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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    The OP also suggested an outright Beorning theme and that would be going a bit far. It's not unfair to point out that game or no, skin-changers probably shouldn't be wearing fur if they tended to follow in Beorn's footsteps (except I imagine that maybe one of the grim, bad ones might wear a Warg-pelt just to make a point). It's an RP thing if nothing else.
    The other option would always be to find an RPG explanation, given that the original one is obviously invalidated by the game environment (unless RPGers switch to a very selective perception). The sample size of Beornings we have in the lore is quite small, so we definitely got possibilities.

    Given the childlike, fairy tale style of the Hobbit, one could even imply that Beorn's behavior resulted from a history of interaction with humans that might not have been the nicest one. Or the principle idea that bear-skins were used as decorations in many societies. That does not automatically mean that *all* human-bear skin changers became vegans rather than the omnivores both of their species are. Even then the respect for their prey might be present rather than just seeing it as a piece of meat.

  2. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by thinx View Post
    The other option would always be to find an RPG explanation, given that the original one is obviously invalidated by the game environment (unless RPGers switch to a very selective perception). The sample size of Beornings we have in the lore is quite small, so we definitely got possibilities.

    Given the childlike, fairy tale style of the Hobbit, one could even imply that Beorn's behavior resulted from a history of interaction with humans that might not have been the nicest one. Or the principle idea that bear-skins were used as decorations in many societies. That does not automatically mean that *all* human-bear skin changers became vegans rather than the omnivores both of their species are. Even then the respect for their prey might be present rather than just seeing it as a piece of meat.
    Well, while we're looking at RP explanations we might invent a reason Beorn doesn't eat meat. Perhaps a Beorning who took to eating meat might find themselves drawn more and more into being a bear until only the bear was left. (And then you'd end up with a terrifying monster like Mor'du in Brave, seemingly unkillable). The idea of shape-shifting being perilous like that is an old one but a good one. Whatever the reason for Beorn's behaviour (the book implies it's just fellow feeling with animals, like he's a sort of big, fuzzy Doctor Dolittle) the idea of Beorn being kind to natural living creatures 'defuses' what could otherwise be seen as just a savage killer and gives him a higher virtue, so it needn't be seen as just a fairy-tale thing. It makes him a more interesting character.

    (Also, Beorn is a vegetarian rather than a vegan - dairy is definitely on the menu).

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Well, while we're looking at RP explanations we might invent a reason Beorn doesn't eat meat. Perhaps a Beorning who took to eating meat might find themselves drawn more and more into being a bear until only the bear was left. (And then you'd end up with a terrifying monster like Mor'du in Brave, seemingly unkillable). The idea of shape-shifting being perilous like that is an old one but a good one. Whatever the reason for Beorn's behaviour (the book implies it's just fellow feeling with animals, like he's a sort of big, fuzzy Doctor Dolittle) the idea of Beorn being kind to natural living creatures 'defuses' what could otherwise be seen as just a savage killer and gives him a higher virtue, so it needn't be seen as just a fairy-tale thing. It makes him a more interesting character.
    The question about is still what the lore is and what the interpretation of lore is. Sticking to the lore is a good, one, but when we're at interpretation we got other options one may like or dislike. The shapeshifter that turns into a carnivore permanently is in literature, but it is quite often related to thoughts and emotions rather than nutrition (which is rather a consequence than the cause).
    One could even bring in his dogs, which might have had a hard time if they were fed according to Beorn's diet without getting a few extra pills here and there.

    One could also discuss if "being kind to living creatures" and eating meat is exclusive. The 21st century interpretation is exclusivity, but humans across different centuries and societies have brought up their own interpretations in various flavors - some of them with high respect for nature and for their prey.

    Concerning Gandalf's statement: My personal interpretation was that one does not simply say "bear-skin rug" in presence of a bear-man shape shifter....

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    (Also, Beorn is a vegetarian rather than a vegan - dairy is definitely on the menu).
    That was an oversight. I had honey in mind and still wrote vegan....
    On the other hand one could bring up the vegan argument as well. What happens to male offsprings of chicken and cows that are a necessary consequence of dairy/egg products?
    Just saying that there are more options and that the "kind to animals" interpretation might be more strict than it needs to be within the lore.

    So whatever we say, IMO lore is not as strict as our interpretations are.

  4. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by thinx View Post
    The question about is still what the lore is and what the interpretation of lore is. Sticking to the lore is a good, one, but when we're at interpretation we got other options one may like or dislike. The shapeshifter that turns into a carnivore permanently is in literature, but it is quite often related to thoughts and emotions rather than nutrition (which is rather a consequence than the cause).
    Yeah, but nutrition is rather the thing here because a veggie bear is a bit weird. It's not as if Beorn only turns into a bear when he's angry like a sort of fuzzy Incredible Hulk.

    One could even bring in his dogs, which might have had a hard time if they were fed according to Beorn's diet without getting a few extra pills here and there.
    Maybe they could go out themselves and hunt as a pack? They're preternaturally smart, and the way they're described suggests hunting dogs.

    One could also discuss if "being kind to living creatures" and eating meat is exclusive. The 21st century interpretation is exclusivity, but humans across different centuries and societies have brought up their own interpretations in various flavors - some of them with high respect for nature and for their prey.
    Respecting the animal you've speared and then chased down doesn't mean it's kind to spear animals and chase them down. Sure you can philosophise about the circle of life, have animist beliefs about animal spirits etc. but the deer or whatever won't see it that way.

    Concerning Gandalf's statement: My personal interpretation was that one does not simply say "bear-skin rug" in presence of a bear-man shape shifter....
    Bilbo was sternly warned not to mention anything to do with furriers or furs of any sort, if he could help it. Plainly a sensitive subject in general, as in one does not simply talk about skinning animals in the presence of someone who loves them, unless you want to really upset them.

    What happens to male offsprings of chicken and cows that are a necessary consequence of dairy/egg products?
    He could perhaps allow most of the cattle to be feral and only keep a few at his house? And he doesn't appear to keep chickens.

    So whatever we say, IMO lore is not as strict as our interpretations are.
    But likewise it's not so flimsy that it should be thrown out just for the sake of fashion

  5. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Furriers, mate, farriers shoe horses

    Stuff like this isn't "lore-heavy", it's like 'Beorning 101' that Beorn loved animals and most of the men of his line were meant to be like him in heart. Much like the thing about them not being entirely fond of Dwarves. Anyway the OP did specifically say Beornings, not everybody. I've said this before, that guys who can actually turn into bears (and are awfully big besides) wouldn't need to wear big shaggy cloaks or anything else animal-themed to try to impress. Leave the dressing up to furry wannabes like the Gauredain
    Ah, my mistake! Ty for correcting - I meant to say furriers - LOL

    Well, it seems to me the biggest mistake the OP made was mentioning Beornings at all; I still think it's a perfectly viable and a good suggestion to make more kinds of cloaks in that vein and especially to have hoodless versions of the Lossoth ones, regardless of the race / class, etc. There's nothing in the game to prevent Beornings from wearing Gondorian or Elven armor, for example, as cosmetics when it's completely bonkers lore-wise for them to do so.

    You're absolutely right on your lore corrections; I'm just saying trying to tie the suggestion to lore to begin with is immaterial - pun intended - for something that ought to be a more general suggestion to add more cloaks of an already existent cosmetic-type to the game. How the OP roleplays Beornings or dresses them is honestly the OP's own business

    In short: we might as well, as with Swift's Lilliput and Blefuscue, discuss how we ought to open our eggs for breakfast - LOL

    Cheers!
    Landrovel Player; I am Phantion on the forums only and do not have a corresponding avatar in-game with that name on any server. Cheers! :)

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  6. #31
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    Some of you are taking this way too seriously. All the OP is asking for is a hoodless variant of an existing cloak for a character that just happens to be a Beorning.
    "Grandchildren are God's reward for not killing your children when you wanted to."

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidmeetHal View Post
    Some of you are taking this way too seriously. All the OP is asking for is a hoodless variant of an existing cloak for a character that just happens to be a Beorning.
    I have to agree with you there, even though I was the first one to derail the train. I remembered the Beorning fur cloaks that someone linked earlier. I just find it silly that the devs seem to know so little of the lore, either that or they just don't care, to create a cloak that Beorn himself would probably disembowel the wearer of if he ever caught them

    Obviously I have nothing against new cloaks featuring fur lining being introduced to all classes and races, and if people happen to outfit their Beorning characters in them that's their own business.
    “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”
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  8. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Phantion View Post
    How the OP roleplays Beornings or dresses them is honestly the OP's own business
    Indeed, how the OP's character chooses to shame their ancestors is their own business

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Maybe they could go out themselves and hunt as a pack? They're preternaturally smart, and the way they're described suggests hunting dogs.
    So why is a person that is kind to animals have a pack of hunting dogs that go and kill their prey? Would *not* breeding these dogs not be a better option? Isn't not having them first place equivalent with being kinder to animals? Is Beorning supporting a pack size that is bigger than natural balance would allow for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Respecting the animal you've speared and then chased down doesn't mean it's kind to spear animals and chase them down. Sure you can philosophise about the circle of life, have animist beliefs about animal spirits etc. but the deer or whatever won't see it that way.
    Again, that is not a logic that has been common in the past nor is it even common all across this world. Compare to Kipling's jungle book. He has good ("kind") sapient carnivores and evil sapient carnivores. Just saying that the interpretation of what "kind" means is already interpretation, not lore. I respect your interpretation, but it is based on a premise that is outside of the lore. Your interpretation is possible, but not the only possible one. No more, no less. I would not call a bear "unkind" because it is an omnivore. It just is what it is. Are Beornings different? Or are the animals that Beornings can talk to sapient in a way and should act differently?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Bilbo was sternly warned not to mention anything to do with furriers or furs of any sort, if he could help it. Plainly a sensitive subject in general, as in one does not simply talk about skinning animals in the presence of someone who loves them, unless you want to really upset them.
    Or probably not talking about skinning animals in front of someone that could be considered as "furry animal" when in bear form? Or at least as furry animal that is interesting to ferriers (in opposite to using all parts of a killed animal like it is typically done in many cultures except our own). Maybe it was no good idea to call him a bedside carpet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    He could perhaps allow most of the cattle to be feral and only keep a few at his house?
    One possible interpretation, but it is already an interpretation, not what is in the lore. I have some problems with young domestic bulls that are released to the wilds with stronger winters, but so be it. But maybe Beornings are also making hay for the feral parts of their cattle, no matter how many. The interesting part being that it is mainly male feral cattle, which is definitely generating a nice herd structure. Apart from that a permanent artificial production of one species that is released to the wild has some impact, especially if done by a Beorning population of more than one.

    I am just trying to say that there is the part that is in the lore and there is the one that is interpretation. There is one LOTR lore, but there is more than one interpretation.
    Last edited by thinx; May 18 2022 at 01:45 PM.

  10. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by thinx View Post
    So why is a person that is kind to animals have a pack of hunting dogs that go and kill their prey?
    Because (on the assumption he needs them) being kind to dogs includes making sure they''re properly fed, one way or another. Much the same as if he kept cats to keep rats and mice from eating all his grain. And so far as we know he only has 'several' dogs, not umpteen.

    Again, that is not a logic that has been common in the past nor is it even common all across this world.
    So what, if it's just their beliefs rather than it actually being true? It's emphatically unkind to chase down a deer, for example, they can get so stressed they may drop dead from that alone.

    Or probably not talking about skinning animals in front of someone that could be considered as "furry animal" when in bear form?
    Simply that winding up someone who can turn into a bear would be unwise, so best to avoid touchy subjects. (Him caring about animals in general rather than simply being bothered about furs can be seen in him being vegetarian).

    One possible interpretation, but it is already an interpretation, not what is in the lore.
    If you insist on taking the fairy-tale stuff seriously then we have to come up with a 'serious' way for it to work. 'Lore' doesn't say any more than that he keeps a few cattle but plainly that's not sustainable unless there's a larger population somewhere, either in the wild or by trading occasionally with the Woodmen or whoever. We know he does trade from time to time because he's got a few metal items about the place. The problem with the idea of him trading away surplus bulls would be what would happen to them if he did so that seems less likely to me.

    Besides, this is based on long-ago times when cattle would be closer to their wild ancestors (comparatively lean and long-legged) and would have an easier time reverting to their natural behaviour if left to their own devices.

  11. #36
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    One thing beforehand: We should definitely separate between Beorn and Beornings. Beorn is one of them, not all of them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Because (on the assumption he needs them) being kind to dogs includes making sure they''re properly fed, one way or another.
    In the end, even though Beorn himself did not eat animals, this still means that the concept of carnivores was not that much of a problem for him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    So what, if it's just their beliefs rather than it actually being true? It's emphatically unkind to chase down a deer, for example, they can get so stressed they may drop dead from that alone.
    The scenario we're talking about might not have the luxury for such a decision. Most people in that time were not killing for fun, it was to stock up on food that was not available otherwise with the available agriculture. A simple survival topic - and meat was not consumed frequently, but rarely. I do not think it makes them "unkind to animals", in the same way as a lion is not "unkind". It is what it is and tries to survive. Humans, in opposite to carnivores, can decide differently IF they have *options*. We have such options today, but that was different in the past.

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Simply that winding up someone who can turn into a bear would be unwise, so best to avoid touchy subjects. (Him caring about animals in general rather than simply being bothered about furs can be seen in him being vegetarian).
    This would be true if Gandalf would have warned them about a little more than just fur. If hunting was a touchy subject, Gandalf should have told them directly rather than implicitly by saying he does not hunt. He specifically warned them about one topic, while the rest was just a description. More like "You should not talk to him about fur and he is vegetarian" rather than "You should not talk to him about fur because he is vegetarian".

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    If you insist on taking the fairy-tale stuff seriously then we have to come up with a 'serious' way for it to work. 'Lore' doesn't say any more than that he keeps a few cattle but plainly that's not sustainable unless there's a larger population somewhere, either in the wild or by trading occasionally with the Woodmen or whoever. We know he does trade from time to time because he's got a few metal items about the place. The problem with the idea of him trading away surplus bulls would be what would happen to them if he did so that seems less likely to me.
    I'd rather go with the trade option, but selling them to be butchered does not make things better. Still one has to consider this differently for "Beorn" and "Beornings". One Beorn has a few cows. Many Beornings have.... And they all just keep their cows and let their bulls roam in the wilderness?
    Concerning the robust cattle: Depends on snow depth, which should be considerable that far up in the north (see Arda map vs. winter description at the end of the book). There was a reason why farmers in mountain valleys were making hay in the summer, even when their cattle was robust.

    IMO the description we have is not clear enough to draw all the conclusions that forbid fur (or leather) for all later Beornings. The solution is not unique.

  12. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by thinx View Post
    One thing beforehand: We should definitely separate between Beorn and Beornings. Beorn is one of them, not all of them.
    If you want to be specific then you should say "skin-changers" or "the people of Beorn's line", or some such. "Beornings" really included a whole bunch of perfectly ordinary Northmen who'd adopted Beorn as their chief.

    Regardless, the 'nice' skin-changers (which was most of them) were supposed to be like Beorn in heart, it was the grim and bad ones who weren't. You can't assume Beorn was a one-off.

    In the end, even though Beorn himself did not eat animals, this still means that the concept of carnivores was not that much of a problem for him.
    Of course he wouldn't have a problem with it when it's natural for those animals.

    The scenario we're talking about might not have the luxury for such a decision. Most people in that time were not killing for fun, it was to stock up on food that was not available otherwise with the available agriculture. A simple survival topic - and meat was not consumed frequently, but rarely. I do not think it makes them "unkind to animals", in the same way as a lion is not "unkind". It is what it is and tries to survive. Humans, in opposite to carnivores, can decide differently IF they have *options*. We have such options today, but that was different in the past.
    Killing animals out of necessity doesn't make it any less unkind. Sane goes with other cruel necessities involved in animal husbandry. You must be kidding about lions, they're cats... haven't you ever seen a cat toying with a mouse? Lions will do much the same with small prey, just for fun.

    This would be true if Gandalf would have warned them about a little more than just fur. If hunting was a touchy subject, Gandalf should have told them directly rather than implicitly by saying he does not hunt. He specifically warned them about one topic, while the rest was just a description. More like "You should not talk to him about fur and he is vegetarian" rather than "You should not talk to him about fur because he is vegetarian".
    The point is that he neither eats meat nor wears fur because he has an affinity for animals. The thing about fur only came up because Bilbo didn't know what Gandalf meant by 'skin-changer'.

    I'd rather go with the trade option, but selling them to be butchered does not make things better. Still one has to consider this differently for "Beorn" and "Beornings". One Beorn has a few cows. Many Beornings have.... And they all just keep their cows and let their bulls roam in the wilderness?
    I didn't say anything about letting the extra bulls roam alone, you did.

    Concerning the robust cattle: Depends on snow depth, which should be considerable that far up in the north (see Arda map vs. winter description at the end of the book). There was a reason why farmers in mountain valleys were making hay in the summer, even when their cattle was robust.
    How do you think wild cattle managed originally? IRL, aurochs apparently ranged as far north as southern Sweden and that's a good enough parallel to where Beorn lives, don't you think?

    IMO the description we have is not clear enough to draw all the conclusions that forbid fur (or leather) for all later Beornings. The solution is not unique.
    What you equally don't have is any reason to throw it aside just because it's easier to think of them as stereotypical 'barbarian' types.

 

 
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