I know that the Ents were created by Yavanna, to protect the forests from the dwarves, but also it was the Elves that taught them to speak.

Is there any mention of Ent history in any of Tolkien's works apart from what Treebeard tells Merry and Pippin? For instance, about the Entwives migrating?

1 Answer 1


Accordint to Ent Wiki article, the references include:

  • Unfinished Tales, Index, entries for Ent, Enyd, and Onodrim.

  • The Silmarillion talks about Ent origins. This aricle at TheTolkienWiki has an excellent detail.

  • Also, the Letters mentioned ents (especially Entwives):

    Tolkien himself spent much time considering what actually happened to the Entwives (at one point simply saying even he didn't know), but eventually he stated in Letters #144: "I think that in fact the Entwives have disappeared for good, being destroyed with their gardens in the War of the Last Alliance..." (from Wikipedia)

    There was a battle about a ford across one of the Seven Rivers of Ossir, and the Silmaril was recovered, and so came down to Dior Beren's son, and to Elwing Dior's daughter and Earendel her husband (father of Elros and Elrond). It seems clear that Beren, who had no army, received the aid of the Ents – and that would not make for love between Ents and Dwarves (Letters #247)

    Take the Ents for instance. I did not consciously invent them at all. The chapter called 'Treebeard', from Treebeard's first remark on p. 66, was written off more or less as it stands, with an effect on my self (except for labour pains) almost like reading some one else's work. And I like Ents now, because they do not seem to have anything to do with me. I daresay something had been going on in the 'unconscious' for some time, and that accounts for my feeling throughout, especially when stuck, that I was not inventing but reporting (imperfectly) and had at times to wait till 'what really happened' came through. But looking back analytically I should say that Ents are composed of philology, literature and life. They owe their name to the eald enta geweorc of Anglo-Saxon, and their connexion with stone. Their part in the story is due, I think, to my bitter disappointment and disgust from schooldays with the shabby use made in Shakespeare of the coming of 'Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill': I longed to devise a setting in which the trees might really march to war. And into this has crept a mere piece of experience, the difference of the 'male' and 'female' attitude to wild things, the difference between unpossessive love and gardening. Letters #163

  • Also, Ents are mentioned in LOTR itself in contexts OTHER than "what Treebeard tells Merry and Pippin" - E.g. in "Fellowship of the Ring" (book 2, chapter 2: "The Council of Elrond" and book 1, chapter 2: "The Shadow of the Past") and "The Return of the King" (book 6, chapter 6: "Many Partings").


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.