The One Wiki to Rule Them All
The One Wiki to Rule Them All

Beornings also known as Skin-changers were a race of large Men.


The origins of Beornings are not known, save that they dwelt in the Vales of Anduin between Mirkwood and the Great River in the late Third Age.[1] Unlike other Men, they had the ability to change into bears. They were named after Beorn, their patriarch. They seemed to have the same life-span of mortal men, and could speak in both the tongue of men and of bears. They did not seem very fond of Dwarves, and were bitter enemies of the Goblins. The people of Rohan shared kinship with them. They hunted neither bird nor beast, their diet consisting mostly of cream and honey. The only known leaders of this people were Beorn and later his son Grimbeorn.

The Beornings were well known for their honey-cakes, which they likely made in their bee farms and sold openly to others, at least until the return of Sauron, for then the Beornings no longer trusted strangers and their trade stopped. Gimli considered the Beornings the best bakers he knew, though they were not so willing to give out their cakes to travelers during the days of the War of the Ring.

Gandalf thought the Beornings might have originated in the Misty Mountains.[2] During the Third Age they guarded the Ford of Carrock from the Orcs and Wargs (in The Lord of the Rings, Glóin complained that their tolls were high) and they also aided the Elves in defending their kingdom in northern Mirkwood. During the War of the Ring, while wearing the One Ring at Amon Hen upon the seat of seeing, Frodo Baggins saw many things from afar, including the land of the Beornings aflame. This hints at an attack by Sauron's forces upon the Beornings, though the outcome of this attack is unknown.


  • Beornings appear in the video game The Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring, in this game they can turn into a bear at will and when in human form can heal other units.
  • In Old Norse, björn meant "bear"; the English word bear is from the Germanic word beron (literally, "the bear").
  • The most common weapon wielded by the Beornings are yew bows.
  • Beornings also appear in the video game The Hobbit, in which they help kill the goblin king after the players frees him from an enchanted, purple, shell.
  • Beornings where introduced as a playable race/class combination with Update 15 "Gondor Aflame" of the MMORPG The Lord Of The Rings Online in November 2014.



Foreign Language Translated name
Amharic በኦርኒንግ
Arabic بيورنينع ?
Armenian Բեորնինգ
Belarusian Cyrillic Беорнінг
Bengali বেওর্নিঙ
Bulgarian Cyrillic Беорнинг
Catalan Beornencs
Finnish Nahanvaihtaja
Georgian ბეორნინგ
German Beorninger
Greek Βεορνινγ
Gujarati બેઓર્નિઙ
Hebrew בני ביאורן
Hindi बेओर्निङ
Italian Beorniani
Kazakh Беорнінг (Cyrillic) Beorning (Latin)
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Бэорнинг
Macedonian Cyrillic Беорнинг
Mongolian Cyrillic Беорнинг
Nepalese बेओर्निङ
Pashto بېورنینګ
Persian بهورنینگ ?
Polish Beorningowie
Russian Беорнинги
Sanskrit बेओर्निङ्
Serbian Беорнинг (Cyrillic) Beorning (Latin)
Sinhalese බෙඔර්නිඞ්
Spanish Beórnidas
Tajik Cyrillic Беорнинг
Tamil பெயர்னிங்
Telugu బెఒర్నిఙ
Ukrainian Cyrillic Беорнінґ
Urdu بےورنینگ
Yiddish בעאָרנינג
Races of Arda
Free Folk:

Ainur | Dwarves | Elves | Ents | Great Eagles | Hobbits | Huorns | Men | Petty-dwarves | Skin-changers (Beornings)

Servants of the Shadow:

Barrow-wights | Demons | Dragons (Fire-drakes) | Goblins | Ogres | Orcs | Spiders | Trolls | Úvanimor | Vampires | Wargs | Werewolves


  1. The Atlas of Middle-earth, Regional Maps, "Wilderland"
  2. The Hobbit, Chapter VII: "Queer Lodgings"