K is for Khazad-dûm

Sometimes, when even one’s best friends are too busy to attend to one, retreating into the shell of fandom is the next best option.  (Not that I can entirely blame them. No matter what, I have no claim above significant others, and of course I can’t be disturbing them at work, can I?)

I forgot the wings. Darn.

“Look ahead!” called Gandalf. “The Bridge [of Khazad-dûm] is near. It is dangerous and narrow.”

Suddenly Frodo saw before him a black chasm. At the end of the hall the floor vanished and fell to an unknown depth. The outer door could only be reached by a slender bridge of stone, without kerb or rail, that spanned the chasm with one curving spring of fifty feet.

The ranks of the orcs had opened, and they crowded away, as if they themselves were afraid. Something was coming up behind them. 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 greate; and a power and terror seemed to be in it and to go before it.

It came to the edge of the fire and the light faded as if a cloud had bent over it. Then with a rush it leaped across the fissure. The flames roared up to greet it, and wreathed about it; and a black smoke swirled in the air. Its streaming mane kindled, and blazed behind it. In its right hand was a blade like a stabbing tongue of fire; in its left it held a whip of many thongs.

The Balrog reached the bridge. Gandalf stood in the middle of the span, leaning on the staff in his left hand, bbut in his other hand Glamdrin gleamed, cold and white. His enemy halted again, facing him, and the shadow about it reached out like two vast wings. It raised the whip, and the thongs whined and cracked. Fire came from its nostrils. But Gandalf stood firm.

“You cannot pass,” he said.” The orcs stood still and a dead silence fell. “I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame or Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass.”

– “The Bridge of Khazad-dûm”, The Fellowship of the Ring.

Just a note: I thought the Bridge of Khazad-dûm sequence was really quite well-done in the film. (Actually, most of Fellowship of the Ring was. Return of the King too. It was Two Towers that bothered me, even though I could see the reasons for the changes.)

Got anything to add or say? :D