Balrog vs. Sauron: Who Would Win & Why?

During the events of The Lord of the Rings movies by Peter Jackson, the two most powerful evil entities that we saw were the Balrog and Sauron. The Balrog of Moria, called Durin’s Bane, was only one of the Balrogs that once existed in the world. Meanwhile, we all know who Sauron is as he became the dark lord of Middle-Earth after the fall of Morgoth. So, in a battle between a Balrog and Sauron, who would win?

Sauron is going to win in a battle against a Balrog. There is a good reason that, among all of the Maiar that joined Morgoth, Sauron was the one chosen to be his chief lieutenant and successor. As such, not even Gothmog, the greatest of the Balrogs, was more powerful than Sauron himself.

There is a good reason why Sauron was chosen as Morgoth’s most trusted follower, as he is simply that much more powerful compared to the other followers that were loyal to the original dark lord. Of course, Sauron himself isn’t an ordinary Maia, as he has always been described as the greatest of them. With that said, let’s talk more about how Sauron will win in a fight against a Balrog.

Balrogs Explained

A lot of fans of The Lord of the Rings movies first encountered the Balrog, which is a hellish and demonic creature made out of pure flame, as this entity appeared in the mines of Moria back in the events of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. And this creature, called Durin’s Bane, was so strong that Gandalf had to stay behind and use all of his power to slay the creature once and for all.

However, Balrogs have been around for a long time, as Durin’s Bane was not the only Balrog in The Lord of the Rings. When Elu Ilúvatar created the world, he began by creating the Ainur, which are divine spirits with powers that are so incredible that they were second only to the creator god himself. The Ainur were divided into two subcategories: the Valar and the Maiar.

There were only 14 Valar (15 if Melkor was counted among them), but there were countless Maiar. The Maiar worked under the Valar, who were the Ainur that represented certain powers and elements in the world, such as the wind, the stars, and the earth. 

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The most powerful of the Ainur, Melkor (later known as Morgoth), desired to be Eru Ilúvatar’s equal, and that was when he disrupted the Music of the Ainur when the Ainur were creating the world. It was during that moment that he fell from grace. However, when he fell from grace, Melkor was able to corrupt and win a few Maiar to his side. These Maiar became the Balrogs, and chief among them was Gothmog, who was the greatest of the Balrogs.

During much of the wars that Morgoth waged against the Valar and the Elves, it was actually the Balrogs that he sent to battle as his strongest soldiers. These creatures were basically made out of flames and had fiery swords and whips that they used in battle. In that regard, they made up some of the strongest beasts that fought on the side of the dark lord.

However, after the First Age, all of the Balrogs were destroyed, as they reverted back to their spirit forms as Maiar. One survived as this solitary Balrog went into hiding in the Misty Mountains, where it slept for thousands of years until it was awakened by the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm, who were mining for mithril. This Balrog ousted the Dwarves out of Khazad-dûm and became known as Durin’s Bane for killing King Durin.

Sauron Explained

While Melkor is the greatest of the Ainur, the greatest of the Maiar was Mairon. Among all of the Maiar that Eru Ilúvatar created, the most gifted was Mairon, who worked under Aulë, and was known as the greatest smith and craftsman out of all of the Valar. It was through his years under Aulë that Mairon was able to hone his talents as well, as he became the greatest craftsman out of all of the Ainur other than Aulë.

Mairon, however, was obsessed with order and control. He wanted things to be in order, and that was why he wanted to be able to design things and make sure that they were under his control. It was this obsession that led him to Morgoth, who he thought had the power that would allow him to fulfill his designs. As such, Mairon pledged his allegiance to Morgoth and became known as Sauron.

During the First Age, Sauron was the chief lieutenant of Morgoth and was his most trusted follower due to his power and cunning intelligence. That was the reason why Sauron participated in a lot of different battles in the First Age but was able to escape after Morgoth’s defeat. Despite the demands of the Valar for him to return to Valinor, Sauron hid in Middle-Earth and took a fair form, all while coming up with a plan that would allow him to put the world under his dark control.

That was when Sauron fooled the Elven smith named Celebrimbor into forging the Rings of Power. He corrupted these Rings and went on to create the One Ring, which he used to dominate the Rings of Power that Celebrimbor forged. As such, Sauron’s powers grew as he was able to put the entire world under his darkness during the Second Age and the Third Age. But the destruction of the One Ring, which contained much of Sauron’s malice and essence, was what made him so weak that he could no longer assume a form on Middle Earth.

What Are The Powers Of A Balrog?

Balrogs, when they took form after their corruption, were demonic entities that were equipped with flaming swords and whips. They were gigantic creatures that were basically made out of flame and could also use their own flame to their advantage. As such, the Balrogs were mostly elite soldiers that fought the strongest of the Elves during the First Age.

Not much is known about the powers of a Balrog except for the fact that they are both magical and physical in nature. Balrogs are known to be magical because they are made out of flames. Meanwhile, they are physical in nature because their strikes can do physical damage just as much as they can do magical damage.

RELATED: Will Durin and the Dwarves Release the Balrog in The Rings of Power?

Balrogs, however, are not entirely the strongest of Morgoth’s forces, as he realized that none of his soldiers were enough to defeat the Ñoldor Elves. That was the reason why Morgoth bred the dragons, which were the mightiest of the creatures under his command. Still, the Balrogs were quite strong, as it was Gothmog, the strongest of all the Balrogs, that killed Fëanor, the greatest of the Elves.

But the fact that Durin’s Bane was slain by Gandalf the Grey is proof of the fact that Balrogs aren’t entirely strong enough to take on some of the strongest of the Maiar, as Gandalf himself is said to be one of the strongest Maiar.

What Are Sauron’s Powers?

During the First Age, Sauron relied a lot on his powers of deception and shape-shifting. He was known to be a cunning dark lord that knew how to use his intelligence and gifts of deception to his advantage. In battle, however, he was mostly a shapeshifter that took on different forms, such as that of a werewolf and a serpent. He could even take the form of a vampire as well.

It was during the Second Age when Sauron began adapting a more physical form as he was a great Man that was clad in armor. Using the power of the One Ring, he was so strong that a single strike of his mace could wipe out entire battalions. In the book, his strength was apparent when he took on both Elendil and Gil-galad and was able to defeat them, albeit becoming wounded and weakened after the battle.

Meanwhile, in the Third Age, Gandalf the White said it himself that Sauron was still the strongest being in Middle-Earth, and that means that not even he could stand up to the power of the dark lord at that time.

Balrog vs. Sauron: Who Would Win & Why?

At this point, it should be quite obvious that Sauron is stronger than a Balrog. Gothmog might prove to be a better match against Sauron, but an ordinary Balrog wouldn’t stand a chance against the dark lord. That’s because Gandalf, who was strong enough to defeat Durin’s Bane, wasn’t even strong enough in his White form to take on Sauron on his own. As such, the fact that Gandalf, the slayer of Durin’s Bane, couldn’t defeat Sauron means that the dark lord is far stronger than a Balrog.

  • Ysmael is a self-professed geek that loves anything related to fantasy, sci-fi, video gaming, and anime. Spends his free time watching movies, TV shows and gaming, a lot.