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Fíli and Kíli

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Fíli and Kíli as they appear in The Hobbit (films)

Fíli and Kíli

Biographical information

Other names
Titles
Date of birth
TA 2859 (Fíli), TA 2864 (Kíli)
Year ascended to the throne
Date of death
TA 2941 (Fíli, aged 82) and (Kíli, aged 77)
Realms ruled
Spouse
None
Weapon
(Fili) Dual Swords, Warhammer, Knives, Throwing Axes (Kili) Sword, Bow and Arrows

Physical description

Race
Culture
Gender
Male
Height
Hair color
Yellow[1]
Eye color
Actor
Dean O'Gorman (Fíli), Aidan Turner (Kíli)
Voice
Character
'Kili at your service!’ said the one. ‘And Fili!’ added the other; and they both swept off their blue hoods and bowed.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Fíli and Kíli are brothers, the youngest of the thirteen dwarves who set out on Thorin Oakenshield's quest along with Gandalf and Bilbo Baggins to reclaim the Lonely Mountain for the Dwarves.

Biography

Fíli and Kíli were nephews of Thorin, who was the elder brother of their mother Dís. They were also nephews of Frerin, grandsons of Thráin II, and great-grandsons of Thror. Fíli's most distinguishing feature was his long nose, the longest of any of the dwarves on the Quest of Erebor.[2]

As the youngest dwarves, Fíli and Kíli had the sharpest eyes so they were often sent scouting or searching. They found the Goblins' cave in the Misty Mountains.[3]

With the other dwarves, Fíli and Kíli encountered spiders and were later imprisoned by the Elvenking Thranduil. [4] They escaped with the help of Bilbo, through barrels and traveled down the river until they reached Lake-town.[5] The brothers accompanied Thorin and Bilbo to Lake-town while the others rested by the river.[6]

On the feet of the Lonely Mountain, Fíli and Kíli scouted Ravenhill and found the Front Gate with Balin and Bilbo. Also, with Bilbo, they found the side-door leading inside the mountain.[7]

Fíli and Kíli were the two most active dwarves of Thorin's company, and apart from Balin, and possibly Bombur, they appeared more frequently as "individual" characters in Tolkien's novel than the rest of Thorin's companions, who were most often named only in "group" references to the entire company.

Both brothers were killed while defending the mortally wounded Thorin Oakenshield in the Battle of the Five Armies, and all three were buried with honor.[8]

House of Durin

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Dáin I
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Thrór
   
   
   
   
Frór
   
   
   
   
Grór
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Thráin II
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Náin
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Thorin II
Oakenshield
   
   
Frerin
   
   
Dís
   
   
   
   
   
   
Dáin II Ironfoot
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Fíli
   
   
Kíli
   
   
   
   
   
   
Thorin III
Stonehelm

Behind the scenes

Although Fíli is described as being the youngest in Chapter 8 of The Hobbit, in Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings his birth year is given as TA 2859 whereas Kíli's is given as TA 2864.

Some readers have pointed out the interesting fact that Fíli and Kili are the only two dwarves of Thorin's company to die at the Battle of Five Armies, despite being more popular and certainly treated more sympathetically by Tolkien than the rest. From this perspective, the "singling out" of Fíli and Kili for death appears unusual. There are two possible (and not mutually exclusive) explanations for why Tolkien chose to treat these characters in this way.

Thorin Oakenshield was Fíli's and Kíli's maternal uncle. They were his "sister-sons." Tolkien often referred to the special relationship between maternal uncle and nephew in early Anglo-Saxon culture. In his 1953 essay and play about the Battle of Maldon, "The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth, Beorhthelm's Son," Tolkien refers to this bond twice; once in the essay itself and again during an exchange between the play's two characters, Tidwald and Torthelm. Torthelm, stumbling upon a slain English knight whom he mistakenly believes is Beorthnoth's nephew, exclaims "His sister-son! The songs tell us, ever near shall be at need nephew to uncle." Another example of this special bond is the relationship between Théoden and Éomer in The Lord of the Rings. Éomer is the son of Théoden's sister.

Viewed in this context, Fíli's and Kíli's defending Thorin to their death is a perfect example of the Old English concept of a special bond of love and loyalty between uncle and nephew.

A possible second factor in Tolkien's decision to kill off the two younger dwarves at the end of The Hobbit concerns the succession to the throne of Erebor. Thorin, patriarchal head of Durin's Folk, becomes King Under the Mountain upon the death of the dragon Smaug. Dáin Ironfoot, his cousin and the eldest surviving direct descendent of Durin, succeeds him. However, had Fíli and Kíli not been killed at the Battle of Five Armies, then one of the two brothers would have assumed the kingship, as they would have been the sole surviving heirs of the senior line. If the genealogy cited above in Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings is correct, Fíli would have been King under the Mountain. If Thorin's statement in The Hobbit that Fíli was the youngest is correct, then Kíli, as the older brother, would have become king. It could be that Tolkien had already envisioned the venerable Dáin as becoming king after the battle, and that he felt it would be somewhat awkward for one of the two young brothers to become King and play such a central role; when he noticed the problem of succession as he revised the book's draft, he decided that the noble deaths of the dwarves defending Thorin was a fitting end.

A final note sometimes raised by fans of Tolkien's works concerns the age of Gimli relative to Fíli and Kíli. In the story of "The Quest for Erebor" that appears in Tolkien's Unfinished Tales, Gimli states that he was considered too young to join Thorin and Company on the quest. Gimli, according to Appendix A, was born in TA 2879, and was therefore 62 years old when the dwarves and Bilbo set out for the Lonely Mountain. Fíli and Kíli, his cousins, were slightly older, being 82 and 77 years old respectively (if Appendix A is accepted as accurate). All three were still "minors" according to Dwarf-reckoning, and given that Dwarves commonly lived to over 250 years old, the age differences between the three young dwarves were minimal, but Fíli and Kíli were Thorin's nephews, as well as his heirs, and therefore had a much stronger reason to accompany Thorin on the quest to restore his kingdom, while Gimli remained in the Blue Mountains (Ered Luin) with his mother.

Talents and Equipment

While on journeys, Fili, and Kili both wore blue hoods, and played fiddles. However Fili carried a spade, (Presumably to forage, and to aid in building firepits, as well as a tool for barriars, and traps.) and while the books made no mention of Kili carrying a bow, it is presumed by readers.

Appearance in the Books and Films

In the books

In the films

Portrayal in adaptations

Fili and Kili at Bag End

Fíli and Kíli at Bag End

In the animated version of The Hobbit, their roles are relatively minor compared to the book and have few lines; both brothers are voiced by Don Messick.

The Hobbit film trilogy

In Peter Jackson's The Hobbit Film Trilogy, Fíli is portrayed by Dean O'Gorman and Kíli by Aidan Turner. While in the book they both have yellow beards, in the films Fili has dirty blonde hair, while Kíli has dark brown, almost black hair (an orc refers to him as "the black-haired dwarf"). The following is from information released by the studio:

Fíli was born into the royal line of Durin and raised under the stern guardianship of his uncle, Thorin Oakenshield. Along with his brother Kíli, Fíli is one of the youngest dwarves of The Company. He has never travelled far, nor ever seen the fabled Dwarf City of Erebor. A skilled fighter, Fíli sets off on the adventure ahead with little idea of the challenges and dangers that lie before him.

Younger brother to Fíli, Kíli is a loyal nephew to Thorin Oakenshield. Carefree and somewhat reckless, Kíli has led a charmed and untroubled life to this point. Handsome and physically able, Kíli possesses the invincible courage of youth. He is a skilled fighter and expert archer, having been trained with weapons from an early age. As one of the youngest of the Company of Dwarves, Kíli is determined to make his mark and prove his worth.

As in the books, Fíli and Kíli serve as the scouts of the Company. It is they who discover the ponies have gone missing in the Trollshaws and investigate the trolls with Bilbo. Kíli is distinguished as the only member of the Company who carries a bow (unlike in the book, which implies more than one dwarf had a bow), and he is shown to have proficient aim, taking out several wargs when the Company are attacked on their way to Rivendell.

Fíli and Kíli are also shown as being some of the more adept fighters of the company. They, along with Dwalin, charge to the defence of Bilbo and attack Azog's wargs when cornered on the clifftop. Kíli also kills Grinnah in the fight in the caves where "Goblin Town" is located.

In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, a romantic subplot develops between Kíli and Tauriel, a Silvan elf who is a captain of Thranduil's elven guard in Mirkwood. When Kíli is surrounded by several spiders and is left with no weapons to defend himself, Elves, led by Legolas and Tauriel, arrive and rescue Kíli from the spiders. Captured by the elves, Kíli taunts Tauriel from his cell with a sexual double entendre, and Tauriel responds in the same vein. Later, Tauriel notices Kíli holding a small talisman and inquires about it. He tells her that the talisman reminds him of the promise to return he made to his mother, Dís. They begin to talk, with Tauriel telling of her elven love for the stars, and Kíli telling of the time he saw a great blood-moon (presumably a lunar eclipse), while Legolas listens unobserved from the shadows.

Soon the Company is rescued by Bilbo, using barrels from the wine cellars to escape. In the river they are stopped by the Elven-guard, who swing shut a portcullis across a narrow place in the river to block their passage, when suddenly both elves and dwarves are attacked by Bolg and his orc troops. Kíli climbs up to operate the mechanism for opening the portcullis and is injured by an arrow to the leg. Tauriel saves him once again, Kíli is able to open the portcullis, and he continues down the river with the rest of the Company. Later Tauriel, having learned from an orc captive that the arrow wounding Kíli was poisoned, follows the dwarves (accompanied by Legolas) in order to save him.

In Lake-town, Kíli becomes gravely ill from the poisoned arrow and Thorin orders him left behind. Óin stays behind to tend him, and, when Fíli fails to change Thorin's mind, he defies his uncle in order to stay behind as well to be with his brother. Bofur is also left behind, having waken up too late after the dwarf's drunken celebration the night before. The dwarves take refuge in Bard's home. Oin asks Bard if there is any kingsfoil and Bard says it's a weed they use to feed the pigs, so Bofur sets off to get some. Meanwhile, Bolg arrives and attacks the place, searching for Thorin. Legolas and Tauriel arrive just in time to kill the orcs. As Legolas runs after the escaping Bolg, Tauriel stays and uses the kingsfoil Bofur has brought back (which she recognizes as athelas) to tend to Kíli's wound. Kíli, half in delirium, watches Tauriel as she heals him, speaking aloud of her beauty (to himself, as though believing himself to be in a dream) and wondering whether she could ever love him. Tauriel seems quite touched, and they hold hands.

Non-canonical Weapons

As shown in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug film, Fíli wields various weapons and hides them in his person. his most commonly used weapons are dual swords, knives, throwing axes, and a war hammer. Kíli, on the other hand, is the Company's archer, but is also shown using a sword.

Voice Dubbing actors

Foreign Language Voice dubbing artist
Spanish (Latin America) Carlo Vázquez and Gabriel Ortiz
Spanish (Spain) Marc Zanni and Xavier Fernández
Portuguese (Brazil) (Television/DVD) Clécio Souto and Marcos Souza
Italian (Italy) Corrado Conforti and Stefano Crescentini
German Tim Knauer and Stefan Günther
French (France) Alexandre Cross and Damien Boisseau
Czech Republic Vojtěch Hájek and Michal Holán
Hungarian Gábor Seder and Dávid Szatory
Polish Marcin Przybylski and Paweł Ciołkosz

Video games

The loyal nephew of Thorin Oakenshield, Kíli is carefree and often reckless. Skilled in a wide range of weapons, Kíli possesses the invincible courage of youth, and is determined to prove his worth.

–Description of Kíli in The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age

Gallery

Fillisword
Close up of one of Fíli's swords
Killisword
Close up of Kíli's sword
H-1-0237-fili-kili
Fíli (left) and Kíli in the 1977 version of The Hobbit
Killifigure
Figurine of Kíli manufactured by Games Workshop
Fillifigure
Figurine of Fíli manufactured by Games Workshop
Fili'shammer
Replica of Fíli's warhammer, manufactured by Wicked Replicas
Fili in LEGO
LEGO Fili

References

  1. The Hobbit, Chapter I: "An Unexpected Party"
  2. The Hobbit, Chapter VIII: "Flies and Spiders"
  3. The Hobbit, Chapter IV: "Over Hill and Under Hill"
  4. The Hobbit, Chapter VIII: "Flies and Spiders"
  5. The Hobbit, Chapter IX: "Barrels Out of Bond"
  6. The Hobbit, Chapter X: "A Warm Welcome"
  7. The Hobbit, Chapter XI: "On the Doorstep"
  8. The Hobbit, Chapter XVIII: "The Return Journey"

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