Bestiary of Middle-Earth

FAN: Discuss various fictional worlds that don't qualify for SF.

Moderator: Steve

User avatar
CaptainChewbacca
Browncoat Wookiee
Posts: 15745
Joined: 2003-05-06 02:36am
Location: Deep beneath Boatmurdered.
Contact:

Postby CaptainChewbacca » 2006-12-01 08:33pm

I always that Huorns were to Ents like dogs or wolves were to Humans. Similar, but a lower form.
Stuart: The only problem is, I'm losing track of which universe I'm in.
You kinda look like Jesus. With a lightsaber.- Peregrin Toker
ImageImage

User avatar
LaserRifleofDoom
Padawan Learner
Posts: 335
Joined: 2005-06-03 06:42pm
Location: On the Edge of my seat.
Contact:

Postby LaserRifleofDoom » 2006-12-02 03:17pm

I thought they were trees that became Ent-like. In fact, I'm not sure there were ever enough Ents for all the Huorns to have formerly been Ents.
The Technology of Peace!

User avatar
Balrog
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2258
Joined: 2002-12-29 09:29pm
Location: Fortress of Angband

Postby Balrog » 2006-12-03 02:53pm

LaserRifleofDoom wrote:I thought they were trees that became Ent-like.


A little bit of both, if you believe what Treebeard has to say on the subject.

Ents presumably should be in any 'finished' Silmarillion, given that Gandalf says "A thing is about to happen which has not happened since the Elder Days: the Ents are going to wake up and find that they are strong.'" in TTT; My imagining of the War of Wrath includes them tearing trolls to pieces and stomping orcs in grand style.

They do have a confirmed sighting, when the Dwarves who ransacked Doriath were ambushed by Beren & co. the survivors ran for it but got intercepted by some Ents.
'Ai! ai!' wailed Legolas. 'A Balrog! A Balrog is come!'
Gimli stared with wide eyes. 'Durin's Bane!' he cried, and letting his axe fall he covered his face.
'A Balrog,' muttered Gandalf. 'Now I understand.' He faltered and leaned heavily on his staff. 'What an evil fortune! And I am already weary.'
- J.R.R Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

User avatar
Balrog
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2258
Joined: 2002-12-29 09:29pm
Location: Fortress of Angband

Postby Balrog » 2006-12-06 12:03pm

Malbeth the Seer
The Passing of the Grey Company wrote:‘“This is the word that the sons of Elrond bring to me from their father in Rivendell, wisest in lore: Bid Aragorn remember the words of the seer, and the Paths of the Dead.”

“And what may be the words of the seer?” said Legolas.

“Thus spoke Malbeth the Seer, in the days of Arvedui, last king of Fornos,” said Aragorn:
Over the land there lies a long shadow,
westward reaching wings of darkness.
The Tower trembles; to the tombs of kings
doom approaches. The Dead awaken;
for the hour is come for the oathbreakers:
at the Stone of Erech they shall stand again
and here there a horn in the hills ringing.
Whose shall the horn be? Who shall call them
from the grey twilight, the forgotten people?
The heir of him to whom the oath they swore.
From the North shall he come, need shall drive him:
he shall pass the Door to the Paths of the Dead.


Appendix A wrote:‘Arvedui was indeed the last king [of Arthedain], as his name signifies. It is said that this name was given to him at his birth by Malbeth the Seer, who said to his father: “Arvedui you shall call him, for he will be the last in Arthedain. Though a choice will come to the Dúnedain, and if they take the one that seems less hopeful, then your son will change his name and become king of a great realm. If not, then much sorrow and many lives of men shall pass, until the Dúnedain arise and are united again.”


Malbeth kinda appears out of nowhere during the reign of King Araval, second-to-last King of Arthedain, giving the above prediction about his son Arvedui, and then gives the prediction about the Paths of the Dead during Arvedui's reign. Both turn out to be correct: Arvedui fled north when the Witch-King overran the last remnants of his kingdom, and stayed for awhile with the Forodwraith (aka Eskimos) until a ship from Cirdan came for him. The snowmen warned him to not go on the ship, he ignores them and gets himself drowned when a storm smashes the ship. As for the other one, well, you should know how that turned out ;)

Malbeth's own fate isn't known, nor where he got his powers of foresight; whether one is born with the power, or can somehow learn it. This is not the first time a member of the Dúnedain have displayed the ability to see the future; Glirhuin of Brethil was noted as a seer who made future predictions that turned out correct, for example.
Last edited by Balrog on 2008-04-25 03:41pm, edited 1 time in total.
'Ai! ai!' wailed Legolas. 'A Balrog! A Balrog is come!'
Gimli stared with wide eyes. 'Durin's Bane!' he cried, and letting his axe fall he covered his face.
'A Balrog,' muttered Gandalf. 'Now I understand.' He faltered and leaned heavily on his staff. 'What an evil fortune! And I am already weary.'
- J.R.R Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

User avatar
NecronLord
Harbinger of Doom
Harbinger of Doom
Posts: 26823
Joined: 2002-07-07 06:30am
Location: The Lost City

Postby NecronLord » 2006-12-06 12:18pm

Tolkien goes into detail about foresight in Ósanwe-kenta, an essay I don't have, but the general idea seems to be that prophecy comes from Ilúvatar, either directly, or indirectly, through the Valar. The real deal is always accurate, but it may not necesserily give the full picture - as in Glorfindel's proclamation about the Witch-King's fate. There also appear to be means by Art of seeing the possibilities of the future, the Mirror of Galadriel apparently shows things that may happen, rather than those that will - however when we see it in use, it is quite effective, even showing the return of Gandalf.
Superior Moderator - BotB - HAB [Drill Instructor]-Writer- Stardestroyer.net's resident Star-God.
"We believe in the systematic understanding of the physical world through observation and experimentation, argument and debate and most of all freedom of will." ~ Stargate: The Ark of Truth

Pelranius
Sith Marauder
Posts: 3520
Joined: 2006-10-24 11:35am
Location: Around and about the Beltway

Postby Pelranius » 2006-12-06 06:03pm

I've wondered in the past if Malbeth was actually one of the Istari or another Maia in disguise?
The Christian fundies don't like Muslim Anti Zionism and the Arab nationalists resent the Israeli presence in the Occupied Territories because no one likes to see someone else beat the living shyte out of one's red headed step sibling.

"I am General Grevious, and I am NOT a sock puppet!"

User avatar
Balrog
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2258
Joined: 2002-12-29 09:29pm
Location: Fortress of Angband

Postby Balrog » 2006-12-06 07:30pm

Thanks NL

Pelranius wrote:I've wondered in the past if Malbeth was actually one of the Istari or another Maia in disguise?


Never occured to me, but I still doubt it; we know mostly what the Istari did, and other Maia wouldn't disclose themselves so easily. Besides, mortals having foresight isn't that odd.
'Ai! ai!' wailed Legolas. 'A Balrog! A Balrog is come!'
Gimli stared with wide eyes. 'Durin's Bane!' he cried, and letting his axe fall he covered his face.
'A Balrog,' muttered Gandalf. 'Now I understand.' He faltered and leaned heavily on his staff. 'What an evil fortune! And I am already weary.'
- J.R.R Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

User avatar
Balrog
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2258
Joined: 2002-12-29 09:29pm
Location: Fortress of Angband

Postby Balrog » 2007-02-02 09:49pm

Shelob
Shelob’s Lair, p.701-702 wrote:‘Here the air was still, stagnant, heavy, and sound fell dead. They walked as it were in a black vapour wrought of veritable darkness itself that, as it was breathed, brought blindness not only to the eyes but to the mind, so that even the memory of colours and of forms and of any light faded out of thought.’

Shelob apparently has the same ability to create clouds of obscuring black vapour as her mother did, though obviously not as powerful.

Shelob’s Lair, p.703 wrote:‘And still the stench grew. It grew, until almost it seemed to them that smell was the only clear sense left to them, and that was for their torment…

At length Frodo, groping along the left-hand wall, came suddenly to a void. Almost he fell sideways into the emptiness. Here was some opening in the rock far wider than any they had yet passed; and out of it came a reek so foul, and a sense of lurking malice so intense, that Frodo reeled. And at that moment Sam too lurched and fell forward.’

Self-explanitory, the stench and malice Shelob emits can be overpowering.

Shelob’s Lair wrote:‘But other potencies there are in Middle-earth, powers of night, and they are old and strong. And She that walked in the darkness had heard the Elves cry that cry far back in the deeps of time, and she had not heeded it, and it did not daunt her now. Even as Frodo spoke he felt a great malice bent upon him, and a deadly regard considering him. Not far down the tunnel, between them and the opening where they had reeled and stumbled, he was aware of eyes growing visible, two great clusters of many-windowed eyes – the coming menace was unmasked at last. The radiance of the star-glass was broken and thrown back from their thousands facets, but behind the glitter a pale deadly fire began steadily to glow within, a flame kindled in some deep pit of evil thought. Monstrous and abominable eyes they were, bestial and yet filled with purpose and with hideous delight, gloating over their prey trapped beyond all hope of escape.

Frodo and Sam, horror-stricken, began slowly to back away, their own gaze held by the dreadful stare of those baleful eyes; but as they backed so the eyes advanced. Frodo’s hand wavered, and slowly the Phial drooped. Then suddenly, released from the holding spell to run a little while in vain panic for the amusement of the eyes, they both turned and fled together…’

Shelob is not daunted by the magical light of Galadriel at first, though she only makes a move when the Phial is down. 'Holding spell' could be more poetic language, or an actual ability.

Shelob’s Lair wrote:‘“Galadriel!” he called, and gathering his courage he lifted up the Phial once more. The eyes halted. For a moment their regard relaxed, as if some hint of doubt troubled them... Sting flashed out, and the sharp elven-blade sparkled in the silver light, but at its edges a blue fire flickered. Then holding the star aloft and the bright sword advanced, Frodo, hobbit of the Shire, walked steadily down to meet the eyes.

They wavered. Doubt came into them as the light approached. One by one they dimmed, and slowly they drew back. No brightness so deadly had ever afflicted them before. From son and moon and star they had been safe underground, but now a star had descended into the very earth. Still it approached, and the eyes began to quail. One by one they all went dark; they turned away, and a great bulk, beyond the light’s reach, heaved its huge shadow in between. They were gone.’

The light forces Shelob to retreat; it's not simply the light that she hates (she's taken torch-carrying Orcs numerous times), there's something inantely "good" or "elven" in how the Phial works, much like how Gollum couldn't stand the touch of Elven rope.

Shelob’s Lair wrote:‘The outlet was blocked with some barrier, but not of stone; soft and a little yielding it seemed, and yet strong and impervious; air filtered through, but not a glimmer of any light. Once more they charged and were hurled back.

Holding aloft the Phial Frodo looked and before him he saw a greyness which the radiance of the star-glass did not pierce and did not illuminate, as if it were a shadow that being cast by no light, no light could dissipate. Across the width and height of the tunnel a vast web was spun, orderly as the web of some huge spider, but denser-woven and far greater, and each thread was as thick as rope.

Sam laughed grimly. “Cobwebs!” he said. “Is that all? Cobwebs! But what a spider. Have at ’em, down with ’em!”

In a fury he hewed at them with his sword, but the thread that he struck did not break. It gave a little and then sprang back like a plucked bowstring, turning the blade and tossing up both sword and arm. Three times Sam struck with all his force, and at last one single cord of all the countless cords snapped and twisted, curling and whipping through the air. One end of it lashed Sam’s hand, and he cried in pain, starting back and drawing his hand across his mouth.’

More self-explanitory text; her webs are tough to cut with Sam's Númenórean blade, but with Sting Frodo can go through them with one blow.

Shelob’s Lair wrote:‘There agelong [Shelob] had dwelt, an evil thing in spider-form, even such as once of old had lived in the Land of the Elves in the West that is now under the Sea, such as Beren fought in the Mountains of Terror in Doriath, and so came to Lúthien upon the green sward amid the hemlocks in the moonlight long ago. How Shelob came there, flying from ruin, no tale tells, for out of the Dark Years few tales have come. But still she was there, who was there before Sauron, and before the first stone of Barad-dûr; and she served none but herself, drinking the blood of Elves and Men, bloated and grown fat with endless brooding on her feasts, weaving webs of shadows; for all living things were her food, and her vomit darkness. Far and wide her lesser broods, bastards of the miserable mates, her own offspring, that she slew, spread from glen to glen, from the Ephel Dúath to the eastern hills, to Dol Guldur and the fastnesses of Mirkwood. But none could rival her, Shelob the Great, last child of Ungoliath to trouble the unhappy world.

Already, years before, Gollum had beheld her, Sméagol who pried into all dark holes, and in past days he bowed and worshipped her, and the darkness of her evil will walked through all the ways of his weariness beside him, cutting him off from light and from regret. And he had promised to bring her food. But her lust was not his lust. Little she knew of or cared for towers, or rings, or anything devised by mind or hand, hwo only desired death for all others, mind and body, and for herself a glut of life, alone, swollen till the mountains could no longer hold her up, and the darkness could not contain her.

But that desire was yet far away, and long now had she been hungry, lurking in her den, while the power of Sauron grew, and light and living things forsook her borders; and the city in the valley was dead, and no Elf or Man came near, only the unhappy Orcs. Poor food and wary. But she must eat, and however busily they delved new winding passages from the pass and from their tower, ever she found some way to snare them. But she lusted for sweeter meat.

And as for Sauron: he knew where she lurked. It pleased him that she should dwell there hungry but unabated in malice, a more sure watch upon that ancient path into his land than any other that his skill could have devised. And Orcs, they were useful slaves, but he had them in plenty. If now and again Shelob caught them to stay her appetite, she was welcome: he could spare them. And sometimes as a many may cast a dainty to his can (his cat he calls her, but she owns him not) Sauron would send her prisoners that he had no better uses for: he would have them driven to her hole, and report brought back to him of the play she made.

So they both lived, delighting in their own devices, and feared no assault, nor wrath, nor any end of their wickedness. Never yet had any fly escaped from Shelob’s webs, and the greater now was her rage and hunger.’

Shelob's bio in full, connection made with the spiders Bilbo fought in Mirkwood, and her relationship to Gollum and Sauron.

Shelob’s Lair wrote:‘Hardly had Sam hidden the light of the star-glass when she came. A little way ahead and to his left he saw suddenly, issuing from a black hole of shadow under the cliff, the most loathly shape that he had ever beheld, horrible beyond the horror of an evil dream. Most like a spider she was, but huger than the great hunting beasts, and more terrible than they because of the evil purpose in her remorseless eyes. Those same eyes that he had thought daunted and defeated, there they were lit with a fell light again, clustering in her out-thrust head. Great horns she had, and behind her short stalk-like neck was her huge swollen body, a vast bloated bag, swaying and sagging between her legs; its great bulk was black, blotched with livid marks, but the belly underneath was pale and luminous and gave forth a stench. Her legs were bent, with great knobbed joints high above her back, and hairs that stuck out like steel spines, and at each leg’s end there was a claw.

As soon as she had squeezed her soft squelching body and its folded limbs out of the upper exit from her lair, she moved with a horrible speed, now running on her creaking legs, now making a sudden bound.’

Physical description of the big bloated spider, being fast and agile for her size. While Sam gets ambushed by Gollum, she pounces on Frodo...

Shelob’s Lair wrote:‘As he had run forward, eager, rejoicing to be free, Shelob with hideous speed had come from behind and with one swift stroke had stung him in the neck. He lay now pale, and heard no voice, and did not move.’

As it happens the poison she used with Frodo was non-leathal, and he came to some hours later, but she can also apparently use a more lethal version to kill quickly.

Shelob’s Lair wrote:‘Disturbed as if out of some gloating dream by his small yell she turned slowly the dreadful malice of her glance upon him. But almost before she was aware that a fury was upon her greater than any she had known in countless years, the shining sword bit upon her foot and shore away the claw. Sam sprang in, inside the arches of her legs, and with a quick upthrust of his other hand stabbed at the clustered eyes upon her lowered head. One great eye went dark.

Now the miserable creature was right under her, for the moment out of the reach of her sting and of her claws. Her vast belly was above him with its putrid light, and the stench of it almost smote him down. Still his fury held for one more blow, and before she could sink upon him, smothering him and all his little impudence of courage, he slashed the bright elven-blade across her with desperate strength.

But Shelob was not as dragons are, no softer spot had she save only her eyes. Knobbed and pitted with corruption was her age-old hide, but ever thickened from within with layer on layer of evil growth. The blade scored it with a dreadful gash, but those hideous folds could not be pierced by any strength of men, not though Elf or Dwarf should forge the steel or the hand of Beren or of Túrin wield it. She yielded to the stroke, and then heaved up the great bag of her belly high above Sam’s head. Poison frothed and bubbled from the wound. Now splaying her legs she drove her huge bulk down on him again. Too soon. For Sam still stood upon his feet, and dropping his own sword, with both hands he held the elven-blade point upwards, fending off that ghastly roof; and so Shelob, with the driving force of her own cruel will, with strength greater than any warrior’s hand, thrust herself upon a bitter spike. Deep, deep it pricked, as Sam was crushed slowly to the ground.

No such anguish had Shelob ever known, or dreamed of knowing, in all her long world of wickedness. Not the doughtiest soldier of old Gondor, nor the most savage Orc entrapped, had ever thus endured her, or set blade to her beloved flesh. A shudder went through her. Heaving up again, wrenching away from the pain, she bent her writhing limbs beneath her and sprang backwards in a convulsive leap.’

Lots of information here. First, while parts of her can be damaged (claw, eyes), her body is very tough to penetrate; it took Sting and her own strength in order to penetrate the folds of her skin. She's also large enough that Sam could stand his full height under her, 3.5-4 feet about. Also, despite the wound, she did not seem too injured and was getting ready to finish him off...

Shelob’s Lair wrote:‘Slowly he raised his head and saw her, only a few paces away, eyeing him, her beak drabbling a spittle of venom, and a green ooze trickling from below her wounded eye. There she crouched, her shuddering belly splayed upon the ground, the great bows of her legs quivering, as she gathered herself for another spring – this time to crush and sting to death: no little bite of poison to still the struggling of her meat; this time to slay and then to rend.’


Shelob’s Lair wrote:‘As if his indomitable spirit had set its potency in motion, the glass blazed suddenly like a white torch in his hand. It flamed like a star that leaping from the firmament sears the dark air with intolerable light. No such terror out of heaven had ever burned in Shelob’s face before. The beams of it entered into her wounded head and scored it with unbearable pain, and the dreadful infection of light spread from eye to eye. She fell back beating the air and began to crawl, claw by claw, towards the opening in the dark cliff behind.

Sam came on. He was reeling like a drunken man, but he came on. And Shelob cowed at last, shrunken in defeat, jerked and quivered as she tried to hasten from him. She reached the hole, and squeezing down, leaving a trail of green-yellow slime, she slipped in, even as Sam hewed a last stroke at her dragging legs.’

The Phial's light drives her off for good. Shelob's final fate is not told in full, but is hinted enough to in the text:
Shelob’s Lair wrote:‘Shelob was gone; and whether she lay long in her lair, nursing her malice and her misery, and in slow years of darkness healed herself from within, rebuilding her clustered eyes, until with hunger like deaths he spun once more her dreadful snares in the glens of the Mountains of Shadow, this tale does not tell.’
Last edited by Balrog on 2008-04-25 03:42pm, edited 1 time in total.
'Ai! ai!' wailed Legolas. 'A Balrog! A Balrog is come!'
Gimli stared with wide eyes. 'Durin's Bane!' he cried, and letting his axe fall he covered his face.
'A Balrog,' muttered Gandalf. 'Now I understand.' He faltered and leaned heavily on his staff. 'What an evil fortune! And I am already weary.'
- J.R.R Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

User avatar
CaptainChewbacca
Browncoat Wookiee
Posts: 15745
Joined: 2003-05-06 02:36am
Location: Deep beneath Boatmurdered.
Contact:

Postby CaptainChewbacca » 2007-02-03 02:04pm

Excellent work, as usual. You may want to include the info about Ungoliant from the Silmarillion, though.
Stuart: The only problem is, I'm losing track of which universe I'm in.

You kinda look like Jesus. With a lightsaber.- Peregrin Toker

ImageImage

User avatar
NeoGoomba
Sith Devotee
Posts: 3090
Joined: 2002-12-22 11:35am
Location: Upstate New York

Postby NeoGoomba » 2007-02-03 02:13pm

Was it Ungoliant then who in the end consumed herself? I havent read RotK in ages and I always thought that was Shelob's fate too. Apparently not.
"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know...tomorrow."
-Agent Kay

User avatar
Balrog
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2258
Joined: 2002-12-29 09:29pm
Location: Fortress of Angband

Postby Balrog » 2007-02-03 04:48pm

NeoGoomba wrote:Was it Ungoliant then who in the end consumed herself?


IIRC yes, though I don't have my copy of the Sil to check.
'Ai! ai!' wailed Legolas. 'A Balrog! A Balrog is come!'
Gimli stared with wide eyes. 'Durin's Bane!' he cried, and letting his axe fall he covered his face.
'A Balrog,' muttered Gandalf. 'Now I understand.' He faltered and leaned heavily on his staff. 'What an evil fortune! And I am already weary.'
- J.R.R Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

User avatar
Balrog
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2258
Joined: 2002-12-29 09:29pm
Location: Fortress of Angband

Postby Balrog » 2007-02-03 04:49pm

CaptainChewbacca wrote:Excellent work, as usual. You may want to include the info about Ungoliant from the Silmarillion, though.

Thanks. When I get the chance I will.
'Ai! ai!' wailed Legolas. 'A Balrog! A Balrog is come!'
Gimli stared with wide eyes. 'Durin's Bane!' he cried, and letting his axe fall he covered his face.
'A Balrog,' muttered Gandalf. 'Now I understand.' He faltered and leaned heavily on his staff. 'What an evil fortune! And I am already weary.'
- J.R.R Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

User avatar
Ted C
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4487
Joined: 2002-07-07 11:00am
Location: Nashville, TN
Contact:

Postby Ted C » 2007-02-05 11:40am

Balrog wrote:The light forces Shelob to retreat; it's not simply the light that she hates (she's taken torch-carrying Orcs numerous times), there's something inantely "good" or "elven" in how the Phial works, much like how Gollum couldn't stand the touch of Elven rope.


The Phial of Galadriel specifically traps some of the light from Earendil's star, and the Star of Earendil is one of the Silmarils (the other two being lost in the sea and buried in the earth, respectively). The Phial therefore contains a bit of the light of the Two Trees of Aman, small fraction though it be. Powerful stuff.
"This is supposed to be a happy occasion... Let's not bicker and argue about who killed who."
-- The King of Swamp Castle, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

"Nothing of consequence happened today. " -- Diary of King George III, July 4, 1776

"This is not bad; this is a conspiracy to remove happiness from existence. It seeks to wrap its hedgehog hand around the still beating heart of the personification of good and squeeze until it is stilled."
-- Chuck Sonnenburg on Voyager's "Elogium"

User avatar
CaptainChewbacca
Browncoat Wookiee
Posts: 15745
Joined: 2003-05-06 02:36am
Location: Deep beneath Boatmurdered.
Contact:

Postby CaptainChewbacca » 2007-02-05 01:12pm

It always confused me how the tiny fraction of light from the two trees that was in the Phial could be so powerful, but Ungoliant could just eat the two trees like he did.
Stuart: The only problem is, I'm losing track of which universe I'm in.

You kinda look like Jesus. With a lightsaber.- Peregrin Toker

ImageImage

User avatar
The Grim Squeaker
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10243
Joined: 2005-06-01 01:44am
Location: A different time-space Continuum
Contact:

Postby The Grim Squeaker » 2007-02-05 01:25pm

CaptainChewbacca wrote:It always confused me how the tiny fraction of light from the two trees that was in the Phial could be so powerful, but Ungoliant could just eat the two trees like he did.

Ungoliant was incredibly powerful and gained more power from eating the "Sap" of the trees. She had Melkor on the fucking ropes (He needed his army of Balrogs lead by Gothmog to drive her off, and their whips of Fire & Shadow "properties" would make them ideal for dealing with Ungoliant).

To put it simply, Gandalf was incredibly powerful, how could the Balrog kill him while just a pile of extinguished slime as it did? :wink:
Photography
Genius is always allowed some leeway, once the hammer has been pried from its hands and the blood has been cleaned up.
To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

User avatar
Ar-Adunakhor
Jedi Knight
Posts: 672
Joined: 2005-09-05 03:06am
Contact:

Postby Ar-Adunakhor » 2007-02-05 02:07pm

DEATH wrote:
CaptainChewbacca wrote:It always confused me how the tiny fraction of light from the two trees that was in the Phial could be so powerful, but Ungoliant could just eat the two trees like he did.

Ungoliant was incredibly powerful and gained more power from eating the "Sap" of the trees. She had Melkor on the fucking ropes (He needed his army of Balrogs lead by Gothmog to drive her off, and their whips of Fire & Shadow "properties" would make them ideal for dealing with Ungoliant).


I don't remember an "army" of balrogs responding to his cry, nor any mention of Gothmog in the ones that did. It just said "balrogs came and drover her off with whips of flame."

DEATH wrote:To put it simply, Gandalf was incredibly powerful, how could the Balrog kill him while just a pile of extinguished slime as it did? :wink:


You do know that Durin's Bane re-ignited his flames when they got to the top of the Endless Stair, right? Gandalf and the Bane fought each other on close to equal terms, and wound up killing each other.

User avatar
Balrog
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2258
Joined: 2002-12-29 09:29pm
Location: Fortress of Angband

Postby Balrog » 2007-02-05 02:16pm

Ted C wrote:
Balrog wrote:The light forces Shelob to retreat; it's not simply the light that she hates (she's taken torch-carrying Orcs numerous times), there's something inantely "good" or "elven" in how the Phial works, much like how Gollum couldn't stand the touch of Elven rope.


The Phial of Galadriel specifically traps some of the light from Earendil's star, and the Star of Earendil is one of the Silmarils (the other two being lost in the sea and buried in the earth, respectively). The Phial therefore contains a bit of the light of the Two Trees of Aman, small fraction though it be. Powerful stuff.


Indeed, powerful enough to overpower the Silent Watchers later on in the story.

CaptainChewbacca wrote:It always confused me how the tiny fraction of light from the two trees that was in the Phial could be so powerful, but Ungoliant could just eat the two trees like he did.

She, and Ungoliath was pretty bloody powerful to begin wtih to even challenge Morgoth, though IIRC he was somewhat weakened at that point.
'Ai! ai!' wailed Legolas. 'A Balrog! A Balrog is come!'
Gimli stared with wide eyes. 'Durin's Bane!' he cried, and letting his axe fall he covered his face.
'A Balrog,' muttered Gandalf. 'Now I understand.' He faltered and leaned heavily on his staff. 'What an evil fortune! And I am already weary.'
- J.R.R Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

User avatar
Ted C
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4487
Joined: 2002-07-07 11:00am
Location: Nashville, TN
Contact:

Postby Ted C » 2007-02-05 04:22pm

CaptainChewbacca wrote:It always confused me how the tiny fraction of light from the two trees that was in the Phial could be so powerful, but Ungoliant could just eat the two trees like he did.


Tolkien never really said what Ungoliant was... she's neither Ainur (like the Valar and Maiar) nor a child of Illuvatar (like Elves and Men) nor a creation of one of the Valar (like Dwarves, Orcs, and Dragons).

Ungoliant appears to be something entirely unique, like a manifestation of cosmic hunger.

Just what Ungoliant might have bred with to produce Shelob and her other offspring isn't described, but it was presumably either an Ainur spirit or a creature of Arda. The other parent would be bound by the powers of the Valar, so the power of the Valar over them would be stronger. Such power would include the light of the Trees.
"This is supposed to be a happy occasion... Let's not bicker and argue about who killed who."
-- The King of Swamp Castle, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

"Nothing of consequence happened today. " -- Diary of King George III, July 4, 1776

"This is not bad; this is a conspiracy to remove happiness from existence. It seeks to wrap its hedgehog hand around the still beating heart of the personification of good and squeeze until it is stilled."
-- Chuck Sonnenburg on Voyager's "Elogium"

User avatar
Vendetta
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10135
Joined: 2002-07-07 04:57pm
Location: Sheffield, UK
Contact:

Postby Vendetta » 2007-02-05 04:31pm

Ungoliant is a Thing from Beyond Space. A sort of arachnid Cthulhu.

User avatar
Ar-Adunakhor
Jedi Knight
Posts: 672
Joined: 2005-09-05 03:06am
Contact:

Postby Ar-Adunakhor » 2007-02-05 05:58pm

Ted C wrote:Just what Ungoliant might have bred with to produce Shelob and her other offspring isn't described, but it was presumably either an Ainur spirit or a creature of Arda. The other parent would be bound by the powers of the Valar, so the power of the Valar over them would be stronger. Such power would include the light of the Trees.


It says in the Sil that she settled in a valley north of Doriath for a time before leaving the world and consuming herself, and mated with some of the giant spiders there, giving rise to many dark progeny, of which Shelob was the greatest and last.

User avatar
Ted C
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4487
Joined: 2002-07-07 11:00am
Location: Nashville, TN
Contact:

Postby Ted C » 2007-02-06 10:27am

Ar-Adunakhor wrote:It says in the Sil that she settled in a valley north of Doriath for a time before leaving the world and consuming herself, and mated with some of the giant spiders there, giving rise to many dark progeny, of which Shelob was the greatest and last.


Ah...

In any case, her progeny are doubtless considerably watered down. Ungoliant would have just eaten the Phial for a light snack, but her mortal-crossbreed children don't have that ability.
"This is supposed to be a happy occasion... Let's not bicker and argue about who killed who."
-- The King of Swamp Castle, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

"Nothing of consequence happened today. " -- Diary of King George III, July 4, 1776

"This is not bad; this is a conspiracy to remove happiness from existence. It seeks to wrap its hedgehog hand around the still beating heart of the personification of good and squeeze until it is stilled."
-- Chuck Sonnenburg on Voyager's "Elogium"

User avatar
Soldier of Entropy
Padawan Learner
Posts: 184
Joined: 2006-12-28 08:15am
Location: Boston

Postby Soldier of Entropy » 2007-02-06 07:50pm

I just thought of something. Besides Illuvatar, there are two beings in ME whose existence is never truly explained; Ungoliant and Tom Bombadil. Both apparently came into ME near the beginning of its creation, if I remember correctly, and one is a powerful force of good and the other a powerful force of evil. Does this strike anyone else as an odd coincidence? Could Tolkien have had more behind this?
Economic Left/Right: -5.25; Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.90

User avatar
Ar-Adunakhor
Jedi Knight
Posts: 672
Joined: 2005-09-05 03:06am
Contact:

Postby Ar-Adunakhor » 2007-02-06 11:20pm

Soldier of Entropy wrote:I just thought of something. Besides Illuvatar, there are two beings in ME whose existence is never truly explained; Ungoliant and Tom Bombadil. Both apparently came into ME near the beginning of its creation, if I remember correctly, and one is a powerful force of good and the other a powerful force of evil. Does this strike anyone else as an odd coincidence? Could Tolkien have had more behind this?


Ungoliant was created from the void, much like Lillith and all those "other gods" in the Bible. Bombadil is just a Maia who stayed on Middle-Earth.

User avatar
Covenant
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4451
Joined: 2006-04-11 07:43am

Postby Covenant » 2007-02-06 11:34pm

Ar-Adunakhor wrote:
Soldier of Entropy wrote:I just thought of something. Besides Illuvatar, there are two beings in ME whose existence is never truly explained; Ungoliant and Tom Bombadil. Both apparently came into ME near the beginning of its creation, if I remember correctly, and one is a powerful force of good and the other a powerful force of evil. Does this strike anyone else as an odd coincidence? Could Tolkien have had more behind this?


Ungoliant was created from the void, much like Lillith and all those "other gods" in the Bible. Bombadil is just a Maia who stayed on Middle-Earth.


We're not sure of that! Tom's status was one of complete disregard for the War of the Ring and the people there, he simply wouldn't have bothered with the ring if he was told to hang onto it and wouldn't have bothered to get involved with the people. Tom is an other force, not one of good or evil. He's attuned to nature but the battle over the world itself is off his spectrum and it's never stated that he is a Maia in the story and Tolkein's own personal writings indicate that he's not. Author's intent is not canon, but I think it's untrue to call him a Maia.

User avatar
Ar-Adunakhor
Jedi Knight
Posts: 672
Joined: 2005-09-05 03:06am
Contact:

Postby Ar-Adunakhor » 2007-02-06 11:41pm

Covenant wrote:
Ar-Adunakhor wrote:
Soldier of Entropy wrote:I just thought of something. Besides Illuvatar, there are two beings in ME whose existence is never truly explained; Ungoliant and Tom Bombadil. Both apparently came into ME near the beginning of its creation, if I remember correctly, and one is a powerful force of good and the other a powerful force of evil. Does this strike anyone else as an odd coincidence? Could Tolkien have had more behind this?


Ungoliant was created from the void, much like Lillith and all those "other gods" in the Bible. Bombadil is just a Maia who stayed on Middle-Earth.


We're not sure of that! Tom's status was one of complete disregard for the War of the Ring and the people there, he simply wouldn't have bothered with the ring if he was told to hang onto it and wouldn't have bothered to get involved with the people. Tom is an other force, not one of good or evil. He's attuned to nature but the battle over the world itself is off his spectrum and it's never stated that he is a Maia in the story and Tolkein's own personal writings indicate that he's not. Author's intent is not canon, but I think it's untrue to call him a Maia.


Alright, either a Maia or something less powerful. Like a nature spirit or something. Even if we disregard the author's stated intent, it is in-universe canon that Sauron could whip his ass. He is not a secret Valar nor Iluvatar made manifest. Man I hate those two inane "theories."


Return to “Fantasy”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Gunhead, Zixinus and 3 guests