If you’re shopping for a vehicle, then you have a lot of decisions to make and a wide range of options to choose from. It can be difficult, therefore, to consider everything available to you, comparing all of their different features and specs, in order to find the one that perfectly meets your needs. Even if you narrow down your options to just two models––for example, if you’re shopping for a three-row SUV and you’re trying to decide between the 2022 Toyota Highlander vs 2022 Honda Pilot––the decision can still be a challenge.
Fear not, gentle reader, because I’m here to help. Rather than leave you standing impotent and frozen with uncertainty in the icy rain of indecision, I will guide you with all of the wisdom and knowledge I can muster. I’m going to take you through what these two vehicles offer and show you which is the superior choice; not based on specs or features, but on what really matters: which of these vehicles would win in a fight if the Highlander was Gandalf the Grey, and the Pilot was a Balrog of Morgoth.
Setting the Scene
It may seem strange, at first glance, to compare these two vehicles in this way, but it makes perfect sense once you think about it for a moment. Consider this: both the Toyota Highlander and the Honda Pilot are three-row SUVs that offer a good combination of affordability, decent performance, and spacious interiors that are highly functional. They both make excellent family vehicles, largely replacing the minivans and station wagons of the past. They’re also a great choice for singles or couples with big groups of friends or who simply like having a lot of interior room for loading up before hitting the road.
Similarly, both Gandalf the Grey and the Balrogs of Morgoth are Maiar, ancient spirits that dwelled beyond creation and helped shape the world during the Music of the Ainur. Once the world was made, some of the Ainur entered into it––the greater of them called Valar and the slightly lesser known as the Maiar. Gandalf, also known as Olórin, was one such Maiar, while the Balrogs were spirits of flame seduced into evil by Morgoth and twisted into forms of fire and shadow. Exactly like a three-row SUV.
How the Battle Would Play Out
Assuming a best-case scenario, where Gandalf the Grey is prepared to do battle with one of the ancient Demons of Might, he would have his sword, Glamdring, at the ready. Now, to be clear, I’m not simply going to describe the encounter at the Bridge of Khazad-dûm, but rather a hypothetical scenario. Be that as it may, things would play out somewhat similarly.
If Gandalf did not have others to protect, he could focus on battling the immense terror before him and engage his ancient foe. He would no doubt use every trick he could, calling upon the power within him to dispel the flames and darkness of the Balrog. The Balrog, in kind, would use everything at its disposal to try to destroy the small wizard before it––perhaps it would even sense a fellow Maiar and hate Gandalf all the more as a reminder of what it had once been.
Ultimately, the swift Elven blade of Glamdring would prevail and stand against the flames and sorcery of the foul Balrog. Though it would come at great cost, for Gandalf would certainly be burnt and harmed in their battle. Without the abyss beneath the bridge to worry about, Gandalf could battle unhampered and really showcase his power, but Balrogs are not to be underestimated. Within the full Legendarium of JRR Tolkien’s work, no one battles a Balrog and survives it. I believe Gandalf would, similarly, fall once again and would be slain by his enemy, though he would still defeat the Balrog of Morgoth.
Who Is the Winner?
You are, for the opportunity to read this.
Editor’s Note: We’ve reviewed this piece carefully and we’re uncertain of the results as stated within it. After much debate, we feel that without the need to try to protect the Fellowship and without the yawning abyss below the Bridge of Khazad-dûm, Gandalf would be able to win the contest and survive it! While it is true that both Ecthelion of the Fountain and Glorfindel were slain in their battles with Balrogs, they were both Elves. True, they were lords of Gondolin, but Elves nonetheless. The immortal power of Gandalf the Grey would be enough, we feel, to smite the Balrog and survive if the situation didn’t involve plunging down into darkness and then fighting up to the peak of Zirakzigil. Thank you.