“One felt as if there was an enormous well behind them, filled up with ages of memory and long, slow, steady thinking; but their surface was sparkling with the present: like sun shimmering on the outer leaves of a vast tree, or on the ripples of a very deep lake. I don’t know, but it felt as if something that grew in the ground – asleep, you might say, or just feeling itself as something between root-tip and leaf-tip, between deep earth and sky had suddenly waked up, and was considering you with the same slow care that it had given to its own inside affairs for endless years.”(see text post: "Describing Treebeard's eyes. Unbelievable!")
--"Treebeard", The Two Towers
It's been said that C.S. Lewis wrote a character inspired by his old gardener. I've also heard that J.R.R. Tolkien modeled the character of Treebeard after his Protestant compatriot.
Evidently, Lewis and Tolkien got a kick from giving real-world personages a secondary role in their high fantasies, appearing as tall, mossy, solemn figures who are called by a couple of young people to embark on a quest: to leave their territory, and to fight against the dark powers that secretly threaten to destroy their territory. One land was going to be ravaged and mechanized by unwillingly enslaved gnomes, and the other, by goblins and orcs serving the Dark Lord.
I kind of always connected these two characters, but I never fully thought about why. When I write it all out, the abundance of the similarities is striking to me. What other concepts lie within my thought, untested and unexplored, simply waiting to be fleshed out?
--Ashley, July 9, 2018
1. subreddit r/lotr, Quote from "The Two Towers" and comments about Tolkien's eloquence. I couldn't comment on the post since it was too old.
2. WikiNarnia: Puddleglum, Lewis said that his gardener Fred Paxford was inspiration for the loyal and pessimistic Puddleglum (Douglas Gresham recalls, "If you said good morning to him, he might reply, 'Ah! Looks like rain afore lunch, though; if'n it don't snow or hail, tha's.'") .
3. NC Register, Why C.S. Lewis Never Became a Catholic. That was "the only subject Lewis didn't want to talk about, even with his friends, much less in public -- the differences between the churches."
I was trying to bring this around to talk about why I love this quote about Treebeard, but I got really sidetracked, and I was writing it on a Tolkien website where I didn't want to post tons of original content... It's more of a wiki than a forum, or, at least, it seems that way to me from the little that I've seen of it. So I decided to post it to my blog, and maybe put a link to this post in my profile there.