BALROGS – The Lord of the Rings
For the non-nerds: Balrogs are creatures of Middle Earth, largely feared, and rightfully so, by the populations of Middle Earth which are aware of their existence. Balrogs are creatures of shadow and fire, capable of generating weapons from pure fire.
For the nerds: Balrogs were once spirits of similar origin to the beings that later became known as Gandalf and Sauron. Balrogs’ ancient spirits were corrupted by Morgoth and then used by him for evil.
During the First Age of Middle Earth, the Balrogs were some of the strongest units in Morgoth’s armies. By the Third Age, the armies of Morgoth had long been decimated, and all the Balrogs either had been slain, or fled into hiding. It was during this time period that a Balrog was discovered in Khazad-dûm, the dwarven mine through which the Fellowship traveled while on their quest to destroy the Ring.
That particular balrog, which was slain by Gandalf, was known as “Durin’s Bane.” The balrog was named after the dwarven king whose kingdom’s mining operations uncovered the ancient behemoth. As seen in the Fellowship of the Ring, the Balrog did not leave much of the dwarven kingdom untouched, and encroaching goblins finished off any stragglers.
Much debate surrounds the question of a balrog’s ability to fly. In the films, the balrog is clearly seen to have wings, but not fly. In the novels, a few sentences describe wings, but make no mention of a balrog’s ability to fly.
Personally, I think that balrogs possess the ability to fly. The only balrog we (the readers/audience) get to see, has been trapped underground for who knows how long, and the muscles it would use to fly have long ago deteriorated. Which explains why when the balrog plummeted down into the chasm of Khazad-dum, he was not able to simply flap his wings and fly back up onto the bridge. *pushes glasses up nose conclusively*