Tolkien’s Beorn as a Personification of Russia

There are times when an article or an idea would sit as a draft for some time before seeing the light of publication, as if waiting for something. This article is of that kind, and it seemed to have been waiting for Lada Ray’s Forbidden History and Forgotten Origins webinars to catalyse me into putting some finishing touches and publishing it.

I first had an inkling of there being a connection between Tolkien’s depiction of Beorn and Rus when I was reading his books. Much later, that feeling returned as I was watching Peter Jackson’s dramatisation of The Hobbit. And the final pieces fell into place, while watching the behind the scenes documentaries on construction of Beorn’s house set and the visualisation of his character. I have created the shortened versions of the two documentaries to showcase the fragments that are especially interesting and telling for the topic at hand:

Before I proceed, let me reference my reader to another article of Lada Ray – Forbidden History: Are Scandinavians Slavs?. Many of the prerequisites are discussed there, so I would be repeating much of that article otherwise.

Tolkien based his works on the Norse mythology, right? But that same mythology, with some minor variations was also that of the Slavs, down to the use of the runes – the Rus Runnitsa.

So, Beorn? Let’s start with the animal that Beorn represents – the bear. If there is any animal that stands for Russia in people’s mind, it is bear. Either in a positive or in fear-mongering, the image of the bear will meet you whenever Russia is presented.

Bear is an interesting animal linguistically. The root of the word is “ber”. You will find it in the English (“bear”), Norwegian (“bjørn”), German (“bern”). You will also find it in Russian, if you know where to look. Bear in the Russian folklore is a much-revered animal. As such, its name was not spoken, but replaced by a substitute – “medved”, which literally means “he, who knows where the honey is”. But what about the “ber” root? It survived in Russian in the name of the place, where bear spends the winter – the “bear’s layer” – “berloga” in Russian. There you have “ber” for bear and “log”, which is a Russian root meaning something horizontal, laying flat. English kept this original Slavic meaning in “log” and “lay”. In German, you’ll find it in the seemingly most unlikely place – the name of the capital. Berlin – “ber-log-in”, carrying the meaning of “in the bear’s den”.

And so, Beorn in The Hobbit keeps bees. As they said in the documentary – “he is big on bees and his bees are big”. And now remember the Russian placeholder name for a bear – “he, who knows where honey is”.

The set has a lot of artistic carvings, inspired by the Norse carvings. But those carvings are even more common in the traditional Russian wooden architecture. Just run the following image search to see a few examples, one like this:

In the Beorn house set you can glean a stove, and it looks like the one below, seen in a typical Russian village house. More images of Russian stoves can be found by this image search. Incidentally, a stove, like the one below was what Anna Yaroslavna tried the teach the French to build.

Beorn’s backstory wakes even more thoughts – his race being driven and enslaved by the hordes of the Orcs, encroaching on his lands, or rather mountains, at which point the origins of the Slav people in the Urals and the abandoned grads and walls there come to mind. And then there is the name itself – Middle-Earth or Midgard (incidentally, “gard” is a form of the Russian word “grad” or “gorod”, meaning “fortified city”). Scandinavians live on what amounts to a peninsular, surrounded by seas and oceans, while the name Middle-Earth suggests something more inland…

Then there is his ability to turn into a fierce opponent, when he must defend his land, yet being described as a gentle and kind creature. This fits perfectly to the Russian national psyche – kind, friendly to those being friendly with them, yet unyielding and fierce to those, who try to take their land by force. You will notice how various actors and designers in the documentary refer to the same set as both friendly and threatening. A very keen observation – both Beorn’s place and Russia can be characterised as being what you yourself bring there in your mind and heart and intentions.

And if you do not come in peace, this is what awaits you:

The final quote from the documentary makes one pause. It’s as if John Howe subconciously summed up what would happen to our Earth if Russia with her duality and balancing power is no more…

It’s actually very moving, because you realise: when Beorn is no more, then Middle-Earth will be very, very different.
— John Howe, conceptual designer.

UPDATED: Russian Calendar Shows Year 7527, or How Russian History Was Shortened by Peter I

The article you are about to read appears in Russian on The Svarog Day site. Before embarking on it, a short contextual and linguistic introduction is needed.

I have been meaning to translate this article for some time, but as with a few other articles that will be coming out around this time, it did not feel like the time was ripe. It is Lada Ray’s forbidden history & forgotten origins webinar series that are now playing as a certain catalyst. Lada addresses this topic and the historical background behind this transition of the calendar in great detail in her webinar. She also addresses the aspects of a supposed impostor that replaced Peter I, which the article below alludes to. She presents arguments that there was no impostor, but that Peter was swayed in his views by his Western advisors during his travels to the West. Later I plan to do a translation of a film that dives into this topic, but for now, back to the topic of the Calendar.

Another note is the word “calendar”, which in old Russian was “kolo dar”, meaning “the gift of the sun-circle”. Lada Ray wrote an extensive article on this topic in 2015: Why Russians celebrate the New Year, and not Christmas, with New Year’s Tree? The Origin of ‘Calendar’ and Christmas/New Year’s Forbidden History. The article to some degree intersects with what I am about to translate, and it also greatly expands on the meaning of the word “calendar”.

The word “year” in modern Russian is written as “god” (год), and the reason for it will become apparent from the article. However, Russian originally used the word “leto” (лето) to denote “year”. In modern Russian the word “leto” means “summer”, but its original meaning is still preserved in different contexts and words, such as “letopis” (летопись, literally: “year writing”), meaning “chronicles”. “Leto” is also used to denote the age or timespan starting from 5 (it seems the reforms of which the article will talk, were only successfully enforced on short intervals), so you’d say “1 god” (1 year), but “5 let” (5 years).

In my translation I will use “year” for both, but will mark the word with either (god) or (leto) in parenthesis, where the context requires it.

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