Shooting down a crackpot theory about Beorn's origins

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Rowanberry
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Shooting down a crackpot theory about Beorn's origins

Post by Rowanberry »

On another site, I've got myself involved in a discussion about Beorn, his nature, and origins. There, someone presented their own theory:
I could say that Beorn and his people was the descendants of one of the 3 houses of Edain in the 1st age of the sun.

His blood line can be traced to Bëor (the old) and Beren is the 1st to change (shape shifter) to a beast form - a wolf (werewolf) named Draughluin (Sauron's pet), and this was accomplished by Luthein. (which is the daughter of a high Elven king and a Maiar - FYI: Its Luthein who can change and she change to a vampire in the Sil's quest.)

Now...my theory is ...probably this skill was learned in Beren's family (when both of them get to live the 2nd chance.), and passed along the generation until the 3rd age (until to Grimbeorn < son of Beorn > who helped in the war of the ring.) and it stayed and widely used within the people who must live in the middle of the forest with their animal friends. - which is of Beorn and his kin.
Well, we all know that this is nonsense. The poster also mentions David Day as one of his sources, and we also know how reliable he is. :P

Now, I've gone through more reliable sources - like, what Tolkien himself has written - and presented every counterargument that I've found:

- Beren and Lúthien only had one child, and they lived for the rest of their lives among the Green-elves, never meeting any Men again;

- their only grandchild who made it into adulthood was Elwing;

- Beren could only change into the shape of Draugluin with Lúthien's help;

- the people of Bëor were wellnigh extinct at the end of the First Age, and the survivors sure moved to Númenor, and didn't go back East;

- the names Bëor and Beorn aren't connected in any way.

But, apparently, this person thinks they know Tolkien's mind better than the man himself: :roll:
Dont give me things that Beren and Lúthien didnt spoke to anyone for it to passed its gift of shape changing for Tolkien is known to change his novel/story althorugh his life. (ex: The Hobbit was change to accomodate some characters in his next novel LOTR.)....There are so many ways to passed information to the next person...not just what you read in Tolkien's book
If Voronwë's book were already published, I could very easily find the right arrow to shoot this one down as well... But, as it isn't, and I simply don't have time to read through all the relevant parts of the HoME, here's a question to Voronwë and any others who know the HoME books by heart:

Did Tolkien himself write that Beren and Lúthien never spoke to any Mortal Man anymore after their return from Mandos, or is that something Christopher composed? And, if this really came from "the horse's mouth", I believe that he never later wrote anything that would change it?

(If anyone is interested in reading the whole exchange, it's here.)
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Re: Shooting down a crackpot theory about Beorn's origins

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

What nonsense! First of all, Beren never "changed to beast form." He simply was (by the arts of Lúthien) "arrayed now in the hame of Draugluin." Then, after Lúthien put Morgoth to sleep, Beren "cast aside the wolf-hame." To suggest that that is indication that he was the first of a line of shape-shifters leading to Beorn is just about the most ridiculous thing I ever heard.
Rowanberry wrote:If Voronwë's book were already published, I could very easily find the right arrow to shoot this one down as well... But, as it isn't, and I simply don't have time to read through all the relevant parts of the HoME, here's a question to Voronwë and any others who know the HoME books by heart:

Did Tolkien himself write that Beren and Lúthien never spoke to any Mortal Man anymore after their return from Mandos, or is that something Christopher composed? And, if this really came from "the horse's mouth", I believe that he never later wrote anything that would change it?
Yes, that was written by Tolkien, in the Beren and Lúthien chapter of the original Quenta Silmarillion (see The Lost Road, pp. 305-306), and he never wrote anything later that would change it.

The biggest fundamental mistake this person is making is assuming that everything that Tolkien included in The Hobbit was from his legendarium. That simply was not the case. Bilbo's adventure did eventually get subsumed into the greater mythology, but as written it was meant to be (mostly) independent. I am quite confident that there is no evidence at all that connects Beorn to Bëor or Beren. Rather, as Rateliff details at great length, Beorn is largely based on old Norse legends.

P.S Morwinyoniel?
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Post by Rowanberry »

Thanks, V. :) I can always trust to find a few scholars here. 8)

And yes, that's my ID on that site.
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Post by axordil »

Beorn is a bit like Bombadil: sui generis, and proud of it. :D
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Post by Impenitent »

I have a feeling, Rowan, that you will never change this person's mind, no matter the evidence, because he's in love with the theory he's put forth (and with some people, you know, facts just get in the way ;) ).

Nonsense, it is, but it's his very own nonsense and he's welcome to it.
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Post by Frelga »

What Impish said. Don't expect a rational argument.
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

No, don't. But that shouldn't stop you from vigorously correcting him (I'm assuming that this is a "him"; it sure sounds like it :halo: ). After all, we don't want crackpot theories (or worse, the views of David Day) to go uncontested in a public forum.
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Post by BrianIsSmilingAtYou »

You should remind this person that crackpot theories are most effective when they are independent of any possible evidence.

Leaving yourself open to disproof is the sign of a broken crockpot, err... crackpot.

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Post by axordil »

Now the people who lived around Beorn--the Beornings? may well have descended from one of the Houses of the Edain before they got to Beleriand, as it is suggested the people of Eorl did. But that's as close a relation as I think can be supported without a derrick.
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

But it does give us all the opportunity to act all superior. :halo:
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Post by solicitr »

You should remind this person that crackpot theories are most effective when they are independent of any possible evidence.
Absolutely. Because the complete absence of evidence is proof positive of the Conspiracy's power to cover its tracks and suppress The Truth.

Dang those shifty Elves......
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Post by River »

Y'know, they never found the bodies of Elwing's brothers. I think if you cut out all the other points, that's thin enough evidence for any number of preposterously excellent crack-pot theories. Seriously. The beauty of a single data point is the line goes anywhere. =:)
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Post by Frelga »

This quote from LJ seemed appropriate here:
Crazy dude is crazy and will quickly climb the ranks to Sergeant Crazy if you try to reason to him with non-crazy logic.
There should be a word for the microscopic spark of hope that you dare not entertain in case the mere act of acknowledging it will cause it to vanish, like trying to look at a photon. You can only sidle up to it, looking past it, walking past it, waiting for it to get big enough to face the world.
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Post by Rowanberry »

Thanks, all.

I know that I'm probably just wasting my time with that guy. But now, I've at least presented valid evidence why his theory doesn't hold water in regard of the origin of Beorn's shape-changing abilities.
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