Balin was son of Fundin, brother to Dwalin, friend of Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, and many other prominent characters of the Middle-earth. He was one of fourteen who took off from Bag End on the Quest of Erebor, lead by Thorin Oakenshield.
Balin left Erebor on TA 2989 and made for Moria (Book of Mazarbul). However, this valiant and foolish attempt ended when Orcs invaded the Dwarf-strongholds and took all their outposts. Balin went alone into Dimrill Dale to look upon the Mirrormere in TA 2294, where he was slain by an orc archer. Balin's company all perished soon after he died, and his tomb now lies in the Chamber of Mazarbul, a sad reminder of the terrible shadows and evil breeding in Moria.
New Dwarf charades briefly meet Balin, who is talking to Dwalin as they prepare to leave for the Lonely Mountain, in the dwarf introduction instance.