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Re: [mythsoc] A stupid question

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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