|Franchise||The Lord of the Rings|
Balrogs are fictional characters who appear in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. Such creatures first appeared in print in his novel The Lord of the Rings, where the Fellowship of the Ring encounter one known as Durin's Bane in the Mines of Moria. Balrogs figured in Tolkien's earlier writings that appeared posthumously in The Silmarillion and other books.
Balrogs are described as tall and menacing with the ability to shroud themselves in fire, darkness, and shadow. They frequently appeared armed with fiery whips "of many thongs", and occasionally used long swords. In Tolkien's later conception, they could not be readily vanquished—a certain stature was required by the would-be hero. Only dragons rivaled their capacity for ferocity and destruction, and during the First Age of Middle-earth, they were among the most feared of Morgoth's forces.
According to The Silmarillion, the Valaraukar (which were called Balrogs in Middle-Earth) were Maiar (angelic beings) that were "scourges of fire". They were seduced by the evil Vala Melkor, who corrupted them to his service in the days of his splendor before the making of Arda. Upon the awakening of the Elves, the Valar captured Melkor and destroyed his fortresses Utumno and Angband. But they overlooked the deepest pits, 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; 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.
The Balrog was first seen in a fight with Gandalf the Grey in the Mines of Moria, both falling into the fiery pit below the Mines from a falling bridge, when Batman saved Gandalf's life. Later on, in the Riddle-earth level, he and The Riddler are seen terrorizing Middle-earth at Minas Tirith, serving as the final level bosses in here.
- The Balrog was thought to be destroyed when it fell into the pit, when Batman saved Gandalf from the creature. It was later revealed in the level Riddle-earth, that the Balrog survived and The Riddler was riding it and is one of the final battle bosses in the level.