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Topic: question for smart people

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: May 12, 2006
question for smart people

I know this is lore...but I am just curious to see how many of you get this one right.
Who killed the witch-king?
I know,seems easy.
but the question is harder then it seems, trust me.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: May 12, 2006
Eowyn - Although Merry stabbed him it was Eowyn that dealt the final killing blow - he might have survived Merry's stab.

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My Master Sauron the Great bids thee Welcome....
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: May 12, 2006
I was sure you would answer that...I won't get in the discussion now.
I'll wait for some more people to answer first.
anyway, you'll see thid will be an interesting lore topic.

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Orc captain of Thangorodrim - Rank 3
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Date: May 12, 2006

Eowyn.


And since TM doesn't want to start the discussion yet, I won't state my reasoning until then.



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Orc captain of Thangorodrim - Rank 3
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Date: May 13, 2006

That depends on your definition of "killed" Might.  If you mean reduced to complete impotence, I would agree with mouthofsauron and Narg and saw Eowyn.  However, if you are referring to a final sundering of his fea with the world, then I would say Gollum.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: May 13, 2006
well, yes that is the answer I was looking for, Gollum...

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Well I cannot see your logic then 'The Might'.


Why not say that it was Eru's fault becuase he started the World and if he had not there would be no Ring?


Thats how far you could take it back.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: May 13, 2006
you don't even understand what I said.
I said it is Gollum for the same reason as Elendil.
The witchking's fate was bound to that of the ring, and so only when the ring was destroyed was his fea also totally removed from the world.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Well you could say that it was bilbos fault. f he had not found the ring there is a chance it would never have been found.


If you work it out they are so many variables that you could blame anyone for the incident.


Try this: If Glorfindel had not defeated the Balrog in Gondolin, there would be another Balrog to fight in the War of Wrath. therefore this may have allowed Morgoth to win and therefore Sauron would never rise in Mordor and the Witchking never have come about!


Do you see that there are just too many variables?



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My Master Sauron the Great bids thee Welcome....
Orc captain of Thangorodrim - Rank 3
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Date: May 13, 2006
Glorfindel, going back any farther than Gollum would be completely unnecessary.  Gollum was the being who destroyed the Ring, albeit unintentionally (leaving any divine intervention out for the time being).  By tracing it back to Eru for making the World would be needless; even back to Sauron for forging the Ring would do nothing to further the discussion, essentially being the equivalent of saying that the smith who forged Eowyn's sword killed the Witch-King.  As I see it, thus far in the debate, only two have been brought forward seriously (I'll bring a third possiblility into the mix once the discussion comes back from extreme absurdities.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: May 13, 2006
third possibility?
hmmm
that sounds interesting
If it's not Eowyn, nor Merry, nor Gollum...
maybe...dunno
I am curious to see what you say.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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The real killer of the WK and other Nazgul was Sauron for creating the Ring in the first place.

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Orc captain of Thangorodrim - Rank 3
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Date: May 13, 2006

Yeah, I figured Gollum and the destruction of the Ring would come up soon.


The reason I say that Eowyn killed the Witch-king is because of the definition of death in Tolkien's mythology. The separation of the fëa from the hroar is what constitutes "death" throughout Tolkien's stories, and this is achieved when Eowyn struck the Witch-king.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: May 14, 2006
well, I was thinking of death as in the final sundering of the fea...
and frankly I never really studied the concept of death in tolkien's writings.
but it sounds interesting.
maybe you could help me clear that matter up with some quotes...

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Valar
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maybe you could help me clear that matter up with some quotes...~TM


I don't know of any direct quotes, but he does say that Gandalf really did 'die' after his fight with the Balrog:


Gandalf really 'died', and was changed: for that seems to me the only real cheating, to represent anything that can be called 'death' as making no difference. ~ Letter #156


And all that happened to Gandalf was his spirit was seperated from his hroa, his spirit wasn't 'sundered.'  So, seeing as Gandalf's fea just seperated from his hroa, after his fight with the Balrog and Tolkien says Gandalf really did die, I think it's a suitable definition.


Also, I happen to believe that Merry's sword was extremely significant in the downfall of the Witch-King.  Eowyn delivers the final blow and kills him, but Merry's sword was the Blade of the Westernesse, and it was able to do what no other sword could have done.


Let's first start with establishing the connection that the Ringwraiths are bound to Sauron's fate, Sauron's power (which happens to be the Ring):


’You cannot destroy Ringwraiths like that,’ said Gandalf.  ’The power of their master is in them, and they stand or fall by him.  We hope that they were all unhorses and unmasked, and so made for a while less dangerous; but we must find out for certain.’~The Ring Goes South


Now this is Gandalf saying this, and it doesn't necessarily mean it's true, but I think we can take Gandalf's word for it because when the One Ring is destroyed:


And into the heart of the storm, with a cry that peirced all other sounds, tearing the clouse asunder, the Nazgul came, shooting like flaming bolts, as caught in a fiery ruin of hill and sky they crackled, withered, and went out.~Mount Doom


It's been my argument however, that Merry's sword that stabbed the Witch-king (The Barrow Blade, the Blade of the Westernesse) was specifically designed to destroy the Witch-King, not just kill him, but sever the bond between Sauron's power and the Witch-King.


The Barrow-blade wasn't your ordinary blade as we find out:


1) '...work of Westernesse, wound about with spells for the bane of Mordor.'~The Departur of Boromir


2) ’But above all the timid and terified Bearer had resisted him, had dared to strike at him with an enchanted sword made by his own enemies long ago for his destruction.'~The Marquette Manuscript: Hunt for the Ring, 4/2/1936


3) No other blade, not though mightier hands had wielded it, would have dealt that foe a wound so bitter, cleaving the undead flesh, breaking the spell that knit his unseen sinews to his will.~Battle of Pelennor Fields


1) It is specifically designed for the destruction of the Witch-King...'the bane of Mordor...' and it was wound with spells.  So right away this isn't an ordinary blade.


2) Note the term 'destruction' is used here.  It wasn't a blade designed to 'kill' the Witch-King, but to 'destroy' him.  The Witch-King was a long time enemy, and the Blade of the Westernesse, was specially designed for his destruction.


3) 'Sinews' besides meaning a tendon, can also mean a mainstay of strength or muscular power.  The wound the Barrow Blade delivers breaks the spell, and breaks the 'sinews,' the 'strength and muscular power' that were bound to the Witch-King's will.  The spell holding the Witch-king's strength and power to his will was broken, so in effect the strength and power in the Witch-King's will was broken.


I think it's clear that the Barrow-blade Merry uses isn't your simple ordinary blade, it was designed for a purpose...to destroy the Witch-king.  And it lives up to that purpose.  It's been my argument that the blow Merry delivers with the Barrow-blade completely severs Sauron's power from the Witch-King's will.  The 'spell' was broken and so were the 'sinews' that were bound to his will.  Now it could just be that the blade only was temporarily able to do this, whether it completely broke the spell who knows.  I think it's possible that the sword was only able to temporarily break the spell bound to the WK's will, and Eowyn capitilizes on finishing him off.


But, I think that the blade Merry has is significant in it's own regards, and it's not something that your ordinary old blade could do, perhaps no other blade could have done.  It was designed to destroy the Witch-King, and I think it does this.  It doesn't merely open up Eowyn's chance to kill him and finish him off.  But, it destroys him, not in the sense that it completely annhilates his spirit (because that in Tolkien is impossible) but destroys him in the sense that the power of Sauron (the Ring) which was bound to the Witch-King and the other Nazgul, were severed because of the blade, and the Witch-King is destroyed in the sense that he aint coming back, even if the Ring isn't destroyed.


In conclusion I'd like to make note the similarities between the Witch-King's death and cases similar to his death:


The crown rolled away with a clang.  Eowyn fell forward upone her fallen foe.  But lo!  the mantle and hauberk were empty.  Shapeless they lay now on the ground, torn and tumbled; and a cry went into the shuddering air, and faded to a shrill wailing, passing with the wind, a voice bodiless and thin that died, and was swallowed up, and was never heard again in that age of this world.~Battle of Pelennor Fields


There's the Witch-King's death, and compare that to Saruman's death who after Grima kills him he isn't coming back either, the spirit was denied going back to Valinor, and it would not have the will to reform into a new body.  As we see with Gandalf who was killed, but needed Eru to intervene and be sent back into a new form:


To the dismay of those that stood by, about the body of Saruman a grey mist gathered, and rising slowly to a great height like smoke from a fire, as a pale shrouded figure it loomed over the Hill.  For a moment it wavered, looking to the West, but out of the West came a cold w/ind, and it bent away, and with a sigh dissolved into nothing.~Scouring of the Shire


Then finally we go back to the quote which shows the defeat of the Nazgul after the ring is destroyed:


And into the heart of the storm, with a cry that peirced all other sounds, tearing the clouse asunder, the Nazgul came, shooting like flaming bolts, as caught in a fiery ruin of hill and sky they crackled, withered, and went out.~Mount Doom

Notice any similarities to the Witch-King's death, and the death of Saruman and the other Nazgul?  Anyway, that's been my argument, whether you agree with it or not, is of course completely up to you.


-- Edited by Boromir88 at 23:29, 2006-07-25

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I am Lórien, Lord of Dreams, my true name is 'Irmo' in Quenya.
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: Jul 26, 2006
hmm...yes, I knew that the sword that Merry had received had special powers, but I didn't really think it would have a power great enough to destroy the witch-king...
I thought the effect would be very much the same as that of the flood from the for of Bruinen that forced the Nazgul to return to Mordor.
I thought that even though wounded by Merry and Eowyn, The Witch-King could have returned after some time.

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Valar
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TM, and I can't say you're wrong in thinking that.    That seems to be the general concensus, I just happen to think that the Barrow-blade did more than what a lot of people give credit for.  But, I can't sit here say it's right and everyone else is misled....Well I could.

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I am Lórien, Lord of Dreams, my true name is 'Irmo' in Quenya.
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: Jul 27, 2006
Hmm...suddently I think a found something in support of your theory.
If I am correct and still have a good memory, Earnil, the last king of Gondor defeated the WK in combat, but unlike Eowyn did not have the same effect on the WK.
The WK, did however take revenge on Earnil by torturing and killing him in MInas Morgul. So maybe Earnil defeated the WK, but he didn't have the right weapon.

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