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Autor Thema: Lore Corner - Questions and Debates  (Gelesen 48028 mal)

Adamin

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Lore Corner - Questions and Debates
« am: 10. Apr 2015, 07:35 »
Welcome to the Lore Corner,

here you can ask anything that you always wanted to know about Middle-earth. Everyone who has an explanation or theory according to the books or movies is invited to join the discussion. The questions can range from details out of the stories like "Do Balrogs have wings?" (No), or concepts out of Tolkiens other writings like "Are Glorfindel of Gondolin and Glorfindel of Rivendell the same person?" (Yes), or wild speculations without a definitive source like "What is orc society like?" (It's complicated).

This topic is based on one of the longest running threads here on the MU called "Was ihr schon immer wissen wolltet", which roughly translates to "Things you always wanted to know". It'll be great to keep up the conversation here as well. :)

Have fun!
« Letzte Änderung: 16. Jan 2016, 02:04 von DieWalküre »

Saruman der Bunte

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Re: Lore Corner - Questions and Debates
« Antwort #1 am: 10. Apr 2015, 09:46 »
In the Lord of the Rings it is stated, that Balrogs DO have wings! (Or things that look like wings) ;)

Zitat
The Balrog reached the bridge.Gandalf stood in the middle of the span, leaning on the staff in his left hand, but in his other hand Glamdring gleamed, cold and white. His enemy halted again, facing him, and the shadow about it reached out like two vast wings.


"Zwei Dinge erfüllen das Gemüt mit immer neuer und zunehmenden Bewunderung und Ehrfurcht, je öfter und anhaltender sich das Nachdenken damit beschäftigt: Der bestirnte Himmel über mir, und das moralische Gesetz in mir."
                   -Immanuel Kant-

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Estel

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Re: Lore Corner - Questions and Debates
« Antwort #2 am: 10. Apr 2015, 09:58 »
In the Lord of the Rings it is stated, that Balrogs DO have wings! (Or things that look like wings) ;)

Zitat
The Balrog reached the bridge.Gandalf stood in the middle of the span, leaning on the staff in his left hand, but in his other hand Glamdring gleamed, cold and white. His enemy halted again, facing him, and the shadow about it reached out like two vast wings.
No, it's only a comparison^^

"Darkness spread out from the Balrog in  shape of two vast wings"

Der Dunkle König

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Re: Lore Corner - Questions and Debates
« Antwort #3 am: 10. Apr 2015, 10:19 »
There is another quote:
Zitat
...suddenly it drew itself up to a great height, and its wings were spread from wall to wall...
No shadows here, just wings.

"Außerhalb der Weltkreise werde ich niemanden verfolgen denn außerhalb der Welt ist nichts. Doch innerhalb der Welt werden sie mir nicht entkommen, bis sie in das Nichts eintreten."

Saruman der Bunte

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Re: Lore Corner - Questions and Debates
« Antwort #4 am: 10. Apr 2015, 10:25 »
There is another quote:
Zitat
...suddenly it drew itself up to a great height, and its wings were spread from wall to wall...
No shadows here, just wings.

Oh yeah, I think this was the qoute I was looking for! Thanks! :)


"Zwei Dinge erfüllen das Gemüt mit immer neuer und zunehmenden Bewunderung und Ehrfurcht, je öfter und anhaltender sich das Nachdenken damit beschäftigt: Der bestirnte Himmel über mir, und das moralische Gesetz in mir."
                   -Immanuel Kant-

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hoho96

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Re: Lore Corner - Questions and Debates
« Antwort #5 am: 10. Apr 2015, 11:43 »
As far as I know (from the quotes), I always imagined the Balrog with demon-like wings that were dripping darkness around him^^
And yeah it's pretty clear in the book that the Balrog DID have wings. However, I'm not so sure about Balrogs of F.A.
I've imagined them in different shapes, much like how Orcs are different than each other  [ugly]

Adamin

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Re: Lore Corner - Questions and Debates
« Antwort #6 am: 10. Apr 2015, 18:48 »
Nope, this would be just a very literal reading of the text. Like Estel said it's more likely a metaphor. Tolkien describes the incorporeal darkness and shadows that spread from the Balrog like two vast wings. The second sentence reuses the metaphor.

Would you also think that this:
Zitat
"I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread."
means Bilbo is literally turned into butter and scraped on a piece of bakery? :D

Another pretty clear piece of evidence is that the Balrog of Moria (as well as the Balrog that Glorfindel fought) was defeated by throwing him down a mountain. Gandalfs whole plan in Moria is based upon this. That doesn't make a lot of sense if a Balrog would indeed be capable of flying, does it?
« Letzte Änderung: 13. Apr 2015, 01:49 von Adamin »

Der Dunkle König

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Re: Lore Corner - Questions and Debates
« Antwort #7 am: 10. Apr 2015, 19:48 »
Would you also think that this:
Zitat
"I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread."
means Bilbo is literally turned into butter and scraped on a piece of bakery? :D
I don't think that's a good comparison: Physiological Balrogath could have wings, but Bilbo couldn't be bread or butter. That means you can take the quote about the Balrog literally, but not the quote about Bilbo.

Another pretty clear piece of evidence is that the Balrog of Moria (as well as the Balrog that Glorfindel fought) was defeated by throwing him down a mountain. Gandalfs whole plan in Moria is based upon this. That doesn't make a lot of sense if a Balrog would indeed be capable of flying, does it?
Nobody talked about flying, just wings. Having wings doesn't mean being able to fly. Like ostriches. ;)
And even if they were able to fly, we do not know what happened when they fell. Maybe Gandalf and Glorfindel hindered them from flying away, just like in the movie, by fighting them.
By the way, there is another quote from Appendix A, Duron's Folk:
Zitat
Thus they roused from sleep a thing of terror that, flying from Thangorodrim, had lain hidden at the foundations of the earth since the coming of the Host of the West: a Balrog of Morgoth
Yes, you could call it another metaphor, and I can not falsify it, but I doubt that you can prove it.
There is a reason for this never ending discussion about winged Balrogath: there is no real evidence. So my opinion is that everybody should keep his own opinion and be happy with it.

"Außerhalb der Weltkreise werde ich niemanden verfolgen denn außerhalb der Welt ist nichts. Doch innerhalb der Welt werden sie mir nicht entkommen, bis sie in das Nichts eintreten."

hoho96

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Re: Lore Corner - Questions and Debates
« Antwort #8 am: 10. Apr 2015, 22:50 »
I couldn't agree more with you^^

At any rate, ingame the balrog looks pretty badass WITH wings. So yeah that's damn cool  [uglybunti]

Adamin

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Re: Lore Corner - Questions and Debates
« Antwort #9 am: 10. Apr 2015, 23:43 »
Don't worry, I'm not arguing for removing all wings of all Balrog-depictions. ;)
The movie version is pretty cool as it is, so no changes needed. (Also it is technically okay, because I think there is no membrane between its "wing fingers", so no real wings)

It's more just an interesting thing to think about. And since its one of the most discussed LotR-questions on the internet, I'm not alone with this.

Yes, you could call it another metaphor, and I can not falsify it, but I doubt that you can prove it.
Actually, I can prove it. :D

The word "flying" here, from its base form "flight", is not used in the modern sense of flying like a bird, but rather an old-fashioned english meaning: fleeing, or escaping with great haste.

Zitat von: Wiktionary
[..] from Old English flyht, from Proto-Germanic *fluhtiz, derived from *fleuhaną (“to flee”). Cognate with Dutch vlucht and German Flucht
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/flight

Seeing as Tolkien was a linguist, he was shurely aware of this meaning. Not only that but he used it many times. Chapter 12 of The Fellowship of the Ring, first book, is called "Flight to the Ford". Asfaloth wasn't carrying Frodo through the air. After the Fight with the Balrog Gandalf calls out: "Fly, you fools!" He wasn't talking about the eagles here (although there is a great and funny fan-theory about this ^^).

So yeah, the Appendix most likely does not talk about the Balrog actually flying but rather fleeing from the ruins of Thangorodrim. Thus no evidence for wings.

And yes, I'm talking about functional wings. Saying that a Balrog could have had wings incapable of flying is a nice loophole (see the movie) but nothing that can really be argued about.

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Re: Lore Corner - Questions and Debates
« Antwort #10 am: 11. Apr 2015, 00:01 »
I'm aware of the fact, that "fly" can mean "flee". But can you prove that Tolkien meant "flee" in this special case? That's what I doubt, not that it can mean "flee".

"Außerhalb der Weltkreise werde ich niemanden verfolgen denn außerhalb der Welt ist nichts. Doch innerhalb der Welt werden sie mir nicht entkommen, bis sie in das Nichts eintreten."

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Re: Lore Corner - Questions and Debates
« Antwort #11 am: 11. Apr 2015, 00:39 »
By the way, is the plural "Balrogath" or "Belryg"? Just a quick question :)

Der Dunkle König

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Re: Lore Corner - Questions and Debates
« Antwort #12 am: 11. Apr 2015, 01:00 »
It's "Balrogath". But you can say "Balrogs" too.

"Außerhalb der Weltkreise werde ich niemanden verfolgen denn außerhalb der Welt ist nichts. Doch innerhalb der Welt werden sie mir nicht entkommen, bis sie in das Nichts eintreten."

Adamin

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Re: Lore Corner - Questions and Debates
« Antwort #13 am: 13. Apr 2015, 01:42 »
I'm aware of the fact, that "fly" can mean "flee". But can you prove that Tolkien meant "flee" in this special case? That's what I doubt, not that it can mean "flee".

Well yes, as I said the fact that Tolkien frequently used flight in that sense seemed like a pretty good proof to me. I guess you could also look up how this specific passage was translated in a version where the translator worked closely together with Tolkien (like the german Carroux Translation for example, unfortunatly I can't look mine up atm). I suppose it is not too farfetched that this passage would also have been noticed by a translator.

But I think you're looking for proof in form of a defintive answer from Tolkien, like a letter or the like. That I guess you already know that there is none.



So okay, let's look at it from another angle. Let's assume Gandalfs perspective during his confrontation for a moment:

Gandalf who is desperately trying to get Frodo (and the Fellowship) unharmed through Moria. At the last moment the Balrog catches up with them. Gandalf knows that he is the only one powerful enough to do anything against this foe, but even this might not be enough. He is trying to stop him at the bridge, opposes him with his magic ("the dark fire will not avail you!" after which the fire of the Balrog does dwindle for a moment), and even deflects one direct blow (breaking the blade of fire).
It is at that point that Gandalf decides: "I will break the bridge under him, so that we might be able to flee."

This makes no sense if the Balrog could fly. Why should Gandalf even try this? Why would he assume that breaking the bridge will throw the Balrog off balance? The Balrog would catch up with them just a moment later. It would be annoying sure, but not really effective. This would make Gandalf pretty stupid for even trying something that would obviously be ineffectual.

But maybe Gandalf planned to wrestle the Balrog in midair and thus hinder him from flying!
That makes even less sense! First remember that the Balrog pulled Gandalf down with his whip. Gandalf did not plan to fall with the Balrog, he didn't used the bridge as spring board, deliberatly jumping into the chasm. So even if he could have prevented the Balrog to just fly back up, it was definetly not something he did by choice.
Second, could Gandalf honestly prevented the Balrog from flying? I mean yeah, the scene in the movies looks great and all and Gandalf is pretty powerful, but how exactly should that work? The winged Balrog could have regained his balance in midair and dodged Gandalf, because I suppose Gandalf can't really (quickly) change the direction in which he falls. In the movies they were both just falling. Otherwise, Gandalf would have to jump onto the flying Balrog and somehow keep hanging on him, which I'm pretty sure the Balrog would do anything against.

And this is Gandalfs Plan to stop the winged Balrog? As I said, this doesn't really paint Gandalf as a competent, foresightful character. (Which as the rest of the story shows us is exactly what he's supposed to be!)



That's why I'm pretty sure that this age old question can be with reasonable certainty answered. Of course you can choose to interpret the few passages als literally descriptive, but by doing so you're missing a lot of context.

ThorinsNemesis

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Re: Lore Corner - Questions and Debates
« Antwort #14 am: 14. Apr 2015, 06:19 »
I always wanted to know:
Where exactly is Durin's Folk's dwelling in the Blue Mountains? I found only 3 answers, and they were all different - one stated it was in the Southern Blue Mountains, south of the spur (MERP wiki); another stated it was in the central or southern part of the Northern Blue Mountains, built over the survived ruins of Nogrod (LOTR wiki); and the last location I found was in the Northern Blue Mountains beyond the Little Lune river, a few miles north of Belegost which survived south of the Little Lune (Tolkien Gateway).
Which one of these is true? Or is there a map showing the so called 'Thorin's Halls', the Little Lune and the ruins of Belegost?

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