The Beater of the Drums
#1
Who is the 'Beater of the Drums' in Moria?  When the company first hears drums in the Deep (after Pippin ill-advisedly tossed a stone down a well), it seems implied that something far below had been disturbed or awoken.  Like a balrog, maybe?

Gimli names it "the beater of the drums" after Gandalf's encounter through the side-door of the Chamber of Mazarbul.

But, after the fall of Gandalf and Fred, as the company flees out the East Gate, they hear drums (the same ones?) in the Deep.  That cannot be Fred, unless he can drum while falling, swimming, and/or climbing the Endless Stair with an angry wizard hacking at him or chasing at his heels.

The story seems to lead the reader to believe that this 'beater' is a single person/entity.  Who is it?
"Never ask an Elf for advice, for he will say both 'Yes' and 'No'." - Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion
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#2
I always took the beater of the drums to be the equivalent to a town crier, sending information quickly through the tunnels.
Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again.

I don't have any humble opinions.
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#3
Probably an orc trained to beat messages like natives beat drums and smoke signals and Morse code.
Don't insult the precious, my precious!:book:
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#4
Drums have been used since ancient times for signals and communications. Whether Tolkien meant anything other than "alarm! alarm!" or "call to arms and aseembly!" is anyone's guess. But the drums were culturally significant to the Orcs of Moria. And I think there is another scene where someone is beating drums. Perhaps Ghan-Buri-Ghan's people when Aragorn visits Druedain Forest?
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#5
It would probably Great way for orcs to communicate insults at each other.
Don't insult the precious, my precious!:book:
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#6
(July 13th, 2019, 12:26 PM)Michael Wrote: Drums have been used since ancient times for signals and communications. Whether Tolkien meant anything other than "alarm! alarm!" or "call to arms and aseembly!" is anyone's guess. But the drums were culturally significant to the Orcs of Moria. And I think there is another scene where someone is beating drums. Perhaps Ghan-Buri-Ghan's people when Aragorn visits Druedain Forest?

There were definitely drums when Aragorn passed through Druedain, which fell silent after he ceded the woods to Ghan Buri Ghan and his people in perpetuity. If memory serves, drums were also used to coordinate strikes by Grond against the Gates of Minas Tirith.
Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again.

I don't have any humble opinions.
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#7
Another sound heard in Moria during the attack bears some mention, IMO.

At the chamber of Mazarbul, when the Orcs and trolls caught up and attacked, a deep voice issuing commands that could be heard above the others was mentioned twice.


Quote:'Who comes hither to disturb the rest of Balin Lord of Moria? ' he [Gandalf] cried in a loud voice.
There was a rush of hoarse laughter, like the fall of sliding stones into a pit; amid the clamour a deep voice was raised in command. Doom, boom, doom went the drums in the deep.

Quote:Doom, doom went the drums in the deep. The great voice rolled out again.

Was that the voice of an Orc-chieftain, a Troll, or .... Fred?

If this was indeed the Balrog, this incident might shed some light on the question of the Balrog's relationship with its fellow denizens of Moria, because the voice clearly was giving orders. The voice was heard again after the big Orc-chief that forced its way in and tried to spear Frodo had been slain, so 'tweren't him!

Notice that when it was audible, we soon knew from Gandalf that the Balrog was present and chasing them. We never hear it again. At the bridge near the East-gate, when the Balrog and Gandalf confronted each other, JRRT wrote in Letter # 210 (June 1958, to Forrest Ackerman, in response to a proposed movie "treatment" of LotR), (point # 20) "The Balrog never speaks or makes any vocal sound at all." I'm unclear whether this statement is limited to the time when it and Gandalf are squaring off, or if he meant never ever. if the Balrog never made a vocalization in the whole chapter, then whose was the big deep voice?
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#8
I have always viewed Tolkien's comment as applying only to the confrontation on the bridge. In another part of the chapter Gandalf tells his companions the Balrog began countering a spell he was casting. How would he know that if it wasn't articulating something?

I've always believed the deep booming voice belonged to Fred.
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#9
Is the entry for TA 2480 relevant here? "Sauron begins to people Moria with his creatures". One could easily read that to include a Black Numenorean or similar in command of whatever detachment Sauron sent.
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