Was that the Balrog in Rings of Power? Episode 7 ending explained

Balrog in Rings of Power Episode 7Amazon Studios

Rings of Power Episode 7 builds on the cliffhanger of the last episode with a shocking ending – was that the Balrog? Let’s explain.

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has just had its penultimate episode, which you can read our review of here.

One thing we loved about this episode was how familiar it felt to the original Lord of the Rings, and this came across in more ways than one. Namely, in how a certain monster shows up at the very end of the episode.

Now, be warned! Spoilers for Rings of Power Episode 7 incoming

Rings of Power Episode 7 ending, explained

Throughout the larger plot of the series – which features the rising of darkness throughout the currently peaceful world – there has been a particular subplot involving elves and dwarves. Namely, between Elrond and Durin, as Elrond requires a material that his dear friend Durin has: Mythril.

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In this episode, the plotline reaches a head, as Durin’s father, the king of this Dwarven kingdom, forbids Durin from helping Elrond gain this material, even though the elves need it to survive.

Durin and Elrond attempot to go behind the king’s back to mine for the Mythril, but they are caught in thw act, with Durin subseqnetly disgraces and Elrond kicked out. The King does this because he is afraid of change, and wishes to let nature take its course, even if that means letting the elves die.

But it soon appears that he has more pressing things to worry about.

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The King finds the leaf that Elrond had used to showcase how Mythril could save his people, and he throws it into the mine shaft that his son had been digging.

The leaf floats down for what seems like miles, until it suddenly bursts into flames upon impact with a solid surface. And not just any solid surface. It seems like this mine is home to one particular Middle-earth beast: the Balrog.

Rings of Power: What is the Balrog?

If you’ve seen the Fellowship of the Ring, you’ll be very familiar with the Balrog. Basically, it was part of one of the series’ – and cinema in general – greatest and most iconic moments. Even if you haven’t seen the film, you’ll recognize it; Gandalf facing off against a giant fiery demon before the pair of them crash into the chasm below.

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The Balrog, also known as a Valaraukar (which means “Demon of power”), was once a Maiar (Like Gandalf is) that was corrupted by Melkor into his service.

They are terrifying beasts, as even Orcs are afraid of them, as stated in J.R.R Tolkien’s book: “Then something came into the chamber – I felt it through the door, and the Orcs themselves were afraid and fell silent. It laid hold of the iron ring, and then it perceived me and my spell.”

It’s the case in the books, but in the show it’s currently uncertain whether this Rings of Power Balrog is the same one we see in The Fellowship of the Ring – though its particular name, Durin’s Bane, does suggest this.

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But one thing is for certain: If a Balrog’s around, things really aren’t going to end well for the Dwarves, and they may have to evacuate their home like those in Southlands did very soon.

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Episode 8 will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on October 14.