Tree and Star
2009 Award Category: Times: First Age and Prior
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: General ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: In LOTR, Treebeard says, "Elves began it, of course, waking trees up and teaching them to speak and learning their tree-talk. They always wished to talk to everything, the old Elves did." How did that happen? Here's my take on it!
Reviewed by: Imhiriel ✧ Score: 10
DrummerWench has made a specialty out of transporting fairy tales or fairy tale tropes into a Middle-earth concept, and does so beautifully. This story is another lovely addition to that. It tells the creation story of the Elves and Ents in at once familiar and fresh ways. The language is wonderful, full of magic and imagination and a certain dream-like quality, beyond the veil of ordinary happenings. There is a certain word order and rhythm and vocabulary - subtle but recognisable - which makes this doubly effective as reminiscent to fairy tales. The images conveyed are lovely and poetic. I like the fact the way Yavanna doesn't accomplish the act of creating the Ents alone, but actively involves Elentaulë in it, and makes her share in the wonder and joy of creation. The way the story is told, with Yavanna even taken a backstep in the end, gives a neat explanation for the fact that Ents see Elves as the "instigators" of their awakening. I have always loved the notion that speaking to plants would make them grow richer (perhaps because I myself unfortunately have a black thumb *g*), and I found it moving how this concept is adapted here so literally and to such astounding effect. And thank you for making this story a birthday gift!
Reviewed by: pandemonium_213 ✧ Score: 5
[Tree and Star] is another wonderful jewel in the treasury that is Drummerwench's [Fairy Tales of Middle-earth]. The prose in this latest offering is gorgeous: sublimely clean and meticulous, conveying the distinctive otherworldly fairy-tale "feel" which Drummerwench wields to great effect in this series and particularly here. The idea that Yavanna, aptly drawn as the Earth Mother here, had assistance from one of the Quendi to create the Ents -- the speaking and anthromorphic trees -- is an immensely appealing one. I have always had a soft spot for the flora of the world, perhaps more than the fauna even (I was a botany major as an undergrad) so the imagery of the Oak and the Apple and what they became truly spoke to me.
Reviewed by: Elleth ✧ Score: 4
The creation of the first two Onodrim told in lovely poetic prose that made me shiver (in the best possible way!), definitely worthy of any Brothers Grimm fairytale, and considerably less dark. Also a beautiful reconciliation of two apparently contradictory stories in the legendarium, the creation of the Ents by Yavanna, and the fact that Elves were said to have woken and taught the trees. Thank you!
Reviewed by: Lissa ✧ Score: 4
I love this tale, the topic and the writing both: Treebeard's words about the waking of the trees inevitably makes one curious as to how such an event would have happened, and here is beautiful explanation. The style of the story is perfect, slightly archaic, and with the particular rhytm to it that suggests to the reader that the tale originates in an oral tradition. It is not difficult to imagine it being told by parents to their child in the elven realms, through the millenia that must have passed since the waking of the ents.
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 4
I've always had a soft spot in my heart for creation tales, and this one is truly beautiful as we see Yavanna coming to an elleth who wishes to speak with the trees, and between them we see first the wakening of trees to awareness and then the birth of the first of the Ents and Entwives. A most wonderful fairytale, this, and one that speaks to our desire to explain through myth what we would love to see, what we tend to feel is alive and true--somewhere! Part of the reason so many of us so love Tolkien's work, I think!
Reviewed by: White Wolf ✧ Score: 3
What a lovely story. I love the way you describe the Awakening and how the elves wanted to commune with Nature and its creatures. I really liked Elentaulë, her love of trees and her journey to communicate with them. The creation of the Ents was a nice touch.
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 3
A lovely conception of the origin of the Ents and their relationship with the Elves in the early life of Tolkien's world. Yavanna's role in particular is handled very convincingly, and her love and care for the trees and the Elf lady who wants to hear them is well written. Beautiful language, too!
Reviewed by: Dreamflower ✧ Score: 2
What a creative idea about the creation of the Ents, and the way they were awakened by the Elves!