Balin’s Return

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OriNori 30/Dec/2006 at 11:37 AM
Delver of Erebor Points: 284 Posts: 8 Joined: 28/Dec/2006

One thing that I have long wondered about is why Balin returned to Moria. He was present at the Batlle of Azanulbizar- "

So Thrain and Thorin with what remained of their following (among them were Balin and Gloin) returned to Dunland".  - Appendix A, Durin’s Folk

Therefore he would have known that the Balrog still lurked in Moria-

"Only I have looked through the shadow of the gate. Beyond the shadowit waits for you still: Durin’s Bane" - Dain, Appendix A, Durin’s Folk

This puzzles me greatly. If he knew that the Balrog was still in Moria why would he return? Surely he could foresee that the dwaves could not overcome such a foe? I understand that Thror went to Moria under suspected corruption from his Ring of Power. Yet Balin did not bear such a ring and was not susceptable to it’s power.  It just seems a strange decision to me.

Phil_d_one 30/Dec/2006 at 12:12 PM
Shipwright of Umbar Points: 13181 Posts: 12667 Joined: 14/Jan/2004

He knew that Durin’s Bane was present in Moria, but he couldn’t have known that Durin’s Bane was a Balrog -- nobody knew this, since nobody survived a close-enough encounter with Durin’s Bane to identify it as a Balrog.

Balin might have believed it to be dead. If he supposed it to be mortal, then he might have reasoned that if it was mature enough to kill Durin VI in 1980 T.A., then it probably wouldn’t be much of a threat in 2989 TA, even though it was probably still alive in 2790 T.A., when Dain claims to have felt its presence after the Battle of Azanulbizar.
Or he might have believed that whatever it was, they would have been able to overcome it, and/or that the wealth that control of Khazad-dum would bring them balanced out the threat of the Orcs that ’held’ it, and even Durin’s Bane -- greed and arrogance motivated, and led to the fall, of more than one character in the works.

Either way, it was not actually Durin’s Bane that led to the failure of Balin’s attempt, so it seems his lack of thought towards the threat Durin’s Bane posted was not that fatal an error in and of itself

Alcarináro 30/Dec/2006 at 12:15 PM
Banned Points: 14162 Posts: 14178 Joined: 24/Sep/2003
No one know that the Balrog was still in Moria, for no one knew that Durin’s Bane was a Balrog until the Fellowship passed through (or at least, no one knew who made it out alive to tell others). ’Durin’s Bane’ as a name would likely, in the thousand years since it drove the Dwarves from Moria, have lost the power to induce fear in certain people. Apparently, Balin would be one of those people, and so would those who followed him. Apparently, Dain was wiser.
OriNori 30/Dec/2006 at 12:24 PM
Delver of Erebor Points: 284 Posts: 8 Joined: 28/Dec/2006
Thank you for the explainations. Just a note though Phil_d_one I wasn’t trying to imply that Durin’s Bane was the cause of the downfall of ’Balin’s Moria’ I just wondered why he did so whilst Durin’s Bane was there. Your absolutely correct though, I’d forgotten that even Gandalf did not know the identity of Durin’s Bane.
Kirinki54 30/Dec/2006 at 03:11 PM
Librarian of Imladris Points: 2897 Posts: 1354 Joined: 17/Nov/2005

`It is now many years ago,’ said Glóin, `that a shadow of disquiet fell upon our people. Whence it came we did not at first perceive. Words began to be whispered in secret: it was said that we were hemmed in a narrow place, and that greater wealth and splendour would be found in a wider world. Some spoke of Moria: the mighty works of our fathers that are called in our own tongue Khazad-dûm; and they declared that now at last we had the power and numbers to return.’ (FotR: The Council of Elrond)

 

This is a tale that really makes one wonder. Where did this ‘disquiet’ come from – it seems that they eventually found out – was it from Balin, or was he inspired by some outside source? And why did they get the impression that their might was now sufficient? The latter would imply they not only had no idea of the real nature of their former foe, but likely also believed it was for some reason gone.

Oin 01/Jan/2007 at 08:43 PM
Architect of Erebor Points: 11372 Posts: 8807 Joined: 14/Feb/2004
Kirinki: I think it would have to be the after-effects of the Ring of Thrain. OK, so the Ring wasn’t in Erebor at that point, but it had a history of inflaming the ambition and greed of the leaders of Durin’s Folk into doing stupid and foolish things - moreover, wasn’t part of Balin’s expedition’s goals to find the Ring of Thrain (which they believed was on Thror’s body) and recover it? I think it was probably the lure of the Ring that did so - remember, the One Ring was able to corrupt Saruman without coming anywhere near him, so perhaps the same thing happened to Balin.
Anfauglith 02/Jan/2007 at 06:12 AM
Scholar of Isengard Points: 665 Posts: 391 Joined: 25/Jan/2004
"Balin might have believed it to be dead. If he supposed it to be mortal, then he might have reasoned that if it was mature enough to kill Durin VI in 1980 T.A., then it probably wouldn’t be much of a threat in 2989 TA, even though it was probably still alive in 2790 T.A., when Dain claims to have felt its presence after the Battle of Azanulbizar."

This doesn’t make any sense to me. First off it would have been incredible thing for a mortal creature to do any serious damage to the inhabitants of Moria. Even if the creature was 2 times bigger and scarier than the watcher in the water. I suppose only a balrog could do it. Atleast we know of no such (mortal) creature that would have been capable of doing it.
Kirinki54 02/Jan/2007 at 06:46 AM
Librarian of Imladris Points: 2897 Posts: 1354 Joined: 17/Nov/2005
Óin, it might well be that the temptation of the ring of Thrain was a lure to Balin. One can also consider that Balin was among those exposed to the One for a long time, and also tricked by it on more than one occasion; it might have created an unrest in him. It might have had that effect on some of the other surviving Dwarves of Thorin´s company also, and we know some of them went with him, though he was the one of highest rank.