Gimli was the son of Gloin (one of the dwarves who
accompanied Bilbo on his journey) and cousin of Balin (who became lord
of Moria), all of whom were descendants of the Dwarf lord Durin the
Deathless. Gimli was named Elf-friend after his loyal ties with Legolas
during and after their travels with the Fellowship and his reverence
towards the Lady Galadriel.
Gimli was present at the council of Elrond in
Rivendell and became one of the nine walkers to accompany Frodo Baggins
in the Fellowship of the Ring, representing the dwarves. He traveled
with the Fellowship for some time until they were separated at Amon Hen
after being attacked by a mixed group of orcs (some of which were the
goblin men of Saruman). Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli then set out to
rescue Merry and Pippin from their captors.
Gimli was also present at the Battle of Helms Deep,
the Battle of the Pellenor Fields and at the Black Gate. At the
Pellenor he was one of the people to get off the Corsairs' Black Ships
following Aragorn and along with his friend Legolas, with them some of
the Rangers of the north (Dunedain) and the twin sons of Elrond,
Elladan and Elrohir.
After the War of the Ring, Legolas and Gimli honored
promises previously made to each other and together visited the Forest
of Fangorn and the Glittering Caves, the Caverns of Helms Deep.
Gimli took some of his brethren from Erebor and
established a dwarven hold in the caves and Legolas established a wood
elf settlement in Ithilien. Gimli’s people repaired the walls of Helm's
Deep and then journeyed to Minas Tirith to repair the city and the gate
(which was re-forged out of mithril and steel).
In the year 1541 Legolas built a grey ship and
sailed down the River Anduin with Gimli to the Undying Lands over the
sea. It is said that they had many adventures before and after reaching
the Undying lands, but none of them have been specifically recorded.
References: LOTR-1, 2 and 3-Appendix B.