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Thread: Beorn???

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I have always been a little curious about Beorn...Where did he come from? What exactly is he? Is he some sort of Maiar, that chose a quieter life and uses his power now to change into the form of a roaming bear, to protect his little bit of land? Is he some poor being cursed, forbidden to leave his territory, but given a special ability to help him survive? Is he something else entirely, like Tom Bombadil? He has always been a sort of enigma, and I really don't know where to place him in any of the story/time-lines. Where does he fit in?
He's a Man, and a shapeshifter/skin changer. Imo, his shapeshifting is a kind of 'nature magic', so to speak, he learnt himself or perhaps from Radagast.
Vir, I think you are entirely correct. Beorn is a Man who has learned to assume the bear form. Laurelome, Beorn is one of my favorite characters, perhaps because his magic is not so high and far off.
Beorn's affiliance with bears is most probably based on the Norse concept of 'berserkers', i.e. Vikings that turned into bears when they were mad.
Interesting to note the Norse Hrˇlfssaga Kraka, and two characters: Bjorn, who was cursed to be a bear during the day and a man by night, and Bothvar Bjarki, Bjorn's son, who appears in the saga's last battle as a great bear -- noting here that Bothvar's human shape remains (in another place) while the bear fights.

And on 'Berserks': 'they bit their shields and were as strong as bears or boars; they slew men, but neither fire nor iron could hurt them.' Ynglinga Saga, The Berserks of Odin H. R. Ellis Davidson (Gods And Myths of Northern Europe). The 'name' Beorn itself probably inspired Tolkien.
The Beorn of The Hobbit was probably unique in having the skinchanger ability; I doubt if his descendants, the LotR's Beornings, inherited the skinchanger ability. Of course being bearlike or having their predecessor's ability would have made keeping the mountain's High Pass free from Orcs a lot easier.

Here again The Hobbit was a fairy tale written for children, while LotR was a myth tale for written for the more mature. The Hobbits Beorn's specially ability just was; it didn't need to be explained as it might have needed in order to fit into the greater world of the LotR. Of course I'm probably wrong on this. Can anyone offer a better explainatiuon?
The Hobbit did say there were others like Beorn though, or 'it is said' that for many generations the men of his line had the power of taking bear's shape (and some were grim men and bad, but most were in heart like Beorn).

Many many years later the power returned unexpectedly in one of Beorn's line. And this man won five Wimbledon singles titles in a row.
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Bjorn, who was cursed to be a bear during the day and a man by night


That is all I could think of the first time I read the book. I figured it was just something like that- that he was put in just for the fun of it, but I didn't know for sure, and wondered if I was missing anything. It would have been cool if Tolkien had gone further with it, and made other animal skin-changers.
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Many many years later the power returned unexpectedly in one of Beorn's line. And this man won five Wimbledon singles titles in a row.

Ah yes, Pete Sampras? Elf Sticking Tounge Out Smilie
If I remember rightly, that was Bj÷rn Borg from Sweden.
Right. And hopefully Roger Federer will win his fifth in a row this year!

Just a bit of fun with bjorn 'bear'and OE beorn 'man, warrior, chief, prince' but originally meaning 'bear'. Tolkien also imagined an Elvish (Danian) word beorn 'man', at least at the time he was working on Etymologies anyway (see BER-, BES-).
I don't think this is right but i think bern might be radagast :O

just thought id throw tht in

anyone else think its possible

ano he talks about radagast (if it is him) third person but if you just read the whole part with him in it he could b radagast