During the holidays, my husband and I pick a series or two of movies to watch again. Indiana Jones, Star Wars, The Godfather, etc. This year, we are watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy again (no, I haven’t been to see The Hobbit yet, but I am looking forward to it). I’ve seen the trilogy a dozen times, and I love it. Sure, it isn’t the same as the book, but it is entertaining nonetheless. I have my solid gold One Ring, and my plastic Sting sword (it really lights up blue), and my Evenstar pendant, and my wonder and amazement at the world building that we only get a taste of in the movies.
Last night, we watched The Two Towers, and I thought it would be interesting to talk about the Ents on Castles and Guns. The Ents (Treebeard is an Ent) are the tree shepherds that end up helping Merry and Pippin and destroying Isengard.
“Ent” has its roots in Old English—meaning “giant”. Trolls and other such large, humanoid creatures were originally “ents”. Tolkien took the word and made it the name of a race of ancients—tree shepherds meant to protect the forest. In the films, the creatures look very much like trees that walk—and they are a lot taller than the representation in the books. Still, every time I see Two Towers, something about those creatures resonate with me. I can’t decide if it is the sound effects, or the perceived wisdom in the characterization, or the fact that they are a little scary…or maybe all of the above!
Did you know that some say Tolkien made Treebeard to resemble CS Lewis? Apparently Lewis was a big guy that kind of lumbered along as he walked (get it? Lumbered? Tree? Haha).
Pondering the Ents today gave me a great excuse to research and read. I wondered if the tree race was something Tolkien envisioned himself, or if he based it on a specific mythos. Whether you like Tolkien or not, you have to admit the guy was darn creative!
Do movies ever inspire you to research? How about books?
Tonight—Return of the King… and more Viggo Mortensen…