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Silmarillion Sunday: Outlasting a Dragon

Last of all the eastern force to stand firm were the Dwarves of Belegost, and thus they won renown. For the Naugrim withstood fire more hardily than either Elves or Men, and it was their custom moreover to wear great masks in battle hideous to look upon; and those stood them in good stead against the dragons. And but for them Glaurung and his brood would have withered all that was left of the Noldor. But the Naugrim made a circe about him when he assailed them, and even his mighty armor was not full proof against the blows of their great axes; and when in his rage Glaurung turned and struck down Azaghal, Lord of Belegost, and crawled over him, with his last stroke Azaghal drove a knife into his belly, and so wounded him that he fed the field, and the beasts of Angband in dismay followed after him. Then the Dwarves raised up the body of Azaghal and bore it away; and with slow steps they walked behind singing a dirge in deep voices, as it were a funeral pomp in their country, and gave no heed more to their foes; and none dared to stay them.

Attacking Morgoth's mountain fortress was probably a pretty bad idea. I guess it could have worked under some circumstances, but it didn't. I mean, I don't have a better idea, except "keep on trying not to get killed," so I guess I can't really complain.

Things it was not at all surprising to learn: Even though they are enormous and terrifying, Balrogs still don't fight fair, and Morgoth isn't satisfied even after he wins a decisive victory and burns his enemies to the ground. He can't even be bothered to give his treachery team the land he promised them. Come on, Morgoth, what are you going to do with that land? You don't do anything with land except build walls on it, and maybe army camps. Not respecting his own contracts is just one of Morgoth's many failings.

Also not surprising: Dwarves are the best.

One thing I appreciate about Tolkien's dragons is that they are really hard to kill. You can't just give Glaurung a couple snicks with your vorpal blade and call it a day. He's a massive fire-breathing leg-serpent with scales that could chip an axe. Stabbing him in the gut with your dying breath might send him limping home to convalesce, but I'll be surprised if he stays gone.

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