flaming whip

Thesis on Morgoth and Sauron and their roles as Dark Lords (Part 2/4)

For my Tolkien project, I decided I was going to explore the dynamics of Morgoth and Sauron and see if I could make an estimate as to whether or not one was more effective as dark lord than the other. I did this in regard as I would not be able to debate whether or not one was more powerful (seeing as the Valar are higher beings then the Maiar, and seeing that Melkor was the eldest, he of course is indisputably stronger than Sauron).

However, just because you’re more powerful doesn’t always mean you’re more effective. We see this all throughout history in examples where generals themselves might not be very capable in battle but are able to gain mastery by being clever strategist. Therefore that inspired me to research if one could argue whether or not Morgoth or Sauron came closer to accomplishing their dominion over Middle Earth (or Beleriand).

I did this by looking at a few key characteristics– longevity of rule (but more importantly, what was achieved), servants (those who served under them and attributed to their victories), their primary enemies (or the state of those they fought against), as well as their defeat (and what caused the finale fall). Then I concluded with their legacy and the impact they have throughout the legendarium.


Servants 

  • Armies are what win wars and it’s important to employ those who will help you and not hurt you under your command. What is also important is your relationship with said army and servants. Those who desire your victory will work harder to accomplish it. Those who are merely doing so in order to survive do not possess the same initiative.

General Disclaimer

  • I am not at all an expert, just a very passionate individual in Tolkien’s lore. Therefore some of what is stated throughout this essay may be based upon faulted research and weighed heavily by personal interpretation and opinion. So please do keep such in mind. Most of the information here was found within The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Unfinished Tales, as well as Tolkien Gateway and Wikipedia.


Morgoth

Major Servants (* most of these summaries taken from the Tolkien Gateway)

  • Sauron: The greatest and most trusted servant of Morgoth before and during the First Age. Originally a Maia of Aulë named “Mairon”, he was ensnared by Melkor and as “Gorthaur” he became Morgoth’s lieutenant in his Wars of Beleriand. He demonstrated the ability to take the form of a wolf, a serpent, and a vampire.

  • Glaurung: First of the dragons and one of the foremost lieutenants of Morgoth during the First Age– possessed a unique power to charm and ensare his prey and said to be the mightiest of dragons.

  • Ancalagon: Greatest of the winged Dragons of Morgoth. Morgoth unleashed the winged dragons, with Ancalagon at their van. Ancalagon drove back the forces of the Valar, but was stopped by Eärendil.
  • Gothmog: High-captain of Angband, one of the chief servants of Morgoth with a rank equal to that of Sauron. One of the Maiar that followed Melkor to exile, and because of either his brilliant mind or because of his ability to assume an immensely powerful physical form, he was made the Lord of Balrogs.
  • Carcharoth: Bred from the foul breed of Draugluin, the first Werewolf, and fed with elvish and mannish flesh by Morgoth himself. He was the greatest, most powerful wolf to ever live. Carcharoth was set as a guard on the Gates of Angband, and later he mortally wounded both Huan, the Hound of Valinor, and Beren



Minor Servants

  • Dragons: Also known as the Great Worms; they were evil creatures seen mostly in the northern Middle-earth. Greedy, cunning, seductive and malicious, a creation by Morgoth out of fire and sorcery sometime in the First Age. Included species such as fire-drakes and cold-drakes.
  • Balrogs: Balrogath (“Balrog-kind”) were Maiar corrupted by Morgoth during the creation of Arda, who cloaked themselves in shadow and flame and carried whips and swords. Famed Balrogs include Gothmog, slain by Ecthelion, and Durin’s Bane, slain by Olórin (Gandalf).
  • Draugluin: The first werewolf. Bred from wolves and inhabited with an evil spirit sent by Morgoth himself, Draugluin was the sire of all Werewolves of Beleriand, and dwelled with his master Sauron in Tol-in-Gaurhoth, the former watchtower of Finrod Felagund. He was slain by Huan during the Quest for the Silmaril, though informed Sauron that Huan was present. Beren and Lúthien used his pelt to sneak into Angband
  • Giants, Goblins, Trolls: Twisted creatures, created by Morgoth.
  • Orcs: Orcs were the footsoldiers of evil overlords - Morgoth, Sauron and Saruman. Made in the mockery of elves sometime during the Great Darkness.
  • Ungoliant (and her children): Ungoliant was an evil spirit in a form that greatly resembled a massive Spider. Ungoliant’s origins are shrouded in mystery. It is thought that she may have been one of the Maiar, or a lesser spirit, whom Melkor corrupted long ago, but she is not listed among the Ainur. It is also said that she came from the darkness above the skies of Arda, leading some to believe that she may be an incarnation of darkness or emptiness itself.
  • Maeglin: Maeglin was an Elf, the son of Eöl the Dark Elf and Aredhel daughter of Fingolfin. He lived in the First Age of Middle-earth and was a lord of Gondolin, chief of the House of the Mole. Morgoth promised both Gondolin and Idril in return for the location of the hidden city, thus luring Maeglin into the greatest treachery done in the Elder Days. He gave him a token that would allegedly keep him safe from the sack.


Conclusion

  • If one thing could be noted is that Morgoth had a decent understanding of hierarchy. He expressed a remarkable ability within the Silmarillion to gain trust in those around him– something in which could be his greatest ability besides strength.

  • It could easily be said that Morgoth possessed greater servants than Sauron; seeing as many were of his own creations. He had the Balrogs under his authority, as well as dragons and being of unknown origins. He wasn’t suffering in terms of followers and it could even be said that he was a decent lord in terms of servitude.
  • While man suffered under his lash, the orcs were seen as masters in their own right. Maeglin was offered Gondolin upon it’s surrender and the hand of the woman he loved. Gothmog led armies; Glaurung, Ancalagon, and Carchathor were given life. Morgoth didn’t make empty promises– perhaps they weren’t always honest, but he was able to give individuals a purpose.
  • He didn’t abuse what trust was granted to him once he had what he desired and therefore possessed a rather impressive relationship with those who followed him. While some, such as Ungoliant, would come to betray him– such were few and far between, unlike Sauron whose servants often had their own ideas..


Sauron
Major Servants

  • Nazgûl: Known as the Nine Riders or Black Riders, were Sauron’s “most terrible servants” in Middle-earth. Sometime during the Second, Sauron gave nine Rings of Power to powerful mortal Men. It is said that three of the Nine were lords of Númenor corrupted by Sauron, and one was a king among the Easterlings
  • One-Ring: An artifact created by Sauron in the Second Age for the purpose of ruling over the Free peoples of Middle-earth, mainly the Elves. It was also known as the Ruling Ring, Great Ring of Power and Isildur’s Bane because it caused the death of Isildur.
  • Thuringwethil: Vampire servant of Sauron during the First Age. She was Sauron’s messenger, but was caught in the battle between her master, Lúthien and Huan at Tol-in-Gaurhoth (“Isle of Werewolves”). She was slain either by the Hound of Valinor or in the collapse of Minas Tirith. Lúthien later used her cloak to sneak into Angband during the Quest for the Silmaril. Because of Thuringwethil’s ability to change forms, she may have been a Maia
  • Witch-king: The Witch-king of Angmar was the chief of the Nazgûl, King of Angmar and Sauron’s great captain in his wars. A wraith, the Witch-king of Angmar was nearly indestructible, a terrifying warrior, and a cunning strategist.

  • Mouth of Sauron: Sauron’s servant and representative at the end of the Third Age. He had the title Lieutenant of Barad-dûr, since he was so strongly devoted to the Dark Lord. The Mouth of Sauron was one of the Black Númenóreans.
  • Saurman: Saruman the White was the first of the order of Wizards (or Istari) who came to Middle-earth as Emissaries of the Valar in the Third Age. He was the leader of the White Council. In Sindarin his name was Curunír, which meant “Man of Skill”. It soon became clear that Saruman desired to possess the One Ring himself.
  • Shelob: A great spider-like creature akin to those of Nan Dungortheb in Beleriand, the last offspring of the demonic Ungoliant. Shelob fed off with all living things, such as Elves and Men, but as these became scarce in the area, she fed upon orcs. Sauron would sometimes send her captured prisoners for whom he had no further use and amuse himself watching how she played with her prey.


Minor Servants

  • Ar-Pharazôn: Ar-Pharazôn the Golden was the twenty-fifth and last King of Númenor. He was the son of Gimilkhâd, who was the younger brother of the twenty-fourth King, Tar-Palantir. Ar-Pharazôn’s willful rule, and his great pride, led directly to the world-changing Downfall of Númenor and the founding of the realms in exile of Arnor and Gondor.
  • Fellbeasts: Winged creatures with beak and claws, similar to birds but much larger than any other flying beast. They were used as winged mounts of the Nazgûl
  • Giants, Goblins, Trolls: Twisted creatures, created by Morgoth.
  • Orcs: Orcs were the footsoldiers of evil overlords - Morgoth, Sauron and Saruman. Made in the mockery of elves sometime during the Great Darkness.
  • Smeagle/Golum: was a creature who bore the One Ring. He lived in the Misty Mountains for most of his life. In T.A. 2941, he lost the Ring to Bilbo Baggins. For the rest of his life he sought to recover his "precious”. Eventually he would come to seize the Ring from Frodo in Sammath Naur. In his euphoria he died and destroyed the Ring after falling into the cracks of Mount Doom.
  • Werewolves: Wolves, inhabited by dreadful spirits, they were created (or a least corrupted from some other form) by Sauron, who was their master, and who took the shape of a great wolf himself at least once.
  • Wargs: An evil breed of demonic wolves, suggesting that they were inhabited by evil spirits. The origin of the breed is unknown - perhaps they were among the creatures bred by Morgoth in the Elder Days. In any case, Gandalf listed the Wargs among Sauron’s servants in the late Third Age.
  • Vampire Bats: Vampires were mysterious bat-like creatures in the service of Morgoth and of Sauron. The only vampire whose name is recorded in the annals of Arda is Sauron’s servant Thuringwethil, but Sauron himself took the form of a vampire on at least one occasion, to flee Huan.
  • Flies: Tiresome, flying insects.


Conclusion

  • For an individual who was as persuasive and charismatic as he, it was almost more so beneficial to be an enemy of Sauron than among his servants, to which he arguably held a weak relationship with.
  • The orcs within the Lord of the Rings constantly confess to fearing him and seem almost bitter of their existence– often being fed to Shelob; who she herself remarked that Sauron believed her to be nothing more then a pet, in which he was gravely mistaken.
  • Saurman and Golum both expressed a willingness to betray Sauron as soon as they were able and the Nazgûl, his chief servants, were only obeying on the account that their fates were doomed to the One Ring.
  • Even Ar-Pharazôn humored Sauron in a mere attempt for immortality and therefore many trusted little in the Dark Lord himself.
  • One could then argue is that Sauron’s greatest servant was the One Ring, which in reality, was him. Which– if one were familiar with the characteristic of Sauron, would be of no surprise that he trusted himself first and foremost.
  • Therefore Sauron was ignorant in the needs and desires of those in servitude to him and perhaps that was why he favored the more animalistic creatures in his service. Something to which couldn’t and wouldn’t doubt him.


Overall Conclusion

  • Both possessed a various assortment of powerful individuals under their authority. However, Morgoth expressed a more natural ability to lead and keep those beneath his authority, sedated. Sauron was perfect at manipulating those around him, but could not establish a relationship as seemed almost natural to Morgoth. Besides, Morgoth even had the undying loyalty of Sauron, who trusted himself most of all. If he could seduce a maiar such as he, then that speaks levels to Morgoth’s influence in those who listened.
2

Fire Agate + Bubbles (Lapis Lazuli) = Charoite!

Fire Agate is so volatile and unstable her fusions come undone very quickly or just don’t work at all. However, Bubbles is the only gem able to stay fused with her for long periods of time because of how strong their bond is.

Charoite is roughly a head taller than Garnet, can summon cloud wings from the gem on her back, and her weapon is a flaming whip (basically the same weapon as Agate, just purple). I haven’t completely decided on her personality but I’m thinking she’s pretty chill and upbeat.

Their fusion dance is roughly based on the 50s Jive

These are some boards I did from the episode “On the Run.” Sometimes when we have specific timing in mind, we time out the boards ourselves and give them to our wonderful animatic editor Lauren Hecht to use as reference. She always has great ideas for ways to improve the flow of our scenes.



In “Watermelon Steven” Lamar Abrams had introduced the new secondary powers of the gems like Amethyst’s spin dash and Pearl’s projectile beams, and i was excited to use them in as dynamic a way as possible. Introducing new gem powers and abilities is always a blast and I had fun coming up with Amethyst’s new ‘flame whip.’



This was a shot that i animated myself with advice from Jeff, it was a lot of fun to do. Since day one of working on this show I knew that a conflict like this between Amethyst and Pearl was inevitable and I secretly hoped that Jeff and I would get a chance to tell that story. Special thanks to Nick DeMayo, our animation director, and to the fantastic animation team at Sun Min in Korea for bringing this episode to life!

Charred (Part Nine)

EXO FanFiction: Fantasy AU
Main pairing: Reader x Chanyeol
You get sucked into a mysterious world, and begin to discover things you couldn’t have imagined. But why you? And who is the stranger you are becoming drawn to?

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Chanyeol paused in front of a fairly plain looking door on one of the corridor the council building. Despite it’s simple appearance you knew better, and assumed that it was surely another one of the doors provided by the Hidden people; the one that lead to the Firelands.

Chanyeol was fishing in his pockets for the key, momentarily letting your hand go as he patted down his clothes. Deprived of the calming warmth of his touch, you suddenly could feel panic rising in your chest. Your mind whirled with mixed emotions, trying to process what you felt about being taken to the Firelands.

You chewed your lip. Part of you was excited, to be going to meet the people you had never know you were part of, seeing people who could be like family to you. Meeting Chanyeol’s family, seeing his home… But these soft thoughts were suddenly pierced with the knowledge that for years the Fire Sprites had wanted your father dead, had refused to believe that such a love could exist outside of the Fire Sprites. You bristled, thinking how because of their disapproval your parents had had to flee from the Lands and live as humans… how your mother felt she couldn’t go back, how that had killed her.

You suppressed a groan, your mind reeling to another thought. The rebels, the rebels who had killed the other family you had never known; the Keepers. You thought of the burnt bookcase of the library. The Keepers and my mother, both taken from me by fire, you thought bitterly.

But I am one of them, you thought, feeling a lick of heat twitch along your skin as Chanyeol turned back to look at you.

Keep reading

I.
Shades of crimson red,
Are the hues of my mind.
They transform when I go to bed,
Into a hell of some kind.
II.
Sleep has a gatekeeper,
That looks in a way or another,
Like the Beelzebub of a sleeper..
It’s almost as if he’s his brother.
III.
Right after I’ve blinked a final blink,
And I’m swinging on the edge of sleep,
It feels as if I’m standing on the brink,
Of hell, devils begging me to leap,
Into the arms of flames, like whips,
Whipping streaks of black and red,
Like an abusive lover, burning kisses with her lips,
Onto skin reeking of the stench of dread.
IV.
When I take shelter in my slumber,
And shut my eyes to unlearn,
The earthly hell with a scent of umber,
I sway into a hell with a certain burn.
One with a scent of lava and smoke,
And flames with the same color of my thoughts.
Halos of smoke around my neck, I choke,
Tightened, secured with several knots.
—  “Slumber” by @ambiguitiesromanticized
2

Dany darted underneath the flames, swinging the whip and shouting, “No, no, no. Get DOWN!” His answering roar was full of fear and fury, full of pain. His wings beat once, twice … 

… and folded. The dragon gave one last hiss and stretched out flat upon his belly. Black blood was flowing from the wound where the spear had pierced him, smoking where it dripped onto the scorched sands. He is fire made flesh, she thought, and so am I.

King’s lover: Chapter 2/4 - King’s Fiancé

Previous chapter|Next chapter

Fandom: Throne of Glass

Pairing: Chaol Westfall/Dorian Havilliard (Chaorian)

Word count:  6906 (general) | 2698 (chapter)

Summary:  It is time to announce publicly that the king of Adarlan is engaged, and friends are needed in times like these.

Notes: Okay I KNOW I promised smut, BUT the scene is just not coming into my mind and anything I write seems wrong! Also the chapter was getting way too long, so I decided to put the count up to four chapters so everything is absolutely perfect. Enjoy!!!

Read it on AO3


Chaol had ridden all night. He had killed more people than he could count. A week ago, he had come off a ship expecting to find Dorian protecting Rifthold from the evil in Erilea. Instead, he found messages explaining exactly what was happening. Explaining that Dorian would have to give his life to save the world. He didn’t stay for more than two hours in the castle, and took a small party of soldiers with him to cross Adarlan to where the battle was supposed to happen. He didn’t care what he would have to do, he would save his king, his best friend. He had to. He stopped only when they needed to eat, and took turns sleeping with Nesryn and the other men so they didn’t need to stop for too long in the same spot. Two days later, they went into battle against one of Erawan’s band of creatures, and Nesryn had died.

He felt guilty. Not for her death, or even for her being in battler when she shouldn’t. But because he was sad only for a second. He was devastated, he shed a few tears, he thought he wouldn’t ever get married, and then he remembered that Dorian would die, and he forgot why he was crying. He felt guilty he didn’t mourn, and that he wasn’t sad for her, because he was too focused on saving Dorian. Even if it meant the world went to hell, Dorian coulnd’t give his live. Not when he had Chaol to give his.

So he rode, and he killed and barely slept. And when they got close enough h had left the men behind and ridden all night to find Dorian.

Just as the sun as rising, he arrived at the battlefield, now a sea of bodies and blood, the smell of rotten meat filling the air. But he found no battle. He found men cheering, and fire burning atop the mountain. Aelin.

He made his way through blood-drenched soldiers, all celebrating the end of the goriest war in the story of this world, running and fighting the screaming thoughts in his head: if the war was over and won, then Dorian was dead. But he couldn’t be. And he prayed silently to all the gods he could remember for his friend to be alive.

He reached the top and found her with the fae prince, her arms wide as she used her fire to make that signal that the war was finally over.

“Aelin!” He used all he had inside to shout at her, in hope she would hear him over those flames. Her head whipped in his direction, and she looked surprised -and relieved- to see him there. She walked out of her embers, and smiled. A smile that quickly died as she realised that the look on his face was of utter terror, because in his thunderous heart, and terrified mind, all he could listen to was that small voice saying “he’s dead, you’ll never see him again”.

“Where is he?” He chocked on the question, and realization dawned on her face. She opened her mouth to answer, but didn’t have the time.

“Chaol?”

It was a voice coming from behind him. His voice. He gasped as he turned around and saw Dorian, king of Adarlan and his best friend. He found it difficult to move or even breathe. But Dorian did, and ran toward him. They hugged, and Chaol tried to remember the last time they had done so and came up empty. His heart tightened with pain and regret, and he decided he would definitely hug Dorian more.

“Hey, you’re gonna crush me,” Dorian said, coming out of Chaol’s arms. His first instinct was to protest, not let him get an inch too far from him, but he stayed put.

“I thought you were dead,” he said, nothing more than a whisper, the fear of losing Dorian still crushing his very soul.

“We… Found a way around it,” and the way he was saying it made it sound like the easiest thing in the world, and Chaol was about to complain and demand an explanation, but Dorian’s mouth opened again. “I missed you.”

“I missed you too,” and the answer barely came out before he was crying and hugging his friend once more.

Chaol gasped and sat up in bed, his heart pounding inside his chest. He panted and looked around, seeing where he was. Home, with Dorian beside him on the bed, waking up with a confused expression on his face. His breathing slowed down just at that.

“What’s wrong?” His voice was hoarse from sleep. He frowned at Chaol.

“I dreamed about the day I found you, when the war ended.”

“Oh.”

Dorian sat up close beside him and planted a kiss on his shoulder. He pulled Dorian in with his arm until his lover - fiancé, now - was against him, his body warm and reassuring.

“It felt like then. Like… Like I felt when I thought you were dead.”

“Are you scared like that again?” Dorian put his arms around his waist, and the kiss was now on his cheek. Chaol shook his head.

“I don’t think that’s possible,” he said, and Dorian’s expression showed he knew what Chaol meant. There could be no bigger fear than the one of losing him. “But I’m still pretty scared.”

Dorian nodded.

“Me too. But we’re together, no matter what happens.”

“No matter what happens,” Chaol repeated, a sigh escaping his lips a moment after.

“Let’s go back to sleep,” Dorian said, pulling him down and making them lie down in the same position as before, his head nestled in Chaol’s shoulder.

He fell asleep again smelling Dorian’s hair.

Keep reading

Even though I’m super busy and tired, I had to say something about this comment that appeared in my homies @danykinkfic fic comment section.

You know, wielding a sword or a bow and arrow is not the only way of showing strength, strength comes in many shapes and sizes.

Throughout her story Dany has shown a great deal of person strength. We see it in the emotional strength she has, even though she’s lost almost everyone she’s ever loved. And rather than make her cold or unfeeling these tragedies have made caring and empathetic towards others like her who have suffered.

She’s also shown a great deal of cunning, Astapor should be evidence enough of that. A plan all of her own making and executing. Which she did to perfection.

But if showing physical strength is the only way you Dany hater can respect the One True Queen ™, then don’t fear, Daenerys is here:

“There is a reason. A dragon is no slave.” And Dany swept the lash down as hard as she could across the slaver’s face. Kraznys screamed and staggered back, the blood running red down his cheeks into his perfumed beard. The harpy’s fingers had torn his features half to pieces with one slash, but she did not pause to contemplate the ruin. “Drogon,” she sang out loudly, sweetly, all her fear forgotten. “Dracarys.”

Well look here, this petite little girl just whipped this guys face right off with just a swing. Bet you that guy is feeling dominated.

For her next act she will make a dragon bow down to her:

In the smoldering red pits of Drogon’s eyes, Dany saw her own reflection. How small she looked, how weak and frail and scared. I cannot let him see my fear. She scrabbled in the sand, pushing against the pitmaster’s corpse, and her fingers brushed against the handle of his whip. Touching it made her feel braver. The leather was warm, alive. Drogon roared again, the sound so loud that she almost dropped the whip. His teeth snapped at her.

Dany hit him. “No,” she screamed, swinging the lash with all the strength that she had in her. The dragon jerked his head back. “No,” she screamed again. “NO!” The barbs raked along his snout. Drogon rose, his wings covering her in shadow. Dany swung the lash at his scaled belly, back and forth until her arm began to ache. His long serpentine neck bent like an archer’s bow. With a hisssssss, he spat black fire down at her. Dany darted underneath the flames, swinging the whip and shouting, “No, no, no. Get DOWN!” His answering roar was full of fear and fury, full of pain. His wings beat once, twice …

… and folded. The dragon gave one last hiss and stretched out flat upon his belly. Black blood was flowing from the wound where the spear had pierced him, smoking where it dripped onto the scorched sands. He is fire made flesh, she thought, and so am I.

You know what’s comical, how shitty Dany haters are at recalling her story. They can’t remember two of the most important moments, not only of Dany’s story, but of the whole series. They judge her on their almost egregious misunderstanding of her story and they want us to take them seriously.

Please.

2

I was sitting in the Great Hall, picking at my scrambled eggs on the plate in front of me. I wasn’t much of a breakfast person, but with a full day of classes ahead of me, I needed some food. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Lily’s flaming red hair whip around as she swung her leg over the bench to sit down next to me. James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter did the same across the table.

At the sight of Remus, my stomach did a tiny jump and I felt my face blushing pink. I tried to tear my eyes away from the somehow godly sight of him shoving cheese into his mouth.

Remus was my closest friend out of the four guys. He was the only one who seemed outwardly and obviously very motivated, just like I was, so we often went to the library together for study sessions and to gossip about the others.

“So how are you all?” I asked my friends through a muffled mouthful of eggs.

“I’m just dandy, thanks very much, y/n.” Sirius slouched in front of me and grumbled. Sirius wasn’t a morning person, and he became a very sarcastic beast when someone spoke to him too early in the day.

“I wasn’t talking to you Sirius, you nasty old man.” I poked fun at the half-asleep boy, then immediately turned away when he started to turn his glare towards me. Remus burst into laughter at the stormy look on Sirius’s face, and the probably terrified one on mine.

“Say, y/n, I think I left my quill in one of the bathrooms. Can you come with me and help me find it?” Lily looked up in the middle of rummaging through her bag and gave me a pleading look. 

I looked over at Remus, who was already smiling and rolling his eyes at me.

“Lily, why on earth is your quill in the bathroom?” I sighed an exasperated sigh at my friend. Although a genius, Lily was sometimes a scatterbrain, forgetting her things everywhere. Nevertheless, I put my fork down and got up with Lily, waving goodbye to the boys and following her out of the hall.

When we reached the bathroom, I stepped inside one of the stalls, saying, “I just don’t understand, Lily. How–” I stepped back out, seeing that no one was in the bathroom. If Lily and the boys were playing a prank on me, I needed to get out fast.

I quickly escaped the bathroom and shut the door behind me. I turned around to Remus crouching down on the ground, looking for something. 

I crouched down next to him. 

“Um, Remus?” 

Startled, he shot up and looked at me sheepishly.

“Hey, y/n. James and Sirius took my paper for Potions and flung it under one of the statues, and I can’t find it.”

I giggled and started helping Remus on his search. After a while, I saw something white underneath the statue of Newt Scamander. 

“Oh, Remus, I see it here!” My hand shot out to grab it, but at the same time, Remus’s hand moved towards the same spot and his hand ended up resting on top of mine. 

My face was burning as if someone had thrown a torch at me, and I forced my eyes to look up at Remus. To my surprise, his face was bright red too. He grinned at me and pulled out his paper. 

“Thanks, y/n.” 

“No problem.” 

I walked with Remus back to where the others were, and Remus just couldn’t stop babbling about stupid things. I watched his face and the color in it refused to die back down, just like mine. I looked at my feet, hiding the goofy smile on my face, happy to listen to Remus’s continuous flow of words. 

Again with Glorfindel’s death

I want to add another reason to my previous post as to why Glorfindel’s death sucked. Because his death sucked. Like, really sucked, and not just because he was that close to surviving that duel. Because can we just recognize how thoroughly Glorfindel killed that thing? I’ve heard/read posts and whatnot about this fight, like when a new fan has a question about it, right? Some explain that Glorfindel fought the Balrog and the Balrog fell off a cliff, taking Glorfindel with him. That they both died from the fall when they hit the bottom of the chasm. That Glorfindel drove the Balrog back to the edge of the cliff until it fell, so it was fortunate they were fighting on top of crag and not a field or something. That yes, Glorfindel was an epically skilled warrior, but that the fall off the cliff is what killed the Balrog. But you know what, in Glorfindel’s defense, I want to debunk that. Because that Balrog would have died regardless if it fell or not. And because, mainly, it’s NOT TRUE. In short, that fiery demon was royally screwed. 

For one thing, in the dynamics of that particular fight, Glorfindel was the instigator of that duel, not the Balrog: 


“…that Balrog that was with the rearward foe leapt with great might on certain lofty rocks that stood into the path on the left side upon the lip of the chasm, and thence with a leap of fury he was past Glorfindel’s men and among the women and the sick in front, lashing with his whip of flame. Then Glorfindel leapt forward upon him and his golden armour gleamed strangely in the moon, and he hewed at that demon that it leapt again upon a great boulder and Glorfindel after.”
 

The Balrog didn’t confront Glorfindel. Glorfindel confronted it. And not only that, but the Balrog was actually trying to get away from him. The aggression and fight that Glorfindel faced it with was intense and frightening enough that he forced the Balrog to yield ground, forcing it up higher on the pinnacle. 


“Now there was a deadly combat upon that high rock above the folk; and these, pressed behind and hindered ahead, were grown so close that well nigh all could see, yet it was over ere Glorfindel’s men could leap to his side. The ardour of Glorfindel drave that Balrog from point to point, and his mail fended him from its whip and claw.”
 

So begins the infamous “deadly combat” of this duel on the mountain peak. It was a fast fight as far as such things are measured and everyone could see it as Glorfindel was giving it his all. And his skill and “ardor” were as such that the Balrog was being driven wherever Glorfindel forced him to move, no matter how much whip and claw and who knows what else he was being attacked with. 

(On a side note, could Tolkien have described a more cinematically epic battle? There is a lot of delicious epicness in regards to battles/duels fought in the Silmarillion, but in terms of how an epic showdown is often brought to life on the big screen, I don’t think Tolkien could have gone more out than what he did with Glorfindel; alone on top of a mountain peak, dueling with a fiery monstrosity while everyone’s literally just looking up from below, watching him) 


“Now had he beaten a heavy swinge upon its iron helm, now hewn off the creature’s whip-arm at the elbow.”
 

Not only do we have a head wound, but also an arm amputation, one right after the other. What heathen roar did the Balrog unleash when Glorfindel cut off its arm? Can the refugees of Gondolin who were watching still hear the echoes of it? 


“Then sprang the Balrog in the torment of his pain and fear full at Glorfindel, who stabbed like a dart of a snake; but he found only a shoulder, and was grappled, and they swayed to a fall upon the crag-top.”
 

Okay, so at this point of losing its arm, the Balrog is actually now terrified of this Elf, who apparently could move so fast and deadly that it couldn’t compensate, particularly after the loss of its infamous whip-arm. (Does a Balrog have blood, by the way? Is there anything falling out of its arm? Dripping magma, maybe? Unimportant.) Taking who is who into account, it’s clear that it was Glorfindel who “found only a shoulder” and that he himself “was grappled” in turn. So he manages to take hold of the Balrog again, despite that the demon was springing away from him, and that while he had the Balrog’s shoulder, the Balrog managed to seize him. That’s what “grapple” means, to seize another or each other in a firm grip, like in wrestling where you engage in close quarters. 

So in this stage of the duel, Glorfindel somehow got the Balrog’s shoulder, but it involved somehow seizing it. My theory is that he stabbed his sword deep enough into (or through) the Balrog’s shoulder that the sword caught there, twisting in his grip and causing the demon even more torment and that he couldn’t wrestle the sword free while they “swayed” literally body to body in a vicious wrestling match on top of the pinnacle. It’s plausible this was the case because it’s customary during any fight to stay outside of your enemy’s reach, and so when Glorfindel couldn’t pull his sword free from its shoulder, he found himself now wrestling with the Balrog that his caught sword now brought him in close quarters with. I say this because, as we see in the next verse, his right hand and sword were no longer available. 

And oh man, this next verse…talk about the final nail in the coffin. 


“Then Glorfindel’s left hand sought a dirk, and this he thrust up that it pierced the Balrog’s belly nigh his own face (for that demon was double his stature); and it shrieked, and fell backwards from the rock…”
 

Imagine that, if you will. A dirk is a long thrusting dagger, and Glorfindel shoved this thing so far up the Balrog’s torso that it almost went into his face. From belly to face. Considering that the Balrog was twice the size of Glorfindel, that means Glorfindel most likely had to shove his arm inside the beast in order to keep thrusting the dirk upward and into its head. 

That Balrog didn’t trip over its feet and fall off the cliff. Glorfindel didn’t shove it and just got lucky that the Balrog lost its balance and fell off. That Balrog fell because it could no longer stand. It fell because it could no longer fight. And it was dead before it hit the bottom of the chasm. 


“…and falling clutched Glorfindel’s yellow locks beneath his cap, and those twain fell into the abyss.”
 

And literally, with its last dying breath, the Balrog grabbed Glorfindel’s hair as it was falling and took the Elf with him. 

…. 

Tolkien writes right after that this was “a very grievous thing” and I think I have to agree. Not only because Glorfindel was most dearly beloved by all the people of Gondolin, but because Glorfindel should have survived that duel. He should have lived. While I do wonder what injuries Glorfindel did suffer, if he caught fire and how badly if so, he himself didn’t actually undergo any serious wounds, apparently too fast on his feet for the Balrog to land a fatal blow, and it was only because the demon grabbed his golden hair with its last moments of life that he died. Did I mention his death sucked? 

Good Valar, can you envision just what the people of Gondolin saw when this duel went down? Were they rendered silent as they watched? And you want to tell me that the Balrog died because it fell off the cliff? At this point, it probably would have jumped off the cliff just to get away from Glorfindel. That “shriek” the Balrog let loose when Glorfindel gutted him from navel to nose? Tolkien called it “the death-cry of the Balrog”. I think it’s a testament to the Balrog’s terrible might that it managed to still have the strength to grab hold of Glorfindel’s hair after that. That Balrog didn’t die because it fell: it fell because it died. And it died because Glorfindel killed it. (What does a Balrog’s shriek sound like, by the way? Not its roar or grumble, but a shriek.) Thanks to Glorfindel, it got beaten on the head, lost its whip, lost its arm, lost the use of its shoulder, and Glorfindel “hewed at that demon” so much that the Balrog was actually running away from the Elf. Or tried to, rather, because Glorfindel just kept on his tail, chasing him up the mountain, relentless, giving no quarter, lethal, and undeniably an awesome sight to behold. And then, to top off the three critical wounds Glorfindel dealt the demon, the Balrog was then literally gutted. 

So to reiterate: that Balrog was DEAD. Deader than a doornail in that duel with Glorfindel.

**texts from “The Fall of Gondolin” HoME II.194-5
**EDIT: here’s a link to a brief convo about the thrust of his dirk into the Balrog