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Thread: The third Eleven ring

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Longbow13 began this thread with the following post.

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When did gandalf get the ring for Cirdan? Did he get to use it in the battle? why did Cirdan give it to him? Or was it given to him in the Gray Havens so it could pass into the West along with the rings that belonged to Elrond and Galadrial?


Valedhelgwath replied

Hi Longbow.

Cirdan gave Gandalf the ring, Narya, when Gandalf first came to MiddleEarth in about TA 1000. Because the elven rings were kept hidden, Gandalf did not openly use the ring in battle until he confronted the witchking at the gates of Minas Tirith. Although he did not use the ring in battle however, does not mean he did not use its powers. The three elven rings were made for healing more than destruction, so it is probable that Gandalf drew on its powers to give him stamina through his trials, and moral to his allies.

I think also that Gandalf called upon the strength of Narya the Great, the ring of fire, when he faced the Balrog upon the bridge of Khazad-dűm:
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'You cannot pass,' he said. ..... 'I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The Dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udűn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass.'
Otherwise those 'servant' and 'wielder' words are rather empty; Tolkien must have been referring to Círdan's red ring, when he wrote them. Or have I again got my wires crossed due to missing a previous reference.
Nope, I'd say you've hit the nail squarely on the head there Val.
Well that does make much more sense about the battle with the Balrog. Thanks for clearing that up
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'You cannot pass,' he said. ..... 'I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The Dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udűn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass.'


Though I don't doubt your opinion that Gandalf would have used the ring against the Balrog, Grondy, I don't think the Secret Fire and the Flame of Anor are actually references to the ring Narya. Gandalf, being Maiar contained within his spirit a potent force given to him in his creation by Iluvatar. This spirit was known as the Flame Imperishable, but it was also known as the Secret Fire and the Flame of Anor.
The elves that had been to Valinor, and had thus seen the light, also contained the Secret Fire. That is why when Frodo meets Glorfindel for the first time, Glorfindel appears to be emitting white light.
Creatures of Morgoth both envied and feared this light, and the Balrog confronting Gandalf would no doubt have realised at that point that he was confronting a Maiar and not a mere human.
Okay, I can buy that. It makes more sense in the long run. And like Tommy, I must read (again) and try to remember The Silmarillion. Smile Smilie
Hah! Picking on me, are ya? Animated Wink Smilie

Val is right on both occasions, I think. Big Smile Smilie
Valedhelgwath, you wrote:
Quote:
This spirit was known as the Flame Imperishable, but it was also known as the Secret Fire and the Flame of Anor.


Now I recognize "The Secret Flame" as a name for Ilúvatar, but I don't remember "Flame of Anor", maybe you know where I could look it up?
Hi Iago,
I always thought it was mentioned in the opening chapter of the Silmarillion, but having just had a look, I cannot find it there. In fact, the only mention of the Flame of Anor that I can find is when Gandalf confronts the balrog in TFOTR.
In the Complete Guide to Middle-Earth by Robert Foster there are the following definitions,
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Flame Imperishable - The creating spirit of Iluvatar, by which the Ainur and Ea were made, possesed by Iluvatar alone. Also called the Imperishable Flame, the Fire, and perhaps the Flame of Anor. See also the Secret Fire.

and
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Flame of Anor - The power wielded by Gandalf, possibly an allusion to the white light of the sun as a symbol of the Secret Fire.

Obviously both these explanations are someone's interpretations of Tolkien's work, and are perhaps open to speculation on what the Flame of Anor actually is.
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Though I don't doubt your opinion that Gandalf would have used the ring against the Balrog, Grondy, I don't think the Secret Fire and the Flame of Anor are actually references to the ring Narya.

Personaly I think the Secret Fire could be a reference to Narya. The Elven rings were kept hidden right? So nobody, except maybe Galadriel and Elrond, kinda knew that Gandalf had the ring, cause he had kept it secret.
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Personaly I think the Secret Fire could be a reference to Narya. The Elven rings were kept hidden right? So nobody, except maybe Galadriel and Elrond, kinda knew that Gandalf had the ring, cause he had kept it secret.


Aaaiiiiiiieeeee! I thought about that one too hard. My brain hurts Exploding Head Smilie
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Aaaiiiiiiieeeee! I thought about that one too hard. My brain hurts

Is that a symptom of being an Uruk, Halo?Smile Smilie
I think you two are prolly both right. While the book may not be specificly refering to the ring, i think it is implied.. though at that point in the book, it is not yet known that he is a ringbearer. There are many things in the books that at the time you read them the mean one thing, and then later on, you realize there is another meaning to it....
I think Gandalf is refering to both the fact he is a servant of the Iluvatar and the fact he is of a race that does not fear the sun as a Balrog would. His way of sort of saying you won't beat me in either Aman or Endor, spawn of Morgorth Very Evil Smilie

[Edited on 10/2/2003 by Allyssa]
The flame of Anor is reffering to the name of the Sun in Sindarin language. Anor or Anar is the Sun, a fruit of Laurelin, one of the Two Trees of Valinor.
Probably Gandalf is reffering to the Lords of the West as to remember the Balrog of former times when they still had power over Beleriand by claiming a power called the Flame of Anor.
I think it is highly unlikely that Gandalf actually used the powers of Narya in his battle against Balrog, reason being the 3 elven rings were never crafted for offensive purposes but rather was imbued with powers of preservation. Narya was specifically mentioned to have properties that ignite the hearts of people and stir them into action. It does not, however, imbue the wielder with physical strength and abilities.

The term "Secret Fire" is, as Val mentioned, in reference to Illuvatar, or the Flame Imperishable. Gandalf was never a servant of the Narya, he was, however, the servant of Illuvatar, thus explaining, "servant of the secret fire". As for "wielder of the flame of anor", Gandalf was simply asserting the fact that he had within him the flame imperishable.

The Balrog, being of Melkor's days, would have little knowledge and fear of the rings of power which were created during Sauron's age. Hence, Gandalf's statements, if it referred to Narya, would have been pointless. If it referred to Flame Imperishable however, it would have meant a lot more to the Balrog.

So chances that Gandalf used Narya in his battle against the Balrog? Close to nil... in my opinion anyway Smile Smilie
Yes but Anor could mean the sun as the servant's of Morgorth were scared of the sun being created in a time of the stars and the fact that they feared Arien as she was a fire spirit as they were that refused to side with Morgorth!
But then again it might be so that he told the Balrog that he was Ilúvatars servant and that he cannot come out as victorious in the battle with a maia.....the Balrogs also wouldn´t fear any rings because the rings of power didn´t excist in Morgoths time....and when they did understand that the Valars that served Ilúvatar conquered over Melkor then they might think that the maiars that served Eru might also be more powerful than themselves....because of the thought that Melkor was the most powerful ainur and that noone could throw him down from his dark throne..... Big Laugh Smilie hahahhaa I don´t have a clue on what I just said but tell me if it doesn´t make any sense....hahahahaha
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But then again it might be so that he told the Balrog that he was Ilúvatars servant and that he cannot come out as victorious in the battle with a maia.....the Balrogs also wouldn´t fear any rings because the rings of power didn´t excist in Morgoths time....and when they did understand that the Valars that served Ilúvatar conquered over Melkor then they might think that the maiars that served Eru might also be more powerful than themselves....because of the thought that Melkor was the most powerful ainur and that noone could throw him down from his dark throne..... Big Laugh Smilie hahahhaa I don´t have a clue on what I just said but tell me if it doesn´t make any sense....hahahahaha

Do not pay any attention to this post....I was under the influence of alcohol and I beg everyones pardon for that... PLANET-TOLKIEN RULES!!!!!!!!
*sigh* Oh those Sweeds... They have no self-control.. Shaking Head Smilie
Nah, just kidding. We love the sweeds, we even call them sweet brother. But I need help to translate "Norrbaggar" (what they call us), can't come up with a single suitable word! Big Laugh Smilie
Hehehee ok Amarië! Well norrbaggar....hmmmm....can´t find a word me neither....oh well!
I do not think that Gandalf used the ring. As said earlier the rings were mainly made for healing and not destruction. And there is somewhere(In LOTR's appendix, I think) that has a diagolue when Cirdan handed the ring to Gandalf, he said
"Take this ring, Master, for your labours will be heavy, but it will support you in the weariness that you have taken upon yourself. For this is the ring of fire, and with it you may rekindle hearts in a world that grows chill."
Taken from Appendix B, The third age and In my book, page 1060.
This can be seen that Gandalf did not use his ring to fight the Balrog. But the signs that he used the ring can be seen in his miraculous ability to "cure" Theoden from his old age.
Check out this paragraph from the chapter, The King Of The Golden Hall.
"Quickly now Gandalf spoke. His voice low and secret, and none save the King heard what he said. But ever as he spoke the light shine brighter in Theoden's eye, and at last he rose from the his seat to his full height, and Gandalf beside him, and together they looked out from the high place towards the East"
This shows how Gandalf used the ring, though it may not be obvious. Anyone has any thoughts on this?
Great post MadWannabe!
I feel like i understand the rings better now. They were made as tools of good, not weapons of destruction and could so not be used for destruction either. I like that thought. Big Smile Smilie
Really good post MadWannabe.....I totally agree with you...
Quote:
'I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor.
While on anchor watch last night I came across an abstract in Morgoth's Ring which reminded me of this thread. It is a piece that was written quite late on by Tolkien when he was attempting to rearrange many of the earlier pieces he had already written, and which subsequently became the Silmarillion. Some of these later writings I struggle with, because to me, Tolkien was trying to take the myth and magic out of the creation of his world and fit it more in line with modern science's view of the creation of our own world. This piece does still fit in quite nicely with that which had already been written, however, and does give an insight into Tolkien's view of the Secret Flame....

Morgoth's Ring p379
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As a shadow Melkor did not then conceive himself. For in his beginning he loved and desired light, and the form that he took was exceedingly bright; and he said in his heart: "On such brightness as I am the Children shall hardly endure to look; therefore to know of aught else or beyond or even to strain their small minds to conceive of it would be not for their good." But the lesser brightness that stands before the greater becomes a darkness. And Melkor was jealous, therefore, of all other brightnesses, and wished to take all light unto himself. Therefore Iluvatar, at the entering in of the Valar into Ea, added a theme to the Great Song which was not in it at the first Singing, and he called one of the Ainur to him. Now this was that Spirit which afterwards became Varda (and taking female form became the spouse of Manwe). To Varda Iluvatar said: "I will give unto thee a parting gift. Though shall take into Ea a light that is holy, coming new from Me, unsullied by the thought and lust of Melkor, and with thee it shall enter into Ea, and be in Ea, but not of Ea." Wherefore Varda is the most holy and revered of all the Valar, and those that name the light of Varda name the love of Ea that Eru has, and they are afraid, less only to name the One.
To me, this later part is what Gandalf was speaking of when he mentions the Secret Fire.

Some of what continues is slightly changed from what occurs in the Silmarillion, but Varda added this holy light to the Two Trees as well as hallowing Feanor's Silmarils.

For those of you still with me at this point, it mentions here how Melkor lost his own brightness and became darkened. Varda had given a portion of this light to Arien, the Maiar fire spirit who guided the Sun. Jealous of this light, Melkor chose Arien to be his spouse, but she rejected him, warning him that the fire was something he could not have, and which would burn him. Melkor ignored this warning and ravished Arien, and as she had told him, the light did indeed burn him. His own brightness was darkened, and from then on light pained him.
I really liked that last paragraph, thanks Val. Happy Elf Smilie