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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: The Pollantir:
On Balrog Wings
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Poll: On Balrog Wings
Balrogs have physical wings and can fly
Balrogs have physical wings and can not fly
Balrogs do not have physical wings, but can fly anyway
Balrogs do not have physical wings and can not fly
Other ( just in case Balrogs have semiphyscial wings and can only fly under water)
View Results (53 votes)
 

Lightfoot
Rivendell


Sep 26 2013, 7:17pm

Post #1 of 42 (493 views)
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On Balrog Wings Can't Post

The Balrog of Moria is described as having "wings of shadow" in The Lord of the Rings. That can be interpreted in several different ways - creating a major controversy amongst fans. So what do you think about Balrogs and their wings?


malickfan
Gondor


Sep 26 2013, 7:37pm

Post #2 of 42 (329 views)
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I think... [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh, great...here we go again! Wink

But seriously, I just voted other becuase I haven't read the books in aaaaggggesss so I can't recall any of the Balrog's appearances that clearly, the Balrog could be a tapdancing lephrecaun on a moped for all I care.

Hmm...but as you say wings of shadow gives the impression they aren't truly physical flesh and bone wings , but I'm fairly certain A balrog who had the intelligence and power to lay hidden in moria for millenium would know to beat it wings and fly upward out of the chasm in Moria.

*Shrugs, looks for his copy of LOTR*


CuriousG
Valinor


Sep 26 2013, 7:39pm

Post #3 of 42 (319 views)
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OK, but in the next poll, I want to know [In reply to] Can't Post

what a whip of fire is. Is it pure flame, or a whip that's burning? If it's pure flame, how can it wrap around a wizard's legs, or is it like non-physical wings that can fly (my vote), something that's fantastical that you can't figure out?


CuriousG
Valinor


Sep 26 2013, 7:40pm

Post #4 of 42 (308 views)
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"tapdancing lephrecaun on a moped" [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the poll should be revised to add that as a voting option.


malickfan
Gondor


Sep 26 2013, 7:44pm

Post #5 of 42 (308 views)
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Agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

Lightfoot will be cursing the 10 minute edit window.

I'm tempted to put it as an option in all future polls I create...


CuriousG
Valinor


Sep 26 2013, 7:52pm

Post #6 of 42 (303 views)
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Oddly, it reminds me of Bombadil. Now we know what he really is! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


malickfan
Gondor


Sep 26 2013, 8:01pm

Post #7 of 42 (318 views)
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Tom Bombadil the tapdancing lephrecaun... [In reply to] Can't Post

As good a answer as we likely to get, and a perfect starting point for a poem.

But what does that make Goldberry?


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 26 2013, 9:56pm

Post #8 of 42 (296 views)
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Other: [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien's Balrog doesn't have physical wings, but mine does!


Meneldor
Tol Eressea


Sep 26 2013, 11:52pm

Post #9 of 42 (326 views)
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IF Balrogs can fly [In reply to] Can't Post

how did Gondolin stay hidden for four centuries?

Of course the Eagles would try to keep them away, but eventually Morgoth would look at his maps and notice there was one area where Eagles always drove away his reconnaissance Balrogs. So I'm voting for enforcing a no-fly zone for Balrogs.


Na Vedui
Rohan


Sep 27 2013, 1:06am

Post #10 of 42 (286 views)
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I'd ask the same question about the Balrog itself [In reply to] Can't Post

It's a creature of shadow and flame, but clearly solid enough to hold either a burning physical weapon or (your other option) a weapon that is at least "physical" enough to interact with a physical Gandalf. Though something that has physical effect need not be solid matter, I suppose - think of the blast from an explosion. Any physicists out there with an idea how a "non-solid" Balrog might do its stuff?


Na Vedui
Rohan


Sep 27 2013, 1:28am

Post #11 of 42 (283 views)
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Further to the above [In reply to] Can't Post

The Balrog - like Gandalf - is clearly able to affect physical objects without handling them bodily - there's the episode before their final confrontation where they fight for control of the door leading from the Chamber of Mazarbul, using spells and counterspells that finally shatter the door under the opposing strains (and on Gandalf's admission, nearly shatter him too.) So I guess we are very largely beyond the realm of real-world physics (as presently understood, anyhow) with this one.


Werde Spinner
Rohan


Sep 27 2013, 1:38am

Post #12 of 42 (280 views)
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I second this! [In reply to] Can't Post

Laugh Laugh Laugh That line truly made my day.


Werde Spinner
Rohan


Sep 27 2013, 1:41am

Post #13 of 42 (280 views)
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I went for the semi-physical wings [In reply to] Can't Post

since I think it strikes a nice balance between metaphorical wing-like shadow and wings made out of shadow. The argument could be made that the chasm which the bridge in Moria spanned is too narrow for the Balrog to fly out of (he hits the walls a few times on the way down, doesn't he?). I know there are references to Balrogs moving with 'winged speed' and suchlike, but I just can't see them flying. The wings may be more like the frills on lizards and ceratopsians - for intimidation mostly.

I don't know. At this point, I find the Great Balrog Wing Controversy more amusing than anything else. Wink Now I want to see one on a unicycle, with a brightly-colored umbrella...


Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 27 2013, 1:45am

Post #14 of 42 (272 views)
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I think CG can teach them how to do this. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
. Wink Now I want to see one on a unicycle, with a brightly-colored umbrella...




And how to balance lots of ice cream. Though I guess melting would be a major problem.


(BTW I voted for +wings -flight. I like your idea W-S of the wing for show and intimidation.)


AlassŽa Eruvande
Valinor


Sep 27 2013, 1:47am

Post #15 of 42 (277 views)
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Other. [In reply to] Can't Post

Balrogs have non-physical wings and can fly. They sometimes choose not to fly, though. TongueCool


Werde Spinner
Rohan


Sep 27 2013, 1:59am

Post #16 of 42 (278 views)
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Well, they can buy a refrigerated truck [In reply to] Can't Post

that plays a jaunty little tune, and go around selling ice cream to all the good little children of Middle-earth. Hey, a Balrog's gotta find *some* method of employment after the downfall of Sauron.


cats16
Valinor


Sep 27 2013, 5:35am

Post #17 of 42 (273 views)
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Ask not the TORNsibs... [In reply to] Can't Post

for they will say both yes and no.Tongue


AlassŽa Eruvande
Valinor


Sep 27 2013, 12:58pm

Post #18 of 42 (255 views)
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LOL! *mods up* // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Lightfoot
Rivendell


Sep 27 2013, 1:52pm

Post #19 of 42 (251 views)
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Your right [In reply to] Can't Post

I might have to create a new poll on the true identity of Tom Bombidil. Or you can if you feel up to itWink


Lightfoot
Rivendell


Sep 27 2013, 1:56pm

Post #20 of 42 (259 views)
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Perhaps King Elessar will create a new law [In reply to] Can't Post

enforcing a no-fly zone and regulating migration routes.


Lightfoot
Rivendell


Sep 27 2013, 2:02pm

Post #21 of 42 (247 views)
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I like that idea! [In reply to] Can't Post

Personally, I think that they don't have *physical* wings and can't fly. Those wings of shadow would be good for making the Balrog appear bigger and more terrifying. After all Middle Earth would not be inhabitable if it were patrolled by flying Balrogs intent upon destruction, murder, and mayhem!
Although they might cause a little more damage if they attempted that little circus trick you mentionedWink


Magpie
Immortal


Sep 27 2013, 2:38pm

Post #22 of 42 (271 views)
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or rather... Ask not the TORnsibs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

for they will use it as an opportunity to pun


Darkstone
Immortal


Sep 27 2013, 3:03pm

Post #23 of 42 (269 views)
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The Balrog itself is the metaphor! [In reply to] Can't Post

Like the Watcher in the Water is merely a metaphor for the multinational octopus of the life squeezing corporations that are taking over the world and preventing the public establishment of a good old fashioned self sufficient and self sustaining mom-and-pop barter economy likewise the Balrog is a metaphor for the secret underground shadow government of the conglomerate of privatized power utilities that introduces deadly pollution into the environment at will and shamelessly manipulates the whip of energy prices to drain the lifeblood of the hardworking proletariat that it is simultaneously poisoning with the deadly output of poorly regulated smokestacks and ubiquitous exhaust pipes!

Of course it is infuriatingly ironic that people argue over whether or not the wings of a metaphor are themselves metaphorical but then again that's exactly what THEY want us to do!!


Na Vedui
Rohan


Sep 27 2013, 3:32pm

Post #24 of 42 (246 views)
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Thinking back [In reply to] Can't Post

to first reading LOTR when I was a child, I had quite a clear image of the Balrog, side view, with a mane of flame and shadow flaring out from its head and back (but no wings). Later, I tracked down what I think was the core of the image, namely William Blake's picture of the Ghost of a Flea. My mother had quite a few art books, including one about William Blake, so I must have seen the Flea and forgotten it until it surfaced from my subconscious, clad in smoke and flames.


cats16
Valinor


Sep 27 2013, 4:16pm

Post #25 of 42 (230 views)
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Hahaha that too. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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