Tolkien Gateway

Bears

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"I should say there were little bears, large bears, ordinary bears, and gigantic big bears, all dancing outside from dark to nearly dawn."
Gandalf[1]

Bears were large and ferocious animals, notorious for their love of honey.[2]

Contents

History

Bears lived in the Misty Mountains for some time, though by the late Third Age, their number had diminished. Gandalf told Bilbo that giants had taken up their homes in that mountain range. One of the alleged origins of Beorn, the skin changer, was that he had descended from them.[1]

Etymology

Early Noldorin had two words for bear: brôg[3] and megli (with the variation meglivorn "Black bear")[4] In Sindarin, only the word graw is attested,[5] though Didier Willis also suggested the "updated" word Medli.[6] Only one Quenya word for "bear" is given, sharing a root with brôg: morco.[3]

Other versions of the legendarium

In the earliest outlines of The Fall of Gondolin, Tuor was clad in the skins of bears.[7] The sinews of bears were also used to make bowstring[8] and harp strings.[7]

Other fiction

Bears play a significantly bigger role in other stories, most notably Mr. Bliss and The Father Christmas Letters.

Portrayal in adaptations

2003: Sierra's The Hobbit:

Beorn appears only in the shape of a black bear.[11]

2006: The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth:

Bears appear as wildlife in the map "Mirkwood".[12]

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