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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: The Arena:
Is a Great Eagle or Balrog more powerful?

Registered User

Jan 30 2018, 2:21am

Post #1 of 12 (6902 views)
Is a Great Eagle or Balrog more powerful? Can't Post

Could an Eagle of Manwe hold its own against a Balrog?

Though Tolkien portrays Balrogs in different ways, they are obviously a very powerful beast, as are the Great Eagles. They each have differing strengths (Eagle is agile and is able to fly and Balrog is more brute power) but which would overpower the other in a head to head battle.

Another thing to consider: Great Eagles are offspring of Manwe and Yavanna, given life by Iluvatar, but Balrogs are, in fact, Fallen Maiar.

***As seen in RoTK, an Eagle could overpower a Fell Beast, but does the same apply to a Balrog?

I think it would be a fair fight. Thoughts?

(This is my first post so any tips wold be appreciated!)


Jan 30 2018, 3:16am

Post #2 of 12 (6851 views)
I'd say the Balrog would win. [In reply to] Can't Post

Also, this should probably have been posted in the Arena forum.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

Registered User

Jan 30 2018, 3:19am

Post #3 of 12 (6851 views)
Balrog and Eagle [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks! I realized right after that I should've put it on arena, my bad


Jan 30 2018, 6:23am

Post #4 of 12 (6825 views)
Welcome to TORn! [In reply to] Can't Post

I would say that the Eagles in Tolkien's early writings are different from those in his later period; and the same applies to Balrogs. And were they all the same? Or are you talking of Thorondor and Gothmog?

In short, I think there is no answer to your question - and that Tolkien never really considered this kind of fight. I'm not even sure that when writing LotR or after, he had a clear answer to the question if Balrogs could fly (the early ones clearly couldn't) - which might make some difference.

And just as a matter of curiousity - why did you write "Great Eagles are offspring of Manwe and Yavanna, given life by Iluvatar"? 'Offspring' has a specific connotation, which was used by Tolkien in The Book of Lost Tales but was later discarded. Or do you have in mind a source I am unfamiliar with?

Registered User

Jan 30 2018, 2:48pm

Post #5 of 12 (6790 views)
Gothmog and Thorondor [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey! I think it is very interesting how Tolkien's conception of both Eagles and Balrogs changed throughout his works, but to be more specific, yes, I was thinking Gothmog and Thorondor, considering they were both the king/lord of their kind.

Also, whether or not Balrogs can fly is pretty hotly debated, but for this purpose let's just assume they can't.


Registered User

Jan 30 2018, 2:55pm

Post #6 of 12 (6792 views)
Sorry if I sound like a total newbie [In reply to] Can't Post

I still have a lot to learn from you guys :)

Grey Havens

Jan 31 2018, 2:25pm

Post #7 of 12 (6696 views)
Balrog for the win [In reply to] Can't Post

As you said fallen Maiar.

My I wonder has always been are there any of those "fallen" maiar that repent? Are they accepted back?

Fourth Age Adventures at the Inn of the Burping Troll http://burpingtroll.com
Home of TheOneRing.net Best FanFic stories of 2005 and 2006 "The Last Grey Ship" and "Ashes, East Wind, Hope That Rises" by Erin Rua

(Found in Mathoms, LOTR Tales Untold)

Registered User

Jan 31 2018, 2:49pm

Post #8 of 12 (6691 views)
Interesting question! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not totally sure on whether Maiar can repent, but I don't think its ever happened (as far as I'm aware).

Here's something on that subject:


(This post was edited by Gothmog_Balrog on Jan 31 2018, 2:50pm)


Jan 31 2018, 6:27pm

Post #9 of 12 (6677 views)
No problem. [In reply to] Can't Post

We were all newbies once.

Even Tolkien didn't start out knowing all about Middle-earth.Wink

I met a Balrog on the stair.
He had some wings that weren't there.
They weren't there again today.
I wish he would just fly away.


Feb 6 2018, 7:01pm

Post #10 of 12 (6324 views)
Can the balrog smear itself with crisco? [In reply to] Can't Post

That seems to be the go-to precaution against eagles (https://www.theguardian.com/...atriots-nfl-football )

Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


Mar 23 2018, 5:14pm

Post #11 of 12 (5270 views)
Balrog [In reply to] Can't Post

Close fight


Mar 24 2018, 5:03am

Post #12 of 12 (5251 views)
Balrog enjoys roast eagle [In reply to] Can't Post



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