March 16. - April 24. TA 2941: Gandalf visits Thorin in the Blue Mountains and they make a plan. Gandalf goes to the Shire and decides to send a Hobbit along with the Dwarves. He arranges the meeting of Bilbo and the Dwarves.   (Dates from the Atlas of Middle-Earth)
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Balin is an older dwarf, one of the oldest in the company.
He has a white beard, wears a scarlet hood, is Dwalin's brother. He prefers beer over anything, is the lookout man for the company and prides himself on his skills.
Good line from the Hobbit when Balin realizes Bilbo has a magic ring: "Gollum! Well I'm blest! So that's how he sneaked past me, is it? Now I know! Just crept quietly along did you, Mr. Baggins? Buttons on the doorstep! Good old Bilbo."
Balins also plays the viols and befriends Bilbo out of all the dwarfs.

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