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Minas Tirith Forums » Library Council of Minas Tirith » The question of Balrog wings (Page 7)
Author Topic: The question of Balrog wings
Roll of Honor Gandalf the White
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beating a dead horse? ROFL! I don't think iv'e heard that one!
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Earendilyon
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Fingy surely is a very weird guy!
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Tuor
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How about this one...

Sometimes they did have wings, other times they didn't. The Istari were limited to the form of man by Manwe. The other Maiar had no such limitations. Their form was dependant upon their whim. Just as Finrod Felagund could change shapes, so could any Maiar. If an Elf can change shapes, it reasons to stand that any Maia could change shapes.

In other words, it's possible.


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Earendilyon
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Tuor, that's already been discussed, IIRC. The major problem with it is: why would a Balrog who could change his form not change it to a wingless shape, while living in cramped quarters at the roots of a mountain? I don't think he would've had much space down in Moria. Having wings would only hinder him. Therefore, he would've changed his form to a wingless one, would he have been capable of doing that.
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Tuor
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You will notice that I didn't limit my observation to the Durin's Bane. WGW's original question from page 1 was:

Did Balrogs have wings?

I was answering that specific question. I believe my observation to be correct. No where does it mention the fact that Morgoth limited the Balrog's abilities as Manwe limited the Istari's.

Durin's Bane is a very specific Balrog. He was an unhindered Maia. Gandalf was lucky to destroy him.

<FONT COLOR="#000000" SIZE="1" FACE="Verdana, Arial">This message has been edited by Tuor on 10-06-2001 at </font>

This message has been edited by Tuor on 10-06-2001 at


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Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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Tuor of course it is possible but that is not the question the question is if it happened:

quote:
They[ainu who entered arda] were self incarnated if they wished but their incarnate forms were more anelogous to our cloths than to our bodies, except that they were more than are clothes the expression of there desires moods wills and functions.(letter 200)

This message has been edited by Fingolfin of the Noldor on 10-06-2001 at


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Dingalen
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I think, we already had that one, Fingolfin. Nevertheless, it doesn't give a supportive answer to whether the Balrog had wings (atleast at that moment when he approached the bridge) or whether the Balrog was still able to change its form freely after thousands of years of "wearing" it.

But It gives me an idea to a hypothesis:
As your statement implies is the form alsoan expression of the ainu's moods and character - i.e. an expression of its metaphysical nature. So assuming that Balrog's were able in the old days of flight-like movement - what if the Balrog "forgot" during his long stay underground how to fly?

------------------
As silent as greenwood the great.


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Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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again supposition based on supposition with no textual support. "already had that one"???? ok fine whatever why don't you read the post first.
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Dingalen
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Fingolfin
You might have noticed, that we are already on page 7 (seven) of this discussion - indicating that most of the relevant cites have been thoroughly exploited for both (or rather: different) sides.

I on my part have noticed, that your skill at digging out excellent cites is not matched by your discussion-related eloquence.

So we both might have learned something here...


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Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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eloquence is irrelevant if you cannot back up your position. I have never declared my grammar, spelling or even my eloquence to be above reproach; on the contrary I have affirmed that such semantics (as I see them) are unimportant in the grad scheme of things seeing as my interests lie not in that general area. Actually "english" has never been my forte and as such I am not bothered by references to my grammaritical(yes i know it is not a word) skill or lack there of.
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Dingalen
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Admittedly, eloquence without valid arguments is pure sophism - but a bit of a feeling for language is necessary to judge the meaning of metaphors. (And it helps expressing your ideas, too.)

The same as truth is not simply facts. It is the meaning that combines facts so a whole structure can be understood.

And the idea of the Balrog's wings is a more complex item, than can be explained by a few cites (or even many of them). The correlation of these cites is important, too.


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Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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I disagree, how you express yourself is NOT relevant if your evidence is relevant(and indeed prevalent or even present in the texts) but may prove necessary if you supposition is on unstable ground( ie little to no foundational evidence past your own conjecture). As such the former wouldbe self-evident while the latter would require that of which you speak to maintain the APPEARANCE of possibility/probability.

It seems to me that you are focusing on my speech itself to avoid the ideas presented therein and the evidence used to back it up.


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Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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I submit that my "few cites" illustrate to a greater degree what and why tolkien meant when he employed that language through establishment of pattern and meaning(when utilizing that specific form) more than all the eloquent conjecture in the world and that evidence is necessary to counter that evidence presented not simply what one merely "thinks"

If we are indeed to ultimately resolve this question evidence will not prove meaningless in the face of eloquence, as you submit, indeed to my mind it should prove visa versa.

It seems almost as if you are trying to say that my evidence is virtually meaningless given the fact I have broken english


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Dingalen
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What I am trying to say is, that your cites are good. Few others make so much effort to copy passages of the letters, the Silm, LotR, etc. literally to their posts. Which is excellent - because the ultimate judge of the mythology is Prof. Tolkien himself. So his word stands supreme.

Unfortunately his word is not always clear - like in the case of the Balrog. You try to prove that the wings are just a simile, because you detected the pattern, that Prof. Tolkien used a simile to describe an item - and then would refer back to the simile instead directly to the item. (In fact you even have composed quite a list of examples.)
That's a lot of work - and impressive, too.

But my point is that Prof. Tolkien used the similes not only for poetic beauty. They are used to link a certain association with the item described by the simile!

For example:

quote:

And out of the west, there would come at times a great cloud in the evening shaped as it were an eagle with pinions spread to the north and the south and slowy it would loom up bloting out the sunset and then uttermost night would fall upon Numenior. And some of the eagles bore lightning beneath their wings and thunder echoes between sea and cloud.

It is obvious, that these clouds were not eagles - and that it is a simile to make the image of these clouds in the west more impressive. But Prof. Tolkien used "eagle" as a simile for the clouds for a reason - most likely to link the impressive display of natural forces in the west to the Valar. Namely to Manwë, whose messengers eagles are. Which again could be interpreted, that the clouds serve as a messenger function (or are atleast understood by the people of Numenor as such): To remind Numenor of the presence of the Valar in the west - and the numenoreans own privilege to live close to the undying lands and its wonders.

So a similar intrepretation of the Balrog's wings might be surely valid. I believe that Prof. Tolkien used the wing simile for a reason - and if it was only, because he liked the image of an indistinct winged shape to deepen the terror of the Balrog.

I hope you see my point: The importance of linking the single cite or group of cites into the greater image of middle earth. And for this interpretations knowledge of Prof. Tolkien's works AND creative imagination are required.

And that's why I come here: Because in discussing our ideas, we get closer to the understanding of middle earth. The cites are all in the books, which we can read again and again. Other people's ideas, which might give me a new vista on the tales or deeper understanding, are out here.

I favor the combination of reading & discussing (even under the drawback that I step on other people's toes with my ideas) over

I'm right,
I got the cite,
black on white,
so take a bite
.

Get out of your cave, Fingolfin.

------------------
As silent as greenwood the great.


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Nimruzir
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As a side comment:

I made this for a friend of mine by the name of Oje...

Maybe it'll be appreciated here... or maybe not.

With Wings or not with Wings – a circular question:
Whether ‘tis sobering in the mind to differ
With mud-slinging and outrageously narrow interpretation
Or to take Wings outstretched against a sea of simile
And by opposing – entertain them. To fly, from the deep –
No more; and by a flame to say we end
The headache, quoting “a thousand Balrogs” in attack
That Umaiar are heir to. ‘Tis a commiseration
Devoutly wished. To Fly – without a peep –
Too deep – perchance unseen; ay there’s a rub!
For in that leap of death if Wings be none
When he had whipped out his oily coil
Must give us pause. There’s the aspect
That marks his calamity of flight and life.
For this Gandalf bears the whip and forswears time.
Th’ oppressor’s thong, the choice quite timely,
The Wings of grown proportions, the flaw is laid.
The insolence of opponents, and witty spurns
The “winged speed” of th’ early texts,
When he himself kept his quiet mistake,
With twisting of intent these infidels bear,
To grunt and sweat under weary tripe,
But that the dread of something before death –
Wings uncover’d and shadowy, which were shown
No interpretation resolves – puzzling them still,
And makes us rather swear by ills we have
When “Fly you fools” means not to fly?
Thus coincidence does make fools of us all,
And thus the berated hue of remonstration
Is prickled o’er with great amounts of thought,
And endeavours of great twist and movement
Within regard to their current ideology
And create a “new” meaning for trivial interpretation.

------------------
Sínome Endor maruvan ar hildinya tenn'ambar-metta


From: Den of Iniquity | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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Get out of my cave???!?!!!

What the heck is that supposed to mean. It seems to me that such insinuations as to my character and/or life are simply meant to provoke me no doubt in the hope that my response will not be up to par so to speak with yours.

quote:
I hope you see my point: The importance of linking the single cite or group of cites into the greater image of middle earth. And for this interpretations knowledge of Prof. Tolkien's works AND creative imagination are required.

yes that is very nice but we are not discussing your imagination we are discussing Tolkiens and lest you be him or a portion of his posterity thn YOUR imagination is irrelevant. I am in awe at your audacity in so much as you seem to feel you are somehow of like mind to tolkien and as such ideas you throw around without any form of support are in some way on the same level as his. I have consistently given evidence to back up my claims as to what tolkien meant establishing precedent and pattern and for that I recieve attacks.

quote:
Other people's ideas, which might give me a new vista on the tales or deeper understanding, are out here.

Yes but those ideas must have a solid foundation or they are simply that and as such hold no meaning. The fact is Tolkien is no longer with us and as such in discussions such as this where we attempt to discern what exactly tolkien meant suppositions which if true would have direct impact on the story but are baseless should have no part.

Yes discussion of new ideas is important but these ideas should hold merit in the form of some type of support to show that they are possibly consistent with tolkien's views otherwise they are simply the product of the discusses mind.

To you I say GROW UP. I do post my own personal conjecture but I give support for it from the texts and O will continue to hold that this is not a vice and my reliance on the texts to determine and form what I think tolkien meant is not indicative of some sort of mental habitation of subterranean recesses or whatever else you meant through that obviously derogatory insinuation.

This message has been edited by Fingolfin of the Noldor on 10-12-2001 at


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Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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that is cool Nim, what exactly is your view on the question?


BTW: just so there is no misunderstanding Nimruzir that was not a response to you but to Dingalen


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Eorl the Young
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*Sigh*, Fing. and Ding.

------------------
"Therefore I say: Ea! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shal be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be; and those of you that will may go down into it."

This message has been edited by Eorl the Young on 10-12-2001 at


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Nimruzir
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that is cool Nim, what exactly is your view on the question?

Thank you.

My view?
See:
Here

BTW: just so there is no misunderstanding Nimruzir that was not a response to you but to Dingalen.

I knew that.
He's such a nice guy to respond to, don't you agree?


------------------
Sínome Endor maruvan ar hildinya tenn'ambar-metta


From: Den of Iniquity | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dingalen
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Unfortunately, I have to agree with Nimruzir. Sometimes I should just shut up and stop fanning the bonfire of somebodies vanity. To say it poeticly. There is nothing poetic about this discussion anymore, except the framework of the Balrog's wings.

If Fingolfin is thinking that in discussing Prof. Tolkien's work you only need to find a fitting cite from the letters, that's fine. Really. Takes a lot of time & dedication to find the right quote and putting it onto the webpage. Especially, if you do it sometimes even repeatedly.
You are doing great work, man. Thanks for sparing us any personal interpretation of the quote most of the time.

I always love to get into a discussion - but from your last post, you seem genuinely hurt. That's not my intention.

I have to admit: During reading your post addressed to me, I imagined you frothing from the mouth, while typing. Until I realized, that you are deadly serious about this and that you are taking this not only personal, but feeling threatened, too.

So I apologize. It doesn't matter, whether you are right or I am right. Atleast, it doesn't matter that much to me. I am sorry and I hope you won't keep a grudge (too long). You are an excellent participant of this board.

So long.

PS: Nimruzir, you like hamlet?

This message has been edited by Dingalen on 10-15-2001 at


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Erati
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I have one thing to say about the topic of Balrog wings.

Why couldn't J.R.R.T have added the word SHADOW right before wings in the second quote!?!?!?!

It would have made it a lot easier on everyone!

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie I am Doomed die.


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Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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IMHO becasue it isn't as poetic
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Erati
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Sry fer askin but what does IMHO mean?

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie I am Doomed die.

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Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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no problem :

In My Humble Opinion


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Darkwing
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Well, just to add another view to the discussion, I found this comment and thought it was relevant, and quite revealing:

More significant is the later reaction of the members of the Fellowship of the Ring as the Winged Messanger (i.e. flying Nazgûl) flew over their heads (this is the Nazgûl that Legolas shot down). Their first guess was that the Messanger was a Balrog! Clearly what the Fellowship saw of the Balrog in Moria suggested to them that it ought to be able to fly, at the very least it must have had wings.

The full text of this discussion can be found at:
http://members.ozemail.com.au/~sdgeard/faqresp.html#q3


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Create a New Topic  Reply to this Topic Minas Tirith Forums » Library Council of Minas Tirith » The question of Balrog wings (Page 7)
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