Who are the dwarves in The Hobbit?

One of the most interesting dynamics of The Hobbit is the interaction between the thirteen dwarves, Gandalf, and Bilbo. What comes across in the novel are the diverse natures of each of the dwarves. Each one has their own personality, strength, weakness and contribution to the group seeking to reclaim their treasure from Smaug the dragon.

While they are individuals, it can become quite overwhelming to keep all 13 dwarves separate in your head. Here are photos of them as they appear in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy and a brief description of each, along with a quote from some.

Thorin Oakenshield
The dwarf king saw many of his family destroyed by Smaug the dragon. Forced out of his home, Thorin was the obstinate leader of the dwarf band who attempted to retake their treasure (and home) from the dragon cave. Through all of his hardships, Thorin became a fearless fighter and famed leader. He is stubborn and distrusting, which led to his greatest successes and failures.Quote:

“There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West.” (to Bilbo)

Balin
A dwarf lord and kin of Thorin, along with his brother Dwalin, Balin harbors some doubts about the journey, but is a brave and trusted warrior. He serves as the primary watchman of the group and befriends Bilbo more so than many of the other dwarfs. Later, he founded a dwarf colony in Moria. His grave is discovered by the Fellowship of the Ring during their journey through the mines.

Quote:
“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)


Dwalin
The first dwarf to arrive at Bag Ends, Dwalin is of royal blood and fiercely loyal to Thorin and his leadership. He loaned Bilbo one of his dark green hoods and cloaks, which the hobbit kept as if it were a treasure and wore it in The Lord of the Rings. Dwalin lives to be 340 years old, almost 100 years longer than most dwarfs.
Quote:
“Since he has got an invisible ring, and out to be a specially excellent performer now, I am beginning to think he might go through the Front Gate & spy things out a bit!” (to the dwarves & Bilbo)
 
Bifur
One of the three dwarfs in the company who are not part of Thorin’s extended family. Bifur along with his cousins Bofur and Bombur are from the West and descended from coal and iron mining dwarfs. It was said that he gave the trolls plenty of trouble when he was captured. During the time of the Fellowship of the Ring meeting, he is still living in the Lonely Mountain.Quote:
“My cousins! Bombur and Bofur — we have forgotten them, they are down in the valley!”
Bofur
Cousin to Bifur and brother to Bombur, Bofur is not of royal lineage, but he valiantly takes part in the adventure, in part to seek treasure for himself and honor for his family. He and Bombur watched after the ponies while the others were exploring the ledge on the outside of the Lonely Mountain. Like Bifur, he is still leaving there during the time of the Fellowship.Quote:
“Get up lazybones, or there will be no breakfast left for you.” (to Bilbo, in Beorn’s house)

Bombur

Bofur’s brother and Bifor’s cousin, Bombur seems to be the least adventure ready of all the dwarfs. His sizable girth provides many of the troublesome points for the group, as well as comic relief in the story (both of which occur when he enters an enchanted sleep). Because of his size, he is constantly left at the rear, which annoys him.

Quote:
“I’m always last and I don’t like it … It’s somebody else’s turn today.” (to the dwarves & Bilbo)

 

Dori
The oldest of the three brothers (Dori, Nori, and Ori), Dori is one of the strongest dwarfs and spends much of his time rescuing others from trouble, whether it is his youngest brother Ori or their burglar Bilbo. Dori is almost always the one to come to Bilbo’s aid when he needs it the most, often times carrying the hobbit or exposing himself to additional danger in doing so.

Quote:
“I can’t always be carrying burglars on my back, down tunnels and up trees! What do you think I am? A porter?” (to Bilbo)


Nori
The middle brother of Dori and Ori, Nori has a reputation for getting into questionable, perhaps illegal activities. He is intensely loyal and defensive of his brothers, but will not hesitate to fight with them. He has a hobbit like appetite, preferring to eat a lot and frequently. Nori is the first dwarf to notice that Bilbo was left in the clearing with the wargs.Quote:
“You’ve left the burglar behind again!” (to the dwarves)

Ori
The youngest brother of Dori and Nori, Ori often needs to be rescued by his oldest brother after getting himself in trouble. Like his older two brothers, he plays the flute. While, he does not feature much in The Hobbit. It is his journal that the fellowship of the ring finds in Moria in The Lord of the Rings, showing him to be both a well educated dwarf and a valiant fighter.

Quote:
“Yesterday, being the tenth of Novembre, Balin Lord of Moria fell in Dimrill Dale.” (from the journal recorded in LotR)

Gloin
The only other married dwarf besides Bombur, Gloin, along with his brother Oin, are the fire starters of the group. He is initially wary of Bilbo’s usefulness to the dwarves. Gloin is the only dwarf to make an appearance in The Lord of the Rings, as he accompanies his son Gimli to Rivendell. He lives to hear of his son’s great heroism.

Quote:
“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)


Oin
Along with his brother Gloin, Oin is a distant cousin of Thorin. They join the adventure out of a sense of loyalty to their kin, but also because they have invested a lot of money in the journey. He is known to argue with his fellow fire-starter brother about the best way to get a fire going. Oin has no spoken lines in The Hobbit. Later, he goes to the mines of Moria and is killed by the Watcher in the Water outside the gates.

 

Kili
One of the youngest dwarfs on the adventure, Kili, along with his brother Fili, have been raised by their uncle Thorin and have never seen their now dragon inhabited home. Both seem anxious to take part in the journey, having never faced something of this magnitude. He and his brother are brave warriors who feel virtually invincible because of their youth. They also both appear to enjoy music more than the other dwarfs, as both he and his brother grab gold harps first among all the treasure they find in Smaug’s lair.

Fili
One of the youngest dwarfs on the adventure, Fili, along with his brother Kili, have been raised by their uncle Thorin and have never seen their now dragon inhabited home. Both seem anxious to take part in the journey, having never faced something of this magnitude. They also both appear to enjoy music more than the other dwarfs, as both he and his brother grab gold harps first among all the treasure they find in Smaug’s lair. Fili is often used as the groups look-out, as he has the best eyesight of any of the dwarfs.

Here are all 13 dwarves, along with Gandalf and Bilbo at his home in Bag Ends, singing the haunting Misty Mountains song in preparation for their journey.

Much of the information provided by TheOneRing.net

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Aaron Earls

Christian. Husband. Daddy. Writer. Online editor for Facts & Trends Magazine. Fan of quick wits, magical wardrobes, brave hobbits, time traveling police boxes & Blue Devils.