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Old 10-02-2007, 01:50 PM   #1
Mansun
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Sting The Balrog vs The Witch King

These two villains are the main threats to the free & living world after Sauron, although they do not join forces. If the Witch King therefore dared to enter the realm of Moria to gain control of the riches that lay there at Sauron's bidding, & then the Balrog appeared with a sudden burst of flame, who would triumph? Or, rather, would the Witch King acknowledge the Balrog to be superior & neal to this ancient creature?

Note that the Witch King would not at this stage be in his enhanced form, if following with the logic of the book.

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Old 10-02-2007, 02:02 PM   #2
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If it's a contest, I would put my money on the Balrog ...being a fallen maia and all...

I can't see the Witch King, pawn of Sauron that he is, acknowledging the Balrog's supremacy though
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Old 10-02-2007, 02:16 PM   #3
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Morwen is correct; the WK had basically just Sauron's will and there's no way he'd "convert" (the same as he didn't convert to Saruman - the only possibility would be, if the Balrog possessed the One Ring - or at least we are hinted that in "the Hunt for the Ring", where Saruman says something in that sense to WK - of course, if it's not a hyperbole). But otherwise, I think their battle could - in the best case - appear similar to the battle of Gandalf with the Balrog. I'm not sure how much the "shadow world stuff" will work and how much the Balrog would be able to harm WK, though it's true he's in fact a Maia - but the battle will most likely be a battle of power and sorcery, and if it took place on the Bridge, I'm somehow inclined to think it will end the same as the famous Gandalf vs. Balrog battle.

I am convinced that there was a similar topic already here at the Downs about half a year ago, but I can't seem to be able to find it.
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Old 10-02-2007, 02:50 PM   #4
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WK wouldn't even consider a hostile confrontation with Durin's Bane. He's arrogant, but not stupid. If WK appears to be aggressive towards Gandalf, it's most likely because he has no clue who Gandalf really is. The Witch-King was a Man. He was a formidable foe against other Men because of Sauron's backing, but he was on an entirely different (and lower) tier than the embodied Maiar (and even the Eldar). Durin's Bane would have feared him even less than Glorfindel did, who, you'll recall, sent him flying more than once.

By the way, can we please stop taking for granted that Sauron actually transfused some of his Awesome Juice into the Witch-King? It's not a fact, and I feel that the argument for it is pretty tenuous.
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:05 PM   #5
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By the way, can we please stop taking for granted that Sauron actually transfused some of his Awesome Juice into the Witch-King? It's not a fact, and I feel that the argument for it is pretty tenuous.
The Balrog was slain long before the Witch King received an added demonic force from Sauron. Therefore, in this thread at least, one cannot logically contend the enhanced Witch King with the Balrog. Not that it would make too much difference in this contest, in my opinion. Imagine a great servant of Morgoth being slain by a servant of Sauron?
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:12 PM   #6
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Are you mocking me? You quote the portion of my post in which I request that we stick to the facts regarding the Witch-King's "enhancement" (that, as far as we know for certain, it was literary rather than literal) and respond by, once again, referring to the event as if it were indisputable.

Besides, you're the one who asked what would happen if they fought.

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Old 10-02-2007, 03:22 PM   #7
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WK wouldn't even consider a hostile confrontation with Durin's Bane. He's arrogant, but not stupid.~obloquy
Good point. The Witch-King tends to know when he's over matched, and when he is over matched he has a tendency to run away.
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:26 PM   #8
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Besides, you're the one who asked what would happen if they fought.
The contest between these fell creatures is as much of wills than of might. My feeling is they would not fight each other physically, as I believe the battle here is a psychological one. It is also perfectly plausible that they could have met in Moria, in which case the Witch King would not be able to flee. For all we knew, the Witch King & his followers could have been hiding in the shadows of Moria until the Company arrived.

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Old 10-02-2007, 03:46 PM   #9
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The contest between these fell creatures is as much of wills than of might. My feeling is they would not fight each other physically, as I believe the battle here is a psychological one. It is also perfectly plausible that they could have met in Moria, in which case the Witch King would not be able to flee. For all we knew, the Witch King & his followers could have been hiding in the shadows of Moria until the Company arrived.
Whether the contest is a physical one or a battle of wills or both, the point is that the Balrog, in origin one of the Ainur like Sauron himself, is in a class above the Witch King. The contest is therefore not one between equals and the question to my mind isn't whether the Balrog can defeat the Witch King, but how long would he take to do so.
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:52 PM   #10
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Whether the contest is a physical one or a battle of wills or both, the point is that the Balrog, in origin one of the Ainur like Sauron himself, is in a class above the Witch King. The contest is therefore not one between equals and the question to my mind isn't whether the Balrog can defeat the Witch King, but how long would he take to do so.
I think the Witch King, being overmatched in latent power, may well have been forced to neal to the Balrog in recognition of his status. The psychological pressure on him to do so would have been enormous. Though this is only one theory, as the Ring totally subdues the Witch King to only recognise Sauron as his master, so a hostile encounter cannot be ruled out.
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:58 PM   #11
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If you're talking about the type of spiritual battle I outline here, then I suppose I understand what you're talking about. But the concept barely applies to any battle involving the Witch-King since he has so little power on the spiritual plane. If the battle was one of wills (spiritual power), as you say, it would unquestionably be no contest at all. Which is why I am sure the Witch-King would have avoided such a confrontation, just as he avoided Glorfindel.

That said, I don't see why the Balrog would be hostile towards the Witch-King, since he would most likely recognize who he represents.
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:20 PM   #12
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That said, I don't see why the Balrog would be hostile towards the Witch-King, since he would most likely recognize who he represents.
I don't know. The Balrog's agenda, as far as we know from LotR, involves keeping Moria dwarf free and ridding it of random walking parties. Like Sauron, he is a former servant of Morgoth but I don't know that this would necessarily make him automatically sympathetic to Sauron or tolerant of the Witch King if he found him wandering through Moria.
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:32 PM   #13
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He may not have reason to be sympathetic, but that alone does not provide a reason for him to be hostile.
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Old 10-02-2007, 05:03 PM   #14
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He may not have reason to be sympathetic, but that alone does not provide a reason for him to be hostile.
So, in effect you are saying the two could have coexisted. The Witch King & the Mouth of Sauron, for example, managed to do it. The difference here though is that both were in the service of Sauron, & their rank was clear. The Balrog had been at rest in Moria for a number of years without any call from Sauron, so how may one decide whether he still had allegiance to him?

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Old 10-02-2007, 05:11 PM   #15
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I have no idea what you're talking about. They could have coexisted indefinitely just as they coexisted up to the Third Age. Are you imagining the Witch-King packing up his stuff in Morgul and moving into an empty room in Moria? In that case, they both could definitely be expected to get on each others' nerves. Durin's Bane had probably grown accustomed to leaving his underwear laying around and the toilet seat up. The latter of which would truly have ruffled feathers, since, as we all know, the Witch-King sits down to pee.
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Old 10-02-2007, 05:18 PM   #16
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I have no idea what you're talking about. They could have coexisted indefinitely just as they coexisted up to the Third Age. Are you imagining the Witch-King packing up his stuff in Morgul and moving into an empty room in Moria? In that case, they both could definitely be expected to get on each others' nerves. Durin's Bane had probably grown accustomed to leaving his underwear laying around and the toilet seat up. The latter of which would truly have ruffled feathers, since, as we all know, the Witch-King sits down to pee.
I have probably started more intellectual threads than any other poster at the Barrowdowns, & never before has anyone lowered themselves to this standard of posting. Mods, please get this post from obloguy removed asap.
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:42 AM   #17
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What's all this about the Witch King getting upgraded? I'm not familiar with this theory.
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:46 AM   #18
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Let's not start making boastful claims where we have not done our research yet. Let's not get our feathers ruffled up over such a topic as the Balrog vs. The Witch-King. (Maybe if it was over Balrog wing's that would be a little more understandable ).

This is a 'what if scenario,' and also a 'someone-or-another vs different someone-or-another'. Which this means no offense, but threads such as this are not ones that too many people are going to take intellectually.

To pose a what if, since this is a 'what if'...well what if the Balrog leaves his dirty underwear lying all over the place? How is the Wiki going to feel about that? There's nothing to get flustered about.

I think the question you've posed is pretty clear and has already been answered. But if it hasn't...Durin's Bane proved to be even a mental strain upon Gandalf. Durin's Bane wasn't just physically strong, but he wore Gandalf out even before their big confrontation at the bridge. So, hands down, whether it's a bout, or some sort of psychological sparring, Durin's Bane would win. The Witch-King's primary weapon is fear (that is a 'psychological weapon'). Why would Durin's Bane have a need to fear the Witch-King? He didn't fear Gandalf? He didn't fear the dwarven kings he slew? If Durin's Bane didn't fear the Wiki, the Wiki was pretty much useless (just as he proved to be useless to the likes of Glorfindel and Gandalf...etc because they did not fear him).
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:50 AM   #19
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I dont care which side of the Gandalf v. the Witch King debate you are on. The Balrog would indeed be the more powerful over the Witch King. Remember, even Gandalf fled before the Balrog. And if they were not standing on that dinky bridge called Khazad-Dum, the Balrog would have easily defeated Gandalf the Grey.
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:35 AM   #20
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I dont care which side of the Gandalf v. the Witch King debate you are on. The Balrog would indeed be the more powerful over the Witch King. Remember, even Gandalf fled before the Balrog. And if they were not standing on that dinky bridge called Khazad-Dum, the Balrog would have easily defeated Gandalf the Grey.
I disagree. You say he fled, but what he did was see the Fellowship safely to the exit, and then turn to confront the Balrog. When Gandalf describes his duel after their long fall, the Balrog actually ends up fleeing from him, and, needless to say, is eventually defeated despite Gandalf's claim of weariness before the battle.

It's possible that Gandalf believed fighting the Balrog with the Fellowship present would be exactly the kind of powerful display prohibited by the rules of the Istari. Surely they would have found a new reverence for him, and reverence was antithetical to the Istari's intended function.

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What's all this about the Witch King getting upgraded? I'm not familiar with this theory.
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9. Leaving the inn at night and running off into the dark is an impossible solution of the difficulties of presentation here (which I can see). It is the last thing that Aragorn would have done. It is based on a misconception of the Black Riders throughout, which I beg Z to reconsider. Their peril is almost entirely due to the unreasoning fear which they inspire (like ghosts). They have no great physical power against the fearless; but what they have, and the fear that they inspire, is enormously increased in darkness. The Witch-King, their leader, is more powerful in all ways than the others [though note that he is nevertheless not excluded from the above explication that the Nazgul rely on fear rather than any true power. -obloquy]; but he must not yet be raised to the stature of Vol. III. There, put in command by Sauron, he is given an added demonic force. But even in the Battle of the Pelennor, the darkness had only just broken. See III 114.
This is taken by some to mean that Sauron pumped his own power into the Witch-King for Vol. III (did Sauron know there would only be three volumes?). It is not conclusive, however, and I believe it is clear that Tolkien is referring to narrative choices. First, the letter is in response to an adaptation of the book, and, strangely, this is the only mention of this enhancement anywhere in Tolkien's work. "Added demonic force" is not Tolkien vocabulary, and would only be used in this type of letter--that is, one that discusses narrative choices as opposed to Middle-earth history. Second, he doesn't say "There, given added demonic force by Sauron, he is put in command." This would have conveyed a very specific point, but it's not how Tolkien chose to word it. Instead, the Witch-King is put in command by Sauron, and as a result of that he is given an "added demonic force." It's a felt effect of that new station, not a literal transfusion of power.

Anyway, there's more of that argument over at Gandalf vs. the Witch-King.
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Old 10-03-2007, 12:15 PM   #21
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I never interpretted the quote as obloquy has. I always took it at face value that 'added demonic force' mean the Witch-King received a little bit of a power boost. But, now that obloquy has explained it, he's absolutely right the wording is talking about the Witch-King's rise in stature (you could say importance) from The Fellowship of the Ring to The Return of the King.

The quote comes from Letter 210 where Tolkien responds (rather harshly) to Zimmerman's movie script of his books. In this particular instance Tolkien is referring to the scene on Weathertop where Zimmerman created a 'fight' between the Nazgul and Aragorn. Which Tolkien objected to, he said there was no fight on Weathertop and there should not be a fight on Weathertop.

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The Witch-King, their leader, is more powerful in all ways than the others; but he must not yet be raised to the stature of Vol. III. There, put in command by Sauron, he is given an added demonic force.
This is talking about the Witch-King's rise in 'status' (stature - a degree of development/achievement; an achieved level; status).

At Weathertop the Witch-King (being the 'leader of the Nazgul') is in all ways more powerful then them, but he is not at the level of status that he was placed at in Volume III. There, not only is the Witch-King the Lord of the Nazgul, but Sauron places him in command of his entire army. There is a rise in status the Witch-King takes from FOTR to ROTK...it is because of that his importance, his status, is increased. This quote where it supposedly says the Witch-King receives a power boost, is not referring to any 'boost' at all, but saying that the Witch-King's importance, his status, has increased from FOTR to ROTK.
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Old 10-03-2007, 02:08 PM   #22
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At Weathertop the Witch-King (being the 'leader of the Nazgul') is in all ways more powerful then them, but he is not at the level of status that he was placed at in Volume III. There, not only is the Witch-King the Lord of the Nazgul, but Sauron places him in command of his entire army. There is a rise in status the Witch-King takes from FOTR to ROTK...it is because of that his importance, his status, is increased. This quote where it supposedly says the Witch-King receives a power boost, is not referring to any 'boost' at all, but saying that the Witch-King's importance, his status, has increased from FOTR to ROTK.
I don't think that the Nazgul were increased in hierarchical status. They were already his mightiest and most trusted servants and their overall abilities put them above all of Sauron's other servants. While Sauron is gone, they are the chief enemies and it is also they who prepare the return of their master. All in all, with what we know, I would say it is safe to presume that, at least at the time of LotR, they were second to Sauron only.
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Old 10-03-2007, 02:28 PM   #23
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It's not that some other captain would have outranked the WK before RotK, it's that the WK's job in LotR, up until RotK, was to stalk the Ringbearer with the other Nazgul. In RotK, he's put in command of an army, which raises his status as the reader (or viewer) perceives it, and this was the whole point of Tolkien's letter. It has nothing to do with a promotion of rank, nor an increase of power. He was always Sauron's prime lieutenant, but on the Pelennor his job is no longer to hunt the Ring, it's to command an army in open war.
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:14 PM   #24
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I believe there is "reasonable doubt" about this interpretation. The nazgul are already described to the reader in superlatives, be they regarding power or hierarchy. The witch-king is described in the prologue as a powerful and successful leader of armies, Bombadil refers to that too and Gandalf says that Sauron governed Mordor through the nazgul. Moreover, the very wording of "added demonic power" in the context of simply reader perception concerning his role seems somewhat ... uncalled for. Imposing, majestic, frightening or other adjectives might justify this interpretation, but demonic not, imo.
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:22 PM   #25
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There is only one demonic force in Middle Earth, & that is the Balrog of Morgoth. He has no rank Sauron could give him which he could deem as worthy - he answers only to his master (the Lord of the Balrogs), & more importantly his great master, Morgoth.
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:44 PM   #26
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The witch-king is described in the prologue as a powerful and successful leader of armies, Bombadil refers to that too and Gandalf says that Sauron governed Mordor through the nazgul.
Again, it has nothing to do with actual status and everything to do with perceived status. Yes, the Witch-King had commanded armies (and even held a kingdom) before. In LotR, there is a very obvious transformation taking place from his more or less anonymity among the Nine early on, to his unveiled military leadership on the Pelennor. This transformation does not require any literal power-ups; it's perfectly congruent without them. In fact, your own point that the Witch-King was an accomplished military general before his role in LotR argues against the necessity of a literal enhancement.

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the very wording of "added demonic power" in the context of simply reader perception concerning his role seems somewhat ... uncalled for. Imposing, majestic, frightening or other adjectives might justify this interpretation, but demonic not, imo.
Are you saying that because he used the word "demonic," he must be referencing Sauron's nature as a "demon," and therefore the "demonic force" was bestowed by Sauron? I think the word is perfectly applicable without such a connection.
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:46 PM   #27
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There is only one demonic force in Middle Earth, & that is the Balrog of Morgoth. He has no rank Sauron could give him which he could deem as worthy - he answers only to his master (the Lord of the Balrogs), & more importantly his great master, Morgoth.
Sauron is as much a "demon" as the Balrog is.

Besides, "demonic force" is not here intended as a person, but as a something which the Witch-King acquires more of. The question is whether that something is really something or just a something.
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Old 10-03-2007, 06:22 PM   #28
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I take Tolkien's statement that the Witch King received added demonic force to mean an increased demonic force. In other words, the power that was added to was the power which the Witch King made the most frequent and effective use of; that is, the fear and terror that he inspired. That is his primary function, even as the leader of Sauron's armies.

No WAY is the Witch King's scaring-power going to work on a balrog which derived his power directly from Morgoth, the OG himself.
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Old 10-03-2007, 07:04 PM   #29
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Why would Tolkien provide this information here, in a borderline hostile letter about Zimmerman's adaptation of his story (with explicit focus on narrative choices--specifically how his differ from Zimmerman's), and not, say, in the appendix to the LotR? In a court of law I would probably be forced to admit "reasonable doubt," but this reading seems incredibly improbable to me.
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Old 10-04-2007, 01:50 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by obloquy
Again, it has nothing to do with actual status and everything to do with perceived status.
I don't see why this would be an issue of actual vs. perceived. The references I mentioned to the witch-king as leader of armies are in the book, for the first time reader to see from the prologue on and are reinforced by the two oldest beings, Gandalf and Bombadil. These are not extraneous informations. If Tolkien reinforced his status time and again, I don't see why he would expect the reader to perceive the WK as not a leader of armies. And to further underscore this interpretation, we see an amazing display of magical power on behalf of the WK at the Pelennor Fields. This level of power is never before witnessed by the reader, regarding the WK, or rather no other character at all.
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Originally Posted by The Siege of Gondor
Then the Black Captain rose in his stirrups and cried aloud in a dreadful voice, speaking in some forgotten tongue words of power and terror to rend both heart and stone.

Thrice he cried. Thrice the great ram boomed. And suddenly upon the last stroke the Gate of Gondor broke. As if stricken by some blasting spell it burst asunder: there was a flash of searing lightning, and the doors tumbled in riven fragments to the ground.
To conclude, while the status of the WK as leader of armies is reinforced time and again before this battle in the books, his show of magic force here is definitely outstanding. To me, the interpretation of added demonic force is obvious.
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:29 AM   #31
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Here is an interesting scenario. What if the Balrog did kill the Witch King in Moria? What response would Sauron have to the fall of his great Captain? A showdown between the Balrog & Sauron himself would probably be one of the greatest & most tightly fought encounters ever seen in Middle Earth. The Balrog has no master, & is not specifically in league with Sauron, or why else would it not formally join Sauron in Mordor?

Alternatively Sauron could send a host of Trolls, probably upto a hundred to Moria, to deal with the Balrog. . .

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Old 10-05-2007, 11:07 AM   #32
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That sounds like a good topic for another one of your intellectual threads!
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:21 AM   #33
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That sounds like a good topic for another one of your intellectual threads!
Never underestimate the imagination of a human being! I take after Sam Gamgee (& Tolkein) . . . You should try playing Battle For Middle Earth on the PC.

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Old 10-06-2007, 09:33 PM   #34
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To conclude, while the status of the WK as leader of armies is reinforced time and again before this battle in the books, his show of magic force here is definitely outstanding. To me, the interpretation of added demonic force is obvious.
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Thrice he cried. Thrice the great ram boomed. And suddenly upon the last stroke the Gate of Gondor broke. As if stricken by some blasting spell it burst asunder: there was a flash of searing lightning, and the doors tumbled in riven fragments to the ground.
I would agree that this is good evidence of the Witch King's added demonic power. As several people have pointed out above or in other contexts, the Witch King (like the other Nazgul) know when to withdraw when they are overmatched. They held back from Gandalf on Weathertop during the daylight, but then closed on him (all nine) after dark, although Gandalf was able to hold them off. Even Aragorn drove them off.

But by the time the Witch King arrives at the Pelennor Field, he is able to break the Gates of the City and to face Gandalf, unless one interprets his departure to check on the horns of the Rohirrim as actually flight from Gandalf, although this does not seem likely given his challenge to Gandalf

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'Old fool!, he said. "old fool! This is my hour. Do you not know Deathe when you see it? Die now and curse in vain!'
Clearly, the Witch King is feeling as if he can stand up to Gandalf, although it is not clear that understands completely that Gandalf's own power has been substantially enhanced.

Otherwise, the Witch King's breaking of the Gates of the City might be seen as similar to Gandalf's sundering of the Bridge at Khazad-dm with his staff. This in fact succeeded in sending the Balrog into the depths (even if it did not kill him), and only by a combination of skill with his whip (and perhaps a bit of luck) was he able to take Gandalf with him.

So I'd say the Witch King, at least with his added power, would be quite a match for the Balrog, if it came to that...
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Old 10-06-2007, 10:33 PM   #35
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Nope.
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Old 10-07-2007, 03:38 AM   #36
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I don't think that these arguments:
Quote:
Originally Posted by CSteefel
Clearly, the Witch King is feeling as if he can stand up to Gandalf, although it is not clear that understands completely that Gandalf's own power has been substantially enhanced.

Otherwise, the Witch King's breaking of the Gates of the City might be seen as similar to Gandalf's sundering of the Bridge at Khazad-dm with his staff. This in fact succeeded in sending the Balrog into the depths (even if it did not kill him), and only by a combination of skill with his whip (and perhaps a bit of luck) was he able to take Gandalf with him.
would justify this conclusion:
Quote:
So I'd say the Witch King, at least with his added power, would be quite a match for the Balrog, if it came to that.
The breaking of the bridge was a rather unique event that helped in the end the defeat of the balrog, with little if any chance of its necessity or conditions appearing again. While confidence is definitely an important factor in a battle, it would not suffice in overcoming a balrog, so the WK's belief he can win over Gandalf does not say much about how he would do against the balrog. In some sort of a Condorcet's paradox, we may even find that Gandalf can defeat the balrog, WK can defeat Gandalf (presumably) and the balrog can defeat the WK. Although I think that the WK would generally lose against the balrog, I guess in the end we are talking probabilities of defeat/winning, so we can imagine that if they fought for a large enough number of times in rather similar conditions, at least in one battle the WK would win by chance.
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Old 10-07-2007, 05:35 AM   #37
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Well, take the breaking of the Gates of the City on its own value then, it is an impressive display of force, and as I believe you said, indicates clearly the augmentation of the WK's power.

Otherwise, I agree it is difficult to say how this would play out against a Balrog, since there is ample evidence that the WK was overmatched at various other times, although he seems to have recognized it when this was the case and he withdrew. So it is quite possible he would do the same when faced with a Balrog.

The other possibility that I would not completely discount is that the WK on the Pelennor Fields is not completely aware of the power of some of the players on the field at that time. Gandalf is the obvious one--how would he have known that Gandalf had been sent back, although perhaps others will dispute whether his power is really augmented. In the end, of course, the WK is defeated by Merry and Eowyn, certainly something he did not count on.
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Old 10-07-2007, 06:52 AM   #38
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William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Yawn. Done to death.



Now, Arwen vs. Eowyn! In the mud-pit! Clothes-ripping allowed! Now, that I'd pay money to see
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Old 10-07-2007, 11:50 AM   #39
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Why does the breaking of the Gate prove an increase in the Witch-King's power? The Witch-King was already a sorcerer:

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Those who used the nine rings became might in their day, kings, sorcerers, and warriors of old.~The Silmarillion; Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age
Also:
Quote:
King of Angmar long ago Sorcerer, Ringwraith, Lord of the Nazgul, a spear of terror in the hand of Sauron, shadow of despair.~(Gandalf to Pippin) The Siege of Gondor
You don't think all those pretty lights on Amon Sul was all Gandalf now do you? The Witch-King (and most likely the other Ring-wraiths) became 'kings, sorcerers, and warriors of old' because of the use of their nine rings. Just because the Witch-King lights his sword and breaks down the gate doesn't mean he has had an increase in power as he already was a sorcerer with some neat tricks.
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Old 10-07-2007, 12:37 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boro
Why does the breaking of the Gate prove an increase in the Witch-King's power?
We were debating the meaning of "added demonic force". Neither we, the more knowledgeable fans, nor the first time reader, have witnessed the WK display such force, although he had ample reasons. In this specific context of debate, the alternative interpretation is rather unlikely, for reasons given in this thread.
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