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Indefinite; born before III 2809,1 and survived at least until III 3018
Descended from the Dwarves of Moria, but not by the royal line
Uncertain, but perhaps 'one who grumbles'2


About this entry:

  • Updated 1 August 2010
  • Updates planned: 1
Dwarves of

Unnamed uncle
and aunt

Bifur, Bofur and Bombur were descended from the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm, but not from the royal house. Note that the relative ages of these three Dwarves are never established, so this genealogical tree follows the name order preferred throughout The Hobbit.

Thorin's Company

A descendant of the Dwarves of Moria, one of the companions of Bilbo Baggins and Thorin II Oakenshield on the Quest of Erebor. His most notable adventure on that quest took place after the Dwarves had located the Lonely Mountain, and the secret entrance in its side. While the other Dwarves crept inside, Bofur had been left outside with Bombur to guard the supplies, but when Bilbo's thievery drove Smaug into a rage, the Dragon roared into the sky in search of revenge, leaving Bofur and Bombur in terrible danger. The Dwarves staged an urgent and desperate rescue of their companions, who made it to safety with only moments to spare.

After the Quest, Bofur settled in the reclaimed Erebor, and was said to still be living there at the time of the War of the Ring, some seventy-seven years later.

Bofur's relations to the other Dwarves of the Company are a little uncertain. It is clear that he was most closely related to Bifur and Bombur, but the details are difficult to discover. The most direct statements we have indicate that Bofur was the brother of Bombur, with Bifur being their mutual cousin.

It seems strange, given that relationship, that Bifur and Bofur arrived at Bilbo Baggins' home wearing yellow hoods, while Bombur wore a pale green one, where we might have expected the brothers Bofur and Bombur to share a colour. This reflects the fact that Tolkien revised his ideas of these Dwarves' relationships during the writing of The Hobbit. At first Bifur and Bofur were brothers, with Bombur as a cousin, then briefly all three were brothers, until the final relationships was settled, with Bofur and Bombur as brothers and Bifur as their cousin. Hence, the shared hood colours of Bifur and Bofur represent an earlier phase of the text left unrevised - presumably as a simple oversight - in the final version.



Fíli and Kíli were known to be the youngest of Thorin's companions by some fifty years. The elder brother, Fíli, was born in III 2859, so Bofur must have been born at least fifty years before that date.


Like many other Dwarves in Tolkien's work, Bofur's name comes originally from the Old Norse poem Völuspá, where it appears in the form Bávor. The translation is not certain, but some sources suggest variations on 'one who grumbles'. This seems to fit what we know of Bofur's character: for example, 'It was Bofur, and he was grumbling...' (The Hobbit 7, Queer Lodgings).

See also...

Thorin and Company


About this entry:

  • Updated 1 August 2010
  • Updates planned: 1

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