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135 votes
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Why was the Balrog beneath Moria

Silmarillion, Chapter XXIV Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath: The Balrogs were destroyed, save some few that fled and hid themselves in caverns inaccessible at the roots of the earth
Yaroslav  Kornachevskyi's user avatar
121 votes
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How far did Gandalf and the Balrog drop from the bridge in Moria?

Tolkien is not at all specific: 'Long time I fell,' he [Gandalf] said at last, slowly, as if thinking back with difficulty. 'Long I fell, and he [the Balrog] fell with me. His fire was about me. I ...
Mark Olson's user avatar
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105 votes

Why couldn't the dwarves beat/kill the Balrog?

There was nothing particular about the elves that made them capable of taking on balrogs, except that the elves, as the Firstborn children of Illúvatar, were probably the most powerful of all the ...
Buzz's user avatar
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90 votes

Why did Gandalf use a sword against the Balrog?

Because using a sword was effective. (Keep in mind that Balrogs envisioned by Tolkien were not as big as what Peter Jackson depicts in the movies.) 'Do as I say!' said Gandalf fiercely. 'Swords are ...
Voronwé's user avatar
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87 votes
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What exactly happened during Gandalf’s fight with the Balrog?

Gandalf covers this for the most part in chapter 5 of The Two Towers. He gives quite a clear account of the events that transpired and how they got from deepest pits to the highest peak Long I fell, ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
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83 votes
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When does Gandalf learn the nature of Durin’s Bane?

Not until it's already upon them Emphasis mine: 'What happened away up there at the door?' [Gimli] asked. 'Did you meet the beater of the drums?' I do not know,' answered Gandalf. 'But I found myself ...
Jason Baker's user avatar
82 votes

How far did Gandalf and the Balrog drop from the bridge in Moria?

Karen Wynn Fonstad's highly regarded The Atlas of Middle-earth includes a diagram showing a vertical cross section of Moria. In the diagram, the horizontal distance of 20 miles from the guardroom to ...
Blackwood's user avatar
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73 votes
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Why didn't the Fellowship help Gandalf when he faced the Balrog?

In the novel, the events played out slightly differently. Gandalf was already at the rear of the pack. The Hobbits, Gimli and Legolas had already made it to the arch when the Balrog appeared. They ...
Valorum's user avatar
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70 votes

Did Balrogs have their own language?

They almost definitely could talk, probably Melkian. Balrogs are corrupted Maiar. We know that other Maiar can speak (e.g. Gandalf, Sauron). If balrogs can't speak, it would mean they lost that ...
Ben Osborne's user avatar
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64 votes

Did Balrogs have their own language?

We don't know There are no instances in any of Tolkien's writings of a Balrog speaking, so it's not clear whether they could, or what language they would have spoken. They were, however, definitely ...
Jason Baker's user avatar
64 votes

What exactly happened during Gandalf’s fight with the Balrog?

The answers by Edlothiad and Mark Olson are good, but omit some details. According to The Return of the King, Appendix B The Tale of the Years, The Third Age, Third age 3019: ...
M. A. Golding's user avatar
60 votes
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Was Gandalf "meant" to confront the Balrog?

It was known that there was something dangerous in Moria. Glóin tells the Council of Elrond: Glóin sighed. ‘Moria! Moria! Wonder of the Northern world! Too deep we delved there, and woke the ...
Blackwood's user avatar
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60 votes

Why were Sauron and Saruman not considered Balrogs?

Balrogs were a specific type of Maia - spirits of fire - whereas both Sauron and Saruman were mentioned as being not of that type. The only other Maia of this type mentioned in the texts is Arien, ...
Victim of Circumstance's user avatar
59 votes
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How tall was the Balrog of Moria?

The size of Balrogs changed as Tolkien evolved his stories; in the Lost Tales they have a very specific size, but then when we next get a detailed description of the appearance of a Balrog, in the ...
Victim of Circumstance's user avatar
50 votes

Was Gandalf "meant" to confront the Balrog?

In the films, but perhaps not the book. It makes it clear that both Saruman and Gandalf know what lies in Moria. Saruman cuts off the other routes around the mountains to try and drive Gandalf before ...
Jeremy French's user avatar
48 votes

What magical powers do balrogs have?

Magic in Middle-earth is rather different to "conventional" magic. One must first remember that what one often thinks of as magic as used in other systems (like Harry Potter or D&D) was ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
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47 votes

Did Balrogs have their own language?

No: they don't talk at all. From Tolkien's Letters, Letter #210: The Balrog never speaks or makes any vocal sound at all. Above all he does not laugh or sneer. ... Z[immerman] may think that he ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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42 votes

Was Gandalf "meant" to confront the Balrog?

There's no hint that the Balrog is any kind of wider threat. It has been resident in Moria for over a thousand years by this point, but no-one outside is even aware of its presence. Gandalf certainly ...
Daniel Roseman's user avatar
40 votes
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What did Gandalf mean when he told the Balrog to "go back to the Shadow"?

It is significant that the word "Shadow" is capitalized. There are 224 occurrances of the word "shadow" in the Fellowship of the Ring (including preface and prologues), and Tolkien is very specific ...
Victim of Circumstance's user avatar
37 votes

Why didn't the Fellowship help Gandalf when he faced the Balrog?

Because Gandalf told them not to. When they first encountered the creature, Gandalf tells them This is a foe beyond any of you. Run! And then, when he is hanging on the bridge Fly, you fools! ...
Machavity's user avatar
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37 votes
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Why were Sauron and Saruman not considered Balrogs?

Balrogs were in the service of Morgoth before Time Mairon was a servant of Aule, not Melkor Although VoC claims Balrogs were a "spirit of fire" only two characters in Tolkien's writings are ever ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
  • 77.4k
36 votes

How tall was the Balrog of Moria?

About twice the height of an Elf Depending on you views of the canonicity of the Book of Lost Tales - they are basically the draft notes for the Silmarillion.(Personally, if they are not contradicted ...
Cearon O'Flynn's user avatar
36 votes

What would have happened if the Balrog had defeated Gandalf?

In Short The Balrogs had their wills tied to Morgoth who, unlike Sauron, was more focused on destruction than he was on domination. This meant that while the Balrog did chase the Fellowship through ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
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31 votes

What exactly happened during Gandalf’s fight with the Balrog?

All we know comes from one passage in LotR: 'Come, Gandalf, tell us how you fared with the Balrog!' 'Name him not!' said Gandalf, and for a moment it seemed that a cloud of pain passed over ...
Mark Olson's user avatar
  • 41.5k
27 votes

Did Balrogs have their own language?

Unclear, but probably They're never described as talking in any of Tolkien's writings that I could find. However, they can certainly make noises. Some actions can be interpreted as being spoken and ...
isanae's user avatar
  • 11k
25 votes

When does Gandalf learn the nature of Durin’s Bane?

It's unclear but probably not until he saw it The balrog of Moria was awakened in TA 1980, that is, more than 1,000 years before the Fellowship entered Moria in TA 3019. It killed King Durin VI and ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 4,975
24 votes

Why did Gandalf use a sword against the Balrog?

We know for a fact that swords are effective, though perhaps not ordinary swords. During the battle of Gondolin, one of the more epic battles of the First Age, many balrogs were slain with weapons, ...
Amarth's user avatar
  • 5,679
19 votes
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If Frodo had put on the One Ring in Moria, would he have been invisible to the Balrog?

This is hard to answer since Tolkien was not very explicit about the metaphysics of the unseen realm, even in his private writings. The presentation in-text is a blend of the original conception of ...
agent seven's user avatar
  • 1,374
18 votes

Why couldn't the dwarves beat/kill the Balrog?

The short and simple answer is that Noldor in the First Age who had returned to Middle-Earth from Valinor and fought the Long War against Morgoth and his armies were bigger badasses than simple ...
Amanadiel's user avatar
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