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Old 08-26-2001, 02:13 PM   #41
jallanite
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Re: Many Many Balrogs

Introduction

So HerenIstarion has given us a version of Bob's contstruction which Bob himself would not provide.

Best way to begin is perhaps to set out the four latest accounts of the origin of the Balrogs in the probable order to their writing. All are from Morgoth's Ring (HoME 10).

1. The maiar Origin

I believe the word maiar occurs once only in JRRT's published material, in this place, where JRRT defines its meaning. The passage is from &quot;The Annals of Aman&quot;, Commentary on the second section of the Annals of Aman 30:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> ... But Melkor dwelt in Utumno, and he did not sleep, but watched and laboured; and whatsoever good Yavanna worked in the lands he undid if he could, and the evil things that he had perverted walked abroad, and the dark and slumbering woods were haunted by monsters and shapes of dread. And in Utumno he multiplied the race of the evil spirits that followed him, the maiar, of whom the chief were those demons whom the Elves afterwards named the Balrogath. But they did not yet come forth from the gates of Utumno because of their fear of Orom<hr></blockquote>Two other references by CT to maiar cite this same passage.

Here maiar are clearly defined as &quot;the race of the evil spirits that followed him [Morgoth]&quot;, and the chief of the maiar are the Balrogs. Again, I believe this is JRRT's published use of maiar.

The concept of the Children of the Valar still appears in &quot;The Annals of Aman&quot;, so it is not surprising that Melkor can also multiply the race of the evil spirits.

As to the unique form Balrogath, which might puzzle some, it is simply Sindarin for 'the Balrogs'. The suffix -ath is explained most fully in JRRT's commentary on the poem &quot;A Elbereth Gilthoniel&quot; in The Road Goes Ever On:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> But the suffix -ath (originally a collective noun-suffix) was used as a group plural, embracing all things of the same name, or those associated in some special arrangement or organization. So elenath (as plural of l, pl. elin) meant &quot;the host of the stars&quot;: sc. (all) the (visible) stars of the firmament. Cf. ennorath, the group of central lands, making up Middle-earth. Note also Argonath, &quot;the pair of royal stones,&quot; at the entrance to Gondor; Periannath, &quot;the Hobbits (as a race),&quot; as collective pl. of perian, &quot;halfling&quot; (pl. periain). The ath is not a genitive inflexion as some have guessed.<hr></blockquote>

2. The Old Version of &quot;Making&quot; the Balrogs

&quot;The Later Quenta Silmarillion (I)&quot;, 18:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> ... and in the North Melkor built his strength, and gathered his demons about him. These were the first made of his creatures: their hearts were of fire, but they were clothed in darkness, and terror went before them; they had whips of flame. Balrogs they were named by the Noldor in later days. And in that dark time Melkor made many other monsters of divers shapes and kinds that long troubled the world; yet the Orcs were not made until he had looked upon the Elves, and he made them in mockery of the Children Ilvatar.<hr></blockquote>

3. The &quot;Valaquenta&quot; Account

CT in Morgoth's Ring indicates no changes in the published version of the origin of the Balrogs in the &quot;Valaquenta&quot;. So here it is:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> For of the Maiar many were drawn to his splendour in the days of his greatness, and remained in that allegiance down into his darkness; and others he corrupted afterwards to his service with lies and treacherous gifts. Dreadful among these spirits were the Valaraukar, the scourges of fire that in Middle-earth were called the Balrogs, demons of terror.<hr></blockquote>Here othersmight refer to spirits who were not Maiar, or might mean other Maiar corrupted later. The Valaraukar are &quot;dreadful among these spirits&quot;, that is either dreadful among all the spirits, or dreadful among the spirits corrupted later. Comparison with other accounts strongly indicates the former meaning.

4. The alar account

In his notes on the late Quenta Silmarillion version CT gives a replacement passage to the account that appears there, in &quot;The Later Quenta Silmarillion (I), Commentary on Chapter 3, 'Of the Coming of the Elves', 18:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> The actual text of LQ 2 my father emended at this time very hastily to read:
These were the ( alar) spirits who first adhered to him in the days of his splendour, and became most like him in his corruption: their hearts were of fire, but they were cloaked in darkness, and terror went before them; they had whips of flame. Balrogs they were named by the Noldor in later days. And in that dark time Melkor bred many other monsters of divers shapes and kinds that long troubled the world; and his realm now spread ever southward of the Middle-earth. But the Orks, mockeries and perversions of the Children of Eru, did not appear until after the Awakening of the Elves.

There is a footnote on the word alar in this passage:
'spirit' (not incarnate, which is fa, S[indarin] fae, ala[/i] 'being'.<hr></blockquote>The spelling of Ork with a k indicates later writing. The change is that Melkor no longer &quot;makes&quot; the Balrogs (as he also did in previous versions of this passage in Silmarillion texts). Instead they originate as discarnate spirits, most easily identified with the Maiar who appear in the &quot;Valaquenta&quot; account (and are discarnate spirits) and with the maiar of the maiar origin where maiar means the former Maiar who have become Melkor's evil followers.

This passage is, I believe, contains JRRT's only published use of the word alar.


Interlude

The published Silmarillion in chapter 3 contains a combination of the maiar account and the alar account.

I will refer to HerenIstarion's explanation of Bob Wehadababyitsaboy's theories as the Elucidation.


Who are the other spirits?.

The Elucidation slides over any suggestion that the other spirits were other Maiar. Surely that should have been considered? The three other accounts indicate Balrogs were all of one origin. Two assumptions are made here without notice or question in the interpretation of the Valaquenta account:
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp 1. The spirits who later followed Melkor are not Maiar.
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp 2. The spirits who later followed Melkor are weaker than those who followed him in former days.

If either is false, then the argument fails. So best omit the question?

In the maiar account all Balrogs are maiar, in the [i/]alar[/i] account all Balrogs are alar, in the &quot;Valaquenta&quot; account there is no indication that those spirits who joined Morgoth later were either, on the average, less or more powerful than those who joined him in his earlier days.


Quiet redefinition of .

From the Elucidation<blockquote>Quote:<hr> But who are those balrogs (for I don't think it necessary to omit the great passage of balrogs assailing the standard of Manwe), which are so easily withered in Manwe's wrath? Spirits corrupted afterwards, and, as elves just awoke, and there is not other trace of men yet, we must assume them to be some other ealar of lesser strength and not opposed in function to Maiar, so there is not need to consider them as Umaiar, yet rather than opposite to those spirits which incarnate Eagles, Ents, and so on. If I were allowed to use invented term, I would rather call them Ulealar.<hr></blockquote>Note this third admitted unsupported assumption. No evidence of any kind anywhere. In the maiar account all Balrogs are maiar, in the [i/]alar[/i] account all Balrogs are alar, in the Valaquenta account there is no indication that those spirits who joined Morgoth later were either, on the average, less or more powerful than those who joined him in his earlier days.

Also since alar are by definition discarnate spirits, can they indeed by identified with the spirits inhabitating Eagles, Ents, talking ravens, and so forth? Are not those spirits, bound to incarnate forms, by definition far rather than alar?

Perhaps not, Tolkien did keep changing his mind on such matters. Morgoth's Ring, &quot;The Annals of Aman&quot;, Section Six, Notes, 160:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Manw however sent Maia spirits in Eagle form to draw near Thangorodrim and keep watch on all that Melkor did and assist the Noldor in extreme cases.<hr></blockquote> Morgoth's Ring&quot;Myths Transformed&quot;, VIII, Orcs:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Huan and Sorontar could be Maiar*** emissaries of Manw.^4 But unfortunately in The Lord of the Rings Gwaehir and Landroval are said to be descendants of Sorontar.

4**See p. 138. -- At the bottom of the page bearing the brief text V (p.*389) my father jotted down the following, entirely unconnected with the matter of the text:
Living things in Aman. As the Valar would robe themslves like the Children, many of the Maiar robed themselves like other lesser living things, as trees, flowers, beasts. (Huan.)<hr></blockquote>This obviously dates from a period when JRRT had decided that Maiar did not reproduce. But sanw-Kenta, perhaps a later text, provides a possibility that eagles could be Maiar and could procreate:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Here Pengolodh adds a long note on the use of hrar by the Valar. In brief he says that though in origin a &quot;self-arraying&quot;, it may tend to approach the state of &quot;incarnation&quot;, especially with the lesser members of that order (the Maiar). &quot;It is said that the longer and the more the same hra is used, the greater is the bond of habit, and the less do the 'self-arrayed' desire to leave it. As raiment may soon cease to be adornment, and becomes (as is said in the tongues of both Elves and Men) a 'habit', a customary garb. Or if among Elves and Men it be worn to mitigate heat or cold, it soon makes the clad body less able to endure these things when naked&quot;. Pengolodh also cites the opinion that if a &quot;spirit&quot; (that is, one of those not embodied by creation) uses a hra for the furtherance of its personal purposes, or (still more) for the enjoyment of bodily faculties, it finds it increasingly difficult to operate without the hra. The things that are most binding are those that in the Incarnate have to do with the life of the hra itself, its sustenance and its propagation. Thus eating and drinking are binding, but not the delight in beauty of sound or form. Most binding is begetting or conceiving.<hr></blockquote>Again in Morgoth's Ring&quot;Myths Transformed&quot;, VIII, Orcs, JRRT considers spirits who have becomes permanently incarnate as Orcs, until death of their body. He then continues:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> ****But again*** would Eru provide far for such creatures? For the Eagles etc. perhaps. But not for Orcs.<hr></blockquote>Tolkien here seems to skipped to the problem of what happens when spirits who have become incarnate reproduce. Whence the spirits that come into the bodies of their progeny? He then he considers that possibility that Eru might create spirits/souls for Eagles descended from original Maiar-eagles, and for other descendants of Maiar who have taken on incarnate forms, but not for Orcs. Later in the same essay he considers whether such beings might indeed still be beasts with no true fa but with increased intelligence.<blockquote>Quote:<hr> The same sort of thing may be said of Huan and the Eagles: they were taught language by the Valar, and raised to a higher level*** but they still had no far.<hr></blockquote>Tolkien's late text &quot;Of the Ents and of the Eagles&quot; ( The War of the Jewels (HoME 11)) used in chapter 2 of the published Silmarillion is vague, probably purposely. We are just told that spirits (no indication of kind or origin) will come among the plants and animals at the time of the waking of the Children and for some time afterwards, and so there will be, for a time, some sentient animals and plants. The Eagles of Manw are particularly mentioned. There is no indication that these spirits are all of the same kind, or whether this will be done by means of the Valar and Maiar, or by Eru alone. Possibly various different origins and methods are imagined: e.g. Eagles by Manw as he later sent the Istari, Ents as far sent by Eru when the early Elves tried awakening the original dumb versions of those creatures, talking ravens, who knows? The spirits of the Ents seem to be far similar to those of Elves, Dwarves, and Men. The spirits of the Eagles of later generations would probably be far also. And it is possible that a part was played by spirits who are neither Ainu in origin nor fa sent by Eru, being such as seem to be prevalent in the period when JRRT wrote The Book of Lost Tales and which might be still part of his cosmos.

The Elucidation's postulation of a particular class of spirits in respect to Ents and Eagles is pure speculation in actual disagreement with such texts as do mention the problem. The use of alar for weaker spirits only, and in particular for incarnate spirits dwelling in permanent bodies contradicts Tolkien's useage.


Two kinds of Balrogs

The point of the Elucidation is that in some cases when Tolkien says Balrog, he actually means another rank of creature of the same name. Otherwise you could not have both 1000 Balrogs appearing at one time along with Balrogs of whom &quot;3 or at most 7 ever existed&quot;. And the distinction between two Balrogs must appear in the texts we have, not be simply a late construct of JRRT which he never wrote down, or it remains an improveable possibility.

Only a single example from the entire corpus is provided which might indicate any such distinction. In the &quot;Valaquenta&quot; account occurs the sentence:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Dreadful among these spirits were the Valaraukar, the scourges of fire that in Middle-earth were called the Balrogs, demons of terror.<hr></blockquote>This would appear to be a naming of the same kind of creature in both Quenya and Anglicized Sindarin ( Balrog pluralized as in English).

Yet Elucidation attempts to portray Balrogs as different from Valaraukar despite the apparent identity in the text:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Valarauka*- &quot;Mighty Demons&quot; certainly means 7 great ones, yet translation &quot;balrog&quot;, applied to those in ME, is not literal:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GWAL- torment. Q ungnwale torture; nwalya- to pain, torment; nwalka cruel. N balch cruel; baul torment, cf. Bal- in Balrog or Bolrog [RUK], and Orc-name Boldog = Orc-warrior Torment-slayer (cf. NDAK).
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Not a mighty, but a tormenting spirits. One can apply such a term even to one's own not so pleasant neighbour, disturbing ones sleep by night with some naughty nosiy behaviour.<hr></blockquote>There are two claims here:
****1. Valaraukar and Balrogs are different despite the apparenty identity.
****2. The meaning 'torment' is too light to be applied to a true Maia Balrog.

Both claims are wrong.

Taking the second claim first, one can indeed use the term &quot;torment&quot; lightly of anything bothersome. One can also use torture (given as the meaning of one of the Quenya descendants of the stem) in that way also. And one can use it more seriously. Tolkien does both. Lets look at some serious uses.

From The Book of Lost Tales 2, &quot;The Fall of Gondolin&quot;:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Yet as meed of treachery did Melko threaten Meglin with the torment of the Balrogs. Now these were demons with whips of flame and claws of steel by whom he tormented those of the Noldoli who durst withstand him in anything**- and the Eldar have called them Malkarauka.<hr></blockquote>Or from The Lord of the Rings, &quot;Many Meetings&quot;:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> You would have became a wraith under the dominion of the Dark Lord; and he would have tormented you for trying to keep his Ring, if any greater torment were possible than being robbed of it and seeing it on his hand.'
...
But her brothers, Elladan and Elrohir, were out upon errantry: for they rode often far afield with the Rangers of the North, forgetting never their mother's torment in the dens of the orcs.<hr></blockquote>From &quot;The Council of Elrond&quot;:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> It was taken with torment from Thrin in the dungeons of Dol Guldur. I came too late.<hr></blockquote>From &quot;The Black Gate Opens:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> And now he shall endure the slow torment of years, as long and slow as our arts in the Great Tower can contrive, and never be released, unless maybe when he is changed and broken, so that he may come to you, and you shall see what you have done.<hr></blockquote>From The Silmarillion, chapter 13:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Then the Elves smote upon the gates of Angband, and the challenge of their trumpets shook the towers of Thangorodrim; and Maedhros heard them amid his torment and cried aloud, but his voice was lost in the echoes of the stone.<hr></blockquote>From chapter 18:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Sauron was become now a sorcerer of dreadful power, master of shadows and of phantoms, foul in wisdom, cruel in strength, misshaping what he touched, twisting what he ruled, lord of werewolves; his dominion was torment.<hr></blockquote>From chapter 19:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Howling he led before them, and the walls of the valley of the Gate echoes with the clamour of his torment.<hr></blockquote>From chapter 21:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> At first his own people did not know Gwindor, who went out young and strong, and returned now seeming as one of the aged among mortal Men, because of his torments and his labours;<hr></blockquote>&quot;Spirit of torment&quot; is good enough as a name.

Now to the second case: it is wrong to claim that Balrogs is different from Valaruakar. Of the two entries in the &quot;Etymologies&quot; containing Balrog the Elucidation chooses the one that is least informative. Better is:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> RUK-*demon, Q rauko demon, malarauko (* gwalarauko, cf. GWAL); N rhaug, Ba.<hr></blockquote>So at the time of &quot;The Etymologies&quot; there was Q Malarauko and N Balrog 'Demon of torment' from earlier * gwalarauk. But in the &quot;Valaquenta&quot; account the Q form (in the plural) is Valaraurkar indicating the Q form no longer begins with the stem GWAL- 'torment' but 'power, might'. Would the Sindarin form not also have this new etymology? From The War of the Jewels (HoME 11), &quot;Quendi and Eldar&quot;, Author's Notes, Note 28:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Some other derivatives are in Quenya: rukin 'I feel fear or horror' (construed with 'from' of the object feared); ruhta- 'terrify'; rkima 'terrible'; rauko and aruko &lt; * grauk-) 'a powerful, hostile, and terrible creature', especially in the compound Valarauko 'Demon of Might', applied later to the more powerful and terrible of the Maia servants of Morgoth. In Sindarin appear, for instance, raug and graug, and the compound Balrog equivalents of Q rauko, etc.); groga- 'feel terror'; gruitha 'terrify'; gorog (&lt; * guruk) 'horror'.<hr></blockquote>The word &quot;etc.&quot; in &quot;equivalents of Q rauko, etc.&quot; indicates that Sindarin Balrog has the same origin and meaning as the Quenya word. The etymology has changed for both the Quenya and Sindarin forms, the two are identified as equivalents, and the meaning is &quot;the more powerful and terrible of the Maia servants of Morgoth.&quot; This is exactly what every other definition of Balrog has given us, save that the ala account might also allow other kinds of spirits who were not Ainu, though the description of those spirits who became Balrogs certainly indicates most were Maiar. It is interesting that the form Valarauko here ends o and not in a. I suppose someone desperate enough might claim Valarauko meaning 'Demon of Might, Balrog' is to be distinguished from Valarauka. But if so, then it is Valarauko that refers to Maiar spirits, at least when Tolkien wrote &quot;Quendi and Eldar&quot;. I see this as an unimportant change of ending.

What is worse is that even if the Quenya form and the Sindarin form in the &quot;Valaquenta&quot; account were both unrelated in origin and had different literal meanings, it would prove nothing about the kind of creature referred to. For example &quot;Quendi and Eldar&quot; in The War of the Jewels provides several occurrences of cognate forms of cognates Quenya and Sindarin that have acquired dissimilar meanings and words originally unrelated that have become in meaning identical or almost identical between the two languages. The &quot;Valaquenta&quot; seems to be simply giving a Quenya name and a Sindarin name for the same beings, and the arguments in the Elucidation that things are not what they seem fail.


The offer to Hrin

The Hrin passage is interesting. Yes, Hrin is offered a post as &quot;chief of Balrogs&quot;. Perhaps it could happen, since at this period in Tolkien's work Balrogs had been created by Morgoth, and perhaps created totally obedient to him. (Of course Gothmog might still be Morgoth's son at this time, and perhaps some Balrogs had other origins) But I can well believe that if Morgoth said to his Balrogs, &quot;Obey Hrin!&quot;, they would have obeyed Hrin if he created them to always obey him. This of course is speculation. But it is equally speculation that they would not have obyed him. And the passage does not say that Hrin will be physically made into a Balrog.

I personally look at this more in the light of a similar passage in The Book of Lost Tales 2, &quot;The Fall of Gondolin&quot;:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> For this Meglin's reward was to be a great captaincy among the Orcs*** yet Melko proposed not in his heart to fulfil such a promise*** but Tuor and Erendel should Melko burn, and Idril be given to Meglin's arms*** and such promises was that evil one fain to redeem.<hr></blockquote>Should words of Morgoth indeed be trusted? In Unfinished Tales, &quot;Narn i Hn Hrin[/i] the heroic captive does not think so:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Therefore Morgoth had him chained and set in slow torment; but after a while he came to him, and offered him his choice to go wither he would, or to receive power and rank as the greatest of Morgoth's captains, if he would but reveal where Turgon had his stronghold, and aught else that he knew of the King's counsels. But Hrin the Steadfast mocked him, saying: 'Blind you are Morgoth Bauglir, and blind shall ever be, seeing only the dark. You know not what rules the hearts of men, and if you knew you could not give it. But a fool is he who accepts what Morgoth offers. You will take first the price and then withhold the promise; and I should get only death, if I told you what you ask.'<hr></blockquote>

Nothing in the poem suggest the Hrin would be physically changed, the mention of Balrogs was removed from the offer in &quot;Narn i Hn Hrin&quot;.


The Balrogs Return

From the Elucidation:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> That explains why Balrogs, presumably destroyed in the war of Powers, are present again in the Seige of Angband ...<hr></blockquote>The &quot;word&quot; presumably gives it away. Actually that new Balrogs could be created (or self-incarnated) is something I could accept. But I don't have to for the stage of the writing when Tolkien imagined a thousand Balrogs at the Battle of Unnumbered Tears. Tolkien might also have intended that to be a thousand Balrogs of a much larger number that did survive the War of Powers. (This was a war that changed the face of Middle-earth far more than the later War of Wrath that destroyed Beleriand. There might have been a million Balrogs before it began.) Either seems to me possible and undemonstratible


Final word on Maiar origins

But all references to Balrogs' origins refer to them being originally spirits, whether as &quot;spirits&quot;, Maiar, maiar, or alar. All Tolkien's rambling about Orc's souls and beasts and various origins for Orcs and yet never a single mention of any other source for any kind of Balrog! An example from Morgoth's Ring, &quot;Myths Transformed&quot;, VIII, Orcs:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Yes; both outside Arda and in it, before the fall of Utumno, Melkor had corrupted many spirits*** some great, as Sauron, or less so, as Balrogs.<hr></blockquote>.And in the same article:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Orcs are beasts and Balrogs corrupted Maiar.<hr></blockquote>If the first sentence seems to open that door to at least another kind of spirit than Maiar, that last short sentence shuts the door again, at least at that time in Tolkien's thought. And I cannot find anywhere that his thought changed on this point after he dropped the idea that Melkor created the Balrogs. Here again, Balrogs were originally Maiar.


The War of the Powers

Bob's own posts indicate he believes the Balrogs withered and &quot;slain&quot; in the War of the Powers were the weaker sort, while the few stronger survived. I give the passage with the text Tolkien deleted in braces and the new text in angle-brackets, and the marginal note following:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Thence seeing all was lost (for that time), he sent forth {a host of Balrogs, the last of his servants that remained} &lt;his Balrogs, the last of his servants that remained faithful to him&gt;, and they assailed the stand of Manw, as it were a tide of flame. But they were withered in the wind of his wrath and slain with the lightning of his sword; and Melkor stood at last alone.

[Marginal note:]There should not be supposed more than say 3 or at most 7 ever existed<hr></blockquote>Since the host of Balrogs is shrunk now, perhaps to three, they are presumably the powerful Balrogs come to Morgoth's aid, the only ones who come. Yet the ones that are withered are supposedly a large number of weaker Balrogs. Where did these come from and what happened to the powerful Balrogs to which the note and emendations refers? The hypothesis, even if it were sustainable elsewhere, does not explain this passage at all, as least by Bob's words.

I suggest tentatively that Tolkien's rough note might be interpreted as <blockquote>Quote:<hr> There should not be supposed more than say 3 .... or at most 7 ever existed.<hr></blockquote>That is, he is reducing the Balrogs tentatively to three in this passage, then noting the maximum number of seven that ever existed. This of course means, if Balrogs cannot be re-embodied or replenished, then there are only four Balrogs during the rest of the First Age.


Conclusion

No distinction between Valaruakar and Balrogs was shown. The argument that attempted this would prove nothing even if Valaraukar and Balrogs were of different eytmological origin and meaning, which it failed to prove.

No distinction between two origins for the Balrogs was demonstrated. Only the &quot;Valaquenta&quot; account can, taken alone, be interpreted either to speak either of:
*****1. the Maiar only who joined Melkor's following at two different times, or
*****2. the Maiar who joined first and other spirits of a different kind who joined later.

If the latter is true, then Balrogs might be in part of a different kind of spirit than Maiar. But no other text supports this possiblity. Other texts that treat the origin of Balrogs (after the story of their creation by Melkor has been changed) universally identify them as Maiar, either specifically so, or in the alar account by the history given for those spirits which makes it clear the are former Maiar. So even if there are to kinds of spirits here, which I doubt, the Balrogs are from the first group, by definition of every other source after the dropping of the story of their being Melkor's creations.

No case of any incarnate becoming a Balrog was found. A case of a promise of to make a mortal &quot;chief of Balrogs&quot; was put forward. This has usually been taken to mean a chief under Morgoth commanding Balrogs. No-one has yet suggested, to my knowledge, that the similar offer to Meglin meant that he was to be changed into an Orc.

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Old 08-27-2001, 01:04 AM   #42
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Tear it up, as I expected. Alas. I loved it

Yet you should have noticed the words 'speculation' and 'intuition' in the post above. From your own post it's clear that Professor's mind on the subject changed so many times (balrogs created/corrupted, Morgoth's will imposed/not imposed, ability to recreate/no such ability, thousands/ 3 to 7) that it, well hm, left the space for such improvisations.

Indeed, why rely only on later writings (part of those is presumably lost anyway, and noone can claim that with them was not lost the theory of two different types of balrogs ), if a whole lot, from the beginning to the end brings opportunity not to omitt nor the note 3 to 7, simply naming those Valaraukar, or Balrogs, and the rest lesser, or merely balrogs, nor the beautiful passages involving thousand of them dying on the battlefield. For, in the long run, all the revising done down here is a fiction, though very qualified one (for who may guess what would the thing look like if JRRT himself finished it?). My contribution is only modest in the project, not in the least due to the above named reasoning, and I myself claimed not to have a vote in the final decision, contenting myself with a role of an advisor. You are of course free to accept (if you find them useful) or reject (if they are of no use) theories provided, still more our methods seem to differ a bit you relying precisely on textual evidence, me intuitevly filling the gaps, even sometimes I can come to contradict some of the above named textual evidence. I dont think each of them is inferior to another.

I had a great pleasure composing those 'neobalrogizms', and spent a beautiful evening on it , for which I'm grateful to Bob Wehadababyitsaboy, who made it possible (and he still may be capable of providing the theory with more evidence , ability which, alas, I lack for now)

Remainig convinced in two balrog types theory, still always at your service
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Old 08-27-2001, 01:08 PM   #43
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Re: Many Many Balrogs

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> So HerenIstarion has given us a version of Bob's contstruction which Bob himself would not provide.<hr></blockquote>
Well the majority of the end conclusion came out anyway, in fact directly before your post.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> I will refer to HerenIstarion's explanation of Bob Wehadababyitsaboy's theories as the Elucidation.<hr></blockquote>
Actually, H.I. added his own opinion here and there, which you acknowledge. <img src=smile.gif ALT="">

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> And it is possible that a part was played by spirits who are neither Ainu in origin nor fa sent by Eru, being such as seem to be prevalent in the period when JRRT wrote The Book of Lost Tales and which might be still part of his cosmos.<hr></blockquote>
Yes, and here I think your use of 'might be' is highly discrectionary.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Yet Elucidation attempts to portray Balrogs as different from Valaraukar despite the apparent identity in the text<hr></blockquote>
For myself, the difference comes from the account of where the Note was placed into the text and of what meaning it had.
It accompanies a change in text, which is concerning the last remaining faithful servants.
Here Maia servants or Balrogs, of which there were 3 or at most 7, applied to the now faithful servants rather than the 'host' which disappears.

Concerning terminology, if I were to ask you of the Children of Eru [All inclusive, as in your examples---this can easily be replaced with Balrogs] to whom would you think I was referring? And are there differences? And how important are they?
Since they are grouped under the same category, they _must_ be the same race and {gender!} as this is the defining criteria you use, where you seem to discount the all inclusive origins of the word itself.
This is without addressing the adopted children of course.
This is the same as accepting all Ealar as Ainu [Valar or Maiar] without taking into consideration that the Author himself questions the validity of the assumption, or WHY the assumption is questioned.

Finding the meaning of the Note is the key. Applying it _universally_ to one 'species' is the problem area.
<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Nothing in the poem suggest the Hrin would be physically changed, the mention of Balrogs was removed from the offer in &quot;Narn i Hn Hrin&quot;<hr></blockquote>
True, and I think I even stipulated it could well have been a lie to coerce him with _these_ treacherous gifts of weapons and unmatched mail. What treacherous gifts could Melkor give to an Ainu?
<blockquote>Quote:<hr> A case of a promise of to make a mortal &quot;chief of Balrogs&quot; was put forward. This has usually been taken to mean a chief under Morgoth commanding Balrogs. No-one has yet suggested, to my knowledge, that the similar offer to Meglin meant that he was to be changed into an Orc.<hr></blockquote>
The question there was, would this by 'defintion' turn Hurin into a Balrog, even though from other papers, the ability of Melkor to affect such physical changes at this time seems vastly diminished or possibly even vanished.
If so, then 'definition' needs to be re-examined.
As for Maeglin, the same sort of 'definition' arises. Physical change was probably beyond the abilities anymore of Melkor, now tied to earthly form. But this is from already having SPENT it beforehand.
Spent on what you ask? That is the question.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Bob's own posts indicate he believes the Balrogs withered and &quot;slain&quot; in the War of the Powers were the weaker sort, while the few stronger survived.<hr></blockquote>
The assumption you believe I made concerning the Balrogs of The War of the Powers where those Balrogs were the weaker ones is incorrect. These are the original Ainu followers of Melkor.
And frankly, I don't know how Elves would have known the difference later, as these Balrogs were destroyed before the Elves could ever see them, shake their hands, and ask to melt S'mores with them.
<blockquote>Quote:<hr> I'm grateful to Bob Wehadababyitsaboy, who made it possible.<hr></blockquote>
Not my true intent. <img src=wink.gif ALT="">
Helping to [indirectly] solve the dilemma that stymied the progression of revision text---was.

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Old 08-30-2001, 09:35 PM   #44
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Re: Many Many Balrogs

Bob Wehadababyitsaboy posted:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Concerning terminology, if I were to ask you of the Children of Eru [All inclusive, as in your examples---this can easily be replaced with Balrogs] to whom would you think I was referring? And are there differences? And how important are they? Since they are grouped under the same category, they _must_ be the same race and {gender!} as this is the defining criteria you use, where you seem to discount the all inclusive origins of the word itself. This is without addressing the adopted children of course.<hr></blockquote>The Eruhni are of three kinds, Treebeard's Free People are of four, then five kinds, the vanimor are of many kinds. Noldor are of one kind as are Dwarves, though of seven original kindreds. We know this because of what Tolkien wrote. We also know about the single origin and kind of the Balrogs because of what Tolkien wrote. Eruhni means what Tolkien says it means. So does Balrog. We have early accounts in which Morgoth creates the Balrogs and we have later accounts giving a different view. The later definition is our concern.

In Morgoth's Ring, &quot;Myths Transformed&quot;, VIII, Orcs, dated by CT to 1955, there is a later addendum:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Orcs are beasts and Balrogs corrupted Maiar.<hr></blockquote>This seems clear and complete enough, at least in this sentence and at this time.

From 1959-60 in The War of the Jewels (HoME 11), &quot;Quendi and Eldar&quot;, Author's Notes, Note 28:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Some other derivatives are in Quenya: rukin 'I feel fear or horror' (construed with 'from' of the object feared); ruhta- 'terrify'; rkima 'terrible'; rauko and arauko &lt; *[/i]grauk-[/i]) 'a powerful, hostile, and terrible creature', especially in the compound Valarauko 'Demon of Might', applied later to the more powerful and terrible of the Maia servants of Morgoth. In Sindarin appear, for instance, raug and graug, and the compound Balrog equivalents of Q rauko, etc.); groga- 'feel terror'; gruitha 'terrify'; gorog (&lt; * guruk) 'horror'.<hr></blockquote>The word &quot;etc.&quot; in &quot;equivalents of Q rauko, etc.&quot; indicates that Sindarin forms have the same origin and meaning as the Quenya forms above. Tolkien is saving space in noting that Sindarin raug, graug and [/i]Balrog[/i] are respectively equivalents to Quenya rauko, arauko and Valarauko. The meaning of Q Valarauko S Balrog is '&quot;Demon of Might&quot;, applied later to the more powerful and terrible of the Maia servants of Morgoth'. Again, Balrogs are unequivocably Maiar, even being defined as such. Would Tolkien compose this definition if most Balrogs were not Maiar in origin?

Maiar origin of Balrogs is totally consistant with the maiar account, the alar account, and the &quot;Valaquenta&quot; account however these may be interpreted. JRRT may (or may not) have considered that some of the spirits that followed Melkor were not Maiar in origin, but he clearly stated that Balrogs (not just some Balrogs) are.

There is really no way to squeeze in Balrogs of different origin except to unnecessarily postulate it as a temporary idea that JRRT later changed. Either the texts state that Balrogs are Maiar, or they are ambiguous. But they only ambiguous if other spirits than Maiar are thought possibly to be mentioned. If not so, they also indicate the Balrogs are Maiar. None of these ambiguous texts, if interpreted to allow the presence of non-Maiar spirts, can be interpreted to indicate that any Balrogs must in origin be of these non-Maiar spirits.

Bob Wehadababyitsaboy posted:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> This is the same as accepting all Ealar as Ainu [Valar or Maiar] without taking into consideration that the Author himself questions the validity of the assumption, or WHY the assumption is questioned.<hr></blockquote>I have doubts that discarnate spirits who are not Ainur or Maiar in origin appear in later writings, but quite recognize the possiblity that JRRT did intend such. That Tom Bombadil might be such is in origin an old idea, though by the time he appears in LR he seems to have become very incarnate indeed.

All three late accounts of Melkor's power after the destruction of the lamps are unfortunately ambiguous on whether Morgoth's followers, when they become the subject of the texts, were all of Maiar origin. Tolkien does not specifically say in the maiar account that all the maiar were in origin Maiar, or in the alar account that all the alar who followed Morgoth were in origin Maiar, and the &quot;Valaquenta&quot; account can be interpreted to refer to non-Maiar spirits joining Morgoth later (in company perhaps with late-joining Maiar spirits). But JRRT does specifically say in other passages that Sauron and the Balrogs were Maiar, whatever may be the case with some of the other spirits who followed Morgoth. What reason to reject such statements about either Sauron or Balrogs?

There is no problem in the history of Balrogs as originally written in the &quot;The Annals of Aman&quot; and its sequel &quot;The Grey Annals&quot;. In the &quot;The Annals of Aman&quot; 18:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Thence, seeing that all was lost (for that time), he sent forth on a sudden a host of Balrogs, the last of his servants that remained, and they assailed the standard of Manw, as it were a tide of flame. But they were withered in the wind of his wrath and slain with the lightning of his sword; and Melkor stood at last alone.<hr></blockquote>What does &quot;the last of his servants that remained&quot; mean? Perhaps it is a clumsy writing of an idea that would be better phrased as &quot;all of his servants that remained&quot; or &quot;the last of his servants&quot;. If not, then JRRT means something like the last of his servants that remained at his command, speculation warning here*** other servants being unable to come to his aid, cut off from him by the army of the Valar and their people or buried in Angband or maimed and unable to take part in combat. Indeed if &quot;the last of his servants that remained&quot; applies to &quot;Balrogs&quot; rather than &quot;host&quot;, it is almost implied that there were indeed other Balrogs who remained at Melkor's command, being held yet in reserve and who never did play a part after the single host of Balrogs he sent was destroyed and Melkor was captured before he could send more. (Speculation warning*** he saw that summoning up those he had held in reserve would do no good at this time.)

This is not just supposition. In 52:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Yet many evil things yet lingered in Middle-earth that had fled away from the wrath of the Lords of the West, or lay hidden in the deeps of the earth. For the vaults of Utumno were many, and hidden with deceit, and not all were discovered by the Valar.<hr></blockquote>

So there is no difficulty when Balrogs reappear to rescue Morgoth from the webs of Ungoliant.

And if any think the thousand Balrogs in the Battle of Unnumbered Tears seem too many to have survived, then it can be guessed that Morgoth created more in the same manner that he had created them before, whatever that was. I have no idea which solution JRRT intended, or if he noticed any problem here at all.

In the maiar account revision to &quot;The Annals of Aman&quot;, Morgoth multiplies the spirits who follow him, and among them are the Balrogs. There is no problem in &quot;The Annals of Aman&quot; with Balrogs continuing to multiply, just as do Orcs. In &quot;The Annals of Aman&quot; the Children of the Valar still exist, so multiplication of Balrogs is certainly possible. (Question: are some Balrogs female?)

The note on the &quot;Annals&quot; limiting the number of Balrogs to seven at most causes difficulty only in a single later text in the Annals: the mention of a thousand Balrogs in the account of the Battle of Unnumbered Tears in &quot;Annals of Beleriand&quot;. Otherwise seven or even four Balrogs present no problem at all.

So why did JRRT not revise this text mentioning the thousand Balrogs?

This is a puzzle only if the note reducing the Balrogs to seven at most is an early one.

Otherwise the obvious answer is that Tolkien thought of the entire account of the battle which contained this text to be obsolete. He had written a new draft of the Battle of Unnumbered Tears as part of the full but never completed &quot;Narn i Chn Hrin&quot;. That account is primarily based on &quot;The Annals of Beleriand&quot; and would in his mind largely be its replacement. The parts that differ most are given in The War of the Jewels (HoME 11), &quot;The Grey Annals&quot;, Note 2, A further account of the Battle of Unnumbered Tears. In this version the thousand Balrogs are entirely omitted. The only mention of Balrogs is in the retained account of the death of Fingon where the number of Balrogs present is not given.

Similarly, corresponding parts of the Silmarillion typescripts were also mostly left unchanged throughout the Trin story including such obsolete material as Hrin's discovery of Gondolin in the company of Haleth the Hunter who should not even exist any more. With so much other old material untouched it is no suprise that the thousand Balrogs are here also left alone. These were obsolete texts to Tolkien.

For all this material Tolkien was concentrating on new accounts in &quot;Narn i Chn Hrin&quot; and &quot;The Wanderings of Hrin&quot;.

What need for JRRT at any time to resort to the device of two kinds of Balrogs of different origin? Where is the slightest evidence that the concept ever occurred to him?

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Old 09-02-2001, 03:16 AM   #45
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Re: Many Many Balrogs

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Orcs are beasts and Balrogs corrupted Maiar.
This seems clear and complete enough, at least in this sentence and at this time.<hr></blockquote>

Are you attempting to have me enter into a debate on this?
Itll be a long wait for you if that is your objective.

As FYI:
You would be wise to think about this quote of all Balrogs as Maiar more carefully.
I have already advised that Orc origins and Balrog origins are inescapably linked [when one changes, so does the other---always did] from beginning to end of the text history.

As for other Ealar, you might want to examine The Watchers of Cirith Ungol, Pukel-men [see The Faithful Stone], and Trolls, unless you think that primitive human types refers to Apes who turn to stone. But then, Elves would have defined Trolls as Orcs too, so you won't get ahead there much---or will you?

I notice you also seem to be confused as to what a fea is defined as. Incarnation isn't a quantity that identifies it. Nor is it with Ealar. They can be either incarnate or not.


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Old 09-03-2001, 10:11 AM   #46
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Re: Bye Bye Balrogs

Not that I know anything whatsoever about Balrogs (except for the fact that they don't have wings! <img src=wink.gif ALT=""> ), or bidding them farewell, but I shall place my thoughts right here in this white box anyway!

*braids herself up, preparing for the brutal heresy that is about to escape her lips*

Perhaps the almighty J.R.R. Tolkien MADE A MISTAKE!!!!!!!!!!!

*writhes screaming on the floor for several minutes, eventually slowing down to a childish rocking motion, gasping for air*

Okay, okay. *deep breath* That's all I can bear to say in this message. *gasp* Only time will tell if I can bring myself back to post more here.

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Old 09-03-2001, 11:32 AM   #47
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Re: Bye Bye Balrogs

Quote:
GAL, GALAM- talk loud or incoherently. Q clamour; N glamb, glamm (*ngal, influenced by lambe [LAB]) barbarous speech; Glamhoth = Orcs. See LAM, GLAM. [The stem was changed subsequently to GYAL- and Q alme to yalme
Again can be used o define trolls as well as orcs, + as well as my noisy neighbour again in the game.

And here we also have

Quote:
quendi and eldar, Appendix C. Elvish names for the Orcs:

For these shapes and the terror that they inspired the element chiefly used in the ancient tongue of the Elves appears to have been *RUKU. In all the Eldarin tongues (and, it is said, in the Avarin also) there are many derivatives of this stem, having such ancient forms as: ruk-, rauk-, uruk-, urk(u), runk-, rukut/s, besides the strengthened stem gruk-, and the elaborated guruk-, guruk.
the same stems as for the balrogs, mind you!

etymologies:

Quote:
RUK- demon. Q ranko demon, malarauko, gwalarauk, cf. GWAL); N rhaug, Balrog.

So far for the comments
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Old 09-03-2001, 05:19 PM   #48
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Re: Many Many Balrogs

Sorry if the frequency of my posts has somewhat declined; I've just started college, which, alas, means forcible separation from several of the HoMe books. I'll try to keep up here as much as possible, but with classes starting tomorrow it's going to be sort of tough.

Anyway, about the whole Bob/HerenIstarion suggestion:

First, to HI's most recent comment: I don't think we can really take Elvish philology too far in this direction. Just because two words come from the same root does not mean that there is any kind of fundamental connection between those two words. Moreover, the Elves themselves probably didn't learn anything about Balrog and Orc origins until they reached Valinor - a fairly late stage in their lingual development.

As to the body of the 'Elucidation' as jallanite calls it: I'm inclined to agree with jallanite; while an interesting suggestion, it simply doesn't have enough support from the texts. Keep in mind what our goals are here. We're not writing a speculative essay on Middle-earth; we're trying to establish an authoratative canon. We simply cannot pick up on this interesting but dubious interpretation and try to assert that it is THE truth.

However, while I don't agree with most of the suggestion, there is one piece that has aroused some interest in me. It occurs to me that an intermediate option between strictly following the '7' note and basically disregarding it is this: we could take it to mean that only seven Balrogs fought and were killed in the War of the Powers, though others existed that were encountered later. It's not a reading that I particularly like, but it's another option if we find that keeping the number to 7 simply can't work.

I think we need to step back from the Fall of Gondolin project a little and think again about the Principles, and what this little exercise has told us about them. Perhaps we shouldn't use the Lost Tales material as extensively as we had planned, if we can't really make the Balrog situation work.

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Old 09-04-2001, 01:32 AM   #49
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Re: Bye Bye Balrogs

Ahhh the old potato, Balrogs eh? well if I may put in my two pennyworth, Balrogs are probably the greatest creation of God, the most affable and handsom loyal and fierce with a wicked sense of humour, kind to goblin imps, unless they are feeling peckish of course, they don't possess wings or so I believe, but the most important thing of all ... well they kill Elves, by the Dragon load, in fires at midnight, on roccky mountain passes anywhere they find an Elf they bbq it, which in my book is pretty cool. or hot, oh whatever.

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Old 09-04-2001, 09:42 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiwendil
First, to HI's most recent comment: I don't think we can really take Elvish philology too far in this direction. Just because two words come from the same root does not mean that there is any kind of fundamental connection between those two words. Moreover, the Elves themselves probably didn't learn anything about Balrog and Orc origins until they reached Valinor - a fairly late stage in their lingual development
Ah, you hit the mark, but you made quite an opposite conclusion

That is the point - is not it natural that they called anything horrible using ruku stem? And is not it natural to suppose, that, if, and cause they learned of the origins only in Valinor, that they may have been mixing up ruku-s of different origins, lacking sufficient knowledge of later time, still more that annals represented are history of the grey elves, who have never been to Valinor at all! Hence my remark of Legolas, for whom any creature resembling fire spirit will be a balrog, (and if we take elvish philology far enough, any more or less physically strong orc can be a balrog too)


edit: license agreement - the last statement is included rhetorically, and may not be considered as a section to be teared up

Edited by: HerenIstarion at: 9/4/01 11:46:08 am
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Old 09-04-2001, 11:13 AM   #51
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Re: Many Many Balrogs

True, the RUK- stem probably didn't originally have any kind of special connection with the Umaiar spirits of fire; but once the Eldar learned what these spirits were, and applied the term Balrog to them (note that a &quot;balrog&quot; is not just a &quot;rog&quot; demon; it is a special type of &quot;rog&quot;, a demon of power), that term seems only to have applied to the umaiar. The Sindarin word Balrog was not coined by those ignorant of the nature of these demons; it was made from Quenya Valarauko after the return of the Noldor. Further, whoever it was that wrote the Quenta Silmarillion (Rumil or Pengolodh or whoever) certainly would have been educated as to the nature of Morgoth's servants.

Consider the word Vala. We know that this is from a primitive stem meaning &quot;power&quot; (the same that gives us bal- in balrog). We might then suppose that the word &quot;Vala&quot; would be applied to any number of beings more powerful than the Elves - it could represent any of the Ainur. But this is not the case; instead, it is used only for a small, special, class of beings, and there is no evidence anywhere for its use in any other connection. It is the same with &quot;balrog&quot;.

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Old 09-04-2001, 07:57 PM   #52
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Re: Many Many Balrogs

To Bobwehadababyitsaboy:

You posted:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> You would be wise to think about this quote of all Balrogs as Maiar more carefully. I have already advised that Orc origins and Balrog origins are inescapably linked [when one changes, so does the other---always did] from beginning to end of the text history.<hr></blockquote>

I advise you that Orc origins and Balrog origins are not inescapably linked.

I can also play the game of making unsupported statements.<img src=smile.gif ALT="">

I will say that only once is a change in their origins linked, when Tolkien decided that Morgoth could not actually create life, or wanted to make this more clear, JRRT then introduced Orcs has probably perversions of Elves and Balrogs as spirits who followed Morgoth. Before they were both made by Morgoth, no particular details being given except once in &quot;The Fall of Gondolin&quot; where it is first suggested &quot;that certain of the Noldoli were twisted to the evil of Melko and mingled among these Orcs, for all that race were bred by Melko of the subterranean heats and slime.&quot; Later Tolkien included Men as also part of Orc ancestry.

You posted:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> I notice you also seem to be confused as to what a fea is defined as. Incarnation isn't a quantity that identifies it. Nor is it with Ealar. They can be either incarnate or not.<hr></blockquote>I don't think I am confused. In my remark on Eagles I should have said originally incarnate spirits except for a doubt as to whether fa are not also originally discarnate, and sent by Eru into a body. Originally also has its faults.

In Morgoth's Ring, &quot;Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth&quot;, towards the end in smaller type is a glossary of terms including:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> fa**'spirit': the particular 'spirit' belonging to and 'housed' in any one hra of the Incarnates. It corresponds, more or less, to 'soul'; and to 'mind', when any attempt is made to distinguish between mentality, and the mental processes of the Incarnates, conditioned and limited by the co-operation of the physical organs of the hra.<hr></blockquote>The definition continues but actually does not even mention the possibility of a fa being discarnate or 'houseless', though of course JRRT makes much of that elsewhere. I did not intend to indicate that a fa cannot be &quot;houseless&quot;.

For alar there is only one definition, that in Morgoth's Ring, &quot;The Later Quenta Silmarillion (1), Commentary on Chapter 3, 'Of the Coming of the Elves':<blockquote>Quote:<hr> These were the ( alar) spirits who first adhered to hin in the days of his splendour, and became most like him in his corruption: there hearts were of fire, but they were cloaked in darkness, and terror went before them; they had whips of flame. Balrogs they were named by the Noldor in later days.
...
There is a footnote to the word alar in this passage:
'spirit' (not incarnate, which was fa, S[indarin] fae). ala 'being'.<hr></blockquote>There is no other mention anywhere of ala, pl. alar. Since it is here defined as 'not incarnate' I purposely and with notice speculated diffidently that if an ala became permanently incarnate it might then have become a fa. Strict adherence to this, the only definition we have, would actually demand that meaning. But I think that to be pressing the note too hard, especially since the particular mention of fa also suggests, though does not definitely state, that it is an opposite term to ala, which in turn suggests that if a fa can become discarnate then an ala can perhaps become incarnate.

In the sanwe-Kenta occurs:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Pengolodh also cites the opinion that if a &quot;spirit&quot; (that is, one of those not embodied by creation) uses a hra for the furtherance of its personal purposes, or (still more) for the enjoyment of bodily faculties, it finds it increasingly difficult to operate without the hra.<hr></blockquote>I tend to think that &quot;spirit&quot; in this sentence means ala, and that ala might be better defined as something like &quot;spirit, but one of those not embodied by creation&quot;.

But I can't prove either definition is the correct one from this single passage. Safest is perhaps to use eala only for a spirit that was not embodied by creation and is not embodied at the time we are speaking of it? Safer and more scholarly is not to use a technical term at all when its exact meaning is not ascertainable.

You posted<blockquote>Quote:<hr> As for other Ealar, you might want to examine The Watchers of Cirith Ungol, Pukel-men [see The Faithful Stone], and Trolls, unless you think that primitive human types refers to Apes who turn to stone. But then, Elves would have defined Trolls as Orcs too, so you won't get ahead there much---or will you?<hr></blockquote>I have examined these areas many times.

On 'Primitive human types', the full passage is in Morgoth's Ring (HoME 10), &quot;Myths Transformed&quot;, IX:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> ****Since Melkor could not 'create' an independent species, but had immense powers of corruption and distortion of those that came into his power, it is probable that these Orks had a mixed origin. Most of them plainly (and biologically) were corruptions of Elves (and probably later also of Men). But always among them (as special servants and spies of Melkor, and as leaders) there must have been numerous corrupted minor spirits who assumed similar bodily shapes. (These would exhibit terrifying and demonic characters.)
****The Elves would have classed the creatures called 'trolls' (in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings) as Orcs*** in character and origin*** but they were larger and slower. It would seem evident that they were corruptions of primitive human types.[/blockquote]

Within the legendarium &quot;primitive&quot; should simply mean &quot;early&quot;. But &quot;human types&quot; is odd. Three very differing types of human beings appear in the legendarium and one can therefore suspect others exist that don't appear. The three types are:
***1. Normal Men, for want of a better term.
***2. Dredain.
***3. Hobbits.

Hobbits seem to be more differentiated: Treebeard was willing to add them as a fifth element of the Free Peoples, though he almost certainly also knew about Dredain. But he may not have been very knowledgeable about that kind of classification.

The reasons for the differences between these three kinds nowhere appear in any of Tolkien's published writing.

I could make a case that Hobbits were a cross between &quot;Normal Men&quot; and Petty-dwarves, but it would only be intellectual exercise. I don't believe that Tolkien thought that.

It does not appear that any of these three were necessarily more primitive than the other within the legendarium. Hobbits were unknown in the old stories, they came along later, but the oldest stories are almost entirely concerned with the traditions of the Eldar and then the general history of Beleriand for the First Age and such other rational creatures as came to dwell in Beleriand. For the Second Age there is almost nothing but a small amount of surviving literature from Nmenor, mostly about Nmenor.

In his later work Tolkien often thinks outside the legendarium, considering the Silmarillion and related stories as Nmenorean legends and not altogether accurate. The Sun was actually coeval with the earth and so forth. In this context &quot;primitive human types&quot; might include various hominids. The word &quot;human&quot; doesn't allow us to go back as far as apes.

Another posibility is that JRRT actually means primitive human types of Orks, that is early forms of creatures bred from his first experimentations with humans. A difficulty with this is in the previous paragraph some Orks were only &quot;probably&quot; later corrupted from Men. How can it be &quot;evident&quot; that trolls derive from something that is only probable, not definite? This may be putting too much pressure on exact meaning and logic in a &quot;quickly written&quot; note.

In the quoted passage most Orks are corruptions of Elves, probably some of Men, and also there are among them (the Orks) spirits incarnate in Ork forms. (Such as Boldog, I assume.)

For &quot;trolls&quot; on the contrary, Tolkien claims they are the same in character and origin but &quot;it would seem evident that they are corruptions of primitive human types.&quot; But what does Tolkien mean by &quot;seem evident&quot;? What is the evidence? Does he mean their size, larger than Orks, indicates such an origin, or their appearance compared to Orks proper, which he never really gives us? Tolkien knew much more than we do and what was evident to him may not be to us.

If I were to try and combine this with other statements on trolls, I would say that Morgoth corrupted certain &quot;primitive human types&quot; (whatever that means exactly) into counterparts of the Ents, increasing their strength, making them rock hard like Ents. But sunlight turned them to stone, unlike Ents who were rock hard but had no problem with sunlight. And these trolls had little intelligence. Hence in Appendix F of LR:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> In their beginning far back in the twilight of the Elder Days, there were creatures of dull and lumpish nature and had no more language than beasts. But Sauron had made use of them, teaching them what little they could learn and increasing their wits with wic<hr></blockquote><hr></blockquote>Whether Tolkien would have agreed with such a combination of these disparate passages is questionable.

Of course in &quot;Myths Transformed&quot;, VIII, Tolkien questions that Eru would provide far for such creatures as Orcs. This actually provides a nice solution to the problem of how Eru could allow an entire kind of creature to be corrupted. Individual Elves and Men would be corrupted by Morgoth and bred to produce creatures to his liking, but their offspring would be beasts without spirits. Eventually these beasts can by training and breeding again learn to speak and to operate at a higher level, but they remain soulless beasts.

But there is no evidence that Tolkien envisioned this solution.



================================================== ==================


To Onewhitetree:

Yes, Tolkien made many casual errors here and there.

Unfortunately it is often impossible to tell where Tolkien nodded and where he intended something that is difficult to fathom.

Attempting to reconcile some of these into a coherent structure may be possible. But if the discrepencies are true errors then the resulting structure that reconciles them would, however successful, not be what Tolkien intended.

How can one judge this?

Partly it depends on how many gyrations of assumption and special interpretation of particular passages must be made to support a theory that reconciles an apparent contradiction.

And whether the result seems absurd or not.

At the moment I think the theory of two kinds of Balrogs requires far too much assumption and special interpretation compared to the theory that Tolkien changed his mind about the number of Balrogs.

That the arguments given so far fail does not indicate, of course, that other arguments might not succeed.


================================================== ==================


To HerenIstarion:

I am not sure of the point of your note on Glamhoth. Tolkien indicates it as a synonym for Orks in several places, and, as you point out, it might have other uses. And ....

In &quot;The Etymologies&quot; two separate stems are given: ROK- for &quot;orc, goblin&quot; and RUK- for 'demon'.

In &quot;Quendi and Eldar&quot;, Appendix D, only RUK- survives as the main stem. (Whether stems are given in form CVC or CVCV doesn't matter.) Sindarin orch derives from * urk or * urk with affection from the final vowel opening the initial u to o, hence when the final vowel was lost and k changed to ch finally after r, we got orch.

This is a good example of why one can't use etymology to determine meaning.

The following is explained clearly in the article.

Orch was applied in Sindarin as the particular name of the kind of creature Tolkien calls &quot;orc&quot; or &quot;goblin&quot; in English, but in Quenya of course this did not happen because the there were no such beings in Valinor. So Q urko remains &quot;vague in meaning, referring to anything that caused fear to the Elves, any dubious shape or shadow, or prowling creature&quot;.

Upon the return of the Noldor to Beleriand they recognized that their word urko corresponded to the more general S [/i]urug[/i] in meaning, but used it in any case for orch 'orc, goblin'. But they also coined a particular new form orco as an adaptation of S orch for the precise meaning when required.

For the same people having unrelated names in different languages see Q Elda and S Edhel, both the common term for Elf in their respective languages and generally equivalent. But Elda was not held to properly include the Avari, while Edhel did so. Q Elda was an adjectival form meaning &quot;connected with the stars&quot; while S Edhil comes from *edel 'one who goes, traveller, migrant'. The Q cognate of Edhil was Eldo considered only an archaic variant of Elda. The S cognate of Elda was ell- &quot;only use in the m. and f. forms Ellon, Elleth elf-man, elf-woman; the class plural El(d)rim; and final -el, pl. -il, in some old compounds&quot;.

Here then are two words of different origin that have come to have almost the same meaning as far as naming the same people.

So oddly enough, Q Elda which was held to exclude the Avari derives from a word which included all Elves, while S Edhel which original meant only those who went on the journey has been expanded in meaning to include those that did not. This is what Tolkien claims, not my interpretation.

Using etymology alone for meaning is dangerous.

Nice only a few hundred years back meant 'foolish'.

Corn means primary 'grain' in British English (primarily 'wheat' in England and 'oats' in Scotland), but in North American English speech it means maize and nothing but that, often to the shock of a North American who has been mis-reading works written by British authors, or has assumed that cobs of corn are found in the Bible because of the KJV appearence of corn in the story of Joseph.

Tolkien's languages are full of such purposeful constructions in their invented history so the meaning must be determined mainly be context and JRRT's definitions, not by etymology. Etymology helps on occasion, often very much so, but the context is primary. As it is in decyphering unkown words in any real language.

From LR, Appendix F:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Hobbit was the name usually applied by the Shire-folk to all their kind. Men called them Halflings and the Elves [/i]Periannath[/i]. The origin of the word hobbit was by most forgotten. It seems, however, to have been at first a name given to the Harfoots by the Fallohides and Stoors, and to be a worn-down form of a word prserved more fully in Rohan: holbytla 'hole-builder'.<hr></blockquote>Would it be now proper to say that any peoples dwelling in underground tunnels can be called hobbits, as say Men living in caves, or Orcs, or even animals such as foxes? Of course not. Would it be proper to say that actually only the Harfoots are real hobbits? Of course not. Hobbit came to mean what Men called halfling (a name those who were named halflings did not particularly like) and that was now its meaning regardless of what it once may have meant. Hobbits who live above ground and don't build holes are still Hobbits.

Of course Gandalf is a little more precise when speaking of Gollum:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> I guess they were of hobbit-kind; akin to the fathers of the fathers of the Stoors, ....<hr></blockquote>The precision is because in some ways it is anachronistic to call Gollum a hobbit, just as it would be anachronistic to refer to 6th century mainland Jutes as English, because some of their relatives had bcome English. From Unfinished Tales, &quot;The Hunt for the Ring&quot;:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Gollum would not know the term 'Hobbit', which was local and not a universal Westron word.<hr></blockquote>You can't use the etymological meaning of names applied to kinds of peoples to prove much of anything as to whether they are identical or different.


----------------------------------------------


To Aiwendil:

In my normal, very sceptical way, I would just add that we don't know when or by whom Valaruako/ Balrog was coined or its original meaning.

It might have originally meant any great demonic being, and later become restricted to the firey creatures with whips and claws that Tolkien calls Balrogs in his legendarium, or might have been such from the first.

We don't know when the word originated. A proto-form * Balarauk might have existed before or been created during the Great Journey and produced descendants in both Quenya and Sindarin with the same meaning.

The name might have been, as you suggest, coined by the Noldor and then adapted into Sindarin, or perhaps only half translated, as with some of the names Tolkien discusses in the back matter to &quot;The Shibboleth of Fanor&quot;.

It might have been of Sindarin coinage:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> And ere long the evil creatures came even to Beleriand, over passes in the mountains, or up from the south through the dark forests. Wolves there were, or creatures that walk in wolf-shapes, and other fell beings of shadow;<hr></blockquote>. The Noldor would then have adapted it to Quenya.

We don't know what exact meaning it would have had in Sindarin. In &quot;The Etymoglogies&quot; BAL- means &quot;power&quot; and there are a number of Noldorin (which in the later legendarium would be Sindarin) forms, eg. Bala and Balano for Vala and Ballannor for Q Valinor.

But later JRRT appears to have removed these forms. From Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, letter 347, written in 1972:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Orbelain is certainly a case of 'phonological' translation (of which the Noldor were quite capable), since Valanya (adj.) must be from older * Balania which would &gt; S. * Belain, but no such form existed in S.<hr></blockquote>An alternate Sindarin name for the Day of the Valar, the Day of the Powers, was Rodyn which might be the word used in Sindarin for the Valar, or might be a form derived therefrom.

So did the element bal- even exist in later Sindarin, except in old names such as the Island of Balar? In the &quot;Etymologies&quot; we have two different stems, BAL- 'power' and GWAL- 'torment' which both by normal change would be bal- in Sindarin. If both survived they might have coalesced to mean 'powerful and tormenting'. Or one may have disappeared in Sindarin, or both. The collision of these forms may be why Tolkien later decided that the Valar would no longer be the Belain in Sindarin.

Another question is whether the Noldor at a late date would use the stem Val- in a construction describing such horrible demons. In &quot;Quendi and Eldar&quot;, Notes on the language of the Valar, Pengolodh explains:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Thus we see that vala is no longer used of any power or authority less than that of the Valar themselves. One may say A vala Manwe! &quot;may Manwe order it!&quot;; or Valar valuvar &quot;the will of the Valar be done&quot;;<hr></blockquote>This might suggest that the form Valarauko was of old coinage, from before the stem val- became so restricted in Quenya useage. That a story of the destruction of Balrogs by Manw just previous to the Morgoth's capture was remembered might also indicate that the word was of old origin.

I present this only as speculation, with the probably vain hope that someone might be able to shed some more light on this very unimportant matter or point out anything I might have missed.

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Old 09-05-2001, 07:28 PM   #53
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Re: Many Many Balrogs

This discussion is absolutely fascinating. Bravo, all involved.

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Old 09-10-2001, 06:29 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite
Orcs are beasts and Balrogs corrupted Maiar.
This seems clear and complete enough, at least in this sentence and at this time.
Who's Boldog, I wonders, who's Boldog?
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Old 09-10-2001, 09:48 PM   #55
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Re: Many Many Balrogs

Aiwendil posted:As to the body of the 'Elucidation' as jallanite calls it: I'm inclined to agree with jallanite; while an
interesting suggestion, it simply doesn't have enough support from the texts. Keep in mind what
our goals are here. We're not writing a speculative essay on Middle-earth; we're trying to
establish an authoratative canon. We simply cannot pick up on this interesting but dubious
interpretation and try to assert that it is THE truth.

lindil: agreed

Aiwendil posted:I think we need to step back from the Fall of Gondolin project
a little and think again about the Principles, and what this
little exercise has told us about them.
very much agreed.
Although we are it seems relativly close to having jallanite's draft version and all encouragement should be given to seeing it conclude.

then a look at the principles and a look at just what we want our translations from the elvish to look like.
i.e. are we trying to produce a version that has a maximum [if small] chance of passing CRRT's muster?
If so [and i think that is a valid consideration] qanything other than the slightest editorializing will have to go.
Perhaps much less than we wish of FoG will be usable.

lindil



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Old 09-11-2001, 08:39 PM   #56
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Re: Many Many Balrogs

Aha! This is just a point I've been meaning to post on for days. First let me say that I, too, have found this discussion to be quite fascinating! Now on to my point:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> I think we need to step back from the Fall of Gondolin project
a little and think again about the Principles, and what this
little exercise has told us about them.<hr></blockquote>This exercise has served as a fine exhibit for the opinion I was trying (rather unsuccessfully) to articulate in the Principles of Editing The Silmarillion thread. During those discussions, jallanite supposed that what I was advocating was...<blockquote>Quote:<hr> ...a fully fan-fictionalized expansion of the summarized material, including, for example, full details of Erendil's voyage and the War of Wrath.<hr></blockquote>I didn't bother to contradict him then because I didn't have a good concrete example of a principle that I was arguing in the abstract.

But here's a fine example! As a bystander, I'd favor something along the lines of jallanite's experimental revision -- especially when the alternative is losing the details of the expanded version altogether. Not a completely fan-fictionalized version, but one that reconciles conflicting texts even though it may have to push the envelope of so-called scholarly editing to do so.

One can easily see how trying to follow very austere and strictly scholarly principles of editing could lead to a version that is much the same as the published Sil -- whole detailed sections of the legends thrown out on principle in favor of summaries, because including the detailed texts would require a little creative revision.

Frankly, shooting for a goal of producing a document that would pass CRT's muster seems like an impractical (and even undesirable) goal for a list of reasons too long to mention. (When I heard that he keeps a wild boar in his garden to discourage over-zealous fans, I didn't think much of it -- until I saw Hannibal!)

Anyway, my humble two cents, as always, to be considered or discarded as you please.


</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000005>Mister Underhill</A> at: 9/12/01 9:31:06 am
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Old 09-12-2001, 07:05 AM   #57
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Re: Bye Bye Balrogs

Mr. Underhill: As a bystander, I'd favor something along the lines of jallanite's experimental revision -- especially when the alternative is losing the details of the expanded version altogether. Not a completely fan-fictionalized version, but one that reconciles conflicting texts even though it may have to push the envelope of so-called scholarly editing to do so.

Aiwendil: I still think that to do this would be to completely redefine the project. Our goal is the creation of a canon Silmarillion; that is, one that not only conforms to Tolkien's latest workable ideas, but one that in essence defines the &quot;true&quot; story of events in Arda (I'm leaving aside for a moment here the question of actual history vs. Numenorean legend). What we want is a text that lays down the full extent of the canon as reconstructed using our principles. We are not, as I have pointed out before, trying to create a work of any literary merit. Even if we go through the painstaking process of making the style more uniform, we'll still have the inescapable problem of proportion: a reader who spends hundreds of pages on Turin and Tuor will no doubt be very disappointed to find the whole story of Earendil a mere 20 page summary!

I also like jallanite's changes from a literary perspective, but I do not think I can agree with them from a canonical perspective.

Mr. Underhill: One can easily see how trying to follow very austere and strictly scholarly principals of editing could lead to a version that is much the same as the published Sil -- whole detailed sections of the legends thrown out on principal in favor of summaries, because including the detailed texts would require a little creative revision.

That's a good point, and worth consideration, I think. How is this project different from CRT's creation of the '77? I think there are really two main differences:

1. CRT's goal was to create a veritable Quenta Silmarillion - to create that document which has variously been attributed to Pengolodh, Aelfwine, and the Numenoreans; our goal, on the other hand, is not to reconstruct this particular document, but to construct a canonical history, including sources that would not have been used in the Quenta Silmarillion.

2. The point more relevant to the present discussion: CRT adhered very strictly to the writings of his father, as he could best interpret them at the time, even to the point of excluding material in which there was any possibility of contradiction. Our principles here are slightly less restricting.

Obviously, the point in question is number two; Mr. Underhill has suggested that if we tighten our principles too much, the second difference will cease to exist, and we will in fact have the '77. The first difference will remain, however; while CRT excluded the Narn and the later Tuor, and never could have considered using FG, we can try and are trying to include those.

Mr. Underhill: Frankly, shooting for a goal of producing a document that would pass CRRT's muster seems like an impractical (and even undesirable) goal for a list of reasons too long to mention. (When I heard that he keeps a wild boar in his garden to discourage over-zealous fans, I didn't think much of it -- until I saw Hannibal!)

Aiwendil: I agree. There is no way this project could ever possibly be approved of by CRT. In fact, I get the impression that he no longer approves of his own '77.




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Old 09-12-2001, 07:39 AM   #58
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Re: Bye Bye Balrogs

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Aiwendil posted:

Our goal is the creation of a canon Silmarillion; that is, one that not only conforms to Tolkien's latest workable ideas, but one that in essence defines the &quot;true&quot; story of events in Arda (I'm leaving aside for a moment here the question of actual history vs. Numenorean legend). <hr></blockquote>I defer, as always, to the opinions of the members who are doing the work, but perhaps my point of view is now a bit clearer.


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Old 09-12-2001, 07:25 PM   #59
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Re: Bye Bye Balrogs

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> but perhaps my point of view is now a bit clearer.<hr></blockquote>
As is now mine, from ages ago [it seems].

I argued _then_ that anything other than what would be an equivalent of a Tale of Years [or truncated Annals if you like] is the ONLY thing that would approach 'canon'.

But... the project [rightly I think] decided to create a 'Revised' Sil [an animal of a different species]. I'm not sure when the 'canon' Sil issue crept back in, but it's a nasty monster --- who will bite you deeply if you look at it too closely.

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Old 09-21-2001, 06:42 AM   #60
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Re: Bye Bye Balrogs

<<But... the project [rightly I think] decided to create a 'Revised' Sil [an animal of a different species]. I'm not sure when the 'canon' Sil issue crept back in, but it's a nasty monster --- who will bite you deeply if you look at it too closely.>>

As far as I knew when I came across this project, the goal was to create a canon Silmarillion, not merely a revised one. I imagine that the goal has gone through a lot of changes, however, some obvious and some subtle. I also have the feeling that no two people quite completely agree on what that goal is. It seems that every time the issue of our ultimate objective comes up, people are at odds.

Here's how I see it: Our objective is really twofold, though in practice both parts are accomplished at once. First, we are deciding on a canonical sequence of events for the Silmarillion. Second, we are compiling a narrative that represents this canonical sequence of event.

On the surface, it looks like step 1 is some sort of Tale of Years or Annals thing, and step 2 is a Quenta Silmarillion. But in practice, step 1 is the same as step 2, because it is the texts that define the canon. Or, to put it another way, since we know that what we decide is canon in step 1 will have to be represented by a narrative in step 2, and because we restrict ourselves to using JRRT's text, the canon we come up with in step 1 has to be exactly analogous to the text we're using in step 2. That's why we cannot do a Myths Transformed Silmarillion - because there would be no texts to support our canon.

There is, I think, a conflict in this project between the purely canonical side and the purely literary side. Some people want to let aesthetics play a larger role, and produce something of literary merit that would be enjoyable to new readers. Others want to strictly follow the principles, and ignore whatever difficult questions of style and aesthetics crop up. I think that in a way each of us is torn between these two. Having said that, I have to admit that I tend to lean toward the second option. The first would of course be more of a 'revised' Silmarillion and the second a 'canon' Silmarilion.

Here's my case for the latter: First, it will be much easier to accomplish as a group than would a revised Silmarillion. If we relax our application of the principles, more and more grey areas will appear. As anyone who has followed these discussions knows, we already have a tendency to endlessly debate disputed points. With personal aesthetics playing a larger role, it would be quite difficult to agree upon anything.

Second: In the long run, I think it would be more worthwhile to create a canon Silmarillion. As I said in an earlier thread:

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> I don't see this project as an isolated effort that will end when we are done; I hope rather that it is one of the first steps toward a new interpretation of the Silmarillion. With all the constituent texts of the Silmarillion now available, it's possible for us to view it and use it in a multitude of ways. I think that trying to establish a canon version as we are doing here is a good start (of course, no single version can ever be considered authoratative), but I also think there's room for other versions.<hr></blockquote>

This canon Silmarillion might, I hope, be the basis for other projects, group or solo, including more literary and readable versions.

Third: Under our current principles, we cannot produce a work of much literary value. We are constrained to using only JRRT's texts and basically not introducing anything of our own. Thus, for instance, we have style discrepancies in the Fall of Gondolin, we have the great problem of proportion between the Narn/Wanderings of Hurin/Fall of Gondolin (taking up well over a hundred pages) and the brief "Of the Voyage of Earendil and the War of Wrath". I've made this point several times:

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> If we were to use only the fullest accounts written by JRRT, we would end up with a book that looked something like this: about 150 pages on the elves in Aman and the darkening of Valinor, maybe another 100 on the first few centuries of the war, including Beren and Luthien, then about another 150 pages on Turin, followed by 30 pages of a detailed narrative on Hurin, and then about 20 pages of quick summary for an ending. Clearly these are not the proportions that Tolkien envisioned! Nor would it make for very good reading; the ending in particular, I think, would be disappointing (after 180 pages of the Turin saga leading to . . . nothing?). Casual readers would be disgusted, and true Tolkien fans would rather read HoME.<hr></blockquote>

So, for now, I think we have to stick with the canon idea. Perhaps we should have more of a discussion on this though, as I do consitently get the feeling that no one quite agrees on it.







</p>

[ September 26, 2001: Message edited by: Aiwendil ]
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Old 01-09-2002, 11:44 AM   #61
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Balrog Solutions

In preparation for a possible poll on this subject, I think perhaps we should reopen some discussion on this thread. As I see it, we have the following possibilities with regard to Balrogs in the Fall of Gondolin:

1. Balrogs a thousand

Keep every single Balrog in the old Tale. They are still killed by the dozen by the Noldor.

Pros: This minimizes the changes we would make to JRRT's actual text.

Cons: A number of sources strongly suggest that Balrogs were later considered both more powerful and less numerous. In LotR, the appearance of one is quite dramatic; it is, according to Gandalf, a foe beyond any of the company save himself. Late discussions of Glorfindel suggest that his slaying of a Balrog was an extremely heroic act. A late note to the Annals of Aman proposes that only '3 or at most 7' ever existed.

2. Ambiguity: CRT's idea

Cut down on the number of Balrogs in the Tale as much as possible, but do not insist that there must only be seven. Several Balrogs can be assumed to have died here, and Rog can safely kill at least one.

Pros: This allows us to follow the trend of JRRT's later Balrog ideas without forcing us to cut out major portions of the tale or to be extremely specific about where each of the Balrogs was. There is some precedent for this, as it is the option that CRT went with in the '77. The late note indicating seven can be discounted as a projected change.

Cons: There may not be enough justification for completely disregarding the '7' note. This half-acceptance of the later Balrog concept is nowhere suggested in JRRT's writings.

3. The Elucidation

Assume that there are three or seven powerful Maiar Balrogs, and an ambiguous number of lesser Balrogs, either created by Morgoth or some lesser form of Maiar, possibly Boldog-types.

Pros: We would nominally be following the late note, but would be able to keep most if not all of the Balrogs in the Lost Tales version.

Cons: A distinction between two types of Balrogs is nowhere suggested by JRRT. Later sources indicate that Morgoth was incapable of creating new life. The Boldog passage is speculative and does not give us the authority to convert Balrogs into Boldogs.

4. Seven surviving, ambiguous Balrogs

Assume that there were originally more than seven Balrogs, but that only seven survived the Battle of the Powers. Cut out portions of the Fall of Gondolin that would require us to be precise about where each Balrog was, and whether any more than two died.

Pros: This takes into account the late '7' note to an extent. It does not contradict the Annals of Aman account of the Battle of the Powers. Cutting out sections of the Fall of Gondolin allows us to be ambiguous about what each Balrog was doing.

Cons: This does not follow the late note to the letter; the note says that no more than 7 'ever existed'. Significant portions of the Tale would be lost.

5. Seven surviving, non-ambiguous Balrogs

Assume that there were originally more than seven Balrogs, but that only seven survived the Battle of the Powers. Follow Jallanite's proposed revisions that cut the number of Balrogs in the Fall of Gondolin down to 7.

Pros: This takes into account the late '7' note to an extent. It does not contradict the Annals of Aman account of the Battle of the Powers. It retains most of the Tale.

Cons: This does not follow the late note to the letter; the note says that no more than 7 'ever existed'. It may not be justified for us to rewrite the Tale with only 7 Balrogs, since that would require us to provide made up details about where each Balrog was and how many died.

6. Seven ambiguous Balrogs

Only seven Balrogs ever existed. Assume that the Annals of Aman would have been rewritten so that no Balrogs were killed in the Battle of the Powers. Cut out portions of the Fall of Gondolin that would require us to be precise about where each Balrog was, and whether any more than two died.

Pros: Follows the late '7' note. Cutting out sections of the Fall of Gondolin allows us to be ambiguous about what each Balrog was doing.

Cons: Contradicts the latest account of the Battle of the Powers. It is hard to believe that no Balrogs were killed then. Significant portions of the Tale would be lost.

7. Seven non-ambiguous Balrogs

Only seven Balrogs ever existed. Assume that the Annals of Aman would have been rewritten so that no Balrogs were killed in the Battle of the Powers. Follow Jallanite's proposed revisions that cut the number of Balrogs in the Fall of Gondolin down to 7.

Pros: Follows the late '7' note. Retains most of the Tale.

Cons: Contradicts the latest account of the Battle of the Powers. It is hard to believe that no Balrogs were killed then. It may not be justified for us to rewrite the Tale with only 7 Balrogs, since that would require us to provide made up details about where each Balrog was and how many died.

Hmm . . . seven Balrog solutions to match seven Balrogs? Well, those are the solutions that have been presented so far, each deeply flawed in some way. If anyone can think of any more possibilities, post them and, I suppose, we'll add them to the poll. Note that I did not adress the question of re-embodiment; a re-embodiment solution would fall under no. 6 or 7.
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Old 01-16-2002, 09:32 PM   #62
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More Horrible Possibilities:

My current thoughts on that most problem-causing of sentences added by JRRT to the margin of a revision removing the word "host" in respect to Balrogs who came to Melkor's aid:
Quote:
There should not be supposed more than say 3 or at most 7 ever existed.
As as has been regularly pointed out it is almost impossible to accept 3 as a credible number for all Balrogs that ever existed yet Tolkien uses it. I therefore believe it almost certainly must apply only to the Balrogs slain in the final battle against Melkor at Udn, that is, as I elsewhere posted, Tolkien meant:
Quote:
There should not be supposed more than say 3 [who came here to Melkor's defense at this time and place] -- or at most 7 ever existed.
It would be wrong to remove any mention of the slaying of Balrogs from this passage and yet keep this dependant note limiting the total number of Balrogs to seven.

Accordingly, 3 Balrogs slain in the War of Wrath, leaving only 4 of which one is Durin's Bane. It seems unlikely that all but Durin's Bane would be killed at Gondolin, accordingly, in this scenerio, only Gothmog and the Balrog slain by Glorfindel would be slain at Gondolin. Rog and his troops must fall before Orks.

But there is a further change found in The Peoples of Middle-earh (HoME 12), chapter XIII, "Last Writings", Glorfindel. Tolkien writes of Glorfindel:
Quote:
... a chieftain of Gondolin, who in the pass of Cristhorn ('Eagle-cleft') fought with a Balrog [> Demon], whom he slew at the cost of his own life.
Then later:
Quote:
... Glorfindel had sacrificed his life in defending the fugitives from the wreck of Gondolin against a Demon out of Thangorodrim,^10 and so enabling Tuor and Idril daughter to Turgon ....

10 [In the margin, and written at the same time as the text, my father note: 'The duel of Glorfindel and the Demon may need revision.']
Is the replacement of Balrog by Demon and the use of Demon instead of Balrog in the other two mentions of the battle significant? Is it possible that Glorfindel is no longer fighting a Balrog but some other kind of Demon? What other reason might Tolkien have for using Demon instead of Balrog] in three places, the first by emendation?

So we have a scenerio in which we replace most of the mentions of Balrogs in the story of the fall of Gondolin by Demons.

This does not seem to me satisfactory either because if JRRT had made such a change he would probably have made these new lesser Demons distinct in form and action from the Balrogs, the greatest of the Demons. We cannot.

This partly parallels Bob's suggestion of two kinds of Balrogs, but without any suggesting that Tolkien envisioned two levels of beings who were both named Balrogs or adding any complication of two different origins for these different kinds of beings.

If this supposition is correct, then Tolkien would have revised "The Fall of Gondolin" to include hosts of Demons, of whom the greatest are those called the Balrogs, of whom only four would have then existed. Gothmog would perhaps have still been slain at that time by falling into the Fountain of the King when knocked off balance by Ecthelion.

In this scenerio Glorfindel would then have slain a Demon who was "like a Balrog". Three Balrogs would have survived, two slain in the War of Wrath and one fleeing to hide under Caradhras.

Other variants are also possible, in which some of the original Balrogs become lesser Demons and some are replaced by Orks.

In Morgoth's Ring (HoME 10), Myths Transformed[/i], VIII, Orcs, JRRT writes of embodied Orks:
Quote:
... but by practising when embodied procreation they would (cf. Melian) [become] more and more earthbound, unable to return to spirit-state (even demon-form), until released by death (killing), and they would dwindle in force.
Here "demon-form" appears to be a lower kind of "spirit-state". Possibly what is envisioned is a body of a more subtle kind. Since slaying a spirit embodied in an Ork ought free the spirt embodied, yet JRRT considers that spirit cannot return to "spirit-state", here "spirit-state" seems to refer to the original powerful "spirit-state" proper to an ela.

Accordingly we have four levels of power:
  • The original "spirit-state" where the ala can assume various bodily forms.
  • "Demon-form" where the ala may assume only one particular kind of body. Note that Sauron, after the destruction of his body in the downfall of Nmenor was only able to assume a hideous form.
  • Fully incarnate as and dependant on a fully physical body.
  • Ghost form as a houseless spirit dependant on a physical body but lacking one and unable to create one.
This does raise further questions. For example, since Sauron is able to re-embodied himself when forced to relinquish his current body by Huan, does this mean that he, and possibly other followers of Morgoth, are less tied to physical form than was Morgoth at that time? Fortunately, praise Eru, such conundrums do not have to be solved for any writing of The Silmarillion that I can see.
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Old 01-17-2002, 10:13 AM   #63
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The more I think about the various possible solutions, the less I like each. How ironic that the problems which JRRT could easily have cleared up by writing a single sentence or note somewhere are the ones that cause us the most difficulty, while the things that bothered him so much (round vs. flat earth, the origin of Orcs) seem to trouble us little!

I think now that them more we analyze every sentence, the more likely we are to come up with a completely unsatisfactory solution. For example, we could interperet the note as Jallanite proposes, and insist that three were slain in the Battle of the Powers, leaving four for the later wars. But we have no real hard evidence that such a solution is correct; insisting that it is is therefore unjustified. The change of Balrog to Demon is indeed interesting, and I agree that the suggested implication is possible. Or perhaps there is another explanation for the change.

As I think now, we have only two real possible solutions: to follow CRT and disregard the '7' note, or to be extremely ambiguous throughout the FoG. I lean toward the latter. This is not a fan-fictionalized Silmarillion. We are under no compulsion to use all of the old Tale.

We may be able to retain an ambiguous (but possibly 7 or 4) number of Balrogs while keeping more of the Tale than I had previously thought. What if we alter some of the mentions of Balrogs to more ambiguous words like 'Demon' or 'monster'? The latter is I think an excellent generic word.

Or, if many are unwilling to cut out any of the Tale: suppose we write from the viewpoint of a later scribe who is endeavouring to reconstruct a true account of events. It would then be perfectly reasonable to insert an editorial comment here or there explaining that there are varying versions of the legend, and that the number of actual Balrogs at the Fall of Gondolin is unknown. This is perhaps the most realistic option.
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Old 01-22-2002, 05:33 AM   #64
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Aiwendil:Even if we go through the painstaking process of making the style more uniform,
we'll still have the inescapable problem of proportion: a reader who spends hundreds of pages
on Turin and Tuor will no doubt be very disappointed to find the whole story of Earendil a
mere 20 page summary!

lindil: I have recently come to consider this issue from within the writings themselves. We have
almost no info on earendil and especially the War of Wrath, because much of what would be
known about it passed over Sea w/ those who fought in it. i.e. not the noldor in
beleriand./Eriador. There would have been far less time to compose something like a Narn or
Fall of gondolin, before the departure over the sea. So a compressed version makes a certain
sense. This could be part of the reason that Bilbo resorts to creating his version of Earendil's
story. maybe he could not get a full acount in Rivendell [due to ignorance or secrecy] and so
was gently chiding his host[s] Aragorn we read was not impressed.

any way it may be inescapable that we return to the principles of revision issue/ thread and try and reach as much consensus as possible before making balrog and dragon decisions.

or we can [probably better for momentum] continue to operate peicemeal and revise FoG again [!] after all/most else has been completed.

I think perhaps 2 versions of the project can exist side by side, a 'text ' version w/ no literary accomadation only updating of names anmd deletion of contradictions/obsolete's and then using that as a base have a literary version w/ either editorial glosses such as " this tale of the battle survives from the ancient 'Fall of Gondolin' preserved even in Bilbo's/Aelfwine's day in an older style of the Elf-tounge'

As for the balrog question ... it seems we have more peices to the puzzle of orc/balrog/baldog/demon puzzle than I realized. Yet there is still the clincher to my mind missing. no text in which this occurs just a series of speculations.

it seems replacing balrog w/ demon in Glorfindel's fall is there, but it feels wrong, but then again it is 3:36 am in Ca. so good noght for now.

Good to see your voice Jallanite.


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Old 01-23-2002, 08:54 PM   #65
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lindil: We have almost no info on earendil and especially the War of Wrath, because much of what would be known about it passed over Sea w/ those who fought in it. i.e. not the noldor in beleriand./Eriador. There would have been far less time to compose something like a Narn or Fall of gondolin, before the departure over the sea. So a compressed version makes a certain
sense. This could be part of the reason that Bilbo resorts to creating his version of Earendil's story. maybe he could not get a full acount in Rivendell [due to ignorance or secrecy] and so was gently chiding his host[s] Aragorn we read was not impressed.

Aiwendil: Interesting thought. But all indications are that JRRT considered the tale of Earendil part of the Atanatarion, the great tales of the fathers of men from the first age. In Myths Transformed he breaks the later stories down into the Narn Beren ion Barahir and the Narn e mbar Hador; and he divides the latter into Narn i Chin Hurin and Narn en El. He seems to consider these the longer versions of the stories told in brief in the Quenta Silmarillion. I think it's unlikely that he intended the Earendil story to be disproportionately shorter than the others. Not that this is such an important point to decide right now.

Ambiguous Balrogs

Looking back over jallanite's proposed changes recently I was moved to see how much rewriting would be required to make the number of Balrogs as ambiguous as possible (though still possibly 7), while cutting as little of the tale as possible. My idea has been to change mentions of 'Balrogs' to more ambiguous terms such as 'demons' or 'monsters' - both terms that can be understood to include Balrogs, Boldogs, or a variety of other creatures. Here's my attempt - I'll go through each of jallanite's emendations and counter-emend them:

FG-B01: Balrogs on the dragons of flame.
jallanite:
Quote:
... and upon them rode the Balrogs {in hundreds};
Aiwendil:
Quote:
... and {upon} with them {rode} came the Balrogs {in hundreds};
Eliminates reference to Balrogs riding dragons. These Balrogs may or may not be capable of flight. Also, if we change the mechanical dragons to real ones, they may no longer serve as transport.

FG-B02: Balrogs shoot arrows of fire.
jallanite:
Quote:
... yet a worse matter was it that {a company} one of those demons climbed upon the coils of the serpents {of iron[?]} and thence loosed unceasingly from {their} his bow{s and slings} till a fire began to burn in the city to the back of the main army of the defenders.
I can find nothiing better to do with this passage, unless we decide to cut out Rog's slaying of a Balrog (which we may very well have to do.)

FG-B03: Rog's men attack
jallanite:
Quote:
... but the men of Rog leapt even upon the coils of the serpents and came at {those} that Balrog{s} and smote {them} him grievously, for all {they} he had whip{s} of flame and claws of steel, and {were} was in stature very great. They battered {them} him into nought, {or} and catching at {their} his whip{s} wielded {these} it against {them} him that they tore {them} him even as {they} he had aftoretime torn the [Elves]; and {the number of Balrogs} that this Balrog perished was a marvel and dread to the hosts of M[orgoth], for ere that day never had any of the Balrogs been slain by the hand of Elves or Men.
Then Gothmog Lord of Balrogs gathers all his demons that were about the city and ordered them thus: {a number} two made for the folk of the Hammer and gave before them, but the greater {company} part rushing upon the flank contrived to get to their backs, higher upon the coils of the drakes and nearer to the gates, so that Rog might not win back save with great slaughter among his folk.
Aiwendil:
Quote:
... but the men of Rog leapt even upon the coils of the serpents and came at {those} that Balrog{s} and smote {them} him grievously, for all {they} he had whip{s} of flame and claws of steel, and {were} was in stature very great. They battered {them} him into nought, {or} and catching at {their} his whip{s} wielded {these} it against {them} him that they tore {them} him even as {they} he had aftoretime torn the [Elves]; and {the number of Balrogs} that this Balrog perished was a marvel and dread to the hosts of M[orgoth], for ere that day never had any of the Balrogs been slain by the hand of Elves or Men.
Then Gothmog Lord of Balrogs gathers all his demons and monsters that were about the city and ordered them thus: a number made for the folk of the Hammer and gave before them, but the greater company rushing upon the flank contrived to get to their backs, higher upon the coils of the drakes and nearer to the gates, so that Rog might not win back save with great slaughter among his folk.
This leaves the Rog situation as it was; I'll discuss this later. My (risky) addition to the second paragraph, I think, nicely sidesteps the question of Balrog numbers. I wonder if it is justified.

FG-B03.5 Rog's slaughter
Quote:
{Fearful too they were for that slaughter Rog had done amid the Balrogs, because of tose demons they had great courage and confidence of heart.}
Now then the plan that they made was to hold what they had won, while those serpents of bronze and with great feet for trampling climbed slowly over those of iron, and reaching the walls there opened a breach wherethrough the Balrogs might {ride} come {upon} with the dragons of flame . . .
I doubt that the first sentence should be deleted, but I can at the moment think of nothing better. At any rate, Rog, whether he kills a Balrog or not, cannot be said to have done slaughter amid them. The change in the second paragraph eliminates Balrogs riding on dragons.

FG-B04: Entrance into the city
jallanite:
Quote:
... and behind comes a creature of fire and a Balrog{s} upon it.
Aiwendil:
Quote:
... and behind comes a creature of fire and Balrogs and monsters with it.
It may seem odd to restore the Balrogs plural. But jallanite's original change here was, I think, designed not to reduce the number of Balrogs in the scene, but to limit the dragons to one Balrog each. If, as I suggest, we eliminate the dragon-riders altogether, the ‘s' on the end of ‘Balrogs' can stand. My ‘and monsters' is dubious, but follows the trend of this proposed revision. I don't think there's any problem with dropping it, though - there's no reason, even if there were only four Balrogs, that not more than one could have been in the square.

FG-B05: Ecthelion against the Balrogs
jallanite:
Quote:
Of these demons of power Ecthelion {slew} drove back three, for the brightness of his sword cleft the iron of them and did hurt to their fire, and they writhed.
Aiwendil:
Quote:
{Of these demons of power Ecthelion slew three} And he drove them back, for the brightness of his sword cleft the iron of them and did hurt to their fire, and they writhed.
This (rather innocuous looking) bit is quite troublesome. My proposal is probably not justified, though I think would work well. Jallanite's proposal is, of course, good; but the mention of ‘three', as innocent as it looks, says things about how many Balrogs there are and aren't.

FG-B06: The Great Market
jallanite:
Quote:
... where a force of Or[k]s {led by Balrogs} came on them at unawares ....
or
Quote:
... where a force of Or[k]s {led by Balrogs} came on them at unawares ....
Aiwendil:
Go with jallanite's first proposal or:
Quote:
... where a force of Orcs {led by Balrogs} and monsters came on them at unawares
Though I get the feeling I'm stretching ‘monsters' a bit by now.

FG-B07: To the Square of the King
jallanite:
Quote:
But now the men of M[orgoth] have assembled their forces, and seven dragons of fire are come with Or[k]s about them and a Balrog{s} upon one of them down all the ways from [sou]th, [we]st, and [ea]st, seeking the Square of the King.
Aiwendil:
Quote:
But now the men of M[orgoth] have assembled their forces, and seven dragons of fire are come with Or[k]s a Balrog about them {and Balrogs upon them} down all the ways from [sou]th, [we]st, and [ea]st, seeking the Square of the King.
This Balrog must be kept, and must be Gothmog, as he appears in the next paragraph. I have eliminated the dragon-riding.

FG-B08: The king and his guard
jallanite:
Quote:
... the royal house laid on and the king came down in splendour among them and hewed with them, that they swept again much of the square, {and of the Balrogs slew even two score,} which was a great prowess indeed:
This can stand.

Not nearly as difficult as I had imagined. Of course, the question here is how far my ‘monsters' can be stretched. In any case in the tale where an individual Balrog is singled out, ‘monster' fails. For, though the term might cover Balrogs, Boldogs, trolls, or whatnot, it obviously is against our principles to state that there are Boldogs or trolls, for instance. Nonetheless, I think we can get away with it. Is there perhaps a light at the end of the Balrog-filled tunnel?

As for Rog: This is probably the most problematic point of the whole tale. Does Rog kill a Balrog or not? He does in the proposal I've just presented, but that is not so much indicative as my preference as it is of my exhaustion. We have three options when it comes to Rog: have him kill a Balrog, have him not kill a Balrog, or be ambiguous about it. I could, unfortunately, not think of a way to achieve the latter. But then I'm very tired.

Is UBB code for underlining 'u' in brackets and '/u' in brackets, or am I just losing my mind? I've had to italicize what I meant to underline.

[ January 31, 2002: Message edited by: Aiwendil ]
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Old 01-24-2002, 08:00 PM   #66
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Posted by lindil:

well I have tried to post this on bye bye balrogs for several hours and all i get is - network is busy!


so... here is a reply which belongs on the bye byre Balrog thread, if any one else can open it feel free to cut and paste it in and i can delete this later - also as i mention at the end , i can't read the new post[s] in the 'intro to the forum/project thread' so if someone will please email them to me - much thanks


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Aiwendil: ... all indications are that JRRT considered the tale of
Earendil
part of the Atanatarion, the great tales of the fathers of men from
the first age. In Myths
Transformed he breaks the later stories down into the Narn
Beren ion Barahir and the Narn e
mbar Hador; and he divides the latter into Narn i Chin Hurin and
Narn en El. He seems to
consider these the longer versions of the stories told in brief in
the Quenta Silmarillion. I think
it's unlikely that he intended the Earendil story to be
disproportionately shorter than the others.
lindil: Very true of course, I was pondering rather how the shortness of the tale could possibly
be explained from within the legendarium itself.


aiwendil: Ambiguous Balrogs




quote:

... and {upon} with them {rode} came the Balrogs {in
hundreds};

lindil : If we are being vague about numbers why not say 'and with them rode the Balrogs

possibly adding [ as captains?]

if we have no specific number then we need not have in mind that a 'horde' was riding in , but
Balrogs riding dragons would indeed stick in the minds of any survivors.

A: if we change the mechanical dragons to real ones, they may no longer serve as
transport.

Lindil: I think it says in the LR quenta that Winged drgons appeared first at the War of wrath.
Glaurung was a crawler.





FG-B03.5 Rog's slaughter

quote:

{Fearful too they were for that slaughter Rog had done
amid the Balrogs, because
of tose demons they had great courage and confidence of
heart.}
Now then the plan that they made was to hold what they
had won, while those
serpents of bronze and with great feet for trampling
climbed slowly over those of
iron, and reaching the walls there opened a breach
wherethrough the Balrogs
might {ride} come {upon} with the dragons of flame . . .

lindil: I suggest for the first sentence -
Fearful too they were for that slaughter Rog <and his company> had done [amid] to the
Balrog{s}, <for because
of [those demons] <them> they had great courage and
confidence of heart.}

Aiwendil: At any rate, Rog, whether he kills a Balrog or not, cannot be said to have done
slaughter
amid them. The change in the second paragraph eliminates
Balrogs riding on dragons.

lindil : I think the word slaughter is OK , do we not 'slaughter ' a single pig? plus there may
well hve been a sort of vengeful glee among the elves as thy took down a balrog.

FG-B04: Entrance into the city
jallanite:

quote:

... and behind comes a creature of fire and a Balrog{s}
upon it.


Aiwendil:
[/QUOTE]... and behind comes a creature of fire and Balrogs and
monsters with it.[/QUOTE]

It may seem odd to restore the Balrogs plural. But jallanite's
original change here was, I think,
designed not to reduce the number of Balrogs in the scene, but
to limit the dragons to one
Balrog each. If, as I suggest, we eliminate the dragon-riders
altogether, the s' on the end of
Balrogs' can stand. My and monsters' is dubious, but follows the
trend of this proposed
revision. I don't think there's any problem with dropping it,
though - there's no reason, even if
there were only four Balrogs, that not more than one could have
been in the square.

lindil: hmmm.At the risk of looking dumb why are we cutting down on dragons? sorry if I
missed that point.
Again they are not flying drgons so can not a balrog or 2 ride - whether they need to or not.

FG-B05: Ecthelion against the Balrogs
jallanite:

Aiwendil: the mention of
three', as innocent as it looks, says things about how many
Balrogs there are and aren't.

lindil: agreed
FG-B06: The Great Market
jallanite:
quote:

... where a force of Or[k]s {led by Balrogs} came on them
at unawares ....



or

quote:

... where a force of Or[k]s {led by Balrogs} came on them
at unawares ....


Aiwendil:
Go with jallanite's first proposal or:

quote:

... where a force of Orcs {led by Balrogs} and monsters
came on them at
unawares


Though I get the feeling I'm stretching monsters' a bit by now.

lindil : much agreed
FG-B07: To the Square of the King
jallanite:

quote:

But now the men of M[orgoth] have assembled their
forces, and seven dragons of
fire are come with Or[k]s about them and a Balrog{s}
upon one of them down all
the ways from [sou]th, [we]st, and [ea]st, seeking the
Square of the King.


Aiwendil:

quote:

But now the men of M[orgoth] have assembled their
forces, and seven dragons of
fire are come with Or[k]s a Balrog about them {and
Balrogs upon them} down
all the ways from [sou]th, [we]st, and [ea]st, seeking the
Square of the King.

Lindil: again I favor keeping the riding balrog and thus I think J's version can stand.

This Balrog must be kept, and must be Gothmog, as he appears in
the next paragraph.
lindil: agreed
A: I have
eliminated the dragon-riding.

Lindil:not sure I understood the tech question, so I will leave that to others.

I favor leaving rog killing one balrog - a canon question. However,[though this is really a
question for a later phase of aesthetic revision -if we have one] I do not favor leaving his name
as Rog, it is what I would call be a literary imposibility in any revision JRRT would have made,
and indeed [though not conclusive] we do not see him in the SoME version

looking in WotJ' I am of the opinion that the '7 at most ever existed' note should be classified
as an unworkable revision. It should temper our hand w/' horde's and hundred's , but I would
not eliminate the Rog scene [ or now that I think of it the four in the courtyard].

Personally I would like to mention trolls somehow though I know it would be a stretch, we are
adding 'demons' aren't we?
Would they not be a logical clarification of 'monsters' ? almost as if JRRT was imaging more
but the details had not yet become clear. They seem to first appear in the hobbit, i see no trace
of them in IV or V or WotJ. They are mentioned in X [MT] as having been made by Morgth,
but did JRRT ever use them? None the less there existance is far more substatial than the
boldog's , although i much agree [literarily] of using that.
Mr Underhill is this not a bit of lore upon which you have pondered?


Actually is CRT adding them in QS77 in Hurin's slaughter before being captured ? I did not
see them in WotJ's when I just looked for it.

-lindil

also can someone please email me the most recent posts in the intro thread , I can not no
matter what I try open it.

- much thanks
-l
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Old 01-24-2002, 08:23 PM   #67
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I went ahead and deleted the other topic so we wouldn't end up with split discussion threads.

My small contribution, re: troll lore. As far as I was ever able to tell, CRRT is responsible for the insertion of the trolls into Hrin's slaughter, or at least he never published any version by JRRT in HoME which included trolls. The fact that it's the 77's sole troll reference is puzzling and leads me to conclude that it was probably a misguided editorial addition by CRT. Additionally, I think there is considerable doubt as to whether there are any pre-Third Age day-walking trolls.

As a side note, obloquy has come up with a Balrog theory that would support the "3" note in the Books forum, here, which Aiwendil has already seen and probed a bit. I don't know its implications, but it may stand inclusion for the sake of completeness. It struck me on first pass as the first reasonable explanation of the the number "3" that I've seen so far.

My two cents for a straw poll: I lean towards the options that cut the Balrog numbers way down per the "3 or 7" note.
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Old 01-29-2002, 08:43 AM   #68
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Lindil:If we are being vague about numbers why not say 'and with them rode the Balrogs
possibly adding [ as captains?]
if we have no specific number then we need not have in mind that a 'horde' was riding in , but
Balrogs riding dragons would indeed stick in the minds of any survivors.

Aiwendil: Quite simply, I think it would be a mistake to use the word 'rode' in connection with the Balrogs at all. In the Lost Tales period they were apparently pictured as some kind of elite cavalry - an image that was almost certainly abandoned after LotR. While I'm not saying it's impossible that they rode dragons or other steeds, I think it would definitely be safest to leave out mention of it.

The addition of 'as captains' looks fine to me, filling out the phrase where 'in hundreds' used to be.

Lindil: I think it says in the LR quenta that Winged drgons appeared first at the War of wrath.
Glaurung was a crawler.

Aiwendil: Yes, but I still don't think that it's likely real dragons would have served as mounts. It's hard to imagine Glaurung carrying Balrogs around. Between this and the possibility of Balrogs that can fly, I don't think we can have them ride.

Lindil:lindil: I suggest for the first sentence -
Fearful too they were for that slaughter Rog had done [amid] to the
Balrog{s}, of [those demons] they had great courage and
confidence of heart.

Aiwendil: Looks good to me.

Lindil:hmmm.At the risk of looking dumb why are we cutting down on dragons? sorry if I
missed that point.
Again they are not flying drgons so can not a balrog or 2 ride - whether they need to or not.

Aiwendil: I don't think we're cutting down on dragons, unless I've missed something (which is quite plausible). Was there not only one dragon here in the original text?

Well, I've already summed up my opinion on Balrog riders.

Lindil: Aiwendil: Though I get the feeling I'm stretching ‘monsters' a bit by now.

lindil : much agreed

Aiwendil: Then we'd better go with jallanite's first proposal there.

Lindil:I favor leaving rog killing one balrog - a canon question. However,[though this is really a
question for a later phase of aesthetic revision -if we have one] I do not favor leaving his name
as Rog, it is what I would call be a literary imposibility in any revision JRRT would have made,
and indeed [though not conclusive] we do not see him in the SoME version

The only objection I can see to Rog killing a Balrog is the possibility that JRRT actually intended to cut the number down to three. But I think we can disregard that number even if we do not disregard seven - on the grounds that it would have required changes to both the Battle of the Powers and the War of Wrath.

I'm not so certain that the name 'Rog' would have changed. It's perfectly valid Sindarin, as far as I can see. True, we have no root for it; but there easily could be one. Nor is its coexistence with _raug_ demon as in _balrog_ a problem, as the two already coexisted at the time of the Lost Tales.

Lindil:looking in WotJ' I am of the opinion that the '7 at most ever existed' note should be classified
as an unworkable revision. It should temper our hand w/' horde's and hundred's , but I would
not eliminate the Rog scene [ or now that I think of it the four in the courtyard].

Aiwendil: Well, the purpose of my proposed 'ambiguous version' was to make it unclear whether there are seven, or dozens, or two types, or what have you. I think if you go through the proposed changes you'll find that they don't necessitate any more than three Balrogs to have been there at all - not that I believe for a second that there were only three. Of course, knowing about Durin's bane and needing at least one still to die in the War of Wrath gives us a minimum of five. That's the only reason I'm concerned with having Rog kill one. If he didn't, then we'd be able to cover the possibility that (as jallanite suggested) the note means that three came forward and were slain at the War of Wrath, and only four were around in the later wars.
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Old 01-31-2002, 02:50 AM   #69
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Hi,
I'm new to all of this, but I find this Silmarillion project very interesting, and long overdue. I'll see how much I want to get involved, but start by the occasional post here and there.

Regarding Balrogs, I think there has to be a happy medium between the original multitudes and the later 3 to 7. There were a lot of things later in life he said that are too jarring with earlier work to include in all their ramifications, and this is one of them. But clearly balrogs got steadily more and more powerful and fewer in number as time went on in his conception of things.

Solution? Have an unspecified number, but between 10 and 20ish. Use vague terms like some and few, and include all the famous Balrogs death battles. Ditto with size and wing or no: be vague, let people imagine what they will. In the words of Iris deMent, "let the mystery be." This also allows other mysteries to continue, such as the possibility that other Balrogs might be lurking somewhere.

They may or may not have wings, but I think it should be clear they couldn't fly - that would really mess things up back in the First Age.

I don't like the recycling idea at all, and think the second lives of the same small Balrog bunch should be eliminated as a solution.

Buldogs (sp?) are interesting - I don't remember reading about them. What are the details? Just the same, I don't think they should effect the debate very much.
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Old 01-31-2002, 11:01 AM   #70
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Welcome, Why Emus!

I don't think it is a very good idea to choose a number that is greatly reduced, but not either one of the numbers from the Note. We don't have a note saying that Tolkien intended to reduce the numbers of Balrogs, we have a note saying that their numbers were between 3 and 'at most 7'. If I'm not mistaken, no other reductions are present in the texts, except the vague reduction from 'a host of Balrogs' to simply 'his Balrogs'.

It's at this point that the Note is said to be written in the margin. But wouldn't a specific figure given in the narrative feel out of place? I don't think the Note was intended to be placed within the text. Perhaps we should not take it as a proposed change, but an implemented change. It seems to me that maybe the marginal note was there to explain his modification of the passage to read 'his Balrogs'. What more would such an explanation have to do to become as canonical as the rest of the unpublished Silmarillion, might I ask? We have both the text before it was modified, and the text after it was modified, as well as the justification for modifying it. Does this not qualify as a canon change to the mythos? I believe so and I think it should be honored where possible. I particularly like jallanite's suggestions for vagueness.

As Aiwendil pointed out to me in another thread, the emended annal's (50) account of the Balrogs withering before Manwe presents a problem for the suggestion of 3. I say at this point a vague figure between 3 and 7 was chosen, which could mean as many as 4 faithful Balrogs withered.

Well I hope that makes sense. I even edited this post three or four times after posting. Where'd our Post Preview function go?

[ January 31, 2002: Message edited by: obloquy ]
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Old 02-01-2002, 02:26 PM   #71
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Obloquy teithant:
Quote:
Perhaps we should not take it as a proposed change, but an implemented change. It seems to me that maybe the marginal note was there to explain his modification of the passage to read 'his Balrogs'.
The only problem I see with this is that according to the revised passage, the Balrogs appear all to die. They were 'withered by the sword of Manwe', IIRC. When we're dealing with a host, this can mean that the host was essentially destroyed, but some few perhaps survived (as when we speak of an army being destroyed, we don't necessarily mean that each individual soldier was killed). But when we're dealing with only three to seven, this would seem to mean that all of them were killed. At least, that's the way it strikes me. But I agree with you in principle: the note probably accompanied the revision. Perhaps leaving the 'withering' in was an oversight.

Quote:
I don't think it is a very good idea to choose a number that is greatly reduced, but not either one of the numbers from the Note.
Well, we do have an increase in the Balrog's power, which probably implies a decrease in number. But I agree that it would be a mistake go with a number that is reduced but necessarily above seven.

Why Emus teithant:
Quote:
But clearly balrogs got steadily more and more powerful and fewer in number as time went on in his conception of things.
Agreed.

Quote:
Solution? Have an unspecified number, but between 10 and 20ish.
I would only want to do this if it were aboslutely necessary and impossible to use the '3 or 7'. I don't think that's the case.

Quote:
They may or may not have wings, but I think it should be clear they couldn't fly - that would really mess things up back in the First Age.
I think it's generally agreed that this project will not address Balrog wings or flight.

Quote:
I don't like the recycling idea at all, and think the second lives of the same small Balrog bunch should be eliminated as a solution.
Again agreed.

Quote:
Buldogs (sp?) are interesting - I don't remember reading about them. What are the details? Just the same, I don't think they should effect the debate very much.
All the evidence for Boldogs is in HoMe X. In one of several highly speculative essays, JRRT proposes that certain great Orc chieftains were lesser Maiar. He notes that 'Boldog' may have been a Maia, and he says that this name appears several times in the legends. It actually only appears once, as the name of the Orc that led a raid on Doriath in the Lay of Leithian.

There have been various proposals that he intended to replace some of the 'thousands of Balrogs' with these less powerful Boldogs, but there is a something of a paucity of evidence for this.

Regarding Balrog numbers: I think perhaps I haven't been entirely clear in my proposal. My thought process runs something like this: we should follow the note if possible, according to our principles. There are two problems: first, we don't know exactly what the note means. Second, if we pick any particular interpretation, then the Tale becomes far too specific and unambiguous (we end up saying things like 'two balrogs' went here and did that, etc.).

The best solution, in my view, is to come up with a version of the Tale that is ambiguous enough to cover all possible interpretations of the note, by sort of fudging each reference to the Balrogs. I think this is more or less accomplished in my proposed 'Ambiguity' revisions. In any case, I don't think the answer is to choose a specific number of Balrogs.
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Old 02-01-2002, 05:15 PM   #72
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Personally I think that mentioning a specific number is a mistake. I really like Aiwendil's revision, it leaves the number of Balrogs open to the reader's interpretation.
Quote:
"Aiwendil: Well, the purpose of my proposed 'ambiguous version' was to make it unclear whether there are seven, or dozens, or two types, or what have you"
Also how are you going to deal with the quote where the Balrogs are withered by Manwe? In the Silm it adds save some few who hid themselves, but if you are going to restrict the number of Balrogs, the few that hid and fled clearly can not remain. Maybe I missed it earlier in the post, but are you planning on editing the Manwe quote?
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Old 02-01-2002, 08:45 PM   #73
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Quote:
Also how are you going to deal with the quote where the Balrogs are withered by Manwe? In the Silm it adds save some few who hid themselves, but if you are going to restrict the number of Balrogs, the few that hid and fled clearly can not remain. Maybe I missed it earlier in the post, but are you planning on editing the Manwe quote?
Accompanying the Note was a modification from "a host of Balrogs, the last of his servants that remained." to "his Balrogs, the last of his servants that remained faithful to him." This seems to leave room for an unfaithful Balrog (or Balrogs, though this would present even more difficulty for the numbers) who fled before it was too late.
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Old 02-20-2002, 03:21 PM   #74
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Balrog Solutions . . . yet again

In an attempt to revive the project a bit, I present what I see as our current possibilities for dealing with the Balrogs. I think that we actually did accomplish quite a bit in the last little burst of activity, and that some kind of solution to the Balrog question may actually be in the foreseeable future.

Our current possibilities, then, are:

1. Jallanite's original 7 Balrog rewrite
2. My ambiguity-preserving re-rewrite
3. Something else, which would require yet another rewrite
4. Forget about incorporating the Fall of Gondolin in its entirety

Jallanite's version has the disadvantage of being very specific; my version has the disadvantage of being very vague. Unless we're going to totally disregard the infamous '3 or 7 note', however, we'll be stuck with one of those two problems no matter what we do.

If I can say so without appearing too much of a shameless self-promoter, I would opt for my revisions - mostly because I think they nicely sidestep the whole issue. Option four is not a joke; if it were shown that the original Fall of Gondolin could not be brought into accord with JRRT's latest ideas about Balrogs, I would say that we should simply drop it. At one point I thought that was the only real solution, but now I think we have at least one way out.

Perhaps we should try to bring this matter to some kind of conclusion. I know that the poll function is gone, but perhaps we could vote all the same, just by posting our votes? Of course, if anyone else would like to take a stab at another rewrite, go ahead.
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Old 02-21-2002, 04:16 PM   #75
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I think your revision works well, Aiwendil. I vote for it.

I confused the War of Wrath with the Battle of the Powers. I wish someone had pointed it out to me. I was posting based on the incorrect belief that the War of Wrath was the last battle in which Balrogs make an appearance, and after it only Durin's Bane would still exist.

All posts have been edited now (I believe), and there should be no remaining errors.

[ June 07, 2003: Message edited by: obloquy ]
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Old 02-25-2002, 01:16 PM   #76
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I go w/ Aiwendil's solution/draft.
Thanks for clearing up the confusion Obloquy.
Feel free to edit your previous posts [if only w/ a disclaimer ] so that those reading it for the first time will not
have to get to here to sort out the confusion.

I will start a new voting thread to hopefully generate a little attention so

EVERYONE PLEASE VOTE IN THE NEW THREAD [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 02-28-2002, 10:27 AM   #77
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I would say that obloguy is quite confusing to baffle me for two hours!!! But i do agree with lindil and Aiwendil, as well. [img]smilies/cool.gif[/img]
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Old 12-07-2010, 03:57 PM   #78
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After reading through all this thread, I hesitated long to put my post here. But in the end what it deals with depends on what was discussed here. So there seems to be no better palce for it.

When I read the conclusion of this thread rightly, the decission was to try not to specify any number of Balrogs, but to work with assumption that 7 existed and 3 were killed in the Battle of the Powers. When I started working with the project, I thought we would recone with 7 Balrogs during the War of Jewels. But to this later more.

A German corrospondent asked my how many Balrogs ever existed. Therefore I tried to translate the passage from Annals of Aman* as amanded:
Quote:
50 It came to pass that at last the gates of Utumno were broken and its halls unroofed, and Melkor took refuge in the uttermost pit. Thence, seeing that all was lost (for that time), he sent forth on a sudden a his Balrogs, the last of his servants that remained faithfull to him, and they assailed the standard of Manw, as it were a tide of flame. But they were withered in the wind of his wrath and slain with the lightning of his sword; and Melkor stood at last alone.
Ofcause with the famous footnote. While translating this I found (porberbly due tomy bad english) that the second sentence of the passage might be read figurativly. Please correct me if I am worng! Could 'But they were withered in the wind of his wrath and slain with the lightning of his sword;' be understood as meaning 'It was as if they were withered and slain'?
Probably you already guesed that this would mean that non of the 7 Balrogs were dead in that battle.

Independent of this I think with only 4 Balrogs I would like to reconsider changing Glorfindels Balrog to a Demon suggested by The Peoples of Middle-earht (HoME 12), chapter XIII, Last Writings, Glorfindel. Tolkien writes of Glorfindel:
Quote:
... a chieftain of Gondolin, who in the pass of Cristhorn ('Eagle-cleft') fought with a Balrog [> Demon], whom he slew at the cost of his own life.
Then later:[Quote]... Glorfindel had sacrificed his life in defending the fugitives from the wreck of Gondolin against a Demon out of Thangorodrim,^10 and so enabling Tuor and Idril daughter to Turgon ....[/qoute]The footnote 10 reads:
Quote:
10 In the margin, and written at the same time as the text, my father note: 'The duel of Glorfindel and the Demon may need revision.'
This would leave us with 3 Balrogs alive in the War of Wrath (2 killed, one hidding in Moria). To make this more clear, here is how I would deal with taht passage:
Quote:
... It was Tuor's thought that they had fallen in with one of {Melko}[Morgoth]'s ranging companies, and he feared no more than a sharp brush in the dark, yet he sent the women and sick around him rearward and joined his men to Galdor's, and there was an affray upon the perilous path. But now rocks fell from above, and things looked ill, for they did grievous hurt; but matters seemed to Tuor yet worse when the noise of arms came from the rear, and tidings were said to him by a man of the Swallow that Glorfindel was ill bested by men from behind, and that a FG-C-9.8 {Balrog}<Last Writings Demon out of Thangorodrim> was with them.
... Already the half had passed the perilous way and the falls of {Thorn Sir}[Thoron Sr], when that FG-C-11.2 {Balrog}<Last Writings Demon> that was with the rearward foe leapt with great might on certain lofty rocks that stood into the path on the left side upon the lip of the chasm, and thence with a leap of fury he was past Glorfindel's men and among the women and the sick in front, lashing with his whip of flame. Then Glorfindel leapt forward upon him and his golden armour gleamed strangely in the moon, and he hewed at that demon that it leapt again upon a great boulder and Glorfindel after. Now there was a deadly combat upon that high rock above the folk; and these, pressed behind and hindered ahead, were grown so close that well nigh all could see, yet was it over ere Glorfindel's men could leap to his side. The ardour of Glorfindel drove that FG-C-11.4 {Balrog}<Last Writings Demon> from point to point, and his mail fended him from its whip and claw. Now had he beaten a heavy swinge upon its iron helm, now hewn off the creature's whip-arm at the elbow. Then sprang the FG-C-11.6 {Balrog}<Last Writings Demon> in the torment of his pain and fear full at Glorfindel, who stabbed like a dart of a snake; but he found only a shoulder, and was grappled, and they swayed to a fall upon the crag-top. Then Glorfindel's left hand sought a dirk, and this he thrust up that it pierced the FG-C-11.8 {Balrog}<Last Writings Demon>'s belly nigh his own face (for that {demon}it was double his stature); and it shrieked, and fell backwards from the rock, and falling clutched Glorfindel's yellow locks beneath his cap, and those twain fell into the abyss.
Now was this a very grievous thing, for Glorfindel was most dearly beloved − and lo! the dint of their fall echoed about the hills, and the abyss of {Thorn Sir}[Thoron Sr] rang. Then at the death-cry of the FG-C-11.9 {Balrog}<Last Writings Demon> the Orcs before and behind wavered and were slain or fled far away, and {Thorndor}[Thorondor] himself, a mighty bird, descended to the abyss and FG-C-12 {brought up the body of Glorfindel} <Q30 bore up Glorfindel's body>; but the FG-C-12.2 {Balrog}<Last Writings Demon> lay, and the water of {Thorn Sir}[Thoron Sr] ran black for many a day far below in {Tumladin}[Tumladen]. FG-C12.5 <Q30 And the birds of {Thorndor}[Thorondor] stooped upon the Orcs and drove them shrieking back; and all were slain or cast into the deeps, and rumour of the escape from Gondolin came not until long after to Morgoth's ears.>
Still do the Eldar say when they see good fighting at great odds of power against a fury of evil: ‘Alas! 'Tis Glorfindel and the FG-C-12.7 {Balrog}<Last Writings Demon>’, and their hearts are still sore for that fair one of the {Noldoli}[Noldor].
Seeing that Tolkien himself has addressed the Balrog already in FoG as 'demon', I think that it adds to ambigous Balrog emandations to leave it open if this is a Balrog or not. From the discription especially the 'whip of flame', one could gues that this Demon is a Balrog, but it also could be a diffrent kind of monster. Thus we would again give the reader the freeness to decide for himself.

Two further points cmae up during my research that we already mist after the decision taken inthis thread:
In our chapter Of the coming of the Elves we took up:
Quote:
50 {It}Thus it came to pass that at last the gates of Utumno were broken and its halls unroofed, and Melkor took refuge in the uttermost pit. Thence, seeing that all was lost (for that time), he sent forth on a sudden a host of Balrogs, the last of his servants that remained, and they assailed the standard of Manw, as it were a tide of flame. But they were withered in the wind of his wrath and slain with the lightning of his sword; and Melkor stood at last alone.>
I think we should change this and proberbly add also the footnote:
Quote:
50 {It}Thus it came to pass that at last the gates of Utumno were broken and its halls unroofed, and Melkor took refuge in the uttermost pit. Thence, seeing that all was lost (for that time), he sent forth on a sudden a CE-EX-12.5 {host}<AAm, late scribbeld changes his> of Balrogs, the last of his servants that remained <AAm, late scribbeld changes faithfull to him [Footnote: There should not be supposed more than 3 or at most 7 ever existed.]>, and they assailed the standard of Manw, as it were a tide of flame. But they were withered in the wind of his wrath and slain with the lightning of his sword; and Melkor stood at last alone.>
And then we have the War of Wrath, were we must change the reference to 'same few that fled':
Quote:
VE-13.04 <Sil77 The meeting of the hosts of the West and of the North is named the Great Battle, the Battle Terrible, and the War of Wrath. > <AB2 The waters of Sirion lay between the hosts; and long and bitterly they contested the passage. But at last [Enw] crossed Sirion and the hosts of Morgoth were driven as leaves, and the Balrogs were utterly destroyed> <BT, save VE-13.045 {some few that}they fled and hid themselves in caverns inaccessible at the roots of the earth> , <AB1 and Morgoth[‘s army] fled to Angband pursued by the hosts of [Enw].>
Respectfuly
Findegil

Last edited by Findegil; 12-09-2010 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:10 PM   #79
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It says here in the encyclopedia of Arda Balrogs were Ainur and of the division of Maiar, just like Gandalf. Perhaps there bodies could be slain but there spirit or essence can reform a physical self if called back. Just like Gandalf. His physical body perished after defeated the Balrog in the felllowship, but was called back and again took physical form as Gandalf the White.
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:12 PM   #80
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Dark-Eye Whoopsy! XD

oops I forgot to post the links (sorry I'm new lol)

http://www.glyphweb.com/ARDA/b/balrogs.html

http://www.glyphweb.com/ARDA/g/gandalf.html
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