Mr Gandalf: Why is it that you seem surprised on encountering the Balrog in Moria? I would have thought that this creature would have been foremost on your mind before you first stepped through the West-Gate. Here is what you said to Aragorn outside the Chamber of Mazarbul: "Then something came into the chamber - I felt it through the door, and the orcs themselves were afraid and fell silent. WHAT IT WAS I CANNOT GUESS, but i have never felt such a challenge. The counter spell was terrible...... " Here is what transpired on the bridge: Ai, ai wailed Legolas. A Balrog. A Balrog has come Gimli stared with wide eyes. 'Durin's Bane' he cried, and letting his axe fall he covered his eyes. 'A balrog' muttered Gandalf. NOW I UNDERSTAND -um, really Gandalf ? Not sure why you wouldn't know that straight away, because you spent a fair amount of time chumming around with Dwarves, to whom the story of the fall of Khazadum and knowledge of Durin's Bane would be common-place. -further, the matter of the Balrog was well known to Galadriel who undoubtedly would have briefed you about it at one of the White Council meetings, or while strolling together under the Mallorns on Calas Galadhon. -finally, there's no reason to believe the Balrog would have packed up and left Moria. After all, it chased out the dwarves after slaying Durin & Nain, and then, at the Battle of Azanulbizar, Dain clearly saw it in the shadows of the gate after he had killed Azog. There was no reason to believe it had left the comfy confines of Moria. So what gives, Gandalf, were you just tired and over-wrought by the situation ? (Ok, I admit that was a bit snarky... and I should have more respect when addressing a Maiar, but that is something that I've always found confusing. Can anyone shed some light on this?