The witch king after the defeat at Pelennor
#1
I wonder what happened to the witch king after his defeat?
I think that the Nazgul bodies were long gone (faded) before the third age.
He is still around in some form until the one ring is destroyed.
Perhaps his spirit was weakened somehow?
I think that the witch king could have revived if Sauron won the war and he got
hold of the one ring again.
What do you think?
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#2
I think when the One Ring was destroyed, Sauron's hold on the spirits of the Nine men was broken, and they were then subject to the fate Eru ordained for Unbodied Men, that they would be removed from Arda. Unlike the spirits of Elves, men ordinarily could not refuse to leave the world when unbodied (I forget where I read that distinction JRRT made.) The Ringwraiths were a temporary exception, having accepted thralldom to Sauron, and in any case never at any point properly died. Other exceptions not always well explained include Beren (temporarily), the Dead Men of Dunharrow (temporarily), the Halfelven granted a Choice of which kindred they would join, and perhaps Tuor, whose fate has not been explained.

Added: From the time he was "reduced to impotence" (as JRRT described his condition in an author's footnote in Letter # 246, rather than asserting the WK had at that point died) by being stabbed with a spell-wrought blade and another sword, until the Ring was destroyed, I think the Witch-King was reduced to a helpless, insensible ghost incapable of further action or communication with the living.
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#3
I could be wrong about this, but didn't Tolkien want have mysteries and loose ends, what happened in history thousands of years ago is of then a mystery. After all what happens in LOTR is just part of middle-earths history... not beginning or end.
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#4
Yalmuk, you are correct. Tolkien didn't answer every question he received with direct details. The fate of the Nine has always puzzled readers. I believe they would have been subject to the fate of Men, but as the text doesn't explicitly say that's what happened - maybe Iluvatar left them in Middle-earth for some reason.
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#5
I have always assumed that the Nazgul was destroyed because the one ring and all other rings of power lost their power.
Note also that all things "wrought" through the power of the rings would also be undone after they lost their power.This is said on several occasions in the book. The Nazgul were "created" by their own rings of power and since they lost their power i assume that the spirits of the Nazgul would pass on to afterlife. I am wondering about the witch king because after pelennor he still existed somehow, but impotent. I wonder what that means?
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#6
Why would they be destroyed, rather than simply beginning to age again, as Bilbo did?
"Never ask an Elf for advice, for he will say both 'Yes' and 'No'." - Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion
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#7
(June 18th, 2022, 03:53 PM)Mordomin Wrote: Why would they be destroyed, rather than simply beginning to age again, as Bilbo did?

Because the power of their own rings is what made them into Nazguls.
Once the rings are destroyed it seems like all things revert back to their natural state.
This is what occurs to Bilbo, the Land of Mordor and the Nazgul, as well as Rivendell and Lorien.
I believe that their bodies had vanished sometime in the second age (faded).
Normally the spirits of men would be summoned to Mandos to pass on, but the power of the rings blocked that.

Tolkien stated that the elven bodies would fade in time leaving them as unbodied spirits.
It seems to me that it is a similar process to what happened to the Nazgul.
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#8
The Nazgul were no longer living men. The destruction of the One Ring might have freed their souls but that event could not have restored them to life.
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#9
(June 22nd, 2022, 08:32 PM)Michael Wrote: The Nazgul were no longer living men. The destruction of the One Ring might have freed their souls but that event could not have restored them to life.

I agree that they are no longer living men, that is why i believe that once their rings lost power, the Nazgul would pass on to whatever happens to men after life.
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