Thread: Concerning the Ringwraiths
Details of who the Nazgul were seem a little sparse. From what I've managed to find, only three of them were Black Numenorians. It is unlikely that any of these three were kings of Numenor, however, as their histories are fairly well documented and there is no mention of them becoming Nazgul. The Numenorians did extend their influence over much of Middle Earth during the second age, however, and there may have been breakaway Numenorian kingdoms in the South and the East. It is likely that Lords of these kingdoms contributed to the Nazgul.
Somewhere I once read that the Witchking was formerly Er-Murazor, the Black Prince, the second son of Tar-Ciryatan and the brother of Tar-Atanamir. It was during Ciryatan's reign that the Numenorians first began disputing the Ban of the Valar, and Atanamir was the first king to not give in gracefully to ageing. With his family background, it does seem that Murazor would have been a likely candidate for a ring therefore.
Of the other Nazgul, the only one I can find a definite name for is Khamul, Shadow of the East. He was said to be second to the Chief and to dwell in Dol Guldur as Sauron's lieutenant.
After the fall of the Witchking at the Battle of Pelinnor Fields, the army was said to be led by Gothmog. This Gothmog is obviously not the Balrog slain by Ecthelion, but whether he was a Nazgul or some Half-troll chieftain/Haradrim Lord etc is not said.
In the section of The Silmarillion entitled'Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age', I found:
Those who used the Nine Rings became mighty in their day, kings, sorcerers, and warriors of old. ... And one by one, sooner or later, according to their native strength and to the good or evil of their wills in the beginning, they fell under the thralldom of the ring that they bore and under the domination of the One, which was Sauron's.
Other than the above, I can not say. Anyone else know anymore, maybe referenced in HOME, UT, or his letters?
(Black Speech: nazg "ring" gul "wraith")...Originally men, three of them black Numenoreans, the Nazgul were each given one of the Nine Rings by Sauron in the second age, and being desirous of power, were easily corrupted...about Third Age 1300, at which their chief, the Lord of the Nazgul became the Witch King of Angmar...
Couldn't find anything in the letters.
I dont think the names of the Nazgul are recorded anywhere.
[Edited on 24/6/2002 by TomBombadillo]
Now at that time the Chieftain of the Ringwraiths dwelt in Minas Morgul with six companions, while the second to the Chief, Khamul, Shadow of the East, abode in Dol Guldur, as Sauron's lieutenant, with one other as his messenger.
In the notes to this section, it also refers to the "Second Chief" as being the "Black Easterling". It was also said of this particular Nazgul, that after the Black Captain himself, he was the most attuned to sensing the presence of the ring. It was this one that came to Hobbiton and spoke to Gaffer Gamgee, and who followed the hobbits along the road to Stock.
Here they are:
Er-Murazor (WK of Angmar) - a Black Numenórean
Khamûl - Black Easterling, from beyond Rhûn
Adûnaphel - another Black Numenórean
Akhôrahil - a Black Numenórean
Dwaw - ???
Hoarmurath - ???
Indur - born somewhere in the Deep South?
Ren - ???
Uvatha - a Variag from Khand
P.S. - I'm not entirely sure these are accurate, as I cant find them anywhere else....
"This may come as a surprise if you've come across one of the many sources that list a set of names of the other eight: Murazor (the Witch-king himself), Dwar, Ji Indur, Akhorahil, Hoarmurath, Adunaphel, Ren and Uvatha. These names are common across the Web, and often have detailed biographies to go with them. They're also consistent with what Tolkien had to say about the origins of the Nazgûl: in the Akallabêth it is stated '...among those whom he ensnared with the Nine Rings three were great lords of Númenórean race', and indeed three of these names are Númenórean in form: Murazor, Akhorahil and Adunaphel.
None of these eight names, though, have their origins in Tolkien's own work. Instead, they come from a series of role-playing and trading card games produced by Iron Crown Enterprises. The names of Murazor, Dwar and the rest emerged from the unavoidable need for these games to develop and expand Tolkien's universe to meet the needs of the gaming fraternity. The games' popularity accounts for the regular appearance of the names, to the extent that they're now frequently presented as the 'true' names of the remaining eight Nazgûl.
Some readers have even suggested that these names are so widely accepted that they should be considered the de facto names for the eight otherwise unnamed Ringwraiths. On a personal level, or in the context of the games that spawned the names, this isn't an unreasonable approach: if Tolkien never told us the name of, say, the Witch-king, there seems little obvious harm in imagining that his name was originally Murazor (or anything else, for that matter). Things become a little more problematic where the names are published without explanation: we receive plenty of e-mail from puzzled readers trying to work out which of Tolkien's books the names come from (hence this entry in the FAQ).
As for The Encyclopedia of Arda, this site is very specifically aimed at exploring Tolkien's own works, so it really isn't appropriate to include names or biographical details that we know did not come from Tolkien himself. Indeed, the same principle applies to characters who appear only in the recent movies, so it's not our intention to provide entries for (say) Hoarmurath, Uvatha or - for that matter - Lurtz from Peter Jackson's movie of The Fellowship of the Ring. "