- "I should say there were little bears, large bears, ordinary bears, and gigantic big bears, all dancing outside from dark to nearly dawn."
- ― Gandalf
Bears were large and ferocious animals, notorious for their love of honey.
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.
Early Noldorin had two words for bear: brôg and megli (with the variation meglivorn "Black bear") In Sindarin, only the word graw is attested, though Didier Willis also suggested the "updated" word Medli. Only one Quenya word for "bear" is given, sharing a root with brôg: morco.
Other versions of the legendarium
- The former included three mischievous bears Archie, Teddy and Bruno, who more resemble teddybears in Tolkien's drawings.
- Karhu, the Great Polar Bear, helped Father Christmas writing his letters by making side comments. Other polar bears were Paksu and Valktukka.
Portrayal in adaptations
2003: Sierra's The Hobbit:
- Bears appear as wildlife in the map "Mirkwood".
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