creatures of morgoth

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The History of Middle-earth \ Dragons

“Dragons lived throughout the First, Second, and Third ages of Middle-earth and may have lived longer. They were originally bred by Morgoth during the first age to serve as gigantic shock troopers and mobile artillery. The first dragon ever seen in Middle-earth was Glaurung, the father of dragons, who Morgoth used to great effect during the fourth and fifth battles in the War of the Jewels. Like most of the creatures made or twisted by Morgoth, they were capable of reproducing naturally. Dragons were sometimes referred to as serpents, great Worms, or simply Drakes, with the first two specifying the Wingless Dragons.

Welcome to my SU AU(actually I don’t know if anybody did this yet)

Meet Bilbo. Guess what his gem is.

Here we have Bilbo defending Thorins gem. Thorin got poofed by Azog.

My poor baby’s gem got cracked when he got chased by Smaug.

Personal headcanons:

-all the people in Middle Earth have gems. They still have their own names and being called by your gem is rude(at least concerning hobbits) and considered classicist

-hobbits usually cover their gems. that is why you don’t see bilbos gem(it’s also very convenient for him since they’re LOOKING FOR THAT FRIGGIN GEM IN HIS CHEST!!!)

-bilbos summoned weapon is sting(surprise!), thorins is his shield(his gem is on his forearm)

-after the first run-in with azog everyone is worried that thorins gem got damaged. but bilbo got there in time :D cue thorins regeneration on the carrock

-orcs, goblins and the other creatures of morgoth are artificial and corrupted gem. Corruption can manifest differently in this verse (they can still be intelligent and stuff, hence azog and shit)

-Bilbos gem/the Arkenstone(there, I said it) only starts corrupting the people in his vicinity AFTER it got cracked. That’s why Thorin fell so fast ( jep, goldmadness is corruption here). Also why the shire isn’t full of corrupted gems.

BILBO DIES ENDING: Bilbo get’s shattered. Yes, sorry, just ignore this part if you want. He gets shattered by Azog when he distracts him to save Thorin. With the Arkenstone shattered Thorin and co.’s corruption disappears.

EVERYBODY LIVES ENDING: Bilbo only get’s poofed. Thorin shatters Azog and pulls a Rose Quartz/Rapunzel on Bilbo’s gem. BOOM. CORRUPTING GEM CORRUPTS NO LONGER; EVERYONE GETS DE-CORRUPTED AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER, GOOD NIGHT, THE END. also imagine the awesome fusions. BAGGINSHiELD FUSION!!! OH GOD!!

Only Seven Balrogs

I’m writing this because I know people might argue what I was talking about in my last post, in that I’m completely wrong or mistaken because there were a ton of Balrogs and way more than two were killed pre-LotR and “just look at the early writings!” Obviously, what I have to say is in adherence with Tolkien’s statement that “There should not be supposed more than say 3 or at most 7 ever existed.” [HoME Annals of Aman, section 2 X.80]

When dealing with earlier canon and determining if it’s legit or not, I follow a simple rule: if it’s contradicted by later canon, or if Tolkien outright dismisses or changes it, then it’s no longer viable. Believe me, if early canons weren’t overthrown by the later, more established canon, the earlier battle of Utumno would be hardcore canon for me through and through. Along with the original conversation between Thingol and Beren, to name a few (especially the original conversation between those two). But they’re not, because Tolkien revised them and made new decisions about them. 

Arda originally had a very different shape and structure, but that was changed. Beren was an Elf, but that was changed. Mermaids, however, which can be found in the early writings, were never contradicted or dismissed and so I still believe they exist in Arda. In the early writings it was said that Melkor ripped the wings off Eagles when they wouldn’t tell him what he wanted, and since nothing contrary was ever later written, that specific canon is still canon to me. Hence why, in my Glorfindel essay, even though his duel with the Balrog is in those early writings, I still consider it legitimate canon because there’s nothing to contradict it (indeed, his slaying a Balrog carried on into the later lore). Determining what to use from the early mythology can be very difficult precisely because not every thing was rejected.

But Tolkien’s Balrogs cannot claim the same stability in the lore as Glorfindel’s story. 

For one, those who study the lore will have noticed how the actual number of Balrogs fluctuated and decreased as Tolkien’s conception of his world evolved. Secondly, those earlier Balrogs weren’t even Maiar (so if we’re to accept the idea of the Balrogs being numerous as canon, shouldn’t we also accept that they’re not Maiar, just another type of creature Morgoth created?). In the early writings, there were hundreds of Balrogs and in other accounts, they numbered in the thousands and people were killing them left and right (Ecthelion being one of those people, along with Tuor). 

But in the “finalized” lore, if you will (namely the time of the published Silmarillion), the Balrogs were no longer creations of Morgoth, but Umaiar and far more powerful and dangerous and destructive. And so that’s why it becomes much more impressive that Glorfindel and Ecthelion both slew a Balrog each, why their notoriety and praise is as great as it is.

I accepted Tolkien’s later statement(s) about the Balrogs on their own, but those rather large revisions made to the Balrogs themselves also convinced me that limiting the number to seven or to at least a very small amount was certainly Tolkien’s last intention regarding those demons.

Because here’s the rub: I don’t personally believe there were only seven Balrogs. As in, only seven Balrogs ever. Even though Tolkien uses that word “ever”, but I’m inclined to believe that’s from Elven perception (I’ll address that in a moment). I don’t really believe there were thousands or even hundreds, but certainly dozens before the construction of Arda began. Or maybe there were hundreds, I don’t know (the host of Maiar coming into Ea was never numbered). But I like to believe that the Valar/Maiar defeated those numerous Balrogs before the Awakening of the Elves. The Wars of the Valar lasted thousands upon thousands upon thousands of years, and I find it highly believable that those Balrogs were battling against the Ainur alongside Melkor and that the majority of them were defeated. And that those remaining seven or dozen or whatever escaped into the World no less than Sauron did (twice) where they then fell asleep for like five Ages.

That’s why, in my post, I said there were “only seven Balrogs”, in that at the very least, Elves/Men/Dwarves only knew of the existence of seven of them. They were only aware of seven. Only seven were ever seen, that kind of thing. I mean, it doesn’t explicitly say that all the remaining Balrogs awoke at Melkor’s call. Some could in fact still be sleeping! (that certainly seemed to be the case for the Balrog in Moria lol) So no, I don’t believe that there were only ever seven Balrogs or that only seven remained in Arda (I’d say a dozen, maybe two at most). But that only seven took part in Morgoth’s siege of Beleriand? Yes. That I believe. Maybe only seven woke up at Melkor’s scream.

The reason I said I suspect it might be from Elven perception is simply me accounting for the bias/limited perspective the history was written with. That, and Tolkien also talks a little bit later about the Maiar who followed Melkor and those who became Balrogs, and those Maiar were more than a few: 


“For of the Maiar many were drawn to his splendour in the days of his greatness, and remained in that allegiance down into his darkness”

Tolkien then made an additional note, consisting of:


“These were the (ealar) spirits who first adhered to him in the days of his splendour, and became most like him in his corruption
[Tolkien then proceeds on to name and describe the Balrogs]”

That’s why I suspect there were more Balrogs than seven, because the subject of all this is the Balrogs and the mention of the Maiar and their corruption were listed as being “many”. Thus, why I partly think many Balrogs did actually exist in the beginning but were defeated until only seven remained at the time of the Awakening of the Elves, when the Children’s own timeline began. 

However, I could be and am possibly very wrong and we should be taking Tolkien’s use of “ever” literally since it is in fact a footnote that was written by him and not Pengolodh. And it does make sense if there truly were only ever seven. Taking into account how unique Balrogs were based on what Tolkien later wrote (most noticeably in The Later Quenta Silmarillion (I) MR.165 §18, where those quotes above comes from), I can’t think of a good reason not to take Tolkien literally with that. Though Melkor corrupted others into his service and “bred many other monsters” after indwelling Arda, the Balrogs were ever Melkor’s greatest “weapon” (or of his greatest) and like in many military ventures, the greater or more valuable something is, the less there is of it.

To go on a small tangent, part of me theorizes that those hundreds of monsters were renamed to what was conceived in the later lore as the Boldogs: 


“the name of a kind of creature: the Orc-formed Maiar, only less formidable than the Balrogs[…]Morgoth had many servants, the oldest and most potent of whom were immortal, belonging indeed in their beginning to the Maiar; and these evil spirits like their Master could take on visible forms. Those whose business it was to direct Orcs often took Orkish shapes, though they were greater and more terrible.”
[HoME Myths Transformed X.418]

Their description certainly fits the earlier stature of the Balrogs. Boldogs are canon and their numbers aren’t given, so maybe that’s where that big number of monsters went? This is only a theory, and one I don’t fully commit to.

Anyway.

By all means, everyone believe what he or she chooses! I know in the end, nothing in the lore is 100% concrete (thanks a lot, Tolkien), but I’m just trying to explain where I’m coming from and my thought process behind this. I’ve studied the lore and its infuriating contradictions so much that, for the sake of writing fanfiction and metas and hcs and stuff, I finally just developed that rule, which has so far stood the test of time, at least for me. 

I just really love the idea of the eight-to-twelve-year-old boys of the Haladin idolizing Haleth.

Like, a lot of the girls too, probably, but especially the boys because we have this thing in our culture where girls can have men as heroes but boys can’t have women, because it’s a downgrade or something equally poisonous like that.

So baby Haladin boys fighting over who gets to be Haleth. Arguing over whether she fought in a dress or not because if she did then Enthor gets to be Haleth because he has a towel he can wrap around his waist.  (Everyone picks sides based on what gives them a better chance of playing Haleth rather than what they actually think.) Haleth getting picked and everyone else fighting about who gets to be Haleth’s female bodyguards and pouting when they have to be Orcs or Elves instead. (“But I always have to be Caranthir!” Gorthor cries piteously, stamping his foot. “It’s not fair!”) Boys refusing to play with girls, because then they never get to be Haleth, (you can’t win out against someone who’s actually the same gender as the person you both want to be) and then finally settling for Haldar when their parents get fed up and insist they play nice together. Making up different adventures for her when they get tired of history; having her lead the Haladin against giant orc armies and dragons and made up creatures and then killing Morgoth. The boy playing Morgoth having Morgoth try to hide under his throne from Haleth, because he honestly believes that’s the only realistic outcome.

Oldest sons of the Chieftain planning to be great leaders and fighters like Haleth, making lists of ways to be like her, getting through nasty chores by gritting their teeth and going “Haleth would do it…”

Their parents fathers (and brothers) taking advantage of the fact that she’s basically a scarier Superman (they know, after all; it was like that for them too):

Halmir: “Haleth ate her vegetables, Haldir. When I was your age, I never even thought about not eating mine, because do you know what she would have said?”
“Hundar, you’re slacking off on weapons practice. I thought you said you wanted to be as good with an axe as my great-aunt. “

Haldir: “Handir, giving up before you start won’t get you anywhere, or this wood stacked. Imagine you’re Haleth laying in supplies behind the palisade.”

Hundar: “What would Haleth think, one of her own descendants stealing! She’d be ashamed. Give Hunleth back her doll.”

Handir: “You know, Haleth needed healers herself, Brandir. They were very important after the battle was over. She’d probably approve, don’t you think?”

Enthor: “I know you were watching your brother carefully, Hunthor; it wasn’t your fault. And even Haleth slipped up sometimes, right? We’ll replace the bowls. ”

Hunthor: “Don’t cry, Manthor, it’s only a scratch. Would Haleth cry about a scratch? Of course not. See, it’s fine.”

Hundad: “Hardang, will you slugabed all day! You think Haleth beat off our enemies and got us through Nan Dungortheb by sleeping ‘til noon? Up!”

(It works, too, unless you use it too often and they catch on.)

The "Nameless Things"

The “Nameless Things” are one of Middle Earth’s great mysteries. They’re only mentioned once by Gandalf, and all we learn from him is this:

Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he. Now I have walked there, but I will bring no report to darken the light of day.

The real tricky part of Gandalf’s description is the fact that these Nameless Things are apparently older than Sauron - for those who don’t know, Sauron and the rest of the Ainur are older than the universe itself, so it’s not even clear if it’s possible for there to be things older than them (other than Iluvatar himself, of course.) 

This, by the way, is the same problem that we run into when it comes to discussing who Tom Bombadil is - his status as “first” in the world disqualifies him from pretty much all the categories of living things that Tolkien tells us of, meaning that the only sure explanation for Tom Bombadil is “Other.” I think that the Nameless Things also fall into this “Other” category (along with, according to some interpretations, Ungoliant.)

If it weren’t for the “older than Sauron” issue, the easy explanation would be that the Nameless Things are creatures of Morgoth. Morgoth was responsible for a lot of the “monsters” of Middle Earth, including orcs, trolls, dragons, and (probably) vampires. ((EDIT: This idea seems more likely if we consider the “older than Sauron” comment to be a reference to the specific name “Sauron”, which was only used after he started serving Morgoth. Originally he went by the name “Mairon.” So it could be that the Nameless Things were made by Morgoth before Sauron started serving him.)) Or we could argue that they were corrupted Maiar, like balrogs or (in the beginning) werewolves and wargs. But, again, if they were Maiar, then they would be as old as - not older than - Sauron. ((EDIT: As a few of the Valar are identified as older brothers to other Vala, it’s implied that there is some age difference among the Ainur. In this case, it could be that the Nameless Things were Maiar that fell before Sauron was even created.))

There’s only one other thing to consider when talking about the “Nameless Things”, and that’s the Watcher in the Water. This is another creature that definitely falls into the “other” category, since we’re never told what it was (and in fact Gandalf says that he didn’t know what it was himself.) There are some readers, though, that believe that the Watcher was one of the Nameless Things. Mainly because of this quote:

I felt that something horrible was near from the moment that my foot first touched the water,“ said Frodo. "What was the thing, or were there many of them?”

“I do not know,” answered Gandalf, “but the arms were all guided by one purpose. Something has crept, or has been driven out of dark waters under the mountains. There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.

It might be that the Watcher was one of the Nameless Things that - for some reason - left the dark tunnels and came to the surface, where it’s been living for at least a few decades before it attacks the fellowship. This doesn’t really help us solve the problem of what, exactly the Nameless Things are, though.

SOURCES: LOTR