The Witch King Of Angmar

Who Is The Witch King Of Angmar?

Whether you are a life long Tolkien reader, or merely the casual fan of the Peter Jackson films based (somewhat loosely at times) on the writing of J.R.R. Tolkien, you should know who the Witch King of Angmar is.  Dressed all in black and often seen flying on a large winged dragon-like lizard, the Witch King isn't someone to toy about with.  He's the chiefest  villain allied with Sauron, the antagonist of Middle Earth throughout the third age.  In fact, while Sauron is called "the lord of the rings," the Witch King is "lord of the Nazgul," and is the leader of the armies of Mordor.  His lair is Minas Morgul, a city that had once been a proud city of men[3].

What Is The Witch King of Angmar?

That is a very good question.  The answer is the Witch King is a wraith, a being that is neither living nor dead.  Of course the next logical question here would be "Well, what is a wraith?"  Simply put, a wraith is a creature that would otherwise be dead were it not for a very dark and evil power that kept them in the physical world.  The Witch King, however, isn't a typical wraith, but rather he is a specific kind of wraith, a ringwraith.

So who WAS the Witch King of Angmar, originally?

 Tolkien doesn't say, the question is never answered exactly; but his vast legendarium gives some real clues as to what sort of person the Witch King had been before becoming the lord of the Nazgul.  If you're reading this page, then you already know for sure that Sauron had given nine rings of power to nine kings of men, so you should know the nine Nazgul, or ringwraiths, are all beings that were once human men.  What you might not know here is three of the nine Nazgul were originally Numenorean men.

Tolkien doesn't explain much about the relevancy of Numenoreans in The Hobbit, or The Lord Of The Rings trilogy; but if you've read deeper into the Tolkien fantasy world, you catch the relationship and the significance.  The Numenoreans were the strongest, wisest, and altogether the most potent race of humans in Middle Earth; and besides that, they lived to far longer years than others, ageing very  slowly.  What happened to the Numenoreans was a master deception, they'd taken Sauron as a prisoner after a battle, but they never realized he'd merely allowed them to capture him.  After a time, Sauron, the Lord Of The Rings, had talked the rulers of Numenor into thinking good was evil, and vice versa; and he'd done this by exploiting the typical human fears and ambitions[1]. Theosophy comes to mind here.  Theosophy is that strange religion where everything the Hebrew scriptures had taught, is flipped around backwards.  The serpent in the garden is "god," and the creator God of it all, well that entity is the evil one to the Theosophist.

Simply put, the Numenoreans had fallen for the same trick as Adam and Eve in the allegory of the Garden of Eden.  Most Numenoreans had come to think of the serpent as the giver of gifts, and the guiding laws of creation as the enemy.  In the end the Numenoreans attempted to attack the gods because they wanted to BE gods; and only a couple ships full of Numenoreans escaped the wrath of the gods of Middle Earth.

Tolkien makes it clear in his created world the ones with the most potential for good are also the individuals with the most potential for evil. Who can argue this isn't exactly so in the real world? Certainly I can not.

The Witch King Of Angmar Before He Became Lord Of The Nazgul

The Witch King Of Angmar Before He Became A Wraith

Problems With Peter Jackson's First Hobbit Film

The Witch King of Angmar does not appear in the J.R.R. Tolkien book, The Hobbit, and  neither do any other wraith, ringwraiths, or Nazgul; so we've got some cleaning up or explaining to do here for those who've seen the first installment of three films concerning The Hobbit, by Peter Jackson.  Very simply put, the original story is about some Middle Earth dwarves and one hobbit, aided by a wizard; and their journey to the Lonely Mountain to reclaim it from the dragon Smaug.

What Peter Jackson is doing with his trilogy concerning The Hobbit, is he is taking bits of behind the scenes plot from The Silmarillion, and adding them into his new trilogy about The Hobbit, so as to flesh out the entire tale of Middle Earth in the third age a bit more[2].  Now this ought to be applauded, as he is somewhat providing the larger story to the film audience.  The problem is he sometimes strays very very far from the original plot by Tolkien.  Sadly, this just seems to be the normal thing in films adapted from books.

What is the problem with Peter Jackson's first Hobbit film and The Witch King of Angmar?

Specifically the problem, the major annoyance for me, and some others, is how while at Rivendell, one of the White Councils is portrayed, and these White Coucils are very definite parts of the Lord Of The Rings tale, they just aren't mentioned at all in LOTR, or The Hobbit, they're only mentioned in The Silmarillion.  Jackson adding in one of the White Council meetings to The Hobbit is not a problem for most Tolkien purists at all.  The problem is the film  transcript of the White Council.  What happens is, at the White Council, Jackson has Elrond, Gandalf, Sauruman, and Galadriel discussing the Witch King of Angmar, and that isn't so bad, what is horrible is how Jackson has Galadriel's character state something about how the Witch King had been killed, and entombed in a tomb so dark no light could ever reach it, and how a spell had been placed on the tomb so strong that no man could ever open it.  All of this is nonsense, as the Witch King of Angmar, is a ringwraith, and isn't truly dead or alive, and can only ever be destroyed or "killed" once, just like the rest of Middle Earth beings who aren't demigods.

In the end, or course, the Witch King of Angmar does die, or otherwise is utterly destroyed, but not twice as Peter Jackson would have you believe, just the one time where Peter Jackson portrayed it so very very wonderfully in The Return Of The King.  Gil-galad was one of the greatest and most powerful of all elf kings of Middle Earth during the second age, and he'd prophesied long before the siege of Mordor where Sauron would kill him, and the ring would be cut from his hand, how it would end for the Witch King.  Of course Eowyn, niece of king Theoden, and with an assist from Merry, the hobbit, kills the Witch King of Angrar, one way or another; and when the one ring is destroyed, the Witch King is sent back to the abyss with his master, as Gandalf had commanded.

The Witch King And His Doom