- The Skirmish at Weathertop serves as an impactful introduction to the stakes and fantasy of The Lord of the Rings, showing that even main characters are not always safe.
- Despite not featuring fan-favorite characters, this battle is beloved by fans because it showcases the emergence of Aragorn and solidifies the Nazgul as terrifying threats.
- Sauron wanted Frodo delivered to him either alive or under his control, as evidenced by the Orcs’ kidnapping of Merry and Pippin. Aragorn intervenes and saves Frodo from the Nazgul, aided later by Elf Arwen.
While there are many exciting battles during The Lord Of The Rings series, the first true battle during the modern events of the story is the Skirmish at Weathertop. The fight was a great way to introduce newcomers to the stakes and fantasy involved in The Lord Of The Rings, all while showing that not even the main characters were always going to be safe. It’s a darker and shorter battle than many of the others, but it is a great taste of things to come.
Despite this battle not including many fan-favorite characters, it is still one that a lot of fans of the series love. A major reason for this might be that the skirmish is one of the first truly big moments for Aragorn, but it might also be that it solidifies the Nazgul as a terrifying threat. Most people will know of the Skirmish at Weathertop, but there is much more to know than just what is seen on screen.
What Was The Skirmish At Weathertop?
The Skirmish at Weathertop was a battle between Frodo and his group, and the Nazgul who’d been hunting them to find the One Ring. On October 6th, TA 3018, a group of Nazgul descended upon the group of helpless hobbits, though things wouldn’t end up going their way. Unfortunately, the Hobbits might have been able to go undetected a bit longer had they not decided to light a fire, something that acted as a kind of beacon to their location for any creatures that may have been seeking the ring. After hearing the shrieks of the Nazgul, the Hobbits began to panic as they were now trapped on Weathertop Hill.
Aragorn had left the Hobbits to look around, believing the group was safe, something that proved to be a serious mistake. In no time at all, the Nazgul were on top of the Hobbits, and while Merry, Pippin, and Sam all tried to defend Frodo, they were all tossed aside. With Frodo powerless to resist the force of five Nazguls, he turned to the One Ring for any kind of protection, though unfortunately, nothing could keep Frodo safe from the wrath of the shrouded enemies.
Why Didn’t The Nazgul Kill Frodo?
Considering the Nazgul had Frodo right where they wanted him and only gave him an initially non-fatal stab, some people might be confused as to why the Nazgul didn’t just kill the ring bearer then and there. While it’s not plainly spelled out anywhere, one of the main reasons is likely that the Nazgul were commanded to capture Frodo without taking the ring themselves. Additionally, it is also likely that the plan was to allow Frodo to succumb to the wound he’d suffered, thus turning the Hobbit into a wraith who’d be willing to do the bidding of Sauron and the Nazgul.
More evidence for the idea of the Nazgul simply being interested in capturing or controlling Frodo comes from the kidnapping of Merry and Pippin at the close of The Fellowship Of The Ring. The Orcs were instructed to find the halflings because they knew one of them was likely to be carrying the One Ring. It would have been easy for the Orcs to kill them and search for the ring, but instead, they captured them with the intention to deliver them to Isengard. From this, it seems clear that, for what are likely selfish and untrusting reasons, Sauron wanted the ring bearer delivered directly to him either alive or directly under his control.
Considering the Witch-King is the one who delivered the stab to Frodo with the Morgul-Knife, that only adds to this line of thinking being Sauron’s plan. The Hobbit’s resisted and Frodo even tried to use the power of the ring to flee, so the Nazgul’s brand of violence became the best option. With the Witch-King as one of Sauron’s loyalist followers, the odds of him somehow finding the ability to go against his master’s wishes and taking the ring for himself were relatively low. Unfortunately for the Witch-King, Aragorn was nearby and wasn’t going to let Frodo die.
How Did Frodo Get Away From The Nazgul?
Lucky for all the Hobbits, Aragorn was able to introduce himself to the skirmish, taking the Nazgul by surprise. With his blade in one hand and a torch in the other, Aragorn would battle back the five Nazgul, burning many of them as he fought. Thanks to the flames from the torch, Aragorn was able to force the Nazgul to retreat, but their situation hadn’t improved all that much. The wraiths were still out there, and Frodo was now on a crash course with death.
While it does differ from the novels, the Elf Arwen would arrive to help Frodo survive the damage caused by the Morgul blade. Even though she would ride ahead to get Frodo back to the land of the Elves before he succumbed to his injuries, the Ringwraiths would give chase. Luckily, Arwen is able to pull off some Elven magic to keep the wraiths from continuing their pursuit, and the two eventually made it to the realm of the Elves. Frodo would make a full recovery from his injuries, but that would be far from the final time that the ringbearer would find himself fleeing and hiding from the Ringwraiths.
The Lord Of The Rings is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video
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