HASA Resources

Things of Middle-earth

Morgul-knife of the Witch-king

Type: Weapons

Description:

The knife imbued with evil magic, wielded by the Witch-king of Angmar:
In one hand [the Witch-king] held a long sword, and in the other a knife; both the knife and the hand that held it glowed with a pale light....

A shrill cry rang out in the night; and [Frodo] felt a pain like a dart of poisoned ice pierce his left shoulder.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 11, A Knife in the Dark

'And more deadly to Frodo was this!' He stooped... and lifted up a long thin knife. There was a cold gleam in it. As Strider raised it they saw that near the end its edge was notched and the point was broken off. But even as he held it up in the growing light, they gazed in astonishment, for the blade seemed to melt, and vanished like a smoke in the air, leaving only the hilt in Strider's hand. 'Alas!' he cried. 'It was this accursed knife that gave the wound.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 12, Flight to the Ford

Briefly Strider told of the attack on their camp under Weathertop, and of the deadly knife. He drew out the hilt, which he had kept.... Glorfindel shuddered as he took it, but he looked intently at it.

'There are evil things written on this hilt,' he said; 'though maybe your eyes cannot see them. Keep it.... But be wary, and handle it as little as you may!'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 12, Flight to the Ford

'What would they have done to me?' asked Frodo. 'What were the Riders trying to do?'

'They tried to pierce your heart with a Morgul-knife which remains in the wound. If they had succeeded, you would have become like they are, only weaker and under their command. You would have became a wraith under the dominion of the Dark Lord; and he would have tormented you for trying to keep his Ring....'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 1, Many Meetings

The colour had come back to [Frodo's] face, and... there seemed to be little wrong with him. But to the wizard's eye there was a faint change just a hint as it were of transparency, about him, and especially about the left hand that lay outside upon the coverlet.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 1, Many Meetings

Though [Frodo] had been healed in Rivendell of the knife-stroke, that grim wound had not been without effect. His senses were sharper and more aware of things that could not be seen. One sign of change that he soon had noticed was that he could see more in the dark than any of his companions, save perhaps Gandalf.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 4, A Journey in the Dark

Boromir [(after whom Boromir of the Nine Walkers was later named)] was a great captain, and even the Witch-king feared him. He was... a man strong in body and in will, but he received a Morgul-wound in that war which shortened his days, and he became shrunken with pain and died twelve years 1 after his father.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion: The Stewards


Notes
1 Tolkien does not tell us how Boromir could survive so long with a Morgul-wound; it is possible that either a shard did not break off in the wound, or it was removed immediately.

Contributors: Elena Tiriel 3Jul06, 15Jul06

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