Hello everyone,

I will admit that I'm not much more than a slightly educated initiate when it comes to the Lord of the Rings. I have seen the films (who hasn't) and read up to the end of Two Towers a couple times, and had some friends who were huge Tolkien buffs back in the day, but something has always eluded me.

What exactly is the Balrog? I've heard that it was some sort of General, like an evil daemon that led armies back in an ancient age? Something to that effect? How did it get stuck in Moria?

If it was a general of sorts, and if nothing on Middle Earth (bar Gandalf) can really hope to stand against it, how were those armies even defeated if the Balrog was supposed to be one of many?

I know I could probably get an answer from Wikipedia, but I always prefer getting information about these sort of myths from other people.