It is a rule. Give anyone the license to The Lord of the Rings and eventually, they will name the Nazgul. Well, the other seven anyway. Tolkien gave names or titles to two of them: The Witch King of Angmar and Khamul the Easterling. The others, he left unnamed; I suspect on purpose.
But people just can’t resist, especially if they are trying to make new product and sell it, and so they give them all names. I believe the first company to do this was Iron Crown Enterprises, when they were working on the Middle-Earth Role-Playing game. These names were later used in the LOTR collectable card game and by Mithril Miniatures.
It is one of those Mithril Miniatures that is featured this week. Here I present the pronunciation train-wreck that is Dwar of Waw. In my opinion, whoever came up with that name should probably have been taken off the project. I believe the back story is that Dwar was some kind of genetic manipulator who bred strange creatures for Sauron, which (sort of) explains why he wears a helmet with a monkey face...
Well, as stupid as the name and concept are to me, I quite like the figure. When I was young, Mithril Miniatures were my favourite minis to paint, partly because they were based on the LOTR and partly because they had minimal detail that made them easy to paint. However, as I got better at painting, I started to find that lack of detail a bit frustrating. I enjoy picking out details much more than I do the subtle blending that is required to get large areas of cloth to look good.
I’m actually not sure what happened to most of my Mithril miniatures, perhaps they are buried away at home, perhaps I got rid of them. Yet last time I was home, I found old Dwar, still in his box, and decided to bring him back to England and paint him up. I decided early on that I didn’t want to use him as a Nazgul. I really do like the figure, and the pose is cool, but he just doesn’t seem like a Nazgul to me. Instead, I figured he could make an evil sorcerer.
I went with purple robes, that seem to have shifted a bit blue in the picture. As usual, I found a figure who is mostly robes very difficult to paint. Although the photo makes the colour blending harsher than it looks in real life, it still troubled me. I'm not that happy with the outcome, to be honest, but I'm also not willing to spend any more time on the figure. It is 'good enough'.
The best part about the figure is that he fits in perfectly with the rest of my Lord of the Rings miniatures from Games Workshop. This is a little strange since the two lines are supposedly different scales, but I’m not complaining. I’ve included a comparison shot of Dwar standing next to (my much better painted) The Betrayer, one of the Nazgul from GW.
Yes, GW also named the Nazgul, although I think they took a much better approach and gave them all titles instead of names. It helps preserve the mystery that makes them so cool.
As a final note, I am aware that both ‘Nazgul’ and ‘Khamul’ should have little chevrons over the ‘u’, but try as I might, I could not find this symbol in my version of word.
Dwar of Waw...what were they thinking.