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Thread: The Battle Poll

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Doesn't seem to be a thread about this week's poll yet. If there is, someone let me know and I will close this one.

What an awesome choice.... It is difficult to tease one out from the others. I'd really like to see them all, and as I read through the list I spent a minute on each one trying to visualise it.

I came to a couple of conclusions. Thanks to the miracle of cinemamatics and the efferts of Mr PJ, I have already been able to go part of the way there with some of the ones on the list (don't bite me too hard, Vir Smile Smilie)

What I want in life is new experiences. I've partially seen Gandalf vs The Balrog , Siege at Minas Tirith, Helm's Deep (including bonus Elves), Elendil/Gil-Galad vs Sauron, and Gollum vs Frodo.
I want something I haven't seen. The Battle of Five Armies has always been a soft spot for me and stood out for a while; Fingolfin vs Morgoth is my favourite one on one; Tulkas vs Morgoth would probably be a bit like two Sumo's wrestling on a scale model of the earth with some magic thrown in for good measure; Glorfindel vs the Balrog, not much of a fight as Glorfindel flung himself off the cliff taking the Balrog with him.

My choice in the end had to be the Dagor Bragollach for its pure scale. It and the battle of Nirnaeth Arnoediad (actually my personal favourite but not on the list) were probably the largest battles that took place in Middle Earth that did not have the intervention of the Valar.
I choose the Dagor Bragollach as well. After reading so much about it i really would like to have seen it. From a very large distance!! Smile Smilie Preferably from the back of some giant eagle.
There's already a "Which of these fights" thread, guys.

Thanks to the miracle of cinemamatics and the efferts of Mr PJ, I have already been able to go part of the way there with some of the ones on the list

Are you saying those had anything to do with the battles in the book? Gee, maybe I should watch them again then. Not.
There's actually TWO threads, sorta, 'cos I kinda threadjacked the one Grep started on the disappearing menus into the Battle of the Eleven Battles. I also chose the Dagor Bragollach (repeatedly) for the reasons Val stated, and as I said in the other thread, I find it curious Gandalf vs. the Balrog is currently first despite all our efforts and the fact Glorfindel vs. the Balrog (which clearly presaged it; I sometimes think that encounter and the Battle of the Pelennor exist primarily because Tolkien knew he couldn't give the Fall of Gondolin and the second Balrog encounter the time it deserved.) IIRC, the Balrog was beaten by Glorfindel, too though, but grabbed his pretty, pretty Elven hair as he went over the edge. So, how is it Gandalf vs. the Balrog is in the lead, despite no one in ANY of the (now THREE) threads has stuck up for it?
I don't want to see hundreds of people and creatures getting killed, so it had to be one of the duels. I am very fond of Gandalf and would love to see him, even if it was only from a distanse, so I chose him and the balrog.
So, how is it Gandalf vs. the Balrog is in the lead, despite no one in ANY of the (now THREE) threads has stuck up for it?

Answer : because Gandalf vs the Balrog (or whatever it was supposed to be) were in the movies. Figures, doesn't it?

Considering the movie influences, it was kinda a surprise that Beren & L’thien won the lovelies couple poll over Arwen & Aragorn, the watered down version of B & L.
I almost didn't post on this thread. My choice is a foregone conclusion--don't you think? But to put things in context: I was impressed with the epic scene of Gandalf v. Balrog when I was yet in junior high. I have read the other duels and wars, as I bought the Silmarillion when it first came out--heh, I was on the waiting list for it! The language Tolkien uses to present the tales of the First Age is just so lofty, that, for me, it kept the story and the characters from being as endearing as the story and characters in LOTR. So that's probably why, given the choices we have here for battles to see "safely," I still choose Gandalf's stand on the Bridge. For me, Vir, the movie did alright with this scene, but it isn't the reason for my choice. I "lived" through that episode for many years before PJ came along and put it on film.
I finally chose 'Fingofin vs Morgoth' as I like the poem and I've seen the battle of Gandalf vs the Balrog so many times, in both my mind's eye and on film, that there is nothing I have missed. I assume Glorfindal and the Balrog would have been similar. I don't consider battlefield melee between armies as spectator sport: too much carnage (read guts and blood) for my stomach to handle and the battle might not go in the way I wanted causing me to be swept up in it.

Consider what happened in the U.S Civil War at the end of the 'First Battle of Bull Run' (First Manassus), which the Union troops lost to the Confederates:
Union commander Gen. Irvin McDowell lamented, "The retreat soon became a rout, and this soon degenerated into a panic." Said another Union officer, "No efforts could induce a single regiment to form after the retreat was commenced." The disorganized mob of Yankees ran back toward Washington, sweeping along with them picknicking civilians and members of the U.S. Congress who had come out to watch the battle.
That's not for me, I'd rather watch a one-on-one from the stands with peanuts and Cracker Jacks, and maybe a brew or two. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
Grondy says: I have moved the following posts from a thread under the Prancing Pony to here in order to be with the rest of the poll discussions.
Grep Posted Friday 24th March 2006 (10:20am)
So which of these fights would you like to view from a distance?

Me? Helms deep, but i'd like to see it from the keep - just for the spectacle a small force of men confronted by 10k orcs and uruk hai!

Elessar Loss’helin Posted Friday 24th March 2006 (12:27pm)
i would love to have seen Helm's Deep as well and see the waves and waves of arrows flying around in the air, plus i would have loved to have fought beside Aragorn Big Smile Smilie, also, the fight lasted a whole night so how many would really be alive by the end??? (compared to the beggining)

MorambarPosted Friday 24th March 2006 (03:43pm)
Which of THESE fights? For me it was a toss up between Fingolgin vs. Morgoth or the Dagor Bragollach, with the latter edging ahead. If I could tolerate the sight, THE battle I'd like to see if the Fall of Gondolin, of which the Battle of the Pelennor is only the faintest echo, if with a radically different outcome. How Gondolin didn't make it into the fray when both the Gandalf vs. Balrog and Glorfindel vs. Balrog confrontations did I haven't a clue. The former seems the heavy favorite at the moment, but Gondolin is always first in my heart, even though totally absent from the poll. ;-p If I can't have that I'll take Dagor Bragollach, with the most doughty Noldorin lord vs. the most powerful Vala a close second.

VirumorPosted Saturday 25th March 2006 (12:48am)
Fingolfin vs Morgoth.

Apart from this : F’anor vs the Balrogs, just so that a certain discussion with a particularly headstrong member could be solved once and for all... :-P

CloveressPosted Saturday 25th March 2006 (04:23am)
I picked Vee vs. Vir, because all the other battles wouldn't be fun if you were viewing them from a distance. I mean, with all the great battles, I'd like to see the details, but with Vee and Vir, I would vry much like to keep my distance.

MorambarPosted Saturday 25th March 2006 (06:39am)
Wow, I've never seen someone who WANTED to be proven wrong so badly. ;-p So, how is it Gandalf vs. the Balrog has a strong lead, but no one has chimed in supporting it? Movie fanboys have time to quickpoll, but not to justify it? ;-p I mean, Gandalf vs. the Balrog is on top, but Glorfindel vs. the Balrog, from which the former is obviously derived (quick, name two people who died when the Balrog they killed wrapped his whip around their leg and pulled them down the mountain with him that AREN'T Gandalf or Glorfindel) has NO VOTES AT ALL???! Does anyone else think this odd?
The poll is which of these fights would you like to view from a distance, not which would you like to see, no matter the distance from which it was beheld. I would like to see all of the fights, for the most part close or far, even participate in some of them. However, when it comes to Tulkas vs. Morgoth, I would rather not even be within a hundred miles. I'd probably try and be on a really tall mountain 150 miles away and watch with a super powerful telescope, or enchanted eyes, or a crystal ball, (preferably the enchanted eyes). I mean, come on, these two are both Vala! Two Vala fighting each other can cause terrible damage, but when the two are Tulkas and Morgoth, bitter enemies, world beware and hang on to your seats cause you're in for a bumpy ride!
That's why I voted Tulkas vs. Morgoth.
I voted for the Siege at Minas Tirith - not because of the movies but because, like Gandalf, certain events from LotR have imprinted themselves on my brain over the years whereas I have only read the Sil 3-4 times and I don't know it as well as LotR. I was torn between Helm's Deep and Minis Tirith. Two great battles as told by Tolkien. I chose Minis Tirith because if I watched that one I would see more of Gandalf in action as well as Faramir, Theoden, Imrahil and Aragorn's wonderful entrance with Arwen's standard unfurling from the Black Ship plus I could watch the destruction of the Witch King, Grond in action and maybe even catch a glimpse of the elusive pukel-men.

Bring on the popcorn!
OK, seriously, this time, I picked the Siege of Minas Tirith for its splendour and glory. The film captured it quite well, I think. The vastness of the armies, and the coming of dawn, along with the Armies of the Dead sweeping in later on, are all very impressive scenes.
Yeah, except the Armies of the Forsworn Dead weren't present for the Battle of the Pelennor except in the movie. Just one more make against it in my book. It's my favorite part of the Trilogy, but the absence from the poll of The Fall of Gondolin for which it's merely a Redux would kill it for me even if we didn't have the Battle of Sudden Flame or the greatest of Noldorin warriors fighting the greatest of Vala before his strength was spent.

And besides that, the only thing the FILM version captured for me was that Peter Jackson has no concept of how Medieval warfare worked. Once more, with feeling: when cavalry flank infantry the latter dies quickly and messily; they do NOT turn 180’ in a moment to meet the charge. Whole books have been written on infantry turning movements, because a formation of infantry turns on the march, they don't just rotate in place. That and "go home, Sam!" were the two points where I almost got up and left the theater. Citing the film to ME will not help your case, so there. ;-p
Not to mention, in the movies the outer walls of Minas Tirith get destroyed by catapults, whilst in the books they're indestructable, as they're made of the same material as the tower of Orthanc.

That's why, instead, Sauron's army catapulted the heads of their victims over the walls, as a means of psychological, chemical and biological warfare.

Furthermore, Gandalf's life needed not to be saved by Pippin; nor did Pippin need to use tricks in order to light the b(e)acons of Gondor; nor did Gandalf beat up Denethor and stood there watching while Denethor cast himself off the walls, like a fantasy version of the (sub?)Human Torch.

And how is it that ’owyn is able to cut a M’mak's heels, when not even a regular bullet is able to penetrate the skin of a modern-day elephant? Did she use a welding torch, instead of a sword?

That and "go home, Sam!" were the two points where I almost got up and left the theater.

Well, you gotta hand it to Rolleyes : Sam w’s extremely annoying.
I completely don't remember Pippin saving Gandalf, and don't think I want to be reminded. Other than yet, pretty much agree, except I think folks are too hard on Sams mindless loyalty to Frodo. When they don't turn it into something it's not....
When they don't turn it into something it's not....

Yeh, we have a couple of such threads too. Surprisingly though, there are no similar Legolas & Gimli and Gorbag & Shagrat threads.
when cavalry flank infantry the latter dies quickly and messily; they do NOT turn 180’ in a moment to meet the charge.
This was true until the infantry learned to form squares a head of time with those bristling pikes on all sides causing the horses to veer off rather than become pincushions. (However, I believe this infantry lesson wasn't learned until after medieval times.) Still cavalry would never have made a frontal assault on PJ's pikemen at any time, because of all those long sharp pointy things, which is why the infantry had those pikes. Cavalry only attempted a frontal charge when facing a line of swordsmen or other cavalry, or when facing guns and their commanders were incompetant and/or misunderstood their orders.
There's another case in point: porcupines are great for infantry who have to face cavalry at an angle of the latters choosing, but, once again, Peter Jackson didn't have them set up that way, and you don't just snap your fingers and have them fall into place. I believe that particular formation was known as early as Phillip of Macedon, but don't quote me. Certainly it was known as early as The Fires of Heaven (though my introduction in fiction was Robert Adams' Horseclans novels.) In truth, Sauron had no reason to expect the timely arrival of Rohans heavy cavalry; it should've been charge, wheel, repeat ad nauseum ad corpum. Until the Orcs were ground to a fine paste.

Which is pretty much the way I remember it in the books until the Witch-king shows up to stem the onslaught. But don't get me started; if a sortie was to be launched from sally points at Helms Deep THAT should have been on horseback, too, but I don't recall it that way in the film. Oddly enough I was just rereading Swords of the Horseclans a few days ago, and treated to the question of how useful elephants are in an assault (answer: just fine, until you set the bridge on fire. ;-p) So I guess what I'm saying is, yeah, a hedgehog would have been just fine, except the Orcs in the film weren't in position for it and had neither time nor room to execute the manouvers necessary to form one. They were caught with their pants down, and that should have been that.
My LOTR knowledge seems to have gotten a bit rusty. I have no notion of the order of the battles and who fought in what and all that. My copy of the ROTk has been lent to a friend for six months now... But from reading all your posts, I come to one conclusion : Both Mor and Vir are crazy Tolkien purists and they can't stand the movies. Though I'm sure they still vote for them when they see a "favourite movie poll" on yahoo or something. Their knowledge of medieval affairs are to rival that of the more relenting and understanding Grondmaster's, and this suggests that maybe their age may also rival the venerable Grondy's.

Come on, yew tew, stow the surly banter and talk serious.
Though I'm sure they still vote for them when they see a "favourite movie poll" on yahoo or something.

No, it are some of the worst movies I've ever seen. My favourite movies are The Godfather series, Dune and National Lampoon's War on Terror.
And I don't really do movies. If I had to pick faves I'd probably say Superman II and The Gallant Hours, not necessarily in that order. What can I say? I guess I've been spoiled by all those writers who actually had a clue when it comes to things military. Jordan's a decorated Vietnam Vet and graduate of The Citadel, and Adams was also career military, though I can't seem to find anything more on him than that. Yes, historical accuracy is important to me, if for no other reason than it kills the verisimilitude when I see something that couldn't possibly happen happen anyway. It's a shame Jackson didn't give it the the same priority....
Their knowledge of medieval affairs are to rival that of the more relenting and understanding Grondmaster's, and this suggests that maybe their age may also rival the venerable Grondy's.

I am quite knowledged on the subject myself,(I hope it doesn't sound like I'm being boastful) and I'm only 15, so age doesn't have everything to do with it.
At the Battle of Pelennor Plains, when the Rohirrim came over the hill on the horizon(in the movie), they waited at the top for a moment before thundering downhill, giving the Orcs a little time before they hit. That might not have been enough time, but then again, it might have. The only way to know for sure would be to test it. And if any of you know at least five hundred people, and half as many horses, who would be willing to perform the experiment, please tell me the results.(laughing) Only joking.
Well, when the Rohirrim charged, the Orcs were packed tightly together in close formation, and when they crashed together, you see the Riders of Rohan riding through the orcs, mowing them down like grass as they passed through the spread out orcs. The only way that could have happened was if the orcs had formed into a loose formation, which was both impractical and impossible. Impractical because it would have caused major casulties on the orcs part while inflicting very little damage to the Riders as far as numbers goes. Impossible because it would have taken a while for at least a thousand orcs to get spread out, much longer than they had.
Alright alright, so your favourite movies aren't the Trilogy (though personally I have to question what you've been watching. I mean, Catman? and Dorkman? Huh?).

And speaking of that Rohirrim scene Fionwe mentioned, it's always surprised me too. I was rather incredulous at how the horses could've just rushed through all the pikes and spears the Orcs were holding at them. But I was too caught up in the climax of the movie, so I didn't really care whether it was practical or not. Too bad you guys couldn't enjoy the movies because of your superior knowledge of military affairs. Really, I could pity you...
Actually, I did enjoy the movies and continued to suspend my incredability immediately after catching each and every one of PJ's military blunders, so as to maintain that enjoyment. Elk Grinning Smilie
With age comes wisdom. Grondy is no doubt the wisest of us all!
Yey, there goes yet another award.
Grondy isn't the wisest, if I may say so myself, he (just like the elves) has been around a long time gathering a lot of experience by making mistakes, and thereby learning from them. Teacher Smilie
I too, enjoyed the movies greatly. It was only upon watching them the second time that I really noticed PJ's military blunders.
Cloveress, I see you still don't know how to do the fancy letters. If you go back into the "Introduce Yourself" thread, look in the one I did, and check my reply.