What Other Names Were Used for Balrog?
From: Erik Tracy
As stated, the Quenya singular form is Valarauko, "Demon of Might". Also used is Durin's Bane by the Dwarves because Durin VI was killed by a Balrog when the Dwarves awoke it in their mining of mithril deep in Moria. Gandalf names the Balrog as Flame of Udûn. Nowhere else is this term used, and we are unsure as to its definition. In the Appendix of the Silmarillion, under the entry "tum" we find the word Utumno which is the Quenyan form for Morgoth's fortress of the First Age. The Sindarin form is Udûn. The phrase Gandalf used could simply mean "Servant of Morgoth" in this context since Balrogs are spirits of Fire and Udûn was Morgoth's stronghold.
Comment by: Ron Peters.
In his article about the Secret Fire that Gandalf serves, Erik supposed that "Flame of Udun" was simply a reference to the Balrog. I agree and I would like to add further evidence.
Erik correctly identifies the root "tum" from the appendix of the Silmarillian. A further etymological root can be found in the Lost Road. The root "dun" means dark (of colour) and it may be possible that Tolkien had this root in mind for this particular word thinking of a dark pit from which demons such as the Balrog issued. That the Balrog burned is clearly stated in the account at Durin's bridge and also that he burst into flame anew when he and Gandalf came out on the mountain top. Balrogs are associated with flame, and so by calling it "Flame of Udun" Gandalf is stating that the Balrog is a creature of fire which issued from Utummno or Hell itself, both of which are "dark" places as the root suggests.
It is also interesting to note that in her map of the region of Mordor, Karen Wynn Fonstad makes a parenthetical note under the name Udun calling it Hell (p. 92) and on p. 2 Utumno is refered to parenthetically as Udun. Unfortunately she does not explain her reasoning for these notes.
Fear of the Middle-earth, deamons of fire, servants of Melkor... Find out all about Balrogs on this page.
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