Those of you who have been Puttin’ the Blog in Balrog and following the many posts collected at BookSnobbery, or those who are just fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, may be interested to read more on the Big Friendly Guy who pops up briefly in the story but is none the less memorable for all that. I’m talking, of course, about Beorn.
Tolkien explored the notion of “the wild” literally and figuratively in the character of Beorn. He was a civil (if potentially dangerous) host, and the head of a well-ordered household in which domestic animals obeyed his commands. Yet he lived between the inhospitable Misty Mountains, home to the less-than-human goblins (or orcs, as Tolkien later referred to them), and the menacing Mirkwood, perilous to all who entered.