Balin’s gentle chastisement of Bilbo around Elrond’s supper table - “Not really a sword is it, more of a letter opener” - is both funny and a little touching, highlighting the extent to which Bilbo is out of his depth, and offering the Hobbit a moment of nervous reflection.
But any scene, like this one, that gives Balin a moment to shine is fine by us.
Ken Stott’s white-haired Dwarf, bubbles with twinkly, avuncular charm.
Never mind that his moustache-less beard lends him the look of a garden gnome, he makes a considerable impact, and is one member of the Company we can’t wait to spend more time with.
SPOILER: And Stott’s characterisation, adds a new dimension to the scene in Fellowship, when Gimli chances upon Balin’s tomb in the Mines of Moria.