Being a Ringwraith
#21
Wait, Mordomin has learned how to block the influence of Sauron? Like Elrond and Galadriel and ....:::faceplant::: Of course!
If some Disney-princess can do it, why not Sauron?
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#22
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#23
JRRT indicated that "wraithification" was a process, not an instantaneous change of state upon putting on a Ring of Power. That's why I coined a term for the process that implies that it was a process. I think most of us know that, but the theory IMO has certain ramifications. As Michael indicated, the Ringwraiths would be expected to change over time, especially during the period leading up to, and soon after, their eventual transition to wraiths (as signified most obviously IMO by permanent invisibility).

I envision men, "great kings and sorcerors of old" being so pleased with the neat-o powers they've gained that tickle their pride & ambition, & the prospect of 'immortality' i.e. endless serial life as men, that they disregard warning signs such as lessening interest & pleasure from 'natural' pursuits as they outlive their natural life spans & become more dependent on their Rings to be sustained. I envision them almost like children staying up far into the night playing with new toys.

Eventually, it caught up to them, the thrill evaporated like thrills always do. Both Sauron, & their own bodies & spirits, presented the bill for payment. They became slaves, endlessly hopelessly weary and restless, motivated only to please Sauron so he won't hurt them, and to serve him & to prevent his downfall so that they don't perish with him, in spite of the fact they will only find rest after their master is vanquished & his Ruling Ring that drives them is destroyed. Even in that extemity they remained afraid of death and the unknown darkness. If they had any particular hope, it was that Sauron might make things more bearable for them if he got his Ring back.

Added: 2 more threads in which we discussed the autonomy and sentience of Ringwraiths

Frodo Over the Sea

And of course Independence of Ringwraiths
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#24
I agree. Mordomin did not recognize "wraithification" when he was confronted with it in the story "The King's Champion".

He just wanted to fight and win, and walk away the victor.
"Never ask an Elf for advice, for he will say both 'Yes' and 'No'." - Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion
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#25
Although both Mordomn and the Witch-king desire a final reckoning, it is not fated to be.
"Never ask an Elf for advice, for he will say both 'Yes' and 'No'." - Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion
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#26
They were once men and rulers. They could also have been related to Aragon. I always have wonder whether they knew about Aragorn or were aware of him being their kin. I wonder if Aragon did.
Don't insult the precious, my precious!:book:
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#27
As a child & young man, Aragorn was hidden as much as was reasonably feasible from servants of Sauron, esp including the Nine. I take that to mean especially in the sense that his heritage as heir of Elendil's line, therefore the last most direct descendant of Earendil & Elros, was kept secret. It wasn't until he revealed himself in the palantir that Sauron & his servants could know who he was.

I would think Aragorn might be aware some of the Nazgul as mortal Men may indeed have been distant relatives, insomuch as they were related to the royal house and/or the Lords of Andunie. But, so what?

I imagine (& I think Elrond's memoirs will bear me out) the King's men & the noble & princes of that party (of whom the Numenorean Ringwraiths would have come) tended to regard Elf-friends, the House of Andunie, and those who revered the Valar, (of whom much of the future population of Arnor & Gondor, & the KIngs & lords of those lands were descended) as fools and tools, dupes and traitors in league with the elves and the Valar who denied Men the immortality that was rightly theirs. Therefore IMO to the extent they could form an opinion on the subject, they would have considered Elendil & his descendants unworthy usurpers. I see no reason Sauron wouldn't have encouraged that line of thinking, & I'm sure that was the position of the later Black Numenoreans as well.
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#28
Mordomin Wrote:I agree. Mordomin did not recognize "wraithification" when he was confronted with it in the story "The King's Champion".

He just wanted to fight and win, and walk away the victor.

I believe by that time the Witch-King was fully wraithified, & moreover endowed with a Pelennor-style Sauronic power-up to enhance his abilities and revive his motivation to rule & conquer, & to use his talents as a strategist.

I've often wondered whether the men of Arnor recognized the WK was a Ringwraith, or at what point they did. Possibly not by TA 1409 at any rate. Maybe someone managed to hit him with a bladed weapon at some point, only to discover like Eowyn or the hapless Haradrim hero mentioned in "An Embassy to Fate" the weapon was shattered and the arm that wielded it was stunned & paralyzed, while the Ringwielder was unharmed.

Elrond probably figured it out at some point, perhaps after the fall of Amon Sul. Who knows, he may have reached his surmise based in part on what he learned when he debriefed Mordomin afterwards! He would have set his crafts-elves, including some former Mirdain who'd taken refuge with him & made their home at Rivendell afterwards, to creating weapons effective against Wraiths, which craft was transmitted to swordsmiths of Cardolan & Arthedain & resulted in Ringwraithicide-treated blades being found in a particular barrow centuries later.
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#29
Alvin Eriol Wrote:JRRT indicated that "wraithification" was a process, not an instantaneous change of state upon putting on a Ring of Power. That's why I coined a term for the process that implies that it was a process. I think most of us know that, but the theory IMO has certain ramifications. As Michael indicated, the Ringwraiths would be expected to change over time, especially during the period leading up to, and soon after, their eventual transition to wraiths (as signified most obviously IMO by permanent invisibility).

I envision men, "great kings and sorcerors of old" being so pleased with the neat-o powers they've gained that tickle their pride & ambition, & the prospect of 'immortality' i.e. endless serial life as men, that they disregard warning signs such as lessening interest & pleasure from 'natural' pursuits as they outlive their natural life spans & become more dependent on their Rings to be sustained. I envision them almost like children staying up far into the night playing with new toys.

Eventually, it caught up to them, the thrill evaporated like thrills always do. Both Sauron, & their own bodies & spirits, presented the bill for payment.

All Kings and Queens of Westernesse had "laid down their lives" until Tar-Ciryatan (2035, age 401). The previous kings had done so at ages 399, 400, 401, 398, 399, 401 - then 411, 410 and 500. The queens had laid down their lives aged 412 and 411, and attracted comment by living longer than kings.

When Tar-Atanamir attracted attention by not laying down his life and aging to dotage, this only availed for him to live to be 421.

How long did commoners of Westernesse live? And how did they die? Erendis is attested to have lived to 214, but died unnaturally. And there is a mention that the lives of commoners were shorter than those of royal family.

The three Dunadan Nazgul were originally longlived. When did they realize that they had longer life than Dunadan normally? And, since there was more lifespan to spread thin, how fast did they fade?

Gollum lived for centuries before the normal lifespan of his kind - something like five times longer - without fading. He still ate and needed to eat.

The process of aging takes a few decades. It is noted that the final aging in Dunadain who do not lay down their lives is as rapid as on lesser Men - under twenty years. Still twenty years.

The process of aging takes years. Dying is also a process, but a very much faster process, taking only minutes after last breath.

How does a Nazgul in final stages of wraithification look like, and feel like? How different is a Nazgul a year before (what ends up being) his last meal from a Nazgul a year after his last meal?
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#30
Gandalf mentioned to Frodo, in connection with the Morgul-knife, that Hobbits (and that would include Gollum) have more resistance to fading than the Big People. He mentioned specifically at the Council of Elrond that Gollum had not faded, and was "thin and tough, still."
"What song the Sirens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, though puzzling questions are not beyond conjecture." - Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici
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#31
Jaak Wrote:How long did commoners of Westernesse live? And how did they die? Erendis is attested to have lived to 214, but died unnaturally. And there is a mention that the lives of commoners were shorter than those of royal family.

Tolkien was inconsistent in his ideas about how long the Dunedain should have lived. Nonetheless, the Elrosians lived longer than other families. If none of the Nazgul had any Elrosian blood, then it's doubtful there natural lifespans should have been more than 300 years if even that much.

Quote:The process of aging takes a few decades. It is noted that the final aging in Dunadain who do not lay down their lives is as rapid as on lesser Men - under twenty years. Still twenty years.

Somewhere in Unfinished Tales, I think, Tolkien noted (or perhaps Christopher summarized some unpublished note) that the Dunedain "aged" or waned quickly. It only took about 10 years for them to lose their vitality and die.

Denethor was still considered to be a vigorous man (and he did remain in chain mail) although prematurely aged.

Sauron seized the Great Rings in the year 1697 or sometime afterward. Numenoreans began "to establish dominions on the coast" around 1800. One could guess that Sauron might have given Rings to Numenorean adventurers by this time and that there was a correlation between the two concepts.

The Nazgul first appeared around 2251 -- which would have been longer than even an Elrosian's lifespan from birth to death -- 451 years from 1800 to 2251.

So if Gollum didn't fade in 600 years, but seldom used the One Ring after 2 years, it makes sense that a Numenorean might fade within 2-300 years. Any adventurers who received the Rings must have been mature -- so they were probably at least 50 years old when they received the Rings.

They could have obtained them any time from 1701 to 2251 (a span of 550 years) and they could have been either young or aged when they did so.

Numenoreans had been living permanently in Middle-earth since about 1200. Tolkien doesn't say whether those colonists' lives were shorter than those of the Dunedain who remained in Numenor, but he explains the waning of the Dunedain in the Third Age as being in part due to their living in Middle-earth (besides the slow withdrawal of the gift of the Valar).

So what if by SA 1800 the Dunedain in Middle-earth were already somewhat shorter-lived than the Dunedain of Numenor? If any Nazgul came from their ranks, then their time-to-fading could have been shortened by their own shortened lifespans.
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#32
Michael Wrote:Tolkien was inconsistent in his ideas about how long the Dunedain should have lived. Nonetheless, the Elrosians lived longer than other families. If none of the Nazgul had any Elrosian blood, then it's doubtful there natural lifespans should have been more than 300 years if even that much.

IIRC he most frequently referred to triple the threescore & ten, i.e. 210 years.

Michael Wrote:Sauron seized the Great Rings in the year 1697 or sometime afterward. Numenoreans began "to establish dominions on the coast" around 1800. One could guess that Sauron might have given Rings to Numenorean adventurers by this time and that there was a correlation between the two concepts.

The Nazgul first appeared around 2251 -- which would have been longer than even an Elrosian's lifespan from birth to death -- 451 years from 1800 to 2251. (...)

Any adventurers who received the Rings must have been mature -- so they were probably at least 50 years old when they received the Rings.

They could have obtained them any time from 1701 to 2251 (a span of 550 years) and they could have been either young or aged when they did so.

I'm sure I did a similar analysis yrs ago. A Numenorean of fiftyish who marched in the host sent against Sauron in SA1701 would be pushing six hundred by SA2251, a century older than Elros when he laid his life down. Thus a commoner must have obtained a Ring by around SA 1900, while an Elrosian might have about another century or a bit longer. I'm sure 'Annatar' was on the lookout for likely marks, and having ID'd nine, paid them visits in which he flattered them & stoked their ambitions and death-fears.

I wonder just how the Ringwraiths "appeared" as such, though, such that they drew attention to themselves at that particular date. There was not a "hot" war going on involving the lands where the Faithful Dunedain were settling. Did Sauron call them together & send them to try to conquer or terrorize some place or people? Did word of Ringwraith terror attacks filter back to the lands protected by the proximity of Lindon, perhaps partly thru Elrond's networks for gathering tidings from far places? Did the Ringwraiths actually try to enter or attack the northwestern shorelands where the Faithful settled, and perhaps were repulsed with Elvish aid?
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#33
I wondering why Nazgul #1 (aka the Witch-king) was so much more active as compared to the other eight "ring-wearers"?

It doesn't seem to be a matter of might so much as a matter of independent will.

To put it another way, how many of the other eight wraiths established independent kingdoms?
"Never ask an Elf for advice, for he will say both 'Yes' and 'No'." - Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion
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#34
Mordomin Wrote:I wondering why Nazgul #1 (aka the Witch-king) was so much more active as compared to the other eight "ring-wearers"?

It doesn't seem to be a matter of might so much as a matter of independent will.

To put it another way, how many of the other eight wraiths established independent kingdoms?

Agreed: the diff from our POV does seem to be independence, & IIRC the discussions of Wraith capabilities & limitations in "Hunt for the Ring" seem to support this. E.g. he was the only one not "apt to stray" in daylight.

I'd guess that when Sauron formed his Ringwraith corps, he selected their Lord based on his native ability, including the capacity to command. JRRT told us explicitly that to lead his hosts at the seige of Minas Tirith he was endowed with additional power directly from Sauron (which I jocularly called a Power-Up) to enhance his ability to work thaumaturgy, and presumably also enhanced his motivation to exercise his will in Sauron's service, i.e. boosted his morale. I've also speculated his Witch-king gig in the North involved a similar power-up also, or a series of them.

It could be that other Nazgul had at times led Easterling or Southron countries of which occasions we never heard explicit tidings perhaps because they never attacked the northwestern lands as such. We can IMO be quite sure the Ringwraiths were active agents of Sauron in communicating with, coordinating, & motivating his various vassals and subordinate allies, & in some cases Nazgul effectively took control of kingdoms at least temporarily, possibly from "behind the scenes" thru an effectively puppet king.
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#35
At which point would a Ringwraith lose his ability to beget children?
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#36
Jaak Wrote:At which point would a Ringwraith lose his ability to beget children?

Well, according to JRRT, after the Witch-King was hit w/ Merry's Ringwraithicide-treated Barrow-blade & Eowyn's sword, he was "reduced to impotence." :bounce:

I would guess probably around the time he'd long outlived his natural span. Virility & lust would be one of those natural desires & pleasures that would begin to fade away with other components of his humanity.
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#37
I'm sure any of the Nazgul were capable of leading outposts or nations under Sauron's leadership. We only know of two operating concurrently as regional commanders at any time, though: one at Dol Guldur and one at Minas Morgul, after Sauron returned to Mordor.

However, they seem to have been most effective when operating together.
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#38
(September 3rd, 2010, 09:16 AM)Mordomin Wrote: The Nazgul took to it's steed and to flight.

Mordomin stooped, and found a spear unbroken.  He plucked it from the ground, and, hefting it a moment, threw it at the departing Nazgul.  His spear transfixed the rider.  A great shriek came from the Nazgul, but it did not waver in its course
....
And even as they looked, the spear shimmered and turned to dust.  All that remained of Mordomin's cast was a small hole through the cloak of the Ringwraith.
...

I just noticed something, having just cited Mordy's post in another thread.

Author Mordomin doesn't specify which hand his namesake character used to cast the spear! Seems like that could possibly be significant! (Or perhaps not, as author Mordomin discoursed to us before, the Black Hand doesn't necessarily damage or "contaminate" ordinary weapons just because it touched them!)
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#39
(February 3rd, 2020, 11:49 PM)Alvin Eriol Wrote: I just noticed something, having just cited Mordy's post in another thread.

Author Mordomin doesn't specify which hand his namesake character used to cast the spear! Seems like that could possibly be significant! (Or perhaps not, as author Mordomin discoursed to us before, the Black Hand doesn't necessarily damage or "contaminate" ordinary weapons just because it touched them!)
Hello! Author Mordomin here (lol).  The character Mordomin is naturally right-handed, and can generally be assumed to handle things with his dominant hand unless otherwise specified.  BUT (as I suspect Alvin Eriol does not need telling), after the Third Slaying of Elf by Elf (the Battle of the Mouths of Sirion), in which Mordomin discovered for the first time that his cursed hand would strike friend as well as foe, defying his will, Mordomin trained for many years to wield a sword capably with his left hand.  This encompassed sword (and shield) only; Mordomin discounted the ability of his cursed hand to alter the path of weapon flung or shot from a bow.  So, in the excerpt above, Mordomin definitely threw the spear using his right (cursed) hand.

As to the question of whether a weapon touched by Mordy's cursed hand is imbued with any 'magical' properties thereby, no, it is not.  However, the cursed hand is possessed of inhumanly (inelvenly?) great strength, so any weapon used by it strikes with tremendous force.  Mordomin can also heat a weapon in his cursed hand, given a little time, but has only done this once (against Lossbereth); normally-wrought weapons would become less effective (i.e., burn/melt) were he to do this.

In this excerpt (from The Road and the Sword), Mordomin wields an 'ordinary' sword against one of the Nazgul:

"The rider gave out a shrill, keening cry and drew forth a pale sword. Swiftly it struck at Mordomin.

But Mordomin was not unwary, and met the sword of the wraith with his own.  After a brief, clangorous exchange, the sword of the rider fell to the ground.

Then Mordomin swept his sword through the body of his foe.

The horseman gave another high, keening cry, and Mordomin felt a shock run up his cursed arm.  This second cry was answered by several other fell voices near at hand.

Shredded cloth lay upon the ground nigh to the sword of the wraith, but the creature seemed little hurt otherwise by a stroke which should have cloven it torso from legs; but the sword of Mordomin was like a smoldering brand in his hand.  It withered away to nothing as he watched in wonder and dismay."
"Never ask an Elf for advice, for he will say both 'Yes' and 'No'." - Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion
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