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Old 03-10-2008, 01:58 PM   #131
Haunting Spirit
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Out West near a Big Salty Lake
Posts: 76
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The Mines of Moria

Ok, several observations. First, the staff:

"Gandalf held his staff aloft, and from its tip there came a faint radiance which just showed the ground before his feet. They started on their way. By the pale light, they caught glimpses of stairs and arches and of passages and tunnels, sloping up, or running steeply down, or opening blankly dark on either side."

The key word here is tip. I guess you could say that a tip is the top, like the tip of a mountain, but the word also means the end of an extremity so it could mean the bottom. Much like the tip of an old spinning top. So it does provide a new way of looking at this, something I had not considered. Perhaps Gandalf can radiate light from the top, from the whole staff or from the bottom.

A close listening also gave me further evidence in a discussion I am in on the Balrog. It is evident that Gandalf (as Tolkien stated in one of his letters) knew there was a Balrog in Moria (and Legolas was the only other party member who could recognized it). I know someone who is arguing that the Balrog controled the weather on Caradhras and thus wanted to fight Gandalf. I argue that it was Sauron, based on info from Tolkien and the text itself (his arm has grown long) that closed the pass to force them through Moria. I also do not believe that the Balrog was in league with Sauron, though the Balrog was used by Sauron (see Appendix A under Durin's Folk) for his purposes (destroying the Kingdom of Khazad-dum, confronting Gandalf etc) and to further them. I think this also shows that as we'll get to in the next disc that Celeborn knew what was in Moria as well.

I would welcome thoughts on this as well. I always imagine that there were chasms in the chamber where the orcs had light fires and the trolls were bringing stones to bridge those chasms so the orcs could attack. Then the Balrog appears and the trolls and orcs fall back giving way to this demon. Then the orcs waited to follow the fellowship because of daylight and because they had to repair the bridge that was broken even if in a hastly way. However, could trolls be bringing a piece of stone (from lets say a fallen pillar) that is long enough to make a second bridge over the chasm?

Finally, I think it is at this point that Frodo realizes or begins to, that he is alone. He has lost Gandalf and from this point to the falls, he knows in his heart what he has to do; move to Mordor on his own. I also think this is why it is replayed on the next disc (along with the sense of loss).
"At any minute it is what we are and are doing, not what we plan to be and do that counts."
JRR Tolkien in 6 October 1940 letter to Michael Tolkien
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