Official Description: Dwarf Lords in their own right, Balin and Dwalin are close relatives of Thorin. Beyond this, these brothers are two of his most loyal and trusted friends. An old warrior, Balin has lived through hard times and fought many battles, yet he harbors doubts about the wisdom of the Quest to retake the Lonely Mountain. Dwalin has no such forebodings – his belief in Thorin’s leadership is unshakeable. A powerful and bruising fighter, with a natural tendency to distrust anyone who is not a Dwarf, particularly anyone who might be an Elf, Dwalin is not someone to cross lightly.
TheOneRing.net Description: Balin was the brother of Dwalin and the second-oldest of the thirteen Dwarves. He was the second Dwarf to appear unexpectedly, at Bag End, the home of Bilbo Baggins, on a day in April 2941. Balin had escaped the destruction of the Lonely Mountain (Erebor) by the dragon, Smaug the Golden, along with Thorin Oakenshield, Thorin’s father, Thrain, and Thorin’s grandfather, Thror. He had also accompanied Thrain on the journey in which the latter was lost in southern Mirkwood and captured by the Necromancer. During the events contained in The Hobbit, Balin served the expedition as primary look-out. He became close to Bilbo during the quest to recapture the wealth of the Kingdom under the Mountain, and seven years later he and Gandalf paid a second visit to Bag End.
In 2989 Balin went to Khazad-dûm (Moria) with a large number of Dwarves from Erebor and set up a Dwarf-colony there. Five years later on “the tenth of novembre Balin lord of Moria fell in Dimrill Dale. He went alone to look in Mirrormere. An orc shot him from behind a stone“. His tomb was built in the Chamber of Mazarbul (the Chamber of Records) where he had established his seat. The tomb was discovered by the nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring as they were attempting to make passage from the west side of the Misty Mountains to the east in January of 3019.
- “Well, it is the first time that even a mouse has crept along carefully and quietly under my very nose and not been spotted.” (to Bilbo)
- “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? Are the spiders your tame beasts or your pets, if killing them makes you angry?” (to the Elvenking)