I love to take all those quizzes that ask "What Hobbit or LOTR Character are you?" and most of the time the answer is that I'm either Bilbo or a Hobbit. (Yes, I've taken many of these quizzes!) Only twice I've gotten a different answer. Once I got Dwalin, and that surprised me because I'm not a Dwalin at all (though I love the character) and once I was happily surprised that I got Balin.
Because you see, Balin is the character I relate to the most.
Why do I relate to Balin? No, I don't have white hair and a big white beard, but otherwise I do look a bit like him, if you get rid of his hair and beard, and add a black wig.
I relate very much to Balin's personality. Like Balin I am cautious as a person. I would have doubts that this quest is inevitable and would appreciate what I, and my fellow dwarves had accomplished in the Blue Mountains and the good and respectable life we had now after much hard work. I suppose I should explain that I identify very much with the dwarves because I too had to leave my homeland with my family at an early age for our "Ered Luin".
I also identify with Balin's sense of loyalty to Thorin. I'm someone that believes loyalty to friends, family, co-workers, favorite actors, is important. Like Balin, I don't give my loyalty easily ("there is one I could call King"), but once I do I stand by it. Doesn't mean I follow blindly, because like Balin, if I strongly disagree I would tell the person, but in private, what I really thought and try to get them to see reason as I see it. But like Balin, I would find it very difficult to betray my loyalty to a person once given.
Also like Balin, I'm the "behind-the-scenes" person, the one the "leader" relies on to be there with the right contract in the right place, at the right time. Not quite the "consigliere" like Balin, but the "reliable" person on the job. It's not something I ever intended to be, it just happened through the years.
I also relate to Balin's relationship with Bilbo. He's watching out for Bilbo as the newcomer and always there to explain to Bilbo dwarven(?) history like the Arkenstone for example. But I also know that Balin, after some doubts, now sees Bilbo's strengths and admires him. How does this relate to me? We've all encountered in work situations people that are less than helpful, especially to new employees at work. Remembering my own struggles when this has happened, I always try, like Balin, to be a source of help and information to those that find themselves in an unknown environment.
Just like Balin, and Thorin too, I can be a bit stubborn and cantankerous at times, but my heart is usually in the right place.
Thorin and Balin by Lin ART
So Thorin, if Balin ever wants a holiday from being by you all the time, I can be a very good substitute.
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