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Old 04-25-2018, 04:10 PM   #1
R.R.J Tolkien
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Could Durins Bane have become more powerful over time

A question for the lore masters. Could Durins Bane have become more powerful over time. So could it have gained strength in anyway from the first age to the third?

thanks.
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Old 04-25-2018, 04:38 PM   #2
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I'm far from being a "lore master", but I don't see how the Balrog could have gained power on its on. That additional power must have a source. Now, if it had laid its hands on Sauron's One Ring....
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Old 04-25-2018, 04:47 PM   #3
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It seems to me that it was in the nature of evil beings to lose their power over time, not gain it. The power would have to come from somewhere, as Inzil has pointed out regarding the Ring. "Power", spiritual potency or what have you does not appear to emerge ex nihilo in Professor Tolkien's work.
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Old 04-28-2018, 06:39 AM   #4
denethorthefirst
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Short Answer: No.
The world of Middle-Earth is entropic, i.e. everything becomes less grand and less powerful over time. This includes not only evil beings like the Umaiar but everyone in Ea, even the Valar become less powerful and diminish over time, not only because they, like Melkor, poured a lot of their Power into Arda during its creation, but because even they can't overpower this trajectory.

I fail to see how the Balrog, who at this point in the story (in the late Third Age) is already in a reduced and diminished (fully incarnated) state, should be able to accomplish something which even Manwe can't do. The only being in the story that "breaks" this rule is, curiously, Sauron who, after the making of the One Ring, got somehow more powerful. How exactly he achieved that peculiar feat ist never explained by Tolkien. The Extra-Power can't really come from the domination of the other Rings, because the Ring-scheme failed spectacularly (with the Elves and Dwarves). So where does all that Power come from? I speculate that the One Ring somehow allowed Sauron to tap into and control/usurp the "Morgoth Element", thats one explanation that would fit the nature of Ea.

In any case, that would not help the Balrog, because I don't think that he would be able to master the One Ring. Tolkien wrote that of all the characters in the story only Gandalf "MIGHT be EXPECTED" to master it, a remarkably vague and hypothetical statement by Tolkien (i personally don't think that Gandalf would've been able to achieve it). I guess that, if the Balrog somehow got possession of the One Ring, that he would become nothing more than a beefed up version of Gollum, becoming ensnared by the ring, retreating deeper and deeper into Moria, fleeing the outside world. After all, thats all the Balrog ever really wanted: to be left alone.

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Old 05-04-2018, 12:07 PM   #5
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Thanks for helping guys, not the answer i hoped for dammit
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:22 PM   #6
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Regarding the Balrog's power its difficult to say how much it declined if it did in significant measure. It(or he?) managed to stalemate Gandalf and to counteract his spells.

If the Balrog had left Moria alive-it would have wreaked utter havoc on northwestern middle earth and been Sauron's co-belligerent in the WoTR even if Sauron could not control it(is it male).

Though maybe its power did decline-after all it managed to survive the war of wrath in which most of Morgoth's servants were slain so if it could survive that it was likely quite powerful.
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denethorthefirst View Post
Short Answer: No.
The world of Middle-Earth is entropic, i.e. everything becomes less grand and less powerful over time. This includes not only evil beings like the Umaiar but everyone in Ea, even the Valar become less powerful and diminish over time, not only because they, like Melkor, poured a lot of their Power into Arda during its creation, but because even they can't overpower this trajectory.

I fail to see how the Balrog, who at this point in the story (in the late Third Age) is already in a reduced and diminished (fully incarnated) state, should be able to accomplish something which even Manwe can't do. The only being in the story that "breaks" this rule is, curiously, Sauron who, after the making of the One Ring, got somehow more powerful. How exactly he achieved that peculiar feat ist never explained by Tolkien. The Extra-Power can't really come from the domination of the other Rings, because the Ring-scheme failed spectacularly (with the Elves and Dwarves). So where does all that Power come from? I speculate that the One Ring somehow allowed Sauron to tap into and control/usurp the "Morgoth Element", thats one explanation that would fit the nature of Ea.
I would definitely agree Middle-earth suffers from entropy, a decline from the grand to the mundane. I would disagree that Sauron got more powerful. Actually, his only true power was the domination of lesser beings, in a netherworldly ability to corrupt, and the Rings allowed him to do that with greater efficacy. However, Sauron as a Maia exhibits the same personal decline that his predecessor Morgoth did; but whereas Morgoth dissipated his power into Middle-earth itself, Sauron placed his potency in the One Ring.

His armies were crushed by Numenor, but his prime ability, to corrupt, eventually defeated Numenor; even so, his corporeal state was such after the fall of Numenor that he could never manifest any other persona than that of the dread dark lord and the eye. Again, against the Alliance of Elves and Men he was defeated by lesser beings, Elendil and Gil-Galad, and he had to hide in a spiritual state for thousands of years in order to regenerate his form.

But his corruption remained and his armies grew, due in greater part to the continued existence of the Nazgul (and defeating the Northern Dunedain was part and parcel of that corruptive ability). By the time of the War of the Ring, Sauron was stationary in Barad-dur, for without the One Ring, his main facet of power, he could do nothing but work through his Wraiths and his carefully indoctrinated vassal states. Even so, his emissaries and armies were spectacularly defeated on the field of battle at the Hornburg and Pelennor Fields. Granted, his armies were still vast within Mordor, but the Great Corrupter had himself been deceived, for in his stationary state ensconced in Barad-dur, brooding for centuries on the One Ring, he had become a pawn of his own creation not much different than Smeagol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by denethorthefirst View Post
In any case, that would not help the Balrog, because I don't think that he would be able to master the One Ring. Tolkien wrote that of all the characters in the story only Gandalf "MIGHT be EXPECTED" to master it, a remarkably vague and hypothetical statement by Tolkien (i personally don't think that Gandalf would've been able to achieve it). I guess that, if the Balrog somehow got possession of the One Ring, that he would become nothing more than a beefed up version of Gollum, becoming ensnared by the ring, retreating deeper and deeper into Moria, fleeing the outside world. After all, thats all the Balrog ever really wanted: to be left alone.
Gandalf, by all accounts, was more powerful than Saruman (as evidenced by the intuitive actions of both Cirdan and Galadriel), and perhaps nearly equal to Sauron himself, save in the diminished form of the Istari, entrapped in mortal form to complete his mission. But the question of whether or not Gandalf could control the One Ring is moot. He admitted himself he could, but through him the power to do good would be corrupted and he would become like Sauron himself, much like he became Saruman (or as Saruman should have been) after his resurrection. Galadriel mirrored Gandalf's take on the One Ring when she was tested.

But I agree with you on the Balrog and the Ring. I don't think the Balrog could wield the full power of the One Ring, particularly since he was already a being corrupted by Morgoth in the deeps of time.
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:32 AM   #8
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Tolkien claimed in a letter that Sauron was enhanced while wearing the Ring he created. Assuming Durin's Bane had some skill in creating such tools it might be possible to augment his power even in a world of waning.
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