Beorn the Skinchanger


Time Period
Third Age about 2940
Bera (N), Ides (N)
Medulynn ("Beo") (N)
(N) = non-canon

Beorn was a Northman Lord and was founder of the tribal confederation which was later known as the Beornings. He was the first of the three enchanted Chieftains of the great Cult of the Bear. Beorn was born the son of Bera and Ides, two descendants of the ancient Men of the Misty Mountains. He later married the young Woodwoman Medulynn (whom he called "Beo") and became the father of Grimbeorn, who led the Beornigs in the late Third Age.


He was a powerful Shapechanger who transformed into a Great Bear during rituals, battle, or other times of frenzy or need. A true berserker, Beorn hated Orcs and went into a vengeful rage whenever he encountered them, as in his youth he and most of his kinsmen had been enslaved and forced to fight against wild beasts by the Ashdurbuks of Gundabad. He slew the Orc-lord Bolg and helped turn the tide at the Battle of Five Armies in T.A. 2941. Beorn's kinsmen protected the trade routes between Eriador and northern Rhovanion and kept watch over the Misty Mountain passes and the crossings over the upper Anduin (exacting only modest tolls). They communicated using a number of subtle, wilderness symbols and the Woldtacen speech, a language imbued with a host of nature-signals. This enabled them to maintain a low profile, which was essential in light of their small, scattered numbers.

Fiery and suspicious of strangers, Beorn was difficult to approach. He never forgot a kindness, however, and cherished the few folk he actually befriended. Like his brethren, he preferred the company of beasts. Beorn lived in a comfortable wood long-house at his modest manor, Beorn's House, in the eastern Anduin Valley. His fenced yard accommodated a host of animal friends, many of whom resided with the warm Northman, performing chores on behalf of his peculiar community. The manor lay in a strategic nook between the western edge of Mirkwood and the Carrock.

Beorn's Principal Items

  • Beorn's Axe
  • Beorn's Collar (N) — a simple-looking leather collar, enchanted so that it grew and shrank with wearer's form.

Beorn's Special Powers

  • Shape-change: Beorn could transform into a huge lord Bear, which he did during certain rituals or in order to travel quickly and surrepticiously. He had limited control over the transformation, occasionally turning into a Bear when in a frenzy whether he wanted to or not. He could also do it as part of certain rituals.
  • Regeneration: Beorn heals 5 hits/rnd, and reduces bleeding damage the equivalent of 1 hit/rnd. Whenever Beorn changes form, his body heals damage in accordance with the given form's inherent strength.


  • The Hobbit
  • The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
  • MERP: Southern Mirkwood
  • MERP: Northern Mirkwood
  • MERP: Goblin-gate & Eagle's Eyrie
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