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Sure they could have been: how about if their gate had been made of air, water, or hanging strings of beads. Still, in hindsight, a little fire retardant would have been worth its weight in mithril.
[Edited on 6/3/2002 by Grondmaster]
A giant bead curtain? Oh man, I want one! That would be cool enough to make being slaughtered by the hoards worthwhile! At least you'd be funky! Big Smile Smilie
Accually it wouldn't have matter much if the door would have been burnt away because if all the orcs were to come through this one door all you'd have to do would be to have all your army at that one place and slaughter every last sorry orc coming through that opening.
And as strange as it may seem a door of air could sometimes (in medieval times) be the best door, because it would confuse the enemy and make him go for the open door loose large parts of his army and then realize he should have thrown some stones to open up the walls at multiple places and then split the defenders army...
Of course Morgoth had Balrogs and all kinds of mean things which would be more difficult to slay than ordinary orcs so if they got through the open doors it be slightly more dangerous but then again it doesn't really matter because regardless of what kind of material the door would have been made of, Morgoth would have had prevailed and Gondolin would have been doomed.
A good point Iago (about the "door of air") !
Yes we need really have much imagination to see all military implications of various defence systems.
There is an early story of Ursula Le Guin in which the postAuthorID depicted with much passion a heroic charge made by her hero mounting a flying monster against a castle of his enemies. Imagine: a world with flying monsters used as steeds for knights - and ordinary medieval fortresses with towers and walls! A suggestive picture.. but this simply does not make sense! Even field mice and voles which have flying enemies (predatory birds) do not live in "castles" protested by walls, but in underground holes safe from the air attack!
[Edited on 13/3/2002 by Eryan]
That's a good one Eryan Smile Smilie
Ah, almost a chat! Wink Smilie
Almost Smile Smilie
Your castle needs conical fireproof roofs so that the enemy knights riding fire breathing dragons can neither land upon nor burn them. Cool Smilie

And behind this shimmering curtain of air you set up a one-way dimensional door and invite the charging hoard into your parlor by trying to keep them out. Big Smile Smilie

Ah, a little imagination can raise havoc if you have a mind to it. Wink Smilie
i feel that Gondolin had stupid defenses a gate made of wood , come on, "here comes morgoths army and they have fire RUN" could they be stupider
Actually, the defences weren't all that bad. For an outer wall they had the Encircling Mountains whose jagged peaks were thousands of feet high and guarded by giant eagles. They then had a passage in guarded by:-
1) A wooden portcullis studded with iron nails,
2) A gate of Stone with two stout towers,
3) A Gate of Bronze with three square towers,
4) A Gate of Writhen Iron with four iron towers,
5) A Gate of Silver with five Globes of marble,
6) A Gate of Gold with six marble globes,
7) A Gate of Steel wrought by Maeglin, composed of seven pillars of steel between two huge towers.....
and then, no doubt, there were the aforementioned gates made of air for fooling the enemy, and the walls of the city itself. Still, none of it amounted to much after Maeglin showed the bad guys the way in Shaking Head Smilie
Yep! All the security measures in the world are of no avail once an enemy has the key. Paranoid Smilie
yeah, aside from the SEVEN gates, nobody even knew where Gondolin was...they probably just put doors up to amuse themselves. =)

btw, it's Gondolindrim. Wink Smilie

[Edited on 18/1/2003 by Laur’lin_Mallenuial]
(Signature turned off by Rednell. Signatures can be no more than 3 lines in length including spaces)

[Edited on 18/1/2003 by Rednell]
The real defence of Gondolin was that it's location was secret.

As long as their location was secret, they could've easily put all their gates wide open, because no living soul outside the valley of Tumladen knew 'bout Gondolin.

It was only - typically - by treason of Maeglin from Gondolin that Morgoth could attack and annihilate Gondolin.