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Who is the third most powerful being during the time of Hobbit and Lord of the Rings stories?

Saruman of Many Colours
Smaug
Balrog
Elrond
Glorfindel
Witch king of Angmar

Autor Thema: Who is the third most powerful being in the Middle - earth?  (Gelesen 9914 mal)

Adrigabbro

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Re: Who is the second most powerful being in the Middle - earth?
« Antwort #45 am: 8. Jun 2015, 15:48 »
That's precisely why Smaug is the number 1 choice mate. :)


"That still only counts as one!"

Adamin

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Re: Who is the second most powerful being in the Middle - earth?
« Antwort #46 am: 8. Jun 2015, 16:23 »
I'm not sure if it's stated somewhere in detail, but I was assuming so far that a Balrog does in fact has a physical body and isn't just consisting of fire and smoke. So grabbing and transporting shouldn't be the problem.

And I'm just arguing that because we have three directly quotable Balrog deaths, two of which ended by hurling it against the side of a mountain. So it seems like a pretty effective technique. ;)
I'm not saying that it'll be easy for Smaug or that the Balrog won't try to stop him somehow (physically or magically). But the flying foe does seem to have the advantage here imho.

Sauron or Melkor on the other hand would most likely not be killed by a fall I assume, just mildly inconvenienced. Melkor would probably crush the mountain.

Walküre

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Re: Who is the second most powerful being in the Middle - earth?
« Antwort #47 am: 8. Jun 2015, 16:24 »
Sorry Walküre, I'm going with Gandalf the White for the second one.  xD

Zitat
[Gimli: ...]"I thought Fangorn was dangerous."
"Dangerous!" cried Gandalf. "And so am I, very dangerous: more dangerous than anything you will ever meet, unless you are brought alive before the seat of the Dark Lord. And Aragorn is dangerous, and Legolas is dangerous. You are beset with dangers, Gimli son of Gloin; for you are dangerous yourself, in your own fashion."
- The Two Towers: The White Rider -

I assume you will never be part of the #TeamGaladriel  :)
I wouldn't say that we have cookies, but surely some delicious Lembas (as you may know, an original recipe kept preserved by Melian herself, and passed to Galadriel)  :P

AND, if we wanted to do some nitpicking, Gandalf says that he is more terrible than anything Gimli will ever meet; BUT, will Gimli ever witness the true power of Galadriel, or, has he ever seen all the deeds of Galadriel in the Years of the Trees or in the Elder Days?
NO  :)
SO, the match is always open  ;)

Galadriel, defending Middle Earth since the year 1 of First Age (more than 7000 years) after her exile from Aman (forget the 16th century armour)  8-)

Adamin

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Re: Who is the second most powerful being in the Middle - earth?
« Antwort #48 am: 8. Jun 2015, 16:28 »
No worries, I'd say Galadriel's a strong runner up for the third place.   ;)
Although I really haven't thought about Smaug until now... :D

At the point in the story that I quoted, Gimli has already met Galadriel. Also she has given Gandalf messages for the three hunters, so Gandalf knows that they know each other.

Walküre

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Re: Who is the second most powerful being in the Middle - earth?
« Antwort #49 am: 8. Jun 2015, 16:42 »
I know, he had already met Galadriel, but, which of the many?
Normal White, Sublime or Seaweed:P




And, maybe another one, I would say  :)
Noldorin Princess/just-arrived-in-Beleriand-with-her-brothers/Helcaraxë-survivor/longing-for-realms-and-revenge-against-Morgoth  8-)


TiberiusOgden

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Re: Who is the second most powerful being in the Middle - earth?
« Antwort #50 am: 14. Jul 2015, 13:41 »
Quite nice analysis. ;)


By the way, we can say that according to poll and our opinions, the most powerful being in the Middle-Earth is Dark Lord Sauron.
Concerning second place - (according the first and second poll) - I have no problem give that place to Galadriel and Gandalf the White together, as beings equal in power.
Third, four or fifth place is irrelevant, because both polls were primarily about three persons mentioned above.
« Letzte Änderung: 14. Jul 2015, 13:53 von TiberiusOgden »

Sir_Stig

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Re: Who is the most powerfull being in the Middle - earth?
« Antwort #51 am: 22. Jul 2015, 22:44 »
Well, I'd say that there is an easy logical way to answer the question.

It would be a lot easier if we could resolve all the 'mysteries' of Tolkien's lore with logical statements, but I don't think it would be really possible, because all Tolkien's universe is a 'Mystery' (even due to its unfinished and 'tale-told' nature), and that's why it's wonderful :)

And that's why we can make a lot of speculations, and, of course, everyone is entitled to its own opinion :)

The word 'Power' has various meanings in Tolkien's works, not necessarily connected to destruction or domination (even if it often refers to that aspect), but also to Beauty, Light and, most importantly, Wisdom; and I think this is exactly one of the main messages that Tolkien 'wants' to give us.
Victory and help often come, infact, from the  apparently 'weakest', most unexpected and humblest ones, as Gandalf tells the White Council during the Watchful Peace; and Victory came, in fact, by Frodo, and it was specifically his destiny and task, when the mightiest ones failed.

Probably we can consider Galadriel and Sauron (without the One Ring) as two 'equal' rivals in Middle Earth, like Haldir says, Light and Darkness that clash together, even though they can't win each other; they are invincible in their own realms (Galadriel in the Golden Woods and Sauron in Mordor), but they don't have the power to give the 'final assault', for deep, and very long to write XD, reasons concerning the nature of their own existence and the nature of Arda.
This is how I personally view things :)

Remember that, as I wrote in my previous comments, the immense powers of Galadriel gradually increased in time, during her more-than-7000-year-old permanence in Middle Earth, and for the entire Third Age (before the War of the Ring and the final manifestation of Sauron in Mordor and the gathering of all his evil forces) she was at her highest level ever 8-)
Sauron took more than 3000 years to recollect a small part of his powers.

If we use 'your' initial reasoning, Sauron (without the One Ring) could have immediately defeated everyone without great difficulties, while we know for sure that he has always understood the real threat of Men and Galadriel (as Tolkien states) could have never been overcome in her own realm without the One Ring.

You see, pure logic doesn't clearly belong to Tolkien's lore :)

Can I just point out that in all of Tolkien's writings he says that the elves have diminished greatly from the levels of power they possessed when they left Valinor? While her magic may have stayed at the same level because of her ring, I doubt she would have been able to best Melian-era Galadriel, and I don't think she could have done anything against Smaug or Sauron in a straight up fight. Her will enables her to hold her own against a ringless Sauron, but I think it is pretty clear that Sauron with the ring would wipe the floor with her, and if Smaug chose to attack Lorien there would be little she could do to actually harm him.
As far as Gandalf vs Galadriel, he has seen her in her "mermaid" form, so I would think that he is talking about her in absolute power terms, not physical terms. From that we can deduce that he thinks he is on a different level from her as Gandalf the White.
I still contend that a ringless Sauron gets walked by Smaug, much like any other entity in middle earth would be.

Walküre

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Re: Who is the most powerfull being in the Middle - earth?
« Antwort #52 am: 23. Jul 2015, 10:58 »

Can I just point out that in all of Tolkien's writings he says that the elves have diminished greatly from the levels of power they possessed when they left Valinor? While her magic may have stayed at the same level because of her ring, I doubt she would have been able to best Melian-era Galadriel, and I don't think she could have done anything against Smaug or Sauron in a straight up fight. Her will enables her to hold her own against a ringless Sauron, but I think it is pretty clear that Sauron with the ring would wipe the floor with her, and if Smaug chose to attack Lorien there would be little she could do to actually harm him.
As far as Gandalf vs Galadriel, he has seen her in her "mermaid" form, so I would think that he is talking about her in absolute power terms, not physical terms. From that we can deduce that he thinks he is on a different level from her as Gandalf the White.
I still contend that a ringless Sauron gets walked by Smaug, much like any other entity in middle earth would be.

It's an obvious fact that she couldn't stand a chance against Sauron with the One Ring on his finger, and I never questioned it, since I kept on mentioning it.

The statement of Tolkien about the once formidable powers of the Eldar is very general, and doesn't specifically refer to Galadriel; the point is that, at the time of the War of the Ring, there are very few Eldar still remaining in the World, and the Woodland Elves are not capable at all of containing all the evil forces of Mordor, not to say winning them.
The statement also refers to the ineluctable fate of decay of all the Elves, both if the One Ring were regained by Sauron or destroyed.
But Galadriel is an exception (even though she still has to face the Elves' fate), the only trace left in Middle Earth of Valinor and its Spendour, and her memories of the Elder Days were really vivid in her mind; her powers increased along her 3-Age permanence in Middle Earth, and, at the time of the War of the Ring, were completely untainted (also due to her fundamental usage of Nenya), until she decided to resist the temptation of the Ultimate Power and accept her obligated return to Aman.

But another significant fact is that she was considered almost a goddess, in the late Third Age, not only for her incredible status and Might (greatly superior to the one of an ordinary Elf) or because she became a superhero in more than 7000 years, but also because the World had become so dark and disenchanted in the Third Age, that a being like Galadriel rightly appeared as over worldly, a legend even for the less wise Elves of Mirkwood.

I think that there is no difference between the magical aspect and the physical one of the powers of Galadriel, since they are 'integrated' and mixed with her extremely vast Knowledge, insightful Sight of Minds and Beauty; the definition of Power, in the Tolkien's Universe, is, especially for the Elves, very comprehensive and wholistic.



Sir_Stig

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Re: Who is the second most powerful being in the Middle - earth?
« Antwort #53 am: 23. Jul 2015, 17:46 »
Zitat
I think that there is no difference between the magical aspect and the physical one of the powers of Galadriel, since they are 'integrated' and mixed with her extremely vast Knowledge, insightful Sight of Minds and Beauty; the definition of Power, in the Tolkien's Universe, is, especially for the Elves, very comprehensive and wholistic.
This supports the fact that Gandalf the white is more powerful then, as Gimli has seen her and therefore she would have been referenced with Sauron as beings more dangerous.

As far as Galadriel not diminishing: While her sphere of influence increased in the third age, there is nothing that says her power increased. The ring allows her to channel her power without losing it (we see this happen to Melkor, as overtime he pours himself into middle earth and greatly diminishes from the height of his power.)
This is the entire idea behind the rings of power: Then Sauron went a step further and actually imbued his own ring with his essence, in an attempt to dominate the other rings.

When we look at depictions of Galadriel it is very important to think about who the historian is: in The Silmarillion it is a translation from elvish by we presume bilbo, so all the stories are from the point of view of elves. When we look at The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings it is from the point of view of a hobbit, Bilbo and Frodo respectively. In The Silmarillion we see a more petty view of Galadriel, where she is not seen as a big player in the 1st age, while in The Lord of the Rings she is written as basically a goddess, which to a hobbit I'm sure is quite a logical take away. I'm not trying to discredit Galadriel of her due praise, but there is no way she can take on a Balrog or winged dragon in anything other than a battle of wills. As soon as the fight gets physical she is doomed, everytime we see a Balrog killed it also involves the person fighting it (be they mighty elf warrior, or even maia in the case of Gandalf) dying.

if this is a fight to the death than the order would be as follows:

Glorfindel beats Balrog (possibly dies again) and maybe the other elves and Saruman

Elrond beats Balrog (probably dies while doing so) and maybe the other elves and Saruman

Galadriel beats Balrog (probably dies while doing so), possibly the Witchking, and maybe other elves and Saruman

Saruman possibly beats all elves and Balrog, but the odds are he gets walked

Balrog is on mostly equal footing with all elves, probably takes out Witchking and Saruman

Smaug walks everyone up to Balrog, who he probably beats as well. Gandalf *might* be able to do something, but that's the only person with a chance

Gandalf takes everyone except for Smaug and the Witchking.


Adamin

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Re: Who is the second most powerful being in the Middle - earth?
« Antwort #54 am: 23. Jul 2015, 23:52 »
What?

The idea behind the three Elven Rings was to stop the deminishing of the elves.

Zitat
Now these were the Three that had last been made, and they possessed the greatest powers. Narya, Nenya, and Vilya, [...] and of all the Elven-rings Sauron most desired to possess them, for those who had them in their keeping could ward off the decays of time and postpone the weariness of the world.
- The Silmarillion: OF THE RINGS OF POWER AND THE THIRD AGE -

Galadriel wasn't (only) channeling her own powers through Nenya, she used it to stop the flows of time in Lórien and create her own Mini Doriath/Valinor in Middle-earth. Why were there no Mallorn Trees in Middle-earth except in Lórien? Because Galadriel created them!

Zitat
I sang of leaves, of leaves of gold, and leaves of gold there grew:
- The Fellowship of the Ring: Chapter 8 Farewell to Lorien -

The Balrog comparison is also quite wobbly. The battle between Gandalf and the Balrog of Moria was mainly a battle of wills. There was only one exchange of sword blows. Other than that:

Zitat
"The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udun. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass."
The Balrog made no answer. The fire in it seemed to die, but the darkness grew.
- The Fellowship of the Ring: Chapter 5 The Bridge of Khazad-dûm -

Also, the defeat of a Balrog was mainly marked by self-sacrifice, not a display of general power. Gandalf/Glorfindel sacrificed themselves without any selfish thought to save Frodo/Eärendil. That's a much stronger motive in their deed than their personal power. So I wouldn't say you can draw a simple power-hierarchy from that.

How on earth would Saruman be able to defeat a Balrog??



[...] were completely untainted (also due to her fundamental usage of Nenya), until she decided to resist the temptation of the Ultimate Power and accept her obligated return to Aman.

What?

So your saying Galadriel newer wanted to return to Aman and just did so, because it was obliged to, because "every elf was doing it"? I don't think so. It looks to me that Galadriel knew she was fighting an uphill battle. She had to know that Lórien was only the heart of elvendom because of Nenya, and that Nenya (as well as Lórien) would fade after the destruction of the One Ring.

Again in her own song Galadriel raises the question if she would be accepted in the west again (because of the curse of the Noldor), as if she was thinking very hard about it:

Zitat
O Lorien! The Winter comes, the bare and leafless Day;
The leaves are falling in the stream, the River flows away.
O Lorien! Too long I have dwelt upon this Hither Shore
And in a fading crown have twined the golden elanor.
But if of ships I now should sing, what ship would come to me,
What ship would bear me ever back across so wide a Sea?
- The Fellowship of the Ring: Chapter 8 Farewell to Lorien -

Walküre

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Re: Who is the second most powerful being in the Middle - earth?
« Antwort #55 am: 24. Jul 2015, 00:49 »


[...] were completely untainted (also due to her fundamental usage of Nenya), until she decided to resist the temptation of the Ultimate Power and accept her obligated return to Aman.

What?

So your saying Galadriel newer wanted to return to Aman and just did so, because it was obliged to, because "every elf was doing it"? I don't think so. It looks to me that Galadriel knew she was fighting an uphill battle. She had to know that Lórien was only the heart of elvendom because of Nenya, and that Nenya (as well as Lórien) would fade after the destruction of the One Ring.

Again in her own song Galadriel raises the question if she would be accepted in the west again (because of the curse of the Noldor), as if she was thinking very hard about it:

Zitat
O Lorien! The Winter comes, the bare and leafless Day;
The leaves are falling in the stream, the River flows away.
O Lorien! Too long I have dwelt upon this Hither Shore
And in a fading crown have twined the golden elanor.
But if of ships I now should sing, what ship would come to me,
What ship would bear me ever back across so wide a Sea?
- The Fellowship of the Ring: Chapter 8 Farewell to Lorien -

I'm sorry Adamin, this is something you wrongly inferred from my words.

The relationship between Galadriel and her land, and the role of Nenya in the 'enchantment' and safety of the realm are facts that I always kept on mentioning in my previous long comments; and I would never question such a pivotal and fundamental fact  :)

Her return is 'obligated' because it's her fate and an essential path of her life as a royal High Elf from Valinor, who witnessed the Splendour of the Two Trees.
The initial Perfection of the World was inevitably marred and corrupted by the powers of Melkor/Morgoth, who used Arda (except obviously Aman) as his own personal One Ring to spread his will and evil essence; and condemned it to an ineluctable destiny of decay and corruption, something that the Three Rings momentarily slowed and stopped.
The fate of the Elves was thus already decided (even before their Awakening in Arda), and that's why the Valar wisely decided to invite the Eldar to Valinor and always persuaded to sail towards it or return; because Valinor is the only place in which the Elves can live fully according to their nature of immortal beings, without fearing corruption or decay, since Valinor was made by Immortal Beings and made immortal by them.

Galadriel obviously knows this really well and her longing for the Undying Lands is always vivid, but she is divided and worried, because, as she tells Frodo in FOTR (book), the Love of the Eldar for their creations is deep as the depth of the Sea and she doesn't want to leave her realm and condemn it to vanish along the Ages of the World; but she is also well aware that, whether Sauron regains the One Ring or the One Ring is destroyed, her realm and her powers are doomed to fade forever and her people become rustic inhabitants of darkened woods.
That's why she also personally tells Frodo that she wishes that the One Ring had never been created, and thus letting the Three Rings to allow the Elves to stay in the World for other centuries without diminishing.

Her return to Aman is obligated by these facts, the sad story of corruption, decay and disenchantment of Arda, that goes from the initial titanic wars between the Valar and Melkor, to the betrayal of Sauron with the creation of the One Ring.

Adamin

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Re: Who is the second most powerful being in the Middle - earth?
« Antwort #56 am: 24. Jul 2015, 01:15 »
Oh okay then. Sorry for that then. I guess we agree on that one. :)

Walküre

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Re: Who is the second most powerful being in the Middle - earth?
« Antwort #57 am: 28. Jul 2015, 17:46 »
Ok, I finally managed to find the famous passage/line of Haldir, while he is escorting the Fellowship to Caras Galadhon through the forests of Lothlórien  :)
As you will notice, one of the most impressive things is the linear and yet hermetic usage of words of Tolkien, that here, instead of long and accurate descriptions of places and realms, chooses very significant few words full of fundamental meanings and references.

Here are the exact words of Haldir (Tolkien)  8-)

Zitat
Frodo looked and saw, still at some distance, a hill of many mighty trees, or a city of green towers: which it was he could not tell. Out of it, it seemed to him that the power and light came that held all the land in sway. He longed suddenly to fly like a bird to rest in the green city. Then he looked eastward and saw all the land of Lórien running down to the pale gleam of Anduin, the Great River. He lifted his eyes across the river and all the light went out, and he was back again in the world he knew. Beyond the river the land appeared flat and empty, formless and vague, until far away it rose again like a wall, dark and drear. The sun that lay on Lothlórien had no power to enlighten the shadow of that distant height.
`There lies the fastness of Southern Mirkwood,' said Haldir. `It is clad in a forest of dark fir, where the trees strive one against another and their branches rot and wither. In the midst upon a stony height stands Dol Guldur, where long the hidden Enemy had his dwelling. We fear that now it is inhabited again, and with power sevenfold. A black cloud lies often over it of late. In this high place you may see the two powers that are opposed one to another; and ever they strive now in thought, but whereas the light perceives the very heart of the darkness, its own secret has not been discovered. Not yet.' He turned and climbed swiftly down, and they followed him.

A very important and meaningful comparison, yet very direct and intuitive, also because it comes from the mouth of a recently-introduced character like Haldir is in this chapter.

The Darkness of Dol Guldur (where it is said that the Evil has returned eight times stronger) poisoned all its surrounding area, making the trees wither, a perennial dark Sky be upon the fortress and everything rot; a Darkness that can't even be pierced by the Light of the Golden Wood.

Lothlórien is, instead, always protected by its enchantment, caused by the Magic of Galadriel and Nenya, always preserving its holy aura among the Shadows of the World in the Third Age and, thus, creating a sacred place where the Light, the Bliss and the Joy have never been darkened by any kind of malicious will; the Ring of Water also almost completely removes the Action of Time in the realm, releasing all the hearts of its inhabitants by the sorrows of the decaying Middle Earth, making everyone (especially the strangers) feel like in a sort of timeless dream, or in a beautiful 'song' (as Sam had previously stated).
Galadriel will later personally 'admit/confess' to Frodo that the courage, the chants among the trees and the bows of the brave people of Lothlórien are clearly not enough to fend off the evil from her realm and preserve it; she thus finally shows Nenya openly to Frodo and calls it the 'Secret' of the Safety and Protection of the Golden Wood that Sauron always wanted to discover and starts to suspect.
But the fundamental passage of Haldir's line is his reference to the two sensational Powers (Galadriel and Sauron) that continuously fight each other in an eternal 'telepathic' battle (fact that Galadriel will admit as well later) to discover each other's intentions and plans, being both respectively the embodiment of Light and Darkness; the Light succeeds in piercing the Darkness and revealing its evil purposes, while the Darkness doesn't  :)

Having stated these pivotal facts, returning to the matter of this thread, I would say that Gandalf the White could have never resembled or replicated what Galadriel did with her powers: embalming a vast realm with her powers and Ring, protecting it for more than a millennium from any form of evil and making it a legendary place even for the very Wood Elves; we must also consider that her more-than-8000-year magical Knowledge and Strength, native of the Blessed Lands beyond the Sea and of the legendary and forgotten times of the Two Trees, is quite an unmatchable trait of her, that none of the other Elves or Istari could reach  8-)
And I would also say that Sauron and Galadriel are the only ones in Middle Earth (also Elrond and the Witch-king on a minor scale) capable of modifying so deeply the realms in which the live in with their Magic and Essence, and manipulate so greatly the Weather (Nature) of the World according to their will (maximum display of Magic in Tolkien's Universe), the former by creating an eternal dark Sky of ashes upon Mordor and the latter preserving a neverending calm and sunny Sky upon the Golden Wood.
Gandalf the White isn't clearly able to accomplish such great magical abilities on a very large scale.


Of course one could say that the powers of Gandalf the White are much more 'direct' and destructive, and that he has had a far more active and important role than Galadriel in the Fall of Sauron, given his Destiny of a guide for the Free People, and in the War of the Ring in general (leading the Defence of Minas Tirith and the confrontation with the Witch-king); he also, as Gandalf the White, is more closed to its essence and spirit of Olórin the Maia than he had previously ever been (still always remaining an Istar).

In the end, we could say that both of them, Galadriel and Gandalf the White, have powers that the other doesn't have, and a different role; Gandalf the White is able to directly use his powers for the Free People of Middle Earth, while Galadriel has certainly more authority as an extremely old and powerful High Elf and Guardian, since she established herself the White Council and had the power and authority to indicate Gandalf as its leader, if not the Grey Wizard had not refused her offer.

So, as you wrote, Tiberius, they both well deserve the second place in the poll  :)


P.S. I hope we can agree on that, Adamin  :P
« Letzte Änderung: 28. Jul 2015, 18:07 von DieWalküre »