Durin Family

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Gen Relationship
Relationship: Durin Family
Alternative name(s): Heirs of Durin, Royal Family, Sons of Durin, Durin's Sons
Fandom: The Hobbit
Type: Gen family
Canonical?: Yes
Prevalence: High[1][2]
Archives:
See also: Ri Family, Ur Family
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Durin Family is shorthand for the ruling family of the dwarven Longbeard clan in The Hobbit fandom. It usually refers to the immediate family of Thorin Oakenshield: Thrór, Thrór's Wife, Thrain, Thrain's Wife, Frerin, Dís, Dís's Husband, Fíli, and Kíli. Sometimes it's expanded to include cousins like Daín Ironfoot, Thorin III Stonehelm, Balin, Dwalin, Óin, Glóin, Glóin's Wife, and Gimli. Even barely mentioned extended family members may be involved, such as Fundin, Fundin's Wife, and Gróin.

Origins

Like the other family names in Hobbit fandom, "Durin Family" was invented by fandom; the characters are referred to in the books as the descendants of Durin, or heirs of Durin. (Ed Sheeran's song "I See Fire", which is only movie-canonical, used "Durin's sons".) Since canon gave no easy way to refer to the full group of characters (ladies included) and their relationships with each other, fandom invented one.

The first use of the phrase on the kinkmeme hobbit_kink was a prompt involving Thorin, Fíli, and Kíli on December 24, 2012.[3] Thus, "Durin Family" was a quick way to refer to all 3 characters. Its use spread to include other relatives, as those relatives became popular in fanworks. For example, a happy ending prompt from December 27 asked for everyone lives and for Dís to be involved in a Durin Family reunion,[4] a trope that would later become quite popular in Durin Family-centric works.

Another term, Durins, was also in use early in the fandom.[5] It is still sometimes seen in later works or conversations, especially Modern AUs, which usually give this group's surname as Durin.

Canon

In canon, the Durin Family are the royalty and leaders of the Longbeards, also known as Durin's Folk, the most-discussed clan of dwarves in Tolkien's works. Several members of the extended family join Thorin Oakenshield on the quest to reclaim Erebor. Gimli, who joins the Fellowship of the Ring, is a member of the family; other members are mentioned in Lord of the Rings appendices (specifically, Dáin and Thorin Stonehelm, along with Dís). Balin briefly becomes Lord of Moria before the trilogy begins; he and Óin are mentioned in the first book.

Generally, though the deeds of the family members are often mentioned in the books, the relationships between the members of the family are not expounded on much there. The movies expand on these much more, showing Thorin's relationship with the goldsick Thrór, Fíli and Kíli's devotion to each other, Balin and Dwalin's reaction to surviving the Battle of Azanulbizar, and other relationships.

Fandom Tropes

  • Durin Feels - A collection of feels-filled works mostly involving Fíli, Kíli, and Thorin in some fashion. Works using this trope might have various dwarves expressing emotions they would normally keep quiet about, or may go into detailed about how doomed the family is and how they feel about that.
  • Canon Divergence - It's very popular for Durin Family-focused fanworks to diverge from canon into Everyone Lives (The Hobbit), Erebor Never Fell, or some other alternate series of events that prevents a significant portion of the family from being killed.
  • Pre-Canon - works are often set before the appearance of Smaug, around the Battle of Azanulbizar, or in the Blue Mountains before the quest for Erebor.
  • Post-Canon - characters recovering from the Battle of the Five Armies, both the survivors and outsiders, especially Dis and Dain. Many others start from the canon divergence, and discuss the aftermath on Thorin, Kili and/or Fili.
  • Modern AU - The family is frequently transported to a modern context to become a rowdy extended family, often one that an outsider must learn to navigate as part of developing a romantic relationship with one of them.

Relationship Tropes

Fandom goes far deeper than canon into the relationships between members of the Durin Family.

  • Fíli/Kíli Durincest - Generally refers to incest between Fíli and Kíli, but sometimes is expanded to include Thorin or other members of the immediate family.
  • Surrogate Father - Generally, Thorin to Fíli and Kíli after their father dies, in works that assume he died very shortly after (or even before) Kíli's birth.
  • Tough Love - A common theme, especially between Dís and Thorin, who are often depicting as being at loggerheads with one another and unwilling to express much affection as adults. Conversely, the family tends to present a much more united front in public.
  • Tragic Heroes - In the movies they're presented as more heroic than in the books, but they still keep dying. We only know for certain that three of them (Dwalin, Thorin Stonehelm, and Gimli) survive to the end of the War of the Ring, though Glóin and Dís could easily have survived as well. Over half of Thorin's generation, and of Gimli's, were recorded as dying in battle.

Relationships

In 2015, these were the most common Durin family entries in the AO3 "relationships" field:

Example Fanworks

Archives and Communities

Fanart

Thorin, Frerin, and Dís

Dís, Her Husband, Fíli, and Kíli

Thorin, Fíli, and Kíli

Cosplay

Fanvids

Fanfiction

References

  1. Though only 249 works were tagged with the freeform Durin Family on AO3 on June 20, 2015, this was a tiny fraction of the works that included them. Gen relationships are significantly undertagged, as are background het relationships. However, out of 19,794 total Hobbit works, 529 were marked Fíli & Kíli, 99 Dwalin & Thorin, 80 Dís & Thorin, 50 Balin & Dwalin, 42 Glóin & Óin, 32 Frerin & Thorin, 23 Dís & Fíli & Kíli & Thorin, 21 Balin & Thorin, 206 Dís/Dís's Husband, 98 Glóin/Glóin's Wife, 34 Thráin/Thráin's Wife, 26 Dís & Frerin & Thorin, 15 http://archiveofourown.org/tags/Thror*s*Canonical%20Wife/works Thrór/Thrór's Wife], 10 Dáin/Dáin's Wife, 9 Fundin/Fundin's Wife, 8 Gróin/Gróin's Wife, 5 Dís/Dís's Wife
  2. Out of 19,794 total Hobbit works on June 20, 2015, 16,055 (81%) included listed at least one named member of the Durin Family in the tags or summary.
  3. Durin family gen, company, spoilers! prompt posted to hobbit_kink on December 24, 2012. At least one other prompt using this phrase was posted later that day.
  4. Happy ending, Durin family prompt posted to hobbit_kink on December 27, 2012.
  5. Durins are not attractive (warning? society standards of beauty), prompt posted to hobbit_kink December 21, 2012.