BALROG


Balrogs

According to The Silmarillion, the Valaraukar (which were called Balrogs in Middle-Earth) were a type of Maiar that were "scourges of fire". They were seduced by the evil Vala Melkor, who corrupted them to his service in the days of his splendour before the making of Arda.

Upon the waking of the Elves, the Valar captured Melkor and destroyed his fortresses Utumno and Angband. But they overlooked the deepest pits,[5] where, with many of Melkor's other allies, the Balrogs fled into hiding. When Melkor returned to Middle-earth from Valinor, now bearing the epithet Morgoth, he was attacked by Ungoliant, a spider-like creature; and his piercing scream drew the Balrogs out of hiding to his rescue.

When the Noldor arrived in Beleriand in pursuit of Morgoth, they won a swift victory over his Orcs in the Dagor-nuin-Giliath. Fëanor pressed on towards Angband; but the Balrogs came against him, and Fëanor was mortally wounded by Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs. Fëanor's sons fought off the Balrogs, but Fëanor died of his wounds shortly afterward.

In The Lays of Beleriand, The Lay of Leithian mentions Balrog captains leading Orcs: "the Orcs went forth to rape and war, and Balrog captains marched before".

Tolkien tells of two Balrogs slain by Elves in the fall of Gondolin. During the assault on the city, Ecthelion of the Fountain fought Gothmog, and "each slew the other." Glorfindel fought a Balrog who waylaid an escape party from the fallen city; both fell from the mountainside in the struggle and perished.

In the War of Wrath that ended the First Age, most of the Balrogs were destroyed, although at least one, the Balrog known as Durin's Bane, managed to escape and hide in "caverns at the roots of the earth".

In The Fellowship of the Ring, the Fellowship of the Ring ventured through Moria and were attacked in the Chamber of Mazarbul by Orcs and the Balrog.Gandalf faced the Balrog at the Bridge of Khazad-dûm. He slew the Balrog but perished himself at the same time — to be sent back as the more powerful Gandalf the White.
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