1. AUTHOR'S NOTES--The Mystery Man
Pronunciation: Ariashal is pronounced ARRA-Shawl; the i is silent.
The names of the Kings of Rhudaur and Cardolan were never set down by Tolkien; all the names herein are based on those of other Dunedain.
Imrahil and Adrahil are fairly common Numenorean names. Zimraphel was the name of the last Numenorean Queen; her name means "lover of jewels".
Khamul is the only Nazgul whose name was specifically set down by Tolkien. However, there are three other named individuals who are likely candidates: Gothmog, Herumor, and Fuinor. Gothmog is identified in ROTK as the Lieutenant of Minas Morgul; therefore he is likely to be a Nazgul, as it is highly unlikely that anyone else would be entrusted with so important a position.
Herumor (dark lord ) and Fuinor (night/dark/shadow lord) are identified as two of Sauon's Numenorean lieutenants in the SA. Both are credited with bringing their Southern kingdoms into the cult of Sauron. For them to do so, they would have to be very powerful in their kingdoms, if not the actual rulers; and knowing that Sauron corrupted kings, it is again likely that these two are also Nazgul.
As for the actual identity of the Witch-King himself, there are many theories. Without knowing anything concrete, we can assume he was Numenorean; we can also assume he was neither of the named lieutenants. A careful reading of certain chapters of this story will divulge enough clues for the curious reader to recognize his original name.
The man known as the Witch-King ruled Angmar for over 600 years. In that time, no one-- not the Istari, not the Elves-- realized that he was indeed the Lord of the Nazgul. During that same time frame, they recognised that Dol Guldur was inhabited by a "necromancer" and some Nazgul. But they never seem to have connected the king at Carn Dum with the evil in Mirkwood.
Obviously the Witch-King went to great lengths to hide his identity. It's not just that Carn Dum is at the ends of Middle Earth; spies were everywhere, and if he had behaved in a manner that suggested he was anything other than a normal man, someone would have noticed, and at least brought it to the attention of the Elves and Istari. But until the Battle of Fornost in TA 1975, where he was defeated by the combined forces of Elves and men, no one knew exactly who--or what--he was.
His neighbors considered him evil, although Rhudaur was only too willing to make an alliance with him. They would not have done so willingly if they had known that they were dealing with the head Nazgul. Indeed, they would have quickly allied themselves with Cardolan against the greater threat. That they did not unite with their sister kingdom, but in fact fought Cardolan at every turn, makes it clear that they believed they were joined with a regular man.
What made them think that? They must have treated him in the same manner as they would any other enemy king, and such treatment must have been reciprocal. The usual exchanges must have taken place--gifts, embassies, letters, marriages.
That no one connected Dol Guldur with Carn Dum is intriguing. Perhaps there was an elaborate message system that allowed all correspondence to go undetected for centuries. We know that, without the Ruling Ring, Sauron's control over his minions was diminished. He could not reach them except by usual, non-psychic methods. But no evidence for such contact was ever found.
At this point of the Third Age, the Nazgul still held their rings. The Witch-King was the most independant, even when Sauron held his ring; the textual evidence, while sketchy, indicates that he was not a mindless slave. It is quite possible that he had no love for Sauron, resented his entrapment, and used Sauron's relative weakness as an excuse to strike out on his own.
We know that he took the fall of Angmar personally--not as a general of Sauron, but as the defeated ruler of his own kingdom. Perhaps Angmar was not so much a tribute to Sauron as an act of defiance.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.