Frár's Beard (...or Lack Thereof.)

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Lifstan
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Re: Frár's Beard (...or Lack Thereof.)

Post by Lifstan » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:02 pm

I also went with the "it's a nickname that stick after the beard grew back". I think pretending that his beard take so long to grow back is unnecessary and a strech of the imagination...

Elmoth
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Re: Frár's Beard (...or Lack Thereof.)

Post by Elmoth » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:26 am

I would go for dwarves growing the beard slow AND him taking a bow to do something before growing the beard again, so that it shows committment. That can inspire shame, pity AND respect at the same time among other dwarves. And yes, he would shave.

Otaku-sempai
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Re: Frár's Beard (...or Lack Thereof.)

Post by Otaku-sempai » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:01 pm

Elmoth wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:26 am
I would go for dwarves growing the beard slow AND him taking a bow to do something before growing the beard again, so that it shows committment. That can inspire shame, pity AND respect at the same time among other dwarves. And yes, he would shave.
We don't really need to imagine Frár shaving, though, as the text in The Darkening of Mirkwood specifies that by the year 2961 his beard has grown back:
If the companions met Frár before, they find the years have mellowed him somewhat: his beard too has regrown, and he seems less bitter and angry, as if his long exile has finally taught him a little patience.
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

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Random221B
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Re: Frár's Beard (...or Lack Thereof.)

Post by Random221B » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:38 pm

Otaku-sempai wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:01 pm
We don't really need to imagine Frár shaving, though, as the text specifies that his beard has grown back.
The text specifies that his beard has grown back by 2961 (in the scenario "Paying the Troll," in DoM.) Specifically, "If the companions met Frár before...his beard too has regrown..." This suggests his beard was gone the last time the characters would have met him. Unless they met him literally *right after* his beard was taken by the elves, that suggests there was some period of time during which he did not have his beard. I also feel that news does not travel so swiftly in Wilderland that if he immediately began to regrow his beard after the elves shaved it, and it does not take a long time for dwarves' beards to grow, there would not have been enough time for the nickname "the beardless" to catch on and propagate. Everything suggests, to me, that Frár spends some period of time beardless. This suggests he either continues to shave for some period of time after the elves shave him, for some reason; dwarf beards take an exceptionally long time to grow (not my preferred explanation, but possible I suppose); or something else keeps his beard from growing back for some period of time. (Elven magic?)

Obviously, if someone wants to go with the explanation that the elves shaved his beard, he immediately started growing it back, but the "beardless" nickname just propagated very quickly, and stuck, that's fine. That just doesn't feel realistic (or as interesting) to me personally. Frar is clearly angry, stubborn, and bitter about many things. I could absolutely see him continuing to shave his beard, to remind people of what was done to him.

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Re: Frár's Beard (...or Lack Thereof.)

Post by Otaku-sempai » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:57 pm

Given the true backstory of how Frár lost his beard, I don't see him shaving to remind him of that shame. I would guess that either Frár's encounter with the Elves was not very long before he is first described in The Heart of the Wild or the Wood-elves placed an enchantment on him that retarded the regrowth of his beard for several years. There is certainly room here, though, for a variety of opinions. :)
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

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Random221B
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Re: Frár's Beard (...or Lack Thereof.)

Post by Random221B » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:46 pm

Otaku-sempai wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:57 pm
Given the true backstory of how Frár lost his beard, I don't see him shaving to remind him of that shame. I would guess that either Frár's encounter with the Elves was not very long before he is first described in The Heart of the Wild or the Wood-elves placed an enchantment on him that retarded the regrowth of his beard for several years. There is certainly room here, though, for a variety of opinions. :)
I do think the enchantment explanation works/makes sense, as well. Although I could see him keeping it shaved if the story about the goblins is helping him get others riled up in support of him retaking the Greydelve. Really, the only option that doesn't work for me personally is that he grew his beard back immediately after being shaved. Any plausible reason for why he would have remained beardless for some period of time is enough for me. (When I introduced him in my game, the players didn't bother to ask, but immediately assumed he was keeping it shaved until he could do something to regain his honor, so I am leaving it at that for the time being.)

But yes, you are definitely right about a variety of opinions. :) As I said, the "immediately growing the beard back" option, fore example, doesn't make sense for me, but I can see where it would be a fine explanation for someone else.

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Re: Frár's Beard (...or Lack Thereof.)

Post by Stormcrow » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:49 pm

Random221B wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:38 pm
The text specifies that his beard has grown back by 2961 (in the scenario "Paying the Troll," in DoM.) Specifically, "If the companions met Frár before...his beard too has regrown..." This suggests his beard was gone the last time the characters would have met him. Unless they met him literally *right after* his beard was taken by the elves, that suggests there was some period of time during which he did not have his beard.
Not really. "His beard too has regrown" could easily mean it was only a short beard, maybe a year's growth, when the player-heroes first met him, and now it's a full and suitable dwarf's beard. It only means that it's full the second time, not that he was clean-shaven the first time.

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Random221B
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Re: Frár's Beard (...or Lack Thereof.)

Post by Random221B » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:42 pm

Stormcrow wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:49 pm
Random221B wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:38 pm
The text specifies that his beard has grown back by 2961 (in the scenario "Paying the Troll," in DoM.) Specifically, "If the companions met Frár before...his beard too has regrown..." This suggests his beard was gone the last time the characters would have met him. Unless they met him literally *right after* his beard was taken by the elves, that suggests there was some period of time during which he did not have his beard.
Not really. "His beard too has regrown" could easily mean it was only a short beard, maybe a year's growth, when the player-heroes first met him, and now it's a full and suitable dwarf's beard. It only means that it's full the second time, not that he was clean-shaven the first time.
Sure, that's possible. it just doesn't feel like the most likely/reasonable interpretation of things, for me. Once again, I think it's fine for others to interpret it any way they like, but just because there are multiple possible interpretations, doesn't mean they all feel equally likely or reasonable or plausible to everyone. The interpretation that makes the most sense to me is that he spent/spends some time beardless. Whatever makes the most sense for you is fine for your interpretation. :)

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Re: Frár's Beard (...or Lack Thereof.)

Post by Stormcrow » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:04 am

You did ask for other possibilities.

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Re: Frár's Beard (...or Lack Thereof.)

Post by Glorelendil » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:19 am

One night at the pub Old Man MacGregor was holding forth, although nobody was much paying attention.

"Aye," he pronounced in his thick brogue, "In my youth I built the wall that runs along Meadow Lane, you know. Laid every stone on every stone with my own two hands. And she's still standing today as straight and true as the day I built her. But do they call me, 'MacGregor the Stonemason'? No, no, they don't. Not that I've ever heard."

"And the wheel of the mill, I made that, too. Felled the trees, trimmed them by hand, and pounded in every peg. And she's still turning today with nary a wobble. But do they call me 'MacGregor the Millwright'? No, no they don't. Not that I've ever heard."

"And the very walls and floors of this fine establishment! I cut and placed every last joist, clapboard, and floorboard. Sound as a drum after all these years! But do they call me, 'MacGregor the Carpenter'? No, no they don't. Not that I've ever heard."

"But I tell you," he says with a sad shake of his head, "You #$%& one goat and they never let you forget it."

So...(cough)..."Frár the Beardless" could be a reference to a single notable event, not a reference to an ongoing state of affairs. (And he probably takes umbrage at its use, either way.)
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