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Old 05-08-2010, 01:56 AM   #9
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
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Originally Posted by Galin View Post
I tend to doubt the number of slain Balrogs -- according to The Book of Lost Tales version of The Fall of Gondolin -- was going to hold for the later Quenta Silmarillion.

Unfortunately Tolkien abandoned the 1951 updated (long prose) version of this tale... although at that point Balrogs still existed in great numbers at least (externally speaking). Later Tolkien imagined that, at most, seven ever existed; though in any case he did not revise every relevant passage that implied large numbers of Balrogs...

... just to keep us guessing
Yes, and I think it is best not to ignore the suggestion of only three Balrogs existing. That Tolkien says "three or at most seven" implies that he considered only three to be truly necessary (likely Gothmog, Glorfindel's Bane, and Durin's Bane), and seven to be the upper limit. I suspect Tolkien's ambivalence has to do with the question of how much revision would be necessary to implement the change.
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