Balrog LOTR
Body type Humanoid
Average height 14'
Sapience Sapient
Aggressivity Extreme
Place of origin Middle-Earth
Locomotion Bipedal
Lifespan Mutation of Maiar
Status Data Deficient
Behind the Scenes
Universe Lord of the Rings
Created by J. R. R. Tolkien
Performed by Dragging sound of a concrete brick
slowed down Lion roar
Horse and Donkey wails

Balrogs were Maiar spirits seduced by Melkor, and may have taken demon-like form as a result. They are demons of shadow and flame. Melkor corrupted these Maiar to his service but there were never more than seven according to Christopher Tolkien. However, in earlier versions of his writings there are references to entire "armies" of Balrogs. Gothmog was their captain during the 1st Age.


During the First Age, they were among the most feared of Morgoth's forces. When his fortress of Utumno was destroyed by the Valar, they fled and lurked in the pits of Angband. The Balrogs were first encountered by the Elves during the Dagor-nuin-Giliath (Battle-under-Stars) in the First Age. After the great victory of the Ñoldor over Morgoth's orcs, Fëanor pressed on towards Angband, but the Balrogs came against him. He was mortally wounded by Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs (the only Balrog known by name). Though his sons fought off the demons with an army of elves at their side, Fëanor died of his wounds soon after, and his spirit departed for the Halls of Mandos. Another major encounter was in the Battle of Unumbered Tears(Nirnaeth Arnoediad). Gothmog, High Captain of Angaband, lead the invasion. He threw aside Hurin and Turgon, turned upon Fingon and killed him with the help of another Balrog, winning the battle for Morgoth's forces. During the Fall of Gondolin, Ecthelion manages to kill Gothmog at the cost of his own life. Another Balrog is confronted when he attacks Tuor and the people who attempted to escape the seige. Glorfindel fought agianst the Balrog to give his friends a chance to escape. The battle ended with Glorfindel casting down the Balrog from the mountain but being pulled down along with the demon. The last Balrogs fought in war of wrath but were either slain or forced to retreat. In the third age the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm awakened a Balrog while mining for Mithril and were forced to flee their ancient dwelling. The Balrogs were supposed to have been all destroyed at the end of the First Age, but during the Third Age, it was discovered that at least one had escaped and hidden deep beneath the Misty Mountains, near Moria -- Durin's Bane, probably the best-documented of the Balrogs. It was Durin's Bane that drove the dwarves from their homeland in Moria. Later, in his confrontation with the wizard Gandalf and the the Fellowship of the Ring, he pursued them to the bridge of Khazad-dûm. Gandalf fought the Balrog allowing the Fellowship to escape Moria in The Lord of the Rings (described specifically, in Book II Chapter 5, the second half of The Fellowship of the Ring), both were slain, but Gandalf was "sent back" by the Valar (or possibly by Iluvatar).


A Balrog was a tall (possibly some 14 feet high), menacing being in the shape of a Man, having control of both fire and shadow and with a fiery whip with several thongs (Gothmog, the Lord of Balrogs in the First Age used an axe as well). They induced great terror in friends and foes alike and could shroud themselves in darkness and fire. Many who have faced Balrogs referred to them as "creatures of fire and shadow" or simply "shadow and flame."

They are humanoid, and very intelligent creatures (being Ainur, they took part in the creation of the world).

In the books, Tolkien depicts the Balrog as being barely a shape wreathed in shadow and flame. Possibly man-shape, yet greater. Balrogs seemed to encapsulate and project power and terror.