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Dwimmerlaik was a name given to Lord of the Nazgûl by Éowyn (as Dernhelm) when she confronted him during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.[1]

By extension, it is possible that Dwimmerlaik is how the Rohirrim called the Wraiths or rumors of the Nazgûl in general.[source?]


The word dwimmerlaik is said to mean "work of necromancy, spectre" in the language of Rohan.[2]

Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond have suggested that dwimmerlaik derives from Middle English dweomer, Old English (gwe)dwimor, -er ("illusion, phantom") + Middle English -layk, -laik ("play").[3] See also Dwimordene, Dwimorberg.

It is not clear if the word refers to a creature of the Rohanese folklore (like the holbytlan), specifically a phantom; therefore when Éowyn confronted the Witch-King she likely rather identified him with one, than coining the word on that moment.

David Day in A Tolkien Bestiary considered that a Dwimmerlaik is any creature of Rohanese superstitious folklore that includes Elves and Ents. However, other than the appearance of the root dwimor- to describe Lothlórien, there is no indication in Tolkien's writings that the word pre-existed or that it was used for other races.[4]

See also


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "Index"
  3. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 562