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Gimli is a fictional character created by J.R.R Tolkien in his book, Middle-earth legendarium which had also featured and adapted in the movie, The Lord of The Rings. Gimli was the son of Glóin, a dwarf warrior in Middle-earth at the time of the Great Years. Gimli was also selected to represent the Dwarf race in Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Ring.

He is one of the most important characters of the novel who belonged to the House of Durin. He had helped the Ring-bearer, Frodo Baggins and he also takes part in the War of the Ring. He develops a friendship with Legolas, thus overcoming an ancient enmity that prevailed between the Dwarves and the Elves[1]. After Sauron is defeated, he was given lordship over the immense Glittering Caves at Helm’s Deep.


Gimli was born during the exile of the Durin clan in the Blue Mountains, during this time which was a hundred years after the demolition of Dale and Sacking of Erebor. Glóin, who was related to King Náin II, became an essential member of Thorin and Company in a quest to reclaim the Kingdom under the Mountain, he was the father of Gimli. However, Gimli was not allowed to participate because he was considered too young (62 years).

The Dwarves achieved their objective in the quest and emerged successfully. Gimli and his father returned to Erebor. After a few years, in T.A. 3017, Gimli had seen the coming of a messenger of Sauron who had asked and enquired about Bilbo Baggins and the Ring of Power. Gimli then travelled with his father to Rivendell to warn Bilbo and to seek the counsel of Elrond on such matters. He became the ambassador of the race of Dwarves from Erebor.

Character & Personality

Gimli shared the bloodline of the Durin clan. He agreed to help Frodo Baggins and he was determined to destroy the One ring alongside Frodo Baggins Throughout the war that was portrayed, Gimli showed a lot of contempt and anger towards Sauron and his followers and he just wanted to save Boromir. He depicts a grim character but he was an honorable, wise and excellent warrior. He is a bit superstitious when compared to others; he equated the Caradhras as though it was a real and breathing living being. He was left mesmerized after he met elf-lady, Galadriel and he forged a friendship with Legolas, thus ending the very long and harsh enmity between the dwarves and the elves.

Gimli also showed traits of vengeance, such as when he spoke of Moria. He loves and shares a great amount of interest for food and he complimented the members of the Elves very highly and honourably. He also showed a steadfast nature; for instance, especially when he plunged across a stagnant creek in haste so that he could get to Moria.

The Fellowship of The Ring

Among those who attended the Council of Elrond, Gimli was the only young dwarf. Later, he was accredited to become a part of the Fellowship of the Ring. He donned a mail-shirt and usually carried around a broad-bladed axe. He easily stood apart from the rest of the company when he declared that he "needed no map" and he started to name the Misty Mountains almost individually by their Khuzdul names. Gimli had supported Gandalf in almost everything but especially the most on the matter of passing through Moria. His curiosity was influenced by the fate of his cousin, Balin, who went to look around in a quest to find the ancient kingdom of the Longbeards, and not to forget Gimli had quite a vengeful nature. His first dispute with Legolas had occurred way before they reached the Doors of Durin, it was a brief dispute over whose fault it was – was it the Dwarves’ fault or the fault of the Elves’ and due to this, the relationship between the dwarves and the elves had deteriorated. Gandalf tried to quick to intervene here, but not until Lothlórien arrives did they forget this enmity and became good friends.

Gimli proved to be very helpful and he started to explain about the Doors to the other equally curious members of the fellowship of the ring. Gandalf always appreciated Gimli’s skills, and he even allowed for Gimli to walk upfront through the dark tunnels along with him, and even took consultation with him in matters that he thought he was not very sure about which way to take. Probably Gandalf was relying upon and he even tried to tap into Dwarf’s inborn instincts rather than actual knowledge of Moria itself, because in reality, Gimli had never actually been there, personally.

Gimli reacted in a most annoyed and angry way when Sam suggested that Moria was nothing but "holes". He even started to sing for Sam, the ancient Song of Durin. He proved to be useful and helpful to Gandalf along the course of the rest of the dark passage and even helped him during the Battle of the Chamber of Mazarbul to protect Balin’s tomb. In the absence of Gandalf, Gimli showed the others the way to cross the Bridge of Khazad-dûm.

He also showed a great array of emotions when they had almost reached Kheled-zâram, and took Frodo alone with him to see it, but Sam had followed secretly as well. This shows his affection towards Frodo, though it might have been that he accompanied Frodo because he was the most important of the company. Despite his helpfulness, at Lothlórien he became and posed the greatest obstacle to the Company when he alone was supposed to be blindfolded and of all the others showed their distaste towards the decision because they did not want him to suffer alone. It was later decided and agreed upon mutually by the other members of the Fellowship of the Ring, that they too would accompany Gimli.

Gimli throughout his depiction and portrayal is best remembered for the work he did in LothlĂłrien[2]. He had also developed a soft spot for Galadriel and ended his enmity with the Elves. Galadriel showed her sympathies towards Gimli and because of this, Gimli was deeply moved. He then attempted to compliment her, being able to see her love and understanding. When the time to depart had arrived, Gimli just asked for a lone strand of hair from Galadriel. Galadriel gifted him three strands of hair instead along with a blessing. Gimli after receiving the strands of hair was famously called Gimli the "Lockbearer". He was sad and wept openly when he had to leave LothlĂłrien. He then thought that the light even more dangerous than the darkness he had feared.

After the Fellowship had departed from Lothlórien, Gimli developed a good friendship with Legolas the Elf, this friendship was the result of Galadriel’s kindness. He gained popularity among all the Dwarves of the Third Age due to this.[3]

The Three Hunters

After the Breaking of the Fellowship, Gimli and Legolas had defeated and slaughter many orcs. For the most part of the journey, he only aimed to serve as a commentator and mostly left the responsibility to make decisions to Aragorn. He was quite hostile to Rohirrim, after Éomer’s harsh comments about Galadriel. Soon after the Three Hunters borrowed horses, Gimli and Éomer went on their respective paths peacefully.

Gimli scanned the Fangorn Forest frantically to search for any evidence of Merry and Pippin. Gimli even killed an old man who he thought as Saruman.

War of The Ring

In the Battle of the Hornburg, Gimli had rescued and also saved Éomer’s life. When the battle was going on Gimli was among those that had forced their way into the Glittering Caves. He was intrigued by how magnificent the caverns were. His battle score for kills was recorded as forty-two. He declared that he was very much indebted to Pippin for lending him his spare pipe.

Soon the fellowship started showing signs of distress and began to fragment quickly. Gimli soon decided that he will accompany Aragorn, Legolas, sons of Elrond, and the DĂşnedain Rangers. He showed a great deal of hesitation at the Dark Door and what put him down was the thought of being outwitted by an Elf underground. He had generously lent his participation in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Gimli also fought in the Battle of the Morannon where he found Pippin bruised but still breathing among the pile of dead lying on the hill. After this, he journeyed to the Field of Cormallen and was reunited with his friends.

After The War of The Ring

Soon after the war was over, Gimli took most of Durin's folk south to create a new Dwarf world at Aglarond. He soon became a Lord of caves whose magnificence astounded him, the Glittering Caves. The Dwarves then rebuilt the ruined gate of Minas Tirith, replacing it with a new one that was made of mithril and steel.

The Red Book of Westmarch indicated that soon after Aragorn's death in Fourth Age 120, Gimli was around two hundred and sixty-two years old, which is quite old for a Dwarf and he was to set sail with Legolas into the West. This made him the first dwarf to have travelled to the Undying Lands.[4]

Concept & Creation

In Tolkien's book The Tale of TinĂşviel, Gimli made its first appearance. It is located in the second version of The Book of Lost Tales. Here, the name Gimli is given to an elf. This elf that was shown was a prisoner instead. Also, it is mentioned that this elf is supposed to be pretty old. Initially in The Lord of the Rings, as was told in The Return of the Shadow, Gimli's character was first supposed to be named Frar, then Burin, and he was supposed to be the son of Balin.


In 1955, the part of Gimli was read and dubbed by Eric Lugg in the movie The Lord of the Rings that was a 1955 radio series. In 1978, Gimli was shown to be as tall as Aragorn and Legolas and not as a dwarf, the voice was provided by David Buck in the movie The Lord of the Rings (1978 film). In 1979, the voice of Gimli was dubbed by Gail Chugg in The Lord of the Rings (1979 radio series). In 1980, the characters of Gimli and Legolas was not present, its central character was Aragorn (1980 film). In 1981, Gimli was played by Douglas Livingstone (1981 radio series). In 2001, John Rhys-Davies played and had dubbed Gimli’s voice in the movie The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings). In 2002, Gimli was portrayed in a video game of the same franchise of the movie but then in 2002, Gimli’s character was portrayed in the movie (The Lord of the Rings- The Two) that was subjected to various criticisms from the audience.

In 2003, Gimli’s character was once more portrayed as quite controversial in the movie of The Lord of the Rings- The Return of the King. In 2003, another video game was launched on the same which portrayed the character of Gimli. In 2003, in Sierra’s War of the Ring, Gimli’s voice was given by Bob Papenbrook. In 2004, Gimli’s character was also portrayed in yet another part movie of the Lord of the Rings known as The Battle for Middle-Earth. In 2006, Gimli was shown as a character that was quite heroic in nature in The Battle for Middle-Earth part two. In 2007, The Lord of the Rings Online had the character of Gimli. Gimli became a playable hero in the Lord of the Rings: Conquest. He was also shown in 2011, The Lord of the Rings: War in the North and in 2013, in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.


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Biographical info

Other Names (a.k.a)
Lockbearer, Elf Friend
Lord of The Glittering Caves
TA 2879
FO 120

Physical information