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Grishnákh in the Two Towers film


Biographical information

Other names
Captain of Barad-dûr, leader of the Mordor Orcs
Date of birth
Year ascended to the throne
Date of death
February 29, 3019
Realms ruled
Orc scimitar, knife

Physical description

Orcs of Barad-dûr (Mordor Orcs)
Hair color
Eye color

"Is Saruman the master or the Great Eye? We should go back at once to Lugbúrz."

Lego Grishnakh

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

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. He does not seem to be interested in the Ring, and it is uncertain whether he thinks the captive Hobbits might have it. Before he can kill the Hobbits he is hit by a Rohirrim rider's spear, but he survives to chase Merry and Pippin into Fangorn Forest, where he is killed by Treebeard, who steps on him. Though he and his group were sent by Sauron from Mordor in the book, in the film they wear the same attire as Saruman's Warg riders. (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002))

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.



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

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