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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Entertainment Weekly: "The Scroll" shows 10 hobbit scenes, dwarves, trolls, wargs, Beorn in bear form and more!
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Jul 11 2012, 2:39pm

Post #326 of 355 (13547 views)
Large Kodiak bear is 10 ft tall [In reply to] Can't Post

That is considered a large size (height) for a male. The largest ever Grizzly bear was 14ft tall - to the top of its head when on two legs and was 1600lbs! It was 6ft tall when on all fours - that for me would mean its looking me dead in the eye when its walking around on all four legs! I wouldnt even come up to half way its body when on hind legs, this is an incredible size if you ask me. There are photos of this giant bear but i wont link them because it was hunted and they are not pretty, but there if people want to see and the photos are incredible.

Goblins were meant to be shorter than men, so this is getting on for 3 times the size and many many times their weight, im guessing 10 times their weight (each being around 160lbs).

I dont see it as a big deal if they made Beorn in bear form to be 15-20ft but any more than that would be getting a little much and i would prefer the 15ft mark which is a giant of a bear.


Jul 11 2012, 5:08pm

Post #327 of 355 (13715 views)
Yes. Mercia... [In reply to] Can't Post

With a dash of Goths of the plains... Essentially, they were what Mercians might have been like if they didn't live in England...

That's why I always thought of Rohan as being a loose analog of the Central-Eastern European plain.

(This post was edited by Shelob'sAppetite on Jul 11 2012, 5:12pm)

Eowyn of Penns Woods

Jul 11 2012, 6:05pm

Post #328 of 355 (13064 views)
In addition to what others have already posted --- [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien stated in a letter that:

The hobbit's (Bilbo's) journey from Rivendell to the other side of the Misty Mountains, including the glissade down the slithering stones into the pine woods, is based on my adventures in 1911*

and there are other signs in his works of the influence that 1911 trip to Switzerland had on him. He crossed the Bernese Alps into Canton Valais, so even something as simple as the mascot/symbol of Canton Bern might be a connection as well. Traditional lore:

...The people maintain that Bern is derived from Bear, and in proof of their assertion they will take you to see an old weather-beaten stone which is built into one of the bridges, and bears the following enigmatical inscription:--
This stone is said to have stood on the spot where the bear, from which the town took its name, was captured. The story is told by the good old Conrad Justinger, who was recorder of Bern till the end of the fourteenth century, and was commissioned by the town-council to write a chronicle of the past history of Bern and the most remarkable facts relating to the town. In his simple yet stately way he writes as follows:--"How the town was called Bern! There were a great many wild animals in the oak forest, and Duke Berchtold and his councillors determined that the town should be called after the first animal that was caught there; and the first that was caught happened to be a bear, so the town was called Bern; and he gave the burghers a shield and armorial bearings, namely, a black bear on a white field."

Canton Bern is the "Rivendell" side of the Bernese Alps, so Beorn's home would be on the Canton Valais side and across the river Rhone, but he "came from the mountains". And it may not be a carrock, but that bear stone does happen to be on a span crossing the water.

There is also some Swedish blood in the section of Canton Bern that seems to have influenced him most, so who knows? Personally, I think he had multiple influences for many things in his stories rather than a single source per item, and it's fun to speculate!


Not a TORns*b!
Certified Curmudgeon
Knitting Knerd
NARF: NWtS Chapter Member since June 17,2011

(This post was edited by Eowyn of Penns Woods on Jul 11 2012, 6:13pm)

Registered User

Jul 11 2012, 7:35pm

Post #329 of 355 (10912 views)
What I think Beorn is saying to Gandalf... [In reply to] Can't Post

"Only you can prevent forest fires!" :-)


Jul 11 2012, 9:11pm

Post #330 of 355 (13415 views)
After a while [In reply to] Can't Post

Viewers get desensitized to impossibly massive CGI creatures on screen. I think if you create a bear that is in the realm of possibility, but still very big compared to most bears, you might have a more solid and believable character.

I think Beorn should be huge, but not three-story building huge.


Jul 11 2012, 9:24pm

Post #331 of 355 (13401 views)
I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

Of all the art, I think this is the one that represents the scale I would like to see and how I think he fits into the narrative of the BoFA.



Jul 11 2012, 9:28pm

Post #332 of 355 (13163 views)
Love that picture [In reply to] Can't Post

Really captures the ferocity and intensity of the battle i think. Though its hard to tell how big Beorn is in it as he looks to be on higher ground. I would guess about 30-40ft tall on back legs in that photo. For me that is over sized but not by much, if he was just a bit smaller i would be happier but its nit picking, lol.


Jul 11 2012, 9:35pm

Post #333 of 355 (13290 views)
Way too huge [In reply to] Can't Post

I am primarily concerned about the "green scrubbing bubbles" effect.

If Beorn is absolutely massive, then it will seriously reduce tension on the battlefield, just as the Army of the Dead did on the Pelennor.

If he is so massive as to seem invincible, the battle will lose its dramatic punch, and audience's will get that familiar feeling of "Oh yes, this is the bit when the invincible CGI character wins the battle, thus rendering all of the previous fighting irrelevant."


Jul 11 2012, 9:41pm

Post #334 of 355 (13162 views)
Tolkien wrote [In reply to] Can't Post

Beorn swelled to even bigger size in his wrath and hit the orcs from behind thus saving the day (plus the eagles).

Take this Brother May it Serve you Well
Vote for Pedro!


Jul 11 2012, 9:44pm

Post #335 of 355 (13594 views)
Dues Ex Machina [In reply to] Can't Post

He may seem invincible but according to the narrative he was. Nothing could withstand him, no weapon could bite upon him. His role in that battle was the darkest hour dues ex machina device. He doesn't arrive until all seems lost.


Jul 11 2012, 9:51pm

Post #336 of 355 (13430 views)
Understood [In reply to] Can't Post

But that doesn't mean it will work well on film. If I were PJ, I would make Beorn a little more vulnerable, though still horrifyingly destructive. Sort of like the cave troll in the FOTR movie.

Another problem, IMO, is that we have been fed such a non-stop diet of rampaging massive CGI creatures, that we no longer find them very impressive.

At least, I don't.


Jul 11 2012, 10:07pm

Post #337 of 355 (13524 views)
I agree with what you are saying [In reply to] Can't Post

But i think with PJ bigger is better so i think Beorn is going to be unbelievably big, too big like the oliphaunts were. If anyone bothers to look for the photos of the massive bear, then they will realise just how big it is and that by increasing it another 5ft would make it seem enormous without being stupidly big. At least thats my opinion.

When i make TH i will make the beorn i want, haha.


Jul 11 2012, 10:13pm

Post #338 of 355 (13371 views)
remember the story about the weapon the WitchKing used against Eowyn? [In reply to] Can't Post

PJ kept asking for bigger... bigger... bigger... until it was so big, Lawrence Makoare (a massive man) couldn't lift it any more. A crew member had to lay on the ground and help lift it up for the shot.

He reminds me of my inlaws who built everything at least 1 and a half times the size most people would. Bird houses... picnic tables.. and the 150 lb, 17 foot kayak made out of three-quarter inch exterior plywood sitting in our backyard.

It's for sale, btw.

LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Jul 11 2012, 10:16pm

Post #339 of 355 (13320 views)
Oh yes [In reply to] Can't Post

I fully expect PJ to amp Beorn up to the size of King Kong.

This image on the EW scroll is either just the result of loose photo-shopping, or represents Beorn in his early stage of transformation.


Jul 11 2012, 11:13pm

Post #340 of 355 (13255 views)
LOL, I hope you are joking about the King Kong size [In reply to] Can't Post

"If I were PJ, I would make Beorn a little more vulnerable, though still horrifyingly destructive."

That's why I like him at the size he's at. If he's much much bigger he would just come off as an invincible creature which, to me, wouldn't add much tension to him being in the battle. But like you said, it would REALLY work to have him vulnerable but very horrifyingly destructive.

-Sir are you classified as human
-Negative, I am a meat-popsicle


Jul 11 2012, 11:24pm

Post #341 of 355 (13329 views)
Thanks Shirehorse [In reply to] Can't Post

I love the insight you have given me. I REALLY want to learn pretty much everything about the histories of Norse/Viking/Celtic/Anglo-Saxon/Danish/etc.

Unfortunately I never have the time. But the stuff is so interesting. And I guess it's interesting to me because that's where all of my ancestor's came from.

-Sir are you classified as human
-Negative, I am a meat-popsicle


Jul 11 2012, 11:34pm

Post #342 of 355 (13235 views)
Thanks Dave_if, Shirehorse, and SA [In reply to] Can't Post

I do have one question though. Why is it that when people talk about the influences of the Rohirrim, they often mention other cultures like the vikings, scandanavians and such?

Much sister theorized that Rohan took elements from many "similar" areas.

She pointed out that people often reference Beowulf as the major influence of Rohan. She said that although it was Anglo-Saxon literature it was actually based on the Danes. So perhaps that's part of the reasoning behind her theory of a mixing of cultures.

I'm pretty sure PJ mixed in a few different cultures that were "closely" related to A-S. Wasn't there a lot of Celtic knot-work on Meduseld?

I'm sorry for getting off topic but I just really like this discussion.

-Sir are you classified as human
-Negative, I am a meat-popsicle


Jul 11 2012, 11:37pm

Post #343 of 355 (13087 views)
Also [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess it would help if I told you guys that I really have no idea what the differences are between all of those cultures.

-Sir are you classified as human
-Negative, I am a meat-popsicle

Tol Eressea

Jul 11 2012, 11:38pm

Post #344 of 355 (13224 views)
Howard Shore used Norwegian "Hardingfeler (hardanger fiddles)" for the Rohan theme. [In reply to] Can't Post


(This post was edited by Carne on Jul 11 2012, 11:38pm)


Jul 12 2012, 12:07am

Post #345 of 355 (13323 views)
From the DVD extras [In reply to] Can't Post

Richard Taylor said the impression he got of the Rohirrim was "vikings of the plains", with horses instead of ships.

In particular I recall them drawing comparisons between Meduseld and Heorot, the drinking hall from Beowulf. Thus in the films they took a lot of influence from viking and saxon culture when designing the hall, as well as armour, weapons, and so forth.

Also Carne, the Rohan theme is one of my favourite pieces from the whole soundtrack, it's simply stunning~

~Beneath the sun, all things must wear to an end at last~

(This post was edited by artemy on Jul 12 2012, 12:08am)


Jul 12 2012, 1:17am

Post #346 of 355 (13476 views)
king kong too big... [In reply to] Can't Post

But i am ok with him growing even larger for the battle.

This is my all time favorite art work of the Bofa:

And considering he is surrounded by 4 foot dwarves and 5 foot Orcs I think he is a good size.


Jul 12 2012, 1:19am

Post #347 of 355 (10966 views)
Not sure [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know how well it will work on film but his arrival will be well into the battle. It won't come until all armies clash in full out battle, Thorin & co. make their mighty charge and the Great Eagles join the battle. Beorn comes in the last hour. The Cave Troll in FotR was terrifying but it wasn't a game changer in a battle of thousands and either they keep that role as he played in the battle or they don't. I know you have been a critic of PJ deviating from Tolkien's humor, dialog, and narrative in LotR, why would you want that with Beorn here? He is one of Tolkien's great mysteries. Why diminish him?

The Shire

Jul 12 2012, 8:29am

Post #348 of 355 (10856 views)
Jackson's Kong was rather small. [In reply to] Can't Post

PJs Kong was only 25 feet tall, about the same size as Kong was in most shots the original, but for some scenes, the original Kong was 40 or 50 feet tall. The 1976 Kong was 40-60 feet tall.

Arguably, Aragorn should have been eight feet tall in LotR, but PJ didn't go there, and Elrond and especially Galadriel were a bit runty looking, too.

So he's not just for bigger is better.


Jul 12 2012, 10:29am

Post #349 of 355 (13080 views)
Well in an EMPIRE Article last year it mentioned they are deisgning a new 'grand' entrance to Rivendell... [In reply to] Can't Post

...It could be the bridge over rivendell taken out of context, we aren't likely to get the tra-la-la elves but the party crossing over the bridge into Rivendell would be a nice nod, and to me it looks like it coudl belnd int with Rivendell or perhpas be a bridge they added into the Misty Mountians segement...

‘As they came to the gates Cirdan the Shipwright came forth to greet them. Very tall he was, and his beard was long, and we was grey and old, save that his eyes were keen as stars; and he looked at them and bowed, and said ‘All is now ready.’


Jul 12 2012, 1:04pm

Post #350 of 355 (13191 views)
Anglo-Saxon vs. Norse [In reply to] Can't Post

The Anglo-Saxon and Norse languages and culture have a fairly recent common ancestor in Old German. In addition, there was a tremendous amount of contact between the two during the period when Beowulf was written, which further increased the overlap. Beowulf was written by a Christian Anglo-Saxon, but the characters are all Danes, and the thing is rife with pagan influence. It seems to be a Christian, Anglo take on what was at the time a well-known pagan, Norse legend.

Long and short is that dark-age Anglo-Saxon and Norse cultures were very similar, to the point that the distinction almost doesn't matter to the typical modern layman (though it certainly does to linguists and historians). The Rohirrim are clearly meant to be Anglo-Saxons rather than Norse, but the Norse are better-known, so that's what the average person thinks of when he sees them (and writes in his review).

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