Thanks to a very special friend, yesterday, I was encouraged to purchase a specific set of cards. Based on 40 very important trees from the world over, these cards can channel the energy of those plants and provide some valuable insight into life. Diving deep into this yesterday I discovered how cherished trees and their spirits have been through human history. There is energy, life, and wisdom to be granted by these plants that we have taken for granted. However, in fiction, there is still an understanding that trees are far grander than we often give them credit for. Therefore, I thought today would be a great chance to appreciate some of pop cultures best fictional trees.
10. Whispy Woods
For some unexplainable reason, the classic video game Kirby always involves a throw down with the powerful tree, Whispy Woods. The tree seemingly has no connection to Kirby’s overall mission, yet he is typically the first major villain you face. It’s as if Kirby holds a grudge against Whispy Woods and whenever he gets a chance he will go and bully this poor tree.
9. The Apple Trees
Wizard of Oz is full of some strange concepts that shook a lot of things up when it arrived on the scene. There is a scene where Dorothy and the Scarecrow come along some plentiful apple trees. Surprisingly, these trees take to some offence to having their apples eaten. They make an important point about having strangers come along and picking things off of you. There is a message here about gratitude and respecting the trees.
8. Grandmother Willow
Grandmother Willow was the wise old tree that helped Pocahontas in some difficult decisions. The ancient tree is a wonderful representation of the spirit of nature guiding Pocahontas to listen to the Earth and her path will be clear. This is truly what trees represent, as their own growth is carved based on their surroundings and should never be forced.
7. The Great Deku Tree
Making multiple appearances through many games of the Legend of Zelda series, the Great Deku Tree is the protector of the spirits of the forest. For a game that has always had a connection with the natural world, the Great Deku helps to bring Link understanding of his surroundings. Never the villain, usually Link is needed to help protect the ancient tree and is rewarded with answers needed for his quest.
6. Whomping Willow
Trees all have a unique character and this can be found in your own backyard. There are often trees that seem friendlier and therefore you will be more drawn to them than others. There are also trees that are not so welcoming and the Whomping Willow from the Harry Potter series is a great fictional example of that. This is a tree that is to be avoided because it is downright grumpy.
J.R.R. Tolkien may have paved the way for the modern characterizations of trees come to life. The Ents were an ancient species that had far outlived the trivial wars of Middle-Earth. Their only concern is to protect life and the forest in a general sense. A very honest interpretation as trees do not owe us anything, and we should be grateful for their help.
4. Kite-Eating Tree
Charlie Brown may have had a lot of bad luck, and flying kites was one of his biggest challenges. The famous Kite-Eating Tree always managed to get its branches on the child’s toy. But, the character of this tree was not malicious, but more mischievous. It enjoyed being in the park and playing tricks on the kids. What a funny little tree.
Though I have seen Evil Dead no tree scares me more than the Cthaeh. An ancient tree from the Kingkiller Chronicles, this tree had a dark twist from the traditional. Yes, it has all the wisdom and answers that you could ever crave. Unfortunately, Cthaeh has no positive intentions and is driven by evil. It can see all possible futures and will lead you down the darkest path for no reason but to be terrible.
Oh Groot, the lovable, reliable, and trustworthy sentient tree of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Though he tags along with some less reputable types, Groot’s only concern is being with those he loves. A tree of few words, Groot still shares his message of love and wisdom with everyone. Plus, baby Groot is one of the cutest things ever.
1. The Giving Tree
There is no tree in fiction used as divisively as Shel Silverstein’s Giving Tree. This beautiful tree is so generous with itself to the boy that she cares about that she ends up giving everything she has. The message is not clear, was this a caring or damaging relationship? In the end, the Giving Tree is happy to have provided, even if she is just a stump to sit on now. Either way, this will always be a very important story with many layers, much like trees themselves.