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 Post subject: Shape-Shifting Balrogs and their Sizes
PostPosted: July 13th, 2006, 9:22 am 
Rider of Rohan
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Hello Everyone,

I would like to note that if the moderators find this thread not useful or for any other reason, please remove or delete the thread. Thank you.

Now, upon the good advice of Lord of all I have created a new thread that will hopefully bring people to discuss the process of the Balrogs' shape-shifting capability and their physical sizes.

Ok, so. I would like to see whether everybody agrees on this. Could Balrogs' shape-shift? I personally believe that Balrogs could achieve this process and one of the reasons to this, I found it here, on Encyclopedia of Arda :- http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.as ... fting.html


And what about the Balrogs' physical size. What do you think?
According to the book of Fellowship of the Ring, I came out with the idea that Balrogs, escpecially the one in Moria, could have been a maximum of 2.5 to 3 metres tall at the most. This is clearly given in the book; and here follows the text:-

Quote:
"What it was could not be seen: it was like a great shadow, in the middle of which was a dark form, of man-shape, maybe, yet greater; and a power and terror seemed to be in it and to go before it."


Still, I am very curious to know what everyone else thinks about both matters written above.

Thanks,
Eärendil The Mariner

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PostPosted: July 13th, 2006, 12:44 pm 
Gondorian
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Firstly we must consider that the Balrog is at least greater than man-shape, so any interpretation of it being less than 7' are out.

I admit that Balrogs were no 22' as seen in the movies. However I will say that they were not a foot smaller than 13', most likely about 15'.

Here is my quote:

"Then Glorifindel's left hand sought a dirk, and this he thrust up that it pierced the Balrog's belly nigh his own face (for that demon was twice his stature)"~BoLT II, The Fall of Gondolin

Now I hear you saying "well that would make the Balrog 12'" - but that is assuming Glorfindel was 6'.

As we know Elves, and indeed men (especially of the Edain race) were far taller than those of the Third Age. (Elendil I beleive was around 7.5' maybe even 8'.
So it is well to assume that Glorfindel, an important Elf in the time when Elves were at there greatest, was at the very least 7' probably more, hence the Balrog would be at least 14'

That is my argument.


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PostPosted: July 18th, 2006, 11:33 pm 
Gondorian
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Here I go: Could Balrogs shape-shift?

The Encyclopedia of Arda raises some good points, but I believe the answer to the Balrogs 'suddenly having wings' is as simple as they were furled until he spread them 'from wall to wall'. Personally I don't think Balrogs could shape-shift. There is no evidence that they could or couldn't, but throughout the Sil. they retain the same shape, even Gothmog the greatest amonst them.

What is the average size of a Balrog?

Good question. Now, Lord of All you used the BoLT as your source, which isn't very reliable as Balrogs were more, weaker, and made by Melko. As opposed to the Sil. where they are few (or not as much), stronger, and originally Maiar, but corrupted my Melkor. However, there is a good chance you are right in estimating their stature as being apprx. twice the size of a good-sized Man or Elf. Why? "...and by the valour of the Elves and the Men of the North, which neither Orc nor Balrog could yet overcome...", as well as Ecthelion taking on, single-handedly, Gothmog; and Glorfindel taking on a Balrog-either using blades and physical force, as opposed to Gandalf's use of magic and his suroundings. I mean, if Men could take on a Balrog using brute force, they can't be huge Godzilla-like beings...

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PostPosted: July 19th, 2006, 1:47 am 
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Well, from what I figured in the Silmarillion, Balrogs are spirits. Logically they should be able to shift their form. Also, in Gandalf's description of the fight, after the Balrog fell into water he was more slime and shadow, rather than flame and shadow.

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PostPosted: July 19th, 2006, 4:34 am 
Gondorian
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May I ask where you got your quote from Erethror?

There is no evidence that Balrogs could change there shape. They were Maiar spirits who took there forms as the descended into Ea, like Melkor and Sauron, and Ungoliant, but could not do afterwards.

It is strange though that Sauron can re-form shape after he is 'slain', yet the Balrogs could not...


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PostPosted: July 19th, 2006, 10:18 am 
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wow sory i would just like to no how can that be substancial grouds to base any arguement on a mythilogical creature first of al as the title suggests its a myth there for never existing and secondly as therre is no tangible evidence to deny or prove that in this case balrogs can shape shift for all you no they could be nice and pleasent creatures but ther existance is now miered by the black sheep that attacked gandalf and co

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PostPosted: July 19th, 2006, 11:02 am 
Gondorian
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Clearly you are uneducated in the matter if you believe the Valaraukar, most trusted servants of the Great Evil, could be 'nice'.


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PostPosted: July 21st, 2006, 1:25 am 
Gondorian
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Lord of all wrote:
May I ask where you got your quote from Erethror?

There is no evidence that Balrogs could change there shape. They were Maiar spirits who took there forms as the descended into Ea, like Melkor and Sauron, and Ungoliant, but could not do afterwards.

It is strange though that Sauron can re-form shape after he is 'slain', yet the Balrogs could not...


You mean the quote about how '..neither Orc nor Balrog...'? Because if so then I got it from Pg. 177 of the Silmarillion.

And when you say 'there is no evidence that Balrogs could change their shape', that statement is technically wrong. For no where is it stated that they can or can not change shape. Otherwise people would not mention it. Morgoth lost his abilites to shift shape, as the other Maiar and Valar could do, for he invested too much of his power in his meddling with the Earth, and constructing his evil domains and servants. Sauron lost his ability in the downfall of Numenore. But the Balrogs were still technically Maiar, and thus were not of flesh, rather spirits in earthly raiment. That all being said I still agree with you in saying they could not shape-shift, but that's not to say they could not bend the shadow around them to their will...

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PostPosted: July 21st, 2006, 5:18 am 
Gondorian
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I quite agree that they could change the forms of there shadow as there is evidence to support it:

"The Balrog made no answer. The fire in it seemed to die, but the darkness grew."

Here we see that the Balrog can alter its shadow and fir quantities at will.

However when people said 'Shape shift' I thought they meant like Melkor did when he turned into shapes of Black clouds etc. Originally in his reign across middle-earth he could still change his shape, only after the darkening of Valinor did he fail.

So I don't Beleive Balrogs had this power like Melkor originally did, but I do believe they could alter the darkness and flame that surrounds there bodies.


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PostPosted: July 21st, 2006, 11:55 pm 
Gondorian
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I suppose I can agree with you on that last point, to some degree. Maiar were lesser beings than the Valar, and no doubt the Balrogs kinda got stuck in their shape for some reason or other.

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PostPosted: July 22nd, 2006, 4:24 am 
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When Ungoliant descended into Ea she took the form of a giant sider and ever-after she remained in that shape.


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PostPosted: July 22nd, 2006, 6:35 am 
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Then how about the matter of producing weapons within itself? That is, do you think the Balrog could withdraw a sword or whip from itself ... as if it suddenly appear in it's hand?

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PostPosted: July 23rd, 2006, 7:27 pm 
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I agree with the article you posted Eärendil. But I would like to bring up the fact that shadow is not a physical form. It is not solid nor is it liquid. I do not believe that a solid form [and maybe a liquid for that matter] would be able to physically shift form, or become smaller to be able to fit through something such as a door. But, because the Balrog is made of shadow and flame why shouldn't it be able to, as it is not a physical object.

I hope this makes sense, as I didn't put much though into my wording.


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PostPosted: July 24th, 2006, 3:33 am 
Gondorian
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This is a common mistake.

Balrogs were not litterally 'shadows and flame'. They had perfectly solid bodies which were surrounded by flame and shadow - there were not made up exclusively of flame and shadow.

Otherwise how could you possibly kill them? They would not die if they fell off a cliff, the would be no where to stick a sword or other waepon if they were made of just those thing.


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PostPosted: July 29th, 2006, 12:35 pm 
Rider of Rohan
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Thanks alot to all for posting your comments! :)


Ok so lets get things abit more interesting.
Everyone agrees that Sauron and the Balrogs were both Maiar. Right? Ok.

So why could Sauron shape-shift his from into and Elf (Annatar) whilst working with them to create the rings of power?

After all, he changed his shape WITHIN Arda and not before descending into it.

And please, I don't think the theory that because he was Melkor's greatest servant he acquired the powers to shape-shift.

Therefore, if Sauron could shape-shift, so should Barlogs.

I leave the discussion open. :)

Thanks,
Eärendil The Mariner

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PostPosted: July 29th, 2006, 4:28 pm 
Gondorian
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Sauron did not change into an Elf. He changed into a fairer form, one which the Elves held in honour, I cannot recall it saying that he actually changed his form into an Elf.


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