Thursday, October 05, 2006

On Ents

In The Two Towers, the second book and film of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Nature gets its revenge.

It begins when Merry and Pippin, the two hobbits who were captured by orcs at the end of part one, escape to Fanghorn Forest, where they meet Treebeard, an Ent. Ents, we discover, are trees that walk and talk (albeit very slowly). In a conversation with his new hobbit friends, Treebeard laments the destruction of the woodlands by Saruman, the white wizard who has betrayed good and alligned himself with the evil Sauron. "There was a time," Treebeard says, "when Saruman would walk in my woods. But now he has a mind of metal and wheels. He no longer cares for growing things."

Treebeard calls an Entmoot, a gathering of "beech, oak, chestnut, ash," to decide if the Ents will go to war with Saruman. After much deliberation ("Don't be hasty," Treebeard tells his little friends), the Ents decide: "This is not our war."

A trip to the southern woods, now burned and pillaged by Saruman's army of orcs, changes Treebeard's mind. The Ents begin their slow march to Isengard and when they arrive, the terror they unleash devastates the forces of evil. Orcs are crushed like ants and swatted like flies. A dam is released and Isengard is flooded, destroying what remains of Saruman's army.

We cheer for the Ents because we know Saruman is evil and because they have befriended two characters who we are already cheering for, and, more imporantly, because we know and see that what Saruman has done - the destruction of the natural world for his own purposes - is wrong. J.R.R. Tolkin, the author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, was an anti-industrialist, a stance that clearly shows itself in this particular piece of the epic tale.

In our own world, scientists are predicting that in the very near future, Nature will get its revenge on us. According to these scientists, (some of) the media, Al Gore and others, this will be a terrible event. Like the Ents, Nature will move slowly.
Like the orcs, we will be crushed like ants and swatted like flies.

In humans, Nature has met its greatest enemy. We destroy, pillage and rape the earth unlike any other species. It is highly unlikely we will be able to stop ourselves, just like it is highly unlikely wolves will stop hunting in packs or penguins will stop marching the miles to mate. We are a plague, a virus, an infestation, and a parasite on the Earth. Nature has no choice - it must fight. Like the orcs, we will defend ourselves with potions, weapons and tools. But like Isengard, we will fall.

3 Comments:

Blogger Leaf said...

I see you've finally become a British Columbian. You realise you can't leave now.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Exubai Negedikos said...

I saw Chris Murphy again.
Still decided it would be best if I didn't say anything to him.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Marco Ursi said...

Is Chris Murphy an Ent or an Orc?

11:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home