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Fighting Dragons  by Larner


            “Mr. Frodo?”

            “Yes, Sam?”

            “What’s a Balrog?  It says here that the Black Enemy sent Balrogs first, alongside Dragons, in the Battle of the Flames.”

            “I’m not really certain, Sam.  Apparently they were some kind of creature that was a spirit of fire and that left a trail of burning in its wake.”

            Sam nodded thoughtfully.  “Hope none of them is still left, loose in the world,” he commented.  Then his lip twitched.  “Although such creatures might just prove right useful on a cold night when the wood from the woodpile’s all wet and refuses to catch, wouldn’t you think?”



            As they rested on the floor of the flet just within the borders of the Golden Wood, once Haldir and his brothers went to follow the orcs that had pursued them, Sam commented in a low voice, “Well, I suppose as that answers my question about what Balrogs are.”

            Frodo gave an exhausted bark of a laugh.  “I must suppose that you are indeed right, Sam Gamgee.”

            Sam could see the starlight overhead reflected on his Master’s face.  “You crying, Mr. Frodo?”

            “Yes, I suppose I am.  To see Gandalf fall with—that!”

            “I know.”  Sam suppressed a shudder.


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