Grishnákh was an Orc captain from Barad-dûr in the service of Sauron in the Third Age, who led a host of Mordor Orcs to join Saruman's Uruk-hai soldiers who were taking Merry and Pippin across the plain of Rohan to Isengard, in The Two Towers.

Grishnákh is described in the book as "a short crook-legged creature, very broad and with long arms that hung almost to the ground" and as having a voice that was soft but evil-sounding.


Grishnákh's plans for the two captives, Merry and Pippin, were in conflict with Uglúk's orders to deliver them to Saruman unharmed. Grishnákh wanted to take them northward to the east-bank of the Great River where a Nazgûl atop a Fell beast would take them to Barad-dûr. After Uglúk refused his plan, Grishnákh slipped away while the Orcs and Uruk-hai argued amongst each other. Grishnákh soon returned with other Orcs like himself, Orcs with drooping arms and shields with the red eye painted on them.

Grishnákh was somehow aware of the existence of the One Ring (having been implied to have participated in the torture of Gollum), and suspected the two Hobbits of possessing it. When the Orcs holding the two Hobbits were attacked by the banished Éomer's Rohirrim, Grishnákh used the distraction to search the Hobbits for the Ring. Pippin tried to negotiate with Grishnákh, asking for himself and Merry to be freed in exchange for information about the Ring, but instead Grishnákh tried to carry them away. When it seemed a Rohirrim rider had discovered him, Grishnákh drew his sword to kill the Hobbits lest they be rescued or escape, but before he could act he was shot in the hand by a Rohirrim arrow and dropped the sword, at which point he tried to run but was ridden down and run through with a Rohirrim spear.[1]

Portrayal in AdaptationsEdit

Ralph Bakshi's The Lord of the RingsEdit

Morgul rats

Grishnákh amongst fellow Orcs of Mordor, near Fangorn Forest

In Ralph Bakshi's films, the Orcs and Uruks look the same and are all from Moria. Grishnakh is apparently an Orc soldier under Ugluk's command who is punched by the latter after being caught with an Orc draught which he is then forced to give to the hobbits. Indeed, his role seems to have fused with Lugdush, as he appears to have been placed in charge of the hobbit captives. Later when the Rohirrim surround them he blames Uglúk for it. His conversation with Merry and Pippin is similar to the book, except the main battle hadn't started yet. He is killed by a Rohirrim. (The Lord of the Rings (Animated, 1978))

The Lord of the Rings film trilogyEdit

"What about their legs, they don’t need those."


In The Two Towers, Grishnákh is played by Stephen Ure and is an Orc captain. He has more screen time in the Extended Edition, which shows Grishnákh and his Orc clan joining Uglúk to escort him and his Uruk-Hai to Isengard. When the Uruk-hai and the Orcs soon begin arguing amongst themselves over lack of food to eat, Grishnákh is vexed by Uglúk's insistence that the captive Hobbits not be killed or maimed. While it unknown if he knew of Uglúk's mission, Grishnákh attempts to kill the captive Hobbits before he is hit by a Rohirrim rider's spear. Though he survives to chase Merry and Pippin into Fangorn Forest, Grishnákh is crushed to death by Treebeard stepping on him. Though he and his group were sent by Sauron from Mordor in the book, they wear the same attire as Saruman's Warg riders.


Lego Grishnakh

Other adaptationsEdit

In Sierra Entertainment's War of the Ring real-time strategy game, Grishnákh is a playable hero for the Minions of Sauron faction, where he is an Orc commander. He is also playable as a mini-hero in the Gameboy 3 Third Age game.

In the Top Trumps card game, Grishnákh's age is listed as 761 years.

Voice Dubbing actorsEdit

Foreign Language Voice dubbing artist
German Ekkehardt Belle

Name in Contemporary accountsEdit

"Count Grishnackh" used to be the stage name of Varg Vikernes, a notorious musician who was part of the Norwegian Black Metal scene.


In the films and video game:

Translations around the worldEdit

Foreign Language Translated name
Amharic ጝሪሽናክህ ?
Arabic جريشناخ
Armenian Գրիսհնակհ
Belarusian Cyrillic Гришнак
Bengali গ্রীষ্ণখ
Bulgarian Cyrillic Гришнах
Chinese (Hong Kong) 葛力斯那克
Czech Grišnákh
German Grischnákh
Georgian გრიშნახი
Greek Γκρίσνακ
Gujarati ગ્રીષ્ણખ
Hebrew גרישנאק
Hindi गृष्णख
Hungarian Grisnák
Japanese グリシュナフ
Kannada ಗ್ರಿಷ್ಖಾಕ್
Kazakh Грісһнакһ (Cyrillic) Grishnakh (Latin)
Korean 그리쉬나크
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Грисhнакh
Lao grິຊຫນະກຫ ?
Macedonian Cyrillic Гришнакх
Marathi ग्रिशंख
Mongolian Cyrillic Гришнакh
Nepalese ग्रिश्नख
Persian گریسهناکه  ?
Pashto عریسهناکه ?
Polish Grisznák
Punjabi ਗਰਿਸਨਖ
Russian Гришнак
Sanskrit ङ्रिश्नख्
Serbian Грисхнакх (Cyrillic) Grishnakh (Latin)
Sinhalese ග්‍රිශ්නඛ්
Tajik Cyrillic Грисҳнакҳ
Tamil க்ரிஷ்ணக்ஹ்
Telugu గ్రిశ్నాక్
Ukrainian Cyrillic Грішнак
Urdu گراشناکہ
Uzbek Гришнах (Cyrillic) Grishnax (Latin)
Yiddish גרישנאַך


  1. The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, Book Three, Chapter III: "The Uruk-hai"