Was Christopher Tolkien "anti-wing"?
#1
Someone claiming to being a "LOTR books fan" on Quora made the bold claim that Christopher T. was anti-wing.  And they cited "Hithlum passage, published in HOME Vol.10" (which I have not read) in support of their claim.

And for some reason, that got me thinking.  And those who know me, that is always dangerous - and often wrong.  But sometimes leads to fan-fic stories.

So, here's the thing:  If we accept that the Balrogs are Maia, and Maia are Ainur, and Ainur do not have physical form except under unusual circumstances such as when they choose to have one or are forced to retain one, then why couldn't Fred have wings when it was convenient for him to seem fearsome, and not when he was passing through various parts of the Mines of Moria?

It seems to me that this is totally in accord with the long-held convention on this site that the Balrog's (aka Fred's) wings were made of "shadow-stuff'.  Of course they were!  He expanded his 'spirit' with 'shadow-stuff' to create wings that further terrorized his foes.  They could have been fully real or not, at Fred's will.  At the moment, he only needed them for creating terror in his enemies, not for actual flight.

As for why Fred didn't manifest full wings and fly out of the Pit of Khazad-dum, see the innumerable previous posts about how having a wizard hacking at you with a fabled enchanted blade seriously inhibits your ability to shape-change on the fly (or fall).  Reference Niven's Rule which states "No matter how subtle the wizard, a dagger between the shoulder blades will seriously cramp his style".

Ok, I've had some fun with this topic, now your turn!  Even if it is at my expense....
"Never ask an Elf for advice, for he will say both 'Yes' and 'No'." - Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion
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#2
It always seemed to me Tokien was "pro-wing"- why else use the term.  But I think he never intended for Balrogs to be able to fly as the air was "the province of Manwe".  Did the ability of things to fly come from Manwe's contribution to to the Music of the Ainur? I don't have Morgoth's Ring handy but I think there is a reference to this in one of the chapters.  Has anyone else heard of this?


(October 27th, 2020, 02:00 AM)Mordomin Wrote: Someone claiming to being a "LOTR books fan" on Quora made the bold claim that Christopher T. was anti-wing.  And they cited "Hithlum passage, published in HOME Vol.10" (which I have not read) in support of their claim.

And for some reason, that got me thinking.  And those who know me, that is always dangerous - and often wrong.  But sometimes leads to fan-fic stories.

So, here's the thing:  If we accept that the Balrogs are Maia, and Maia are Ainur, and Ainur do not have physical form except under unusual circumstances such as when they choose to have one or are forced to retain one, then why couldn't Fred have wings when it was convenient for him to seem fearsome, and not when he was passing through various parts of the Mines of Moria?

It seems to me that this is totally in accord with the long-held convention on this site that the Balrog's (aka Fred's) wings were made of "shadow-stuff'.  Of course they were!  He expanded his 'spirit' with 'shadow-stuff' to create wings that further terrorized his foes.  They could have been fully real or not, at Fred's will.  At the moment, he only needed them for creating terror in his enemies, not for actual flight.

As for why Fred didn't manifest full wings and fly out of the Pit of Khazad-dum, see the innumerable previous posts about how having a wizard hacking at you with a fabled enchanted blade seriously inhibits your ability to shape-change on the fly (or fall).  Reference Niven's Rule which states "No matter how subtle the wizard, a dagger between the shoulder blades will seriously cramp his style".

Ok, I've had some fun with this topic, now your turn!  Even if it is at my expense....
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#3
The idea that Christopher Tolkien would be drawn into the wings controversy is complete nonsense.

The "wings" weren't physical wings anyway. Most anti-wing arguments misrepresent the pro-wing arguments, thus invalidating themselves.

The Hithlum passage (you can read about it on the Middle-earth Blog) doesn't disprove anything against the Balrogs' figurative wingedness. People take it out of context and ignore the evolution of the balrogs in Tolkien's fiction.
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