Happy Memorial Day, U.S. folk! I give you a gift:
SHALL CANNOT PASS!”
Wait…what? We’ll get to that.
Legolas is the first to see it, and Gandalf understands what it was that had nearly beaten him: a balrog. It stalks towards them, and Gandalf orders everyone over the bridge, although Aragorn and Boromir don’t listen and stay close behind the wizard. Gandalf stands in the middle of the bridge, not allowing the beast to, well…pass. He curses it, and beats back its sword. Even still, the balrog advances, brandishing its whip.
-the Secret Fire: Some ancient power of Eru Ilúvatar. Sort of a Holy Ghost-type thing.
-Anor: Literally meaning “sun”, Anor is probably referring to the sun’s power. Hint: Gandalf is really powerful.
-Udûn: It actually just means “Hell”. Simple enough.
And there it is, the most quoted moment in all of Lord of the Rings. Well, the movies at least.
And wait, what’s that? The quote in the movie is WRONG! Yep, Gandalf says in the book, “You cannot pass!” CANNOT. I’ll admit, “shall not” is more epic than “cannot”, but that’s a change that has been truly adapted by society. If I were to tell a casual Lord of the Rings movie fan that the movie line was actually not in the book, I’m not sure if they would believe me.
Fellowship of the LATE: 55 pages
Getting past all that, the moment is still great. And, more or less, the movie got the action right. One word isn’t going to change that.
In many ways, this is the most equal enemy that Gandalf ever fights. The balrog is a corrupted Maia, of the same order as Gandalf. Of all the other Maiar in Middle-earth, this is the only one that Gandalf ever comes into direct battle against. Saruman is a Maia as well, but, again unlike the movie, he and Gandalf never really fight.
So, this has every right to be as epic as it is.
Words My Computer Didn’t Like:
Fun fact: did you know we’re almost exactly one third of the way through the entire novel? Yep.
“Its whip whirled and hissed.”