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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Why it is to be hoped that the fire in Moria was a Balrog allusion (however vague), and why more mention should be made of him in the course of these films.

AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Dec 30 2012, 7:14am


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Why it is to be hoped that the fire in Moria was a Balrog allusion (however vague), and why more mention should be made of him in the course of these films. Can't Post

I had posted a very similar piece a while back, I know. . . but I made the mistake of doing so right before the Holiday Box Office week and numbers began hitting, and before many here had seen the film. . . needless to say the other thread has vanished in the the annals of archives long passed. lol. Anyway, the crux:

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at least a little bit, for three reasons. A) A more proper understanding of the tragic and horrifying history of The Dwarves, Durin's folk in particular. B )To better underline (especially for the purpose of prompting an idle, cautious Council to war) of the threat Sauron poses, and of the catostrophic allainces he might form (it must be remembered that, in the movie timeline, The Council already know EXACTLY what dwells in Moria, having drowned it in fear, and this bears some attention) and C) For continuity with Fellowship. I will get into further detail on all three of these points later. But first, let us review what has been seen of Moria in AUJ.

I know, I have been making a rather big deal of proper Dwarven history, of Khazad-Dum/Moria, Balrog and all. . . but not without reasons and most of them good.

And any talk of Moria in The Third Age is utterly incomplete (eggregiously so, really) if it is absent mention of The Demon who caused it to become Moria (The Dark Pit) in the first place. Having seen An Unexpected Journey 3 times thus far. More shall follow. What I am certain of, beyond all doubt, is that there is a very peculiar and significant Fire burning, in a relatively concentrated area, in the hall behind The East Gate as we see Azog being dragged in (eye roll at him still being alive to be dragged in Frown ). Extremely vague Balrog allusion, I wondered? That, or else Peter has taken a notion that orcs set bonfires in the halls of "their own" fortress/lair before going out into battle. Last night, while awaiting Winter Solstice and trying to finish tree decorations, I watched Fellowship. And there,at the outskirts of the halls beneath the tumbling stairs being traversed by The Fellowship, was a very similar erection of flame, heralding the coming of The Balrog of Moria. I was more certain than before, after seeing this, that in An Unexpected Journey I had indeed seen an almost ridiculously and clandestinely vague nod to Moria's Demon of Might. So vague an allusion almost demands further explication. So we have the initial what. . . now to answer why the need, or at least strong rationale, for just a little more (and by more, I mean only, a more obvious allusion than that last "maybe" one, and perhaps a bit of commentary concerning this particular Dark Power). Let us follow the previously mentioned points, in order.

A) Even without all the larger, looming, tying evils to Sauron who is tying evils and Evils together business Peter et al seem intent upon doing, The Balrog merits a mention and or STRONG visual hinting if you are going to show such things as Moria and/or Azanulbizar, or get into the history of the dwarves beyond the events of Erebor itself. He it is who expelled them from Khazad-Dum and set Elves fleeing Lothlorien in the process, he is the reason The Dwarves could not reclaim Moria, he is the slayer of the reincarnation of the Dwarves Eldest king and forefather (whose name we here so often) hence his title of Durin's Bane, and he is the single greatest terror and nightmare nemesis of in the latter half of The Third Age. This Evil Maia is the cause of the curse of fear that came to prevade Moria and the reason the Elves renamed it thus. Sans the Balrog, Khazad-Dum would not have been ruined. It would not have become Moria, nor would orcs have ever managed to settle there, nor would there have been a need to found a new kingdom in Erebor. . . and, had it been founded anyway, when Erebor fell to Smaug, the dwarves would have had a real chance of actually reclaiming Khazad-Dum.

B) The larger potential threat of a Balrog (any Balrog really, but this one imparticular because 1) known to still exist in Middle-Earth and 2) Location, location, location. . . more on that location soon), in Sauron's coming war on Middle-Earth, especially The Elves. Now, some will say "Whatever threat he may have posed, and the dreadful danger that he was is entirely tangential to the tale of The Hobbit." To that I would say, of course you are correct. HOWEVER Peter et al have not only made it very clear that they will be dealing in quite a substantial amount of information, personalaties and events that are entirely tangential to The Hobbit, they have already put a great deal of such tangential material into the first installment of their adaptation, which has now been seen by millions of people worldwide and grossed over 100 million dollars in profits. In for a penny, in for a pound. They are already working on making clear the threat Sauron could pose, the connection to The Dragon that Gandalf feared etc. They have even dared, in some places, to explicitly defy the actual story in order to further dramatize the threat, with talk of "Witch-Kings buried with their Morgul blades long ages ago!" ShockedShocked. . .Unsure. . .Crazy. Now, in The Balrog of Moria we have three key aspects of intrest. 1FIRST, He is a foe who, unlike The Witch-King and his fellow Nazgul, had a very direct and extremely impactful role in the lives and fortunes of The Dwarves, Durin's folk, line and heirs in particular (indeed, crass as it may be to say it plainly, he made a very forceful and direct impact on the reincarnate being of Durin himself). In the greater scope of history, he did more to directly wrong the Dwarves of Durin's House than either Azog (even including the newly not dead Azog 2.0) or Smaug, or even both combined, though (unlike with Azog and even more, in some ways, than with Smaug) the dwarves had no hope of ever achieving any form of unaided, personal vengeance against him. He is relevant, in a way that The Witch-King and The Nazgul are not, never were, and never became, to the ancient history of the people whose quest is the central focus of these movies. It is worth noting that the official Visual Companion to An Unexpected Journey explicitly mentions The Balrog and his driving of The Dwarves from Khazad-Dum in its section on The Dwarvs.

SECOND, The Balrog is a more natural ally to Sauron than the Dragon or practically any other known, powerful, evil being in Middle-Earth, save The Nazgul who are Sauron's bound slaves. Tolkien suggests the possibility of such a fearful Alliance between these Dark Maia in his notes, even though it is only talk of the Smaug/Sauron potential coalition that is ever mentioned in the published texts (as though such a thing as it not being clearly stated in cannon. . . or even of a thing being clearly CONTRADICTED in cannon has ever stopped Jackson and the gang lol). Still, it must be remembered that, in the established film history, The Wise know the exact nature of The Terror that reigns in Moria. They know that it is none other than a Balrog of Morgoth. WIth that in mind, it would be negligence tantamount to foolishness for a Gandalf, aware of these facts, to be concerned about Sauron forming a union with Smaug but NOT be concerned about Sauron forming an alliance with The Balrog. Smaug mostly desires little more than a peerlessly costly bed to rest on, and to wreak a bit of destruction and mass consumption from time to time (and never far away from his jealously treasured hoard). The Balrog, by contrast, was a fellow captain, alongside Sauron, in the service of Melkor The Morgoth. Malice, the infliction of suffering, and the domination by fear and force of all free peoples WAS his interest, being one of "those Spirits who first hearkened to Melkor in the days of his splendour, and who became most like him in his fall." He is also (aside from the possible exception of the dragons for sheer destructive capacity) the most powerful known ally Sauron could hope to find. Here was one of the mightiest of the evil and corrupted Maia: a Demon of might; a Being that came before The World and had a part in the making of The World, a Terror even unto the mighty High-Elves of The First Age, a lieutenant of Melkor The Morgoth in all his wars against the other Ainur and against the Elves, Men and Dwarves of The First Age. Even The Witch-King of Angmar could never begin to boast such dreadfully astonishing credentials. Hell, his history in alliance with Sauron (under the dominion of Melkor) in and BEFORE The First Age spans a time longer than the existence of The Nazgul, and longer than the Second and Third Ages combined. Experience as a Dark Power. . . mmm, yeah, check. Recall also what I mentioned about LOCATION and logistics. Recall that Gandalf knows Sauron meant to assail The Elves first and foremost, as the opening declaration of his Great War, assaulting Lothorien and Rivendell as soon as he felt strong enough. The Balrog reigned in Moria, the East Gate of which lays just to the west of Lothlorien. Indeed, The Golden Wood lay all but sandwhiched between the dread realm of Moria and the dread fortress/realm of Dol Guldur. Sauron had long ago begun populating Moria with his foul people, goblin-orcs and trolls (their numbers there were nearly exterminated in Azanulbizar, but they had repopulated quite heavily, especially by the movie's account, by the time of Fellowship), and even though these minor monsters held The Balrog in so much awe and terror that they did not particularly like to enter his direct presence, it is certain that Sauron was well aware of him, psychic bonds or no. What is more, The Balrog is the one known Force of Evil left in all Middle-Earth, aside from Sauron himself, who would not have been cowed by the presence of a High-Elf in Lothlorien, even such a mighy Elf Queen as Galadriel. The magical barriers of Galadriel were mighty, but she was NOT Melain The Maia. And The Balrog was indeed a Maia. The Nazgul, even The Witch-King, had an aversion to High Elves. But what fear had any Balrog ever shown for any Elves, including the Calaquendi High-Elves, Noldor or Vanyar? Elves, High and otherwise, feared them. What terror would even Galadriel have held for a Being far older than herself, and who had been present (and likely even involved in) battles against great kinsmen Feanor and High-King Fingon, and who had surely felled many others of The Noldor, even in the days of their prime and peak in The First Age?

Third and finally ( I know you're relieved, right? I am too. It took a minute to write this thing. Wink) there is the matter of continuity with the rest of The Movies. The tie in books to this movie speak of The Balrog as having driven the Dwarves from Khazad-Dum even before they came to Erebor (true enough). Saruman speaks (and shows illustrations!) in the Fellowship movie, of The Balrog being The Menace of Moria, and of course the encounter of The Fellowship with The Balrog is easily one of most famous and iconic both of that movie and of the entire trilogy. Thus, in looking at the East Gate of Moria in The Hobbit ( visibly the same one a traumatized Fellohwship comes stumbling out of in LOTR), even film-only fans will be prone to wonder how a massive, bombastic war failed to at least get the attention of The Demon whose ire was roused in Fellowship by a bucket and bones falling down a well. That Balin did not mention him in his tale is not deal breaking. The Fire is seen in The East Gate hall, and Balin doesn't really complete the tail in specific detail. What is more, it is written and said that the Dwarves did not tell extensive tales concerning Durin's Bane, aside from the most basic form of the legend, for the fear they had of him was enduring and terrible.

http://www.facebook.com/...p;type=3&theater

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."

(This post was edited by AinurOlorin on Dec 30 2012, 7:16am)

Subject User Time
Why it is to be hoped that the fire in Moria was a Balrog allusion (however vague), and why more mention should be made of him in the course of these films. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Dec 30 2012, 7:14am
    Also of importance: The Continuity Factor. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Dec 30 2012, 7:15am
    Bravo Elessar Send a private message to Elessar Dec 30 2012, 7:25am
        Sauron is not Morgoth Mahtion Send a private message to Mahtion Dec 30 2012, 7:36am
            It isn't a matter of commanding. It is a matter of alliance. It is dubious that he could command Smaug. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Dec 30 2012, 7:51am
                Great Points Mahtion Send a private message to Mahtion Dec 30 2012, 8:13am
                    A note on Balrog's higher sentience, in reply to you and Herzogian AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 2 2013, 5:23am
        I really hope so. Despite the short time he appears on screen AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Dec 30 2012, 7:41am
    And... The Mitch King Send a private message to The Mitch King Dec 30 2012, 7:36am
        This is my hope as to why they might have failed to do so (yet) and may be saving it for a latter scene AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Dec 30 2012, 8:04am
    You shall not pass to the hobbit trilogy! herzogian Send a private message to herzogian Dec 30 2012, 8:39am
        problems with that reasoning AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Dec 30 2012, 7:13pm
            Balrogging herzogian Send a private message to herzogian Dec 30 2012, 8:44pm
                As to what they can use/deduce. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Dec 30 2012, 11:03pm
            Sauron: the most prominently displayed dwarf in AUJ FlyingSerkis Send a private message to FlyingSerkis Dec 30 2012, 10:14pm
                Damn. See what too much typing can do? Or course I meant THORIN. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Dec 30 2012, 11:15pm
                    Underestimating the Feanorians Mahtion Send a private message to Mahtion Dec 31 2012, 1:43am
                        When I say they didn't fear them, I do not mean to say that even in the face of AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Dec 31 2012, 2:41am
                            Great treatise. Loving this thread! sharku Send a private message to sharku Dec 31 2012, 11:42am
                                Lol. There is a fine question. Not Eru, surely. Nor a Valar. Clearly Ainur. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Dec 31 2012, 11:18pm
                                    This thread Ave Moria Send a private message to Ave Moria Jan 1 2013, 1:52am
    I've nothing particular to add (you've said it all) but I'd love to see this and agree with you 100% that he should have some more backstory/screen time to develop Dwarf history// Radagast-Aiwendil Send a private message to Radagast-Aiwendil Dec 30 2012, 10:46am
    Not sure about that AT ALL... Balin should return to Moria and establish a "known" realm. xxxyyy Send a private message to xxxyyy Dec 30 2012, 6:02pm
        It becomes a continuity problem. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Dec 30 2012, 7:33pm
            Alot of good points on both sides... FrogmortonJustice65 Send a private message to FrogmortonJustice65 Dec 30 2012, 7:51pm
                It isn't so much an issue of "they brought up other tangentials, why not him" as, they have brought Moria, his dwelling, and a battle AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Dec 30 2012, 8:04pm
            I think the Balrog should stay in ancient history books, in old wizards' libraries. xxxyyy Send a private message to xxxyyy Jan 1 2013, 4:05am
                If he appears at all, sauget.diblosio Send a private message to sauget.diblosio Jan 1 2013, 4:31am
                    Again, seeing a glow means he IS right behind the door... which may be cool, but in the end, not at all. (NT) xxxyyy Send a private message to xxxyyy Jan 1 2013, 4:53pm
                You cannot link it to the darknes of the path, when the real issue is explicitly stated. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 2 2013, 1:24am
                    No continuity error at all. The opposite. xxxyyy Send a private message to xxxyyy Jan 2 2013, 2:45am
                        Were that the case, Gandalf would not have worried, nor would he have AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 2 2013, 5:17am
                            I am a purist of the book and the movies, and I do not mix them. xxxyyy Send a private message to xxxyyy Jan 2 2013, 6:11pm
                                You are willfully ignoring what is actually in that movie. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 2 2013, 11:17pm
                                    Yes, that speech just state that Gandalf is concerned about the Balrog. xxxyyy Send a private message to xxxyyy Jan 3 2013, 3:28am
                                        Did I say anything about The Balrog hanging around at the door to greet them AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 3 2013, 4:29am
                                            Yes, you only said that in the title of this thread... lol xxxyyy Send a private message to xxxyyy Jan 3 2013, 5:13pm
                                                You are mixing timelines and company's now. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jan 3 2013, 9:28pm
                                                    I guess we agree on the allusion, but we do not agree on the glow at the gate being the Balrog. xxxyyy Send a private message to xxxyyy Jan 4 2013, 12:45am

 
 
 

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