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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
question about the Moria flashback
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ghost_matt
Rivendell

Jan 11 2013, 12:37pm

Post #1 of 28 (1361 views)
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question about the Moria flashback Can't Post

It's been a while since I last read the appendices. In the flashback to the battle where they try to take back Moria, it says they won, and yet in the present they're still homeless. I forgot why the abandoned Moria. Did they awake the Balrog? I thought that was Balin and his group when they tried to go back to Moria after the events of The Hobbit?


imin
Valinor


Jan 11 2013, 12:50pm

Post #2 of 28 (800 views)
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Check out - Awakening and third age [In reply to] Can't Post

http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Durin%27s_Bane#Awakening_and_Third_Age


TFP
Rivendell


Jan 11 2013, 1:27pm

Post #3 of 28 (708 views)
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Film vs. book [In reply to] Can't Post

In the book it's all about the Balrog.

In the film I supposed I interpreted it as saying that the dwarves won a battle of some kind in the field but were, after this battle, too few to lay siege to/occupy/whatever Moria.


stoutfiles
Rohan


Jan 11 2013, 1:30pm

Post #4 of 28 (784 views)
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Dain saw the Balrog [In reply to] Can't Post

And convinced everyone not to enter Moria.

I hope if we flashback to the battle to learn more about Dain, we witness him seeing it (but don't actually see the Balrog ourselves, leave that reveal for FOTR)


Kassandros
Rohan


Jan 11 2013, 3:05pm

Post #5 of 28 (633 views)
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This never would have worked in the movie [In reply to] Can't Post

Because it'd make Balin's decision to retake Moria seem absurd. The compressed timeline makes this more problematic, but as far as I remember, I don't think Tolkien ever satisfactorily explained this. Not in any way that'd work on film, at least.

all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us...


stoutfiles
Rohan


Jan 11 2013, 3:34pm

Post #6 of 28 (582 views)
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It was absurd [In reply to] Can't Post

Just as absurd as Thorin and a company of dwarves, a wizard, and a hobbit retaking Erebor from Smaug. Sometimes you luck out, sometimes you don't.

Gandalf remarked that the expedition to retake Moria was valiant but foolish.


DanielLB
Immortal


Jan 11 2013, 3:41pm

Post #7 of 28 (547 views)
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Poor Balin! [In reply to] Can't Post

He was so optimistic!


TFP
Rivendell


Jan 11 2013, 4:07pm

Post #8 of 28 (508 views)
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valiant? foolish? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Just as absurd as Thorin and a company of dwarves, a wizard, and a hobbit retaking Erebor from Smaug. Sometimes you luck out, sometimes you don't.

Gandalf remarked that the expedition to retake Moria was valiant but foolish.



yeah - i always read it as a combination of:

(1) perhaps a hope that the 'strange good fortune' of the Erebor quest would be repeated;
(2) perhaps some ignorance about what Durin's Bane had actually been [e.g. very possibly not an immortal Maia - perhaps it had died] or hope that it might have moved away - after all, why would it just be sitting & waiting there for so long?;
(3) a miscalculation of risk vs. reward... e.g. generally returning to the Tolkien theme that certain 'precious' treasure [e.g. the treasure hoard at Erebor, the ring, the silmarils,...] sometimes make people do daft stuff - here the hope that they'd be able to dig for mithril again was too tempting... plus of course Moria, rather than Erebor, was their real ancestral home.


(This post was edited by entmaiden on Jan 11 2013, 4:17pm)


Kimtc
Rohan

Jan 11 2013, 4:27pm

Post #9 of 28 (494 views)
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I can see this confusing movie goers [In reply to] Can't Post

Assuming they remember that Balin was the lord of Moria when the Fellowship showed up there, and that it was his tomb that Gimli was standing on (which they very well may not), this is the one plot jump that will probably never be explained to them (unless old Bilbo does some sort of epilogue wrap-up, like a "where are they now" sort of thing, which would be weird). And since movie Balin seems like the sharpest pencil in the dwarf box, it does seem like a strange move (given that he isn't all fired up about the Erebor quest).



In Reply To
Because it'd make Balin's decision to retake Moria seem absurd. The compressed timeline makes this more problematic, but as far as I remember, I don't think Tolkien ever satisfactorily explained this. Not in any way that'd work on film, at least.



xxxyyy
Rohan

Jan 11 2013, 4:48pm

Post #10 of 28 (476 views)
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Movie goers die fast. Balin is Balin. And the Balrog is missing. [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, we all are movie goers, but after that, we get our copy toand watch it 10 thousand times, so all these inconsistencies will eventually show up, even to the most retared ones.
And for Balin not being Balin... well... they should have changed Balin's name in TH with another name then, because everybody, after seeing TH and then seeing FOTR will make that connection.
I'm sure they'll wrap up that story in a clever way, it's such a strong connection to LOTR it would be embarassing not to take advantage of it.
And as for the Balrog, I think Gandalf should just warn Balin and the others about the old myth of a Balrog being down there; but again, Balin should know that well too... so also this moment needs to be dealt with a clever touch.

http://energyfromthorium.com/


Macfeast
Rohan


Jan 11 2013, 4:53pm

Post #11 of 28 (456 views)
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I'll add to that. [In reply to] Can't Post

(4) A feeling that "the world had changed". Dáin famously claimed that "The world must change and some other power than ours must come before Durin's Folk walk again in Moria". Perhaps there was a feeling among some dwarves that all that had happened in correlation with, and after, the Quest of Erebor (Erebor and Dale reclaimed and rebuilt, Dol Guldur cleansed, masses of orcs wiped out) meant that "the world had changed" enough for Moria to be braved (at the same time optimistically ignoring the second half of Dáin's claims).

Indeed, if we leave Durin's Bane out of the equation, then the circumstances really couldn't have been much better for Balin's Company, the dwarves being of suitable numbers and strength, and their enemies and other distractions (at the time) numbering few.


(This post was edited by Macfeast on Jan 11 2013, 4:55pm)


Rostron2
Gondor


Jan 11 2013, 5:01pm

Post #12 of 28 (458 views)
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Are we thinking... [In reply to] Can't Post

We're going to see more of Balin and Co heading off to Moria after Bilbo says goodbye and goes home to his auction? I rather doubt it.

As for the lack of knowledge about the Balrog, I guess we can surmise that they really didn't know what it was that dwelt in the deep places under Moria. No doubt they had some theories that it might be some creature of Sauron's, but not exactly what type. Since this was one of the Balrog's that fled after Morgoth's downfall, it was a long way from where that all occurred.

(Begs another question, forgive me but, if the balrog didn't have wings, how long would it take for him to walk from the now sunken area where Angband was to get to Moria???)


stoutfiles
Rohan


Jan 11 2013, 6:25pm

Post #13 of 28 (420 views)
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Gandalf doesn't know there's a Balrog [In reply to] Can't Post

That's why it was called Durin's Bane, no dwarf could accurately identify the monster. Only after encountering in in FOTR does Gandalf know.

Gandalf didn't need to warn Balin though, Balin knew. Given the long time that passed and the confidence from the Smaug defeat, Balin likely thought he could take Moria back. Perhaps the monster was dead or had left...and the allure if mythril and their original home was too much to ignore any longer. They had hope and that was enough to try.


(This post was edited by stoutfiles on Jan 11 2013, 6:27pm)


Kimtc
Rohan

Jan 11 2013, 6:36pm

Post #14 of 28 (395 views)
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Does anyone know how many went with Balin when he went back? [In reply to] Can't Post

This may not be information that is out there, but if it is, I sure don't know. Was it a small group? A large one?


In Reply To
That's why it was called Durin's Bane, no dwarf could accurately identify the monster. Only after encountering in in FOTR does Gandalf know.

Gandalf didn't need to warn Balin though, Balin knew. Given the long time that passed and the confidence from the Smaug defeat, Balin likely thought he could take Moria back. Perhaps the monster was dead or had left...and the allure if mythril and their original home was too much to ignore any longer. They had hope and that was enough to try.



DanielLB
Immortal


Jan 11 2013, 6:42pm

Post #15 of 28 (403 views)
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The known Dwarves that went with him are: [In reply to] Can't Post

Balin, Oin, Ori, Nari, Frar, Loni and Floi. Since Balin wanted to "re-colonize" Moria, I imagine there were a few more than the names listed above. Tolkien doesn't give any numbers, but we're probably looking at 50 or less.


Kimtc
Rohan

Jan 11 2013, 6:59pm

Post #16 of 28 (361 views)
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Thanks--I wondered about that. [In reply to] Can't Post

I had seen the group you listed, but in the movie (yeah, I know, it's not the book) the Fellowship first sees a large number of dead dwarves at the entrance, then none until they get to Balin's tomb. Your guess of 50 or less sounds about right.


In Reply To
Balin, Oin, Ori, Nari, Frar, Loni and Floi. Since Balin wanted to "re-colonize" Moria, I imagine there were a few more than the names listed above. Tolkien doesn't give any numbers, but we're probably looking at 50 or less.



xxxyyy
Rohan

Jan 11 2013, 10:44pm

Post #17 of 28 (293 views)
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I like that... but what about movie Gandalf? [In reply to] Can't Post

We know Saruman has a painting of the being he called "shadows and flames"... do you think (movie) Gandalf doesn't know that that's a Balrog?
It would be great if Gandalf or any of the dwarves whispers "shadows and flames" when Balin decides to go back to Moria... THAT would be a nice Balrog allusion, I think.
This is a very delicate situation, I hope, and I'm sure, the screenwriters handle it with great care.

http://energyfromthorium.com/


TheBladeGlowsBlue
Rivendell


Jan 11 2013, 11:44pm

Post #18 of 28 (294 views)
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I think there is every chance... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
We're going to see more of Balin and Co heading off to Moria after Bilbo says goodbye and goes home to his auction? I rather doubt it.


It would be too much of a temptation for PJ not to show Balin retaking Moria...it would tie up a big loose end, with Gimli and Co discovering Balin's tomb and the diary in FOTR...

I expect it could be done as old Bilbo recounts in flashback what happened to the company after the defeat of Smaug...

Fingers crossed!

Smile

Maegnas aen estar nin dagnir in yngyl im

(This post was edited by TheBladeGlowsBlue on Jan 11 2013, 11:45pm)


Rostron2
Gondor


Jan 11 2013, 11:50pm

Post #19 of 28 (289 views)
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But why are we going back to Moria with Balin? [In reply to] Can't Post

The movie isn't about Balin's journey to the mountain and back again. It's also not cinematic to end the film that way, unless your idea of linking the films together is to do a cliffhanger that doesn't get explained until 2/3's of the way through FOTR?

The timeline is always vague in these movies, but even so, (book) Balin doesn't go back to Moria for some years. He's got to rebuild the dwarf kingdom in Erebor first and help Dain.

I understand you're interested in Balin and his fate, but I don't see this happening.


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 12 2013, 3:14am

Post #20 of 28 (262 views)
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That isn't true in the films. In the movie timeline he DEFINITELY knows there is a Balrog. [In reply to] Can't Post

Saruman taunts him with its presence from afar, very specifically. "Moria. . . you fear to go into those mines. . .Shadow and Flame." I think, for this to work and not be highly inconsistent, they HAVE to mention the Balrog, otherwise some of the Fellowship scenes look alternately contrived and inexplicable, but they also have to deal with Balin going anyway. My guess is, after the defeat of Smaug, he feels overconfident. Gandalf advises against attempting Moria, because of Durin's Bane, the cause of its abandonment, and here, either Balin scoffs, deeming that after a thousand years the horror is surely departed OR, if it was glimpsed during the Azanulbizar battle, the Smaug defeat causes him to believe that there may be hope of victory over the Terror of Moria as well (false hope), and perhaps is further encouraged by it having abstained from teh Moria battle. There is also the matter of how they will handle the affair of Thrain's Ring, and whether or not Balin still holds the notion that it remained Thror's Ring and might be found in Moria.

In Reply To
That's why it was called Durin's Bane, no dwarf could accurately identify the monster. Only after encountering in in FOTR does Gandalf know.

Gandalf didn't need to warn Balin though, Balin knew. Given the long time that passed and the confidence from the Smaug defeat, Balin likely thought he could take Moria back. Perhaps the monster was dead or had left...and the allure if mythril and their original home was too much to ignore any longer. They had hope and that was enough to try.


"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."


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 12 2013, 3:18am

Post #21 of 28 (271 views)
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Exactly. Exactly. And, as I say in another post, I think it possible that the defeat of Smaug, a victory beyond rational hope [In reply to] Can't Post

, may well have given Balin a very false hope concerning Moria. The basic description of The Demon would have seemed far less formidable than a great Dragon. Only The Wise, or one like Dain with direct experience, could speak to the dreadful power and terror of the former Thane of Melkor The Morgoth.

Also, in the book, Balin hoped to find Thrain's Ring, perhaps thinking, in the wake of Bilbo's tale, that luck and a Magic Ring might make all the difference (for all the good it did Nain, and Durin himself).

In Reply To
Just as absurd as Thorin and a company of dwarves, a wizard, and a hobbit retaking Erebor from Smaug. Sometimes you luck out, sometimes you don't.

Gandalf remarked that the expedition to retake Moria was valiant but foolish.


"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."


TheBladeGlowsBlue
Rivendell


Jan 12 2013, 5:47am

Post #22 of 28 (234 views)
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because... [In reply to] Can't Post

...people not familiar with the books are going to wonder why Balin ended up in a tomb in Moria after surviving Smaug and TBot5A...

A few minutes of film is all it would take to show what happened, perhaps in a Fb by old Bilbo as I've suggested?

Otherwise it leaves a huge loose end between the Hobbit movies and what transpires in FOTR. IMO.

Maegnas aen estar nin dagnir in yngyl im

(This post was edited by TheBladeGlowsBlue on Jan 12 2013, 5:48am)


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 12 2013, 6:42am

Post #23 of 28 (247 views)
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And, again, the best way to handle this, without a fast forward, is through hinting and looking back [In reply to] Can't Post

Balin speaking of the desire to reclaim Moria, Gandalf with the same misgivings he shows Gimli, reminding Balin (or at least advising him) concerning Durin's Bane, the Terror that emptied Moria and slew the fabled Durin (reincarnate as he was). We can have Balin dissent etc., perhaps, depending on how Peter and company wish to play it. . . but it takes care of at least two things:

A) making it clear to audiences that the Balrog was a matter of consideration, or at least a matter of dread legend not mysteriously forgotten, even in the timeline of these movies, so when he appears in lore and in person in Fellowship, it does not look like a last minute contrivance of that film nor of that story (seemingly springing up out of nowhere, in a place we saw in The Hobbit movies and heard about, but never with any mention of him at all), but actually flows in and fits with the rumours and legends of dread that we "recall" being mentioned about the place in the "earlier" parts of the story.

B) Without showing Balin's fate, it foreshadows that it is perhaps not the best idea for him to try to return, and that terrible evil and dire fate might await him and all who accompany him there (Oin and Ori at the least, of this group, with Ori having been seen in Fellowship clutching the book). When Sir Ian intones in Fellowship "He is dead then. It's as I feared," it will ring with fuller authenticity. The Audience will remember that he did indeed fear such a thing, and tried to warn Balin off. And the chief reason for his fear will be consistent between the two trilogies, rather than an inexplicable non-sequiter. A Balrog is just NOT the sort of being you overlook, if you are aware of it, as The Wise are in the film.

Also, as I explained in another thread. . . knowing of The Balrog's presence, as Gandalf and Saruman at the least do in the Movie narrative, it would be beyond improbable for Gandalf to be concerned about a possible union between Sauron and Smaug, and not concerned about a possible union between the Sauron and the other Melkor The Morgoth serving, High-Elf slaughtering, enslaving and tormenting, sorcerously skilled and potent Maia Demon dwelling in the (orc and troll infested, by Sauron's will) ruined Mountain Kingdom just to the North-West of Lothlorien. Lorien indeed being pincered between the realms of the two "Demon Thanes" of Melkor The Morgoth (as The Lay of Luthien names them). These two former lieutenants of Melkor are a much more obvious and natural union than Sauron and the Dragon, with more common and shared history, from the Earth's shaping forward, and with more common hatreds. And if any Dark Power in Middle-Earth aside from Sauron would have been capable of breaching Galadriel's fences, it would have been the Demon in Moria, far more ancient and far more steeped in evil power and knowledge than The Witch-King of Angmar (if Legolas' words were not enough, Tolkien makes clear in other notes that the Balrog would have been the most powerful, known force of Evil remaining in Middle-Earth aside from Sauron himself). In any argument to be made about striking Sauron prior to him being able to gather the worlds disparate, Great Evils to his allegiance, to have knowledge of such a being dwelling so near to both Sauron and the chief objects of his malice, and NOT mention it would be negligent.

"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."


Azog
Bree


Jan 12 2013, 8:23pm

Post #24 of 28 (208 views)
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I'm never going to see the discovery of Balins tomb in FOTR the same again [In reply to] Can't Post

Bal in is a big favourite of mine from AUJ,its going to be heart breaking lol


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 12 2013, 9:01pm

Post #25 of 28 (178 views)
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Agreed. [In reply to] Can't Post

Unsure

"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."

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