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Old 01-05-2013, 01:24 AM   #41
cellurdur
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Originally Posted by Draugohtar View Post
Come now, it's not a matter of weaponry. Tulkas fights bare handed and is the mightiest, physically speaking, of the Valar. Look at how Manwe dispatches the mightiest army to ever walk the earth: the host of Ar-Pharazon. These are matters of sheer self-possessed power.
I did not mean literally a question of physical weapons, but having the right skill set to defeat certain opponents.

Manwe did not deal with Ar-pharazon the Golden, Eru did.
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Galadriel apart (Glorfindel is a matter of huge speculation), none of the others are considered particularly puissant in matters of conflict. Gandalf is an embodied Maia WITH a ring of power. Eladan and Elrohir whilst of note, have a standing closer to a Dunedain than say Echthelion.
How is Glorfindel a matter of speculation? He is Balrog killer returned and greatly enhanced in power. What suggest tht Eladan and Elrohir have a standing closer to the Dunedain? Legolas states the opposite of what you claim and compares them to Elf Lords rather than the Dunedain.
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As for Glaurung, of course they are potent, but their inate power is naturally less than that of a Maia, being secondary products of Morgoth's breeding program.
I think it is likely that Glaurung was a maiar and just because they generally Maiar were greater in might that other equal beings; this does not mean it was always the case. Luthien was more powerful than many maiar.
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As for Aragorn and Boromir, one might construe that Boromir was too ignorant to be afraid, and Aragorn is far far from an ordinary man. Aragorn and a small band of men turn the tide of the Battle of the Pelenor fields. (As opposed to the hoardes of the dead as per PJ's version).
Depends on what you call a small band. He certainly had numbers in the hundreds when he arrived. Ignorance would not save Boromir from the metaphysical power of the Balrog, it was his courage that drove him om.
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Both Gil-Galad (vastly inately powerful) and Elendil (not exactly an ordinary man) are defeated utterly by Sauron, but deal him sufficiently stunning a blow (series of blows) to incapacitate him so that Isildur can take advantage of the situation and cut the ring from his hand. I don't think that their are smiths equal to Telchar left in the world by the third age!
Tolkien uses the word 'overthrew' this suggest more than they just stunned him. It suggest they actually killed his physical body.

There does not have to be a smith equal to Telchar for his weapons to still be around and used by the dwarves of Durin's house.
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Thousands of orcs? The troll guard certainly, but Gothmog didn't struggle in the end. Hardly comparable to Feanor who held off (all perhaps) of the Balrogs for a time, but fell in the end. As for Glaurung, the difference is that he died from a single stab wound (from an outstanding sword no doubt), whereas Feanor dealt Gothmog many a blow and yet the chief of the Balrogs was not imperilled.
In some versions it was a thousand orcs Hurin killed, in others seventy trolls. Why would Gothmog struggle when his opponent was restrained?

Feanor was not alone and where do you read he delt Gothmog any blow? He fought them and was eventually killed by Gothmog.

How is dying from a single stab wound reason to doubt his power? He was stabbed with a great sword right up to the hilt. I think a similar blow would kill Gothmog too.
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In my opinion, certainly not. Dragons are bred creatures. Gothmog and Sauron would not have long stayed at the head of the armies of Morgoth if their physical power could be contested. Sorcerously speaking a dragon (no dragon ever) could match a Balrog: an eternal spirit of fire. There's no need for a fist-fight, the Balrog is the natural master.
As said before Glaurung was probably a maiar or at the very least a highly raised animal like Huan. We have already seen how Sauron fared when faced with such creatures. Well that goes against what we see. Glaurung leads a train of Balrogs. Glaurung is sent to destroy Turin rather Gothmog. Even Melain a very, powerful Maia admits that she does not have the power to match Glaurung and claims there is nobody on ME who does. I think she would have an informed opinion.
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Combat with a Balrog is about far more than sheer physicality. Glaurung easily masters the mind of the Children of Hurin, I don't doubt a Balrog would achieve the same feat. The Eldar have a natural resistance, and deep deep lore, and yet even the mightiest fall before the Balrogs; only claiming victory with their own deaths.
Mastering the House of Hurin is no easy task. Morgoth himself failed when he tried to do so with Hurin. Nor did Gothmog managed to hold complete sway over Turin, but had to send him on a fools errand. That said Glaurung was a greater power than Gothmog, greater than even Melian.
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Which gives you an idea of the power required to combat a Balrog. Feanor is the mightiest child of Illuvatar, and he could hold off a host of Balrogs. Fingon can manage two. (Let's not assume the Balrogs became stupid around Feanor and only attacked from the front.) Gothmog has no need to face Feanor, he is a General at the time. As for Narsil, it requires Elven smiths to reforge the blade, the lore of Telchar is long lost to the Dwarves.
The Feanor quote is an old one and I think it is safe to say Luthien was more powerful than him by the end of the Legendarium. She put the entirety of Angband to sleep.


There were never more than say 5 or so Balrogs. Feanor was not alone when he was fighting them. He had his personal guard around him and they would have gladly given their lives to save his.

Gloin says that the dwarves lost their skill to make weapons of old after the fall of Moria and Erebor. I am not even sure Narsil required elvish smiths to reforge it, but it was just the best choice logistically with Aragorn currently being at Rivendell.
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"For Fëanor was made the mightiest in all parts of body and mind: in valour, in endurance, in beauty, in understanding, in skill, in strength and subtlety alike: of all the Children of Ilúvatar, and a bright flame was in him"

Glorfindel is all speculation tbh, and indeed appears to be retcon'ing on the part of Tolkien.

As for Gandalf he is an embodied Maia WITH a ring of power, and he still has to die to defeat the Balrog. None of the wise would have willingly picked that fight needlessly.
Tolkien was constantly altering and rewriting his Legendarium. Glorfindel was the one and the same as the Balrog killer of Gondolin.

Fighting the Balrog would not be needless and I never implied the Wise would fight him alone. Just like when they attacked and drove off Sauron it would be a combined effort. The White Council that drove the Necromance, even if Sauron desired, out of Mirkwood would defeat the Balrog.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:00 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by cellurdur View Post
How is Glorfindel a matter of speculation? He is Balrog killer returned and greatly enhanced in power. What suggest tht Eladan and Elrohir have a standing closer to the Dunedain? Legolas states the opposite of what you claim and compares them to Elf Lords rather than the Dunedain.
Glorfindel I certainly agree, but Elladan and Elrohir were born in the 3rd Age. They were premier orc slayers, and travelled often with the Dunedain, they also tended to the habit of travelling to certain areas and teaching people how to best kill orcs, but as far as having the power to kill a Balrog...I'd say no.

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I think it is likely that Glaurung was a maiar and just because they generally Maiar were greater in might that other equal beings; this does not mean it was always the case. Luthien was more powerful than many maiar.
I don't think there is anything to suggest Glaurung was a maia. He was raised in Angband, not a maia who decided to become incarnate in a dragon-form:

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Again after a hundred years Glaurung, the first of the Uruloki, the fire-drakes of the North, issued from Angband's gates by night. He was yet young and scarce half-grown, for long and slow is the life of the dragons,...~Of the Return of the Noldor
It's possible he had a particularly fell and powerful spirit, like Sauron who housed evil spirits into wolf bodies. Yet, "fell spirit" doesn't mean maiar.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:27 PM   #43
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Glorfindel I certainly agree, but Elladan and Elrohir were born in the 3rd Age. They were premier orc slayers, and travelled often with the Dunedain, they also tended to the habit of travelling to certain areas and teaching people how to best kill orcs, but as far as having the power to kill a Balrog...I'd say no.
It is a matter of opinion but they are the sons of Elrond and the grandsons of Galadriel. Legolas seems to look up to them and the rejection version Eorl's charge has them as great powers.
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I don't think there is anything to suggest Glaurung was a maia. He was raised in Angband, not a maia who decided to become incarnate in a dragon-form:

It's possible he had a particularly fell and powerful spirit, like Sauron who housed evil spirits into wolf bodies. Yet, "fell spirit" doesn't mean maiar.
No, but Tolkien does discuss whether Huan and the Eagles were Maiar. He ultimately rejects this idea, because he does not feel that a Maiar would be gifted to an elf by Orome or mate with base beats.

However, debased and evil spirits/ainur like Ungoliant did and possible some of the great orcs too.

Children of Hurin

His power is rather in the evil spirit that dwells within him than in the might of his body, great though that be.

Melian speaking to Mablung about his encounter with Glaurung.

'By ill chance you were matched with a power too great for you, too great indeed for now all that dwell in Middle Earth.'

Glaurung was a greater power than Melian.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:32 PM   #44
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It's possible he had a particularly fell and powerful spirit, like Sauron who housed evil spirits into wolf bodies. Yet, "fell spirit" doesn't mean maiar.
Glaurung seems to have been a body containing some measure of Morgoth's own spiritual essence.

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And there right before [Nienor] was the great head of Glaurung who had even then crept up from the other side; and before she was aware her eyes looked in his eyes, and they were terrible, being filled with the fell spirit of Morgoth, his master.
UT Narn I Hîn Húrin

I think Glaurung himself, as the "father" of dragons, was primarily an extension of Morgoth's will. Later dragons that were bred (by unknown means) were, I think, more independent.

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Old 01-05-2013, 07:19 PM   #45
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Aragorn is ignorant of the nature and history of Balrogs, his reaction to stand with Gandalf was because the sense to not let Gandalf "stand alone" was greater than any fear he might have felt.
I still have this niggling feeling that Aragorn knew what was in there while Gandalf did not, given his words to him before they decide to go through Moria.

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Fastforward to the bridge. Gandalf decided to challenge Durin's Bane again. "I am a servant of the Secret Fire. Wielder of the flame of Anor..." (Bridge of Khazad-dum). Gandalf isn't just uttering nonsense here, he is revealing his true nature as a Maiar and servant of Eru. Once knowing Durin's Bane was indeed a Balrog, Gandalf understands their nature and history, thus knowing no one else in the Fellowship had the will, weapons, nor skill to defeat him. The Balrog answers the challenge by "stepping onto the bridge."
Gandalf is possibly the only person in Middle-earth with enough power to hope to battle this Balrog. He has been sent there by the Valar and he carries their blessing. I also suspect that he may be the only one of all the Istari to be capable of this - note that he specifies 'fire' here and we know he uses fire and light (and Light) on many occasions. He is also known to arrive with the dawn, as at Helm's Deep and Anor is the Sun. A perfect opposition to creatures such as Balrogs who are part darkness (or Unlight).

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Galadriel apart (Glorfindel is a matter of huge speculation), none of the others are considered particularly puissant in matters of conflict. Gandalf is an embodied Maia WITH a ring of power. Eladan and Elrohir whilst of note, have a standing closer to a Dunedain than say Echthelion.
Galadriel should be possessed of power to deal with the Balrog, and I don't see how she could not know it was there, not far from her borders, however the crucial point I think in why Gandalf is particularly able to handle it is that he has the blessing of the Valar. Galdriel does not. She is still at that point somewhat under a cloud.

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Tolkien was constantly altering and rewriting his Legendarium. Glorfindel was the one and the same as the Balrog killer of Gondolin.

Fighting the Balrog would not be needless and I never implied the Wise would fight him alone. Just like when they attacked and drove off Sauron it would be a combined effort. The White Council that drove the Necromance, even if Sauron desired, out of Mirkwood would defeat the Balrog.
Glorfindel is another possible suitable opponent, yes. However again, I think that what he does not possess is the blessing of the Valar.

As to why the White Council did not deal with the Balrog, it's a moot point as to whether they knew it was there. There was something that had scared the Dwarves away, but who would be willing to find out? And even if they knew, it was likely that they chose to leave it well alone - it had frightened the Dwarves out of one of their strongholds and what is that in comparison to the threat that Sauron had faced and would face to all of Middle-earth?
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:40 PM   #46
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If I recall precisely, we have to specification of the reason Gandalf first visited Moria. So maybe he was sent by Saruman, or the White Council as a whole, to investigate that very matter.

Saruman's clearly someone whom likes the comfort of Rivendell, Minas Tirith and then Orthanc and Radagast is going native west of Mirkwood so Gandalf is the logical choice to go investigate.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:00 PM   #47
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I still have this niggling feeling that Aragorn knew what was in there while Gandalf did not, given his words to him before they decide to go through Moria.
I don't think so; Aragorn's warning seems to me to be based upon a combination of his own previous experience passing through Moria and a sense of precognitive foreboding about Gandalf's fate. When the Company is debating Aragorn says:

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'I too once passed the Dimrill Gate,' said Aragorn quietly; 'but though I also came out again, the memory is very evil. I do not wish to enter Moria a second time.'
I believe Aragorn sensed the Balrog without knowing what it was. If he had an idea of its true nature, surely he would have mentioned it to Gandalf privately, especially considering that they had already discussed the possibility of taking the Moria route.

That may beg the question of why Gandalf did not sense the Balrog on his prior journey there. My theory might be that it felt the presence of Gandalf first, and did not desire a confrontation then. Perhaps it was the power of the Ring that called to the Balrog (and maybe too the Watcher in the water) when the Fellowship passed through, whereas Aragorn and Gandalf were unmolested when they went in alone.

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As to why the White Council did not deal with the Balrog, it's a moot point as to whether they knew it was there. There was something that had scared the Dwarves away, but who would be willing to find out? And even if they knew, it was likely that they chose to leave it well alone - it had frightened the Dwarves out of one of their strongholds and what is that in comparison to the threat that Sauron had faced and would face to all of Middle-earth?
Indeed. The primary focus of the Istari was Sauron, and those who directly aided him. Whatever the evil in Moria was, it wasn't likely to be much concern if it wasn't seen as a ally of Sauron's, actively or potentially. After all, in UT Gandalf tells the hobbits in Minas Tirith that he was only minding the Smaug affair because he feared Sauron might use Smaug in his war effort.


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If I recall precisely, we have to specification of the reason Gandalf first visited Moria. So maybe he was sent by Saruman, or the White Council as a whole, to investigate that very matter.

Saruman's clearly someone whom likes the comfort of Rivendell, Minas Tirith and then Orthanc and Radagast is going native west of Mirkwood so Gandalf is the logical choice to go investigate.
No, Gandalf tells the Fellowship he entered Moria to look for Thorin's father Thráin.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:01 PM   #48
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If I recall precisely, we have to specification of the reason Gandalf first visited Moria. So maybe he was sent by Saruman, or the White Council as a whole, to investigate that very matter.
The first time Gandalf went to Moria he was looking for Thráin: "Yet it will not be the first time that I have been to Moria. I sought there long for Thráin son of Thrór after he was lost." (The Fellowship of the Ring p.289)
I've always found this a very curious point, because I always got the impression that Gandalf had stumbled upon Thráin quite by accident in Dol Guldur and that given that he was only able to reason out the Dwarf's identity much later (Thráin couldn't remember his own name) it seems odd that Gandalf had actually gone searching for him. That being said, perhaps in his efforts to see if Smaug could be dealt with he did at some point deliberately seek Thráin - just in the wrong place.
In this way it would appear that Gandalf's presence there wasn't enough to stir the Balrog; he learned nothing of it on his first journey - could the Ring have been involved? Presumably Gandalf's power was more "veiled" on his first visit. It was when the Fellowship passed through that the Balrog appeared; I wonder if it had more to do with the Ring or with Gandalf using his power a bit more liberally on the second occasion.
I get the impression that since Durin's Bane seemed content to lurk in Moria - and because no one seemingly knew what a truly terrible being it was - people like the White Council never risked action against it.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:54 AM   #49
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Manwe did not deal with Ar-pharazon the Golden, Eru did.
Fair point.

As for Glorfindel the enhanced, we know very little about the extent of his puissance post-return. Would he stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the great of the first-age? Surely. Yet none of those managed to defeat a Balrog without, themselves, dying.

With regards to Glaurung, and Melian's quote for example, do you suppose she included Morgoth in that estimation, or Sauron? I suspect she was meaning amongst those who might be expected to combat him. Melian's own power does not lie in combat, but rather preservation. Nonetheless the death of Glaurung does not claim that of his slayer (no matter how he died.)

As for Aragorn and Boromir. Well in terms of the thousands on the battle-field, Aragorn was bringing a tiny force. The Eorlingas were facing certain defeat, and yet Aragorn and a relatively very small force, totally reverse the situation.

As for Boromir, I would argue that he simply wasn't possessed of elder blood strong enough to be receptive to an ancient power such as the balrog.

As for the death of Sauron, though ultimately not in the final publicaiton Isildur was quote saying, "Was it not I that dealt the Enemy his death-blow?" I suspect removed as it would render Isildur in a very petty light.

We know much lore is lost to the Dwarves by this time: they didn't know what a Balrog was for example :P Further Telchar was the greatest smith ever, and even then not the ultimate equal of say Feanor. He is a producer of masterworks. Not all dwarf smiths are even close to his equal.

Hurin and Feanor? Feanor outdistanced most of his army and his sons and had 'few' about him (no cadre of bodyguards - you don't think his sons would have kept up if it was easy for bodyguards?) Feanor was essentially combatting a host of Balrogs single handed.

Hurin, Gothmog put in the effort he had to, no more no less. The Balrogs felt it essential to come against Feanor personally, Hurin - not so much.


It's possible a similar wound from a similar blade would have killed Gothmog, and yet his ultimate death required Ecthelion to die himself, both arms broken, causing Gothmog the double-threat of impaling and drowning. I suspect water to a fire spirit might have been the more fel wound.

What makes you think Melian is so puissant? Why would she have extensive combat powers?

Further not all Balrogs are equal I imagine BUT I go to your own assertion of having the right 'skill set.' Glaurung was bred to be the ideal weapon of Morgoth against the free-peoples of Middle-Earth. There is no implication for example that Balrogs are generally capable of much in the way of speech or cunning thought etc. They are pretty brute-like a great deal of the time. Gothmog didn't exactly do a superb job leading armies now did he? Thus Glaurung was needed.

All the same Turin was easily fooled by the arts of Glaurung, and his sister utterly swayed. As for Hurin, Morgoth wanted him to suffer, or willingly turn.

I doubt that Luthien would have been making any Silmarils in her spare time. Further when she died she didn't do a 'Yoda.'

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Fighting the Balrog would not be needless and I never implied the Wise would fight him alone. Just like when they attacked and drove off Sauron it would be a combined effort. The White Council that drove the Necromance, even if Sauron desired, out of Mirkwood would defeat the Balrog.
They didn't exactly do a great job with Sauron from all accounts. I'm still curious as to why you think the Wise would abandon all their other duties ie guarding Lothlorien, Rivendell, the Havens, marshalling the people against Sauron: to go on a needless jaunt into the bowels of Moria to fight some ancient evil. It was contained where it was, why seek extra peril?
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:29 AM   #50
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I'm still curious as to why you think the Wise would abandon all their other duties ie guarding Lothlorien, Rivendell, the Havens, marshalling the people against Sauron: to go on a needless jaunt into the bowels of Moria to fight some ancient evil. It was contained where it was, why seek extra peril?
The reason may be that a Balrog can one day leave Moria. While Sauron was absent, the Balrog had a potency to become a new Dark Lord. With Sauron back, both perspectives of Sauron subduing the Balrog or the Balrog obtaining The Ring were equally perilous.

However the nature of Durin's Bane was not discovered until the Company arrived and as it had never left Moria, no-one actually wanted to investigate the matter up to that time. Only some dwarves but they had failed to publish their findings
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:52 AM   #51
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The first time Gandalf went to Moria he was looking for Thráin... it seems odd that Gandalf had actually gone searching for him. That being said, perhaps in his efforts to see if Smaug could be dealt with he did at some point deliberately seek Thráin - just in the wrong place.
It is quite possible; I also tend to think that Gandalf could have serious concerns about the destiny of Thrain's Ring of Power.

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In this way it would appear that Gandalf's presence there wasn't enough to stir the Balrog; he learned nothing of it on his first journey - could the Ring have been involved? Presumably Gandalf's power was more "veiled" on his first visit. It was when the Fellowship passed through that the Balrog appeared; I wonder if it had more to do with the Ring or with Gandalf using his power a bit more liberally on the second occasion.
It seems to me Durin's Bane just did not want to be disturbed. Orks were not a threat for old Rog, and neither Gandalf no Aragorn managed to produce much noise on their earlier visits. This time they came in company, brought The Ring, and finally Pip threw a stone, perhaps, straight on the Poor Thing's head as it was already suggested. Then Gandalf added more when the awaken homeowner decided to check who is sneaking in his household. Well, the fight became imminent.

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I get the impression that since Durin's Bane seemed content to lurk in Moria - and because no one seemingly knew what a truly terrible being it was - people like the White Council never risked action against it.
I believe this is it.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:05 AM   #52
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However the nature of Durin's Bane was not discovered until the Company arrived and as it had never left Moria, no-one actually wanted to investigate the matter up to that time. Only some dwarves but they had failed to publish their findings
Aye. The peer review process can be harsh.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:26 AM   #53
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As someone said earlier, I don't really think strength plays much into it but more the individual's spirit and will. Like for example I'm sure Galadriel wasn't physically capable to kill one of the massive uruk hai. But her spirit is so potent that she would be able to defeat one in some way. Same goes for Frodo and Sam in my opinion, they made it all to mount doom. Something even the strongest warrior would be unable to do. Didn't they say at the council of elrond that even Glorfindel would be unable to walk into mordor, yet Frodo and Sam did and defeated many mighty foes on there way there like Shelob for example.

Also on the balrog's I think in the actual book and not the popular peter jackson version. Balrogs are actually near human sized, maybe a bit larger. Think of them as opposite to angels. Having a fallen angel fight a dragon like Glaurug would sure be interesting. I think it depends on the individual dragon, Smaug I think would have problem with a Balrog. Glaurung maybe not so much...
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:33 PM   #54
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Also on the balrog's I think in the actual book and not the popular peter jackson version. Balrogs are actually near human sized, maybe a bit larger. Think of them as opposite to angels. Having a fallen angel fight a dragon like Glaurug would sure be interesting. I think it depends on the individual dragon, Smaug I think would have problem with a Balrog. Glaurung maybe not so much...
Well, as Melkor's demons of battle these fallen Maiar were probably unmatched fighters in ME and even Sauron would have experienced a life threat fighting one of them in one-to-one combat (as it would've been the case if they would have led hosts of comparable size and skill against each other). I am sure any dragon would have quite a problem facing Balrog and vice versa. The size of the natural body in this case is not as important as wielding appropriate weapons. Dragons were individual fighters but possessed mighty weapons of distant fight and mass destruction. However, Balrogs were able to control fire in some way and I have little idea who would prevail if a Balrog had had to encounter a fire drake. As for cold drakes, that's again a very difficult question of a different kind. We simply have no instances of such situations...
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:49 PM   #55
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Sorry to split hairs but I believe it was actually Eru Himself who destroyed the Great Armament, not Manwë. The Valar laid down their guardianship of the world temporarily so that Eru could intervene.
I agree though that it doesn't seem unreasonable to imagine the Balrog of Moria being capable of destroying the Dwarves in numbers to an extent. My reading of Professor Tolkien's work has always suggested to me that the confrontations involving powerful beings tend to involve some element of spiritual potency, the "might" of a creature which involves more than physical strength or skill. Despite all their crafts and such lore as they possessed, the Dwarves have always appeared to me to largely be beings who were not especially mighty in this regard, at least compared to those who were especially potent among the Ainur, the Noldor and the Edain (and Dúnedain). Consider some of the memorable heroics of Elves and Men mentioned in this discussion compared to some of the great feats of Dwarven heroes: Azaghâl wounding Glauring or Dáin Ironfoot slaying Azog. These are impressive deeds in their own way, no doubt, but not necessarily on the same level as, say, Ecthelion of the Fountain against Gothmog or Turambar against Glaurung. I don't mean to suggest that the Dwarves were inferior as soldiers compared to Elves and Men in general - it appears that they were among the more formidable forces in military terms - but that they lacked the supremely heroic individuals of other races.
That being said, given that Durin's Folk had sufficient numbers to colonise other regions after the abandonment of Moria it would suggest to me that it was not so much a matter of Durin's Bane wiping out enormous armies as it was killing those forces sent against it (including two kings) in such a way that the survivors could see that trying to withstand it was futile and that they would eventually all have been killed had they stayed. The situation would suggest to me that the Balrog could probably chew through such opposition as was deployed against it by the Dwarves; a mighty hero could have opposed it as in the Elder Days (and eventually did in the shape of Gandalf) but the Dwarves themselves lacked the means to handle it.
I don't really see the Balrog wiping out armies of thousands of Dwarves single-handedly either but the examples of the First Age would suggest to me that such beings were generally at risk mostly from individuals of relatively comparable power and perhaps were not to be worn down by numbers alone.
One point I've not seen raised in this thread is this: If balrogs were indeed capable of wiping out whole dwarven armies single handedly, why then did the balrog of Moria not intervene and hand an easy victory to his orc minions over the dwarves at the Battle of Azanulbizar (a.k.a. Dimrill Dale)? Certainly he was lurking within Moria and well aware of what was happening outside - Dain saw it after slaying Azog just inside Moria's East Gate. I suspect that, while very powerful, the balrog was, ultimately, incarnate and could be slain, especially against a large, organized army. He was not by any means invinceable.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:53 AM   #56
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One point I've not seen raised in this thread is this: If balrogs were indeed capable of wiping out whole dwarven armies single handedly, why then did the balrog of Moria not intervene and hand an easy victory to his orc minions over the dwarves at the Battle of Azanulbizar (a.k.a. Dimrill Dale)? Certainly he was lurking within Moria and well aware of what was happening outside - Dain saw it after slaying Azog just inside Moria's East Gate. I suspect that, while very powerful, the balrog was, ultimately, incarnate and could be slain, especially against a large, organized army. He was not by any means invinceable.
Yet Dáin claimed that "The world must change and some other power than ours must come before Durin's Folk walk again in Moria." I don't doubt that the Balrog was an incarnate being which could be slain (indeed clearly it was: Gandalf killed it), but apparently the Dwarves lacked the means to defeat it. If I was to suggest why it didn't aid the Orcs in the Battle of Azanulbizar my main suspicion would be that it simply didn't care about the outcome of the battle. I don't believe that the Orcs of Moria were the minions of the Balrog, they just happened to share Moria with it. Azog claimed to be king and master of Moria and made no mention of the Balrog. If the Orcs of the Mountains owed allegiance to anyone beyond their own rulers it was Sauron alone: "in many places in Middle-earth, after the fall of Thangorodrim and during the concealment of Sauron, the Orcs recovering from their helplessness had set up petty realms of their own and had become accustomed to independence. Nonetheless Sauron in time managed to unite them all in unreasoning hatred of the Elves and of Men who associated with them." (Morgoth's Ring) I would theorise that the Balrog never intervened in the battle because it didn't care about the outcome, having no stake in Azog's victory and knowing that the Dwarves could not defeat it. Evidently Balrogs could be killed, but the evidence would suggest it could only be slain by an opponent of comparable power which the Dwarves lacked. The most puzzling thing about Durin's Bane is probably why it was content to remain in Moria in any event.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:54 PM   #57
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Yet Dáin claimed that "The world must change and some other power than ours must come before Durin's Folk walk again in Moria." I don't doubt that the Balrog was an incarnate being which could be slain (indeed clearly it was: Gandalf killed it), but apparently the Dwarves lacked the means to defeat it. If I was to suggest why it didn't aid the Orcs in the Battle of Azanulbizar my main suspicion would be that it simply didn't care about the outcome of the battle. I don't believe that the Orcs of Moria were the minions of the Balrog, they just happened to share Moria with it. Azog claimed to be king and master of Moria and made no mention of the Balrog. If the Orcs of the Mountains owed allegiance to anyone beyond their own rulers it was Sauron alone: "in many places in Middle-earth, after the fall of Thangorodrim and during the concealment of Sauron, the Orcs recovering from their helplessness had set up petty realms of their own and had become accustomed to independence. Nonetheless Sauron in time managed to unite them all in unreasoning hatred of the Elves and of Men who associated with them." (Morgoth's Ring) I would theorise that the Balrog never intervened in the battle because it didn't care about the outcome, having no stake in Azog's victory and knowing that the Dwarves could not defeat it. Evidently Balrogs could be killed, but the evidence would suggest it could only be slain by an opponent of comparable power which the Dwarves lacked. The most puzzling thing about Durin's Bane is probably why it was content to remain in Moria in any event.
Well reasoned, but I still disagree. It goes too far to say he had no stake - if that were so I doubt he would have bothered to venture from the depths of Moria to observe the outcome. I think he would have preferred an orcish victory, but was unwilling to take the personal risk to sway the outcome.

If it were truly NO risk to him (it?) then there is no reason not to intervene and crush the dwarves altogether. But going out into the open against an army, as opposed to hit and run attacks in narrow, labyrinth tunnels deep under the earth where he has the advantage? No. And I think it because he CAN be slain, coupled with a certain degree of cowardice such as Morgoth displayed for the same reason, that the balrog was unwilling to take the risk. We can debate the degree of risk that he would have undertaken, but I guarentee that it was not zero.

Look at it this way - Fingolfin had a theoretical chance of slaying Morgoth (granted, with the Oath of Feanor it was actually zero). But without that restriction of fate, Fingolfin technically had the power and ability to kill Morgoth - if not, then why was Morgoth at all afraid? Obviously, because he was incarnate and there was a chance, however small, that he could be slain. It may have been a very low order of probability indeed, but it was not zero.

So wratcheting down a bit from Valar vs. Firstborn Child of Eru to Maiar vs. Lesser Children of Eru, I do not at all think it impossible that a mere man or dwarf could slay a balrog - just not very likely! But in the case of a field army vs. Balrog, well... that's a horse of a different colour. I think then the risk would have been too great. Better to cower in Moria then take that chance...
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:47 AM   #58
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As someone said earlier, I don't really think strength plays much into it but more the individual's spirit and will. Like for example I'm sure Galadriel wasn't physically capable to kill one of the massive uruk hai.
Galadriel is 6'4 tall, and I quote, "a match for both the loremasters and the athletes of the Eldar in the days of their youth."

Galadriel would barely notice any orc, whilst she was pulling its head off for fun. Galadriel is the scariest elf left in Middle Earth, bar none, and that includes Glorfindel.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:09 AM   #59
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It's been some years since I visited here (it was in a different guise at that time, I believe) and my knowledge of HOME has faded somewhat, so my apologies for any inaccuracies that may afflict my recollections. Regarding a few points that have arisen in this discussion:

I recall JRRT mentioning (in Letters, or was it UT?) that Galadriel could be considered the equal of Feanor, albeit differently endowed. I don't believe that she would be a match for a Balrog at all in single combat. However, I feel her power against such a foe would be in staying it's influence or say in countering the fear that it causes, rather than trading blows, be they physical or 'magical'.

Glorfindel would be loathe to face a Balrog again, even after his 'resurrection' and purification/'powering up' by the Valar. It is by no means certain that he could defeat such a foe a second time. There was along with his skill and courage an element of luck in his battle during the escape from Gondolin, the fall also contributing to his opponent's demise, if I recall correctly.

Gandalf, also a Maia but wielding both Glamdring and Narya would have the best chance of the Wise of defeating a Balrog, I believe. And yet in doing so was himself destroyed. Saruman may well have been the leader of Istari, and as the White more "powerful" but like Gandalf was still not of a form that could manifest all his incarnate power. Not only did he lack the weapons (Ring and ancient sword) for such a fight, I hold that he lacked the courage and resolve as well: with the change that came over Saruman over the years, I believe he would have flinched at the end and not been willing to make the necessary sacrifice of himself in order to destroy the Balrog.

Whilst I don't think that Durin's Bane was "skulking" in the depths of Khazad-Dum, it didn't confront the dwarves directly probably until Durin himself went in search of it. The passages of the deep mines really would not be conducive for a mass confrontation, being the perfect environment for it to pick off mining groups, and subsequent parties investigating the losses, then smaller military groups that followed. In this sense I can see the early conflict becomes somewhat reminiscent of the Alien movies, but once the losses mounted, evidently Durin took it upon himself to face the menace to his people. Even so after Durin's death, the dwarves under Nain battled for another year, no doubt devising all manner of plans to use their home environment to their advantage, trying to drop thousands of tons of rock upon it, trying to seal it off and so forth - it was never 10 thousand dwarves facing the one foe at any single time.

Similar to some others here, my impression of Elladan and Elrohir has always been over the last 30 years of reading JRRT that whilst they were still lords in their own right, they were closer in power/ability to the Kings/Cheiftans of the Dunedain than the elf-lords of olde. Of course as the Sons of Elrond they were possessed of an unequalled bloodline, yet they were born in an age when the power of the Eldar was on the wane, their foes were of a lesser kind than that faced by their forebears. Contributing to the impression they (potentially, in the rejected text mentioned) made upon Eorl's folk would have been the latter's superstitious nature and lack of contact with the Eldar, I think.

Enough for now. 'Night!
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:26 PM   #60
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It's been some years since I visited here (it was in a different guise at that time, I believe) and my knowledge of HOME has faded somewhat, so my apologies for any inaccuracies that may afflict my recollections. Regarding a few points that have arisen in this discussion:

I recall JRRT mentioning (in Letters, or was it UT?) that Galadriel could be considered the equal of Feanor, albeit differently endowed. I don't believe that she would be a match for a Balrog at all in single combat. However, I feel her power against such a foe would be in staying it's influence or say in countering the fear that it causes, rather than trading blows, be they physical or 'magical'.
Galadriel was a match for the athletes of the Noldor. There is no reason to think she would not be able to fight a Balrog for at least a little while. If the Wise were going to fight a Balrog then I doubt they would need to counter the fear. Aragorn and Boromir were fully prepared to face Durin's Bane.
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Glorfindel would be loathe to face a Balrog again, even after his 'resurrection' and purification/'powering up' by the Valar. It is by no means certain that he could defeat such a foe a second time. There was along with his skill and courage an element of luck in his battle during the escape from Gondolin, the fall also contributing to his opponent's demise, if I recall correctly.
In the original story all the luck was on the Balrog's part, being able to grab onto Glorfindel's hair as he fell. Tolkien did note he would have to rewrite the story. If Glorfindel was enough to defeat a Balrog prior to his power up, why would his chances decrease when he was greatly enhanced?
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Gandalf, also a Maia but wielding both Glamdring and Narya would have the best chance of the Wise of defeating a Balrog, I believe. And yet in doing so was himself destroyed. Saruman may well have been the leader of Istari, and as the White more "powerful" but like Gandalf was still not of a form that could manifest all his incarnate power. Not only did he lack the weapons (Ring and ancient sword) for such a fight, I hold that he lacked the courage and resolve as well: with the change that came over Saruman over the years, I believe he would have flinched at the end and not been willing to make the necessary sacrifice of himself in order to destroy the Balrog.
I did change for the worst, but he was still prepared to launch an assault on Sauron. It was mostly thanks to him that Sauron was driven out.
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Similar to some others here, my impression of Elladan and Elrohir has always been over the last 30 years of reading JRRT that whilst they were still lords in their own right, they were closer in power/ability to the Kings/Cheiftans of the Dunedain than the elf-lords of olde. Of course as the Sons of Elrond they were possessed of an unequalled bloodline, yet they were born in an age when the power of the Eldar was on the wane, their foes were of a lesser kind than that faced by their forebears. Contributing to the impression they (potentially, in the rejected text mentioned) made upon Eorl's folk would have been the latter's superstitious nature and lack of contact with the Eldar, I think.

Enough for now. 'Night!
The early Kings/princes of Arnor included the likes of Elendil and Elendur. Elendil was similar in power to the elf lords of old as was by all accounts Ar-pharazon.

Legolas certainly seems impressed with them to suggest they compare favourably to the Elf Lords he saw in Rivendell. At the Battle of the Black Gates, Gandalf does say there are names there worth more than numbers alone and the Sons of Elrond do stand where the assault was going to most fierce. They directly stand opposite the Black Gate and survive the battle. I don't seem them being lesser in power than Arwen and she seems to be regarded as one of the more powerful elves.

Then there's still Elrond, Cirdan and Celeborn. Elrond prior to the third age seemed to have the most battle experience out of any surviving elf, except Cirdan.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:13 PM   #61
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Elrond prior to the third age seemed to have the most battle experience out of any surviving elf, except Cirdan.
Not necessarily: Elrond was of course too young to have fought during the First Age, and while in the Second he did lead an army in the First War of the Rings (which was forced back to Rivendell), during the Siege of Barad-dur and the final battle on Orodruin he served as a herald, i.e. a noncombatant. In the Third Age, the only recorded fighting by the forces of Imladris was at Fornost, and Elrond delegated that command to Glorfindel.

By contrast, Glorfindel besides fighting in the sack of Gondolin and its aftermath almost certainly participated in the Nirnaeth; and I would submit in the Dagor Lammoth and the Dagor Aglareb as well, since according to Gandalf he had "dwelt in the Blessed Realm" and thus was one who crossed the Helcaraxe (and moreover as a Lord of Gondolin would, one assume, be an elder/senior member of Turgon's following). Depending on which version of his re-arrival one accepts, he also would almost certainly have served under Elrond in the defense of Eriador, and would have been present at the first overthrow of Sauron as an actual combatant.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:58 PM   #62
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Not necessarily: Elrond was of course too young to have fought during the First Age, and while in the Second he did lead an army in the First War of the Rings (which was forced back to Rivendell), during the Siege of Barad-dur and the final battle on Orodruin he served as a herald, i.e. a noncombatant. In the Third Age, the only recorded fighting by the forces of Imladris was at Fornost, and Elrond delegated that command to Glorfindel.

By contrast, Glorfindel besides fighting in the sack of Gondolin and its aftermath almost certainly participated in the Nirnaeth; and I would submit in the Dagor Lammoth and the Dagor Aglareb as well, since according to Gandalf he had "dwelt in the Blessed Realm" and thus was one who crossed the Helcaraxe (and moreover as a Lord of Gondolin would, one assume, be an elder/senior member of Turgon's following). Depending on which version of his re-arrival one accepts, he also would almost certainly have served under Elrond in the defense of Eriador, and would have been present at the first overthrow of Sauron as an actual combatant.
In the case of Glorfindell it really does depend on when he returned to Middle Earth. If it was during the Second Age then he would have had the most experience.

Elrond was not too young to fight in the First Age. The evidence suggest that he and Elros lead the Edain during the War of Wrath.

Where do you get the information that Elrond was a non combatant in the Last Alliance? Eonwe was Manwe's herald, but he led the forces in the War of Wrath. I would imagine that Elrond had a similar role. Then throughout the Second Age he was the chief military commander against Sauron. That is a lot of experience leading armies and therefore it is interesting in the Third Age he no longer goes to war.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:48 AM   #63
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Galadriel was a match for the athletes of the Noldor. There is no reason to think she would not be able to fight a Balrog for at least a little while.

We know she was a great athlete, however athletic ability (and training) is no guarantee whatsoever of combative ability.

There is only one sentence that I've come across that could give any credence to the notion that she could wield a weapon of any sort and that is in the late note written by Tolkien (published in UT) that says she and Celeborn 'fought heroically' in defence of the Teleri at Alqualonde.

Even accepting that revision to her story, it is an extremely long bow to draw to say that she could stand against a Balrog in melee. There were ample opportunities in her history for Tolkien to mention any fighting ability/prowess/experience, yet there is no mention of her presence in the War of The Elves and Sauron (Eregion) or at the Dagorlad/Orodruin. Even in the White Council's move to oust the Necromancer from Dol Guldur, in which Sauron willingly fell back to Mordor, there is no mention of a combative role for Galadriel.

I would hazard that someone like Aradhel seems more pre-disposed to this kind of physical expression of "power", and this discussion seems to me to be a bit of a D&D-ification of Galadriel. We should perhaps agree to disagree.


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In the original story all the luck was on the Balrog's part, being able to grab onto Glorfindel's hair as he fell. Tolkien did note he would have to rewrite the story. If Glorfindel was enough to defeat a Balrog prior to his power up, why would his chances decrease when he was greatly enhanced?
In the original story Balrogs were far more numerous and less formidable individually than what they became later in the development of the mythology.

It was nothing short of an epic and remarkable feat for Glorfindel to overcome a Balrog. If he was so powerful that defeating such a foe was any less than an epic achievement then the duel wouldn't hold as special a place in elven folklore as it does, with the many songs sung of it.

Hence I don't believe that if Glorfindel, even though his later spiritual power approached that of a Maia, went toe to toe with a Balrog a second time that he would be certain of winning. He may well have a better chance than his first encounter, but it would still be perilous for him.

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I did change for the worst, but he was still prepared to launch an assault on Sauron. It was mostly thanks to him that Sauron was driven out.
At that time Sauron was still not yet fully recovered, and if I recall correctly didn't Gandalf say that Sauron had long planned that retreat, hence avoiding a true confrontation?

Saruman may have been nominally the highest of his order, but Gandalf was not necessarily lesser than Saruman, as implied by Varda in UT. Gandalf also wielded weapons extremely suitable for the encounter, the like of which Saruman could neither obtain nor forge for himself.

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The early Kings/princes of Arnor included the likes of Elendil and Elendur. Elendil was similar in power to the elf lords of old as was by all accounts Ar-pharazon.
By all accounts? Can you cite one of these accounts for me? I've read Akallabeth and POME once again, but can't find anything like this.

Ar-Pharazon may have been the greatest of the Numenoreans, but for me that doesn't put him up near the progeny of Finwe and their ilk, who are yet another order of elf lords above other elf lords.

Elendil may have approached being an equal with Gil-Galad, yet Gil-Galad as valiant and heroic as he is, pales against his forefathers.

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Legolas certainly seems impressed with them to suggest they compare favourably to the Elf Lords he saw in Rivendell. At the Battle of the Black Gates, Gandalf does say there are names there worth more than numbers alone and the Sons of Elrond do stand where the assault was going to most fierce. They directly stand opposite the Black Gate and survive the battle.
I don't mean to gainsay the standing of the Sons of Elrond, they are indeed "elf lords" in their own right, as well as due to their birth. Elladan and Elrohir did deserve the praise Gandalf gave them, and the respect that Legolas afforded them. But simply put, there are 'elf lords' and there are 'elf lords'.

There can be no question that the power of the Eldar faded as the ages passed, however. I see the brothers as products of the Third Age: whilst there was still evil incarnate in the world, it was of a number of orders of potency removed from that which existed in the First Age.


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I don't seem them being lesser in power than Arwen and she seems to be regarded as one of the more powerful elves.
Powerful? Arwen never struck me as powerful. Her "power" lay in the wisdom, lore and foresight of the Eldar that she possessed, but not manifest in the same manner say as the "power" of Galadriel, and especially not in the manner of Elladan and Elrohir.


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Elrond was not too young to fight in the First Age. The evidence suggest that he and Elros lead the Edain during the War of Wrath.
They were young children when the Sons of Feanor attacked the community at the mouths of Sirion. They would have come of age during the War of Wrath, but can you direct me to this evidence? Thanks.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:42 AM   #64
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We know she was a great athlete, however athletic ability (and training) is no guarantee whatsoever of combative ability.

There is only one sentence that I've come across that could give any credence to the notion that she could wield a weapon of any sort and that is in the late note written by Tolkien (published in UT) that says she and Celeborn 'fought heroically' in defence of the Teleri at Alqualonde.

Even accepting that revision to her story, it is an extremely long bow to draw to say that she could stand against a Balrog in melee. There were ample opportunities in her history for Tolkien to mention any fighting ability/prowess/experience, yet there is no mention of her presence in the War of The Elves and Sauron (Eregion) or at the Dagorlad/Orodruin. Even in the White Council's move to oust the Necromancer from Dol Guldur, in which Sauron willingly fell back to Mordor, there is no mention of a combative role for Galadriel.

I would hazard that someone like Aradhel seems more pre-disposed to this kind of physical expression of "power", and this discussion seems to me to be a bit of a D&D-ification of Galadriel. We should perhaps agree to disagree.
Galadriel certainly did not fight much, but that does not mean she was not capable of it when the time came. An example of this would be the case Alqualonde. She needs no training to fight fiercely in defense of her mother's kin here. We can extend the same thought to all of the Eldar really. The Vanyar don't need experience to be great fighters when they arrive in Middle Earth and either did Feanor. If Galadriel was one of best athletes in the times of Fingolfin and Fingon then I don't think she would have lost any of her ability. Just, because she chose not to bare arms, does not mean she would not at a push. Idril fought as fiercely as tigress to save Earendil.
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In the original story Balrogs were far more numerous and less formidable individually than what they became later in the development of the mythology.

It was nothing short of an epic and remarkable feat for Glorfindel to overcome a Balrog. If he was so powerful that defeating such a foe was any less than an epic achievement then the duel wouldn't hold as special a place in elven folklore as it does, with the many songs sung of it.

Hence I don't believe that if Glorfindel, even though his later spiritual power approached that of a Maia, went toe to toe with a Balrog a second time that he would be certain of winning. He may well have a better chance than his first encounter, but it would still be perilous for him.
I know that the Balrogs were raised in standing to Maiar and drastically increased in power, but was just pointing out in the original version the luck was all on behalf of the Balrog. Tolkien himself notes he would have to rewrite the fight.

However, what ever took place Glorfindel himself was enough to kill a the Balrog. He did not gain a marginal power up, but a significant one. His power was raised close to the level of Olorin.

He may not be certain of winning, but the odds are certainly in his favour and he would not be alone. Like with the attack on Sauron, it would be the Wise attacking together. What chance would the Balrog have if Glorfindel attacked with Gandalf at his right and Elrond on his left?
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At that time Sauron was still not yet fully recovered, and if I recall correctly didn't Gandalf say that Sauron had long planned that retreat, hence avoiding a true confrontation?
Sauron was recovered enough and yes he did feign retreat, but it shows the power of the wise together and that they did attack and drive out a greater power than the Balrog.
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Saruman may have been nominally the highest of his order, but Gandalf was not necessarily lesser than Saruman, as implied by Varda in UT. Gandalf also wielded weapons extremely suitable for the encounter, the like of which Saruman could neither obtain nor forge for himself.
Gandalf was less powerful than Saruman. Tolkien makes note of this, though greater, wiser and ultimately the most faithful. Saruman had weapons which were very effective against the powers of Sauron. I think those same weapons would be of use against the Balrog. That apart in this situation the Wise are attacking together knowing what they are up against.
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By all accounts? Can you cite one of these accounts for me? I've read Akallabeth and POME once again, but can't find anything like this.

Ar-Pharazon may have been the greatest of the Numenoreans, but for me that doesn't put him up near the progeny of Finwe and their ilk, who are yet another order of elf lords above other elf lords.

Elendil may have approached being an equal with Gil-Galad, yet Gil-Galad as valiant and heroic as he is, pales against his forefathers.
Not to be rude, but you seem to focused with this notion that some of the latter elves were weaker than all the first age elves. Why does Gil-galad plae in comparison to his forefathers? He seems much more powerful and wiser than his own father Orodreth. There are no statements to remotely imply Gil-galad did not live up to the other Elvish princes.

Why is Elendil just approaching the power of Gil-galad? They are equals and partners and both play a significant role in killing Sauron.

Then there is Elrond, who has greater feats of magic than any of the Elvish princes of the first age except Feanor and battle experience to rival any of them.

The people of Hador were the peers of the Elven Lords and their chiefs comparable to the House of Fingolfin. Turin quickly rises to rule over Nargothrond, Tuor is third only to Maeglin and Turgon in Gondolin. Though from the House of Beor, Beren out matches the sons of Feanor.

"The Men of the Three Houses throve and multiplied, but greatest among them was the house of Hador Goldenhead, peer of Elven-lords. His people were of great strength and stature, ready in mind, bold and steadfast, quick to anger and to laughter, mighty among the Children of Ilúvatar in the youth of Mankind."

The early Edain were every bit a match for the progeny of Finwe.

This was Finduilas' opinion of Turin.

'But you are kingly' said she 'even as the Lords of of the people of Fingolfin'

Then in the Children of Hurin once more he is compared to the Lords of the Noldor.

His speech and bearing were those of the ancient kingdom of Doriath, and even among the Elves he might be taken at first meeting for one from one of the great house of the Noldor. So valiant was Turin, and so exceedingly skilled in arms, especially with sword and shield, that the elves said he could not be slain, save by mischance or an evil arrow from afar.


The Numenoreans grew in power until all the people were pretty much indistinguishable from elves let alone the royal house. Look at how the Numenoreans rout Sauron's forces and almost kill him or later force his army to give up.

They(Numenoreans) became thus in appearance and even in powers of mind, hardly distinguishable from the the Elves

Ar-pharazon was just like one of these men, but lacked wisdom.

In one of the early sources about Ar-pharazon found in HOMEXII

He was a man of great beauty and stature, in the likeness of the first kings of men: and indeed in his youth he was not unlike the Edain of old in mind also, although he had courage and strength of will rather than wisdom,
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I don't mean to gainsay the standing of the Sons of Elrond, they are indeed "elf lords" in their own right, as well as due to their birth. Elladan and Elrohir did deserve the praise Gandalf gave them, and the respect that Legolas afforded them. But simply put, there are 'elf lords' and there are 'elf lords'.

There can be no question that the power of the Eldar faded as the ages passed, however. I see the brothers as products of the Third Age: whilst there was still evil incarnate in the world, it was of a number of orders of potency removed from that which existed in the First Age.
I am not sure the power of the Elvish Lords faded as much as you like to think. As I said before Elrond has greater displays of magic than any of the princes in the first age except Feanor. Galadriel and Glorfindel are around and in the case of Glorfindel he is stronger than ever.

It was only in the Second Age that Celebrimbor and his guild surpass all other smiths of the Noldor except the greatest one. He also seems to put up a very impressive last stand against Sauron himself and resist all kinds of torture to keep secret the location of the three.

In Eregion the craftsmen of the Gwaith-i-Mírdain, the People of the Jewel-smiths, surpassed in cunning all that have ever wrought, save only Fëanor himself; and indeed greatest in skill among them was Celebrimbor, son of Curufin, who was estranged from his father and remained in Nargothrond when Celegorm and Curufin were driven forth-Silmarillion

The elves as a whole were less active and more passive, but there power had yet to fade on a personal level.

Legolas himself had been at Rivendell, seen Galadriel and many of the great Elf Lords of the first age. He has no problem comparing the two.
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Powerful? Arwen never struck me as powerful. Her "power" lay in the wisdom, lore and foresight of the Eldar that she possessed, but not manifest in the same manner say as the "power" of Galadriel, and especially not in the manner of Elladan and Elrohir.
Yes I agree that Arwen's power was not in same manner as the sons of Elrond, but she was regarded as great and of high standing with the elves. Her brothers would have likewise standing.
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They were young children when the Sons of Feanor attacked the community at the mouths of Sirion. They would have come of age during the War of Wrath, but can you direct me to this evidence? Thanks.
Yes they were young children, but they had reached their teenage years when the Hose of the Valar came.

Elrond remembers seeing them and none of the Elves of Middle Earth saw their march or took part in the war. Since Elrond DID see their march he must have been with them and I fail to see why a young Elrond would not take part in the war if he was with the Host of Valinor.

It recalled to me the glory of the Elder days and the hosts of Beleriand, so many great princes and captains were assembled. And yet not so many, nor so fair as when Thangorodium was broken


So Elrond was there. Note that he does not say the captains of the Last Alliance were less great, but just less fair and fewer of them. Also we have to remember that most of Line of Elros had died in Numenor.

Now the Silmarillion confirms that none of the Elves took part in this war.

Of the march of the host of the Valar to the North of Middle Earth little is said in any tale, for among them went none of the Elves who had dwelt and suffered in the Hither Lands.

Then there is the matter of Elros' kingship of the Edain. If he had been hiding out with the elves for the 40 or so year war would the Edain welcome him as their king? Why would Elros choose to be king of a people he did not know. Like with Elrond it is probable that both brothers fought in the War of Wrath alongside the Edain and that is how Elros was welcomed as King of all the Edain.

Last edited by cellurdur; 01-24-2013 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:22 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Sarumian View Post
The reason may be that a Balrog can one day leave Moria. While Sauron was absent, the Balrog had a potency to become a new Dark Lord. With Sauron back, both perspectives of Sauron subduing the Balrog or the Balrog obtaining The Ring were equally perilous.

However the nature of Durin's Bane was not discovered until the Company arrived and as it had never left Moria, no-one actually wanted to investigate the matter up to that time. Only some dwarves but they had failed to publish their findings
I still don't like the idea of the dwarves seing the balrog but the word not getting around...

1: It would be an extremely hot topic to talk about - all the surviving dwarves would have spread the story and it would just get so big people would know it. A balrog mowing down 20 000 dwarves - this MUST become a common legend.

Thus is makes more sense to me they didnt see it, since there's no legend.

The legend we have that something powerfull of an unspecified nature drove off the dwarves fits the Alien-scenario perfectly.

2: I also imagine the dwarves would want to seek help to drive it off and to get Moria back, much as Thorin did with the lonely mountain,

I don't like the current version where they just gave up Moria and shrugged it off.

It would be an obvious course to go to the Wise with a description of it and ask them for advice on how to kill it - and I think someone did it at some point.

In the version where they got mowed down by the balrog attacking them head on the Wise would recognize the balrog (or a high probability it was a balrog) - and they would have done something. They would AT LEAST least have told Gandalf about it, Aragorn also probably - and most likely they would have DONE something, Maybe not go and kill it as was discussed in the thread since it seemed hapoy to stay put in Moria anyway. But at least they would have kept a watch on it to make sure it stayed put, maybe seal or Moria - that sort of thing. It would be on Elrond's radar. It's a very very big threat so I don't think either they would just shrug it off and think never mind.

In the "alien" version they have nothing better to ask for than help with an "unknown monster" - it makes sense for me that the Wise would not consider it "their board" - the "unknown monster" is not important for general ME security so the dwarves would be sent away empty-handed with no help forthcoming

And this leads nicely to the storyline with everyone knowing theres probably "something" big and bad in Moria that killed a whole lot of dwarves on it's own - but noone is motivated to go and kill it.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:43 AM   #66
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200.000 dwarves?really?i thought the dwarves has much smaller population.if they did have a population that big however,the soldiers probably only one fourth of the number.the mean around 50.000.and that was too big even for a blarog.i think that the balrog ambush the dwarves,and when there number are low enough,he quickly make an assault on the main halls,defeating the remaining soldiers.as for the dwarves dont recognize the balrog,it must have been using its shapeshofting abilities,like turning into just a shadowy figures or something else.
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