Beorn???

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laurelome
Posts: 313

Beorn???

Post#1 » Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:45 am

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?

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virumor
Posts: 3567

Beorn???

Post#2 » Tue Feb 06, 2007 2:12 am

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.
Give up the Halfring, she-elf...

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halbard
Posts: 103

Beorn???

Post#3 » Tue Feb 06, 2007 2:07 pm

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.

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virumor
Posts: 3567

Beorn???

Post#4 » Tue Feb 06, 2007 2:30 pm

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.
Give up the Halfring, she-elf...

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galin
Posts: 1369

Beorn???

Post#5 » Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:57 pm

Interesting to note the Norse Hrólfssaga 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.

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grondmaster
Posts: 25451

Beorn???

Post#6 » Tue Feb 06, 2007 5:16 pm

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?
'Share and enjoy'

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galin
Posts: 1369

Beorn???

Post#7 » Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:04 pm

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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laurelome
Posts: 313

Beorn???

Post#8 » Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:02 am

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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virumor
Posts: 3567

Beorn???

Post#9 » Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:45 am

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? :tongueelf:
Give up the Halfring, she-elf...

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grondmaster
Posts: 25451

Beorn???

Post#10 » Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:06 pm

If I remember rightly, that was Björn Borg from Sweden.
'Share and enjoy'

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