The Lord of the Rings: 7 secrets of Beorn

Beorn is a shapeshifting being who appears in the book Bilbo the Hobbit by Tolkien. This ultra-charismatic and grumpy character who won over the public is a sort of Wolverine from Middle-earth. A lone warrior with a troubled past, gifted with bestial strength and rage. From his place in Tolkien’s writings to his role in Peter Jackson’s films, here we return to 7 facts that you may not have known about Beorn.

#7 Beorn’s appearances are unpredictable, even for Tolkien

Tolkien’s numerous drafts often reveal a great deal about the gigantic work accomplished. by the author to develop his universe. The bulk of his work involves a lot of research and significant work on the structure of the story. However, it is amusing to note that many characters seem to appear as suddenly in his work as in the heroes’ path. This can be the case for enemies like Grima Serpenttongue or allies like Beorn.


For example, Beorn, is first called Medwed. Tolkien wrote almost all of his drafts of The Hobbit with this name meaning “bear”, in some Slavic languages. However, the author regularly notes that he would like to change the name. It is then thathe suddenly makes Beorn appear during the Battle of the 5 Armies when this did not seem originally planned. This is how Beorn finally gets his real name.

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Later, in the first volume of the trilogy Lord of the Ringsthe opposite happens. Mention of Beorn should appear when Celeborn (Galadriel’s husband) suggests that members of the Brotherhood of the Ring should abandon their quest if they feel they have done enough; he then promises to help Gimli get to the country of the Beornians if he wishes to return home. But Tolkien soon realizes that his group of heroes must persevere and that no member of the Company can disappear so simply. So, Beorn almost disappears from the book.

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#6 Beorn could have common origins with the king of Rohan

Beorn is a Beornian, in fact like all representatives of this population, he has the ability to transform into a gigantic bear. However, the origin of their shapeshifting ability is unknown. According to Gandalf, Beorn was “under no enchantment but his own.” According to Gandalf, always, the origins of Beorn and his people, the Beornians (or Beornings depending on translations), are vague : “Some say he is a bear, a descendant of the great bears who once lived in the mountains before the arrival of the giants. Others say he is a man whose ancestors lived in this part of the world before the arrival of the giants. “the arrival of Smaug and the other dragons, and before the goblins from the North invade the mountains.”


However, we know that Beornians have the same life expectancy as humans and that they lived in the Valleys of Anduin between the Black Forest and the Great River at the end of the Third Age. Gandalf believes that the Beornians may have originally emerged in the Misty Mountains and it is therefore possible that the people of Rohan share kinship with them. On the other hand, the Beornians are friends with the Mearas horses, the same ones ridden by the kings of Rohan.

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#5 Beorn has things in common with Magicians

In Tolkien’s universe, a number of animal species are actually populations in their own right, just like humans, elves or even goblins. Thus, horses or eagles have their own code and language and are for some important characters in the saga of Lord of the Rings. However, all the characters and Not all populations have the capacity or knowledge to be able to interact with representatives of the animal world. Only certain magicians like Gandalf or Radagast the Brown can do this. However, Tolkien also grants this ability to Beorn.

type="image/webp">radagast talks with animals>

Magicians use this knowledge to best accomplish their mission. first which is to support and be present for all the free peoples of Middle-earth. However, it seems that this is also partly for this purpose that Beorn uses his gift. If Beorn doesn’t travel to the four corners of Middle-earth to support animals, but instead welcomes them into his home with open arms. Animals also seem to be the only beings that Beorn tolerates without effort.

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#4 Beorn always feared the return of Sauron

While the War of the Ring had not yet engulfed Middle-earth, many initially thought Sauron’s return impossible. Beorn always took the “Sauron threat” seriously. The reason is simple: Beorn was captured and held in slavery along with many others of his kind by Sauron-worshipping orcs and goblins. Most of Beorn’s companions in misfortune were killed, leaving him with a grudge against orcs and goblins. This ordeal deeply marked Beorn; Since, he respects all forms of life, with the exception of those who have killed and enslaved his own.

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It is therefore with undisguised pleasure that he tortures a goblin to find out if Bilbo and the dwarves are indeed opponents of the forces of evil. Moreover, once he has obtained the information he wanted, he tears off the goblin’s head and nails it like a decoration to his door. Later, he took revenge on the orcs during the Battle of the Five Armies. In fact, it is during this battle he had the opportunity to kill Bolg, one of the main generals of the orc army and loyal to Sauron.

type="image/webp">Beorn Kill Blog>

#3 Beorn is not really the solitary creature he pretends to be

Beorn is a character with a particularly sad and violent past. In fact, he initially presents himself as a relatively cantankerous character who does not seem to tolerate the presence of any being on his territory. In his presence, even the heroes Bilbo, Gandalf or the dwarves do not necessarily seem safe. Except that as soon as we discover the interior of his domain, we discover that it is filled with animals and not just any animals. Most of the species present at Beorn actually come from full-fledged populations in Middle-earth.

type="image/webp">Beorn in his farm>

You can meet many animals at Beorn, such as horses, dogs and sheep. His animals are all extremely intelligent; his dogs, for example, can walk on their hind legs while carrying things with their front legs, set the table and even express themselves through strange barks. Beorn horses can also understand what their master says which seems to indicate that it is a mearh (Mearas in the plural). The Mearas are a population that almost never allows themselves to be ridden. Only the kings of Rohan and Gandalf have this privilege. The best-known Mehar is that of Gandalf, Gripoil.

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#2 Beorn only really tolerates one character in the saga

As we explained a little above, the mission of the magicians of Middle-earth is to travel the world to help ALL the free peoples of Middle-earth. In reality and unfortunately, only Gandalf will succeed in this mission. Among the 5 magicians, Radagast the Brown is the one who failed the fastest in his mission. Fascinated by the fauna and flora, he settled in the forest and created his lair very close to the Mirkwood forest which he named Rhosgobel. However, by settling down in this way, Radagast will have at least achieved the feat of getting closer to Beorn.

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Tolkien imagined Beorn as a dual figure, both wild and friendly, violent and homebody. However, it is a fact that only animals seem friendly to him and it is only with them that he really gets along. When Radagast creates settles not far from his home, he can observe that the magician maintains a relationship similar to his with nature. In fact, when Beorn mentions Radagast the Brown, he concedes that his neighbor is not so bad… For a Magician.

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#1 The Descendants of Beorn live in peace with humans

After his victory during the Battle of the Five Armies, Beorn became the leader of the Beornians. Having a life expectancy similar to humans, he has already been dead for a long time when the War of the Ring against Sauron begins. However, his son Grimbeorn will join the final battle against the Dark Master (for the record, even if he does not appear in the films, Grimbeorn was played by an actor for the purposes of the card game inspired by Peter Jackson’s trilogy). To thank him, the human King Aragorn will offer him a territory that he will share with the Men of the Woods.

type="image/webp">Grimbeorn Beorning Chieftain LOTR TCG Expanded Middle Earth NM lotr movies playing card game>

The Woodmen were groups of northerners who settled in the vast forests of Middle-earth, mainly in the Black Forest. The Beornians and the Woodmen had known how to live in peace in the past. Indeed, even if the two populations did not mix a lot, they had still provided important services to each other in the past. These two peoples were therefore given a large portion of the forest between the elven kingdoms of Thranduil and Lothlórien to live in. Together, they cleared the forest of the last strongholds, creatures and other followers of Sauron and Saruman and lived in harmony from then on.

type="image/webp">grimbeorn the old Conflict at the Carrock #2 | BoardGameGeek lotr>

And if you liked this article, don’t hesitate to discover 9 facts you didn’t know about The Goblin King, Azog, Sauron, The Balrog, Gollum, Shelob, Éowyn, Éomer, Boromir, Gandalf, Gimli, Théoden, Bilbo, Arwen , Merry, Gollum, The Uruk-hai, The Elves, Radagast, Treebeard, The Mouth of Sauron, Grima Serpenttongue, Bard and The Witch King of Angmar.

Keywords :
The Lord of the Ringslord of the ringsLOTRThe HobbitTolkienPeter JacksonmovieepisodeorcelfsauronLARPfantasyBook



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