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Do The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Posters Hint At Ents In The Series?

Everybody loves the Ents. From the moment the Shepherds of the Trees stride into the picture (or on the page) in J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Two Towers," they immediately captivate viewers and readers alike with their shaggy beards, ponderous speech, and ancient memories. It shouldn't come as a surprise that the long, slow lives of the tree people extend far back to before "The Lord of the Rings" story, too. In fact, they go right back to the Second Age, where Amazon Studio's new "Rings of Power" show will take place (and much further back than that, too).

Fans have been wondering for years about how Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" offers a great opportunity for Ents and their counterparts, the Entwives (more on them in a bit), to take part in the story. While the Ents don't have a very detailed role in much of Tolkien's writings before "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, as with most of his world, he at least sketched out an idea of what Ents were up to earlier in Middle-earth history.

The question is: Will Amazon include the Ents in their prequel series? The streamer may have given us a big hint when the show released a large batch of character posters. In early February, Amazon unleashed its first full-scale content dump for "The Rings of Power." Until that point, we had been given little hints here and there. We got a leaked summary, a first series image, and a gorgeous title reveal. But other than that, information on the show had been few and far between. The unveiling of a slew of new posters took the speculation and turned it up to 11, especially when it came to the existence of Ents in Amazon's show.

Did Amazon hint at Ents in a Rings of Power character poster?

After little-to-no content for months (and even years) on end, Amazon finally started to scratch that Tolkien itch when it released 23 different character posters in the space of 10 minutes or so on Instagram and Twitter on February 3. Each poster shows a still shot of an individual from their midriff up to their neck. No heads, no names, no actors. Just the images. But each poster is nonetheless filled with little hints and details, and fans got to work right away trying to decipher what each picture was trying to say.

One of the images shows what appears to be a Wood-elf. The character grasps an arrow, a greenish-gray cloak draped around their shoulders. They're also wearing some intricately carved armor, which features ornate leaves. Most of the initial talk revolved around who the character could be, with guesses including Legolas' father, Thranduil, and his grandfather, Oropher, both of whom served at different times as king of the Woodland Realm. But there's one more detail in the image. Near the neckline of the armor, half covered by the cloak and half-covered by leaves is a face carved into the chest section. It has a broad, flat nose, and seemingly shifty eyes. Its head and beard are also made up of leaves, a feature that makes one Middle-earth race jump to mind: Ents.

While we aren't given any official information about the face, we'd like to posit that we may be seeing the first hint that the "shepherds" of the trees will be in Amazon's show. The natural follow-up here is: If the guess is accurate, why is an Ent's face plastered on what seems to be a Wood-elf's armor?

A little refresher on Ent geography

Ents, as any good fan of "The Lord of the Rings" will tell you, are from Fangorn Forest. That's where Merry and Pippin run into them in Peter Jackson's film trilogy, and that's where they muster their arboreal legions and march off to take down Saruman in "The Two Towers." As far as we know, there aren't any Elves living in Fangorn, which begs the question of why would an Elf have an Ent on their armor (if that is indeed the case)?

The first answer to that question is that even if Ents aren't outside of Fangorn during "The Lord of the Rings," they're still hallowed and legendary creatures to the Elves. It's totally feasible that an Elf would have an Ent on their armor, even if they'd never seen one. In addition, it turns out that if you back up further into the history of J.R.R. Tolkien's world, the Ents' geographic footprint is much larger. In "The Two Towers," Treebeard is knowledgeable about the Old Forest near the Shire, Mirkwood, and Lothlorien. He also references a time when "I could walk and sing all day and hear no more than the echo of my own voice in the hollow hills" and even sings a song to the Hobbits that lists many different places in Middle-earth that he's visited in the past.

At the Council of Elrond in "The Fellowship of the Ring," Elrond also says that "time was when a squirrel could go from tree to tree from what is now the Shire to Dunland west of Isengard." Between Treebeard's storied journeys across the land and Elrond's memory of much larger woods, it's possible Ents could be located in many different areas throughout "The Rings of Power" story, which takes place long before the time of "The Lord of the Rings," a time when they've gathered into just one area.

Who are the Entwives?

One of the most exciting prospects of having Ents on "The Rings of Power" is the opportunity that it would provide to expand on the little bit of their life that we see in "The Lord of the Rings." By the time depicted in the feature film trilogy, Ents are a dying breed. They're isolated and falling asleep, slipping back into stagnant, tree-like behavior. Earlier in their history, though, Ents are quite wide awake, and they have a family dynamic, too.

This comes from the Entwives and Entings. In "The Two Towers," Treebeard explains to Merry and Pippin that in the past, the Ents used to mate with a group of similar beings, which they called the Entwives. When Pippin asks if they're like Ents, Treebeard's cryptic response is, "Yes, hm, well no: I do not really know now." Similarities (or lack thereof) aside, the old Ent does say that the Ents and Entwives used to have Entings, or "children," together, although this didn't always happen in an ordered, nuclear family kind of setting.

See, the Ents initially cohabitate with their lovers, but over time, they cease to do so due to their growing change in lifestyle preferences. Instead of housing together, the Ents choose to live wild lives in the woods while the Entwives create ordered and organized agricultural plots of land. In a sense, while Ents are compared to tree herders, Entwives are equated to master farmers. The Ents visit the Entwives in their gardens from time to time, but they live separate lives in between.

This dynamic defines Entish life for an untold number of millennia. But then, in the Second Age (read: during Amazon's "The Rings of Power"), the Ents lose the Entwives in a tragic event.

The tragic tale of the end of the Entwives

In "The Two Towers," when Pippin realizes that the Entwives are gone, he asks how they all died. Treebeard responds that the Entwives didn't die. The Ents literally lost them. As in, they cannot find them. Yep, an entire race of tree-sized individuals — and they can't find them. Then Treebeard half-tells, half-sings what he refers to as "a strange and sad story."

In it, he explains that when a darkness comes over the land, the Entwives decide to move further away from the Fangorn region. They head east to an area just below Mirkwood that eventually becomes known as the Brown Lands. There, they create new gardens, and they begin to teach their craft to the local Men and Hobbits. But then, Treebeard says in "The Two Towers" that "in the time of the war between Sauron and the Men of the Sea," he and his Entish brethren visit the Brown Lands and find it "all burned and uprooted, for war had passed over it." The Entwives aren't there, and even though they search, the Ents cannot find their partners.

The "war between Sauron and the Men of the Sea" refers to the War of the Last Alliance at the end of the Second Age — something that will definitely be a key point of "The Rings of Power." We know this because, in a letter written to a fan in April 1954, J.R.R. Tolkien states that "I think that, in fact, the Entwives had disappeared for good, being destroyed with their gardens in the War of the Last Alliance ... when Sauron pursued a scorched earth policy and burned their land against the advance of the Allies down the Anduin..." He points out that their influence survived in the agriculture that they "transmitted to Men (and Hobbits)."

Will Ents play a role in Amazon's show?

Just to re-emphasize, this is all speculation based on a single face in a piece of armor on a soldier that may or may not be a Wood-elf. But the truth is, whether the face is an Ent or not, the circumstances are perfect for Amazon to work them into the plot, either way.

Entwives interact with Hobbits, which we already know will be in the show. They live during the time that the show is taking place. Their homes are even destroyed during the ultimate showdown that the show will lead up to. Add onto that the enormous budget (which will make it possible to do all that Entish CGI), and the situation is too perfect not to have Ents in the show.

The fact that Ents tend to only be on the periphery of J.R.R. Tolkien's original writings also makes them a great choice for a way to expand on the existing story without the need to alter or change much of the original content. Instead, the writers can simply work these woodland creatures into more areas of the story as they go along. Of course, for all the guessing, only time will really tell if Ents and Entwives really will be in the show. Here's hoping Amazon can find a way to make it happen.