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The Rings Of Power Episode 7 Makes A Major Change To This Middle-Earth Monster's Origin Story

Contains spoilers for "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" Season 1, Episode 7

Another week in Middle-earth and yet another massive tweak in the timeline of Dwarves, Elves, Harfoots, and Orcs. Last week saw Adar (Joseph Mawle) blow the lid off a secret waiting beneath the land formerly known as the Southlands, leading to the birth of Mount Doom. It was one of the more significant alterations of Tolkien lore given that Melkor was its original maker in the author's works (via Tolkien Gateway). In the latest installment, though, a big adjustment has been made courtesy of Elrond (Robert Aramayo) and Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur) following their minor mining excavation that has left the latter in the Dwarf king's bad books.

Both Durins end up on rocky ground after the prince goes against his father's wishes. While Durin IV's arguments about the restraint he is under are solid, it didn't stop "Lord of the Rings" know-it-alls from hoping he would put down the hammer and leave the venture because of what's waiting down in the darkness he'd chipped away at. The thing about that and the big reveal is that it's several years early, give or take a few thousand.

The Balrog has got fired up far too soon on The Rings of Power

With Elrond getting shown the door and Durin IV seemingly losing his right to the throne, Durin III (Peter Mullan) returns to the fresh excavation his son had made to stew in the recent dramas and the decisions he was forced to make. There, he tosses the purified leaf down the hole, which is burned away by the infamous Balrog that will, one day, cause a lot of trouble for Dwarves and Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen).

While it was teased in the final trailer for the show's release and is still an incredible sight to behold, the appearance of the monstrous Maiar might have Tolkien fans scratching their heads. As far as the creator of Middle-earth put it, the Balrog that will eventually be known as Durin's Bane doesn't appear until 1,980 years into the Third Age, begging the question of how much involvement this hot new threat will play in this version of Middle-earth (via Tolkien Gateway). As big a tease as it may be, could it be a double bluff in a show that is already playing with viewers' expectations in other areas across this epically laid-out land?

Is the Balrog's appearance just blowing smoke on The Rings of Power?

It's a massive power move to throw in the Balrog at this point in the season given that we're only one episode away from closing this first chapter of "The Rings of Power." As revealed in "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" as Frodo (Elijah Wood) and company head through the Mines of Moria, the Dwarves in Khazad-dûm, including King Durin VI, get decimated by the demon invader. With that said, is there really time to introduce such a pivotal moment in Middle-earth lore in the closing episode of this season? More importantly, is it even wise to do so?

Given its outcome, such a massive throw-down might also speed things up the wrong way for the show. We know "The Rings of Power" is trying to throw audiences off, but is this the best way to do so? Perhaps this might be just one giant enflamed wink to the audience that the showrunners know as much as we do about what's waiting in the dark for Durin and his people. For now, we can only wait until next week's finale to see if the Balrog makes a comeback or not. Good luck, Durin. Both of you.