I’m a huge fan of the Storywonk seminar on The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books. I’m a huge fan of the books themselves and just about anything Tolkien ever wrote.
Here are some observations I made from the session covering the flight from the Eagles’ Eyries to Beorn’s house, Chapter Seven “Queer Lodgings. These are short and not in my typical flowery language, but they’re here for a start. Maybe as things progress, I can write some articles in response to the TABA(tm) discussion.
- Of course, Gandalf didn’t tell the true reason for the mission. Since even the dwarves didn’t know. The removal of the dragon was instrumental in the grand design to defeat Sauron himself.
- Beorn seems like an Adam figure who is in dominion as in the Christian Eden. How remarkable. Another gate to the East.
- The eagles in LOTR and the Silmarillion were certainly a transcendent package. They were far more than eagles. I wonder that the 2nd and 3rd age animals were more prototypical of the more mundane we have today. Intentional? Like near-post fall nature?
- Beorn suddenly appears to me, in this session (thanks, Alastair) to be a sort of Adam from Eden. He is pared down, simply human without sophistication, exercising dominion over nature just as the First Adam would have. The company has stumbled into another Eden that is facing East for them. All the things they see are new in some way, from the animals to the un-named garden plants. This is quite interestingly analogous to the idea that the Shire is a sort of Eden. In fact, Beorn’s holding is more so like Eden. What we miss in both is the simple partnership of man and woman, which stands out to me, but doesn’t shatter my impression that Tolkien might well be influenced by the primal Biblical concepts.
- Very odd that Beorn hadn’t (apparently) knowledge of the Wood Elves’ presence on the eastern end of that little-known forest path. Highly unlikely that knowledge of such a path didn’t include its nether end.