The Witch King of Angmar ~ Lord of the Nazgûl
“Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me! Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey!”
“This was no Orc-chieftain or brigand that led the assault on Gondor. He was still in command, wielding great powers.
King, Ringwraith, Lord of the Nazgûl, he had many weapons.”
The Lord of the Nazgûl… the leader of the Nine Ringwraiths of Mordor. Once a great king of men, a Black Númenórean and a dark sorcerer, who was snared by his hunger for power. He was given the most powerful of the Nine Rings gifted to the race of men, by Sauron the Deceiver and so fell into Shadow. He became a slave to the will of Sauron, and his fate was tied to that of the Dark Lord. He was the Lord of the Nazgûl and ever after the Dark Wraith-king did the bidding of his master and fear was ever his greatest weapon.
In the the fall of 3018 of the Third Age of Middle-earth, he lead the Nazgûl to the far reaches of the west in an uncouth land named Shire. Dressed as riders in black, the nine Ringwraiths hunted the one who dared withhold the One Ring of power from their master. The mission as to find the Ring, and kill the one who carried it.
Here is the first meeting of one of the Black Riders and Frodo, who was sent to hunt for him by the Witch-king!
“Round the corner came a black horse, no hobbit pony but a full-sized horse; and on it sat a large man, who seemed to crouch in the saddle, wrapped in a great black cloak and hood, so that only his boots in the high stirrups showed below; his face was shadowed and invisible.
When it reached the tree and was level with Frodo the horse stopped. The riding figure sat quite still with its head bowed, as if listening. From inside the hood came a noise as of someone sniffing to catch an elusive sent; the head turned from side to side of the road.”
From The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in the chapter ‘Three is Company’
Four of the Nazgûl, led by their dark captain descend upon the dell below Weathertop, believing their prey to be defenseless and alone on the wild. They felt the power of the one drawing them closer to their prize. The witch-king held a Morgul knife within the folds of his cloak and fear emanated from him like a rising shadow.
“Over the lip of the little dell, on the side away from the hill, they felt, rather than saw, a shadow rise, one shadow or more than one. They strained their eyes, and the shadows seemed to grow. Soon there could be no doubt; three or four tall black figures were standing there on the slope, looking down on them.
The third figure was taller then the others; his hair was long and gleaming and on his helm was a crown. In one hand he held a long sword, and in the other a knife; both the knife and the hand that held it glowed with a pale light. He sprang forward and bore down on Frodo.”
From The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in the chapter ‘A Knife in the Dark’
Gandalf confronts the Lord of the Nazgûl at the broken gate of Minas Tirith. They had met before, upon the ruins of Amon Sul on Weathertop, but now the Witch-king, so near to the power of Mordor had grown in strength and the city was ready to be taken.
“In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl. A great black shape against the fires beyond he loomed up, grown to a vast menace of despair. In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl, under the archway that no enemy ever yet had passed, and all fled before his face.
All save one. There waiting silent and still in the space before the Gate, sat Gandalf upon Shadowfax. Shadowfax who alone among the free horses of the earth endured the terror, unmoving, steadfast as a graven image in Rath Dinen.
‘You cannot enter here,’ said Gandalf, and huge shadow halted. ‘Go back to the abyss prepared for you! Go back! Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your Master. Go!’
The Black Rider flung back his hood, and behold! he had a kingly crown; and yet upon no head visible was it set. The red fires shone between it and the mantled shoulders vast and dark. From a mouth unseen came a deadly laughter.
‘Old fool!’ he said. ‘Old fool this is my hour! Do you not know Death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain!’ And with that he lifted high his sword and flames ran down the blade.”
From The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in the chapter ‘The Siege of Gondor’
The Witch-king landed upon his winged steed amid the Battle of the Pelennor Fields and the fell beast screamed, its wings beat the air with a foul stench. Upon it sat a shape black mantled and filled with dark menace. It intended to kill this horse master who dared ride into battle before against him, who all other feared.