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Old 08-30-2014, 03:40 PM   #121
Inziladun
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Originally Posted by FerniesApple View Post
I like it as it is. Also I dont take a narrow view on what is and isnt a spirit.
Of the Ents' beginnings, The Silmarillion states that they were due to arrive when Yavanna's thought would 'summon spirits from afar'. Manwë seems to put them in the same category as the Eagles of the West, as also beings not born in bodies, but with a spiritual entry causing them to 'awake'. It seems to be a catchall explanation for everything from Eagles, to Huan, and maybe even to Tom Bombadil, to say that they are bodies inhabited by Auinur, but that really does seem the likely canon rationalization.
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Old 08-30-2014, 03:43 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
I understand this is a "pet theory" of yours. I was just wondering if there was any semblance of precedent in your conjecture. As there really isn't a hint of canon to support it, there's nothing further to discuss.
thanks for being dismissive. much appreciated contribution to debate. No wonder this forum is largely empty.
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Old 08-30-2014, 04:12 PM   #123
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thanks for being dismissive. much appreciated contribution to debate. No wonder this forum is largely empty.
But there Is no "debate". A debate requires a substantive argument. You offer nothing but a whim with no support. You, yourself, said your pet theory had no canonical basis. What more would you like to discuss?
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Old 08-30-2014, 04:22 PM   #124
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But there Is no "debate". A debate requires a substantive argument. You offer nothing but a whim with no support. You, yourself, said your pet theory had no canonical basis. What more would you like to discuss?
nothing. with you.
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Old 08-30-2014, 04:23 PM   #125
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Of the Ents' beginnings, The Silmarillion states that they were due to arrive when Yavanna's thought would 'summon spirits from afar'. Manwë seems to put them in the same category as the Eagles of the West, as also beings not born in bodies, but with a spiritual entry causing them to 'awake'. It seems to be a catchall explanation for everything from Eagles, to Huan, and maybe even to Tom Bombadil, to say that they are bodies inhabited by Auinur, but that really does seem the likely canon rationalization.
Interesting, then, that Treebeard claimed that the ents were awakened by the Eldar, and it was the elves who taught them speech. Could this be an entish folktale on the lines of mannish folktales concerning the Lamps of Arda, or the story of Arien and Tilion?

We know the ents procreated and had entings, and Fangorn identified younger ents at the entmoot. I'm trying to recall any further info regarding ents in HoMe, without doing further research on a lazy holiday weekend.
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Old 08-30-2014, 04:34 PM   #126
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Interesting, then, that Treebeard claimed that the ents were awakened by the Eldar, and it was the elves who taught them speech. Could this be an entish folktale on the lines of mannish folktales concerning the Lamps of Arda, or the story of Arien and Tilion?
As is not uncommon with Tolkien, there are ambiguities. Perhaps the embodied spirits were deliberately started out on a treeish level, with the teaching of the Eldar meant as an enriching and relationship-building exercise for both? Wouldn't that be just like a manager like Manwë to arrange. No doubt the annual Company Picnic at Lórien in Aman was a mandatory event.
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Old 08-30-2014, 04:54 PM   #127
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As is not uncommon with Tolkien, there are ambiguities. Perhaps the embodied spirits were deliberately started out on a treeish level, with the teaching of the Eldar meant as an enriching and relationship-building exercise for both? Wouldn't that be just like a manager like Manwë to arrange. No doubt the annual Company Picnic at Lórien in Aman was a mandatory event.
Yes, the mandatory picnic was part of the third prophecy of Mandos.

Anyway, rather like the alternative version of orkish origins being that orc bodies were inhabited by Maiar, but then somehow devolved into mortality, there is often an ambiguity or possible alternative. The entwives, however, are more an enigmatic mystery rather than ambiguity. And one I don't think Tolkien ever wanted solved. Mysteries along that line obviously amused him.
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Old 08-30-2014, 04:55 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
Of the Ents' beginnings, The Silmarillion states that they were due to arrive when Yavanna's thought would 'summon spirits from afar'. Manwë seems to put them in the same category as the Eagles of the West, as also beings not born in bodies, but with a spiritual entry causing them to 'awake'. It seems to be a catchall explanation for everything from Eagles, to Huan, and maybe even to Tom Bombadil, to say that they are bodies inhabited by Auinur, but that really does seem the likely canon rationalization.
thats interesting. I wonder if after they were 'awoken' if their physical bodies died they would then slumber or dream, and their dream would inhabit the land. Dont native Australians call their spirit world Dreamtime? or something similar.
I often wonder about Goldberry being some kind of water spirit too. Sometimes even inanimate objects like Elven rope seem to have a kind of intelligence of their own, maybe not spirit but a kind of sympathetic Elven magic maybe.

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Old 08-31-2014, 09:41 AM   #129
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Technically Treebeard says that Elves began waking up trees and teaching them to talk, but it is a bit confusing, as earlier Treebeard seems to explain that some of 'us' are still true Ents, lively enough, but many are growing sleepy or tree-ish...

Quote:
'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. This is going on all the time.'

'(...) 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.'
Does this simply mean that some 'true' Ents can get tree-ish, while other awoken trees [who began as trees] can get Entish, emphasis on the -ish part... but if so, yet if some are actually 'limb-lithe' and can talk to Treebeard, are they 'becoming' Ents?

And with respect to The Silmarillion text and the 1963 letter, are the Elves awaking the [or some] spirits summoned by Yavanna -- that is, sleeping souls inside trees, as Galadriel thinks is possible, in part [see below]. Although one would think they were all ready awake or waking, as long as the Elves appeared first.

Hmm.

The text that seems to have been the source for Of Aule And Yavanna appears to date 'at the earliest to 1958-59, but may well be later than that (...) This was followed by a text made on my father's later typewriter (see X. 300) that expanded the first draft, but from which scarcely anything of any significance in that draft was excluded. It bears no title, in the published Silmarillion it was used to form the second part of Chapter 2 Of Aule and Yavanna (...) This was of course a purely editorial combination.' Christopher Tolkien, commentary, War of the Jewels

And then we have a draft letter dated 1963:

Quote:
'No one knew whence they (Ents) came or first appeared. The High Elves said that the Valar did not mention them in the 'Music'. But some (Galadriel) were [of the] opinion that when Yavanna discovered the mercy of Eru to Aule in the matter of the Dwarves, she besought Eru (through Manwe) asking him to give life to things made of living things not stone, and that the Ents were either souls sent to inhabit trees, or else that slowly took on the likeness of trees owing to their inborn love of trees.'
Christopher Tolkien writes that it seems likely enough that this part of the letter, and the text about the spirits summoned by Yavanna belong 'to much the same time'. Arguably so, but the draft letter could actually be later too, as on X. 300 Christopher explains that the earliest letter made on his father's later typewriter dates to 1959.

It's interesting (maybe) that in the text used for The Silmarillion, one gets the feeling that the Ents were surely referenced in the Music [referenced as these spirits anyway], if one gave enough heed to all the voices. The description even seems to say that Eru himself did not miss this, of course...

... but yet in the letter the High Elves in general say otherwise, even if some, including the great Galadriel, appear to have a similar opinion as was chosen for the construced Silmarillion.

Or something else

I any case this chapter is an edited part of the early Silmarillion, again raising the question of how Tolkien himself intended to introduce the Ents in an 'origin context' is his ultimate Silmarillion -- which was arguably to be characterized as largely Mannish [according to various late characterizations by JRRT himself], if based on a measure of Elvish thought or texts, and contact with Elves.
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Old 04-05-2017, 06:59 PM   #130
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A couple of days ago a friend told me that he thought the entwives were mentioned at the very beginning, when Sam is talking to Ted Sandyman and mentions that his cousin had seen a man, as huge as an elm, walking outside the Shire. If that was true, it could have been easily an ent-wife as I don't think hobbits would be able to tell the difference between ent and entwife.

Regarding the entwifes being mentioned on The Two Towers, I must have missed it.
Was just thinking that. Also the ents' lack of knowledge regarding hobbits makes them more likely.

Add in the Shire is some of the remaining unspoiled "gardens"
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Old 05-10-2017, 04:24 AM   #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farael
A couple of days ago a friend told me that he thought the entwives were mentioned at the very beginning, when Sam is talking to Ted Sandyman and mentions that his cousin had seen a man, as huge as an elm, walking outside the Shire. If that was true, it could have been easily an ent-wife as I don't think hobbits would be able to tell the difference between ent and entwife.

Regarding the entwifes being mentioned on The Two Towers, I must have missed it.


Was just thinking that. Also the ents' lack of knowledge regarding hobbits makes them more likely.

Add in the Shire is some of the remaining unspoiled "gardens"
But that can't be what the person ("Teleporno") quoted in the original post was talking about- if indeed he wasn't merely a troll, which is the vibe I'm getting.

Speaking of which, I'm inclined to think the creature described by Sam was also merely a troll- but did Tolkien ever clarify that? Anyone know?
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:37 AM   #132
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Speaking of which, I'm inclined to think the creature described by Sam was also merely a troll- but did Tolkien ever clarify that? Anyone know?
Sadly, I don't recall that he ever did.

Perhaps he just intended it to be a piece of gossip to lend a certain ominous tone to that part of the story.
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Old 05-10-2017, 08:05 PM   #133
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I'm inclined to think the creature described by Sam was also merely a troll- but did Tolkien ever clarify that? Anyone know?
In Letters, Tolkien says nothing about the strange creature seen in the Shire. However:

Quote:
There are or were no Ents in the older stories-because the Ents in fact only presented themselves to my sight, without premeditation or any previous conscious knowledge, when I came to Chapter IV of Book Three.
Letter 247

In HOME I Christopher Tolkien notes that the conversation in the Green Dragon about the Tree-men was present in the original draft, and posits that it could indeed have been a "premonition" of the Ents.

Back in Letters, Tolkien says:

Quote:
Though I knew for years that Frodo would run into a tree-adventure somewhere far down the Great River, I have no recollection of inventing Ents. I came at last to the point, and wrote the 'Treebeard' chapter without any recollection of any previous thought: just as it is now.
Letter 180

With that, I think I lean to the idea that Tolkien had put the line in the hobbits' talk at the inn to presage the undeveloped adventure with the 'Tree-Men', and then just forgot about it (after all, it did take him a long time and a lot of rewriting to finish the book).
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:15 AM   #134
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Thanks, Zil. So it's another "Balrogs' wings" situation, with no definite answer.

That said, I don't think it fits for the creature to be an Entwife (as opposed to an Ent). I mean, what's she supposed to have been doing for the entirety of the Third Age?
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Old 05-12-2017, 06:29 AM   #135
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My guess is that Tolkien was thinking of giants when he began this description, and that through revision, Sam uses "tree men" because whatever was seen was as big as a tower or a tree.

I take Sam's "Elm remark" as part of the comic flow of the conversation: he begins with the Elm as a comparison for size, and an Elm then enters the conversation more generally (as a probability that it was simply an Elm), with Sam adopting this in his response (correct or not he hadn't actually seen the being in question in any event). Even if that's off target, it's interesting what is said later in the narrative, surviving into the published tale:


Quote:
"He [Sam] had imagined himself meeting giants taller than trees, and other creatures even more terrifying, some time or other in the course of his journey, but at the moment he was finding his first sight of Men and their tall houses quite enough, indeed too much for the dark end of a tiring day." Three Is Company
I note that in the early writing giants were mentioned in narration right before the conversation in the Green Dragon is described. But for the sleep inducing textual history (as far as I could wrangle it out, and only hopefully correctly) see below the line of dread. As noted, Christopher Tolkien comments:

Quote:
"(Was this passage (preserved in FR, p. 53) the first premonition of the Ents? But long before my father had referred to 'Tree-men' in connection with the voyages of Earendel: II. 254, 261)."
As far as the final version of the passage is concerned, the being described is too tall for an Ent or Entwife in my opinion, and its stride too long, unless one prefers to see the description to have "grown" in the telling, and that Hobbitish fancy has embiggened this being to great heights.

What might be safe to say is that at the time of writing the drafts of the conversation, Tolkien had yet to invent "Ents" as we know them, so that I doubt the history of the Ents and Entwives splitting apart was in his mind.

That said, beyond the line of dread lurks a very tall "Tree Giant" who seems to have followed close enough in the draft progression; again not Treebeard or Ents as according to the conception arrived at later (as Tolkien recalls), but giant Tree Beings.

_________________________________ line of dread


There appears to be at least a couple of years between the writing of the Green Dragon discussion and the writing of the chapter Treebeard, and I think we should take Tolkien at his word, that he invented Ents when he came to the particular chapter Treebeard -- that is, in the sense that it was only here that Ents came to be fully realized -- as compared to the idea of there being any tree-like giants in the story. These came earlier.

So whatever Tolkien meant with his early addition of Tree-men: in probably late Sept 1938, or early October 1938, he writes the chapter Ancient History (partially based on some earlier material), within what is called the 'Second Phase', this will include the descriptions:

Quote:
"Trolls of a new and most malevolent kind were abroad; giants were spoken of, a Big Folk only far bigger and stronger than Men the [?ordinary] Big Folk, and no stupider, indeed often full of cunning and wizardry."

"(…) But what about these what do you call 'em -- giants? They do say as one nigh as big as a tower or leastways a tree was seen up away beyond the North Moors not long back.' [changed at the time of writing to] 'But what about these Tree-Men, these here -- giants? They do say one nigh as big as a tower was seen up away…"

From probably mid October 1938 -- December 1938 the 'Third Phase' is completed, meaning Tolkien returns to the beginning of the story making a new fair copy manuscript of the whole work as far as the conversation between Frodo and Gloin at Rivendell. This phase includes the mention of Gandalf being imprisoned by 'Giant Treebeard.' Thus a reference to Giant Treebeard (however conceived, with his admittedly suggestive name), exists quite close on the heels of the first version of the conversation in the Green Dragon. In this Third Phase the passage concerning giants becomes:

Quote:
"Trolls and giants were abroad, of a new and more malevolent kind, no longer dull witted but full of cunning and wizardry."
So giants of some sort are still around in the same phase as the mention of Giant Treebeard. No notable revision (with respect to our purposes here) is made to the passage concerning the conversation in the Green Dragon, noting that this version would appear to still contain as big as a tower but without or leastways a tree. Pausing to consider the final, published passages:

Quote:
"Trolls were abroad, no longer dull-witted, but cunning and armed with dreadful weapons."

"… Tree-men, these giants as you might call them? They do say that one bigger than a tree was seen up away…"

I don't know when these final revision were made, but Tolkien will take out the reference to giants in the passage where trolls are noted, and revise the comparison to a tower to a comparison to a tree -- so now not 'as big' as a tower, or as big as a tree -- but bigger than a tree.

It would be interesting to know when this revision was made, especially if it came after Treebeard became much smaller. Nothing of note here seems to have been altered in the 'Fourth Phase' of this chapter, and Hammond and Scull generally explain (unless I missed something earlier) that in 1946-47 Tolkien would make further alterations to books I and II (as well as later), which would be after the chapter on Treebeard in any event.

Back to the 1930s: from Dec 1938 we jump a bit to February 1939, where Tolkien states in a letter: "though there is no dragon (so far) there is going to be a Giant."

Jump to Summer: on a letter dated 27-29 July 1939 "Treebeard" emerges: in this short text Frodo thinks Treebeard's leg is a tree-trunk and he has a "rootlike foot and many branching toes." Treebeard is in league with the Enemy here, pretending to be friendly. An outline page dated August 1939 reads: "Adventure with Giant Tree Beard in Forest."

Continuing with the tale, Gandalf (in the house of Elrond) will warn of the Giant Treebeard who haunts the forest between the river and the South Mts. And at about this time Tolkien will write an outline in which its described:

Quote:
"Fangorn is an evergreen (oak holly?) forest. Trees of vast height. (…) If Treebeard comes in at all -- let him be kindly and rather good? About 50 feet high with barky skin. Hair and beard rather like twigs. Clothed in dark green like a mail of short shining leaves. He has a castle in the black mountains and many thanes and followers. They look like young trees [?when] they stand. (…) The tree-giants assail the besiegers and rescue Trotter &c. and raise siege."
So not relatively long after the conversation in the Dragon was written, Tree-beard is certainly more like a tree than simply being as tall as one, and he has thanes that look like young trees. Later when Tolkien is working on the chapter for Galadriel, Christopher Tolkien notes:

Quote:
"Here the name Entwash clearly implies that Treebeard is an Ent, and he is specifically so called (for the first time) in the outline just given; but since Treebeard was still only waiting in the wings as a potential ingredient in the narrative this may be only a slight shift in the development of the word. The Troll-lands north of Rivendell were the Entish Lands and Entish Dales (Old English ent 'giant'); and only when Treebeard and the other 'Ents' had been fully realized would the Troll-lands be renamed Ettendales and Ettenmoors (see p. 65 note 32)."

CJRT, commentary, Galadriel
In The Story Forseen from Lorien there is an interesting note: "it could be Merry and Pippin that had adventure in Minas Morgul if Treebeard is cut out" [this was struck out]. We also have an description of Fangorn that now seems to indicate that Fangorn forest itself was not gigantic (along with Treebeard being so giant), as implied earlier with the huge flowers, since the description seems to say that the forest was once part of a larger forested area.

Before we get to the actual chapter Treebeard there is a page of notes about how Ents came to be, including statements like: "Did first lord of the Elves make Tree-folk in order to or through trying to understand trees?", or wondering about what they are, with: "hnau that have gone tree-like, or trees that have become hnau?" and other details. But by the end of 1941 -- beginning of 1942: Tolkien finishes book II and began book III, completing the chapter Treebeard around the end of Jan 1942.


Another interesting thing is that Christopher Tolkien quotes his father's letter about Tolkien having no recollection of inventing Ents, and writing the chapter without any recollection of previous thought and so on. Christopher Tolkien comments: "This testimony is fully borne out by the original text. 'Treebeard' did indeed very largely write itself."

And so at this point we begin to find out about Ents as Tree-shepherds, and Entwives and so on, or Ents as readers will come to know them.

Tree Tall

The "Giant Treebeard" is ensmallened when he becomes "Treebeard the Ent", then Treebeard the Ents embiggens again, but not back up to about fifty feet! In an early draft for the chapter itself, Treebeard was originally ten feet tall, revised to twelve, and then to "at least" fourteen, which while obviously tall, and even more so to Hobbits, is yet not really close to, say, the height of a fifty to one hundred foot oak or pine.

Quote:
"an Ent would take nearly nine hours to do 70,000 strides and presumably in that time would go 70,000 yards at least, probably 4 ft a stride."

Hammond and Scull, Reader's Companion to The Lord of the Rings
A 4 foot stride is yards away from a 7 yard stride

And in The Road to Isengard, three Ents are described "as tall as trolls they were, twelve feet or more..."

A Tall Tale


Quote:
"(...) it thus became a jesting idiom in the Shire to speak of 'on Friday the first' when referring to a day that did not exist, or to a day on which very unlikely events such as the flying of pigs or (in the Shire) the walking of trees might occur."

The Return of the King, Appendix D, footnote
This is the short version of my response!
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:12 PM   #136
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So... the cryptid in question was not an Ent as such, but may have started out as a tree-sized giant- the concept which eventually morphed into Ents.

Would you accept that as the even shorter version, Galin?
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Old 05-20-2017, 07:28 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by Nerwen View Post
So... the cryptid in question was not an Ent as such, but may have started out as a tree-sized giant- the concept which eventually morphed into Ents.

Would you accept that as the even shorter version, Galin?
Well, I certainly like the word cryptid in any case! Though the ellipsis slowed me down a bit

And one reaction to all of my above is: "well maybe so, but after the Ents were invented maybe Tolkien let the earlier Green Dragon discussion stay as was, to suggest an Ent/wife, 'cause tales about cryptids can grow in the telling."
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