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The Witch-king of Angmar was the leader of the NazgŻl or Ringwraiths, and Sauron's second-in-command in the Second and Third Ages. Once a king of men, he was corrupted by one of the nine Rings of Power given to the lords of men and became an undead wraith in the service of Sauron.
After the first defeat of Sauron in the War of the Last Alliance, the Witch-King fled to Angmar, a kingdom he ruled for thousands of years until he returned to Mordor to lead Sauron's armies in the War of the Ring. He was killed in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields at the end of the War.
The Second and Third Ages
Witch King of Angmar as king
Ben Price as Witch-king of Angmar during the prologue, when he was a King of Men, before becoming a Wraith.
- DarkchyldeAdded by - Darkchylde
The first sighting of the NazgŻl in Middle-earth was reported in SA 2251. For the next 1200 years, the Lord of the NazgŻl would serve Sauron as his second in command. He fought in the war against the Last Alliance of Elves and Men between SA 3434 and SA 3441. It was in SA 3441 when Sauron was finally defeated and the nine NazgŻl disappeared from Middle-Earth.
One thousand years into the Third Age, Sauron took a new form as the Necromancer, and founded the fortress of Dol Guldur in southern Mirkwood in TA 1050. This signaled the return of the Nine NazgŻl to Middle-earth.
The Lord of the NazgŻl reappeared in TA 1300 in the north near the lost realm of Arnor. There he founded the kingdom of Angmar. It was after the formation of Angmar and several conflicts with the Dķnedain of the North that the Lord of the NazgŻl received the title of Witch-king, Lord of Angmar.
He then began his open war campaign with the three divided kingdoms of Arnor (Arthedain, Rhudaur, and Cardolan). In TA 1356, the Witch-king invaded the kingdom of Rhudaur and replaced the Dķnedain 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 Sul and burned the tower, during which conflict king Arveleg of Arthedain was killed. The Witch-King then invaded and destroyed the kingdom of Cardolan. Then the Witch-King 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.
Soon, the only resistance against the Witch-king's forces was the western kingdom of Arthedain. The Witch-king continued his war for hundreds of years. In TA 1636, the Witch-king sent wights to the Barrow-downs in Cardolan in order to prevent the rebirth of the kingdom. The Witch-king claimed ultimate victory in the north in TA 1974, when his forces captured Fornost Erain, the capital of Arthedain. With its capture, the final kingdom collapsed, and with it, the last remnants of the lost realm of Arnor were destroyed.
The Witch-king gladly took his seat of power in the newly captured Fornost. But his glory did not last long, for in TA 1975, general Ešrnur of Gondor landed at the harbours of the Grey Havens, leading an army of Gondor. His army was joined by the Elves of Lindon and the remnant of the northern Dķnedain and marched on the Witch-king.
They did not meet the Witch-king at Fornost, but on the plains west of it toward Lake Evendim, home of the ancient kings of Arnor, Annķminas. The battle would forever be known as the Battle of Fornost. Ešrnur's Dķnedain army was later joined in the mists of battle by Glorfindel and his Elven army from Rivendell. The Witch-king revealed himself and challenged Ešrnur. As Ešrnur attempted to attack, his horse was overwhelmed with fear of the NazgŻl lord and bucked. The Witch-king, taunting Ešrnur, fled the battlefield. When Ešrnur 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, having destroyed the North-kingdom, fled the North. Angmar was left leaderless and soon collapsed.
The War of the Ring
The Witch-king and the other eight NazgŻl rode swiftly from Mordor to the lands of the Shire. They continued to search for "Baggins" until they tracked him to Buckland. The Nine Riders raided Buckland but could not find the Ring.
The Witch-king led four other NazgŻl to Weathertop where they discovered Frodo, Aragorn, and the other hobbits. The Ringwraiths attacked the party and the Witch-king wounded Frodo with a Morgul blade. Though successfully driven off by Aragorn, Frodo's wound threatened to turn him into a wraith like the NazgŻl. Elrond of Rivendell sent Glorfindel to guide Frodo to Rivendell where Elrond could heal his wound. Glorfindel's race to Rivendell lured the Ringwraiths into the 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 Ringwraiths, 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 NazgŻl great winged creatures as their new mounts. Sauron used the lesser eight NazgŻl for reconnaissance work and the occasional shock troop. The Witch-king, 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 with a great host. However, at the bridge over Morgulduin he pauses, feeling the Ring nearby; until Frodo touches the Phial and turns aside his enemy's thought.
The final Battle of Osgiliath was fought on March 13, 3019 of the Third Age against Faramir's rangers. Faramir's forces could not hold the Orc hordes under the control of Gothmog. Faramir pulled his forces back to Minas Tirith assailed by flying NazgŻl, losing much of his force in the retreat. A second time he went forth, and from that assault only Faramir returned to Minas Tirith, 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.
On March 14, Orcs, Haradrim, and Easterling forces numbering over 200,000 marched on the gates of Minas Tirith. Sauron had bestowed the Witch-king
newfound strength, making his appears 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 enhances the power of Grond, and weakens the already damaged gate of Minas Tirith. The ram breaks open the gate, and the defenders inside flee, terror stricken by his dark presence. However, his march in is hindered by Gandalf the White, the only one able to withstand his power. There is a duel of words between them, and the Witch-king doffs his hood revealing a crown on empty air, mocking Gandalf as "old fool" and bidding him die, threateningly draws his blade, which blazes on its own accord. Gandalf holds firm, ready to do battle. Before the two warriors can clash the horns of Rohan sound, signaling the arrival of aid to Minas Tirith. The Witch-king then withdraws to order the defence against this new threat.
The Death of the Witch-king.
The Witch-king mounted his Fell beast 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 Mumakil, allowing the hosts of Mordor to re-organize. The Witch-king took this opportunity to strike down King Thťoden while his troops were in confusion. Flying on the back of his fell beast, he drove upon Thťoden. The advancing Rohirrim horses panicked as his beast attacked. Thťoden's horse, Snowmane, became frightened, was struck by a black dart and fell upon its master.
As the Witch-king hovered over Thťoden on his fell beast, …owyn and the hobbit Merry stood in his way.
…owyn: Be gone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!
NazgŻl: Come not between the Nazgul 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.
…owyn: Do what you will, but I will hinder it, if I may.
NazgŻl: Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!
…owyn: But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. …owyn 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.
…owyn slew his fell beast with a single stroke of her sword, severing its neck. The Witch-king arose, and with 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 from behind into the sinew of the Witch-king's knee. While the Witch-King was distracted, …owyn drove her sword where the head of the wraith would have been, slaying him.
The prophesy of Glorfindel 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. No more than ten days later, Sauron himself was finally defeated when the One Ring was cast back into the fires of Mount Doom and unmade .
The One Ring
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