by Daeron-(V) 
Oct. 13, 2002
Mankind > Beorn > Beorn 

    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 eagles).

    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 the animals 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 tunic.

    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 Mirkwood.
    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 Shire.

    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