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The allies encountered in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Middle-earth: Shadow of War.

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Introduced in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

    Gollum 

Gollum

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gollum_7.jpg
"The Bright Master is kind!"
Voiced by: Liam O'Brien

A terrifying, pitiful creature that used to be a Hobbit, centuries of exposure to the One Ring have mutated Gollum and given him a burning desire to always be with his "Precious." He assists the "Bright Lord" and Talion by retrieving artifacts that help the former remember who he is, and thus, bring him closer to reuniting with the One Ring.


  • Big Damn Hero: In Shadow of War, he attacks an Olog who is about to crush Talion. The Olog makes quick work of him, but it's the opening Talion needs to retaliate.
  • The Cameo: His voice is briefly heard during Shadow of War's Golden Ending when he inadvertently destroys the One Ring.
  • Continuity Nod: Gollum is Shelob's minion in Shadow of War, which Foreshadows his actions in the books.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Gets in a few jabs at Talion while singing a tune on the way to recover an artifact.
  • Fair Weather Friend: Gollum hides when Uruks and Caragors come around and tries to bash Talion's head in when he learns Celebrimbor also wants the Ring for himself. By the time of Shadow of War, he's become a minion of Shelob, whom he refers to as the Dark Mistress.
  • Hobbits: Gollum was once a once a Stoor Hobbit who lived on the banks of the Anduin River, but 500 years of exposure to the One Ring's power have changed him into a monster.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: When Talion runs into him again at the beginning of Shadow of War and confronts him about his attempted murder of him at the end of Shadow of Mordor:
    Gollum: But we didn't! We would never hurt the Bright Lord! We makes up for it now, yes?
    • Exact Words: He considers Celebrimbor, not Talion, the "Bright Lord".
  • Mr. Exposition: While he doesn't provide any traditional Info Dumps, it turns out that he knows a lot of things that aid Talion and Celebrimbor in their quest, like the locations of Celebrimbor's artifacts or the command structure of the local orc army.
  • Split Personality: His two sides bicker occasionally, but the schism between the two isn't as emphasized as it usually is. Justified since Gollum's Sméagol persona only emerges due to the kindness of Frodo Baggins in the books; the Wraith is barely civil towards Gollum (and Talion is flat-out antagonistic towards him), so Sméagol has no reason to appear during the events of the games.
  • True Sight: Due to his bond with the One Ring, Gollum can see and communicate with Celebrimbor and the Wraith World.
  • Was Once a Man: Poor Sméagol was a Hobbit until a certain gold ring came along.
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    Ratbag 

Ratbag the Coward

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/orc.jpg
"Ummm, backstabbing bodyguard! Eh?"
Voiced by: Phil La Marr

An ambitious but useless excuse of an orc, Ratbag attempts to advance through the ranks of Uruk society via underhanded means but consistently fails due to his complete lack of combat prowess. After Talion rescues him (against the Ranger's better judgment), he teaches him "the ways of the orc" with how promotions and power struggles work; in return, Talion gets him installed as a Warchief. While seemingly executed by one of the Black Captains, Ratbag winds up becoming the Overlord of Núrnen in Shadow of War, whereupon he and Talion cross paths again.


  • Achievements in Ignorance: According to his Appendix entry, one of the reasons Ratbag became an Overlord was self-delusion and inability to realize what he was incapable of.
  • Ascended Extra: Ratbag originally started out as simply one of the possible generated orcs in the initial demo of the game for the purposes of highlighting the Nemesis System. In the game proper, he's been promoted to an actual story character.
  • Anything but That!: In Shadow of War, Ratbag has gotten tired of being Overlord, after realizing just how tiring it is to feed, train and make sure you don't get killed by your troops. Then Brûz announces that HE's the new Overlord and Ratbag does a complete one-eighty, loudly declaring that Brûz can't be Overlord. Only the Valar know why Ratbag is opposed to that idea.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: In Shadow of War, he's basically the Master part of the game's Master Blaster in the first Overlord mission. The "two headed Olog" is actually just him atop a really big but otherwise completely normal Olog.
    • Brains and Brawn: Ratbag sees himself as this in his relationship with Ranger. In truth, Ranger is actually quite articulate and intelligent (almost certainly moreso than Ratbag), but since he doesn't speak Common and Ratbag doesn't speak Black Speech, Ratbag can't understand a word he says and just assumes Ranger is typical Dumb Muscle.
  • Body Horror: Far from the worse ailment among the Uruks, but Ratbag has a grotesquely large case of Skull Bossing. It somehow gets worse in Shadow of War.
  • Born Lucky: According to his Appendix entry, his biggest superpower. It's the reason despite being the scrawniest Uruk whom nobody likes due to his Motor Mouth, he survives and even thrives. Think of his being brained by The Hammer — had he not been knocked into the next land, he'd have been Brainwashed and Crazy, with Talion likely being forced to kill him off.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Gets absolutely zero respect from anybody. This is reflected in his power rating when Captain or Warchief, as his is far lower than freshly appointed Captains who haven't even tried to increase their power. The only captains that start out as weak as Ratbag are the ones specifically called Weak or Timid as their titles.
    • One of his anecdotes involve Ratbag being thrown into a caragor pit for the other uruks' amusement. The caragor, instead of ripping the runt limb from limb, proceeded to bat Ratbag around like a ball of yarn.
  • Character Development: Ratbag started out desperately wanting to become a Warchief, and it gets him (nearly) killed. By the events of War, Ratbag has actually promoted himself beyond Warchief as an Overlord, but realizes it's Lonely at the Top, isn't fond of Klingon Promotion, and has matured to valuing friends over power. He's still a Motor Mouth, though.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When Talion's recently-captured fort in Núrnen is besieged, a panicked Ratbag announces that his escape tunnel is jammed. Ho-ho, the Coward (and his incompetence) strikes again, right? Cue the next mission, where Brûz has betrayed Talion and seized control of the fortress; Talion suddenly remembers the tunnel's existence and uses it to sneak himself and a handful of loyalists back into the fortress's keep for a climactic showdown.
  • Cowardly Sidekick: Ends up serving as this to Talion, much to the ranger's chagrin. While he's arguably less cowardly in Shadow of War, he still makes sure to stay as far away from the action as possible.
  • Climactic Battle Resurrection: If the player brands all captains and warchiefs in both regions before playing the Lord of Mordor mission, Ratbag will appear in the mission's opening battle to give a rousing speech to Sauron's forces. As seen in this video.
  • Defector from Decadence: While he shares his race's more violent tendencies, such as being a Nightmare Fetishist and In Love with Your Carnage and engaging in Klingon Promotion, he and Ranger prove that Orcs really aren't Always Chaotic Evil. He actually learns empathy and compassion for others, at least other Orcs and Ologs, and he considers himself to be friends with Talion.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Every step of Ratbag's planned ascension goes awry. He gets no respect from his underlings, insufficient respect to even be properly faced in a duel, trying to become the bodyguard of a warchief after (allegedly) killing said warchief's twin...oh, and failing to recognize that being the only warchief alive while Talion runs wild would draw the ire of his superiors.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: When Talion shows reluctance to waste time and effort trying to free Ranger, Ratbag calls him out, claiming that he and Ranger somehow got rid of Brûz and asking why they or any other Orc in his service should support him if he won't do the same for them. Celebrimbor admits that Ratbag has a point; they will lose the loyalty of their followers if they don't prove that attacks on the Bright Lord's soldiers won't go unpunished. Humorously, Ratbag himself doesn't seem terribly convinced with his own argument:
    Talion: You may have a point.
    Ratbag: I do? (Beat) I mean, yeah, I do!
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Ratbag's sobriquet, "the Coward", which describes him quite accurately. He seems to have managed to drop it for good in Shadow of War, even after his survival becomes common knowledge in Mordor; appropriately, this coincides with his taking a level in badass as mentioned below.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even though he is a member of the resident Chaotic Evil race, he seems horrified to see what happened to Brûz after Talion/Celebrimbor completely breaks him — though he also may just be in awe at Talion's ability to break minds.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Talion and Ranger. While neither initially like him (the former is just using him to get to the Black Hand while the latter owes him a life debt), both soon learn to appreciate him. Ranger even likes him in a gruff way. Part of it is that Ratbag is Too Funny to Be Evil and a Harmless Villain, and the other part is that Ratbag learns loyalty in a world of Klingon Promotion.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: In Shadow of War, careful eyes will notice the massive scar that has stitches down the right side of his face. To listen to Ratbag, it was a love tap, but the wound indicates the entire side of Ratbag's face was split open like a cantelope. Iron Butt Monkey indeed.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Ratbag has always been completely hopeless in combat, and he always will be (bear in mind that this guy cowers when confronted by grunts); however, he's a good tracker and decent at stealth, and in Shadow of War, his skills prove to be useful in locating the missing Ranger and enabling Talion to get the drop on Brûz.
    • He's also a surprisingly good and loyal friend. He is utterly dedicated to getting Ranger back after the Olog is captured and is one of the only Orcs to be loyal to Talion without being dominated.
  • I Owe You My Life: Ranger, the Olog whom Ratbag teams with, doesn't like him at all — but he honors a life debt to Ratbag.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: When Brûz tries to block his way to Talion and disparages him as a whinger, Ratbag reacts... by whinging.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: Anyone's carnage. Even though he despises Brûz and admires Talion, for instance, he still gleefully recounts the way Brûz impaled Talion during his betrayalin front of Talion. It seems to be standard for most Orcs, though.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Yes, he's a tool. Yes, he's pitiful. Yes, he has zero friends. And yet he can take a swing from Sauron's own mace, yet receive nothing worse than a short-term blackout and a headache - and an absolutely massive head wound.
  • Irony: In a game about branding and control, Ratbag is the only Uruk Captain Talion doesn't brand over the course of two gamesnote . Rather, he voluntarily throws in his lot with Talion and remains loyal to him, even coming to see him as a friend.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ratbag might be a slimy coward, but genuinely cares for those he considers his friends, like Talion and Ranger.
  • Klingon Promotion: He progresses through Orc society by getting Talion to kill his enemies.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Significantly downplayed: Ratbag quickly cedes being Overlord to Talion, but while he knows that he wouldn't survive if they came to blows (and probably suspects that Ranger won't either, since Talion just killed or dominated the fortress's entire defense force), it also turns out that he hates the job and sees Talion's invasion as a golden opportunity to abandon it.
  • Let Me at Him!: When Brûz kidnaps Ranger, Ratbag insists and insists on hunting him down on his own when he and Talion hit a dead end searching for them. He seems all set to enter a Roaring Rampage of Revenge to fully realize his Character Development in the sequel... until he checks himself and says he'll come and fetch Talion when he finally locates the two Olog-hai.
  • Made of Iron: Considering how puny he is for an orc, turns out he survived being hit by Sauron's Hammer and was only knocked out. He even lampshades the whole incident by saying the only proper way to kill an orc, is to slice his head clean off; works every time. Well, most of the time.
  • Mole in Charge: He's eventually promoted to Warchief thanks to Talion slaying his rivals and serves as his first Orc at the top.
  • Motor Mouth: Primarily the reason other Orcs and Uruks dislike him.
  • Not Brainwashed: Having been bullied by the other orcs so often, and having seen Talion in action, Ratbag is well aware that remaining in the Ranger's good graces is objectively his best chance of survival, to say nothing of the promotion that he so desperately craves. By the time of Shadow of War, Ratbag genuinely considers Talion to be a friend and interacts with him on the basis of their relationship rather than ambition; in fact, he's just the opposite of ambitious by then.
  • Not Quite Dead: Ratbag turns out to be alive in Shadow of War, having only been knocked out by the Hammer in the previous game. He explains that only decapitation can really make sure a orc stays dead.
  • Oh, Crap!: When his minions throw him in front of the Hammer of Sauron to explain why, as the only surviving Warchief in Udûn, he failed to prevent the destruction of the Gorthaur.
  • Pet the Dog: In Shadow of War, it is shown that he genuinely cares about his Olog-hai friend whom he named "Ranger", and even asks Talion to rescue him. Furthermore it shows Ratbag genuinely cares for Talion in his own way.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: The most consistent source of humor in the game, due to his cowardice and pathetic attempts at climbing the Orc ranks. In Shadow of War, he retains this role despite having taken a level in badass, mostly due to the sheer amount of idiocy that comes out of his mouth.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Downplayed in Shadow of War, since Tracker is an advanced class in the Nemesis System and particularly persistent Nemeses are capable of hunting Talion across regions, but Ratbag gets a chance to show off his tracking chops when Brûz kidnaps Ranger and he tracks the two all over Mordor.
  • Scars Are Forever: Has a tangle of prominent black stitches on his right temple, likely where his skull was caved in by the Hammer.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: He and Ranger end up deserting Talion in horror over Brûz's Shaming.
  • Self-Serving Memory: While trying to persuade Talion to help him rescue the kidnapped Ranger, Ratbag claims that Talion owes them since they "got rid of Brûz" for him.
    Talion: Not exactly how I remember it.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: He and Ranger vanish from Shadow of War just before it becomes noticeably Darker and Edgier.
  • Shoot the Messenger: Surprisingly, Ratbag is actually on the giving end of this trope in Shadow of War.
    Talion: Isn't there an expression about killing the messenger?
    Ratbag: Yeah. Always kill the messenger.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: He and Ranger hate the idea of answering to Brûz, and the resulting argument between the three gets them all in hot water with Talion. Why they hate each other is never elaborated on, though their first reactions to each other makes it seem that have met each other before.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: He wears a ribcage with a collar of tusks as a cuirass, for starters.
  • Third-Person Person: In Shadow of Mordor, Ratbag usually refers to himself in the third person. He does use personal pronouns once in a while, though. Averted in Shadow of War, where Ratbag uses personal pronouns more consistently, although he occasionally relapses.
  • Took a Level in Badass: And only one level. In Shadow of War, Ratbag backs down a lot less and gives bolder and (slightly) more intelligent comments and suggestions compared to the first game. He also at one point manages to overpower and decapitate a messenger grunt out of anger.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Ranger. While one might think that Ratbag's simply afraid of losing a very big bodyguard, it turns out that he also genuinely cares about Ranger as a friend.
    • It's also worth noting that Ratbag is the also the only Orc in either game to serve Talion without being Dominated, and in War he actually looks up to and considers himself friendly with Talion.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Traces of it creep into his characterization in Shadow of War. Being nearly crushed by Brûz only sees him take exception to the insults he throws at him. Talion holding his sword to his throat only cows him for a second before he gets distracted reminiscing about being Overlord. Surviving a full-force blow with the mace of Sauron seems to have knocked all sense of caution and insecurity out of the little blighter.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": Ratbag named his Olog companion "Ranger," after Talion.
  • You Have Failed Me: In Shadow of Mordor, he is killed by the Hammer of Sauron for failing to prevent Talion from destroying the Gorthaur. Come Shadow of War, however, it turns out that he survived.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: Failed example, sort of — Talion first finds Ratbag bound, and Ratbag offers to "tell him everything". Talion responds by placing his broken blade to Ratbag's chin. Ratbag yells at him to go ahead, because he'll know nothing if it does. Talion calls his bluff by suggesting he'll grant the request, quickly causing Ratbag to sputter a Rapid-Fire "No!" and claim that he was jesting. Talion, of course, lets Ratbag live, but it certainly wasn't because of Ratbag's attempt at bravado.

    Hirgon 

Hirgon of Tarnost

A former Ranger of Gondor, Hirgon used to serve at the Black Gates until he met the Outcasts, stubborn, resourceful folk who made a living out of Mordor in spite of its harsh and brutal nature.


  • Bullying a Dragon: As it turns out, blowing up The Gorthaur, a giant statue of Sauron, only served to get the Hammer of Sauron to personally attack his men.
  • Going Native: He first showed mercy and sympathy towards an Outcast woman, then fell in love with her. After she saved his life after he abandoned his post to join her, he was adopted by the Outcasts and married her. Though he's a Ranger from Gondor, he considers the Outcasts his people now.
  • Happily Married: To Eryn.
  • Made a Slave: After Talion kills Gimûb the Slaver while looking for a slave who fought the Black Hand, Hirgon shows up and revealed that it was he (and that it was more "fled from" than "fought"). He had apparently been in the possession of the random Uruk who attacked Talion, being sold to Gimûb for a keg of grog.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite being introduced as fairly unreliable. While he's never happy to hear Talion's dour predictions, he always listens to them. It's ultimately implied to save his life, and the lives of his followers.
  • Rebel Leader: For the Outcasts.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Used to be a Ranger like Talion before deserting and joining the Outcasts. Talion encourages him to do this again after destroying the Gorthaur, as his adopted people stood no chance against the Hammer.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Dialogue from an Outcast artefact shows he taught the Outcasts Gondorian methods of fighting in order to combat the Orcs.

    Lithariel 

Lithariel

Voiced by: Abigail Marlowe

Adopted daughter of Lady Marwen and first in line to her throne, she informs Talion of her mother's visions and assist him in several other affairs.


    Lady Marwen 

Lady Marwen

Voiced by: Claudia Black

"Queen of the Shore," she leads the tribesmen of Nurnen, serving as a guide, a leader, and a visionary for their society.


  • My God, What Have I Done?: Exhibits this after being freed from Saruman's control, realising that her attempts to get help from the White Wizard resulted in her being turned into his puppet and left her people less than ready to face Sauron's growing power.
  • Pirate Girl: Her backstory includes a quest for glory as a pirate queen, raiding in hopes of rebuilding the Corsair empire, until she adopted Lithariel and settled down in Nurnen.
  • Seer: Her visions help in guiding the Wraith to uncovering his past and unlocking his powers.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: She gives Talion and Celebrimbor the idea of forming a mind-controlled army.
  • Younger Than They Look: Courtesy of being Saruman's Meat Puppet like King Theoden. When released, she loses a lot of wrinkles and her hair regains its black colour.

    Torvin 

Torvin

Voiced by: Adam Croasdell

A Dwarf hunter, he's either outstandingly courageous, incredibly stupid, or a mix of both. He used to hunt with his brother, taking down a number of violent and dangerous beasts together, until a rare, incredibly deadly horned Graug proved too much for them and took the life of his hunting partner. For over a decade he's sought vengeance, even training Talion so that he may stand a chance of hunting the beast.


  • Badass Normal: Outside of the Feral Tribe in Shadow of War, the orcs at large had been trying and failing to tame/ride Caragors for seemingly years. Talion could only do it because the Wraith has mind-control superpowers. Torvin can do it because he's just that awesome, and is impressed that Talion managed to break in a Caragor in the same amount of time it took him his first time, again with no superpowers whatsoever.
  • Badass Beard: In a rare aversion (for a dwarf), he instead merely sports a rather tame pair of mutton chops and some Perma-Stubble.
  • The Big Guy: He's certainly got the personality. He's also huge for a Dwarf, being less than half a foot shorter than Talion.
  • The Bus Came Back: By the time of the Desolation of Mordor Downloadable Content, Torvin's back in Mordor, having heard rumors of a gargantuan were-wyrm lurking under the sands of Lithlad.
  • Butt-Monkey: Only in his background, though, due to having a mildly-abrasive older brothernote .
  • Dude, Not Funny!: While exchanging war stories about their battle scars, Torvin jokingly asks where Talion, as a captain at the Black Gate got scars, maybe from splinters or from shouting too loudly at his troops. Talion, who is still in mourning for his family and the men under his command coldly gives Torvin a look and a warning to tread lightly on the subject. Torvin, realising he's touching on a sore spot for Talion, wisely changes the subject.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: In the Desolation of Mordor DLC, Torvin is something of a Q for Baranor. While he doesn't invent anything per se, he managed to reverse-engineer the Númenórean gauntlet and create a duplicate, which is why he gave the original to Baranor. He also repairs the broken pieces of Númenórean kit that Baranor finds scattered around Lithlad and uses them to upgrade Baranor's gauntlet.
  • Genius Bruiser: Say what you will about his intelligence in some senses, but he definitely knows a good deal about hunting. And gadgetry.
  • Informed Flaw: He makes self-deprecating jokes about the size of his gut - which is as flat as a board - and Talion joins in purely to humor him. Torvin likely knows it's not remotely true, but how often has he had hunting partners to banter with?
  • Mr. Fanservice: He's a Dwarf, but in damned good shape.
  • My Greatest Failure: Is indicated that he feels his brother's death to be this, as Torvin believes had he heeded his brother's teaching on hunting, he might not have made the arrogant mistake that got his brother killed.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Downplayed. In Shadow of Mordor, Torvin is simply a hunter, rather than a miner, craftsman, and/or warrior like all the other Dwarves in Middle-earth. Shadow of War reveals that Torvin is a Gadgeteer Genius, much like his kind, but his hunting prowess is still an unusual job for a dwarf to be doing.
  • Physical Scars, Psychological Scars: He has a bunch of scars from his hunting days, but his two most prominent scars came from the Legendary Graug that killed his brother.
  • Put on a Bus: Torvin returns to his homeland after having defeated the Great White Graug and the completion of Lord of the Hunt DLC, which explains his absence from the second game when Talion and Celebrimbor return to Nurnen. However, see The Bus Came Back above.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: He's constantly bare-chested, exposing his muscles and his scars.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Torvin has something approaching love for caragors, and even bears great respect for graugs. He respects and is in awe of all creatures of nature, even those of Mordor...except ghûls. He can't stand gh;ucirc;ls. When he speaks of them, he makes it clear that even the thought of the crawling creatures makes him want to scrub the inside of his skin. He's very hesitant — and later nauseated — when he comes up with the idea of having Talion control them.
  • You Keep Using That Word: Torvin hasn't really had much book learning (though he's a suspiciously good writer). During his conversations with Talion in the Lord of the Hunt DLC, he comes to believe that 'redundant' means 'poisonous' and 'hypocritical' means 'brilliant.' Talion never bothers to correct him, and it's not hard to guess why.
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    Galadriel 

Galadriel

Voiced by: Jennifer Hale
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/galadriel_sow.jpg
The Dark Lord and the Bright Lord are one.
"Lady of Light" and bearer of the Elven ring Nenya, she provides the narration at the beginning of the game, and narrates "The Bright Lord" DLC. She gets a bigger role in the second game as an ally to Eltariel during the Blade of Galadriel DLC.
  • Book-Ends: In a meta sense, as she provides the opening narration of Shadow of Mordor and also the closing narration of Shadow of War's Blade of Galadriel DLCnote , which is set after the fall of Sauron and Talion's Final Death.
  • The Cameo: Makes an appearance in one of the Wraith's flashbacks in Shadow of Mordor.
  • Good Counterpart: To Celebrimbor. She also serves as a voice in Eltariel's mind in the same way he was to Talion's. However, Galadriel is firmly on the side of good rather than being a Knight Templar like Celebrimbor.
  • Good Is Not Nice: She can be very brusque and critical of Eltariel's decisions during her DLC campaign, but that is because she has Middle-Earth's wellbeing in mind. She also forbids her servant from returning home until she had completed her quest, but allows her to do so even when it appears Talion is still not dead.
  • Light Is Good: Her main power, which she provides as source to Eltariel's.
  • Opening Narration: Provides this as shadow literally falls upon the Black Gate.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Well over 7000 years old by the time of the game.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: She is modeled closely after Cate Blanchett's interpretation of the characters from the Peter Jackson films.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Why did Galadriel tell Eltariel she could leave Mordor and go to the West after dispatching Talion?
  • The Unseen: She appears in person exactly twice over the course of the games, both in the opening cutscenes of DLC campaigns: The Bright Lord DLC opens with her and Celebrimbor spying on Sauron's creation of the One Ring via her Mirror, while in the Blade of Galadriel DLC, she appears to Eltariel in a vision. Most of the time, she appears in the games as The Voice.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Most of the Bright Lord DLC has her admonishing Celebrimbor for taking possession of the One Ring and forsaking all else to take Sauron's place.
    • She chastises Elteriel in the Blade of Galadriel DLC for forgetting that her job was to go after the Nazgûl, not to defeat Sauron.

Introduced in Middle-earth: Shadow of War

    Shelob 

Shelob

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shelob_human.jpg
As a human.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shelob_spider.jpg
As a spider.
Voiced by: Pollyanna McIntosh

A monstrous spider-like creature who dwells in Cirith Ungol (Sindarin for "Spider's Cleft") near Minas Ithil/Morgul.


  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Shelob can shapeshift into a human female form in this game to communicate with other beings, whereas in the books, it is never established if she could actually change forms.
  • Adaptational Badass: In the books, Shelob was sentient but couldn't care less about Sauron, who refers to her as his "cat" — a creature that isn't entirely his, but still falls under his domain. In the movies, she was merely an oversized, yet functionally normal bug. Here, she's a shadow-weaving spider-shaped eldritch monster who challenges Sauron for control of Mordor, and Sauron considers her to be dangerous enough that when he learns she has the New Ring, he sends all of his Nazgûl other than the Witch-king against her (and she turns out to be more than capable of fighting all eight of them at once in her spider form). Makes sense, as she's the daughter of an Eldritch Abomination that back in the day was powerful enough to be on equal terms with Melkor, the God of Evil who was way, way stronger than Sauron.
  • Adaptation Expansion: In the novels she was sentient and it was indicated that she could somehow communicate due to Gollum having sworn fealty to her, but she merely functions as a particularly threatening monster who incapacitates Frodo before being badly wounded by Sam. Here, she is a supporting character and powerful ally of Talion's, seeking to take Mordor back from Sauron. Word of God states that they expanded on her to make for a better story, giving her more motivations for her actions than found in the books.
  • Adaptation Species Change: The mobile version of Shadow of War calls her a Maia, while Tolkien only states that Ungoliant — and by extension Shelob — is an all-devouring spider-shaped abomination from the darkness outside Arda.
  • Adaptational Heroism: The Shelob we see in the books and movies is a savage monster that attempts to devour Frodo and Sam. This version on the other hand turns out to be surprisingly well-intentioned: everything she does is to prevent Celebrimbor's rise as the Bright Lord due to one vision she has where he successfully dominates Sauron and uses him to conquer Middle-earth. This is why she kidnaps him at the start of the game and holds him ransom for his Ring of Power. She also never turns on Talion and provides him with assistance and advice whenever she can. She is also the one to tell him he must prevent Sauron from uniting his armies to defend Middle-earth from within Mordor. It could be argued, however, that she's not heroic, just exhibiting Pragmatic Villainy in not wanting someone like Celebrimbor or Sauron in power.
  • Affably Evil: She's genuinely polite and cooperative to Talion. Doesn't stop her from using him to her end and calling him a puppet in their first meeting.
  • Animalistic Abomination: Shelob's mother, Ungoliant, was an ancient spirit of darkness who preferred a spider-like form, while her father was an actual Giant Spider. Shelob herself is somewhere in between.
  • Armour-Piercing Question: "How much are you willing to sacrifice?". Also serves as her Arc Words.
  • Casting a Shadow: Has the ability to weave darkness how normal spiders use webs, and is often surrounded by shadow.
  • Composite Character:
    • According to Word of God, Shelob's design and character was partly based on Thuringwethil.
    • Her shadow-weaving and antagonism toward Sauron call to mind Shelob's own mother, Ungoliant, who briefly fought with Morgoth, Sauron's master, over the silmarils.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: When Sauron betrays her to save his own skin and Suladân's men storm her chambers, Shelob tears them apart with her fingernails and teeth before making her escape.
  • Dark Action Girl: Shelob is a force to be reckoned with. She stands her ground against 8 of the Nazgûl.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Her human form wears only a black dress, and she walks barefoot through the wastelands of Mordor.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: In her human appearance.
  • Enemy Mine: She has no love for the two leads, particularly Celebrimbor, as she kidnaps him to force Talion to surrender their ring to her. But she hates Sauron more than she does them, so Shelob assists the heroes whenever she can.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: She's disgusted by Celebrimbor trying to take Sauron's place, who she already despises for his general nature. And she's the more fundamentally evil one in terms of origin, being spawn of a pure evil Eldritch Abomination. Turns out that Sauron sold her out to Suladân (and discarded whatever their relationship was) out of wanting to try out a Ring of Power rather than, you know, tearing the invading humans apart like he dang well can. This probably explains her emphasis on "dealing only in truth."
  • Evil Counterpart: She's close to being an evil Galadriel; in her human form, her mannerisms and tone are almost a mocking take on the Elf Lady's, as are her powers as a Seer.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Sauron contemptuously viewed Shelob as a pet but dissolved their alliance and banished her when she let her children prey on his armies. Shelob in turn hates Sauron and is willing to ally with Talion, but Celebrimbor warns him that she is not their ally.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: After their initial meeting, she's careful to always appear to Talion in her human form.
    • She introduces herself as "Shelob". Which is an Old English rendition of "she-spider"... and doesn't exactly fit the story arc, as she is supposed to talk to Talion and Celebrimbor in a language which both understand. In Sindarin, an exact translation of "she-spider" would be Ungoleth (cf "ungol"="spider" and "-eth" feminine suffix).
  • Hazy Feel Turn: She isn't exactly nice, manipulates Talion, and has no problem feeding on orcs and humans alike; but she doesn't want Middle-earth under a tyrant.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In an interview, the developers stated that the reason she attacked Frodo and Sam in The Lord of the Rings — sustaining possibly-mortal wounds in the process — was not to eat them, but because she foresaw that Frodo would succumb to the One Ring and wanted to hasten their journey to Mt. Doom so that Gollum could unwittingly do what Frodo could not: destroy the One Ring and end the threat of Sauron's dominion once-and-for-all.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Despite the ability to take a human form, she is still the offspring of the dark, monstrous entity that is Ungoliant and part of her true nature still shines through in certain parts.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Her flashbacks strongly imply she wanted to have a normal, human (form) relationship with Annatar.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Modelled after her voice actress, Pollyanna McIntosh.
  • It's Personal: She seeks revenge on Sauron because Sauron betrayed her by stealing Mordor from her.
  • Madness Mantra: After Sauron's betrayal and her escape from Barad-dûr, Shelob retreats into Cirith Ungol, repeating the same thing over and over as she devolves more and more into her spider form.
    Shelob: The Great Deceiver will pay for his betrayal...he will suffer...he will suffer!
  • Metaphorically True: Word of God states that while she has Brutal Honesty, she chooses her words carefully to further her own goals.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: In her spider form, Shelob has a mouth full of needlepoint fangs in addition to chelicerae.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Her human form. Justified since she previously used it as Sauron's bride and uses it now to interact more easily with Talion.
  • Multiple-Choice Future: She sees possible futures, rather than just one.
  • No-Sell: She wears the New Ring with no desire to use it, and she gives it back to Talion without hesitation. Even though Celebrimbor claims the New Ring isn't tainted like Sauron's, it seems like Shelob is completely unaffected by it.
  • Not So Different: How she sees Sauron and Celebrimbor.
    Celebrimbor: Return what you have stolen from me, and I will bring Sauron to you.
    Shelob: Why would I do that, Ring-Maker? You and Sauron are one.
  • Physical God: The mobile version of Shadow of War classifies her as a Maia, akin to the Wizards, Balrogs, and Sauron. She's clearly something on that order in any case and makes short work of anything less.
  • Primal Stance: At the end of the Web of Fate cutscene she is shown in a half-human form, crawling to Cirith Ungol on all fours like a spider.
  • Red Baron: The mobile version of Shadow of War gives her the sobriquet of "the Shadow Spider", an ability that boosts her power for every Evil-aligned ally present.
  • Really 700 Years Old: She is at least over 7000 years old, but neither of her forms looks particularly elderly.
  • Shapeshifter Default Form: She clearly prefers her giant spider form. Though she avoids showing it to Talion after their first meeting, she's often hiding as a spider when he comes to call, and she shifts back to a woman before he can see her. Even in Tolkien's notes, it's not quite clear what Shelob actually is, and there are some implications that she and her mother are just formless evil and darkness. Regardless, it's quite clear that the spider is her preferred form.
  • She's Got Legs: Her Human form is clad in a shadowy black dress that highlights her long legs.
  • Spanner in the Works: Her entire involvement revolves around manipulating events to foil Sauron and Celebrimbor.
  • Spiders Are Scary: She is the offspring of spider-shaped ancient spirit and a regular giant spider, and the game's interpretation of her arachnid form looks like it was designed by H. R. Giger.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Annatar's betrayal caused her to forsake her human guise.
  • True Sight: Can see both Ringwraiths and Celebrimbor. She also has the ability to foretell or sense events that have yet to happen.
  • Uncanny Valley: She can take the shape of a beautiful human woman...with oddly pale skin, an unsettling way of moving, and eyes that don't react to light normally. (Unless it's the light from the New Ring.)Notably, all of these were normal in the flashback, before Annatar betrayed her and she decided to give up on the whole "human" thing for a while.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Used to be Sauron's lover in his Annatar form until he decided to betray her.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: But, it seems, only from her normal spider form to human.
  • Weakened by the Light: When Eltariel uses the Light of Galadriel to repel the Nazgûl, Shelob cringes in pain — a Call-Forward to Sam using the Phial of Galadriel to fend her off in The Lord of the Rings.
  • We Used to Be Friends:
    • Friends might not be the accurate word, but artifacts from Shadow of Mordor suggest there was a time when Sauron and Shelob were (albeit grudging) allies, with Shadow of War revealing that they used to be lovers. However, when Sauron came to feel that Shelob was taking liberties with the terms of their arrangement (namely by letting her offspring prey on his minions), he rescinded whatever alliance existed between them and ordered her to get out of Mordor or face the consequences, which may explain why she is willing to work with Talion against Sauron.
    • Shadow of War also indicates that Sauron used her as a scapegoat to save his own skin when Suladân's army threatened to storm Barad-dûr.
  • With Friends Like These...: Celebrimbor is openly wary of her, and constantly insists to Talion that Shelob cannot be trusted and whatever benefits they'd gain from an alliance with her aren't worth the cost.
    Celebrimbor: She is not our ally!
  • Woman Scorned: The Web of Fate cutscene reveals that Shelob and Sauron were lovers, prior to him backstabbing her to be attacked by Suladân's forces.
  • Zerg Rush: Talion can summon a horde of her offspring to harass enemies.

    The Gondorian army 

The Gondorian army

The defenders of Minas Ithil. Talion and Celebrimbor help them defend the city during Act I, Talion because it's the right thing to do, while Celebrimbor is more interested in what it's guarding. Baranor isn't listed here due to his role as a DLC protagonist.
  • Big Damn Heroes: During Act I, unnamed captains may save you from orcs about to strike the killing blow.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Like Castamir, several are turned into wights, and are forced to follow Nazgûl!Isildur's will. For better or worse, they later end up serving Dark Talion.
  • Red Shirt: Tarandor and Herion both have some backstory but seemingly die when the city is lost to the Witch-king early on. They pretty much exist only to fill out the spots reserved for warchiefs on the army screen.
  • Red Shirt Army: Unnamed Gondorian soldiers serve as fodder during some nemesis missions during Act I, presumably because the orcs are focused on capturing the city instead of killing each other. Once Act II begins, they are removed from the system and orcs instead begin capturing and slaughtering each other.

    Castamir 

General Castamir

The Gondorian general in charge of the defense of Minas Ithil, and Idril's father.


  • Came Back Wrong: When Isildur raises him from the dead, Castamir is a barely sentient monster who has only the vaguest recollection of his daughter and his past life.
  • Despair Event Horizon: A likely explanation to Castamir's motivation to betray Minas Ithil to the Witch-king. Sauron is known to use fear and despair to destroy his enemy's will to fight even before battle is joined, and it seems that Castamir had succumbed fairly early on in Act I, possibly even earlier. Unfortunately, this sets up something of a Disaster Dominoes effect, since (in the books, at least) it's heavily implied that Sauron used the Palantír that was seized from Minas Ithil in a successful bid to demoralize Castamir's boss Denethor and drive him insanealso at a time when an army from Mordor was at his gates.
  • Distressed Dude: Is made out to be one, when the Witch-king's agents apparently take him hostage. Ultimately subverted, in that he was never in danger; the Orcs merely claimed he was to force a confrontation with Talion.
  • Fate Worse than Death: He is raised as a wight by the Witch-king and he is still barely sentient during the whole time.
    Celebrimbor: He serves the Dark Lord still.
  • Frontline General: Averted, which is particularly notable in a universe where kings and nobles serve as military commanders and fight at the head of their troops.
  • Genre Blindness: He seems to genuinely believe — or at least hope — that the Witch-king will honor his end of their deal. He doesn't seem to remember whom the Witch-king serves, and what tends to happen to the people who cooperate with Sauron.
  • Honor Before Reason: Inverted (depending on one's definition of "reason"), much to Idril's furious disbelief.
    Idril: But what of our people? Of our honor?
    Castamir: There is no honor in death.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: He thinks Minas Ithil is doomed and is ready to abandon it. He probably genuinely believes that, which makes his betrayal easy for him.
  • Manipulative Bastard: During her mission to rescue him, Idril finds him talking with an Orc commander. However, her sudden appearance allows him to kill the Orc while it's distracted and then claim he was being interrogated.
  • Meaningful Name: Shares a name with a Gondorian of royal blood who started the Kinstrife and betrayed the rightful king and whose followers after his death would flee south and eventually become the Corsairs of Umbar and allies of Mordor. This Castamir also betrays Gondor to the Witch-king but only does it in a faint hope of them sparing his daughter.
  • The Mole: He's the traitor responsible for Sauron's forces conquering Minas Ithil, although the city arguably would've fallen anyway.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: After rescuing Castamir from captivity, Talion again requests that he turn over the Palantír for safekeeping. Castamir dismisses Talion's concern in a rather upbeat manner, assuring the Ranger that Gondorian armies will soon arrive to relieve them. Idril immediately realises something is wrong, as she informs Talion that they've been sending requests for aid to Minas Tirith for weeks with no reply.
  • Papa Wolf: He will do anything to keep his daughter alive. Including treason.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Talion initially believes that Castamir is this, as he agrees with Castamir's assertion that the best way to secure the Palantír is to secure the city that holds it. As the siege of Minas Ithil wears on with no end in sight, however, Talion again requests access to the Palantír, which Castamir flatly denies — followed directly by the O.O.C. Is Serious Business moment described above.
  • Reforged into a Minion: Isildur raises Castamir as a wight and forces Talion and Eltariel to fight him.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: His deal with the Witch-king is to grant his daughter's freedom in exchange for the Palantír. The Witch-king scoffs that she's free to die with the rest of her people, right before he executes Castamir with a single blow from his spiked mace.
  • Too Dumb to Live: One wonders how stupid (or despair-filled) he was to think the Witch-king would actually honour his end of the bargain.
  • Walking Spoiler: A lot of information about him spoils important details regarding Act I.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The Witch-king wastes no time in killing Castamir after he's handed over the Palantír.
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    Idril 

Second Captain Idril

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/idril_shadowofwar.jpg
Voiced by: Nicole Tompkins

A guard of the Gondorian city of Minas Ithil who Talion befriends.


  • Action Girl: She can handle an arming sword well enough to carve a swathe through a horde of Orcs.
  • Badass Bookworm: In addition to her military duties, she's also the narrator for the Gondorian artifacts, where she demonstrates an aptitude for Middle-earth history and a love of reading in particular.
  • Big "NO!": Screams a horrified one after the Witch-king murders her father.
  • Broken Pedestal: While her exact relationship with her father is never clearly described, she obviously respects his authority and obeys his orders as her commanding officer. Finding out that he betrayed the city and people that they had both sworn to protect, even if it was done for the express purpose of guaranteeing her safety, does not sit well with her. Downplayed in that, while she's hurt and furious by his actions, she still clearly cares for him as a person — as seen when the Witch-king brutally executes him in front of her.
    Idril: You betrayed us!
  • Cute Bruiser: She's about a foot shorter than her male comrades, but that doesn't stop her from carving through Orcs like paper.
  • Damsel in Distress: Averted. So far as Talion (and the player) sees, Idril is never captured by the Orcs.
  • Do Wrong, Right: After her mother was killed in an Orc raid when she was eleven, Idril used to sneak into the pass of Cirith Ungol, looking for Orcs to kill in revenge. After her father got tired of the soldiers there bringing his daughter back for her own safety, he enlisted her in Gondor's army so that when she did encounter Orcs, she'd at least have a fighting chance.
  • Has a Type: Several artifacts have her almost gushing about her fantasy of being courted by a dashing Corsair, and she seems to have a much higher opinion of Haradrim than Orcs. It helps that she admires Baranor, the only Haradrim whom she knows personally.
  • Hidden Depths: She is a second captain in the army of Minas Ithil, but her primary interest is in the city's history, which she seeks to preserve against Sauron's efforts to conquer and destroy it.
  • Honor Before Reason: She knows staying in Mordor means certain death, but she is unwilling to leave return to Gondor and intends to make her final stand there.
  • I Have Your Wife: During the siege of Minas Ithil, Idril's father Castamir (who is also the commander of Gondor's forces in the city) is taken hostage by the Witch-king's agents to force a confrontation with Talion. Idril panics when the Witch-king's messenger holds up a dagger belonging to her father as proof.
    Talion: We cannot know—
    Idril: That the Orcs are incapable of mercy? That my father is likely already dead?
  • It Gets Easier: Despite already being an accomplished soldier, Talion and Celebrimbor both note after her father's death, she's a lot harder and colder.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: After Baranor is saved from getting executed by the Orcs, Idril finally concedes that remaining in Mordor is a lost cause and agrees to flee with him.
  • Name's the Same: Idril is very likely named after Idril Celebrindal, an Elven princess from the First Age.
  • Put on a Bus: The Desolation of Mordor DLC reveals that Idril led a band of wounded survivors to the secret Gondorian outpost of Henneth Annun while Baranor and a detachment of surviving soldiers traveled to Lithlad to open a new front in the war for Mordor.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Subverted. Idril tries to go after the Witch-king following her father's death, but Talion stops her and urges her to join Baranor and the others in retreat, as there are four Nazgûl between her and the Witch-king and she has no chance of defeating one such creature, let alone their leader.
  • Spotting the Thread: When Castamir confidently remarks that reinforcements from Gondor will arrive soon, Idril immediately realizes that something isn't right; as she reveals to Talion, they've been sending requests for aid to Minas Tirith for weeks with no reply. Interestingly, she may not have actually pulled on this thread, as her stated reason for confronting her father is to reiterate Talion's request that Castamir hand the Palantír over; this is rendered moot, however, when she learns the Awful Truth.
  • Uncertain Doom: She is determined to stand her ground in Mordor and is last seen marching with other guards and Baranor, who makes it clear they will face their doom together.
  • Vague Age: She is noticeably shorter than the other characters and looks pretty young, but is still allowed to fight with the rest of the Gondrorian army, and her status as a warchief implies she is good at it. This makes it difficult to say what her relationship to Baranor is.
  • You Are Not Alone: Idril fully intends to rescue her father alone, but Talion gently reminds her that she needn't assume her friends won't help her do it.

    Dagor 

Sergeant Dagor

Voiced by: JB Blanc

A Gondorian sergeant at Minas Ithil.


  • Bald of Awesome: He is completely clean-shaven possibly to make his appearance more distinct among the Gondorian officers.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Over his left eye, which is a second characteristic that makes him stand out the most.
  • Kill It with Fire: Dagor is caught in the blast when the Witch-king's drake obliterates the gate to the Upper City of Minas Ithil with a fireball; he is last seen writhing and burning on the ground, and since he is not seen again when Baranor and Talion call the retreat, it's to be presumed he perished in the flames.
  • Red Herring: When Shelob's vision reveals that there is a traitor among the Gondorian guard that will open the gates to let the orc forces in, players would be naturally inclined to think he is The Mole because of his sinister appearance and name. Turns out he isn't, and Castamir is the actual traitor.
  • Spear Carrier: He only appears to give one line of dialogue and stand silent in the background among the Gondorian officers.
  • The Quiet One: He is a man of very few words.

    Brûz 

Brûz the Chopper

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bruzthechopper.jpg
"Bright Lord, Dark Lord, same thing really!"
Voiced by: Gideon Emery

An Olog Tank of the Warmonger Tribe, who holds the distinction of being the first captain to be recruited by Talion after the latter retrieves the New Ring.


  • The Ace: As far as Mordor society is concerned, Brûz definitely qualifies. He's a powerful warrior and a skilled tactician. It's why Celebrimbor and Talion made him the initial commander of their forces.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: After Brûz dispatches Flogg the Hatchet with gusto, Celebrimbor approves, "I like him!"
  • Affably Evil: Even before joining Talion, he's quite the friendly chap.
  • Audible Gleam: When Talion conquers the first Stronghold, Brûz suggests himself as Overlord, smiling with an audible gleam.
  • Awesome Aussie: Unlike the scruffy British hooligan accent common to most uruks, Brûz has a distinctly Australian accent.
  • The Big Guy: Standard for an Olog-hai, but he likes to reference it a lot.
  • Black Speech: He can't speak a word of it, but nevertheless gives an approximate translation of what he thinks an Overlord who speaks nothing but Black Speech is yelling at Talion's forces during a siege. His translation ("You are all going to die...horribly.") is close.note  To wit, in the original text, Olog-hai were only able to communicate in Black Speech. This means that either the Alternate Universe has omitted this detail, or Brûz has been raised in a part of Mordor that doesn't use the language.note 
  • Blood Knight: Admits to like ripping out spines, and asks Talion to let him pop off both of the Warlord's heads. To say he enjoys bloodshed is a bit of an understatement.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: He genuinely enjoys combat.
  • Break the Badass: Introduces the Shaming mechanic with himself as the first example as punishment for going rogue on Talion. Should you later re-Recruit him, his portrait will show a depressed Brûz, and on missions he'll continue to sob to the other Orcs, "It's not my fort! It's his fort! Always has been!"
  • Broken Tears: After being Shamed for his betrayal, Brûz is reduced to an inconsolably weeping wreck, and all his dialogue afterwards is delivered between sobs.
  • But Thou Must!: Regardless of how you feel about him, you cannot appoint him as Overlord of Nurnen after taking it from Ratbag, which leads to his betrayal.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Dark example. After his quest arc is concluded, a Shamed and Deranged Brûz can be forcibly recruited again, but he's hard wired to have permanently high turnover due to his madness and resentment.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Well okay, Supporting Character, but Brûz is clearly a Foil to Ratbag in the role of tutorial specimen for Nemesis Minions. Whereas Ratbag in Mordor was an runtling Orc who cajoled his way into Talion's mechanisms and had to be rescued constantly to serve as a trial run for intervening in Power Struggles only to be killed in the cutscene introduction of the Disc-One Final Boss, Brûz in War is a huge Olog who's more than competent in a fight that Talion and Celebrimbor are so impressed with that they immediately decide to Dominate him mid-battle to become their first officer in their Army, and he will apparently not have a prescripted death and be released into the Nemesis herd once his story purpose is fulfilled. Appropriately enough, when he and Ratbag meet, they argue quite a bunch. Even more so at the end of Brûz's quest line, where Ratbag is still loyal to Talion without the need of branding him while Brûz ended up broken after betraying Talion.
  • Crazy Awesome: He just wants to relieve opponents of their spines.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: In the introductory pit fight, he very quickly dispatches his opponent.
  • Determinator: When he defines himself as an optimist. Cruelly averted after being broken. As the leader of an outpost, he'll say over and over, "I don't want the fort!"
    Brûz: Always said you were an optimist. Know what that is, mate? It's about sizing up a situation that's bloody impossible and saying "Yeah alright, I'll have a go!" I'm exactly the same way.
  • The Dog Bites Back: While him betraying Talion is treated like a terrible crime for which he must be punished, it becomes far less severe when one remembers that the only reason Brûz was loyal to Talion in the first place was being brainwashed into serving him. He's not exactly a nice guy (none of the orcs are) but he's well within his rights to turn on Talion the moment he feels able to. Until you realize he was never dominated; absolutely nothing about him changed, and he doesn't even get Talion's handprint on his cheek.
  • Establishing Character Moment: He responds to his pit fight opponent's death threat with a calm, eloquent speech. And then proceeds to utterly destroy said opponent, almost without trying.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: After Shaming Brûz, at some point later in the game, his blood brothers will ambush you, Baz and Gaz, and call you out on ruining him. Later, Daz, his best friend, will ambush you.
    Gaz: Do you think you can terrorize and torture your way across Mordor and no one will take you to task for it? Well, that ends now. Ends good and proper!
  • Fate Worse than Death: He receives one from Talion in order to make an example of what happens to those who oppose the Bright Lord. Fittingly, completing his questline unlocks the "Worse Than Death" upgrade for Shaming, which lets you create Deranged Orcs.
  • Friendly Enemy: He seems to be affable and complimentary towards everybody, even people he's trying to kill. This doesn't stop him from backstabbing Talion over not promoting him to Overlord when the opportunity presents itself.
  • Genius Bruiser: He has a far better vocabulary than other Uruks, much less other Ologs.
  • Heel–Face Brainwashing: Like other Orcs, he is recruited via Domination. However, he's faking it.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Charming as he is, Brûz did take over Talion's fort after literally stabbing him in the back. However, Talion and Celebrimbor shaming him into insanity is presented as crossing a line, and both Ranger and Ratbag, who had no love for Brûz in the first place, are genuinely disturbed by his miserable state after the protagonists are done with him.
  • Madness Mantra: "I don't want the fort. I never wanted the fort. It's your fort."
  • Make an Example of Them: Celebrimbor decides to Shame Brûz to the point of derangement rather than just killing him to send a message to any potentially treasonous followers. Talion initially refuses, but he comes to agree with Celebrimbor after surviving one too many of Brûz's Death Traps.
    Celebrimbor: Now every Orc in Mordor will think twice before betraying us!
  • Manipulative Bastard: He shows no signs of branding after Talion recruits him; he was faking it the entire time, as Talion was his best chance to become the overlord. You can even briefly see him deciding whether to smash or go along with Talion during his "branding".
  • Mind Rape: Celebrimbor inflicts this on him by Shaming him to the point of insanity, and the olog is left a babbling, broken wreck for the rest of his existence.
  • Motor Mouth: Even contending the much, much expanded line-pool available to the NPC Uruks of Shadow of War, Brûz is by leaps and bounds the chattiest Orc or Troll ever encountered by far, and when at your side simply will not stop talking. Before your recruit him, it even sounds as though his fellow Captains were out of patience for his jabbering.
    Enemy Orc: I've had enough of your mouth, Brûz.
    • In a rather dark way, after being Shamed, Brûz's dialogue becomes nothing but incoherently babbling his Madness Mantra, even during combat.
  • Mr. Exposition: He gives Talion the lay of the land upon being Dominated, introducing the local overlord and walking you through the mechanics of army management as you gather followers. He is also used to demonstrate betrayal from your ranks, and later the Shaming upgrade.
  • No-Sell: With the benefit of hindsight, it seems likely that he was never under Talion's control to begin with and only played along to rise in the ranks.
  • Not So Different: Sees no difference between Sauron and the Gravewalker. Part of it is being Dominated, but one gets the impression he knows that any ring wielder is heading down Sauron's path.
    Brûz: "Bright Lord, Dark Lord, same thing really! End result's me ripping spines out — which I like t' do anyways, so either way's a win."
  • Punny Name: Brûz, Boisterous Bruiser. Additionally, when he introduces himself, it sounds like 'Bruce', befitting him as an Awesome Aussie.
  • Shout-Out: In addition to his name explained above, his title "The Chopper" is an obvious reference to infamous Australian gang leader and criminal Mark "Chopper" Read.
  • Smoke Out: When Talion storms the fortress with his loyalists and has Brûz on the ropes, Brûz makes his exit by throwing a smoke bomb and disappearing. This is particularly notable since Smoke Outs are a Trickster trademark, and it's never explained where and how Brûz acquired a smoke bomb that was powerful enough to camouflage an entire Olog, much less how he could manage to vanish completely in the split second before the smoke dissipated.
  • The Resenter: Brûz wanted to be the Overlord of the first fort Talion conquered, but is passed over. He doesn't take kindly to this, which is one of the reasons why he betrays Talion.
  • Too Dumb to Live: For starters, literally backstabbing a Ranger known for his Resurrective Immortality isn't the brightest idea ever, but that one at least can be chalked up to irrational bitterness over having been passed over for the Overlord position. However, instead of cutting his losses and disappearing after Talion returns and recaptures the fort, Brûz continues to deliberately antagonize him by capturing Ranger, attacking Talion's other followers, and luring the ranger himself into ambushes and Death Traps. Unsurprisingly, after surviving yet another one of these death trap-ambush combos, Talion decides that he's had enough and gets on board with Celebrimbor's plan to make an example of Brûz, rather than killing him like he'd originally planned.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Brûz experiences one when Talion unexpectedly shows up at his hideout with a freed Ranger in tow. It's the first time since Brûz's betrayal where he's caught by surprise, and he has no tricks up his sleeve this time.
    Brûz: What the bloody blazes are you doing here? And who said you could let Ranger out of his cage?!

    Ranger 

Az-Harto "Ranger" the Vicious

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/azharto.png
"You are a cruel one, Gravewalker."
Voiced by: Fred Tatasciore

Initially thought to be the Overlord of Núrnen, this Olog is actually Ratbag's inseparable friend, which makes him a unexpected ally to Talion.


  • Actually, That's My Assistant: Ranger is believed to be in charge of Núrnen, but actually it's Ratbag (who posed as a second head).
  • Badass Boast: When Talion rescues him, he asks Ranger if he can still walk. Ranger replies yes, he can if it means he can extract some revenge, and if Brûz is there, he'll run to face him.
  • Badass in Distress: He is taken captive by Brûz during his storyline, but he is rescued by Talion. He makes it clear he is still ready to fight after being released.
  • Berserk Button: Being held captive. It's one reason he owes a life debt to Ratbag.
  • The Big Guy: According to the Appendix, Ranger is one of the biggest and strongest Olog-hais, making him one of the Big Guys in a race of Big Guys.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: With Ratbag, who is a runt orc in contrast to Ranger being a hulking Olog.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's aware that no one else is able to translate Black Speech, and takes the opportunity to snark at both Ratbag and Talion whenever they fail to understand him.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Being a big and mighty olog-hai, Ranger is clearly more dangerous than Ratbag. Its said that he only became Overlord of Núrnen after Ranger himself killed their predecessor.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Like Ratbag, he's horrified at Brûz's state after Talion has him Shamed.
  • Foil: To Brûz the Chopper. Both of them are powerful Olog-hai, but while Brûz is a talkative Boisterous Bruiser, Ranger is taciturn and more composed. Brûz has ambitions of becoming the Overlord of Nurnen and betrays Talion after the latter denies him the position. Ranger is first introduced as the Overlord of Nurnen with Ratbag, but he resigns without complaint when Talion finds them and Ratbag decides it's in their best interest throw in the towel.
  • Incoming Ham: His first lines are a hammy Badass Boast delivered to Talion's army in Black Speech no less:
    Ranger (in Black Speech): You should not have come. This fort stands strong. We will kill you all!
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: Ranger speaks exclusively in Black Speech, but his lines are subtitled for the player's benefit. Completely averted with Ratbag, who can't understand a word that comes out of Ranger's mouth and apparently doesn't even realize that he's talking. As it turns out, Ranger is actually capable of speaking in Common Speech.
  • I Owe You My Life: He says the only reason that he hangs with Ratbag is because the latter saved his life. He even takes offense when Ratbag refers to him as a friend!
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Ranger's real name is Az-Harto. This never comes up except in the Appendices; even during story quests where Ranger appears, his name is given as "Ranger the Vicious."
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: After seeing Brûz's fate, Ranger drops the Black Speech and tells Talion how that was cruel.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite Ranger's insistence that he and Ratbag aren't friends. He's very appreciative of Ratbag getting help from Talion while he was captured.
  • The Stoic: Ranger remains calm and composed, even when angry. The only time he ever shows anger is after Talion frees him from capture. Even then, he does a Skyward Scream then calms back down, ready to fight.
  • Tsundere: Very subtly, but there are hints that Ranger actually doesn't mind Ratbag. The biggest is when he and Talion take down Brûz, Ratbag runs over and hugs Ranger, and Ranger pats him on the back with a smirk and softly chides Ratbag for relying on Talion to pull off the rescue mission.
  • Villainous Friendship: With Ratbag, though he denies it, which also doubles as an Odd Friendship. You wouldn't think that this big brute would actually be genuinely friends with someone like him.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": He was named "Ranger" by Ratbag in Talion's honor, much to the latter's bafflement.

    Carnán 

Carnán

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/carnan.jpg
"Undeath will defeat undeath."
Voiced by: Toks Olagundoye

A mysterious protector of the forest of Núrnen.


  • Action Girl: One of the biggest in the series, even more so than Lithariel, Eltariel and Idril, considering Carnán can trade blows with a Balrog.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Subverted in that she is the "bigger fish". When facing a Balrog, Celebrimbor is confident they'll defeat it because they have a spirit of Carnán by their side.
  • The Beastmaster: As a master of the forest, all creatures, including caragors and graugs, bend to her will.
  • Disney Death: She dies halfway through her questline, but returns alive at the end.
  • The Dreaded: Celebrimbor is scared of her, and she's reportedly a match for Sauron himself.
    Celebrimbor: Talion! You cannot defeat her.
    Talion: What do you suggest I do?
    Celebrimbor: Throw down your sword and kneel.
  • Elite Mooks: Played with: she can turn herself into elite versions of the bestiary of Mordor, including elite versions of Graugs and drakes.
  • Expy: A more violent version of Tom Bombadill from the books, being a personification of Mordor as much as Tom was of the Shire. Word of God says this might be who she is.
  • Fighting a Shadow: She has the ability to manifest various Mordor wildlife from the plant life of her forest, as she remains safe under her tree. That said, her wildlife forms are not totally expendable: you'll still fail her missions if she dies during combat, and after using her Drake form to pin Tar-Goroth under a frozen lake, she is visibly weakened the next time you see her.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Ask any of the Uruks wandering into her forest. She does not fool around, and their deaths are slow since the forest is methodically consuming them.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted. She spends much of her strength to trap Tar-Goroth inside a lake and seemingly withers and dies slowly afterwards, but she reappears alive again when Zog is finally defeated.
  • Homefield Advantage: In her forest she is all powerful and can even appear in her humanoid form but outside her forest she can only appear as tougher versions of mordor's wildlife made of plants and bark.
  • It's Personal: With Tar-Goroth due to him burning down much of her forest during his rampage in the second age.
  • Lucky Translation or Meaningful Name: Her name resembles the Finnish word "Kaarna", which means (tree's) bark. Whether this is intentional or not is hard to say.
  • Mysterious Past: Even the developers have no idea who she really is. They postulate she could be an Entwifenote , a Tom Bombadil Expy, or something else.
    Michael de Plater: She is a spirit of nature. She could be a Maiar. I don’t think she is an Ent-wife, but I think she probably knows what happened to them. She definitely would be able to speak Entish, but she is definitely a representation of the spirit of nature and what would happen to that if it was in somewhere oppressed by darkness, industry and horror as Mordor is.
  • Nature Spirit: Her role as a protector of Núrnen. It's also why Celebrimbor thinks just trying to talk her down is pointless.
    Celebrimbor: One does not reason with the wind.
  • Neutral No Longer: She initially doesn't really care about the war raging outside Núrnen. She kills almost all who enter her forest, which are mostly Sauron's scouts, who suffer a Fate Worse than Death. However, she aids Talion in some quests (marked with a Beast icon) as a ride-able mount when Sauron's Mystic tribes start screwing around with nature, including summoning a Balrog.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: She has a noticeable bust for a plant creature.
  • Really 700 Years Old: She was one of Morgoth's contemporaries, making her anywhere from 6500+ years old, to older than the universe.
  • Strange-Syntax Speaker: Carnán talks with what can only be described as a hissing drawl, elongating some syllables and hushing others for a disconcerting, almost atonal cadence. When teaming up with Talion on missions though, all the excitement makes her voice rise and quicken, creating a contrasting accent of sorts.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Her body has the shape of a human woman wearing a dress or gown, and she's female.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: She can turn herself into more powerful versions of animals in Mordor.
  • Worf Had the Flu: She's supposed to be capable of going toe-to-toe with Sauron, yet needs Talion and Celebrimbor's help on multiple occasions (and her avatars are prime fodder for enemies). Just before the final mission of her questline however, it's revealed that she's going into a state of hibernation — she is plantlife, after all.
  • The Unintelligible: Borderline. While she speaks in a language that Talion can understand, she has an incredibly thick accent. The player will either need to listen extremely carefully, or play with the subtitles on.

    Forthog Orc-Slayer 

Forthog Orc-Slayer

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/forthog.jpg
Voiced by:

A legend among the Orcs of Mordor, Forthog Orcslayer is an unstoppable warrior who saves Mordor’s mightiest heroes at their moment of greatest need.


  • Alternate Company Equivalent: He functions as Middle-earth's Mysterious Stranger: there's a chance he will appear to save Talion from death, much as the Mysterious Stranger will suddenly appear to One-Hit Kill an opponent.
  • Badass Beard: Mixed with a touch of Beard of Sorrow.
  • Bald of Awesome: And he doesn't even care about it being exposed to the wintry elements.
  • Big Damn Hero: His role in the game is to save Talion from being killed every so often.
  • Blood Knight: His only reaction to seeing an enormous horde of Orcs bearing down on him is to give a little smile.
  • Body Paint: An elaborate patterned tattoo covers his back.
  • The Drifter: Of the Walking the Earth variety.
  • Foreshadowing: Forthog knows what's in store for Talion. One of his particularly subtle lines is "You must travel the long road, Ranger. The long road will get you home."
  • In Memoriam: The character is based on Monolith's executive producer Mike Forgey, who was nicknamed "Forthog". He passed away during development from cancer in 2016. The character is being released as part of a free story DLC. invoked
  • Ink-Suit Actor: As such, the character strongly resembles Forgey, especially the Badass Beard. He wielded an axe, too.
  • Instrument of Murder: Wields a crude lute-like instrument with a blade attached.
  • Mysterious Protector: His official title is "Mysterious Savior". His role is to randomly show up to save Talion from death. He can even take out Overlords.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Forthog, being directly modeled on a human, has very little resemblance to any of the other Uruks in-game with his relatively fine facial features and full-grown, fair-haired beard. Possibly he might even be a Goblin-man/Half-Orc.
  • One-Man Army: He doesn't even blink when surrounded by Orcs — and the Orcs know it.
  • Shrouded in Myth: As described above, his exploits have made him The Dreaded among the Orcs of Mordor.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: He comes out of nowhere to aid Talion when fighting an Olog.
  • Theme Song: "Back Home" by The Cold That Lasts All Winter.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Forthog will always be lower leveled than the Captain he kills, often over 10 levels. This includes Legendary Captains and Overlords.
  • What Could Have Been: One of Forthog's lines after saving Talion: "In another time, we could have been friends!" invoked

    Akoth Slayer of the Dead 

Akoth Slayer of the Dead

An orc who serves as Talion's overlord in Cirith Ungol in the Blade of Galadriel DLC.


  • Berserk Button: Undead, hence his name. He witnessed his brother's death, and once the latter returned as a revenant, he performed a Mercy Kill on him. From that point onwards, he dedicated himself on killing any and all undead orcs he can find, which eventually led him to Talion Sure enough, he has the "Enraged by Undead" trait in gameplay.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: His fate in Blade of Galadriel is somewhere between this and Put on a Bus. After Eltariel successfully defends Cirith Ungol and gets a visit from the Rogue Nazgûl, Talion orders Akoth to go to Minas Morgul and ensure that it is secure. Akoth is nowhere to be seen when Talion and Eltariel return to Minas Morgul themselves at the end of the story; presumably he returned to Cirith Ungol in the interim, but the region ceases to be relevant to the story after the defense of its fort. Interestingly, he always shows up in Cirith Ungol's Army screen as its overlord throughout the story.
  • I Know A Guy: His main narrative purpose in Blade of Galadriel's story is to point her to several "unique" locals who can possibly help bolster the fort's defenses. Justified in that, as Cirith Ungol's overlord, he can't exactly be running around on the field.
  • In the Hood: Wears a black hood just like Talion.
  • Irony: His hatred for the undead led him to seek out the Gravewalker, which in turn led to him becoming a servant of an undead fiend.
  • Heel–Face Brainwashing: His bio mentions that Talion dominated as recruited him after trying to kill him. Notably, since Eltariel refuses to dominate orcs, Akoth is the only notable ally in Blade of Galadriel who was subjected to this.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Seems to have a bit of that as he dresses like Talion does.
  • In-Series Nickname: Talion calls him "Slayer."
  • Number Two: To Talion himself, as the overlord of Cirith Ungol, Talion's last remaining stronghold inside Mordor after he loses Seregost.

    Eltariel's Army 

Eltariel's Army

A group of orcs Eltariel hires during the Blade of Galadriel DLC. These guys are static characters instead of the randomized orcs Talion meets. They are Ar-Kaius the Architect, Ogg the Bow of Morgoth, Ar-Baruk the Thrall, Màku the Fixer, Flak "Flint" and Torz "Tinder", Krimp the Enchanted, and Golm the Digger.


  • Abhorrent Admirer: Krimp the Enchanted is rather taken with Eltariel. Being an orc though, she's less pleased by his infatuation. To his credit, he is not a Stalker with a Crush. He tries to be as genuinely civil and chivalrous as possible to her.
    • And he isn't THAT hideous either. Aside from being a little rotund and his yellowing skin, he's not the most revolting orc in the game.
  • Adorkable: The Enchanted definitely fits this, what with all of his fanboyish admiration of his mistress. Flint and Tinder could also fit here due to their childish enthusiasm.
  • Affably Evil: They happen to be some of the nicest orcs in the whole game. It speaks volumes that they are like this naturally instead of being branded by Eltariel.
  • Always Identical Twins: Flak Flint and Torz Tinder are mirrored version of one another.
  • The Beastmaster: Ar-Baruk the Thrall is a follower of Shelob, and he controls her spiders. Golm the Digger can control ghûls.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Sure, you may laugh at the quirky nature of these orcs, especially the Enchanted and Flint and Tinder, but remember. They're still orcs who can still skewer, stab, and brutalize any who get in their way.
  • Blowing Stuff Up: Flint and Tinder's favorite hobby.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Krimp joins Eltariel as a bodyguard because he's in love with her. Unfortunately for him, the feeling is not mutual.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Ar-Kaius The Architect, who is also a Violent Glaswegian.
  • Canon Immigrant: Once you have the DLC, these guys will be added to your garrison in the main game, and can thus be added to Talion's army as well. However, unlike in the DLC, they will follow the normal orc AI, and thus can betray you, die, etc.
  • Cool Old Guy: Ar-Kaius has very noticeable white hair and beard and acts like a Boisterous Bruiser.
    • Ogg is even older (See Time Abyss below) and just so happens to be able to headshot orcs around a mile away.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • While they all have extra lines if added to the main game, Krimp, who has a huge crush on Eltariel, isn't nearly as nice to Talion, who he is more willing to criticise.
    • If they die during the DLC, they obviously can't appear later during it, and Galadriel gives Eltariel her objectives instead.
  • The Faceless: Màku always wears his mask, even if he is captured by hostiles in the main game; every other orc in the game loses their headwear if this happens.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Flint and Tinder often talk like this.
  • The Fixer: Màku's entire shtick.
  • Friendly Sniper: Ogg is pretty friendly and sociable for a follower of Morgoth and is a skilled shot with a crossbow. Eltariel notes the irony that Morgoth would be furious at one of his followers working with an Elf.
  • The Fundamentalist: Ogg the Bow of Morgoth is an orc loyal to Morgoth who sees Sauron as a pretender and usurper of the title of Dark Lord.
  • Heel–Face Brainwashing: Averted. Eltariel dislikes the idea of branding, and thus hires these guys by helping them (or in the case of Màku and Krimp, they join on their own accord).
  • I Call It "Vera": Ar-Kaius has a massive hammer he calls "Boneshaker".
  • In Love with Your Carnage: Flint and Tinder love how Eltariel makes things go "BOOM!"
  • Klingon Scientists Get No Respect: The architect likes building more than he likes destroying, which is apparently an extremely rare occurence in the orc society.
  • Mad Bomber: Flint and Tinder are Orc sappers who love blowing stuff up.
  • Mook Carryover: A notable aversion with Ogg, who, unlike most other orcs who were around at the time, didn't join up with Sauron when he replaced Morgoth.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: The Digger and the Architect are directly opposed to one other. Eltariel will have to side with one over the other.
  • Number Two: Màku acts as one to Eltariel, helping her find Orcs to recruit and formulate plans to sabotage forts. In fact, he's the one who sought her out to serve her.
  • Permanently Missable Content: You can only recruit them once in your save file. If they die, they are gone unless they cheat death, and the only way to get them back is to restart the DLC. As of July 2018, however, they can be unlocked in story mode more than once by replaying the DLC.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: An Olog architect, an ancient sniper, an olog with the ability to control spiders, a fixer orc whose face is never seen, two brothers who like to blow stuff up with matching burn wounds, a chivalrous bruiser with a crush on Eltariel, and a half-naked orc who lives underground. This group is pretty colorful.
  • Really 700 Years Old: As one of the original followers of Morgoth, Ogg is several millennia old, and can pretty much claim to be the oldest orc in Mordor, probably in all of Middle-earth. He's probably even older than Celebrimbor.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Despite his somewhat goofy appearance and personality, Krimp knows that Talion is not the Bright Lord and about what happened at Barad-dûr. If you insert him into the main game and fight him for one reason or another, he actually taunts him that he was a terrible choice for the Bright Lord's host; naturally, he thinks Eltariel would be a better one.
  • Taking You with Me: Flak "Flint" blows himself up along with his captor during the siege of the Rogue Nazgûl's fort. Eltariel herself doesn’t react, but his blood brother screams his name in agony.
  • Time Abyss: As stated above, Ogg is several millennia old.
  • Unexplained Accent: The Architect somehow has a Scottish accent.
  • Was Once An Elf: Ogg, maybe. He wears Elven armor and is the only Orc encountered with remains of a long, flowing white hair, which might be an allusion to the fact that some believe Orcs to have originated from corrupted Elves.
  • White Mask of Doom: Màku wears a mask with a white skull painted on it.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Ar-Baruk knows that he's a future dinner for Shelob — and is perfectly fine with it.

    Serka 

Serka the Unkillable

The charismatic leader of the Vanishing Sons Mercenary Company, who also happens to be Baranor's long-lost older brother.


  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Serka is unlocked as a skin for Talion after one completes the DLC with a gold rating.
  • Bad Boss: The first time we see anyone question Serka's dominance, they end up with a crossbow bolt in the shoulder and wyrm teeth everywhere else. According to Serka, this level of ruthlessness is part of the job description of a mercenary leader. Of course, as "questioning Serka's dominance" translates to "betraying Serka to the orcs and leaving him to get butchered by them," Serka is understandably not in a forgiving mood.
  • Call-Back: A twofer.
    • Serka offers Baranor a "family discount" on hiring mercenaries if Baranor will assist him in raiding a treasure caravan. Later on, after Baranor saves Serka from the Circus, a grateful Serka makes good on his word, and all mercenaries are cheaper to recruit from then on.
    • Also near the beginning of the story, when Baranor reiterates his desire to conquer Lithlad's fortress, Serka voices a sarcastic hope that Baranor's got a "great plan" to do so. Later, when Baranor outlines his plan of attack to Serka, the latter sincerely compliments it.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Serka was separated his brother while they were still boys, and not too long afterwards, his parents (and presumably the majority of his village) were murdered by marauding mercenaries, who kidnapped and raised him. After a successful but bloody defense of the Oasis, he also confides to Baranor that this isn't the first time he's lost everything, although it's unknown whether he's referring to losing his family and home or to another incident.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has his moments.
    Baranor (to Serka): It seems you have better eyes than I do.
    Serka: And looks too, but who's keeping track.
  • The Determinator: As he tells Baranor after a hard-fought battle, he is called the Unkillable not because he has never lost, but because he never stops fighting.
  • Head Swap: Like Baranor, the Serka skin replaces Talion's head and arms, but the available equipment will not change.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: How Serka justifies working for orcs.
    Serka: Look, in this line of work, I can't choose where my coin comes from.
  • Large Ham: Serka is nothing if not an excellent showman.
  • Leave No Witnesses: An essential component of Serka's raids of orc treasure caravans, since he can't have any of them revealing the Vanishing Sons' involvement in the robbery of the caravans that they're being paid to protect.
  • Long-Lost Relative: He is Baranor's older brother Jagai.
  • The Magnificent: Serka the Unkillable, Serka the Insufferable, Serka the Destroyer. He has many of these.
  • The Quisling: Baranor considers Serka this for being hired by Marauder Orcs to protect their plunder of Gondorian gold. From Baranor's beloved home of Minas Ithil, no less.
  • Raised by Orcs: His and Baranor's parents were killed by the very same mercenaries he now rules over.
  • Sole Survivor: Per the Appendices, Serka (Jagai at the time) was one of three boys captured by the Vanishing Sons when they razed his village; the other two boys died within a few months of their kidnapping.
  • That Man Is Dead: In a conversation with Baranor, Serka claims that he let Jagai die, since Jagai can be killed while Serka cannot.
  • The Trickster: Serka's been making quite the pretty penny literally robbing the caravans he's been hired and paid by the orcs to protect.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Serka angrily calls out Baranor after Baranor triggers a cave-in that blocks the treasure caravan's route.
    Serka: What have you done?!
    Serka (furious): That was also MY supply line!

    The Vanishing Sons 

The Vanishing Sons Mercenary Company

A company of Easterling mercenaries, currently operating in Lithlad.


  • All There in the Manual: Per the norm, most of the Vanishing Sons' backstory can only be found in the Appendices.
  • Badass Normal: The are just normal humans but are capable of going toe-to-toe with Nemesis Orcs.
  • The Beastmaster: Like orcs, some mercenaries command packs of loyal caragors or even dire caragors. Others have the Caragor Tamer trait that automatically converts nearby enemy caragors into friendlies.
  • Berserk Button: They can have most of the same rage triggers as orcs, as well as some exclusive ones: Enraged by Allies Attacked (causes them to get Enraged when a nearby mercenary is attacked) and Gondorian Pledge (causes them to get Enraged when Baranor is attacked). Baranor can also acquire a gear augment that causes all nearby mercenaries (including Serka) to get Enraged when he's attacked.
  • Blood Knight: While fighting orcs, some mercenaries will enthusiastically shout, "I can't believe I'm getting paid for this!" Some mercs take this Up to Eleven, being almost disturbingly eager to kill orcs.
  • Canon Character All Along: Significantly downplayed, but the orcs have standing orders to not attack the mercenaries without provocation; according to Takra the Sandspider, this order comes straight from Barad-dûr itself, since the mercs will be needed for the upcoming war.
  • Consummate Professional: They will never betray Baranor since he paid for them. More specifically, one merc personality type is a former soldier in the Easterling army, and mercs with this personality often bemoan other Company members' lack of discipline and refer to Baranor as a superior officer.
  • Cool Mask: To a man, every mercenary wears a veil over their nose and mouth. Partly to avoid breathing in sand and other hazards while out and about, and partly so that the devs don't have to synchronize mouth movement animations to voice lines.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Per the Appendices.
    • The Vanishing Sons were created by the survivors of an Easterling military company who survived a Suicide Mission skirmish with the Rohirrim. Rather than returning to the country that betrayed them and left them to die, they struck out on their own and began offering their fighting prowess to the highest bidder.
    • The current incarnation of the Vanishing Sons has a similarly bloody history: the Vanishing Sons routinely annihilated villages (Easterling and Haradrim alike) but kept boys alive and raised them as fighters. Over time, the Easterling mercenaries died off and were replaced by their erstwhile captives; their current leader Serka is one of those former captives.
  • Dual Wielding: Notably averted. Unlike orcs, mercenaries don't ever wield weapons in both hands.
  • Ironic Nickname: Some mercenaries have titles that are rather unimposing or even effeminate (the Dancer, Star-Gazer, of the Flowers, etc.), but they're just as capable as their brothers when it comes to cutting through orcs. Possibly even more capable, depending on their strengths.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Inverted, which is awesome in its own right. Mercenaries can have certain orc epic traits as normal traits, sometimes under different names. Examples include Devastator (Great Strength), Thick Skinned, Knife Thrower (Epic Throwing Knives), and Leader: Elite Defenders (Gang of Elite Defenders).
  • Not So Different: From orcs, as Serka lampshades:
    Baranor (to Serka, referring to the orcs): How do you work with these beasts?
    Serka: Oh, they're not much different from mercenaries. They like to drink, to sing, and to kill.
  • Only in It for the Money: Some mercenaries talk endlessly about the Coin that they're making. Occasionally, a bodyguard will ask Baranor if he'll pay him extra for arriving so promptly, or if he's bleeding out, he'll warn Baranor that he's losing his investment.
  • Palette Swap: Subverted. Mercenaries have the exact same function as orcs have in the main game, but these guys have human-unique traits and never betray Baranor. They also have custom animations and can be commanded in both combat and stealth. (Orcs can only be commanded from stealth.)
    • Notably, unlike orcs, mercenaries use bows instead of crossbows. Humorously, while Talion and Celebrimbor never use crossbows, Baranor only uses a crossbow in Desolation of Mordor.
    • Played somewhat straight with some of their traits, which are renamed versions of orc traits. Aside from the examples listed under Mundane Made Awesome above, one notable example is the weakness Uninspired (Infected by Fear).
  • Sour Supporter: One mercenary personality type does nothing but complain: complain about the heat, complain about the desert, complain about the Company, complain about Baranor, complain about fighting. They're no less lethal in combat than their brothers.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Some Archers have the Explosive Shot trait. One possible Combat Command is Balefire Cluster Bomber, where the merc throws explosives that trigger balefire explosions all around him. Some mercenaries also throw bombs during combat. Finally, one possible mercenary Epic Trait is Corpse Exploder, which causes anyone killed by the merc to have a chance of exploding with no friendly fire to Baranor or his allies.
  • Taking the Bullet: The Beloved Command legendary armor augment causes a nearby mercenary to sacrifice himself if Baranor takes damage that would kill him.
  • Undying Loyalty: Mostly averted. As Serka informs Baranor, mercenaries are ultimately only loyal to coin. They're certainly not terribly loyal to their leader; apparently, almost none of them blink when Zhója usurps Serka's rule and sends him to the orcs, aside from possibly a handful of loyalists who are condemned to die alongside him — and they also don't blink when Serka returns, forcibly reclaims his position, and orders Zhója's execution. However, see Taking the Bullet above as well.
    Serka: You see those men back there? Those are not soldiers. Their loyalty is bought, and when they stop getting paid, their blades are no longer under my control!
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Mostly averted. You cannot hit mercenaries, even if you want to. Swing your sword in their direction all you like; it'll just go through them, and they won't even flinch. Your crossbow, on the other hand...
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