There were some pretty unique creatures in The Lord of the Rings, but Treebeard and the Ents can take the title.
JRR Tolkien filled his the Lord of the Rings universe with all kinds of intriguing figures. From greedy dwarves to warrior elves, there’s a lot to love, but there are characters that need more attention – Treebeard and the Ents. When you look at them, you have to start at the beginning. Many creatures in Middle-earth were downright evil. This is because after the Valar created Arda, Morgoth decided to become more powerful than any other being, but he was unable to overpower Eru. So, Morgoth fled from Valinor, entered Middle-earth, and became its first Dark Lord. There he sets out to subdue as much of creation as possible with a will to dominate and a heart of vengeance.
Morgoth designed werewolves, dragons, and vampires to be his minions, but he did worse than that. When Morgoth created Balrogs, Orcs, and Trolls, he actively corrupted what was good. The Balrogs were fallen Maiar; The Orcs were created and corrupted from the Elves, but in a lesser known fact, the Trolls came from the Ents. As such, these tree creatures are quite intriguing, so here’s a quick rundown of the Ents anatomy.
Treebeard was the oldest being in Middle-earth
While it is true that Treebeard was the oldest being in Middle-earth, there is a little caveat. To begin with, some the Lord of the Rings fans would argue that Tom Bombadil was older, but Treebeard certainly claimed the title, and Gandalf seemed to back him. Beyond that, the Ents were created after the Elves and Dwarves. However, the dwarves were mortal and all the firstborn elves had either died or had returned to Valinor. So, while Treebeard was not the oldest living being in Arda, he had been in Middle-earth the longest.
The Ents were created in response to the Dwarves
Interestingly enough, the Ents were created in response to the creation of the Dwarves. After Eru created the Elves and Men, a Valar named Aulë became impatient for them to awaken and attempted to create his own creatures – the Dwarves. However, he lacked the power to create life, and after being berated by Eru, he prepared to destroy his failed business. Eru took pity, however, and adopted them as his children. Seeing Eru’s mercy, a Valar named Yavanna sought life for the Ents so that something could be responsible for protecting trees from Dwarves and Orcs. Eru complied either by sending spirits to embody trees or by creating spirits that became “like trees”, thus the Ents were born.
The elves taught the Ents to speak
Although most Ents spoke Entish, it was not their first language. In the early days of Middle-earth, the Elves loved to talk to everything, and they often spoke with the Ents. In doing so, the Elves made them want to speak. As a result, the Elves taught them the language of the Noldor – Quenya. So, as Treebeard said, the Elves healed “the Ents of their silence.” Of course, the Ents spoke the language in a slow and methodical manner.
The Ents don’t die – They get more “treeish”
Much like the Elves, the Ents were immortal, unless there was extreme force or sufficient fire. This was the reason why the Ents moved so slowly and methodically. They always saw the big picture because they had lived for thousands and thousands of years. Just because the Ents were immortal doesn’t mean they didn’t age. The older the Ents, the more tree-like they became. So, eventually, they planted roots and effectively retired from tree breeding.
All Ents are men (kind of)
When Yavanna created the Ents, she made them both male and female, but all of the Entwives were gone by the third age. Sauron destroyed their land during the Second Age, and no one had seen the bark or leaf since. It also meant no Entlings on Middle-earth, as there were no Entwives that the Ents could mate with. In fact, where the Entwives disappeared remains one of the greatest mysteries in all of the the Lord of the Rings. Aragorn promised the forests would expand under his kingship, but Treebeard believed the Ents were unlikely to ever find the Entwives.
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