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Origin of the Ents

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NancyBrooke
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 9:58 am    Post subject: Origin of the Ents Reply with quote

I'm confused: where did the Ents come from?

I though I remembered Legolas or someone saying that they were awoken by the Elves ... but then I read elsewhere that Iluvatar made them for Yavanna ...

Can you help me sort this out?

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mistressofbucklebury



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Without checking the books Nancy I believe it may be a combination of the two.

I know when Aule created the dwarves they could not awake until after the firstborn so it seems logical (to me at least) that although Yavanna created the Ents they would be dormant until the coming of the elves... so Yavanna made them but Legolas may have been right about elves awakening them.

Does that help/make any sense at all???

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mistressofbucklebury



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

actually just found a quote from The Silm that might help...

Quote:
Behold! When the Children awake, then the thought of Yavanna will awake also, and it will summon spirits from afar, and they will go among the kevlar and the ovlar, and some will dwell therein, and be held in reverence, and their anger shall be feared. For a time: while the Firstborn are in their power, and while the Secondborn are young......... In the mountains the Eagles shall house, and hear the voices of those who call upon us. But in the forests shall walk the Shepherds of the Trees.


taken from the chapter "Of Aule and Yavanna"

Hope this clears things up a bit

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NancyBrooke
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope, not so much. Embarassed Laughing
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Ottis413



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way it looks to me, (and I might be wrong) is that Ents were made by Yavanna, and then awakened by the Elves and taught speech (?)
There was something about the firstborn teaching the Ents to speek in RotK. (I think)

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NancyBrooke
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ottis413 wrote:
There was something about the firstborn teaching the Ents to speek in RotK. (I think)
That's what I thought, too ... must keep looking.

This is pertinent to a drabble I have yet to post; I hate having to make some lengthy disclaimer and/or seem wishy washy. Confused

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ellisk



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The whole quote that MoB is refering to is:

Quote:
But Aulë answered: 'That shall also be true of the Children of Ilúvatar; for they will eat and they will build. And though the things of thy realm have worth in themselves, and would have worth if no Children were to come, yet Eru will give them dominion, and they shall use all that they find in Arda: though not, by the purpose of Eru, without respect or without gratitude.'

'Not unless Melkor darken their hearts,' said Yavanna. And she was not appeased, but grieved in heart, fearing what might be done upon Middle-earth in days to come. Therefore she went before Manwë, and she did not betray the counsel of Aulë, but she said: 'King of Arda, is it true, as Aulë hath said to me, that the Children when they come shall have dominion over all the things of my labour, to do as they will therewith?'

'It is true,' said Manwë. 'But why dost thou ask, for thou hadst no need of the teaching of Aulë?'

Then Yavanna was silent and looked into her own thought. And she answered: 'Because my heart is anxious, thinking of the days to come. All my works are dear to me. Is it not enough that Melkor should have marred so many? Shall nothing that I have devised be free from the dominion of others?'

'If thou hadst thy will what wouldst thou reserve?' said Manwë. 'Of all thy realm what dost thou hold dearest?'

'All have their worth,' said Yavanna, 'and each contributes to the worth of the others. But the kelvar can flee or defend themselves, whereas the olvar that grow cannot. And among these I hold trees dear. Long in the growing, swift shall they be in the felling, and unless they pay toll with fruit upon bough little mourned in their passing. So I see in my thought. Would that the trees might speak on behalf of all things that have roots, and punish those that wrong them!'

'This is a strange thought,' said Manwë.

'Yet it was in the Song,' said Yavanna. 'For while thou wert in the heavens and with Ulmo built the clouds and poured out the rains, I lifted up the branches of great trees to receive them, and some sang to Ilúvatar amid the wind and the rain.'

Then Manwë sat silent, and the thought of Yavanna that she had put into his heart grew and unfolded; and it was beheld by Ilúvatar. Then it seemed to Manwë that the Song rose once more about him, and he heeded now many things therein that though he had heard them he had not heeded before. And at last the Vision was renewed, but it was not now remote, for he was himself within it, and yet he saw that all was upheld by the hand of Ilúvatar; and the hand entered in, and from it came forth many wonders that had until then been hidden from him in the hearts of the Ainur.

Then Manwë awoke, and he went down to Yavanna upon Ezellohar, and he sat beside her beneath the Two Trees. And Manwë said: 'O Kementári, Eru hath spoken, saying: "Do then any of the Valar suppose that I did not hear all the Song, even the least sound of the least voice? Behold! When the Children awake, then the thought of Yavanna will awake also, and it will summon spirits from afar, and they will go among the kelvar and the olvar, and some will dwell therein, and be held in reverence, and their just anger shall be feared. For a time: while the Firstborn are in their power, and while the Secondborn are young." But dost them not now remember, Kementári, that thy thought sang not always alone? Did not thy thought and mine meet also, so that we took wing together like great birds that soar above the clouds? That also shall come to be by the heed of Ilúvatar, and before the Children awake there shall go forth with wings like the wind the Eagles of the Lords of the West.'

Then Yavanna was glad, and she stood up, reaching her arms towards the heavens, and she said: 'High shall climb the trees of Kementári, that the Eagles of the King may house therein!'

But Manwë rose also, and it seemed that he stood to such a height that his voice came down to Yavanna as from the paths of the winds.

'Nay,' he said, 'only the trees of Aulë will be tall enough. In the mountains the Eagles shall house, and hear the voices of those who call upon us. But in the forests shall walk the Shepherds of the Trees.'

Then Manwë and Yavanna parted for that time, and Yavanna returned to Aulë; and he was in his smithy, pouring molten metal into a mould. 'Eru is bountiful,' she said. 'Now let thy children beware! For there shall walk a power in the forests whose wrath they will arouse at their peril.'

'Nonetheless they will have need of wood,' said Aulë, and he went on with his smith-work.



I have always taken that to mean that Yavanna's thought brought the Ents into being as a wish to protect some of her creation.

That seems to mesh with what Treebeard himself says in TT:

Quote:
Learn now the lore of Living Creatures!
First name the four, the free peoples:
Eldest of all, the elf-children;
Dwarf the delver, dark are his houses;
Ent the earthborn, old as mountains;
Man the mortal, master of horses:


Which seems to imply the Ents are very old. Celeborn refers to Treebeard as 'Eldest' in RotK.

In the book (in TT) it is Treebeard that explains:

Quote:
Elves began it, of course, waking trees up and teaching them to speak and learning their tree-talk.


He is refering to Trees waking up and becoming more Entish while many Ents were slowing down and becoming Treeish. But he was not implying that Elves made Trees into Ents, just that they learned their speech. (That is in the chapter called Treebeard.) The longer quote is:

Quote:
'The trees and the Ents,' said Treebeard. 'I do not understand all that goes on myself, so I cannot explain it to you. Some of us are still true Ents, and lively enough in our fashion, but many are growing sleepy, going tree-ish, as you might say. Most of the trees are just trees, of course; but many are half awake. Some are quite wide awake, and a few are, well, ah, well getting "Entish". That is going on all the time.

'When that happens to a tree, you find that some have bad hearts. Nothing to do with their wood: I do not mean that. Why, I knew some good old willows down the Entwash, gone long ago, alas! They were quite hollow, indeed they were falling all to pieces, but as quiet and sweet-spoken as a young leaf. And then there are some trees in the valleys under the mountains, sound as a bell, and bad right through. That sort of thing seems to spread. There used to be some very dangerous parts in this country. There are still some very black patches.'

'Like the Old Forest away to the north, do you mean?' asked Merry.

'Aye, aye. something like, but much worse. I do not doubt there is some shadow of the Great Darkness lying there still away north; and bad memories are handed down. But there are hollow dales in this land where the Darkness has never been lifted, and the trees are older than I am. Still, we do what we can. We keep off strangers and the foolhardy; and we train and we teach, we walk and we weed.

'We are tree-herds, we old Ents. Few enough of us are left now. Sheep get like shepherd, and shepherds like sheep, it is said; but slowly, and neither have long in the world. It is quicker and closer with trees and Ents, and they walk down the ages together. For Ents are more like Elves: less interested in themselves than Men are, and better at getting inside other things. And yet again Ents are more like Men, more changeable than Elves are, and quicker at taking the colour of the outside, you might say. Or better than both: for they are steadier and keep their minds on things longer. 'Some of my kin look just like trees now, and need something great to rouse them; and they speak only in whispers. But some of my trees are limb-lithe, and many can talk to me. Elves began it, of course, waking trees up and teaching them to speak and learning their tree-talk. They always wished to talk to everything, the old Elves did. But then the Great Darkness came, and they passed away over the Sea, or fled into far valleys, and hid themselves, and made songs about days that would never come again. Never again. Aye, aye, there was all one wood once upon a time: from here to the Mountains of Lune, and this was just the East End.


So, I always took it to be that Yavanna's thought created the Ents and the Elves woke up the trees (which were only trees, not Ents) and talked to them. The Ents were always friends with the Elves--In the First Age, they helped the Nandor stop the dwarves that killed Thingol, at Beren's request. In the Second, Treebeard met with Amdir and told him not to fear the Ents in Fangorn forest...
But the Elves did not create the Ents, I don't think.

Does that help any?

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NancyBrooke
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, very much: I see now that those trees that the elves 'woke up' were not, themselves, Ents. That's very helpful.

Now I know that, if I post, it does need an "I was ignorant when the muse came to call" disclaimer. Well ... not a major work, anyhow.

Thank you all for your help and teaching.

NB

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vladazhael



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adding my two cents, probably a bit late:

i just happened to reread that silm section on my lunch break today. the way i interpreted it, it seemed that the elves indeed did not awaken the ents, at least through any conscious effort. but it also seemed that their own awakening and their thoughts of yavanna in turn provided some sort of necessary catalyst for the ents' awakening.

but damned if i could puzzle out whether either yavanna's thoughts or illuvatar's foresight actually brought the ents into being... Rolling Eyes because my job had already sucked the life out of my brain

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