Gaunt Men or Gaunt-men are a species of Ancient Evil.
Gaunt Men are one of the many creatures bred and twisted by Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, in Angband during the First Age. After Morgoth's expulsion from the world, the remaining Gaunt-men went into hiding in the realm that later became Angmar. Their power was greatly diminished, and the White Council mistakenly believed them to have been destroyed. With the return of Sauron, their power has returned and they now walk the world again, along with the other forces of darkness.
Gaunt Men are always aggressive, and tend to be of Signature or higher difficulty. They are most vulnerable to Beleriand damage and Westernesse damage, and most resistant to Common damage. They commonly bestow a Lurking Sickness which renders the victim helpless if not cured in time. Some Gaunt Men call forth a Summoned Servant to assist them in combat.
Locations where Gaunt Men can be found include:
- Angmar: Imlad Balchorth and Nan Gurth
- Bree-land: the Southern Barrow-downs
- The Lone-lands: Agamaur and Haragmar
- Mirkwood: the Dourstocks and the Scuttledells
The Gaunt-lords are the five mightiest Gaunt-men. When the Five Wizards, sent by the Valar to aid in the fight against Sauron, arrived to lend wisdom to the Free Peoples of Middle-earth, the Witch-king summoned the Gaunt-men to his service. Among them, these five gained greater power to match the five Wizards, embodying death, pestilence, famine, war, and purest evil. These creatures are among the most powerful of the Enemy’s servants.
The Gaunt-lords have powers beyond those of lesser Gaunt Men, perhaps foremost of which is the ability to summon fell spirits into the world. They are known to use distinctively marked sigils to do so, and these or similar sigils are also used by the subjects of the Gaunt-lords to indicate their allegiance. Gaunt-lords have also shown the ability to turn ethereal to escape, and to transfer themselves into inert bodies. The leader of the Gaunt-lords, Gortheron the Doom-caller, is capable of
The five Gaunt-lords are:
- Ivar the Blood-hand, Minion of Battle, the Gaunt-lord of War. Ivar is first encountered in Skorgrím's Tomb in Ered Luin, where he appears to raise Skorgrím Dourhand from the dead. Two years later, he is seen in the Great Barrow with Skorgrím and the Witch-king of Angmar, who sends him east into the Lone-lands. There, in Garth Agarwen, Ivar seeks to control the Red-maid, but is defeated by Radagast the Brown and his allies. He is later brought back and leads an attack on Stoneheight to claim a helm that grants him great power. He is long gone before the town is reclaimed, however, and rejoins Gortheron at Ost Dunhoth in Enedwaith.
- Thadúr the Ravager, Minion of Misery, the Gaunt-lord of Famine. Thadúr is first encountered in his wing of the Great Barrow, in the Southern Barrow-downs of Bree-land. After his destruction, Thadúr is resurrected and takes over Northcotton Farm in Evendim in a plot to poison the Hobbits with his new poison, the Darkthorn.
- Ferndúr the Virulent, Minion of Plague, the Gaunt-lord of Pestilence. Ferndúr is first encountered at Ost Brandras in the Trollshaws, where he is spreading disease and raising wights in Nan Tornaeth. Glorfindel the Elf-lord drives him away, and Ferndúr retreats to Imlad Balchorth in Angmar, where he must be lured forth to be destroyed. He is later resurrected and returns to the Trollshaws at the Lost Temple, where he is preparing to release a plague known as the Red Cloud.
- Drugoth the Death-monger, Minion of Shadow, the Gaunt-lord of Death. Also called Drugoth the Black. Drugoth is first encountered in the Helegrod Treasury in the Misty Mountains, attempting to turn the carcass of the Dragon Thorog into a wight under his command. When the Dragon Wing of Helegrod is assaulted, he resorts to transferring his spirit into the dragon-wight to take direct control. After his defeat at Helegrod, Drugoth later resurfaces at Sâri-surma in the Ice-bay of Forochel, where he raises an army of frozen wights.
- Gortheron the Doom-caller, greatest of the Gaunt-lords, the Gaunt-lord of Purest Evil. Gortheron is first encountered in Lhe Colvarn in the Lich Bluffs of Enedwaith, where attempts to resurrect Ferndúr. Though the ritual is interrupted, Gortheron eventually succeeds in restoring his fallen brethren, and raises a mighty force of undead at Ost Dunhoth, where he must be ended once and for all.
- Chapter 10: Breeders of the Dead
- Chapter 7: Evil Tidings
- Laying to Rest the Evil Dead
- Helegrod: Dragon Wing
- Ost Dunhoth
- Intro: Skorgrím's Tomb
- Instance: Othrongroth
- Instance: Red-pass
- In Their Absence, Chapter 6
- Great Barrow: Thadúr
- In Their Absence, Chapter 2
- Raid: The Master of Imlad Balchorth
- In Their Absence, Chapter 10
- Lost Temple
- Chapter 8: Fire and Ice
- Darkness Revealed
Gaunt Men were created for The Lord of the Rings Online, using lore surrounding the coming of the Wizards and the physical manifestation of spirits.
The many Gaunt Men that have come forth and been reported are: