of Ghosts

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King Gothmog 20/Dec/2006 at 02:25 PM
Scavenger of Mordor Points: 1082 Posts: 506 Joined: 27/Jul/2006
I was looking at another forum about lotr when I came across the opinion that the Dead Men of Dunharrow could not actually physically harm corporeal beings, that they only worked through the fear of those that saw them.  After an extremely quick skim of Return of the King I could not find a refurance to the ghosts hurting anyone.  Can someone please clear this up for me.
Alcarináro 20/Dec/2006 at 02:42 PM
Banned Points: 14162 Posts: 14178 Joined: 24/Sep/2003
The Shadow Host (a name Tolkien gives them) are ghosts. They are incorporeal. They are intangible. Their weapons (which they do bear) are intangible. They scared off the Corsairs. They did nothing else. They cannot physically cause harm to be done to anyone. They’re just really scary.
Arthur Weasley 20/Dec/2006 at 03:59 PM
Banned Points: 4289 Posts: 3987 Joined: 29/Nov/2002
King Gothmog - I humbly agree with Elenhir.  When I read your post above, I grabbed my copy of the sacred scriptures (i.e. LOTR books) to double check.  i always thought the Shadow Host could use their weapons on living beings but it seems they just scared the daylights out of the Cosairs and all who opposed them.  This would be anexcellent way to discuss mortality/immortality etc. 
Qtpie 20/Dec/2006 at 06:47 PM
Commander of Mordor Points: 22280 Posts: 12880 Joined: 17/Nov/2005
Here’s a quote from the RoTK to support what Elenhir and Enalan’s talking about.

’And suddenly the Shadow Host that had hung back at thelast came up like a grey tide, sweeping all away before it. Faint cries I heard, and dim horns blowing, and a murmur as of countless far voices: it was like the echo of some forgotten battle in the Dark Years long ago. Pale swords were drawn; but I know not whether their blades would still bite, for the Dead needed no longer any weapon but fear. None would withstand them.

There you go Gothmog .
Arthur Weasley 21/Dec/2006 at 06:59 AM
Banned Points: 4289 Posts: 3987 Joined: 29/Nov/2002
And thank you also Taragolloion!!  I am getting lazy I think in my Old Age because I did not present the entire quote as I should have!  This passage is what has me believe that the Shadow Host did not actually slay anyone with weapons.  Happy Holidays!
Boromir88 21/Dec/2006 at 08:58 AM
Merchant of Minas Tirith Points: 3627 Posts: 2473 Joined: 24/Mar/2005

I agree, in Middle-earth in order to physically harm people with a tangible form, you must also have a tangible form yourself.  When the Ring is destroyed Sauron can no longer cause damage/harm to any person with a tangible form:
...if the One Ring wwas actually unmade, annihilated, then its power would be dissolved, Sauron’s own being would be diminished to a vanishing point, and he would be reduced to a shadow, a mere memory of malicious will.~Letter to Milton Waldman
Same for Saruman and when the Witch-King is killed: ’The Witch-King had been reduced to impotence’~Letter 246

Although the Witch-King’s body was invisible, it still had a flesh and a form...just an invisible one.  When Merry and Eowyn kill him and destroy his body, he is as Tolkien put...’reduced to impotence.’

The quote Tara provides is said by Gimli, so one may be able to question whether or not Gimli knew what he was talking about.  I think however we can see that Gimli’s statement was right.  As in order for somebody to physically interact with a corporeal form, he/she must also have one.