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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 Lonely Mountain.

A Dwarf Lord known for his wise counsel and willingness to listen, he was one of Thorin's closest friends and advisors. Balin is distantly related to Thorin, and is a descendant of the noble house of Durin.

He later went to re-establish the greatest kingdom of the Dwarves, Khazad-Dûm (at this point in time named Moria), but within five years it was overcome once more by Orcs, and he was killed there.


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 amongst those driven from their homes when Smaug attacked the Lonely Mountain. Afterwards, he may have lived in Dunland as a refugee, before fighting 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.

The Quest for EreborEdit

Balin - The Hobbit

Balin visits Bilbo

Balin was part of the company assembled by Thorin Oakenshield that journeyed to the Lonely Mountain with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf to defeat Smaug, and to 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, and loosely held the position of deputy leader.[citation needed] 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.

Balin was a discerning character, being described as "their look-out man": He spotted Bilbo approaching The Green Dragon Inn at Bywater; he spotted the trolls' fire, and; he was 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 Orcs 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 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 reinstate the wealth of Moria, and to reclaim the last of the Seven Rings of the Dwarves. While in Moria, he discovered Durin's Axe. Ultimately, the search for the ring—which conferred great wealth and a curse of greed on its owner(s)—was in vain, as it had been recaptured from Thráin II by Sauron. Balin himself was killed by an Orc during this quest.

Portrayal in adaptationsEdit

Rankin/Bass filmsEdit

In the 1977 animated version of The Hobbit, he was voiced by Don Messick.

The Hobbit film trilogyEdit

In Peter Jackson's live-action adaptation, he was portrayed by Scottish actor Ken Stott. The studio released the following statement regarding Balin in the films:

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: An Unexpected Journey, Balin shows his wisdom when he tells Fíli and Kíli and Bilbo about Thorin’s hatred for orcs.

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 known to have visited 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
Danish Balin
Dari بالین
Georgian ბალინი
Greek Μπάλιν
Gujarati બલિન્
Hindi बलिन्
Japanese バーリン
Kazakh Балін
Korea 발린
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 from Peter Jackson's The Hobbit
Balin miniature by Games Workshop, for the The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game
Balin figure
Balin figurine by Games Workshop for The Hobbit Strategy Battle Game
Lego Balin
LEGO Balin minfigure
Balin on a promotional poster