As a giant bear, and remorseless orc-killer, I have found myself in some pretty fur-raising situations. During the Battle of Five Armies, after I had smashed through his bodyguard, I was standing muzzle to face with the vile orc chieftain, Bolg. With one mighty swipe of my paw, I smote him upon the ground where he stood. Still, without the support of the eagles, I don’t know if anyone among the free peoples would have survived that day, including yours truly. Whenever you are facing a difficult situation, it’s always good to know that someone has your back.
Now, from time to time, us Beornings like to let loose and have some fun. In my travels, I have covered much of Middle-Earth in search of good parties. One time, I even wandered all the way over to Bree, and had fun playing darts and drinking the fine beer at the Prancing Pony. A sallow-eyed fellow tried to cheat me at darts and I had to transform into a bear after he hit me with a chair. Suffice it to say, old Barliman Butterbur told me that I am not welcome there any more. Apparently, the locals don’t take kindly to anything unusual.
So all this reminiscing got me thinking. In my many wanderings, and from all of the very good tales I’ve heard, who would I most want to have at my back in a bar fight? Laugh if you want, but this question is of the utmost importance. It’s only in the middle of danger, and after 5 pints of mead and some Southfarthing pipe-weed, that you learn who your real friends are. What follows are just a few of the heroes of Middle-Earth that I would be most glad to have standing beside me, ready to break a cue over some Southron’s head.
There are many brave heroes who come to mind when I think about who I would want with me in a bar fight. The lady Eowyn (aka Dernhelm) with her unflagging will and amazing ability to hold her liquor, is certainly a fine candidate. Anyone with the courage to stand their ground against the Witch-King of Angmar is a most worthy friend. Indeed, the shield maiden of Rohan is more stout of hearth than most men I’ve met. All of that fire and passion is great, but sometimes I worry that Eowyn can’t back it up with action. She’s great for when you need a friend to steal a horse and help you ride off to another country, but with her limited combat skills she’s not so good in a bar fight. I fear we must leave Eowyn waiting at Edoras, and continue our search for the best bar-brawl companion.
For those that prefer the quiet pub to the bawdy tavern, there is always the thinking man’s hero. Wise even beyond his years, and with many a fine story to tell, Denethor II, son of Ecthelion is a great drinking companion. And lest you think him too frail to provide aid in a fight, you would soon learn the error of your ways! Alas, many a poor fool has been checked by nothing more than the sound of the voice of Denethor. Verily, the might and majesty of Westernesse can still be heard in the timber of the Steward’s voice. Still, my heart misgives me when I think of having Denethor at my side when a fight breaks out. Ever his eyes seem drawn elsewhere, indeed in men of lesser bearing one might call it rudeness. To my thinking, he is too prone to distraction. Frequently he journeys to the privy, and always with some stone wrapped in his robes. I do not know what he sees in such trinkets, but I suspect his glance would stray thither, should I find myself in a wrestling match with an odorous Haradrim. So on we must go, still in search of the perfect drinking partner.
Now we come to my diminutive friend, Gloin. Ever since he came and shared my mead and honey-cakes I have taken a liking to this Dwarf. A stout fellow, even among his own race, he is a great friend and a fearsome warrior. I witnessed his feats of bravery first hand, at the Battle of Five Armies (where I was secretly relieved that no more armies showed up, as I cannot count past 8). Verily, it seemed that day, that the more punishment he took the greater his stature became. For each cold swipe of the cruel scimitars of the orcs, and each bone-crushing bite of the teeth of the wargs, my Dwarven friend only mustered his courage all the more. If anything, this is the only misgiving I have when contemplating Gloin as a bar-hopping brother; he seems to enjoy pain to a point that some might call unhealthy. Now, I know that he would be a great help in a fight, but I worry that Gloin might go looking for a fight where none before existed. Sadly, I must go ever onward, in my search for the ideal bar fighter.
So at last, we come to a true champion of many an epic bout of beer-fueled fisticuffs. Boromir, son of Denethor II, is a most doughty man. With formidable skill of arms, he seems to never tire at his work. Eager to impress others with his feats of strength, I have heard tale that he once drank a full cask of Esgaroth red, with his horn as a cup, and without the use of his hands! This is my kind of man. Of all his many talents, Boromir is probably most renowned for his relentlessness. Ever eager to return to the fight, Boromir can take the hardest hits and get right back up, ready for more punishment. Indeed, one must be careful in Boromir’s company, as the severity of his determination can at times put those around him in too great a danger. One often-overlooked quality of the warrior of Gondor, is his willingness to sacrifice for his friends. This, above all else, is why I would want none other than Boromir by my side the next time I drink too much mead and make ungracious comments about the pelt that some poor scout from Ravenhill is wearing.
…then the blood gets everywhere …and I’m told that bears aren’t welcome in the Prancing Pony …and asked why did I have to rip both of his arms out …who wears a bear-skin jacket in the summer, seriously?! …where on Arda is Ravenhill anyway? …until the dawning of the Fourth Age, I swear I’m never going to drink that much again…