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Not at all Entish behavior!

Ancalagon

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I was deliberating on trying to put an age on Treebeard recently, because that's what I do!

I considered all my options and have come to the sole conclusion that the only way to tell is to counts the rings. Of course this would mean tracking him down and sawing him in half; but at least we would have an answer.

How then do you think, in this age of science and technology could we pin an age on old Tom Bombadil? Probably it would mean all sorts of experiments and tests which don't really bare thinking about; but since he always dodges the question we would probably have to take some rather unethical steps in order to further our knowledge.

What would be your chosen method for extracting information from those creatures within Tolkiens realm who just won't give up their age?
 

Thorondor

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Easy. Get them together, then get them good and drunk, then start asking them about the good old days. They would probably get competitive about who is been around the longest, and therefore who is more important. They would slip up sooner or later.:D At worst they would just passout under the table.:p
 

Eomer Dinmention

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Thats a good idea. But do you know how much Treebeard drinks. WOW thats alot i tell ya. I have a feeling Tom will get out of this
 

Ancalagon

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Sorry, the drink thing is out for me. I am with Saruman on this one............engines that burn and implements of cutting, slicing, proding and poking! Let technology do it's job and extract, extract extract!

Forward the march of the industrial revolution, let's count the rings on all the trees and take DNA from the oldest of entities within Middle-Earth..........mmuwuwuwuwhwhahahahahaha!
 

Forgotten Path

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Would beer/ale/etc. even effect Bombadil? Even the Ring didn't effect him! You would have to toture him, and then he would call his little tree buddies and lay the smack down on you!:p
 

ssgrif

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I wouldnt be worried to much about the affect of beer on old Tom, but how long it would take Treebeard to get to the blooming point after he's had a skinful!

The guy could talk the ears off an oliphaunt, he takes SOO long to say something.

Tom would probably die of old age before Treebeard got to the point, even if Tom was immortal.
 

Nocturno

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A DNA test doesn't need to actually chop a limb from treebeard! But try to convince him to surrender an itsy bitsy piece of his skin!
Maybe finding an entwife would be easier... and the would love to talk about their mate's ages, if only to make it pretty clear they are much younger. :D
 

menchu

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I haven't reached that step yet, but I think Nocturno is right, as long as the extracted cells (not from the epidermis, because they would be dead then) had mitochrondiae. These organelle contain DNA from the mother, which hasn't been modified.
 
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Beorn

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Sorry, But

DNA testing doesn't show age...

Anyway, I bet we could threaten Treebeard with Anc and he'd come out with his age the minute Anc started to singe his arms!

Tom on the other hand, that might be a problem...I'm guessing that you'd need to find out info from behind his back...like from Goldberry or from Old Man Willow. Goldberry can be threatened in the same way (she's the river-daughter, she should do some evaporating if Anc sets fire to her). Old Man Willow too...except I think that he'd just be to darn stubborn to talk.

Sieze Goldberry!
 

menchu

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You could know about its family "tree" :)

14C (I know it should be a superscript) would show; but since I haven't touched those issues yet, I won't say anything else.
 

DGoeij

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A Carbon-14 test is farely accurate, if you wish to know the age of dead things. See, the amount of C-14 deteriorates after the subject isn't alive anymore and not adding any new C-14 to itself (like eating and so on).
I guess you had to find one of the first leaves that Treebeard lost and do the test on that one. ;)

Bones of a person can tell somenone who would know where to look for, how old the subject is, don't they? I'd say skewer the Bombadillo and do some tests on his hind-leg.

Not very nice, but its in the name of science, isn't is?
 

menchu

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Oh, I know what you're talking about...
But I won't come here and start talking about these amino acids and the methods of "count" (RIA, ELISA...) cause no one cares and besides, I left that one for September... huh! I'm not very proud of it, but it was an important decision...
Anyway, I'm going off topic.
 

Beorn

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I figure that if we put Tom and Treebeard in a ring of fire, and told them they either needed to fight or say their age, we might get some results...

However, C14 testing on a leaf would yield the time that has past since the leaf died, not how old Treebeard was.
 

Nocturno

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Well, actually, it would take not a C14 thing but a DNA comparison with that of the earliest hmmm, uh... trees? plants? leaving things?, to see where they set apart in evolution.
Uh, OK, bad idea.
 

DGoeij

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Originally posted by Beorn
I figure that if we put Tom and Treebeard in a ring of fire, and told them they either needed to fight or say their age, we might get some results...

However, C14 testing on a leaf would yield the time that has past since the leaf died, not how old Treebeard was.
True, but if you could find the first leaf (maybe a twig) that Treebeard ever lost, you would be very close.

**shrug** I'm just speculating. Threatening him with a couple of genetical modified termites would be another option.:D
 

menchu

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Phew! Then it would not be a twig, maybe the... erm... I don't know the technical term in English... the "precursor" of the stem...

What about taking measurements of the rings formed of Ligneous vessels (with dead trees) and working out the arithmetic mean, then measure the perimeter of the ent? we'd have a rough estimate of its age... BTW, that makes me think Ents must be thick. :eek:

Beorn, remember Ents don't easily fly into a temper, but when they do... that would scare me... :D
 
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DGoeij

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Originally posted by menchu
What about taking measurements of the rings formed of Liberian vessels (with dead trees) and working out the arithmetic mean, then measure the perimeter of the ent? we'd have a rough estimate of its age... BTW, that makes me think Ents must be thick. :eek:
LOL, I've seen those sequoia(spelling?) trees once in Calfornia, those were as big as a house and about a thousand years old. Treebeard would have to be the size of Orthanc in that calculation. :D Wow.
 

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