Silmarillion Project Part 3: The Monsters of Middle-Earth - Balrogs, Dragons, Orcs and Trolls!
- Part 1: “Ainulindalë - The Music of the Ainur”
- Part 2: “Valaquenta - Account of the Valar and Maiar in according to the lore of the Eldar”
I thought it appropriate for this spooky time of year to share some Silmarillion monsters. Morgoth bred and recruited many evil things during his time in Middle-Earth. These are a brief list of the best-known creatures to serve the Dark Lords:
- Orcs - Created “in mockery” of the Elves, it’s never been clear where Orcs originated. They vary greatly in size and shape, though most are smaller than Men. Most Orcs flee from the Sun, though some later breeds lacked this weakness. While often ferocious, Orcs never exhibit much initiative on their own, and when not commanded by a Dark Lord or other evil power, they tend to keep to themselves.
- Trolls - If Orcs were a mockery of Elves, then Trolls were meant to mock the Ents. While there are many types of Trolls, they are usually slow-witted and thuggish. There is some speculation that Trolls were not living things at all, but some sort of stoneish “counterfeits” that required greater powers to give them a will. This may explain why most Trolls permanently turn to stone when in direct sunlight, undoing the dark magic that created them.
- Dragons - Bred from unknown beasts and dark magics, Dragons are amongst the most powerful creatures in Middle-Earth. They are extremely intelligent and greedy, and among Morgoth’s creations the most independently minded. Most could breath fire, and later on some strains were bred with wings. A single Dragon could drive away armies, and those with enough nerve and cunning to slay a Dragon became legends.
- Balrogs - Also called Valaraukar, Balrogs were fire spirits seduced into service under Morgoth. While they could take on many forms, they were generally great creatures of shadow, breathing fire and carrying whips made of flames. Balrogs primarily acted as Morgoth’s generals, with Gothmog, their captain, being second in authority only to Sauron. Though shrewd and immensely powerful, the main weapon of Balrogs was their ability to inspire primal terror in both enemy and ally. There is no instance of a mortal killing a Balrog, and it is suggested that only the power of Elves or greater beings is able to overcome them.
Hope you like these!