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Do not come between the Nazgûl and his prey!
~ The Witch-King of Angmar.
Do you not know death when you see it, old man? This is my hour! You have failed. The world of men will fall.
~ The Witch-King of Angmar to Gandalf the White.

The Witch-King of Angmar is a major antagonist in J.R.R. Tolkien's 1954 fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings, and in Peter Jackson's film trilogy based on the novel.

Originally a great king of Men, he is corrupted by Sauron and becomes his chief servant, along with eight other similarly corrupted kings. As the leader of the Nazgûl, he scours Middle-earth looking for the One Ring. He founds the kingdom of Angmar and becomes known as a great sorcerer, thus earning his title, The Witch King of Angmar.

In Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, he was portrayed by Lawrence Makoare, who also played Lurtz, Gothmog, and Bolg, and was voiced by Andy Serkis, who also played Gollum in Jackson's Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, and Supreme Leader Snoke in the Star Wars sequel trilogy.


The Witch-king's true form in Peter Jackson's films.

Nothing is known about the Witch King's origins except that he was a great lord of Men, possibly a Numenorean. He was seduced by Sauron's promises of power, and became a wraith after his master gave him one of the nine rings of Men. He founded the kingdom of Angmar and used it to destroy the kingdom of Arnor. After realizing the threat that the Witch King imposed, Gondor (Arnor´s sister kingdom) allied with the elves to destroy Angmar. After the destruction of Angmar the Witch King returned to Mordor and captured Minas Ithil, in Gondor, renaming it Minas Morgul.

He was briefly seen in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, with his true spirit form visible appearing from a statue of him. He was driven away by the wizard Radagast, who took his Morgul blade.

The Ring Wraiths returned in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, during which they were defeated and apparently killed by Galadriel, Saruman, and Elrond, but the Necromancer resurrected them. Galadriel then banished all nine Ring Wraiths and Sauron to Mordor.

The Witch King led the hunt for the Ring disguised as a Black Rider. After being defeated at the ford of de Bruinen by a flood summoned by Elrond and Gandalf, the Nazgul returned to Mordor and prepared to destroy Gondor. They got giant winged steeds named fell beasts. The Witch King led his armies to the Siege of Gondor and the Battle of the Pelennor Fields where he killed King Theoden of Rohan, but he was confronted by a warrior who revealed herself as Eowyn, niece of the king.

She killed the beast and confronted the Witch King, who broke her shield arm, but he was stabbed by Merry (a Hobbit) with a sword of the Westernesse (a sword made specially to bring ruin to the Witch King), which broke the protection spell of the Witch King, then Eowyn killed the Witch King by stabbing him in the face. Both swords that pierced his undead flesh were broken a few seconds later.

After the Witch-King's demise, his second-in-command Khamûl would take his position as the Lord of the Nazgûl. Khamûl would also die after the One Ring was destroyed.


You fool! No man can kill me! Die now!
~ The Witch-King of Angmar to Eowyn.

Once a great king blinded by his greed and desire for power, the Witch-King is now little more than a slave of Sauron and an extension of his will, bound to obeying Sauron and desiring nothing more than to ensure he would emerge victorious.

The Witch King was an exceptionally intelligent and powerful being, skilled in strategy and possessing great knowledge of warfare. He was arrogant and proud, emboldened by the prophesy that he could not be killed by any man. This led him to believe that he did not need to be concerned for his own existence or any danger which he might face while fighting in battles.

The Witch King despised the race of Men and lacked emotions such as love, fear, joy, anger, or happiness.

Powers and Abilities

The Witch King with his sword.

The Witch King was a skilled swordsman having used the weapon for more than 3,000 years. He also used a mace (flail in the movies) which implied great physical strength. The most powerful physical weapon of the Witch King was his smaller one: the Morgul Blade; anyone wounded by this dagger will be infected by a extremely powerful poison and if they died they will become a Wraith servant of the Witch King.

The Witch King was also a very talented sorcerer being able to break Frodo's sword and Gandalf's staff (in the movies) using his magic. Any weapon that harmed the Witch King will be destroyed and the wielder will be poisoned. If someone was near the Witch King it will suffer from the Black Breath which causes nightmares and unconsciousness and if exposed for enough time it can cause death.

The greatest weapon the Witch King got was fear, he was a terrible sorcerer known by the Dunedain and feared by them and then his simple aura gave fear to all except the bravest and his screech caused people to forget war, honor and courage replacing those thoughts with the single thought of Death. The Witch King was immune to normal weapons (weapons should be made specifically to kill him) and could not be killed by men.

In Lego

Besides being sold on Ebay as a custom LEGO figure, the Witch-King also appeared in the Lego game Lego Lord of the Rings and will appear as a official LEGO figure in an upcoming 2014 Lego set of The Hobbit: There and Back Again.


  • The Witch-King's true name was never given, and therefore among Tolkien fans, the Witch-King is often simply called Angmar, after the name of the realm he founded and led.
  • The Witch-King is the only Middle-Earth villain who takes the role of a protagonist villain in the Lord of the Rings RTS game The Lord of the Rings Battle for Middle-Earth 2: The Rise of the Witch King, which tells of his war against Arnor.
  • For Peter Jackson's film adaptation, the Witch-King was originally designed with a helmet based on John Howe's design featured in his paintings, but was later changed as the crew felt the design was too similar to Sauron's. The original helmet is featured in behind the scenes footage of The Return of the King.


            Middle earth sbg-1-1024x257.pngVillains

Dark Armies
Leaders: Morgoth | Sauron (Conquest, Shadow of Mordor) | Saruman (Peter Jackson)
Nazgûl: Witch-King of Angmar | Khamûl | Helm Hammerhand | Suladan | Isildur | 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 | Brogg the Twin | Mogg the Other Twin | Yazneg | Grishnákh | Gothmog | Gorbag | Zog the Eternal | Gazmog
Uruk-hai: Ugluk | Lurtz | Shagrat | Hodhvarz
Black Númenóreans: Mouth of Sauron (Battle for Middle-Earth) | 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

Alfrid Lickspittle | Master of Laketown | Old Man Willow