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Thread: Week 15 - The rest of the LOTR Nasties

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[Edited on 18/1/2003 by Grondmaster]
From Tolkien's letters #210:
The Balrog never speaks or makes any vocal sound at all. Above all he does not laugh or sneer.

Letter #144
The Balrog is a survivor from the Silmarillion and the legends of the First Age. So is Shelob. The Balrog, of whom the whips were the chief weapons, were primeval spirits of destroying fire, chief servants of the primeval Dark Power of the First Age. They were supposed to have been destroyed in the overthrow of Thangorodrim, his fortress in the north. But it is here found (there is usually a hang-over especially of evil from one age to another) that one has escaped and taken refuge under the mountains of Hithaeglin ( the Misty Mountains). It is observable that only the Elf knows what the thing is - and doubtless Gandalf.

From: The Silmarillion - Valaquenta - Of the Enemies
For of the Maiar many were drawn to his splendor in the days of the greatness, and remained in that allegiance down into his darkness, and others he corrupted afterwards to his service with his lies and treacherous gifts. Dreadful among these spirits were the Valaraukar, the scourges of fire that in Middle-earth were called the Balrogs, demons of terror.

From: The Book of Lost Tales Part 1 The Coming of the Valar.
....and that Melko has a son ('by Ubandi") called Kosomot: this, it will emerge later, was Gothmog Lord of Balrogs, whom Ecthelion slew in Gondolin.

Letter #144
Shelob (English representing C.S. 'She-lob' = female spider) is a translation of Elvish Ungol 'spider'. She is represented in vol II p. 332 as descendant of the giant spiders of the glens of Nandungorthin which come into the legends of the First Age, especiallly into the chief of them, the tale of Beren and Luthien.

Letter #144
The giant spiders were themselves only the offspring of Ungoliante the primeval devourer of light, that in spider-form assisted the Dark Power, but ultimately quarrelled with him. There is thus no alliance between Shelob and Sauron, the Dark Power's deputy, only a common hatred.

Two Towers
Shelob was the last child of Ungoliant to trouble the unhappy world.

[Edited on 19/1/2003 by Rednell]

Start of #Bilbos-Study buffer: Sun Jan 19 20:01:33 2003
* Now talking in #Bilbos-Study
* Topic is 'This is's Tolkien class room! If
a class is not currently active and no one is about, try
* Set by Barliman on Sun Oct 13 17:40:43
* ChanServ sets mode: +o Rednell

Well shall we begin
Nell, I am connect through the pt chat, may i play
with the colors here? or is that not permitted?
sorry, Mellie no colours
ok, that is why i asked first
nor asterisked comments
no actions or colours permitted in class as it is
not a problem
What if you have to go?
I want to start the discussion with the wargs or
The wargs appear in FOTR. Does anyone know what
they may have been illusionary?
very good possibility of that.
They fight them, of course. =)
Can you tell us what happens to make you think that,
True wargs were not real forms but evil
phantasms which could only take form in the dark
after the battle around the campfire there weree
no dead carcasas
They were originated from Morgoth's werewolves
true, Valedhelgwath
I didn't know that
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In the Hobbit they spokea "dreadful language"
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They were afraid of the sun
In the Hobbit they were out in daylight or at
least in early evening
In the Hobbit they were riden by goblins.
Some wolves to the west of the misty mountains
were mistakenly called Wargs... True wargs lived in Rhovannion
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Hi Arenel
Maybe evil wolves were also called wargs by Tolkien
I think that is the case Grondy
yes, I have noticed that also
True wargs were kind of like undead type spirits
I think it is easy to get the impression that the
goblins (orcs) who rode the wargs had control of them as man
does a horse, but this was not the case. They merely helped
one another in wicked deeds
Tolkien is said to be using a lot of things from
scandinavian mythology, and varg is onfact the word for Wolve
in swedish.
good point Airecristiel
that is interesting Aire Smile Smilie
Hungry wolves were your ordinary garden variety
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Perhaps wargs are just different kinds of wolves.
who bred the warg?
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Morgoth and Sauron
They descended from Morgoth's werewolves, but
sauron had a lot to do with the werewolves, so it is possibly
The wargs appeared in the third age.
has to be Sauron then
I think you are right, Valedhelgwath. Sauron would be
my guess
Let's move on to the Trolls, then
I always thought they were a corruption of ents
but you had a different idea I believe, Nell
corrupted Dwarves on steriods?
I did, Valedhelgwath. The corruption of Ents does come
from LOTR, however.
as they come from stone
I always wondered if they were related to Ettins. Ettins
are never really talked about in LOTR, but there are Ettin
yes, since the dwarves were created by Aule from
Stone, I saw the trolls as a corruption of them
Trolls are another one of the scanidanvian myths.
They are said to turn into stone if they meet sunlight. Where
they come from, I don't know.
The Ents do have a lot of power over stone though
They can tear it up like earth
But the Ents are more vegi-like and roots can do
that too
The trolls, like the orcs and wargs were created in
darkness by the Dark Lord so sunlight would bother them
"They were corrupted from an older less
dangerous race in mockery of the ents"
The size think is the problem with corrupted
Dwarves theory
Thank-you Valedhelgwath, I have been looking for that
quote for the last hour.
Chapter 4
TT, Book III?
I agree, Grondmaster. I was thinking more of the
substance from which they were created.
RotK grondy
I knew Treebeard had said it.
Okay, thanks Val
The trolls bred very slowly so the numbers couldn't
have been very large.
This would limit their effectiveness, I would think.
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Sauron improved upon the trolls. His trolls could
withstand sunlight.
yes those be the ones.
The Black Trolls
where are some of the places we see them in LOTR?
The Black Trolls or just the Trolls?
Gothmog, second in command at Pellinor Field was
possibly Olog-hai
we see the stone ones that Bilbo froze
We see them when they open the black gates.
The one Pippin slew was too
Is that what Belegard and Pippin went up against
That is interesting, Valedhelgwath. Gothmog seems to
have taken the name of another commander of dreaded beasts
The balrog
yes, the balrog.
What is a balrog?
A maiar spirit of fire
a being of fire
Corrupted by Morgoth
i has a balrog at my premiere TTT party.
A demon of fire from the ancient past?
i organized a party and the guy who showed up as
the balrog didn't have wings
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and everyone complained about it
Does being a maiar make the balrog more dangerous than
the creatures bred by the Dark Lord, the wargs and the trolls?
Most definetly
much more
hi Isengarder
sorry im so late
who was the Lord of the Balrog?
aire: actually at the end he turned out tyo be a
guy from the circus and at the end he did the human torch, it
was awesome.
and his relationship to Melkor?
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In HOME, isn't he a son of Melkor?
yes, he is
It is also mentioned in Book of Lost Tales.
actually Grondmaster's java script failed before
I came back
What was the weapon of the Balrog?
But Tolkien later changed from the early drafts
to say the Valar did not have children
a sword
He had a swo
and a whip
And fiery whip
, a sword, a whip and the flame of udun.
the fiery whip was his lethal weapon
Were balrogs born in fire?
Even Ungoliant could not stand the whips
fiery scourge
Balrogs were not born... They were Maiar spirits
created by Eru
Lets talk about Shelob now.
she was decended from Ungoliant
wasnt gothmog also the name of thelieutenant of
minas morgul?
daughter of Ungoliant
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yes, Isengarder.
Yes Isengarder
not the same Gothmog
The latter was an olog-hai
what kind of an arrangement did she have with Sauron?
She guarded the pass of Cirith ungol
Did she serve Sauron?
none, she was an independent agent, he just used
She was left alone and allowed to feed on stray
orcs etc
she served noone
She served herself
very dangerous spider.
sauron did not need her
why not, Isengarder?
but he made use of her presence
He didn't need her, but he knew she made a good
guard dog
right Val
good point.
i remember gandalf saying that she wouldnt give in
to sauron
kept his troops in line too
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Who were the members of the Fellowship to meet up with
sam and frodo
Sam and Frodo
Frodo and SAm
sam frodo
gollum knew her for years
How was she dangerous?
or bite as it were
15 foot spider with poisoned fangs...says it all
what was the effect of the bite?
what did she do with her prey then?
It left Frodo with a permenant wound too
sucked them dry
didnt she eat all her offspring in order to survive?
what offspring
she had many offspring which she ate
Why would Frodo's wound have been permanent?
I think she ate her mates
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which were her offspring, sqm
no, her offspring
am i too late?
hello virumor
On the aniversary of being bitten, didn't he
fall ill
like the wound from the morgul blade, did the venom
leave an evil residule?
hi Virumor
yes val
I don't think so
maybe though
She vommited darkness like her mother...maybe
something to do with that
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talking 'bout Shelob?
so isengarder, did u look the Ungoliant thing up?
sure did
Was Shelob the last of her kind?
so, she was the last of the brethren of Ungoliant,
wasn't she?
yes she was
The ones in Mirkwood may have been lesser
cousins but Tolkien said shelob was the last of her kin
that makes it easier to sleep at night
I think the mirkwood ones are giant spiders,
whereas Shelob was demonic in nature
Before we decide who was the most dangerous of the
evil beasties, lets just discuss the watcher in the water and
the watchers.
that is a very good point Valedhelgwath
u mean that squidie?
yes, v
watcher in the water wasnt all that
i wonder : how did he get there?
where did he come from?
The watcher may have come from the deeps beneath
the misty mountains, or it may have swam up the Sirannon from
the sea
there used to be a giant lake by the gates of moria
I've read both accounts
then it dried up
yeah, but did Sauron send him there? or has he got
nothing to do with it
Moria, Gandalf said there were many things under
the mountains in the depths or something like that]
watcher in the water was not saurons creature
well, the watcher guarded the entrance to Moria for
It may just have been a kraken
yes, I think they were around for a very long time. It
is possible that the watcher was responsible for the dammng of
the River Dirannon
yes, but sauron didnt send him there
it was another independent agent looking out for
its ouw interests
the Watcher wasn't there yet when Balin went to Moria
i thought
No it came later
and that was 70 years before LoTR i thought
Or revealed itself later
moria had no importance to sauron so he couldnt
have sent anything there
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Sauron filled Moria with Orcs i thought
no he didnt
it's mentioned in the Appendix
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orcs came by themselves
the orcs in Moria were not Sauron's
They were opportunists led by Azog from mt
that's what I thought Isengarder
after Thror's death
sauron was in mirkwood and he was weak so he
couldnt have sent them
it's mentioned in the appendix with all those dates
They were acting independantly at that time
Looking for Dwarven gold
Sauron could have had contact with the Balrog
sauron was only a weak shadow then
i mean mental contact
as they were when they were with the orcs who captured
Pippin and Merry
i dont think so
I think the Balrog was its own agent too
Even in LotR the Morian orcs were independant
agreed Valedhelgwath
well, a Balrog is also a powerful spirit like Sauron
servant of Morgoth
as was the Balrog
everything in moria was independent
they could've had telepathic contact or such
not likely
sauron was too weak to make tha eyr
the orcs in Moria feared the Balrog.
With good reason
most certainly
no they just had the instilled evil put into them
by Morgoth/Melkor
What about the watchers in Cirith Ungol? What kind a
threat were they?
there is no independent evil according to me
they never slept
some black magic of Sauron or the Nazg’l i think that
I think they were just spells set in stone...
similar to the Woses puckel men
That is what my impression was too.
i thought they were similar to the Nazgul
They were not alive... just a guard spell
they only had one eye
other than raising the alarm, not too threatening.
they were just burglar alarms
wards against intruders
all passes to mordor were guarded by something
Maybe a corruption of the Puckel men
there weren't so many passes
now that is a good point, Valedhelgwath.
only 3
were the Puckel men guards?
i like that Val
weren't it just statues of Woses
They guarded the woses homes
They could animate
the Pukel men lind the road to the Paths of the
Dead enterance
why guard the Paths of the Dead?
Although if hurt, the woses who created them was
hurt too
no one gets out there alive, so
they were also warnings
lets discuss something else
the Eye of Sauron?
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thats good
The eye of Sauron was Sauron
but not on topic for this class
well, was it Sauron's physical presence or just an
no he had some kind magic spell
It was Sauron
i think it was just a magical instrument of his will
you are out of order Virumor
like a palintir
I think it took the form of an eye because it
was always searching
For this topic, I have one more question
i bet it was an instrument like the palintir
yes Rednell?
Isengarder:me too
In your opinion, what was the most dangerous of the
beasts of evil and why?
I think that the most dangerous was the Balrog
yeah, me too
Balrog or perhaps Smaug
because it was of the Maiar but had its own will
Smaug wasn't in LOTR, so he is eliminated.
Balrog was Maiar spirit
and maybe mental communication w/sauron
the Balrog because it was Maiar and thius had
more of its original power
yes, I think the fact that the Balrog was a maiar made
it far more dangerous.
the Balrog was the most powerful servant of Morgoth
after Sauron
Smaug is mentioned though Nell
so is Ancalagon the Black
but not one of the enemies in this tale.
But the Dragons were dead at the time of LotR
It'd be the Balrog then
well, we never know if there r still dragons alive
they could live in the Northern Wastes
Look how hard a time Gandalf had with the thing
There wwere other dragons in the Withered heath
but they don't come into Tolkien's tale of the
War of the Rings
Tolkien said that even after the fall of evil, there
still remains some of the servants of evil. Who would they
have been?
well, i don't think all of the Orcs suddenly fell dead
I don't think Gandalf defeated it as an
Istari... i think that guise was burned from him and he
defeated it as Olorin
Orcs, trolls, wargs
Men for sure.
Orcs too, I would think.
well, was evil truly defeated, in fact?
or did Sauron just join Morgoth in his Void?
no, it just post the focusing power for a time
Aragorn fought many battles with Eomer after the
what r u discussing?
Mainly against Harad
against Rh’n also
The Easterlings
and Southrons
And Variags
but were there still Orcs then
after Sauron's downfall
For a while
they would have been hunted.
against them too
some Orc genocide?
nice work, Elessar!
orc holacaust
Telephone... gotta go
Well, we have pretty much covered all the evil Sauron
had to throw at the Fellowship.

Great class Nell! Thanks, I enjoyed it. Big Smile Smilie