I agree with others that Sauron probably wouldn't attempt it in his war against the elves and men. He didn't need the Balrog especially if he had the ring. But the question is interesting nonetheless. I believe that there are 2 reasons why he would join Sauron. Firstly I don't agree that Sauron couldn't dominate him with the ring because he is a maia. Let's not forget that he could ensnare and partially dominate Saruman. The most powerful of the wizards(at that time) and even Gandalf the White was drawn to use the Palantír later because of Sauron. Saurons influence over other wills was considerable. Saruman did indeed betray him and it wasn't a full domination of wills but Sauron also didn't have the ring at that time. Secondly Sauron would have an easier time dominating the Balrog because he is inherently a servant of darkness. I believe that if Sauron tried to do something like this after conquering Middle Earth and casting it into a second darkness then he wouldn't even have to use the ring. At that point Sauron would truly be a shadow of Morgoth and a "de facto inheritor" of Morgoths role. I think that the Balrog would be naturally drawn to Saurons rule. Anyway that's my interpretation.




I don’t think he’d be that bothered with it, compared to Sauron with the ring it’s nothing. It wasn’t powerful enough to beat Gandalf when he was the Grey, never mind Gandalf the White. Sauron with the Ring destroys it if he needs to.


I’d imagine he’d ‘use’ it much like he used Shelob. Just let it sit there as an area-denial measure. Preventing the dwarves from reclaiming Moria would be a pretty sweet tactical move, even if he’s not doing it himself.


Durin’s Bane demonstrated absolutely no desire to do anything other than hide/sleep and, after the dwarves woke it up, kill anyone that might disturb its sleep. The implication is clear: it gave up after the fall of its master and was just waiting for the end. It wouldn’t willingly serve Sauron. I suspect that Sauron would judge the benefit of winning a contest of wills not worth the risk of losing. After all, he does not need the balrog to triumph. His military victory is secure. Moreover, there is no way for him to permanently ensure the balrog’s loyalty, even with the Ring. Sauron is not Melkor - while the balrogs may have accepted his lieutenancy under Melkor, it was solely out of fear of their common master. Consider how Shagrat and Gorbag fought while Sauron’s attention was elsewhere - without Melkor (or even the fear of him) keeping everyone in line, I think there would have been similar conflict between his greater servants.


I really like the Shagrat and Gorbag example. Nice.


I wonder if it would be possible to make a Ring of Power that subdues the will of a Maiar. Obviously the one Ring would qualify, but that needs to be on Sauron's hand


I imagine Aule could do it…


On the sleep of BD, presumably the last of its kind. I wonder if the balrog’s sleep is intermittent like all living things; he wakes up and does…(?). Does the balrog dream, if so of what? Malicious of mind forever or maybe think to itself of a time before swearing allegiance to Melkor and say “you know what? Maybe I chose poorly”.


Sauron was devoted to being a God-emperor, totally supreme over all other wills. Could he gain total supremacy over one of his own kind? Probably not. Better to let it rot in the ground.


Even without having his Ring, Sauron had **already** dominated a rather powerful Maia and forced him into his service: Saruman. Could he do the same with DB? Perhaps. Would he even need to? Maybe not. Just making a deal of some sort could be perfectly sufficient for Sauron's needs, and perhaps that's already what he has done -- "Hey, keep Dwarves and other weirdos out of Moria, let some of my Orcs hang out at the east end, and you can go back to sleep once I've conquered all these idiots out here." There's a similar discussion possible with Smaug; not a Maia, of course, but a powerful being on the side of not-nice. In "The Quest of Erebor", Gandalf hints that they would likely form an alliance of some sort to devastating effect. You wouldn't meed to dominate a dragon; just promise it lots of treasure and tasty Dwarves to eat, and it would happily sow whatever chaos you want. BTW, how come everyone wants to eat Dwarves? Trolls, spiders, Smaug... even the Orcs were singing songs about dwarf BBQ. Are they really that tasty, once you get the beards out of the way?


Durin’s Bane is a bit iffy, since he’s theoretically on the same level as Sauron, great-chain-of-being wise. Technically it could act independently or rival Sauron, like Saruman did. But it might not be intelligent enough to want to; as a spirit of fire it may have either willingly shed or never had its own agency or design, being rather a primal force of nature, all passion and fury (like a real fire). This in contrast to Sauron, who needs his intelligence to be creative, as one of Aule’s world-shapers. But even if Durin’s bane had human like will and pride, his orcs would desert him en masse, because *they* are psychically dominated by the ring, to some extent. So if DB wanted to retain command of the full orcish army he has now, he would likely ally himself with Sauron in order to continue commanding his army (to destroy civilizations, in Sauron’s service). Otherwise, he might simply shrug and go to sleep as his army gradually ditched him.


Nothing would happen between the two. Balrog was too busy sleeping and awaiting Dagor Dagorath, occasionally being awoken because of inhabitants of the Moria. Sauron on the other hand was busy with his own tasks and would not care about Durin's Bane too much, if he didn't interfere with his goals. It's not like Morgoth's chief servants were very fond of each other, as to be war buddies, they were simply tools that served under their master. Also It's important to note that Sauron and DB were of the same magnitude, they were both fallen maia.


I think Sauron would have been able to master DB even *without* the Ring.


Certainly a degree of convincing is necessary. DB would have a strong will, after all... so I doubt mentally overwhelming him into submission is in the cards. But I'd think Sauron could achieve this without the Ring. We can't even guarantee DB isn't in league with Sauron in LOTR.


In my opinion, Durin’s Bane was already serving Sauron. Recall that the Moria orcs sent mithril to Mordor. Sauron also promised Moria to the Dwarves if they betrayed Bilbo. The promise could have been a lie, but it was still telling. The notion that Sauron was not mighty enough to command the loyalty of the Balrogs is misguided I think. According to Morgoth’s Ring, Morgoth poured so much of his power into Arda that he was effectively weaker at the end of the First Age than Sauron was in later ages. I imagine that Sauron would have eventually used Durin’s Bane along with the Moria orcs to assault Rivendell and/or Lothlorien. He was just holding back until the time was right.


Sorry but these types of hypotheticals make me laugh. They remind me of my 3 year old son asking me "Daddy, who would win, a lion or a crocodile?"


Does one of them have a ring of power?


I dunno that's an interesting question to me. Depends on the environment I think.


Ok but there IS an answer to that question and it has happened. Were you really not the tiniest bit curious about which animal actually wins that matchup?


Right? that's a fun rabbit hole to go down with your kid if you have a little imagination


Of course it's a fun debate. I'd say to him something about is the fight in water, or how it depends on what type of crocodile are we talking about (saltwater or other), or some other condition that would determine the outcome. And after all my qualifications, three year old son would say "OK, but who would win Daddy?" If you have had any kids you'd know exactly what I mean. Endless "why" questions, and I miss those days quite a bit.


My quick and dirty view is that there’s no question DB would have pledged (or flame grunted) allegiance to Sauron. Sauron was a captain (again quick and dirty way of looking at it without drilling down into his various roles) of Morgoths. As such I would have thought fealty would be a given to Sauron as the strongest living heir.


I think Sauron with the ring would have used Durin’s Bane similar to the way he used Shelob, didn’t command her (I’ve always think he rather viewed her as we do a cat) but he definitely used her.