In the Second Age, the Men of the White Mountains broke their oath to Isildur. This crime combined by Isildur's curse turned the Oathbreakers into shades who haunted the mountains until the Third Age.
In the Third Age, it was rumoured that the wraith of Helm Hammerhand haunted the enemies of Rohan, killing those who felt fear. Aragorn II, in the capacity of the Heir of Isildur, released the Oathbreakers from their curse in return for their aid at Pelargir.
The most famous of the wraiths were the Ringwraiths, Men ensnared by Sauron's Nine Rings. Some of the victims of the Ringwraiths, too, could be transformed into wraiths, albeit lesser and under their command (although no such being is known to have existed). This nearly happened to Frodo Baggins, after having been stabbed by the Morgul blade of the Witch-king.
 Etymology and Names
 In the Legendarium
 Other versions of the legendarium
 Portrayal in Adaptations
1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:
- The wraith Gaurithoth, an undead Númenórean lieutenant, serves the Witch-king and haunts a burial mound near the Blue Mountains.
- Wraiths are the most common of the three type of ghosts (the other being phantoms and wights). The wraith is without a physical, tangible form, and consists only of the soul of a person wishing to fulfil an evil goal after his or her death.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Knife in the Dark"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Many Meetings"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beren and Lúthien"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Muster of Rohan"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The House of Eorl"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Last Debate"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, passim
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 11
- ↑ Helge Fauskanger, "Orkish and the Black Speech: Base Language for Base Purposes" at Ardalambion (accessed 27 December 2010)
- ↑ Douglas Harper, "wraith" at Online Etymology Dictionary (accessed 26 December 2010)
- ↑ Peter Gilliver, Edmund Weiner and Jeremy Marshall, The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary, p. 223
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Making of Appendix A": (ii) "The Tale of Aragorn an Arwen", p. 267
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Return of the Shadow, "The First Phase: III. Of Gollum and the Ring", p. 78
- ↑ Jessica Ney (ed.; 1990), Angus McBride's Characters of Middle-earth (#8007), pp. 38-39
- ↑ Scott Bennie, Mike Mearls, Steve Miller, Aaron Rosenberg, Chris Seeman, Owen Seyler, and George Strayton (2003), Fell Beasts and Wondrous Magic, pp. 25-27