Tolkien Gateway

Old Forest

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The Old Forest is a small forested area which lies east of the Shire.

The Old Forest is one of the few survivors of the primordial forests which covered most of Eriador before the Second Age, and it once was but the northern edge of one immense forest which reached all the way to Fangorn Forest.

It is bordered in the east by the Barrow-downs, and in the west by The Hay, a large wall which the Hobbits of Buckland built after they cut the forest to make room for their new homes.

The Hobbits believed the trees of the Old Forest were in some manner 'awake', and were hostile. They sway when there is no wind, whisper at night, and mislead travellers deeper into the forest. When the trees grew too close to the hedge, hobbits cut down the trees nearest and created a clearing by a bonfire. Ever since then, the trees were more hostile.

Just before the War of the Ring, the Hobbits Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee, Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took crossed through it trying to escape from the Black Riders.

At the south-eastern edge of the forest, on the bank of the river Withywindle, stood the house of Tom Bombadil, who rescued the Hobbits when they were trapped by a tree Tom called Old Man Willow.

It is probable that some trees of the Old Forest were Huorns.