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Melkor & Ancalagon The Black & Gothmog VS Tulkas

Erestor Arcamen

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While debate is great, whether it's heated or casual, insults of any kind aren't tolerated. We have a great, tight-knit community here at TTF. If we don't agree with someone else's opinion or believe that they're wrong, there's nothing wrong with that but please keep the debating civil. We're all in this community together to discuss our love of Tolkien and his legendarium. It's not worth ruining the environment throwing shade at someone because of their differing beliefs.

I'll trust that we can resolve this as adults without any Moderator actions.
 

Olorgando

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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.
Got a bit carried away there, sorry, Grond. I certainly never meant to imply anything of the sort about you. If at all, I would be calling JRRT's own concept of Ungoliant brain-dead - or PJ-ish, which can amount to the same thing - but to that opinion I stand. JRRT had patches of bad writing - pretty much all to be found in HoMe. And Christopher had pretty much an unsolvable problem in getting the disparate, sometimes contradictory fragments sorted into a publishable Silmarillion - and did a pretty good job with what he had to work with. And I also reamin glad he left most of what he published from "Morgoth's Ring" onward out of the Sil.
 

Olorgando

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... (This concept of Ungoliant getting stronger no matter what she does - I'm sorry (actually not), I can only describe that as brain-dead!) ...
In 20+ years on TTF, I've never been accused of being "brain dead", until now.
No, Grond, you still have not been accused of any such thing. I am extremely allergic to being misquoted. :mad:
 

Gothmog

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Some things to remember about Ungoliant, she was not "All-powerful" nor particularly brave. She was not able to destroy much at all, infact the only reason she could kill the trees was because Melkor stabbed them first with his spear and created the wounds that Ungoliant could drink from and through which her poison was able to enter them. What she could do, and do well, was to "Eat" light and out of it create darkness.
Thence she had crept towards the light of the Blessed Realm; for she hungered for light and hated it.

In a ravine she lived, and took shape as a spider of monstrous form, weaving her black webs in a cleft of the mountains. There she sucked up all light that she could find, and spun it forth again in dark nets of strangling gloom, until no light more could come to her abode; and she was famished.
So the great darkness fell upon Valinor. Of the deeds of that day much is told in the Aldudénië, that Elemmirë of the Vanyar made and is known to all the Eldar. Yet no song or tale could contain all the grief and terror that then befell. The Light failed; but the Darkness that followed was more than loss of light. In that hour was made a Darkness that seemed not lack but a thing with being of its own: for it was indeed made by malice out of Light, and it had power to pierce the eye, and to enter heart and mind, and strangle the very will.
Ungoliant was capable of destroying anything to do with Light. The Silmarils would have been another snack to her with possibly the comment "That's a spicy meatball" ;)

So, now to the problem of the Balrogs driving Ungoliant away. I have already pointed out that she was not brave and certainly not all-powerful even after the additions of Melkor and the Trees. While she could, no doubt, make short work of one or two lesser beings was now faced with more than two Balrogs (perhaps the "7" of the later tradition?) so after the whips had cut away the webs she would have then likely been surrounded by the Balrogs who at the very least would have inflicted many very painful wounds causing her to choose to leave. It is even possible that all of the Balrogs plus (a weakened) Melkor could have destroyed her had she remained to press the battle.
 

Gothmog

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In Avathar she was not brave but became more daring as she grew hungry.



She almost ate Melko, the mighty and accursed 🏴
But would not go into Valinor until Melkor persuaded her. As fore almost eating Melkor, this was after she had been given more power by Melkor himself plus her feasting on the trees and vats but this did not give her more bravery or allow her to overcome the additional force of the Balrogs.
 

Miguel

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But would not go into Valinor until Melkor persuaded her. As fore almost eating Melkor, this was after she had been given more power by Melkor himself plus her feasting on the trees and vats but this did not give her more bravery or allow her to overcome the additional force of the Balrogs.
After having all those gems and soup is what i meant, If more gems had been consumed i think everyone would have been eaten eventually. I think Melko would never have allowed Ungoliant to grow that much in Udûn as it was obviously a bad idea but in Valinor he was more in a - "I'll do anything to sink this ship" mentality than ever.

Btw i was wondering about something:
and even after Ungoliant herself departed, and went whither she would into the forgotten south of the world
Is this the south land also known as "Dark Land"?, this place is/was? said to be unlit by sun and moon.

Also:
Yet some have said that she ended long ago, when in her uttermost famine she devoured herself at last
Is this to be taken as fact or is it just some legend they made up and never really knew what happened?. IIRC, Númenóreans were the only ones who reached the coasts of that place in the 2nd Age.

1st Age:


Sorry i forgot this map, 2nd Age:
 
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Olorgando

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Some things to remember about Ungoliant, she was not "All-powerful" ...
As were none even of the Valar, though in the end no one expended himself as much as Melkor did. But JRRT seems to me to be going a bit overboard in describing Ungoliant. Not as far as in the overly detailed and over-the-top descriptions in the tale of the sun and moon in BoLT 1, but she does not seem to get weaker at any point. She belches out clouds of darkness so thick as to confound the capabilities of Manwë (for whom a cat 5 hurricane should have been a piece of cake), Tulkas and Oromë - which should have made her shrink considerably, but there is no mention of this. On the contrary, when she had consumed all of the gems that Melkor had stolen except for the three Silmarils, she seems massively more monstrous than before. So where's there a problem about spewing out clouds of darkness so thick the Balrogs - including the later uprated seven - would have felt like they were wading neck-deep in mud? All seven Balrogs just do not come close to evening the scales with one Tulkas, not by an order of magnitude. So she is more powerful than when she confounded the most powerful Valar - but can't do the same with, comparatively, chicken droppings like Balrogs? Ouch, my disbelief suspenders feel like they're close to tearing … o_O
 

Gothmog

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Yes. Ungoliant belched out clouds of darkness created out of the light of the trees to avoid the pursuit of Tulkas, Orome and all the rest that she knew were going to chase her in Valinor. She then used clouds of darkness to escape from the Balrogs who turned up and interrupted her discussion with Melkor concerning due payment. The only real difference is the fact that while in Valinor both of them knew that they were in immediate danger from the Valar and therefore needed cover from the moment that they attacked the Trees. In Lammoth there was not the imminent danger so Ungoliant did not start producing her darkness until the Balrogs had already attacked. Once she did so it was even simpler to leave then than it had been in Valinor.
 

Olorgando

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... In Lammoth there was not the imminent danger so Ungoliant did not start producing her darkness until the Balrogs had already attacked.
Still scratching my head.
In chapter 9 of the published Quenta Sil, "Of the Flight of the Noldor", about on the third page of that chapter, the "action" returns to Morgoth (now so called) and Ungoliant.
"... and they came to those lands that lay north of the Firth of Drengist. Now Morgoth was drawing near (we'll see about that "near" shortly) to the ruins of Angband, where his great western stronghold had been; and Ungoliant perceived his hope, and knew that here he would seek to escape from her, and she stayed him, demanding that he fulfil his promise.
… Then Morgoth sent forth a terrible cry, that echoed in the mountains. Therefore that region was called Lammoth; … Deep in forgotten places that cry was heard. Far beneath the ruined halls of Angband, in vaults to which the Valar in the haste of their assault had not descended, Balrogs lurked still, awaiting ever the return of their Lord; and now swiftly they arose, and passing over Hithlum they came to Lammoth as a tempest of fire."

Wow. For someone who lurked deep in the south of Valinor before Morgoth's visit, Ungoliant seems to have a pretty firm grasp of the geography of north-western Middle-earth. Anyway, she definitely had every reason to distrust Morgoth, and to guard against danger even if it was not quite imminent; but apparently she didn't. 🙄
The distance from Angband to Lammoth. Difficult, as we do not have quite the quality of maps for Beleriand as we do for Third Age Eriador, Wilderland, Gondor and Mordor. But I would think that the minimum distance going by Fonstad's map (which may have Thangorodrim and Angband too far south!) is 300 miles. The speed of sound in air is 767 mph; just for his yell to get to Thangorodrim would have taken 23.5 minutes (OK, through water the speed of sound is higher, there it would have taken 5.5 minutes; through iron about 94 seconds; rock of the earth's crust would be faster that water, but slower than solid iron).
And those Balrogs again. Very deep underground, maybe as deep as where Gandalf and the last of them ended up after the fall from Durin's Bridge in Moria. GtG and tBoM spent 8 days getting from there to the peak of Zirakzigil ... OK, that Balrog wasn't taking the shortest way to any of the exits from Moria, he must have looked like a huge rabbit zigging and zagging all the time. But the Angband Balrogs must have taken some minutes to get out at least.
Now to get them to Lammoth, 300 miles away. OK, we've got the speed of sound above, and how long that needs. Maybe an argument pro their having wings? 🙄
Now whatever renditions anyone has ever come up with for Balrogs, nothing remotely resembles the Bell X-1 rocket plane with which Chuck Yeager first broke through the sound barrier in 1947 (I have Yeager's autobiography). But just for the sake or argument ...
But that still leaves an absolute minimum of half an hour from yell to Balrogs arriving (and 15 minutes if you concede that the Balrogs can do Mach 2 … 🤪). What were Morgoth and Ungoliant doing in all that time?, Each playing his / her own game of solitaire? (They certainly weren't on speaking terms by then).
No, no, this overgrown arachnid and her entire story remains firmly on the pole position of what I consider to be JRRT's weakest element in his entire legendarium. 😷
 

Miguel

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Ungoliant did not start producing her darkness until the Balrogs had already attacked
Of the Flight of the Noldor:
and she rose against him, and her cloud closed about him, and she enmeshed him in a web of clinging thongs to strangle him. Then Morgoth sent forth a terrible cry, that echoed in the mountains
 

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