Beyond Middle-Earth: Fangorn and Fimbrethil Jun03

Beyond Middle-Earth: Fangorn and Fimbrethil...

“Behold! When the Children awake, then the thought of Yavanna will awake also… and be held in reverence, and their just anger shall be feared…. In the forests shall walk the Shepherds of the Trees.” — “Of Aulë and Yavanna,” The Silmarillion It’s difficult to imagine Ents being vulnerable. These tree-giants (the word “ent” is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word for “giant”) are strong creatures and, though they avoid doing anything in haste, their anger is swift and terrible. It’s interesting to me, then, that Ents were born out of a perceived vulnerability. Before any peoples walked Middle-earth, the Valar sang the world into being and Ilúvatar created Elves and Men. Aulë, the great smith, wanted his own creations and so gave life to the Dwarves. However, his wife Yavanna, the grower of all plant life, recognized that the Dwarves would learn from her husband and would, therefore, have no love for her works: “My heart is anxious, thinking of the days to come… Shall nothing that I have devised be free from the dominion of others?” (S, 40). What does a world without Ents look like? Very much like ours, I think. Thus, the Ents were created from Yavanna’s desire to defend her creation. They awoke in Middle-earth at the same time as the Elves. But, while Ents feature prominently in The Two Towers, we don’t see any Entwives. Anything we know about them is what Treebeard tells Merry and Pippin when they seek refuge in Fangorn forest: “When the world was young and the woods were wide and wild, the Ents and Entwives… they walked together and they housed together. But our hearts did not go on growing in the same way: the Ents gave their love to things that they met in...