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Balrogs.....

Kraas

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You guys might have seen something like this before, but I just want to know where you stand.

What do you imagine Balrogs as looking like?

I always thought of Balrogs a lot like John Howe's picture in the Lord of the Rings.com art gallery, except with more of a human face, and much more...well, fiery. And definately with wings.

Speaking of which.....I don't want to start a 'Wings vs. No Wings' debate, just tell me what you think they look like.
 

Rosie Cotton

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I picture a very large (about 12-13ft.) man. Maybe not quite a man, but definately with human shaped body and features. There is no light about him, and he seems to be surrounded by a cloud of fire and darkness (technically if there is fire there's light, but I just ignore that little fact). He has a whip in his hand.... and..... that's my balrog. :)
 

Talierin

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I always imagined that they had a hard outer crust to them, with fire on the inside that spewed out through the cracks in their outer crust. They would be human shaped, kind of, only a lot taller. As for wings, I think they did have them, perhaps, but that they couldn't fly with them. Instead, they were used more for cloaking themselves in shadow.

(Why do my Balrogs sound like they were lava-monsters with Klingon-type cloaking devices?):D
 
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Sanma

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I think John Howe's Balrog is great, but it looks too much like a bull, I've always pictured them more like Tong-po turned into beast, more human like, but with claws and short but strong legs, with long sharped teeth (not like saber tooth) and no wings.
 

Tulkas

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I see them about 15ft. tall, muscular, and darkish skin that looks like it has a lot of ash on it. They carry a whip that lashes out with fire when used.
 

Kraas

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As for the wings bit...I think they had them, and used them, but they only flew when they had to. There's a part in the Silmarillion that states that Morgoth or Glaurung or someone sent tongues of flame "faster than the Balrogs" sweeping over Ard-Galen. And I think that wings would be the best way to move quickly over long distances (like the Balrogs coming to Morgoth's aid when Shelob attacked him). There are probably other ways of travel. Maybe Balrogs can fly without wings, but I've always saw them as having wings.
 

Gothmog

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Talierin, thanks for letting us know about that article. My view of the Balrog has from my first reading been without wings (as some might have guessed from other threads ;) )although I did not quite think of 14ft. more like 10 - 12ft tall, of man-like, heavily mussled and with great claws on hands and feet surrounded by a great shaddow that it could extend at will.(or anyone else who happened to be around :D )
 

Strider

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well, i kinda can picture things in my mind, balrogs were very similar to the modern day vampire, but with reddish skin, no hair, and a cracked chest that radiated heat inside. i also agree that it had wings, and probably used them to transport themselves to the darkest places for revival if killed, or to transport them to enemy rear lines. they were humanlike, yes, but tall, and i mean TALL, probably 16-20 feet, depending how old a balrog was. the younger, the less cracked and magic able. they carried a staff or sword of sorts, though probably did not often use them. also, their skulls, like i saud, were like that of a vampire, only not hairy in the least.
 

Telchar

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Originally posted by Strider
they were humanlike, yes, but tall, and i mean TALL, probably 16-20 feet, depending how old a balrog was. the younger, the less cracked and magic able.
Balrogs where "renegade" maiar, and maiar is not affected by age so I would presume they where ageless.. And the ainur, whitch is the race the maiar belong to, came to arda about the same time..
 

Greymantle

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And where in the posting guidelines does it allow that sort of post?

If you see, this, Cir...please...
 

Strider

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oy, do you hear of the elves reproducing either? or the orcs? there is nothing that i have seen before about reproduction, nor relationships, save the unusual, such as elf with human, or other combinations, that i have not seen yet.
 

Gothmog

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Originally posted by Strider
oy, do you hear of the elves reproducing either?
Yes you do. I suggest that you read the books, digest the information and then post. It is obvious that you have done little of the former and none of the latter.
 

Strider

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okok, well, most of the time when i read the books, i've read them on weekends, and do my best to remember most of what they said. jeez, i do try to make for my accuracy, and i don't know what a problem you have with me, but at least i try, there are others who are complete idiots, and they mix up frodo gandalf with bilbo samwise! now that's stupid, but dude, i do read my books, i just don't have the blasted books right now!
 

Hama

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I sort of had a vision of Balrogs, and was sort of disappointed by John Howe's representation of them. (Don't get me wrong, I LOVE John Howe's work for the most part) But I too agree that they look too much like bulls. So I read over the description of the Balrog in LoTR and realized my original view complemented the description well.
I see Balrogs as being perhaps an 8 foot man (a head taller than Gandalf perhaps) and ver dark, so you could only barely make out any facial features. Its center - the torso - however, had a smouldering flame, which could grow brighter and it had a whip in one hand and a sword, and definitely no wings. I don't think they needed wings. I don't think they flew. I believe they were 'lighter' than other beings, and could trael great distances on foot faster, like Shadowfax perhaps. I don't believe the fear and power the Balrogs showed was due to their unnatural size, but like the Nazgul, something deeper. Remember, the Fellowship was scared by the Balrog without knowing what it was - just like they were scared of the Nazgul. Well, that's my Balrog.
 

Hama

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Reproduction in ME is something which Tolkien leaves up to the imagination of the reader. I for one, can picture life in ME as quite sexual - well the lives of Men and Elves at least. Imagine the Elves sitting under the stars in Lothlorien, or even in the woods of the Shire. I really appreciate how Tolkien keeps the book clean of any over-descriptive risque text, but I there are a lot of implicit references. Have any of you read the Tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight or any other translations by Tolkien of the old English texts? We had to read some of them in my course on Medeival and Rennaissance Literature, and many of them were very sexual. Similarly in a tale such as that of Turin Turambar and Nienor Niniel, who were siblings who got married, Nienor commits suicide when she discovers this incest. This would not happen in a completely asexual world.
 
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ReadWryt

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Thank goodness for J.R.R.'s Catholic sensabilities sparing us the scary mental images of Bearded Dwarf men AND women and the intimate details of their reproduction!
 

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