The New Notion Club Archives
The New Notion Club Archives


Entish; Westron; the language of Trees
Height & weight of average adult
Between 10' and 20' & 700 - 1200 lbs
Average lifespan
Immortal or long-lived until they become treeish in old age
Renowned individuals

Quiet and slow, ancient and bizarre, the Ents (S."Onodrim") were the tallest, strongest, and most ancient of Eru's speaking children. Trolls were made in counterfeit of their awe and power but still paled in comparison, and an organized grouping was more potent than a dragon. With their fingers, they were able to rip the very rock of Isengard and break the armies of Saruman. A peace-loving and compassionate people who dwelled in harmony with nature according to its ways, usually to rest and tend the trees of the great forests, the Ents could nonetheless muster a rage that was nothing short of overwhelming, and could organize themselves into a collective wrath which rendered them the most dangerous army east of Valinor. The followers of darkness ever bewailed the days past when they earned the wrath of the Tree-lords, for the Ents opposed all evil forces in the Westlands.



Elven historians recorded the belief that the Ents were conceived in the thoughts of Yavanna, Queen of the Earth, as the shepherds of the trees. Like her, the Onodrim have always loved the trees and the Olvar — all the plants of the world — best of all. Most peoples think the Ents to be the oldest of the speaking races. Yet, the High Elves say that the Onodrim were not mentioned in the Valar’s creation song, but were created by one Vala, much as the Dwarves were fabricated by Aule. Galadriel believed that when Yavanna noted the mercy Eru extended to Aule allowing the stone-formed Khazad life, she requested a living spirit for her children, the Olvar, as well. It seems Orome also had a part in this request, because the males of the Onodrim hold closer allegiance to him, although the females are aligned with Yavanna. Whether the Ents were initially trees that received souls, or if they were separate creatures that came to look like trees after having loved and cared for the forests so long, is not clear.
This Elven view of afterthought creation, however, is a misconception. Everything that is now present in Middle-earth was in The Music, but may not have been recognized by the Valar for what it was until much later. Eru always knew that the Ents, like the Giants and the Great Eagles, would be born through The Song. The Valar sang the notes that they were taught by Eru. And he taught understanding that their unique personalities would unknowingly alter the melody to create all that he wished to be.
Originally mute, silently communicating only with the trees, the Onodrim were taught the gift of speech by the Speakers (Q. "Quendi"), the Elves, and learned many tongues. In fact, Treebeard said that the Elves actually wakened the Ents to consciousness. In time, the Onodrim came to understand even the rapid and foolish languages of Men, but they preferred their own incredibly slow rumbling language best of all. It is spoken full of adjectives and finally, rarely, anoun - The Ents are definitely "tree-ish" about jumping to conciusions.
Rarely, when some pressing need arises, any Ent may call the others to meet together in great Ent-moots, community meetings where issues are wrestled and solutions resolved. Normally, an Ent will confer with a couple of nearby Ents to determine if the matter really is so significant that an Ent-moot must be called. Once summoned, the Ents converge on the Derndingle, the "secret dell" in Fangorn Forest, which is the prescribed place of meeting. The Ent-moots are not conducted on some pattern of government or hierarchy, but are founded completely on mutual trust, care, and respect. Each Ent is considered a participating and contributing individual and the discussion seeks consensus. Very slow and careful to act, Ent-moots are distinguished by the constant use of the low rumbling Entish tongues. It is difficult for Humans to understand just how hard it is to hurry an Ent. They simply ignore a hurrier and take enough time to reach their own conclusion. It is helpful to remember that in the War of the Ring, having reached the peak of rage at repeated assaults from Saruman, it still took the Ents three days to determine their course of action. They are not stupid. They are very intelligent and perceptive. But they simply are remarkably careful in their decision making, which is likely very fortunate for the rest of the world! Once the Ents finally arrive at a decision, they act with strength and solidarity, and their united will is potent and indomitable. The Onodrim were never aroused in wrath until the first Orcish armies came bearing steel weapons, hacking the forests indiscriminately. Well-beloved trees were wantonly felled, and then more, despite Entish protest and reprisal. The Treeherds' rage grew and solidified into an implacible hatred. The woodlands suffered wherever Orcs invaded; hatred eventually led to decisive action: Ents killed Orcs on sight. Tree-demons, the Orcs named them - but the Ents have many names, and longer, for their Orcish foes.
Ents also mistrust Dwarves deeply because they consider them likewise to be hewers of wood. For example, in the First Age of the Sun, the entire community of the Dwarves of Nogrod were caught by the Ents on Mount Dolmed and utterly destroyed following the Dwarvish sack of the Grey-elven citadel of Menegroth. The Ents and Dwarves have remained tense and suspicious of each other ever since, and Yavanna had predicted this tension between the People of the Stones and the People of the Trees. Ents have remained suspicious of humans, because the Men vary so in disposition and temperament. Some seem to deeply respect the woodlands and forests, while others are as foolish and wicked as the Orcs. And some Men, especially the ship-builders of the Second Age earned the disrespect and anger of the Ents by their prodigal wood-hewing. Naturally, the Ents are fondest of the forest and nature-loving Elves, although they do not involve themselves in the endless Elvish issues of government, craft, and magic. Ents were nearly as fond of Hobbits, when they discovered them in the War of the Ring. But Treebeard did tease Merry and Pippin for disliking the forest of which they were so afraid.

The Gardens of the Entwives


One of the greatest tragedies and mysteries in the histories of Middle-earth is that connected with the story of the Entwives. It came about that the males and females among the Ents became gradually more distant from one another, for their hearts and loves grew differently. The males cherished the great, close trees of the forests, and the wild things of the world: the mountains, the streams, and whatever fruit was deposited on the ground for the passer-by. The females meanwhile loved best the more open orchards, fruit trees, and so-called lesser Olvar: the grasses, flowers, and the shrubs, and all those things which could be cultivated, directed, and commanded. So the Ent-wives left their mates and dwelt in the open lands across the Anduin. There, they taught Mankind the art of tending the Earth's fruits, and receiving the benefits of agriculture. In those gardens the Ent-wives lived, and occasionally the Ents would visit. It was at these times that Entish mating and family life prospered; for here the Ent-wives bore their seeds, which grew into young Entings, and so the Entish life cycle was renewed. The Ents prospered in this manner, and they cherished their mates and offspring much, finding joy in both the renewal of life. Younger Entings would, as the Ents and their wives became increasingly separate, stay with the Ent-Wives and learn from them the ways of nature and care for it, while the older, male Ent-children left to dwell with their fathers to grow into Ents.
This peaceful way of life was unfortunately not to be, for in the Second Age, the Ent-wives' gardens were caught in the terrible crossfire between Sauron and the Last Alliance of Men and Elves. They fled with their offspring and seeds to seek a new home elsewhere, away from the shadow boring down on them from the south. And it is here that they disappeared from history. Weather they successfully escaped and hid themselves and their children away from the tragedies and travails of the world, or, by fiendish tragedy, they were discovered and slain by Sauron and used as food and fuel for his military, remains unknown. The Ents searched high and low across millennia for their Wives, but never found so much as a trace. And so, the Entings began to disappear as they grew, and the Ents, already limited in numbers, became a dying race without children. Still, by the end of the Third Age, some hope lingered in Treebeard's heart that his love Fimbrethil might still be found.

The Breaking of Isengard

The small remaining communities of Ents had regressed almost entirely into the Taur Fangorn by the time of the War of the Ring and seldom wandered beyond its boarders, and even within them - and they continued to dwindle, with the remaining Entings completing their growth and the elder Ents becoming “treeish,” in essence passing away. Merely three Ents remained who once dwelt in the Elder Days: Fangorn, Finglas, and Fladrif. Of the three, only wise and ancient Fangorn remained involved in the affairs of the present world. Finglas had withdrawn into himself and become almost like a tree, never anymore speaking or walking. Fladrif, grievously injured in battle against Orcs, and further scarred by witnessing the tragic the loss of several of his Entings and all his birch groves, had understandably withdrawn to high mountain slopes and isolated himself from all but his children and relatives.
During the great war, Treebeard and the younger Ents were roused by the actions of Saruman of Many Colors and his orcs, who abused and mistreated the Ents, their trees, and other local peoples. Around this time, Treebeard was stirred by two young Hobbits , Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took, whom he sheltered and conferred with, and so they stirred him to action. So came about Treebeard's calling of the Ent-moot and the resolute March of the Ents, wherein they descended upon the hosts of Isengard. Ranks upon ranks the Ents came, their number tilled out by many Huorns, and Orthanc‘s strength was shattered, and while folk were spared, it’s mines, armies, and orcs were destroyed to the last. Simultaneously, at the Battle of The Hornburg, the retreating orcs were slain by the forest of Onodrim and Huorns. These mighty deeds restored honor to the Ents; while Saruman was released, Orthanc was tended by Treebeard and the younger Ents, and here they made a new domain, and it is even rumored that Entings were grown here, though weather or not this is true is unknown.

Entish Nature

"They found that they were looking at a most extraordinary face. It belonged to a large Man-like, almost Troll-like, figure at least fourteen feet 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 arty rate the arms, at a short distance from the trunk, were not wrinkled, hut 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 beard, bushy, almost twiggy at the roots, thinand mossy at the ends. But at the moment the hobbits noted little hut the eyes. These deep eyes were now surveying them, slow and solemn, but very penetrating. They were brown, shot with a green fight. Often afterwards Pippin tried to describe his first impression of them." -LotR II, p.83.

Enraged Ent

The Ents are the shepherds of the natural world, trees in particular, and resembled their charges as a shepherd resembled sheep - ranging from ten to twenty-five feet tall, and from three to six feet in girth, they have rough bark-like skin on their "trunks" and beards like a mat of thatch, twigs, and moss. Each Ent resembles the kind of tree he herds, and behaves the way one might imagine such a tree to act. But they vary every bit as much as trees do, having their own size, shape and markings. So one oaken Ent will be radically different in appearance from another oaken Ent, even as he would vary from a coniferous Ent. Even the numbers of their fingers and loes vary widely, usually ranging from two to eight. Only their eyes remain similar from Ent to Ent, deep brown, shot with green light, and giving the beholder the mystical feeling of peering through a window into the ages of the earth itself.
Very nearly immortal, they can still be slain by violence, especially burning; and as the ages wax, so the Ents wane in vigor and number. They do age, albeit very slowly, and by the time of the War of the Ring, only three were considered old even though the "young" Ents had been born early in the Second Age! They can move with surprising swiftness on legs that do not bend. Yet their feet are flexing roots that stretch and move like a wading long-legged bird. They can master many languages but have also evolved their own slow deep rumbling dialect that no one can speak or understand save themselves alone. They feed on the same resources as do the trees — the soil and the rain — but their favorite and most powerful nutrients are the Ent-draughts which they draw, mix, and brew themselves. Their strength is legendary as they are able to work in a few seconds the devastation which natural trees work in years, destroying rock and metal with their very hands and feet. Their strength is often compared to that of the Trolls, but they are, in fact, far stronger than the stupid Trolls. After shattering rock or steel with their hands, Ents can propel the rubble (or even the bodies of their enemies) very effectively as devastating missiles.
Day to day, the Ents work and live independently of one another. Each walks through the forest caring for the damaged and blighted, removing the dead to make room for new growth, and planting seedlings. All the trees of the forest are treated as individuals by the Ents who love them as parents love their children. Ents mourn a tree's death and feel pride in its victories over hardship. All dead trees are uprooted and taken to one of several special places in the forest. There the wood decomposes and serves as a supply of fertilizer for the living. The idea of burying a body in stone where it cannot replenish the soil would be entirely foreign to Ents. If the Onodrim know of the Dwarven interment practices, they would disapprove and think the Khazad foolish.
Certain spots in the forest serve as nurseries where young trees grow to a height tall enough to ensure survival. The Ents usually preserve the natural way of things, but they do have favorite trees and like to ensure that dominant species do not extinguish less hardy ones. Soft mists, gentle rains, frequent sunshine, and nourishing soil seem to bring perpetual springtime to the nursuries. No Ent will bring an outsider into one without acompelling reason. Their strength, size, and magical skills allow Ents to relocate trees thirty feet tall without risk of the transplant suffering from shock. Trees damaged by lightning, shifting earth, burrowing animals, or careless axes can be healed by the Ents, so long as the tree still stands. And although some blights spread quickly and do serious harm to their victims, these, too, the Ents can cure.
Ents live throughout their forests in homes of their own construction, most of which would not be distinguished by a stranger as anything other than ordinary woodlands. Three things make an Ent house or hall. The first is water, whether from spring, stream, or well. Next is shelter, usually in the form of a cliff overhang or cave, but sometimes nothing more than a dense tree canopy. The last is a storage place for vessels and utensils.
Although Ents use few tools, as their hands can do most things they need them to, they still have need of a few items for storage of beverages and the like. The storage area in an Ent home is used for these items and for caches of food. These areas can be anything from a hollowed-out area covered with sticks to a small cave with a rock in front of it. These Ent-home storage areas will usually house an assortment of jars containing Ent-draughts of the three different types and an assortment of fresh or dried fruits, nuts, and berries. Of course bowls are also present to drink from.
Ents are not a possessive race and are, on the whole, very considerate. Because of this, a hungry Ent near another's home, would comfortably take what he needed and replace it as soon as he was able. Both owner and borrower would deem this common practice. The only reason that the Ents have secured storage areas in their houses is to keep curious animals from scattering or damage the belongings. Individually Ents usually have more than one of these homes or share them with others in the area for convenience's sake. Treebeard's home is unusual in that Treebeard has made a table and bed for it. These are not normal and only exist because Treebcard receives more visitors than other Ents and needs a comfortable place for them if he is to talk to them. There are other Ent-homes similar to Wellmghall in furnishings, but the more common home would have a rock as a table and a bed of leaves and moss. Often Ents will plant a grove of trees or relocate some of their favorite trees around their house. Amid these natural furnishings, the Ents spend their many days quietly, somethimes hiding in a refreshing waterfall for weeks without moving, enjoying the crystal clearness of the miming stream.
The Ents live mystically connected with the forests, and especially with the semi-sentient trees called Huorns. The Huoms can be awakened and summoned to work by the Ents, and they can serve as warriors nearly as formidable as the Ents themselves. Indeed, entire Orcish armies have vanished in the midst of Entish forests, gone forever under the strength of the Ents and their wards. Originally born in two sexes like all the speaking races, only the males remain in the histories of Middle-earth. The departure of the Ent-wives remains unsolved, one of the greatest mysteries of Middle-earth. With the Ent-wives (apparently) perpetually separated from their mates, the Ents are doomed to wane until their last number is gone.

Religion and Magic


Worship is primarily practiced by the Ents individually on a daily basis. As might be expected, their focus is on Eru, with homage paid also to those among the Valar, especially Yavanna, involved in the works of nature. It can be seen that the Entish love and care for nature is, in fact, the chief practice of their faith, and they live as stewards of the green and growing world. Ents do celebrate communally on an interesting schedule which works ' because of their extreme longevity. Twice a year, all available gather for a nature ceremony. These ceremonies fall in two of the seasons of one year, and in the other two seasons of the next. Thus, if the Ents gather on Midwinter's and Midsummer's days one year, the next they will meet during the spring and autumn solstices. The festive sites vary according to the season being celebrated. The gatherings are informal, since, as in their Moots, there is no hierarchy, rule of order, nor institution. The ceremonies are founded in the relationships being celebrated: the Ents with Eru, with Yavanna and Orome, with one another, and with nature. Thus, fellowship and relationship, communion in the best and broadest sense, is the means and the focus of their worship. Singing and symbolic ritual express Entish reverence, and very lightly in the background, can be heard the harmony of the Huoms, and indeed, even the trees!
On the other hand, magic plays a much smaller part in Entish life and philosophy of life. Ents do not appreciate the manipulative aspects of most enchantments, nor their potential to work against the divine Balance. Bur the Onodrim do use magic to some small degree to assist the healing of nature, the repairing of injured or blighted trees, and the making of Ent-draughts. Most things Ents wish to accomplish concern their work of the wild. And most of all work Ents choose to carry out naturally (so to speak), with a patience impossibly advanced ahead of Man's own.

Ents of Renown

Ashlimb Baillas Baldbark Barkmaster Beechbone Birchseed Caradhrian Elmlimb Fastroot Fimbrethil Fircomb Gnarlstomp Greenroot Leaflock Limbkeeper Lindenroot Loblolly Longroot Oldheart Palebirch Pincat Quickbeam Redcone Rootcouncil Sharpleaf Skinbark Stiffbranch Treebeard Twiglate Wisewood