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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room: Morthoron: Edit Log


Mar 29 2013, 3:58am

Views: 347

I may be misunderstanding your meaning but the Istari were the form chosen by certain Maia, they did not exist as the Istari prior to that. The forms they took were essentially permanent in that incarnation and to change they would have had to voluntarily forsake those forms, which JRRT defines as dying, with a period of rebuilding required if they wanted to create another body to exist as an incarnaye form. Generally speaking spirits rhat clothed themselves in an incarnate form were then subject to earthly limitations. If the Balrogs at their inception as incarnates had chosen to give themselves wings in principle they could have done this, but they have no shape shifting abilities written of so they could not create themselves wings at will once they had adopted a form without them. I say all this not sure if I correctly take that as your meaning with that statement.

Wirh regards to wings or otherwise I understand peoples imagination comes into it as with any other aspect, and that is very important and makes the experience more enjoyable, to fill in the gaps in accordance with your own creation. But I also try to look at what JRRT wrote to try and get as complete as possible a lore based vision to try and better understand what he was trying to create as an author. I do not do this to diminish any one elses opinion or devalue what they have imagined, but when others undertake to say this or that is "fact" in accordance with what is written I try to bring JRRT's writing to the fore to help explain points. Once again this is partially different to what you have expressed as what you have imagined re balrog wings, and I say partially because you do quote in part canon work and although there is other supporting text that may in part expand and counter argue this, I fully admit that for me this a contentious subject for fans and one that can not be thoroughly and completely proved one way or another.

As another separate example of imagination, opinion and fact based on the somewhat limited descriptions JRRT gives in his work, I have an interest in swords and have examined a lot of what he has written to try and give Narsil/Anduril context and summarise what sort of sword it is, to have a reproduction made, this includes not only descriptions of the sword itself but other weapons armour, the technology and evolution of Arda, and the only reasonable conclusion I can reach is that it is a single handed weapon, and even that runs counter to a couple of descriptions of Anduril.

So no wonder we can't conclusively say whether Balrogs had wings or not and have to rely on our imagination. The whole line about wings spread from wall to wall creates a very powerful image of just that, the big question remains what are these wings. I am suprised this question didn't come up during JRRT's lifetime and result in a published response, he is surely laughing about all this debate about wings or not, it is the biggest I am aware of amongst people interested in his works.

(This post was edited by ElendilTheShort on Mar 29 2013, 3:59am)

Edit Log:
Post edited by ElendilTheShort (Gondor) on Mar 29 2013, 3:59am

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