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Dates
Joined by Bilbo Baggins in May or June III 2941; disbanded several months later (probably in October) though the ten surviving Dwarves of the Company remained together in Erebor at least for a time
Location
Followed a journey from Bag End in Hobbiton to the Lonely Mountain
Races
Thirteen Dwarves and one Hobbit (also accompanied for much of their journey by the Wizard Gandalf)
Division
The Dwarves of the company belonged to the Longbeard clan, Durin's Folk
Family
Thorin himself, and many of his companions, descended from the House of Durin

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  • Updated 23 August 2012
  • This entry is complete

Thorin and Company

The thirteen Dwarves of the Quest of Erebor

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The thirteen Dwarves who famously travelled into the east of Middle-earth under the leadership of Thorin Oakenshield to seek revenge against Smaug and the recovery of Erebor. Thorin's company were Balin, Dwalin, Fíli, Kíli, Dori, Nori, Ori, Óin, Glóin, Bifur, Bofur and Bombur.

Thorin Oakenshield 195 years old at the time of the Quest
Wore a sky-blue hood with a silver tassel
Thorin II of the royal line of Durin the Deathless had been King of his people in exile since the loss of his father Thráin. While travelling, he met Gandalf at Bree and the two eventually formulated a plan to return to the Dwarves' ancient kingdom of Erebor and recover it from the Dragon Smaug. Thus Thorin assembled a company of twelve Dwarves to take on the Quest, while Gandalf added a 'burglar' - Bilbo Baggins - to their number.

Balin 178 years old at the time of the Quest
Wore a red hood
At the time the Quest began, Balin was of advanced years even for a Dwarf, being one hundred and seventy-eight years old. He acted as Thorin's second-in-command, taking charge as far as he could when Thorin was elsewhere, and his sharp eyes also made him the group's natural look-out. Eight years after the refounding of Erebor, Balin made the journey back westwards to visit Bilbo Baggins in the Shire, apparently the only one of the Company to do so.
Bifur Wore a yellow hood
Bifur was closely related to both Bofur and Bombur, but the details of their relationship are difficult to assess. He is most closely associated with Bofur (apart from the similarity of their names, they shared a taste for yellow hoods, and tend to be mentioned as a pair) so it's somewhat surprising that all direct statements about Bifur's family make Bofur and Bombur brothers, and Bifur a cousin of the other two.
Bofur Wore a yellow hood
Bofur played little individual part in the quest, except in its final stages, at the Lonely Mountain itself, where he was left with Bombur to guard the lower camp of the Company while the others searched for the secret door. He was thus nearly caught by the enraged Smaug, but was hauled to safety by rope at the last moment. The only other specific details we know about him are that he had a taste for mince pies and cheese, and that he played the clarinet.
Bombur Wore a pale green hood
Apparently the brother of Bofur, Bombur was noted as by far the fattest, and also the clumsiest, of the Dwarves of the Company; as such, he tended to bring up the rear of the party. During the journey through Mirkwood, he fell into the Enchanted River and thus into a deep magical sleep, so that he had to be carried by the other Dwarves as far as the Woodland Realm of Thranduil. Later, after the death of Smaug and the recovery of Erebor, it was Bombur whom Bilbo tricked into leaving his watch so that Bilbo could bring the Arkenstone to the Men and Elves surrounding the Mountain.
Dori Wore a purple hood
A Dwarf distantly descended from the royal line of Durin's Folk, named as the strongest of the Company, and a capable flautist. During the Quest of Erebor, Dori rescued Bilbo Baggins from danger several times. Most importantly, during the escape from Goblin-town, it was Dori who carried the Hobbit away from their captors, only to lose him the dark tunnels - and thus inadvertently bring about the finding of the One Ring.
Dwalin 169 years old at the time of the Quest
Wore a dark green hood
Dwalin was the younger brother of Balin, and thus one of the most senior of the Company (both brothers were descended from the line of the Kings of Durin's Folk). Described as having a blue beard and bright eyes, Dwalin was notable as being the first of the Dwarves to arrive at Bilbo's Hobbit-hole at the beginning of the Quest of Erebor. After the Company set out, it was Dwalin who lent Bilbo a travelling cloak and hood, which were of this Dwarf's customary dark green.
Glóin 158 years old at the time of the Quest
Wore a white hood
Brother to Óin, and a member of the royal line of Durin's Folk (both Óin and Glóin were descendants of King Náin II). When Glóin heard that a Hobbit was to be taken on the Quest, he found the notion ridiculous, and was initially unimpressed when meeting Bilbo for the first time. He had a special talent for making fire, which was useful at several points on the journey to Erebor. Glóin's son Gimli was not permitted to accompany his father on the Quest (he was just 62 at the time, and considered to be too young) but he later became famous in his own right as part of the Company of the Ring.
Fíli 82 years old at the time of the Quest
Wore a blue hood
The second-youngest1 of the Company, Fíli and his brother Kíli were the nephews of Thorin Oakenshield, and as the elder brother Fíli was Thorin's natural heir. The two are described as looking alike, each with a yellow beard, but Fíli had a more prominent nose. He was one of the three Dwarves of the Company who fell in the Battle of Five Armies; so there was no King Fíli of Durin's line, and Thorin was succeeded instead by his distant cousin Dáin Ironfoot.
Kíli 77 years old at the time of the Quest
Wore a blue hood
The youngest of the Dwarves of the Company, at just seventy-seven years old (though Bilbo Baggins was considerably younger still, at just fifty-one when the Company set out). Like his brother Fíli, Kíli had a yellow beard, wore a blue hood and played the fiddle. As a sharp-eyed and active Dwarf, Kíli was often used as a scout during the adventure. He fought beside his brother in the Battle of Five Armies, in which the two were slain defending their lord and uncle Thorin Oakenshield.
Nori Wore a purple hood
Little is recorded about Nori as an individual Dwarf. The only direct facts we have are that he could play the flute (as he did at Bag End before the Company set out), and that he was particularly fond of regular meals. At one point in their adventures, the Dwarves found themselves hiding in trees from pack of Wargs; Nori noticed that Bilbo had been left behind on the ground, and thus played a small part in his rescue. This seems to have been Nori's only real individual contribution to the Quest.
Óin 167 years old at the time of the Quest
Wore a brown hood
The elder brother of Glóin, and thus the uncle of Gimli Elf-friend. We're told almost nothing about this Dwarf, except that he shared with his brother exceptional skill at the lighting of fires. He survived the Quest, but would later be lost with Balin and Ori in an ill-fated attempt to reclaim Moria for Durin's Folk.
Ori Wore a grey hood
One of the minor members of the Company, Ori did little to distinguish himself from the other Dwarves during his adventures (indeed, the only specific facts we have about him from that time are his grey hood mentioned above, and his ability to play the flute). He was commonly associated with Dori and Nori, though the details of their relationship is unclear; given that those two Dwarves each wore purple hoods while Ori's was grey, it seems most likely that Dori and Nori were brothers, and Ori was their mutual cousin. Ori survived the Quest of Erebor and the Battle of Five Armies, but would be lost more than fifty years later in the Mines of Moria.

Notes

1

In The Hobbit (chapter 8, Flies and Spiders), Thorin actually says 'Fili is the youngest', but he seems to be confusing his two nephews there. In The Lord of the Rings we're given the birth dates for the two brothers, which establish that in fact Fíli was the elder of the two by some six years (Appendix A III, Durin's Folk).

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