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Minas Tirith Forums » Library Council of Minas Tirith » What was the Secret Fire that Gandalf said in Moria that he served? (Page 2)
Author Topic: What was the Secret Fire that Gandalf said in Moria that he served?
Goldberry Slinks Back In
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I don't know if any of you are Christians, but if you read the book carefully, it has Christian representation. Gandalf dying and coming back to life represents Jesus. Boromir is a heretic. Etcetera. I think the "Secret Fire" or "Imperishable Flame" represents God. That's my opinion.

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O slender as a willow-wand! O clearer than clear water!
O reed by the living pool. Fair river-daughter!
O spring-time and summer-time, and spring again after!
O wind on the waterfall, and the leaves' laughter!
~Frodo, to Goldberry


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Mithrandir
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actually, no. Eru was representative of God....if you wanna take it very loosely, it could possibly be a pararel to the Bible or something, but i think most likely that the Flame Unperishable was not a parralel. except maybe showing that God/Eru is forever.
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Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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We don't know exactly what the flame imperishiable is so how can we use metaphors (or use it as a metaphor) to describe it?
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Nimruzir
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All quotes are from Morgoth's Ring
'This is actually already glimpsed in the Ainulindale', in which reference is made to the 'Flame Imperishable'. This appears to mean the Creative activity of Eru (in some sense distinct from or within Him), by which things could be given a 'real' and independent (though derivative and created existence. The Flame Imperishable is sent out from Eru, to dwell in the heart of the world, and the world then Is, on the same plane as the Ainur, and they can enter into it.'

Also:
'After 'the Secret Fire was sent to burn at the heart of the World' was added: 'and it was called Ea', with 'Let it be!' in a footnote.'

And:
'Therefore I say: Let these things Be! And I will send forth the flame imperishable into the Void, and it shall be at the heart.'

And:
'Being in the moment of their utterance, for all shall then understand his intent in their part, and shall know the comprehension of each, and Iluvatar shall give to their thoughts the secret fire, being well pleased.'

Secret Fire and Flame Imperishable are interchangable words. The reference by Gandalf seems to imply that he is a servant of creation (An Ainu descended to Ea). It is shown in another thread (Orcs) where the power of 'creation' is given to the Ainu of Ea (if they so desire).


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Turgon King of Gondolin
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Ha! Finally Nimruzir says something I already know and understand. Figured all that out from Ainulindale

This message has been edited by Turgon King of Gondolin on 03-23-2001 at


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Nimruzir
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RE: Ha! Finally Nimruzir says something I already know and understand.
Well I TRY to be as clear as possible.

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Mithrandir
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nice post nimruzir, i had never really connected that Maia were Ainur....but anyways, i think that makes it clear enought that Gandalf was on a mission from Eru, and that he had "access" to the Flame, now i wonder just how many people did?
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Nimruzir
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RE: i think that makes it clear enought that Gandalf was on a mission from Eru...
Gandalf the Grey = Mission from Manwe
Gandlaf the White = Mission from Eru.

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Bungo
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Wo! Cool. My next question is who is this wondrous Nimruzir, and how does he know such things! Thanks!!!

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Eldameldor! A laita, laita te!


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Nimruzir
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RE: My next question is who is this wondrous Nimruzir, and how does he know such things!
Nimruzir is - well for now; Nimruzir.

How does he know these things (based on what little I do post)?

A seeming lifetime (for some) of reading and re-rereading and more re-reading all the material.

Great stories are worth the effort of understanding the nuances. (IMHO)

Does ol' Nim know everything?
Not even close.
There's just TOO MUCH information (and in many cases; NOT ENOUGH information!!!!!!!!!)

But I try.


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Mithrandir
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the letters but now....did saruman or others have use of the flame?
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Nimruzir
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RE: the letters but now....did saruman or others have use of the flame?
The Letters, The History series, The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, the generally unreleased texts of Osanwe-kenta, Turin Prose Fragments, additional Appendices, etc. All of this.

Did Saruman have access?
I think(!) that this is a partial explanation on how not only Melkor, but Sauron and later Saruman (all Ainur) were able to 'create' new species of Orcs, Trolls, etc. with the combining of what should normally be species not able to produce offspring. Orc-men, and Troll-men as 2 readily apparent examples of this premise. This would of course be considered an 'unnatural act' (against the specific designs of Eru), but as hopefully shown - given 'reality' nonetheless.

Is this ALSO a possible partial explanation of Saruman's fall from his appointed path in Middle-earth? Possibly.

This of course would lead into an analysis of Magic-use in Middle-earth, but then few topics rarely are isolated incidents that do not directly relate to other topics.


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Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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I agree with you have said; unfortunitely I don't have HoME 9-12 or the letters
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Turgon King of Gondolin
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Yeah I think at least all the Valar had access to it. I mean what about Aule's dwarves, Manwe's eagles, or Yvanna's ents?
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Mithrandir
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well, i dont believe all normal creatures used the flame, just some special ones. and the races were created by the Valar, and remember when Aule made the dwarves, the other valar didnt know...i think had he called upon the flame they might have known??
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Nimruzir
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RE: well, i dont believe all normal creatures used the flame, just some special ones.
Nor do I.
Gandalf claims to be a servant of it, and curiously a weilder of the flame of Anor.
This is in all probability, another euphamism to the Secret Fire.

IMO this was simply a declaration to the Balrog (a fellow Ainu) stating his status (hidden presently in the guise of man-form), and informing the rogue Ainu that things are not as unequal as he might have thought.
Put simply: 'I'm just as tough as you are, now; wanna pick on someone your own size?'.

i think had he called upon the flame they might have known??
Well I don't think it's like THE FORCE or anything where a 'disturbance' would be felt.

Of a certainty, Eru knew.


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Miturian
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I like that one about Gandalf only telling because the balrog where an ainu.
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Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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the secre fire wasn't only mentioned in lotr it was also mentioned in the silm(pg 17 Ballantine):

quote:

Therefor Iluvatar gave to their vision being, and set it amid the void, and the Secret Fire was sent to burn at the heart of the world; and it was called Ea.

Based on this I believe we can safely assume that the Secret fire it the power which gave being and coniousness to the creations of Eru. And I agree, I also believe the "flame of Anor" was quite probably a symbol for the secret fire in an allusion to the white light of the sun(anor).


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Mithrandir
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Conclusion:
The Secret Fire spoken of by Gandalf is the "heart" of Middle Earth, the symbolism of Eru. Gandalf was stating to the Balrog that "I am a servant of Eru" The Secret Fire, also known as the Flame Unperishable was the basis of Middle Earth, the "part" or "piece" of Eru that went unto Middle Earth and in a way, gave it life


(as with all conclusions, and particulary this one, if you see anything astray or left out, correct me)


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Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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and said fire gave life and form to the creations of Eru
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Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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What is kind of funny is the term "secret fire was used for the fires of Mt. Doom at one time(The Return of the Shadow pg82 HMC ed):
quote:

...Feiry Mountain, and drop it down into the Secret Fire, if you really wanted to destroy it.


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Shadow Gale
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One of Tolkien's letters:

"Thus Gandalf faced and suffered death; and came back or was sent back, as he says, with enhanced power. But though one may be in this reminded of the Gospels, it is not really the same thing at all. The Incarnation of God is an infinitely greater thing than anything I would dare to write. Here I am only concerned with Death as part of the nature, physical and spiritual, of Man, and with Hope without guarantees." LETTER #181


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Shadow Gale
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As to the Secret Fire:

quote:

"He [Melkor] had gone often alone into the void places seeking the Imperishable Flame; for desire grew hot within him to bring into Being things of his own, and it seemed to him that Iluvatar took no thought for the Void, and he was impatient of its emptiness. Yet he found not the Fire, for it is with Iluvatar."[The Silmarillion]

Then, later on, just as Fingolfin of the Noldor said above:

quote:

"Therefore Iluvatar gave to their vision Being, and set it amid the Void, and the Secret Fire was sent to burn at the heart of the World; and it was called Ea." [The Silmarillion]

It is not his Ring, for why would Gandalf serve a Ring? The only Ring that people served was The One Ring that gained control of the wearer after time.

This message has been edited by Shadow Gale on 05-05-2001 at


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Tuor
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Something just hit me and usually people say I'm crazy when I say things like that, but couldn't The Secret Fire be free will.

Think about it, Aule could create dwarves that were perfectly good dwarves in every way, except they had no free will, they were his puppets. Eru had to give the dwarves free will, Aule wasn't able to. The secret fire is the one thing that the Eru possessed that made his creations unique, free will.

Free will, is that not the fire within us all?

This message has been edited by Tuor on 05-07-2001 at


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Bungo
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You may have something there, Tuor! And that would be why the Orcs are never seen repenting or defecting to the other side and fighting for good. They have no true free will. They have their own consciousness and initiative, but they are not free.

Maybe. In this world, Satan can't create anything. He just corrupts and copies. I can imagine Melkor craving the ability to actually create a free and independant being that could choose whether to serve him or not.

Maybe.

Nice idea!

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Eldameldor! A laita, laita te!

(Elf lovers! Bless them, bless them!)

This message has been edited by Bungo on 05-07-2001 at


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