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Apr 13 2015, 04:03
full name: Dwalin (son of Fundin)
date of birth: TA 2772 (247 years of age at time of Battle of the Pellenor, 169 at the Battle of Five Armies).
home: Erebor (the Lonely Mountain) since TA 2941 when Smaug was destroyed, though he was born in Dunland 2 years after Smaug usurped Erebor. ((His place of birth is not actually stated in canon, but Dunland seems most likely from my research.))
species: Dwarf, of Durin’s line
occupation: A General of Erebor’s army
general appearance: Unusually tall at 5’ 1 inch, and his limbs are proportionally somewhat longer than most Dwarves, giving him a longer stride and farther reach. Dark eyes that may glint brightly because of the intensity of the mind behind them. The top of his head is bald, which is unusual for Dwarves, though the rest of his hair and beard are thick and heavy, dark brown in color. He wears braids in his beard, though not especially showy braids and with discrete ornamentation only during the most important council meetings. His forehead is faintly scarred from a lifetime tendency to deliver head-butts in battle.
He is powerfully built, a warrior through and through, and even at advanced age he has not become portly. His garb is invariably pragmatic and unpretentious, even when relaxing within the safety of his home (at which time he also always has at least one dagger tucked away, just in case of sudden danger). He is not especially vain about his appearance and never likes to feel hindered or restricted by his clothes. He is, however, fond of incorporating fur into his clothes (as trim, cloak lining, etc.). As a general of Erebor, his clothes and armor are of excellent quality.
His voice is low-pitched and slightly husky, with an intimidating growling quality when angry or aggressive.
Weapons in battle: Matching battle axes, a mace, several daggers, and fingerless gloves with nasty metal plates affixed over his knuckles. He typically does not carry a shield, preferring to wield an axe and/or mace in each hand, using their iron shafts to parry blows or his agility to dodge.
distinguishing features Unusually tall for a Dwarf, partially bald pate, and intense eyes.
Typical for Dwarves, his languages are Khudzul and Westron (the tongue of Men).
He is not typically very affable or talkative, preferring to listen, observe, and think while others do the talking. (This tendency was especially pronounced between him and his older brother Balin, whom Dwalin considered to be the “talker, charmer, and thinker” while he was mostly the brawn.) When he does speak, he is usually forthright and direct (diplomacy is definitely not his strong suit). He rarely dissembles; if that is necessary, he typically remains silent while a companion does the dissembling. If he does not comment at all, it is almost certainly either because he agrees, hasn’t formed his thoughts yet, feels it’s not his place to speak, or disagrees but chooses to keep silent.
He tends to be serious, even dour, and his sense of humor is neither great nor often in evidence. He rarely jokes around, and heaven help anyone who tries pulling a prank on him, for his typical reaction to feeling embarrassed is to get angry to the point (or beyond) of violence. He has almost no sense of humor about his bald pate, so it is fortunate that he is imposing enough to very rarely get teased about it.
He does, however, very much enjoy listening to his friends talk and joke among themselves. He loves songs, especially ballads, and will join in the ones he loves most. His singing voice is deep-pitched and fairly good.
Dwalin is pragmatic, determined, not easily impressed or intimidated. He likes people to keep themselves in order, doing their jobs, with the proper respect for authority and the chain of command in all aspects of life. Dwalin is so loyal to his leader that he has to feel most extremely concerned before outwardly questioning or doubting their wisdom or honor. (It’s easy to see how this can become a weakness or blind spot.)
Although he can often seem unfriendly or unkind to those who don’t know him well because of seeming so gruff of word and countenance, he is not necessarily unfriendly or unkind at heart. Rather, being friendly or kind is not his first priority – dealing with the situation comes first. He also likes to estimate someone’s measure through observation first before deciding what he thinks of them. He is generally slow to trust strangers, especially if not a fellow Dwarf, and is extra slow to trust an Elf. However, if he encounters someone in need (unless he thinks their need illegitimate or their character shady), he will help and share with them. He does not, however, suffer fools.
When traveling, exploring, camping, etc., he is typically very alert and observant of his surroundings, so when a sentry or lookout needs to be posted, he is a good choice.
In battle, he is absolutely loyal to his leader and everyone fighting on his side, especially if they be Dwarves. He is intrepid and aggressive with a fierce, no-holds-barred style, though not typically reckless or a daredevil. Despite being a warrior through and through, however, he neither hungers for battle nor glories in it. He just wants to be ready for battle when the time comes, since it always seems to come sooner or later. Fighting for what he considers the honorable and/or right reason is very important to him, for he does not harbor any illusions about what battle is like and the possibility that his friends and kin could die in it.
Father: Fundin, deceased TA 2799
Mother: Giralin, deceased TA 2820 ((his mother is not named in canon, so I made this up))
Brother (older by 9 years): Balin, born TA 2763, deceased TA 2994
His Queen (and cousin): Dis, daughter of Thrain and Freylin, Queen Regent/Lady Guardian of Erebor as of TA 3019 mid-March
His King (and cousin): Dain Ironfoot II, King of Erebor, deceased T.A.3019 mid-March
Cousin: Thorin Oakenshield, son of Thrain II son of Thror, deceased TA 2941
Cousin: Thorin II Stonehelm, son of Dain Ironfoot II (Lord of the Iron Hills), who becomes heir (though not yet of age) to the Throne of Erebor when Dain is killed in mid-March of TA 3019
First cousin: Gloin, son of Groin
Cousin (much younger): Gimli son of Gloin
other important people:
King Bard of Dale, with whom he became and remained a good friend for the rest of Bard’s life.
King Brand of Dale, with whom he was friends and fought alongside at need.
Gandalf, whose wisdom he has long respected and whom he calls Trusted Friend.
Bilbo Baggins, whom he calls Friend. Despite having felt overall less friendly and more tending to disparage Bilbo during the Quest to Erebor, he grew to fully respect their Hobbit burglar’s courage, resourcefulness, loyalty, and intelligence from the moment Bilbo entered the mountain to spy upon and steal from Smaug. For reasons explained herein below, Dwalin did not view Bilbo’s giving the Arkenstone to Bard of Laketown as a betrayal, and in fact respected Bilbo all the more (though he would not have admitted such to Thorin until after the battle).
All the other Dwarves who were his companions on Thorin Oakenshield’s Quest for Erebor.
2770 TA: Smaug usurped Erebor from Thror and his son Thrain II, driving out the Dwarves and destroying the neighboring city of Dale. Dwalin’s parents fled with Thrain II, other relatives, and some followers of Thror southward, eventually settling in Dunland. Dwalin’s brother Balin, a little child of 7, was among them.
2772 TA: Dwalin was born in Dunland, where a community of Dwarves (refugees all) had formed. It was difficult not having a proper home (much less a kingdom) to call home, and living almost entirely above-ground rather than mining inside a mountain as would have been their natural preference and lifestyle, they were getting by well enough, having formed a reputation among the neighboring Men as great smiths, stonemasons, and craftsmen. As refugees in a land claimed by Men, their life was somewhat nomadic.
2790 TA, autumn: King Thror, deeply unhappy and restless, left his Kingship upon his son Thrain II and travelled to Moria with only one companion, intending to see their ancestral home of Khazad-dum. Tragically, Thror was murdered and mutilated by Orc-Chieftain Azog in Moria on that venture, and Azog gave warning for no other Dwarves to attempt to return to Moria. Dwalin was not yet 20, still a child by Dwarf reckoning, but seeing how the tragic news affected his cousins Thorin and Dis, he was also affected.
2793 TA, springtime: King Thrain II (Dwalin’s cousin) called upon the Seven Dwarf Clans to aid him in overthrowing the Orc-Chieftain Azog and avenge the death of his father Thror. Over the following six years the Dwarves destroyed several Orc colonies throughout the Misty Mountains. Midway through this campaign, Dwalin was finally allowed to accompany them (eager to follow in his older brother’s footsteps, who had already gotten to join them), though to his chagrin his superiors solemnly promised his worried mother that he would not be allowed into battle (he was barely 21 years old, a long way yet from adulthood), and they kept their promise faithfully, which meant Dwalin must keep it too else he cause them dishonor (for which they – and his mother – would have exacted heavy payment). Dwalin was still a bundle of eager energy and determination, though, and used it to work very hard in support of the warriors’ needs. This was his first time away from “home” in Dunland, his first taste of hard travel and the tough preparations for and aftermath of battles. He proved to be a natural adventurer with a warrior’s blood pumping strongly through his veins. He and his brother Balin shared this life-shaping experience.
2799 TA, springtime: The Battle of Azanulbizar outside the East Gate of Moria. The Orc-Chieftain Azog was finally slain and his Orcs vanquished, but at terrible cost. Dwalin’s father Fundin was among the slain, along with several of his cousins. Dwalin was only 27, not fully an adult as reckoned by his kind, and his brother Balin was only 36. That was still a tender age for a Dwarf to lose his father. Dwalin had not been allowed to fight in that battle and, because his father was killed, he deeply resented having been kept from his side. Naturally fierce by nature, this anger further shaped the harder aspects of his character.
2816 TA, spring: King Thrain II and his people settled in Ered Luin (in the Blue Mountains). Dwalin and Balin by then were aged 44 and 51, fully of age and warriors in their full right. Dwalin had also become a good hunter of game and, due to being highly observant by nature, his primary jobs were hunting, guarding and patrolling to keep the area safe, and escorting Dwarves when they travel for purposes of trade or other reasons.
2820 TA, winter: Dwalin’s mother, a widow of 21 years but who had been happy again for the last 4 years, living in a proper kingdom again and helping to shape and form it, died unexpectedly in her sleep one winter night. Dwalin’s grief was only tempered by the knowledge that her final years had been happy ones.
2826 TA, summer: Dwalin’s cousin Dis married Fior, a great cause for celebration. Not long after, however, Dwalin became aware of King Thrain’s restlessness, which only grew in intensity. For himself, Dwalin was living happily in Ered Luin, feeling satisfied with that home.
2841 TA: Consumed by a dark obsession to reclaim the vast wealth of Erebor stolen by the dragon Smaug, Thrain set out on a quest to reclaim Erebor, the rightful kingdom of his family and Durin’s line. Thrain took Balin, Dwalin, and several others with him. Their small party was much threatened by Orcs, which was one reason their traveling was quite slow. One bleak night in 2845, when they had taken shelter under the eaves of Mirkwood during a black rain, Thrain was stealthily captured. Upon discovering their King missing in the morning, they searched for him but never found any trace of him, leaving them no option but to return to Ered Luin and report the tragic tale. Dwalin berated himself for having failed to keep effective enough watch over their camp.
2850 TA, autumn: All hope being lost that Thrain might still be alive, his son Thorin officially became King of Ered Luin. Dwalin’s loyalty to his cousin Thorin and his sister Dis was all the more devoted because of his self-blame over having failed their father. His devotion was as much for that reason as that they are his near cousins. His duties remained very similar to what they had always been, though with progressively more weight on the warrior aspects. Over the next 15 or so years, life overall became very good in Ered Luin as it became better established and ordered and the Dwarves’ population slowly grew as more children were born. It was during these years that Dis gave birth to two sons, Fili and Kili, who were Thorin’s heirs since he had never married and had children of his own.
2866 TA: Dain Ironfoot II, a more distant cousin, became Lord of the Iron Hills and had a son named Thorin II.
2940 - 2941 TA: Thorin felt a strong desire to try and reclaim Erebor from the dragon Smaug. When Gandalf the Grey visited Ered Luin, bringing the map of the Lonely Mountain and the key to the Secret Door, and offered to aid Thorin’s quest to retake Erebor, Thorin took action. Thorin took 12 Dwarves with him, including Dwalin, Balin, Fili, and Kili. Dwalin had never seen Erebor, only heard multitudes of tales and songs about their original kingdom, for he had been born two years after Smaug usurped it. He was absolutely loyal to Thorin, however, and would not question the rightness of his quest. He was not driven by lust for the vast treasure, but by the desire to see the usurper Smaug driven out and the mountain kingdom returned to its rightful King and become once again a home of strength, beauty, and security for his people. During the Quest for Erebor, Dwalin served primarily as one of the strongest warriors as well as one of the company’s guards or lookouts.
Dwalin was slower than his brother to realize (or admit to himself) that their leader Thorin had succumbed to the Dragon Sickness. After they had been in the Halls of Erebor for several days after Smaug was killed by Bard over Laketown, fruitlessly searching for the Arkenstone (none knew that Bilbo had already found it but had not decided whether it was wise to give it to Thorin), Dwalin was heartbroken at watching Thorin’s worsening madness. He even attempted to reason with Thorin about it (an extraordinary measure for him, for he must feel extreme concern before outwardly questioning his leader’s wisdom or honor), but Thorin rebuffed him.
It grieved him terribly when Thorin chose to war with Bard of Laketown and King Thranduil rather than share the fabulous wealth of Erebor, though he was too loyal not to still stand by Thorin’s side. Though he kept it to himself, under the circumstances, he did not feel betrayed by Bilbo when Bard attempted to bargain with the Arkenstone which Bilbo had given him, for Dwalin could understand Bilbo’s reasoning and very honorable intention. Dwalin, great warrior though he was, had no desire for unnecessary or unjust war.
When armies of Orcs and other Fell Creatures attacked, Dwalin was overjoyed to see Thorin recover from the Dragon Madness enough to emerge from Erebor and join their Iron Hills kin in the battle. Terrible grief followed when Thorin and both his nephews were killed, but Dwalin forever remembered and honored them in the best of lights, and called Bilbo Baggins “true friend” from then on.
2941 TA, winter: Thorin and company succeed in reclaiming Erebor, but before Thorin could get his hands on the Arkenstone which would give him the right to be King of Erebor, the terrible Battle of Five Armies occurred. Thorin and both his nephews/heirs died in the battle. Balin assumed guardianship of the throne of Erebor for a brief time (the right properly belonged to Dis, but for many months she was too deeply in grief over the death of her brother and only children to assume leadership), but within a year their cousin Dain Ironfoot II became King Under the Mountain, which meant his own son Thorin II was the next heir. Dwalin served them all as faithfully as he had served Thorin. Dwalin remained in Erebor for the rest of his life.
2944 TA, summer: Dwalin’s cousin Dis accepted King Dain’s offer of marriage, so at last Erebor had a King and Queen Under the Mountain. Life became very good again. Both Erebor and Dale were rebuilt and grew prosperous again, even extending their borders and developing a reasonably strong friendship with the Elves of Mirkwood. Ties also strengthened with the other Dwarf clans. Dwalin became one of the generals of Erebor’s army. Diplomacy, never his strong suit, made him unsuitable as any sort of ambassador, though he did sometimes confer with his King and Queen in councils. He was, however, a true friend to the King(s) of Dale and their people.
2989 TA: Dwalin’s older brother Balin took some Dwarves and went to Moria, intending to reclaim it from the Orcs, form a Dwarf colony, and reclaim the wealth of Khazad-dum. Balin asked Dwalin to remain in Erebor, devoted to protecting it and serving their beloved cousins, King Dain and Queen Dis, and Balin would send for him in a few years. That was why Dwalin never traveled to Moria on his own over the next 30 years. Such a timespan was not so great for Dwarves and their long lifespans, and he was kept very busy by his responsibilities.
2994 TA: Balin, who had become Lord of Moria during those five years, was tragically killed by an Orc archer when he went outside alone to look in the Mirromere. He was entombed deep inside the Halls of Moria, but shortly thereafter Orcs and a Balrog destroyed the entire colony. None survived to bring word to Erebor.
3018 TA: Late summer/early autumn: A stranger came to Erebor (a disguised agent of Sauron) seeking to find someone named “Baggins” from “Shire.” In exchange for information, the stranger promised King Dain and Queen Dis the last three Dwarf-rings of Power. They refused the stranger, who left. After pondering the mystery for weeks, they sent Gloin and his son Gimli to Rivendell to warn their old friend Bilbo Baggins of probably danger and to seek Lord Elrond’s counsel.
3018 TA, November: The Council of Elrond, at which it was decided that a Fellowship of the Ring led by Gandalf would embark on the Quest to Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring. (Gloin gave a full report of all those events when he returned to Erebor.) Dwalin and his people noticed that their world was growing darker and more dangerous again.
3018 T.A., February: Word reached Erebor of the tragic fate of Balin and those who accompanied him to Moria (estmating this date, taking into account when the Fellowship discovered Balin’s tomb in Moria in late January or early February, and then allowing time for word to be carried to Erebor). Upon learning that his brother had been slain 25 years ago without Dwalin knowing, and unavenged, Dwalin’s grief was sore heavy and he felt very guilty, as if he should have somehow sensed Balin’s trouble and gone to Moria, despite realizing that had he been with Balin he would have been slain too, likely without being able to save anyone.
3019 TA, mid March: Not without warning, war besieged Erebor and Dale once again. They were fiercely attacked by hordes of Easterlings and Orcs. The battle raged back and forth for days. Erebor and Dale finally won, though King Dain of Erebor was killed defending the slain King Brand of Dale before the gates of Erebor. Queen Dis (having become Queen Regent or Lady Guardian for Dain’s son Thorin II) had to assume leadership immediately, despite her terrible grief, even while the siege of Erebor/Dale continued. Dwalin, one of her generals, helped pull their forces together to continue the struggle.
((Surprisingly little seems to be known about Dwalin in canon, so I had to fill in a lot. I’ve based the timeline of his History off LOTR.wikia.com, tolkiengateway.net, and the appendix of ROTK, cross-referencing what I found for Balin, Thorin Oakenshield, and Dain, and also matched it to Dis’ app to keep things consistent.
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