The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Extant during the War of the Ring: he was present at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields on 15 March III 3019
Race
Unknown1
Pronunciation
go'thmog
Meaning
Uncertain2
Titles

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 6 March 2004
  • This entry is complete
Encyclopedia of Arda Timeline
Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond

Lieutenant to the Lord of the Nazgûl at the Battle of the Pelennor - he took command of the forces of Minas Morgul after the loss of his lord.

Almost nothing is known about Gothmog - in fact, it isn't even possible to say what race of beings he belonged to (see note 1 below). His only recorded action was at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, following the loss of his master: in response to the arrival of the Rohirrim, he called his army's reserve out of Osgiliath and into the main battle. That aside, the details of Gothmog's nature and role must remain in the realms of speculation.


Notes

1

Gothmog is mentioned precisely once in The Lord of the Rings, and we're given absolutely no clues about his race. As second-in-command to the Lord of the Nazgûl himself, he clearly had very great authority over Sauron's forces, and this has led some to suggest that Gothmog was also one of the Nazgûl. This is by no means impossible, but it is notable that Frodo and Sam, who saw the Witch-king lead his armies from Minas Morgul, only observed one Nazgûl leading the host.

Others have speculated that Gothmog might have been a Man. We know that the Lieutenant of Barad-dûr was a Man (a descendant of the Black Númenóreans), so it seems perfectly plausible that the Lieutenant of Morgul might come from the same race. What's more, the Witch-king's companions, as seen by Frodo and Sam, do seem to have been Men.

The idea of Gothmog being an Orc seems rather less likely, but even that possibility cannot be dismissed. Ultimately, there's no hard evidence about Gothmog's race.

2

The name Gothmog was originally given to a mighty Balrog of the Elder Days, one of the greatest servants of Morgoth the first Dark Lord. Its meaning is unclear, and several possibilities exist, such as 'Dread Enforcer', 'Voice of Morgoth' or 'Black Master'. For more information on this topic, see the entry for the original Gothmog.

For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1999, 2001, 2004. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.