What Does Nampat Mean in The Lord of the Rings?

New life, in defiance of what?

by J.R. Waugh
Lord-of-the-Rings-Nampat
Image: Amazon Studios

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power was one of the most popular new streaming series to come out in 2022. Its debut, while controversial to some, was visually gorgeous, with it evident throughout that the series had enormous production value. With that in mind, the series took some liberties in presenting the lore (to say the least) while maintaining a tense, often dark story. Later on, in the excellent episode ‘Udûn’, we hear the word ‘Nampat’ chanted by some characters, prompting Lord of the Rings fans to ask what it meant.

Why Did the Orcs Chant ‘Nampat’ in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power?

As indicated by the X-Ray feature on Prime Video, ‘Nampat’ is the Black Speech word for death in this Lord of the Rings spinoff. It is chanted as the orcs encircle the Southlander villagers, injured and helpless against the forces of Adar. These Southlanders refused to side with Adar or become his slaves as he went to claim the lands for his horde. His army approached them with every intent to kill them to get the relic he sought. He saw his Orcs as his children, freeing them from their prior shackles, with the Southlanders being obstacles. He saw the land as an opportunity for his people, “New life, in defiance of death.”

But beyond the obvious intent to kill and potentially leave no quarter, the ‘Nampat’ chant signified other important moments in the episode. It was revealed to the Southlanders that, while defending their territory, many of their slain enemies were revealed to be Men, disguised as Orcs. Their own imminent demise was also dished out by the liberating forces of Númenor. But even after this, when things took a turn for the worse, their chants shifted from ‘Nampat’ to ‘Udûn’ when it suddenly became crystal clear who was meant to inhabit the land from then on.

For context, ‘Udûn’ is Sindarin Elvish for ‘hell’ and is a direct reference to Melkor’s first lair. It is also the name of the region of Mordor, freshly devastated in the final moments of this episode.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premiered exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on September 1, 2022, with a 2-episode debut. 

- This article was updated on January 13th, 2023

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