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Old 01-05-2002, 04:31 PM   #1
Thingol
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Sting Gandalf’s speech to the Balrog

Hello, this is my first post and I'd just like to say hi and that this is a fantastic site.

When Gandalf is facing the Barlog he says to him:

"You cannot pass. I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass."

My question is what exactly is the flame of Anor? Also I have heard conflicting accounts of what the Secret Fire is. I've heard some say he is referring to his ring Narya, but personally I don't think that is right, and I've also heard that he is referring to the fire that Illuvitar used to create EA and set in the center of Arda. I tend to believe this one myself. Any insights would be appreciated.

[ June 22, 2002: Message edited by: Thingol ]
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Old 01-05-2002, 05:07 PM   #2
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I always thought that the reference of the Secret Fire was to Narya, myself. Very few people know that Gandalf has the ring. Cirdan, Saruman, possibly Elrond or Galadriel (haven't read much on the history of Middle-Earth, so I'm not sure who knows he has it). It's a secret to most people, and it's the fire ring. Secret, fire. Secret, fire. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] Oh, and welcome! ^_^
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Old 01-05-2002, 06:23 PM   #3
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Sting

well the secret flame or the flame of aranor cant remember which but one of them was something Eru made and Morgoroth Looked for along time ago in the Void before the song.
(this is totally wrong of course but i havent had my daily 2 gallons of coffe so im not making much since.)
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Old 01-05-2002, 07:29 PM   #4
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Tolkien

I believe the Secrect Fire is Narya because it is not common knowledge that Gandalf is its keeper and it is the Ring of Fire. As for the Flame of Anor, Anor is Elvish for sun and in the Silmarillion it tells that the sun was a fruit of one of the Trees of Valinor, Laurelin, I think, and the Sun was guided by one of the Maiar. If Gandalf says he is they servant of the Flame of Anor, maybe back in da day when he was Olorin in Valinor, he worked with, or for this Maia..... That is my theory anyways...
Flame of Udun (what he called the Balrog) signifies that the balrog is an evil fire spirit (Udun is Elvish for hell) i think
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Old 01-05-2002, 07:43 PM   #5
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Sting

thanks for i knew nothing of the subject and was trying to sound smart like i do quite often im afraid.
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Old 01-05-2002, 10:01 PM   #6
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Sting

There are 2 reasons why I do not believe that the secret fire is the ring Narya; which is what Illuvitar hid from Melkor, Luineglin was correct. The first is some textual evidence from the Silmarilion.

"He [Melkor] had gone often alone into the void places seeking the Imperishable Flame; for desire grew hot within him to bring into Being things of his own, and it seemed to him that Iluvatar took no thought for the Void, and he was impatient of its emptiness. Yet he found not the Fire, for it is with Iluvatar."

Then later in the text:
"Therefore Iluvatar gave to their vision Being, and set it amid the Void, and the Secret Fire was sent to burn at the heart of the World; and it was called Ea."
(Silmarillion)

The Imperishable Flame and the Secret Fire seem to be the same thing; the power of Iluvatar to impart actual Being to his thought. It seems fitting that this would be something that Gandalf (as a Maia sent from the West by the Valar) would "serve" and by contrast it does not seem likely that Gandalf would serve his ring Narya. However, I'm still unclear on what the flame of Arnor is. Gandalf says he is a wielder of the flame of Arnor, and I do not think he is a wielder of the sun =).
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Old 01-06-2002, 01:54 AM   #7
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Flame of Anor: The power wielded by Gandalf, possibly an allusion to the white light of the Sun as a symbol of the secret fire.

It wasn't from the ring.
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Old 01-06-2002, 05:57 AM   #8
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Sting

I think it very unlikely that Gandalf was refering to his ring when he used the word 'Secret Fire'. As has already been pointed out, Ganalf would not have been a servant of his own ring.

The Secret Fire (also called the Imperishable Flame) is (according to HoME I think) the 'creative activity' of Eru Iluvatar. It seems to be the part of Eru that gives reality to what he creates - thus Melkor's desire to find it in the void, since he wanted to create things of his own. So Gandalf statement that he is a servant of this fire would mean that he is a servant of Eru.

The Flame of Anor could possibly refer to Gandalf's Ring, but I think not. Gandalf kept his ring so secret that I don't think he would ever have refered to it even like this.

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Old 01-06-2002, 06:46 AM   #9
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Sting

The Flame of Anor does not refer to the ring, The ring was made by elves and would not have the strength to fend off a Balrog. It could be part of the Flame Imperishable, The Flame of Anor would be the source of power that the Maia and even the Vala have from Iluvatar.
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Old 01-06-2002, 12:11 PM   #10
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Sting

thanks glad i was right in some way.
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The crownless again shall be king.
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Old 01-06-2002, 09:18 PM   #11
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Sting

Thanks for clearing it up.
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Old 01-07-2002, 01:13 AM   #12
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The only thing I dont understand is what does "The dark fire will not avail you...". What does that mean?
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Old 01-07-2002, 02:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
The Flame of Anor does not refer to the ring, The ring was made by elves and would not have the strength to fend off a Balrog.
I don't really understand this. How is it that you deduce that the Flame of Anor is not a reference to Narya? The Secret Fire is likely the Flame Imperishable, and Gandalf is a servant of it. But Gandalf says he 'wields' the Flame of Anor. It can only refer to his staff, Narya, or Glamdring.

As for the meaning of "Anor", it's a bit difficult. The Quenya name for the Sun is actually "Anar". It is conceivable that Anor is the Sindarin form of Anar, similar to the Sindarin "Feanor" for Quenya "Feanaro". In this example, "nar" means "fire". Notice "NAR-ya". Confusingly, "nor" is also a Quenya element that means "land" (I believe), such as in Arnor and Valinor.

Without more information, I'd say it's pretty tough to judge what the Flame of Anor actually is. Glamdring was Turgon's sword, and I can see no connection there. Narya seems the most plausible explanation, but I doubt Gandalf would have disclosed that information to the Balrog.
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Old 01-07-2002, 04:17 AM   #14
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I always thought Anor refered to Sun simply because of the translation of Minas Anor - 'Tower of the Sun'.

-Voronwe
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Old 01-07-2002, 02:29 PM   #15
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Thingol, what's a "barlog"?
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Old 01-07-2002, 02:34 PM   #16
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Barlogs are fire spirits that served the Valar Melkor, who was Sauron's master in the first age of Middle Earth. In the battle that ended the First Age most of the Barlogs were destroyed, but a few escaped (including the one from the Lord of the Rings) and hid themselves in the deep places of the earth.
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Old 01-07-2002, 05:22 PM   #17
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Pipe

I belive you are talking about Balrogs. Barlogs are large pieces of wood at drinking houses. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 01-07-2002, 08:02 PM   #18
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So Gandalf was saying that he was a Maia and therefore had a chance of fighting the Balrog and defeating him? That is what I always thought- that he was saying that he was not a man but a Maia.
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Old 01-08-2002, 12:05 AM   #19
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Sting

Quote:
Originally posted by obloquy:
<STRONG>

I don't really understand this. How is it that you deduce that the Flame of Anor is not a reference to Narya? The Secret Fire is likely the Flame Imperishable, and Gandalf is a servant of it. But Gandalf says he 'wields' the Flame of Anor. It can only refer to his staff, Narya, or Glamdring.

As for the meaning of "Anor", it's a bit difficult. The Quenya name for the Sun is actually "Anar". It is conceivable that Anor is the Sindarin form of Anar, similar to the Sindarin "Feanor" for Quenya "Feanaro". In this example, "nar" means "fire". Notice "NAR-ya". Confusingly, "nor" is also a Quenya element that means "land" (I believe), such as in Arnor and Valinor.

Without more information, I'd say it's pretty tough to judge what the Flame of Anor actually is. Glamdring was Turgon's sword, and I can see no connection there. Narya seems the most plausible explanation, but I doubt Gandalf would have disclosed that information to the Balrog.</STRONG>
If Flame of Udun is the Flame of the darkness of Melkor, the Flame of Anor would be the Flame of light. The flame is in them not an object. And not from an Elven ring. Celebrimbor was no Feanor and Feanor couldn't defend himself from a Balrog.
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Old 01-10-2002, 10:55 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Elrian:
<STRONG>If Flame of Udun is the Flame of the darkness of Melkor, the Flame of Anor would be the Flame of light. The flame is in them not an object. And not from an Elven ring. Celebrimbor was no Feanor and Feanor couldn't defend himself from a Balrog.</STRONG>
The "Flame of Anor" basically must refer to an object, because Gandalf says he wields it. Note also the connection between Gandalf's magic powers (which are usually related to dire) and Narya, the Ring of Fire.
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Old 01-10-2002, 11:48 AM   #21
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Not necessarily, the Flame of Anor could be the object, if you take my meaning.
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Old 01-10-2002, 12:07 PM   #22
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Anger is not an object, yet can it not be used as a weapon and therefore wielded?

As for all the "fire" talk, I am not yet educated enough.
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Old 01-10-2002, 12:27 PM   #23
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Anor definitely means sun (eg - Minas Anor, tower of the setting sun). The way I have always read this passage is that Flame of Anor/Secret Fire refers to the Flame Imperishable, but that the power of the flame is channeled through the ring.

Flame of Udun is definitely a reference to Melkor.

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Old 01-10-2002, 10:58 PM   #24
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Quote:
The "Flame of Anor" basically must refer to an object, because Gandalf says he wields it. Note also the connection between Gandalf's magic powers (which are usually related to dire) and Narya, the Ring of Fire.
The Flame of Anor did not come from the Elven ring, no Elven ring would have the power to withstand a Balrog. Feanor couldn't withstand a Balrog, how would Celebrimbor be able to empower a ring to? If the Elven ring were the Flame of Anor Gandalf would not have been able to be imprisoned by Saruman, he would have been able to defeat him then and there.
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Old 01-11-2002, 01:33 AM   #25
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But it must be something that Gandalf wields. Maybe this is a little insight into the mysterious wizard staff. I agree that it can not be Narya. Gandalf would never have openly referred to the secret ring he bore.

By the way, I stand corrected on my linguistic reasoning. I had forgotten about Minas Anor, and the entry for 'nar' in the Silmarillion's Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names. Anor is, in fact, the Sindarin translation of Anar, or The Sun. Many of you already knew that. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Udun is Sindarin for Utumno, Melkor's fortress, so that makes perfect sense.
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Old 01-11-2002, 02:08 AM   #26
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It could be his own power that he wields. It never said that he came with a talisman out of the west. But you could be right about that.
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Old 01-11-2002, 02:42 AM   #27
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Silmaril

you don't have to be able to swing it round your head in order to "weild" something...I agree with Cirdan
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Old 01-11-2002, 07:07 AM   #28
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Halbarad - Gandalf is more powerful than the Balrogs for it is stated that he is eqaul in power to Sauron, no more or less...

...of the other 4 Istari i am not sure
 
Old 01-11-2002, 08:32 AM   #29
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Where does it say that?

Incidentally, I totally disagree with Feanor fighting the Balrog. Remember, he was overcome by MANY of them. He was the greatest in spirit of any Noldorian elf, and (with perhaps the exception of Ingwe) the mightiest elf of all time.

Besides, other Balrogs were slain by elves (eg - Glorfindel and Echthelion). I think one-on-one Feanor would have been a match for even Gothmog.

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Old 01-11-2002, 10:25 AM   #30
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Ok, "Flame of Anor" must not refer to an object. But it can.

I never said that Narya was the source of all of Gandalf's fire-powers, or that Narya itself would have been able to defeat the Balrog - but it definitely must have enhanced Gandalf's mastery of fire. What would be the use of a magical Ring of Fire if it didn't enhance the powers of its wielder?

As you say, Elrian, there is a contrast between the "good" flame of Gandalf and the "evil" fire of the Balrog. I didn't mean to say that the "Flame of Anor" necessarily refers only to the ring (school stuff made be a bit hasty), but that Narya was an important part of Gandalf's "Flame of Anor".

"Flame of Anor" definitely wasn't an open reference to the Ring, but that doesn't mean that it cannot contain a hidden reference to it. None of the Fellowship understood it, and I don't think that the Balrog did either - until it faced Gandalf's full powers on the top of Zirak-zigil.
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Old 01-11-2002, 11:22 AM   #31
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I'm not sure about this but I don't think Narya adds to the combat abilility of the wearer. Narya, unlike the other elven rings, makes people more willing to listen to the councils of the bearer and helps him inspire the hearts of men to great deeds. Gandalf may have been aided by the power of Narya when he saved Theoden from dotage.

[ January 11, 2002: Message edited by: Fenrir ]
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Old 01-11-2002, 10:01 PM   #32
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Quote:
I think one-on-one Feanor would have been a match for even Gothmog.
Feanor's skill was more in craft than fighting. With the Silmarils he may have defeated Gothmog, without them, very doubtful.

I do think Narya aided Gandalf in his endeavors,like reviving Theoden, but it's power wasn't used or could be used as a defense or against attack.
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Old 01-11-2002, 10:06 PM   #33
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his ring was also know as the ring of fire.
my question i posted in books 1 is very similar to yours kind of.
 
Old 01-11-2002, 10:13 PM   #34
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True, the ring wasn't built for fighting with, but it may have still helped Gandalf by lending some of the stored power of the elf-magic that went into it's making. Gandalf was a wise and quite powerful maia, and I am sure that, given this extra power, he would be able to bend it to aid him somewhat in fighting the Balrog.

The 'Flame of Anor' could be just a cause.
Flame of Udun - he dark cause of Morgoth/Sauron.

Flame of Anor - the cause of the sun, the 'light' cause of the West.
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Old 01-11-2002, 10:14 PM   #35
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True, the ring wasn't built for fighting with, but it may have still helped Gandalf by lending some of the stored power of the elf-magic that went into it's making. Gandalf was a wise and quite powerful maia, and I am sure that, given this extra power, he would be able to bend it to aid him somewhat in fighting the Balrog.

The 'Flame of Anor' could be just the cause that Gandalf fought for.
Flame of Udun - he dark cause of Morgoth/Sauron.

Flame of Anor - the cause of the sun, the 'light' cause of the West.
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Old 01-12-2002, 03:59 PM   #36
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The Flame of Anor may well be the Secret Fire. In the Ainulindale, Iluvatar says that he has kindled the Ainur with the Flame Imperishable; this is why they are able to show forth their creative powers in adorning his theme. Gandalf could thus be said to wield the Flame Imperishable/Secret Fire. As for why he should refer to this as the Flame of Anor, I'm not sure. Might there be some relation between the Sun (Anor) and the Flame Imperishable (other, of course, than the fact that the entire world was created by the Flame Imperishable)?
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Old 02-05-2002, 12:34 AM   #37
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Quote:
"You cannot pass. I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass."
I just want to bump this to the top, if I don't I'll never find it tomorrow. I want to write some on the Ring, Eru Illuvitar, and the Secrect Fire.
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Old 02-05-2002, 11:39 PM   #38
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OK I got out my trusty Tolkien Companion(the Cliff Notes of Middle Earth), looked up "Flame of Anor", which cross referenced me to "Secret Fire".

"Secret Fire - The Flame of Anor, a mystical aspect of the Sun, greatest visible power in Creation. The order of Istari (Wizards)formally swore obedience to the "Secret Fire"" (italics mine)

So if all the Wizards swore by "The Secret Fire", that would indicate that it is not the Ring Narya, wouldn't it?

Can anyone site chapter and verse on this vow of obedience, or is J.E.A. Tyler just way off?
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Old 02-06-2002, 12:23 AM   #39
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[img]smilies/redface.gif[/img] Please forgive me for not posting my thoughts in this subject as of yet. I have been busy with tech support [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img], several people's computers have crashed today. I have not had time to compile my essay. Tomorrow looks better, I pray no more systems crash and I get called away to repair them.
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Old 02-06-2002, 01:28 AM   #40
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Quote:
"Secret Fire - The Flame of Anor, a mystical aspect of the Sun, greatest visible power in Creation. The order of Istari (Wizards)formally swore obedience to the "Secret Fire"
This confuses me. The Secret Fire is the Flame Imperishable Eru sent to create Ea, the world that is. This quote is saying that the Flame of Anor (The Sun) is the Flame Imperishable? That is wrong.

The Sun was created from a fruit that dropped from Laurelin before it died. And the sun is lead through the sky by the Maia, Arien. So how could it be the Flame Imperishable (Secret Fire)?

We all agree that The Secret Fire is The Flame Imperishable. But when Gandalf says he is a weilder of the flame of Anor, I always thought he meant Narya because it is a ring of fire. But I see that this is probably implausible. Like you have said already, I dont think Gandalf would tell this to the Balrog and the ring was not created for power in the sense that Gandalf could use it to fight.

So I am very confused. When Gandalf says he is a weilder of the power of the sun, I cannot understand this. I guess you could be right, Aiwendil. Maybe the Sun is related somehow to the Flame Imperishable and maybe is a source of power. That just doesn't seem right, though. The great lamps were the original sources of light, and then the two trees. The Sun is only a part of the power of Laurelin and it is said in the Silmarillion "The sun was set as a sign of awakening for men, and of waning for the elves...". So it seems odd to me that the thing that caused the elves to leave Middle Earth would be used as a source of power for a Maia.

But then again the Sun showed great power against Morgoth. He feared the Sun and its brightness and because of it, Melkor hid from the day. And even in Dagor Dagorath Melkor attacks the Sun. So obviously he sees it as his main enemy. I think the effect of the Sun would be the same on Sauron as well.

I think I have asked so many questions that I have gotten an answer without any help. I think, now, that when Gandalf says weilder of the Flame of Anor he means that he has the power of the Sun that even Melkor, the Balrogs master!, was scared of. What do you guys think? Have I solved this mystery? Do you understand what Im talking about? Tell me what you think.

But I still have a question. What does "The dark fire will not avail you" mean?
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