A Dwarf Lord, Balin was old and wise, he was one of Thorin's closest friends and advisors, and was always willing to listen and offer wise counsel. Balin is distantly related to Thorin, and is a descendant of the noble house of Durin.
Balin was a Dwarf, son of Fundin, and likely born in the Lonely Mountain before the coming of Smaug the Dragon. He had a younger brother named Dwalin and was one of those driven from their homes when the dragon Smaug attacked the Lonely Mountain. Afterwards he may have lived in Dunland as a refugee. He fought in the War of the Dwarves and Orcs. Many years later, in approximately TA 2841, he accompanied Thráin II, the father of Thorin, when he attempted to go back to the Lonely Mountain himself, but Thráin was captured and lost.
The Quest of Erebor
Balin was part of the company assembled by Thorin Oakenshield that journeys to the Lonely Mountain with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf to defeat Smaug and retake the mountain kingdom of Erebor. He was the second Dwarf to arrive at Bilbo's house, where like his brother Dwalin he played a viol as big as himself. Among the Dwarves of the company, Balin was the second-eldest dwarf on the quest, and loosely, held the position of deputy leader. He led the Dwarves in their escape from the spiders and, when Thorin was absent, spoke for the party when the Elven King Thranduil captured them.
He is described as "always their look-out man": He spots Bilbo approaching The Green Dragon Inn at Bywater, he spots the trolls' fire, and he's the first to spot the Elves in Mirkwood. He noted that not even a mouse had ever passed him on watch, and wondered why he did not notice Bilbo (hidden by wearing the magic ring) when he was lookout for the company after escaping the Orcs in the Misty Mountains.
Balin gained respect for Bilbo's abilities, and was the only dwarf who volunteered to accompany Bilbo down the secret passage to Smaug's chamber. Of all the Dwarves in the quest, Balin was the only one known to have visited Bilbo at Bag End after their experiences on the quest for the Lonely Mountain.
Expedition and Death
Balin later led an expedition in an attempt to reclaim the ancient dwarf kingdom of Erebor, hoping to regain both the wealth of Erebor and the last of the Seven Rings of the Dwarves. Ultimately, the search for the ring—which conferred great wealth and a curse of greed on its owners—was in vain, as it had been recaptured from Thráin II by Sauron. Balin himself was killed by an Orc.
A descendant of nobility and a Dwarf Lord in his own right, 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. Related to Thorin Oakenshield, Balin is one of his closest, most trusted advisers – 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.
In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Balin persuades Bard the Bowman to take them safely to Lake-town in return for a huge amount of money (double Bard's usual barge fare), an event that did not occur in the book.
Balin is portrayed to be the wiser, more social and skeptical individual in Thorin and Company. He is kind, sly and brave, an excellent fighter. Thorin, at one point, quoted on Balin's skill as a fighter. He develops an essentially strong relationship with the other Dwarves he travelled with and was willing to fight alongside them for any cause. He was sympathetic, sometimes cynical, towards Bilbo Baggins, remarking that the latter wasn't fit for the job they had set out to do. He got on brilliantly with Thorin, and seemed to share something of a grandfatherly view of the latter.
Behind the Scenes
Each of the Hobbit film's actors had a voice in the nature and design of their own weaponry. Ken Stott, who plays Balin, asked the filmmakers for a weapon "somewhere between an axe and a sword."
In the Films
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (First appearance)
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
- The Hobbit (1977 animated film)
- The Fellowship of the Ring (film) (Mentioned and Tomb only)
In the Books
- While in the Book, Balin is about twenty years younger than Thorin, in Peter Jackson's three-part adaptation, Balin is ranked as the oldest member of the company.
- In the 1977 Rankin/Bass adaptation of 'The Hobbit', Balin, voiced by Don Messick, is one of the few dwarves to have a major role in the film.
- In Peter Jackson's films, Balin fights with a weapon with similarities of a sword and a mace, which Ken Stott, asked for himself.
- Of all the dwarves on the quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain, Balin was the only dwarf to visit Bilbo Baggins after the journey.
Voice Dubbing actors
|Foreign Language||Voice dubbing artist|
|Japanese||Takashi Inagaki (稲垣隆史)|
|French (France)||Jean-Claude Donda|
|Spanish (Latin America)||Jaime Vega|
|Spanish (Spain)||Jordi Vila|
|Italian (Italy)||Carlo Valli|
|Portuguese (Brazil) (Television/DVD)||Pádua Moreira / Isaac Schneider (AUJ)|
|Russian||Aleksei Borzunov (Борзунов, Алексей Алексеевич) † (AUJ)|
Boris Bystrov (Быстров, Борис Евгеньевич) (DOS)
|Ukrainian||Eugen Maluha (Євге́н Малу́ха)|
|Thai||Suphap Chaiwisutthikun (สุภาพ ไชยวิสุทธิกุล)|
Translations around the World
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||巴林|
|Serbian||Балин (Cyrillic) Balin (Latinised)|
|Uzbek||Балин (Cyrillic) Balin (Latinised)|