Monster Poll

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Who is the best monster in Middle-earth?

Shelob
1
5%
Ungoliant
5
24%
The Balrog of Moria
8
38%
Smaug
0
No votes
Glaurung
3
14%
Carcharoth the Wolf
2
10%
The Watcher in the Water
1
5%
Other
1
5%
 
Total votes: 21

khushil
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Spell Casting

Postby khushil » Wed Jan 03, 2007 5:31 pm

"In most fantasy literature, spell-casting creatures are usually capable of some form of speech or communication. "


I suppose that this is true. In order create the disturbance in four dimensional reality to alter the 'normal' way of things, you'd have to create some sort of high-level sound wave.

I wonder however if something like the Balrog may have been able to manipulate the fabric of reality at much more intimate level. If it did, it wouldn't need sound to cast spells.

*ponders*
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Iolanthe
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Postby Iolanthe » Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:01 pm

I've never thought of Balrogs (or Gandalf) altering the 'fabric of reality' but I suppose that is exactly what spell casting really is, isn't it? We have a nice blend of myth, fairytales and science here!

Before we started this thread I always thought of the Balrog as just large, fiery and terrifying in a conventional monster way, but it's now a much more interesting creature all round and a fitting foe for Gandalf to have been previously untested against.

So, khushil, which of the monsters did you vote for as M-e's most terrifying?
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Lindariel
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Postby Lindariel » Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:29 pm

While we are on the subject of monsters, let us remember that Ungoliant was also a fallen Maiar spirit, like the Balrogs although in spider form, which would make her extremely powerful indeed. From The Silmarillion:

For of the Maiar many were drawn to his [Melkor's] splendour in the days of his greatness, and remained in that allegiance down into his darkness; and others he corrupted afterwards to his service with lies and treacherous gifts . . . .

And there in Avathar, secret and unknown, Ungoliant had made her abode. The Eldar knew not whence she came; but some have said that in ages long before she descended from the darkness that lies about Arda, when Melkor first looked down in envy upon the Kingdom of Manwe, and that in the beginning she was one of those that he corrupted to his service . . . . In a ravine she lived, and took shape as a spider of monstrous form, weaving her black webs in a cleft of the mountains. There she sucked up all light that she could find, and spun it forth again in dark nets of strangling gloom, until no light more could come to her abode; and she was famished.


Again I say -- YIKES!!!!
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Postby Iolanthe » Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:54 am

Yikes indeed. Not only a giant spider, but one that can turn suck up light and turn it into darkness. Again - far more than a conventional monster but mythic like the world-devouring demons in ancient religions. She makes Shelob look like an overbloated house spider with a grudge :lol: .
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khushil
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The Nature Of Darkness

Postby khushil » Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:31 am

Iolanthe > I voted for the Balrog. I like fire. :-)

It's interesting to think of a monster as sucking up light and turning it into darkness. Like a black hole really. Only with evil we deal with it's ability to absorb good and not give anything back. Interesting again that evil is not really a production of anything, tangible or ethereal, but instead merely a creatures inability or unwillingness to replace the good it consumes with something else.

*ponders*
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Beren
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Postby Beren » Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:58 am

I voted for "The Red Maw"! He was the greatest werewolf that had ever lived.
Bred from the foul breed of Draugluin, the first werewolf, and fed with Elvish and human flesh by Morgoth, Carcharoth was set as a guard on the gates of Angband. I never was into spiders and the Balrogs are cool, but there are so many of them... and they are not THAT special.

I probably vote for Carcharoth because i'm such a big fan of the Beren and Lúthien tale! My favourite animal in the books is by the way Huan!

Here is some more info on Drauglin:
He became involved with the Quest for the Silmaril when Beren and Lúthien had to pass him on their way in. Lúthien enchanted him with her magic, but on their way out Carcharoth attacked before Lúthien could enthrall him again. Beren held out the captured Silmaril in an attempt to stay the beast, but Carcharoth bit off Beren's hand and swallowed it together with the Silmaril.

The Silmaril burnt away Carcharoth's insides, and he became crazed with pain. A terror to Elves, Men and Orcs alike, he passed south through Beleriand, until he arrived in Doriath. There Beren Erchamion, Elu Thingol, Beleg Cúthalion and Mablung joined with Huan the Hound to Hunt the Wolf.

Carcharoth was killed by Huan, but Huan died soon afterwards from his wounds. When Mablung cut open the belly of Carcharoth, he found there the Silmaril with Beren's hand still around it, but when he touched the flesh it was swept away by a wind.
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Philipa
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Postby Philipa » Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:57 pm

Total turn around with the topic but Huan is by my opinion one of the best heroes in Tolkien's tales. He only sacrificed everything in his being and never took from those he loved. I love that whole story Beren, thank you for recounding it.
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Beren
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Postby Beren » Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:54 pm

Huan is my fabourite to! I even started rewriting the tale of Beren and Luthien from the point of view of Huan... for a play i'm preparing...

hope one day to find time to actually finish the project one day. But it will be rather nice to have Huan actually tell (think) the story!
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Philipa
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Postby Philipa » Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:04 pm

Beren wrote:Huan is my fabourite to! I even started rewriting the tale of Beren and Luthien from the point of view of Huan... for a play i'm preparing...

hope one day to find time to actually finish the project one day. But it will be rather nice to have Huan actually tell (think) the story!


A play you say. Now that does sound interesting. When (not 'if' please) you finish the script we'd love to read it here at MeJ.

I'm so glad I found a kindred spirit for the appreciation of the hound. :D
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Iolanthe
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Re: The Nature Of Darkness

Postby Iolanthe » Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:37 am

A play based on Huan's experience of the Beren and Luthien story would be fascinating, Beren. It's a story told by Tolkien in so many different ways that I think he would be honoured if it lived to be told again by different singers, like the great lays of old.

khushil wrote:Interesting again that evil is not really a production of anything, tangible or ethereal, but instead merely a creatures inability or unwillingness to replace the good it consumes with something else. *ponders*

Maybe that's why no matter how much light Ungoliant 'eats' she's never satisfied, nor is Morgoth ever satisifed no matter how much power he obtains? It's all unproductive, negative and absorbing, giving nothing. Interesting thought. *also ponders*.
Last edited by Iolanthe on Fri Jan 05, 2007 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Lindariel
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Postby Lindariel » Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:44 pm

Speaking of performance art based on the story of Beren and Luthien, back in July, I posted the following over at Writers of Rohan:

I found a review on TORN ( http://www.theonering.net/perl/newsview/8/1151975134 ) of a new OPERA based on the story of Beren and Luthien entitled Leithian. Apparently excerpts from this opera were given a premiere in New York at the Liederkranz Hall.

Intriguing, yes?


I checked the composer's website this morning and found the following:

We will perform Part Two of my opera LEITHIAN on April 14 and 15, 2007 at St. Michael's Episcopal Church, 225 West 99th Street, New York City.


I would certainly be keen to see Leithian, Part II. Anyone else?
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Postby Merry » Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:21 pm

I've seen these reports, Lindariel. That would be wonderful! But you're actually within striking distance of NYC: will you really go?
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Lindariel
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Postby Lindariel » Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:56 pm

I'll have to see if I can work out my schedule -- and that's not an easy task! If I do go, I certainly will write up a report.
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“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

elentarivarda
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Postby elentarivarda » Thu Dec 27, 2007 7:25 pm

I voted for the Balrog. When I read the books, he was my very favorite monster...and in the movies...well, he's just wicked! :D

I do have to admit - in the movies, Lurtz was one evil, crazy creature that I would not want to cross. :D


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Mithrennaith
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Postby Mithrennaith » Wed May 07, 2008 1:15 am

Well, having rehearsed killing Glaurung for six or seven times now, he is definitely my choice! :P

Also, I note what has been said before about him enjoying the pain and suffering of others - and finding devious ways to increase it, apparently for the fun of watching their anguish. The guy playing Glaurung to my Túrin gets that part of the critter across really well! :twisted:
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