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Old 03-13-2018, 10:19 AM   #10
Galin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 933
Galin has been trapped in the Barrow!
So far, and concerning the Balrog case anyway, I do think Tolkien reduced their numbers -- and rather drastically from "hosts" of Balrogs (or Balrogs a thousand) to as few as three, or at most seven, ever existing -- due to power considerations.

This later 1950s change was only described in a marginal note, and (if I recall correctly) surfaced in a revision to one description in The Annals of Aman. Thus "many Balrog" type references remained in other texts, but for the 1977 constructed Silmarillion, Christopher Tolkien edited these, making them vague regarding numbers...

... though CJRT left the wording (concerning Balrogs) that his father had used regarding the War of Wrath, as -- I'm guessing -- although written during a period when Tolkien still imagined many Balrogs existing in the First Age, it read somewhat vague already. I remember one reader arguing that Tolkien was maybe going to have Glorfindel fight a different kind of demon, a great orc-formed Maia for example, instead of a Balrog. The argument hailed from some wording/revised wording in a late text...

... for myself, I wasn't convinced Tolkien was going to alter such a long held idea, but I must admit (at least), that Tolkien's revision of Balrog to "demon", at one point in the text concerned, seems a bit odd or unnecessary. A Balrog is a mighty demon!
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