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Morgarath

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Morgarath is a major antagonist in the Ranger's Apprentice book series and the main antagonist of the first two books, The Ruins of Gorlan and The Burning Bridge. He also makes an appearance in The Lost Stories. Morgarath is a former baron of the Gorlan Fief of the Kingdom of Araluen, but he conspired against King Duncan and started a rebellion to put the young king down.

Background

Morgarath was the wealthy baron of the powerful Gorlan Fief, one of the primary Fiefs of Araluen. He wasn't satisfied with his position and conspired and rebelled against the young king, Duncan, which resulted in the destruction of Gorlan and the disgrace of himself. During this civil war, he used some strange creatures known as Wargal to fight Araluen's human armies. During the final battle, Halt, a member of the Rangers, led a group of horsemen to Morgarath's location, resulting in the Wargals being scattered and Morgarath retreating to the Mountains of Rain and Night.

The Ruins of Gorlan

During the first book, Morgarath sends small groups of Wargals and sometimes, Kalkara (a much stronger version of the Wargal) to assassinate key leaders and barons of Araluen kingdom, so he could weaken Duncan for the moment he would strike. He sent the two remaining Kalkaras to kill two important barons, and succeeds, he later sends the Kalkara to assassinate Halt for revenge. During the ensuing battle, Halt manages to mortally wound the first Kalkara, who is then killed off by Baron Arald and Sir Rodney, who arrived to help Halt. The other Kalkara manages to neutralize Arald and Rodney, but is killed by Halt's apprentice, Will, who shoots it with a flaming arrow.

The Burning Bridge

After the Kalkara are exterminated, Morgarath directly strikes Araluen with his Wargal army. He starts by invading Araluen's neighbors, the Celts and enslaving them in order to build a bridge from the Mountains of Rain and Night to Celtica, so he could strike both from the west and from the east. The bridge is however, destroyed and burned by Will and his friend Evanlyn (Cassandra, with a fake identity) causing Morgarath to rage and order his Skandian ally Erak Starfollower to capture them. Erak does so, but after seeing Morgarath's madness, decides to flee Araluen and go back to his homeland, with Will and Evanlyn as slaves. Morgarath then leads the attack on the Araluan army and King Duncan and Halt negotiate with Morgarath in order to stop the upcoming bloodbath. Morgarath is convinced by Horace Altman, a young warrior, to duel with him and whoever comes out alive wins the war. During the ensuing fight, Morgarath succeeds in wounding Horace and almost killing him, but after Morgarath delivers a very strong blow, he looses his energy and Horace takes the opportunity to pierce Morgarath's heart with dual daggers. The Wargal army then retreat to the Mountains, and are never heard of again.

The Lost Stories

During the two short stories that serve as prequels, Morgarath is mentioned in Death of a Hero as the leader of the conspiring army. In the other short story, The Hibernian, he appears as the baron of Gorlan and attempts to silently assassinate Halt and Crowley by sending some of his thugs, but fails.

Personality

Morgarath is an ambitious and ruthless man when it comes to achieving his goals, but he is also shown to be an extremely clever and calculating man. He also has no regard or care for human life, as shown when he ruthlessly enslaves all the celts and tries to kill Horace, who was only a young teen. Morgarath is also shown to get nervous sometimes, as shown when Erak tells him that his precious Bridge was burnt.

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