Played by **KEN STOTT**
Balin was part of the company assembled by Thorin Oakenshield to kill the dragon Smaug and retake the mountain kingdom of Erebor. He is the only one explicitly said to have been at the Mountain prior to the coming of the dragon. Curiously, The Hobbit states he was companions with Thorin on the day the dragon came, but according to Appendix A in The Return of the King he was only 7 years old while Thorin was 24.
He was the second dwarf to arrive at Bilbo’s house at the beginning of The Hobbit. The one before him was his brother Dwalin. Like his brother, he played a viol.
Among the dwarves in The Hobbit, Balin was the second-eldest Dwarf on the quest (behind Thorin), and so he spoke for the party when they were captured by the Elven king.
He is described as “always their look-out man”: He spots Bilbo approaching the Green Dragon Inn at Bywater, he spots the trolls’ fire, and he’s the first to spot the Elves in Mirkwood. Naturally he could not notice Bilbo (hidden by wearing the One Ring) as look-out for the company after escaping the goblins in the Misty Mountains. After this bit of trickery, Balin gained respect for Bilbo’s abilities. He’s the only Dwarf that volunteers to accompany Bilbo down the secret passage to Smaug. Of all the Dwarves in the quest, he is the only one known to have visited Bilbo afterwards at Bag End.