A prophecy

"He will not return to this land. Far off yet is his doom, and not by the hand of a man will he fall." —Glorfindel, The Return of the King, Appendix A (iv)

has been interpeted by many to mean "no man" could kill the Witch King of Angmar.

I was thinking about the battle on Weathertop when Strider fought the Nazgul with sword and fire to save Frodo. I'm pretty sure there were a few Nazgul missing during the attack, and I'm not positive that the Witch King himself was there, but it made me wonder if any of the other eight Wraiths could be destroyed by man? Strider, with all of his skills, didn't kill a single one.

  • 1
    The Witch-King was indeed there. He was the one who stabbed Frodo on Weathertop.
    – The Fallen
    Nov 16 '12 at 15:50

Though the Ringwraiths were among the greatest of Sauron's servants; they also had certain weaknesses that could be used against them. One of these was daylight itself. With the exception of the Witch-King of Angmar, all of them (especially Khamûl) could not operate as well under the Sun and generally feared it. It can be seen that all nine Nazgul were attacking Minas Tirith, this was because the dark clouds of Sauron covered most of the sunlight.

A Nazgûl set on fire, one of its few weaknesses. Added by Souromon They could also not cross running water unless they had to, although the only evidence of this was at Bruinen, and the water there was enhanced with Elven magic. Their greatest weakness was apparently fire. At Weathertop, Aragorn used fire to drive the Ringwraiths away from Frodo. At the Ford of Bruinen, Aragorn and the hobbits that accompanied Frodo used it again to assist Glorfindel and drive the Ringwraiths into the raging water.

Even the Witch-King feared fire; though it's possible it had less of an effect on him over the other eight Nazgûl. If an enemy was strong, enough so to resist fear, then the Ringwraiths, except the Witch-King, had little real power over them individually.


Meriadoc stabbed the Witch King in the leg from behind with the Barrow-blade. Injured, the Witch King screamed in pain and Éowyn stabbed her sword into his crown and body, thus killing the lord of the Nazgûl and fulfilling the prophecy of Glorfindel.


[T]the Ring was cast into the fires of Mount Doom [...]. Sauron was immediately defeated by the loss of the Ring, Mount Doom underwent a gigantic volcanic eruption and all eight Nazgûl were destroyed, their form and power dissipating forever.

Nazgul article on Lord of the Rings Wikia.

The only Nazgul that was reported to have been killed was the Witch King. While it's likely that the other Nazgul could be killed by women, it's not clear if there are other means available to kill the Witch King and the other Nazgul (even though there were several ways to cause them pain).

  • 1
    This assembled facts really well, but didn't answer the question. Too much speculation.
    – Adele C
    Nov 16 '12 at 6:16
  • 1
    It was a speculative question with not much of a clear answer based on the known facts.
    – Force Flow
    Nov 16 '12 at 15:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.