|Behind the Scenes|
|Universe||The Lord of the Rings|
|Created by||J. R. R. Tolkien|
Ents, also called Onodrim by the elves, are a very old race that appeared in Middle-earth when the elves did. One of the most notables members is Treebeard.
Ents were envisioned as Shepherds of the Trees, to protect the forests from orcs, Dwarves and other perils. The Elves have tales of teaching the trees and the Ents to talk: although the Ents were sentient beings at the time, they did not know how to speak until the Elves taught them. Treebeard (an ent) spoke of the Elves "curing the Ents of their dumbness" that it was a great gift that could not be forgotten ("always wanted to talk to everything, the old Elves did").
Ents are tree-like creatures, having become like the trees that they herded. They vary in traits, from everything to height and size, colouring, and the number of fingers and toes. An individual Ent more or less resembles the specific species of tree that they typically guard. For example, Quickbeam guarded Rowan trees and thus looked very much like a Rowan (tall and slender, etc.). In the Third Age of Middle-earth, the forest of Fangorn was apparently the only place Ents still inhabited.