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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.
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xxxyyy
Rohan

Jan 1 2013, 4:05am

Post #26 of 39 (123 views)
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I think the Balrog should stay in ancient history books, in old wizards' libraries. [In reply to] Can't Post

I know what Gandalf said and I totally agree with you that there's this sense of danger associated with Moria in LOTR movies, but I have linked this danger to the darkness of the path, the dangers of guiding all those people with all those cliffs and chasms and the extremely probable presence of Orcs.
Gandalf knows there's a Barlog down there but he his fairly confident he won't show up if they are careful and proceed in silence.
If he knew for sure they had been attacked by a Balrog, he would have never let Frodo choose the path.

http://energyfromthorium.com/


sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea

Jan 1 2013, 4:31am

Post #27 of 39 (116 views)
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If he appears at all, [In reply to] Can't Post

The Balrog should only be shown as a flaming glow in a distant doorway, with maybe a far off roar. Just like his first moments in Fellowship. I think that could be really cool. Anything more would betray his later appearance, and rob it of it's power.


xxxyyy
Rohan

Jan 1 2013, 4:53pm

Post #28 of 39 (109 views)
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Again, seeing a glow means he IS right behind the door... which may be cool, but in the end, not at all. (NT) [In reply to] Can't Post

 

http://energyfromthorium.com/


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 2 2013, 1:24am

Post #29 of 39 (110 views)
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You cannot link it to the darknes of the path, when the real issue is explicitly stated. [In reply to] Can't Post

Thus, the continuity problem still rears its head. And the real history of Moria and of The Dwarves remains obscured. And, in the movie, he is not confident of any such thing. He is hopeful. Warily hopeful, and that is all. "Let us HOPE our presence may go unnoticed." He chose the path as there was no other path to choose. He could not go past Isengard, knowing Saruman was tracking their movements, had an army, and was potentially an even more powerful foe than The Balrog, and Saruman already made certain that they would not be able to continue over the mountain. Were we watching the same movie? "You fear to go into those mines. . . you know what they awoke in the darkness of Khazad-Dum:Shadow and Flame." Complete with picture. Cue the expression on Mckellen's face. Not a very confident one, I must say.

There is no secret to keep, at least not from the audience. Leave him out now, and many of the films viewers, for generations to come, will be left wondering where in the hell this mega-demon came from who wasn't even mentioned in the three films leading up to Fellowship, even though Moria, where he dwelled and reigned, was explicitly shown, with a battle raging on its walls. It will look contrived to all the millions of viewers who have never and won't ever read the books, as though he were placed there at random for the purpose of fighting Gandalf.

You may not, for whatever reason, like the notion (though I have trouple understanding why, beyond the false, gimmicky notion of him being a "surprise" [but not really] dropped on Fellowship audiences, or the threat of him detracting from Bilbo's quest. . . which, too late, a Necromancer, a pack of Wraith Kings, and an Orc able to regrow his head if not his hand, have already done well enough) of him being mentioned/glimpsed in these films (beyond the fire we saw in Moria, which no one who was not looking for it will have understood) but these facts remain: there is a significant continuity issue in having the Balrog completely unmentioned in these movies, if it happens that way (which it may not, and he is mentioned as the cause of the ruin of Khazad-Dum in An Unexpected Journey's official visual companion), when he as been seen in one of the most iconic scenes of the following films, and is treated there as a known entity responsible for Moria's ruin; he seems to come of nowhere, with no explanation for why there was no trace of him or mention before; also, the history of the Dwarves is obscured to the audience, without cause, the extremely significant role of The Balrog in that history is greatly diminished (orcs and steep falls are NOT the reason The Dwarves fled Khazad-Dum, nor are they what "drowned" the lower halls in "a shadow of fear", nor are they what filled the place with terror and a sense of evil menace. He is THE Reason the place was renamed Moria by The Elves HE turned it into a pit of darkness and dread. .. no damned orc did that, nor could any orc have done so); and it diminishes The Balrog and even Gandalf, by failing to acknowledge the full dread and power of this being who emptied out an entire nation.

In Reply To
I know what Gandalf said and I totally agree with you that there's this sense of danger associated with Moria in LOTR movies, but I have linked this danger to the darkness of the path, the dangers of guiding all those people with all those cliffs and chasms and the extremely probable presence of Orcs.
Gandalf knows there's a Barlog down there but he his fairly confident he won't show up if they are careful and proceed in silence.
If he knew for sure they had been attacked by a Balrog, he would have never let Frodo choose the path.


"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."


xxxyyy
Rohan

Jan 2 2013, 2:45am

Post #30 of 39 (103 views)
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No continuity error at all. The opposite. [In reply to] Can't Post

The feeling I've got from the movie is that the Balrog is in Moria, but rarely shows up. He is not the gatekeeper of Moria, he lives down in the abyss, a forgotten deamon of ancient times, that's what I get when I see FOTR.
We need no Balrog in the Hobbit, otherwise the dwarves led by Balin would never reclaim Moria and spread the voice of a (sort of) reborn kingdom there. It would make everything look impossible.
The feeling I got is that the Balrog was "summoned" by the presence of the Ring, He would have never shown up, he would have stayed deep in the mountains (and I say mountains, not Moria), deep in mythology.
That's how I see it.
I guess the only thing I could accept about the Balrog is a rapid allusion by the dwarves, but only a fast one, with no real danger implied.

http://energyfromthorium.com/


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 2 2013, 5:17am

Post #31 of 39 (105 views)
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Were that the case, Gandalf would not have worried, nor would he have [In reply to] Can't Post

feared that Balin had come to a bad end. Gimli, who was not born at The Azanulbizar battle, would not have known firsthand details of what transpired there. And the Dwarves do not readily speak of Durin's Bane. Dain saw him at the gate, not a gatewarden but at the gate nonetheless, and was filled with such terror that he went grey in the face, despite having been 'hardy and full of wrath."

If Balin brings up going to Moria in film three, especially if he does so in Gandalf's presence, it is almost certain that he will get a look of consternation and words of dissuading. And yes, to the average film goer who has not sat around pre-rationalizing reasons why the Demon wouldn't be present for comment, it will seem strange and incongrous to have no mention of this being, while addressing Moria, when he plays such an enormously prominient role in it during Fellowship. To have him randomly pop up with NO explanation, makes him seem like a shoe-horned in gimmick of a Horror. You say you think he lurked in the deeps and depths. . . fine, let the filmmakers allude to that as the explanation, innaccurate as it may be in regards to the history of Azanulbizar ( you're definitely not a purist lol). Yet, to whistle uncommenting past this dragon in the dining room, would be careless considering the elements of the tale already introduced.

"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 2 2013, 5:23am

Post #32 of 39 (106 views)
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A note on Balrog's higher sentience, in reply to you and Herzogian [In reply to] Can't Post

What seems intuitive based on the information concerning their natures is further confirmed in the fuller Lay of Luthian/Lethian, in which they are spoken of as "Morgoth's Proud and Awful Thanes, The Balrog-Lords" with flaming manes, who sat about His Iron Throne. One is also seen to strike Hurin for insolence to Melkor, and others of their number are even recounted as laughing at the woe and torment of Hurin.

"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."


xxxyyy
Rohan

Jan 2 2013, 6:11pm

Post #33 of 39 (89 views)
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I am a purist of the book and the movies, and I do not mix them. [In reply to] Can't Post

Here and there you are placing references to the book which are not present in the movies.
I think we should not mix them.
What we know is that there's something down there, something lost in old books (well, I guess I'm just repeating stuff here...)
The Balrog pops up because in Moria came something which is pure evil, which attracts evil beings, like the Observer at the west entrance.
Leaving the Balrog lost in myth and then having him pop up from nowhere I think it's great, it brings myth into reality. Knowing he is there, ready to attack you when you step in... well, I guess Gandalf wouldn't have let Frodo choose, he would have stated clearly the danger and what they would have met down there, maybe slapping Gimpli when he talked about Moria as a nice place... but he did say nothing.
He just knew the path was long, dangerous, dark, maybe full of orcs and trolls, but a Balrog too... I just don't like that idea... sorry.

http://energyfromthorium.com/


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 2 2013, 11:17pm

Post #34 of 39 (93 views)
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You are willfully ignoring what is actually in that movie. [In reply to] Can't Post

To suggest for a moment that there is ANYTHING on Gandalf's mind, in THAT movie, making him concerned to enter Moria, other than its only true Master: The Balrog, is just willfull ignorance of what is right there in the film. You are saying it isn't a factor of continuity et al, just because you don't like the notion of seeing The Balrog. Might have been fine enough reasoning, had Moria not been brought up again in An Unexpected Jou. But to say "well, Gandalf is worried about trolls and maybe orcs being in Moria. . . but a Balrog. . . pfffft, wasn't even on his radar." Whaaaaaaaa????? I think it is you who is merging the book with the films. The films have already put aside any possiblity of The Wise NOT knowing about the Balrog's presence, and of Gandalf NOT being concerned about it. You are looking to the book for a different story line. I am merely saying that they look to the book to do proper justice to the tale, giving it its due depth, horror and power, rather than giving a garbled, unexplained, shoddily handled narrative.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCvUrVQSFy4

Click that link and watch it at about 3:59 forward. There is about 30 seconds of Mckellan looking GRAVELY concerned as Saruman taunts from afar, about one being, and that being is The Balrog. There is not a damned mention of orcs and trolls, nor any notion that Gandalf is really concerned about such creatures. There is an obvious, DEEP concern about Durin's Bane. We can have different opinions about where the upcoming movies should go triple X triple Y, but you cannot supply different facts about where the already released movies have been.

"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 Jan 2 2013, 11:19pm)


xxxyyy
Rohan

Jan 3 2013, 3:28am

Post #35 of 39 (78 views)
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Yes, that speech just state that Gandalf is concerned about the Balrog. [In reply to] Can't Post

not that there is a Balrog ready to greet them as they enter.
In fact he doesn't say anything about it, he doesn't warn anybody.
I'd say meeting the Balrog is a remote possibility, that's the feeling I get when I watch the movies.
The Balrog is something that shows up unexpected, otherwise no one mentally sane )in the movie perspective) would have chosen that path with a Balrog right there at the door.
I'd say the stength of the movie is right there, and adding the complexity of the book would just dimish the feeling of the movie.
Let me add this: as Sarumna said, the Balrog is a being AWOKEN by the dwarves, so we get the idea he lived there under the mountains, an evil being of the deep, an "infernal" being I'd say; we don't have all the background of him that Tolkien gave us. He was there, he would have stayed there "peacfully" if the dwarves didn't wake him up. Now he is surely awake but he still seems to dwell in the depth of Moria, away from the "turist" path.
That's how I see it.

http://energyfromthorium.com/


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 3 2013, 4:29am

Post #36 of 39 (90 views)
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Did I say anything about The Balrog hanging around at the door to greet them [In reply to] Can't Post

like an evil, demon butler with ill intent? Ahhh. . . noooo. He doesn't warn anybody because he doesn't want to scare the piss out of them, if it isn't absolutely necessary, since the path is already decided upon.

But he fears the prospect, and not as a remote potential. Not as the Film depicts it. This is enhanced by the extended edition, in which we have him specifically take Frodo aside, right before they reach Moria, and essentially try to prepare Frodo, as subtly as he can, for the time when he might have to go on without his guidance. The line from earlier in the book is purposefully moved to just before the entering of Moria in Extended Fellowship. "There are many Powers in this world, for good or for evil. . . some are greater than I am. And against some I have not yet been tested." The orcs and trolls are not Powers. THe Balrog is a Power. A Dark Power. Truly one of the original Dark Powers of Antiquity, from the world's creation until the overthrow of Thangorodrim.

We are not talking about the perspective of the rest of The Fellowship. We are talking about what the audience knows, and what the Wizard knows. And both know there is something dreadful and demonic in Moria, and that it is the most dire concern about going there.

And Saruman doesn't say he is being awoken, he says, "what the dwarves awoke." Which hues almost exactly to the book, save in the book Durin and the dwarves more likely released him in their mining, while the malice of Sauron may have awoken him.

Everything else you have said is assumption of the most biased sort. And none of it clears away the fact that many a casual audience viewer will look at Moria in The Hobbit and Moria in Fellowship, complete with a backstory of a legendary Evil with in, and they will stop and say. . ."wait just a damned minute. . ." if some blanks are not filled in. Your response comes from you having already speculated, rationalized, and come up with an answer that you find most personally pleasing. Your personally satisfying rationale isn't going to transfer itself psychicly to millions of other viewers around the globe.

"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."


xxxyyy
Rohan

Jan 3 2013, 5:13pm

Post #37 of 39 (75 views)
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Yes, you only said that in the title of this thread... lol [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, casual viwer will start wondering if you throw at them pieces of the Silmarillion with no reason.
The structure of the Balrog arc is fine the way it is; complicating it would be meaningless and deleterious.
I'm sure tons of people see the story the way I do, not biased by the books, and I'm sure they'll be please if no mention at all of the Barlog is made in The Hobbit... maybe a tinly little reference when Balin returns to Moria at the and of TABA, very subtle and fast (in fact I might like that more than no mention at all, because that would be an allusion of an old forgotten myth), but for sure not a Balrog ready to grab you as soon as you enter.

http://energyfromthorium.com/


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 3 2013, 9:28pm

Post #38 of 39 (62 views)
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You are mixing timelines and company's now. [In reply to] Can't Post

I said that The Balrog should be glimpsed near the gate by The Dwarves, perhaps the reason they do not pursue the wounded and little guarded Azog into Moria (the only really good reason, and there is definitely a Balrogesque glow and fire emanating from The Gate as we see him dragged away, but that is too vague a reffernce even for the learned), NOT that he was waiting around at the gate to greet The Fellowship.

And, what you seem not to realize, is that no book bias is needed. If you show a place and make a big deal about an evil being dwelling there, and having long resided there in one movie, and then make absolutely no mention of nor allusion to that same being when displaying his same residence in a prequel movie, no explanation no anything, you have created something of a continuity problem, and a question for any mildly astute viewer. It is sloppy story telling. You can use erroneous adjectives about meaningless and deleterious all you like, and that changes nothing. The facts remain.

Now, could it work to have Gandalf know the truth of the old legends, and try to warn Balin ineffectually about Durin's Bane, with some visual cue for the unenlightened to understand, and then have Balin rebuff the notion, because "that was many ages ago. . . surely the nightmare demon of ancient legend is not still haunting the halls of our Fathers," or some other such remark. But to ignore the possibility of The Balrog here, and then have him conveniently pop up there. . . no explanation of the why, no allusions, no acknowledgement of Gandalf knowing of him here, though he clearly knows of him in Fellowship. . . a discombobulated mess is what that would be, and neither your prefferences nor mine have anything to do with it.

"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."


xxxyyy
Rohan

Jan 4 2013, 12:45am

Post #39 of 39 (74 views)
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I guess we agree on the allusion, but we do not agree on the glow at the gate being the Balrog. [In reply to] Can't Post

That would be an absolute mistake.
But I've already said that, when? four answers ago, so I guess it's fair to stop here, at least on my side.

http://energyfromthorium.com/

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