The Witch-king of Angmar is a powerful evil wizard and the fearsome leader of the 9 Nazgûl, who hunt Frodo and the Ring. He was once a great human king, but he succumbed to the temptation of the Rings of Power and became the formidable enemy leading Sauron’s forces in Middle-earth.
It is better to return to the history of this strange character that we explore today. 7 facts you may not have known about the Witch King of Angmar:
#7 We don’t know how Tolkien invented it
The Nazgûl in general, and the Witch King in particular, represent a mystery for both the heroes and the readers, and perhaps even for Tolkien himself. There is no note or precise indication of the author’s creation of him, nor of his real identity in the fiction. In one of the drafts of the work, Gandalf advances on his white horse, wrapped in a large cloak of which only his eyes are visible, Tolkien has suddenly made the horse and cloak black, when the hood completely hides his face, even the eyes. .
As Tolkien was a connoisseur of different folklores, some think he may have been inspired by the Irishman Dullahan., supernatural horsemen who can remove their heads and are dressed in black. For others, it could be a concentration of various ghost legends or a variation of the Grim Reaper image. Others relate these faceless horsemen to a traumatic memory of the German cavalry during World War I.carrying gas masks and watched by Tolkien.
As for the Witch King himself, Most sources that have researched the subject seem to think that he is a mixture of several characters from Indo-European mythology. Thus, the Norse and Greek sagas evoke sorcerer kings. Aeëtes of Colchis among the Greeks has a character close to the Witch King of Angmar. But the undead Þráinn from the Norse saga Hrómundar Gripssonar seems more likely, since Tolkien was a great admirer of Norse mythology.
#6 He is more linked to Sauron than he would like
After Sauron entrusted the various Rings of Power to 9 great human kings, this seemed to be the only part of his plan that worked. Unlike the Elves and Dwarves, the 9 human kings allow themselves to be corrupted by Sauron’s magic. The identity of these nine kings is not known with certainty, but it seems clear that one of them was adept at witchcraft. This sorcerer has had his abilities enhanced through Sauron and the rings.
However, his pact with Sauron is obviously a fool’s game. In reality, the Witch-king is now inexorably linked to Sauron. Once fully transformed into a Nazgûl, the Witch-king and his eight companions follow Sauron in his battle against the Last Alliance of Men and Elves. At this time, the Witch King, being larger and more powerful than the others, is called the Lord of the Nazgûl.
When Isildur cuts off Sauron’s finger and separates it from the One Ring, like his master, the 9 Nazgûl can no longer maintain their physical form.. They then disappear from Middle-earth until Sauron can regain his form and lend some of his powers to the Nazgûl. As Sauron never finds his ring, he never regains all of his powers. Therefore, it is likely that the Witch King will no longer have his full power during the Third Age.
#5 Angmar is not your home region
After several millennia of wandering, when Sauron regains some of his strength, he revives the Witch-king.. He entrusts him with various thankless tasks that, in the long term, should allow his return. Among others, the Witch King must conquer territories. During this time, hear about a kingdom divided into three parts after succession disputes. He decides to settle in one of the three regions., The dark kingdom of Angmar.
This sudden annexation sparks a war with other parts of the kingdom. It was during this war that the Lord of the Nazgûl took the title of Witch-King of Angmar or even Lord of Angmar. From there began a long series of battles and invasions. It was under his orders that the city located on Windy Mountain fell, where he would stab Frodo several millennia later. Finally, His conquests ended in a city called Fornost.
#4 He is an elf who predicts his death.
Barely a year after he invaded the city of Fornost, an alliance of men and elves was formed to retake the city. to the Witch King. A combined attack by the forces of Gondor, commanded by Eärnur (an ancestor of Aragorn), and an army of elves manages to crush almost all of their troops at the Battle of Fornost. The Witch King tries to flee to Angmar with the few forces he can muster, but the cavalry of Gondor and an army of elves sent by Elrond completely crush him. Among the elves there is a great hero named Glorfindel.
This elf experienced a fate similar to that which Gandalf would experience much later.. In the First Age, Glorfindel died during his confrontation with a Balrog.. Glorfindel fell off a cliff during his fight with this Balrog. After spending time in the afterlife alongside a Vala (a god, to put it simply) named Mandos, his soul was returned to the Third Age. and was reincarnated in time to face the Witch King of Angmar.
The defeat inflicted by the elf Glorfindel and the human Eärnur is such that the Witch King flees in terror. (he will now flee from this elf’s presence whenever he can). Eärnur wishes to pursue him and kill him, but Glorfindel, who seems to have returned from the beyond more clairvoyant and powerful, stops the human by uttering this prophecy:
He will not return to this earth. His destiny is far from fulfilled and he will fall, but it will not be the hand of a Man that will bring him down!
#3 He has a nemesis
After this confrontation and the terrible humiliation he suffered against Glorfindel, the Witch King is traumatized by the elf.. From there, he especially fears this hero whose power and knowledge he fears. When the One Ring reappears in Frodo’s hands, Elrond sends some elves, including Glorfindel, to confront the Ringwraiths. A few days later, he finally finds Aragorn and discovers that Frodo has been wounded by a sword from the Witch-king.
The Nazgûl catch up to them, but Glorfindel, who knows the region well, knows that a river not far from where they are will soon overflow its banks. The elf orders his horse, Asfaloth, to take Frodo to Elrond’s house. Next to him, Glorfindel will face the Witch King again several thousand years after their last encounter..
The elf and Frodo’s companions light torches and push the Nazgûl towards the overflowing river; Their horses, terrified by fire and water, dismount their riders and the river carries them away. In Peter Jackson’s films, this scene was modified, and it is Arwen who saves Frodo by confronting the Witch King and the Nazgûl.
In the books, Glorfindel later participates in the Council of Elrond, whose main objective is to seek a solution to the threat that Sauron poses to Middle-earth. It is Glorfindel who proposes to destroy the Ring.. Glorfindel will not be in the last battle fought by the Witch King. However, His prediction will only come true when Éowyn and Meriadoc Brandibouc, that is, a woman and half a man, finally triumph over the Witch King.
#2 Technically die twice
The Witch King and the other Nazgûl are linked to the One Ring. What makes this ring so terrible when it is in Sauron’s hands?, is that it gives him extraordinary powers, particularly over those he controls.. Those under the corruption of the rings become a kind of hybrid between the mortal and the immortal, neither living nor dead.
This state is an abomination, as it is a twisted version of a power that only the Valar (the gods plural, to put it simply) are supposed to have. In fact, and in any case, this means that as long as Sauron lives, the Nazgûl will also live.. So, After being killed by Merry and Éowyn on the battlefield, the Witch-king is still alive, as Sauron is also alive.
Whatever it is This way of life is definitively destroyed with the other Nazgûl when the One Ring is thrown into the fires of Mount Doom. and Sauron’s physical form disappears forever. At that moment, Sauron’s soul wanders through Middle-earth forever, but the Witch-king’s can never return. The most terrible of the Nazgul disappears, taking all these secrets with him.
#1 There are many theories about his identity.
When Frodo encounters the Nazgûl, they are only a shadow of what they once were.. His identities have been erased and the will of his master is now his. This vagueness around these nine fascinating characters took fans’ minds on a journey.. Today there are many theories about his identity.
Some official spin-offs have taken advantage of this mystery to address it unofficially. For example, certain role-playing games allowed us to imagine precise identities for each of the Nazgûl. The videogame shadow of war Enjoy the mystery surrounding the Witch King as you imagine certain elements of his journey. But this is an old role-playing game that seems to have offered a relatively complete and plausible version.
The Witch King would be Er-Mûrazôr, the prince of a kingdom where men do not want to recognize the superiority of the gods. and despise the elves. Er-Mûrazôr appears in a period that would coincide with the appearance of the Nazgûl.. All of this is obviously just fan fiction, but we can only invite you to discover this exciting story on the different sites that present it.
And if you liked this article, do not hesitate to discover 9 facts that you did not know about Sauron, Gimli, Bilbo, Gandalf, Arwen, the Elves, Boromir, The Balrog or Gollum.