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Ents/Entwives in the Shire?

KingHart01
Registered User

Apr 4 2014, 2:08pm

Post #1 of 19 (269 views)
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Ents/Entwives in the Shire? Can't Post

Sam's cousin Hal said he saw a walking Elm tree walking in the North Moors.

Could it have been just an Huorn? Or was Hal lying? Or did he actually see an Ent, or even better, an Entwife in the Shire?


Elthir
Gondor

Apr 4 2014, 2:50pm

Post #2 of 19 (214 views)
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too tall for an Ent [In reply to] Can't Post

If you assume Hal is even close to being 'correct' about the size and stride of whatever he claims he saw...

... then I would say what he saw is way too tall for Ents or their wives.

People naturally connect trees with Ents of course, and Ents are tall, yes, but a full grown Elm tree can be between 50 and 100 feet tall!

And we actually know how long a normal Ent-stride is.


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Apr 4 2014, 2:50pm

Post #3 of 19 (217 views)
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Misquote. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Sam's cousin Hal said he saw a walking Elm tree walking in the North Moors.

Could it have been just an Huorn? Or was Hal lying? Or did he actually see an Ent, or even better, an Entwife in the Shire?



That isn't quite what Sam said:


Quote

'All right,' said Sam, laughing with the rest. 'But what about these Tree-men, these giants, as you might call them? They do say that one bigger than a tree was seen up a way beyond the North Moors not long back.'

'Who's they?'

'My cousin Hal for one. He works for Mr. Boffin at Overhill and goes up to the Northfarthing for the hunting. He saw one.'

'Says he did, perhaps. Your Hal's always saying that he's seen things; and maybe he sees things that ain't there.'

'But this one was as big as an elm tree, and walking--walking seven yards to a stride, if it was an inch.'



The comparison to trees might have more to do with height than actual appearance. Halfast might have seen a giant or an exceptionally large ogre or troll rather than an Ent, Ent-wife or Huorn. The description is much to vague to be certain of anything.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


L. Ron Halfelven
Grey Havens


Apr 4 2014, 3:03pm

Post #4 of 19 (215 views)
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It could be a relic of Tolkien's original conception. [In reply to] Can't Post

One of the wicked Three Giants, making his way back to Treebeard in the Topless Forest?



What business does a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, and a hobbit have in the Rivenmark?


Elthir
Gondor

Apr 4 2014, 3:09pm

Post #5 of 19 (204 views)
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interpretation [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not sure the original poster provided a misquote but rather an interpretation of a passage, although I know what you mean. For myself, I agreee that there's a suggestion that Hal saw the 'walking' being, as in the 'this one' of the last statement you provided, although I guess one might read it otherwise.

But it's always good to see just what the text actually says in any case, so thanks!

I would also agree that the focus is on 'giantness' here rather than trees... to my mind trees just got 'comically wound up in the flow of the conversation', so to speak.

As trees are often giant Smile


(This post was edited by Elthir on Apr 4 2014, 3:22pm)


Elthir
Gondor

Apr 4 2014, 3:15pm

Post #6 of 19 (205 views)
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relics [In reply to] Can't Post

The external timing makes this possible, although I think it's also possible that this conversation began [externally] just before the Tree Giants emerged, at least in writing. My conclusion [so far] is that it's not easy to tell, especially since Tolkien could have imagined the tree giants before he set them to paper.

Also, there were 'giants' in Tolkien's story that can be dated to the same phase as this conversation [IIRC], but they weren't necessarily tree giants.

Anyway the drafts for this conversation certainly well pre-date Ents however, who are much smaller [shorter] than Tolkien's original Tree-giants.


(This post was edited by Elthir on Apr 4 2014, 3:27pm)


KingHart01
Registered User

Apr 4 2014, 4:06pm

Post #7 of 19 (187 views)
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My apologies for the misquote [In reply to] Can't Post

However, the 7 yards to a stride seems to fit the description of an Ent, as if it was a giant, I would imagine that the stride would be much, much larger.


Bracegirdle
Tol Eressea


Apr 4 2014, 6:18pm

Post #8 of 19 (184 views)
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This is surprising .... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Says he did, perhaps. Your Hal's always saying that he's seen things; and maybe he sees things that ain't there.'

'But this one was as big as an elm tree, and walking--walking seven yards to a stride, if it was an inch.'

I think cousin Hal was probably hallucinating. “I have brought you 70,000 Ent-strides. . .” (Treebeard to Merry & Pippin).
If we do the math – 70,000 Ent-strides from Treebeard’s Hill to Wellinghall (about 80 miles) = about 5 ˝ feet per stride.
Yes, I thought this seemed overly short too – but it is what it is. (The only caveat is that we don’t know the length of Treebeard’s legs. Was his nickname “Short-shanks”?) Smile
So, it seems Hal (if he saw anything) saw some kind of Giant. There’s a huge difference between 21 feet (7 yards) and 5 ˝ feet.

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Nomad
Forum Admin


Apr 4 2014, 8:51pm

Post #9 of 19 (161 views)
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Tolkien was not the math professor. / [In reply to] Can't Post

 





Elthir
Gondor

Apr 4 2014, 11:19pm

Post #10 of 19 (157 views)
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Ent strider [In reply to] Can't Post

Close Bracegirdle! In manuscript no. MSS 4/2/19 Tolkien was writing about ent-strides, and calculating how far Treebeard would walk in 70,000 strides. Hammond and Scull published the following...

’His final conclusion was that an ent would take nearly nine hours to do 70,000 strides and presumably would go 70,000 yards at least, probably 4ft a stride’. This meant about 2.2 strides of 4 feet per second, covering a distance of 53.3 miles, at a speed of about 6 miles an hour.[Other calculations note that at 2 strides per second, 70,000 strides would take 9.67 hrs, and 70,000 strides of 3 ft would be about 40 miles]. In another note, Tolkien writes: ’Ents are [as long as they can drink running water] almost tireless. They can go at c. 12 mph averaging say 10 hrs [or even 24] at a stretch. Max speed of Treebeard was 20 mph when charging’ JRRT

In any case you are correct about 7 yards being large for an Ent.

And Treebeard was no where near 50 feet tall, and even further from 100 feet tall [general Elm tree heights]

Smile


Bracegirdle
Tol Eressea


Apr 5 2014, 3:33am

Post #11 of 19 (147 views)
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"I'm striding here -" Hoffman in "Midnight Cowboy" [In reply to] Can't Post

First of all, time or speed involved is irrelevant in this quest to find the length/distance of an Ent stride.
Yes, I was aware of Tolkien’s estimate of 4 ft. per stride. However I wasn’t aware that Tolkien estimated the distance Merry and Pippin were carried at 53.3 miles (if that is what is indicated Treebeard’s stride would be about 4 feet).

I have several maps of the area done by CJRT (all approved by JRRT) that show the distance around 75-80 miles. Also Fonstad’s Atlas shows the same approximate distance. So there appear to be some contradictions. Still if we do the math for 70,000 strides for 80 miles the Treebeard stride comes to around 5 ˝ feet, and I will have to hold tight.

Still Elthir, we’re working with some apparent inconsistencies and we should remain satisfied that a Treebeard-stride (be it 4ft or 6ft) is much less than most would imagine.
FYI The human stride or military cadence is 2 ˝ feet.
Cheers- Evil

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L. Ron Halfelven
Grey Havens


Apr 5 2014, 3:53am

Post #12 of 19 (145 views)
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It takes Ent Strider all morning just to say "You draw far too much attention to yourself."// [In reply to] Can't Post

 



What business does a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, a dwarf, and a hobbit have in the Rivenmark?


Elthir
Gondor

Apr 5 2014, 7:29pm

Post #13 of 19 (137 views)
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larger relic and Ent heights [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's my longer look at the external chronology. Corrections welcome if I've misinterpreted anything from home, and kudos to anyone who cares to check!

Wink

In probably late Sept 1938, or early October 1938, Tolkien will write 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 -- and 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…'
The Lord of the Rings



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 (leaving a reference to giants in the final form of Three's Company in any case), 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 then write an outline in which he describes:


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 (the one I quoted already in the thread) 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. And as far as tallness, as noted earlier, here Treebeard was originally 'only' ten feet tall, revised to twelve, and then to fourteen.

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

Treebeard is described as 14 feet tall 'at least', but even if he is 16 feet tall that is significantly smaller to my mind (if large to us and a Hobbit especially) compared to Tolkkien's 'giant' Treebeard of 50 feet tall.

Whew, did anyone read all that? I didn't, thanks to 'copy and paste' from an older post of mine!


Elthir
Gondor

Apr 5 2014, 7:50pm

Post #14 of 19 (137 views)
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P. S. [In reply to] Can't Post

Just realized [in case anyone noticed]: when I said: 'Another interesting thing is that Christopher Tolkien quotes his father's letter (the one I quoted already in the thread) about Tolkien having no recollection of inventing Ents, and writing the chapter without any recollection of previous thought and so on.'

This might refer to the thread from which I copied my own post, but not this one Crazy


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Apr 6 2014, 12:40pm

Post #15 of 19 (124 views)
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I think it was definitely Entish [In reply to] Can't Post

at least in my Middle-earth world ;) I latched onto this when we heard Treebeard tell about the wandering Entwives and how they'd go searching for them.



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dreamflower
Lorien

Apr 9 2014, 10:15pm

Post #16 of 19 (121 views)
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Story-internal, story-external [In reply to] Can't Post

So it appears that originally the creature in the Green Dragon conversation probably was (in the earliest drafts) meant to imply a giant of some sort, but that later it seems to imply a treeish creature (though size and stride are still too long). Story-external it's part of the ongoing evolution of the story, and a part that perhaps did not get changed enough to fit JRRT's final draft.

But what about a story-internal explanation? My suggestion would be that both Sam and Sandyman were correct. Cousin Halfast does indeed see something akin to a "Tree-man" walking on the North Moors. To hobbit eyes it would be huge, and fright (and perhaps a drink or two) would increase its size in his memory, so that he exaggerates both its size and its stride. Wink


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Apr 10 2014, 8:16pm

Post #17 of 19 (91 views)
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Again, unlikely to be an Ent. [In reply to] Can't Post

There is no other evidence of Ents outside of Fangorn Forest (with the possible exception of Old Man Willow); and, the Entwives disappeared long, long ago. More likely an Ogre, Troll, or other type of Giant.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Apr 10 2014, 8:17pm)


Bracegirdle
Tol Eressea


Apr 11 2014, 2:19am

Post #18 of 19 (91 views)
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Here an Ent, there a Huorn, everywhere a Hroom-Ha [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
There is no other evidence of Ents outside of Fangorn Forest (with the possible exception of Old Man Willow); and, the Entwives disappeared long, long ago. More likely an Ogre, Troll, or other type of Giant.

But, but, there WERE Ents (and Huorns) at the Deeping Coomb during the Battle of Helm's Deep. (Not to mention Isengard) Smile

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(This post was edited by Bracegirdle on Apr 11 2014, 2:20am)


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Apr 11 2014, 3:33am

Post #19 of 19 (81 views)
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Yes. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Quote
There is no other evidence of Ents outside of Fangorn Forest (with the possible exception of Old Man Willow); and, the Entwives disappeared long, long ago. More likely an Ogre, Troll, or other type of Giant.

But, but, there WERE Ents (and Huorns) at the Deeping Coomb during the Battle of Helm's Deep. (Not to mention Isengard) Smile



Yes. But that was later, and they had all come from Fangorn.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

 
 

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