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Old 02-06-2016, 12:26 PM   #1
Sardy
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Chicken and egg, Ent and tree...

According to Treebeard, it was the Elves who woke the trees and taught them to speak.

Yet, Gandalf describes Treebeard as the oldest living thing in Middle-earth. I'd always assumed that while Treebeard was around before the Elves, he was merely "treeish" until the elves awakened consciousness and sentience.

However, the following quote seems to contradict this premise:

""It is not wizardry, but a power far older," said Gandalf: "a power that walked the earth ere elf sang or hammer rang."

Ere iron was found or tree was hewn,
When young was the mountain under the moon;
Ere ring was made, or wrought was woe,
It walked the forests long ago."

A related question: if Ents were indeed around before elves, as well as other less defined but presumably sentient creatures deep in the earth ("Far, far below the deepest delvings of the dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he.") What are the implications of such creatures and Ents existing before the advent of the elves, in terms of Eru's strict (as demonstrated by the Dwarves) plan for the Elves as the "First-born" on Middle-earth?
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Last edited by Sardy; 02-06-2016 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 02-06-2016, 01:45 PM   #2
Inziladun
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When referring to 'trees', maybe Treebeard was speaking of literal trees. They do seem to have an awareness, even if they aren't Ents, or Huorns.

I recall the tree that was encountered by Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli at the edge of Fangorn, that appeared to appreciate the fire they'd lit.

Also, the Old Forest trees were clearly sentient, obeying the orders of the Willow to direct Frodo and Co. to the Withywindle.

As for the 'nameless things', who knows? They could be unique creatures that had their own part to play, but weren't going to interfere with the Plan of the Elves being the Eldest of the Children of Ilúvatar (as the Dwarves' awakening before the Elves would have).
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Old 02-06-2016, 02:29 PM   #3
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Nameless things? Why, those were the sandworms Peter Jackson imported from Arrakis. They were kept nameless so as not to impede the Bene Gesserit's secret Missionaria Protectiva in Middle-earth. Aragorn was the Kwisatz Haderach, the result of several generations of the successful Dunedain breeding program.
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Old 02-06-2016, 02:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sardy View Post
[...]A related question: if Ents were indeed around before elves, as well as other less defined but presumably sentient creatures deep in the earth ("Far, far below the deepest delvings of the dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he.") What are the implications of such creatures and Ents existing before the advent of the elves, in terms of Eru's strict (as demonstrated by the Dwarves) plan for the Elves as the "First-born" on Middle-earth?
Well I suppose that Ents (and entities akin, such as the eagles) were just an extention of the natural world which already consisted of olvar and kelvar (or flora and fauna) and inanimate matter. The key difference between this natural world and the children of Ilúvatar is the concept of a (God-given) free will and an associated afterlife/fate.
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