HASA Resources

Timeline Event

Gandalf obstructs the Balrog at the Chamber of Mazarbul

Event Type: Military/Strategic

Age: 3rd Age - Ring War

Date: January 15, 3019

Description:

An event in the Battles of the Fellowship at Moria; see that entry for an overview:
'Trapped!' cried Gandalf....

'Slam the doors and wedge them!' shouted Aragorn....

'No!' said Gandalf. 'We must not get shut in. Keep the east door ajar! We will go that way, if we get a chance.'....

'There is no sound outside here yet,' said Aragorn, who was standing by the eastern door listening.... 'We cannot block the door. Its key is gone and the lock is broken, and it opens inwards. We must do something to delay the enemy first. We will make them fear the Chamber of Mazarbul!'....

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 5, The Bridge of Khazad-dûm

'Now!' shouted Gandalf. 'Now is the last chance. Run for it!'....

Boromir hauled the eastern door to, grinding upon its hinges: it had great iron rings on either side, but could not be fastened....

'Off you go, all of you, down the stairs! Wait a few minutes for me at the bottom, but if I do not come soon, go on!'....

'We cannot leave you to hold the door alone!' said Aragorn.

'Do as I say!' said Gandalf fiercely. 'Swords are no more use here. Go!'....

They groped their way down a long flight of steps, and then looked back; but they could see nothing, except high above them the faint glimmer of the wizard's staff. He seemed to be still standing on guard by the closed door.... Frodo thought he could hear the voice of Gandalf above, muttering words that ran down the sloping roof with a sighing echo.... The walls seemed to be trembling. Every now and again the drum-beats throbbed and rolled: doom, doom.

Suddenly at the top of the stair there was a stab of white light. Then there was a dull rumble and a heavy thud. The drum-beats broke out wildly: doom-boom, doom-boom, and then stopped. Gandalf came flying down the steps and fell to the ground in the midst of the Company.

'Well, well! That's over!' said the wizard struggling to his feet. 'I have done all that I could. But I have met my match, and have nearly been destroyed. But don't stand here! Go on! You will have to do without light for a while: I am rather shaken. Go on! Go on! Where are you, Gimli? Come ahead with me! Keep close behind, all of you!'

They stumbled after him wondering what had happened. Doom, doom went the drum-beats again: they now sounded muffled and far away, but they were following.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 5, The Bridge of Khazad-dûm

At the end of an hour they... had descended many flights of stairs.... At the bottom of the seventh flight Gandalf halted.

'It is getting hot!' he gasped. 'We ought to be down at least to the level of the Gates now.... I hope it is not far. I am very weary. I must rest here a moment, even if all the orcs ever spawned are after us.'

Gimli took his arm and helped him down to a seat on the step. 'What happened away up there at the door? ' he asked. 'Did you meet the beater of the drums?'

'I do not know,' answered Gandalf. 'But I found myself suddenly faced by something that I have not met before. I could think of nothing to do but to try and put a shutting-spell on the door. I know many; but to do things of that kind rightly requires time, and even then the door can be broken by strength.

'As I stood there I could hear orc-voices on the other side: at any moment I thought they would burst it open. I could not hear what was said; they seemed to be talking in their own hideous language. All I caught was ghâsh; that is "fire". Then something came into the chamber — I felt it through the door, and the orcs themselves were afraid and fell silent. It laid hold of the iron ring, and then it perceived me and my spell.

'What it was I cannot guess, but I have never felt such a challenge. The counter-spell was terrible. It nearly broke me. For an instant the door left my control and began to open! I had to speak a word of Command. That proved too great a strain. The door burst in pieces. Something dark as a cloud was blocking out all the light inside, and I was thrown backwards down the stairs. All the wall gave way, and the roof of the chamber as well, I think.

'I am afraid Balin is buried deep, and maybe something else is buried there too. I cannot say. But at least the passage behind us was completely blocked. Ah! I have never felt so spent, but it is passing.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 5, The Bridge of Khazad-dûm

Contributors:
Elena Tiriel 4Jul04

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