The Annotated LOTR: The Bridge of Khazad-dûm

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The Annotated LOTR: The Bridge of Khazad-dûm

Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Wed Mar 16, 2005 2:27 pm

Once we've finished FOTR, I'll feel we've achieved something.....


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Frodo thought of Bilbo and his long friendship with the dwarf, and of Balin’s visit to the Shire long ago.

Balin along with the rest of Thorin’s company, met Bilbo in the Shire in 2941 and set out of the Quest of Erebor. In Appendix B: The Tale of Years, a separate visit by Gandalf and Balin is mentioned in the year 2949. Balin’s re-colonization of Moria took place 40 years later in 2989; his death is given as 10th November 2994, so he was Lord of Moria for about five years.

The visit of Balin and Gandalf to the Shire is mentioned in the last pages of the Hobbit:

One autumn evening some years afterwards, Bilbo was sitting in his study writing his memoirs - he thought of calling them "There and Back Again, A Hobbit's Holiday - when there was a ring at the door. It was Gandalf and a dwarf, and the dwarf was actually Balin.


In that story, the visit serves as an opportunity for Bilbo to learn what happened afterwards in Dale (that is where we hear of the death of the Master of Laketown, for instance). Bilbo notices Balin's "jewelled belt....of great magnificence."

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Frodo and Gimli standing at his side could see, as he gingerly turned the leaves, that they were written by many different hands, in runes both of Moria and Dale, and here and there in Elvish script.

Tolkien had prepared colour ‘facsimiles’ of the three pages of the Book of Mazarbul translated by Gandalf for inclusion in the book, but they were eventually refused by his editor, as including them would have proven too costly. They can be found in Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien (no. 23) and have been restored to their rightful place in the 50th anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings.

http://www.diar.ru/tolkien/texts/eng/pbjrrt/23.html

(You might need to enter "Tolkien" as the username and password, but that link is to the pictures of the pages. )

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The first clear word is sorrow, but the rest of the line is lost, unless it ends in estre. Yes, it must be yestre followed by day being the tenth of novembre Balin lord of Moria fell in Dimrill Dale.

This seems to be the only place where Tolkien uses those spellings in -re instead of -er. I have absolutely no idea what this is supposed to signify.

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‘Frár and Lóni and Náli fell there.’

The names of those otherwise unknown dwarves are taken, as often with Tolkien’s dwarves, from the Elder Edda. This is not the case of the name ‘Flói’ which appeared earlier in the Book of Mazarbul, though.

Concerning the Dwarf-name "Flói": This means a large bay in Old Norse/Icelandic. Reykjavik in Iceland is located on Faxaflói. Scapa Flow in the Orkneys, the chief base of the Royal Navy in both World Wars, was originally Skalpeid-flói, the Bay of the Long Peninsula. There is no obvious reason why Tolkien chose this word; maybe he just liked the sound.

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Doom, doom it rolled again, as if huge hands were turning the very caverns of Moria into a huge drum

In the “Guide to Translation,” Tolkien said of “doom”:

The word doom, in its original sense 'Judgement' (formal and legal, or personal), has in English, partly owing to its sound, and largely to its special use in doomsday, become loaded with senses of death, finality and fate (impending or foretold). (Outside English doomsday is only preserved in the Scandinavian languages: Icelandic dómsdagur, Swedish domedag, Danish dommedag; also Finnish tuomipäivä).

The use in the text as a word descriptive of sound (especially in I book ii chapter 5) associated with boom is nonetheless meant (and would by most English readers be felt), to recall the noun doom, with its sense of disaster. This is probably not possible to represent in another language. The Dutch version represents doom boom phonetically by doem boem, which is sufficient, and at any rate has the support of the verb doemen, which especially in the past participle gedoemd has the same sense as English doomed (to death or an evil fate). The Swedish version usually has dom bom, but occasionally dum bom, This seems (as far as I can judge) unsatisfactory, since the associations of dum are quite out of place, and dumbom is a word for 'blockhead' (German Dummkopf).


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”There are Orcs….

[Work in progress] For now:

Summary (courtesy of Lord_Morningstar)

Orcs were created in the ages of darkness by Melkor from corrupted beasts and maiar demons taking Orc form. They have no souls and are mortal, and are effectively intelligent beasts rather than sentient beings and are driven by the hate and wrath of Morgoth, his servants and his lingering corruption in Middle Earth. They come in many breeds and they are often developed by their masters to make them more powerful. They have many dialects of Orc speech that originated from the Valinorean used by maiar and the languages of lesser men and dwarves. In the second age, the black speech spread among them and the common speech followed it in the third. They reproduce fast, and follow powerful chieftans and captains. There is a considerable degree of organization between their tribes, even though they fight among themselves. In battle, Orcs are effective both through stealth and terror, and move fast and strike hard, but are weak on the defensive, against fortifications and if they are taken by surprise.

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Etymology

...the word is as far as I am concerned actually derived from Old English orc 'demon', but only because of its phonetic suitability...


Letters: Letter 144

'Orc is the form of the name that other races had for this foul people as it was in the language of Rohan. In Sindarin it was orch. Related, no doubt, was the word uruk in the Black Speech


LOTR: Appendix F

Other languages:

Drúedain : gorgûn

Sindarin: Orch (singular); Yrch (plural)

Other(?): Glamhoth, as in Tuor’s curse: Gurth an glamhoth" - 'death to the orcs'.

Black Speech: Uruk. The word ‘Uruk’, however, has since moved into the common speech to refer to large soldier Orcs. ‘Uruk-hai’ means ‘Orc-folk’.

Goblin is just another name for orc.

==========
Orc origins

There are many and varied theories relating to the origin of the race of Orcs. These include Orcs are derived from elves, Orcs are derived from maiar, Orcs are derived from beasts and Orcs are bred from men or a combination of the above. There is evidence for and against all of these theories. What we do know, is that Orcs are corrupted from some existing source:

"I have represented at least the Orcs as pre-existing real beings on whom the Dark Lord has exerted the fullness of his power in remodelling and corrupting them, not making them"

JRRT's letter to Peter Hastings, #153 in Letters)

Orcs as elves:

Yet this is held true by the wise of Eressea, that all those of the Quendi who came into the hands of Melkor, ere Utumno was broken, were put there in prison, and by slow arts of cruelty were corrupted and enslaved; and thus did Melkor breed the hideous race of the Orcs in envy and mockery of the Elves, of whom they were afterwards the bitterest foes.

The Sil: Of the Coming of the Elves

Note here that the phase ‘Yet this is held true by the wise of Eressea’ is used, to suggest that this theory is not known to be true for certain. This is further supported by:

Though as for Orcs, the Eldar believed Morgoth had actually 'bred' them by capturing Men (and Elves) early and increasing to the utmost any corrupt tendencies they possessed.

(HomE X)(my emphasis)

However, the idea of Orcs as ruined Elves seems to be finally put to rest:

utterly corrupt and ruin individuals, it is not possible to contemplate his absolute perversion of a whole people, or group of peoples, and his making that state heritable.(2) [Added later: This latter must (if a fact) be an act of Eru.] In that case Elves, as a source, are very unlikely.
---
'Alter this. Orcs are not Elvish' (HoME


Orcs as Maiar:

In any case is it likely or possible that even the least of the Maiar would become Orcs? Yes: both outside Arda and in it, before the fall of Utumno. Melkor had corrupted many spirits -some great, as Sauron, or less so, as Balrogs. The least could have been primitive (and much more powerful and perilous) Orcs; but by practising when embodied procreation they would (cf. Melian) [become] more and more earthbound, unable to return to spirit-state (even demon-form), until released by death (killing), and they would dwindle in force. When released they would, of course, like Sauron, be 'damned': i.e. reduced to impotence, infinitely recessive: still hating but unable more and more to make it effective physically (or would not a very dwindled dead Orc-state be a poltergeist?).

(HoME
X)

Tolkien plays with the idea here, but does not come to a certain conclusion about the technicalities.

Boldog, for instance, is a name that occurs many times in the tales of the War. But it is possible that Boldog was not a personal name, and either a title, or else the name of a kind of creature: the Orc-formed Maiar, only less formidable than the Balrogs. (HoME v X, Myths transformed)(my emphasis)

Another unconfirmed possibility, but great Orcs as Maiar seems pretty good right now.

Another idea which may support this is from the Mines of Moria in FotR, where a flash of light erupts from the helm of the great Orc-chief when Aragorn slays it, and such a spectacle is typical of a dying maiar (Sauron’s thunderstorm, Saruman’s mist).

Orcs as beasts:

"Orcs are beasts and Balrogs [are?] corrupted Maiar" from 'Late Writings', History of Middle Earth ( HoME) volume XII.

This doesn’t say for certain that Orcs originated from beasts, just that they are beasts. However, we can surmise that it implies that Orcs may have been among the beasts corrupted by Melkor in the age of darkness.

What is interesting in relation to this theory and the ‘Orcs as maiar’ theory is that it seems to be not uncommon for great animals to have maiar souls, if we assume that creatures such as Huan are maiar.

Orcs as men:

This then, as it may appear, was my father's final view of the question: Orcs were bred from Men, and if 'the conception in mind of the Orcs may go far back into the night of Melkor's thought' it was Sauron who, during the ages of Melkor's captivity in Aman, brought into being the black armies that were available to his Master when he returned. (HoME 10)

This seems pretty final, but there is an obvious issue with chronology: Orcs had appeared in Beleriand before the rising of the sun, which is when men awoke, and Morgoth returned to Middle earth and the ‘black armies’ that were prepared for him during the ages of stars.

==========

They are not based on direct experience of mine; but owe, I suppose, a good deal to the goblin tradition (goblin is used as a translation in the Hobbit, where orc only appears once, I think), especially as it appers in George MacDonald, except for the soft feet which I never believed in.


Letter 144, Letters at p. 178 (1st US edition).

The reference to the Scottish novelist George MacDonald (1824-1906) is to his novels The Princess and the Goblin and The Princess and Curdie. Texts are available online:

http://www.pagebypagebooks.com/George_MacDonald/The_Princess_and_the_Goblin/index.html

http://emotional-literacy-education.com/classic-books-online-b/prcur10.htm

Biographical information on MacDonald is found here:

http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/gm/bioov.ht

Why does Z put beaks and feathers on Orcs? Orcs is not a form of Auks) The Orcs are definitely stated to be corruptions of the "human" form seen in Elves and Men. They are (or were) squat, broad, flat-nosed, sallow-skinned, with wide mouths and slant eyes; in fact degraded and repulsive versions of the (to Europeans) least lovely Mongol-types.


Letters, Letter 210 (JRRT is commenting on the Zimmerman script)
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With a thrust of his huge hide shield he turned Boromir's sword and bore him backwards, throwing him to the ground. Diving under Aragorn's blow with the speed of a striking snake he charged into the Company and thrust with his spear straight at Frodo.

As with the Watcher, the Uruk ignores other opponents and makes straight for Frodo. Some light may be shed on this apparently instinctive attack by Author's Note 20 to 'The Disaster of the Gladden Fields' (UT, Pt 3 Ch 1), which describes how orcs attacked Isildur:

they could know nothing of the One Ring, which save to Sauron himself was known only to the Nine Ringwraiths, its slaves. Yet many have thought that the ferocity and determination of their assault on Isildur was in part due to the Ring. It was little more than two years since it had left his hand, and though it was swiftly cooling it was still heavy with his evil will, and seeking all means to return to its lord (as it did again when he recovered and was rehoused). So, it is thought, although they did not understand it the Orc-chiefs were filled with a fierce desire to destroy the Dúnedain and capture their leader.


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But even as the orc flung down the truncheon and swept out his scimitar, Andúril came down on his helm

In modern usage, a truncheon is a club, especially one carried by a British policeman (the word "nightstick" is more commonly used in the US). Tolkien is using it in its original sense of a piece broken off of something, especially, as here, the broken shaft of a spear. The word is from Latin truncus "trunk," by way of Old French tronçon, "a piece broken off." (Truncus also gives "truncate," meaning to shorten something). See the Oxford English Dictionary, from which this information is taken.

According to the OED, a scimitar is "A short, curved, single-edged sword, used among Orientals, esp. Turks and Persians." The editors observe that although one would expect the word to be of Turkish origin, it is not found in that language.

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Down the centre stalked a double line of towering pillars. They were carved like boles of mighty trees whose boughs upheld the roof with a branching tracery of stone.

This representation of trees in Moria may indicate an "Elvish influence", c.f. The pillars of Menegroth were hewn in the likeness of the beeches of Oromë, stock, bough, and leaf, Sil Ch 10. If so, it would be an indication of the old link between Moria and Eregion. In 'Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn (UT, pt 3 ch 4) it is said:

Both Elves and Dwarves had great profit from this association: so that Eregion became far stronger, and Khazad-dûm far more beautiful, than either would have done alone.


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The outer door could only be reached by a slender bridge of stone, without kerb or rail, that spanned the chasm with one curving spring of fifty feet.

A kerb (spelled "curb" in the US) is a border of stones separating a roadway for vehicles from the flanking sidewalk for pedestrians ("pavement" in Britain). "Curb" is the original spelling; the word, which is French and derived from Latin curvus "curve," was first applied to the piece of harness that goes under a horse's jaw. It came to be applied to any form of restraint (the function of a kerb being to keep vehicles in the roadway). The spelling "kerb" is found only in this sense, "curb" being used everywhere else. (Anybody know why those wacky Brits do this? I can't find anything online that tells.)

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Balrog

Thus they roused from sleep* a thing of terror that, flying from Thangorodrim, had laid hidden at the foundations of the earth since the coming of the Host of the West: a Balrog of Morgoth.

* Or released it from prison; it may well be that it had already been awakened by the malice of Sauron.


LOTR: Appendix A.III.

The Balrog is a survivor from the Silmarillion and the legends of the First Age. . . .The Balrogs, of whom the whips were the chief weapons, were primeval spirits of destroying fire, chief servants of the primeval Dark Power of the first Age. They were supposed to have been all destroyed in the overthrow of Thangorodrim, his fortress in the North. But it is here found (there is usually a hang-over especially of evil from one age to another) that one had escaped and taken refuge under the mountains of Hithaeglin (the Misty Mountains). It is observable that only the Elf knows what the thing is (and doubtless Gandalf).


Letter 144, Letters at p. 180 (1st US edition).

Its streaming mane kindled, and blazed behind it. In its right hand was a blade like a stabbing tongue of fire; in its left it held a whip of many thongs.

T.A. Shippey suggests that the Balrog owes something to the fire-giant Surt (Surtr in Old Norse) from Norse mythology. (The Road to Middle-Earth, p.33)

Then spoke Third: "But first there was the world in the southern region called Muspell. It is bright and hot. That area is flaming and burning and it is impassible for those that are foreigners there and are not native to it. There is one called Surt that is stationed there at the frontier to defend that land. He has a flaming sword and at the end of the world he will go and wage war and defeat all the gods and burn the whole world with fire. Thus it says in Voluspa:

Surt travels from the south with the stick-destroyer [fire] Shines from his sword the sun of the gods of the slain Rock cliffs crash and troll-wives are abroad, heroes tread the road of Hel and heaven splits."


Snorri Sturluson, The Prose Edda, translated by Anthony Faulkes, Everyman paperback, 1987.

The Balrog is a survivor from the Silmarillion and the legends of the First Age. So is Shelob. The Balrogs, 0f whom the whips were the chief weapons, were primeval spirits of destroying fire, chief servants of the primeval Dark Power of the First Age. They were supposed to have been all destroyed in the overthrow of Thangorodrim, his fortress in the North. But it is here found (there is usually a hang-over especially of evil from one age to another) that one had escaped and taken refuge under the mountains sof Hithaeglin (the Misty Mountains). It is observable that only the Elf knows what the thing is - and doubtless Gandalf.


Letters Letter 144

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the Secret Fire

Some explanation was offered for this phrase in the Sil:

Never since have the Ainur made any music like to this music, though it has been said that a greater still shall be made before Ilúvatar by the choirs of the Ainur and the Children of Ilúvatar after the end of days. Then the themes of Ilúvatar shall be played aright, and take Being in the moment of their utterance, for all shall then understand fully his intent in their part, and each shall know the comprehension of each, and Ilúvatar shall give to their thoughts the secret fire, being well pleased.


The Sil: Ainulindale

and...

Therefore Ilúvatar gave to their vision Being, and set it amid the Void, and the Secret Fire was sent to burn at the heart of the World; and it was called Eä.


The Sil: Valaquenta

More information:

Clyde Kilby spent the summer of 1966 in Oxford working with JRRT on the unpublished Sil. Tolkien had invited him to England. In letter 282, 18 Dec 1965, Tolkien wrote:

If I had the assistance of a scholar at once sympathetic and yet critical, such as yourself, I feel I might make some of it publishable. It needs the actual presence of a friend and adviser at one's side, which is just what you offer. As far as I can see, I shall be free soon to return to it, and June, July and August are available.


Letters

Kilby asked Tolkien various questions including what was the Secret Fire:

Professor Tolkien talked to me at some length about the use of the word "holy" in The Silmarillion. Very specifically he told me that the "Secret Fire sent to burn at the heart of the World" in the beginning was the Holy Spirit


http://www.ctlibrary.com/ch/2003/78/6.8.html

Kilby later published Tolkien and the Silmarillion in 1977.

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"The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass."

Udûn {Sindarin) was Morgoth's great fortress in the north of the world in the FA, also known as Utumno.

Flame is presumably a reference to the balrog's nature as, essentially, a spirit of fire.

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Right at the Balrog's feet it broke, and the stone on which it stood crashed into the gulf, while the rest remained, posed, quivering like a tongue of rock thrust out into emptiness.

It may seem unlikely that an arch could stand with a substantial chunk missing. Anyone who has ever played with blocks knows that each one is essential for the structure to remain standing. If the arch is built with a keystone, losing that single stone will result in the instant collapse of the entire bridge.
The rock that fell when Gandalf broke the bridge is the part that was under the Balrog's feet. What we do not know is exactly where the Balrog was standing. He had clashed swords with Gandalf (who was standing in the middle of the bridge), but then retreated again. He leapt forward, and was fully on the Bridge when Gandalf caused it to collapse. But he was definately not standing on any keystone.
Also, this bridge had more cohesion than children's blocks. I doubt they employed rebar, but perhaps the dwarves used mortar to hold the stones together. Or, perhaps the bridge is a single stone carved from a giant slab and secured in place at either end of the span. When Gandalf breaks the bridge, the cohesion of the remaining structure allows it to continue to exist, for at least a moment. Now, a great stress has been added to the supports - they were not designed to support a heavy stone cantileverd out into space! Once the bridge is broken, these supports begin to give way. The structural integrity has been destroyed, and the bridge will not stand much longer.

Even as Aragorn and Boromir came flying back, the rest of the bridge cracked and fell.


Note that it did not crumble - it was the support, not the cohesion of the bridge itself, that gave way.

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He staggered and fell.....

Gandalf really “died” and was changed…

Gandalf alone fully passes the tests, on a moral plane anyway (he makes mistakes of judgement). For in his condition it was for him a sacrifice to perish on the Bridge, in defence of his companions, less perhaps than for a mortal Man or Hobbit, since he had a far greater inner power than they; but also more, since it was a humbling and abnegation of himself in conformity to “the Rules”: for all he could know at that moment he was the only person who could direct the resistance to Sauron successfully, and all his mission was vain. He was handing over to the Authority that ordained the Rules, and giving up personal hope of success.


Letters, Letter 156

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There was a guard of orcs crouching in the shadows behind the great door posts towering on either side, but the gates were shattered and cast down.

It is not clear (to me, at least) when the gates were broken. Gandalf says of the Book of Mazarbul:

'... Balin lord of Moria fell in Dimrill Dale. He went alone to look in Mirror mere. an orc shot him from behind a stone. we slew the orc, but many more ... up from east up the Silverlode. The remainder of the page is so blurred that I can hardly make anything out, but I think I can read we have barred the gates, and then can hold them long if, and then perhaps horrible and suffer.'


Does this mean that the gates were actually first broken in this attack?

According to Appendix A, they were unbroken after the Dwarves were first driven from Moria, because later When Thrór came to Moria the Gate was open. Then during the Battle of Azanulbizar, Náin, Grór's son, drove through the Orcs to the very threshold of Moria but was killed there by Azog who emerged from the gate, who was in turn slain by Dáin, who said 'But we will not enter Khazad-dûm. You will not enter Khazad-dûm. Only I have looked through the shadow of the Gate.' This (admittedly compressed) account suggests that the east gate was not directly assaulted or torn down in the battle.
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Wed Mar 16, 2005 2:29 pm

BALROG'S WINGS: A SUMMARY OF THE ARGUMENTS

Textual evidence

A.

The Balrog ... halted again, facing him, and the shadow about it reached out like two vast wings ... It stepped forward slowly on to the bridge, and suddenly it drew itself up to a great height, and its wings were spread from wall to wall ...


FOTR: The Bridge of Khazad-dum

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B.
"Thus they roused from sleep a thing of terror that, flying from Thangorodrim, had lain hidden ..."


Appendix A: "Durin's Folk”

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C.
"Swiftly they [the Balrogs] arose, and they passed with winged speed over Hithlum ..."


HoME, vol. X, Morgoth's Ring: "Of the Thieves' Quarrel,"

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Speaking of the winged steed of the Nazgul which Legolas shoots on Anduin, Gimli says:

D.
"Too much it reminded me of the shadow in Moria - the shadow of the Balrog."


FOTR "The Great River”

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B. The word "flying" does not necessarily indicate flight. Here is an example:

Gandalf came flying down the steps and fell to the ground in the midst of the Company

LOTR: The Bridge...


and...

"Out of the gloom came suddenly the shape of a flying deer."

The Hobbit, Flies and Spiders

In neither case are Gandalf or the deer literally flying.
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C. The word "arose" does not necessarily indicate flight. Here are two examples:

Now the Lady [Galadriel] arose, and Celeborn led them back to the hythe.[i]
FotR, Farewell to Lorien

[i]At length they [Aragorn and company] arose, and took their leave of the Lady, and thanked her for her care, and went to their rest/
RotK, ROTK: The Passing of the Grey Company

The expression "winged speed" is a not uncommon metaphor, which does not indicate flight. Here are two non-Tolkien examples:

O! what excuse will my poor beast then find,
When swift extremity can seem but slow?
Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind,
In winged speed no motion shall I know,
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace..."


Shakespeare: Sonnet 51

and...

So spake the Son; but Satan, with his Powers
Far was advanced on winged speed; and host
Innumerable as the stars of night…

Milton: Paradise Lost
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Wed Mar 16, 2005 2:30 pm

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Postby MithLuin » Wed Mar 16, 2005 4:50 pm

Queen B - Thank you so much for keeping this going!

For now, I don't have anything of my own, but I would like to add an addendum to your Balin comment...

The visit of Balin and Gandalf to the Shire is mentioned in the last pages of the Hobbit:
One autumn evening some years afterwards, Bilbo was sitting in his study writing his memoirs - he thought of calling them "There and Back Again, A Hobbit's Holiday - when there was a ring at the door. It was Gandalf and a dwarf, and the dwarf was actually Balin.


In that story, the visit serves as an opportunity for Bilbo to learn what happened afterwards in Dale (that is where we hear of the death of the Master of Laketown, for instance). Bilbo notices Balin's "jewelled belt....of great magnificence."
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Postby roaccarcsson » Wed Mar 16, 2005 5:05 pm

But even as the orc flung down the truncheon and swept out his scimitar, Andúril came down on his helm.

In modern usage, a truncheon is a club, especially one carried by a British policeman (the word "nightstick" is more commonly used in the US). Tolkien is using it in its original sense of a piece broken off of something, especially, as here, the broken shaft of a spear. The word is from Latin truncus "trunk," by way of Old French tronçon, "a piece broken off." (Truncus also gives "truncate," meaning to shorten something). See the Oxford English Dictionary, from which this information is taken.

According to the OED, a scimitar is "A short, curved, single-edged sword, used among Orientals, esp. Turks and Persians." The editors observe that although one would expect the word to be of Turkish origin, it is not found in that language.

The following should appear somewhere in the discussion of Orcs:

Orcs
are not based on direct experience of mine; but owe, I suppose, a good deal to the goblin tradition (goblin is used as a translation in the Hobbit, where orc only appears once, I think), especially as it appers in George MacDonald, except for the soft feet which I never believed in.

Letter 144, Letters at p. 178 (1st US edition).

The reference to the Scottish novelist George MacDonald (1824-1906) is to his novels The Princess and the Goblin and The Princess and Curdie. Texts are available online:

http://www.pagebypagebooks.com/George_MacDonald/The_Princess_and_the_Goblin/index.html
http://emotional-literacy-education.com/classic-books-online-b/prcur10.htm

Biographical information on MacDonald is found here:
http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/gm/bioov.html
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Postby roaccarcsson » Thu Mar 17, 2005 5:55 am

Its streaming mane kindled, and blazed behind it. In its right hand was a blade like a stabbing tongue of fire; in its left it held a whip of many thongs.

T.A. Shippey suggests that the Balrog owes something to the fire-giant Surt (Surtr in Old Norse) from Norse mythology. (The Road to Middle-Earth, p.33):

Then spoke Third: "But first there was the world in the southern region called Muspell. It is bright and hot. That area is flaming and burning and it is impassible for those that are foreigners there and are not native to it. There is one called Surt that is stationed there at the frontier to defend that land. He has a flaming sword and at the end of the world he will go and wage war and defeat all the gods and burn the whole world with fire. Thus it says in Voluspa:

Surt travels from the south with the stick-destroyer [fire] Shines from his sword the sun of the gods of the slain Rock cliffs crash and troll-wives are abroad, heroes tread the road of Hel and heaven splits."

Snorri Sturluson, The Prose Edda, translated by Anthony Faulkes, Everyman paperback, 1987.

His enemy halted again, facing him, and the shadow about it reached out like two vast wings.

Not real wings. Obviously.

(Misguided persons may wish to edit this.)
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Postby Kurufinwë » Thu Mar 17, 2005 1:27 pm

Frodo and Gimli standing at his side could see, as he gingerly turned the leaves, that they were written by many different hands, in runes both of Moria and Dale, and here and there in Elvish script.

Tolkien had prepared colour ‘facsimiles’ of the three pages of the Book of Mazarbul translated by Gandalf for inclusion in the book, but they were eventually refused by his editor, as including them would have proven too costly. They can be found in Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien (no. 23) and have been restored to their rightful place in the 50th anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings.

‘The first clear word is sorrow, but the rest of the line is lost, unless it ends in estre. Yes, it must be yestre followed by day being the tenth of novembre Balin lord of Moria fell in Dimrill Dale.’

This seems to be the only place where Tolkien uses those spellings in -re instead of -er. I have absolutely no idea what this is supposed to signify and therefore would be very interested if somebody could take the time to write an annotation on the subject. :)
[it might also interest those posting in the One-word Trivia thread :wink: ]

‘Frár and Lóni and Náli fell there.’

The names of those otherwise unknown dwarves are taken, as often with Tolkien’s dwarves, from the Elder Edda. This is not the case of the name ‘Flói’ which appeared earlier in the Book of Mazarbul, though.

‘A Balrog,’ muttered Gandalf. ‘Now I understand.’

In the thread dealing with the previous chapter, I posted a short note concerning what Gandalf actually knew about the Balrog, which roaccarcsson seems to have decided not to retain. Maybe some of it should be used here?
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Postby MithLuin » Thu Mar 17, 2005 4:13 pm

Kurufinwe - yestre and novembre have already appeared in One Word Trivia ;). I thought about using estre, but I don't think I did.

As for what it signifies? I'm not sure - I always thought it had something to do with the fact it was written by dwarves - they would use a slightly different style from elves (or hobbits), so that is how he makes it 'unique'. But I could very well be wrong.

Roac - you are asking for it, this time :P
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Postby roaccarcsson » Thu Mar 17, 2005 8:04 pm

Kurufinwe - I had certainly not rejected your post about Gandalf's knowledge of the Balrog. I just hadn't been able to decide whether it belonged in the previous chapter, or in this one. (I think this one, but Queen B. can decide.)

Some contributions for what ought to be a lot of material on the Balrog:

Thus they roused from sleep* a thing of terror that, flying from Thangorodrim, had laid hidden at the foundations of the earth since the coming of the Host of the West: a Balrog of Morgoth.

* Or released it from prison; it may well be that it had already been awakened by the malice of Sauron.

Appendix A.III.

The Balrog is a survivor from the Silmarillion and the legends of the First Age. . . .The Balrogs, of whom the whips were the chief weapons, were primeval spirits of destroying fire, chief servants of the primeval Dark Power of the first Age. They were supposed to have been all destroyed in the overthrow of Thangorodrim, his fortress in the North. But it is here found (there is usually a hang-over especially of evil from one age to another) that one had escaped and taken refuge under the mountains of Hithaeglin (the Misty Mountains). It is observable that only the Elf knows what the thing is (and doubtless Gandalf).

Letter 144, Letters at p. 180 (1st US edition).

The outer door could only be reached by a slender bridge of stone, without kerb or rail, that spanned the chasm with one curving spring of fifty feet.

A kerb (spelled "curb" in the US) is a border of stones separating a roadway for vehicles from the flanking sidewalk for pedestrians ("pavement" in Britain). "Curb" is the original spelling; the word, which is French and derived from Latin curvus "curve," was first applied to the piece of harness that goes under a horse's jaw. It came to be applied to any form of restraint (the function of a kerb being to keep vehicles in the roadway). The spelling "kerb" is found only in this sense, "curb" being used everywhere else. (Anybody know why those wacky Brits do this? I can't find anything online that tells.)

Right at the Balrog's feet it broke, and the stone on which it stood crashed into the gulf, while the rest remained, posed, quivering like a tongue of rock thrust out into emptiness.

I believe I have read, on TORC or elsewhere, that this is impossible - a collapsing arch collapses completely, as each stone depends on all the others for support. MithLuin has the training to pronounce on this.
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Postby MithLuin » Thu Mar 17, 2005 9:22 pm

Roac - I'll try to comment briefly (hah!) on the structures (and not at all on the wings! :P)

It is true that if you built a bridge out of blocks, and then knocked half the arch down, the other half would crumble instantly. Anyone can demonstrate this with children's building blocks at home ;)

But children's blocks do not employ cement. Cement causes some cohesion between the individual blocks. Therefore, while a collapse is still imminent and unavoidable, it may not be instantaneous. Genearlly, you would see a widening crack, as pieces started to fall away, and then you would have a more sudden collapse at the end. There are many small variables that can change the details, but the arch will definately become unstable and collapse. An example of a weakened, but still standing, brick arch.

The difference with this particular arch is that it is one piece - it is not built from blocks, but from a single span of stone. It is carved from the "living rock", like most of Khazad-dum. (Now that I wrote that, I can't remember why I think that....hmmm... :? ) Anyway, if my assertion is correct, what we are looking at is more comparable to the Natural Arches that are often seen in the Southwestern United States, not a Roman arch! Natural Arches
One thing to point out is that these natural arches are made of very soft stone, and erode easily. The Bridge of Kazad-dum is built of much harder stone, and was not naturally formed - the dwarves shaped it. So, it ought to be sturdier.


(oops, took a break to assist my brother with his Physics homework ;))


Anyway, the main point I wanted to make is that there is a difference between something being structurally unstable and having it fall down. A good illustration of this would be the collapse of the Twin Towers on Sept. 11th. When the airplanes struck, the buildings became unstable. And yet, they stood for an hour or so before finally collapsing.

Tolkien recognizes the unstability of the bridge by having it collapse in minutes:
Even as Aragorn and Boromir came flying back, the rest of the bridge cracked and fell.


I'll revisit this later...
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Postby roaccarcsson » Fri Mar 18, 2005 5:51 am

Interesting . . . I had assumed the Bridge was constructed of joined stones, becasue its says "the stone upon which the Balrog stood." But that could just mean "the particular part of stone . . ."

But - if the bridge was carved out of "living stone," what did the Dwarves start with? They certainly didn't excavate the entire chasm! So there sould have to have been a bridge of some kind to start with, which they whittled down.

Anyway, you have convinced me that it is within the realm of literary plausibility that the stub held up for the few seconds that were required. Queen B. can decide what if anything goes into the annotation.
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Fri Mar 18, 2005 10:17 am

Thanks a bunch! :wink:

More about the bridge itself:

… a slender bridge of stone, without kerb or rail, that spanned the chasm with one curving spring of fifty feet.

These narrow bridges leading into/out of a forbidden realm are a feature of myth/lore. One example is Bifrost, which leads into Asgard in the Norse mythos. I'll try to find a link.
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Postby MithLuin » Fri Mar 18, 2005 11:31 am

Okay, let me attempt to convert that from an explanation to an annotation (in case anyone is interested)

Right at the Balrog's feet it broke, and the stone on which it stood crashed into the gulf, while the rest remained, poised, quivering like a tongue of rock thrust out into emptiness.

It may seem unlikely that an arch could stand with a substantial chunk missing. Anyone who has ever played with blocks knows that each one is essential for the structure to remain standing. If the arch is built with a keystone, losing that single stone will result in the instant collapse of the entire bridge.
The rock that fell when Gandalf broke the bridge is the part that was under the Balrog's feet. What we do not know is exactly where the Balrog was standing. He had clashed swords with Gandalf (who was standing in the middle of the bridge), but then retreated again. He leapt forward, and was fully on the Bridge when Gandalf caused it to collapse. But he was definately not standing on any keystone.
Also, this bridge had more cohesion than children's blocks. I doubt they employed rebar, but perhaps the dwarves used mortar to hold the stones together. Or, perhaps the bridge is a single stone carved from a giant slab and secured in place at either end of the span. When Gandalf breaks the bridge, the cohesion of the remaining structure allows it to continue to exist, for at least a moment. Now, a great stress has been added to the supports - they were not designed to support a heavy stone cantileverd out into space! Once the bridge is broken, these supports begin to give way. The structural integrity has been destroyed, and the bridge will not stand much longer.
Even as Aragorn and Boromir came flying back, the rest of the bridge cracked and fell.

Note that it did not crumble - it was the support, not the cohesion of the bridge itself, that gave way.
***
Despite roac's recommendation, I am not a structural engineer. This is a very basic explanation that could be improved upon. I have not discussed anything technical - it's just ideas. I will not be the least offended if this is not included in Annotations.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Fri Mar 18, 2005 5:47 pm

Concerning the Dwarf-name "Flói": This means a large bay in Old Norse/Icelandic. Reykjavik in Iceland is located on Faxaflói. Scapa Flow in the Orkneys, the chief base of the Royal Navy in both World Wars, was originally Skalpeid-flói, the Bay of the Long Peninsula. There is no obvious reason why Tolkien chose this word; maybe he just liked the sound.

Two great trolls appeared; they bore great slabs of stone, and flung them down to serve as gangways over the fire.

"Gangway" is Old English gangweg, literally "going-way." It originally meant any road or thoroughfare; today it is usually applied, as here, to an artificial walkway or "catwalk."
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:31 pm

Help!

Help me out here guys. I "know" that the Secret Fire references the Imperishable Flame from the Sil, but I don't know how I know it? :shock: Am I missing something obvious?

P.S. I've added some more material about Orcs and the Balrog.
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Postby MithLuin » Mon Mar 21, 2005 7:59 pm

Queen B,
you wrote:This gives me the impression he serves the secret fire while the flame of Anor serves him. What those two things are exactly I honestly don’t know.

Clyde Kilby spent the summer of 196? (exact year given in Letters) working with JRRT on the unpublished Sil. He asked Tolkien various questions including what was the Secret Fire. JRRT replied that the Secret Fire was a reference to the Holy Spirit (I am paraphrasing).

Kilby later published Tolkien and the Silmarillion in 197?.

Sorry for vague dates.

I have no idea what the Flame of Anor is. Much controversy over this.
But I remained unconvinced that Gandalf was referring to Narya on the Bridge.


I nicked this from a thread a page or so back entitled (unlikely enough) "taking the Ring into the Uttermost West".

The actual quotes were never provided on the thread, and Tuor, and I got into a length theological debate :roll:. But, yeah, I hope that helps to point you in the right direction....

I am just curious if "Anor" can be translated as "sun".
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Postby Parkingtigers » Mon Mar 21, 2005 9:46 pm

Tolkien had prepared colour ‘facsimiles’ of the three pages of the Book of Mazarbul translated by Gandalf for inclusion in the book, but they were eventually refused by his editor, as including them would have proven too costly. They can be found in Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien (no. 23) and have been restored to their rightful place in the 50th anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings.

http://www.diar.ru/tolkien/texts/eng/pbjrrt/23.html

You might need to enter "Tolkien" as the username and password, but that link is to the pictures of the pages.
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Wed Mar 23, 2005 4:11 pm

Thanks Pt, that's a great link.

And thanks Mith. I knew I had posted that somewhere, but couldn't remember where. :shock: I've added the Imperishable Flame quote from the Sil too, although I still feel that something is missing.
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Postby wilko185 » Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:08 pm

QB, there are quotes in the Sil that reference the actual phrase "secret fire":

From the Ainulindalë:
Never since have the Ainur made any music like to this music, though it has been said that a greater still shall be made before Ilúvatar by the choirs of the Ainur and the Children of Ilúvatar after the end of days. Then the themes of Ilúvatar shall be played aright, and take Being in the moment of their utterance, for all shall then understand fully his intent in their part, and each shall know the comprehension of each, and Ilúvatar shall give to their thoughts the secret fire, being well pleased.


From the Valaquenta:
Therefore Ilúvatar gave to their vision Being, and set it amid the Void, and the Secret Fire was sent to burn at the heart of the World; and it was called Eä.
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Postby wilko185 » Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:54 pm

Kurufinwë wrote:‘The first clear word is sorrow, but the rest of the line is lost, unless it ends in estre. Yes, it must be yestre followed by day being the tenth of novembre Balin lord of Moria fell in Dimrill Dale.’

This seems to be the only place where Tolkien uses those spellings in -re instead of -er. I have absolutely no idea what this is supposed to signify and therefore would be very interested if somebody could take the time to write an annotation on the subject. :)


The -estre ending perhaps carries a flavour of archaic spelling, to me at least, which is appropriate to the context. eg as in medieval cestre, 'chester'; or Old English Eostre giving rise to 'Easter'.


roac wrote: The spelling "kerb" is found only in this sense, "curb" being used everywhere else. (Anybody know why those wacky Brits do this? I can't find anything online that tells.)


I'm not very convinced, but according to eg http://www.answers.com/topic/kerb there is a related (but distinct?) archaeological term 'kerb' which may have impacted the UK spelling of "curb":
In archaeology, a kerb or peristalith is the name for a stone wall built to enclose and often revet the cairn or barrow built over a chamber tomb.

European dolmens especially hunebed and dyss burials often provide examples of the use of kerbs in megalithic architecture but they were also added to other kinds of chamber tomb. Kerbs may be built in a dry stone wall method employing small blocks or using larger stones set in the ground. When larger stones are employed, peristalith is the term more properly used.

In the British Isles, the enclosing nature of kerbs has been suggested to be analogous to Neolithic and Bronze Age stone circles and henges which also demonstrate an attempt to demarcate a distinct, round area for ritual or funerary purposes.



Mith wrote:It is carved from the "living rock", like most of Khazad-dum. (Now that I wrote that, I can't remember why I think that....hmmm... )

The very name "Dwarrowdelf" suggests a delving, rather than a construction. The halls of Moria are described as "dolven" from the rock, rather than "built in" rock:
All about them as they lay hung the darkness, hollow and immense, and they were oppressed by the loneliness and vastness of the dolven halls and endlessly branching stairs and passages. The wildest imaginings that dark rumour had ever suggested to the hobbits fell altogether short of the actual dread and wonder of Moria.
'There must have been a mighty crowd of dwarves here at one time ' said Sam; 'and every one of them busier than badgers for five hundred years to make all this, and most in hard rock too!'
Gandalf later uses the phrase "living rock", in association with the Endless Stair:
'From the lowest dungeon to the highest peak it climbed, ascending in unbroken spiral in many thousand steps, until it issued at last in Durin's Tower carved in the living rock of Zirak-zigil, the pinnacle of the Silvertine.'


-------


There was a ring and clatter as the Company drew their swords. Glamdring shone with a pale light, and Sting glinted at the edges.

It was noted in the previous chapter [hence, this may be too obvious to annotate, but I'll throw it in for consideration ;)]:
No gleam came from the blades of Sting or of Glamdring; and that was some comfort, for being the work of Elvish smiths in the Elder Days these swords shone with a cold light, if any Orcs were near at hand.


'There are Orcs, very many of them,' he said. `And some are large and evil: black Uruks of Mordor.'

'Uruk' is Black Speech for 'orc', but is usually applied only to a race (or races) of large warrior orcs that first appeared 544 years previously; from Appendix A:
In the last years of Denethor I the race of uruks, black orcs of great strength, first appeared out of Mordor, and in 2475 they swept across Ithilien and took Osgiliath.
In 'The Hunt for the Ring' (UT Pt 3 Ch 4) Tolkien mentions the servants of Sauron that lurked in Moria, nothing that
These were in fact not very numerous, it would seem; but sufficient to keep any intruders out, if not better armed or prepared than Balin's company, and not in great numbers.


With a thrust of his huge hide shield he turned Boromir's sword and bore him backwards, throwing him to the ground. Diving under Aragorn's blow with the speed of a striking snake he charged into the Company and thrust with his spear straight at Frodo.

As with the Watcher, the Uruk ignores other opponents and makes straight for Frodo. Some light may be shed on this apparently instinctive attack by Author's Note 20 to 'The Disaster of the Gladden Fields' (UT, Pt 3 Ch 1), which describes how orcs attacked Isildur:
they could know nothing of the One Ring, which save to Sauron himself was known only to the Nine Ringwraiths, its slaves. Yet many have thought that the ferocity and determination of their assault on Isildur was in part due to the Ring. It was little more than two years since it had left his hand, and though it was swiftly cooling it was still heavy with his evil will, and seeking all means to return to its lord (as it did again when he recovered and was re¬housed). So, it is thought, although they did not understand it the Orc-chiefs were filled with a fierce desire to destroy the Dúnedain and capture their leader.


Down the centre stalked a double line of towering pillars. They were carved like boles of mighty trees whose boughs upheld the roof with a branching tracery of stone.

This representation of trees in Moria may indicate an "Elvish influence", c.f. The pillars of Menegroth were hewn in the likeness of the beeches of Oromë, stock, bough, and leaf, Sil Ch 10. If so, it would be an indication of the old link between Moria and Eregion. In 'Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn (UT, pt 3 ch 4) it is said:
Both Elves and Dwarves had great profit from this association: so that Eregion became far stronger, and Khazad-dûm far more beautiful, than either would have done alone.


There was a guard of orcs crouching in the shadows behind the great door posts towering on either side, but the gates were shattered and cast down.

It is not clear (to me, at least) when the gates were broken. Gandalf says of the Book of Mazarbul:
'... Balin lord of Moria fell in Dimrill Dale. He went alone to look in Mirror mere. an orc shot him from behind a stone. we slew the orc, but many more ... up from east up the Silverlode. The remainder of the page is so blurred that I can hardly make anything out, but I think I can read we have barred the gates, and then can hold them long if, and then perhaps horrible and suffer.'
Does this mean that the gates were actually first broken in this attack?

According to Appendix A, they were unbroken after the Dwarves were first driven from Moria, because later When Thrór came to Moria the Gate was open. Then during the Battle of Azanulbizar, Náin, Grór's son, drove through the Orcs to the very threshold of Moria but was killed there by Azog who emerged from the gate, who was in turn slain by Dáin, who said 'But we will not enter Khazad-dûm. You will not enter Khazad-dûm. Only I have looked through the shadow of the Gate.' This (admittedly compressed) account suggests that the east gate was not directly assaulted or torn down in the battle.
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Sun Mar 27, 2005 4:25 pm

Thanks wilko.

I have found Lord_M's thread on Orcs and will be pasting stuff in from there, so no need to repeat any of that info.
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Postby truehobbit » Sun Mar 27, 2005 5:08 pm

Clyde Kilby spent the summer of 196? (exact year given in Letters) working with JRRT on the unpublished Sil. He asked Tolkien various questions including what was the Secret Fire. JRRT replied that the Secret Fire was a reference to the Holy Spirit (I am paraphrasing).

Kilby later published Tolkien and the Silmarillion in 197?.


What I found in letters is:
In letter 282, 18 Dec 1965, Tolkien wrote: If I had the assistance of a scholar at once sympathetic and yet critical, such as yourself, I feel I might make some of it publishable. It needs the actual presence of a friend and adviser at one's side, which is just what you offer. As far as I can see, I shall be free soon to return to it, and June, July and August are available.


So, I suppose it would be the summer of 1966. I didn't find anything about whether that visit happened, though.

For C. Kilby: Tolkien and the Silmarillion, I found 1976 as first publishing date.
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Mon Mar 28, 2005 1:50 pm

Thanks truehobbit - you have saved me looking it up. :)

The visit did take place: I have read Kilby's book but it is some time ago. I have added part of an interview he gave which is on the net. If I ever get hold of his book I will quote the text.
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Sat Apr 02, 2005 8:16 am

In the early drafts the Balrog was a Black Rider:

They are pursued by goblins, and a B[lack] R[ider] [written above: a Balrog] after escaping from Balin’s Tomb – they come to a bridge of slender stone over a gulf.


Home 6: The Mines of Moria
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Wed Apr 06, 2005 1:16 pm

Gandalf

Gandalf really “died” and was changed…

Gandalf alone fully passes the tests, on a moral plane anyway (he makes mistakes of judgement). For in his condition it was for him a sacrifice to perish on the Bridge, in defence of his companions, less perhaps than for a mortal Man or Hobbit, since he had a far greater inner power than they; but also more, since it was a humbling and abnegation of himself in conformity to “the Rules”: for all he could know at that moment he was the only person who could direct the resistance to Sauron successfully, and all his mission was vain. He was handing over to the Authority that ordained the Rules, and giving up personal hope of success.


Letters, Letter 156
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Postby wilko185 » Wed Apr 06, 2005 1:43 pm

roac wrote:Not real wings. Obviously.

(Misguided persons may wish to edit this.)


:D well, I don't think it's wise to pronounce on this topic. Perhaps just linking to online discussions will suffice? eg:

----

it stepped forward slowly on to the bridge, and suddenly it drew itself up to a great height, and its wings were spread from wall to wall.

These have justly been called "quite probably the most hotly debated words Tolkien ever wrote". The crux of the problem is the ambiguous nature of the "wings": were they literal wings, or "wings of shadow"? A definitive answer seems impossible to obtain with the evidence available in Tolkien's published writings. Therefore, we will merely link to several of the many online essays on the topic, and let readers make up their own minds:

Every Time A Bell Rings A Balrog Gets Its Wings? on TORN
Do Balrogs have wings, and can they fly? by Conrad Dunkerson on the Tolkien FAQ site
Michael Martinez's essay
The Encyclopedia of Arda's summing-up of the argument, and this response to it: Wings of the Balrogs.

----

On the other hand, if any wants a go at a proper annotation on this that we can all agree to, have at it ;).
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Tue Apr 12, 2005 1:24 pm

I'll have a go at it, though not in the next day or two.... :)

--------------------------------------------------------
"The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass."

Udûn (Sindarin) was Morgoth's great fortress in the north of the world in the FA, also known as Utumno.

Flame is presumably a reference to the balrog's nature as, essentially, a spirit of fire.



will add to this
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Thu Apr 21, 2005 4:00 pm

I've started a summary on the "wings" controversy in the second post on this thread.

Will add to it.

Please feel free to post any comments about it.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Fri Apr 22, 2005 4:00 pm

Doom, doom it rolled again, as if huge hands were turning the very caverns of Moria into a huge drum.

In the “Guide to Translation,” Tolkien said of “doom”:
The word doom, in its original sense 'Judgement' (formal and legal, or personal), has in English, partly owing to its sound, and largely to its special use in doomsday, become loaded with senses of death, finality and fate (impending or foretold). (Outside English doomsday is only preserved in the Scandinavian languages: Icelandic dómsdagur, Swedish domedag, Danish dommedag; also Finnish tuomipäivä).

The use in the text as a word descriptive of sound (especially in I book ii chapter 5) associated with boom is nonetheless meant (and would by most English readers be felt), to recall the noun doom, with its sense of disaster. This is probably not possible to represent in another language. The Dutch version represents doom boom phonetically by doem boem, which is sufficient, and at any rate has the support of the verb doemen, which especially in the past participle gedoemd has the same sense as English doomed (to death or an evil fate). The Swedish version usually has dom bom, but occasionally dum bom, This seems (as far as I can judge) unsatisfactory, since the associations of dum are quite out of place, and dumbom is a word for 'blockhead' (German Dummkopf).
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