View Single Post
Old 06-22-2002, 03:04 PM   #50
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 228
Nar has just left Hobbiton.

This is a very interesting thread!

I think Gandalf's words on the bridge were actually blows in a battle that had already been joined. Wizards use words of command, as well as channeling power through staffs and so forth. I do not believe Gandalf would have repeated himself-- each word he spoke, he spoke to repel the Balrog's attack. From the moment the Balrog laid its hand on the door of the chamber, they had been joined in a bitter battle of spirit and will as well as sword and whip, with a brief respite while the Balrog shook off the cave-in and Gandalf and the company fled to the bridge. Therefore, I don't believe Gandalf had the leisure to say anything twice, essentially, 'I am a servant of the [flame imperishable], wielder of the [flame imperishable].' I think that one of those terms referred to the flame imperishable, but not both. Wasting words during a duel of Maias would be suicide. I do think 'Secret Fire' refers to the flame imperishable. I think that 'Flame of Anor' refers to Narya, the ring of fire.

Why would Gandalf refer to a secret ring in the presence of his bitter enemy? To direct its power at that enemy. 'I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.' That was Gandalf's plan in a nutshell. Either the Balrog's knowledge of Narya would die with him, or Gandalf himself would die. (In the event, it was both.) If Gandalf had died and the Balrog lived, it would have found and looted Narya whether Gandalf mentioned it or not, just as the one ring was looted from Sauron's body.

Narya's power: Celebrimbor might not have been a match for Feanor, but he made the three using knowledge he had gained from Sauron, although Sauron never touched or corrupted the rings. Sauron was a match for Feanor. Could Galadriel have held the borders of Lorien against a Balrog using Nenya? I think she might have had a shot. Narya's power was directed at rekindling hope and reviving determination. Much of the power of the minions of Morgoth, Sauron and the Balrogs, as well as the minions of Sauron was in their will and negative spirit. The Nazgul killed most terribly by sending their vicims into a lethal delusion of despair with the Black breath. Most of what we hear of the Balrogs is pure physical badness, whips of fire, etc, but given that they are defined as corrupted spirits, I think that the negative force of their charisma was as deadly a weapon as their whips of fire. It's similar to the way few orcs could withstand the sight of Aragorn's face in battle. So, if the Balrog's power at the spirit-level is a force of concentrated despair, similar to the Black Breath but more powerful, then a ring that rekindles the flame of hope might be very effective. So, on that bridge, Gandalf was simultaneously parrying both the Balrog's flaming sword and shadow of despair with Glamdring and the fire of Narya, and all this whilst preparing to cut the stones from under his enemy's feet.

[ June 22, 2002: Message edited by: Nar ]

[ June 22, 2002: Message edited by: Nar ]
Nar is offline