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Old 06-06-2003, 04:39 PM   #1
Theoric Windcaller
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Sting Balrogs

I've been wondering this. If the Balrog was so powerful as to fight Gandalf, why didn't Sauron take an army of these things instead of Orc. I've read the entire LotR Trilogy and the Hobbit and I am halfway through the Silmarillion, so this might sound like a foolish question. But were there a lot of Balrogs around the time of the War of the Ring?
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Old 06-06-2003, 05:27 PM   #2
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1420!

Balrogs were Maiar, as was Sauron. If they were equal, I don't think it would have been an easy task for Sauron to force them under his will. And as you know, Gandalf had trouble with one, so you know right there that it would be a pretty tough task. Besides, there weren't many of them either. I think it's about seven total or something, and not all of them are alive. So that isn't anywhere near enough for an army, and it answers your second question. Hope that helps. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 06-06-2003, 05:47 PM   #3
Lyra Greenleaf
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Silmaril

I think a lot of them were destroyed, or maybe hidden/trapped like that one was. It was only disturbed by the dwarves digging for Mithril.

This is about numbers:
Quote:
Details of their numbers are hard to state with certainty, but there seem to have been relatively few of them - probably no more than seven.
This is about them hiding:
Quote:
In the War of Wrath, Morgoth was assailed by the forces of the Valar. Most of the Balrogs were destroyed in that War, but some few escaped over the Blue Mountains and hid in Middle-earth.
If there was only seven and most were destroyed, that would leave three at most. Maybe they were still hiding from the Valar?
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Old 06-06-2003, 09:30 PM   #4
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Does anyone know of a good description of Balrogs? Could they have taken the form of a child of Eru?
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Old 06-06-2003, 09:44 PM   #5
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Could they have taken the form of a child of Eru?
That appears unlikely. At any rate, it seems downright impossible after the final incarnation of the Balrogs.

"If the Balrogs at the Battle of the Powers were perhaps only ‘clothed’ rather than fully incarnate, they would have been able to reassume hröar when Melkor returned later. However, their later deaths were more permanent due to incarnation, or an increased degree of such. They were inherently weaker Maiar than Sauron – who himself may only have been able to reincarnate so many times because of his Ring – and could not re-embody themselves as he did." (obloquy)
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Old 06-06-2003, 10:48 PM   #6
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1420!

Wow, lots of things to say, not sure where to start. First of all, Sauron was the superior to the Balrogs which is shown by the fact that he was "second in malice only to Morgoth himself." I think the line goes. A friend of mine is borrowing my copy of The Silmarillion so you will have to excuse my rusty memory. This means that he could have controlled them but to what extent we can not know. The obvious reason to why he did not is because he did not know that they were there because if they were staying hidden from the Valar you can be shure they were damn hard to find.

"And as you know, Gandalf had trouble with one, so you know right there that it would be a pretty tough task" - Willie

That is true it would be a difficult task but in Gandalfs own words - "White is strong but black is stronger still." reffering to Sauron having more power than him.

""They were inherently weaker Maiar than Sauron – who himself may only have been able to reincarnate so many times because of his Ring – and could not re-embody themselves as he did.""- Sharku The reason Sauron was able to reincarnate himself so many times was quite definetly the ring because he was bound to the ring and as long as it survived he did. Also, no matter how many times he reincarnated himself he was not able to change forms after the point when he was caught in the storm created by Eru to destroy the Armada of Ar-Pharazon.

I think that covers it all, let me know if I missed anything or if I am mistaken on something.

You know you wanna click my Kings Of Chaos Link.....
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Old 06-07-2003, 08:36 AM   #7
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Sting

That appears unlikely. At any rate, it seems downright impossible after the final incarnation of the Balrogs.

I agree that they became incarnate, but I don't see how that would mean they could not have taken a human like form.

From the descriptions I've read, it appears as if the Balrogs have a form surrounded by dark cloud.

I don't have The Treason of Isengard, so I'll trust this quote posted by a friend of mine:

The Bridge pg 199 Houghton Milton Company and pg 202 Houghton Milton Company:
Quote:
There is a penciled note on the manuscript against the describtion of the Balrog: 'alter the describtion of the Balrog. It seemed to be of man's shape, but its for could not be plainly decerned it FELT larger than it looked.' After the words 'Through the air it sprang over the fiery fissure' my father added: 'and a great shadow seemed to black out the light...'
Then there is this quote from Letter 297
Quote:
Legolas is translated Greenleaf(II 106, 154) a suitable name for a Woodland Elf, though one of royal and originally Sindarin line. 'Fiery locks' is entirely inappropriate: he was not a balrog!
I know that BoLT 2 is not a good source if informatation, but here is a portion of the account of the battle between Glorfindel and the Balrog:
Quote:
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 Balrog 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 Balrog's belly nigh his own face (for that demon was double his stature)...
From this description it appears that a Balrog's form could be that of a really tall child of Eru.

I know the movie portrays the Balrog differently, but that source is even worse than the Books of Lost Tales. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 06-07-2003, 09:36 AM   #8
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1420!

"From this description it appears that a Balrog's form could be that of a really tall child of Eru." - Nils

Not quite. A child of Eru is an elf as we all know and Balrogs in no way look like elves. A Balrog is as Gandalf said "a demon of the old world." (I believe the quoute is something like that). They had lost their power to change form because when they assumed the shape of a Balrog they gave up something of themselves that was present before they allied themselves with Morgoth. It is similair to how Sauron lost his ability to assume any shape after he was caught in the storm Eru made to destroy Ar-Pharazons armada. There is never a reason stated why the Balrogs lost their ability to change form so much earlier than Sauron but I like to theorize that it was because he was a stronger maiar than they. It may also have to do with the fact that Sauron was not wholly evil until he rejected Manwes summons (Manwe was going to pardon him) in fear that Manwe was going to throw him in that endless abyss deal with Morgoth.
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Old 06-07-2003, 10:06 AM   #9
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Sting

A child of Eru is an elf as we all know and Balrogs in no way look like elves. A Balrog is as Gandalf said "a demon of the old world."

How does being a demon negate the possibility that they could have taken the form of 'giant' children?

[ June 07, 2003: Message edited by: Nils ]
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Old 06-07-2003, 10:19 AM   #10
Afrodal Fenyar
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Pipe

Does a child of Eru have flaming hair, wings of shadow and his body in flames? Don't think so.

And about the number of the Balrogs - there were certainly more than seven in the Silmarillion. The stories published in the Silmarillion were written long before Tolkien said that only seven balrogs ever existed, and I'm sure that in the Silm's stories there appear at least hundreds or perhaps even thousands of balrogs. If you're talking about Tolkien's later writings, then forget about the Silm. Or does somebody want to write the Silmarillion again?

[ June 07, 2003: Message edited by: Afrodal Fenyar ]
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Old 06-07-2003, 10:23 AM   #11
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Afrodal Fenyar

Quote:
Or does somebody want to write the Silmarillion again?
This site is making an attempt to do exactly that. Have you not noticed the 'New Silmarillion' project forums?
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Old 06-07-2003, 10:37 AM   #12
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Does a child of Eru have flaming hair, wings of shadow and his body in flames? Don't think so.

Could a Balrog have flaming hair and wings of shadow, and still have the basic form of a child of Eru?
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Old 06-07-2003, 10:54 AM   #13
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Sting

I think this answers your question [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
Quote:
What it was could not be seen: it was like a great shadow, in the middle of which was a dark form, of man-shape maybe, yet greater.

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Old 06-07-2003, 04:45 PM   #14
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Sting

I don't believe that losing the ability to appear fair necessarily meant that the individual was doomed to be ugly.

Quote:
If they were equal, I don't think it would have been an easy task for Sauron to force them under his will.
They were not equal. This topic has been discussed elsewhere, though.

Quote:
Does anyone know of a good description of Balrogs? Could they have taken the form of a child of Eru?
I've always believed that they were 'humanoid' in form. Probably with a hefty stature and great physical prowess.

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Old 06-07-2003, 05:46 PM   #15
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Question

If Balrogs took a humanoid form, could they have reproduced with Trolls or Orks? [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

That would explain why they became incarnate. I might go so far as to claim that the fact that they were incarnate is evidence that they could have had children.
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Old 06-07-2003, 06:01 PM   #16
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Sting

You trying to get on my good side or what? [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] As far as I know, I pioneered that concept. I dare you to search for member number 90 and "Balrogs" on The Books forum. I think this was the first time I pitched my horny Balrogs theory. Here's some more discussion about it. Since these posts I have become more convinced of the importance of the Annals of Aman Balrog numbers reduction, and I now consider it an implemented change. You may notice other differences in my past Tolkienology as well.

In order to clarify some of the points brought up in the threads I linked to, here's Ėalar and Incarnation, Dragons vs. Balrogs, and Bye Bye Balrogs.

[ June 07, 2003: Message edited by: obloquy ]
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Old 06-07-2003, 06:22 PM   #17
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Thumbs up

Thanks for the links. I stumbled upon this theory on my own. It is nice to know that at least one other has come to the same conclusion. Perhaps it is not so far out in left field as some have led me to believe.
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