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Of all the Nazgul, his fall was most tragic.
~ Celebrimbor's spirit on Helm Hammerhand.

While a legendary heroic figure in J.R.R. Tolkein's mythos who in fact created the structure Helm's Deep, in the video game Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, Helm Hammerhand is recast as a fallen hero, who was one of the nine kings of men corrupted by one of Sauron's rings and turned into one of the undead Nazgûl.

Origin

Helm Hammerhand was originally a great king of Rohan, and the man who would build the structure Helm's Deep. He was a physically imposing man who hunted animals in his spare time, but was ambushed and mortally wounded by a warlord named Siric who coveted Helm's daughter Bernwyn even after Helm had refused to give her up.

Now on his deathbed, and with his daughter seemingly beyond his reach, Helm Hammerhand was approached by Sauron in his fair form, who gave him one of the Rings of Power and duped him into thinking it could give him the means to get his daughter back.

Instead, it corrupted Helm, so that when he went to reclaim his daughter he instead accidentally killed her while going after Siric in a blind fury. Crushed and driven mad by this loss, Helm was lost fully to Sauron's dark influence.

In the Third Age, he serves Sauron dutifully as one of the nine Nazgûl, and attempts to kill the undead ranger Talion in the realm of Seregost. Having always been a good horse rider in life, Helm's "way with animals" has expanded to allow him to summon forth the wildlife of Mordor, including Caragors and Drakes.

Trivia

  • In both the books and the movies, Helm Hammerhand is a solidly heroic figure who is never said to have become one of the nine Nazgûl. His becoming so in Shadow of War is an invention of that game, albeit one that was done with Middle-Earth Enterprises' approval.
  • His horned helmet and use of a warhammer bring to mind King Robert Baratheon from A Song of Ice and Fire, who like Helm Hammerhand is a villainous and brutal corrupted king consumed with hatred and a need for vengeance against those he feels have wronged him. The difference though, is that Robert started out as a vindictive person during his rebellion against the Targaryens, and then became more mellow and less vicious upon becoming king, whereas Helm started out as a good ruler who became evil later.

Navigation

            Middle earth sbg-1-1024x257Villains

Dark Armies
Leaders: Morgoth | Sauron | Saruman
Nazgûl: Witch-King of Angmar | Khamûl | Helm Hammerhand | Suladan | Nazgûl Sisters
Balrogs: Durin's Bane | Gothmog | Tar-Goroth
Dragons: Smaug | Ancalagon | Scatha | Drogoth the Dragon Lord | Glaurung
Great Spiders: Shelob | Ungoliant
Werewolves: Carcharoth
Goblins/Orcs: Gorkil the Goblin King | Great Goblin | Azog | Bolg | Yazneg | Grishnákh | Gothmog | Gorbag | Zog the Eternal
Uruk-hai: Ugluk | Lurtz | Shagrat
Black Númenóreans: Mouth of Sauron | Agandaur | Black Hand of Sauron | Hammer of Sauron | Tower of Sauron
Olog-Hai: Brûz the Chopper
Men of Darkness: Ar-Pharazôn | Gríma Wormtongue | Bill Ferny | Lheu Brenin | Easterlings | Corsairs of Umbar | Dunlendings | Haradrim
Various Creatures: Barrow Wights | Trolls | Wargs | Fellbeasts | Gûlavhar | Watcher in the Water

Corrupted Elves
Fëanor | Celegorm | Caranthir | Curufin | Maeglin | Celebrimbor

Corrupted Hobbits
Gollum | Lotho Sackville-Baggins | Ted Sandyman

Other
Alfrid Lickspittle | Master of Laketown | Old Man Willow

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