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Melkor & Ancalagon The Black & Gothmog VS Tulkas

Grond

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I don't think there are any writings that show one way or another if the winds of Manwë could affect the core darkness surrounding Ungoliant. So I will just have to leave it with my view that Manwë did what he could with his control of the airs but even that would not remove the darkness where Ungoliant was sufficiently to allow Tulkas to find them.
Ungoliant's darkness was likely impenetrable by any save Eru. Her hunger was so great that she likely devoured herself as well as nearly annihilating both Melkor and his Balrogs.
 

Squint-eyed Southerner

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Although, as I've said elsewhere, I have little interest in these Superman vs. the Hulk games, I'll venture here to say that it's suggestive that Tolkien allied Ungoliant with Melkor.

He didn't use the terms, AFAIK, but nowadays, Melkor would be the very model of a malignant narcissist. And Ungoliant is the embodiment of total nihilism. It strikes me that Tolkien was exploring the relationship between the two archetypes; they may not be the same, but one seems to shade into the other. For instance, "self-love" can easily become self-destructiveness. I'm not sure what conclusion he came to, but the fact that the two turned on one another is interesting.
 

Olorgando

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Melko and the Valar could not stop Ungoliant once great but the Belryg could.
To be truthful, that is one scene that has never made sense to me. Balrogs were taken down by two Noldorin Elves, Ecthelion (who took down the boss Balrog, Gothmog) and Glorfindel, and a hampered Maia, Gandalf the Grey.
And these wimps are supposed to chase away an arachnid that Melkor couldn't handle.
Not one of JRRT's better days as a writer when he wrote that.
 

Grond

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Melko and the Valar could not stop Ungoliant once great but the Belryg could.

Multiple Ainu Balrogs. The inference was that Ungoliant was getting ready to consume Melkor and all he held. It sounds as if all of the Valaraukar emerged from Angband to protect their god and it took all of them just to drive her off. One can wonder what would have happened if she turned to fight. She had just drained/absorbed all of the power of the Trees and all of the power of the jewels of Feanur, save for the Silmarils. Methinks she would have fared well (think a wholly evil Tom Bombadil.
 
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Olorgando

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I just had a thought. Maybe the best thing Melkor could have done was let Ungoliant swallow the Silmarils. The had burnt his hands (that's why he had them put in his crown). One of them drove Carcharoth mad with pain. All three might quite well have destroyed Ungoliant. All that goof Melkor would then have needed to do was sift through Ungoliant's charred remains to pluck them out again - of have his Balrogs do this messy stuff for him if he longer had the stomach for such stuff. But he was just so greedy, handing over the deadly Silmarils never entered his mind. Typical baddie blindsidedness. 😜
 

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If Ungoliant fits the "back hole" model, I'd doubt the silmarils would have survived.
Albert born in Ulm (Germany) could never have read the entire "trilogy"; he died sveral months before RoTK was published.
His theories (especially the general one) seem to include stuff that can wipe out (smaller?) black holes.
And the Silmarils were the casing (mad genius Fëanor), content from the Two Trees made by Yavanna, and hallowed by Varda according to the published Silmarillion, chapter 7 "Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor." Nah. Ungoliant is smoking charcoal if "she" chugs (or whatever) three Silmarils.
 

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They were created to hold, or "imprison", depending on viewpoint, the light of the Two Trees -- the Trees which Ungoliant killed by drinking their sap (read: light).

I still feel they wouldn't have caused her the least indigestion.
 

Gothmog

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I just had a thought. Maybe the best thing Melkor could have done was let Ungoliant swallow the Silmarils. The had burnt his hands (that's why he had them put in his crown). One of them drove Carcharoth mad with pain. All three might quite well have destroyed Ungoliant. All that goof Melkor would then have needed to do was sift through Ungoliant's charred remains to pluck them out again - of have his Balrogs do this messy stuff for him if he longer had the stomach for such stuff. But he was just so greedy, handing over the deadly Silmarils never entered his mind. Typical baddie blindsidedness. 😜
It would seem that the Valar had less faith in the ability of the Silmarils to survive being swallowed by Unoliant:
And thus the fear of Yavanna that the Silmarils would be swallowed up and fall into nothingness did not come to pass; but they remained in the power of Morgoth.
 

Olorgando

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They were created to hold, or "imprison", depending on viewpoint, the light of the Two Trees -- the Trees which Ungoliant killed by drinking their sap (read: light).
I still feel they wouldn't have caused her the least indigestion.
Yo. Read my above post. Yavanna for the trees. Über-nutcase Noldorin Fëanor for the cases. And Varda, who had Melkor defecating into underwear way back when with her star-making.
These were involved in getting the Silmarils to their potency. Common error to attribute it only to Fëanor. Three Silmarils would have turned Ungoliant into charcoal.
A very big heap of charcoal. But charcoal nonetheless. OK. I fear no spiders … 😛
 

Miguel

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To be truthful, that is one scene that has never made sense to me. Balrogs were taken down by two Noldorin Elves, Ecthelion (who took down the boss Balrog, Gothmog) and Glorfindel, and a hampered Maia, Gandalf the Grey.
And these wimps are supposed to chase away an arachnid that Melkor couldn't handle.
Not one of JRRT's better days as a writer when he wrote that.
Take into consideration it was all of them attacking Ungweliantë at once and the two Elves and Gandalf died.

If Ungoliant fits the "back hole" model, I'd doubt the silmarils would have survived.
She does fit that model. Photons have zero mass yet black holes can pull them in, and actual matter of course.

Btw, quotes:
The black hole would then lose the rest of its mass in a short amount of time as abrupt explosions—we can detect these explosions as gamma ray bursts. The end.
Balrogs might have been more capable in dealing with her than others.
As Hawking says, the black holes would evaporate. During evaporation, the black hole emits energy in the form of the positive particles that escape. The more massive the back hole, the more energy would be released.
 

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I placed "black hole" in quotation marks because I was speaking of figurative, rather than literal, black holes. I'm sure Tolkien didn’t think of Ungoliant as a black hole!

What I meant is what I said earlier: she functions as a symbol of nihilism, annihilating everything by "eating" it. I'm away from my library again, so can't supply quotes, though the one from Gothmog indicates what the Ainur thought.

But I base my idea on the structure of the imagery; Ungoliant is the archetype of unchecked destruction through sheer "appetite".
 

Grond

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Yo. Read my above post. Yavanna for the trees. Über-nutcase Noldorin Fëanor for the cases. And Varda, who had Melkor defecating into underwear way back when with her star-making.
These were involved in getting the Silmarils to their potency. Common error to attribute it only to Fëanor. Three Silmarils would have turned Ungoliant into charcoal.
A very big heap of charcoal. But charcoal nonetheless. OK. I fear no spiders … 😛
Another topic on which we disagree. Ungoliant had just consumed the light of both trees. Even Yavanna feared they would be lost. So... You're inferring the Silmarils, made by an elf, were more powerful than The two Trees that were made by gods? I find nothing in the Sil to infer that Yavanna and Varda aided him in the making of the Silmarils. What are your sources for this surmise?
 
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Olorgando

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Another topic on which we disagree. Ungoliant had just consumed the light of both trees. Even Yavanna feared they would be lost. So... You're inferring the Silmarils, made by an elf, were more powerful than The two Trees that were made by gods.?
Yes. Because "all" Fëanor did was build the casings. The Silmarils contained the liquid light from both trees. And they were hallowed by Varda, as I mentioned very much a bête noir for Melkor, Varda the star-kindler. And for all his faults, in some skills Fëanor seems even to have surpassed the gods, specifically Aulë, and was in this respect the most god-like of the Elves. Too bad he kind of picked Melkor as a role model. And in all probability it was with the Silmaril that Eärendil trashed Ancalagon.
 

Grond

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Yes. Because "all" Fëanor did was build the casings. The Silmarils contained the liquid light from both trees. And they were hallowed by Varda, as I mentioned very much a bête noir for Melkor, Varda the star-kindler. And for all his faults, in some skills Fëanor seems even to have surpassed the gods, specifically Aulë, and was in this respect the most god-like of the Elves. Too bad he kind of picked Melkor as a role model. And in all probability it was with the Silmaril that Eärendil trashed Ancalagon.
Yavanna made the trees.
Yes. Because "all" Fëanor did was build the casings. The Silmarils contained the liquid light from both trees. And they were hallowed by Varda, as I mentioned very much a bête noir for Melkor, Varda the star-kindler. And for all his faults, in some skills Fëanor seems even to have surpassed the gods, specifically Aulë, and was in this respect the most god-like of the Elves. Too bad he kind of picked Melkor as a role model. And in all probability it was with the Silmaril that Eärendil trashed Ancalagon.
And the very trees that were "created" by Yavanna and infused with light by Varda were consumed and only made Ungoliant stronger. Your logic belies the facts as laid out in the Silmarillion. Everything Ungoliant consumed made her stronger which is illustrated in every example of her interactions in the books.

Your assertion isn't supported by the Silmarilion proper. Everything we see in the books portrays Ungoliant as a hugely powerful, Vala like being on a level with Melkor and the other Valar. They would have no more effect on her than would have Sauron's ring.
 

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I have posted my opinion that JRRT was a bit over the top in his earlier phases - BoLT, mainly - in making his baddies, mostly Melkor (but also Ungoliant, and there were these Loki-like Valinoreans early on), rather over-powerful; and that as shown in "Myths Transformed" in HoMe volume 10 "Morgoth's Ring", he was straying in the same excessive territory (and never mind his "Mannish tradition" delusion, which simply doesn't work with Bilbo's, Frodo's and Sam's "Red Book of Westmarch"). What I have called, perhaps heretically, his Peter Jackson prefiguration.
BoLT was the young JRRT. The writings from "Morgoth's Ring" on were the ageing, exhausted (by the singular effort of writing his masterpiece, LoTR) JRRT. He spent his best years writing "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings". He would have wished, apparently, to have spent them to continue writing "The Silmarillion". We can all be thankful he didn't.
Now details about this may be in parts if HoMe that I simply haven't memorized. But I remember an early version of the death of Huor, Tuor's father, of having him slaughtering Balrogs with his fearsome axe. And in an early version of "The Fall of Gondolin", where among those slaughtered by some Elven troops is said "and they were Balrogs" (later changed to "and there were Balrogs"). What I don't know is from what phases of his father's writings Christopher had to glean this whole Ungoliant business. My guess goes to the early, über-monster phase of JRRT's writing. How should this Ungoliant have ever mated with anything to produce, after a long lineage, Shelob? Who was sent packing (with not a little of her own doing) by the Hobbit Sam? I mean even in the real world, lots of spider males are the after-sex snack of their mates. I don't see Ungoliant even waiting this long, she would just gobble up anything without waiting for "entertainment". But how do these early-phase Balrogs (hardly better than the later Uruk-hai), no matter how many of them, manage to drive off Ungoliant? She would have munched them like popcorn. JRRT (much?) later seriously uprated the Balrogs in saying that there had only ever been seven of them; but is this ridiculous Ungoliant scene concurrent with the seven-Balrog phase? And the bit about the rumor of her going off south and then devouring herself - again not a good writing day for JRRT when he wrote that, not at all.
I mentioned Yavanna as creator of the trees in my short, rather brusque post of just past midnight today my time above. Yes, Ungoliant grew stronger as she consumed the sap (light) of the trees - one after another. (This concept of Ungoliant getting stronger no matter what she does - I'm sorry (actually not), I can only describe that as brain-dead!) Mingling the light, as was done in the Silmarils, could very well have increased the potency by several orders of magnitude. By the way, Varda had nothing to do with the creation of the Two Trees. She rather took silver dews from the vats of Telperion, and made new and brighter stars [for the soon-to-awaken Elves]. Who was involved was Nienna, one of the three great Valier. Fëanor was Valar-like in the creation of the casings for the Silmarils. And Varda hallowed them. I see them, and will not change my mind, as being deadly to all evil things. Including Ungoliant.
 

Grond

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In 20+ years on TTF, I've never been accused of being "brain dead", until now. Since insults fly, I could state my opinion that you're analysis of this subject reminds me of a college professor who reads the books and can recite the concepts, but doesn't apply them accurately in real world situations, or in this case Middle-earth situations.

I'd rather say that we have differing opinions as to the author's intent, both based on factual information presented in the books. I guess I'll leave it at that.
 

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