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LadyBeruthiel
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Post What was behind the door in the Chamber of Mazarbul?
on: June 05, 2016 06:37
In the chapter, "The Bridge of Khazad-dum," as the company are escaping through the east door, Gandalf stays behind and puts a spell of closing on the door. Then he says, "something came into the chamber.... It laid hold of the iron ring, and then it perceived me and my spell." He goes on, "What it was I cannot guess, but I have never felt such a challenge. The counter-spell was terrible.... I had to speak a word of Command." At that the door bursts into pieces and the wall and roof of the chamber collapse.

What was that thing? Was it the Balrog? Gandalf does say "Now I understand," when the Balrog appears, but how did it escape the caved in chamber? Or are there multiple Balrogs?
Gandolorin
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on: June 06, 2016 06:46
As far as I can see, nothing other than the Balrog could have even remotely challenged Gandalf. How the Balrog escaped the chamber, or why it did not pursue the fellowship if it was able to escape, is most likely one of the little inconsistencies which crop up every once in a while in all of JRRT's works.

But then, when Gandalf says "I had to speak a word of Command." this may have been powerful enough to hurtle the Balrog back towards the entrance-door of the chamber. This may quite possibly have been an occasion when hiding his true power as a Maia, which was the charge laid on all five Istari by the Valar, was temporarily not in force. Gandalf's later battle with the Balrog was certainly way beyond what he would have been able to do had he held to the constraints of having a mortal guise.
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Elthir
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on: June 08, 2016 10:42
I always thought it was the Balrog. Gandalf also notes that after the door broke something dark as a cloud was blocking out all the light inside.

I've always assumed that the Balrog sensed what the conflicting spells might do, given the door, and fell back in time to escape the falling walls. Gandalf thinks the roof may have fallen in as well (or part of it), but in any case the way was blocked...

... so the Balrog and the orcs retreat out the other door, and find another passage to follow the Company. Possibly with some plan in mind.

Just my opinion.
Lord_Sauron
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on: June 09, 2016 01:01
I also think it was the Balrog. When Gandalf says "Now I understand" I think he realises what Durin's bane actually was. I don't know if anyone knew that Durin was killed by a balrog only that something was woken. I could be wrong
LadyBeruthiel
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on: June 11, 2016 01:23
I've always thought it was the Balrog, but this is my umpteenth re-reading and this time I thought, Wait, how did it get out of the chamber? On the other hand, it had to be pretty powerful to drain Gandalf's strength that way. Is there more information on Balrogs in Tolkien's other writings?
Evil~Shieldmaiden
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on: June 12, 2016 05:03
Source: J.E.A. Tyler's The Complete Tolkien Companion:

Balrog ‘Demon-of-Power’(Sind., from Q. Valarauka) –In their origins, as a part of the Thought of Ilúvatar, these were MAIAR of the following or service of Melkor, the mightiest of the Ainur. They had the form of spirits of fire. At the beginning of days they took service with Melkor, and were swiftly corrupted to his purposes, appearing everafter to Elves and Men as demonic beings of great size, fire-enshrouded, who bore, as their principal weapon, a whip of many thongs. Only the mightiest among the Eldar could hope to withstand them, for no ordinary weapons or warriors could harm or daunt these most dreadful of all Morgoth’s servants.

Gothmog their lord was finally slain by Ecthelion, Captain of Gondolin, in single combat in the courtyard before the King’s Tower, during the final stages of the sack of that Elven-city. The Balrogs took part in all the major assaults of Morgoth during the War of the Jewels, and were nearly all destroyed in the fall of Angband. Yet one at least survived the breaking of Thangorodrim and fled to the safest place it knew –the roots of the mountains.

And yet this hiding-place was not secure enough. In 1980 Third Age by mischance the Dwarves of Moria were delving deep under Caradhras for mithril and thus accidentally released the entombed Balrog, which slew two of their Kings: Durin VI and (the following year) his son Náin I. The Dwarves then fled from Moria, never to return while the Third Age lasted. Inside the dark halls of Khazâd-dûm the Balrog walked and even the Orcs feared its presence. It was finally destroyed by Mithrandir, at the cost of his own life.

Note: a curious early legend states that the name Gothmog, given to that ‘Lord of Balrogs’who slew Fëanor at the Battle-under-Stars in the North (and many other of the Eldar besides), and was slain by Ecthelion, is derived from Kosomot (Q.), who is in turn named as the ‘son of Melkor.


Since the Balrog were "the mightiest of the Ainur", I think one can assume that the Balrog of Moria was, at least as powerful, if not more powerful, than Gandalf.
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Elthir
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on: June 13, 2016 01:32
A nice description from Tolkien's Later Quenta Silmarillion II

These were the (ealar) spirits who first adhered to him in the days of his splendor, and became most like him in his corruption: their hearts were of fire, but they were cloaked in darkness, and terror went before them; they had whips of flame. Balrogs they were named by the Noldor in later days."

JRRR, LQSII, Morgoth's Ring


We know that Gandalf's foe had a "mane" that caught fire, and that fire came from its nostrils. And from my reading, I think it's possible (at least) that the Balrog escaped the falling walls of the chamber.

[Edited on 06/13/2016 by Elthir]
LadyBeruthiel
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on: July 02, 2016 12:17
So then Gandalf destroyed the last Balrog? Thanks, all, I've enjoyed this thread.
Gandolorin
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on: July 16, 2016 07:36
Evil~Shieldmaiden said:
Source: J.E.A. Tyler's The Complete Tolkien Companion:

Balrog ‘Demon-of-Power’(Sind., from Q. Valarauka) –In their origins, as a part of the Thought of Ilúvatar, these were MAIAR of the following or service of Melkor, the mightiest of the Ainur.


Since the Balrog were "the mightiest of the Ainur", I think one can assume that the Balrog of Moria was, at least as powerful, if not more powerful, than Gandalf.

E~S, you disappoint me. Maiar were by definition the lesser of the Ainur compared to the Valar. Maiar and Valar being those that entered Arda. Had a bad day back when you posted? (Not that I have any personal experience with such rumored "bad days", which are merely an abstract hypothesis for me - and would you please stop grinning like the Cheshire Cat!!!)

[Edited on 07/16/2016 by Gandolorin]
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