[Editor’s Note: The following was originally written by Keith Feltenstein]
In our next “Versus” round up, we have two tall bark wooden like creatures! We have Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy and we have an Ent from The Lord Of the Rings. So if these 2 wood-like creatures went at it, who would be standing and who would be sent to the wood chipper? We will let you decide! Here are a few facts about each species:
Groot, (also known as the Monarch of Planet X), is a superhero that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Dick Ayers, the character first appeared in Tales to Astonish #13 (November 1960). An extraterrestrial, sentient tree-like creature, Groot originally appeared as an invader that intended to capture humans for experimentation.
Groot is an extraterrestrial plant monster who initially came to Earth seeking humans to capture and study. Groot was seemingly destroyed by termites used by Leslie Evans. Xemnu made a duplicate of Groot that was used to fight the Hulk but it was destroyed in the battle. Groot was later revealed to have survived, but was a captive of the Collector and held in his zoo in Canada until Groot and the other captive creatures were freed by the Mole Man. Groot and the other creatures rampage in New York City until they are stopped by a band of superheroes, and are dumped through a portal to the Negative Zone. Groot was later tracked down and captured by S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Paranormal Containment Unit, nicknamed the Howling Commandos. While Groot was being held captive, Gorilla-Man talked to Groot about joining the Howling Commandos. When Merlin and his forces attacked the base, the Howling Commandos let Groot and their other captives free and they stampeded Merlin’s army; Groot was the only one to turn back and offered to join the Howling Commandos. Groot aided the Howling Commandos as they assaulted Merlin’s forces.
Groot is a Flora colossus from Planet X, the capital of the branch worlds. The Flora colossi are tree-like beings whose language is almost impossible to understand due to the stiffness of their larynxes, causing their speech to sound like they are repeating the phrase “I am Groot”. Other beings try to be friendly but become angry with the Flora colossi for not being able to speak. Groot was shown to be capable of speaking not just understandably but eloquently throughout Annihilation: Conquest. The Flora colossi are ruled over by the “Arbor Masters” and teach the children of the species with “Photonic Knowledge”, which is the collected knowledge of the Arbor Masters of the generations and is absorbed through photosynthesis; this is a highly advanced education method, making the Flora colossi geniuses. Planet X’s biome is managed by “Maintenance Mammals” which are small squirrel-like beings.
The Flora colossus sapling that would come to be known as “Groot” came from an “Ennobled Sap-line” and gifted with a tremendous grasp of quasi-dimensional super-positional engineering. Groot did not get along with fellow saplings but instead preferred the company of the “Maintenance Mammals”, which the other saplings treated with prejudice. Groot was exiled by the “Arbor Masters” after killing another sapling to defend a maintenance mammal it was brutalizing.
Groot can absorb wood as food, and has the ability to regenerate. Groot can control trees, he can form plants, using them to attack others, and appears to be resistant to fire. Groot is able to sprout, dramatically increasing mass but also severely inhibiting movement. Groot has been seemingly killed on multiple occasions, each time regrowing from a sprig.
Ents, called Onodrim (Tree-host) by the elves, are a very old race that appeared in Middle-earth at the same time that the elves did. They were apparently created by Eru Ilúvatar at the behest of Yavanna after she learned of Aulë’s children, the Dwarves, knowing that they would want to fell trees. Ents were envisioned as Shepherds of the Huorns, to protect the forests from orcs 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 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”).
In The Two Towers, Chapter 5, “The White Rider”, Gandalf calls Treebeard, “…the oldest living thing that still walks beneath the Sun upon this Middle-earth.” In The Return of the King, Chapter 6, “Many Partings”, Celeborn addresses Treebeard as “Eldest.”
Ents are tree-like creatures, having become more and more 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 Huorns and thus looked very much like a Huorn (tall and slender, etc.). Ents are very strong, as recounted by Merry and Pippin: “their punches can crumple iron like tinfoil, and they can tear apart solid rock like breadcrusts.” In the Third Age of Middle-earth, the forest of Fangorn was apparently the only place Ents still inhabited, although the Huorns may still have survived elsewhere, as in the Old Forest.
Almost nothing is known of the early history of the Ents — they apparently lived in and protected the large forests of Middle-earth in previous ages, and they briefly appear near the end of the First Age, attacking a band of Dwarves, apparently summoned by Beren and Lúthien. Treebeard told of a time when apparently all of Eriador was one huge forest and part of his domain, but these immense forests were cut by the Númenóreans of the Second Age, or destroyed in the calamitous War of the Elves and Sauron of the 17th century of the Second Age. Treebeard’s statement is also supported by remarks Elrond the half-elf made at the Council of Elrond. Elrond said that “Time was once when a squirrel could carry a nut from tree to tree from Rivendell to the Great Sea…”, further indicating that all of Eriador was once a single vast primeval forest, of which Fangorn Forest was just “the Eastern End of it” according to Treebeard.
Okay, with all that said, who you like see this wooden creature battle? Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, or an Ent from The Lord Of the Rings? We want to hear from you, so comment below, and click on the poll for your favorite. Make a difference and vote. If you are one of those types that like to vote earl;y and often, we have a similar poll on our sister blog here. To hear how we weighed in on this debate, check out episode #33 of Podcast Unlimited.
Next Podcast Unlimited poll: Mathilda (Léon: The Professional) Vs. Penny & Brain (Inspector Gadget)