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134

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


118

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 was burned. Then we plunged into the deep water and all was dark. Cold it was as the tide of death: almost it froze my heart.' 'Deep is the abyss that is spanned ...


87

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, and he fell with me. His fire was about me... Deep is the abyss that is spanned by Durin's Bridge... Yet it has a bottom, beyond light and knowledge,... I came ...


84

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 no more use here. Go!' The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Bridge of Khazad-dûm In the books, Gandalf says that particular line before he is ...


80

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 the bridge appears that to be about 2.5 times the vertical drop from the "First Deep" to the bottom of the abyss. Accounting for the 7:1 exaggeration ...


73

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 stayed inside the arch (obeying Gandalf) whereas the humans, Aragorn and Boromir decided to stand with Gandalf. 'Over the bridge!' cried Gandalf, recalling his ...


72

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 suddenly faced by something that I have not met before. I could think of nothing to do but to try and put a shutting-spell on the door. I know many; but to do ...


70

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 ability in their transformation, which there would need to be evidence of. Durin's Bane not speaking can definitely be taken as circumstantial evidence, but it ...


65

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 able to communicate verbally in some fashion; at the very least, they were capable of making sounds, as Durin's Bane does in the text: Gandalf lifted his staff, ...


64

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: *January* 15 The Bridge of Khazad-Dum and fall of Gandalf. The Company reaches Nimrodel late at night. 17 The Company comes to Karas Galadon at evening. ...


59

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 nameless fear. Long have its vast mansions lain empty since the children of Durin fled. But now we spoke of it again with longing, and yet with dread; for no dwarf ...


57

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 first draft of the Moria chapters, things are quite different: A figure strode to the fissure, no more than man-high yet terror seemed to go before it. They ...


57

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, the guide of the Sun: ...and she was chosen because she had not feared the heats of Laurelin, and was unhurt by them, being from the beginning a spirit of fire,...


52

According to the timeline of events, the Balrog was trapped until 1980 Third Age (TA): The Moria dwarves awaken Durin's Bane, a Balrog, which kills Durin VI, king of Khazad-dûm The events of the Lord of the Rings occur primarily in 3018-3019 TA (including the fight and demise of the Balrog). So we have 1,038 years for the Balrog to struggle for power. ...


50

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 it. "The Dwarves delved too greedily and too deep. You know what they awoke in the darkness of Khazad-dûm: Shadow and Flame!" -- Saruman It is Gimli who ...


48

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 knows more about Balrogs than I do, but he cannot expect me to agree with him.


46

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 not prevalent in Tolkien's Middle-earth. As Tolkien himself says in Letter 155, it is a complex matter, and that his works used it far too casually. Stating ...


42

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 never mentions addressing the threat as part or his reasoning for going through Moria. This is contrary to Smaug, who was specifically called out as such in ...


39

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 with those he capitalizes and those he does not. I'm (obviously) not going to list all of them, but here is (I hope) a representative sampling: In the Land of ...


37

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 described as such. However from The Complete Tolkien Companion we get the following “In their origins, as a part of the Thought of Ilúvatar, these were MAIAR of ...


36

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 by later canon I tend to take them at face value) Assuming that Balrogs are the same size the Balrogs at the Fall of Gondolin appeared to be of a consistent ...


36

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 Moria, it was more likely he was drawn by the power (and therefore threat) Gandalf posed going through Moria rather than desiring the Ring (as the Ring only ...


36

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! Remember, the orcs were still coming. Time was of the essence.


31

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 his face, and he sat silent, looking old as death. 'Long time I fell,' he said at last, slowly, as if thinking back with difficulty. 'Long I fell, and he fell ...


27

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 some events would be unlikely to have happened without speech, but most of it is circumstantial. That being said, these are stories born out of a love of language ...


21

There may be hints of an answer in the way Tolkien fitted the balrog into the story. At one point, he had the Moria balrog under Sauron's direct control; sent from Orodruin to Moria specifically. The way this changed - and the description of the balrog as being a terror of the first age (i.e .ancient times) - serves to distance it from the current tide of ...


21

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 earned its nickname: Durin's Bane. It also killed King Nain I the following year and many other dwarves before they fled. The existence of Durin's Bane ...


21

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, wielded by various high elf heroes who used no magic of any kind. We don't know in great detail how the battle between Gandalf and the balrog went on; the book ...


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