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Thread: Question about the Ringwraths

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hmmmm, that is an interesting question Celtavhc, and one I have wondered myself. I just don't have an answer for you. Perhaps someone else can come up with something for us.

I guess I could just say, it is because it is the way Tolkien wrote it, and if the ringwraiths had gotten hold of Frodo, the story would have been over a lot sooner.

Any other suggestions out there?
Any other suggestions out there?
Well, I think you really have the answer there Mellie. Had they found Frodo, a good story would have been wasted. That said, one reason the couldn't find him was their bad eyesight in this dimension, if he froze in place and didn't move, they couldn't find him. If they kept quiet as well as still, the Nazg’l couldn't find them using their hearing either.

Their sense of smell didn't help that much for they hadn't thought to grab an item of Frodo's apparel from Crickhollow, when they invaded it. And before that, they only had the nearness of the ring to guide them. They couldn't even smell an old boot like in the Hound of the Baskervilles, because the hobbits went shoeless. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
Celtavhc, my personal opinion on the matter is that Frodo would have certainly been captured by the Nazgul (and very swiftly) had it not been for the constant help, and guidance he receives from the rest of the members of the fellowship (and others) throughout the War of the Rings, and I’ll give you a few examples.

First off, Frodo would have most certainly been captured in the Shire by the Nazgul if it weren’t for Gandalf being one step ahead, and getting Frodo to leave the shire when he did. Also, it’s Gandalf’s advice that saves Frodo just outside the Shire when he heeds to the warning to stay off the road, not to mention the fact that Sam stopped him from putting on the ring when the Ringwraiths were near. If Sam hadn’t been there, Frodo would have been caught then for sure. The fact that he was traveling with 3 other Hobbits I think helped him make it safely to Bree. If he had been alone, again I feel he would have been captured. Of course we all know that if it weren’t for Aragorn, the Nazgul would have killed the Hobbits at the Prancing Pony, and the same thing goes at Weathertop. Obviously I could go on all day with many more examples, but again my point is that it was the constant heroics, wisdom, guidance, and vigilance of the rest of the members of the fellowship (as well as others) that kept Frodo from being captured.
Elf Smilie
Thank you for answering my question. After I posted the postBody, something came up "And what if they don't get Frodo because he's always being helped by his friends?". And this is exactly what you thought, Elfstone. I'm so glad I can rely on you to cover my questions Smile Smilie Big Laugh Smilie Thanks a lot!
A very interesting question indeed... I think the ringwraiths can't find Frodo becasuse they only know exactly where he is when he wears the ring. Twards the end of the story, though, the Witch King is thrown down so the Nazgul have to regroup and also Minas Morgul is under siege. When Frodo is wearing the Ring in Mordo no one can see him because (a) there are no ringwraiths and (b) Sauron can't get to him because he can't take any kind of physical form other than The Eye.
I also think that the ringwraiths can't find Frodo because they are bound to the fate of the ring and although they follow it endlessly they cant exactly pinpoint it. It's like when a dog gets on the trail of a rabbit but can't find the rabbit because it has gone into it's hole. The dog follows the trail all the way to the hiding spot but can't possibly find the place the rabbit is at.
I just thought that might be an answer... I know its not a very accurate illustration but, it'll do. Tongue Smilie
They didn't find Frodo at daytime because they have to rely on their Mordor steeds during daytime.
But when it was dark, they sure did find him or spotted him because the Nazgul see much more and better than any other in the darkness.
Anyway, first time they spotted Frodo was at night in the Shire : one of the Nazgul was approaching them (relying on his nose and attracted by the Ring) and he would have captured them if Gildor didn't show up.
Second time, they found Frodo at Weathertop again when it was dark. This time, they captured him i think because they were attracted by the Ring and because Frodo wasn't going anywhere; if we compare with a dog chasing a rabbit you can say they found Frodo at Weathertop because the prey just stayed put so it was easy to smell him.
Mhm Hey, I dont want to be bossy or nasty in any way, but you talk over this: They, the Nazgul found Frodo NEVER.

Now I am very sure they found him. And very early in the book you can read it, A Knife in the Dark. Now I ask myself , Mybe I understood the question not really and get something wrong. But they found him ones and they nearly maked him a slave of them.????? Is'nt it true? Or I am stupid at all? (okay dont get me wrong I am only asking)

Then you where talking over the reason why they didnt catch him at all. And sure they didnt catch him. And they dont do it in the wood (A Knife in the Dark)
I think you sayed a lot over this and I allways say how can a gost smell, see or hear? They must be nearly blind. They could see Frodo if he had the ring on his finger, then in this moment he is in another demension, unvisible for normal but not for the Nazguel and not for Tom B. (remember?) in this way it is more then not seeing and such sings.
And I think as well they had no really wepons. There stronges weapon was fear. Fera was in there hands beter then a sword. They was'nt really fighter with a sword, more a really gosts.

And I think it is a wonder that they past through (or better into) the river, when they folowed Frodo on Asfolath. Then normely they hate and fear water and only the witch-king crosses water in a big need.

Now okay thanks for reading * ;-) * and have a good day (or night )


Yes Nessa they Nazgul did catch up two Frodo a couple of time. Once in the Shire and once at Weather Top. At the ford, Gandalf and Elrond saved Frodo by telling the water to rise.
Like I said before, when Frodo finally made it into Mordo Gandalf was in Lorien making Sauron think he had the ring (I think) and the Nazgul couldn't get to him because the Witch King had been thrown down, Minas Morgul was under siege, and before they could set out again the Nazgul had to rest and regroup.
I know it seems like Frodo just got lucky but there were a lot of thing working in his favor. No one would expect a halfling to take the Ring into the very heart of Mordor and destroy it. I mean he was practically daring Sauron to kill him. That is why no one thought it could be done because Hobbits were very simple minded and never went outside of the Shire unless of course they were going to go to Bree, but that even only ment that you were a Took or a Brandybuck. Also there were four hobbits traveling so a lot of the time they never had the right hobbit. Merry and Pippin were captured and when Frodo was captured Sam had the Ring.
Also, the Nazgul don't see better at night. Don't you remember the siege of Gondor? The Nazgul blocked the sun with shadow and the whole battle was fought in the dark, every day awoke without sun. That is why they Nazgul don't only have to travel by night, and no, they only ride the black horses to disguise themselves and black riders so that they can talk to people and find out where the Baginses are in order to get the Ring, after that they take to the skies as to better see the ring bearer and his company.
I know my dog vs. rabbit thing wasnt very good but it gave you the idea. The Nazgul are drawn to the power of the Ring. They dont "smell" it, they dont see it, they feel it. That's why when Frodo has the ring on they can not only see him but sense the power very strongly and are immedeatly drawn to it, like at weather top. Frodo put the ring on and the Nazgul immediatly went for him and when he wouldn't give up the ring, the wraith stabbed him in hopes of turinging Frodo into a wraith too and there for he would bring them the Ring.
I also think Tolkien wanted to give a sense of vulnerability to Sauron and his Ula’ri ( Big Laugh Smilie Ringwraiths, for all you people who dont know Quenya); the evil "regime" had to have some weakness that the forces of good could use ... (Sauron's pride in creating the Ring) ... so i guess if Frodo and the Fellowship were caught, it wouldnt give the Nazg’l a sense of weakness. I mean, they can frighten the pants off some people, but they just arent all-powerful (they couldnt even cross at the Ferry! Smile Smilie
I also think the vulnerabilities of the Enemy are exploited in the story and in the story-telling to make it more realistic. Perhaps Tolkien was using Gandalf to make this point in the debate of the Captains of the West. Gandalf said that Sauron, in his vast wisdom and knowledge, would be blinded from the choice that they had made, sending the Ring into the heart of his realm. This is compounded by his reliance on instruments and devices to carry out his plans, showing Saruman's ultimate shortcoming and dependence.