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How Did Aragorn’s People Seal the Ringwraiths in Tombs?

Erestor Arcamen

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Excellent article I found explaining this for those that aren't familiar with Tolkien's work. (please read before you go telling me that Aragorn's people didn't seal the Ringwraiths in tombs, I know they didn't lol...)

I just figured this would be good for you to show to someone if they ask you this question. This site seems to have many excellent essays and articles on the subject of Middle Earth and the legendarium.

How Did Aragorn’s People Seal the Ringwraiths in Tombs?

January 2, 2013
By Michael Martinez


Q: How Did Aragorn’s People Seal the Ringwraiths in Tombs?

ANSWER: In the J.R.R. Tolkien books the Ringwraiths (Nazgul) are never sealed in tombs. Not only did the Dunedain lack the power to accomplish something like that, it would not have been very effective. If Peter Jackson and his co-writers don’t explain their thoughts behind the tombs of the Nazgul, fans will just have to debate and speculate endlessly.
In Tolkien’s books the Ringwraiths were no longer living men. They had faded in the Second Age — essentially becoming disembodied spirits that were held within the circles of the world against their wills. They were enslaved by the One Ring. As long as the One Ring existed (containing the greater part of Sauron’s natural power) the Nine Ringwraiths were incapable of fleeing Middle-earth, even while Sauron was dead and unable to control them directly.
Tolkien says that after Sauron’s second death at the end of the Second Age the Nazgul fled into the wilderness. They apparently remained idle for a thousand years until Sauron rose again. The Lord of the Nazgul founded the Witch-realm of Angmar a few hundred years later. For nearly seven hundred years the Lord of the Nazgul led a great struggle against the Dunedain of the north until he finally overthrew their last kingdom; but his own realm was destroyed. Soon after all Nine Ringwraiths led an army out of Mordor that laid siege to and eventually captured Minas Ithil, which was subsequently renamed Minas Morgul.
The Nazgul had held Minas Morgul for over a thousand years by the time of the War of the Ring. At no time in the literary story were the Nazgul ever imprisoned or restrained by the Dunedain. Because they were spirits they would hardly be restrained by tombs anyway. And if the Dunedain really had sufficient power to restrain the Nazgul magically then how could the Lord of the Nazgul have threatened the Dunedain of Eriador for so many centuries?
As far as the cinematic story goes, we’ll just have to wait and see how Peter Jackson and his team explain Gandalf’s visit to the tombs of the Nazgul (as noted by fans who have seen this in a preview). On screen, this is Peter Jackson’s story to tell. It’s best to just remember that the movies are not the books and the books are not the movies.
DISCLAIMER: No Rhosgobel rabbits were harmed in the making of this post.



original link: http://middle-earth.xenite.org/2013/01/02/how-did-aragorns-people-seal-the-ringwraiths-in-tombs/
Erestor's Disclaimer: this is not my work, just posting it here as content that is relevant to this forum. Credit for above answer other enriching essays/articles on the above site go to Michael Martinez
 

Troll

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Aw, I had hoped that there was an explanation in evidence for how the Witch-King was allegedly "imprisoned..." Ah well, here's to hoping it will be revealed in the next two films.

It could be a decently satisfying twist if the (film) White Council only believed the Nazgul to have been imprisoned in any meaningful way and their feigned inertia was just part of the plan.
 

HLGStrider

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I remember thinking "Uhhh. . .is that based on the books in any way and I'm just missing it or did they totally pull that 'explanation' out of thin air?" when that line came up. Because I have not read every inch of the HoMe like some of our fans (most libraries don't have them and I'm sorry, I'm just cheap.) I was hoping someone would debunk it for me because it smelled like made up nonsense.

I kind of understand, from a film makers point of view, the desire to "condense" the history of the Necromancer a bit, but I do think the whole "sealed in a tomb" thing was unnecessary exposition. There really wasn't a stated question as to the Witch King's location that needed an "easy" answer. (I'm in a "" sort of mood tonight. Too much sugar.) It could've just been glossed over. True fans could find the answer to where he was hanging out in the books and casual movie goers probably wouldn't care.
 

Valandil

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This was just some 'movie-reality' as opposed to 'book-reality'. There's nothing in the books to substantiate it.

I just like to think - maybe in the 'movie-reality', the Witch-King faked his own funeral, to throw everyone off. I'm not sure at what point everyone started to figure out that the King of Angmar was indeed the Witch-King. I often tend to think that it was after Angmar's fall (in 1975).

I was glad to at least have a mention of Angmar, and acknowledgement of a deeper, richer past. Even if somewhat distorted by the script. That itself almost implies the existence of an Arnor - which was totally absent from the movie background painted in Lord of the Rings (and notably - not very present in the book itself, other than some hints - until you reach the appendices).
 

Gandalf White

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Bearing in mind that I've only seen the movie once, so I may be missing something important, here are my thoughts on the matter:

1) Was it specifically mentioned that it was the Dunedain who placed the spells over the Wringwraiths' tombs? I got the impression (and correct me if I'm wrong) that it was the work of Elrond or Galadriel, which was why they were so surprised to hear of the "break-in."

2) Perhaps PJ saw this as the easiest way to establish the returning Sauron as (a) powerful, due to his ability to break through the spells and (b) the Necromancer, able to bring his most powerful servant(s) back from the dead.

Those were my initial takes at least..
 

Erestor Arcamen

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Bearing in mind that I've only seen the movie once, so I may be missing something important, here are my thoughts on the matter:

1) Was it specifically mentioned that it was the Dunedain who placed the spells over the Wringwraiths' tombs? I got the impression (and correct me if I'm wrong) that it was the work of Elrond or Galadriel, which was why they were so surprised to hear of the "break-in."

2) Perhaps PJ saw this as the easiest way to establish the returning Sauron as (a) powerful, due to his ability to break through the spells and (b) the Necromancer, able to bring his most powerful servant(s) back from the dead.

Those were my initial takes at least..
From what I remember it says the northmen/people of the north sealed the tombs, so that's where someone must have gotten Dunedain.
 

Valandil

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Like the rest of you - I only saw it once, and I had a different impression. I got the impression that it was the King of Angmar's men who buried him. I didn't recall them saying 'imprisoned'. But I could well have missed it. I intend to see at least once more, so I'll try to listen more carefully the next time. ;)
 

Erestor Arcamen

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I think the term they used was sealed. Like they sealed the witch king in his tomb in a place so dark it could never see the light of day
 

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One thing I kind of wondered about was that this little innocuous looking blade was somehow immediately identified with the Witch King. I can understand it being obviously a Morgul blade, but aren't there more than a few of those? Seeing as that they tend to melt on impact, you'd assume the Nine would need access to replacements. Which seemed to be Saruman's point, of course. Still, Elrond and Galadriel immediately leap to the conclusion that this is from Angmar and could've come from no place but a sealed tomb. Just lazy writing or is there some reasoning behind this that I'm missing?

That said I have always been a little curious about the melting away aspect of Morgul blades. Is is to stop them from falling into enemy hands? Is it to make them deadlier because they become shrapnel in the victim's body? Does stabbing someone activate the self destruct or does being separated from the Nine do it? When I read the book I had some sort of impression that Aragorn was so good that his touch destroyed the blade, but looking back I think that is unlikely. Aragorn's touch melts hearts, not blades. All this is more of a discussion for book than movie forums, however.
 

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The Wizard of Oz gets exposed and says: "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."

PJ's moronic plot twists get exposed & we just have to say: "Pay no attention to the book behind the movies." :*confused:
 

kirby smith

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Aw, I had hoped that there was an explanation in evidence for how the Witch-King was allegedly "imprisoned..." Ah well, here's to hoping it will be revealed in the next two films.

It could be a decently satisfying twist if the (film) White Council only believed the Nazgul to have been imprisoned in any meaningful way and their feigned inertia was just part of the plan.
I know this is a bit of a necro' post but in the movies I was wondering why they just didn't cremate the bodies instead of entombing them further to that would that have affected the resurrection of the wraiths (in the movies) as we all know in the books they (their spirits) were enslaved by the One Ring.
 

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Let's see, the Nazgûl take Minas Ithil in the year 2002 TA, it is renamed Minas Morgul, then they capture Eärnur last-king of Gondor in 2050 TA. So I guess in the almost 900 years until the (second) Smaug incident, someone just has to march into Minas Morgul, clap the irons on the nine miscreants, drag them past Dol Guldur and seal them in these tombs - where were they supposed to be, anyway? Mount Gundabad? Is it ever explicitly stated? But anyway, it should be a piece of cake, shouldn't it? 😬 *headbang*
 

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I found a video recently on Youtube which is a scene of the Dunedain sealing the Witch-King.

You might look that up.
URL, please? Google did not immediately reveal anything pertinent, and I am lazy.
Let's see, the Nazgûl take Minas Ithil in the year 2002 TA, it is renamed Minas Morgul, then they capture Eärnur last-king of Gondor in 2050 TA. So I guess in the almost 900 years until the (second) Smaug incident, someone just has to march into Minas Morgul, clap the irons on the nine miscreants, drag them past Dol Guldur and seal them in these tombs... But anyway, it should be a piece of cake, shouldn't it? 😬 *headbang*
Who will bell the cat? Some bell. Some cat!
I guess my best advice on this sort of topic is -- stop torturing yoursel! 😟
Torture only for the Elves and Dúnedain involved! BTW, were only Dúnedain involved? With my (intentionally) limited familiarity with the movies (I’ve only seen them once or twice), I thought Jackson’s Elrond indicated that it took both Elves and Dúnedain to lock up Angmar.
[W]here were they supposed to be, anyway? Mount Gundabad? Is it ever explicitly stated?
That was my impression, but then I am not intimately familiar with Jackson's cinematic rendition.
 
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Olorgando

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I guess my best advice on this sort of topic is -- stop torturing yoursel! 😟
To correct any erroneous impression you may have gained by whatever convoluted paths:
I am not a masochist - at least by conventional standards. ;)
(I did once, well over ten years ago, spend a Saturday doing binge watching of the entire LoTR film trilogy EE versions. Point is, I haven't done it again. And the LoTR EEs were worthwhile.)
(Or again, I own both cinematic and EE versions of TH trilogy - but the EEs are mainly interesting for the "making of the film" etc. "appendices", not the bleh additional footage).


"Go to the tombs in the mountains" (Galadriel), "The high fells" (Gandalf) during some telepathy at the entrance to Mirkwood (in "Desolation").
High fells seems to be a PJ invention. As per Karen Wynn Fonstad's Atlas, there are Coldfells, perhaps a bit less than 100 miles north of Rivendell, but therefore west of the Misty Mountains, and a High Pass, near Goblin Town. Keeping things obscure, PJ is, and understandably so. He'd been taking plenty of lumps from the nerds as is. :cool:
 

Erestor Arcamen

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Olorgando

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I found this video of them burying the Witch King. It's only 0:35 long and doesn't seem like anything special, just more of PJ's stupid imagination.
Is that an actual part of the official TH EEs? I certainly don't remember it (my guess would be the scene in the cinematic version where Gandalf and Radagast meet in the tombs in those "high fells", perhaps a flashback to the "entombment").
Or is this something which "ended up on the cutting-room floor", as one said in the days of celluloid, and someone scooped it off the floor and posted it on YouTube? 😒
 

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The clip shows Gandalf speaking with someone hairy – Beorn, I suppose – who asks if there are tombs in the “high fells”. The film cuts to Gandalf remembering words of Galadriel’s, but showing the Dúnedain burying a body “in the high fells of Rhudaur”. That sure sounds like the Coldfells to me, though perhaps you could make an argument that it was the west-reaching arm of the Misty Mountains that separated Rhudaur from Angmar.

Tolkien would care where this was. Would Jackson? Should we?
 

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Olorgando

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The clip shows Gandalf speaking with someone hairy – Beorn, I suppose – who asks if there are tombs in the “high fells”. The film cuts to Gandalf remembering words of Galadriel’s, but showing the Dúnedain burying a body “in the high fells of Rhudaur”. …
Thank you for those details, Alcuin. But to rephrase my question above, is this something that is in the actual EE of (I'm guessing) "Desolation" (or any of the EEs, I own all three), or is it what in earlier times (mostly for music) would have been called a "bootleg", that somehow ended up on YouTube? If the latter were the case, I could fast-forward all three EE DVDs and not find it. And would be seriously grumpy for it. :mad:
 

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