Why do some Nazgûl thrive when commanded to hunt down their master’s stolen Ring while others falter under pressure? Why do some revel in the responsibility of throwing down their enemy when others wither like fog in strong sunlight?
You might not know it, but nine (count them!) keenly honed success habits keep them hot on the trail. Nazgûl apprentices, here are those nine instinctive habits that the most successful Ringwraiths draw on in their daily unlife to keep the Dark Lord number one. Read and learn.
1) Let your powers combine.
Captain Planet does it. Voltron does it. The Power Rangers too. So take heed: when it matters, ensure you gather under your fell leader so that even the Wise might fear to face you.
2) Wear black. Lots and lots of black.
Black never goes out of style. And the effect is scary as the Dickens when when you loom menacingly into view of your prey just as the light fades.
3) Embrace your hydrophobia!
Never forget that you and water do not get along. At all. In that sense, you might as well be the Wicked Witch-king of the West. Next time you consider fording that tiny creek? Think twice.
4) Don’t put a Ring on it, stick a Morgul Blade in it.
They say if you love it, put a ring on it. But only the Dark Lord may do that. Use a Morgul Blade to express your affection instead. It’s the smart way to ensure your new BFF will stay by your side always and forever!
5) Maintain a ready supply of remounts and robes.
There are few worse humiliations for a Ringwraith than having to crawl back naked and unclothed to your Dark Lord because you went for an impromptu dip and it all went pear-shaped. So for the love of Morgoth, pack extra robes (black, of course) and take a spare horse or an enormous flying raptor thing (or both!) just in case.
6) Let your minions do the dying for you.
Need to destroy the gates of the enemy fortress? Compel your horde of minions to do it for you! Drive them before you like cattle until they fear you more than the enemy’s darts and arrows. Don’t forget to ride to your glorious victory over the crushed, mutilated corpses of friend and foe for additional intimidation.
7) Remember, fear is your chief weapon.
And surprise. And fanatical devotion to The Po… err … Sauron. Anyway, the key point is intimidate your opponents (or your minions) until they give you what you want, or flee in terror.
8) Always stop to smell the roses.
Your sense of smell is even better than a labrador’s or a beagle’s. Only the foolish Nazgûl rush heedlessly ahead. Savour the scents and let your nose guide you to that which the Dark Lord desires.
9) Never reveal your name. Don’t encourage familiarity.
You are one of the Nazgûl, the chief and most-feared servants of the Dark Lord, not a camp counsellor. Be the Nameless Fear. Names are for lesser minions — and, seemingly, Khamûl. Because he just has to be different from everyone else.
Throwback to a post from some years ago, by the very excellent Staffer Demosthenes with help from LurkingLaurie.
Images from PJ’s LOTR via the very excellent FrameCapLib LOTR screecap project; and one from Ralph Bakshi’s LOTR (1978).