Who was more powerful: the Balrog or the Witch King?

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Postby Mablung » Wed Aug 23, 2000 6:01 am

Very true, Satriani! <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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Postby blackweasel » Thu Aug 24, 2000 10:10 am

<BR>Hi Gil-Galad. Sorry but I'm going to have to disagree with you and join in the defence of the witch king. Tolkien certainly did not give the balrog more stature than him. First of all, Gandalf was shown to be stronger than the Balrog. His strength was never measured against the witch-king so who knows who would have won between them. <BR><BR>Secondly, the ring wraiths were servants of Sauron. They had no will of their own, only Sauron's. This made them the perfect servants to chase the ring for him. Sure Sauron could have used a balrog perhaps to try to get the ring, but who is to say that the Balrog wouldn't take the ring for himself and wield it. But that's beside the point. The ring wraiths never run from anyone in the story. They are not afraid. They merely have one desire and that is to retrieve the ring for their master. Therefore they do not enter into conflict needlessly. <BR><BR>Someone mentioned that the witch king ran from Glorfindel the elf-lord. He might have flown from him but not because he was afraid. Most likely, he saw no profit in the conflict for him or his master. The balrog on the other hand has but one desire, it appears and that is to destroy others so in this way the too monsters differ. For instance, when the balrog falls at the bridge, he does not try to save himself with the whip but tries to bring Gandalf down with him. <BR><BR>As for Merry and Eowyn defeating the witch king, this is an example of one of Tolkien's themes running throughout the story and why he's suck a good writer. He shows the smallest and weakest defeating the strongest and most deadly foes. The witch king is defeated by the element of surprise and the courage of merry just as Sauron is defeated against all the odds by two small little hobbits who crawl towards victory. <BR><BR>So who would win between the Witch king and a balrog? If I was to chose, I wouldn't be answering that question but the question who would win between a balrog and all nine nazgul because that is what the fight would be and my money would have to be on the nazgul to tell the truth. <BR><BR>One last thing, at the ford it was not the black riders but their horses who panicked and dashed madly into the river. Somehow I think that if the riders had been able to control the horses they would have rode off to the side if they were really running away from Glorfindel. <BR>And as for someone's earlier comment about the Witch king being afraid of Borromir, I don't know where you found that but it certainly isn't in the story itself.
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Postby Mablung » Thu Aug 24, 2000 10:30 am

Blame the horses, eh? <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> <BR><BR>Two simple questions; if the Fellowship was to encounter the WK and was forced to give battle, would Gandalf hold back Aragorn and Boromir because this was a foe beyond them (like he did with the Balrog)? Would Legolas shout in dismay and fear or would he put an arrow in the WK (not saying it would hurt)?<BR><BR>To me this still boils down to a comparison between Maia and Man (enhanced or not), then the answer should be given.
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Postby blackweasel » Thu Aug 24, 2000 11:48 am

<BR>Blame the horses? No not really. I'm just stating the facts and the most probable reason for the riders riding straight in front of what most have looked like a tidal wave. Give me a ponzing elf any day ahead of that
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Postby Mablung » Thu Aug 24, 2000 12:20 pm

You saying the Black Riders did not fear Glorfindel is not a fact, but an interpretation. <BR><BR>Doubt they had time to coolly weigh the threat of the waves against the Noldo. Weren't they surprised by the waves? <BR><BR>Speaking of facts and probable reasons, what does the incident at the bridge when Glorfindel chased of the riders tell us? That they were unwillingly carried away by their ill-chosen, surprisingly timid horses? Or that they wouldn't mess with a 1st Age guy?<BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Mablung » Thu Aug 24, 2000 12:22 pm

And what about the questions? Would Aragorn and Boromir together need protection from the WK, would Legolas drop his arrow in fear?
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Postby cian » Thu Aug 24, 2000 12:51 pm

Blackweasel,<BR><BR>The Witch-king was said to fear Boromir son of Denethor (after whom Boromir of the Nine Walkers was later named) in Appendix A, to <i>the Return of the King.</i> Certainly a very acceptable source I'd say.<BR><BR>"Boromir was a great captain, and even the Witch-king feared him."
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Postby blackweasel » Thu Aug 24, 2000 1:52 pm

<BR>Yes they were unwillingly carried into the water by their horses. If they were afraid and running away, they could have ran away along the banks so the river to one side or another. Instead, the horses were panick stricken and all of them jumped to their deaths in the water. It was a well devised plan by Elrond. This may be an interpretation but it seems the most likely one. As for your passing reference in the index to even the witch king fearing Boromir, it seems strange that he would do so and not actually fear Faramir his brother. Was Boromir that much fiercer in battle than Faramir? It takes Gandalf to rescue Faramir from the black riders. But there you go. I guess Boromir kicks ass too since it said so in the Appendix.
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Postby cian » Thu Aug 24, 2000 7:02 pm

Blackweasel, that's Boromir son of Denethor I (not Boromir son of Denethor II) I wrote "after whom Boromir of the Nine Walkers was later named" to explain that. <BR><BR>Anyway, yes the W-k apparently feared a valiant captain of Men.
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Postby Mablung » Fri Aug 25, 2000 6:34 am

BW, you missed the questions again, but nevermind. As Cian shows, Boromir instigated fear in the WK, it would then be natural to assume they also feared Glorfindel.
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Postby blackweasel » Fri Aug 25, 2000 2:41 pm

<BR>Sure it would be natural to assume that the witch king might have feared Glorfindel. And if we're going to talk about missing questions, well then you obviously paid no attention to my point earlier on that the Witch king would not attack the Balrog alone. All nine would. Who would win then? Scroll up and you'll get the explanation for this. I tire of repeating myself. As for the Witch king fearing Boromir, I can't argue with you on that point since I don't have the ROTK with me at the mo and don't remember the appendix. But I do remember a captain of men arrogantly riding out to face the Witch King and getting his ass kicked described in it somewhere or other. Never mind. Also, perhaps the Balrog didn't fear any of the main characters because he did not know how powerful they were. The witch king did. We are told very little about the Balrog. The only thing that I would be certain about would be that the witch king is a lot smarter and more cunning than the Balrog. <BR><BR>As for Gandalf holding Aragorn and Boromir back, personally I think he would have done the same if the Witch king was riding towards them. Aragorn and Boromir were after all only men and the nine had a lot of power over them. Just read the bit in Bree where Aragorn describes the Black riders. He's not to pleased about the prospect of facing them. Anyway, this is a stupid discussion. I don't know why I keep replying to these posts.
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Postby Dk_Strider » Fri Aug 25, 2000 4:25 pm

I believe the witch king feared many people (by his self, mark you). When his master had the ring on his finger, the witch king would fear no one but his master ( i would think).<BR><BR><BR>Strider
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Postby Witch_King_of_Angmar » Sat Aug 26, 2000 8:11 am

the ridersrode straight into the waves it was again their horses that failed them evan theoden was killed by snowmane
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Postby Witch_King_of_Angmar » Sat Aug 26, 2000 8:14 am

um cian I think they might be reffering to his prowess as a commander in tactics and stratigies
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Postby cian » Sat Aug 26, 2000 1:38 pm

WkoA, I think it means the W-k simply feared 'him' tho, his strength of body and will seems notable: <BR><BR>"Boromir was a great captain, and even the Witch-king feared him. He was noble and fair of face, a man strong in body and in will, but he recieved a Morgul-wound in that war which shortened his days, and he became shrunken with pain and died twelve years after his father."<BR><BR>Morgul-wound nonwithstanding, to my mind this tells that Boromir was a stalwart man capable of instilling fear in the Nazgûl-lord -- that's my take on it anyway <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Witch_King_of_Angmar » Sun Aug 27, 2000 2:35 pm

unless morgul wounds count orc arrows to then this is wrong unless this another boromir
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Postby Tar-Elenion » Sun Aug 27, 2000 6:55 pm

As cian has said several times this Boromir is another, and the one whom the Boromir of the Fellowship was named after.
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Postby blackweasel » Sun Aug 27, 2000 8:58 pm

<BR>Who is this other Boromir anyway. I don't remember him and unfortunately don't have the books to look up the appendix. Strange how people keep using the appendix to support their views. You'd think by the way some people go on that it was the most important part of the whole story. Oh and also the letters as well. They love those letters, don't they.
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Postby Tar-Elenion » Sun Aug 27, 2000 10:59 pm

What is more strange is how, with the wealth of information provided (much of which shows the author's actual intent, in contrast to the narrator's limited veiw), some people are so willing to discount anything that does not support their narrow perception, and are so willing to chide others who wish to know more about the story behind the story and who prefer look at things in full context.
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Postby Telperion » Mon Aug 28, 2000 2:20 am

Hmm.. first guess would be the Balrog as it is a Maia.<BR><BR>But the Elven Rings of Power can give almost Maiar-like qualities to the bearers. And then you have the extra energy of Sauron helping the WitchKing out... Hmmmm....<BR><BR>Hard to say. I think who would win would depend on the strength of Sauron at the time. The more powerful Sauron gets, the more powerful the Nazgul get. And the Nazgul aren't human anymore...they are spirits, just like the Maiar.<BR><BR>*ponders*
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Postby Mablung » Mon Aug 28, 2000 3:44 am

The Nazgul with spirits like the Maiar? Very fortunate that those Elves riding against the Nine from Imladris did not know that.
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Postby Mithfânion » Wed Aug 30, 2000 1:19 pm

BLACKWEASEL<BR><BR>I was on a holiday for the past two weeks so that's why I didn't respond.<BR>I don't have to anymore because others have given some most excellent points.<BR><BR>I do however find it interesting that you discard the Appendices and the Letters of JRR Tolkien, which are very valuable. It seems to me that you are somewhat envious of the knowledge others have and therefore simply ignore it, enabling you to log out with a good feeling about yourself. I agree with Tar-Elenion here.<BR>
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Postby blackweasel » Wed Aug 30, 2000 5:59 pm

<BR>You're entitled to your opinion Gil-Galad. All I'm doing is standing by mine which is that a piece of literature stands on its own and that interpretations can be drawn from it without having to look up what authors meant to say or what the appendixes says. <BR><BR>Just like art (a painting or a sculpture), people should be free to interpret it any way they chose if they can back it up with reasons based on the content of the piece of literature or art. <BR><BR>That's one of the wonderful things about literature. It can mean so many different things to different people. <BR><BR>As for your personal attack on me, it seems pointless to deny the pyscho-analysis of one so wise and learned as yourself that seems to know me so well already.(sighs)<BR><BR>I guess I'll just leave it at that and go home feeling good about myself now, oh wise one. Feel free to give me any pointers you like on self-improvement though in your next post. <BR><BR>
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Postby Mithfânion » Thu Aug 31, 2000 3:30 am

Hahahhahah.<BR>That was quite funny Weasel.<BR><BR>Of course you are entitled to your opinion and I will agree that you can conclude things from the LoTR itself as well. You on the other hand find the fact that you don't know who this other Boromir is disturbing. The fact that you don't know him, but others, who have read a little more, doesn't make it any less valuable.<BR>Letters give insight as to the author's opinion of what he wrote. Seems quite handy.<BR><BR>Greetings<BR>
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Postby blackweasel » Thu Aug 31, 2000 6:48 am

<BR>Gil-galad<BR><BR>I never said or even implied that I find the fact that I don't know who this Boromir is disturbing. <BR><BR>In my last post I said QUOTE <Who is this other Boromir anyway. I don't remember him and unfortunately don't have the books to look up the appendix.> I was just saying that I couldn't argue with you because I didn't have the books and my memory isn't that good that I can remember the appendix<BR><BR>Maybe you'd like me to find it disturbing so that you could feel good about yourself in thinking that somebody was feeling envious of you. <BR><BR>That however is your problem which you need to deal with and nothing to do with me. (Wow I can do this psycho-analysis crap too)<BR> <BR><BR>
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Postby Mithfânion » Thu Aug 31, 2000 8:48 am

Congratulations on your first psycho-" crap". There is still a lot of work for you to be done though <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>I don't care about the Boromir part. You act as if other works, which are directly related to the LoTR and by the same author are not of real value. As said by T-E, you seem to accept only that which fits into your narrow perception.<BR><BR>I am done.
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Postby blackweasel » Thu Aug 31, 2000 8:59 am

<BR>Gil-galad, <BR> My narrow perception? What is they say about little boys in glass houses throwing stones? I'm not discounting/dismissing your views which would be narrow minded of me. <BR><BR>I'm just asking that you recognise the validity of mine which you don't appear able to do: that a piece of literature stands on its own. <BR><BR>I wasn't saying by this "that you can conclude things from the lord of the rings as well" as you said in a previous post QUOTE < I will agree that you can conclude things from the LoTR itself as well><BR><BR>It means that an interpretation drawn solely from the text is just as valid as an interpretation taking into account what an author has said about it as well as the text itself.<BR><BR>Once you write something, you are creating a wide range of meaning and people are entitled to interpret it from their own perspective using the text as the basis for their argument.<BR><BR>But if you can't understand this, never mind. Continue the personal attacks. I'm getting quite used to it at this stage and it's amusing to see what you're going to say next.
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Postby Pellin » Sat Sep 02, 2000 10:56 am

Found this on a site somewhere, out there. I do believe this solves our little problem; won't tell which way, you find that out when reach the end you do...<BR><BR>Tolkien as Calculus<BR>From a rec.arts.books.tolkien posting dated 21 July 1995.<BR>In an effort to compare the relative strengths of the Maiar, a recent poster to r.a.b.t. compared Sauron's strength to Gandalf's and the Balrog's by stating:<BR><BR><BR><BR>S>G and G=B implies B<S.<BR><BR>It's an intriguing way of stating the problem.But Gandalf the Grey, who fought the Balrog, wasn't as powerful as Gandalf the White. Also remember that we're talking about a Sauron who has invested much of his native power in the Ring, which has weakened him greatly while he is not in posssession of it; he is not as strong as he was with his original native power:<BR><BR>Gg < Gw <BR><BR>Sn = S + R <BR><BR>Sn > S<BR>Now Gandalf was afraid of using the Ring, for fear it would conquer him; yet if he had used the Ring, he would have had enough power to defeat Sauron (Fellowship pp. 70-71 hardback):<BR><BR>Gg < R <BR><BR>Gg + R > S<BR>But if the Balrog had arrived at the Bridge of Khazad-dum first it may have been possible that, though greatly weakened by Gandalf, it might have obtained the Ring. So, if the Balrog had been victorious,<BR><BR>Bv = B + R - Gg<BR>would the Balrog have been able to overthrow a Sauron whose native power had been diminished by the loss of the Ring?:<BR><BR>B + R - Gg > Sn - R<BR>And when Gandalf had returned from death, would he have assisted the Balrog, hoping that<BR><BR>(B + R - Gg) + Gw > Sn - R<BR>then<BR><BR>Bv - 1/2(Sn-R) < Gw - 1/2(Sn-R) ?<BR>Answers are due at the end of class next week. Be sure to show your proofs.<BR>
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Postby Dark_Lord » Sat Sep 02, 2000 11:41 am

Now thats what i call confusing hehe<BR><BR><BR><BR>Dark
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Postby Slaine » Sun Sep 03, 2000 4:36 pm

Balrogs are very hard.......
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