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The Bridge of Khazad-dûm

Silme

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Hi, I'm new here (joined today) but not a new fan - I read LOTR for the first time more than 20 years ago.... Been in love with it ever since, and have read Silmarillion etc. many times, too. Anyway, I've now seen the LOTR movie twice, and think it's quite good, especially visually although I don't like all the changes PJ has made. Now about the Bridge of Khazad-dûm-scene.... It has seemed to me that in the movie the balrog doesn't actually drag Gandalf to the pit, it just falls him off the bridge with it's whip, and Gandalf falls simply 'cos he can't manage to keep hold of the bridge. A minor thing, I know, but IMHO it makes Gandalf seem weak. What does everyone think?

There - my first post here!! :)
 

Kuduk

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Welcome Silme! I'm new too! (so Welcome to me too! ;))
Anyway, I think that while the movie only shows the whip wrapping around Gandalf's legs and dragging him over the edge, the implication is that the whip (with the Balrog still holding on) is still wrapped around his legs even while he is gripping (and losing his grip). I don't think Gandalf's inability to withstand the weight and strength of a Balrog while holding onto a rocky ledge with his fingers reflects poorly on the wizard. After all, even in the book, Gandalf is thrown down the steps leading from Balin's Tomb in his initial encounter with an unspecified evil which would turn out to be the Balrog.;)
 

Rian

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I will admit that was one scene PJ got correct.

"But even as it fell it swung its whip, and the thongs lashed and curled about the wizard's knees, dragging him to the brink. He staggered and fell, grasping vainly at the stone, and slid into the abyss. 'Fly, you fools!' he cried, and was gone."

- The Fellowship of the Ring, Book two, Chapter 5
 

Silme

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Yes, it's a great scene alright :) What I meant was - I've always got the impression from the book that the balrog *dragged* Gandalf down, whereas in the movie it only makes him loose his footing on the bridge.... But that may well be what JRRT meant, and I've got it wrong. Oh well.... I did like the balrog, and the cave troll as well, but think that the battle at the Chamber went on a little bit too long.
 

Deathknell

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Cave troll fight

This is another example of saving money, in my opinion. To have managed 15 Orcs and an Orc-chieftan (as in the book), probably using digital enhancements, might have been logistically more difficult, or more expensive, than to place a single CGI cave troll in the room and have all the Fellowship fight just him. It was convincing, and just as scary; true, not exactly as Tolkien wrote it, but it it's own way I think it communicated the gravity of the scene just as well as the book. And, they left in the very important part where Frodo gets whacked by the troll but is saved by the mithril coat.
 

bunnywhippit

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and it's down he goes...

I loved this part of the film. It was quite intense, but did anyone else feel that Gandalf seemed to let go/dragged off the bridge with a force? It wasn't just slip, slip, scrambling to grab hold then down he goes, was it? More of a yank. lol. That just struck me as quite interesting.

Silme, it never occured to me that Gandalf couldn't managed to keep a hold on the bridge - for whatever reason, weakness etc. I suppose, that's quite a plausible thought. He had been through quite a lot (esp. in the book), so maybe that was a factor? The book doesn't really give a truly clearcut version either. Was the whip still holding onto him/ did it only knock him off balance? I suppose it's open to your own interpertation.
 

apan14

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Originally posted by Harad
Silme,

I saw it exactly as you saw it...and I didnt like it.

It is clear if you measure in your mind the time after the whip knocks him over that the Balrog falls way down the chasm, much longer than the length of any real whip. Then after the Balrog is "way gone," Gandalf falls.

Maybe the Balrog has an EXTREMELY stretchable whip that becomes almost invisible as it lengthens, but I think we actually see the whip come off of Gandalf well before he falls.

Furthermore, if there is a big delay between the Balrog falling and Gandalf falling (its probably for cinematic purposes so that Gandalf can say dramatically "Fly you fools" without the indignity of having a Balrog hanging on him) then how does Gandalf catch up with the Balrog to fight him. Maybe they just land near each at the bottom of the bottomless pit?

furthermore, it would look kind of silly if Balrog was hanging on to Gandalf, while he was saying "fly you fools". I mean, how much does Balrog weigh theoretically?
 
H

Herllich

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Hey,

this is my first post so go gently :)

The scene of Khazad Dum in the film seemed to remind me of the Obi Wan Kenobi death scene in the first ( or 4th now I guess ) StarWars film.

Maybe he was destined to fall to the bottom of the pit just as fate transpired that Obi Wan was to be slain by Darth Vador.
Maybe J R R Tolkien had it in mind for his character Gandalf that he should return from beyond the grave more powerful than ever as we see in the second book when he disposes of Saruman the White. It seems that the way Peter Jackson has portrayed it that Gandalf himself realises this and makes a remarkably feeble effort at climbing back up.

Who knows???

Anyway, that was the way it looked like in the film as Peter Jackson scripted it.
 

Eonwe

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what a balrog weighs depends on if it has wings or not. And if it has wings, why did it fall?:D
 
H

Herllich

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I have a suggestion....

perhaps he was to be going out to a fancy dress party that very same evening!!
 

apan14

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Originally posted by Eonwe
what a balrog weighs depends on if it has wings or not. And if it has wings, why did it fall?:D

cuz he didn't drink "RED BULL".

Ironically Balrog looked like a "Red Bull" but couldn't fly. Maybe Red Bull doesn't give you wings. =)
 

bunnywhippit

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apan, Harad - LMAO! You guys crack me up. :D And the "post office", that's one i've never heard before. I rather like that. lol.

Hello Herllich! Just wanted to say hello to the fellow Scot :) I like that added thought of the Gandalf-suicide, it adds another dimension to it all. It's certainly a brain teaser, this whole affair. :)
 

Silme

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Geeez.... I've never thought that affair from this Gandalf semi-suicide angle before! Certainly adds all new dimensions to it.... Are there any hints in the book that Gandalf knew his fate/destiny from beforehand? At least Aragorn had some premonition as he warned Gandalf of entering Moria... And this is going off topic, but does Gandalf KNOW things?? When he says after the battle at the Chamber "Not yet!" when Aragorn thinks Frodo is dead, I've always got the impression that Gandalf knows Frodo was not "supposed" to die at that point....
 

Tar-Palantir

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Originally posted by Harad
I don't buy that Gandalf in any sense planned to snuff it, but that he was WILLING to sacrifice himself to enable the Quest to continue.

How did Aragorn know that Gandalf in particular was at risk in Moria? We are not told, but IMO it was because Aragorn (and Gandalf) knew that the Balrog was there and that only Gandalf could stand up to it, and at great risk to himself.

After the Orc-Chieftan injures Frodo:

"I am all right," gasped Frodo, "I can walk. Put me down."
Aragorn nearly dropped him in his amazement. 'I thought you were dead," he cried.
"Not yet!" said Gandalf...

Not necessarily advanced knowledge by Gandalf.
[/QUO

Oh Harad my friend.....you just proved it. :) I still hold that Gandalf knew (or sensed) that he was gonna die in Moria. He had to die in Moria.
 
H

Herllich

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didn't realise my first post would create such a stir.....

In the book Gandalf tells the fellowship to 'fly' and then he falls to his apparent death.

Maybe he was trying to save the company but it just has a touch of mystery surrounding it. He falls knowing that he will probably die....BUT also in the knowledge that the company will allowed to escape now the Balrog is out of the picture.

For a man ( read all powerful wizard ) you would expect him to be able to conjure up some sort of magic to lift himself up and to entangle the pesty Balrog once and for all - but he must have thought if he fell with it, it would stop it returning to the bain of the company. (phew - long winded sentence!)

IF, as Harad suggested, he wanted to save the fellowship by falling to his doom then does this not implicitly imply suicide.......

just my humble opinion though!

Hail to the fellow Scots!! :)
 

Greenwood

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What about the simplest explanation of all -- Gandalf was exhausted from his confrontation with the Balrog and simply could not hang on or pull himself up from the edge of the broken bridge?
 
H

Herllich

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yeah, I agree with most of that.......

There is a difference between "falling to his doom as a consequence of saving the Fellowship" which I believe, and "saving the Fellowship as a consequence of falling to him doom," the "semi-suicide" hypothesis.
Both, arguably are true. He saves the fellowship - he falls. He falls - he saves the fellowship. He saves them twice!! - what a guy!!

In the second instance by falling he saves the fellowship by scaring the Balrog away once they hit the bottom as told in the Two Towers.

ANYWAY......I dont believe Tolkien would have anticipated this kind of response. I dont reckon for a moment he meant the "semi suicide" idea.

The idea only came to my mind when watching the film. In the book it never occured to me but when thinking about it sort of makes sense.
 

lilhobo

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DONT call me Shirley !!! goddamit!! :D

isnt ist amazing that gandalf knows so much about gollum "having important things to do before all this is end"....

btw, remember it told the dammed balrog with wings to "fly you FOOL" :D
 

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