The Official Collection of Fantastical Creature Information--Updated Randomly

For all your fantastical creature needs! This is the beginning of my encyclopedia, and I'm collecting as much information as I can on various fantasy creatures. Most of my stuff can be found on wikipedia. However, no source is perfect, so the stuff that is my input is often italicized. Help me by sending me more information at Questkid13@gmail.com

Side Note: There have been concerns about my using Wikipedia because it is not a reliable resource. I am well aware of wikipedia's unreliable nature--but that's exactly why I use it. Fantasy creatures are available to all, and everyone should have a chance to add their "discoveries." This website is supposed to be a fun collection of fantastical creature information with fun images to go with. I am not a reliable source--I'm just a collector. Though at this point, I am flattered that people are concerned with the validity of my site. :)

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ent


Ents are a race from J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy world of Middle-earth. The term Ent in a fantasy context is very different from the Anglo-Saxon word Ent, as the former refers to a humanoid tree and the latter refers to a "giant". They appear to have been inspired by the talking trees of many of the world's folklores. As of the War of the Ring, the race consists exclusively of male Ents.

"Ent"ymology
The word "Ent" was taken from Anglo-Saxon, where it means "giant". In this sense of the word, Ents are probably the most ubiquitous of all creatures in fantasy and folklore, perhaps second only to dragons.

Description
Treebeard, the oldest living Ent, was described as "...a large Man-like, almost Troll-like, figure, at least fourteen foot high, very sturdy, with a tall head, and hardly any neck. Whether it was clad in stuff like green and grey bark, or whether that was its hide, was difficult to say. At any rate the arms, at a short distance from the trunk, were not wrinkled, but covered with a brown smooth skin. The large feet had seven toes each. The lower part of the long face was covered with a sweeping grey beard, bushy, almost twiggy at the roots, thin and mossy at the ends. But at the moment the hobbits noted little but the eyes. These deep eyes were now surveying them, slow and solemn, but very penetrating" (The Two Towers, "Treebeard").

Ents are a very old race that appeared in Middle-earth when the Elves did. They were apparently created by Eru Iluvatar at the behest of Yavanna after she learned of Aulë's children, the Dwarves, knowing that they would want to fell trees. Ents were envisioned as Shepherds of the Trees, to protect the forests from Orcs, Dwarves and other perils. Although the Ents were sentient beings at the time of their awakening, they did not know how to speak until the Elves taught them. Treebeard spoke of the Elves "curing the Ents of their dumbness" that it was a great gift that could not be forgotten ("always wanted to talk to everything, the old Elves did").

Ents are tree-like creatures, having become somewhat like the trees that they shepherd. They vary in traits, in everything from height (standing about fifteen feet high) to their size, colouring, and the number of fingers and toes. They had the same mortal weakness as well, fire, and anything larger than them that could crush them. An individual Ent more or less resembles the specific species of tree that he typically guards. For example, Quickbeam guarded Rowan Trees and thus looked very much like a Rowan (tall and slender). In the Third Age of Middle-earth, the forest of Fangorn was apparently the only place Ents still inhabited, although the Ent-like Huorns may still have survived elsewhere, as in the Old Forest.

Treebeard boasted to Merry and Pippin about the strength of the Ents. He said that they were much more powerful than Trolls, which Morgoth (in the Elder Days or First Age) supposedly made as mockeries of the Ents but did not come near to their power. He compares this with how Orcs were Morgoth's imitation of Elves. Ents are tall and very strong, capable of tearing apart rock and stone. Tolkien describes them as tossing great slabs of stone about, and ripping down the walls of Isengard "...like bread-crust."

Unlike the Dwarves, the Ents did not bother to keep their own language, a very long and tedious lauguage known as Entish, a secret, since no other races could master it.
The Elvish name for the Ents is Onodrim (singular Onod).

History

First Age
Almost nothing is known of the early history of the Ents—they apparently lived in and protected the large forests of Middle-earth in previous ages, and they briefly appear near the end of the First Age, attacking the remnants of the Dwarven army sent against Doriath. They are there mentioned as the "Shepherds of the Trees". Treebeard told of a time when apparently all of Eriador was one huge forest and part of his domain, but these immense forests were cut by the Numenoreans of the Second Age, or destroyed in the calamitous War of the Elves and Sauron of the 17th century of the Second Age. Treebeard's statement is also supported by remarks Elrond made at the Council of Elrond. Elrond said that "Time was once when a squirrel could carry a nut from tree to tree from Rivendell to the Great Sea...", further indicating that all of Eriador was once a single vast primeval forest, of which Fangorn Forest was just "the Eastern End of it" according to Treebeard.

Entwives
There used to be Entwives (literally "Ent-women"), but they started to move farther away from the Ents because they liked to plant and control things, so they moved away to the region that would later become the Brown Lands across the Great River Anduin, though the male Ents still visited them. The Entwives taught the race of Men much about the art of agriculture. However, this entire area was destroyed by Sauron (most likely during the War of the Last Alliance), and the Entwives disappeared. The Ents looked for them but never found them. It is sung by the Ents that one day they will find each other.
In The Fellowship of the Ring, Samwise Gamgee mentions his cousin Hal claims to have seen a treelike giant in the north of the Shire. However, this might have been merely a reference to the size of the creature. At the time of writing, the concept of Ents had not yet entered Tolkien's mind, and nothing further was done with the idea.

During the Fangorn episode, Merry and Pippin tell Treebeard about the Shire. Treebeard says the Entwives would like that land. This, combined with the giant-sighting by Sam's cousin Hal mentioned above, has led to some speculation that the Entwives may now live near the Shire. However, Tolkien has stated in Letters #144: 'I think that in fact the Entwives have disappeared for good, being destroyed with their gardens in the War of the Last Alliance….

Apparently the male Ents and female Entwives exhibited a marked degree of sexual dimorphism; the male Ents all resemble wild forest trees that they guard (oaks, rowans, etc.), but the Entwives guarded agricultural plants, and it would thus seem to be implied that they resembled the various agricultural plants and trees they guarded (Treebeard remarks that their hair was the hue of ripe corn (grain)).

At the end of the story after Aragorn is crowned king, he promises Treebeard that the Ents can prosper again and spread to new lands with the threat of Mordor gone, and renew their search for the Entwives. However, Treebeard sadly laments that forests may spread but the Ents will not, and he predicts that the few remaining Ents will remain in Fangorn Forest until they slowly dwindle in number or become "treeish". "Sheep get like shepherd, and shepherds get like sheep. But it is quicker and closer, with trees and Ents", he says.

The Last March of the Ents

In The Two Towers, the second volume of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, the Ents—usually a very patient, deliberate people—become angry at Saruman, whose armies are cutting down large numbers of their trees. They convene an Entmoot, a meeting of the Ents of Fangorn Forest at Derndingle.

After lengthy deliberation (three days; though from the perspective of the Ents, this is very quick action), they march on Saruman's fortress at Isengard: the last march of the Ents. They are led by Treebeard, the oldest Ent, and accompanied by the Hobbits Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took. The Ents that marched against Isengard numbered about 50, plus Huorns. They destroy Isengard in an all-out assault — "If the Great Sea had risen in wrath and fallen on the hills with storm, it could have worked no greater ruin." (The Two Towers, The Road to Isengard")— and trap Saruman in the tower of Orthanc. Tolkien later noted that the destruction of Isengard by the Ents was based on his disappointment in Macbeth; when "Birnham Wood be come to Dunsinane", Tolkien was less than thrilled that it amounted to men walking on stage with leaves in their hats. He decided that when he did that scene for himself, he would do it right.

A special thanks to Wikipedia, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the movie makers of the Lord of the Rings

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