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John Howe - Shagrat.jpg
"Shagrat" by John Howe
Biographical Information
LocationTower of Cirith Ungol
Death17 March T.A. 3019
Notable forCapturing Frodo
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Shagrat

Shagrat was an Uruk commanding the garrison of the Tower of Cirith Ungol during the War of the Ring.

[edit] History

During a patrol to Shelob's Lair, Shagrat's company encountered a troop of Orcs from Minas Morgul led by Gorbag. The two did not get along, but before things escalated, they noted something out of place: a strange small creature, all wound up in Shelob's webs. The discovery of what appeared to be an undersized Elf led the two commanders to compare their notes; they concluded that there must have been another nearby. But they could not find this "great Elf warrior".

Turmoil rose again amongst the group when Gorbag and Shagrat disagreed with what they had to do with the prisoner. Shagrat's orders from above were simple; all personal effects were to be sent to Barad-dûr. Shagrat did not trust many of his own troops, and none of Gorbag's, so he locked up the prisoner in the top chamber of the Tower of Cirith Ungol.[1]

Gorbag coveted the Mithril shirt Frodo wore, and attempted to usurp Shagrat's rule but lost to Shagrat's superior numbers. Soon, Gorbag's faction was pressed back. Shagrat eventually killed Gorbag, and ran off to Sauron with the prisoner's belongings.[2] He did not reach Barad-dûr until four days later[source?] 17 March[3]; Sauron killed him after he delivered the news of intruders.[4]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

1981: The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series):

Chris Fairbank played Shagrat. He is overheard by Sam discussing Shelob with Gorbag, and then Sam encounters him again on the stairs in the Tower of Cirith Ungol.

1989: Crack of Doom Software Adventure

Shagrat is simply referred to in-game as a "large angry Orc". He is carrying a long red knife and a black bundle. He can be killed by Sam.

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:

Peter Tait played Shagrat. In this adaptation, it is Shagrat and not Gorbag who covets the mithril shirt and starts the fight. In the Extended Edition, he is shown escaping with the mithril shirt, which is then presented later by the Mouth of Sauron to the Captains of the West. It is unclear if this means Shagrat had changed his mind and brought the shirt to Barad-dûr, or if he was waylaid by Orcs loyal to Sauron during his escape, and the shirt was confiscated.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Choices of Master Samwise"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Tower of Cirith Ungol"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Time-scheme for The Lord of the Rings" (Marquette MSS 4/2/18) in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, page 609