The Witch-king

Full Name: The Witch-king

Name Meaning: None

Aliases: Lord of the Nazgul, Lord of the Nine Riders, King of the Nine Riders, the Wraith-lord, the Wraith-king, the Morgul-king, the King of Minas Morgul, the Lord of Morgul, the Black Captain, the Captain of Despair, the Captain of Sauron, the Black Rider, the Black Shadow, the Dwimmerlaik, the High Nazgul, and the Witch-king of Angmar

Birth Date: SA c. 1600

Date of Death: 15th March, TA 3019

Race: Human at first; ringwraith later

Parents: Unknown

Siblings: Unknown

Spouse: Unknown

Children: Unknown


The Witch-king was once a great king and sorcerer in Angmar. Together with eight other powerful lords, he was given a Ring of power--his was the greatest of his fellows. The giver, Sauron, knew full well that the Rings would enslave the kings, binding them to the Dark Lord's will. The kings gradually faded into Nazgul, or Ringwraiths. Their fates were bound to Sauron's: when he was victorious, so were they; when he was vanquished by the Last Alliance at the end of the Second Age, the Ringwraiths fell to ruin.

Unfortunately, Sauron and his wraiths were not destroyed. The Ring still existed, and as Sauron's fate was tied to the Ring just as the Ringwraiths' fate was tied to Sauron, all of them lived on. Their shadow began to grow again in the early Third Age, and by TA 1409 the Witch-king had invaded Arnor. About two hundred years later, Mordor's faithful Gondorian guards had disappeared and the Land of Shadow was open.

In TA 1975, the Witch-king was defeated at the Battle of Fornost. In his defeat, though, he rode up to the King of Gondor's son, Eärnur, who was brave enough to withstand the wraith. Eärnur's horse, however, quailed and bore its master away in a great hurry. The Witch-king laughed, but Glorfindel the Elf, who had led a group of Elves to the battle, rode up and the Witch-king fled. Eärnur might have pursued his foe, but Glorfindel advised against this and prophesied that "Not by the hand of man will he fall."

A few years later, the Witch-king and his fellow Nazgul took control of Mordor. In TA 2002 they ventured out to claim Minas Ithil, turning it into a dreadful place and renaming it Minas Morgul, Tower of Black Sorcery. The Witch-king taunted Eärnur (now King of Gondor) twice, daring him to meet him in single combat. The first time, the King of Gondor was restrained by his steward, Mardil. The second time, though, with the taunt mentioning Eärnur's "weakness of age", Eärnur could not be held back and rode forth to meet the Lord of the Nazgul. Eärnur was never seen or heard from again, thus ending the line of Anarion.

When Sauron heard the words "Shire" and "Baggins" from Gollum's mouth, he sent his wraiths on the hunt, the Witch-king at their head. The Witch-king tracked the hobbits to Weathertop, where he wounded Frodo with a Morgul blade. He was temporarily defeated by the flood at the Ford of the Bruinen, but very soon after he was ready to fight again, mounted on a deadly Fell Beast. The Witch-king was responsible for taking Osgiliath from the men of Gondor, and he led the siege of Minas Tirith. His black magic spells broke the gates of the city, and he would have fought Gandalf, but the arrival of the Rohirrim deterred him. He and his steed killed King Théoden, but they were in turn destroyed by the joint effort of Éowyn and Merry. Thus Glorfindel's prophesy that the Witch-king would not fall by the hand of man was fulfilled: the Lord of the Nazgul was slain by a woman and a hobbit.


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