When it comes to magic spells and prophecies, you really have to be a stickler for detail. Whether it's Macbeth harmed by no man of woman born or Buffy taking out an enemy with no weapon forged, you gotta be a nitpicker about these things. After all, look what happened to the poor Lord of the Nazgul.
Greatest of the dark servants of Sauron, known to Men as the Ringwraiths or Nazgul, the Witch-king is his master's lieutenant in the field and dwells in the cursed fortress of Minas Morgul. When the Dark Lord sends his armies against the free realm of Gondor, the Witch-king falls above them as their chief. The terror he commands and exerts upon the hearts of Men is the Witch-king's greatest weapon, for it has been prophesied that, by the hand of no mortal Man can he be slain. Few can withstand his overwhelming presence in battle.
See? "By the hand of no mortal Man." How many gaping loopholes does that leave? "By the hand?" Okay, kick him to death. "No mortal?" Bring up the King of the Dead! "Man?" Well, that just presents about a thousand possibilities. Attack with elves. Or fire. Or trample him with an Oliphaunt. Or face him with a woman.
Though similar to the previous Ringwraith figures, the Morgul Lord Witch-king is a brand-new sculpt. The basic outfit is still a dark black robe, but ToyBiz didn't just recycle the old body. The armor underneath is new, too, and much more intricate than his underlings'. Of course, he's also got the thorny metal crown that rests on his invisible head.
Actually, that crown isn't the original design - after everything had been shot, Peter Jackson and his team decided that audiences might confuse the Witch-king's crown with Sauron's helmet, even though it hadn't been on screen in two years, so it was changed to the one we saw and the one this figure sports.
The Lord's sleeves are cut high, creating elbow joints in the armor instead of the cloth like all the others have had. Press a button concealed beneath the robes on his back and he raises his right arm above his head; release it, and the arm comes crashing down. Since the button does not protrude beyond the outer surface of the figure's cloak, it doesn't get in the way of the design, and the arm still has a full range of motion despite the action feature.
The Lord of the Nazgul is 8 1/2" tall and moves at the shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, knees and ankles. His 5 3/4" sword hangs at his waist, and he also includes his massive war mace. 1 5/8" wide at its largest point, the 2" mace is attached via plastic chain to a 2" handle and is perfect for beating on your other LotR combatants.
Eventually brought down by the combined efforts of a Hobbit (not a Man, in the species sense) and a woman (not a man, in the obvious sense), the Morgul Lord Witch-King should have read the fine print.
What's your favorite prophetic loophole? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.