Beorn and his ancestry are all of the race of Men, though they seem to be a bit wizardly. Definitely not Maiar. Any connection to Beor the old is theoretical.
Beorn and his descendants could change into bears. He is just a human though. I remember reading his line was cursed to be a bear in day and a human in night somewhere. Odd curse however seeing he had no problem being a bear, because his father mastered the controlling the change.
Towards the end of the Hobbit it mentions that in later years Beorn guarded the realm between Greenwood and the Misty Mountains and maintained friendship with those free folk who remained. His sons and sons of sons are mentioned as retaining the Bear shifting ability and that most were good of heart, but some were not so.
Perhaps it was Sauron who created the bear curse, as he did with the werewolves fell bats etc. Perhaps he tried to create a bear type warrior for the dark side or something and it went wrong... or something like that.
I did a lot of research on this but did not glean all that much. I doubt if Sauron had anything to do with it. Luthien and Beren used some sort of aquired knowledge slash magic to turn into creatures in the hunting down of the silmarilion and the taking of it from Sauron, so perhaps Beren had the knowledge passed down to him. In this case he could easily be the only one left of his people, marry someone not specifically of his 'tribe' if you will, but pass to them also the knowledge or magic of becoming a skin changer.I simply do not know and perhaps the professor did not want us to delve deeply into this?
True Lee Lee. Elves powers of transformation and various arts is wisely not delved into too far by JRRT. My favorite use of it is Luthien's hair growth and sleeping spell. Very original and interesting. Back to Beorn though. He seems to have some form of power over animals as well re his various animal friend which serve him, perhaps also his huge size... Another Tolkien mystery for us to ponder...
Actually, of all Tolkien's elves, Luthien is the best realized - including the application of her "powers". Luthien and Beren would make a fine film with the right Director and Writer/s (that is, NOT Peter Jackson and co).
Yes, however as Luthien was half Maia she probably inherited some extra power from her wonderful Mother.
I agree Brego, Luthiens being part Maia made for quite a difference in my opinion..they would have had powers that even the highest elves probably would not have.
Ye Lee Lee. I think my fav moment in the Sil is the heartbreaking section where Hurin confronts Melian and Thingol in Menegroth where he throws the Nauglamir at Thingol's feet and accuses him of betraying his family. He then looks into Melian's eyes and Morgoth's spell seems to break, opening his eyes to reality and truth after many years of frozen thralldom in Thangorodrim. Melian's power is showcased here and it is truly heartbreaking. I think its a good axample of how the Good and Wise use there power sparingly in Middle Earth whereas the Dark and Evil seem to relentlessly overuse their power in a totally unrestrained manner.
He then looks into Melian's eyes and Morgoth's spell seems to break, opening his eyes to reality and truth after many years of frozen thralldom in Thangorodrim. Melian's power is showcased here and it is truly heartbreaking.
Incidentally, Christopher Tolkien revealed that Hurin represented as being at last free from the delusions inspired by Morgoth in his encounter with Melian in Menegroth was due to invented text. Part of Melian's dialog here actually comes from an introductory text of The Wanderings of Hurin, but it is there narration not character dialog.
Actually there are a few things in The Ruin of Doriath that are the invention of Christopher Tolkien and Guy Kay. The problem here was: Tolkien himself had last written this section of the tale in the Qenta of 1930, and he never really got around to a true rewrite later -- and Christopher Tolkien saw problems that, at the time he was putting together The Silmarillion anyway, he felt could best be handled by invention.
Christopher Tolkien later came to regret some of his handling of this chapter -- and obviously no one would have known, but for Christopher Tolkien himself.
Extremely interesting and heart paining Brego. Honestly sometimes I felt too sick at heart to even weep at some of the stuff written. It sometimes made me think of the hopelessness of the situation in that animated cartoon Ants . There is a scene when, following a battle, one of the ants is checking to see how others were. He sees a fellow soldier ant who has been ripped in two and all that is living still is the head. The fallen ant says to him to tell him the truth, how bad is it, meaning his injuries. How do you answer that and the despair that is there for both sufferer and companion.
That is very informative and interesting.I dont remember anything about Christophers treatment of the fragments concerning this. How dreadful, utterly dreadful to find he regretted some of it. I wonder, for future copies could he not make or his son Adam make necessary corrections, I mean his father did that continually over the years, always correcting this or that. I would not like to see Christopher die regretting something he did for his father.
Lee Lee I know that scene from Ants heart wrenching...... Re CT editing the Sil. I dont think he should regret anything except that the Sil is not long enough. I for one as mentioned think the Hurin scene is one of the most well formed, coming full circle to show the true Evil of Melkor. Ive read all of the HOME and think that CT had a mountainous job even considering editing his Fathers grand works. Good on him, and I suppose looking back there are things he would change, as would all of us.
Ants cut in half often linger for quite some time, yes, but they are still just ants. If it was a human, though, that would be a different thing altogether. And what do ants have to do with Beorn? I'm totally lost. .
I sometimes spray ants with insect surface spray, Otherwise they become a real nuisance in the kitchen. I guess I should show some remorse, but I don't. I guess I'm just a pragmatist. Is what you're saying anything to do with Buddhism? Or Hinduism. I think some Hindus believe we get reincarnated in another form, maybe as animals or insects.
Yes however we are using it as an anti war metaphor. Something closley related to JRRTs heart. Nothing against ridding your home of insects. LOL
Even taking into account that we might be able to imagine ants talking to one another (in their own language but translated into English for the movie goer to comprehend), I don't think they'd be voicing any anti-war sentiments. Any sentiment among ants would surely be militaristic not pacific. More properly, the worker ant would be terrified that an enemy race (of ants) was on his doorstep, while being very proud of the way his heroic friend died, fighting for a just cause. Thinking of it that way, the metaphor you mention - that's if you're interpretation is correct - is surely ill placed. I might be wrong, but it would seem that way.
Have you seen the movie which Lee Lee and I were speaking of? If not how would you know if the scene we are talking about is a metaphor regarding anti war or not? Its actually very touching and reminds me of the aftermath of the siege on Palenor. Bodies everywhere, hacked to peices and more over simply soldiers (whether ants or no) who belong to families, wives, children, a waste.
I think I have seen the movie. I sat with my young children watching it I think, but it was a long time ago. My children are grown up now. That's the one Woody Allen did voices for wasn't it? Ants don't operate as families as such. They are a colony. I guess they would all be brothers and sisters with the one Mother, though, but how far can you stretch that paradigm? Ant "culture" so to speak would be nothing like human culture. So to compare how ants mourn (they don't btw) with human's doing so is kind of dumb. It's all kind of dumb. I thought Antz was a comic movie anyway? A good film for children.
I am close to figuring it out it was either Iluvatar or Aule created him during the creation of the Misty Mountains, because of the quote in the Hobbit: Chapter 7 Pg 116, middle of page...
"... I once saw him sitting all alone on the top of the Carrock at night watching the moon sinking towards the Misty Mountains, and I heard him growl in the tongue of bears: 'The day will come when they will perish and I shall go back!' That is why I believe he once came from the mountains himself. " -Gandalf the Grey
Thanks Fornad. I was having trouble nutting out why Brego and leelee were connecting Beorn with an ant. Your exposition clarifies things a bit for me. Though I still don't know how Beorn's situation made Brego and leelee think of Antz and an anti-war metaphor (?). I'm sure they had good reason, but I just didn't (and still don't) make their connection.
As to Beorn, I always assumed he was a shape shifter who once lived somewhere in the Misty Mountains and that he and his people were forced out by wargs and goblins. I also assumed Beorn was like the stone trolls. Just creatures of Middle Earth. I guess Dain is right, Beorn's race was made by Illuvatar - like all Middle Earth creatures. Pretty straight forward stuff. But Dain, you seem to be hinting at something more specific and important. Are you suggesting Beorn is a Bombadil type creature? I've never contemplated that idea.
Kind of... like one last guardian for the Shire on the other side of the mountains. Look at where the Beornings dwell, that is a tight squeese for any army going from east to west.
Interesting Dain, Ill have to take a look at this again...
Hell's bells! Even an ant would have trouble getting through such a narrow gap!
Or even the Gap Of Rohan!....
I'm liking the turn of this thread! Tom... Guardian of the Shire, Beorn/Beornings... Guardians of Misty Mountains, and that wisp of an idea about the Rohan Pass...... This might lead somewhere exciting!
I really like Beorn and think that he is quite an interesting subject. The professor made up the characters for us to read about, so why can we not delve into them?
I must join in the speculations on Beorn. Maybe the shapeshifting came from castoff magic from the days of Sauron The Necromancer. Or maybe because of it. Who knows the mind of Illuvator or even the Valar? They were always good at trying to keep things even with the Shadow(ie the Istari). Also maybe Beorn as a warder is a possibility. And maybe akin to Bombadil. It would have a recurrent theme of Tolkien's: moody brothers at odds. And i could go on. . .
I think probably one of Beorn's ancestors was high born and married a man or woman of Gondor or something like that and the issue had the ability to shapeshift and it was passed on. I doubt if Illuvatar made a race of shapeshifters, it is not mentioned anywhere and even the making of the dwarves without Him and their history is mentioned and so that is what I think. No one could create except Illuvatar, the dwarves even were just part of their maker in thought feeling and so on.
I have to say I am a trifle worried over the Beorn that Peter Jackson is making, I will be so disappointed if he is not just as the professor made him.
You are probably correct Leelee. I must correct myself and say that I do not think any castoff magic from Sauron as Necromancer could be anything but evil. Even though Beorn was moody, I feel that there was no evil intent in him.
On another note, could I get some suggestions for an illustrated version of The Hobbit? I ask because I want to read it to my little ones before the movie comes out. They are 5 and 3 so I will need visual aids to keep them interested. I am hoping they will fall in love with MiddleEarth like their Daddy did!
I only know of The Hobbit or There and Back Again with illustrations by Michael Hague. But I would inspect them alone without the children and be very very careful of letting them see things that could disturb down the road and give them fears they would not have if older. I feel I can say this as I worked with wounded children for about five years and gained a lot of insight to their true feelings when not in the presence of peers or adults that could make them feel ashamed of their true feelings.
My theory is that Beorn is a decendant of a maia and a man.