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  • Updated 8 March 2020
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Second Chief

A title of the Ringwraith Khamûl

The Nine Ringwraiths were led by the dread being known as the Lord or Chieftain of the Nazgûl. Beneath this Lord was the Second Chief, who is notable as the only one of the Nazgûl for whom we have a name: Khamûl, also called the Black Easterling. Like the other Nazgûl, Khamûl was ensnared by Sauron during the later Second Age and bound to his will through the power of one of the Nine Rings.

We know little of the Second Chief's activities before the War of the Ring, but he would have had an important part to play in the Dark Lord's plans. During a long period of the Third Age, from about III 1300 to III 1975, the Lord of the Nazgûl was ruling as the Witch-king of Angmar in the far North, and through this stretch of nearly seven centuries the Second Chief would effectively have been the leader of the remaining Nazgûl.

Soon after the Witch-king's return from the North, the Nazgûl captured Minas Ithil on the borders of Mordor, and they based themselves in that city (soon renamed Minas Morgul) until the War of the Ring at the end of the Third Age. During that War, Khamûl the Second Chief was briefly given command of Dol Guldur after Sauron's departure from that stronghold. He later joined the other Nazgûl in the hunt for the Ring, a hunt that would take him to the Land of the Halflings far to the North. It was the Second Chief who pursued Frodo Baggins and his companions to Bucklebury Ferry, where they escaped him by crossing the waters of the Brandywine.

Khamûl was with the other Nazgûl when they wounded Frodo on Weathertop, and also when their pursuit was ultimately foiled at the Ford of Rivendell. Returning to Minas Morgul, the Nazgûl served their master in Mordor, and were granted the use of Winged Creatures as mounts. The Second Chief was with the other Ringwraiths when Frodo claimed the One Ring for himself, and raced to capture the Hobbit and the Ring for their master. As they flew across Mordor, the Ring went into the Fire of Doom and Orodruin burst into flame. In the conflagration that followed, the Second Chief and his companions were destroyed, after a lifetime stretched by the Nine Rings across more than four thousand years.


See also...

The Black Easterling

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About this entry:

  • Updated 8 March 2020
  • Updates planned: 1

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