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Old 04-01-2002, 05:44 PM   #1
onewhitetree
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Sting Incarnate Balrogs?

Balrogs again, yes.

Balrogs were not known to change their forms (this leading into the infamous wings discussion which hopefully can be left alone), and so could be, by this assumption, incarnate Maiar, like the Istari. If they are incarnate, and thus have perishable bodies, how did the one in Moria survive for so long buried under the mountain? Surely it needed something to keep aflame.
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Old 04-01-2002, 09:06 PM   #2
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Sting

you bring up a good point. it could be like those ressurection ferns, that you put in water, and they come to life, deny them water, they shrivel up but can come back..don't know, just a theory
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Old 04-01-2002, 09:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
'Thither I came at last, to the uttermost foundations of stone. He was with me still. His fire was quenched, but now he was a thing of slime, stronger than a strangling snake. -Gandalf recounting his fall with the Balrog.
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Old 04-02-2002, 12:09 AM   #4
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I agree with Mhoram's viewpoint.
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Old 04-02-2002, 12:13 AM   #5
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Sting

That doesn't answer my question.
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Old 04-02-2002, 12:30 AM   #6
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Sting

Well, that quote seems to invalidate your question by undermining the assumptions the question was based on. That is to say, Balrogs can change shape.
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Old 04-02-2002, 12:38 AM   #7
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Sting

I don't think it changed shape, I think its fire went out and he got a little wet on the way down. Perhaps I should have chosen better semantics in my above post.

Is the spirit of the Balrog chained to its physical form?

If not, why wouldn't it fly away?

And if so, why didn't it die while lying buried for thousands of years?
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Old 04-02-2002, 01:04 AM   #8
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Sting

OK, after talkign with Kate in the chat for a while i've had a change of heart.

Three Balrogs deaths are recorded, all of a long fall. I am forced conclude that they cannot change shape or atleast one would have turned into a bluejay and flew away.

Therefore, the above mentioned quote must be interpreted in some fashion that holds to this conclusion. For now i'll just say that when the Balrog hits the water it quenches his fire and leaves him very slimey. Must have been some nasty water.

Why didn't the balrog die after spending ages under the mountain? You can hardly gawk at this, these are really powerful beings and they are NOT Istari. The Istari were meant to be just as fragile as men, the Balrogs had no such restraint. You can't seriously think that a Balrog must have food and water.

[ April 02, 2002: Message edited by: Mhoram ]
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Old 04-02-2002, 09:03 AM   #9
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The fact that Balrogs can fall does not necessarily mean that they cannot fly (or change shape). First, they obviously can't do either if they're dead; from the account Gandalf gives, it seems quite possible that the Balrog died and then, as a result, fell. The phrase "cast him down" is ambiguous, and could mean anything from "pushing him down the mountain (without killing him)" to "killing him (without pushing him down the mountain)"

Even if we assume that the blow that "cast down" the Balrog did not also kill him, and that he died as a result of the fall (which I find somewhat unlikely), that still doesn't rule out shapechanging or flying abilities. We don't know how quickly or easily Valar and Maiar are able to change shape, or what restrictions exist on the shapes they can take. Obviously, they can't take literally any shape, or Melkor could have just turned himself into, say, a boulder the size of Arda, crushing and destroying every living thing. Remember when Huan fights with Sauron? Following the fight, Sauron shapeshifts into a number of different forms, but cannot elude Huan's grasp. Why didn't he just turn himself into a flea, or some other absurdly small creature, and escape? Perhaps because he couldn't, or at least he couldn't do so easily.
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Old 04-02-2002, 03:52 PM   #10
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Sting

I think that if the Balrog was able to change shape, it would have done so. Even if not to a bluejay to fly away, surely it would have used that ability in every way possible to defeat Gandalf.

Also, what would be the point of chaining the Balrog to it's physicality if it was immune to the needs of a physical body (for example sustenance of some kind)?
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Old 04-02-2002, 03:55 PM   #11
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Sting

lol, Sauron as a flea. Now I can't shake this image of Sauron locking himself in a room in the Barad-dur, all dressed up in a big, bright green, tick suit.
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Old 04-06-2002, 12:06 PM   #12
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Sting

I think that maybe the balrog shadow body cloak had the consistency of a thick cloud of ash, and when they hit the underground lake, like when you pour some water into a filled up ashtray, it got gooey. Also, with any heat and lava below the earth, maybe it just fed of those. Mmmmmm lava. As for falling with or without wings, have you ever thought that it didn't see the fall coming and just barely had enough time to take Gandalf with it rather than just be beaten back, or attempt to fly back up. Also, maybe it was (if it had wings) unable to spread them and maneuver upwards in that crevice, that would prove that it was really big, but the chasm was only 100 feet across, so he just may not have been able to maneuver. God, this could be one of those endless replies.
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Old 04-07-2002, 06:41 AM   #13
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Sting

I may sound ridiculous on this, but are we perfectly positive that Balrogs were fully material? I mean, did they have clearly defined bodies or were they 'just' a sceptrum surrounded by shadow & fire? From the Moria description, I'd say more of the second choice. But it's difficult to imagine Gandalf fighting with thin air.
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Old 04-07-2002, 02:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
I may sound ridiculous on this, but are we perfectly positive that Balrogs were fully material?
Yes.
For example, Ecthelion drove his helmet-spike into the chest of Gothmog, Lord of the Balrogs.
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Old 04-08-2002, 11:59 AM   #15
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Sting

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For example, Ecthelion drove his helmet-spike into the chest of Gothmog, Lord of the Balrogs.
That's from the Books of Lost Tales. Those Balrogs were almost completely different form the one seen in the Bridge of Khazad-Dum; they weren't even Maiar, but created by Melko.

I don't think it can be said with certainty whether the (LotR-era) Balrogs were primarily corporeal or not. I'd tend to say they were, because I believe that they had incarnated themselves in physical forms in order for Morgoth to be able to boost their fighting abilities. This conclusion is also supported by the fact that Balrogs are always seen in the same shape (that "thing of slime" is hardly evidence of shape-shifting).
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