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Re: [mythsoc] A stupid question

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  • Margaret Dean
    ... Yes. ... No. Nazgul is simply Ringwraith (more or less) in Black Speech. ( nazg = ring ) In the text they do start getting called Nazgul more
    Message 1 of 7 , Sep 7, 2001
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      Ted Sherman wrote:
      >
      > Nine Ringwraiths, one of whom is the captain and Lord of the other eight.

      Yes.

      > The Nazgul are their winged steeds, are they not?

      No. "Nazgul" is simply "Ringwraith" (more or less) in Black
      Speech. ("nazg" = "ring") In the text they do start getting
      called "Nazgul" more often at about the same time they get the
      flying mounts, so I can see where the error comes about.


      --Margaret Dean
      <margdean@...>
    • Ted Sherman
      Nine Ringwraiths, one of whom is the captain and Lord of the other eight. The Nazgul are their winged steeds, are they not? Ted ... Dr. Theodore J. Sherman,
      Message 2 of 7 , Sep 7, 2001
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        Nine Ringwraiths, one of whom is the captain and Lord of the other eight.
        The Nazgul are their winged steeds, are they not?

        Ted
        ------------------------------
        Dr. Theodore J. Sherman, Editor
        Mythlore: A Journal of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and
        Mythopoeic Literature
        Associate Professor of English
        Box X041, Middle Tennessee State University
        Murfreesboro, TN 37132
        615 898-5836 Office
        615 898-5098 FAX
        tsherman@... Office
        tedsherman@... Home

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: <Stolzi@...>
        To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Friday, September 07, 2001 3:10 PM
        Subject: [mythsoc] A stupid question


        > But I can't find the answer.
        >
        > Are there nine Ringwraiths, and a Lord who is their Captain?
        >
        > Or eight lesser Ringwraiths, and a Lord who is their Captain? This seems
        > more probable to me, since there are "nine [rings] for mortal men."
        >
        > They are all Nazgul, right?
        >
        > Diamond Proudbrook
        >
        >
        > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
        >
      • Stolzi@aol.com
        In a message dated 9/7/01 8:12:17 PM Central Daylight Time, ... I tend to associate the word with ghoul even though I know that s false etymology. Thanks for
        Message 3 of 7 , Sep 7, 2001
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          In a message dated 9/7/01 8:12:17 PM Central Daylight Time,
          margdean@... writes:

          > No. "Nazgul" is simply "Ringwraith" (more or less) in Black
          > Speech. ("nazg" = "ring") I

          I tend to associate the word with "ghoul" even though I know that's false
          etymology.

          Thanks for the help! There were some ambiguous passages, for instance in
          Book Four, Ch. 6 ("The Forbidden Pool") Faramir's description of Minas
          Morgul: "Nine Lords there were, and after the return of their Master, which
          they aided and prepared in secret, they grew strong again. Then the Nine
          Riders issued forth from the gates of horror, and we could not withstand
          them."

          But here, I suppose "their Master" must mean Sauron.

          Diamond Proudbrook
        • Michael Martinez
          ... instance in ... Minas ... Master, which ... Nine ... withstand ... Yes, Sauron was the master. They were originally living men in the Second Age whom
          Message 4 of 7 , Sep 7, 2001
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            --- In mythsoc@y..., Stolzi@a... wrote:
            > Thanks for the help! There were some ambiguous passages, for
            instance in
            > Book Four, Ch. 6 ("The Forbidden Pool") Faramir's description of
            Minas
            > Morgul: "Nine Lords there were, and after the return of their
            Master, which
            > they aided and prepared in secret, they grew strong again. Then the
            Nine
            > Riders issued forth from the gates of horror, and we could not
            withstand
            > them."
            >
            > But here, I suppose "their Master" must mean Sauron.

            Yes, Sauron was the master. They were originally living men in the
            Second Age whom Sauron corrupted to his service. According to "Of
            the Rings of Power and the Third Age", they all became kings,
            warriors, and sorcerors (some people argue that only some became
            kings, only some became warriors, etc.).

            The word "Nazgul" is used as both a plural and singular form. I
            don't know enough about Black Speech to know if that is appropriate.
            Tolkien sometimes admitted to making mistakes in LoTR, but I don't
            study the languages.

            The Lord of the Nazgul was also the Witch-king of Angmar, the Lord of
            Morgul, and the Captain of Mordor. Robert Foster provides a full
            list of his titles in THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO MIDDLE-EARTH.

            Technically, Khamul the Black Easterling, the second-in-command of
            the group, might be called the Lord of Dol Guldur, or the Lieutenant
            of Dol Guldur, since he was assigned command of that fortress after
            Sauron returned to Mordor and rebuilt the Barad-dur. That title is
            not used in any published text, though.
          • Stolzi@aol.com
            In a message dated 9/8/01 12:16:26 AM Central Daylight Time, ... So, what we need here is a bureaucratic organization chart :) Mordor, being horrendously
            Message 5 of 7 , Sep 8, 2001
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              In a message dated 9/8/01 12:16:26 AM Central Daylight Time,
              michael@... writes:

              > The Lord of the Nazgul was also the Witch-king of Angmar, the Lord of
              > Morgul, and the Captain of Mordor.
              > Robert Foster provides a full
              > list of his titles in THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO MIDDLE-EARTH.

              So, what we need here is a bureaucratic organization chart :) Mordor, being
              horrendously evil, is bound to have a bureaucracy :)

              There's also the Mouth of Sauron, who turns up as a convenient spokesman
              after the Lord of the Nazgul's goose, or pterodactyl, is cooked.


              Diamond Proudbrook
            • Michael Martinez
              ... You say that in jest, but you strike closer to the mark than you realize. Mordor did indeed have a bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is one of those features of
              Message 6 of 7 , Sep 8, 2001
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                --- In mythsoc@y..., Stolzi@a... wrote:
                > In a message dated 9/8/01 12:16:26 AM Central Daylight Time,
                > michael@x... writes:
                >
                > > The Lord of the Nazgul was also the Witch-king of Angmar, the
                > > Lord of Morgul, and the Captain of Mordor.
                > > Robert Foster provides a full
                > > list of his titles in THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO MIDDLE-EARTH.
                >
                > So, what we need here is a bureaucratic organization chart :)
                > Mordor, being horrendously evil, is bound to have a bureaucracy :)

                You say that in jest, but you strike closer to the mark than you
                realize. Mordor did indeed have a bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is one
                of those features of human society which rely upon what Tolkien
                called "The Machine". The Machine is the coercion we result to when
                we want to have our way, whether it be with the landscape (such as
                cutting down trees, dredging rivers, etc.) or with people (by
                organizing them, and assigning them numbers, etc.).

                When Frodo and Sam get caught up with the marching Orcs in Mordor,
                one of the sergeants demands to know their numbers. Presumably,
                Sauron's armies had some sort of serial number system (and I suppose
                one could infer from that one passage that Tolkien may have detested
                the dehumanization that modern armies inflict upon their recruits).

                I think the concept of The Machine is fascinating, and is one of the
                least understood themes in Tolkien's book. Christopher Tolkien
                explains it very eloquently in "JRRT: A Film Portrait", which was
                produced by the Tolkien Trust in 1992 and includes interviews with
                the surviving Tolkien children, Tom Shippey, Verlyn Flieger, and
                Queen Margrethe of Denmark.
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