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Topic: An Elf slays a demigod

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Elf of Beleriand - Rank 2
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Date: Apr 29, 2006
An Elf slays a demigod

I mean Echtelion, who killed a Valarauko in Gondolin. Was that being limited by its material form in such a degree so as to finally irreversibly perish having taken excessive physical damage, or did Echtelion fight both in the dimension of body and that of the spirit?

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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You must understand that Eldar in the First age were much greater than they were so in the second and third. Do we actually know how Ecthelion slayed the Balrog? He might have managed a cheap shot. And also he died as well so it was a truth even if Ecthelion slayed him in a fair way.

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Besides what MoS has said, also "power-levels" in Tolkien aren't easily defined and there's a lot of blurring, so to say.


For example Merry and Eowyn bring down the Witch-King, when Earnur, a far greater warrior and general could not.  Also, Smaug was slain by the man Bard.  It's particular circumstances at any given time where one person could defeat someone else. 


What I mean is Bard hit the one spot where Smaug was weak and could be killed, and he did.  Merry with the sword of the Westernesse, designed against the Witch-King, was able to break his sinews and allow Eowyn to deal the killing the blow. 


"Levels" in Tolkien isn't like Dragon Ball Z or anything, there's a lot of blurring and mixing between.  You will also find that of the 3 balrog deaths we are told about by Tolkien, 2 were slain by Elves (Ecthelion and Glorfindel) than Durin's Bane was slain by Gandalf.  But, also note in the process these 3 were also killed.



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I am Lórien, Lord of Dreams, my true name is 'Irmo' in Quenya.
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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of course they did everything in both our world and the so called "wraith-world" (see the chapter many meetings for quotes). Also, Ecthelion isn't the only example, there also is Glorfindel that fell together with another Balrog from a mountain peak near Gondolin.
However, I doubt that it was like you could not kill a Balrog unless you died yourslelf. Please note that Gandalf fell into the state of dreaming not after killing the Balrog, but after fighting with the Eye.
I believe that it was indeed possible that Balrogs could be killed without taking the lives of their killers.

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It's possible, but every account we're given with someone fighting a balrog they also died in the process.  So, I have to think that if you slay a balrog there's a high possibility you will also be slain.  Death in Tolkien is a seperation of the spirit from the physical body and as Tolkien says Gandalf did die:
Gandalf really 'died', and was changed: for that seems to me the only real cheating, to represent anything that can be called 'death' as making no difference. ~ Letter #156


For in his condition it was for him a sacrifice to perish on the Bridge in defence of his companions, less perhaps than for a mortal Man or Hobbit, since he had a far greater inner power than they; but also more, since it was a humbling and abnegation of himself in conformity to 'the Rules': for all he could know at that moment he was the only person who could direct the resistance to Sauron successfully, and all his mission was vain. He was handing over to the Authority that ordained the Rules, and giving up personal hope of success. ~ ibid
Gandalf had his mission to accomplish, and he knew he was the only istari left that could complete that mission.  However, he had no idea upon his death he would be sent back to finish his task, because Eru also knew that Gandalf was the only "loyal" istari left.


That I should say is what the Authority wished, as a set-off to Saruman. The 'wizards', as such, had failed; or if you like: the crisis had become too grave and needed an enhancement of power. So Gandalf sacrificed himself, was accepted, and enhanced, and returned. [...]He was sent by a mere prudent plan of the angelic Valar or governors; but Authority had taken up this plan and enlarged it, at the moment of its failure. ~ ibid
And since Eru knew Gandalf was the only truthful istari left, and he had sacrificed himself he sent Gandalf back and upped his powers.



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I am Lórien, Lord of Dreams, my true name is 'Irmo' in Quenya.
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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The meeting of the hosts of the West and of the North is named the Great Battle, and the War of Wrath. There was marshalled the whole power of the Throne of Morgoth, and it had become great beyond count, so that Anfauglith could not contain it; and all the North was aflame with war.
But it availed him not. The Balrogs were destroyed, save some few that fled and hid themselves in caverns inaccessible at the roots of the earth; and the uncounted legions of the Orcs perished like straw in a great fire, or were swept like shrivelled leaves before a burning wind.
(The Sil)
In the Great Battle of the War of Wrath all Balrogs were destroyed and we are not told that they killed anyone from the Host of the West as they died.


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We aren't told much there.  Tolkien didn't expand upon the death of the Balrogs.  But, the 3 accounts we are given of someone squaring up against a balrog, their slayer also died in the process.  So, this makes me think, if you kill a balrog there is a HIGH possibility (can't say 100% because we aren't told about how each balrog dies) that you will also be killed.



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I am Lórien, Lord of Dreams, my true name is 'Irmo' in Quenya.
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I doubt that this is true, indeed Gandalf did have to sacrifice himself, but I am 100% sure you can't generalize that only because 2 other elves also died when they killed balrogs. Actually Glorfindel didn't even kill the balrog, he fell from a cliff and died.

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Actually Glorfindel didn't even kill the balrog, he fell from a cliff and died.~The Might


That's how Gandalf killed his Balrog.


And I do think we can generalize, as Tolkien tells us at most there were 7 Balrogs, and with knowing about how 3 of them died, there can be anywhere from 3-7.  Seeing how the 3 we know about killed their slayer in the process, with at most being 7, I think that warrants a high possibility, that the slayer would also die in the process of killing a balrog:
"There should not be supposed more than say 3 or at most 7 ever existed"~Home 10: Morgoth's Ring



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I am Lórien, Lord of Dreams, my true name is 'Irmo' in Quenya.
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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indeed, that might be true, but there is no reason to say it is clearly so
ok, there is indeed a possibility for that to be true, but still, considering such a subject, I think Tolkien would have clearly said if balrogs took the lives of their killers if he felt this was of importance.
Also, I usually think that HOME quotes are not really the best idea...

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Honor, Freedom, Fatherland
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HoME is what Christopher and I believe Hammond compiled to put together.  As Chris refused to speculate what his father wanted, it's all Tolkien's compiled writings after LOTR.  And when dealing with what is canon what isn't, usually the latest writings are the one's accepted.


In BoLT Tolkien describes armies of Balrogs, but these are Tolkien's earliest thoughts on Balrogs when they are actually a race of creatures...there being "hundreds" of Balrogs.  But, this was Tolkien earliest thoughts and when Balrogs were a lot weaker, it's clear he later changed his mind and made Balrogs more powerful and made them "Fire Maia."  It's also clear that he decided to limit their number, instead of making them a race.


Seeing as BoLT is Tolkien's earliest drafts, and he later makes Balrogs more powerful and Maia, in LOTR and HoME, I think the latter should be the one's accepted.



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I am Lórien, Lord of Dreams, my true name is 'Irmo' in Quenya.
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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please note that Home, just as the UT also contains some earlier writings, which might have been changed in time.
also, as I said it is not important if Home should or not be considered the best idea, what is important is that there is no real proof that balrogs killed their killers.

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Elf of Beleriand - Rank 2
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The dear members presume that I need to comprehend certain things. If you think I start topics which exceed my sense you might put me through an ordeal of admission or something corresponding.


No, I'm not wrathful. Have no time, must go, respect and greetings.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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I respect the fact you use a very complex vocabulary, but please from now on, try to say things without so many complicated words as there are members from all over the world here and not all of us have the same level of expressing ourselves in the english language.
maybe simpler and plainer words would be better in an online forum.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Yes. But you must understand that he is probably using English the way he has been tought to. He is from Yugoslavia, so when he was tought English it was probably a very accurate way.


I am British, so i know what he says but I would not use it that much in the real world.



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My Master Sauron the Great bids thee Welcome....
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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a forum is a forum
just as things such as cya or wait 4 u should not be used far too elevated english could be a problem for many members.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Clearly he does not know the common terms which one may use on a forum.


Now I must relieve myself of this posting disposition and make ready to rebut you on more bunbunctuous posting areas simutaneously.



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My Master Sauron the Great bids thee Welcome....
Elf of Beleriand - Rank 2
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Hah! Colloquial is my second middle name!

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[under construction]

Peasant of Beleriand - Rank 2
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I would think that if anyone knew in interpretation what Tolkien may have meant it would have been Christopher.


I can see how JRR would have reworked the thoughts of the Balrogs especially after his mythology developed and the kind of power he put into them. An army of them could have overrun the whole of Arda. Bringing the numbers down made them special and fell - especially in the notation that any who fought them, even if they killed the Balrog, fell (I hadn't realized that - thanks for the insight!)


What has always intrigued me was in the Sil - that if there were only 3-7 of them, how many of them (all of them?) fought Feanor?


"And there issued from Angband balrogs to aid them."



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Fingolfin I suggest you check the balrogs thread
I have posted a quite large post there about the numbers of balrogs
I think you will find it very useful to change your mind

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Peasant of Beleriand - Rank 2
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Just read it. Very informative on the quotes. Thanks again. :)


How do you come up with these? You have all the books electronically to search?


So given those quotes it would suppose there were more. I cannot quote it, but maybe have even read it in a casual post somewhere about the balrogs, but is there any viable speculation that would make the 3-7 balrogs listed as being more 'fell' in power and on the line of Gothmog? And the remaining ones listed, be it 30 or 3000, of minor or lesser power?



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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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I was sent some quotes by a member who in turn waas sent quotes from TM. There are alot  of them as they contain many books worth which you can get the computer to search throught automatically. I suggest contacting the Might for more info.

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Utúlie'n  aurë!  Aiya  Eldalië  ar  Atanatári,  utúlie'n  aurë! 
Auta  i  lómë! 
Aurë entuluva!

Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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firstly, yes I do own all the books as e-books
secondly, I already have more files made my myself on different topic
for example, I also have one about strange creatures in ME
so when a question comes up about trolls or Beorn I only have to look there.
and as I said, Tolkien never says that those Balrogs (3-7) were more powerfull
and he never talks about them there as of different strength categories, but about the numbers of all balrogs
but as I said, there are a lot of quotes for the fact of many balrogs, and only a sidenote from one of his later works for a very limited number

however, about the power of balrogs it is a clear fact they were different in power, we know Gothmog was the strongest
but as I said, in this context this does not come into discussion

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Those books do really help I would try and get them Fingolfin, Tm will send them to you.

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My Master Sauron the Great bids thee Welcome....
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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I will...
still, try to PM people about that from now on.


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Royal Guard of Menegroth - Rank 5
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I am concerned about the use of the quote from HoME about the 3-7 Balrogs. It just seems very incongruent with the Silmarillion. Tolkien does a VERY good job of being vauge in his description of numbers of the races.

There are references to Morgoth's host, prior to orcs, which could be assumed to consist of Maiar. The hosts of the Valar in the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age could be assumed to be a Elves and Maiar.

Given that and the account of Feanor's death, it just does not seem to be correct that only 3-7 Balrogs ever existed. Gothmog was the Lord of the Balrogs which just doesnt seem to fit if he was just the lord over 2-6 other Balrogs. Tolkien did a good job of being specific in regard to many other things that were of a specific small number so it just seems odd that we should believe there were only 3-7 Balrogs. If that number were specific to the Third Age, that would make much more sense.



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Therefore I say that we will go on, and this doom I add: the deeds that we shall do shall be the matter of song until the last days of Arda
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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you can check the balrogs thread, I wrote a quite large post on the topic there

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Thanks, I checked the thread and responded. And for those who missed it...

I did agree that Tolkiens later thoughts indicate that he did "intend" for there to be no more than 3-7 Balrogs, however that directly conflicts with the language used in the Silmarillion which though vauge, does imply the existence of far more than 7 Balrogs but not legions of them.

But that is not the point of this thread. Elf slays a demigod. When comparing Elves to the Maiar, its similar to comparing Men to Elves. Elves are definitely the lesser race compared to the Maiar, just as Men are the lesser race when compared with the Elves. Yet it is not beyond comprehension for a man to best an elf in combat, neither is it beyond comprehension for an elf to best a maia.

Personally I cant draw many conclusions from the battles of Glorfindel, Ecthelion, and Gandalf with the Balrogs.

Even if I apply adjectives it is still difficult to draw conclusions:

Elf bests Balrog
Elf bests Greatest of the Balrogs
Wisest Maia bests weaker Balrog

Gollum began this thread by asking if Gothmog was so limited by its material form that it perished from excessive physical damage. Yes. That is one of the limitations of material form. I am not sure why it is assumed in that initial query that to defeat a Balrog one must fight on multiple planes.

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Therefore I say that we will go on, and this doom I add: the deeds that we shall do shall be the matter of song until the last days of Arda
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I believe that it is possible to slay one of Maiar ( which are what Balrogs really are) and yet also not die. I agree that Ecthelion could have slain the Balrog with a cheap shot but as evreyone else has said, we don't know. But even if the Balrog is slain it can't die can it. After all, the Maiar are of the race of the Valar. It is said that they lose their bodies but cannot pass away like the children of Eru, because of their nobl spirits. So when a Balrog is slain is he/she/it thrown out of the walls of the night like Melkor was?

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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I think that when a Maiar dies, evil Maiar that is, that there spirits are lefts to wander helplessly in Middle-earth. Just like Sauron after the destruction of the Ring and probably Saruman. The Balrogs too I would say. They would be unable to effect the phisical world. Morgoth had to be phisically cast through the Door of Night to exit Arda. Even then being souch a powerful spirit he was still able to guide and govern his servants through his will and ever try to thwart the works of the Valar. Perhaps it was this will which drove Sauron back into evil thoughts at the beginning of the second Age.

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Of course they die.
In M-e death means the spirit leaves the body. Gandalf died, and returned. The balrogs died. Glorfindel died and was reincarnated.
The difference is that in Tolkien's world, death does not directly imply the impossibility of returning to the world as the same person.
And yes, probably that's where they end up, since we know they will fight on his side in the Dagor Dagorath.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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The Might wrote:

Of course they die.
In M-e death means the spirit leaves the body. Gandalf died, and returned. The balrogs died. Glorfindel died and was reincarnated.
The difference is that in Tolkien's world, death does not directly imply the impossibility of returning to the world as the same person.
And yes, probably that's where they end up, since we know they will fight on his side in the Dagor Dagorath.




This only applies with beings created within Arda. Tolkien's idear of death was the serverence of spirit and body but it does not apply to Ainur. They were around before Ea and there bodies are not made out of Ea itself. There spirits can presume forms if they wish.
Gandalf walks often in his spirit form unseen amoung the Elves in Valinor without a phisical body. Does this mean he is dead? The reason he 'died' in his fight against the Balrog was becuase he was 'bound' to phisical form as were all the Istari in Middle-earth. He wasn't in his true state.
After Sauron's body was destroyed after the fall of Numenor, or in the Last Alliance and he was only in a spirit form was he 'dead'? According to Elrond he wasn't destroyed (killed) he was only vanquished.
When Glorfindel was slain by the Balrog he was indeed Killed. He is one of the Children of Iluvatar and was born inside Ea and came not before it. With the destruction of his body he did indeed die.

The Ainur are Powers, they cannot die unless by some intervention of Eru. They are like the Energy of the World.



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No better account of this fight (Ecthelion vs Gothmog) exists than in the early Fall of Gondolin and there is no indication that this was supposed to change. "Then leapt Ecthelion lord of the Fountain, fairest of the Noldoli, full at Gothmog even as he raised his whip, and his helm that had a spike upon it he drave into that evil breast, and he twined his legs about his foeman's thighs; and the Balrog yelled and fell forward..."

Isn't it obvious from here that this was no "cheap shot"? He had to leap because both his arms were wounded and of no use, the sword-arm getting the injury just before the leap. And then - if one thinks of it really... (are balrogs hot to touch?) - he burns his face and not only, if his armour is not heat proof.

It remains unclear whether the spike has already killed Gothmog, or it was still necessary to drown him in the deep King's fountain (looks like Ecthelion wasn't really planning this fall). Unlike Gandalf's balrog (the Durin's bane), Gothmog did not turn into a cold but still powerful creature after he fell in the water. Either because he was dead already, or because he could not get free from his steel-laden opponent... Or maybe the water in the fountain was different from that in Moria.



-- Edited by Lorelline on Thursday 25th of July 2013 06:34:02 PM

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Hmm, well there is no indication that the details of this battle [Ecthelion versus Gothmog] were to change, yes; but on the other hand Tolkien never came close to rewriting this section of the very [very] early Fall of Gondolin from The Book of Lost Tales, and we know that JRRT's ideas about Balrogs changed over the years.

 

Something that I think 'likely' to remain was the general way in which Ecthelion was to defeat his foe, in that he would spike him with his helm and end up drowning in the fountain. I think this much was to survive due to the unfinished rewrite of the early 1950s, where we meet Ecthelion with Tuor [if I recall correctly this meeting does not occur in the early version], and I note the description of Ecthelion's helm: '... and upon his shining helm there was set a spike of steel pointed with a diamond;...'

 

So here Tolkien introduces the spike well before the battle.

 

We also have a fairly detailed account of the Glorfindel battle in The Lost Tales, where Glorfindel...

 

a) leapt forward upon the Balrog and hewed at him so that it leapt again upon a great boulder

 

b) the ardour of Glorfindel 'drave that Balrog from point to point' his mail defending him from whip and claw

 

c) Glorfindel beat a 'heavy swinge' upon its helm

 

d) and hewed off the Balrog's whip arm at the elbow: 'then sprang the Balrog in the torment of his pain and fear full at Glorfindel, who stabbed like a dart of a snake; but found only shoulder, and was grappled, and they swayed to a fall upon the crag-top.'

 

e) Glorfindel then sought a dirk and stabbed the Balrog's belly

 

f) the demon fell, but catching Glorfindel's golden hair he pulled Glorfindel to his death.

 

So to me, sounds like Glorfindel won and would seemingly have survived, he just got pulled by his hair!

 

But these Balrogs were not the fallen Maiar of later tales -- note that in the Lost Tales, Ecthelion slays three Balrogs before meeting Gothmog, and Tuor slew five! 'The early conception of the Balrogs makes them less terrible, and certainly more destructible, than they afterwards became...' Christopher Tolkien, commentary, The Fall of Gondolin.

 

So one wonders if the account with Ecthelion would have remained in all details. In a very late note, JRRT stated that the duel with Glorfindel and the demon may need revision, possibly due to a number of factors. Again I realize that doesn't necessarily mean he was going to radically transform the encounter with Ecthelion, but I think [just my opinion] that Tolkien's seeming decision to drastically reduce the numbers of Balrogs had to do with making them more powerful -- we know they went from powerful demons created by Melkor to powerful fallen Maiar in the service of Melkor...

... but we also know that a reduction of 3 or at most 7 is quite notable from a host of Balrogs, for example, or Balrogs one thousand [if in fact Tolkien was going to ultimately employ this new idea -- this issue of Balrog numbers alone is fairly complicated].

 

Anyway, just my thoughts here.

 



-- Edited by Galin on Tuesday 23rd of July 2013 07:24:36 PM

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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By the way, in the language as Tolkien imagined it when writing The Book of Lost Tales, Ecthelion was not only Lord of the Fountains, but his name was connected to the word for fountain:

 

*ectheluin fount, fountain. cp. Q. ektele

Ecthelion Lord of the Fountains (...)

ectha- + to spout, jet. = cectha

JRRT, The Gnomish Lexicon

 

And he ended up dead in a fountain of course. And Glorfindel meant 'Gold-locks'... and was done in by his golden locks!

 

 

Just sayin' wink



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Yes indeed Ecthelion's name was derived from "fountain" back then. I have been wondering if Ecthelion, being "the Lord of the Fountains", had really anything to do with the fountains, e.g. design and construct them, but I don't think this is ever mentioned (names of most other Houses of Gondolin do not suggest such associations).

And true, before the battle with Gothmog Ecthelion slew 3 balrogs, but those were "just" balrogs, while Gothmog was their lord (and Melko's son I think) and even at that time should have been very powerful. Since Ecthelion still was the Lord of the Fountains in the new version of Tuor's coming to Gondolin, and still wore a spike on the helm (and being the Warden of the Gate or the like was friendly enough to Tuor upon the first encounter - in the Lost Tales they don't meet at the gates but they are neighbors and close friends), maybe his subsequent part was largely to stand.

Glorfindel was battling with "just" a balrog and perhaps that part would have been revised. In my opinion (just an opinion) it is less impressive than Ecthelion's. Did Glorfindel choose a short haircut in the next life?

Deviating from the topic a bit - is the origin of his golden hair ever explained? Is he a Vanya not a Noldo?



-- Edited by Lorelline on Thursday 25th of July 2013 06:36:42 PM

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Lórellinë

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We appear to agree, as I too think the spiked helm and the fountain aspect were going to remain in any later rewrite.

Yet the Balrogs in general were more easily destructible in this early phase of writing [not that you said otherwise], however they compare to their Lord Gothmog, so I think this might, at least, have factored into a rewrite in some way. 

 

For example, would Ecthelion have been as hurt as he was in the original version, before defeating the Lord of the Balrogs? Maybe, considering that the way in which he slew his foe was arguably inventive and desperate in any case, considering his condition.

 

Would Glorfindel have done so well? Again maybe -- I mean we don't know what Tolkien was going to revise beyond his early, archaic style of prose [although I guess the addition of a Balrogian shadow cloak was to be added, the discussion of 'wings' aside here], but again he seems to do fairly well in the battle itself, before being pulled to his death. I wonder if the 'new Balrog' would have done a bit better before his fall.

 

 

As for Glorfindel's hair so far it is not explained with respect to kin or descent, except for the detail that he participated in the Rebellion due to some sort of kinship with [and allegiance to] Turgon, and Idril was golden-haired as well, in any case. And that he was a Noldo is confirmed again in late description.

 

Interestingly, for a moment Tolkien considered the possibility of Glorfindel of Rivendell being Sindarin, but rejected this due to already published description.

 

And although I realize there is plenty of posthumously published material that the Vanyar were intended to be mostly golden haired, for myself I wonder that Tolkien not only revised a draft version of Appendix F to generally describe that the Eldar [instead of the Noldor] were dark-haired, knowing that the Vanyar must be considered Eldar -- and for the second edition revised the very sentence again [Finrod to Finarfin at least] and still did not change the apparent meaning.

 

In short the author-published text [even revised for the second edition] implies that the 'Vanyar' should be at least mostly dark-haired.

 

Hairesy perhaps, but still wink



-- Edited by Galin on Wednesday 24th of July 2013 02:39:59 PM

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Archaic though it was, I would say (or actually repeat myself from my introduction) that the style of the early Fall of Gondolin in my opinion is one of the best (or maybe the best) in all he has written, it is so vivid and convincing and dynamic. Who knows what it would have become in the revision...

As to the hair color - if the priority, out of several variants, is to be given to the one published by the author himself (like the Appendix F [shame on me, I don't pay enough attention to the LOTR] versus other works), then the Eldar turn out rather monomorphic.

Idril is said to have golden hair because Elenwe her mother was of Vanyar (there again golden-haired); a kinship to Elenwe (and thus to Turgon) would have easily explained Glorfindel's participation in the exile as well as his hair color - but if he is a pure Noldo then that doesn't work.



-- Edited by Lorelline on Thursday 25th of July 2013 06:47:02 PM

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Tolkien did note Glorfindel of Gondolin as Noldorin, but he wasn't dealing with the origin of his hair at this point, so maybe it's left a bit open for a Vanyarin link somewhere?

 

As to the monomorphic issue: as far as the Eldar being West-elves, yes, if we had mostly dark-haired Minyar, Noldor and Sindar [the Minyar being the Vanyar, avoiding the name Vanyar in this context, since it refers to hair] then that's a lot of dark haired Elves...

... but we have exceptions and variation within the Eldar, the golden of Finarfin's house, or Idril as you noted already, and the red-brown in Nerdanel's line -- the silver in some Sindar, and even the gold of Thranduil. And among 'dark' we could have both dark-brown and black. Also the Vanyar left Middle-earth relatively early, so Eldar as in Noldor and Sindar still leaves us with a lot of dark-haired Elves in Middle-earth.

 

Tolkien published material: Eldar are generally dark-haired with exceptions -- but only the Noldor and Sindar are considered the Eldar of Middle-earth -- the Vanyar are not named if I recall correctly, but if we imagine them going over sea after the March then they too must be Eldar.

 

Posthumous material in consideration of Appendix F [includes Silmarillion]: the description of the Eldar as generally dark-haired now includes the Elves of Mirkwood and Lothlorien, and would seem to include the Teleri of the Great March. Moreover, possibly even the Avari were dark of hair, if the golden hair of the Vanyar was so notable even before the March. The Vanyar are mostly golden or yellow-haired.

 

For now I can't recall the timing based on what is said in Quendi And Eldar, but again if the Vanyar are seemingly singular as golden-haired among other Elves -- before the Separation -- to me that would imply that even the Avari were generally dark of hair; or if not, why single out the clan of the Minyar [first clan] with a reference to their hair, and call them Vanyar, if it was not very unique. Well I suppose it still could be unique as far as percentage goes: almost all of one clan being golden versus a smattering of gold within other much larger clans...

 

... but now I'm really rambling smile 

 

In a sense, the scenario Tolkien published might just allow for more variety here, among Elves in general anyway, as in The Lord of the Rings the East-elves [or 'not Eldar' so to speak] include most of the Silvan Elves of Mirkwood and Lothlorien, plus any Avari, and so these don't necessarily fall under the broad description of the Eldar already published and retained in Appendix F.



-- Edited by Galin on Thursday 25th of July 2013 08:30:03 PM

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Yes... Disentangling the hair issue... Coming back to balrogs, perhaps the length and the difficulty of Maia Gandalf's battle with the Durin's Bane is additional indirect evidence that the battles with the balrogs fought in Gondolin may have been destined for modification. And I think that the ability to have the fire extinguished and then rekindled is a new element. Something not plainly expected from a fire Maia (unless that was just Gandalf's perception).

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