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Perhaps dating back to the capture of Minas Morgul in III 2002;1 Minas Morgul was destroyed after the War of the Ring of III 3019
Morgul is pronounced 'mo'rgool'
Morgul means 'black sorcery', here used as a shortening of Minas Morgul, the 'tower of black sorcery'
Title of
Gothmog, and likely other previous holders of the same rank


About this entry:

  • Updated 25 December 2022
  • This entry is complete

Lieutenant of Morgul

The title of Gothmog

The title used of the second in command to the Lord of the Nazgûl, a rank held at the time of the War of the Ring by a being of unidentified kind named Gothmog. Gothmog might possibly have been one of the lesser Nazgûl or, perhaps rather more likely, a Man or an Orc (the holder of the equivalent Lieutenancy in Barad-dûr was known to be a Man, the so-called Mouth of Sauron).

During the War of the Ring, the Lieutenant of Morgul marched with his master and the armies of Minas Morgul to the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, and after the Lord of the Nazgûl was slain, his Lieutenant took command of the forces of Mordor. Gothmog responded to the arrival of the Rohirrim in the field by sending in his reserve of Easterlings, Variags and Haradrim, who had been awaiting the order among the ruins of Osgiliath.

Though the Lieutenant of Morgul had the advantage of numbers in the battle, he was nonetheless defeated by the combined forces of Gondor and the Rohirrim. Of Gothmog's fate we are told nothing. Most of his force were slain on the Pelennor Fields, but some few escaped back across Anduin, so potentially the last Lieutenant of Morgul may have survived the defeat and escaped back to Minas Morgul.



We only know of a single Lieutenant of Morgul, Gothmog, who held the rank during the War of the Ring. We can therefore only be absolutely sure that a Lieutenant existed at the end of the Third Age, but it seems reasonable to assume that there were other Lieutenants dating back into history. The earliest possible date for a Lieutenant of Morgul to have existed was III 2002, the year in which the Nazgûl captured Minas Ithil and made it their own city of Minas Morgul.


We know that Gothmog held the position of Lieutenant during the War of the Ring, but we're never told what kind of being Gothmog was. Potentially he might have been one of the Nazgûl and, as an undying servant of the Ring, might therefore have held the rank since Minas Morgul was captured. There are, however, reasons to think this unlikely. More plausibly Gothmog might have been a Man (especially a Black Númenórean like the Mouth of Sauron) or an Orc. Of course, if the rank of Lieutenant was held by a mortal being like this, there is no reason the race of its holder would need to be fixed: over the history of Minas Morgul, an Orc Lieutenant might at times have been succeeded by a Man, or vice versa.

See also...



About this entry:

  • Updated 25 December 2022
  • This entry is complete

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