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John Howe - Balrog

Demons were evil spirits that ranked among the most powerful of Morgoth and Sauron's servants. Among the mightiest demons were the Balrogs, who were fiery Maiar seduced to Melkor's service in the beginning of the world. Both Dark Lords also commanded lesser demons.[1][2]

Other names

The Quenya word for "demon" is rauka, and the Sindarin cognate was raug. Both derive from the root RUK.[3]

In Gnomish, one of Tolkien's early conceptions of an Elven language, the word for "demon" is graug. A cognate of the same meaning in Qenya is given as arauke.[4]

Portrayal in adaptations

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

Demons are portrayed as to exist in several types: Balrogs, Black Demons, Lassaraukar ("Leaf-demons"), Vampires, Demon-trolls, etc.[5][6]

2002-5: The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game:

A distinction is made between "animate demons" and "place-demons". The former have a body, and entail such creatures as lesser and greater Balrogs, Helegrogs ("demons of ice") and Dindair ("silent shadow", demons of shadow). Place-demons (bandúrhoth, "people of the dark prison") are incorporeal and "cannot be physically battled", an example being Caradhras the Cruel.[7]

2007-: The Lord of the Rings Online:

The Regmyl (sing. Rogmul) are fire-demon spirits, called forth by the will of a Balrog.[8]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta: Of the Enemies"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Flight of the Noldor" ("...countless became the hosts of [Morgoth's] beasts and his demons")
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 48
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, "I-Lam na-Ngoldathon: The Grammar and Lexicon of the Gnomish Tongue", in Parma Eldalamberon XI (edited by Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, and Patrick H. Wynne), p. 42
  5. Ruth Sochard Pitt, Jeff O'Hare, Peter C. Fenlon, Jr. (1994), Creatures of Middle-earth (2nd edition) (#2012), pp. 84-91
  6. Wesley J. Frank, et al. (1997), Arnor: The Land (#2023)
  7. Scott Bennie, Mike Mearls, Steve Miller, Aaron Rosenberg, Chris Seeman, Owen Seyler, and George Strayton (2003), Fell Beasts and Wondrous Magic, pp. 16-20
  8. Monster:Rogmul at (accessed 5 March 2011)