Beorn was a man and the chieftain of the Beornings.
The Beornings lived in the Vales of Anduin.
They lived on both
sides of the river near the Carrock. They were descended from the
Edain and thus spoke a language that sounded like Adunaic and Rohirric.
Beorn was the first and only Beorning encountered in
the Lord of
the Rings. He wasn't very friendly, as most Beornings aren't.
Beorn played a major part in The Hobbit. He
provided shelter when Thorin's Company came out of the Misty
Mountians. He came again to Thorin's aid for the Battle of the Five Armies (after the Company had been assisted by Gwaihir and the other
After telling about Beorn's Carrock (the rock which
Beorn had carved
steps and a seat upon) and his very short temper, Gandalf led the
company to his house. As they neared his bee-pastures, Gandalf
instructed the dwarves to come in by twos every five minutes. He
and Bilbo went first. (If you're wondering about the odd number,
Bombur was told to come last, as he was fat enough to serve as two.)
As they came into the farm, Bilbo noticed how large
were. The bees were quite huge, as were the cattle and
horses. Beorn wasn't an exception either. It was said Bilbo
could walk right between his legs without touching the end of his
Beorn took them into his house and (much to his
surprise) the dwarves
started to come in.
They spent the night there, and during that time,
Bilbo heard noises
outside the house. These sounds were from Beorn in a bear
form. He was a shapeshifter and could transform at will.
In the morning, Bilbo found that Beorn had been out
and had killed a
few goblins on patrol. A goblin head was on a stake, and a warg
skin was nailed to a tree outside.
That afternoon the Company left and wandered into
In that chapter, "Queer Lodgings" it is said many
times how delicious
the food was. Beorn and the Beornings were some of the best
bakers in Middle-earth. Their specialty was honey cakes.
Beorn is again mentioned later in the book, as he
participated in the
Battle of the Five Armies. Yet, he wasn't mentioned in the
battle, but in the next chapter. It was said that after the
eagles had entered into the Battle, and were starting to get tired,
Beorn came out of nowhere and threw about the Wargs and Goblins.
Had Beorn not come, Thorin would have been trampled to death (after
being heavily pierced with spears). Beorn lifted Thorin out of
the battle and bore him to saftey. He then returned, and sat upon
Bolg (who was the leader of the Orcs in that battle, and the son of
Azog who had killed Thror) instantly crushing him. After the battle,
Beorn travelled for much of the way with Gandalf and Bilbo back to the
Beorn played one of the most important roles in The
Battle of the Five
Armies, for without him, it would have been lost I'm almost
certain. Also, had he not been there, Thorin Oakenshield would
have died never giving Bilbo the mithril corslet that saved Frodo
Ringbearer's life around eighty years later.
Beorn wasn't spoken of again till Frodo reached
Rivendell, and heard
that Beorn had died, and his son, Grimbeorn, had taken over as chieftain
of the Beornings. He had also heard that since Beorn had returned
from the Battle of the Five Armies, the lands of the High Pass and the
Ford of Carrock had been kept safe from any danger of Goblins and Wargs
and any other evil creatures that had any business around those lands.
After Aragorn became King of the Reunited Kingdom,
he gave the
Beornings the central portion of Eryn Lasgalen.
References: The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, The
Return of the King
Image of Beorn by Nicholas Bayrachny from the Rolozo Tolkien site