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Old 02-27-2012, 09:19 PM   #4
Blossom of Dwimordene
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I have been thinking about the Ent/Entwife song, and decided that it was written at the earliest toward the end of the SA, not before. The reason is that during the peace and plenty the wind is in the West (what I interpret as the West - the Valar - having the latest "word" in the pages of history, ie the evil doers are at bay for a time); however, at the end, the "wind is in the deadly East", implying that Sauron's assault from Mordor has begun.

Before the song, Treebeard says that "when the Darkness came in the North, the Entwives crossed the Great River, and made new gardens..." This is the beginning of the final separation of Ents and Entwives (whose opinions differed for a while before it); after this point they met less and less often. IE, they separated when Morgoth was in power - the First Age. "After the Darkness was overthrown the land of the Entwives blossomed richly". And "in the time of the war between Sauron and the Men of the Sea" (possibly Tar Minastir or Ar Pharazon's time, but it more likely refers to the Last Alliance) Treebeard came to the Brown Lands to visit Fimbrethil, but the Entwives were gone.

The song clearly talks about this occasion: "West" and "East" are not merely symbolic representations of good and evil, they are actually, literally, historically there.

The "wind in the West" refers to the beginning of the SA, when the Ents and Entwives continued their FA separation and their refusal to live in the other's preferred environment. And "in the East" is the rise of Sauron and the height of his power, just before his downfall leading to the TA.

Therefore this song must have been written either at the end of the SA or in the first half -ish of the TA, since Elves traveled up and down the Anduin at those times, and enough for Treebeard to learn the song from them.

And the song's story (the Ents searching too late) repeats during the War of the Ring - they start "searching" (ie inquiring) again, and also during Sauron's power, when the situation is now-or-never.

So I don't actually see the point of this "discovery" other than that the song was written between the War of the Last Alliance and the wane of Elves, and that it's an actual event, not just poetic symbolism. But I think it's supercool.

( at myself - what kind of hopeless geek thinks it's a supercool discovery to figure out that an obscure-ish song was written in a certain time period? Or would even bother going through the process of adding 2+2 when Tolkien clearly writes 4?)
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