Uh oh, Middle-earth: Shadow of War has a Balrog


Not the one from Street Fighter, unfortunately

In Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf stands tall in front of a Balrog and boldly proclaims “You shall not pass!” It’s an important moment because Gandalf probably should’ve died right then and there. Like, if you yell at a Balrog, you get smoked. Those are the rules, nobody disputes this.

But Gandalf didn’t die. Not yet anyway. He fell for a long time while he wrestled with the Balrog. He may as well have been dead as far as the Fellowship was concerned, though. All the hobbits were like “He called usfools, but he’s the one shouting at a giant fire demon. Fuck, now we gotta find the volcano by ourselves.”

This two-paragraph retelling of Lord of the Ringsis my way of saying that Balrogs seem like bad news. Do not engage if you see one. The wizard had a tough time and you are not a wizard (even if you do have a cloak of elvenkind.)

ThisMiddle-earth: Shadow of Wartrailer has a Balrog and you probably have to fight it at some point. We’re seeing Shadow of Warat E3 next week and we’ll make sure to report back on any Balrog sightings. I’ve instructed our staff to not fight one under any circumstances.