Hyperbole Within the Sillmarillion

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Tolkien R.J.J
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Hyperbole Within the Sillmarillion

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Hyperbole Within the Sillmarillion

“What we have in the sillmarillion are traditions....handed on by men in numonor and later in middle-earth.... blended and confused with their own mannish myths and cosmic ideas.”
-J.R.R Tolkien Myths Transformed

“Pure myth and legend....cosmological myth ”
-Letters of J.R.R Tolkien 122

“Moreover my father came to conceive the silmarillion as a compilation , a compedious narrative, made long afterwords from sources of great diversity [poems annuals and oral tales] that have survived in tradition”
-Christopher Tolkien Forward to the Silmarillion

I think sections of the silmarillion were meant by Tolkien as traditions based on truth that also incorporate hyperbole language given their legend/myth status. Tolkien viewed elven written history [the sillmarillion] as legendary writings also influenced by the numonreans myths. As an example Tolkien talked in myths transformed of the “absurd business of the making of the sun and moon” rather than the third age historical accounts. However Tolkien said in letters 130 “I believe that legends and myths are largely made of truth.”

It is to be remembered that the 'mythology' is represented as being two stages removed from a true record. It is based first upon elvish records and lore about the valar and their own dealings with them, and these have reached us [fragmentary] only through relics of Númenórean traditions....supplemented by anthropocentric histories and tales.”
-J.R.R Tolkien Myths Transformed

Tolkien's writings use hyperbole language especially in his yet unpublished silmarillion. This is not false, just a style of writing. Over long periods of history tales grow and over time exaggerated characters and beasts become more powerful than they were. The strength of the legendary creatures and heroes was exaggerated in the mythical/legendary writings of the first two ages. This is common in military writings of the past such as the Bible and today in sports. When people talk of the "greatest ever" basketball player, or pitcher, or boxer etc over time they become legendary and we forget their weakness and exaggerate their up sides. We also tend to use language and exaggerate their accomplishments and often talk of them as the best ever, often various times you will hear someone was the “greatest” or “tallest” etc. .Yet even within the text of the sillmarillion they are often not as mighty as presumed.

“Tolkien uses profoundly figurative language – particularly when describing distant events in semi-legendary past.” -John Garth

“The sillmarillion provides the mythical background for the LOTR and is crucial to its full comprehension.”
-Matthew Dickerson and Jonathan Evans Ents Elves and Eriador the Environmental Vision of L.R.R Tolkien University of Kentucky Press 2011

How Powerful Were the Maiar, the Valar, and the First age Creatures?

Examples abound in the silmarillion of the results of hyperbole and the effects of tradition and legends coming long after the events. Where mighty warriors and creatures are exaggerated [this also occurs in LOTR to a lesser extent]. I think this language is used often of great creatures of the first ages however there is also information that gives them a more historical/realistic portrayal as Tolkien desired.

“A secondary world which your mind can enter. Inside it, what he relates is “true” it accords with the laws of that world. You therefore believe it, while you are, as it were, inside. The moment disbelief arises, the spell is broken, the magic, or rather art, has failed. You are then out in the primary world from outside.”
-J.R.R Tolkien quoted in J.R.R Tolkien a Biography by Humphrey carpenter p 194-195

“I wanted people simply to get inside this story and take it as actual history.”
-J R R Tolkien quoted in J.R.R Tolkien The Authorized Biography Humphrey carpenter Houghton Mifflin company NY 2000


“Melkor had corrupted many spirits some great, as sauron, or less so as balrogs”
-Myths transformed

Thoe numerous, Balrogs [maiar] were not even said to be melkors strongest weapons in the war of wrath. Dragons [creation of Melkor] were his most powerful servants and they were the most effective in the great battle. Fingor king of Noldor fought 1v1 vs Gothmog the captain of Balrogs and most powerful balrog ever, and Gothmog was unable to kill Fingor 1v1. It was only when other balrogs who encircled the elf king, distracted him, and this enabled Gothmog to kill Fingor. Previously Morgoth and his balrogs fled from Fingolfin and his kin.

Later Gothmog was killed by elven lord Ecthelion. Ecthelion jumped and wrapped his legs around the demon, driving the spike of his helmet into Gothmog's body. This caused Gothmog to lose his balance, and he, along with Ecthelion, fell into the Fountain of the King. Gothmog's fire was thus quenched, showing a weakness, water. Glorfindel killed a balrog with his sword to the stomach. In “of the return of the Noldor” Fëanor for a long time fought alone against multiple Balrogs before being killed. After, Fëanor's sons fought off the balrogs.

Melkor and Sauron

His [Melkor] might was greatest of all things in this world.”
-The Sillmarillion of the ruin of Beleriand

“Sauron chief of the maiar who turned to Melkor”
-MR later sillmarillion

"Sauron, greatest and most terrible of the servants of Morgoth, who in the Sindarin tongue was named Gorthaur".
-The Silmarillion, Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin.

Melkor [morgoth] was the “greatest” “most powerful” and knowledgeable of all the valar the strongest beings outside of Eru [God]. Yet even with him we see weaknesses. He rarely left his strongholds out of fear of valar or the combined strength of the elves. He was besieged by the Noldor for 400 years. Ungoliant the giant spider was able to match Morgoth in battle and he had to be saved by his servants the balrogs [his power was not yet reduced by giving it to other creatures yet, see Annuls of ammon Morgoths ring] .

“Ungoliante....drank and swelled to a shape so vast and hideous that even Melkor was adread...morgoth could not master her and she emeshed strangling webs, and his dreadful cry echoed throughout the world.”
- Morgoths Ring aam

And yet of Ungoliant, soon after we read in the war of the jewels

“Soon after [morgoths cry] indeed, Ungoliante fled from the north and came to the realm of king Thingol....but by the power of melian [maiar] she was stayed, and entered not into Neldoreth.”

He later lost the silmarill to Beren and Luthian and was put under a spell by Lúthien. He was eventually overpowered by Sauron a maia.

“Sauron was greater, effectively, in the Second Age, than Morgoth at the end of the First.”
-Morgoth's Ring, Myths Transformed

Morgoth fought at least once when the high elf king Fingolfin challenged him to a 1v1 fight. Morgoth feared Fingolfin and did not want the fight but had to accept given the horn blasts of Fingolfin being so loud that all his servants would know of his fear. In the 1v1 dual the elvin king wounded melkor eight times including one on his foot that bled and caused morgoth to forever limp. Morgoth gave a cry of anguish and his nearby chieftains “fell on there faces in dismay.” It was not until “the king grew weary” [having traveled a long distance to challenge melkor] that Morgoth was than able to kill him. Following the fight Thorondor king of the eagles, marred Morgoths face and stole the body of the king from him. Morgoth limped on one foot and never fully recovered from his wounds.

[Morgoth was]“Severely wounded by fingolfin and Thoronder in 455 and lost a silmarill to Beren and Luthian in 467”
-Robert Foster Tolkien's World from A to Z: The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth

Further it is prophesied in the second prophecy of mandos, Morgoth is to be killed by a man, Túrin.

Sauron, a Maiar, was Melkors mightiest and strongest servant. Yet Sauron was defeated by the large hound Huan [said to be the size of a large horse] a creation of the valar and Lúthien rescued Beren from sauron's dungons. Later Sauron feared the Númenóreans  [men] and would not give battle but retreated from them many times. Sauron later submitted to Ar-Pharazôn rather than fight and was led away captive. In the second age with extra power from the one ring, Sauron “wrestled with Gil-Galad and Elendil [elf and human], and they were both slain.” and Sauron lost his physical form. Despite that he was at Mt Doom

Where his ring was at its fullest power.”
-Karen Wynn Fonstad the Atlas of Middel-Earth Revised Edition Houghton Mifflin Company Boston NY 1991

In the third age Sauron was overthrown by a hobbit that was able to sneak deep within Mordor and destroy the ring after he was fooled to attack at the black gate.

The Valar and Maiar

The valar appeared as “Shapes of human form, though taller [not gigantic] and more magnificent.”
-Christoph Tolkien Morgoths Ring the annals of aman

“And the Valar drew unto them many companions, some less, some well nigh as great as themselves , and they laboured together in the ordering of the Earth and the curbing of its tumults.”
-The Sillmarillion

“Melian was a maia, of the race of the valar”
-Of Thingol and melian

Valar were the strongest creations by Eru but not so vastly powerful to be beyond compare to other groups and kinds of beings. Maiar and valar are of the same race as elves are with men and even elves like Thingol, married maiar like melian. The chief among the maiar in valinor was a Maiar Eönwë, the banner bearer and herald of Manwë, “whose might in arms is surpassed by none in arda.”

In Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth Tolkien says of the valar “They had sufficient power for their functions.” Their main function was to creation and to fight morgoth. Much of their power has to do with the potential for creation such as the power of the air, water, keeper of the dead, weaver of time, master of visions and dreams etc. Of the 14 valar it seems only 2 Oromë, and Tulkas had power of strength. Morgoth fled often from Tulkas even though he was the most powerful of the valar. As a poster wrote

“Tolkien did not really think in terms of video game–style levels of power. Power to him was an intangible thing that can take many forms, and is not the same as raw strength or destructive ability. Tulkas, one of the Valar, is the strongest and the best at fighting; but he's certainly not the most powerful among them, and he readily accepts Manwë's leadership...Likewise, Morgoth at his height was the most powerful nondivine entity in Arda; but even he was defeated in a fight by Ungoliant, who could only do one thing (engulf and consume things in darkness), but could do it really, really well.To Tolkien, the power to resist, the power to stay true to your goals, the power to inspire other people to follow you, were all equally or more important than the power to win battles or use “magic” to change the world. .”

And in letters 181 Tolkien said they “shared in its [earths] making, but only in the same terms as we make a work of art or story.” Further like Melkor, they poured much of their power into the creation of arda, reducing their power.

https://books.google.com/books?id=4OfWW ... st&f=false

They rarely engaged in battle with any other than Morgoth besides the war of wrath in the first age. In this battle dragons drove back the valar and it was not a victory for the Noldor elves, the men of the edain and the valar until the eagles and Eärendil [man/elf] came and saved the day. Dwarves were able to break through Melian's defense while destroying Doriath. In Valinar the Noldor elves “thirst for more knowledge , and in many things surpassed their teachers” [valar].

Now the Noldor took delight in all lore and crafts and Aulë and his folk came often among them. Yet such skill had Ilúvatar granted to them that in many matters.....they soon surpassed their teachers....and all the valar were enriched by their labors.”
-Mr Annuls of ammon section 4

“Eleven smiths of Ost-in-eduil in Erigion learned skills of forge and fire only matched by the Vala Aulë the smith.”
-David Day The Battles of Tolkien Thunder Bay Press San Diego CA 2017

And yet still often the dwarves bettered the elves in this area.

“In the tempering of steal alone of all the crafts the dwarves were never outmatched even by the noldor, and in making of mail of linked rings their work had no rival.”
-The Grey Annuls The war of the Jewels

“They it was that first devised mail of linked rings.... and in making of byrnieg and of hauderks none among elves or men have proved their equal.”
-Later sillmarillion The war of the jewels

Ossë and Uinen taught the elves all manner of sea lore and shipbuilding yet we read in gray annals their ships were “not so swift and strong that they might dare the deeps of the great sea” Instead it was the numenoreans who built the greatest fleet ever seen on middle earth. Melkor was envious of Fëanor because of his great crafting abilities. In Tolkiens letters 130 he said of the attack on valinar by men with the largest navy ever assembled on middle earth, “The Numen-oreans directed by Sauron could have wrought ruin in Valinor itself.”

In the third age Saruman's army was defeated at helms deep, and his fortress and garrison was taken and destroyed by ents while he hid in fear in his tower. And ultimately, he was slain by Grima Wormtongue. Elrond was part maiar yet galadrial was the most powerful elf of the third age.

“Lady Galadrial....was of the Noldor and remembered the day before days in Valinor, and she was the mightiest and fairest of all the elves that remained in middle earth.”

Even Gandalf was unsure of his ability vs the witch king. He did not see Sauroman for who he had becomes, he failed 1v1 vs Sauroman and Gandalf debates with Aragorn on what path to take the fellowship and he gives way to Aragorn saying “if you bring a ranger with you, it is well to pay attention to him, especially if the ranger is Aragorn.” despite the fact we are told in the Valaquenta “Wisest of the maiar was Olórin.”


“Probley first bred by Morgoth when he returned to Angband with the Silmarills”
-Robert Foster Tolkien's World from A to Z: The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth

“Morgoth...sought in his heart for new council and he bethought him of dragons.”
-The Grey Annuls The war of the Jewels

“Dragons are comfortably far-off and therefore legendary.”
-The Hobbit An unexpected party

Many of the large fire breathing dragons of the first age showed vulnerabilities. A large number were killed in battles and the mighty dragon Glaurung was forced to retreat from Ard-Gule by the archers of Fingon in the glorious battle and wounded in of the fifth battle from the Grey annuls as “even his mighty armor was not full proof against blows of their [dwarves] great axes....Azaghuil dove a knife into his belly and so wounded him that he fled field” Túrin [a man] killed Glaurung with a single thrust of his sword to the belly. Ancalagon the largest and mightiest of all dragons to ever live in middle earth was killed by Eärendil [ man/elf] blow with his sword. In the fifth battle as read in The Grey Annuals in the war of the jewels we read Morgoth sent out worms, dragons and balrogs in large numbers, “yet neither by wolf, balrog, nor dragon would morgoth have achieved his end, but for the treachery of men.”

“Most specially greedy, strong and wicked worm Smaug.”
-The Hobbit An Unexpected party

Part of Smaug's original success was surprise against the dwarves. As Balin says in not at home in the Hobbit, had they had word from their posts outside the mountain sooner “Otherwise we might have had longer warning of the coming of the dragon and things might have been different.” and when Smaug attacked lake town, it reads in fire and water in the hobbit that “So it was that the dragon did not find them quite unprepared” and the last of the great dragons Smaug, was killed by an arrow shot from Bard. Likewise Fram killed the dragon Scatha.

“Even dragons have their ending.”
-Bilbo the Return Journey The Hobbit

The size of Anacalagon most of all creatures in middle earth appears to have been exaggerated. As well as Smaug was described as having a “hugh coiled tail” makes much of their size come from the tail alone. Famed Tolkien artist John Howe cover of The war of the Jewels Glaurung

Ancalagon the Black: a case study
https://terpconnect.umd.edu/~jkeener/to ... lagon.html
Dragon Scale- Why its Impossible to Size up Tolkien's Middle-earth
https://johngarth.wordpress.com/2015/01 ... dle-earth/

First age vs Third age Elves

“Rational incarnate creatures of more or less comparable stature with our own.”
-J.R.R Tolkien letters 130

“Elves of the sillmarillion...are men before the fall which deprived him of his power of achievement.”
-Humprey Carpenter J.R.R Tolkien a biography

Since morgoth, balrogs and sauron feared the elves at various times in the first age, and since various elves killed balrogs and challenged morgoth, must the first age elves be more powerful than the third age elves? I dont think so. When the silmarillion speaks of elves being more powerful in the first age, it is referring to their collective strength. The elves had a larger population in the first and and their numbers dwindled over time having few children and loss in wars. In letters 153 Tolkien said “Elves and men are evidently in biological terms one race.” in 181 he says “Elves and men are just different aspects of the humane...elves and men are in their incarnate forms kindrid.” In fact they are so close in the first age they produce offspring and in Morgoth's ring laws and customs of the eldar it reads “A man who watched elf children at play might well have believed they were the children of men.” In letters 131 we read of the numenorens “they became thus in appearance, and even in powers of mind hardly distinguishable from the elves.”

“Elves....of a race of beings closely akin to men, so closely indeed that they must be regarded as physically [or biologically] simply branches of the same race.”
-Andreth Athrabeth Finrod AH Andreth

“In those days elves and men were of like stature and strength of body”
-Of men the sillmarilliom

In “of the ruin of Doriath” the dwarves of Nogrod defeated the mighty kingdom of elves of doriath, captured their city and Nauglamír. The “Naugrim passed unhindered into the woods of Doriath and none withstood them for they were many and fierce and the captains of the Grey elves were cast into doubt and despair.” In of the fifth battle men of Dor-lómin and the dwarves of Belegrost won renown as the last to stand firm at the battle rather than the noldor who fled. In the first age elves usually were not well armed and as a result, at time lost to orcs.

The elves of Ossiriand were light-armed, and no match for the orcs who were shod with iron and iron shielded and bore great spears with broad blades.”
-The Grey Annuls The war of the Jewels

“The people of Hador [men] were yet greater [than the eldar] strength and stature, mighty men, the children of Eru.”
-The Grey Annuls The war of the Jewels

Many times men rose high in elf kingdoms in the first ages and in warfare and were better fighters than elves. .

“There were some among men that learned the wisdom of the Eldar, and became great and valiant among captains of the Noldor.”
-Of men the sillmarillion

In the second age Sauron has his way with the Eldar, sacking Eregion of the Noldor, holding at bay Elrond, and advancing toward the Grey Havens. It was only a force of Númenor, sent by Tar-Minastir, that turned the tide. The eldar fled the numonrians who charged for battle in aman, tuna, and the coast of valinor. The elves of the first age often had dwarves craft great jewels, weapons, and build cities for the elves due to their great abilities.

“In the tempering of steal alone of all the crafts the dwarves were never outmatched even by the noldor, and in making of mail of linked rings their work had no rival.”
-The Grey Annuls The war of the Jewels

“They it was that first devised mail of linked rings.... and in making of byrnieg and of hauderks none among elves or men have proved their equal.”
-Later sillmarillion The war of the jewels

I think it can be argued the elves grew in strength over time.

“Indeed in their earlier days death came more readily ; for their bodies were the less different from the bodies of men, and the command of their spirits over their bodies less complete.”
-MR laws and customs of the eldar

“Elves went and lived for ages, and grew fairer and wiser and more learned and invented their magic and their cunning craft.”
-The Hobbit Flies and Spiders

Durins Bane

This account Is used as the best example of Tolkiens change in opinion on Balrogs over time from the first age balrogs to the mighty balrogs of the third age, Durins bane. I think this one example is given to much weight to force a contradiction between Tolkiens views on balrogs. Soon before publishing Fellowship of the ring a fan asked a question of Tolkien in letters 144. Tolkien did not view the third age balrog as different than his unpublished sillmarillion view of balrogs. He said “the balrog is a survivor from the silmarillion and the legends of the first age.” He had attempted, and was attempting, to publish the sillmarillion at this time that included the published first age view of balrogs. He always sought to reconcile seeming differences and we should as well.

The balrog is the best known balrog and most likely the second most powerful [behind Gothmog] in the history of middle earth. Perhaps even he was the strongest fighting balrog. While Gothmog is the most powerful as the captain of balrogs like Melkor was of the valar, perhaps durins bane was like Tulkas, the most powerful fighting balrog. He was one of the few balrogs to survive the war of wrath and escaped the valar and the imprisonment of morgoth. The balrogs of the first age were killed by some of the most powerful elves to ever walk middle earth and could easily have been weaker balrogs than Durins Bane. Likewise in the third age if Galadriel or Elrond had killed Durins bane instead of Gandalf, I dont see that out of the realm of possibility.

Also I think the movies exaggerated the balrog in appearance and power. He appears in the movie upwards of 20 feet yet the fellowship of the ring indicates he was not much larger than a man, and the sillmarillion another balrog was described as twice the size of a man, or around 12 feet.

“What it was could not be seen: it was like a great shadow, in the middle of which was a dark form, of man-shape maybe, yet greater…
-Book Two, Chapter V, The Bridge of Khazâd-Dûm

"it pierced the Balrog's belly nigh his own face (for that demon was double his stature) ..."
-Lost Tales, Part II, p. 194

The balrog in the movies also had horns not mentioned in the books. He also had wings, a highly debatable subject. The real balrog an ancient demon, may have looked something like this.

Third age Power Increase

“Elves went and lived for ages, and grew fairer and wiser and more learned and invented their magic and their cunning craft.”
-The Hobbit Flies and Spiders

“The Eldar became full grown in stature of body and of mind, and the noldor advanced even in skill and knowledge.”
-Morgoths Ring the later Sillmarillion

“Indeed in their earlier days death came more readily ; for their bodies were the less different from the bodies of men, and the command of their spirits over their bodies less complete.”
-MR laws and customs of the eldar

Over time power and knowledge generally increase. We see this with the elves in valinor as they were taught by various valar who specialized in each craft.

Now the Noldor took delight in all lore and crafts and Aulë and his folk came often among them. Yet such skill had Ilúvatar granted to them that in many matters.....they soon surpassed their teachers....and all the valar were enriched by their labors.”
-MR Annuls of ammon section 4

And even later “the smiths of Ost-in-edil surpassed all that they had concived before. They made the rings of power.” But also dwarves and even Melkor. In Morgoths Ring Ainulindalë D it reads “But he [Melkor] now had grown in malice and in strength.” Sauron likewise became more powerful than Melkor.

“Sauron was greater, effectively, in the Second Age, than Morgoth at the end of the First.”
-Morgoth's Ring, Myths Transformed

Dwarves of Erebor “At the height of their wealth and skill”
-The Hobbit Inside Information

The numonerans are another example of power increase over time. As we read in Akallabêth “Dundain....increased in stature both of mind and body” and among the numnerans came “Eönwë among them and taught them and they were given wisdom and power and life more enduring than any others of mortal race have possessed....grew wise and glorious, and in all things more like the firstborn than any other of the kindred of men.””

Here I list some increases in power in the third age over earlier ages. There were breeding increases such as Saruman's breeding of the Uruk-haid. The hardrim domestication of the Mumakil [maybe through breeding?] in the third age. Sauron improved a breed of trolls the olog-hai over any in the first ages.

“In their beginning... the eldar days, these were creatures of dull and lampish nature and had no more language than beasts. But Sauron had made use of them, teaching them, what they could learn, and increasing their wits and wildness.”
-J.R.R Tolkien Myths Transformed

There were various technological advancement as well.

"It is not unlikely that [the goblins] invented some of the machines that have since troubled the world, especially the ingenious devices for killing large numbers of people at once, for wheels and engines and explosions always delighted them..."
-The Hobbit IV.

Siege equipment saw a big leap, Mordor created the massive battering ram Grond for the siege of minas tirith. Siege towers, catapults, ladders, ballistic were used as well and not seen in the first ages. Sauroman created some form of bomb to use at Helms Deep. Isengard also created some form of napalm and used it to kill an ent during the ents attack on the fort.

Other advancements include the rings of power used by the like of Galadriel, Elrond, and gandalf. The five wizards sent to middle earth. Gandalf the grey to gandalf the white. The army of the dead put into action. The ents uniting for the attack on isengard. The reforging of Anduril and the emergence of mankind uniting under Aragon who made Minas Tirith “more fair that it had ever been, even in the days of its first glory.” The Nazgûl who it is said in of the rings of power and the third age were “the mightiest of Saurons servants” and of course the strongest of them all the witch king himself and their use of fell beats in the third age. The dwarves of Erebor in inside information in the hobbit were said to be “at the height of their [dwarves] wealth and skill.” Warg riders first appeared at the battle of the five armies. The rise of power in Mordor in the third age. Smaug who grew in age “I was but young and tender. Now I am old and strong.”

The first ages are seen as more powerful because of the Valar and maiar [themselves not as powerful as often believed] with the remaking of the earth these powers were taken away and a large loss of power with it. But if we look just at Me itself, than the loss is not great as assumed. The valar resided in Aman, not middle earth, and they rarely came to ME and only fought in two battle [against morgoth no longer in ME] in the first age and none in the second. So the only valar really lost would be Melkor, who captured by the valar at the end of the first age. Yet he was surpassed by Sauron's power in the second age.

If we look at the Maiar who resided in ME for each age it might surprise many. We take the conservative view here of Maiar as only those directly stated as being maiar or valar. Some hold a more liberal view making eagels, ents, Ungoliant, and many other creatures thrown in that category. It cant be disproved but unless Tolkien made it clear, or their is very good reason, I stick to who he confirmed as maiar. So in the third age maiar that lived in ME are the 5 wizards, Sauron, the Balrog [perhaps 1 or 2 more still in hiding] as confirmed for a total of at least 7. Also think of Tom Bombadil and Goldberry. The first age maiar residing in Me are Melian [for a time], Ossë, Eönwë (during the War of Wrath) Sauron and the balrogs. That gives 4 plus the balrogs. If we hold to the 3-7 balrogs than would bring the total to as low as 7. The second age has fewer, Sauron and the surviving balrogs as few as 1, durins bane. Thus within ME we do not see a drastic decrease in power with the maiar and valar. And it seems in increase over the second age. As we read of the second age

“Middle earth went backwards and light and wisdom faded”
-Akallabêth the sillmarillion
“I am a Christian, that fact can be deduced from my stories.”
-J.R.R Tolkien

“I am in fact a Hobbit (in all but size). I like gardens, trees and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food (unrefrigerated), but detest French cooking; I like, and even dare to wear in these dull days, ornamental waistcoats. I am fond of mushrooms (out of a field); have a very simple sense of humour (which even my appreciative critics find tiresome); I go to bed late and get up late.”
-J.R.R Tolkien

“Tolkien was a lifelong enemy of big government in every form, not just the harsher forms we find in soviet communism, German Nazism, or Italian fascism, but also as it manifested itself in British democratic socialism and the mongol state capitalism in other parts of the west.”
-Jonathan Witt and Jay W The Hobbit Party: The vision of freedom that Tolkien got and the west forgot
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