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Old 12-30-2002, 04:45 AM   #56
Delver in the Deep
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Aotearoa
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The most enlightening part of Joy's biblical meanderings were the part at the end:

Jude 7, states that there is an eternal fire for the damned, the Shadow of eternal death. I believe that this is the Flame of Udn, the dark fire.
Excellent point - I hadn't thought about Hell before, because as far as I know there is no Hell as such in Middle-Earth's afterlife. Hell is embodied by Mordor, or by Angband/Utumno/Anfauglith. But we may possibly infer that there was a Hell, or a Dark Fire, that the Balrogs served. Perhaps they were some kind of cult worshipping this Dark Fire. They certainly seem to be quite distinct from the more powerful Sauron, who embodied many forms. And from what Gandalf says, as soon as they are destroyed they will "go back to the abyss prepared for [them] and their master".

Possibly Melkor/Morgoth made a Dark Fire in mockery of the Flame Imperishable that he could not find? Perhaps this thing was real, and in Utumno/Angband, and possibly later Barad-Dur (although the Balrogs were really servants of Morgoth, and after his defeat fled and hid instead of serving Sauron).

It seems almost crystal clear that Gandalf as a servant of Iluvatar was a servant of the Secret Fire/Flame Imperishable, an authority that could be held only by the Ainur that descended into Ea. The Flame of Anor is more cryptic because he is said to be its "wielder". It seems likely to me, though, that this is an extension of the Flame Imperishable theme, and the acknowledgment that he has been given power to exercise his authority. Possibly Saruman or the other Istari could have claimed the same, although it is unlikely they would have done so. Saruman may have tried to persuade the Balrog to join him, or at least not to hurt him. I'd like to see what Radagast would've done! Run home to momma, I think. I think that Gandalf by saying that the Dark Fire "will not avail" the Balrog is saying the equivalent of "my dad can beat up your dad", and hoping that since he serves a higher and more powerful purpose, he will win.

Which echoes what Nar was saying about the power of words in Gandalf's magic. I think his whole spiel was a form of taunting, and an attempt to empower himself, like "I think I can, I think I can!" The little wizard that could. And he did. Go Gandalf! Also, I don't think that he could have communicated telepathically with the Balrog. They weren't really on the same wavelength. cf Gandalf's words to Frodo about Bilbo and Gollum having some kind of understanding, since they were so similar.
But Gwindor answered: 'The doom lies in yourself, not in your name'.
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