Balin, as he appears in Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit' Trilogy


Biographical information

Other names
Lord of Moria, Dwarf guardian of Erebor.
Date of birth
TA 2763 (in book), TA 2725 (in films)
Year ascended to the throne
Date of death
Realms ruled
Maiden name
Dagger, Sword / Mace

Physical description

Hair color
Eye color
Don Messick, in the 1977 Rankin/Bass animated version of The Hobbit

"What have we done, O king? Is it a crime to be lost in the forest, to be hungry and thirsty, to be trapped by spiders?"
The Hobbit, "Barrels Out Of Bond"

Balin was a Dwarf leader, the son of Fundin, and elder brother of Dwalin. He was one of the thirteen Dwarves who accompanied Thorin II Oakenshield on the quest to regain the lost kingdom of the Lonely Mountain.

A Dwarf Lord, Balin was old and wise, he was one of Thorin's closest friends and advisors, and was always willing to listen and offer wise counsel. Balin is distantly related to Thorin, and is a descendant of the noble house of Durin.

He later went to reestablish the old kingdom of dwarves, Moria, where he achieved the title Lord of Moria. His brief rule was ended when he was later killed by Goblins.


Early LifeEdit

Balin was a Dwarf, son of Fundin, and likely born in the Lonely Mountain before the coming of Smaug the Dragon. He had a younger brother named Dwalin and was one of those driven from their homes when the dragon Smaug attacked the Lonely Mountain. Afterwards he may have lived in Dunland as a refugee. He fought in the War of the Dwarves and Orcs. Many years later, in approximately TA 2841, he accompanied Thráin II, the father of Thorin, when he attempted to go back to the Lonely Mountain himself, but Thráin was captured and lost. Unsuccessful in their search for him, Balin and the others went back to live with Thorin in his settlement in the Blue Mountains.

The Quest of EreborEdit

Balin - The Hobbit

Balin visits Bilbo

Balin was part of the company assembled by Thorin Oakenshield that journeys to the Lonely Mountain with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf to defeat Smaug and retake the mountain kingdom of Erebor. He was the second Dwarf to arrive at Bilbo's house, where like his brother Dwalin he played a viol as big as himself. Among the Dwarves of the company, Balin was the second-eldest dwarf on the quest, and loosely, held the position of deputy leader. He led the Dwarves in their escape from the spiders and, when Thorin was absent, spoke for the party when the Elven King Thranduil captured them.

He is described as "always their look-out man": He spots Bilbo approaching The Green Dragon Inn at Bywater, he spots the trolls' fire, and he's the first to spot the Elves in Mirkwood. He noted that not even a mouse had ever passed him on watch, and wondered why he did not notice Bilbo (hidden by wearing the magic ring) when he was lookout for the company after escaping the Goblins in the Misty Mountains.

Balin gained respect for Bilbo's abilities, and was the only dwarf who volunteered to accompany Bilbo down the secret passage to Smaug's chamber. Of all the Dwarves in the quest, Balin was the only one known to have visited Bilbo at Bag End after their experiences on the quest for the Lonely Mountain.

Expedition and DeathEdit

Balin's death

Balin at his death bed

Balin later led an expedition in an attempt to reclaim the ancient dwarf kingdom of Moria, hoping to regain both the wealth of Khazad-dûm and the last of the Seven Rings of the Dwarves. Ultimately, the search for the ring—which conferred great wealth and a curse of greed on its owners—was in vain, as it had been recaptured from Thráin II by Sauron. According to Ori's Book of Mazarbul, Balin did successfully become Lord of Moria for a time, recovering Durin's Axe, a helm and discovering Mithril. Balin himself was killed by an Orc archer in the Dimrill Dale in TA 2994, ambushed while going alone to look in Mirromere (Kheled-zâram). Soon afterward the dwarf colony - which was too small for a kingdom - was eventually overrun by Orcs (led by the Balrog known as Durin's Bane) and wiped out.

Balin's TombEdit

The fate of Balin's colony remained uncertain to all Middle-earth until the TA 3019 arrival in Moria of the Fellowship of the Ring, which included his close kin (first cousin once removed) Gimli, the son of Balin's cousin Glóin and nephew of Óin.[1][2][3] Upon arriving at The Chamber of Mazarbul and finding Balin's Tomb within, the Fellowship learned of his fate within Moria, which saddened and angered Gimli, for on the single oblong block, about two feet high, were Dwarf Runes that Gandalf translated as:[4]



As explained by Christopher Tolkien, "My father's point was that Balin and Fundin are actual Old Norse names used as ‘translations’ [of their] real ‘outer’ names."[5]

Balin's Family TreeEdit


Portrayal in adaptationsEdit

Rankin/Bass versionEdit

In the 1977 Rankin/Bass animated version of The Hobbit, Balin was voiced by Don Messick.

The Hobbit film trilogyEdit

In Peter Jackson's three-part adaptation is portrayed by Scottish actor Ken Stott. He is ranked as the eldest and wisest member of Thorin's party, in contrast to the book where Thorin is Balin's elder by about twenty years. Whereas in the book he wields a battleaxe, Balin in the Peter Jackson films uses a bronze sword with a unique cross-shaped tip (promotional material however describes the weapon as a flat-bladed mace).  The studio released the following statement about Balin in the upcoming trilogy:

A descendant of nobility and a Dwarf Lord in his own right, Balin is one of the oldest members of The Company of Dwarves. Wise and gentle by nature, he has been forced to live a life fraught with war and the ongoing struggle for survival. Related to Thorin Oakenshield, Balin is one of his closest, most trusted advisers – but deep in his heart, this wisest and most loyal of Dwarves harbors troubling doubts about the wisdom of the Quest for the Lonely Mountain.

In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Balin persuades Bard the Bowman to take them safely to Lake-town in return for a huge amount of money (double Bard's usual barge fare), an event that did not occur in the book.


Balin is portrayed to be the wiser, more social and skeptical individual in Thorin and Company. He is kind, sly and brave, an excellent fighter. Thorin, at one point, quoted on Balin's skill as a fighter. He develops an essentially strong relationship with the other Dwarves he travelled with and was willing to fight alongside them for any cause. He was sympathetic, sometimes cynical, towards Bilbo Baggins, remarking that the latter wasn't fit for the job they had set out to do. He got on brilliantly with Thorin, and seemed to share something of a grandfatherly view of the latter.

Behind the ScenesEdit

Each of the Hobbit film's actors had a voice in the nature and design of their own weaponry. Ken Stott, who plays Balin, asked the filmmakers for a weapon "somewhere between an axe and a sword."


In the FilmsEdit

In the BooksEdit


  • While in the Book, Balin is about twenty years younger than Thorin, in Peter Jackson's three-part adaptation, Balin is ranked as the oldest member of the company.
  • In the 1977 Rankin/Bass adaptation of 'The Hobbit', Balin, voiced by Don Messick, is one of the few dwarves to have a major role in the film.
  • In Peter Jackson's films, Balin fights with a weapon with similarities of a sword and a mace, which Ken Stott, asked for himself.
  • Of all the dwarves on the quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain, Balin was the only dwarf to visit Bilbo Baggins after the journey.

Voice Dubbing actorsEdit

Foreign Language Voice dubbing artist
Japanese Takashi Inagaki (稲垣隆史)
French (France) Jean-Claude Donda
Spanish (Latin America) Jaime Vega
Spanish (Spain) Jordi Vila
German Alexander Pelz
Italian (Italy) Carlo Valli
Portuguese (Brazil) (Television/DVD) Pádua Moreira / Isaac Schneider (AUJ)
Polish Zdzisław Wardejn
Czech Oldřich Vlach
Slovak Dušan Kaprálik
Hungarian Endre Botár
Russian Aleksei Borzunov (Борзунов, Алексей Алексеевич) † (AUJ)
Boris Bystrov (Быстров, Борис Евгеньевич) (DOS)
Ukrainian Eugen Maluha (Євге́н Малу́ха)
Thai Suphap Chaiwisutthikun (สุภาพ ไชยวิสุทธิกุล)
Translations around the World Edit
Foreign Language Translated name
Amharic ባሊን
Arabic بالين
Armenian Բալին
Assyrian ܒܐܠܪܢ ?
Belarusian Балін
Bengali বালিন্
Bulgarian Балин
Chinese (Hong Kong) 巴林
Dari بالین
Georgian ბალინი
Greek Μπάλιν
Gujarati બલિન્
Hindi बलिन्
Japanese バーリン
Kazakh Балін
Kurdish بالین
Kyrgyz Балин
Macedonian Балин
Mongolian Балин
Nepali बलिन्
Norwegian Balin
Pashto بالین
Russian Балин
Sanskrit बलिन्
Serbian Балин (Cyrillic) Balin (Latinised)
Siamese (Thai) บาลิน
Sinhala බලින්
Tajik Балин
Tamil பலிந் ?
Telugu బలిన్
Tibetan བལིན​
Tigrinya ባሊን
Ukrainian Балин
Urdu بالین
Uyghur بالىن
Uzbek Балин (Cyrillic) Balin (Latinised)
Yiddish באַלין


Balin in the animated version of The Hobbit
Young Balin
Balin after the Battle of Azanulbizar
Balin's sword/mace from Peter Jackson's The Hobbit
Balin miniature by Games Workshop, for the The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game
Durin's grave
Balin figure
Balin figurine by Games Workshop for The Hobbit Strategy Battle Game
Young Balin miniature, by Games Workshop
Lego Balin
LEGO Balin minfigure
Balin on a promotional poster


  1. The Hobbit
  2. The Complete Guide to Middle-earth
  3. Unfinished Tales, Part Three: The Third Age, chapter III: "The Quest of Erebor"
  4. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapter IV: "A Journey in the Dark"
  5. Hammand and Scull, The Lord of the Rings – A Reader's Companion (2005), p. 289.

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