The age old debate coming back!

Discussion in 'Debates' started by Boomer, Aug 14, 2003.

  1. Boomer

    Boomer BANNED

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    Yes yes yes the movie showed them with wings, etc. However do Balrogs really have wings? You tell me.
     
  2. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    well its very metaphorical in tolkiens description.

    anyway in the film, i saw that the balrog had the framework of wings, but between them was just smoke/shadow

    that sounds quite accurate to me.
     
  3. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    From everything I have read I think that it will be impossible to answer the wing question. It woulda been nice ask JRR some of this stuff in person. heh
     
  4. Gavaha

    Gavaha Art House Member

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    Yes, it is an interesting debate, I wonder is his son would know..... becuase if he had wings(that worked) when the bridge was broken he shoulda been able to fly and not fall
     
  5. Gavaha

    Gavaha Art House Member

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    Ok, want to see his wings? go to www.sideshowweta.com and find the balrog statue, and do the flash thing where you can turn it around, and you will see wings
     
  6. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    theyde have to put wings in for a model, they couldnt just make the frames and put in black cotton wool for the smoke.
    but trust me, in both films the balrog has only the frame-bones of wings, anf between is smoke/shadow.
     
  7. Radagast

    Radagast Art House Member

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    I read somewhere once that a group of Tolkien fans had come to the conclusion that he had wings, but could not use them, such as some birds (ie: chicken). I don't know, however, the credibility of their research and such.
     
  8. Gavaha

    Gavaha Art House Member

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    I think that sounds reasonable
     
  9. Boomer

    Boomer BANNED

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    You cannot view the movie nor the statues or toys as real answers. Here is the reason why. As we have seen in the Movie Jackson has added his own little quirks, etc to it so therefor skewing that evidence. Also that falls into the Side Show Weta category as well as they are all Movie Minatures, etc. So the books are where we need to go and the books is where we shall go.
     
  10. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    i think the non functionality sounds reasonable, it reminds me of a thing i heard about angels:

    scientists have shown, with relative ease (as its a simple matter of muscel and bone formation) that if a man were to have wings like an angel, his chestbone would have to stick out about three feet.

    now this i see is similar to the balrog as it is bescribed as man-shaped, and i dont remember any description of a disproportionate chest. so the wings were probably non-functional and couldnt really be flown with.
     
  11. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    1) Do you think that Tolkien would have read those studies before writing about Balrogs? Probably not, besdides it is fiction and he can make them seem however he wants.

    2) to assume that the answer lies in the movie or a statue I think would be misleading. Those examples are simply someone elses interpretation of a Balrog.
     
  12. Boomer

    Boomer BANNED

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    Truly Turin. I agree with you 100%. So where does the truth lie? Where can we find a solid answer?
     
  13. Radagast

    Radagast Art House Member

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    I suppose it would be very useful for a Balrog to have wings. It would give them a very strong fighting advantage, and we already know they were quite deadly.
     
  14. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    I am not sure there is a correct answer to this question.

    One thing that I am fairly certain of is that whether or not they have wings, they still cannot fly.

    A couple of examples of non-flying Balrogs.

    1) Obviously the one that fell with Gandalf in Moria.

    2) The Balrogs who were at Gondolin. If they could fly then why did Morgoth have the need to create new monsters to defeat the city walls?

    3) The Balrog that Glorfindel slew during the escape from Gondolin. The Balrog basically fell off of the mountain with Glorf.


    I can think of no occasion where a Balrog was described as flying, but there are several examples of times that they should have if they were able.
     
  15. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    Follow this link and look up Balrogs. They have a very interesting article that points out some very good debating points. Although I am not sure that it really answers the question.


    http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/
     
  16. asap

    asap New Member

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    Thanks for the link, Turin, I will, as soon as I get myself on a faster connection.

    Anyways, here's my view on the subject: the battles between Glorfindel and Balrog and Gandalf and Balrog were the battles between minds and wills. So, when the Balrog was defeated, he fell because his will was dominated by someone else and he was no longer able to control his physical form. When you're spiritually surrendered it doesn't matter if you have wings or not, you're going down.

    But did they have wings? Balrogs as Maiar were likely able to change their form, so I guess they could have wings when it served their purposes. (But then again, would we call them Balrog's if they completely changed their appearance?)
     
  17. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    maiar tend to pick a form and stick with it, take the istari, sure it would have served sarumans purpose to turn into a giant dragon when imprisoned in orthanc and fly away, smoting his enemies. So i think balrogs cant change form as i doubt they have as much power as any of the istari.

    My view is that they had a shroud of smoke/shadow as described in the books, and that it did not flow down like a cape but stick up like wings to intimidate, as most creatures do, to make themselves look bigger and scarier. I also believe that because of the spiritual nature of the balrog that it had control over this shroud and could move it, so making it look like wings etc.

    So i believe it did not have physical wings.
     
  18. asap

    asap New Member

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    Mmm, good points, Crusader. Allthough we can't compare Istari and Balrogs since the first are told to be restricted to some extent in changing their shape (I love the Saruman example, absolutely, if Wizards could radically change their shape, Saruman would definetly have done that in extreme danger), Balrogs could have skills similar to those Sauron used to possess.
     
  19. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    Although I can't remember where I read it . . . only a few of the Maia were able to change their form.

    The link I posted contains an article summarizing many examples of the description of Balrogs, the only time they were described as having wings was in Moria.

    Also a note on the shadow, the shadow that follows a balrog is different than most shadows. It is not caused by the blocking out of light, but rather a dark aura that follows them.
     
  20. elvenarcherinarms

    elvenarcherinarms Fellow Archr of Mirkwood

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    I'm thinking I'd go with the side that believes Balrogs are wingless [merely exhibiting the frame-like foundations for full-scale wing proportions] *howevr, wreathd with consummating smoke and shadow [that doesn't constitute a wing as such]; and hence, i cannot pretend to assume a belief in the Balrog's *wings*... :(