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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 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's realm was the immense forest that spanned from Beleriand and Eriador to Calenardhon and saw it destroyed and diminishing by the centuries. In the Elder Days, Treebeard was with his entwife, Fimbrethil, but as with all of the other Entwives, she had been missing since Sauron's forces destroyed the gardens of the Entwives in the Second Age. Fangorn Forest was one of that forest's remnants, where Treebeard and other Ents retreated. There he kept his Ent-houses one of which was the Wellinghall in the flanks of Methedras.
During the War of the Ring, in 29 March T.A. 3019 he discovered Meriadoc Brandybuck ("Merry") and Peregrin Took ("Pippin") after they escaped from Orcs. He welcomed them to the Wellinghall. The hobbits brought news of the Wizard Saruman's treachery and his Orcs damaging the trees.
The Ents—usually a very patient, deliberate people—did become angry at Saruman, whose armies were cutting down large numbers of their trees. Treebeard convened an Entmoot, a meeting of the Ents at Derndingle.
After lengthy deliberation Treebeard led them marching on Saruman's fortress at Isengard in March 3, accompanied by the two Hobbits: the last march of the Ents. In the Battle of Isengard they destroyed the valley and trapped Saruman in the tower of Orthanc. Treebeard appointed the two Hobbits door-wardens of Orthanc. There Treebeard also saw Wormtongue who brought a message for Saruman, and caught him and captured him inside Orthanc.
Two days later they were soon joined by a company of Rohirrim with Gandalf, returning victorious from the Battle of the Hornburg. After deposing Saruman, Gandalf asked Treebeard to pour back the water into Orthanc so that Saruman can never escape. Treebeard declared that trees would return and that the new forest would be called the "Watchwood".
The following months the Ents destroyed the Ring of Isengard, filling it with trees; Treebeard saw the flight of many Orcs who met their doom in the forest. He kept their prisoner informed, who would come to the window of Orthanc to listen.
Eventually the Wizard withered away and eventually managed to make the Ents pity him, and on August 15 they let them leave Isengard. However, before he left, Treebeard made him lock the tower and hand over the key of Orthanc. A week later Treebeard welcomed Gandalf, King Elessar and company at Orthanc, and related these news.
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.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Treebeard"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Road to Isengard"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Flotsam and Jetsam"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Many Partings"
- ↑ Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography, " 'The New Hobbit' ", p. 258