four other Nazgûl were driven off by Aragorn at Weathertop in The Fellowship. By The Return of the King, Gandalf himself was not certain which one of them was the more powerful.

The Hobbit film trilogy

The Witch-king's spirit at Dol Guldur

The Witch-king also appears in the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, briefly fighting Radagast. The Witch-king's portrayal in the film is also different from in the book. In the film he is said to have been killed after the fall of Angmar and buried, prior to his revival by the Necromancer; in the book, however, the Witch-king does not die following the fall of Angmar, and instead goes to Dol Guldur. In The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, he, along with the other Ringwraiths, fight the White Council in Dol Guldur. After being defeated, they flee to Mordor with Sauron.

Rankin/Bass film

The Witch-king in the Rankin/Bass adaptation of The Return of the King

The Witch-king also appears in the 1980 film The Return of the King.

Video games

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The Witch-king appears as a boss hero in all The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King games as a boss, although in the PS2/Xbox/GameCube the player merely shoots his fell beast a number of times until it dies and crashes on the battlefield, where the Witch King is then battled and killed by Éowyn in a cutscene. He was also in the The Third Age PS2 game as a Pelennor Fields boss and in the GBA version as an optional Evil commander that focuses mainly on dealing out huge amounts of damage directly.

The Battle for Middle-earth

The Witch-king as he appears in the game

His more notable appearance is in The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II: The Rise of the Witch-king which features Angmar's rise to power and eventual destruction, including new heroes such as Morgomir.

In this game, the Witch-king's powers of sorcery come from elemental forces (of ice and the cold) and necromancy. He is noted for being extremely cruel, as he will attack friend and foe alike. The only two other units in the franchise that show this savagery are the Balrog and the Spectral Werewolf. He also has the largest health pool for a standard hero, at 8,000 health-points at the start, but has very little to no armour.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

In Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the Witch-king appears as the ranger Talion's nemesis, and is shown taking the city of Minas Ithil and the palantir housed there. His appearance is similar to his depiction in The Hobbit films, albeit altered slightly.

Full list of game appearances

Games Workshop

The Witch-king with Flail, from Games Workshop.com

Games Workshop has released several miniatures of the Witch-king based on his appearances in the movies. He is depicted on foot, as riding a fellbeast and as riding a horse. He is also included in a mini diorama depicting his last moments in The Return of the King.

Weapons

Broadsword

View of the Witch-king's sword and armor

The sword of the Witch-king

In films and game adaptations, the Witch-king's primary weapon is his fiery broadsword. It is seen in the game The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age, when he is attacking Éowyn and Berethor's party, who has joined with Éowyn against the mighty Lord of the Nazgûl.

Although not officially named in The Lord of the Rings books, those who preordered The Lord of the Rings: Conquest video game were given a replica of the Witch-king's sword. On the box art (and playing as the Witch-king in the game), EA provides a name for the weapon: The Sword of Terror.

Mace

The Witch-king's other primary weapon was a great, deadly mace which can shatter shields or kill enemies in one swing. Together with his sword, the Witch-king was an unstoppable force, vulnerable only to the combined efforts of an extremely lucky shield-maiden and hobbit whose blades were very powerful against the Witch-king specifically (a fact which was unknown to them).

In the movies, the Witch-king uses a flail instead of a mace, but with the same effectiveness.

In The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II, the Witch-king is featured using a sword and a flail; however in the expansion pack, The Rise of the Witch-king, his character in the Angmar faction uses a steel sceptre, appearing as a small trident, and no flail.

Morgul-blade

Morgul-Blade

The Witch-king's smallest – yet still potent – weapon is a Morgul-blade, a deadly sorcerer's device that could slowly turn victims into a lesser wraith slave to the Nine and to Sauron. He used it on Frodo, in an attempt to claim the Ring and punish its bearer by putting him in a state worse than death. Fortunately for the hobbit, the blade failed to complete its task, as Frodo was swiftly brought to Rivendell and healed there by the ministrations of Elrond.

Fellbeast

Main article: Witch-king's Fellbeast

The Witch-King upon his Fell-Beast

Besides weapons crafted from forges in Mordor, the Witch-king also used his winged fellbeast as a method of attacking his enemies. This beast served two purposes: to take down enemy structures and catapults and to kill massive amounts of enemies at once. When the Witch-king (or indeed, any other Ringwraith) swooped down upon his enemies, they would flee in terror and attempt to save themselves (usually unsuccessfully). The beast was finally slain by Éowyn via decapitation.

Voice dubbing actors

Foreign Language Voice dubbing artist
Spanish (Latin America) Alejando Mayen
Spanish (Spain) Enrique Serra Frediani
Portuguese (Brazil) (Television/DVD) Cassius Romero
Japanese Kiyoshi Kobayashi
Czech (Czech Republic) Bohumil Švarc
German Thomas Rauscher
Italian (Italy) Paolo Buglioni

Gallery

Translations


Foreign Language Translated name
Afrikaans Heks-koning van Angmar
Albanian Mbreti magjik i Angmarit
Arabic ساحره--ملك انغمار
Armenian Անգմար-ի կախարդ թագավորը
Belarusian Cyrillic Кароль-чарадзей Ангмара
Bengali উইচ-কিং অফ আংমার
Bosnian Kralj-Vještac od Angmara
Bulgarian Cyrillic Кралят-магьосник на Ангмар
Catalan Rei bruixot d'Àngmar
Cebuano Magwahing hari sa Angmar
Chinese 安格馬巫王
Croatian Kralj-Vještac od Angmara
Czech Černokněžný král Angmaru
Danish Heks-kongen af Angmar
Dutch De Tovenaar-Koning van Angmar
Estonian Nõid-kuningas Angmar
Finnish Angmarin Noitakuningas
French Roi-sorcier d'Angmar
Galician Rei Bruxo de Angmar
Georgian ანგმარის გრძნეული მეფე
German Hexenkönig von Angmar
Greek Μάγος Βασιλιάς της Άνγκμαρ
Gujarati અંગરર ઓફ વિચ-રાજા
Hebrew המלך המכשף של אנגמר
Hindi चुड़ैल-एन्गर का राजा
Hungarian Angmari boszorkánykirály
Icelandic Norn konungur Angmar
Indonesian Penyihir raja Angmar
Irish Gaelic Draíochta Rí na Angmar
Italian Re Stregone di Angmar
Japanese アングマールの魔王
Kannada ಅಂಗ್‌ಮಾರ್ ಮಂತ್ರವಾದಿ-ರಾಜನನ್ನು
Korean 마녀-앙 마 르 왕
Latin Rex-magus Angmaris
Latvian Angmaras raganu karalis
Lithuanian Ragana-karalius Angmar
Luxembourgish Hexekinnek vun Angmar
Malaysian Penyihir-raja Angmar
Norwegian Heksekongen av Angmar
Persian پادشاه جادوگر آنگمار
Polish Czarnoksiężnik z Angmaru
Portuguese Rei bruxo de Angmar
Punjabi ਆਨ੍ਗ੍ਮਰ ਦਾ ਡੈਣ-ਰਾਜਾ
Romanian Regele-vrăjitor din Angmar
Russian Король-чародей Ангмара
Scottish Gaelic Bhuidseach de rìgh Angmar
Serbian Краљ-Вештац од Ангмара (Cyrillic) Kralj-Veštac od Angmara (Latin)
Sinhalese ඇන්ගර්හි රජ්ජුරුවන්ගේ මායාකාරිය ?
Slovak Černokňažný kráľ Angmaru
Slovenian Čarovni kralj Angmar
Spanish Rey Brujo de Angmar
Swedish Häxkungen av Angmar
Telugu అంగ్మార్ యొక్క విచ్-రాజు
Thai วิชคิงพญาโหงแห่งอังก์มาร์
Turkish Angmarlı Cadı Kral
Ukrainian Cyrillic Анґмарський Король-Чаклун
Urdu انجمار کے ڈائن بادشاہ
Vietnamese Vua phù thủy của Angmar
Welsh Wrach-brenin Angmar
Yiddish מעכאַשייפע-מלך פון אַנגמאַר
The one ring animated.gif Lord of the Rings Wiki Featured articles The one ring animated.gif
People: Faramir · Sauron · Witch-king of Angmar · Gollum · Elrond · Frodo Baggins · Samwise Gamgee · Meriadoc Brandybuck · Peregrin Took · Gandalf · Aragorn II Elessar · Legolas · Gimli · Boromir · Galadriel · Elves · Hobbits
Locations: Middle-earth · Gondor · Mordor · Rohan
Other: Mithril · The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game · The Fellowship of the Ring (novel) · Works inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien · The Lord of the Rings · The Lord of the Rings (1978 film) · Ainulindalë · Tolkien vs. Jackson · Tengwar · Quenya

References

  1. Quoted in Hammond & Scull, Reader's Companion, p. 20.
  2. The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  3. The Lord of the Rings
  4. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A
  5. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.