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This article is about the skin-changer. For the uncle of Ælfwine, see Beorn.

"If you must know more, his name is Beorn. He is very strong, and he is a skin-changer."
Gandalf the Grey[1]

Beorn was a Northman, skin-changer, and chieftain of the Beornings who lived near the river Anduin between Mirkwood and the Misty Mountains. His kin lived in that region during the last centuries of the Third Age, guarding the Ford of Carrock from the Northern Orcs and the Wargs.[1] He was the father of Grimbeorn the Old.


Third Age[]

Beorn was a warrior with great strength who could turn into a great black bear. In human-form, he was a tall, black-haired man with huge arms and a great beard. Beorn kept many animals at his residence, such as horses, dogs, and sheep. His animals were all extremely intelligent; his dogs, for instance, could walk on their hind legs while carrying things with their forelegs, set the table, and able to speak. Beorn's horses could also understand what their master said. Beorn was also capable of speaking in the tongue of beasts, as he could communicate with bears. When he spoke to his dogs, his words sounded like "barks twisted into some form of speech".[1]

Quest of Erebor[]

In the year TA 2941, Beorn granted shelter to Thorin and Company, which included Gandalf and the hobbit Bilbo Baggins. Beorn, though not over fond of Dwarves, provided the company with food, supplies, and guidance after being humored by Gandalf's telling of the company's story. The company then left Beorn to travel through Mirkwood, though the Beorning warned them not to drink from the Enchanted stream within the forest.[1]

BeornBolg Justin Gerard

Beorn, in bear-form, facing Bolg after scattering his guard, by Justin Gerard

Some months later, word came to Beorn of impending trouble at the Lonely Mountain, and he arrived in time to take part in the Battle of Five Armies, where he bore Thorin from the battlefield after the Dwarf was mortally wounded. Beorn later accompanied Gandalf and Bilbo on their return journey as far as his home, where he allowed the two to stay over the winter.[2]

Later years[]

In the years following the Battle of Five Armies, Beorn became a great chieftain among the folk of the Vales of Anduin and his followers became known as the Beornings. At some point he became the father of Grimbeorn, later known as Grimbeorn the Old. Before the War of the Ring, Beorn passed away,[3] and his son Grimbeorn succeeded him as chieftain.[4]


The name Beorn originates from an Old English term that means "warrior". It is a homophone of Old Norse bjǫrn, which means "bear".[5]


Beorn in The Hobbit films

Beorn as seen in The Hobbit films, acted by Mikael Persbrandt

Despite being incredibly powerful, Beorn respected all life forms, with the exceptions of Northern Orcs and Wargs, due to their malevolent and destructive tendencies. He had a magic-like effect on his animals, who seem more intelligent and strong than other animals. He kept bee pastures and spent his nights patrolling the woods and mountains in the form of a bear. He was fairly decent, allowing Thorin and Company to stay at his home for a short while, offering sanctuary from the Northern Orcs. Beorn was also vengeful; when Thorin was fatally wounded in battle Beorn stormed the goblin ranks, rescues Thorin and then returns, destroying the Northern Orcs and killing Bolg himself.

In adaptations[]

The Hobbit film trilogy[]

Hobit - Šmakova dračí poušť (2013) CZ 1080pHD-16-20-21-

Beorn portrayed in his human form

Beorn is portrayed by Mikael Persbrandt in the films The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies. His appearance in the films is quite different than his description in the book and portrayals in other media. In the films, he has greyish-brown hair, a forked beard, shackles on his left arm, and a mane of hair growing as a ridge down the length of his back. Beorn mentioned his fellow Skin-changers, who once lived in the mountains before Azog the Defiler came down from the north and killed or enslaved many of his people for sport. Beorn escaped the terrible fate of his kin (explaining the shackles on his arm), and claims that he is the last of his kind. He gives them horses to reach Mirkwood and provides escort to protect them from roaming Orcs. Beorn appears to be aware of the dark presence in Dol Guldur as he knows of an alliance between the Orcs of Moria and the Necromancer, whom he calls the Sorcerer, in Dol Guldur. Packs of Orcs have been seen gathering in the fortress with their numbers increasing every day. Beorn also knows that the Necromancer is not what he seems to be and that dark and foul things are drawn to his power, not to mention Azog's allegiance to him. He also heard word spread of the dead rising and walking near the High Fells of Rhudaur. He asked Gandalf if there actually were tombs in those mountains and Gandalf confirms the tombs as Beorn remembered a time when a great evil ruled the lands and had the power to raise the dead. If that evil had returned, he wished to know from Gandalf.

Beorn watching orcs

Beorn watches Azog's forces.

In The Battle of the Five Armies, he makes a brief cameo during the battle, shifting from man to bear form as he arrives with the Great Eagles, attacking several goblins and wargs. He is later seen at the funeral for Thorin, Fíli and Kíli.

Beorn's personality is notably different from what it is in the book. Instead of being boisterous and impatient, Beorn is depicted as soft-spoken and collected. Beorn is also said to be in little control of himself in the The Desolation of Smaug, but in the book, he can be tame and gentle as a bear, even following the Dwarves to ensure the return of his ponies when the Dwarves leave his house to go to Mirkwood.

The Lord of the Rings Online - Beorn

Beorn in The Lord of the Rings Online

Video games[]

In The Lord of the Rings Online, Beorn has a brief cameo in a flashback sequence, saving a child of the Woodmen from Gollum "the child-snatcher".

Voice dubbing actors[]

Foreign Language Voice dubbing artist
Portuguese (Brazil) (Television/DVD) Bruno Rocha
Spanish (Latin America) Octavio Rojas
Spanish (Spain) Ricky Coello
Italian (Italy) Paolo Marchese
German David Nathan
Polish Zbigniew Konopka
Czech Miloš Vávra
Français Miglen Mirtchev


Lists of miscellaneous information should be avoided. Please relocate any relevant information into appropriate sections or articles.

  • In the early film concepts, Beorn's bear form was rather monstrous, looking more like a Troll or Orc.
  • In The Desolation of Smaug Beorn states that he "remembers" Sauron's heyday, four hundred years ago. His wording makes it unclear whether he lived during that time or if his people passed down stories of the Dark Lord's reign.
  • At one point in film development, Beorn was intended to play a part in the Dol Guldur story-line, as speculated from his appearance in a LEGO set, 79011 "Dol Guldur Ambush".


Swedish poster for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"
Beorn by jmkilpatrick-d6r2enj
Beorn attacking orcs, by JMKilpatrick
Beorn by moth eatn
Beorn and Bolg by moth-eatn
Beorn, by Ted Nasmith
Beorn - LOTR The Card Game (ally)
Beorn - LOTR The Card Game
Beorn from The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, The Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill expansion


Foreign Language Translated name
Amharic በኦርን
Arabic بيورن
Armenian Բեորն
Belarusian Cyrillic Беорн
Bengali বেয়ার্ন
Bulgarian Cyrillic Беорн
Burmese ဗေဩရ္န္
Chinese (Hong Kong) 比翁
Czech Medděd
Georgian ბეორნი
Greek Μπέορν
Gujarati બેઓર્ન
Hebrew ביאורן
Icelandic Björn
Japanese ビヨルン ("Biyorun") / ビヨン ("Biyon")
Kannada ಬೆಒರ್ನ್
Kazakh Беорн (Cyrillic) Beorn (Latin)
Korean 베오른
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Бэорн
Laotian ບເໂຣນ
Skopjian Cyrillik Беорн
Marathi भेओर्न
Mongolian Cyrillic Беорн
Nepalese बेओर्न
Persian بهورن ?
Punjabi ਬੇਓਰ੍ਨ
Thai บีออร์น
Russian Беорн
Serbian Беорн (Cyrillic) Beorn (Latin)
Sinhalese බෙඔර්න්
Slovak Grizlo (Books only)
Tajik Cyrillic Беорн
Tamil பெஒர்ந்
Telugu బెఒర్న
Ukrainian Cyrillic Беорн
Urdu بیورن
Uzbek Беорн (Cyrillic) Beorn (Latin)
Yiddish בעאָרן