The Darkening Wild
An adventuresome dwarf-lord and hero of Thorin's Company
Balin, cousin to the late Thorin Oakenshield and older brother of Dwalin, is a dwarf-lord in his own right. He is one who prospered in the Blue Mountains while in exile, though he eagerly responded to Thorin’s call to return to Erebor and reclaim their homeland.
Balin is the more adventuresome of the two brothers, and has a sharp, quick wit and keen eyesight even though he is past middle age. With Thorin dead, Balin does not have a clear blood connection to the King, and therefore sees little reason to settle down. He would rather be on the road, and as the years march on he speaks more and more of fabled Khazad-dum and his desire to return there. Dwalin, however, is against this, and it has formed a rift between the brothers.