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Black Breath

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The [[Nazgûl]] were surrounded by an aura of terror, which affected all living creatures; their breath (called the Black Breath) was poisonous, and their cries caused terror and despair in all who heard them.  The three primary victims mentioned in [[The Lord of the Rings]] were [[Faramir son of Denethor II|Faramir]], [[Meriadoc Brandybuck]], and [[Éowyn]].  It was dispelled from them by [[Aragorn II|Elessar Telcontar]] at his return with [[Athelas]], proving him to be the heir of the throne of [[Gondor]].
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{{quote|When the black breath blows</br>and death's shadow grows</br>and all lights pass,</br>come athelas! come athelas!</br>Life to the dying</br>In the king's hand lying!''|The herb-master in the [[Houses of Healing]], quoting "doggerel" spoken by [[Ioreth]]<ref name="House">{{RK|V8}}</ref>}}
  
No mention was made of the Black Breath in [[Peter Jackson]]'s [[Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings|film version.]]
 
  
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The '''Black Breath''' was a weapon used by the [[Nazgûl]].  The Ringwraiths' breath was poisonous and could overpower those affected by it.
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==History==
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In the evening of [[29 September]] {{TA|3018}}<ref name="Great">{{App|Great}}</ref> [[Meriadoc Brandybuck]] left the [[Prancing Pony]] and went for a stroll in [[Bree]].  He saw and followed (or was drawn by) a dark shadow, but then fell unconscious.  [[Aragorn|Strider]] stated that Merry had been overcome by the Black Breath.<ref>{{FR|I10}}</ref>
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In the last retreat before the city of [[Minas Tirith]] was besieged, on [[13 March]] {{TA|3019|n}},<ref name="Great"/> [[Faramir]] was struck by a dart shot by one of the flying Nazgûl, which rendered him unconscious.<ref>{{RK|V4}}</ref>  After the [[Battle of Pelennor Fields]], on [[15 March]] {{TA|3019|n}},<ref name="Great"/> Aragorn came to the [[Houses of Healing]] and recognized that Faramir was suffering from the Black Breath.  Aragorn used ''[[athelas]]'' to cure Faramir, which led to the rapidly spread news that the King had returned.
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Earlier, it appears that both Merry and [[Éowyn]] were exposed to the Black Breath when they fought the [[Witch-king]].  [[Aragorn]], after treating Faramir, also aided these two with ''athelas''.<ref name="House"/>
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{{references}}
 
[[Category: Nazgûl]]
 
[[Category: Nazgûl]]
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[[de:Schwarzer Anhauch]]
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[[fi:Musta Hengitys]]

Revision as of 06:08, 7 April 2012

"When the black breath blows
and death's shadow grows
and all lights pass,
come athelas! come athelas!
Life to the dying
In the king's hand lying!''
"
― The herb-master in the Houses of Healing, quoting "doggerel" spoken by Ioreth[1]


The Black Breath was a weapon used by the Nazgûl. The Ringwraiths' breath was poisonous and could overpower those affected by it.

History

In the evening of 29 September T.A. 3018[2] Meriadoc Brandybuck left the Prancing Pony and went for a stroll in Bree. He saw and followed (or was drawn by) a dark shadow, but then fell unconscious. Strider stated that Merry had been overcome by the Black Breath.[3]

In the last retreat before the city of Minas Tirith was besieged, on 13 March 3019,[2] Faramir was struck by a dart shot by one of the flying Nazgûl, which rendered him unconscious.[4] After the Battle of Pelennor Fields, on 15 March 3019,[2] Aragorn came to the Houses of Healing and recognized that Faramir was suffering from the Black Breath. Aragorn used athelas to cure Faramir, which led to the rapidly spread news that the King had returned.

Earlier, it appears that both Merry and Éowyn were exposed to the Black Breath when they fought the Witch-king. Aragorn, after treating Faramir, also aided these two with athelas.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Houses of Healing"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Strider"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Siege of Gondor"