Official Description: Distant cousins of Thorin Oakenshield, these two doughty, Northern Dwarves join the Company out of a sense of loyalty to their kin, and also because they have a substantial sum of money invested in the venture. Along with Bombur, Gloin is the only other married Dwarf in the Company (there being a shortage of female dwarves in general). His wife is an acclaimed beauty with a particularly fine beard. Gloin is the proud father of a young son, Gimli, who will go on to become part of the famous Fellowship of the Ring.
TheOneRing.net Description: Gloin and his brother Oin are the fire starters in the party of Dwarves that accompany Bilbo in The Hobbit. He is a direct descendant of Nain II, one of the kings of Durin’s Folk. Although he and Oin are talented at starting fires, they are known to quibble about the best techniques, and they lose their tinderboxes in the caves underneath the Misty Mountains. They apparently gain new ones in Lake-town, and Gloin supplies lit torches for several of the Dwarves when they enter Smaug’s cavern. Gloin also helps Fili, Kili, and Oin pull the boat across the enchanted river in Mirkwood. Gloin was originally skeptical of Bilbo’s qualifications as a burglar during discussions at Bag End, but huddled back into his chair under Gandalf’s scowl and said no more.
Gloin is the only dwarf from The Hobbit to personally appear in The Lord of the Rings. Frodo meets him in Rivendell, where Gloin reports on Balin’s attempt to re-take Moria and also on a strange messenger from Mordor asking about Hobbits and rings. He is the father of Gimli, the dwarf who accompanies Frodo in the Fellowship of the Ring, and survives to enjoy his son’s success in that adventure.
Analysis: Of all the Dwarves in Bilbo’s party, only Gloin and Dwalin are confirmed to have died a natural death. Balin, Ori, Thorin, Fili and Kili are known to have been killed by Goblins/Orcs, while Oin was killed by the Watcher in the Water. The ultimate fates of Nori, Dori, Bifor, Bofur and Bombur are unknown — they were all reported by Gloin in 3018 to be alive and living with Dain in Erebor, but it is not said whether they survived the attack on Erebor during the War of the Ring (though it is unlikely that Bombur, unable to move on his own at that time, saw any action). At the time, all would have reached quite an advanced age for a Dwarf.
- “As soon as I clapped my eyes on the little fellow bobbing and puffing on the mat, I had my doubts. He looks more like a grocer than a burglar!” (about Bilbo)
- “Moria! Moria! Wonder of the Northern world! Too deep we delved there, and woke the nameless fear.” (LOTR)
- “You were less tender to me.” (LOTR – on learning how the Wood-elves treated Gollum)