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


Beornings as seen in the Middle-earth Collectible Card Game, depicted by Angelo Montanini

Beornings were a race of large Men. Those rare individuals had the skill to assume the form and abilities of an animal, and for this they were known also as skin-changers or shape-changers.[1]


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.[2] The Beornings possessed very fine and beautiful animals, and Bilbo says in The Hobbit that Beorn's bees were so big, if they were to sting him, he would swell up like a balloon.[3] The people of Rohan shared kinship with them and Gandalf thought the Beornings might have originated in the Misty Mountains.[4] The only known leaders of this people were Beorn, their patriarch and eponymous, and later his son Grimbeorn. They seemed to have the same life-span of mortal Men, but unlike other Men, they had the ability to change into bears and could speak in both the tongue of Men and of bears. However the origin of this ability is unknown. According to Gandalf, Beorn "[was] under no enchantment but his own."[4]

They hunted neither bird nor beast, their diet consisting mostly of cream and honey. 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. They did not seem very fond of Dwarves, and were bitter enemies of the Northern Orcs.

Beorn by jmkilpatrick-d6r2enj

Beorn in the form of a giant Black Bear in the Battle of Five Armies

In 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 too high). Beorn helped Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and his Company in their Quest of Erebor while his descendants also aided the Silvan 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 which 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 equivalent Germanic word berô. The name Beorning likely comes from Old English beorn meaning "warrior" + Old English -ing "belonging to, son of"; cognate with Old Norse björn, both being from Proto-Germanic bernuz "bear" derived from Germanic berô.
  • The most common weapon wielded by the Beornings are yew bows.
  • Beornings also appear in the 1982 video game The Hobbit Software Adventure, in which they help kill the Goblin king after the player frees him from an enchanted, purple shell.
  • Beornings where introduced as a playable race/class combination with Update 15, "Gondor Aflame", to 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
French Béornides
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