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The identity of the Witch-King of Angmar...

Bucky

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Sorry to derail this endless debate but a tangent........

If any of those who you named could have risen to become the dark lord of the fourth age I would put more money on it being Saruman.

No way. Here's why:

1. Tolkien says "Sauron was the last incarnation of evil in Middle-earth".
2. Didn't Saruman lose most his power except his voice prior to his death?
3. The Blue Wizards. In UT, JRRT says, 'They were emissaries sent into enemy occupied territory (the East)' & 'I suspect they failed (their mission) in different ways, becoming servants of Sauron OR founding magic cults that outlasted his fall." That would make them Maiar with 'magic' cults of their own & plenty of Easterlings at their disposal, now wouldn't?


Oh, one more thought that dawned on me about the Herumur........

Doesn't Tolkien mention in Appedix A that 'The Descendants of Herumur & Ferumur were finally destroyed" by one of the Ship-kings or Umbardacil in the 3rd Age?

That statement seems to indicate a kingship was involved there........

'Men proved easier to ensnare. Those who used the Nine Rings became mighty in their day, KINGS, sorcerers, and warriors of old.....'

Hummm..........
 

Gothmog

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Úlairi
"Sooner or later: because the Elves believed that the fëar of dead Men also went to Mandos (without choice in the matter: their free will with regard to death was taken away). There they waited until they were surrendered to Eru. The truth of this is not asserted. No living Man was allowed to go to Aman. No fëa of a dead Man ever returned to life in Middle-earth. To all such statements and decrees there are always some exceptions (because of the 'Freedom of Eru'). Eärendil reached Aman, even in the time of the Ban; but he bore the Silmaril recovered by his ancestress Lúthien, and he was 'half-elven': he was not allowed to return to Middle-earth. Beren returned to actual life, for a short time; but he was not actually seen again by living Men."
So Men there seems to be No Choice in the matter. Men Die, Men Go To Mandos, Men Leave Arda.
Or
Men Die, Men Leave Arda.

As for the exceptions this still does not allow for the Witch King to hide away and return later. These exceptions are, as is in the quote, Because of the 'Freedom of Eru'. This freedom is Eru's ability to do and create things not in the Great Music and/or to change the aspects of those that are in the Music.

I have at other times pointed out that Men can go beyond the Music of the Ainur and can themselves do and create things out side of the Music. However, even that ability would not count here. Men were not caused to be by the Music. Men were caused to be by Eru and only by Eru. So the Doom of Men was set by him also. This is beyond any other than Eru to change.
No fëa of a dead Man ever returned to life in Middle-earth.
Well, the fëa cannot die, so, it must therefore be referrring to the hröa in that statement. But, if that fëa takes over another man, it is therefore not breaking that rule of Tolkien, it is inhabiting another hröa and not its own. And even then, it says that Beren was another 'exception to the rule'.
Ok. So No fëa returned to a new hröa in Middle-earth. If that fëa took over another hröa then it would have Returned to life in Middle-earth. When its own hröa died it left life in Middle-earth, it could no longer interact with the living of Middle-earth. No matter how it was accomplished, if the fëa gained another hröa then it Returned. And this would be against the Doom of Men set by Eru that I have already covered.


Bucky
No way. Here's why:

1. Tolkien says "Sauron was the last incarnation of evil in Middle-earth".
2. Didn't Saruman lose most his power except his voice prior to his death?
3. The Blue Wizards. In UT, JRRT says, 'They were emissaries sent into enemy occupied territory (the East)' & 'I suspect they failed (their mission) in different ways, becoming servants of Sauron OR founding magic cults that outlasted his fall." That would make them Maiar with 'magic' cults of their own & plenty of Easterlings at their disposal, now wouldn't?
1. This still does not prevent someone setting himself up as a Dark Lord. He would be much weaker than Sauron and well within the power of Men to deal with. Thereby Not an "Incarnations of Evil in Middle-earth" but an evil leader of Men and possibly long-lived.
2. This was in his incarnation as an Istari. At the death of the hröa that was his Istari body he would have returned to his true state. Thereby possibly regaining more power than he lost due to the death of his hröa. Even if by the time he was able to reincarnate all that he was left with was once more just his voice. This would have been enough to control Men and set himself up in power.
3. This is the point that carries the most weight :). Yes it is more likely that any lesser "Dark Lord" of the fourth age would come from such cults as were possibly started by the Blue Wizards. When I said about putting my money on Saruman, that was out of the ones named in the thread so far. In fact I think that this would cover the question with less problems of "Exceptions" than anything else. :)
 

jimmyboy

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I understand all points that have been made here, and they are all good points.

However, I don't remember saying that the Witch-king, if he in fact did return, would become another dark lord. Well, not in the same sense as when Sauron was ruler at the end of the Second Age. I know I said that he could be considered a kind of mini-Sauron (or at least that was my thought), but that was before his downfall at the end of the Third Age. If he returned after his defeat, that does not necessarily mean that he would become the next Sauron and overpower all of Middle-earth, or even one small kingdom. As Bucky was saying, there were other kings who had power, which (if I understood his point) indicates that there was no one person who was ruler of all.

My contention is that it seems that the Witch-king did return after the end of the Third Age, because he was seen again; that's all we know, that he was seen again. Now as for how, when, or in what manner, that's what we don't know. It could be that he was just some dark spirit who would haunt certain people or places, or that he would try to influence necromancer kings or other sorcerers.

I seriously doubt there are any solid answers to these questions, but I still find it an intriguing subject.
 

Bucky

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1. This still does not prevent someone setting himself up as a Dark Lord. He would be much weaker than Sauron and well within the power of Men to deal with. Thereby Not an "Incarnations of Evil in Middle-earth" but an evil leader of Men and possibly long-lived.

Yeah, agreed.
I knew after writing this that I was 'shooting myself in the foot' about The Blue Wizards Theory........
 

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