Re: [mythsoc] If it quacks like an ent
- At 09:42 AM 12/26/2001 , David Lenander wrote:
>You know, my first reaction to this remark was "if it walks like an EntIt could be a tree that had grown so Entlike that it had legs, even if it
>then it must be a duck" But does it quack? Actually, I think that Tolkien
>would insist that it must TALK like an Ent before it was an Ent.
wasn't an Ent. The question is, are any of the moving trees that we see in
the Old Forest like that?
>As far as I'm concerned, even if someone unearths another Tolkien letterSam could still have been right. The real tragedy would be if the Entwives
>in which he specifically disavows this interpretation, that tree that was
>walking near the Shire was and is an Entwife. I like to believe that,
>despite the disavowal that you can find in the epilogue (see _Sauron
>Defeated_) where Sam explains that the Ents never found their Entwives,
>etc. What did Sam know?
were indeed living in the Shire, but Merry and Pippin didn't know it (they
definitely don't know about what Hal saw, or they'd surely have mentioned
it when Treebeard asked), and so Treebeard never learns where to go looking.
But in at least one letter, Tolkien says not that the Ents never found the
Entwives again, but that they simply never did find "a land where both
their hearts may rest."
>That walking tree in the Shire is an unfinished idea that never gotI expect your first sentence is correct. If the second sentence is also
>developed. I choose to think that if Tolkien had worked on it any more he
>would have realized that the Entwives were indeed near the Shire.
correct (which is possibly not, unless Tolkien forgot entirely about the
relevant incidents when writing later letters), however, I fear it would
have led to the softheartedness that Tolkien knew himself susceptible to,
but which he tried to avoid, namely having everything come out happy.
>But, looking back, I noticed something I hadn't before. But it explains aBecause the visitor is a walking tree. Jeez, can't you figure out
>confusion that I've apparently had for some time. I had thought that
>Hobbiton and Bywater were not in the West Farthing, as the map shows that
>they clearly are. Why, then does the story say: "a visitor on business
>from Michel Delving in the Westfarthing" as if Michel Delving was in a
>different Farthing? This is in reference to a speaker in the conversation
>between the Gaffer and his drinking buddies in The Ivy Bush. I wouldn't
>speak of "a visitor on business from Duluth, in Minnesota" if my story was
>set in a bar in St. Paul.
Hobbiton and Bywater are mid-Shire, legally in the Westfarthing but
probably not thought of as typically Westfarthingoid. Once upon a time
(not any more), London was in Middlesex, but I could easily imagine a
visitor to London from an outside village as being described as "from
Nevertheless, it's probably a tiny mistake of tone as it stands, and if it
had been pointed out to Tolkien, he would probably have come up with a most
ingenious explanation for it.