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Khamûl was the second of the nine Ringwraiths, second only to the Witch-king himself. He was called Sauron's lieutenant, Shadow of the East, and the Black Easterling. He was a king of Easterlings before being given one of the Nine Rings. He was the only Ringwraith whose name was given by Tolkien.

Khamûl was the Wraith who pursued the Hobbits to Bucklebury Ferry in the Shire, and who asked Hamfast Gamgee for "Baggins" the day after Frodo Baggins had left Hobbiton. He commanded the fortress of Dol Guldur after Sauron's return to Mordor. Following the destruction of the One Ring, Khamûl perished with the rest of the Ringwraiths.