elvish strength in 1st age

fingolfin
Posts: 161

elvish strength in 1st age

Post#1 » Sun Jul 17, 2005 4:28 pm

A comment made by Miruvor in the "Orcs orcs orcs" thread reminded me of something that I was thinking about myself. Using the fall of Gondolin and the Balrogs as an example, I always liked the fact that it mentions vaguely in the Sil and in more detail in UT of the number of Balrogs killed and the massive feats of valour performed by the heros there, Tuor,Ecthelion,Rog,Glorfindel and co, and i liked the contrast between the massive strength there and the relative weakness to the heroes in LotR.

I believe it gave a sense of past glory when i re-read LotR, sometimes partially revealed, like with Glorfindel near the ford of Rivendell, however some people prefer what they say are Tolkiens last thoughts on the matter that there were no more than 7 Balrogs in total, and to me that takes something away from the deeds done in the first age, so what I want to know are your opinions on the matter, do any of you feel as I do? or do u prefer the more realistic figure of 7?

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miruvor
Posts: 849

elvish strength in 1st age

Post#2 » Sun Jul 17, 2005 4:43 pm

Hard to believe that there were only 7 Balrogs, if we look at what's in the Sil. Firstly, it's mentioned Fëanor died being surrounded by Balrogs, i always thought that there were more than 7 at that point.

In the War of Wrath later on, all Balrogs were destroyed, safe some that escaped and fled into the bowels of the earth (the Balrogs became Balrogues) : this would mean maximum 6 Balrogs were destroyed, safe the one who'd later become Durin's Bane. Not very impressive.

Also, at the Fall of Gondolin apparently quite some Balrogs were destroyed (one by Glorfindel, one by Ecthelion, 5 by Tuor), so i think there were quite some more of them in the First Age.

I think it's more realistic if there were 7 Balrogs left in the Third Age, of whom only Durin's Bane was awoken.

fingolfin
Posts: 161

elvish strength in 1st age

Post#3 » Sun Jul 17, 2005 4:44 pm

yes but Ive heard many say that the Sil is not canonical, and quoting a note in (HOME?) which says that JRRT said there were no more than 7 in total, im sure someone here has knowledge of this and indeed prefers this so speak up.

Morambar
Posts: 1022

elvish strength in 1st age

Post#4 » Sun Jul 17, 2005 8:34 pm

Brace yourself: I'm with Miruvor on this one; the first thing I thought of (as usual when this question comes up) was Feanor, and how he stood until Gothmog himself came. I had the impression Feanor laid about himself, dying the death of a thousand wounds gradually in the process, and that only the coming of Gothmog combined with his wounds prevented it from becoming a one man route of a bunch of Balrogs (which would have been amusing; Feanor was a bad--s.) It seems strange we would know how one out of nine Nazgul met their end, but half the Balrogs.

In a way, it's a GOOD thing the sources are vague; the individual reader can decide questions such as this for themselves, as no one really has the "right" answer. Despite the "name of Fingon" controversy (from what I've heard second hand I'm inclined to go against the Silmarillion for the sake of continuity on that) asserting HoME on Balrogs against the Silmarillions implicatons makes as much sense to me as going with the LT2 version of Beren, so I'm pretty much with Miruvor all the way.

As a side note, I personally think few, if any, of the Third Age Eldar could stack up with those of the First Age, the few of whom around for the War of the Ring were a different class of Elf than their younger fellows. I don't think LotR can be fully appreciated without the Silmarillion, for the reasons cited above. The loss referenced throughout the series is just a concept until you read the Silmarillion, but then becomes something poignant you share, realizing that the glory of the Elves and Edain is past, and the former soon entirely gone forever. Thus, the triumph of Aragorn, his greater similarity to the fathers of his race than to his "peers," and the renewal of his line through Arwen is that much more wonderful.

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miruvor
Posts: 849

elvish strength in 1st age

Post#5 » Mon Jul 18, 2005 3:24 am

Well actually HOME is more complete, not to mention correct, when it comes to the family tree of the Noldor : Orodreth, anyone ? Christopher Tolkien admitted it himself later on, but after he realized his mistake the Sil was already published, so what the hey.

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cloveress
Posts: 2289

elvish strength in 1st age

Post#6 » Fri Sep 09, 2005 6:29 am

Well, HOME contradicts quite a lot of the Sil. A lot of ideas in HOME were abandoned in the Sil. I had a very hard time reading HOME. All the twists of the relationships of the Elves in HOME were so different. I'm still reading Morgoth's Ring right now, actually. It's like a detailed version of the Sil. But some minor things are different. So really, many things the books say are pretty much different. I usually go with the Sil. But others like to go with HOME, cuz it's more interesting... well, it's just all how we like to believe it.

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cloveress
Posts: 2289

elvish strength in 1st age

Post#7 » Sat Sep 10, 2005 3:56 am

Well, I don't blame you. Who can blame loyal fans for being loyal (and well, a bit impatient)? Besides, things came out nicely. And I'm sure we all wouldn't have the Sil in any other way. It came out fine, and I'm really glad they hadn't added all those notes onto it...there are enough notes as it is!

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grondmaster
Posts: 25451

elvish strength in 1st age

Post#8 » Tue May 13, 2008 12:39 pm

And as Val has said something somewhere like: 'If you can determine when J.R.R. Tolkien wrote the different versions of these contradictory bits you will have a better idea of his intent. That his son Christopher hadn't yet found all his father's later writings, when he edited and had published The Silmarillion was a shame, but the public was clamoring for its release, as we wanted more of J.R.R. Tolkien's writings about the Elves and Men of his Middle-earth.'

So blame it on Canada, or Brazil, or even me, Grondy; for I was one of those who could hardly wait to obtain my first printing copy of the first American edition in 1977, having waited ten years since my initial reading of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
'Share and enjoy'

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galin
Posts: 1369

elvish strength in 1st age

Post#9 » Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:53 am

For whatever reason this passage from Quenta Silmarillion was left unrevised: 'But at length after the fall of Fingolfin, which is told hereafter, Sauron came against Orodreth, the warden of the tower, with a host of Balrogs.'

But, perhaps notably, Christopher Tolkien took out this 'host' of Balrogs for the 1977 version of The Silmarillion.

Christopher did retain the wording from the version of the War of Wrath as exhibited in The Lost Road (HME V: that the Balrogs were destroyed, save some few that fled and etc), and we know that when Tolkien wrote this he still thought that many Balrogs existed. He thought so after The Lord of the Rings was completed, but later reduced the number to: 'There should not be supposed more than say 3 or at most 7 ever existed' (possibly in about 1958).

After The Lord of the Rings was written JRRT only made a number of cursory corrections to the end of Quenta Silmarillion. He never truly revised it, leaving CJRT with the wording as it stood. And Tolkien never got far enough in the revised version of The Fall of Gondolin to let us in on any Balrog numbers there, though there are late enough references to show he upheld the idea of Ecthelion slaying Gothmog, and Glorfindel battling a demon out of Thangorodrim to rescue the fugitives.

Amras
Posts: 451

elvish strength in 1st age

Post#10 » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:40 am


magic,complete power in the vala,elves in the west,power of the seen and the unseen



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