who is the greater threat? Smaug is well, a dragon, while the Witch King was quickly taken down when he took one in the knee.
Nazgul is done.
Smaug is taking Nazgul shits for a week.
Phhhht! You don’t even have to be a woman to kill Smaug.
With a barrow blade, sir! A blade forged by Men of Westernesse!
Short term: Smaug
Long term: Nazgul, cuz they’re immortal. Unless dragon fire melts the One Ring. Could take centuries though, Smaug doesn’t have to land near them.
An aside: the poem says, “Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die.” Are dwarves not considered mortal here?
The Nazgul, because they have an agenda and are actively out working to fulfill it; often at great distances from their base of operations. Smaug by comparison unmotivated and undirected, a short range threat; more like a natural disaster.
It’s sort of like Captain America vs. Batman. A hell of a lot depends on the venue. In the middle of a football field, CA. In the back alleys and rooftops, Bats.
The Nazgul can, given time, amass an army of orcs big enough to bring Smaug down simply by sheer mass of numbers. The Nazgul can put together war machines and engines that could hurl boulders at him, eventually breaking a wing-bone and bringing him down.
But a single Nazgul – or even the Nine assembled together – without the benefit of the organization that gives them power, cannot face the might of that one immense death-dealing dragon.
Julius Caesar, with his army, can wipe out five thousand Conans. But Julius Caesar, alone, would be slain, quite easily, even by ten-year-old Conan!
Assuming we’re talking Movie Smaug, spoilered for those who may not have seen it:
Nazgul, for sure. Smaug fights ten dwarves and a hobbit in an enclosed space for like twenty minutes without inflicting so much as a paper cut or sunburn. He’s clearly a pacifist. In fact, in book and movie, does Smaug actually injure anyone in all his macguffining?
I feel obligated to spoiler now.
He kills random Laketown villagers 22-243. He can’t kill the dwarves because the script says that they can change things and make Kili a beefcake with “Forest Fever” but not which dwarves die when. Also, you wake up after 150 years without your giant contacts in and see how easy it is to BBQ a dwarf if you’re so smart!
I suspect it’s more of a reference to the difference between Men and Elves, from the original creation story (the “Doom of Men” is that they have a finite lifespan, while elves are immortal).
Dwarves, on the other hand, were created entirely separately from Men and Elves – they were created by Aulë the Smith, rather than by Illuvatar.
Note: Gandalf says early on in LotR that there are no dragons left with hot enough fire to melt any Rings of Power, and that even the badassedest dragon of antiquity could not have melted the One.
The Nazgul have thousands of bowmen under them. And they don’t have to take arms openly against a dragon.
Surely the Black Riders can come up with a Black Arrow or two.
Aside: Note that ONLY the leader of the Nazgul was so taken down; he was the Witch-King of Angmar, and “no man” could kill him. He was wounded by a hobbit bearing a special blade, and killed by a woman, so that neither was “a man.”
The other Nazgul just sort of burned up when the One Ring was destroyed. So we don’t know what else might have killed them, as they’re magical with long life bestowed by their rings. Dragons are simply beasts (albeit intelligent, they’re creatures of flesh and blood), and could presumably be killed by anything that might reasonably be expected to kill a beast of that size.
Smaug could do far more damage in a short time but eventually rampaging dragons get killed. The Witch King was killed by something approaching Deus Ex Machina. It took Meridoc delivering the specially enspelled knife wound to allow Eowyn to kill him. Aragorn himself with Anduril could only have inconvenience the Witch King by forcing to flee back and re-incorporate.
Smaug destroyed 2 small kingdoms and even there the Dwarves were careless, leaving far too large a entrance in their principal mansion. We don’t know what prior mayhem Smaug caused but we do know the Witch-King effectively brought down the North Kingdom of Arnor though it took time, deception and relied on human folly to some extent.
So the Witch King was the more powerful but probably had no way to defeat Smaug in a direct confrontation.
If I understand them correctly, the Nine could be “temporarily” killed, in that, their physical forms could be destroyd, and their spirits would flee back to Sauron for re-integration. Bur I don’t think Smaug could perma-death them.
Smaug, while he makes a decent MMO tank (you wouldn’t believe the aggro he generates), is still rather mortal.
In Avengers/JLA…Busiek makes both of them such badasses, that both of them… by only making a few feints and moves… are able to determine that Bats would win, but it would take a long, long time. So they decide to talk it out.
So…the proper tactic for the Nazgul would be to pull him to Mordor, where they could zerg him?