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It should perhaps also be noted (as is mentioned in the ''LOTR Companion'', note for p. 650) that Tolkien added the account of the flora in Ithilien, probably including the passage concerning the basin, after he wrote in the following pages of Sam cooking rabbits, and (as is mentioned in ''The War of the Ring'', 'Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit') that he pencilled a note
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It should perhaps also be noted (as is mentioned in the LOTR Companion, note for p. 650) that Tolkien added the account of the flora in Ithilien, probably including the passage concerning the basin, after he wrote in the following pages of Sam cooking rabbits, and (as is mentioned in The War of the Ring, 'Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit') that he pencilled a note
  
 
:Describe baytrees and spicy herbs as they march.
 
:Describe baytrees and spicy herbs as they march.
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The research presented above has led me to suspect that '''the vegetation of Ithilien, described in 'Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit', was planted, or at least tended, by Entwives – some had survived the destrruction of their gardens south of Mirkwood and then come to Ithilien, a fairly obvious new home and garden - the wood corresponding to Fangorn forest, the Entwood'''. The basin was used by them for the same purpose that Treebeard used his basin. For some reason they later disappeared, maybe finally eradicated by Sauron, or had fled once again somewhere else.
+
The research presented above has led me to suspect that the vegetation of Ithilien, described in 'Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit', was planted, or at least tended, by Entwives – some had survived the destrruction of their gardens south of Mirkwood and then come to Ithilien, a fairly obvious new home and garden - the wood corresponding to Fangorn forest, the Entwood. The basin was used by them for the same purpose that Treebeard used his basin. For some reason they later disappeared, maybe finally eradicated by Sauron, or had fled once again somewhere else.
  
 
There is the well known 'dryad loveliness' reference, and 'larches were green-fingered' in the description of the flora of Ithilien – this is suspiciously reminiscent of Entwives. The Ents and the Entwives slowly took the likeness of the trees they tended, and vice versa:
 
There is the well known 'dryad loveliness' reference, and 'larches were green-fingered' in the description of the flora of Ithilien – this is suspiciously reminiscent of Entwives. The Ents and the Entwives slowly took the likeness of the trees they tended, and vice versa:
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LR, ‘Treebeard’:
 
LR, ‘Treebeard’:
  
:We are tree-herds, we old Ents. … Sheep get like shepherd, and '''shepherds like sheep''', it is said; but slowly, and neither have long in the world. It is quicker and closer with trees and Ents …
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:We are tree-herds, we old Ents. … Sheep get like shepherd, and shepherds like sheep, it is said; but slowly, and neither have long in the world. It is quicker and closer with trees and Ents …
  
  
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LR, 'Flotsam and Jetsam':
 
LR, 'Flotsam and Jetsam':
  
:Tired?" he [Treebeard] said, "tired? Well no, not tired, but stiff. I need a good '''draught of Entwash'''.
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:Tired?" he [Treebeard] said, "tired? Well no, not tired, but stiff. I need a good draught of Entwash.
  
  
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LR, 'Treebeard':
 
LR, 'Treebeard':
  
:...the Ents loved the great trees; and the wild woods, and the slopes of the high hills; and '''they drank of the mountain-streams''' ...
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:...the Ents loved the great trees; and the wild woods, and the slopes of the high hills; and they drank of the mountain-streams ...
  
  
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LR, 'Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit':
 
LR, 'Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit':
  
:The road had been made in a long lost time: and for perhaps thirty miles below the Morannon it had been newly repaired, but as it went south the wild encroached upon it. '''The handiwork of Men of old''' could still be seen in its straight sure flight and level course: now and again it cut its way through hillside slopes, or leaped over a stream upon a wide shapely arch of enduring masonry; but at last all signs of stonework faded, save for a broken pillar here and there, peering out of bushes at the side, or old paving-stones still lurking amid weeds and moss. Heather and trees and bracken scrambled down and overhung the banks, or sprawled out over the surface. It dwindled at last to a country cart-road little used; but it did not wind: it held on its own sure course and guided them by the swiftest way.
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:The road had been made in a long lost time: and for perhaps thirty miles below the Morannon it had been newly repaired, but as it went south the wild encroached upon it. The handiwork of Men of old could still be seen in its straight sure flight and level course: now and again it cut its way through hillside slopes, or leaped over a stream upon a wide shapely arch of enduring masonry; but at last all signs of stonework faded, save for a broken pillar here and there, peering out of bushes at the side, or old paving-stones still lurking amid weeds and moss. Heather and trees and bracken scrambled down and overhung the banks, or sprawled out over the surface. It dwindled at last to a country cart-road little used; but it did not wind: it held on its own sure course and guided them by the swiftest way.
  
  
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Letter #247:
 
Letter #247:
  
:The Ents thus had mastery '''''over stone'''''.
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:The Ents thus had mastery over stone.
  
  
And there is a vague connection between the Ents and ancient, abandoned stoneworks – Tolkien got inspiration for them from giants erecting buildings in the Old English poem ''The Wanderer'':
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And there is a vague connection between the Ents and ancient, abandoned stoneworks – Tolkien got inspiration for them from giants erecting buildings in the Old English poem The Wanderer:
  
 
Letter #163:
 
Letter #163:
  
:They [the Ents] owe their name to the ''eald enta geweorc'' of Anglo-Saxon, and their connexion with stone [from the Old English poem ''The Wanderer'', line 87: 'eald enta geweorc idlu stodon' = 'the old creations of giants (i.e. ancient buildings erected by a former race) stood desolate'].
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:They [the Ents] owe their name to the eald enta geweorc of Anglo-Saxon, and their connexion with stone [from the Old English poem The Wanderer, line 87: 'eald enta geweorc idlu stodon' = 'the old creations of giants (i.e. ancient buildings erected by a former race) stood desolate'].
  
  
However, I am wondering if the Númenóreans also come in here – they could perhaps also be termed 'giants' as they were the Men of the greatest stature, and they (or at least the Men of Gondor) are associated with stonework – ''Gondor'' even has the sense 'Stone-land' sc. 'Stone (-using people's) land' [Letter #324].
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However, I am wondering if the Númenóreans also come in here – they could perhaps also be termed 'giants' as they were the Men of the greatest stature, and they (or at least the Men of Gondor) are associated with stonework – Gondor even has the sense 'Stone-land' sc. 'Stone (-using people's) land' [Letter #324].
  
  
 
* The Brown Lands, see RC, note for p. 380
 
* The Brown Lands, see RC, note for p. 380

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