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Who Are the Barrow-Wights in Rings of Power Season 2?

Who Are the Barrow-Wights in Rings of Power Season 2?

In “The Fellowship of the Ring,” the Barrow-wights appear in the chapter titled “Fog on the Barrow-Downs.” The chapter narrates the journey of Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin as they leave Tom Bombadil’s house and make their way across the Barrow-downs toward Bree. Initially, they travel by daylight, but as night descends, they become lost in the foggy terrain. During this disorienting time, Frodo is separated from his friends and encounters a terrifying shadowy figure — a Barrow-wight. According to the book, “the icy touch froze his bones, and he remembered no more.”

When Frodo regains consciousness, he finds himself in a nearby barrow alongside his three Hobbit companions, all of whom appear lifeless and in a sleep-like trance. They are adorned in white and surrounded by cursed treasures, a stark scene intensified by a naked sword lying across their necks.

The wight in the vicinity chants an eerie incantation, and a sinister hand emerges, ready to decapitate the four Hobbits with a sword. Tolkien paints the chilling moment vividly, “[Frodo] heard behind his head a creaking and scraping sound … Round the corner a long arm was groping, walking on its fingers towards Sam, who was lying nearest, and towards the hilt of the sword that lay upon him.” In a desperate act, Frodo severs the hand. Realizing he cannot defeat the wight alone, he sings a song calling for Tom Bombadil’s aid. In response, Tom Bombadil joyously arrives at the scene, ready to help.

Source: Various sources