Dwalin is a major protagonist in the Middle-Earth franchise, as a major character in 1937 novel The Hobbit and its related media. He is the youngest son of Fundin and the younger brother of Balin and a seasoned warrior. He is also Thorin Oakenshield's second-in-command and best friend. During the quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain, he was one of the twelve traveling companions of Thorin and Bilbo Baggins, accompanied by the wizard Gandalf.
In the films adapted by Peter Jackson, Dwalin is portrayed by Scottish actor Graham McTavish.
Dwalin was born in 2772 of the Third Age, two years after Thorin's family were driven into exile by Smaug. He was younger than Thorin by twenty six years and became his best friend.
In the year 2799, Dwalin was 27 years old in the Battle of Moria. In TA 2799, Thrór ordered every dwarf lord to fight. Dwalin was still young when he was ordered to fight. He fought extremely well, and fought when Thorin called on him. A heavy number was lost. Not only that, but also Dwalin's father, Fundin, was killed. Dwalin and his brother embarrassed each other in the war while the Dwarf's brother noticed Thorin was one who would call king. Dwalin lived in the Blue Mountains until the Quest of Erebor.
- “Renowned as a great Warrior, Dwalin speaks his mind plainly and is not one to suffer fools lightly. Fiercely loyal, he is Thorin Oakenshield’s staunchest supporter with an unshakeable belief in his friend’s leadership. A powerful and bruising fighter, Dwalin has a natural tendency to distrust anyone who is not a Dwarf and is particularly suspicious of Elves. Proud, brave and one of the tallest of the Dwarves, Dwalin will bow to none but those who have earned his respect.”
- ―Warner Bros
Dwalin first appeared as an imposing and cunning warrior, aggressive, dedicated in defending the lives of his friends and family. He was fiercely loyal and dedicated in protecting his best friend, Thorin Oakenshield, his brother, Balin, and anyone else he was close to. He refused to abandon his brother to be left on the battlefield alone. However, Dwalin doesn't hesitate to call Thorin out on his actions during his gold sickness. He was loyal to his friends to the end, especially coming to respect Bilbo Baggins after he saved Thorin's life.
Dwalin detests being touched, notably seen when he refused to let Bard dump his barrel over or shrugging off any of his captors' hands off him. In addition, Dwalin had more of a comical side that he rarely showed except when in the company of friends. It is notably first seen during his actions at Bilbo's unwanted party, especially Dwalin laughing at Bilbo's reaction to his dishes remaining undamaged.
In the original draft for The Hobbit, Dwalin was going to be the dwarves Lookout. Other than that, his role was the same for the rest of the series.
Tolkien borrowed Dwalin's name from a dwarf in Norse mythology called Dvalinn.
Dwalin is very muscular, having a bald spot on his head with tattoos on it and also some on his arms. Some of his left ear is missing and also wore ear piercings. He wore furs and mostly wore brown in the first film as well as black braces on. His hair was a dark brown or black. His eyes were brown, a trait he shares with his brother Balin. He was 27 in the flashbacks and 169 in the present story timeline.
Middle-Earth Film saga
The Hobbit trilogy
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Like his book counterpart, Dwalin was the first dwarf to come to Bilbo's door. The dwarf introduced himself and bowed to the Hobbit. Gandalf asked why Thorin is not among them and Dwalin answers that he is late because of a meeting in Ered Luin with their kin. After Thorin arrives, Dwalin inquired if Dáin is with them, but Thorin says they will not come. He was like all the other dwarves who thought Bilbo was not going to survive in the Wild for being too soft. The former just proves this by saying that gentlefolk can't defend themselves. When Bilbo is captured by trolls, Dwalin with the others rescue Bilbo. After all of the dwarves are put into sacks for the trolls to eat later, he was on the spit over the fire. Luckily thanks to Bilbo and Gandalf's interferences, the Trolls all turn to stone. When the Troll hoard is discovered Dwalin accompanied Thorin, Gandalf and a couple of dwarves invade it. His cousin, Bofur, and Nori bury treasure, which Dwalin scuffs in disgust.
When wargs come and chase the Company, Dwalin killed a Warg with his axes. In Rivendell, after Kíli's flirting with an elf, and also on another elf, Dwalin is aware it is a male and not a female, saying that it was not an Elf maiden that Kíli looked at. And he also throws food around when Bofur's singing "The Man in the Moon" song. In the Misty Mountains,after Thorin had saved Bilbo, Dwalin helped Thorin come back to the Mountain.The company is captured by Goblins while Bilbo escaped and Dwalin fights well while escaping with the others and the Great Goblin's carcass landing on the broken dwarves.
Even though the dwarves and Bilbo escaped the Goblin Tunnels, Azog the Defiler finally cornered the Dwarves out of the forest. The trees start to fall, and Dwalin hopelessly watches as Thorin is crushed until Bilbo himself leaps up and saves Thorin. Dwalin eventually regains his footing and rushes in to defend Bilbo and Thorin's unconscious body along with Fili and Kili. The eagles finally come and the Company escapes Azog the Defiler.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Dwalin is seen next to Thorin, and asks a returning Bilbo if the Wargs picked up their scent, which they hadn't done yet. All of them are driven to no other choice but to run to Beorn's house, travel through Mirkwood. In Mirkwood, Dwalin looses all of his possessions, especially his weapons. Bilbo eventually saves them and lets them escape.
Dwalin openly distrusts Bard and suggests that they throw the human over board and take his boat by force. Thorin confides that he knows that Bard is untrustworthy to Dwalin. He also calls Bard a traitor as Bilbo spies on him. Dwalin is the first dwarf to enter through the toilet and the plumbing system and Threatens to rip of Bain's arms if he speaks of this to anyone.
After Bilbo, Balin and Thorin discuss the day Smaug attacked, Bain says that his ancestor broken the scale off of the left breast, but Dwalin dismisses it as a myth. Their company is later brought before the master of Laketown, where Dwalin stood up to the Master and presented Thorin as "This is Thorin, son of Thráin, son of Thrór. He was one of Thorin's remaining companions who traveled to the Lonely Mountain (Thorin, Bilbo, Balin, Dori, Nori, Ori, Bifur, Bombur, and Glóin were the additional members also not staying behind.)
When Bilbo awakens Smaug, Thorin rushes in to rescue their friend. Afterwards, Dwalin along with the other dwarves storm in to Bilbo's and Thorin's rescue before being chased by Smaug in different directions.
The Battle of the Five Armies
Dwalin is first seen hugging his friends that returned from Laketown. Next he is seen with his brother Balin athis side, the dwarf king looking at the broken throne, and Bilbo standing behind/next to Thorin. The brothers reports to Thorin that the Arkenstone has not been found, and even yells it. He spotted the Laketown survivors streaming into Dale and putting up a fortress by Thorin's orders.
Thorin also any one of the dwarves are holding the Arkenstone in his possession. The friend Dwalin once knew was gone when Thorin attacked Bilbo, and Dwalin and Fíli tries to protect him from Thorin's wrath.
Even when he tells Thorin that Dáin is surrounded and that they are failing the war, Thorin shows no sign of pity. Dwalin accuses Thorin of not being of who he once was and that he isn't the friend he once knew. The former threatens to kill his own friend if he does not leave. After Thorin broke from madness, Dwalin fallowed his friend to end this with Fíli and Kíli, and Bilbo fallowing to warn them.
Bilbo eventually completed it. Dwalin wants to engage Azog now, but Thorin says it's not wise and that they'll "live to fight another day." He ordered for Dwalin to retrieve Fíli and Kíli while Thorin would lead Bilbo out of Ravenhill. Fíli is revealed to be captured by Azog and his band of Orcs, and Dwalin watches along with Thorin, Bilbo, and Kíli as Fili dies and is dropped dead in front of his own brother. He apparently is nowhere to be seen after that, but when the Goblin missionaries attack Bilbo, Dwalin rushes in to defend the Hobbit and Bilbo assisting him until he was knocked out by the end of Bolg's mace.
After Bilbo discovered Thorin's dead body, Dwalin is shown mourning for his best friend. He later says goodbye to Bilbo and smiles but also cries, as he leaves. Bilbo then tells Dwalin that he can eat him out fo food whenever he comes in and visits.
Dwalin's brother who is eight years older his senior. Balin and Dwalin have a very strong relationship, and love each other. Balin is always there to support his brother. When they were young, they fought with their family and are seen hugging each other after the Battle of Moria. After years of not seeing each other, Dwalin and Balin bash their heads in together. In The Desolation of Smaug, Dwalin gets impatient about his brother's sweet-talking Bard. They stand next to each other in The Battle of the Five Armies when reporting to Thorin.
Dwalin's best friend and are third cousins biologically. Since they were young, Dwalin and Thorin grew close. They lived through every pain and every joy in each other's lives. Even looks after Thorin's nephews, Fili and Kili. He defended an unconscious Thorin and Bilbo from the Wargs about to eat them. When they are in Laketown, Dwalin confided to Thorin that they didn't know if Bard would betray them or not. Thorin tells him they don't. In the Battle of the Five Armies, the Thorin Dwalin once knew was gone even when he attacked Bilbo and not bothering to save their kin was the last straws. Dwalin said that he's changed and cannot see what Thorin's become. After Thorin succumbs away from the Dragon sickness, Dwalin traveled with him to Ravenhill. Thorin's death is sudden as he is seen mourning the fallen king.
Fíli and Kíli
Dwalin sees them as his own younger brothers, and are actually third cousins twice removed. And, Dwalin also protects them. He joked with Kili of an Elf 'maiden" who turned out to be a male Elf. After Fíli's death, Dwalin can't bare to watch him killed.
Dwalin's fellow companion and friend.
Bilbo was awkward when he first met Dwalin Dwalin in fact bowed to Bilbo, showing that he earned Bilbo's respect a little. The hobbit was awkward when they first and found it odd that a dwarf was there. At first, Dwalin doubted Bilbo and his skills, but eventually came to respect Bilbo. He put a protective arm over Bilbo when they were hunted and Radagast was distracting the Wargs. Relieved that he was alive, and even helped Bilbo regain his footing when he was about to fall off of the Misty Mountains Dwalin defended Bilbo and the unconscious Thorin when Azog finally cornered them. Sometimes, the hobbit can get annoyed by Dwalin's distrust in Bard the Bowman, and sometimes just annoyed by Dwalin himself. Bilbo says he's grown very fond of them.
In the Incident on Ravenhill, Dwalin charges at Orcs that were about to kill the hobbit, and also says his goodbye to Bilbo at the end of the final film. Bilbo says that he can eat his out of food whenever they come to visit.