- "‘Kili at your service!’ said the one. ‘And Fili!’ added the other; and they both swept off their blue hoods and bowed."
- ——from “An Unexpected Party”, The Hobbit
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 (Erebor) for the Dwarves.
Fíli and Kíli are Thorin's nephews (he was the elder brother of their mother Dís, as well as nephews of Frerin, grandsons of Thráin II, and great-grandsons of Thror). Fíli's most distinguishing feature is his long nose, the longest of any of the Dwarves on the Quest of Erebor.
As the youngest Dwarves, Fíli and Kíli have the sharpest eyes and so they are often sent scouting or searching. They find the Goblin's cave in the Misty Mountains. Fíli hooks the boat on the other side of the Enchanted river in Mirkwood. They scout Ravenhill and the Front Gate with Balin and Bilbo. They also find the Lonely Mountain (Erebor)'s secret door with Bilbo. Fíli and Kili are the two most active Dwarves of Thorin's company, and apart from Balin, and possibly Bombur, they appear more frequently as "individual" characters in Tolkien's book than the rest of Thorin's companions who are most often named only in "group" references to the entire company. In the book they both have yellow beards. In the movie Fili has blond-ish hair, while Kili has dark hair.
Behind the scenesEdit
Tolkien borrowed the names of Fíli and Kíli from characters in the Edda by Snorre Sturlason. 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 Kíli 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 Kíli 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 and Kili'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. It is therefore interesting that Fíli and Kíli were allowed to accompany the rest of Thorin's party (all much older) while Gimli remained in the Blue Mountains (Ered Luin). Perhaps it is because they were related to Thorin, that they were allowed to go. It also could be that Fili and Kili were allowed to go on the Quest since they were Thorin's nephew, and Gimli, as the sole survivor of Durin's line outside of Dain, was left home to ensure that a member of the Royal House of Durin survived. Gimli was a descendant of Durin as seen in the appendix through his father Gloin.
Portrayal in adaptationsEdit
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 trilogyEdit
Fíli was born into the royal line of Durin and raised under the stern guardianship of his uncle, Thorin Oakenshield. Along with his brother Kili, Fíli is one of the youngest in The Company of Dwarves. 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.
Fili and Kili 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. Kili also kills Grinnah in the fight in the caves where "Goblin Town" is located.
In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, a subplot develops involving possible romance between Kili and Tauriel, a woodland elf who is captain of the Elven Guard in Mirkwood. When Kili is surrounded by several spiders and is left with no weapons to defend himself, Elves, led by Legolas and Tauriel, arrive and rescue Kili from the spiders. Captured by the elves, Kili wonders aloud why the Elves are not searching him for weapons and Tauriel answers that the previous battle already confirmed it. Inside his prison cell in Mirkwood, Tauriel notices Kili 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, Dis. To this, Tauriel only smiles.
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 lower a large portcullis across the river to block their passage, when suddenly both elves and dwarves are attacked by Bolg and his orc troops. Kili takes the responsibility for lifting the portcullis and is injured by an arrow to the thigh. Tauriel saves him once again and Kili continues down the river with the rest of the Company. Tauriel, knowing the arrow was poisoned, follows the dwarves in order to save Kili, and Legolas accompanies her.
In Lake-town, Kili becomes gravely ill from the poisoned arrow and is left behind as Thorin and the others head to the Lonely Mountain. Fili, Bofur, and Oin stay to tend him, taking refuge in Bard's home. Bofur 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 obtained by Bofur to tend to Kili's wound. Kili, 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 tells him to lie still, but seems touched and holds his hand.
Voice Dubbing actorsEdit
|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|
- In The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age, Kíli appears as the first hero in the Dwarf faction.
- "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
Appearance in the Books and FilmsEdit
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
- The Hobbit: There and Back Again
|Thorin and Company|
- ↑ The Hobbit: Flies And Spiders
- ↑ The Hobbit: Over Hill And Under Hill
- ↑ The Hobbit: The Return Journey