In Middle-Earth there were several different military and civil ranks and titles used by the different peoples and cultures.Generally its often difficult to distinguish these or keep them separate, for example Quenya Ohtar literally meant "Warrior", as a title or rank however the Númenóreans used it to designate full-trained Númenórean Noble-Warriors who had not yet been appointed to the rank of Roquen or Knight (more similar to a historical Squire or Sergeant).Similarly both "Hothron" and "Gwaithor" meant Captain, however it's generally believed that Gwaithor referred to a higher-ranking Captain, who commanded a greater number of men than a lower-ranking Hothron.Also true service grades must be distinguished from functional and ceremonial offices, a Dúnadan General, for example, was most of the time not an official rank but an office held by several royal Noblemen of high reputation, often the King's Heir or outstanding local liege-lords who had been entrusted with leading a King's Army.Similarly in the forces of Mordor "Commander" was not a formal service grade but a function usually held by high-ranking captains who had been entrusted with the command of a local fortress or area. Also the same title could be used in different ways, a Lieutenant, usually was the proxy or deputy of a higher ranking officer, a lieutenant could be the proxy of a Chief or Captain, usually a Squad- or Troop-leader but a lieutenant could also be a very high ranking ceremonial officer, for example the Royal Lieutenant, who was the King's representative and highest General or a local governor, proconsul or viceregent.The Lieutenant of Morgûl was the highest rank in the hierarchy of Mordor set just beneath the Nazgûl and the Mouth of Sauron himself.
- Admiral - Admiral originally designated a "Commander at Sea", though it developed quickly into "Highest or leading commander of ships" or "General at Sea".
- Captain - Captain literally means "Head" or "Headman". it is often used to designate either a military leader or the commander of a ship or boat.In Middle-Earth the term Captain is used to refer to a far array of military officers, from orcish Troop-leaders like Uglúk to local garrison commanders up to high ranking generals such as the Black Captain.The Title Captain General referred to the Commander in Chief of an army or fleet, but also could correspond to an office more similar to a military governor or regent.
- Captain General - "Captain General" was a gondorian title, designating the " Commander in Chief" of the Gondorian Army in war time.The Title was traditionally held by the crown-prince or later the eldest son of the Steward.
- Champion - Champion traditionally designates a renowned Warrior or Victor or a battle or contention, Elves and Orcs however also used the title to designate mighty warriors who were not de-facto generals, but powerful campaigners or pioneers who acted as an army's spearhead, representing their general or Ruler in Combat.
- Chancellor - Chancellor is a rank or title with various changing meanings throughout history. The Original meaning seems have have been a sort of Doorward or porter to the Royal palace, later it designated a kind of usher whose office it was to mediate between judge, counsel and audience at a law court and later the chief administrator of a King´s peasantry.It could later be used to designate the head of an official or government organisation such as a University´s chanceller, the prime minister of a government , the chief diplomat or minister in foreign affairs, a minister or delegated of laws and justice, or a minister or official of finances and taxes, similar to a treasurer.
- Chieftain - Chieftain designated the leader of a Tribe, either an Elder or Sage or a representative of the Warrior-Elite.Among the early Elves, and in later times in lands where there either was no King or the King' power was weak, Chieftain designated a local person of high reputation leading a clan or number of families though respect and great skill rather than formal authority.High Chief may refer to either a Chief of outstanding reputation, nut not necessarily more power or authority, or a chosed leader of a confederation, acting as leading Chieftain or first among equals.A War-Chief historically was a leader only chosen in times of war, with defined authority to lead in times of conflict, but no formal authority in times of peace. Such Leaders in Battle were the origin of the title Duke, before it became a hereditary title and a distinct class among feudal nobility.
- Commander - commander refers to a military leader, usually an officer commanding a military unit or company, a ship or a region or district.Commander is usually not used as a military rank apart but rather as a function or office held by an officer with the rank of Captain or higher.
- Defender - Defender is sometimes used as a Title of honor , example Defender of the Faith or Defender of the Crown, it could also evolve into a hereditary subsidiary title.Also Defender could apply to a public office, similar or identical with Protector.Moreover a Defender can be position or office an attorney acting as a public defender or public advocate like an ombudsman, Inspector General or Citizen Advocate.
- Emperor - originally the title of a magistrate with a certain authority it later became a title for triumphant military commanders and later a title for a supreme ruler surpassing kings in power and authority (Tolkien only used this title once thoughout his works, in a sketch for a vision in which Froso saw himself taking the one Ring becoming "Emperor Frodo").
- Governor - a Governor was his Sovereigns ambassador who led and supervised a military or civil district, ascting as regent.The Office of Governor was often identical with that of the Steward or lieutenant.
- Herald - a Herald was the official ambassador of a liege Lord, often acting as a diplomat, however among Elves and Dúnedain Herald was often used as a honorary or ceremonial office for royal representatives.
- High Captain: High Captain usually referred to a high grade officer or headman and master of a guild.A High Captain could act as head warden and highest government representative acting as governor or viceregent an charge of law enforcement and government representative and often supreme commander of an army or fleet.
- High-King - The High-King was as the title suggests the Highest ranking King, usually chosen from among the most powerful Kings. Among the Noldor the title was held by the eldest heir of Feänor, however Ingwe, king of the Vanyar was yet considered High-King of all Elves, including Vanyar, Noldor and Teleri.
- High Priest - High-Priest was a tgitle used for the highest servant of a deity, or the person presiding over a specialized cult or temple.The High Priest could also serve as an instructor to other priests and advisor the the king or ruler.
- High Warden - "High Warden of the White Tower" was a title traditionally held by the eldest son and heir of the Steward of Gondor and, presumably, originally the crown-prince of Gondor.As the Steward became more and more the Acting-King, the office of high warden took over many of the original steward´s duties, though it is possible that in later times "High Warden" was but merely a ceremonial position.
- Knight - originally Knight referred to a Lords servant but it later came to designate a member of the mounted Warrior Elite and even later local landholding nobles who fought from horseback.Among the Númenóreans "Roquen" was the title of a high-ranking Warrior-Noble who had served his time as an Ohtar or fully trained Warrior.In Arnor and Gondor Knight evolved to a title held by local Liege-Lords, formally lower in rank and regard than a Lord or Prince, and usually bound by fealty to a higher-ranking Lord, but neverthless holding several privileges such as the right to fight from horseback bear particular armor and wield particular weapons.The Knights of Dol Amroth are an example for the latter developement, representing well-to-do Noblemen who fought as the cavalry-Elite of their sovereign, the Prince of Dol Amroth.This kind of Knight eventually held it's title by inheritance rather than personal promotion.
- Legate: Legate usually refers to an ambassador, an office dispatched by a ruling council, senate or the Sovereign to act as a political administrator or even as a general in times of war.
- Lord is a title used in many different ways, it may designate a powerful local Landholder or Baron but can also be used as a purely formal address to any high-ranking person, even persons who are not part of the nobility, but Masters of Crafts or other people of renown and respectability.In Gondor the Lords were local provincial liege-lords connected to the royal house by a history of loyalty and allegiance and who had the duty to support the king in times of war but who practically had much autonomy in their family holdings.
- Magistrate - Magistrate originally referred to the highest officials of the state, later the term became more generic, describing regional administrators or judicial officers.
- Marshal - a marshal originally was a servant in responsability of his masters horses, later it came to designate a sovereigns commander of cavalry. In Rohan the three marshals of the mark were lieutenants of the King who commanded a fully equipped Éored and one-third of all the Muster of Rohan.They also acted as military administrators of the three main military districts of Rohan, Folde , West-Mark and East-Mark.
- Master - Master originally designated a man of learning, a Scholar or Craftsman but later also a teacher.In Middle-Earth the title was also used by heads of Guilds and other organisations as well as by elected leaders of settlements or councils.It was also used as a formal address for any respected person.
- Master-at-arms - Master-at-arms is a title used in at last two different ways, often an officer or petty officer responsible for physical training or an office in charge of regulating duties, security, law enforcement and force protection.
- Minister - the Term minister is often used for a government official or councillor, historically however the minister was a sovereigns elected representative often acting either as a secretary or as ambassador and diplomat.The term was also used for members of the clergy, serving their community instead of the state.Especially in religions without an official priesthood.
- Petty-King - a Petty-King usually was a king who held power over only a subdivision of an entire tribe.
- Prince - Prince originally designated a local ruler, the first one or first man of a tribe or group, among the Dúnedain "Ernil" was the title of a formally autonomous Lord who was not dutiable or accountable to the King, even if he was of lesser rank.Prince also often was used as a formal title for the appointed heir or successor of a King.
- Protector - Protector is often used as a title for a souvereign, as a title of honour such as Protector of the People or Protector of Land, it usually refers to a Head of state or Head of government or the Head of the Confederation of princes.Lord Protector also was used for a temporary regent, ruling in absence of the monarch, similar to the Royal Stewards.
- Sergeant - Sergeant originally referred to cavalry warriors who were not Knights, but similarly equipped.Squires and cavalry soldiers or young nobles who had not yet been appointed to knighthood.Later however it came to designate members of knightly orders who were not Knights themselves, field officers and even urban law enforcers.Today the term is used mostly to describ officers of lower or mediate rank.The exact elvish and númenórean equivalent of a Sergeant in the original sense was the "Ohtar" or Warrior, however in military context the intended meaning often seems to be a field officer, below a lieutenant or the proxy or subordinate of a captain.
- Squire and Esquire - originally the Squire was the shield-bearer of his Lord, usually a young man aspiring to become a Knight.Later however it evolved into a title held by particular manorial Lords who acted as local leaders of villages, settlements of distinct regions.Esquire has the same origin but became a title held by a distinct class of nobility that was not accoladed to Knighthood but had their own Coat-of-Arms.The title esquire was also used by eldest sons and heirs of Knights and hereditary peers.
- Steward - This title originally designated the highest representative of a Lord or ruler, in Gondor the "Arandur" or Servant of the Throne was the highest official and delegate of the King himself.
- Taskmaster - Taskmaster originally meant a leader of a project or a teacher. In a Middle-Earth context the term is often used to designate a Squad- or Troop-leader, usually a slasher or driver of a group of low-ranking fighters.
- Tyrant - in a close sense a tyrant was a sole-ruler or autocrat, in the hierarchy of Sauron's empire however the Tyrant was his Masters highest ranking Lieutenant who was appointed to supervise the lesser Kings and Chieftains of a Greater subdicision of Saurons dominion.For example Saruman had been offered the position of the Tyrant of the West, which would have made him Sauron's highest lieutenant, supervising the entire Westlands with all of its local rulers.
- Warden, Ward, Keeper, Watch, Watcher, Sentry, Sentinel, Guard and Guardian - These Titles all are derived from terms meaning "Watching; Keeping; Defending; warding Off".In Middle-Earth "Warden" is often used for chief administratives, the Warden of the Houses of Healing was a kind of Custos of his Order or association, similarly Warden could be used as a rank of seniority or even the head of county government such as the Warden of the Keys, the highest official of Minas Tirith and a high ranking member of the City and Crown Council.A Warden could also be a lodge officer or the head of a Guild or association.Historically there were Warden of the Mint, Game and Forest Wardens and Street Wardens.Watchmen mostly were semi-officials employed by the Town, district or Local Sovereign for enforcing the law and policing, but the townwatch also traditionally acted as firefighters, they were also known as Wards, but to be confused with the Ward as a person placed under the protection of a Guardian.Such a Guardian could also be the Head or Custos of an organisation such as a Guild or fraternmity or an official appointed by the local council or souvereign to supervise a Ward.Guardian also was used for higher ceremonial appellations and could label high and estimated souvereigns, such as Philosopher Kings.Guard also could label a simple Preserver or a member of the militia, home Guard, police forces or border Guard but could also be used to entitle elite soldiers such as members of a nobles Guard of Honour or Bodyguard or security officers from low Prison officers to high ranking officials such as Sherrifs.Similarly Watch could denominate elite Soldiers or simple members of the guard watch Regiments.Keepers mostly were local officials, legal guardian Beacon Keepers or Gamekeepers.The Term Watcher also was used for Guilds and ossociations Supervisors as well as common sentinels or sentries.
Angmar and the Coldfells-Army
- Footman ("Maethor", "Said")
- Esquire ("Thangyll")
- Guardsman ("Gwarieg")
- Man-at-Arms ("Ohtar")
- Sergeant of the Guard ("Otharin", "Arhiros","Areithron")
- Sergeant-at-Arms ("Arothar")
- Master Guardsman ("Tiriatûr")
- Master-at-Arms ("Tûrgaig")
- High Warden ("Hiros")
- Lieutenant ("Targen")
- Commander ("Cáno")
- Third Marshall ("Neldëaroqen")
- Second Marshall ("Atteäroquen")
- First Marshall ("Minyaroquen")
- Captain-General ("Hesto-Ilquárea")
Army of Angmar:
- Tracker ("Staukúk")
- Scout ("Gîrmush")
- Skirmisher ("Inrasúk")
- Fighter ("Taudúk")
- Soldier ("Ushatar")
- Sentry ("Rogtar")
- Chief Guard ("Krual-Rog")
- Chief Warrior ("Rroshatar")
- Taskmaster ("Zot-krampum")
- Lieutenant (Mautur)
- Commander (Grishâktur)
- Chieftain (Anâktur)
- High Chieftain (Búrzâktur)
- Overlord (Ashâktur)
- Tyrant (Murnairtur)
LOTRO knows several military Ranks both in the Coldfells-Army and the Army of Angmar. Both Armies ranks are more like a mix of rather functional appellations and honorary titles than comprehensible military ranks.
Overview Orcish Ranks (descending by number of subordinates):
- Grishâktur/ Drartûl-Darz
Some Ranks are used very inconsistently throughout MERP to correct this the ranks of drartul and Gothsnaga for example have been split into more diversified ranks.There are now five Levels of Drartûlu:
- Drartûl-Fha (colonel/brigadier general)
- Dratûl-Darz (captain/Major)
- Drartûl-Pashi (lieutenant/second lieutenant)
- Drartûl-Rog (sergeant)
- Korlash-Drartûl (corporal/lance corporal)
And two levels of Gothsnaga:
- Gothsnaga-Fha(major general)
- Gothsnaga-Gaz (captain/major)
The Spelling of some MERP titles were adjusted to Black Speech grammar as far as it is known:
- Gûnún = Gonon
- Urukhûr/Uthrud = Orchir/Othrod
- Huthrún = Hothron
- Murnairtur = Mornartur
This does by no way imply that there has ever been a generalized system of ranks, unaltered and standardized throughout millennia.Just like in real history not all ranks would have ben used by every tribe, in every region in the same way throughout the ages, but Dark commanders would have had agreements and rules to settle any disputes about the official chain of command.