Dwarf and King Thorin II of Durin’s Folk, b.TA 2746, d. TA 2941. Son of Thráin II. He was the elder brother of Frerin and Dís. He remained unmarried and died without offspring.

Thorin was raised in the dwarf realm of Erebor, which his grandfather Thrór had re-established, under the mountain, returning there with the Arkenstone the glittering symbol of their House. They prospered and had good trade relations with the Men of Dale. But in TA 2770, when Thorin was but a youth, the dragon Smaug in jealous rage, decscended upon the mountain in flame and terror. Thrór and many of his kin escaped, but Smaug gathered the Arkenstone and their other wealth into a hoard within the mountain and lay upon it for a bed. Even the town of Dale was destroyed and Thorin’s family wandered away penniless into the Wild.

Thorin earned the name 'Oakenshield' in TA 2799 during the Battle of Azanulbizar in the War of the Dwarves and Orcs. Thorin marched into battle with a dwarf army, but during the course of the fighting his shield was broken. He cut a great branch from an oak tree with his axe, and used it as both club and shield. Thorin was injured in that battle, but the oak bough gave him his popular name.

After the battle Thorin and his father returned over the Redhorn Pass to Dunland and from thence wandered north with their kin until they settled in the northern Ered Luin beyond the Gulf of Lhun. In TA 2841 Thráin wandered off into the Wild and never returned. Thorin worked on in mine and forge dreaming of restoring the Kingdom.

Thus we read that when Gandalf the Wizard brought to him a key and a map of the Lonely Mountain in TA 2941, Thorin set out on the Quest of Erebor. With him he took 12 of his kin; Dwalin, Balin, Óin, Glóin, Dori, Nori, Ori, Fíli, Kíli, Bifur, Bofur and Bombur, and the reluctant hobbit Bilbo Baggins. The wizard Gandalf accompanied them part of the way.

The tale of that Quest is told in The Hobbit, how Thorin acquired the elf-sword Orcrist, fought Goblins in the Misty Mountains, encountered great spiders in Mirkwood, was imprisoned by the Elvenking, escaped down-river in a barrel, and eventually won back the mountain. Thorin was slain by spears in the Battle of Five Armies and his second-cousin Dain Ironfoot succeeded him as King. Thorin was laid to rest under the mountain, with the Arkenstone on his breast and his sword Orcrist was laid upon his tomb.

Thorin was proud and rather gruff, but colourful. His favoured hood was sky-blue with a silver tassel, and he played the harp with skill. He was particular about his food, favouring red wine, and liked ham and 6 eggs for breakfast, fried and with unbroken yolks. He smoked a pipe and like Gandalf was an expert blower of smoke-rings. Nevertheless he was driven by his duty of revenge and his lust for gold. He wanted to tackle the Necromancer but was warned off by Gandalf. Once on the quest he became more driven, ruthless and self-centred. He threatened to abandon Bombur in the forest, had no sympathy for the plight of the Lake Men, and even threatened to kill Bilbo at one point.

Yet Thorin died a hero’s death, sadder and wiser, blessing Bilbo as “child of the kindly West” and earning his respect.

Note: Additional information from Cirdaneth
Encyclopedia entry originally written by Hathaldir