The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Middle-Earth Discussions > The Books
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-22-2014, 05:20 AM   #1
Leaf
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 85
Leaf has just left Hobbiton.
Was the Balrog drawn by the ring?

I am wondering why (apart from plot convenience) the Balrog showed up to hunt the fellowship down. We know that it didn't harm Gandalf or Aragorn on their earlier visits to Moria. We also know that Balin and his companions could live and labour in Moria for a few years without getting attacked by it, which is quiet odd if you think of the Balrog as a watchdog guarding his home. If I'm remembering correctly there isn't even a hint (e.g. in the book of Mazarbul) that the Balrog was involved in the final attack on the dwarves at all. Just drums in the deep. So the Balrog doesn't seem to be the most active fellow. At least not in the last decades or so. Was he, like all beings of evil, drawn by the ring? Was this the main reason he appeared?
Leaf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2014, 07:02 AM   #2
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,390
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
I think the Ring was a likely factor in the Balrog's attack on the Fellowship. It appears that all the evil creatures in Moria were drawn to it; the Watcher went for Frodo, the orc in the Chamber threw his spear at Frodo, etc.

It's also a pet theory of mine that the Balrog may have been the "spirit" of Caradhras, hostile to Elves, Dwarves, and Men. Gimli noted that Caradhras had a bad reputation before Sauron had been heard of in Moria, and that would fit with the idea that the Balrog hid there at the end of the breaking of Angband.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2014, 07:18 AM   #3
Zigûr
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Zigûr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 717
Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
I think the Ring was a likely factor in the Balrog's attack on the Fellowship. It appears that all the evil creatures in Moria were drawn to it; the Watcher went for Frodo, the orc in the Chamber threw his spear at Frodo, etc.
I agree. I think the Ring was a factor. The Balrog seems to have chosen its moments sporadically: after slaying Náin I it doesn't seem to have done much again beyond perhaps lurking near the East-gate as the Battle of Azanulbizar was fought; Dáin perceived it at least, even if he didn't see it. It's a good example of why the Istari were cloaked; evidently the Balrog did not innately perceive Gandalf as a danger or it might have confronted him the first time he entered Moria.
__________________
"Since the evening of that day we have journeyed from the shadow of Tol Brandir."
"On foot?" cried Éomer.
Zigûr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2014, 07:22 AM   #4
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,390
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zigûr View Post
It's a good example of why the Istari were cloaked; evidently the Balrog did not innately perceive Gandalf as a danger or it might have confronted him the first time he entered Moria.
Aragorn said he had been in Moria before as well, yet he had no knowledge of the Balrog.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2014, 08:13 AM   #5
FerniesApple
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 92
FerniesApple has just left Hobbiton.
yes it was probably the Ring, but if you walk past a sleeping tiger its best not to poke it in the nose. I think it was awoken by too much noise. It could have been attracted to a heady cocktail of Ring, Istari, Elf and Isildurs heir. it could 'smell' them,
FerniesApple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 05:52 PM   #6
Tar-Jêx
Wight
 
Tar-Jêx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Armenelos, Númenor
Posts: 205
Tar-Jêx has just left Hobbiton.
Tolkien

I believe the Balrogs are maia, and therefore would not be influenced by the ring.
Durin's Bane would have most likely been stirred up by the commotion caused by the Fellowship and goblins, and possibly Gandalf's use of magic.
Tar-Jêx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 06:26 PM   #7
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,390
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tar-Jêx View Post
I believe the Balrogs are maia, and therefore would not be influenced by the ring.
Durin's Bane would have most likely been stirred up by the commotion caused by the Fellowship and goblins, and possibly Gandalf's use of magic.
You'd think though that Gandalf had probably used 'magic on his earlier time in Moria, at least with staff-lighting. Yet it seems the Balrog at that time was either afraid, disinterested, or unaware that an intruder was about.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 10:52 PM   #8
Tar-Jêx
Wight
 
Tar-Jêx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Armenelos, Númenor
Posts: 205
Tar-Jêx has just left Hobbiton.
Tolkien

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
You'd think though that Gandalf had probably used 'magic on his earlier time in Moria, at least with staff-lighting. Yet it seems the Balrog at that time was either afraid, disinterested, or unaware that an intruder was about.
It may be possible that the Balrog was not drawn to the power of the ring as such, but aware of it.
Tar-Jêx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 11:09 PM   #9
Zigûr
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Zigûr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 717
Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tar-Jêx View Post
I believe the Balrogs are maia, and therefore would not be influenced by the ring.
But why wouldn't a Maia be influenced by the Ring? Gandalf was a Maia and was tempted by it, and it was made by Sauron, who was a Maia and probably a much more powerful Maia than the Balrog.

The Ring didn't retain any of Sauron's mind or personality, did it? It was just some of his innate power. Was it not more malevolent-by-design and by nature rather than because of its derivation from Sauron? In addition to the Morgoth-element of gold of course. The power of the Ring, despite deriving from Sauron's spirit, seems to be more generic spiritual potency to me. I'm trying to think of an analogy for this but I'm struggling.
__________________
"Since the evening of that day we have journeyed from the shadow of Tol Brandir."
"On foot?" cried Éomer.
Zigûr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2014, 06:35 AM   #10
Leaf
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 85
Leaf has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tar-Jêx View Post
I believe the Balrogs are maia, and therefore would not be influenced by the ring.
Durin's Bane would have most likely been stirred up by the commotion caused by the Fellowship and goblins, and possibly Gandalf's use of magic.
My problem with this answer is that I find it kind of strange that Balin's Colony could live and labour in Moria for about 5 years without getting attacked by the Balrog. Im pretty sure their digging and mining caused a bigger commotion than anything the fellowship has done. As I said before it is unclear if the Balrog even took part in the final battle against Balin's Colony. Apart from this I find this systematical rating of supernatural beings and powers way too rigid. This ranking simplifies the individual relationships between characters whilst not offering any explanation aside from it's own inherent hierarchy. IIRC the Balrog is never called a "Maia" in the LotR. Neither is Sauron, or Gandalf. One should be able to answer this question with the information given to us within this very novel.
Leaf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2014, 07:46 AM   #11
PrinceOfTheHalflings
Wight
 
PrinceOfTheHalflings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 120
PrinceOfTheHalflings is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zigûr View Post
But why wouldn't a Maia be influenced by the Ring? Gandalf was a Maia and was tempted by it, and it was made by Sauron, who was a Maia and probably a much more powerful Maia than the Balrog.
Saruman (also a Maia) was tempted by the Ring too ... and he never even got near it!

So let's dismiss the idea that a Maia wouldn't be influenced/tempted.
PrinceOfTheHalflings is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2014, 09:05 AM   #12
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,390
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrinceOfTheHalflings View Post
Saruman (also a Maia) was tempted by the Ring too ... and he never even got near it!

So let's dismiss the idea that a Maia wouldn't be influenced/tempted.
For that matter, Gandalf knew that he would have been incapable of resisting the Ring; he was afraid to even take it from Bilbo to give to Frodo.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2014, 01:42 PM   #13
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
Morthoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ensconced in curmudgeonly pursuits
Posts: 2,291
Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
I believe the balrog became furious when he overheard the Fellowship muddled in that stale old debate regarding "wings or no wings". There is just so much a balrog can take.
__________________
Please visit my newly resurrected blog...The Dark Elf File...a slightly skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.
Morthoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2014, 07:40 PM   #14
Tar-Jêx
Wight
 
Tar-Jêx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Armenelos, Númenor
Posts: 205
Tar-Jêx has just left Hobbiton.
Tolkien

Ok, so while we can't agree on whether the ring tempted the Balrog, which I don't think it did, I am fairly sure it knew of its existence and was less of 'drawn to it', but more of 'aware of it and trying to take it to its master'.
Tar-Jêx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2014, 08:58 PM   #15
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
Morthoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ensconced in curmudgeonly pursuits
Posts: 2,291
Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tar-Jêx View Post
Ok, so while we can't agree on whether the ring tempted the Balrog, which I don't think it did, I am fairly sure it knew of its existence and was less of 'drawn to it', but more of 'aware of it and trying to take it to its master'.
There is no indication anywhere that the balrog knew anything about the ring, was aware of its making or that Sauron was its owner. The balrog had been hiding in Moria for ages, and, at least technically speaking, Morgoth was the balrog's master, not Sauron.

I doubt the balrog would return the Ring to Sauron if he got hold of it. Why should he? Balrogs were not pawns like the Nazgul, they were Maiar.
__________________
Please visit my newly resurrected blog...The Dark Elf File...a slightly skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.
Morthoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2014, 10:00 PM   #16
Belegorn
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Henneth Annûn, Ithilien
Posts: 459
Belegorn has just left Hobbiton.
Balrogs and Sauron = peers under Morgoth. If the Balrog took the Ring I'd think he'd keep it for himself. I also think the Ring could effect other Maiar, it certainly even had an effect on its maker. This is why the Wise would not try to use it to fight Sauron. It was quite dangerous. I'm not sure the extent of it's influence. Like could it even bring out this nature of dominating in even more powerful spirits such as the Valar? I do not know. Certainly it would not be a danger for them to face Sauron with the Ring because they could overpower him, whereas his peers would be in greater danger trying to take Sauron out with the Ring.
__________________
"For believe me: the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is - to live dangerously!" - G.S.; F. Nietzsche
Belegorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2014, 01:48 AM   #17
Tar-Jêx
Wight
 
Tar-Jêx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Armenelos, Númenor
Posts: 205
Tar-Jêx has just left Hobbiton.
Tolkien

Yeah, those are some pretty valid points. However, since Sauron shares a similar purpose to Melkor, and the Balrogs sought to serve Melkor, it would be in their best interests to use the ring in some way. I just remembered that the ring is still just a ring.

Revised theory:
The Balrog was definitely awoken by the Fellowship's interference and calamity of the goblins, and Gandalf seemed to know that it was coming instantly. It would have gone towards the source of commotion, which was the Fellowship. The Balrog could not have known about the ring and was attacking the Fellowship because they woke him up.


Belegorn, I doubt that the ring would have any effect on the Valar, as they are essentially gods.
Tar-Jêx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2014, 06:24 AM   #18
Leaf
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 85
Leaf has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tar-Jêx View Post
Revised theory:
The Balrog was definitely awoken by the Fellowship's interference and calamity of the goblins, and Gandalf seemed to know that it was coming instantly. It would have gone towards the source of commotion, which was the Fellowship.
How do we know that the Balrog was definitely awoken by the noise the Fellowship made? A few years earlier plenty of Dwarves were digging, mining and fighting with the Orcs in Moria for an extended period of time (a few years!), yet it didn´t care for this a little bit. But when someone drops a stone into a well it awakes and hunts the intruders down?! That seems kinda weird to me.

Quote:
The Balrog could not have known about the ring and was attacking the Fellowship because they woke him up.
The Balrog didn´t need to know anything about the Ring to get drawn by it. The watcher in the water most certainly didn´t know anything about the ring, yet it still tried to grab Frodo first. The same goes for the orkish captain that attack Frodo with his spear. Even Shelob chose to ignore Sam to chase Frodo.
Leaf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2014, 08:22 PM   #19
Tar-Jêx
Wight
 
Tar-Jêx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Armenelos, Númenor
Posts: 205
Tar-Jêx has just left Hobbiton.
Tolkien

That is a fair point about the Balrog not being awoken by the battles between the dwarves and the goblins, but it did eventually show up. Maybe it was trying to find a way up to them?

On the topic of knowing the ring was there, Maiar like Gandalf and Saruman were not aware if the ring was with them unless they could physically see it.
After all, it IS still just a ring.
The watcher in the water would be an interesting topic for debate, but it is likely that the Balrog was a more powerful entity, more resistant to the magic of the ring. I doubt the Balrog would have pursued the ring because he would not have seen it. It can have a hold on people, but they do need to be somewhat close to it. Sauron's power wasn't so great that people would always go towards the ring like a magnet.
If the Balrog was drawn to the ring, would he have not tried to go past Gandalf, rather than fight him in honourable battle? Or maybe the idea of honourable battle with another Maiar was greater temptation to it.
Tar-Jêx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2014, 08:16 AM   #20
Leaf
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 85
Leaf has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tar-Jêx
That is a fair point about the Balrog not being awoken by the battles between the dwarves and the goblins, but it did eventually show up. Maybe it was trying to find a way up to them?
What do you mean when you say "but it did eventually show up"?! Are you refering to the time when the fellowship enters Moria, or do you think it eventually showed up to the final battle against Balins colony?! I find it hard to believe that the Balrog got lost in Moria, which by all means was his realm, and that it took him 5 years (!) to finally find the Dwarves. I really doubt that. Furthermore I have yet to find evidence that the Balrog took part in this final battle anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tar-Jêx
On the topic of knowing the ring was there, Maiar like Gandalf and Saruman were not aware if the ring was with them unless they could physically see it. After all, it IS still just a ring.
I said earlier that I find this rigid ranking of supernatural beings to be very problematic. The equation "Gandalf and Saruman are Maiar. The Balrog is a Maia aswell. Therefore these three beings have to share the same features" simplifies and blurres the constellation, or relationship, of these different beings. We do not learn anything about the Maiar in the Lord of the Rings because it´s unnecessary information (regarding this context). We do not know that Gandalf, Saruman and the Balrog allegedly have the same essence and origin. What we know is that Gandalf is an wizard and the Balrog is a supernatural and powerful being of evil. We also know that the Ring attracts evil creatures in general. So in this case I would argue that the Balrog did not need to know about the Ring, in any practical way, to be aware and drawn by it.

Edit to clarify: It is hard to determine in what way exactly the Balrog got drawn by the ring. But it doesn´t need to be like a force which turns the Balrog into a mindless slave, leaving him with no choice or will in this matter. It could very well be more like a presence of some kind which draws the Balrogs attention and curiosity.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tar-Jêx
The watcher in the water would be an interesting topic for debate, but it is likely that the Balrog was a more powerful entity, more resistant to the magic of the ring. I doubt the Balrog would have pursued the ring because he would not have seen it. It can have a hold on people, but they do need to be somewhat close to it. Sauron's power wasn't so great that people would always go towards the ring like a magnet.
If the Ring doesnt hold the power to draw evil creatures "like a magnet" why is Frodo so often the primary target of evil creatures who attack the fellowship as a whole?! Why does the watcher in the water grab Frodo first? Why does the Orc captain throw himself with his spear against Frodo?! Why did Shelob ignore Sam to chase Frodo down?! Those are a few to many cases to be mere coincidences. And here is one of Gandalfs remarks to Frodo about this subject:
Quote:
Originally Posted by The lord of the rings;The fellowship of the ring;The shadow of the past
These Rings have a way of being found. In evil hands it might have done great evil. Worst of all, it might have fallen into the hands of the Enemy. Indeed it certainly would; for this is the One, and he is exerting all his power to find it or draw it to himself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tar-Jêx
If the Balrog was drawn to the ring, would he have not tried to go past Gandalf, rather than fight him in honourable battle?
Well, it did try to go past Gandalf, didn´t it?! Hence Gandalfs famous "YOU SHALL NOT PASS" outcry. To get any further it had to confront and fight Gandalf because he was standing in its way (on a narrow bridge). Where did you get the idea that the Balrog fought Gandalf because it was the honourable thing to do?!

Last edited by Leaf; 09-18-2014 at 11:11 AM.
Leaf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2014, 05:43 PM   #21
Alfirin
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 435
Alfirin has been trapped in the Barrow!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaf View Post


Well, it did try to go past Gandalf, didn´t it?! Hence Gandalfs famous "YOU SHALL NOT PASS" outcry. To get any further it had to confront and fight Gandalf because he was standing in its way (on a narrow bridge). Where did you get the idea that the Balrog fought Gandalf because it was the honourable thing to do?!
Actually, I suppose that actually does give a little more weight to the "no" side in the "Balrog Wing Argument". If the Balrog DID have wings (and actually was drawn to the ring) why on Arda would it not have simply flown over/under/to the side of Gandalf and the bridge to make a beeline for Frodo? Even if (in some theoretical way) the Balrog could perceive that Gandalf WAS a fellow Maia, it would have been immediately obvious to it that he couldn't FLY?
Alfirin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2014, 05:56 PM   #22
Tar-Jêx
Wight
 
Tar-Jêx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Armenelos, Númenor
Posts: 205
Tar-Jêx has just left Hobbiton.
Tolkien

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfirin View Post
Actually, I suppose that actually does give a little more weight to the "no" side in the "Balrog Wing Argument". If the Balrog DID have wings (and actually was drawn to the ring) why on Arda would it not have simply flown over/under/to the side of Gandalf and the bridge to make a beeline for Frodo? Even if (in some theoretical way) the Balrog could perceive that Gandalf WAS a fellow Maia, it would have been immediately obvious to it that he couldn't FLY?
That's been one of my arguments since I joined in the debate. Why would the Balrog not just fly to wherever it wanted to to kill stuff?

Considering how practically everyone needs to see artifacts with their own eyes before determining whether it is the real thing or not, there is little way you could tell if the Ring was real, or even there, without seeing it for yourself. However, it will play with the weaker minds, like the Watcher in the Water.
Tar-Jêx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2014, 06:32 PM   #23
Leaf
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 85
Leaf has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfirin View Post
Actually, I suppose that actually does give a little more weight to the "no" side in the "Balrog Wing Argument". If the Balrog DID have wings (and actually was drawn to the ring) why on Arda would it not have simply flown over/under/to the side of Gandalf and the bridge to make a beeline for Frodo? Even if (in some theoretical way) the Balrog could perceive that Gandalf WAS a fellow Maia, it would have been immediately obvious to it that he couldn't FLY?
Well, this situation would be even more ridiculous when you look at it from Gandalfs perspective. Gandalf sees this winged creature and immediately decides to block it´s way by standing infront of it. Then he decides to destroy the bridge to throw this winged creature into the abyss underneath the bridge. And funny enough it works! Either Gandalf is the most lucky chump or he knew that the wings are just some weird kind of impractical fashion statement for the Balrogs. Imagine his plan didn´t work out as planned: Gandalf screams YOU SHALL NOT PASS. The Balrog flies over Gandalf in a smooth and unperturbed manner. DAMNIT! I didn´t see that coming. It flies, you fool!

Last edited by Leaf; 09-18-2014 at 06:48 PM.
Leaf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2014, 07:00 PM   #24
Alfirin
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 435
Alfirin has been trapped in the Barrow!
For most other flying things, one could argue that it may be only capable of soaring/gliding (or only has the strength to get up in the air and then has to rely of soaring to stay up, like many birds) and the cave has no thermals to ride. But for a Balrog even that would not make sense. Since they produce fire (and unlike dragons, that fire seems to come from their whole bodies/the weapons they carry; not just their mouths) they'd basically make their OWN thermals.
Alfirin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2014, 05:27 AM   #25
Belegorn
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Henneth Annûn, Ithilien
Posts: 459
Belegorn has just left Hobbiton.
I don't get the Balrogs have wings argument. The passage says that it's shadow spread out like wings, in others words covered the expanse to either side, not that actual wings made the shadows. Neither in LotR, or in the Silmarillion have I come across Balrogs with wings, or that they could fly. Flying dragons is what gave Melkor an advantage. If his Balrogs could take to the air I'm sure they'd have used that to their advantage too, pelting the enemy with fiery arrows or some such. Also on the bridge Gandalf said "You cannot pass!" four times, not "You shall not pass."
__________________
"For believe me: the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is - to live dangerously!" - G.S.; F. Nietzsche
Belegorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2014, 05:43 AM   #26
Tar-Jêx
Wight
 
Tar-Jêx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Armenelos, Númenor
Posts: 205
Tar-Jêx has just left Hobbiton.
Tolkien

Quote:
Originally Posted by Belegorn View Post
I don't get the Balrogs have wings argument. The passage says that it's shadow spread out like wings, in others words covered the expanse to either side, not that actual wings made the shadows. Neither in LotR, or in the Silmarillion have I come across Balrogs with wings, or that they could fly. Flying dragons is what gave Melkor an advantage. If his Balrogs could take to the air I'm sure they'd have used that to their advantage too, pelting the enemy with fiery arrows or some such. Also on the bridge Gandalf said "You cannot pass!" four times, not "You shall not pass."
We must always correct the movie-goers who think it is 'You shall not pass!'

I personally think 'You cannot pass!' is much more assertive, like Gandalf will not let him pass, rather than Gandalf saying, 'Nah, I don't feel like letting you cross.'
Tar-Jêx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2014, 11:47 AM   #27
Kuruharan
Regal Dwarven Shade
 
Kuruharan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: A Remote Dwarven Hold
Posts: 3,575
Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Boots

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaf View Post
What do you mean when you say "but it did eventually show up"?! Are you refering to the time when the fellowship enters Moria, or do you think it eventually showed up to the final battle against Balins colony?! I find it hard to believe that the Balrog got lost in Moria, which by all means was his realm, and that it took him 5 years (!) to finally find the Dwarves. I really doubt that. Furthermore I have yet to find evidence that the Balrog took part in this final battle anyway.
Whatever else might be said about the Balrog, he was either mostly dormant or had become profoundly reclusive. I think it was a little bit of both.

He and the orcs had to be aware of each other and through the orcs awareness, Sauron must have been aware of him too. Unlike Smaug, who Sauron wanted to utilize, the Balrog was in Moria with Sauron's servants and yet the Balrog never left Moria. Was Sauron not interested in utilizing the Balrog in the war, or did the Balrog just refuse to participate?

Personally I think the Balrog's primary motivation was a desire to be left alone. He may have found being on the losing end of the War of Wrath a scarring experience. He may have slept through Balin's occupation, or perhaps he had no desire to meddle with them and possibly alert the world to his presence. Sauron's orcs returning to destroy the colony may have roused him in some way.

Then here comes the Fellowship causing noise and bother. It must have been annoying.
Kuruharan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2014, 12:30 PM   #28
Leaf
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 85
Leaf has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuruharan View Post
Whatever else might be said about the Balrog, he was either mostly dormant or had become profoundly reclusive. I think it was a little bit of both.

He and the orcs had to be aware of each other and through the orcs awareness, Sauron must have been aware of him too. Unlike Smaug, who Sauron wanted to utilize, the Balrog was in Moria with Sauron's servants and yet the Balrog never left Moria. Was Sauron not interested in utilizing the Balrog in the war, or did the Balrog just refuse to participate?

Personally I think the Balrog's primary motivation was a desire to be left alone. He may have found being on the losing end of the War of Wrath a scarring experience. He may have slept through Balin's occupation, or perhaps he had no desire to meddle with them and possibly alert the world to his presence. Sauron's orcs returning to destroy the colony may have roused him in some way.

Then here comes the Fellowship causing noise and bother. It must have been annoying.
Maybe the Balrog wanted to be left alone. But I find this situation to be confusing anyway. IIRC the Book of Marzabul explicitly tells us that the Dwarves of Balins colony found mithril. Since the easy to reach mithril oreveins were exhausted for thousands of years they probably used the newest and deepest abandoned mine shafts. Exactly those mine shafts which were the reason the Balrog attacked Khazad Dum in the first place. This surely was (from the Balrogs point of view) an absurd, presumptuous affront.
Leaf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2014, 08:27 AM   #29
Kuruharan
Regal Dwarven Shade
 
Kuruharan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: A Remote Dwarven Hold
Posts: 3,575
Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Boots

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaf View Post
Maybe the Balrog wanted to be left alone. But I find this situation to be confusing anyway. IIRC the Book of Marzabul explicitly tells us that the Dwarves of Balins colony found mithril. Since the easy to reach mithril oreveins were exhausted for thousands of years they probably used the newest and deepest abandoned mine shafts. Exactly those mine shafts which were the reason the Balrog attacked Khazad Dum in the first place. This surely was (from the Balrogs point of view) an absurd, presumptuous affront.
My explanation is that the Balrog was dormant in some other part of the mines.

Or perhaps the Balrog was the Watcher in the Water?
Kuruharan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2014, 09:06 AM   #30
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,390
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuruharan View Post
Or perhaps the Balrog was the Watcher in the Water?
I think it was possibly the 'spirit' of Caradhras; a diffuse evil force, unconnected to Sauron.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2014, 09:13 AM   #31
Leaf
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 85
Leaf has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuruharan
My explanation is that the Balrog was dormant in some other part of the mines.
Yes, that´s plausible so far. Either that, or the Balrog simply didn't care for the dwarves and their activities, which is less plausible. But what irks me (and I´m repeating myself) is that we still need an explanation for the sudden alertness of the Balrog mere 25 years later when the fellowship arrives in Moria. Why did it stop being dormant?! The noise caused by the fellowship is no satisfactory answer for me since Balin's dwarves most likely caused way more noise and turmoil.

You said earlier:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuruharan
...or perhaps he had no desire to meddle with them and possibly alert the world to his presence.
Then again, why is it suddenly okay for the Balrog to blow it´s own cover just for some wanderers?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuruharan
Sauron's orcs returning to destroy the colony may have roused him in some way.
And a bunch of dwarves returning to harvest mithril, fighting with orcs and reclaiming Moria as their own doesn't rouse the Balrog in the first place?
Leaf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2014, 09:13 PM   #32
Kuruharan
Regal Dwarven Shade
 
Kuruharan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: A Remote Dwarven Hold
Posts: 3,575
Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Boots

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
I think it was possibly the 'spirit' of Caradhras; a diffuse evil force, unconnected to Sauron.
I wonder if anyone has ever definitively presented the idea of The Watcher = The Balrog...

I can't remember ever seeing such a thing but that doesn't mean someone hasn't done it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaf View Post
Then again, why is it suddenly okay for the Balrog to blow it´s own cover just for some wanderers?!
Maybe he was really frustrated by that point?

I agree, it is a little difficult to explain away.
Kuruharan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2014, 04:15 PM   #33
Belegorn
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Henneth Annûn, Ithilien
Posts: 459
Belegorn has just left Hobbiton.
I don't know about the creature in the water being the Balrog. It had at least 20 tentacles. That does not sound like a Balrog to me, and I do not think the Balrog would attack from a point of weakness. When he fought Gandalf the pool under Moria put out his fires. Although those were extremely cold waters. I think the Balrog must have been very cautious after his peers were manhandled in the War of Wrath. I have no idea why he suddenly decided to show himself. Being a resident of Thangorodrim I do not think Dwarves working with metals would bother him much. Melkor always had the smithies going, beating the metals, creating machines, et cetera. Perhaps it was the Gandlaf/Ring combo, but I do not quite think so. Was Gandalf disturbed by the presence of the Balrog? I do not recall. Perhaps if his hair was on end, maybe the Balrog himself felt it, not quite sure why his skin was tingling. I'd think he'd want to stay put if he were still fearing for his life, although they were fighters so maybe he had screwed up his courage after 2 Ages of stealth.
__________________
"For believe me: the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is - to live dangerously!" - G.S.; F. Nietzsche
Belegorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2014, 01:35 PM   #34
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,390
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belegorn View Post
I think the Balrog must have been very cautious after his peers were manhandled in the War of Wrath. I have no idea why he suddenly decided to show himself. Being a resident of Thangorodrim I do not think Dwarves working with metals would bother him much.
This put me in mind of a rather obscure line from ROTK, Appendix A III Durin's Folk. There it is noted that in the Third age the Dwarves of Moria were mining under Caradhras for mithril, and

Quote:
Thus they roused from sleep a thing of terror that, flying from Thangorodrim, had lain hidden at the foundations of the earth since the coming of the Host of the West: a Balrog of Morgoth.
After 'roused from sleep' there is a footnote:

Quote:
Or released it from prison; it may well be that it had already been awakened by the malice of Sauron.
Since the One contained part of Sauron's will and spirit, and it is elsewhere noted that it 'calls' to evil creatures, I do not think it is by any means a stretch to assume that the Ring was a factor in the Balrog's attack on the Fellowship.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2014, 11:54 PM   #35
Zigûr
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Zigûr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 717
Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
Since the One contained part of Sauron's will and spirit, and it is elsewhere noted that it 'calls' to evil creatures, I do not think it is by any means a stretch to assume that the Ring was a factor in the Balrog's attack on the Fellowship.
This is an excellent observation. Another thing to emphasise for the sake of clarity, in my opinion, is that we must remember that just because Sauron's Ring called to other evil beings, or that Sauron's malice may have awoken them (in the possible case of the Balrog) that does not mean that they were under the direct influence or control of Sauron himself.

Part of the fissiparous nature of evil was that there were many evil things, but they were not all controlled by the same evil will.
__________________
"Since the evening of that day we have journeyed from the shadow of Tol Brandir."
"On foot?" cried Éomer.
Zigûr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2014, 04:06 AM   #36
tom the eldest
Wight
 
tom the eldest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: far away,in the southern arda
Posts: 153
tom the eldest has just left Hobbiton.
aside from being aware of the rings power,what other motives vould the balorg have?
__________________
Fly,you fools!-gandalf,the bridge of khazad dûm
tom the eldest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2014, 08:16 AM   #37
Leaf
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 85
Leaf has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zigûr
Another thing to emphasise for the sake of clarity, in my opinion, is that we must remember that just because Sauron's Ring called to other evil beings, or that Sauron's malice may have awoken them (in the possible case of the Balrog) that does not mean that they were under the direct influence or control of Sauron himself.
You're right. Being called by the ring, or noticing it's presence, doesn't necessarily mean that the subject acts like a marionette.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tom the eldest
aside from being aware of the rings power,what other motives vould the balorg have?
Motives for what?
Leaf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2014, 12:26 AM   #38
Belegorn
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Henneth Annûn, Ithilien
Posts: 459
Belegorn has just left Hobbiton.
I'd assume he meant what other motives could the Balrog have for showing himself.
__________________
"For believe me: the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is - to live dangerously!" - G.S.; F. Nietzsche
Belegorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2014, 06:48 AM   #39
Leaf
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 85
Leaf has just left Hobbiton.
Well, there's the obvious “I want those loud and annoying intruders out of my home“. As I discussed before this motive seems plausible at first but it raises many questions regarding it's behaviour at the time of Balin's colony. Then there's the possibility that Durin's Bane noticed, and was provoked by, Gandalf's presence which didn't happend the first time Gandalf went through Moria. Theoretically speaking, the Balrog may have been in the service of Sauron and alarmed by him about a certain party which may try to travel through it's realm. I guess those are the most likely motives for the Balrog to confront the fellowship, aside from the discussed “Ring“-explanation.
Leaf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2014, 07:26 AM   #40
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,390
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaf View Post
Theoretically speaking, the Balrog may have been in the service of Sauron and alarmed by him about a certain party which may try to travel through it's realm. I guess those are the most likely motives for the Balrog to confront the fellowship, aside from the discussed “Ring“-explanation.
I think the idea of the Balrog serving Sauron can be discounted. If it had been taking orders, why would it have been hanging about in a deserted Dwarf-city? Just to harass the occasional trespasser? Surely the Orcs alone were sufficient to keep Moria in Sauron's hands. I think in any case that Sauron didn't really care about Moria: he just wanted to keep the Dwarves from returning (and maybe get some mithril in the bargain).

If the Balrog had an interest in helping Sauron, one can see better tasks for it, such as leading an assault on Rivendell or Lórien.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:12 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.