An important figure in the royal genealogies of the Dwarves, Gróin was the grandson of Borin, the younger son of King Náin II, and so could claim direct descent from Durin the Deathless himself. Gróin spent his early life in Erebor during the reign of King Thrór, until that Dwarf-city was sacked by Smaug; Gróin survived the city's fall and followed his lord into exile. His sons Óin and Glóin were born in the years following the Sack of Erebor, and both later took part in the Quest that led to its recovery.
Through his son Glóin, he was also grandfather to Gimli Elf-friend of the Company of the Ring. For all his genealogical importance, though, we know almost nothing of his life. His dates of birth and death, though, show us that he was alive at the time of Smaug's Sack of Erebor, and the Battle of Nanduhirion twenty-nine years later. It is more than likely that he was present at both these events.
Many of Tolkien's Dwarves have names derived from the Old Norse poem Voluspå. The name Gróin isn't among these, and so it's possible that Tolkien simply invented it to match the phonetic pattern of the names Óin and Glóin. Alternatively, it's conceivable that the name is connected to the Old Norse word gróa, meaning 'grow'.
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