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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Why did it seem like Gimli had no knowledge of the Balrog?

    I rewatched The Fellowship of the Ring a few days ago and something struck me as odd. When the Fellowship was on the mountain after being buried by the avalanche Gimli was adamant that the Fellowship go through the Mines of Moria, but the mines were occupied by the Balrog and had been so for a few centuries at least. I thought this was well known by everyone. Also he said that his cousin Balin would give them a royal welcome, but no one had heard from Balin for several years after he had left to retake Moria. Doesn't it seem odd that Gimli had no knowledge, or forgot about, Durin's Bane or that he would assume everything was peachy in Moria when he had no evidence to suggest it was? Also why didn't Gandalf mention anything about the Balrog when he asked Frodo to decide what route to take? Seems like an important piece of information to keep to himself.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    While I don't have specific examples from the book, there are some key reasons.

    For 1, no one seemed to know in the books what Durin's Bane was exactly. Everyone who say the balrog were killed, and anyone of the Dwarves who did survive wouldn't have known what kind of creature it was. The wise such as Galadriel and Gandalf might have guessed, but they didn't know for sure.

    Concerning Gimli in the movies not knowing about the fall of Moria. That was simply Jackson's move to not include why the Dwarves were there. In the books all 4 races had their own reasons for being there, and it just so happened to work to discuss about the Ring. Whereas in the movies they're all summonned to discuss the Ring.

    So simply it was a change that Jackson made to not include all the details about the Dwarves reasons for being in Rivendell. In the books Gimli knew that Balin had went to Moria, but none of the Dwarves of Erebor knew what happened to Balin, just that no news had reached them for decades. So that way in the books Gimli thinks they might find news of what happened to Balin.

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  3. #3
    I think Gandalf hinted at it by his reluctance to enter the Mines. He also said "There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world." So by that I believe he had an idea of what it could have been waiting for them, he just didn't know its form until he saw it. That was my take, anyway.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Moria is a big place, and while the Balrog is large, he can't be everywhere at once. They may have imagined they could sneak by unnoticed.
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  5. #5
    in the books it was Gandalf that suggested moria and that Balin might still be there, and Gimli was well aware of Durins bane even if he never spoke of it.
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  6. #6
    Something drove the dwarves out and nobody knew what it was, that's how I always understood it.

    What I never understood: it's 3018 now, Balin was slain 2994 and the colony was destroyed. 24 years...
    No word from Moria and no one ever looked what had happened?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dooraa View Post
    Something drove the dwarves out and nobody knew what it was, that's how I always understood it.

    What I never understood: it's 3018 now, Balin was slain 2994 and the colony was destroyed. 24 years...
    No word from Moria and no one ever looked what had happened?
    Given what we know about Moria, I'd say it's a good chance any who did wouldn't have come back.
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  8. #8
    Well for one thing, you have to remember that the Balrog had driven the dwarves out about 1000 years ago, in 1980 of the Third Age. Even for dwarves, that's a long time ago, especially in a pre-printing press, pre-mass media culture. We're talking about Gimli's great grandfather, or possibly even great-great grandfather here. It's not exactly unreasonable to assume whatever it is that drove your people away might be dead or gone or whatever after 1000+ years.

    Another point is that the usurpers the dwarves have the most experience with are orcs and dragons. Again, not unreasonable to assume Durin's Bane is some kind of Dragon. In which case, the odds are excellent it will be asleep on it's treasure pile in the deepest chamber. And it might be much too big to chase the Company into every nook and crevice after 1000 years. If it's orcs, of course, nobody in the Company is overly scared of orcs. Both Gandalf and Aragorn had been into Moria already without encountering the Balrog. Not something to get excited about, but more like one of the hazards of the road. To Gandalf, it must have seemed like a risk, yes, but a reasonable one, if the alternatives are go back to Rivendell or try to sneak past Saruman's (and possibly Theoden's) armies. Balancing that risk, was the possibility that Balin had managed to maintain his dwarf colony all this time and they had been silent for twenty four years (a long time, but not as long for dwarves who might live ten times that long) for some other reason besides annihilation.

    As for the movie, yes, it is simply wrong on this point. Yes, Gimli has some hope of finding Balin's expedition in Moria, but after so long with no word, he's certainly not promising anyone dwarven hospitality in Moria.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    1
    There's also a thing called Dwarven pride. He's not going to admit to an elf and some men that Balin might have failed if there's any chance he could be found.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    3
    I think Gandalf was terrified of what he suspected was in Moria. He did not have the courage to choose the route himself and he did not want to selfishly influence the ring-bearer's choice. The decision of which route they took had to be a pure one.

    Gandalf was a lot of things, fearless, all knowing, and infinitely powerful were not among them. That's what made him courageous. If you are risking nothing and guaranteed victory, where is the bravery in that? Being willing to face one of the things you fear the most, knowing the danger and feeling the revulsion - that is the mark of a true hero.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Dooraa View Post
    Something drove the dwarves out and nobody knew what it was, that's how I always understood it.

    What I never understood: it's 3018 now, Balin was slain 2994 and the colony was destroyed. 24 years...
    No word from Moria and no one ever looked what had happened?
    You have to consider other problems in ME at the time; the wilderness was becoming wilder, the goblins were returning to their stronghold again after the battle of the 5 Armies, and evil was stirring once more in Dol Guldur. Coupled with that, the Dwarves of Erebor were also concerned by the presence of the messenger from Mordor and his questions about Bilbo. So they could not send a party to find out what had happened to Balin. Dont quote me on this, i havent read the booksin a while, but i believe that Dain actually forbade anyone going to seek Balin (or maybe he advised Balin not to go in the first place, i forget)
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Surfside View Post
    I think Gandalf was terrified of what he suspected was in Moria. He did not have the courage to choose the route himself and he did not want to selfishly influence the ring-bearer's choice.
    Gandalf was a lot of things, fearless was not among them.
    what are you talking about?
    Last edited by Calmor3112; Mar 20 2013 at 06:21 PM.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    I agree Gandalf is not fearless. I also believe he was fearful of what could be in moria. I don't believe courage was the reason he didn't choose the path. Obviously if they had a clear choice he would have made it and it would not have been questioned.
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surfside View Post
    I think Gandalf was terrified of what he suspected was in Moria. He did not have the courage to choose the route himself and he did not want to selfishly influence the ring-bearer's choice. The decision of which route they took had to be a pure one.

    Gandalf was a lot of things, fearless, all knowing, and infinitely powerful were not among them. That's what made him courageous. If you are risking nothing and guaranteed victory, where is the bravery in that? Being willing to face one of the things you fear the most, knowing the danger and feeling the revulsion - that is the mark of a true hero.
    It was Gandalf's chosen path, to go over the Red Horn Pass was Aragorn's choice until it failed. I don't think even Gandalf knew what was waiting for them as he had passed through before as had Aragorn though his must have been more eventful to not want to go back through. The only ones that wanted to go through Moria was Gandalf and Gimli.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Up until the Big Bad lurking in Khazad-dum is revealed to be a Balrog, Gandalf (and everyone else) is only aware of 6 Maiar at large in Middle Earth. Until Saruman's betrayal Galdalf had only thought to have to potentially confront one being, (Sauron) of his own kind and experience. Even the greatest of the Noldor were still youngsters compared to someone who lived before and beyond the creation of Arda. Of course Gandalf is apprehensive of this test to say the least.

  16. #16
    As has been mentioned, Durin's Bane was a nameless terror until the Fellowship encountered it. Even when Gandalf contended with it through the door in Balin's Tomb, he was unsure of it's exact nature. Only when seen and recognized as a Balrog by Legolas as well, does Gandalf realize what it is.

    "'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.' "

 

 

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