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Fangorn Forest

"...It is a long tale..." — Aragorn
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The name Fangorn refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Fangorn (disambiguation).
Fangorn Forest
J.R.R. Tolkien - Fangorn Forest.jpg
"Fangorn Forest" by J.R.R. Tolkien
General Information
Other namesEntwood (R), Tauremorna(lómë), Ambaróna, Aldalómë (Q)
LocationNorth of Rohan, east of the southern tip of the Misty Mountains
DescriptionDense, dark woodland
InhabitantsEnts, Huorns, Trees
GalleryImages of Fangorn Forest
"All that lies north of Rohan is now to us so far away that fancy can wander freely there"
Boromir in The Fellowship of the Ring, "Farewell to Lórien"

Fangorn Forest was a deep, dark woodland that grew beneath the southern Misty Mountains, under the eastern flanks of that range. It gained ill repute as the habitat of the Ents in the Third Age. The forest, known as Entwood in Rohan, was named after the oldest Ent, Fangorn (S. ‘Treebeard’). Fangorn Forest was the oldest part of Treebeard's realm, and it is here the Ents retreated following the widespread deforestation caused by Númenóreans and other events leading up to the War of the Last Alliance at the end of the Second Age[1][2]. Fangorn was within the borders of Gondor, but centuries passed without any Gondorian visiting to prove or disprove the legends around the Forest.


[edit] Description

Fangorn Forest by Ted Nasmith

Fangorn Forest is located on the eastern side of the southern end of the Misty Mountains, stretching for several hundred miles on all sides. The river Limlaith flows through the forest to the northwest, while the wider Entwash flows southward through the forest from the Misty Mountains.[3] Birch, rowan, and pinewoods grew on the mountain slopes along the western edge of the forest. Peregrin Took described it as "very dim, and stuffy", comparing it to the Old Took's room in the Great Smials. Meriadoc Brandybuck contrasted the forest with Bilbo's description of the pitch-dark Mirkwood, saying, "This is just dim, and frightfully tree-ish."[4] Gimli said that "the air is stuffy... lighter than Mirkwood, but it is musty and shabby." Legolas described Fangorn as "tense" and "old, very old...and full of memory",[5] Fangorn said the Elves woke up the trees and taught them to speak.[4] Black crows, known as Crebain, dwelt in the forest as native wildlife.[6]

[edit] History

Among the later inhabitants of middle earth during the Third Age, Fangorn was notorious as a dangerous place, similar to Mirkwood. This idea was likely started by the fact that any person who wandered far into Fangorn or cut down trees would have been killed by Ents. Paired with the old and ominous feel of the forest, this most likely led people to believe that the forest was cursed, giving it its bad name. While still wary of the forest, earlier inhabitants of neighboring Rohan were less apt to label it evil, instead merely referring to the forest as the Entwood.

[edit] First and Second Age

Fangorn Forest was the easternmost survivor of the immense forest that spanned much of the Westlands in the Elder Days, but which was destroyed by the Númenóreans and Sauron during the Second Age. Before the deforestation of these regions by Númenórean shipbuilders, Fangorn Forest was much larger, and may have been connected to the Old Forest.[7]

By the end of the Second Age, all of the Entwives had moved away from Fangorn, passing East over the Anduin never to return, although rumours have been told that the Entwives moved to the Old Forest near the Shire. According to Treebeard, there have been no Entings in a long time after they were lost.

[edit] Third Age

Saruman often used to walk in Fangorn and talk with Treebeard, if he met him, and was always eager to listen to anything the old Ent told him about the forest. However, he never repaid Treebeard in the same way.[4] Saruman used this knowledge of the forest's secrets for his own advantage.

Beginning in T.A. 2953 Saruman started fortifying Isengard[8]; eventually his Orcs started abusing and harassing the forest, its trees and Ents, for his fortifications and war machines.

[edit] War of the Ring

Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas searching in the forest, art by Alan Lee

On 28 February of T.A. 3019[9], Éomer's Éored attacked and slaughtered the band of Uruk-hai of Uglúk under the eaves of Fangorn. This allowed Merry and Pippin to escape the Orcs and pass into the forest.[10] There they met Treebeard and informed him of the danger that Saruman posed to the Ents and their forest. Following the Entmoot the rest of the Ents finally agreed to march against Isengard, taking Merry and Pippin with them. Treebeard was angered by Saruman's Orcs chopping down parts of the forest. This was one of the reasons the Ents decided to attack Isengard.[4]

On March 1, T.A. 3019[9], Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas entered the forest in search of Merry and Pippin. Rather than the two young hobbits, they encountered the White Wizard. At first they believed him to be Saruman before realizing that it was Gandalf, returned from death. His name was now Gandalf the White.[5]

On March 3, T.A. 3019[9], Gandalf talked with Treebeard at Isengard and Huorns were sent to Helm's Deep to help the Rohirrim in the battle.[11]

[edit] Etymology

Fangorn is a Sindarin word that translates as "Treebeard", from fang ("beard") and orn ("tree").

Entwood is a modernization of Old English Entwudu (wudu, "wood"), so modernized because it was recognizable by speakers of Westron. Gondorians used that name, assimilated to their own language.[12]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  3. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Treebeard"
  4. 5.0 5.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The White Rider"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Ring Goes South"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix D: The Port of Lond Daer"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  8. 9.0 9.1 9.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Uruk-hai"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Flotsam and Jetsam"
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, pp. 769-70