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Nazgul

The Witch-king on a drake.

All 9 Nazgûl

All of the Nine Riders.

The Nazgûl, known in the Common Speech by various other names including Ringwraiths, Black Riders or the Nine, are enemies that appear during the course of Middle-earth: Shadow of War. Led by the Witch-king of Angmar they are the most loyal servants of the Dark Lord Sauron. After the defeat of Sauron in the Second Age, they dwelt in Minas Morgul until their master called upon them once more during the Third Age.

The Nazgûl were known as Sauron's "most terrible servants," and often traveled on black horses or their fellbeasts, wearing black cloaks and hauberks of silver mail. They are described as being strongest when The Dark Lord has possession of the One Ring. "'The Ringwraiths are deadly enemies, but they are only shadows yet of the power and terror they would possess if the Ruling Ring was on their master's hand again.'" (Tolkien,287). The power of the Nazgûl also grows when all nine are together and when night falls upon Middle-earth.

History

The Nazgûl were once the nine great Kings of Men. They were given the Rings of Power by Sauron (disguised in fair form as Annatar) which they accepted without doubt. After Sauron forged the One Ring they became his slaves (by being corrupted by the power of their rings and bound to his will), which eventually turned them into wraiths, only visible to Sauron and the one wearing the One Ring.

Appearance

The Ringwraiths in the games thus far has been portrayed very similarly to the Peter Jackson's trilogy version with some minor differences. The wraiths physical form have robes covering less of their arms and legs, which in are visibly clad in armor. Also, all Ringwraiths except the Witch-King wear sinister-looking masks covering the hollow darkness where their faces should be, with some individual Ringwraiths having masks uniquely designed to represent their origin. The Witch-King himself wears a helmet-crown akin to the live action movie, although it is also slightly different, the most obvious being the helmet only having a single cavity as opposed to having eye sockets and lower cavity.  

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The Nazgûl

Gameplay

The Nazgûl are similar to captains in that they are heavily damaged rather than killed by attacks that can one-shot grunts. This combined with their sizable health total means they can survive multiple executions. They are also immune to fire, poison, frost, curse, and cannot be knocked down or stunned. For their offence, they have a ranged attack they will use if Talion is climbing or riding a drake and an attack similar to Shadow Strike where they teleport to Talion's location and attack with their sword. Their attacks can be countered, but they do not take any damage when countered. When their health is low, they will be considered Broken and can be finished off with a drain or dominate.

Wraith-vision-nazgul-694b

Wraith vision of Nazgûls riding Fell Beasts

Trivia

  • Isildur and Helm Hammerhand are named as Nazgûl in Shadow of War. This is the first incarnation of any story regarding Middle-Earth where these two heroes have been identified as or Nazgûl.
  • In the original stories created by J. R. R. Tolkien, only two Nazgûl are named: The Witch-king of Angmar and Khamûl the Easterling. The rest are never named.
  • Alongside The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and the Lord of the Rings Online, this is the only other incarnation of the Nazgûl seen wearing armor rather than their black cloaks outside the novels.
  • While the Witch-King helmet in the game is different from the one in the movie, his live action helmet seems to inspire the design of the Terror Tribe symbol.
  • The Nazgûl were originally supposed to make an appearance in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor but were cancelled.


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