The Dwarves

[Official descriptions from the Hobbit app and Weta Workshop, combined and edited for flow.]

Thorin

A proud and noble Dwarf of resolute character and stern bearing, Thorin Oakenshield is the grandson of Thror of the line of Durin and heir to the lost throne of Erebor. Alongside Moria, Erebor stood as the greatest of the realms of the Dwarves, a vast kingdom carved from the living rock of The Lonely Mountain, bustling with trade and bursting with wealth. Down upon Erebor the great dragon Smaug had fallen and the city and its people were engulfed by the inferno of his coming. Thorin and his kin were fortunate to escape with their lives, though they left everything else behind. Their treasure and pride was swept up by the dragon into a pile upon which he curled to sleep, deep inside the mountain.  When no one came to the aid of the surviving Dwarves, a once proud and noble race was forced into exile.

Throughout the long, hard decades of his exile, Thorin’s mind ever dwelled upon the thought of some day retaking the mountain and restoring his people to their erstwhile splendour.  Now, as the strong, fearless fighter and respected leader, Thorin is determined to reclaim his homeland and destroy the beast that brought such misery upon his people.

As the heir to the stolen throne and upon whose shoulders the future of the line of Durin depends, Thorin feels keenly the threat of failure and what it will bring – a fiery death for himself and the loss of his people’s hope.

In time he would form a company of Dwarves, thirteen in number and at the Wizard Gandalf’s insistence, reluctantly employ the services of the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins, setting out for The Lonely Mountain with dreams of gold and glory.

Beset by enemies and misfortune, Thorin and his party would lose much along the way, but one prize the grim-faced Dwarf was pleased to lay hands upon early in his journey was the mighty sword, Orcrist, a famous blade of Elven make and well suited to be carried by a king, if one yet in want of a kingdom.

Balin

When Balin spoke in the great halls of Erebor, the wise would listen. The council of Fundin’s eldest son was much revered among the noble Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain and beyond, for he was clear-sighted, discerning and erudite. Even as a young Dwarf, Balin’s artful word-craft was equal to the jewellery of the finest Dwarven smith. A lord in his own right, Balin was cousin to the King Under the Mountain and friend to Prince Thorin Oakenshield in the days of the Dwarf realm’s grandeur.

But that was before the coming of Smaug. In a single devastating assault, Erebor was consumed by fire and death when the Dragon fell upon them. The heirs of Durin fled and with them Balin and his brother Dwalin. Through the long years in exile, Balin’s sage council was depended upon by Thorin Oakenshield, surviving heir to the lost throne and in whom the hope of a displaced people now resided. When Thorin begins making plans to reclaim their home, Balin is with him, resolute, loyal and solicitous, there to provide a thoughtful word in the ear and a sword at his side – 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.

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.  While the old Dwarf is long in beard, his gnarled hands have lost little of their strength over the years and his eyes are still as keen as a hawk’s. Upon his hip he wears a wickedly pointed Dwarven mace. Wrought in the smithies of Erebor lost, its edges are as sharp as any sword and its copper-hued faces blaze like fire in the sun, catching the light to shine like a flame in his hands.

Though age and long miles might have tempered the keenness of the old warrior’s reflexes, both mind and weapon are as sharp as the day the dragon first descended upon the Dwarves’ mountain home, and Balin will not shy from drawing his star-pointed blade when foes threaten.

Dwalin

A warrior of renown among his kind, Dwalin has fought at Thorin Oakenshield’s side many times and the two spar regularly to hone each others skills. More like a brother than distant kin, Dwalin is loyal to the last hair in his beard and would willingly lay down his own life if it would save Thorin Oakenshield’s.

Dwalin speaks his mind plainly and is not one to suffer fools lightly. Fiercely loyal, he is Thorin’s staunchest supporter, with an unshakeable belief in his friend’s leadership.

A powerful and bruising fighter, Dwalin has a natural tendency to distrust anyone who is not a dwarf and is particularly suspicious of Elves. Proud, brave and one of the tallest of the dwarves, Dwalin will bow to none but those who have earned his respect.

Dwalin, son of Fundin, was proficient with arms of all kinds, but when laying blows swiftly and against many adversaries at close quarters, he liked nothing better than the two single-handed axes he wore crossed upon his back. Named Ukhlat and Umraz, the short-hafted axes were simple in shape, wide in blade and heavy in head. Upon their broad faces their Khuzdul names were carved in runes.

In battle the scarred old warrior wields a great hammer near as tall as he stands. Upon his arms and scalp are tattoos as angular and hard-edged in design as the dwarf himself, and upon his brow is knitted a frown etched by years hardship. Yet Dwalin is not cheerless, for dwarves feel all things deeply. Grudges he bears, but Dwalin also laughs loudest and with all his heart in times of mirth and celebration. No stronger second could Thorin Oakenshield have hoped for in his quest.

Fili

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

Worn upon his arms, the paired knives of Fili were small, but keen and deadly, perfectly suited to a short statured, swift footed, warrior. Engraved upon the pommels of his knives was the young Dwarf prince’s seal, one of the few clues to his royal heritage, for Fili wore no ostentatious pretentions of grandeur or office, choosing to garb himself practically, his nobility portrayed in bearing instead of proud raiment.

Like his brother Kili, Fili was a fighter of exceptional skill and versatility, trained in the art of battle with many weapons. Armed with sword, axe or knife, the young Dwarf was no less dangerous to enemies of the heirs of Durin.

Kili

Younger brother to Fili, Kili is a loyal nephew to Thorin Oakenshield. Carefree and somewhat reckless, Kili has led a charmed and untroubled life to this point. Handsome and physically able, Kili 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 in The Company of Dwarves, Kili is determined to make his mark and prove his worth.

Bofur

Endearing and likeable, Bofur has a tendency to state the obvious and blurt out things without thinking. With a love of music and a fine singing voice, Bofur delights in good food and good company and is unfailingly optimistic. Though not especially brave, he will do his best to help those in need, especially those he counts as friends. Along with his brother Bombur and his cousin Bifur, Bofur joined the Quest for the Lonely Mountain partly to seek his fortune – and partly because he was told the beer was free.

Bifur

Born in the West, Bifur has the rusting remains of an Orc axe embedded in his forehead, which has rendered him inarticulate and occasionally feisty! He communicates only with grunts and hand gestures. Unlike most of the others in The Company of Dwarves, Bifur is not related to Thorin, nor is he of noble lineage, but rather is descended from miners and smithies – simple folk with simple tastes.

Bombur

Brother to Bofur and cousin to Bifur, Bombur is the chief cook amongst The Company of Dwarves. His immense size and voracious appetite causes frequent problems – and laughter – for himself and The Traveling Party. Despite his size he can be surprisingly effective as a fighter — and woe betide anyone who makes him late for dinner!

Oin

Along with his brother Gloin, Oin is a distant cousin of Thorin Oakenshield. A brave Northern Dwarf, Oin joins The Company of Thorin Oakenshield out of a sense of loyalty to his kin, and also because he has a substantial sum of money invested in the venture. Well read with an enquiring mind, Oin is the healer among the Company, often applying an herbal salve of his own invention — which has since come to be known as ‘ointment’ after its maker.

Gloin

Of all the members in The Company of Dwarves who set out on the Quest to The Lonely Mountain, Gloin is the most outspoken and opinionated and is not afraid to challenge authority. He has a tendancy to be quick-tempered, but he is also strong, brave and loyal. Gloin is one of the only married Dwarves 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 also the proud father of a young son, Gimli, who will later grow up to become part of the famous Fellowship of the Ring.

Dori

A distant relative of Thorin Oakenshield, Dori is the eldest amongst his brothers Ori and Nori. He is the strongest in The Company of Dwarves, and spends much of his time watching out for Ori, making sure he hasn’t caught a chill or gotten himself killed by Wargs or Goblins. Eternally pessimistic, with a natural tendency to expect the worst, Dori is nonetheless quite prepared to risk life and limb in order to get the job done.

Nori

Perhaps the most elusive member of The Company of Thorin Oakenshield, Nori is often in trouble with the dwarvish authorities. Deciding it might be a good time to leave town, he readily joins the Quest for the Lonely Mountain, not realizing the journey ahead may well lead him into far more trouble than he has left behind. Nobody ever quite knows what the quick-witted and wily Nori is up to, except that it’s guaranteed to be dodgy and quite probably illegal. Despite rarely seeing eye-to-eye with his brothers Dori and Ori, he is nonetheless immensely loyal and will protect them by whatever means possible.

A Dwarf of independent spirit and inclinations, Nori was accustomed to relying on himself and trusting his own resourcefulness to overcome the challenges that his adventures occasionally presented. To that end, he was never a Dwarf to be caught without that most versatile of tools, a short, sharp knife.  Indeed, he carried a number on his person, secreted or worn openly, among them a short, broad bladed, double-edged design that fit snugly into his palm and could be drawn or concealed in the blur of a seemingly innocent gesture.

Ori

Younger brother to Nori and Dori, Ori is a talented artist, and can often be found drawing and writing in his journal. It is Ori who chronicles much of the journey through The Wild to the shores of the Long Lake and the slopes of The Lonely Mountain. Polite and well-bred, he is used to being bossed around by his older brother Dori and is usually biddable, although occasionally he can surprise his fellow companions with his courage and determination.

56 thoughts on “The Dwarves”

  1. Will we get to see any dwarf women? Like to see all of middle earth…
    do we see anything of the dragon Smaug? can’t wait to see more of Erebor. Appreciate the info about what drives Thorin. Been a while since I read the books, and of course I had no childhood notions of what Dragon-armagedon was like. I think the motivation, and character development adds a great deal, as well as realizations of what the kingdoms and people’s were like. I’m grateful for the actors for adding so much depth….but it is making it hard to wait.

  2. I love Killi!!!

  3. i love kili to is the best from the world

  4. Thank you so much for this! After four viewings, I still get half of them confused, so this is so valuable. When I go for my fifth viewing on Friday, I will know who is who, and be able to really focus more on them, rather than struggling to put names to faces.

    • You are welcome! It is one of the biggest surprises to me that they couldn’t find the time flesh out the rest of the dwarves in film one (but there are promises that they will get their time in film two). I agree all this background info that came from other sources is invaluable.

  5. SleepyTime said:

    How did I make it through the movie and not notice the ax hilt buried in Bifur’s head. Thanks for these descriptions. Loved it!

    • I actually never noticed it either! The scenes went by so fast because there’s just so many of them to pan the camera on….the tiny bit on his head that i did see i mistook for some dwarf head/hair accessory lol.

  6. Anjy Roemelt said:

    I’d like to see it 13 times and concentrate on another dwarf each time ;-), but I am able to discern them now (after 7th time) quite well. I still marvel at how they “re-modelled” Balin, though. He used to be younger and very curious in the book. To make him the “elder statesman” is an interesting and intrigung idea – if out-of-canon

  7. swordwhale said:

    Wonderful! Thanks for posting this!

  8. Great guide! One small thing occurred to me partway through reading Ori’s…if I remember correctly, it was Ori’s journal that they read in Moria in FotR. Gandalf got that journal by picking it up from a corpse…(the same one that gets knocked down the well during that scene) I think you can see where my logic is going.
    Now I’m going to cry every time I see that scene…

    • Actually the corpse that fell down the well and the one that Gandalf picked up the book of Moria from are 2 different corpses….but yes, the one holding the book IS Ori’s corpse, leaning against Balin’s tomb….i remember the corpse even had Ori’s same hand gloves on too…..so very sad. 😥

  9. Littletuckers said:

    Thanks for this! Think I can put names to faces on seven of them now after two movie viewings but this is a big help!
    Just finished reading the book tonight and its all the sadder now I can imagine their faces.
    Was sad enough watching FOTR after seeing The Hobbit and knowing what Balin looked like, if Ori was the one who wrote the account of the Moria battle it’s worse!

    • Yes, after checking it out on the LOTR wikia (because i wondered about that too) i found out it IS in fact Ori who wrote that book about the fall of Moria that Gandalf reads! In fact the corpse that was HOLDING the book is….sadly, Ori’s corpse. Now i’m almost afraid to watch FotR just because of knowing this and i’m gonna cry. D:

  10. mmgilchrist said:

    I know, poor wee chap! Still, it shows he had reached an esteemed position as chronicler first.

  11. Anonimous1 said:

    It is quite the shame to survive exile,a hard life,a fligth from a dragon,an huge battle,the retaking of Khazad-Dum(Moria) and then die trapped in a chamber like a rat.Well,good luck one time ends,but when i re-watch the fellowship of the ring,ill pay attention to the floor and hope to see it littered with goblin corpses.The guy was both a conqueror and a survivor.

  12. And Balin dies too… couldn’t Ori have been given his own tomb though, instead of just dumping him on the ground next to Balin’s tomb?! I’m gonna cry when I next watch FotR

    • lucy0510 said:

      Haven’t thought about that until now… poor Ori

    • Balin was Lord of Moria, while Ori only a faithful servant. Further, Balin died before the fall of Moria. From Ori’s journal: “…yesterday, being the tenth of Novembre, Balin Lord of Moria fell in Dimrill Dale….” Ori was killed during the final siege of Moria, so no one was left to build him a tomb, even if it were warranted because of his position as scribe.

  13. I’m actually both anticipating and dreading the Battle of the Five Armies…because I know what’s going to happen!

  14. Tolkienjunkie said:

    so do I!! But I can’t see it till i am 13!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Amber Kiki MarLuna said:

    Knowing that the journal is Ori’s will make my cry til I can’t cry anymore. I’ve watched LotR since I was 11 and I’m 14 now. I think Thorin is quite sexy (or quite the charmer if you prefer) I didn’t even think that the journal was Ori’s until I read your comment Jkittycat!!!! DJ again you are amazing! You’re helping me and so many people out! I can’t thank you enough……………….

    • mmgilchrist said:

      Ah, Thorin… Definitely. Gorgeous. (I’m 48, and in Dwarf-terms, he’s the equivalent of 50-something by my reckoning (at 3.5 human years per Dwarf year), so…)

  16. never made an attempt to memorize each dwarf until the last 2 weeks, and this really helped! thanks a lot!

    i knew Thorin, Balin, Dwalin, Bombur, and Ori. i mixed up Kili and Fili, same with Bifur and Bofur

  17. I watched the movie twice last week, the second time after reading the descriptions of each dwarf, it was endeed easier (and more fun) to concentrate on each dwarf (especially the relationship of Fili and Kili).

  18. Why doesn’t Kili have a beard? Is there a back story for that? I thought both sexes had beards…surely he’s not too young?

  19. Wow, how long did it take looking up and collecting all that Information?

  20. I love kili said:

    Kili and Aidan Turner are just too perfect!! Argh! It’s so sad Kili has to die:/

  21. Khazad-Dum said:

    Why did Ori, Balin and Oin have to die! 😥 Oin was killed by the Watcher in the water (giant kraken creature) Balin was shot by an orc behind a rock while Balin was watching the water.
    But It just turned out that Moria was retaken after the war of the rings by Durin VII 😀 Stupid Cave Troll that destroyed Balins tumb. I hope this helped u guys

  22. Hithaerdes Elf said:

    I love these dwarves, I love the elves as well of course. Balin is soooo sweet..Thorin is the most handsome dwarf ever. Those eyes are so sad and beautiful! I’m such a fan girl sucker for Middle Earth. Loved Aragorn and Haldir in Lotr. My fave overall character is King Thranduil. Something very special about him. Lol. I never noticed that Bifur had part of an ax in his head before as well. I can’t believe the book in Fotr is taken from Ori’s corpse! Poor Ori he’s so cute and funny..I’m gonna be sad as all get out when Battle of the 5 Armies comes out. I cry easily so am gonna be a mess…

    • i saw battle of the five tonite-1.13.14= i brought a box of tissues with me =just in case-and boy did i use them!! i cried through the whole movie. i stuffed tissues in my mouth to stifle the screams when certain charactors had fallen, and my heart ached so painfully that i almost wished i had not gone. as soon as i got home i immediately put the hobbit journey on so i could go back in time and forgot what i now knew. so so heart wrenching- i am still mourning. i know it is just a movie, but ive watched the first two so many times i felt like i was watching home movies of my family! i suppose it will take me some time to forget my happy ever after was not to be=and i will have to edit it in my ming forever. my journey too, has ended. d.lee

  23. About the ax in Bifurs’ head: in AUJ he points to it and says “khuzd belkul” to Bilbo meaning “mighty warrior”. I don’t know if he means a mighty warrior put it there or if he is a mighty warrior for surviving it!

  24. I love Thorin and the relationship he has with Fili and Kili. I noticed in the movie he mainly always looks to Kili. And Kili always looks like he’s aiming to please his uncle. The way Thorin looks at them at the table in Bilbo’s house, or when he thought Fili had gotten killed on the stone giant, or his face when kili got shot with the arrow. He loves them so much. Melts my heart. I can’t bring myself to rewatch BOFA. Watching your family members die in front of you is heartbreaking. Not to mention the end of The Durin line. But thank GOD for fan fiction. Even though the Durin line has ended in Tolkien’s book. We can keep them alive with our own stories and even give them a happy ending. They deserve it.

  25. Marianne said:

    Agreed: Tolkien is far too cruel to these characters. Especially in a children’s book, it seems especially mean-spirited to kill off an entire family in whom the reader has invested emotionally, so that a cousin whom the reader barely knows (and bears all the hallmarks of having been parachuted in at the last minute by the author) gets the benefit of all they’ve done. I was angry with him for it when I was 6, and 44 years later… yes, I still am, especially after seeking the characters brought to life so engagingly.

    As you say, at least we have fanfiction…

    • Chloe Colquhoun said:

      I agree: I don’t think Kili should have died at least, they should have left them with at least one heir to the throne of Erebor I cried when Kili died:((😭

  26. Does anyone like Nori’s hair? It looks like a star. He did faught good in the battle of the five armies. But how does he talk? When was he born? Who are his parents? Where does he live? Was his relatives, ancestors important during the four ages or beyond?

  27. Chloe Colquhoun said:

    Kili is my favourite and he is the youngest of the dwarves, in the hobbit book Fili is stated as the youngest in the 8th chapter even tho Fili died at the age of 82 and Kili died at the age of 77, Aidan Turner (The actor of Kili) is my favourite actor :))

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