Hail and well met friends!
Last week we left off with the short lived seat of power the Witchking had over over Fornost, and the attack from Earnur that left Angmar leaderless after the Witchking fled.
Having ruined the Dunedain kingdoms in Eriador, the Witchking returned to Mordor. Although Sauron was still hiding in Dol Guldur, the other eight Nazgul rallied around the Witchking. Together, the nine of them rebuilt their master’s power in Mordor, gathering huge Orc hordes. In the year 2000 they rose out of Mordor and began attacking Gondor, which was recovered from the Great Plague but devastated by the Wainriders. Two years later they captured Minas Ithil, and took the place for their own. It became known as Minas Morgul and its citadel the Tower of Witchcraft and remained a place of great evil for centuries thereafter.
In the year 2043, King Earnil the II of Gondor passed away and his son Earnur, the Witchking’s old enemy, inherited the throne. Upon his coronation, the Witchking challenged him to combat, but Earnur refused. However, seven years later the Witchking challenged him again—and Earnur accepted. The Gondorian King rode out of Minas Tirith to fight the Witchking at Minas Morgul. He entered the city’s gates and was never seen again, thus ending the reign of the Gondorian Kings and beginning the rule of the Stewards of Gondor. In the year 2063 the Watchful Peace began when Sauron fled Dol Guldur and hid in the East, and the Nazgul remained quiet in Minas Morgul.
Almost 400 years had passed when The Watchful Peace ended as Sauron returned to Dol Guldur and in 2475 the Witchking led hordes of Orcs and Haradrim against Osgiliath and seized its eastern half. The city was ruined, and the great stone bridge linking the east and west banks of the Anduin river was destroyed, dealing a devastating blow to the morale of Gondor.
The Necromancer was finally expelled from Dol Guldur when Gandalf confirmed that he truly was Sauron in disguise. Sauron returned to Mordor and began preparations to find his One Ring. He began the reconstruction of Barad-dur and sent three Ringwraiths to re-capture Dol Guldur. In 3018, with the capture of Gollum, Sauron learned where the land of the Hobbits lay. Unfortunately, Gollum had lied, and the Ringwraiths went to Saruman, who refused to tell them the location of the land of the Halflings. The Witchking chanced upon Grima Wormtongue in Rohan, who, for fear of his life, told the Nazgul where the Shire was. Sauron opened the gates of Minas Morgul and sent forth the Witchking and the other Nazgul disguised as Black Riders to fetch the One Ring.
The Witchking and the other eight Nazgl rode swiftly from Mordor to the lands of the Shire. They continued to search for “Baggins” until they tracked him to Buckland. The Nine Riders raided Buckland but could not find the Ring.
The Witchking led four of the Nazgl to Weathertop where they discovered Frodo, Aragorn, and the other hobbits. They attacked the party and the Witchking wounded Frodo with a Morgul blade. Though successfully driven off by Aragorn, Frodo’s wound threatened to turn him into a wraith like the Nazgul. Elrond of Rivendell sent Glorfindel to guide Frodo to Rivendell where Elrond could heal his wound. Glorfindel’s swift pace to Rivendell lured the Ringwraiths into the Bruinen. Here, Elrond released a Great Flood, with Gandalf giving the waves of the torrent the form of horses. This flood destroyed the physical forms of the Ringwraiths, killed their horses, and sent the Wraiths back to Mordor.
With their return to Mordor, Sauron bestowed upon the Nazgul fell beasts as their new mounts. Sauron used the lesser eight Nazgul for his reconnaissance work and dirty deeds that needed power. The Witch-king, however, returned to Minas Morgul and resumed the role of commander of Sauron’s forces. He then began battles to capture Osgiliath, finally issuing the war command from Morgul with a great army. However, at the bridge over Morgulduin he paused, feeling the Ring nearby.
Stay tuned for next week’s series to find out what happens with the Witchkings command of war, and what happens with the Ring?
Until next time I’m your host Iogro Merrybelly