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The Black Captain

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By MeliHitchcock   |   Watch
Published: February 19, 2005
© 2005 - 2019 MeliHitchcock
"In rode the Lord of the Nazgul. A great black shape against the fires beyond he loomed up, grown to a vast menace of despair. In rode the Lord of the Nazgul, under the archway that no enemy ever yet had passed, and all fled before his face.


The Black Rider flung back his hood, and behold! he had a kingly crown; and yet upon no head visible was it set. The red fires shone between it and the mantled shoulders vast and dark. From a mouth unseen there came a deadly laughter.

"Old fool!" he said. "Old fool! This is my hour. Do you not know Death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain!" And with that he lifted high his sword and flames ran down the blade."

(Just trying to get over my creative slump. It's been sitting in my sketchbook until this morning when my muse finally brought out the can of whoop-ass and clobbered me with it. This isn't as detailed as some work I've done, but meh... whatever it takes to get me back on the drawing track.)

As always The Witchking isn't mine. He belongs to J.R.R. Tolkien. I just abuse the characters every so often. :p


Went back and fixed some things I and other people thought were screwy. I think his hand looks much better now. Plus I added some more highlights around they Witchy boy's hand, neck, and various other places for more emphisis on the figure. Thanks everyone for the crits on making this better! :D
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anonymous's avatar
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rofl2014's avatar
Amazing!!!!!! I love it!! Incredible and unique work!!
PhantomReaver's avatar
Amazing! I love the shadows and perspective. You've done an awesome shot of a scene from the book that the movies just couldn't get right. I was pretty disappointed that this scene was made pretty brief and pointless in the Peter Jackson version of the film. Though it was at least included in the animated version by Rankin Bass. Though not nearly this good.
Monster4ever's avatar
looks líke headless horse´man in word of warcraft :D
Makosharkman's avatar
I bet that's where Tolken base the Ringwriath from the Headless Horseman.
whiteraven06's avatar
your works about tokiens books are great, please do more
lukaxp's avatar
lukaxpStudent Traditional Artist
Tolkien could not done it better,PICTURE IS GREATH!
philippeL's avatar
philippeLHobbyist Traditional Artist
I am a fan of the Witch-King as well...
JimTalon's avatar
i love this old one, compared to the new style from the movies
MeliHitchcock's avatar
MeliHitchcockProfessional Digital Artist
Yeah I thought his helm was a little funky. It reminded me of a crown of thorns for some bizarre reason. :o
Aranov's avatar
AranovProfessional Artisan Crafter
That is absolutely gorgeous. ...and scary. Yay fire and evil horses of doom!
MeliHitchcock's avatar
MeliHitchcockProfessional Digital Artist
lol Can't be the witchking if he isn't scary. ;)
Aranov's avatar
AranovProfessional Artisan Crafter
Good point. ;) Anyway, it's an amazing portrait of one scary character.
Kisham's avatar
FINALLY... the Witch King as Tolkien describe it, not that helmeted nazgül of the movie...
CapitanCatalufo's avatar
Great worck, when i saw the 3th Movie i was thinkingthats just a guy with black sheetsober all over him, he was relly scary in the boock.
FacelessMaster3003's avatar
exceptional drawing:) *adds to favs*
aautio's avatar
Wonderful depiction.. very dramatic pose, contrast, colours.. the whole composition! Perfect!

I've been meaning to draw this scene for the longest time but have never managed to get to it.. it's one of my all-time favourite scenes! (I still can't believe how Jackson could ruin the breaking of the gates, the confrontation of the Witch-king and Galdalf as well as his death scene in his movie! :disbelief: )

You've definitely done justice to the book! A :+fav: for sure!
MeliHitchcock's avatar
MeliHitchcockProfessional Digital Artist
(I still can't believe how Jackson could ruin the breaking of the gates, the confrontation of the Witch-king and Galdalf as well as his death scene in his movie! :disbelief: )

Tell me about it. :hmm: That was one thing I really wish he would have stuck to in the book because the tension at that moment was intense! Nothing like the casual fly by in the movie and I still believe the Witch King could have dispatched Gandalf fairly easily then. I was just as let down by the WK death scene too... but then... most scenes that the villains had a part in I thought didn't do any of them justice. Saruman for the most part was good, though, again, his death sucked. And The Mouth of Sauron... oh god, don't get me even going on that guy...
aautio's avatar
Yeah.. it's perhaps the most dramatic image I have from the book (it's right there in top-3 with the confrontations of Éowyn vs. Witch-king and Gandalf vs. the Balrog, anyway.. ). The whole drama is precisely in that tension, the build-up.. not the impending fight itself. Grond and the breaking of the gates were fantastic in the movie right up to the point when the gates flew open. The trolls charging in was such a *huge* anti-climax that I literally groaned aloud in disappointment in the theatre when I first saw it..

I keep imagining the deadly silence following the crash of the gates' breaking, the fear and anticipation on the troops' faces as they expect something just like that troll-charge to happen, but through the smoke only slow clicking of hooves is heard.. and when the black rider emerges they flee in terror leaving only Gandalf to confront him.. the two of them just staring at each other, and then the horns, the first rays of dawn.. now that would've been dramatic! Why oh why did PJ have to go and ditch the drama in favour of those lame scenes he put in? :shakefist:

I tried to do justice to Éowyn’s bold defiance (instead of whimpering and shouting comedic one-liners..) with a drawing, and I really wanted to give this scene a try too.. but now I feel I don’t necessarily have to, since you already did such a perfect job with it! :D
Raven-Silver-Dagger's avatar
why does this remind me of the darker version of the headless horseman?? :O.o?: or is there such a thing? :faint: well anywho, very wonderful coloration in this!
Kennashi's avatar
iono, the movie looks better. the nazgul are supposed to be wearing simple capes, and that's what makes it great: its simplicity
MeliHitchcock's avatar
MeliHitchcockProfessional Digital Artist
Well, he was in a battle at the time. =p Makes sense to wear armor during a war.
Kennashi's avatar
well...yeah, i guess.
FreeMeadows's avatar
FreeMeadows Traditional Artist
Ack...! Too much amazing-ness! This is awesome..!
I like that this is your own interpretation of the scene and not just from the movie pics...incredible...I'm shutting up and faving this right now. :)
anonymous's avatar
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