Skip to main content

All This Business About Beorn

Image Credit: The Brothers Hildebrandt
Beorn the skin-changer in The Hobbit is one of those characters from Tolkien about whom you can't help but wonder.  He has animal servants and speaks to them in a mysterious language that is not English, he vacates his great wooden house in the night only to be replaced by fearsome bear noises outside, and - oh, yes! - there's the fact that he can change his form into a bear's.

As any fan of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has known for some time, the appearance of Beorn is coming up in the next installment of the three-part epic - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.  Just a few days ago, TheOneRing.net announced that they had discovered a very low resolution image - but a legitimate image, nonetheless - of Beorn himself on the back of a 2014 Hobbit calendar.  The picture has made its rounds on the Internet, and although I am not permitted to show it here, it can still be found if one makes a Google search for "beorn the desolation of smaug" and clicks on one of the movie blogs that are linked in the top search results.

The controversy surrounding the image centers around the fact that Beorn appears to have a Mohawk/mullet-type hairstyle that seems attached all the way down his back and dark markings, tattoos, or fur (it is hard to discern via the low-resolution image) on his arms and back.

After viewing comments from the readerships of TheOneRing.netmovieweb.com, and bleedingcool.com, there seem to be roughly three schools of thought on the Sonic-the-Hedgehog-esque rear shot of Beorn: 1) "I hate it - that does not match my vision of him at all," 2) "I trust Peter Jackson, and I'm excited he's doing something wild and unexpected," and 3) "The picture is too grainy to tell, and I shall withhold judgement."

If you have read my thoughts on how Jackson handled An Unexpected Journey, it will come as no surprise to you that I fall into the second camp, especially after reading up a bit on different kinds of shapeshifters. Shapeshifters sometimes retain attributes of their animal forms while they are in human form, such as glowing eyes, hairy arms, or heightened senses.  Furthermore, Tolkien was obviously passionate about and familiar with Norse mythology, from which we get the Berserker warriors. They were said to wear bear or wolf skins into battle, during which they were overcome with a trance-like rage that enabled them to fight ferociously, without fear of harm to themselves. I can't help but be reminded of Beorn's frightening yet instrumental participation toward the end of the tale...

And ultimately, even though I can't recall exactly how I pictured Beorn when I first read The Hobbit in fourth grade, when I think about it now, judging from all we know about Beorn, he is huge, short of temper, unruly, has thick black hair, and "outdoorsman" would be a gross understatement in describing his lifestyle. Would it not be strange and difficult to picture a completely normal-looking human (except for his size) transforming into a giant bear at night? You can't just take a huggable, Hagrid-type physique and have it change into a bear with bloodlust! Or can you? Thoughts?  Have you seen the image? Is Beorn disgusting? Is he anything like you pictured? Is he mid-transformation in the shot? In any case, we'll see...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

This Week's Window Shopping

While I think in many cases leggings tend to get mistaken for a garment you can wear by themselves, I would make an exception for these awesome sword leggings from SOVRIN on Etsy, which I LOVE.


Also, check out this incredibly clever Dewey Decimal System pendant from thependantemporium shop on Etsy.  I want!


Last but not least, if you are a shop-happy geek like myself, you are probably already aware of this site, but if not, you should know about teefury.com, which has a different geeky T-shirt every day for $11.  If you see one you like, you have to act fast! But there are so many awesome designs, including today's, which features a quote from Vasquez in "Aliens." :)


Talking in Circles: A Movie Review of "Arrival" (Some Spoilers)

Genesis chapter eleven records a story of the people of the ancient world electing to come together and build a tower tall enough to reach the heavens.  For reasons undisclosed to us mortals, God, having observed this concerted effort, which was apparently destined to succeed, scrambles communication between his peoples.  "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this," he says, "then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.  Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other" (New International Version, Gen. 11:6).  The engineer could not understand the architect.  The brick layer could not understand the engineer.  It was the last time all of humanity worked together in perfect cooperation.  It was the last time all of humanity spoke a common language.

In the story of the Tower of Babel, a universal language was clearly the key that could unlock unlimited progress, discovery, and achievement.…

Chain Mail Bikinis Don't Count As Armor, and Other Thoughts (Mild Spoilers)

Comics Alliance calls it "The story Disney should have been telling for the past 20 years," and while I believe Disney plays its part in a healthy mix of fairy tales for children, every little girl (and boy, for that matter) should read a comic like "Princeless." "Princeless," from Action Lab Entertainment, introduces us to Adrienne, a princess who is not interested in waiting around in her tower to be rescued. A prince even shows up at one point to do just that, and she turns him away, saying, "Don't let the dragon hit you on the way out." Love it.