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Morgul blades

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Morgul-blade by Audrey Corman

Morgul blades, or Morgul-knives,[1] were magical, poisoned daggers used by the Nazgûl.

Contents

History

Morgul-knife by Liz Danforth

A victim of a morgul blade was Boromir, the eleventh Steward of Gondor. He eventually died of his wound but did not become a wraith.[2]

At Weathertop, during his journey to Rivendell with the One Ring, the Hobbit Frodo Baggins was stabbed by the Lord of the Nazgûl.[3] A fragment of the blade remained within the wound, working its way toward his heart and threatening to turn Frodo into a wraith.[4] Elrond was able to remove the shard and heal the wound,[4] but each year on the anniversary of his stabbing Frodo became seriously ill. Only his eventual departure to Eldamar offered a permanent cure.[source?]

The Morgul blades disintergrated if anyone but the owner touched or picked up the blade.[source?]

Athelas (or Kingsfoil) was known to slow the poisonous effect of the morgul-blade. This treatment was also effective against other Mordor illnesses, such as the Black Breath.[source?]

Etymology

morgul means "(dark) sorcery" in Sindarin.[5]

Portrayal in adaptations

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

The enchanted Morgul-knife, wielded by the Ringwraiths, strikes as short sword with many additional effects on a character.[6]

1995-8: Middle-earth Collectible Card Game:

"Morgul-knife" modifies a Nazgûl's prowess, and affects the corruption points of a character. "Morgul-blade" is a Permanent-event card, playable by a Ringwraith or a Ringwraith follower.

2001-3: The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy:

Artist John Howe made the original design of the daggers of the Ringwraiths.[7]

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Many Meetings": "They tried to pierce your heart with a Morgul-knife..."
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", "The Stewards"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Knife in the Dark"
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Many Meetings"
  5. Hiswelókë's Sindarin Dictionary (accessed 26 December 2010)
  6. Wolfgang Baur (1994), Treasures of Middle-earth (2nd edition) (#2010), p. 38
  7. Gary Russell, The Art of The Fellowship of the Ring


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