Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Another LOTR Read-Along: Treebeard (TTT 3, 4)

This is such a relaxing chapter after all the tense excitement of the last few. I think my favorite image is Treebeard standing under his waterfall shower as Merry and Pippin go to sleep.
"The lights died down, and the glow of the trees faded; but outside under the arch they could see old Treebeard standing, motionless, with his arms raised above his head. The bright stars peered out of the sky, and lit the falling water as it spilled on to his fingers and head, and dripped, dripped, in hundreds of silver drops on to his feet. Listening to the tinkling of the drops the hobbits fell asleep" (p. 467).
The Ents are so original, aren't they? Wizards, goblins, orcs, giant spiders -- you find them other places. But Ents? Totally just Tolkien. However, with their non-hasty ways, they do frustrate me sometimes. I want to jump up and down and yell, "Get on with it already!" Which they would not appreciate, I'm sure.

I find the story of the loss of the Entwives terribly sad. I always want there to be some bit in the Appendices saying that they returned. I think because I can identify with the Entwives, who "desired order, and plenty, and peace (by which they meant that things should remain where they had set them)" (p. 465). I desire that too, especially the last bit. In a house with three kids, far too many things don't remain where I set them.

Interesting that Trolls are counterfeit Ents created by the Great Enemy, even as Orcs are mock versions of Elves.

Treebeard had never heard of hobbits. Merry and Pippin had never heard of Ents. And yet, they begin to trust each other when they learn that all three of them are friends of Gandalf. This reminds me so much of how, when I meet a new person at church, I'm generally much more at ease around them than I am around strangers in other settings. The fact that we both know Jesus gives us something so wonderful in common! (I'm not saying Gandalf = Jesus, I'm just saying this reminded me of that.)

Random other fun thing I found on the internet:

Favorite Lines:

Treebeard rumbled for a moment, as if he were pronouncing some deep, subterranean Entish malediction" (p. 462).

" is easier to shout stop! than to do it" (p. 463).

Discussion Questions:

Do you find the Ents sensible in their slow, cautions ponderings? Or do you want them to get a move on?

Do you yourself often consider decisions for a long time, or do you make up your mind quickly?


  1. I so LOVED this chapter. Which is funny because that's one of the parts that I usually overlook in the films; like I've always thought it was a silly interlude to make them longer or something like that. But no, the Ents are great and this chapter totally makes sense.

    I think that the Ents, being so old and their lifetimes as long as the Middle-Earth's ages, have plenty of time to live and draw decision and have adapted to that. And having that much time, why rush? They might indeed make more sensible decisions.

    I usually think things over and over again before drawing important decisions but when it is something that had no major consequences or that can be easily undone, I am usually impulsive.

    1. Irene, that's cool that you liked this one! In the movies it does feel a little less... organic that they visit the Ents or something, maybe?

      That's a great point that, if you have centuries of time ahead of and behind you, you can take your time making decisions.


What do you think?

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