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Smaug the Dragon vs. The Balrog of Moria

Balrog of Moria vs. Smaug the Dragon

  • Smaug wins

    Votes: 12 33.3%
  • The Balrog wins

    Votes: 22 61.1%
  • Neither opponent survives the battle

    Votes: 2 5.6%

  • Total voters
    36

Glaurung

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Who wins in this battle of titans? Assume that the fight takes place out in the open where each opponent has total freedom of movement.
 
M

Mormegil

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The Balrog would kick Smaug's butt*.
Smaug wouldn't be able to harm the Balrog by breathing fire at him. The Balrog is partly made of fire.
The Balrog's flame whip would make short work of Smaug.

*edited by Grond
 
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JeffF.

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Since the Winged Dragons...

...in the Silmarillion were able to temporarily repulse the host of the Valar prior to the breaking of Thangorodrim and since their host included Maiar with a similar level of power to the Balrogs as well as Valar it seems likely that Smaug would have defeated a balrog. At the very least he would have killed its physical form.
 

JeffF.

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That is a good point...

...but it wasn't really a simple arrow. It was a very special arrow. It seems that ME has many such special weapons around right when a good guy needs them.
 

Valar

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That is also a fair point, wasn't it the black arrow of his father (not to sure, i have not read the hobbit in ages).
Still gandalf says that sword are no more use against this enemy, so surley the balrog is more powerful, because he can not be affected by such mortal weapons.
 

JeffF.

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I'm not sure...

...that Gandalph said the weapons would be useless. He did say that this was "an enemy beyond any of you." I'll of course, chek when I get back home. Another thing to consider though, Morgoth was vulnerable to Fingolfin's sword Ringil suffering a number of wounds from it and crying out (making his own armies quail each time) as well as receiving a wound from the eagle who recovered Fingolfin's body. If a Valar could suffer wounds from a 'conventional' weapon like a sword I find it impossible to believe that a mere Balrog would be invulnerable.
 

Beleg Strongbow

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Re: I'm not sure...

Originally posted by JeffF.
...that Gandalph said the weapons would be useless. He did say that this was "an enemy beyond any of you." I'll of course, chek when I get back home. Another thing to consider though, Morgoth was vulnerable to Fingolfin's sword Ringil suffering a number of wounds from it and crying out (making his own armies quail each time) as well as receiving a wound from the eagle who recovered Fingolfin's body. If a Valar could suffer wounds from a 'conventional' weapon like a sword I find it impossible to believe that a mere Balrog would be invulnerable.

Smaug fo sure. The balrog would have not be able 2 peirce his armour and all take the heat. What about Gothmog and Ancalagon?
 

Grond

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If we were talking about Glaurung or Ancalagon against the Balrog of Moria, my answer would be very different.... but we're not. The question is Smaug or the Balrog? Given the premise that Scatha (also a lesser wurm as was Smaug) was slain by a man (Fram, son of King Frumbar of the Eotheod, of whom Theoden and Eomer were descendents) in martial combat, I would think a Balrog would have had little trouble in defeating him.
 

JeffF.

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Glaurung and Ancalagon...

...were also slain by men, Turin and Earendil respectively, and there is little reason to believe that Smaug is a lesser drake simply because he is of a more recent age. There is no quantifiable data (achievements/conquests/individual combats) to compare them Glaurung and Smaug both destroyed underground kingdoms, both were nearly invulnerable to conventional weapons. In Book of lost Tales II, in the story of the Fall of Gondolin the balrogs fall in significant numbers to the elves and Tuor. Only one dragon is killed. That seems to be strong evidence that they were harder to kill than balrogs.

In fairness though, there is a footnote in that very story where Christopher Tolkein claims his father intended to change the bit about balrogs. He claims his father wrote him a note stating that the hosts of balrogs in the Silmarillion and in The Fall of Gondolin would be changed to reflect that Morgoth never had more than seven total balrogs (a change which if JRRT ever got around to it would significantly affect the Silmarillion).

While this is a fun discussion and I'm open to arguments to the contrary I can't help but wonder if we would ever have said that Gandalph the Grey could defeat a balrog if we didn't already know from the story that he could. I don't mean to start another discussion or branch this one away from the topic at hand, just thinking out loud (I mean in print).
 

Glaurung

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I have to give this fight to the Balrog. Its been stated, I believe, that except for their undersides, dragons are practically invulnerable and Smaug had most of his underside protected by jewels, except for that one little spot that was uprotected. From what I've read, it doesn't appear that Smaug has a significant size advantage against the Balrog, but that is debatable. I don't believe that Smaug would be able to harm the Balrog with his fire, since the Balrog was essentially akin to fire. No, to harm the Balrog, Smaug would have to get close and fight with tooth and claw. The Balrog would be able to ward off the dragon with his feared whip, powerful enough to harm Ungoliant herself, and would be able to get close enough to drive his sword into the dragon's weak spot. If Smaug didn't have that one weakness however, I'd have to give the fight to him.
 

Snaga

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I think the Balrog, for the same reasons as everyone else. Smaug might have an advantage - flight! The Balrog has wings, but they don't seem to do much good. However. if Smaug's fire doesn't hurt the Balrog, it just means he can make a quick getaway!
 

Beorn

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Well...The Balrog was a Maia...dragons were, just dragons. I don't remember how they came into existence, but I doubt whether they were as powerful as a Balrog...

I think the fight would be similar to a fight between an enraged man and a child in a temper-tantrum... The child being Smaug...
 

TheJospeh

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Obviously Smaug.

Keep in mind Tolkien's very tight internal logic when constructing his world. If Gandalf could take out a Balrog when he was so weakened why didn't he take out Smaug? Gandalf arranged Thorin and Bilbo's quest specifically so kill Smaug because he was worried what Smaug would do under Sauron's control. That's in the appendix.

That alone suggests Smaug was more powerful. Also your arguments that Smaug couldn't hurt the Balrog through fire apply in reverse, as well. A creature that breaths fire won't be hurt by it.

Also, many an Elf Lord killed a Balrog, or at least a few did. No Elf Lord EVER killed a dragon. So, I assume Man is better equipped to kill certain opponents than Elves are. I know it sounds weird but how else do you figure out the dragon slaying?

Also, in the Tolkien bestiary David Day--who I guess is an expert on Tolkien--says that Balrog's are second only in power to Dragons among the evil creatures of the world.

Sincerely,
The Joseph
 

Grond

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Your argument is sound TheJoseph, but you do make one misquote. Earendil (an Elf at the time because he had chosen shortly before to be numbered of the Elven race) slew Ancalagon the Black in the air above Angband during the final battle with Melkor in the First Age. He had the aid of the Eagles but the text is pretty clear that it was Earendil that sent him crashing to his doom.


And the question is not between one of the great worms and a balrog, it is between Smaug and a balrog. I don't know why, but I always felt that the Dragons had diminished in power with time but I could be wrong and will research the matter further. Your quote from the bestiary is quite correct and maybe Tolkien comments on the relative power of the two in his letters. I'll look.
 

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