This was first published on Noc. 15th, 2014.
As we all know, many people have been talking about whether or not the Beornings are Lotro-Worthy. I’ve already put in my two cents about that here. Today we’re going to really look at them. We’re really going to go deep to try and figure out whether or not the Beornings have been represented well. We’re going to look at the character models, trait trees, racial deeds, and even the starting area. Let’s have some fun with this and see where it takes us.
Let’s start at the beginning. The Beornings get their very own lore-friendly starting area. We start off at Grimbeorn’s Lodge, home base as it were. In “The Hobbit” we get some very nice description of this lodge. We are told that: “…great patches of flowers had begun to spring up, all the same kinds growing together as if they had been planted. Especially there was clover, waving patches of cockscomb clover, and purple clover, and wide stretches of short sweet honey-smelling clover. There was a buzzing and a whirring and a droning in the air. Bees were busy everywhere.” (pg 110)
This takes place just outside of his lodge. Moving closer, we should see, “…a belt of tall and very ancient oaks, and beyond these to a high thorn-hedge through which you could neither see nor scramble.” (pg 110)
Evidently, he likes his privacy. The area inside the hedge is “…a wooden gate, high and broad, beyond which they could see gardens and a cluster of low wooden buildings, some thatched and made of unshaped logs: barns, stables, sheds, and a long low wooden house. Inside on the southward side of the great hedge were rows and rows of hives with bell-shaped tops made of straw. ” (pg 111) There is also “…a courtyard, three walls of which were formed by the wooden house and its two long wings.” (pg 111)
There are also some specific animals we should be looking for.
“Some horses, very sleek and well-groomed, trotted up across the grass and looked at them intently with very intelligent faces; then off they galloped to the buildings.” (pg 111)
“Beorn clapped his hands and in trotted four beautiful white ponies and several large long-bodied grey dogs.” (pg 118)
So far, we should be looking for these things at Grimbeorn’s Lodge:
- patches of clover
- bees everywhere
- a belt of oak trees around a thorny hedge
- a wooden gate inside the hedge
- clusters of buildings, some thatched, some not
- stables, barns, and sheds
- beehives south from the inside of the hedge with bell-shaped tops
- courtyard formed by the house and its wings
- horses and ponies
- grey dogs
Luckily, I have a bunch of screenshots, so lets see if the devs read this passage.
In this shot we can see the ring of oak trees surrounding the Lodge. We’ll get a better shot of the hedge next screenshot. I would like to draw attention to the enormous amount of clovers. Who needs that many flowers? No one needs that many, I don’t care how many bees you have.
Here, we can see the hedge and the fence. They seem to have morphed into one being. Maybe the hedge decided to eat the fence, it certainly seems that way. The beehives are in the right location (south upon entering the property), but they are decidedly box shaped. No bell shaped hives for us.
And we have a lovely little courtyard here! Look, it’s got lanterns and everything! We also see some gardens, which is nice. Notice the honeycombs on the house. While not mentioned in the book, this is a very realistic touch. Anyone who lives near that many bees is going to have some problems getting them to not build hives in his attic.
I just wanted to point out the horse here. Horses are mentioned as one of the things we’re looking for. I would also like to report that we have seen no dogs, especially not long-bodied grey ones. We’ve seen horses, pigs, goats, frogs, rabbits, sheep, cows, chickens, Beornings, Radagast, sickleflies, a scary amount of bees, and some very angry goblins, but no dogs. Could you imagine the chaos that would erupt if you set this place on fire?
Please direct your attention to that. See that? Those are steps carved into the mountain. That is the Carrock, as mentioned in “That Somebody made the steps on the great rock – the Carrock I believe he calls it.” (pg 108) It’s also mentioned in “He called it the Carrock, because carrock is his word for it. He calls things like that carrocks, and this one is the Carrock because it is the only one near his home and he knows it well.” (pg 109) Now that’s attention to detail.
We’ve seen everything in our checklist except for bell-shaped hives and grey dogs, and I think that’s not so bad. heck, we’ve even seen one thing that we weren’t looking for. They could have just dumped the Beornings in jail like all the other Humans (the amount of escaped prisoners running around Middle Earth is startling), but they made a whole new area for them! The area is lore accurate with the exception of a few small details, and even the location (Vales of Anduin) is pretty good. Many smaller details are put in (numerous animals, bees in meadow, clovers, hedge, and the Carrock) and the things left out were minor. Next week, we’re going to look at the class itself and see how Lotro-Worthy that is.
Lotro-Worthy Rating for the Vales of Anduin:
Now, we were looking for 10 things (supported by quotes), so that’s 10 points. Each thing we found will grant 1 point. See below for the Vales of Anduin’s score.
Base Points = 8.0/10 (-1 for exclusion of dogs, -0.5 for not having bell shaped tops on hives, -0.5 for leaving out the cockscomb clover. We’re assholes here aren’t we?)
Final Points = 9.0/10 (Carrock Bonus!!!)