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Treebeard, also known as Fangorn, was the oldest of the Ents, a tree-like being who was a sort of "shepherd of trees". Very tall and stiff-limbed, with bark-like skin and leafy hair, he befriended Meriadoc Brandybuck ("Merry") and Peregrin Took ("Pippin") after they escaped from Orcs. He lived in Fangorn Forest, which was named after him (or he after it).
Like most Ents, Treebeard took a long time to make up his mind. He repeatedly spoke of not "being hasty". Treebeard is described along with Tom Bombadil as the oldest being in Middle-earth. Treebeard however said that there were trees in Fangorn that were "older than he".
Treebeard was inspired in many ways by C.S. Lewis including his speech patterns and some aspects of his personality; a loud, bombastic man known for his powerful stride and overwhelming presence.[source?]
Portrayal in Adaptations
1978: The Lord of the Rings:
- John Westbrook provides the voice of Treebeard. His actions in the overthrow of Isengard are not mentioned: he merely brings Merry and Pippin to Gandalf.
- Stephen Thorne provided the voice of Treebeard.
- Treebeard is a combination of a large animatronic model and a CGI construct; his voice is performed by John Rhys-Davies, who also plays Gimli.
- The Ents at the Entmoot initially decline Merry and Pippin's request for help. Treebeard is carrying the hobbits through the forest, when Pippin gets an idea. He asks Treebeard to carry them towards Isengard, claiming that it is the last place Saruman would look for them because it puts them so close to danger. Treebeard is initially confused, but ultimately succumbs to Pippin's request. When Treebeard gets close to the forest's edge, he sees the devastation wrought by Saruman's orcs. The trees have all been chopped down to serve as fuel for Saruman's war machine. Treebeard then makes a momentous decision, and calls for the other Ents. They attack Isengard and manage to flood it.
- Treebeard, fully CGI, makes some last appearances at Isengard.