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Istari Questions, Melian, Galadriel & Saruman
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Girdle of Melian
Lorien

Oct 6 2013, 3:17pm

Post #1 of 92 (1191 views)
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Istari Questions, Melian, Galadriel & Saruman Can't Post

It is said that the Wizards were limited by their mortal forms and were forbidden by the Valar to use theirs to match Sauron's forces with force, but...

Did not Gandalf try to battle the Witch King? Also, as with the Balrog, he could have not just let his regular form with its limitations go against a Balrog who does not follow the rules of the Valar that were imposed upon the Istari?

And why was Melian allowed to exercise her power at will? And others were not? Perhaps she was sent not only for Doriath, but to teach Galadriel eventually so the songs and enchantments she has can be learned by a powerful Elf?

As for Saruman, if he was turning evil anyway, what does he need the Ring for. Yes, I mean if he sheds his mortal form, wouldn't he be more powerful than Sauron as Mair who has no restrictions? Sauron has no restrictions too...but he does not have the ring..so......

GOM


Dragonrnbw
Rivendell

Oct 6 2013, 4:16pm

Post #2 of 92 (807 views)
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Hope this helps with some of your questions... [In reply to] Can't Post

The wizards were sent to guide men in their struggle with the Dark Lord and help men achieve their destiny. The Valar prohibitied the wizards against using force to compel men to do their will. (The Valar were trying to avoid repeating an error when they tried direct intervention which resulted in many bloody wars and confrontations.) The wizards were meant to use their great wisdom to persuade Men to courses of action which would achieve Men's own goals, rather than trying to dominate them.

Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for thou are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!


Bombadil
Half-elven


Oct 6 2013, 4:47pm

Post #3 of 92 (706 views)
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Seems to me that this should be MOVED to LOTR discussions, Not TH// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Bladerunner
Gondor


Oct 6 2013, 4:55pm

Post #4 of 92 (737 views)
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Melian was different... [In reply to] Can't Post

although Melian was also a Maia, she predated the Istari and was therefore not bound by their restrictions.



dormouse
Half-elven


Oct 6 2013, 5:39pm

Post #5 of 92 (714 views)
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What the other said, and... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Did not Gandalf try to battle the Witch King? Also, as with the Balrog, he could have not just let his regular form with its limitations go against a Balrog who does not follow the rules of the Valar that were imposed upon the Istari?

Gandalf opposed the Witch King in the gateway of Minas Tirith but there was no battle between them, only words. Before anything else could happen the Rohirrim arrived and the Witch King left. As for the Balrog, Gandalf did use all his powers to oppose the Balrog. He fought it as a human being because the Istari had real human bodies; they couldn't just step in and out of them at will.

Melian wasn't sent. She chose to leave Valinor at around the time the elves first awoke by Cuivienen, long ages before the Istari.


Quote
As for Saruman, if he was turning evil anyway, what does he need the Ring for. Yes, I mean if he sheds his mortal form, wouldn't he be more powerful than Sauron as Mair who has no restrictions? Sauron has no restrictions too...but he does not have the ring..so......

Saruman wanted the Ring to give him absolute power over Middle Earth, because that was its nature. He was too arrogant to understand that because Sauron had made it it would corrupt anyone who possessed it - and while it remained in existence so did Sauron, and he remained powerful because his power was in the Ring. That's why the only answer was to destroy the Ring. As for shedding his mortal form, he couldn't do it. Like all the Istari, he had a real human body and the only way he could 'shed' it was to die.

Forgive me, but this whole business of Maiar spirits and combat strengths, is completely alien to Tolkien's work. It really would be better not to remember which characters originated as Maiar than to keep trying to weigh them up against each other.



rangerfromthenorth
Rivendell

Oct 6 2013, 9:44pm

Post #6 of 92 (672 views)
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Dragon is correct [In reply to] Can't Post

Often I have heard tolkienites say that the Istari had diminished or limited power from their Maiar/spirit form. That is not the case, They were limited in that they had bodies but their strength was never limited, they were merely instructed not to use their powers to force the Children of Iluvatar to do their will, but this prohibition was nothing more than that, for Saruman chose to ignore. Tolkien wrote that Gandalf was the only faithful Istari, they all fell away from their primary mission in one way or another.

Not all those who wander are lost


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Oct 7 2013, 2:41am

Post #7 of 92 (590 views)
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Agreed with much of this, though not all. The last bit is too strong a statement and looses much of its accuracy [In reply to] Can't Post

in it absolutism and intensity.

The forms the Wizards wore did limit them. Not absolutely and entirely, they certainly possessed powers that men and most Elves did not, but these were still greatly hampered by comparison to what the Wizards might have been capable of in the fullness of their true forms.


In Reply To

Quote
Did not Gandalf try to battle the Witch King? Also, as with the Balrog, he could have not just let his regular form with its limitations go against a Balrog who does not follow the rules of the Valar that were imposed upon the Istari?

Gandalf opposed the Witch King in the gateway of Minas Tirith but there was no battle between them, only words. Before anything else could happen the Rohirrim arrived and the Witch King left. As for the Balrog, Gandalf did use all his powers to oppose the Balrog. He fought it as a human being because the Istari had real human bodies; they couldn't just step in and out of them at will.

Melian wasn't sent. She chose to leave Valinor at around the time the elves first awoke by Cuivienen, long ages before the Istari.


To the strengths however, there is plenty of precedent for comparisons> "... Yes, I, Gandalf The Gray. There are many Powers in this world, for good or for Evil, and some are greater than I am. Against some I have not yet been tested...". The notion that one could automatically know how each Power would measure up to all of the others beforehand, as Phillipa Boyens seemed to imply with Galadriel, may be Alien, but the notion of the contest of those powers, and of some being greater than others, in part related to their natures and connatural strengths, is not foreign or alien at all. Whether regarding the power of Sauron the Maia and Melain the Maia striving and inducing madness in the borderland between their realms, or Melkor, dimished through the dispersion of his powers into other things, no longer being able to draw nigh to Sun Lady Arien, or Saruman being ensnared by "that other Spirit, mightier than he," there is ample precedent.


Quote
As for Saruman, if he was turning evil anyway, what does he need the Ring for. Yes, I mean if he sheds his mortal form, wouldn't he be more powerful than Sauron as Mair who has no restrictions? Sauron has no restrictions too...but he does not have the ring..so......

Saruman wanted the Ring to give him absolute power over Middle Earth, because that was its nature. He was too arrogant to understand that because Sauron had made it it would corrupt anyone who possessed it - and while it remained in existence so did Sauron, and he remained powerful because his power was in the Ring. That's why the only answer was to destroy the Ring. As for shedding his mortal form, he couldn't do it. Like all the Istari, he had a real human body and the only way he could 'shed' it was to die.

Forgive me, but this whole business of Maiar spirits and combat strengths, is completely alien to Tolkien's work. It really would be better not to remember which characters originated as Maiar than to keep trying to weigh them up against each other.


"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."


dormouse
Half-elven


Oct 7 2013, 8:43am

Post #8 of 92 (567 views)
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The last bit isn't a statement of fact, AO.... [In reply to] Can't Post

It's a personal reaction to an attitude which seems to me to be fundamentally alien to Tolkien's work, and it's every bit as strong as my own feelings on this question. It makes me very sad to see the beauty and complexity of the world Tolkien created reduced to endless discussion of who could take out whom, expressed as a sort of league table.

I would have thought that anyone who read Tolkien would see that this is a world in which there are no certainties. The most powerful can be undermined by their own weakness, and honesty and courage on the part of the smallest and most frail can win through. It's about accepting defeat, and carrying on anyway. It's about loyalty, beauty, profound sorrow for the passage of time and the things that are inevitably lost in that passage, and, somewhere at its heart, hope beyond hope or reason. And yes, I find I do care about that very much and make no apologies for saying so.


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Oct 7 2013, 1:27pm

Post #9 of 92 (534 views)
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Well part of the problem is that two different matters are being argued, as though mutually exclusive [In reply to] Can't Post

when they are not. Yes, the most powerful can be undermined, and greater Powers, under the Aegis or in the guise of Fate can intervene, folly and hubris can leave vulnerabalities that the weak may use to the detriment of the mighty etc. etc. etc. I don't think any of those things are being disagreed with.


None of that, however, changes the fact that there are Powers in the earlier Ages of Middle-Earth, Powers of Good and of Evil, some greater and some less so though still formidable.

And, much of this can of worms opened (or re-opened) with comments that were very categorical about a certain mighty Princess of a mighty Royal House of the Noldor. People found the absolute, hierarchal, "C is mightier than A, B, E, F and G" of that statement to be bothersome and probably inaccurate. You seemed not to be bothered by it, though I could be mistaken. If you were, it would seem inconsistent to be comfortable with that bold assertion but troubled by the counter arguments.

To the original point, I don't think anyone is saying A would always defeat B and C, no matter what the circumstances, no matter the unforseen interventions, no matter the accidents and serendipity, no matter the oversight or overconfidence of the foe, no matter the luck and fervour etc. etc. etc. What is being said, and what the work strongly supports, is that there were Powers, some of greater potency and magnitude than other, and that some of them can, to an extent, be classified, so that it could safely be said that the Spiritual and Mystical power and force of a Gandalf, Glorfindel or Galadriel was considerably greater than that of Lindir or of Legolas, and that those of a Balrog would be greater than those of a Barrow Wight etc. There would be more closely matched powers, amongst Demons, Wizards and the mightiest High-Elves, that would require testing to definitively determine, though one could reasonably deduce who would have a slight advantage or edge etc.

Also, don't think for a moment that those other important aspects are lost on those who debate Powers. Why do you think I take on so about the omission of Galadriel's lines concerning The One, The Three, and The Elves? "Time will come here, and Lothlorien will fade... the Elves will become a rustic folk... slowly to forget and to be forgotten... our sorrow cannot wholly be mended." THe power, the significance, the pangs of loss and losing, the fading, the melancholy embodied in what she speaks of is astoundingly powerful and heart wrenching. Anyone who has ever seen change cause the loss of fair things will have some understanding of the sentiment there. I wish Treebeard had sung the poem of The Willowmeads of Tasarinon.

Why on Earth would a love of those things prohibit anyone from also taking interest in the Powers of THe Third Age and their capabilities? Whoever said "that is what the story is really about?" No one here. We merely note it is an aspect of the story. Not even a key theme, merely an internally relevant detail. There is no need to trash the interest of others in the defense of your passion, especially when it is a passion many of us share and are not assailing.

In Reply To
It's a personal reaction to an attitude which seems to me to be fundamentally alien to Tolkien's work, and it's every bit as strong as my own feelings on this question. It makes me very sad to see the beauty and complexity of the world Tolkien created reduced to endless discussion of who could take out whom, expressed as a sort of league table.

I would have thought that anyone who read Tolkien would see that this is a world in which there are no certainties. The most powerful can be undermined by their own weakness, and honesty and courage on the part of the smallest and most frail can win through. It's about accepting defeat, and carrying on anyway. It's about loyalty, beauty, profound sorrow for the passage of time and the things that are inevitably lost in that passage, and, somewhere at its heart, hope beyond hope or reason. And yes, I find I do care about that very much and make no apologies for saying so.


"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 Oct 7 2013, 1:31pm)


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Oct 7 2013, 2:12pm

Post #10 of 92 (517 views)
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Some more answers [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow there have been some good answers, but I will take my own stab at it.

Gandalf, true did not lose any if his powers. He could have used them whenever he wanted, but I think that it was his physical form that limited his expression of power. It is said that Gandalf was feeling weak, and had expended much of his strength in Moria, at the Chamber if Marzabul. I would take it to mean that any use if his powers had a fatiguing effect upon himself, and that his body could only take so much of his channeled power before it became tiring, or even destructive to himself. In short I think that he had the iocean if power on tap, but only a garden hose to use( maybe a fire hydrant). Perhaps his other form was not subject to fatigue, and adding a physical presence to a spiritual conflict weakened him. Spirit is willing but flesh is weak?

Well Melian is an interesting case. She left Aman for the hither lands if her own choice. She was not an emissary nor appointed guardian (more than any other Maiar was), but wanted to do her own thing. So, not being directly under the Valar in a subservient position, she did whatever she wanted, while trying to follow the commission if Eru. She might have been a little more selfish about it, but she did fight evil and protect the good that was close to her.

Saruman was addicted to power, and once you have it, most people only fear losing it. So some gain, or try to gain, more power to protect their power, in fear. Dumb, I know! I think that we had a discussion on the power of the Ring, and concluded that it acted as an amplifier, augmenting any natural power one had. A free level-up if you will. No need to learn or do anything, just slip it on. Perhaps that is the real danger. Power without responsibility.


dormouse
Half-elven


Oct 7 2013, 2:19pm

Post #11 of 92 (533 views)
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Well.... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Yes, the most powerful can be undermined, and greater Powers, under the Aegis or in the guise of Fate can intervene, folly and hubris can leave vulnerabalities that the weak may use to the detriment of the mighty etc. etc. etc. I don't think any of those things are being disagreed with.


But don't you see that those are the very things that make all your classifications and league tables meaningless?


Quote
You seemed not to be bothered by it, though I could be mistaken. If you were, it would seem inconsistent to be comfortable with that bold assertion but troubled by the counter arguments.


I don't expect an off-the-cuff remark by Philippa Boyens or Peter Jackson, made in the context of their film adaptation, to have the same weight and seriousness as an analysis of the books by a Tolkien scholar. I doubt very much if they do either. They talk about what's in the film, usually to journalists who know little or nothing about Tolkien. So no, I don't get into a flap about them. I may sometimes think, 'Hmm, what about....', but I understand that all the qualifications and complications I might add simply aren't appropriate to the world in which they operate.


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Oct 7 2013, 2:51pm

Post #12 of 92 (518 views)
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Are you really still discussing this with him? [In reply to] Can't Post

I greatly admire your persistent patience. I would have given up long ago.

In fact, I did! Smile

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Oct 7 2013, 3:07pm

Post #13 of 92 (501 views)
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It really doesn't [In reply to] Can't Post

It doesn't make them meaningless at all. It means, that in certain circumstances they can be bypassed. This league tables business is your terminology, I am merely going by what the annals themselves provide. "Many powers... some greater... against some I have not yet been tested." The exceptions don't make the usual guidelines meaningless, any more than study of the solar system is meaningless because of the off chance that a giant star could collapse into a blackhole tomorrow and swallow our system up.

To the second, you seemed to defend the statement with a greater effort than the normal giving of no flap suggests. I could be mistaken.

In Reply To

Quote
Yes, the most powerful can be undermined, and greater Powers, under the Aegis or in the guise of Fate can intervene, folly and hubris can leave vulnerabalities that the weak may use to the detriment of the mighty etc. etc. etc. I don't think any of those things are being disagreed with.


But don't you see that those are the very things that make all your classifications and league tables meaningless?


Quote
You seemed not to be bothered by it, though I could be mistaken. If you were, it would seem inconsistent to be comfortable with that bold assertion but troubled by the counter arguments.


I don't expect an off-the-cuff remark by Philippa Boyens or Peter Jackson, made in the context of their film adaptation, to have the same weight and seriousness as an analysis of the books by a Tolkien scholar. I doubt very much if they do either. They talk about what's in the film, usually to journalists who know little or nothing about Tolkien. So no, I don't get into a flap about them. I may sometimes think, 'Hmm, what about....', but I understand that all the qualifications and complications I might add simply aren't appropriate to the world in which they operate.


"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


Oct 7 2013, 3:12pm

Post #14 of 92 (501 views)
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This isn't my thread. lol [In reply to] Can't Post

I merely gave an opining amidst the opinions of others. Of doormouse. . . we have indeed been patient of one another. What is it you gave up on, dear? Are we not here to exchange ideas and perspectives. If we each have failed to provide the other with decisive evidence to make a claim absolute or to invalidate another, then we either continue to ponder or let the matter lie, accepting that both arguments may be valid in their own way.

That said, the issue here seems to be more a matter of what some think should or should not be discussed. There is little or nothing to suggest or demonstrate error in the details of said discussion.

In Reply To
I greatly admire your persistent patience. I would have given up long ago.

In fact, I did! Smile


"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."


dormouse
Half-elven


Oct 7 2013, 3:16pm

Post #15 of 92 (506 views)
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I wasn't until this morning... [In reply to] Can't Post

Honest!


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Oct 7 2013, 3:24pm

Post #16 of 92 (496 views)
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It's good! [In reply to] Can't Post

This way I don't have to. Tongue

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Oct 7 2013, 3:35pm

Post #17 of 92 (493 views)
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You never HAVE to. lol. Free will and all that. [In reply to] Can't Post

No need to put on that particular Ring of Power. lol. They don't really aid in proving a right or wrong in debates over ambiguous matters. Still less in deciding whether or not debates should be had. lol

"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."


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Oct 7 2013, 7:00pm

Post #18 of 92 (463 views)
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In the armour of Fate (as the Children of Earth name it) there is ever a rift, and in the walls of Doom a breach, until the full-making, which ye call the End // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


ElendilTheShort
Gondor


Oct 7 2013, 7:39pm

Post #19 of 92 (468 views)
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Thank you Dormouse [In reply to] Can't Post

This is Tolkien not D&D.

I've objected to these absolute arguments of who can beat who in threads such as those asserting no man could beat a Balrog for example.

Also of note is the frequent comment about the true forms of the greater spirits such as Valar & Maia. They had NO true physical form, only those that they chose to take. No form was native to them.


Arannir
Valinor


Oct 7 2013, 7:57pm

Post #20 of 92 (465 views)
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The issue I have with that "orders of power"... [In reply to] Can't Post

... is also that I often got the feeling while reading the books that Tolkien wasn't specific about them either and that one has to either do a lot of research (which one cannot expect from the reader of a novel) or a lot of interpretation (which is fun for many, including myself, so I certainly do not want to blame you for that, AO) or simply take whatever is written and leave it ambigious (which I have a feeling is what Tolkien wpould have liked in a way).

Noone can tell me for example that Galadriel - in LotR, the book - is not a totally ambigious character when it comes to "power status".

So I totally agree with you and dormouse here :)



“A dragon is no idle fancy. Whatever may be his origins, in fact or invention, the dragon in legend is a potent creation of men’s imagination, richer in significance than his barrow is in gold.” J.R.R. Tolkien

Words of wisdom that should be remembered - both by critics, purists and anyone in between.

(This post was edited by Arannir on Oct 7 2013, 7:58pm)


CuriousG
Valinor


Oct 7 2013, 9:06pm

Post #21 of 92 (465 views)
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Rules of engagement [In reply to] Can't Post

RE: Melian, I agree with others that she wasn't covered by any Istari rules. Those came much later. Though she never fought anyone and created a magic wall to prevent combat.

For the Wizards, I think the ban was on them creating their own armies with themselves as kings and leading them to Mordor, or from going to Mordor and having personal combat with Sauron. The ideology behind their mission was that the Valar were not going to fix the Sauron problem directly, but instead by motivating others to take charge of their destiny and get rid of him themselves. That still left room for Gandalf to fight the Nine on Weathertop in self-defense and ditto the Balrog.

The rules changed a little when it became clear that all the Wizards had failed. Even Gandalf "failed" in the sense that he died fighting the Balrog, so he came back as the White with a stronger mandate and more freedom. He was able to challenge Sauron directly when they fought for Frodo's mind on Amon Hen, and his magic bolt of light drove the Nazgul off the Pelennor when they were pursuing Faramir. That was more aggressive and not self-defense. Overall, I think the main constraint was that they shouldn't become the equivalent of Sauron to defeat him. Even though Gandalf motivated and advised the army that went to the Morannon, he clearly wasn't in charge and didn't want to be. His role was the back-up, at best.


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Oct 7 2013, 11:10pm

Post #22 of 92 (455 views)
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It was an absoulte statement that started many of the recent debates. Regarding Men and Balrogs [In reply to] Can't Post

I would follow Christopher Tolkien's general commentary. That The Balrogs, as his father later understood them to be, were beings of great power whom only another being of significant Spiritual power would be able to overcome. Once Tolkien came to the realization that these were not creations of Morgoth but were rather powerful Spirits in their own right, corrupted into evil allegiance with Melkor and assuming demonic forms, and what is more amongst the first and mightiest of the Spirits to follow him, the notion of scores of them showing up in scores, and even more of them being defeated in large numbers by Elves or any man, became an implausible or even absurd one.

It is fascinating that people take issue with others reading near absolutes in these works, when the characters themselves make absoulute statements. "Indeed, none of you has any weapon that could hurt me," Gandalf tells his friends. "All blades perish that touch that dreadful King," Aragorn says of The Chief Nazgul. Now, all blades did not perish, but certainly most did, and only a special blade or a blade wielded by a special or fated wielder would have appreciable effet.

Could a man defeat a Balrog? I would say, short answer no with a but, long answer yes with an if, as a Simpsons character once quipped. Entirely on his own power? No, or at least extraordinarily unlikely. As with The Nazgul but probably much more so, the wielder would have to posess great power in order to do harm to the Demon with anything other than an extraordinarily enchanted weapon. An entire kingdom of hearty dwarves would not have easily abandoned Moria to a foe whom they could bring down, especially one who had commited the intorlerable offense of slaying their greatest Father-King. A man with "Fate" upon him, or with the will of other, greater Powers bolstering his efforts is another matter.

"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."


CuriousG
Valinor


Oct 7 2013, 11:42pm

Post #23 of 92 (445 views)
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"Dangerous!" [In reply to] Can't Post

I came across this quote while looking for something else tonight. In "The White Rider" chapter Gimil tells Gandalf he thought Fangorn was dangerous.

"Dangerous!" cried Gandalf. "And so am I, very dangerous: more dangerous than anything you will ever meet, unless you are brought alive before the seat of the Dark Lord." He also says Gimli is dangerous too, everyone is dangerous, but it's interesting how he explicitly ranks himself as #2 to Sauron. This is before Saruman's defeat and downfall, and before the death of the Witch-King (but after the Balrog's death), so Gandalf appears to be ruling out those two as possible rivals.

As for Man vs. Balrog, it wasn't just any Elf that could kill a Balrog, and the two who did died during the fight, but they still made it an even kill. Similarly, I would think great warriors like Hurin and Turin could possibly kill a Balrog, but would just as certainly die, unless they got very, very lucky. Maybe with a half-hidden halfling placed right behind someone's knee...


ElendilTheShort
Gondor


Oct 8 2013, 12:37am

Post #24 of 92 (442 views)
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Very unlikely is different to an absolute no [In reply to] Can't Post

The comments of characters can only be taken as their knowledge which cannot be considered absolute even that of an Istari. At best, excluding perhaps some specific situations "never" should be taken as very unlikely or not forseeable. Even CT's comments could be argued as such, to do otherwise is to ignore the fact that incarnates were bound by what are meant to be physical realities like our own. Supernatural elements expand upon certain attributes but there is enough in Tolkiens writing to emphasise the ever present reality of death for all incarnates.

If an elf and a man can defeat the greatest named Maia when he is greatly enhanced beyond his natural state by an artifact, then a single great man such as Aragorn, noted by Elrond as Elendil's equal, should possibly be able to defeat a Maia such as Durins Bane who's power is a fraction of Sauron's. Just an example of possibilities, certainly not a statement of what I believe is an inevitable or likely outcome.


ElendilTheShort
Gondor


Oct 8 2013, 1:04am

Post #25 of 92 (438 views)
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Back to the OP [In reply to] Can't Post

Although the power of the Istari was veiled and they had restrictions upon them, my understanding is that their limitation was more about not using force to get people to do their bidding as opposed to using force to defend themselves or others.

The Istari must be thought of as an entirely different order of beings in their purpose and existence, when compared to others, including any Maia that were present in the mortal lands throughout the ages.

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