Why didn't the Rangers plunder the Barrow-mounds?
#21
(December 5th, 2019, 01:22 AM)Michael Wrote: I believe the Dale messenger was one of the Nazgul. They did speak, after all, and Gloin's story sounds more like a Nazgul spoke with Dain than the Mouth of Sauron.

(December 6th, 2019, 07:46 PM)Jaak Wrote:
(December 2nd, 2019, 04:31 PM)Travis Stephens Wrote: We know that the Barrow contained (at least) 4 Witch-King killing daggers and perhaps 1 Witch-King killing sword in the sword that was laid across the hobbit's necks.  4 daggers would be more than 1 person would normally wear.  So either the daggers were more common than previously believed or multiple people were entombed in the Barrow.  

I would pose the theory that while The Kindom of Angmar was in existence the swords and daggers were not entombed but pass down through subsequent generations.  After the fall of Angmar and the disappearance of the Witch King, the blades were gathered and placed in the tomb since there was no infrastructure or secure place to store them.  The Prophecy of Glorfindel-  along with their failure to slay the Witch-King- would have rendered the blades useless in the eyes of the remaining Dunedain of Arnor.

We have the theory that the tomb was that of the last prince of Cardolan, fallen in 1409. Presented as a theory, but no contradictory evidence.

The tomb could not have been in use after the plague, because then end came of Dunedain of Cardolan, and Wraiths came. Since the Wraiths were able to drive off attempted resettlement under Kingdom of Arthedain, reentering the tombs to bury the blades would have been hard.

The Prince of Cardolan could certainly afford to own more blades than he could wear. Nor is it unlikely that there are multiple people in his barrow. The last prince fell in war. While human sacrifices are attested as a heathen practice which princes of Cardolan were not, it would not be dishonourable to honour bodyguards fallen alongside their prince by being buried alongside the prince they died defending.

And issuing anti-Witch-King blades to Prince´s  bodyguard was a sensible move. Otherwise the invulnerable Witch-King might lead from the front, cut through Prince´s bodyguard and kill the Prince.

But once the blades had worked, once, with the result the Witch-king fled with an unpleasant but not mortal wound, the Witch-King would simply learn - stop leading from the front and send overwhelming numbers of men, orcs and trolls against Prince and his bodyguards. Against whom the anti-Witch-King blades were just ordinary steel blades.

I based my premise that the blades were buried at a later date mostly on the text that states the Witch-King had gone to the Barrow Downs and stirred up the Wights.  This would imply that when the Witch-King was not around- as he was not after the Battle of the North- the Wights would often retreat to a dormant state.  We see the Wights capture some unaware Hobbits at night, but stout-hearted Dunedain during the day with a short, precise mission  may be a different situation.

As far as multiple people being buried in the tomb, both Arveleg and The Prince known as the last prince of Cardolan both died in the same attack by Angmar and the Witch-King in 1409.  I assumed based on Sam's comments on the daggers "laid by the side of the ancient king", that both men had been buried at the same time and in the same place.  But then, perhaps,  I relied too much on Sam's interpretation as Sam would not know the difference between a dead prince and a dead king.


As for there being many Witch-King killing daggers, I think they are rare.  This is not just from the famous quote after Merry stabs Ol' Witchy which refers to how long it took to craft them.  As I understand it Tolkien magic works because the creator imparts part of his spirit, or fea, into the object.  This is why Feanor could not recreate the Silmarils or Sauron could not recreate the One Ring.  Or even why "enchanted" weapons were relatively rare even though Elves, Dwarves, and Men had been around for thousands of years. I think the creator the daggers could only impart so much of his spirit into the making the blades.  But I will defer to those who are more learned on the subject of how magic and enchantment work.
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