June 25, 2024

Lord of the Rings It has a diverse Middle Earth filled with humans, dwarves, elves, hobbits, orcs and more. However, one of the strangest creatures in history is often overlooked. Ents may not seem like much, but they are essential to the plot. Even for the characters, the Ents are a mysterious group, often only considered legends. Isolated from most of the world, the Ents have their own customs, society and language. Even if they appear briefly Peter Jackson‘s Lord of the Rings in the film trilogy, viewers get some insight into the tree creatures, and always in detail JRR Tolkien certainly, it was not forgotten to spread it in the original books. As protectors of forests, Ents are described as shepherds of trees. Although they look like trees with faces, there is variation between Ents as they tend to resemble the specific type of tree they protect. Trees once covered much of the land, the Ents had more power, but they are greatly reduced due to deforestation. However, they faithfully continue the task of protecting the forests.

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As a people, ent are slow and impatient, taking a long time to do anything. Perhaps because of their long lives, although Ents can actually die. How long they live is unknown, but in the Third Age episode, Treebeard claims to remember a time before Ents learned to speak. Ents are also analytical, taking time to discuss things thoroughly before acting. But when they decide to help defeat the evil wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee), are a force to be reckoned with. Interestingly, the most famous Ent, Treebeard (John Rhys-Davies), is based on Tolkien’s friend CS Lewiswho wrote the chronicles of narnia series, indicating that much of the Ents’ lack of speed would be Tolkien’s way of teasing his friend. Although the Ents are sometimes seen as legends among the other inhabitants of Middle-earth, the rich, if vague, history depicted in Tolkien’s works is full of tales of the Ents throughout the ages.

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Ent Languages

The Ents have two languages: Old Entish and New Entish. Speaking old Entish is a long process, a sentence takes hours, so they only use it when what needs to be said is worth taking the time. The new Entish developed after the Ents’ contact with the Elves, being taken from the Elvish language Quenya, although the Ents used the unique sentence structure of the old Entish. Since it is an Elvish dictionary, other creatures can speak New Entish, unlike Old Entish. However, for the most part, Ents use common speech when communicating with others, although they sometimes fall back on their original sentence structure.

lord-of-the-ring-tree-beard
Image via New Line Cinema

The creation of entities

In Valaquenta, the second part The Silmarillion, Tolkien detailed the creation of the creatures of Middle Earth. The Ents, like the rest, are created by the Valar. But their exact origins are unique. Yavanna, who was responsible for creating fruits and making things grow, was Aulë’s wife. Aulë secretly created the Dwarves, and Yavanna, fearing that they and other creatures would destroy his defenseless forests and nature, demanded the creation of another creature for their protection. And so the Ents were made as guardians of Yavanna’s creation.

Ents appear throughout the history of Middle-earth, but only occasionally. One legend, mentioned by Treebeard himself, is about elves teaching Ents to speak. Treebeard refers to it as “the goblins who cure elves of their dumbness.” Evidently, the Ents have retained an interest in language and can communicate with Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd) when they meet. Another short story mentioned by Treebeard states that the Trolls were the creation of Morgoth in an attempt to copy the power of the Ents, though he failed. While there isn’t much else to deal with this, the Ents seem to have battled the powers of evil before. The Ents get another mention at the Battle of Sarn Athrad at the end of the First Age. The dwarves of Nogrod were returning from an attack on an Elven city, but their enemies followed them. In the introduction, the Ents helped the Elves prevent the escape of the Dwarves.

Merry, Pippin and Treebeard in the Two Towers
Image via New Line Cinema

Where are the Entwives?

Perhaps the most notable Ent story is the mysterious fate of the Entwives. Once, the Entwives lived with the Ents in the forests, but because of their love of planting, they moved further to better control the crops. This led them across the Great River and into the lands that Sauron later destroyed. The Entwives have not been seen since, although the Ents have been looking for them. Treebeard and his friends still hope to meet the Entwives someday. Since the Third Age has long separated Ents and Entwives, there are no young Entlings or Ents. In fact, their numbers are dwindling without any new Ent being born. And that doesn’t seem to be changing. Merry and Pippin share a story with the Tree of a Hobbit who claims to have seen a walking tree near the Shire. After hearing the description of the location, Treebeard comments that the Entwives would like the area, but it is not confirmed whether the hobbit saw an Ent or an Entwife. The fate of the Entwives is officially a mystery, but, in one of his lettersTolkien admitted that he believes they were “destroyed with their gardens in the War of the Last Alliance”.

Assault on Isengard and Beyond

The next popular story of Ents is their emergence The Two Towers. When Merry and Pippin escape from the orcs, they run into the forest. There they meet Treebeard, who doesn’t know hobbits. After a long discussion at their Entmoot, the Ents of Faghhorn Forest decide that Merry and Pippin are not orcs and accept them as friends, but refuse to help them in the fight against Isengard. They think it’s not their war, but they agree to take the hobbits to the edge of the forest. There Treebeard sees the devastation wrought by Saruman and his orcs and calls the elves to battle. They prove to be dangerous foes, knocking down the dam and flooding Isengard. Once in the war, the ent stay with it. The books tell that the Ents intercepted the Orcs on their way to Rohan and beat them again. Finally, after the war, the newly crowned king Aragorn presents a valley in the Misty Mountains to the Ents for help in battle. This area is known as the Watchwood and the Treegarth of Orthanc as the Ents take the trees there and turn them into a flourishing forest.

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