From Tolkien Gateway
Gail McIntosh - Huorn.jpg
"Huorn" by Gail McIntosh
General Information
OriginsTrees and Ents
LocationsFangorn Forest
Physical Description
DistinctionsSemi-sapient, tree-like creatures
GalleryImages of Huorns

Huorns were creatures much like Ents, although they do not appear to have been truly sentient.

History[edit | edit source]

The origin of the Huorns is unknown. It is not clear if Huorns were Ents that had become tree-like, or trees that had become Entish. Perhaps both varieties existed, though the Hobbit Meriadoc Brandybuck believed the former was true.[1] Either way it is obvious they were part way between trees and Ents.[2]

In the Third Age, the Huorns lived in Fangorn Forest,[1] though it is possible that the trees of the Old Forest, especially Old Man Willow, were Huorns as well.

During the War of the Ring, Huorns were aroused by Treebeard to destroy Nan Curunír.[1] Gandalf saw the shadow of these Huorns, as he rode with the host from Edoras to Hornburg.[3][4] Directed by the Ents, the Huorns also helped the Rohirrim to fight the Orcs at the Battle of the Hornburg.[1]

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

Huorns had great power and could wrap themselves in shadow. When angry, they were able to move with great speed. The Huorns further had voices, as they could speak with the Ents. When no Ents looked after them, the Huorns were "queer and wild", a threat to the Free peoples.[1]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The exact meaning of Huorn is unclear, though it does have Sindarin element orn "tall tree".

The first element could be "spirit, shadow", so Huorn could mean "spirit tree".[5] It may also be related to the root KHUG "bark, bay".[6] Carl Hostetter also suggested that it means "talking tree" in Quenya, assuming its relation with the root KHOL "crow, cry aloud".[7]

Portrayal in adaptations[edit | edit source]

Huorns in MERP

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

Huorns are classified as Animate Plants (Monsters). The evil, "blackhearted" ones, went away from Fangorn Forest and the protection of the Ents and settled in Mirkwood. Huorns eat living beings, and they come in as many different forms as trees do. Old Man Willow is a Huorn of the Old Forest.[8]

1995-8: Middle-earth Collectible Card Game:

Huorn is an Awakened Plant (Creature), able to inflict one strike on a player.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Flotsam and Jetsam"
  2. David Day (1996), A Tolkien Bestiary, p. 142
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Time-scheme for The Lord of the Rings" (Marquette MSS 4/2/18) in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 412
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Helm's Deep"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 86
  6. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 425
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, "The 'Túrin Wrapper'" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 50, March 2013, p. 17
  8. Ruth Sochard Pitt, Jeff O'Hare, Peter C. Fenlon, Jr. (1994), Creatures of Middle-earth (2nd edition) (#2012)