Shortly after the War of the Rings, Gimli returned to Erebor. He had learned that Dain Ironfoot and King Brand of Dale were killed in the battle of Erebor when a troop of Orcs came and attacked Erebor and Dale. Now he was facing his cousin Thorin Stonehelm and many other dwarves in the throne room; he was asked to tell his story about his journey to help a Hobbit named Frodo Baggins destroy the One Ring.
But the story Gimli told wasn't a happy one.
Gloin stared at him, saying, "What is wrong, Gimli? You did succeed in your goal, didn't you?"
"About that," said Gimli. He shifted nervously as he saw Dwalin, Dori, Nori, Bifur, Bofur, and Bombur standing in the front. They and Gloin were the last remaining members of Thorin's company. He knew why they all came.
"It's about what happened in Moria," Gimli said.
At that point, everyone in the room stared at him. They all knew that Balin had organized a colony in Moria (which was once a dwarven kingdom until a balrog killed their leader and chased the people out); Balin's colony had not been heard from in many years. No one knew what happened to the group of dwarves that went with Balin to Moria; among them were Ori and Oin, who were also a part of Thorin's company.
"So, what happened in Moria?" said a random dwarf.
Gimli felt tears come to his eyes as he said, "As we walked in the mines of Moria, I noticed that there was a huge tomb in Hall 21. As I approached the tomb, I realized that something was wrong..."
"It was Balin's tomb, wasn't it?" said another dwarf.
"Yes," said Gimli as tears ran down his face. "Him, Ori, and Oin..."
At this, everyone in the room began crying. They had no idea that after all the years of speculation, their relatives and friends in Moria were dead. Gandalf had already sent the colony's records to Thorin to read, but to know that Balin and his people were gone forever was too much.
Gloin wept, saying, "How could this have happened? That foolish brother of mine never should have gone to that accursed place to begin with!"
At the same time, Dwalin pounded his fists against a pole, shouting, "Balin, you fool! How could you have chosen to return to that horrible place? Our father died there, or have you forgotten?"
Dori and Nori hugged each other and cried, both of them thinking about poor Ori, who never should have gone on that trip to Moria. "Why didn't you stay here, or returned to the Blue Mountains?" Nori wept.
Bifur, Bofur, and Bombur also wept for the memories of the friends they had lost.
Gimli wept, wondering why this tragedy had to happen. Sure he did think about his uncles when he continued on his journey and fought in the wars, but he never had much time to grieve for their deaths. Until now.
Legolas came to him, saying, "I know how much they meant to you, Gimli. But you must not drown in your grief."
"What should I do?" said Gimli. "Their graves are disturbed and Orcs are still living there..."
"Let's leave that for tomorrow," said Legolas. "For now, let us honor their memories."
Gimli nodded knowing that no matter what happened next, he would never forget the deaths of Balin, Ori, and Oin. The Orcs that still lived in Moria would pay in blood for the deaths of the sons of Durin.