As i mentioned in my first post, I chose a hunter to be the character I chase down rare mobs with for a number of reasons. However, I started the hunter long long before that, mostly because I thought taming exotic wild beasts would be cool. Of course, back then picking your pet was an extremely complicated affair with a lot of different factors weighing in, and Petopia wasn't around yet.
I know that for a lot of hunters, the appearance of the pet is as important as what abilities it has. In fact, with the normalization of pets, you could argue that it's even more important to pick one that you think looks cool.
And this brings us to Bjarn.
Who is he, and where can I find him?
Bjarn is a white bear who can be found wandering around the Tundrid Hills in Dun Morogh, the dwarven homeland.
The easiest way to find him (if he's there) is to go south from Kharanos and then turn east into the small pass between the hills. You should cover all the spots where Bjarn can be found by doing that. Actually, you have a fairly good chance of finding him, since reliable evidence indicate that all the rarespawns in starter areas in the old world (Dun Morogh, Elwyn, Teldrassil, Durotar, Mulgore and Tirisfal) respawn in something like 30 minutes time.
What's so special about Bjarn?
Well, that depends on how you see it. He is not a unique model or a unique coloration for a bear. However, except for one other mob ( Mangeclaw, also found in Dun Morogh), Bjarn is the only white bear that you can tame for a long long time.
In fact, you have to wait until you reach Winterspring to find other pure white bears, and that's not until level 53 and higher. Bears are quite nice tenacity pets (that would be "tank" pets for those of you not of a hunter inclination), and I personally think the white color looks great.
So, if you're an aspiring hunter who wants to tame their first pet and want a white bear, who should you go for? Bjarn or Mangeclaw?
Well, while Mangeclaw is a quest mob and thus "always" active, the low respawn time on Bjarn makes this kind of a non-issue. The big difference between the two for a low-level hunter, though, is that Mangeclaw sports a quite nasty surprise for would-be tamers. Mangeclaw will do a knockdown attack which will most likely break the taming, so unless you have some tricks to prevent that, Bjarn is much easier to tame for a level 12-ish character.
Of course, if you're playing a Horde character and want to tame either of these, especially at the first level you can do so... it's going to be a bit of an adventure, requiring long treks through enemy lands. But really, what hunter wouldn't take that challenge for a cool-looking pet?
If you're not a hunter and decide to kill Bjarn instead, he actually has a unique drop. A white, non-binding leather chest called "Black Bear Hide Vest".
A pure white bear... gives you a black bear hide to make a vest from.
Well, I want to mention that "Bjarn" is likely derived from the scandinavian word for bear, "björn". It sounds nice and fitting for a Dun Morogh creature. Blizzard also reused the "Bjarn" word recently for the Halls of Lightning boss called General Bjarngrim, once again evoking images of vikings (who often named and compared themselves to bears to gain the animal's strength).
If you do decide to go and look for Bjarn, good luck with the taming!