43

In LOTR, is the disappearance of the Ent-Wives during or before the War of the Last Alliance connected with the appearance of the Trolls?

Since Orcs were corrupted Elves, did Sauron enslave the Ent-Wives and thus make trolls in an analogous process?

36

From wikipedia: 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...

40

No. Trolls were created by Morgoth prior to the First Age, long before the Entwives disappeared. However, it's likely Ents in general were corrupted to form Trolls, as Morgoth intended them to be a mockery of the Ents.

  • 1
    ...but what about the special trolls that could handle daylight? The Olog Hai? – WOPR Feb 8 '11 at 6:55
  • 2
    Isn't it significant that they.. "... appeared at the end of the Third Age in southern Mirkwood and in the mountainous borders of Mordor" - very close to the Brown Lands. – WOPR Feb 8 '11 at 6:56
  • 3
    @WOPR there's no evidence that the Olog-hai were anything more than especially well-bred trolls, in much the same way the Uruk-hai were especially well-bred orcs. There's certainly no evidence anywhere that the Olog-hai have any connection to the Entwives. – user366 Feb 8 '11 at 6:58
  • 3
    It is stated in The Hobbit that trolls go back to the stone they came from when hit by sunlight. – fabikw Feb 8 '11 at 11:35
  • 10
    @fabikw Bear in mind The Hobbit represents a simplified version of the Tolkien mythology: Morgoth could not create life out of non-life as he never possessed the Flame Imperishable. Morgoth and Sauron were only able to transform existing life into new forms by corrupting them (e.g. elves into orcs), and only Ilúvatar could create life ex nihilo. To that end, The Hobbit 's characterization of where the trolls came from is a figure of speech, in much the same way "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust..." is. – user366 Feb 8 '11 at 20:41
5

I think it is mentioned by Treebeard that the entwives moved east. If they continued moving east we might have to look to the far east of middle earth, an even more mythical place than the middle earth with which we are familiar! Even Gandalf wouldn't go there! Another theory might be that the entwives originally cultivated the beautiful gardens of Ithilien.

  • 1
    I recall it being west. That's funny. – balanced mama Jan 14 '13 at 18:04
  • if it was east, then they would have hit Mordor, giving more credence to the OP's question/theory. I seem to recall it being west, too, but it's easy to blur all this stuff in LOTR :D – FoxMan2099 Jan 2 '14 at 17:43
  • yep, confirmed, they definitely moved across the Anduin to what is now the Brown Lands lotro-wiki.com/index.php/Entwife – FoxMan2099 Jan 2 '14 at 17:44
3

Despite the accepted answer above, Tolkien did leave the merest hint as to the possible fate of the Entwives, in a conversation between Sam Gamgee and Ted Sandyman in the first chapter of the Fellowship of the Ring, Sam asks:

But what about these Tree-men, these giants, as you might call them? They do say that one bigger than a tree was seen up away beyond the North Moors not long back ... But this one was as big as an elm tree, and walking – walking seven yards to a stride, if it was an inch.

This is all we have to go on, but it seems an Ent-like creature had been wandering around Eriador, and was seen by one of Sam's relatives in or near the northern borders of the Shire.

  • This is the ents looking for the ent-wives, i believe – Edlothiad Feb 8 '17 at 10:41
  • 1
    @Edlothiad It does seem that way. The journey of this lone Ent, if that's what it was, is worth a story in itself :) – maguirenumber6 Feb 8 '17 at 10:57
  • That is true, to be fair ents are my favourite, and I'm still waiting for the Tolkien Estate to dig up a long lost note about the ent-wives. But sadly, the above quote doesn't leave us much about their wives, merely about the travels that Treebeard later confirms. – Edlothiad Feb 8 '17 at 12:10
  • You are correct. I wonder how long it would have taken that Ent to walk from Fangorn to the Shire? – maguirenumber6 Feb 8 '17 at 12:17
  • Well if you consider it's seven yards to a stride, and the average human walks about about 2/2.5 yards to a stride, I presume it'll take about the same time it took on the way back from Minas Tirith as they were on horseback. Maybe? Could be worth a good analysis. – Edlothiad Feb 8 '17 at 12:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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