Shadow of Mordor is a story about an Uruk called Ûthûg. He was just another nameless Uruk, wandering the muddy plains of Mordor, but everything changed for Ûthûg when, during a huge running battle, he delivered a fluke deathblow to feared Ranger, Talion.
Talion had recently become some kind of half-wraith being after some fairly contrived chain of events, but this did mean that he could do awesome stuff from the very second he started strutting around Mordor with little or no explanation. He was feared and he could cheat death itself.
Ûthûg’s victory against the Ranger won him a promotion within the Uruk army. He became a captain, but his tenure almost ended swiftly as he stumbled across Talion during a routine patrol. An arrow nearly ended his life, but after some ‘field surgery’, he survived the attack, albeit with a giant scrap of metal holding his head together. Ûthûg wanted vengeance.
He began working his way up the Uruk military hierarchy, besting other captains in combat and proving himself to be a formidable warrior. His abilities had garnered the attention of the warchiefs - the elite leaders of the Uruk - perhaps trying to acquire his services as bodyguard. Ûthûg didn’t care about these things. They were merely a means to an end. After all, his increased status could be what brings the Ranger out of hiding, so he can finally exact his revenge.
Finally, the day came. During a siege of an Uruk stronghold, Ûthûg spotted Talion across the battlefield.
Talion recognised him instantly, even with the shard of metal replacing the part of Ûthûg’s face removed by his arrow. They fought, but with the overwhelming numbers and Ûthûg’s new strength, Talion was defeated. However, instead of delivering the final blow, Ûthûg had other plans. He walked away, leaving Talion lying in the mud, humiliated. He cannot die, so what does death mean to him? The Ranger was known for his ability to strike when at death’s door, so why risk that? Leave him to fight another day, as he inevitably will, but make him think twice about ever doing battle with Ûthûg again!
From here, Ûthûg went on to become the chief bodyguard of Pugrish The Hungry, a horrible, gelatinous, pork-mountain of an Uruk warchief, who threatened to consume his victims. During this time, Ûthûg and Talion crossed paths many times, but Ûthûg was just too powerful. He was as good as a bodyguard could be. ‘Level 20’, they called it. Every time, though, he would walk away. He knew that Talion could be waiting for him round every corner, but he wanted to ensure that Talion thought that Ûthûg - now Ûthûg The Battle Hardened - was waiting for HIM, too.
Everyone in the Uruk stronghold knew that Pugrish would be no match for the Ranger, so Ûthûg was always ready. Multiple times, the Ranger had no problems infiltrating the base. He had way more options available to him than say, assassins and their creed, but whenever he went to kill Pugrish - Ûthûg would be waiting.
It was clear that Ûthûg must fall before Talion could complete his mission.
On a rainy night, all hell broke loose in the stronghold. The caragors had been freed from their pens and were attacking anything in sight, while the explosive grog barrels throughout the place were exploding as if they’d been hit by some kind of projectile. Ûthûg knew that the Ranger was coming for him.
As he drew his sword and began to move towards the gates, he felt a hand at the back of his neck…
In those final seconds, he wondered how all of this had happened. The Ranger must’ve grabbed one of those Uruk worms and made them squeal, telling him all about his weaknesses. Since the arrow, Ûthûg had become a master in armed combat, but the damage done to him had left him extremely vulnerable to attacks by a stealthy opponent. The Ranger must’ve jumped on him from above and driven his dagger between his shoulder blades.
Well played, Ranger.
Soon after this, four of the five warchiefs fell to Talion, with only Ratbag The Coward remaining. The only way someone as pathetic as he could survive is if he were in cahoots with the Ranger himself!
Talion continues with his mission, whatever that may be. A revenge mission of his own? Apparently, he has learned to manipulate Uruks as if they were puppets. An impressive, game-changing ability! The ways that he can control the politics of the Uruk military structure from within are truly impressive. That’s his story, though.
The story of Ûthûg may not be over. Talion didn’t take his head. He didn’t make sure that, without a shadow of a doubt, that Ûthûg was dead and gone. His mission is about half done, but until it is over, everywhere Talion goes, there’s a shadow hanging over Mordor. The shadow of Ûthûg The Battle-Hardened!