The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


About this entry:

  • Updated 25 August 2003
  • Updates planned: 3

Winged Creatures

Airborne Mounts of the Nazgûl

Fetid black creatures raised by Sauron as flying mounts for his Ringwraiths. That ridden by the Lord of the Nazgûl at the Battle of the Pelennor was described as naked and featherless, with wings of hide like a bat, and a long, sinuous neck. In Ithilien, though, Frodo compared these beasts to giant carrion birds, a comparison that doesn't appear to match the other more detailed description. Perhaps he was describing their wheeling, watchful flight, rather than the appearance of the Creatures themselves.

Whatever the nature of the Winged Creatures, it seems that those used by the Nazgûl were the last of their kind in Middle-earth, and had been grown to an unnatural size by Sauron. Despite their size, they were not supernatural beings, but living creatures, and they could be hurt and slain: Legolas shot one with an arrow on the River Anduin, and Éowyn slew another on the Pelennor Fields. The last of the Winged Creatures perished in Mordor, where they were caught with their masters in the erupting fires of Mount Doom.

See also...


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

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 2003. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.