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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
In Moria


Nov 15 2010, 7:26pm

Post #1 of 8 (539 views)
In Moria Can't Post

Why didn't The Dwarvs not know that Balin was dead i mean the skeletons would suggest they were killed most likely right after Balins last visit to Bilbo in the Shire.

Seems like the Dwarvs needed better communication skills. Also Gandalf should of said hey moron don't wanna go down there for There's a Big Hell Beast who will drag me to the bottum of the mountain.


Nov 15 2010, 7:37pm

Post #2 of 8 (317 views)
Are you thinking of the movie or the books? [In reply to] Can't Post

The Fellowship didn't see any bones until they entered the Chamber of Mazarbul, then right after they saw Balin's tomb. In the movie, they see bones as soon as they enter Moria.

There is the issue of the Dwarves at the Lonely Mountain losing all contact with Balin's expedition. You'd think they'd assume he was dead after 30 years of communication ceasing, but hard to say what they were thinking. I agree with you: they should have figured it out.

Actually, both Gandalf and Aragorn had been in Moria before without encountering the Balrog. Gandalf seemed a little bit surprised to encounter it when they did. Either a) he knew it was there but thought it was hibernating or b) he didn't know it was there. I don't think he would have led the Fellowship there at all if he thought there was a chance of running into the Balrog, so I think either a) or b) were going through his head.


Nov 15 2010, 7:53pm

Post #3 of 8 (356 views)
In The Movie [In reply to] Can't Post

He seemed to Suspect The Balrog was there. Least ways movie wise. Which makes Gandalf seem to know about events in all Middle Earth.


Nov 16 2010, 6:08pm

Post #4 of 8 (284 views)
I thought he didn't know. [In reply to] Can't Post

Certainly the book version doesn't, or he would say "Balrog did big-time spells back up there in the chamber of Mazarbul".


Nov 18 2010, 12:47am

Post #5 of 8 (210 views)
We get a few hints, in the films, that Gandalf knows there's trouble in Moria... [In reply to] Can't Post

First, he seems pretty desperate to keep on going through that snowstorm, even after they get buried in the avalanche. And then we have Saruman's voice over which implies that Gandalf knows about the Balrog ("you know what they awoke in the darkness") Of course they keep what it is secret from the audience to build the suspense, but it's clear that Gandalf knows something bad is down there and that he's afraid of it. ("you fear to go into those mines"..)

Once they are inside Moria, Gandalf calls after Gimli , to sort of warn him off, when he rushes off to the room where Balin's Tomb is -- and when they get inside, and see the tomb, he says "it's as I feared".

So yep, movie Gandalf knows there's trouble in Moria -- and struggles with that knowledge until he has that conversation with Frodo about the importance of showing pity and mercy to Gollum. In helping Frodo with his doubts and fears about carrying the Ring, he eventually is able to come to terms with having to face the Balrog. I really liked how they made Moria into a character building struggle for Gandalf, and how he resolved his issues here by helping Frodo.

On Balin, well, in the films we don't have any knowledge about how long the dwarves have been in Moria, really, and maybe bodies just decay really fast in there! (Or maybe they are picked clean by the orcs?). Gimli's comments are also rather romanticized -- so you can infer he's relating stories he's heard about Moria, rather than commenting from personal knowledge of the place. All in all, I doubt non-book readers questioned at all why no one wondered what happened to Balin -- there's so much going on, it's not a plot point that probably even comes to mind.



Nov 18 2010, 6:39am

Post #6 of 8 (201 views)
Think Its Better [In reply to] Can't Post

I think Movie wise Moria stuff was improved from the Book. I think as far as tension build up goes. Its better we have a sense Gandalf knows what could happen but goes because Frodo made a choice.


Nov 18 2010, 7:49am

Post #7 of 8 (261 views)
They "knew" but perhaps didn't want to believe it [In reply to] Can't Post

... as you said, they didn't not know.


Nov 21 2010, 11:31am

Post #8 of 8 (266 views)
I never was happy [In reply to] Can't Post

with Frodo making the decision which way to go, when he clearly doesn't have a clue what to expect.

As far as the skeletons go, I'm with Weaver in the film, too much is going for the viewer to wonder about whether "the Dwarves" should have known about Balin's fate.
And readers might remember a passage from the book (in the Council of Elrond iirc), where it is said that communication between Balin and the Lonely Mountain had suddenly stopped a few years ago, which is why Gimli so eagerly wants to visit Moria.

Otherness represents that which bourgeois ideology cannot recognize or accept but must deal with ()
Robin Wood 2003, p. 49. "Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan and beyond". Columbia University Press, New York, Chichester, West Sussex.


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