Message Board | Rules

Thread: Beorn

Bottom of Page    Message Board > The Hobbit > Beorn   << [1] [2]
Trust me, you don't need to be married... and if you can have human-elf hybrids, surely you can have Human-Beorn hybrids? Which just leaves the rather unsavoury question of how come he is half-bear half-man? :o
So I say he's the first of his kind!

but then...where'd he come from? Did he just sort of...happen? Or was he made by one of the Valar or whatever like the Elves and Dwarves?
And in the book there's also the mentioning of the "Beornings". So they are a family or what? I'm lost now... Smile Smilie
The Beornings were the men who lived between the Misty mountains and Mirkwood under the leadership of Beorn and his descendants.

Hey, in my ROTK index, it sites II, 37 as a reference to Beornings as well as I, 276, etc. My Ballantine paperback edition (purple cover with Legolas and Gimli) of TTT doesn't make mention to Beornings on Page 37. Does anyone else have the correct information in a different edition?

Ah, In my red leatherette bound trilogy, is says II, 33 which is comparable to page 39 in the Ballantine edition, so the 37 was an error that got lost when they added/subtracted pages between editions. Anyway, there it calls them the 'Beornings of the Wood' which means they must have also populated the central Mirkwood as well, which was why they were able to keep the road clear between Dale and Rivendell as Gimli tells us on I, 276.
Oh, so the Beornings were just ordinary men under the "command" of Beorn? They were his followers, so to speak? But had we yet solved the mystery of where Beorn got his son from? :P
Beorn's son(s) were brought by the stork or were found under a shingle, or heaven forbid, maybe even came in the olde fashioned way, in the doctors' bag. :o
You'd think she'd know all this stuff by her age wouldn't you?
Hi Courtman and welcome. If you are interested in writing at all, would you care to join the Writer's Guild?

I am inclined to agree that Beorn must have had maiar blood to give him his powers. In ME, the only people capable of altering their appearance or taking a chosen form were Maia.

However, he does appear to have been mortal. He must have been part human then or mostly human. Such unions are not unheard of, considering Thingol and Melian.
Welcome to the foum, Courtman14. Smile Smilie

You are probably right about Beorn being one of the maiar or something similar; however, I don't think he was so long living, but will keep an open mind and see what you come up with.

You know, I thought that too for a long while, but then I met a Plastic Squirrel, and my whole theory turned out to be inadequate. Very Big Grin Smilie

[Edited on 21/4/2002 by TomBombadillo]
Hi Courtman

Beyond the Hobbit, Tolkien doesn't mention Beorn very much directly.
In FoTR, Gimli mentions that Grimbeorn the Old has succeeded his father as chieftain of the Beornings, suggesting to me that Beorn has died. His name also implies that Grimbeorn himself is rather old, and therefore most likely not immortal.
In the TT, Aragorn describes the Rohirrim as having kinship with the Bardings of Dale and with the Beornings of the Wood, suggesting all three groups are of Northman stock.
Saying that, however, it seems that Beorn (and maybe his son) were unique among the Beornings in their ability to assume bear form. If the entire race had the ability, I'm sure there would be more mention of them from the dwarves and others passing through that area.
Tolkien gives the impression that the Beornings are very rustic, isolated people. Middle Earth is a very magical place, in which I imagine many earth spirits were still residing from the days of Yavanna and Orome. Although I don't think that Beorn was a pure blooded Maiar spirit himself, I think you are quite correct in believing he did have some Maian blood pumping through his veins. It would be difficult to explain his extraordinary powers if it were not so.

In reference to the war you mentioned in his own lands, for generations the Beornings had been keeping the passes through the Misty Mountains and the lands around Carrack free from orcs. Later in the war, Sauron's minions in Dol Guldur did indeed fight major battles in this area. The Beornings were involved in this war along with the woodelves of northern Mirkwood, Celeborn's forces from Lorien, the men of Dale and the Dwarves from the Lonely Mountain and the Iron Hills.
Most of your theories are really... Wink Smilie
Now that's what I call being mean... :P And I thought I could be nasty sometimes... Wink Smilie
Im new to this forum but from reading your posts, i will tell you what i think, as it is realvent to the conversation.
I have always held that Beorn was a Maiar, a demi-god like Gandalf or old Tom, and he was mentioned in the lotr, i recall that at some early point in the lotr (probably in the fellowship) some one suggested that Beorn be asked to help with the assult upon Mordor. The reply form one of the wise be it Gandalf or Elrond was that he was fighting his own war in his lands, and it was implied that his war was of almost equal proportions, and he was fighting it single handedly, hunting orcs and the like. So he was alive in the lotr. i will look for the passage. And also if he was indeed a man, he could have been of the half elven which would make him live longer and men can also become sorcerors. but i hold that he was a Maiar, propbaly a hunter of Orome or an Istari.
You shall never beat the master at his own game young Tommy! *laugh* only joking anyway. Smile Smilie
Beorn was a skinchanger who lived an idylic country life by day and who was a bear by night. He was a sucker for a good story and once he took a little nibble, was good for hook line and sinker.
Another smooth hint of yours, Grondy? Animated Wink Smilie
I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Beornings were descended from the Edain or their close kin and that they had originally come from the area between the northern edge of Mirkwood and the Southern edge of the Grey Mountains.
At the beginning of the 4th age, they occupied the central portion of Eryn Lasgalen (the cleansed Mirkwood), between the Woodland Realm and Celeborn's East Lorien.
From what I understood, most of the Beornings were normal men, though often their chieftains were beserkers or occasionally shapeshifters. I always assumed that Beorn's son, Grimbeorn the Old, was a shapeshifter like his father.
yes i would like to be a part of the writeres guild. I think you all have excellent arguments and i need to do more research myself, also in the similirion tolkien makes it very clear that the first men were largly unknown to both Morgoth and the Valar, so who knows what could have taken place in the eastern lands durring the hayday of the noldor
Beorn did have some relatives. It talks about them brefliy in LOTR. Im not to sure what chapter it is in. It says that his relatives have cleard the area around the River Anduin and the Carrock of Wargs and orcs. They made it safe to travel there but you had to pay a high price to cross there. they also made good honey butter or something of that sort. I think Gandalf is the one telling this.
It was Gimli, I think, at the council of Elrond, telling Frodo about this. It tells us about Grimbeorn, son of Beorn, and his "relatives" the Beornings who indeed cleared the area of Orcs. But that's all we know, I guess. All the rest is guessing and inventing... Big Smile Smilie
Or Gimli's dad, wozname, er, Gl’in, who did the talking I believe.
Oops, sorry, twas Gloin. I'm sure I meant to say that. Disturbed Smilie
'Sall right, just don't let it happen again! Ha Ha Ha Smilie
Can't make any lasting promises! Ha Ha Ha Smilie
I s'pose he had a human girlfriend for the daytime, and went out and humped bears at night! And some of the DNA got through to create slightly weaker versions of himself. Nice work if you can get it.
ROFL - Love it Pman Orc With Thumbs Up Smilie
I think he just became the head of the human settlers between the Misty Mountains and Mirkwood and their decendents took the name Beornings. I don't think he ever had any children, let alone any skin-changing ones.

I agree with this Grondmaster. Old European tribes often took the names of their leaders, for instance the people of the Danish island Zealand called themselves the Scyldings after their (legendary?) leader Scyld Scefing in Beowulf.
I like the character of Beorn. I think he adds a more 'earthy' feel to The Hobbit, sort of like Tom Bombadil in LotR.
Hullo, sorry if someone else already stated this, but i just dont have the time to go through 3 pages to see!!

I think he just became the head of the human settlers between the Misty Mountains and Mirkwood and their decendents took the name Beornings. I don't think he ever had any children, let alone any skin-changing ones.

One page 301 of my FotR, in "Many Meetings", Frodo is talking to Gloin, who tells him, "Grimbeorn, son of Beorn, was now the lord of many sturdy men, and to their land between the Mountians and Mirkwood neither orc nor wolf dared to go..." It goes on to talk about the Beornings. I took this to mean that they were his children, not just decendents of people he had ruled, but others may interpret it differently... Big Smile Smilie
Okay, Beorn seems to have found a wife or else he adopted a son who became the leader of the men in that area of Middle-earth.
ok, i have a very bad memory, can someone enlighten me?
Lotr is SOOOOOO much better it's unbelievable. And Beorn ain't that cuddly, he could take your head off with one swipe!

No he IS cuddly.....see he keeps orc heads on spears outside his house to invite orcs to have a nice little wrestle with him Big Laugh Smilie
wouldn’t you agree Plastic?

No he IS cuddly.....see he keeps orc heads on spears outside his house to invite orcs to have a nice little wrestle with him Big Laugh Smilie
wouldn’t you agree Plastic?

Heh! Yeah, maybe you're right.....
OK, first up... looks like Ian Botham? You gotta be kidding! Big Laugh Smilie Exploding Head Smilie Botham ha! hes way too skinny. Think more Brian Blessed ar a less evil looking Lobo perhaps. I know its open to personal opinion but I cant see Ian Botham other than perhaps in the beard......
As fpor the kids debate...yeah he had kids, it says so.
I wonder if its possible that his Dad (or Mum) went out into the wilds and had a nice cup of tea with a bear. A bear not entirely dissimilar to , say, the Mearas or that sparrow in the Hobbit (was it a sparrow?) something of an older race, perhaps imbibed with the spirit of the Maiar.
Just think... If Boromir played tennis with Shadowfax we might have a few centaurs running around to this day.........or perhaps we do...look at Mr Ed Super Wow Smilie Chicken Smilie Cow Sleeping Smilie Wiggle Smilie
Oooooh! An afterthought! Frodo could have his wicked way with the old sparrow and we'd have hobbit harpies....nice!
Preservation of the species man, Smoke Smilie

Moderator SmilieWatch the language please Cirdan, this is a family siteModerator Smilie

[Edited on 8/4/2003 by PlasticSquirrel]
In the 'Letters' book page 178 it says of Beorn:

Beorn is dead; see vol........He appeared in The Hobbit. It was then the year Third Age 2940(Shire Reckoning 1340)
'Though a skin-changer and no doubt a bit of a magician, BEORN WAS A MAN.'

Etymology: (excerpt from The Thain)
Beorn is an Old English word meaning "man, warrior." It originally meant "bear" and was derived from the word b’o meaning "bee" in reference to a bear's love of honey.

The name Beorn is also related to the the Old Norse word bjorn meaning "bear." Bjorn - or Bjarni - was a man in the Norse legend "The Saga of Hrolf Kraki" who was cursed to become a bear by day and man by night. Bjorn's son Bothvarr Bjarki was able to send a bear-form into battle. Bjarki means "little bear."
The name references just keep coming up. I never knew the name "Beorn" has its' root in the Old Norse though I shouldn't be surprised. By the way, of all the homes encountered in the canon, I like Beorn's house the best. I think it is patterned after a Viking hall. That fits with the Old Norse name. Talk about weaving a complex tapestry of words and myth!

I don't have a copy of the hobbit with me in fact I'm on vacation but I seem to recall gandalf saying he was a skin-changer. Are there more than one?

Grimbeorn, Beorn's son was also a skin changer and it says that for many generations the descendants of Beorn were also skin changer. It does not say that just group of people took on the name of Beorn and so were Beornings, it says his 'descendant'.


I’m really looking forward the Beorn character in the next Hobbit movie(s). I think there is an opportunity for PJ to focus on this part of the book and make it vary Cool. Maybe not have ponies and large dogs as servants but a huge guy that turns into a Bear is good fun for a movie; i also love his house. 

Can't wait to see his house. Agreed dont know about the servent animals. Would look abit silly on film. Hope to see some big honey bees and hives tho.

I also look forward to see how PJ honour Tolkien's work in the next film .Beorn his caracter

  << [1] [2]