Who would win, Smaug or a Balrog

Discussion in 'The Hall of Fire' started by cab345, Feb 16, 2003.

?

Who would win

  1. Smaug

    24 vote(s)
    46.2%
  2. a Balrog

    28 vote(s)
    53.8%
  1. YayGollum

    YayGollum Conscience of TTF

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    Eh. I'll probably edit this at a later point to stick some crippling blows into the debate part of this thread. For now, though ---> Argh. The Ulairi person has been dancing around with a few people. He's taken plenty of shots, and so have they. Sometimes the combatants shrug them off, sometimes it hurts. I was just waiting to see how the Ulairi person took this latest barrage. He took it with a counterattack, it looks like. How's about we stick to the arguing and forget about the fighting? No more, "You're stupid, and I give no compelling argument for why you is!" "Truly? Within that case, you're stupid, because we have different opinions?" "Gah! My defenses! I was merely warming upwards, though, for, under-handed insult! Wow! That was a good one!" *incoherent and probably obscene snarling* Do such things have a use, or are they merely your uncivilized guts reacting and forcing your paws to waste everyone's time by typing out such silliness?
     
  2. chrysophalax

    chrysophalax Dragon of Note

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    Basically...
     

  3. Alcuin

    Alcuin Registered User

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    Úlairi, as you well know since you parsed my post so closely, I never said you made any claims that Maiar did not inhabit other than those of the Incarnates. I built a case that they did, because you seem to have built a case that they did not inhabit dragons, at any rate.


    I believe I have elided this citation fairly. Feel free to disagree.

    In response, to your assertion that, “It was only Eru through the agency of the Valar that could allow an Elvish fëa to assume a new identity,” I say, yes, as long as the Elves and the Valar followed the path prescribed for them by Eru; but the whole point of Morgoth and Sauron and all their followers is they are in rebellion against Eru. That this rebellion is doomed to failure before it began, that it is self-destructive, or that it produces bad fruit is beside the point: that’s what these characters are doing in Tolkien’s subcreation. Necromancy and sorcery are, by their very nature, forbidden in the real world, and they are likewise forbidden in Tolkien’s subcreation.

    (BTW, the word subcreation is Tolkien’s own to describe his opus corpus (body of work). I believe you questioned where it had arisen, and asked about my use of it elsewhere. See “On Fairy Stories”, most easily found in Tolkien Reader.)

    Well, it wasn’t quite the last time: now I have posted it, too.

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your QED is flawed. You have failed to exclude incarnations other than balrogs. “If and only if” is proof; you demonstrate sufficiency, but not uniqueness. You have also failed to exclude the movement of balrogs, the “oldest [noparse][[/noparse]and[noparse]][/noparse] most potent” of Morgoth’s servants, into other forms: your argument would not, for instance, preclude a balrog inhabiting the body of a particularly large, intelligent monster: say, Ancalagon the Black, for example.

    Before you jump to (or post) conclusions, I have not claimed that any balrog ever did do such a thing, only that you have not excluded it. You have, however, powerfully implied that anyone who made such a claim must be either a moron or some kind of raving lunatic.

    I’m sorry, maybe I misunderstood the thrust of your argument. Clarity often suffers badly at the hands of competition if one’s goal is to overbear and defeat the ones around him; but it shines through cooperation.

    The large print is hard to miss, but sometimes the point is lost in the noise: “what I don't understand is a cogent and coherent point.” I am glad to learn, however, that you will allow YayGollum room to speculate that “Mel jammed spirits into Dragons and they destroyed Gondolin.” It is always nice to be given room for one’s own thoughts and private speculations, even if others believe them misdirected: Sauron and Morgoth begrudged others this room of maneuver.



    Just between friends,
    might easily be mistaken for plainly insulting. This IS amateur hour: we are amateur Tolkien scholars, even you. This is not moot court, either: winning at any cost is not conducive to open debate. You will frighten away the shy, and revolt those who have not the patience to deal with lawyerly revile. I am certain that, if you reflect upon it, you did not intend any such.

    By the way, a lot of the work I see at TTF and other Tolkien forums, work prepared by amateurs, is frequently a good deal better than a lot of the “professional” work I see, particularly from college and university professors of English: excepting a few really outstanding scholars who clearly love the subject matter (i.e., they really like the stories and dig at them the way the rank amateurs do), the professional work I have seen is mostly dismally prepared, with little or no insight into the material, drawn up by the hacks from the Modern Language Association who clearly loathe the society and culture that produced the material they constantly belittle and subvert by means of “deconstruction.” (I would share a quote about deconstruction from one of my college English professors, a man of considerable accomplishment who actually loves his subject matter, but the use of such Anglo-Saxon terminology is forbidden by the rules of the board; suffice it to say they he found the practice a means to empty a text of all an author’s intentional meaning in order to fill it with the biases and intents of the person engaged in deconstructing it.)

    Let me know as soon as you pass the Bar. If I ever need a lawyer in Sydney, I want your mobile number!
     
  4. Ciryaher

    Ciryaher Witch of Resurrection

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    In response to the original, posted question of "Who would win: Smaug or a Balrog?" I would be inclined to ask what the exact tactical situation is between them. Since the question is specific as to which dragon is involved (but not which Balrog), I will presume that the question presumes the two meeting on an empty, barren field. In that case, I would presume Smaug to be the more likely victor, considering he has the benefit of flight and sheer mass.

    I can, however, see a variety of situations where a Balrog could easily defeat Smaug, particularly if a bird were to whisper a certain weakness regarding the said dragon's breast ;) If the question is also expanded to include any dragon, then I would still hold to the same opinion: it all depends on the circumstances.

    However, considering the record of dragons killed compared to the number of balrogs killed (by elves, humans, dwarves, or otherwise), I would say that the chances are highly in favor of a dragon's victory. Both creatures are cunning and intelligent, but the dragons have size and armor in their favor.

    EDIT: I read through Ithrynluin's post about the battles between balrogs and their foes, along with between dragons and their foes. I would argue that the balrogs at Gondolin killed perhaps hundreds of elves before they were taken down, as well as dragons such as Glaurung. Remember that he crushed Azaghal and was wounded, but most certainly killed the dwarven-king without dying; as I said, much of what occurs in a battle depends on circumstances. Bard would certainly not have killed Smaug, were it not for the thrush's message. Turin would certainly not have slain Glaurung, had he not ambushed the dragon from the ravine.
     

  5. Úlairi

    Úlairi Crying in the Wilderness

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    Well...

    I'm not going to worry about the rest. I was building a case that the descendants of Glaurung may NOT have been.

    Unjustly? No. Unfairly? Possibly.

    I completely agree. However the point I was purporting in relation to the omitted quotes was not that this rebellion could achieve such ends through choice; but simply that it was beyond the inherent power but more importantly functional capacity (as a being in Eä) of Morgoth (and Sauron) to do so, even as Necromancers. This is inferable through parsing the quote.

    I understand the meaning of the word cannot as infrangible and not "shall not", which would imply the imposition of an infractible Law of Eru. It is infrangible; not infractible.

    Elvish fëar are thus per se incapable of absorption into another identity due to an inherent inability to do so. Even if Morgoth had such inherent power; he would nevertheless still be unable to entrap fëa inside subcreated hröa as the fëa did not have such power per se. The incarnation of fëa is solely the function of Eru and the Valar acted as His Representatives. This rebellion is not simply an action contrary to the wishes of Ilúvatar; but rather it is impossible for Melkor to entrap fëa within hröa. Melkor, as subcreator; is incapable of achieving such ends.

    Thanks for that Alcuin, I gleaned as much as he also refers to himself as a sub-creator in The Letters of JRR Tolkien (Letter #153). I've simply re-coined the phrase, if you will, to extend its meaning to creation in Arda by a will other than Eru's.

    Understood. I attempted to do this; and note the use of the word incarnations. The premise of a barrage of my posts before this is that Balrogs remained in demon-form; similar in nature to the raiment of the Valar derived from their knowledge of Arda. A major crux of my argument to preclude other incarnations was that Maia who became Incarnate dwindled in force; thus losing inherent potency whilst the Balrogs remained stronger. What I have been waiting for as a potential counter-argument that, if I had been arguing the case for Dragons (and I can't believe I'm doing this), is what exactly is the nature of the effect upon their (the Balrogs) potency due to the expenditure of Morgoth's being to dominate their wills. Is domination by another will effective in reducing potency?

    As for your point about two Úmaiar possessing the same hröa, I'm not going to...

    ...and call you a moron. I think its a very interesting idea; and no, I haven't precluded this particularly. I am going to call you a raving lunatic though, (;)) as you've decontextualized the proof. All I need to prove is Balrogs > Dragons, which is the point of this entire thread; and NOT Balrogs > All other Úmaiar.

    Cooperation? How can two opposing concepts be resolved through cooperation? If I cooperated with those arguing for Dragons then I would be conceding that Dragons are greater than Balrogs; which is the direct opposite of what I've been purporting.

    Yes, the only reason one has room to move is due to unsubstantiated inferences from the text. Such as presenting the concept that two fëa possessing the same hröa bears a contextual relationship with the purpose of this actual thread.

    Yes, but not presenting the best possible argument for our case is the context in which I was referring to it being amateur hour. By claiming that the usage of the word amateur to mean that I consider myself professional is absurd as it puts words in my mouth that simply never existed. Whilst you may think that I consider myself to be so; that is your deduction about my character and not from what was actually conveyed.

    I'll definitely tell you if I pass the Bar. ;)
     
  6. Bucky

    Bucky Registered User

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    Gothmog

    - Slew Fëanor, greatest of the Noldor, at Dor Daedeloth.
    - Slew Fingon the Valiant the High King of the Noldor on the plains of Anfauglith.
    - Dragged Húrin into Angband after the defeat in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad.
    - Slew Ecthelion and was finally slain in The Fall of Gondolin.

    Well, this is quite a bit of revisionist history here......

    Slew Feanor, BUT:

    'Thus it was that he (Feanor) drew far ahead of the van of his host; and seeing this the servants of Morgoth turned at bay, and there issued forth from Angband Balrogs (note: plural) to aid them. ....Feanor was surrounded, with few friends about him. Long he fought on, and undismayed, though he was wrapped in fire (one Balrog does that?) and wounded with many wounds; but at last he was smitten to the ground by Gothmog."

    This certainly does not sound like a one on one battle to me, just that Gothmog struck the finishing blow.

    Next, there is no denying Gothmog had help versus Fingon:

    'Then he (Gothmog) turned upon Fingon. That was a grim meeting. At last Fingon stood alone with his guard dead about him; and he fought with Gothmog until another Ballrog came up behindand cast a thong of fire about him. THEN Gothmog hewed him with his black axe...'

    Tolkien makes it very clear that Gothmog needed the sneak attack of the second Balrog for Gothmog to defeat Fingon.......

    Third, What is so great about dragging Hurin with all these chopped off orc arms clinging to him after he's been captured to Angband?
    Is this some great accomplishment?
    Any orc could've done this.


    Next, who says dragons aren't Maiar?
    They have some sort of 'spirit' in them......

    This is a complex issue & difficult to sustain within the physical laws that Tolkien has established for Maiar to live in & incarnate themselves in within Arda, i.e., dragons reproduce down through the ages & may (but not certainly) die, but this statement Tolkien makes when Glaurung speaks to Turin on the bridge of Nargothrond MUSt be taken for it's careful wording:

    'The suddenly he (Glaurung) spoke by the EVIL SPIRIT THAT WAS IN HIM....'

    What was that 'evil spirit'?

    There were 'greater' & 'lesser' spirits all around in the First Age, but Tolkien makes it clear in 'Myths Transformed VIII', HoME Vol 10 that these spirits are all Maiar to begin with.

    So, it seems possible that dragons, possibly only speaking ones (do they all speak?) are indeed Maiar.

    There's more on this:

    But again - would Eru provide fëar for such creatures? For the Eagles etc. perhaps. But not for Orcs. ...

    As you say, they may not have 'fea'. However, these spirits where provided by themselves, already in existence......

    As I said, the idea of Dragons being Maiar of whatever degree is hard to sustain.


    Melkor corrupted many spirits - some great, as Sauron, or less so, as Balrogs. The least could have been primitive (and much more powerful and perilous) Orcs; but by practising when embodied procreation they would (cf. Melian) [become] more and more earthbound, unable to return to spirit-state (even demon-form), until released by death (killing) , and they would dwindle in force.

    It is pretty clear here that Tolkien is saying the power of the spirit would diminish as the creature, dragons in this case, reproduce. Yet, we see in Smaug the same powers that Glaurung had in 'dragon spell'. This certainly seems to be in disaccord.
    Let us remember that Tolkien wrote the Hobbit way before much of the ways of Middle-earth and certainly these deep thoughts were in place.


    Then, we have this statement from Tolkien's Letter #144:

    [/B]The Balrogs, 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.

    If we look at the military history of Middle-earth in the First Age once Glaurung matures, it appears HE does the majority of the leading from the point on.......

    The Battle of Sudden Flame:

    'In the front of that fire came Glaurung....and Balrogs were in his train'

    Also, as Ulari mentioned, Glaurung is then used in Western Beleriand to burn out all the lands about Maglor's Gap & between the 'arms of Gelion'..

    In the Fifth Battle, Glaurung is in the 'Eastern Front', most likely leading that assault while Gothmog is clearly in the 'Western Front', obviously leading that assault where Fingon is.

    After that, it is Glaurung, not Gothmog who takes out much of Western Belerian & sets up a kingship in Nargothrond.

    Certainly, it cannot be argued that from his coming of age, Glaurung becomes Morgoth's #1 military leader.

    I'm not saying Glaurung has authority over Gothmog or anything like that, but he certainly leads alot more campaigns.

    However, in the terms of this discussion, just like arguements of who defeated who in a battle, it really means nothing.....

    Saying that a dragon was beaten by a man while a Balrog never lost without slaying it's High-Elven or Maia opponent means NOTHING.

    What Balrog took out an entire Dwarf Kingdom like Smaug?

    Oh yeah, Durin's Bane....... :eek:

    But, he took a year while Smaug took out Erebor, Dale & Esgaroth in a matter of hours. (so what, again, lol)

    None of this matters head to head - it's all relative comparisons, that's all.


    And, while I'm at it, just how would a Balrog & dragon, ANY dragon, come to fight each other when they are both servants of Morgoth?

    Smaug, specific to this discussion, versus Durin's Bane, when, where & why?

    Personally, I think we don't see a single motivating factor for a dragon to take on a Balrog unless the Balrog was sitting on a mound of treasure & Durin's Bane was hanging out in empty halls in Moria. Smaug certainly wasn't going to roust DB from Moria & go dig up mithril himself, so no reason why they would fight.

    But, let's say they did.....

    Somebody said fire wouldn't hurt Smaug.
    Why not? Smaug's an animal, not fireproof just because he spouts forth flame. He could certainly be blinded by fire..

    And, everyone talking about Smaug's power. Does power hurt 'shadow & flame'?
    I guess it must because Gandalf "threw down his enemy & he smote the mountainside in his ruin" (blew up?)

    Also, does a sword of fire cut through a dragon's scales?
    Cut Smaug's gems on his underbelly?

    I'd say it's pick 'em.......

    So, I pick, er, Smaug because Durin's Bane was a scaredy cat who ran away & hid in a cave for 5480 years. Intangibles.......




    but the Sauron case is different in the sense that if it had been any other finger Sauron would've crushed Isildur's head - the inherent flaw there was his dependence on the Ring.

    Where'd you get that from Ulari?
    Watching PJ's movie version?

    Sauron was slain & THEN the Ring was cut off his finger:

    "It (the Ring) was taken from him (Sauron) The strength of the Elves to resist him was greater long ago; and not all Men were estranged from them....... It was Gil-Galad, Elven King & Elendil of Westernesse who overthrew Sauron though they themselves perished in the deed; and Isildur Elendil's son cut the Ring from Sauron's hand & took it for his own."



    Also, if Durin's Bane had had wings, would he not have used them, instead of falling, a la Wile E. Coyote, into the bowels of the mountain? Just a thought...

    For almost 30 years, I was sure Balrogs had wings until somebody pointed this out:

    'the shadow about it (the Balrog) reached out LIKE two vast wings'

    Gandalf goes through "You cannot pass."

    Now, read this CAREFULLY, you can see it's a metaphor for shadow:

    ''The Balrog made no answer. The fire in it seemed to die, BUT THE DARKNESS (which had just been compared to two vast wings) GREW. It stepped up to the bridge, and suddenly it drew itself up to a great height, and it's wings were spread from wall to wall; BUT GANDALF COULD BE SEEN GLIMMERING IN THE GLOOM.'

    When I read this with the empasis, it hit me like a ton of bricks....

    If Tolkien were here now, he'd be chuckling at the whole 'Balrogs have wings' controversy.
     
  7. Ithrynluin

    Ithrynluin seeker of solace Staff Member

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    What a marvelous, thorough analysis, Bucky. Touche on many points!

    And yet another person who has gone from the winged to the wingless camp over the years. I don't think there's evidence enough to hit like a ton of anything, but it makes more sense. :)
     
  8. Úlairi

    Úlairi Crying in the Wilderness

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    This is all fundamentally a given Bucky, however the fulcrum upon which the discussion rested was simply the inherent power of Balrogs and Dragons. It also turned significantly upon the aforementioned quote about the comparable intrinsic potencies of the Urulóki and the Valaraukar. Indeed a host of Balrogs overthrew Fëanor and Fingon, but one Dwarf injured and one man slew the father of Dragons; another man slew the greatest of all Dragons and yet another did the same to the greatest of the Dragons of the Age. Ultimately such an argument bears no relevance to the discussion or to the determination of which was inherently the greater of the two.

    Yeah, read above. Who did say that?

    The key phrase from what you've stated above is "to begin with". As Úmaiar procreated their offspring dwindled in force. There is no mention of an evil spirit residing within Ancalagon or Smaug. There is also the quote from The Children of Húrin that the evil spirit embodied within Glaurung was Morgoth's own; so arguably Glaurung was a mere device of Morgoth.

    Spirit = fëa. All Ainur had fëa. They simply assumed different raiments or, like Morgoth, became ensnared in the erma of Imbar through titanic expenditure of his own inherent being.

    Woah there Bucky... let's not get ahead of ourselves. Where in the text does it stipulate that both Glaurung and his dwindled procreation have the "same powers"???

    Good call. Haven't actually read the text in around six years. Damn movies ruin everything. ;) That also is an employment of great logic therefore by Tolkien as the removal of the Ring by Isildur would almost certainly have not disembodied Sauron unless the power of the Ring was so great that Sauron required it to physically exist within Arda.



    The reason that I have chosen however, to post in this thread again, is because of an unbelievable excerpt from The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two that would have ended this debate quite some time ago; and that my position that the comparison of inherent and relative natures and intrinsic power (or potency) of Balrogs and Dragons resulted in the conclusion that Balrogs were greater than Dragons was actually confirmed by Tolkien himself! Here it is (I can't believe that this quote was never found):

    And... there... it... is...

    Whilst I am aware that I was critical of chrysophalax earlier in this thread for quoting archaic references to do with the number of Balrogs in Morgoth's employ; my reasoning was that Tolkien actually changed his mind on the subject. There is no textual evidence whatsoever on this reference however that Tolkien ever reconsidered that Dragons may have been greater in inherent power than Balrogs. In fact all textual evidence points to the contrary - especially Myths Transformed.

    Cheers,

    Úlairi.
     
  9. Alcuin

    Alcuin Registered User

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    The phrase “save it be the Balrogs only” is an old-fashioned (but not archaic) way of saying, “unless it is the Balrogs.” To mean, “only the Balrogs are stronger,” Tolkien would have written, “save the Balrogs only.” He isn’t saying every Balrog is stronger than every dragon, but he is saying that the average Balrog is stronger than the average dragon. The stronger dragons might best weaker Balrogs, for instance: that would not invalidate the phrase, “save it be the Balrogs only,” but it would invalidate the phrase, “save the Balrogs only.”

    Had Tolkien meant flat-out that Balrogs are stronger, he would have left out the difficult “it be”, which opens the possibility that some dragons might be stronger than some Balrogs. It’s as if he had written, as a group, the rowdy O’Malley brothers are meaner and tougher than the McLean brothers, but some of the McLean brothers can still whip some of the O’Malley brothers.

    By the way, in another venue, Gordis has pointed out that in some versions of the telling, Isildur claims to have delivered the deathblow to Sauron. If that’s true, Elendil and Gil-galad beat him down, and then Isildur either delivered a coup de grâce, or else by Isildur’s cutting off the Ring, Sauron was “killed”.

    Doesn’t this bring us back to the hypothetical, “Could Smaug have beaten Durin’s Bane?”
     
  10. Úlairi

    Úlairi Crying in the Wilderness

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    I've done a little research on this contention of yours Alcuin and unfortunately it yielded little fruit. In my own opinion, such a passage can be interpreted both ways as "save it be only" can also infer "save only". I personally cannot resolve the logic in equating "save it be only" to "unless it is" and even with such a definition "unless it is" can indeed be equated to "save only" as well. In a sense I say tomàto and you say tomäto. However, I do understand the inference you have made here. I am willing to concede this point if you could direct me to somewhere on the net where it stipulates that the use of the phrase is not exclusive in nature as is the phrase "save only". The phrase "save it be only" does still appear to be exclusory. Your example leaves a lot to be desired, and whilst I do understand what you're attempting to convey; the above passage doesn't confer the meaning that the Balrogs are superior as a group to Dragons in the context that individually they are not. I think you've done a marvellous (albeit confusing) job of splitting hairs here.

    Not yet Alcuin, not yet...

    Cheers,

    Úlairi.
     
  11. Alcuin

    Alcuin Registered User

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    I did a Google search on the phrase (in quotes) “save it be”, and in the first few pages, I found a dozen “save it be” phrases that only make sense interpreted as “unless it is”.

    As a single example, consider this from Alfred Tennyson, Idylls of the King, “Lancelot and Elaine”:
     
  12. Úlairi

    Úlairi Crying in the Wilderness

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    Fair enough. However:

    This seems to have a similar if not identical meaning to the phrase "save it be". The statement: yet of all they are the most powerful, unless it is a Balrog can be interpreted quite simply to mean: Balrogs are more powerful than Dragons. I still don't quite see how it requires a differentiation. You'll have to forgive my stupidity here Alcuin. ;)

    Cheers,

    Úlairi.
     
  13. Alcuin

    Alcuin Registered User

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    Not stupidity: poor pedagogy by secondary school and college English faculty renders quaint idioms unintelligible to native English speakers.
     
  14. Úlairi

    Úlairi Crying in the Wilderness

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    LOL. Yeah, we had quite a bit of that at my school unfortunately. Well, as I can't honestly see any difference between the two I'll have to disagree to agree. I'm confident that you most likely know what you're talking about. Split hair or no split hair this however does not deny the strong supposition of Tolkien that his Balrogs where intrinisically greater than Dragons - be it an average Balrog fighting an average Dragon or not.

    Cheers,

    Úlairi.
     
  15. Ryaca

    Ryaca New Member

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    I would like to bring to light the fact that the size comparison of the balrog to a human and Smaug to a human would give us the size difference between the two creatures. In my mind it would be like a goldfish(balrog) versus a very large catfish (Smaug). Not to say that size always matters but my vote goes to the dragon.
     
  16. Galin

    Galin Registered User

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    Welcome Ryaca!

    One question there might be: do folks agree on the heights of Balrogs?

    Or even the widths?
     
  17. Ryaca

    Ryaca New Member

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    Thank you for the welcome. I'm not sure about heights or the widths. I just used the Scenes from the movies for the size comparisons. Tolkien may have had something way different in mind.:D
     
  18. Galin

    Galin Registered User

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    Ah, okay.

    Personally I think the film Balrog was too large based on how I like to imagine the book Balrogath, but it's been my experience that readers don't really seem to agree about how large Durin's Bane was according to The Fellowship of the Ring.

    I believe (going on memory) some words in question (in the Moria encounter) are great/greater, or something fairly subjective even within the context of the sentences.

    I think a Balrog can have a huge shadow, and shape it like it is a thing of substance (not a mere lack of light), giving it an added sense of dread and fear, but such talk might pull this thread perilously close to a "wing debate"...

    ... the wing debate... the most dreaded of the Balrog's weapons ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
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  19. Azrubêl

    Azrubêl Drúadan

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    Supposedly, Balrogs are more intelligent and have greater magic ability than Dragons. I'd vote for the Balrog.
     
  20. Might_of_arnor

    Might_of_arnor New Member

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    I understand that in morgoths days balrogs and dragons were of similar power, with the gothmog being the most powerful of the balrogs and most likely stronger than ancanlog the black (who I place above all balrogs apart from gothmog, due to his size and ability to fly).

    Smaug is considered to be the last of the great dragons and although he might not be as great as his older kin, I reckon he would win against a balrog but would also lose in the process. His ability to fly and breathe fire ( don't know if fire affects the balrogs as they are already on fire) but I also am in a bit of doubt, mostly due to the fact that balrogs are of maiar origin, I can't remember what stock Smaug is but the fact that he can sense Bilbo when he has the ring on (tho this is more likely due to bilbos scent, which is why I believe Bilbo survived because Smaug was intrigued by this new scent).

    All in all it would be fun battle to watch, but imo it's 50/50
     

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