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In LOTR (the movie at least, not sure about the book) Treebeard says of the Entmoot: "something is about to happen that has not happened for an age."

How many Entmoots do we know about? Did Tolkien say anywhere what that last Entmoot was addressing, or any other? For that matter, do we know of any significant contributions of the Ents to the affairs of Middle Earth, between being created by Yavanna and the War of the Ring?

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The only 3 "significant" contributions were:

  • Ents protected the trees from Orcs, Dwarves etc... Not sure if that's "significant"

  • Entwives taught Men agriculture

  • An Ent-host showed up near Dolmed and helped Beren against the Dwarves of Nogrod who sacked Doriath and slew King Thingol; the Dwarves were driven to the shadow woods of Ered Lindon and no-one managed to exit.

    Thus it came to pass that when the Dwarves of Nogrod, returning from Menegroth with diminished host, came again to Sarn Athrad, they were assailed by unseen enemies; for as they climbed up Gelion's banks burdened with the spoils of Doriath, suddenly all the woods were filled with the sound of elven-horns, and shafts sped upon them from every side. There very many of the Dwarves were slain in the first onset; but some escaping from the ambush held together, and fled eastwards towards the mountains. And as they climbed the long slopes beneath Mount Dolmed there came forth the Shepherds of the Trees, and they drove the Dwarves into the shadowy woods of Ered Lindon: whence, it is said, came never one to climb the high passes that led to their homes. - The Silmarillion

I don't know of any other mentions of entmoots; I searched ebook versions of LOTR, Hobbit and SIlmarillion for all mentions of Ents; and checked Tolkien Gateway,Tolkien Wikia, Wiki.

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The only documented Entmoot is the one in the Two Towers.

There is one other documented involvement of the Ents in affairs of Middle-earth, and that is following the Ruin of Doriath in the First Age:

There very many of the Dwarves were slain in the first onset; but some escaping from the ambush held together, and fled eastwards towards the mountains. And as they climbed the long slopes beneath Mount Dolmed there came forth the Shepherds of the Trees, and they drove the Dwarves into the shadowy woods of Ered Lindon: whence, it is said, came never one to climb the high passes that led to their homes.

This however was written by Christopher Tolkien, not by JRR Tolkien, but was introduced in accordance with a note in a letter. The full story is told in History of Middle-earth 11, but in summary:

It is seen at once that [the story told in The Silmarillion] is fundamentally changed, to a form for which in certain essential features there is no authority whatever in my father's own writings ... The ambush and destruction of the Dwarves at Sarn Athrad was given again to Beren and the Green Elves, and from the same source the Ents, 'Shepherds of the Trees', were introduced.

And the note in the letter itself must also be given for completeness sake; this is from Letter 247, published in Letters of JRR Tolkien:

There are or were no Ents in the older stories ... But since Treebeard shows knowledge of the drowned land of Beleriand in which the main action of the war against Morgoth took place, they will have to come in ... I can foresee one action that they took, not without a bearing on The L.R. ... 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.

It is of course possible that there was an Entmoot at that time.

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  • Just remarking: I'd originally posted this at roughly the same time as DVK's answer (I'd started writing this earlier but by the time I'd finished his was in) and had originally deleted it when I saw his. It's undeleted now at his request, but I don't think it substantially answers the question in any way beyond his. Nonetheless, it does contain some additional info which some folks may be interested in, so I'm leaving it be.
    – user8719
    Jan 28, 2014 at 21:32

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