The Nomes (sometimes spelled Gnomes) are an ancient race of evil, immortal creatures made of stone and antagonists in the Wizard of Oz book series. Their master, the Nome King is part of this wicked species. Alongside the Wheelers, they helped the Nome King and Princess Mombi attack and take over the Emerald City of Oz in the 1985 Disney film Return to Oz. This race consists of about 18 Nomes.


Nomes are immortal creatures who live in their home, a mountainous land called the Nome Kingdom, where they guard the precious metals and jewel stones that lie buried in rock and ore. They are ruled by the Nome King.

They are rather round and not very tall. Their toes are curly and their ears broad and flat. They are the color of rocks and their shapes are as rough and rugged as if they had been broken away from the side of a mountain. They can cling to the surface of rock as a fly does to a windowpane.

Though they live underground where there is neither night nor day, they do need to sleep like the "up-stairs" people do.

Because eggs belong to the outside world, they are poison to Nomes. If the inside of an egg touches a Nome, he withers up and blows away and that is the end of him - unless he manages quickly to speak a magical word which only a few of the Nomes know.

When Ruggedo was the Nome King, he often treated his subjects poorly. Sometimes, when the abuse was worse than usual, they would refuse to work until Kaliko came and begged them to. Kaliko was respected because he was one of themselves, and as much abused by Ruggedo as any of them.

Known Nomes

  • Roquat / Ruggedo
  • Kaliko
  • General Blug
  • Colonel Crinkle
  • General Guph
  • The Long-Eared Hearer
  • Pang

In Other Media

TV shows

The Nomes appeared as a small gnome-like people and they are one of the major villains in the 1986 cartoon series The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.


The Nomes appeared in the 1985 Disney movie Return to Oz which was based loosely on the books Ozma of Oz and The Marvelous Land of Oz. In that film, their rock-like nature was taken to the extreme via Will Vinton's Claymation, and their king along with the nomes was destroyed when he ingested a chicken egg since eggs are poisonous to Nomes. Prior to the Nome King's demise, he grew to enormous size and tried to eat the protagonists in a scene inspired by Georges Méliès's Conquest of the Pole (1912).

The Nome King and the Nomes appears in The Witches of Oz (originally known as Dorothy and the Witches of Oz). He and his people were among the villains that accompanies the Wicked Witch of the West in their all-out invasion on Earth. During the climax of the film, the Nome King fights the Tin Man and is defeated by him while his Nome minions retreated back where they belong.

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