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"The day will come when they will perish and I shall go back!"

Beorn

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Of Beorn, by Gandalf:
'At any rate he is under no enchantment but his own. He lives in an oak-wood and has a great wooden house; and as a man he keeps cattle and horses which are nearly as marvellous as himself. They work for him and talk to him. He does not eat them; neither does he hunt or eat wild animals. He keeps hives and hives of great fierce bees, and lives most on cream and honey. As a bear he ranges far and wide. I once saw him sitting all along on the top of the Carrock at night watching the moon sinking towards the Misty Mountains, and I heard him growl in the tongue of bears: "The day will come when they will perish and I shall go back!" That is why I believe he once came from the mountains himself.'
The Hobbit, Queer Lodgings

Who do you suppose 'they' in 'they will perish' is? Goblins? Wargs? Men? What about 'I shall go back!'. Do you agree with Gandalf's idea that he is from the mountains himself?

Tolkien said
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.
Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, #144

So, what do you think? The Letter, basically saying he wouldn't go back to the mountains because he was dead, that was written after The Hobbit? What's written as part of the story as opposed to an idea made in hindsight?
 

Wolfshead

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Being in school, I can't look anything up, so here are my opinions only. I would imagine 'they' are the Orcs living in the mountains. Presumably his ancestors once lived there, and his decendants would eventually go back. Unfortunately for him, he never managed to go back himself.
 

Maeglin

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I agree with our "Disciple of the Frog" on this one. But I have another question, do we know of any other skin-changers besides Beorn? Are any others ever mentioned?

Judging by the extremely long silence I'll take that as a no.
 

Stormcrow

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yep

i belive the "they" are all the evil things that live in the misty mountains, since beorn shows up at the battle of 5 armies and kicks some arse i might say, it might suggest that he has some vengeance against the goblins
 

Eledhwen

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Re: yep

Originally posted by Stormcrow
i belive the "they" are all the evil things that live in the misty mountains, since beorn shows up at the battle of 5 armies and kicks some arse i might say, it might suggest that he has some vengeance against the goblins
I agree - the Battle of the Five Armies must have scoured the misty mountains for some time. Maybe Beorn spent his last years there, leaving his home to the Beornings. Or maybe Gandalf was mistaken and Beorn's home was beyond the Misty Mountains. It would be neat if he was a guest at Rivendell in his final days.

ps: It's getting ridiculous when you can't even quote a Tolkien chapter title, "Que-er Lodgings" without getting censored on The Tolkien Forum. This is contributing to the impoverishment of the English Language. There's nowt so kweer as folk!
 

redline2200

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That is a good question, Glorfindel1187. I can think of none, but I don't think Beorn was a normal man. It said that he had a huge effect on The battle of 5 armies because he killed a lot of orcs at one time. I read somewhere that if he hadn't come and single-handedly taken out the orc army, that the orcs might have won the war. I can think of no other men that have had that much of an impact on a war, except mabe Turin. If Tolkien had not have said it himself, then I would not believe that Beorn was a man.
 

Turin

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Well thanks for the compiment redline. Turin's the bomb:D
 

Beorn

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Re: Re: yep

Originally posted by Eledhwen
ps: It's getting ridiculous when you can't even quote a Tolkien chapter title, "Que-er Lodgings" without getting censored on The Tolkien Forum. This is contributing to the impoverishment of the English Language. There's nowt so kweer as folk!
I think that's fixed: ***** lodgings...

Edit: Darn!
 

Eledhwen

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Hmmm! (thinks...)

My 8 year old daughter has just read this passage in The Hobbit, and it made me think about it again.

Thought 1: Beorn died, his wish/prophecy unfulfilled.

Thought 2: Beorn went back to the Misty Mountains after the battle of the five armies, when practically all the local Goblins perished.

Thought 3: Beorn had an eternal view - that of the destruction of evil, a resurrected earth, and all things are made new. Beorn was a bit of a St Francis figure, except that SF probably wouldn't decaptiate a goblin or skin a warg.
 

Squint-eyed Southerner

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Having just come across this old thread, I'll add a quote from Gloin, in "Many Meetings":

". . .if it were not for the Beornings, the passage from Dale to Rivendell would long ago have become impossible. They are valiant men and keep open the High Pass and the Ford of the Carrock."
So it appears that he did indeed "go back".
 

Merroe

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I was thinking at that quote too, while reading this.
Strange, that he was always depicted as a solitary creature, and yet later on there are "Beornings".
 

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