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Skirmish in Balin's Tomb

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Fight in Balin's Tomb
Legolas in Moria
The Fellowship in Balin's Tomb
Conflict: War of the Ring
Date: January 15, TA 3019
Place: Balin's Tomb
Outcome: Moral defeat for the fellowship. Retreat from Moria
Combatants
Fellowship of the Ring Goblins,
Cave-troll,
Balrog
Commanders
Gandalf ,
Aragorn,
Frodo Baggins
Durin's Bane †,
Moria Cave-troll †,
Goblin chieftain †
Strength
9 members; 4 Hobbits, 2 Men, a Dwarf, an Elf and a Wizard 200 Goblins,
1 Cave-troll
Casualties
Gandalf

Frodo almost dies Possibly some with injuries from arrows

Many Goblins,
Cave-troll,
Durin's Bane
War of the Ring

Balin's TombDurin's TowerAmon HenFords of IsenNear FangornCair AndrosHornburgIsengardIthilienOsgiliathDaleLórienMirkwoodPelennor FieldsBlack GateDol GuldurBywater


"We cannot get out. The end comes. Drums, drums in the deep. They are coming..."
—from the Book of Mazarbul, read by Gandalf before they are attacked

The Fight in Balin's Tomb, also known as Battle of the Chamber of Mazarbul, was a battle between the Fellowship of the Ring and the goblins of Moria. The goblins had discovered the presence of the Fellowship, and while Gandalf was reading the harrowing tale of the fall of Balin and his dwarves from the Book of Mazarbul, the goblins mobilized.

The Fellowship barred the west door of the tomb to slow the goblins, while leaving the east door open as an escape route. As the doors were being barricaded, the goblins attacked, charging down the passage from the 21st hall. While the Fellowship drew their weapons, Gandalf opened the door to scout the enemy, seeing a large group of goblins with a Cave-troll. The cave-troll began breaking the door, but was stabbed in the foot by Frodo. The goblins finished the job with battering rams and hammers, and charged in. The Fellowship defeated thirteen and the rest fled in terror. However, an goblin-chieftain barged in and stabbed Frodo, who fortunately was protected by his Mithril shirt. Sam and Aragorn attacked the chieftain and succeeded in slaying him. The Fellowship then retreated through the eastern door to the second hall and the Bridge of Khazad-dum.

PreludeEdit

The Fellowship of the Ring arrived at the gates of Moria finding a riddle on the gate saying "Speak friend and enter". While Gandalf attempted to solve the riddle, Boromir threw a rock as he awaited for the door to open. Unbeknownst to him, the rock disturbed the Watcher in the Water who - right after Gandalf managed to open the gates - rose from the lake and tried to take Frodo, though he was shot by Legolas and the entire Fellowship managed to escape to inside the mountain. In rage, the creature destroyed the gate-area, barricading their way out. The Fellowship then had no choice but to move forward deep into Moria to exit via the eastern gate, a three days march away. While en route to the exit they camp for a time in a guardroom near a crossroads of three passages that has a deep well in it. Pippin foolishly throws a stone down the well out of pure curiosity, angering Gandalf and alerting the Goblins to their presence. After some deliberation, Gandalf choose the passage to the right. Slowly, they make their way through the mines until they come to the twenty-first hall, and through that, the Chamber of Records that held Balin's Tomb. As Gandalf read the records of the colony of Moria drums begun to sound and the Goblins move towards the Fellowship.

BattleEdit

The Fellowship barred the doors, however, the goblins and a troll are still able to break through and rush inside to attack. Eventually, the troll is wounded and retreats, along with many Goblins, and the Fellowship attempts to escape through the Eastern exit, but the goblin chieftain breaks in stabbing Frodo in the chest with a long spear. Aragorn deals with the chieftain and then picks up Frodo and flees with the rest of the Fellowship. They are amazed when Frodo tells them that he is unharmed, and reveals his mithril vest to the fellowship. Soon after, the Fellowship leaves Balin's tomb and heads towards the Bridge of Khazad-dûm. The goblins managed to surround the Fellowship but when they are about to attack, the sounds of a great noise make them flee the scene. Gandalf realizes that the goblins fled because they were frightened of the Balrog, an ancient evil servant of Morgoth, that had been roused and was now after them. Gandalf tries to seal the door to the chamber against the Balrog but the latter proves too strong. After moving down the path they discover a huge chamber with a fiery chasm. Then, the goblins and the Balrog pursue the Fellowship again, signified by the drums starting again. The Fellowship turns and flees to the Bridge of Khazad-dûm. As they reach and cross the bridge, several goblin archers shoot at them. Eventually, the Fellowship finally reaches the bridge of Khazad-dûm and Gandalf commands the rest of the group to cross the bridge. He then commences to battle the Balrog. Gandalf reveals his title to the Balrog who shrinks away. Then as he returns to hit Gandalf, he puts up a shield. In the end, Gandalf makes the bridge collapse right in front of the Balrog. The Balrog falls but uses its whip to take Gandalf with him who also falls. The rest of the Fellowship mourn but Boromir and Aragorn lead them out of the mines and towards Lothlórien.

Portrayal in AdaptationsEdit

Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the RingEdit

"Let them come! There is one dwarf yet in Moria who still draws breath!"
Gimli

In the film The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), after Gandalf finishes reading the Book of Mazarbul Pippin foolishly knocks a body into a well, causing much racket. Drums sound below. Goblin shrieks follow, the Fellowship bar the door with ancient axes, and Boromir announces the attackers have a cave-troll with them. The goblins hammer and hew at the door, while Legolas and Aragorn attempt to shoot them through the cracks they make. Then the door is destroyed and numerous goblins pour in. The Fellowship battles the goblins until the troll smashes down the door and enters the tomb. The troll immediately destroys part of the sarcophagus after it is shot at multiple times by Legolas, including a shot at the top of its head. The troll soon turns its attention to Frodo, while the rest of the Fellowship is busy with the goblins. Aragorn, seeing the cave-troll about to attack Frodo, comes to his aid and stabs the troll with a large spear. The troll batters Aragorn away and stabs Frodo with the spear. Thinking Frodo is dead, Merry and Pippin leap onto the animal's back. This distraction allows Legolas to score a perfect shot through the roof of the monster's mouth, killing it. Frodo survives the troll attack, thanks to the Mithril vest he was wearing, and Gandalf leads the Fellowship out of Balin's tomb and toward the Bridge of Khazad-dûm before more dangers arrive.

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