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Old 12-16-2015, 03:21 PM   #1
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Eye Balrog 'v' Moria orcs

It is a stupid question but, if for some reason, the Moria Orcs had decided to declare war on the Balrog. Would the theory of "strength in numbers" have given the Orcs victory, as I'm sure Moria Orcs must be cunning and there are alot of them, or would the Balrog wipe them out with a flick of his fingers (if it/he has fingers) ?
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Old 12-16-2015, 04:42 PM   #2
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Hmm... Given that the orcs seem to live in fear and reverence of the Balrog, if for whatever reason they decided to wage war against him (it?) I feel like their strength in numbers would turn into a disadvantage once organized plans turn into chaos - because bottom line they would still be deadly afraid of the Balrog. I think it's not too different from the Orc-Nazgul relationship. Even though they might physically have some advantage, it would come down to nothing due to the more psychological factor. When I try to imagine Moria orcs rising against the Balrog... at first I see some devious tactics, and some brave cheers, but then one orc panics, and a couple more desert, and it's all chaos - and the more orcs participate, the larger the chaos is.
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Old 12-16-2015, 05:38 PM   #3
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Regarding a Balrog versus Orcs,
The Orcses would be much like corks:
Bobbing up an down in flame,
Whilst the Balrog did enjoy a game
Of spearing passers-by with a fork.

P.S. The Balrog seemed to dispatch Balin and a large company of Dwarves with relative ease; I don't see a gaggle of Orcs being much more difficult.
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Old 12-16-2015, 06:42 PM   #4
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P.S. The Balrog seemed to dispatch Balin and a large company of Dwarves with relative ease; I don't see a gaggle of Orcs being much more difficult.
I think the main thing - well, two things really - would be 1. Numbers: the orcs are countless, and 2. The orcs know at least a bit what they are dealing with (and they would know even more if they are the initiators of this war with the purpose of getting rid of the Balrog). It seems to me that the Dwarves really had no clue what the creature was, and where he lived, and what were his habits, his abilities. The orcs, being more familiar with some of these things, would have the simple strategical advantage of thinking ahead.
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Old 12-16-2015, 08:54 PM   #5
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I think the main thing - well, two things really - would be 1. Numbers: the orcs are countless, and 2. The orcs know at least a bit what they are dealing with (and they would know even more if they are the initiators of this war with the purpose of getting rid of the Balrog). It seems to me that the Dwarves really had no clue what the creature was, and where he lived, and what were his habits, his abilities. The orcs, being more familiar with some of these things, would have the simple strategical advantage of thinking ahead.
Hmmm...were there "countless orcs" in Moria? If so, what did they eat?
I can't recall any given number. And as far as Orcs being strategic and thinking ahead, I don't believe there are many cases where Orcs displayed Napoleonic stratagems to defeat a foe, particularly one like a Balrog who, of course, is a Maia -- and one with wings!
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Old 12-17-2015, 06:12 AM   #6
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Hmmm...were there "countless orcs" in Moria? If so, what did they eat?
I can't recall any given number. And as far as Orcs being strategic and thinking ahead, I don't believe there are many cases where Orcs displayed Napoleonic stratagems to defeat a foe, particularly one like a Balrog who, of course, is a Maia -- and one with wings!
...you... you really had to go there, didn't you?
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:48 AM   #7
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Hmmm...were there "countless orcs" in Moria? If so, what did they eat?
I can't recall any given number. And as far as Orcs being strategic and thinking ahead, I don't believe there are many cases where Orcs displayed Napoleonic stratagems to defeat a foe, particularly one like a Balrog who, of course, is a Maia -- and one with wings!
Chicken wings are a deadly weapon when it comes to food fights, true.

(And that indeed explains what the orcs would have eaten!)




Seriously, though - what would even one orc eat in Moria? If you can find food for one, you can find food for two. I thought Moria was absolutely barren in that sense, and if they got fresh food at all, it was from hunting on moonless nights. I don't see why you can't feed many many many orcs that way. They don't seem to gorge themselves on food, and it's possible to hunt without depleting the region of wildlife.
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:18 AM   #8
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Seriously, though - what would even one orc eat in Moria? If you can find food for one, you can find food for two. I thought Moria was absolutely barren in that sense, and if they got fresh food at all, it was from hunting on moonless nights. I don't see why you can't feed many many many orcs that way. They don't seem to gorge themselves on food, and it's possible to hunt without depleting the region of wildlife.
The Uruk-hai in Rohan had dried meat and bread. Hunting and gathering such plants and shoots as they could eat in the immediate area of the East-gate would probably have been sufficient. It doesn't look like the garrison in Moria was very large anyway.
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Old 12-17-2015, 03:45 PM   #9
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I think the main thing - well, two things really - would be 1. Numbers: the orcs are countless, and 2. The orcs know at least a bit what they are dealing with (and they would know even more if they are the initiators of this war with the purpose of getting rid of the Balrog). It seems to me that the Dwarves really had no clue what the creature was, and where he lived, and what were his habits, his abilities. The orcs, being more familiar with some of these things, would have the simple strategical advantage of thinking ahead.
yes the Orcs would definatly have a strategic advantage, if they were smart (if that's the right word?) enough to use it, the outcome would depend on there tactics as well, I think rushing in to a big fight might be the wrong way to go about it.

Does the Balrog have wings? Why didn't it fly when Gandalf broke the bridge???
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Old 12-17-2015, 08:56 PM   #10
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Does the Balrog have wings? Why didn't it fly when Gandalf broke the bridge???
It is related through evolution to penguins and ostriches. See, after the Balrogs flew at the end of the First Age, they never used their wings again, and so over many generations the wings became vestigial features, quite useless for flight but still important for other biologically important events. For instance, Balrogs often puff out their wings to appear bigger when they want to frighten off their enemies, and the size, shape, and coloration of the wings is a major factor in mate selection.




...What? This is the Mirth forum!


That aside (but for the record, I don't think the Balrog had wings), I don't think the orcs would have gathered many plants and shoots - they don't seem to be the ones for a veggie diet.
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Old 12-17-2015, 09:12 PM   #11
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I don't think the orcs would have gathered many plants and shoots - they don't seem to be the ones for a veggie diet.
What about scurvy and beriberi, though? Surely even Orcs couldn't subsist on just meat and Vitamin S(auron).
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:43 AM   #12
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What about scurvy and beriberi, though? Surely even Orcs couldn't subsist on just meat and Vitamin S(auron).
Well I don't know. I mean, a certain Elf - and potentially even a certain Man - could subsist on nothing whatsoever for years during the First Age when trapped in the Thangorodrim. (Though on the contrary it always bothered my sense of realism that Beren swore to kill no good creature and essentially became a vegetarian. Hard to do when you can't plant, have limited time to gather, and can't really make stocks because you're on the run/hunt from/for Morgoth's creatures.)

But point taken. Perhaps my perception of orcs has been influenced too much by the movies.
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Old 12-18-2015, 08:43 AM   #13
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Well I don't know. I mean, a certain Elf - and potentially even a certain Man - could subsist on nothing whatsoever for years during the First Age when trapped in the Thangorodrim.
Which Elf? Who knows what Morgoth fed his thralls. Probably nothing particularly wholesome.
As for Húrin, if that's the Man you have in mind, I don't think he ate while imprisoned. Morgoth seems to have had him in some sort of stasis: he couldn't move, or even die, so lack of food shouldn't have been an issue.

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(Though on the contrary it always bothered my sense of realism that Beren swore to kill no good creature and essentially became a vegetarian. Hard to do when you can't plant, have limited time to gather, and can't really make stocks because you're on the run/hunt from/for Morgoth's creatures.)
Beren ate Orcs and the evil black squirrels.
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:17 AM   #14
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It is related through evolution to penguins and ostriches.
So your suggesting Balrogs are related to penguins? That would be a major contribution to global warming!!!
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Old 12-18-2015, 01:06 PM   #15
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Which Elf? Who knows what Morgoth fed his thralls. Probably nothing particularly wholesome.
As for Húrin, if that's the Man you have in mind, I don't think he ate while imprisoned. Morgoth seems to have had him in some sort of stasis: he couldn't move, or even die, so lack of food shouldn't have been an issue.
I was referring to Maedhros. If I remember correctly, he spent quite some time hanging by one arm on the cliffs, and I doubt Morgoth bothered to send up food.

I personally agree about Hurin - I don't think Morgoth sent him food. I don't think he even sent anyone to check on him. He knew exactly what was up with him, and didn't want to ruin the effect of utter solitude and helplessness. But that's a side topic.

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Beren ate Orcs and the evil black squirrels.
You know, at one point in my life I thought the former. But as soon as I thought that thought, I realized that was so disgusting I would rather have Beren go about as a vegetarian.

But other orcs eating orcs isn't at all foreign-sounding (and even canonical to the extent of possibility). If there was famine in Moria for whatever reason...
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Old 12-18-2015, 01:14 PM   #16
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So your suggesting Balrogs are related to penguins? That would be a major contribution to global warming!!!
No wonder the polar ice is melting!
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Old 12-19-2015, 06:09 AM   #17
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Seriously, though - what would even one orc eat in Moria?
Each other. I would say that being the runt of any orc litter was probably a ghastly fate. They may have also harvested edible fungi and, like Gollum, eaten the blind fish in the waters underground.

As for whether or not they could, collectively, beat a Balrog, there is a quote often attributed to Stalin during WWII which goes, "Quantity has a quality all its own". So, perhaps, yes.
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:14 AM   #18
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Each other. I would say that being the runt of any orc litter was probably a ghastly fate.
I don't think Orcs actually eat eachother, otherwise wouldent there eventualy be none left?
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Old 12-20-2015, 01:04 PM   #19
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I don't think Orcs actually eat eachother, otherwise wouldent there eventualy be none left?
Perhaps it wasn't an everyday practice, but since we see them threatening one another with cannibalism, there was probably some truth to it.
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Old 12-22-2015, 01:35 AM   #20
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Not to inject seriousness into this topic (well, OK maybe to make a serious comment) there is a lengthy and near legendary thread that, in part, addresses the issue of food in Moria. It is linked here: http://forum.barrowdowns.com/showthr...ghlight=bridge.
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Old 12-23-2015, 03:22 PM   #21
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Not to inject seriousness into this topic (well, OK maybe to make a serious comment) there is a lengthy and near legendary thread that, in part, addresses the issue of food in Moria. It is linked here: http://forum.barrowdowns.com/showthr...ghlight=bridge.
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As for whether or not they could, collectively, beat a Balrog, there is a quote often attributed to Stalin during WWII which goes, "Quantity has a quality all its own". So, perhaps, yes.
I don't think, short of Sauron's actual presence, the orcs would or could have attacked the balrog. I believe the balrog would have exercised an influence on the orcs that I don't think even the Nazgul would have been able to overcome.

Had Sauron been present and needed to take down the balrog (and I could imagine such a scenario being possible, evil not getting along very well with itself) and Sauron not choosing to wade in himself, then yes, I think numbers would have told in the end.
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Old 12-24-2015, 01:44 PM   #22
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Oh my eyes! The broken code!

I don't think, short of Sauron's actual presence, the orcs would or could have attacked the balrog. I believe the balrog would have exercised an influence on the orcs that I don't think even the Nazgul would have been able to overcome.
So if Sauron himself stayed out of it, the Balrog could be more powerful than the Nazgul? And beat them in a streight fight? That is an interesting idea
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Old 12-24-2015, 08:26 PM   #23
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So if Sauron himself stayed out of it, the Balrog could be more powerful than the Nazgul? And beat them in a streight fight? That is an interesting idea
Well, the Balrog, as a Maia that had chosen to serve Melkor, was basically a peer of Sauron.
Actually, by the time of the Third Age Sauron had expended a great deal of his own native power in the domination of his slaves, so a Ringless Sauron could really have been substantially weaker than the Balrog.

The Nazgûl, as further diluted extensions of Sauron's spirit, could not have stood against the Balrog. Nor, do I think, could they have had many options in harming it. Their main power was in terror, though their king did have a measure of sorcery through the utter submission of his will to his master.
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Old 12-28-2015, 11:15 AM   #24
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The Nazgûl, as further diluted extensions of Sauron's spirit, could not have stood against the Balrog. Nor, do I think, could they have had many options in harming it. Their main power was in terror, though their king did have a measure of sorcery through the utter submission of his will to his master.
Additionally, the Nazgûl in their origins were lesser beings than the Balrog and their transformation did not change that.
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Old 01-01-2016, 08:03 PM   #25
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Perhaps it wasn't an everyday practice, but since we see them threatening one another with cannibalism, there was probably some truth to it.
Yes, but it can't really be the answer to the question, "What do they eat?" I mean they couldn't have been each other's staple diet.

By the way, how many of these "Balrog vs x" topics have we had now?
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Old 01-01-2016, 09:14 PM   #26
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Yes, but it can't really be the answer to the question, "What do they eat?" I mean they couldn't have been each other's staple diet.
No, I think the cannibalism was an occasional aberration; uncommon, but not unheard of.
I still say dried meat was likely the mainstay, with maybe fish from the nearby rivers and wild greens.
The latter wouldn't be a preferred foodstuff probably, but I can see the leaders forcing them on the troops for their own good, like ship captains ensuring fruit and juice consumption to prevent scurvy.

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By the way, how many of these "Balrog vs x" topics have we had now?
Might as well ask what a group of Balrogs flying in formation was called.
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:33 AM   #27
Nerwen
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Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
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Old 07-20-2016, 04:55 PM   #28
denethorthefirst
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The Balrog defeated the dwarves of Moria who had better weapons and superior organisation, culture, technology, you name it ... Why would the orcs of moria fare better in a fight against the Balrog? I don't think that they would stand a chance. Considering how primitive orcs on their own are (and the Orc population of moria seems pretty autonomous) they probably have (after a few hundred years in Moria) developed their own religion around the Balrog and worship him as a god while he is barely aware of them ...
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Old 07-20-2016, 10:31 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denethorthefirst View Post
The Balrog defeated the dwarves of Moria who had better weapons and superior organisation, culture, technology, you name it ... Why would the orcs of moria fare better in a fight against the Balrog? I don't think that they would stand a chance. Considering how primitive orcs on their own are (and the Orc population of moria seems pretty autonomous) they probably have (after a few hundred years in Moria) developed their own religion around the Balrog and worship him as a god while he is barely aware of them ...
There is probably more than a little to this.

The Orcs aren't exactly "Primitive" in terms of their technology, though. Just not very creative. Tolkien describes their tools as: Well-made, but crude, and ruthlessly efficient.

But it would very much have been inferior to that of Dwarves. As well as likely being weaker than Dwarves.

And Orcs seemed to be much easier to cow, such that they would tend to avoid challenging a greater bully.

And... One theme that seems to run through all of Tolkien's discussion of the beings who have fallen under The Shadow is that they have a tendency toward "Morgothism" (setting up false religions that worship false-Power - false meaning "Not derived from Eru").

So it would be not at all surprising to see the Orcs worshipping the Balrog in Moria, given he was a Maia who was already a form of Angelic Power (although Fallen).

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