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Pairing: Balin/Dori
Alternative name(s): Darlin
Gender category: Slash, except when gender changes are incorporated
Fandom: The Hobbit
Canonical?: No
Prevalence: Low[1]
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Balin/Dori is a non-canonical ship from The Hobbit fandom, involving two dwarves of Thorin's Company, Balin and Dori. It most commonly appears in works that ship Dwalin with either Ori or Nori.[2]


The ship appeared early in the fandom. The first hobbit_kink prompt for it appeared on January 12, 2013:

I have no idea what came over me, but now I crave some Balin\Dori

With Balin being a bit of a tease (something in his smile and those eyes tell me that he is) and Dori is a moaning mess, but still remembers his maners (Would you be so kind do that again\harder?)[3]

While overall numbers remain low, the ship attracted a small but dedicated following.[4]

Fannish Tropes

  • Politeness - Dori is very much into propriety, and is often depicted as admiring Balin from afar because of his station, while Balin admires Dori and wishes to spoil him a bit. Sometimes this results in pining, but it can also result in a very subtle courting that others don't notice.
  • Childhood Sweethearts - Sometimes Balin and Dori were sweethearts when they were younger but were separated by events beyond their control. In these works, they usually get back together during or after the quest.
  • Tea - In works set around the time of the quest, Balin frequently courts Dori by bringing him small comforts like tea and generally acting like a gentleman. Sometimes Dori owns a teahouse and Balin is a frequent customer.
  • Rule 63 - Dori is frequently a dam or a dwarf capable of bearing children in Balin/Dori works in particular (though Dori is frequently gender-changed in many types of works, regardless of ships).
  • Pair The Spare - Balin/Dori is frequently a background ship for Dwalin/Younger Ri Brother works.[2] Dwalin/Ori works frequently include background Balin/Dori and Bofur/Nori, while Dwalin/Nori works tend to include background Balin/Dori and either Fíli/Ori or Kíli/Ori (or both).[5]

Example Fanworks

Archives and Resources




  1. ^ Balin/Dori on AO3 had 143 works tagged as of April 14, 2015. This was .8% of all Hobbit works on that archive, making this ship the 23rd largest in the fandom at that time, just below Fíli/Sigrid and tied with Legolas/Thranduil.
  2. ^ a b Of 143 Balin/Dori works on AO3 on April 14, 2015, 54 were also tagged with Dwalin/Ori and 45 with Dwalin/Nori. This means approximately 70% of Balin/Dori works also shipped Dwalin with one of Dori's brothers.
  3. ^ Balin\Dori always be polite, and a total tease: aka this meme is thoroughly corupting me!
  4. ^ creamteaandscones has only 8 pages of works as of April 18, 2015, but it has several regular contributors.
  5. ^ As of April 14, 2015 on AO3: Of 54 works tagged with Balin/Dori and Dwalin/Ori, 27 were tagged with Bofur/Nori. Of 45 works tagged with Balin/Dori and Dwalin/Nori, 14 were tagged with Kíli/Ori, 10 with Fíli/Ori, and 4 with Fíli/Kíli/Ori.