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Biographical Information
LocationThorin's Halls
Lonely Mountain
AffiliationThorin and Company
LanguageKhuzdul and Westron
BirthT.A. 2772
DeathFo.A. 91 (aged 340)
HouseHouse of Durin
Physical Description
ClothingDark green hood
GalleryImages of Dwalin

Dwalin (T.A. 2772Fo.A. 91[1]) was a Dwarf of the House of Durin. He was, along with his brother Balin, a member of Thorin's company which took part in the quest for Erebor. Dwalin survived the adventure and lived well into the Fourth Age.



Dwalin's place of birth is unknown – two years before he was born the dragon Smaug had come to Erebor[2] and destroyed King Thrór's kingdom. Thrór, his son Thráin, and a small group of kinsmen and followers headed south while other Dwarves escaped to the Iron Hills.[3] After the Battle of Azanulbizar, Thráin II and Thorin settled in the northern Ered Luin[1] and at some point Dwalin joined them.

King Thráin's expedition

Dwalin, his brother Balin, and a few others accompanied Thráin II in T.A. 2841 when he left the Ered Luin to visit Erebor. The small party was dogged by the emissaries of Sauron. In 2845 Thráin was captured one night when he and his companions sheltered under the eaves of Mirkwood from a black rain. After a fruitless search for their leader the Dwarves gave up and returned to Thorin.[3]

The Quest for Erebor

Dwalin by Adlpictures.
Dwalin was the first Dwarf to arrive, alone, at Bag End when the unexpected party began at Bilbo's hobbit hole. Dwalin's beard was blue and tucked into a golden belt. He was wearing a dark-green hood and walked in as if expected, which greatly surprised Bilbo. Soon Balin arrived and he and Dwalin sat talking while Bilbo kept answering the door for the arrival of more and more Dwarves. Later, when Bilbo griped aloud in his kitchen about the lack of help in setting out refreshments, Dwalin and Balin were the first (followed by Fíli and Kíli) to lend a hand. Later still, when the Dwarves filled Bag End with music, Dwalin played on a viol as big as himself.[4]

When the company rushed up into trees to escape the wargs, Dwalin and Balin managed to swarm up a tall slender fir that had few branches for sitting.[5] The next day, when the company arrived at Beorn's hall, Dwalin and Balin were the third pair of Dwarves to appear during Gandalf's story.[6]

At the Enchanted River in Mirkwood, Dwalin was in the last boatload to cross. He exited the boat just before the deer charged down the path and caused Bombur to fall in the water. Later, after the Dwarves had been captured by the spiders and rescued by Bilbo, it was Dwalin who first realized that Thorin was missing.[7]

At the opening of the barrels after the escape from the halls of the Elvenking, Dwalin and Balin were two of the most unhappy Dwarves and did nothing to help pull out other Dwarves.[8]

When the last week of autumn arrived it was Dwalin who complained the most about Bilbo's inactivity. He felt that Bilbo, with his "invisible ring", ought to go through the Front Gate of Erebor and spy things out.[9]

Dwalin fought in and survived the Battle of Five Armies. Afterwards he received his fourteenth share and chose to live in Erebor under Dáin Ironfoot.[10]

Later life

Dwalin was one of seven of the ten Dwarves of Thorin's company who were still living in Erebor when Frodo came to Rivendell, as reported by Glóin.[11] Dwalin lived until Fo.A. 91, later than any other known date of death for others of the company.[12]


Dwalin was of Durin's line.[1]



In Norse mythology, Dvalinn is a chief Dwarf.[13] The origin of the name is uncertain; suggested etymologies are "one lying in a trance",[14] "numb" and "dawdler".[15] Both words, dvalen ("to sleep") dvelja ("to delay") derive from the same root.[16]

Other versions of the legendarium

In the early version of The Hobbit it was Dwalin rather than Balin who spotted the Trolls' fire in the woods (and it was stated that Dwalin was always the Dwarves' look-out).[17] This contradicted the fact that Balin was the Dwarf who was looking for Bilbo at the inn at the start of the adventure[18] and Tolkien eventually made Balin the permanent look-out. However, Dwalin remained the first Dwarf to arrive at Bag End[4] (what would be expected of the Company's look-out). Dwalin was also the first to notice that Thorin was missing after the battle with the spiders,[7] a testament to his observational abilities.

Portrayal in adaptations

Dwalin in adaptations


1966: The Hobbit (1966 film):

Dwalin is omitted. Thorin Oakenshield only travels with an unnamed guard and the princess of Dale.[19]

1977: The Hobbit (1977 film):

The part of Dwalin was voiced by Paul Frees. He does not have a blue beard, but a white one.

2012-14: The Hobbit (film series):

Dwalin is played by Graham McTavish.[20] A description of Dwalin in The Hobbit films was released by the studio:
Renowned as a great Warrior, Dwalin speaks his mind plainly and is not one to suffer fools lightly. Fiercely loyal, he is Thorin Oakenshield’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.
Warner Bros.[21]

Radio series

1968: The Hobbit (1968 radio series):

Lockwood West plays the role of Dwalin.

1979: The Hobbit (1979 radio series):

Carl Hague is uncredited as the voice of Dwalin.[source?]


1982: The Hobbit (1982 video game):

Dwalin is omitted; Thorin is the only companion of the player, Bilbo Baggins.[22]

2003: The Hobbit (2003 video game):

Dwalin is a blue-bearded Dwarf, who is not seen in the game (other than cut-scenes) until Lake-town.

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Dwalin is a non-playable character who is lord of Thorin's Hall. The player can find him sitting on a throne north of the gates into Thorin's Hall.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk", The Line of the Dwarves of Erebor
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "An Unexpected Party"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Queer Lodgings"
  7. 7.0 7.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Flies and Spiders"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "A Warm Welcome"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "On the Doorstep"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Return Journey"
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Many Meetings"
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
  13. Snorri Sturlusson, Edda, "Skaldskaparmal"
  14. Ruth S. Noel, The Languages of Tolkien's Middle-earth, page 32
  15. Henry A. Bellows (ed.), Völuspá, "Poetic Edda"
  16. Chester Nathan Gould, "Dwarf-Names: A Study in Old Icelandic Religion", published in Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, Vol 44 (1929), issue #4, pp. 939-967
  17. J.R.R. Tolkien, John D. Rateliff (ed.), The History of The Hobbit, Mr. Baggins, The Second Phase, "Trolls", p. 91
  18. J.R.R. Tolkien, John D. Rateliff (ed.), The History of The Hobbit, Mr. Baggins, The Second Phase, "Trolls", p. 89
  19. "The Hobbit.mp4" dated 5 January 2012, YouTube (accessed 10 January 2012)
  20. Peter Jackson, "Production begins in New Zealand on The Hobbit" dated 20 March 2011, Facebook (accessed 23 December 2011)
  21. Warner Bros., "Hobbit Movies" dated 7 September 2012, Apple iPhone/iPad App (accessed 19 September 2012)
  22. ZX Computing, 8304 (April/May 1983), p. 76, accessed April 24 2011
Members of Thorin and Company
Thorin · Balin · Dwalin · Fíli · Kíli · Dori · Nori · Ori · Óin · Glóin · Bifur · Bofur · Bombur · Gandalf · Bilbo Baggins