The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

The Rings of Power episode 5 introduced us to a beautiful Balrog, but it may also have ruined a great scene from The Silmarillion.


It is a key moment in episode 5 of the The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power : the flashback featuring an epic fight between a glorious elven warrior and a great Balrog. And it’s true, it’s a very nice moment… in addition to a probable clumsiness of adaptation (in any case, not assumed) of a very long sequence of the Silmarillion, the one featuring the mightiest of all the Balrogs. Explanations of this (likely) mess, and a brief summary of what a Balrog is in the world of J. R. R. Tolkien.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Imagehere is a balrog


We have already explained it a thousand times, but power rings It is to say the least quite messy in exposing its mythology, let’s add a layer of it for the more profane. The world of Arda was created by an almighty God named Eru Illuvatar. He also created the Ainur, a collection of more or less powerful spirits. The most important of these became the Valar, a pantheon of a dozen major deities residing on the continent of Aman, west of Arda and Middle-earth. The other, less powerful Ainur are called Maiar.

While all Valar and all Maiar are born good, not all remain good. Thus, the arch-villain of Tolkien’s universe, Melkor/Morgoth, is a Valar who has rebelled against the will of Eru Illuvatar and seeks to undo the world of him. Sauron, his most trusted lieutenant, is himself a Maiar corrupted by Morgoth. And the Balrogs in all this? Well, just as wizards are Maiar who stayed loyal to the Valar and Eru, the Balrogs are Maiar who sided with Morgoth. Sauron, Balrog, Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast, therefore, same nature: all Maiar (note, this does not mean that their powers are similar).

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: PhotoImage we hear, definition for example

This is also why the fight between Gandalf and the Balrog of Moria is such an important and tragic moment: Gandalf confronts and kills there not a beast servant of Evil like a basic orc, but one of his kind. Some Balrogs followed Melkor from his first act of rebellion, others joined him later, and are described as being shrouded in fire and darkness, but Peter Jackson’s satanic interpretation of the devil with the horns is in reality quite free, leaving Tolkien much more abstract. . By contrast, the fire whip is effectively his trademark in the source material, and the swords are in canon as well.

Tolkien describes the Balrogs (also called Valaraukar) as the most powerful servants of Morgoth (after Sauron and some dragons) and it must be understood that they are not beasts, but sentient beings, albeit corrupted to the core. Thus, there is a hierarchy in the Balrogs, and while almost no details are available, the fact remains that the Silmarillion tells of a lord of the Balrogs named Gothmog. Gothmog is a Balrog himself, and he has a high kill count.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: PhotoAnd no, it’s not that Gothmog


If the appearance of a Balrog remains an exceptional occurrence in the Second Age (already fortiori in the Third Age), they were literally legion in the years that preceded it, and Gothmog led them in battle against the mightiest of Elven leaders. It was Gothmog himself who slew the great elven hero Fëanor, creator of the Silmarils. Gothmog also killed two high kings of the Elves, Fingon (beaten “until it turns to dust” in the text, like Tolkien he can also be violent), then, much later, Ecthelion, during a duel. But it is more likely that Amazon was inspired by a fourth scene, with a Balrog that is not Gothmog.

In fact, the decoration of the flashback of episode 5 is quite reminiscent of a duel between a Balrog and the elven hero Glorfindel. A more heroic episode for an Elf character much more iconic than the previous two… and who could have an important role in it. power rings. During the First Age, Glorfindel witnesses the fall of the capital city of Gondolin, a great tragedy in the history of the Elves. As the survivors attempt to flee, they are ambushed by orcs, led by a Balrog. If an intervention by the Eagles makes it possible to hold off the orcs, Glorfindel only listens to their courage and stands against the Balrog, all alone.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: ImageApart from the tree, what are we there?

As Glorfindel delivers the killing blow and the Balrog falls off the cliff they were fighting over, the creature grabs Glorfindel by the hair and they are both killed. A scene etched forever in the memory of the Elves… but that only remotely has to do with the scene described by Amazon in episode 5 that you will tell us about. And it’s normal: the latter is simply invented, as well as the origin and properties of mithril that result from it.

It’s hard not to make the connection, though, especially since, as a reminder, Amazon has no right to directly accommodate. Lme Silmarillion. So it would be a way of making an indirect loan, without seeming to do it… but resulting in these weird, wobbly thirty seconds.

Incidentally, in Tolkien’s text, Glorfindel returns to Middle-earth during the Second Age, somewhere close to the events narrated by the power rings. From there to saying that we could have hinted at the future appearance of this character, there is only one step. Lastly, remember that the Balrog blueprints from the trailer for power rings they weren’t used in Episode 5, so it’s very likely we won’t finish seeing them. And all the better, because this single appearance at the edge of fanservice left a bit to be desired.

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