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Nazgul incompotent?

Treebeard

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As far as I can see, the Nazgul do nothing in LoTR but gallop around like the wind, being eluded and outsmarted at every turn by the fellowship. Plus, they are supposed to inspire fear, but they are very easily frightened themselves! "Fear, fire, foes!" indeed. I mean, five of them are turned away by Strider alone on Whethertop.
 
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Harad

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The Nazgul suck.
They are supposed to be drawn to the OneRing but one of them misses it when Frodo is walking thru the Shire...he gallops off in the wrong direction. Then a group of Them attack at Crickhollow several days after the Ring has left.

Sauron has crummy henchmen, because they are so poorly paid: "Minimum Wages of Sin"
 

GladrielElf1985

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Interesting observation Treebeard! I've never thought about this before. I personally have always been frightened by The Wraiths. But thats just me.
 
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Silmiel

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Sure, they were turned away in Buckland when the horn cry went up, but here's a quote from the book:

"But the Black Riders rode like a gale to the North-gate. Let the little people blow! Sauron would deal with them later. Meanwhile they had another errand: they knew now that the house was empty and the Ring had gone. They rode down the guards at the gate and vanished from the Shire."

It is obvious that they were not cowardly, but meerly didn't want to deal with every hobbit in Buckland at that moment. Why waste their time? That was not their purpose. Their goal was to take the Ring, give it back to Sauron, and then he could do the Bucklanders as he wished. The Ring was no longer there, so they left to retrieve it. Does that sound so cowardly?

As for Weathertop, the Riders were not expecting to have any problem in taking the ring. They wanted it to be swift and ruthless, and did not expect any opposition. Why risk anything? Why not wait until all nine of their companions were there and avoid any risk of harm?

Perhaps they are cowardly, in their own right. But they are (or were) powerful, and besides, if Aragorn didn't scare them all off of Weathertop, the story would have ended there. That wouldn't have been too great, now would it? ;)
 

Firiel

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Originally posted by Treebeard
As far as I can see, the Nazgul do nothing in LoTR but gallop around like the wind, being eluded and outsmarted at every turn by the fellowship. Plus, they are supposed to inspire fear, but they are very easily frightened themselves! "Fear, fire, foes!" indeed. I mean, five of them are turned away by Strider alone on Whethertop.
Whethertop: They thought the deed was done- a human or elf would have succumed in a couple of days to that wound, even though it missed the heart. Hobbit-resilience put them out of their recconing. They weren't "scared off" by Strider alone, but didn't see the point in open battle when they expected Frodo to fade so quickly despite what his friends could do- a miscalculation and an error in judgment most definitely, but Aragorn would not have been able to fight off five single-handedly if they throught they had reason to stay.

Fear, Fire, Foes, Awake: They were not fleeing the Bucklanders, they were chasing the ringbearer. Why hang around in Buckland after the ring had gone?

I'm sure this doens't explain every incident that sparked your post, but I don't think it's quite as bad as you make it out.
 

Aldanil

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As "Tree-Friend" it gives me rather a shooting sharp pain (in the snide) having solemn occasion to whisper this sort of thing to an orthographically-challenged old Onod like yourself, Master Fangorn, but on the sly I've heard tell, besides freezing the blood with a soul-quelling horror, that these same fell Ulairi can't even all of them spell!



(Should I turn myself in to yon ReadWryt, I wonder?) :rolleyes:


And while we're on the subject of purported Nazgul-inadequacies, let all those lovers of Legolas who yearn to let a thousand Orlandos bloom (silly rabbit -- segues are for kids!) lowly lament yet another cinematic sad snip-job: in the shoot-em-up movie, our bright-eyed Elvish bowman alas bags him no Ringwraith...
 
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andromeda

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no kidding! and when the hobbits are hiding behind the tree after leaving the shire, that one nazgul comes down the road, and he's like sniffing around, and doesn't even find them when they are right under his nose!
 

DreamingDragon

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Of course the Nazgul are incompetent....they were ignorant enough to be duped by Sauron into taking the rings because of their greed, never once weighing the consequences.....

Besides..they're men aren't they?? (Just a little joke!! I personally love men!!!);) :p :D
 

Rosie Cotton

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five of them are turned away by Strider alone on Whethertop.
They didn't leave Weathertop until Frodo was stabbed. The ringwraiths thought that Frodo was wounded so baddly that he would soon be under their power..... they had no way of knowing that Frodo wouldn't be effected quickly, and that his friends would be able to get him to Rivindell.

I think the nazgul came pretty darn close to getting the ring- they just weren't thorough enough.
 

Evenstar

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You know... I've never thought about it before but they are kind of incompetant. I don't really believe they arecowardly but a little inadequate, yes. I mean I know they were in the Shire and could not catch the hobbits who were on foot while they were riding swift horses. What's the deal here?
 
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Mormegil

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Incompetant....

I mean what do you expect from nine undead men who must feel so stupid about being enslaved by Sauron.:p
 

Mithrandir

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It seems a lot of people here have only seen the movie, cause Strider didn't do that in the book, so....... just tell me if I am wrong, I know Rosie is not one.
~Mithers
 

graen

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The Nazgul missing Frodo in the shire

Perhaps the ring itself was working to thwart the Nazgul from finding it in the Shire. It is in the hands of some worthless dupe (Frodo) who has finally succombed and is heading East with the ring toward Sauron. Maybe it felt it had better chances of reaching Sauron safely in the hands of a weak hobbit over being claimed by one of the Nazgul.
 

DreamingDragon

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The Nazgul were bound to the ring through their greed...so technically they SHOULD have been the perfect tools for retrieving it. However (and I can't quite recall exactly what was said) it seems to me they were quite the bumbling group, and Sauron was losing his patience, particularly after one of the Nazgul had had several horses shot out from under him....
 

Treebeard

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I am certainly not one on those who has only seen the movie. As I recall, Strider did have to defend Weathertop alone (he certainly didn't get any help from the hobbits). I understand that the ringwraths thought they had Frodo just where they wanted him, but come on, I'm sure Sauron would not have approved of their methods. They practically had the ring in their grasp...but the lord of the Nazgul...MISSED! He was trying to stab Frodo in the heart, if I recall correctly. If at first you don't succeed...run away?!?
 

Merry

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The Nazgul were not incompetent in my opinion. They were out smarted and out-fought by resilient worthy characters. You could say that the Nazgul were ineffective, but not incompetent. Also remeber that they were neither alive nor dead, they would not have had the mental speed of a frightened hobbit or a king of kings.

The film made the Nazgul look stupid but that doesn't do the book justice.
 

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