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Topic: Beorn and the Beornings

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Chief Maiar
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Posts: 375
Date: Apr 16, 2006
Beorn and the Beornings

Just for peoples information, I have myself often wondered about what Beorn is and whence he came, and I have discussed this topic with others but to no satisfying conclusion. I have however found a quote though its not definatly about Beorn, it could be;

To set the scene, Yavanna has gone to Manwe worried that when the children of Illuvatar come they shall not have love for her creations for the Olvar and the Kelvar (plants and animals), Manwe speaks to Eru;

"Then Manwe awoke, and he went down to Yavanna upon Ezellohar, and he sat beside her beneath the Two Trees. And Manwe said: 'O Kementari, Eru hath spoken, saying: "Do then any of the Valar suppose that I did not hear all the Song, even the least sound of the least voice? Behold! When the Children awake, then the thought of Yavanna will awake also, and it will summon spirits from afar, and they will go among the kelvar and the olvar, and some will dwell therein, and be held in reverence, and their just anger shall be feared..."
The spirits that go among the olvar are the Ents, the Shepherds of the trees and the huorns, etc. Maybe the Spirits that go among the Kelvar are beings such as Beorn, ones that can take human form but it is only 'form' they are kelvar.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: Apr 16, 2006
Personally I doubt it...he was after all a Man
"Beorn is dead; see vol. I p. 241. He appeared in The Hobbit. It was then the year Third Age 2940 (Shire-reckoning 1340). We are now in the years 3018-19 (1418-19). Though a skin-changer and no doubt a bit of a magician, Beorn was a Man."
(letter 144)
He was a Man, as Tolkien himself says, if there was any presence of a spirit I am sure he would have said it, so I doubt there is any point to speculate.
"Rohiroth are relations of Woodmen and Beornings, old Men of the North. "
"They were originally close kin of the Beornings and the men of the west-eaves of the forest"
(HOME, Peoples of Middle-earth)
"He is a skin-changer. He changes his skin; sometimes he is a huge black bear, sometimes he is a great strong black-haired man with huge arms and a great beard. I cannot tell you much more, though that ought to be enough. Some say that he is a bear descended from the great and ancient bears of the mountains that lived there before the giants came."
The fact that Beorn descended from the great bears could make us think he was indeed a spirit, but I would rather say that the power to become a Man was granted to the bears, not that they were inhabited by spirits.

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Honor, Freedom, Fatherland
Chief Maiar
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Posts: 375
Date: Apr 16, 2006
RE: Beorn and the Beornings ORIGINS

Though I accept you're first quote from THE MAN himself and stand corrected, I would however like to add a quick note and change my argument according to the recent information. The note being that when the quote speaks of spirits I believe it is speaking rather than spirits as ghostly type things more as another word for the fea that is within all sentient life, again the secret fire, through Yavanna thoughts and love and the blessing or Eru the fea would have been called into some of the Olvar and Kelvar.
Now the modification I'd like to make is in my previous statement and infact this topic I change my mind on the quote, I have now come to think that maybe the sentient Kelvar are the ancient bears. Since they would not live forever as bears do not where as trees (ents) could. These bears bloodline somewhere along the way gave rise to Beorn who quite possibly took their role, punishing the wicked that came too close. Just as the ents and huorn punish the wicked that stray too close to them.

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...But it was so that from Nienna he learned pity and patience.

Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: Apr 16, 2006
RE: Beorn and the Beornings

I would rather say that the power to become Men was granted to the bears, perhaps by the Valar to defend themselves. However, I would again like to underline this, this is not the place for such speculations, and with all dew respect Olorin, I can not believe your theory unless you show me some quotes. From what I see the bears were his ancestors, and they got the power to "change their skin" and look as Men. why and how this happened I do not know... but that is the best explication

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Honor, Freedom, Fatherland
Chief Maiar
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Posts: 375
Date: Apr 16, 2006
The only quote I've found so far is that I began with, and it is only a loose connection. But Yavanna wanted beings to protect her creations for obvious reasons (firstly Aules dwarves would "have no love for the things Yavanna created since Aule told her only about them after he had finished them.", secondly the Eldar and the Secondborn would have dominion over Arda which meant dominion over her creations), this she got in the Ents but what of the Guardians of the Kelvar there must be some, the only logical conclusion I can draw is the ancient bears. Give me more examples of other possibilities and I'll withdraw.

[How strange really, you want direct quotes I want possibilities.]

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...But it was so that from Nienna he learned pity and patience.

Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: Apr 16, 2006
That is the plaza in him Olorin, he does not want opinions from the experienced he will only ever except quotes.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: Apr 16, 2006
I already gave you a very very good example that shows that these bears were not inhabited by spirits. The Beornings were as said in the quotes related to the ancestors of the Rohirrim and to the wood-men. So if these bears would have been inhabited by spirits, these spirits would continue to inhabit them even after they gained the property of skin-changing, they would not suddently leave. And as all quotes show these were simple humans, there is no reason to believe they had spirits inside themselves. I am sure Tolkien would have told us if that was the case. The spirits wouldn't have simply left the bodies after a certain period of time. Also if they would have had spirits the bears could have spoken and would have had a far higher intelligence, again, we are never told they did.

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Honor, Freedom, Fatherland
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Posts: 3118
Date: Apr 16, 2006
sorry about all that, the story of the bears is probably false anyway, I should have given the whole quote.
"Some say that he is a bear descended from the great and ancient bears of the mountains that lived there before the giants came. Others say that he is a man descended from the first men who lived before Smaug or the other dragons came into this part of the world, and before the goblins came into the hills out of the North. I cannot say, though I fancy the last is the true tale. He is not the sort of person to ask questions of."
Now if Gandalf says that the last tale is the true one I suspect that that is the correct one. And again, even if the first tale is indeed the true one, I again doubt that the bears were ever inhabited by spirits like the Maiar, for the simple reason we would have been told and it could have been noticed, and that the spirits would still exist in the Beornings.

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Honor, Freedom, Fatherland
Chief Maiar
Status: Offline
Posts: 375
Date: Apr 16, 2006
Now thats wierd, I was just disproved by a quote from...well...ME!

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...But it was so that from Nienna he learned pity and patience.

Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
Status: Offline
Posts: 3118
Date: Apr 16, 2006
well actually not, I forgot to give the second part of the quote. Anyway, not only the quote shows that bears were never inhabited by spirits but also other things.

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Honor, Freedom, Fatherland
Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
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Date: Aug 14, 2008
Still, I would hardly call a man capable of shape shifting into a bear a "simple"human.

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