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Gothmog (Lieutenant of Morgul)

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The age of Men is over. The time of the Orc has come.
~ Gothmog
Release the prisoners to them.
~ Gothmog to Guritz and the Orc Amry

Gothmog is the quinary antagonist of Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

He is portrayed by Lawrence Makoare, who also portrays Lurtz, the Witch-King of Angmar and Bolg.

Biography

Gothmog was the lieutenant of the Witch-King of Angmar in the Third Age, from Minas Morgul, notably at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. He assumed control of all 7,000 or so Orcs at that battle after the Witch-king was slain by Eowyn and Merry. Gothmog's race is unknown in the books, but he is assumed in all media to be an Orc or related person. He is mentioned only once in The Lord of the Rings, at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, following the loss of his master: in response to the arrival of the Rohirrim, he called his army's reserve out of Osgiliath and into the main battle, and brought in Easterlings, Southrons, Variags, and troll-men "into the fray".

Portrayal in Adaptations

In Peter Jackson's 2003 film The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Gothmog is portrayed as a deformed Morannon orc-general with a crippled left arm, and his role is brought out more than his single mention in the 3rd book in effect playing the role of main antagonist alongside Sauron, The Witch King, Gollum and Shelob. 

Although his name was never spoken aloud in the film, officially-licensed merchandise confirms that this character is meant to represent the same Gothmog mentioned in the novel. He is first seen commanding the Orcs crossing the Anduin river to the western half of Osgiliath, which was still held by Men. Gothmog orders the first shot fired in the Battle of Osgiliath. In the battle, he sends that boat-legion  of orcs across the Anduin river by boat, while after Faramir's retreat a second legion enters the city from Minas Morgul via the repaired bridge over the Anduin in Osgiliath which the orcs dominating the eastern half of the city had rebuilt.

The troops of Gondor retreated, leaving behind their wounded, one of whom is Madril, the badly-wounded captain of the Ithilien rangers, whom Gothmog kills with another orc underling's spear, proclaiming to his troops triumphantly that now Orcs would rise to dominance over Men. The Witch-King, arrived from Minas Morgul, then instructs him to assault Minas Tirith using all four legions there at his disposal. Gothmog asks about Gandalf but the Witch-King replies that he will break him.

When Faramir rides out with a small band of Gondor Knights on horseback, attempting to retake the city, Gothmog orders his archers to fire a volley from the ruins of Osgiliath which kill the knights save Faramir. Once his forces arrive on the Pelennor Fields, he orders the heads of the dead soldiers in Osgiliath to be launched off the catapults, to instill fear into the hearts of Gondor's soldiers and to lower their morale.

Gothmog then begins directing the main ground operations, from catapults to siege-towers. He becomes enraged when the doors into the city won't budge, ordering Grond to be brought forth to smash it down. Gothmog is almost hit at one point by a huge rock fired at him by one of Gondor's many trebuchets, but it misses him by about a foot, prompting him to mock his opponents by spitting on it. His lieutenants are Guritz, with the skull on his helmet, who seemed to be the siege commander, and Murgash, a Black Uruk.

Gothmog's death

Gothmog's death in the extended edition of The Return of the King

In the unextended theatrical release, Gothmog's fate is not revealed, as he is last seen backing away from the charging Rohirrim. In the Extended Edition, he is shown to have survived the onslaught and duels Éowyn, who gains the upper hand and wounds his leg. Gothmog collapses in pain moments before the Witch-king arrives on the scene of the battle. Éowyn succeeds in destroying the Witch-king, but is injured in the process and crawls to Merry.

At this point, Gothmog rises, furious for revenge, and uses an axe for support as he limps towards her. As he approaches, he discards the axe and picks up a mace, preparing to kill Éowyn once and for all. Aragorn, unaware that he is saving anyone (or that Gothmog is the Orc Commander), rushes in and chops off Gothmog's arm. Gimli rushes in from behind and strikes Gothmog in the torso with his axe, before Aragorn delivers the final blow to his back, finishing him off.

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