The son of Beorn, who became a great lord in his own right. Like his father, he could take on the shape of a bear, and he dwelt in the same regions of the Vales of Anduin, between the Misty Mountains and Mirkwood.
His people, the Beornings, kept the roads through their lands open and clear of Orcs and Wolves. They maintained the Ford of Carrock that crossed the Great River, and the High Pass through the Mountains. Without them the passage across the northern Vales of Anduin would have been hard or impossible, though Grimbeorn's people charged a hefty toll for their services.
Grimbeorn himself is always referred to as 'Grimbeorn the Old', though we have no dates on which to base a detailed estimate of his age. When Bilbo and his companions met his father Beorn in III 2941, he apparently lived alone. Based on that circumstantial evidence, we can assume that Grimbeorn was born after this, which would make him at most seventy-seven years old when the War of the Ring started.
Old English grim can mean sometimes mean 'spectre' or 'sprite', rather than simply 'grim' in its modern sense. Especially given his father's serious demeanour, though, 'grim bear' seems the more likely interpretation of Grimbeorn's name than 'spectral bear'.
For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.
Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd.
Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 2000, 2007-2008. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.