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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: The Arena:
Beorn vs Balrog of Moria

BeornBerserker
Lorien

Jun 18 2012, 12:57pm

Post #1 of 15 (1663 views)
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Beorn vs Balrog of Moria Can't Post

 


Finwe
Lorien


Jun 18 2012, 1:18pm

Post #2 of 15 (1064 views)
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Balrog [In reply to] Can't Post

Beorn's tough, but no match for a balrog of Morgoth.

As three great Jewels they were in form. But not until the End, when Fëanor shall return who perished ere the Sun was made, and sits now in the Halls of Awaiting and comes no more among his kin; not until the Sun passes and the Moon falls, shall it be known of what substance they were made. Like the crystal of diamonds it appeared, and yet was more strong than adamant, so that no violence could mar it or break it within the Kingdom of Arda.


BeornBerserker
Lorien

Jun 18 2012, 1:24pm

Post #3 of 15 (1046 views)
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Always thought [In reply to] Can't Post

I always saw Beorn as a powerful mystery much as Tom Bombadil. His role in the BoFA was a deus ex machina moment, and like Beowulf always seeming to meet the challenge. At least that is what I took from the character and always fancied he was inspired by Beowulf and thus capable of superhuman feats.


DanielLB
Immortal


Jun 18 2012, 2:13pm

Post #4 of 15 (1035 views)
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Balrog for me too [In reply to] Can't Post

The Balrog would be just too much for Beorn


BeornBerserker
Lorien

Jun 18 2012, 3:42pm

Post #5 of 15 (1031 views)
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One is know the other unknown [In reply to] Can't Post

Balrogs are very established in the mythology and through the LotR and other writings fairly documented with detailed origin and history.

To me Beorn is very much an enigma like Bombadil and intentionally so. It's a classic device in fantasy or heroic drama where a powerful or very powerful characters exist but they only provide what help is needed and nothing more or they exist as a deus ex machina device.

Beorn is immensely strong and has skin changing ability but served only as a place of refuge for the party to regroup and then in the final hour of the BoFA when all seemed lost, he arrived in his wrath routed the enemy by crushing Bolg and his bodyguard.

"The roar of [Beorn's] voice was like drums and guns; and he tossed wolves and goblins from his path like straws and feathers. He fell upon their rear, and broke like a clap of thunder through the ring. [..] [H]is wrath was redoubled, so that nothing could withstand him, and no weapon seemed to bite upon him. He scattered the [goblin] bodyguard, and pulled down Bolg himself and crushed him. "


DanielLB
Immortal


Jun 18 2012, 3:45pm

Post #6 of 15 (1024 views)
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Yes I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

But I imagine a Balrog could easily throttle Beorn before he could do anything. Like you suggest, I doubt it would be a complete success for the Balrog.


imin
Valinor


Jun 18 2012, 7:23pm

Post #7 of 15 (1013 views)
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Its a Balrog for me [In reply to] Can't Post

For me the Balrog is stronger with it being a lesser maia whereas Beorn was ultimately a man - letter 144 of tolkien says so. I think Beorn was a beserker kind of man really. But ultimately a man and so could not challenge the balrog.


BeornBerserker
Lorien

Jun 18 2012, 9:37pm

Post #8 of 15 (1029 views)
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he was mortal [In reply to] Can't Post

But what kind of man was he? Was there a race of men who were big folk, much as the Hobbits were small folk? He clearly was more giant in stature than human if you look at Bilbo's description or Rateliff's analysis of early drafts of the Hobbit. He isn't a clean fit because a 3 meter or taller man dwarfs even the great kings of Numenor or the High Elven kings of the first and second ages. He has the supernatural ability to skin change into a giant bear.

His role in the story is very similar to Bombadil in that despite his power, he only gives the aid needed even though his powers might allow him to materially affect the plot. The major difference is he does involve himself in the BoFA and its deus ex machina moment. Doom was at hand and the catastrophe was suddenly avoided with his arrival and routing of the opposing force.

Beowulf who was likely an inspiration was mortal and died but he supposedly had the strength of 40 men and single handed preformed feats of heroism beyond the armies of king Hrothgar or his own army when he was king. So he was a man in that he was mortal but he was clearly supernatural in nature. Maybe not an immortal maia but far more than even an accomplished man such as Bard, Aragorn, Boromir, etc.


DanielLB
Immortal


Jun 18 2012, 9:51pm

Post #9 of 15 (997 views)
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You raise good points [In reply to] Can't Post

There is nothing wrong with your point of you. But Balrogs were fallen Maiar. Any Maiar would be superior in power to a man.


imin
Valinor


Jun 18 2012, 9:59pm

Post #10 of 15 (1011 views)
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was a descendant of the edain from the first age. [In reply to] Can't Post

He and his kind beornings are related to the rohirrim.

Most of the Men of the northern regions of the Westlands were descended from the Edain of the First Age, or from their close kin. ... Of this kind were the peoples of the upper vales of Anduin: the Beornings, and the Woodmen of Western Mirkwood; and further north and east the Men of the Long Lake and of Dale - LOTR appendix F. - Of Men.

Beorn indeed became a great chief afterwards in those regions and ruled a wide land between the mountains and the wood; and it is said that for many generations the men of his line had the power of taking bear’s shape, and some were grim men and bad, but most were in heart like Beorn, if less in size and strength. In their day the last goblins were hunted from the Misty Mountains and a new peace came over the edge of the Wild." - The Hobbit--The Return Journey.

From these quotes i believe he was akin to the rohirrim but just happened to be a giant? Just because someone is a giant doesnt mean they are a differnet race just happen to be extremely tall. His sons were tall and strong but not as tall or strong as he was, also the rohirrim were tall. Perhaps he learnt his shapeshifting or was born with it.

Beorn never says he is the oldest or is as mysterious that way as bombadil, dont know whether bombadil was a man, maiar, eru etc. Whereas we know beorn was a man of some kind, and was a descendant of the edain.

To me beorn sounds like a beserker in that he was very ferocious in battle and it seemed he felt no pain, just as it appeared real beserkers did due to intake of drugs (mushrooms).

I do agree mostly with what you say just i dont think he is quite as mysterious as Tom Bombadil and i dont think he had unlimited power just physically very powerful, but not enough to defeat a balrog in my opinion.

How do you think beorn had the power/gift of shape shifting? I have read some people think it could be from Radagast, personally i have no idea. but like to think he didnt learn it from radagast but just somehow could after isolating himself for a long time.





BeornBerserker
Lorien

Jun 18 2012, 10:20pm

Post #11 of 15 (985 views)
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I don't see Radagast connection [In reply to] Can't Post

Personally, I don't see the Radagast connection because it seemed even Gandalf could only speculate about Beorn. I am thinking Gandalf knew of Beorn through Radagast but his knowledge beyond Beorn's presence and something of his reputation seemed limited. I can only guess because Radagast's knowledge of Beorn was limited too.


imin
Valinor


Jun 18 2012, 10:36pm

Post #12 of 15 (1006 views)
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Fair enough as i dont either, just a theory i have read before [In reply to] Can't Post

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." - The Hobbit--Queer Lodgings

This makes me feel like although he may not be certain of what he is, gandalf has a fair idea, and one that turned out to be correct.


Another little piece of evidence beorn was a man and therefore could not defeat a balrog is this quote

Frodo learned that Grimbeorn the Old, son of Beorn, was now the lord of many sturdy men, and to their land between the Mountains and Mirkwood neither orc nor wolf dared to go...Indeed, said Gloin, ’if it were not for the Beornings, the passage from Dale to Rivendell should long ago have become impossible. They are valiant men and keep open the High Pass and the Ford of Carrock. ’But their tolls are high’, he added with a shake of his head; ’and like Beorn of old they are not over fond of dwarves. Still they are trusty, and that is much in these days.’ - LOTR Many Partings.

Their tolls are high. This is referring to the beornings having many injuries/deaths due to keeping the vale open from orcs and wolves. Neither of those are as powerful as a balrog.

I agree beorn is a mysterious and magical being but to say he is stronger than a balrog - maiar is a little much.


BeornBerserker
Lorien

Jun 18 2012, 11:18pm

Post #13 of 15 (975 views)
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I actually took toll in the more literal sense [In reply to] Can't Post

From that passage, I assumed the Beornings(Beorn's followers) charged high monetary tolls to those who transited the area, which would cause any gold loving Dwarf a little grief.


imin
Valinor


Jun 18 2012, 11:36pm

Post #14 of 15 (986 views)
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yeah it could definitely be seen as that as well. [In reply to] Can't Post

reading it again i think it really could be taken either way. Beornings were not just followers but also his children and later descendants. such as grimbeorn his son.


imin
Valinor


Jun 18 2012, 11:49pm

Post #15 of 15 (1294 views)
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cant edit as its been 11 mins but [In reply to] Can't Post

i agree the toll is an item or monetary toll rather than what i previously said.

 
 

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