Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Portents

These tend to be Omens with a darker, more literally ominous significance (>>> Prophecy). If Trees bleed, or the sky is the wrong colour, or (as in J R R Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings [1954-1955]) the Sun itself is obscured, this will be a portent rather than an omen. Portents are usually explained in context, and have a specific Plot-Device function (if only to set a mood). [CB/DRL]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.