LOTR: Can a Man Kill the Witch-King?

LOTR: Can a Man Kill the Witch-King?

The Witch-King of Angmar: A Foe Like No Other

While many villains in The Lord of the Rings trilogy instill fear, none can match the terror inspired by the Witch-King of Angmar. Leading the dreaded Nazgul, the Witch-King’s evil power is often underestimated in the films. However, there has been much debate surrounding the prophecy that no man could kill him.

The Mysterious Death of the Witch-King

In the iconic Battle of the Pelennor Fields, Eowyn, niece of King Theoden, slays the Witch-King. This event led people to believe that the prophecy holds true, but let’s not jump to conclusions. Did the Witch-King possess some magical protection against men? It’s hard to imagine.

Eowyn battling the Witch-King

Eowyn, though brave, alone and facing the mighty Witch-King, was no match for him. But his arrogance became his downfall. Merry, the Hobbit, seized an opportunity to stab him from behind, creating an opening for Eowyn to deliver the final blow. With the Witch-King defeated, the forces of evil were no match for Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli.

Unpacking the Myth

Why was it believed that no man could kill the Witch-King? Well, his reputation preceded him. Even before Eowyn’s triumph, the battle of Fornost turned the Witch-King into a legendary foe. Despite his defeat, he remained feared and managed to escape Earnur, the prince of Gondor, who sought vengeance for the humiliation.

The Witch-King and his hideous beast

Unfortunately, Earnur couldn’t resist the Witch-King’s taunting and challenged him in Minas Morgul. The details of their battle remain unknown, but Earnur was never seen again, likely falling to his terrifying adversary.

Could a Man Have Succeeded?

Here’s the catch: Glorfindel’s prophecy, while captivating, is not a confirmed fact. If we interpret “man” literally, then Merry, a male Hobbit, had a hand in the Witch-King’s demise. The prophecy could also refer specifically to the race of Men in Middle Earth, which would still make it inaccurate since Eowyn, a human, killed him. It’s possible Glorfindel doubted that any of the Men in Middle Earth possessed the power and courage, leaving room for powerful Elves or Dwarves with the right tools.

The Witch-King, a formidable opponent

If we had swapped Eowyn with any random male character, the outcome would likely have been the same. The Witch-King would have been taunted, stabbed by Merry, and vulnerable to any other attack. The key to this victory actually lies in Merry’s enchanted blade, which could break Sauron’s spell and make the Witch-King vulnerable.

Let’s not diminish the courage of Eowyn. She displayed a bravery rarely seen among her peers. No one else was eager to face the Witch-King, but she and Merry were willing to take down this legendary enemy, even if they may not fully understand the details of their triumph.

The Lord of the Rings is now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

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