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Nazgul Will/Communication

JeffF.

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Tolkein states several times that the Nazgul have no will but Sauron's, that even if the Morgul Lord was to find the One Ring he would bring it to his master (that is he would not put it on himself and try to supplant the Dark Lord like Saruman or the Balrog). The story in Unfinished Tales about the search for the ring makes it clear that the Nazgul had some will of their own to make decisions and carry them out. It does not seem to be a case where Sauron controls every Nazgul every moment of the time.

It is also mentioned several places that Nazgul receive messages from Sauron which also indicates that his control is not immediate. That communication with Nazguls is also somewhat confusing. Sauron sends messages and threats that "dismay even the Morgul Lord" (Unfinithed Tales) and requires a message to be sent to him to inform him of the defeat at Minas Tirith (ROTK), yet at the Black Gate when he perceives Frodo at Mount Doom his communication with the Nazgul is instantaneous and they immediately break contact with Aragorn's army and fly to Mount Doom.

Is it safe to say that the Nazgul have limited independent will but cannot do anything specfically against Sauron's orders (i.e. "Don't put on the ring, bring it to me immediately")?

What about the discrepancy in means of communication? CAn Sauron communicate immediately with the Nazgul, if so why the need for messengers? Or does it require too much effort (i.e. being scared out of his wits to find that his enemies are trying to destroy the Ring).
 

Snaga

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I think there is a difference between broad-brush instructions 'get to Mt Doom now' and a detailed battle de-brief. I think that Sauron would have got the message that things had gone wrong at Pelennor because Sam and Frodo work that out for themselves at Cirith Ungol, and would probably realise he only had 8 wraiths. But he would certainly want more detail, and that might take verbal communication.

I think the 'telepathic' link only works for very simple communication. Hence the need to allow the wraiths some freedom of action. In the search for the ring in Book I, the search is directed by the Lord of the Nazgul, not by Sauron.
 

Arvedui

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*Bump*

But also: Remember that Frodo not only puts on the Ring. He also claims it for himself. I don't think the Nazgûl need any directions from Sauron to react to that.
 

Lhunithiliel

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And all this, interesting in itself, brings to my mind a question...

What could it be that held the Nazgul in subordination to Sauron?

My flow of thoughts:

>> they were "Proud Kings of Men" who wnated non-Men powers
>> Sauron gives them the rings and they get those powers
>> they become powerful and no creature in ME can stand the horror of the wraiths
>> The ONLY one they obey to is Sauron!

What did he hold them loyal to him with?

I wonder.... :rolleyes: (as always :p :D)
 

Lhunithiliel

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Originally posted by Arvedui
For some reason, I am thinking of a device called the Ruling Ring.
Oooo, common! LOL

All right ... I'll alter the question:

What did the Ruling Ring hold the ringwraiths with? ;) :p

Or...What would have they lost if they hadn't felt its power over them?

Now? :p
 

Arvedui

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Darn, I liked the first question better. It was a lot easier to answer:D :D :D

The only thing I can think of, is that Sauron poured a lot of his will into that piece of jewelry. And that it was his will that worked through the Ring, holding the Ringwraiths loyal.
 

Mahal

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No its not the ruling ring...because he does not have that Sauron uses the nine rings of the ringwraiths to control them...if not they would not been slaves of him. Maybe when I found the rings they would obey me and I would take over the world :D
 

YayGollum

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What did the Ruling Ring hold the ringwraiths with?

Hm? Hold them with? Surgical gloves? No. Evil and unfair magic, I would think.

What would have they lost if they hadn't felt its power over them?

Well, I would think that they would always feel it's creepy power since they were taken over by it. If they didn't feel it anymore, it must have been destroyed. Yay Gollum!
 

BlackCaptain

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Well it seems I got here a little late to say something that hasn't been said...

The Mount Doom incedent...
The Nazgul practicaly are Sauron. They're bound to him, because they're bound to the Ring. So if the Ring gets put on, they'd know exactly where it is, especialy if it's put on in the center of Sauron's kingdom. So that would rule out why a messenger is needed at the devestating loss for me at the Pelenor.

He cannot comunicate immediately with them, but the Ring can.
 

Ithrynluin

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Originally posted by JeffF.
What about the discrepancy in means of communication? CAn Sauron communicate immediately with the Nazgul, if so why the need for messengers? Or does it require too much effort (i.e. being scared out of his wits to find that his enemies are trying to destroy the Ring).
I think sending instant messeges :p to the Nazgul is a very tiresome and exhausting excercise and that Sauron only deploys it at the utmost need (like when Frodo was in the heart of Sammath Naur). Otherwise, when the Nazgul are abroad, he sends orders via messengers... This seems to make the most sense.

Originally posted by Mahal
No its not the ruling ring...because he does not have that Sauron uses the nine rings of the ringwraiths to control them
Makes me wonder...since Sauron holds the 9 Rings, do the Nazgul have any benefits from their power? Surely it's not possible to not have a ring of power but still use its power from afar?? How are they so powerful then?
 

BlackCaptain

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A wonderful question... Perhaps it's just because the Nazgûl were already in the Wraith world, they didn't need the Rings anymore. Iduno... Just an idea
 

Elendil3119

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Re: Re: Nazgul Will/Communication

Originally posted by ithrynluin
Makes me wonder...since Sauron holds the 9 Rings, do the Nazgul have any benefits from their power? Surely it's not possible to not have a ring of power but still use its power from afar?? How are they so powerful then?
But to achieve this he (Sauron) had been obliged to let a great part of his own inherent power (a frequent and very significant motive in myth and fairy-story) pass into the One Ring. While he wore it, his power on earth was actually enhanced. But even if he did not wear it, that power existed and was in 'rapport' with himself: he was not 'diminished'. (From Letter #131)
Of course, the Nine were not as powerful as the One. Still, it's possible that after the Nazgul had been ensnared by their rings of power, it didn't matter if they were wearing them or not. Besides, the main weapon of the Nazgul (besides the Witch-king) was fear, not raw power.
 

Ithrynluin

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The One Ring is quite something else than all the other rings. Sauron poured a great part of his native strength into it, and he retained a link with the Ring (e.g. the Ring trying to get back to its master) even if he could not make use of its power. The question remains - Did the Nazgul benefit from the Nine Rings after Sauron had taken them to himself? Perhaps this has no answer.
 

BlackCaptain

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Well, like I said, perhaps since they were already "faded" and made wraiths, they didn't need the Nine anymore... Just the one. :eek:
 

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