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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Does the nazgul know fear?

Victariongreyjoy
Rivendell


Nov 9 2017, 4:54pm

Post #1 of 16 (5049 views)
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Does the nazgul know fear? Can't Post

Because if everybody was terrified by them, why couldn't Sauron just use them to scare everybody for example in Minas Tirith away, instead of launching an orc army? But do the nazgul know fear? Because I read in the appendix about steward Boromir, drove the Witch King and Minas Morgul host away from Ithilien. And it was said that the WK feared him, because he was strong in body and will.


Eruonen
Valinor


Nov 9 2017, 10:07pm

Post #2 of 16 (4992 views)
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I believe they knew fear in the sense that they were [In reply to] Can't Post

wholly dependent upon Sauron who controlled them - their wills were his to use and if they had any independence left it was certainly held in check.

They recoiled when facing Gandalf on the plain. The Witch King fled when Glorfindel arrived. Aragorn was able to fend them off with fire.
I get the impression their zone of fear was somewhat limited. And a few with stout hearts could resist their efforts.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Nov 9 2017, 10:07pm)


CuriousG
Half-elven


Nov 10 2017, 12:40pm

Post #3 of 16 (4961 views)
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I think they know plenty of fear [In reply to] Can't Post

In other writings by Tolkien, they were afraid of how he'd punish them for not getting the Ring.

They withdrew on Weathertop out of fear. And Tolkien wrote that the Witch-king sensed the blades from the Barrow-down with spells against him on them, and that scared him.

They showed plenty of fear at the Ford of Bruinen when Glorfindel revealed himself (and the others carried torches).

I think the Witch-king was briefly afraid of Eowyn as he pondered that she was a woman and might be his prophesied doom.

There are other examples. I think overall, they were not super warriors who had no fear and could accomplish any task. It took them 2 years to take Minas Ithil through a traditional siege; they didn't speed things along there by driving everyone out in a day. But anyway, you raised a good question, because fear is their weapon of choice, and most of the time in the story, we are afraid of them.


Victariongreyjoy
Rivendell


Nov 10 2017, 2:23pm

Post #4 of 16 (4957 views)
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Portrayal of Gondor in the movies.. [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess the movies portrayed Gondor as pussies and cowards unlike the books. I always thought how Boromir and Faramir managed to drive out the Morgul host from Osgiliath in the movies, if everyone was afraid of the nazgul and their fell beast. Faramir in Two Towers showed no fear and shot the fell beast in order to save Frodo.


noWizardme
Valinor


Nov 10 2017, 5:41pm

Post #5 of 16 (4945 views)
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who is afraid of the big bad naz? *everyone* [In reply to] Can't Post

As I read it, it is not that you'd be a pusillanimous coward to be afraid of the nazgul - everyone is, but some manage anyway. Doing the right thing even when you're afraid seems to me to be a LOTR theme. Some people are able not to panic (that is, they may be afraid - which would be perfectly reasonable - but they can still function rather than run away or freeze).

In the book, Gondor loses control of the East bank of Osgiliath at the point when the nazgul arrive. Boromir describes this to the Council of Elrond like this:


Quote
A power was there that we have not felt before. ĎSome said that it could be seen, like a great black horseman, a dark shadow under the moon. Wherever he came a madness filled our foes, but fear fell on our boldest, so that horse and man gave way and fled. Only a remnant of our eastern force came back, destroying the last bridge that still stood amid the ruins of Osgiliath. ĎI was in the company that held the bridge, until it was cast down behind us. Four only were saved by swimming: my brother and myself and two others."

FOTR, Council of Elrond


So, unable to hold onto the east back against this new 'weapon' the Gondorians retreat, leaving a small rearguard to destroy the bridge. It seems that the nazgul can be absolutely terrifying, even in Book II.

Faramir shooting the Osgiliath nazgul down didn't happen of course, in the book version. The recapture of Osgiliath, shown in the movie, and mentioned in the book happens before there are nazgul to contest it. (You might know that already, or were confusing the movies and books - I wasn't sure).

Perhaps it is impossible to attack a position defended by nazgul - it looks that way to me, based on he quote above. Defending might be different. If nazgul are overflying a city and keeping everyone terrified, then that is pretty much all they can do. I think that the answer to one of your original questions is that the orc army is needed to take ground, a traditional role of infantry. By themselves, I think the nazgul could weaken resistance, but not end it.

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


noWizardme
Valinor


Nov 10 2017, 9:30pm

Post #6 of 16 (4919 views)
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(Silly answer) - most unlikely, because she went to America on the Mayflower [In reply to] Can't Post

Fear Brewster was accompanied by her brothers Love and Wrestling
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear_Brewster)

I'm not sure whether Pain Brewster and Man-flesh Brewster went too - certainly the Uruks didn't know them in Orthanc (movie version), so maybe they got to the New World too.

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm

(This post was edited by noWizardme on Nov 10 2017, 9:31pm)


noWizardme
Valinor


Nov 10 2017, 9:35pm

Post #7 of 16 (4918 views)
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Nice summary - it never has quite squared for me with... [In reply to] Can't Post

All those things nazgul are scared of never have quite squared for me with the nazgul as Sauron's Mindless Fear Machines (and so the only ones that could be sent to get the Ring without getting ideas of ownership).

'Sauron's Mindless Fear Machines' - woah, that's then name of a metal band, surely :)

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


Bracegirdle
Valinor


Nov 10 2017, 10:41pm

Post #8 of 16 (4914 views)
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I have a persistent fear of intellectuals [In reply to] Can't Post

 that use words such as "pusillanimous" Mad

Ď. . . the rule of no realm is mine . . .
But all worthy things that are in peril . . . those are my care.
For I also am a steward. Did you not know?'

Gandalf to Denethor




noWizardme
Valinor


Nov 10 2017, 10:55pm

Post #9 of 16 (4920 views)
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Well, itís the nicer... [In reply to] Can't Post

...possible derivation for the cat word in the post to which I replied. Angelic

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


Victariongreyjoy
Rivendell


Nov 10 2017, 11:07pm

Post #10 of 16 (4907 views)
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Decline of Gondor. [In reply to] Can't Post

Would you say the decline of Gondor during the late T.A weakened the moral and spirit of Gondor's army? Because if seems in the S.A and early T.A, the armies of Arnor and Gondor were fearless and could challenge the nazgul.
What if the nazgul faced the full strength of Elendil, Anarion and Ilsidur?


Quote
Boromir was a great captain, even the Witch-king feared him. He was noble and fair of face, a man strong in body and in will. But he received a Morgul-wound in that war which shortened his days. He became shrunken with pain and died twelve years after his father




http://tolkiengateway.net/..._(Steward_of_Gondor)


(This post was edited by Victariongreyjoy on Nov 10 2017, 11:08pm)


InTheChair
Lorien

Nov 10 2017, 11:14pm

Post #11 of 16 (4902 views)
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They knew how to feel and how to deal fear. [In reply to] Can't Post

They knew fear certainly yes. Both fright for their own sake, and fear as a tool to use on others.

They were afraid of things like running water, and singing elves. They were afraid of the daylight. They were afraid of Sauron. They were afraid the Hobbits at Weathertop because the Hobbits bore weapons that could do real harm to them. (They were not driven away by Aragorn wielding fire though. They left because their purpose was done. I don't know if they were afraid of fire, but it's possible that the light of fire confused their senses.)

Though they also knew courage in their own ways.


noWizardme
Valinor


Nov 10 2017, 11:26pm

Post #12 of 16 (4899 views)
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That sounds reasonable [In reply to] Can't Post

It seems pretty clear to me as I read that Iím expected to see Gondor in LOTR as much diminished from her earlier glories. Thatís true of much of Middle-earth, I think.

As to who would beat who in some putative battle between characters from different ages, I donít think that can be worked out definitively by analysis of the text- itís more a job for fan fiction or wargames. That is, I donít know the answer.

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Nov 11 2017, 11:51pm

Post #13 of 16 (4793 views)
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In addition to the other examples [In reply to] Can't Post

Thereís the moment in The Land of Shadows when a wraith flies over Sam and Frodo:


Quote
As it went it sent out a long shrill cry, the voice of a Nazgul; ... it was a cry of woe and dismay, ill tidings for the Dark Tower. The Lord of the Ring-wraiths had met his doom.


Woe and dismay are birthed, in this context, in fear I think.



the 13th warrior
Rivendell


Nov 17 2017, 1:33pm

Post #14 of 16 (4671 views)
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Battle at the Ford from "Fellowship" passage explains a lot, raises questions... [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello All, thought I would play Gondor scroll room scribe and offer a nice passage from "The Fellowship of the Ring", Many Meetings chapter as Gandalf tells Frodo about the release of the flood by Elrond....

"The moment the flood appeared, he (Glorfindel) rushed out, followed by Aragorn and the others with flaming brands. Caught between fire and water, and seeing an Elf-lord revealed in his wrath, they were dismayed, and their horses were stricken with madness. Three were carried away by the assault of the flood; the others were now hurled into the water by their horses and overwhelmed."

A couple of things come to mind after reading this.The wraiths are darned hard to kill off. It took a flood, two powerful beings - Glorfindel and Aragorn who has his own kind of power - help from hobbits, flames all at once to daunt them. But that assault only made them fearful and freeze up. It was the terror and madness of the horses that did them in not physical death since they exist in between the living and the dead sort of vampire-like.

Gandalf tells Frodo they are hard to destroy, their power derived from Sauron. So goes the Dark Lord, so go the Nazgul. They may be "empty and shapeless" in defeat, but like the Battlestar Galactica cylons, they get regenerated by Sauron. Wonder how?? Do they have a shell of a body that can die but their dark spirit lives and Sauron re-creates another vessel for them?? And when Eowyn killed the Witch King, was it a spell of prophecy, the Witch King would automatically die if it was fulfilled? Did a higher power that Gandalf refers to from time to time give Eowyn a boost of courage and strength because she was meant to kill the WK like Bilbo/Frodo were meant to find and bear the Ring??. Lots of questions here, Gandalf: "questions, questions that need answering....."

The 13th Warrior, From the Left Field Caliphate
"From the scroll rooms of Gondor, in corporeal form."


InTheChair
Lorien

Nov 18 2017, 5:18pm

Post #15 of 16 (4648 views)
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Perhaps if the one hadn't been destroyed, in time even the Witch-King might have returned. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
The wraiths are darned hard to kill off.


Possibly the can't be driven from the world while their rings still exist.

The are subject to the same fate that befell the Witch-King at Pelennor though, whatever that is.

Not from Aragorn, but from the daggers of the Hobbits, and possibly from Glorfindel. Possibly from Aragorn too, if for no other reason than that he is of Royal Numenorean blodd, but is's not really possible to extract how the magic in the daggers work, and what happens to the wraiths when they are struck,


the 13th warrior
Rivendell


Nov 19 2017, 4:12am

Post #16 of 16 (4625 views)
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Aragorn,hidden power. [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello ITC, Aragorn has the power of the Edain and Numenor in his blood, and also some elvish, from elros, 1st numenorean king, elrond's twin brother. So he is the heir to ancient kings, with a streak of elven lineage, and blessed with longer life, greater strength than other mortals. His revealing himself to Sauron through the Palantir shook up the Dark Lord, and he bent the stone to his will; took command of the Dead army by imposing the rightful king's power on them, demanding their oath fulfillment. And in his ranger garb, he'd be easy to overlook, underestimate as in frodo, "i thought he was only a ranger." Certainly earned the throne, battling the dark forces of middle earth for decades. his life's quest.

The 13th Warrior, Left Field Caliphate,
<From the scroll rooms of Gondor...7 stars, 7 stones, 1 white tree>


(This post was edited by the 13th warrior on Nov 19 2017, 4:13am)

 
 

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