Ur Family

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Gen Relationship
Relationship: Ur Family
Alternative name(s): Bifur & Bofur & Bombur, Ur Brothers, Brothers Ur (not entirely accurate, as Bifur is a cousin to the other 2)
Fandom: The Hobbit
Type: Gen family (brothers/cousins)
Canonical?: Yes
Prevalence: Low to Medium[1]
Archives:
See also: Ri Family, Durin Family
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Ur Family is the family relationship between Bifur, Bofur, and Bombur, all dwarves of Thorin's Company in the The Hobbit. The name "Ur Family" was invented by fandom, who had no simple way to refer to the three dwarves as a group, since Tolkien didn't given his dwarves family names.

The name was in regular use by March, 2013.[2][3][4] Some early uses include an apostrophe, 'Ur Brothers, showing the root of the name comes from treating the last syllable as a family suffix.[5]

Canon

In the book, only Bombur has significant lines and mentions in this group. Bifur and Bofur are effectively silent, so little interaction is shown between the three. They do all play the same instruments, and Bifur and Bofur look after Bombur after he falls in the river. They are not of the line of Durin, though their family lineage is unclear.

In the movie, Bifur and Bofur gain considerably more character development, and the three are shown to be working class dwarves with no particular ties to Erebor. They are extremely close-knit and look out for each other despite Bofur and Bombur's happy-go-lucky attitudes.

Bofur is someone who, along with Bombur, his brother, and Bifur, his cousin, is not quite as obsessed with regaining Erebor as the others. They’re a bit rougher – I think we just went along for the craic. [...]

[T]hey are miners, Bifur, Bofur and Bombur, so their weaponry is more crude, and their fighting is crude as well. [...]

Bofur also has a very strong bond with Bombur, because he’s often the slowest and Bofur often has to protect him. Bofur and Bombur are both very protective of Bifur, who can only speak in dwarvish. [...]

[Interviewer:] "Bifur is something of a fruitcake, isn’t he?"

Totally unhinged, we are very protective of him too. ~James Nesbitt[6]

In the movies, the family was expanded by having Bombur be married with 14 children.[7] These children frequently appear in later fanworks that heavily feature the Ur Family in Ered Luin or Erebor, though they're not as frequently referenced in early fanworks in the fandom (when fans may not have known this intention, since it didn't make it into the movie script).

Fandom Tropes

  • Broadbeam - Neither book nor movies give these dwarves a clan name. Based on the movie interpretation that they're descendants of dwarves who escaped Moria and the book canon that survivors of Belegost and Nogrod fled to Moria at the end of the First Age, many fans make the family's clan Broadbeam.
  • Commoners - Unlike about half the Company, the Ur Family are commoners in the movie. They are often used in fanworks to illustrate the poverty and social struggles of common dwarves in Ered Luin, along with the Ri Family.
  • Disability - Bifur's injury is often a major element in pre-quest works. He is frequently shown speaking Iglishmêk with his cousins.

Bombur's Children

Bombur's children are a regular trope in fandom, often appearing in minor roles in works set before or after the quest.

  • Coats & Customs had Bombur's daughter marrying a king
  • Courting by Contract by VolceVoice includes some of Bombur's children in prominent supporting roles, as well as all 3 Ur brothers

Example Fanworks

Archives and Communities

Fanart

Gifsets

Fanfiction

References

  1. As a gen relationship, it's very difficult to determine the prevalence of this family based on relationship tagging. The Ur family is represented by 4 gen relationship tags on AO3: Bifur & Bofur (first AO3 work around June 22, 2013, about 2 works by December 15, 2013, about 4 works by December 15, 2014), Bofur & Bombur (first AO3 work around March 23, 2013, about 9 works by December 15, 2013, about 18 works by December 15, 2014), Bifur & Bombur (first AO3 work around February 8, 2014, about 2 works by December 15, 2014), and Bifur & Bofur & Bombur (first AO3 work around January 14, 2013, about 17 works by December 15, 2013, about 36 works by December 15, 2014)
  2. On February 25, 2013, hobbit_kink prompt King Thorin's Court Holds a Royal Function? (Bilbo/Bofur, Dwalin/Ori, Fili/Kili, or gen) included the bonus "- nobody having any idea who the Ur Family is, because they're miners from Ered Luin, and not displaced Erebor dwarves"
  3. On March 10, 2013, hobbit_kink prompt Gen, the Ur Family Gains Thorin's Respect
  4. Used March 15, 2013, hobbit_kink prompt, GEN, The Ur Family "5 times cousin Bifur took care of young!Bofur and baby!Bombur, and the time they took care of him."
  5. 'ur brothers, Fili, Kili taking care, prompt posted to hobbit_kink on March 15, 2013.
  6. The Hobbit Interviews: James Nesbitt On Bofur, Empire Magazine. Interviewed by Ian Nathan.
  7. "Incidentally, only two of the dwarves have children. Glóin, who has Gimli. And Bombur, who has 14. We decided that for dwarf women Bombur is the most sexy!" ~Phillippa Boyens The Deconstruction of Smaug article in Empire Magazine, written by Nick de Semlyan.