08 July 2011

365 Days of Middle-Earth ~ Day 8: Balin

Balin, as portrayed by the LOTR TCG

Balin was the son of Fundin and the brother of Dwalin. He fought in the War of Dwarves and Orcs and in TA 2941, accompanied Thráin II in attempting to go back to the Lonely Mountain, which had been overtaken by the dragon Smaug. When Thráin was captured and lost, Balin returned to Ered Luin (the Blue Mountains) to live with Thorin Oakenshield. He was one of the thirteen dwarves assembled by Thorin to travel with the hobbit Bilbo Baggins and the wizard Gandalf in order to kill Smaug and regain the kingdom of Erebor (known as the Quest of Erebor).

Balin was the second oldest dwarf in the company (Thorin was the oldest), and as such, he spoke for the party when they were captured by the Elvenking, and was also seen as the party's "lookout man." While Balin noticed almost everything, he did not notice Bilbo when he slipped on the Ring; thus, Balin gained some respect for Bilbo and his abilities. Balin was the only dwarf known to have visited Bilbo at Bag End following the Quest's completion.

Balin left Erebor in TA 2989 and headed for Moria with Flói, Óin, Ori, Frár, Lóni, and Náli. There, he found Durin's Axe, and in TA 2994, he was killed by an orc archer in the Dimrill Dale. The Fellowship finds Balin's Tomb in the Chamber of Mazarbul; Gandalf finds the dwarves' book of records, which describes the manner of Balin's death. Upon his tomb is written: Balin Fundinul Uzbad Khazad-Dumu ("Balin, son of Fundin, Lord of Moria").

Film Adaptations

Don Messick voiced the character of Balin in the 1977 animated version of The Hobbit.

In Peter Jackson's upcoming Hobbit films, Balin will be played by Ken Stott.

Other Notes

Balin's name is Old Norse in form, though its meaning is obscure.

Balin, like his brother Dwalin, played the viol.

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