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The Maia sent to Middle Earth to safeguard it from Sauron were under strict orders: while in Middle Earth, they are to live as mortals, they are not to reveal their true identities, nor are they to engage Sauron or his armies with their true power. These rules are designed to prevent them from dominating the Free Peoples, and to protect Middle Earth from further devastation by another "war of the gods".

When Gandalf faced the Balrog, however, do these rules still apply? Do the Valar require Gandalf to stick by these rules to the bitter end, or are exceptions made for self-defence? After all, as a Maia who had never fought in the wars, his ability to defeat a top lieutenant of Morgoth is objectively speaking in doubt, let alone if he has to "fight as a mortal".

marked as duplicate by Jason Baker, TGnat, Null, CandiedMango, Ward Oct 14 '15 at 3:47

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  • Considering what the balrog is it's probably fine. Also they wouldn't have "promoted" Gandalf and sent him back to Middle Earth if he did something wrong. – CandiedMango Oct 14 '15 at 3:16
  • Great question. Hope the existing answers on the previous question are satisfactory to you. – Wad Cheber Oct 14 '15 at 4:22
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    @CandiedMango "They" (the Valar) had nothing to do with Gandalf return. That was Eru's direct intervention. – suchiuomizu Oct 14 '15 at 11:52