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"Who told you, and who sent you?" — Gandalf
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The name Treebeard refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Treebeard (disambiguation).
The name Fangorn refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Fangorn (disambiguation).
"Treebeard" by Jonathan Gebel
Biographical Information
Other namesFangorn (S)
LocationEriador and Beleriand (First Age)
Fangorn Forest (Third Age)
Treegarth of Orthanc (Fourth Age)
LanguageWestron, Entish
BirthYears of the Trees of the First Age
Notable forThe Eldest of the Ents
Physical Description
Height14 feet[1] (4.2m)
Hair colorGrey beard[1]
Eye colorBrown with green light[1]
GalleryImages of Treebeard

It is not wizardry, but a power far older. A power that walked the earth, ere elf sang or hammer rang.

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, 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. By the later Third Age, he lived in Fangorn Forest, which was named after him.


Treebeard was the eldest living being of Middle-earth, having been awakened along with the Ents during the Years of the Trees of the First Age, sometime after the Awakening of the Elves, who taught the Ents to speak language in the first place;[1]:468 although he said that there were trees in Fangorn that were "older than he". His realm was the immense forest that spanned from Beleriand and Eriador to Calenardhon and saw it destroyed and diminishing by the centuries. From the Elder Days, Treebeard had memories of the willow-meads of Tasarinan, the elm-woods of Ossiriand, the pine-trees of Dorthonion and the beeches of Neldoreth.[2]

Farewell to Fangorn by Luca Bonatti

He was with his beloved Fimbrethil, but as with all of the other Entwives, she left for the gardens of the Entwives, and had been missing ever since, especially after Sauron's forces destroyed those lands in the Second Age.

The forests of the Ents diminished and Fangorn Forest was one of their remnants, where Treebeard and other Ents retreated. There he kept his Ent-houses one of which was the Wellinghall in the flanks of Methedras.[1]

Treebeard and the Entmoot by Ted Nasmith

During the War of the Ring, in 29 February 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, but Treebeard already knew of these disasters.

The Ents—usually a very patient, deliberate people—did become angry at Saruman, whose forces were cutting down large numbers of their trees. Treebeard convened an Entmoot, a meeting of the Ents at Derndingle.[1]

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.[3]

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".[4]

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.

Presumably Treebeard stayed for some time in the Treegarth of Orthanc, which King Elessar declared an Entish realm.[5]


Treebeard is the direct translation of the Sindarin name Fangorn, from fang ("beard") and orn ("tree").[6]

Other versions of the legendarium

In early versions of The Lord of the Rings, Treebeard was an evil Giant who was in league with the Enemy. It was he who held Gandalf captive, a role later given to Saruman, while in other drafts he tries to entrap the Ring-bearer for his master by appearing friendly.[7]

In a later note he was considered as "kindly and rather good", and described as "About 50 feet high with barky skin. Hair and beard rather like twigs. Clothed in dark green like a mail of short shining leaves. He has a castle in the Black Mountains and many thanes and followers. They look like young trees [?when] they stand."[8]:411


Treebeard's booming voice was inspired by the way C.S. Lewis spoke.[9]


fl. T.A. 3019
fl. late S.A.

Portrayal in adaptations

Treebeard in adaptations
Treebeard in The Lord of the Rings (1978 film)
Treebeard in The Lord of the Rings (film series)
Treebeard in The Lord of the Rings Online

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.

1981: The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series):

Stephen Thorne provided the voice of Treebeard. Thorne also sings the songs of 'The Lore of Living Creatures' and 2 verses of the 'Song of the Ents and the Entwives.' His participation in the destruction of Isengard is fully documented, but he is the only Ent given a voice in the production. He also appears in the penultimate episode when the company pass through Isengard on their return. As in the book, he reveals to Gandalf Saruman's departure from Orthanc.

1992: Der Herr der Ringe (1992 German radio series):

Treebeard is played by Friedrich Schütter.

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers:

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.

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:

Treebeard, fully CGI, makes some appearance at Isengard, when Gandalf, alongside with Aragorn, Legolas, Merry, Pippin, Eomer and king Theoden arrive there.

2002-2003: Pán prsteňov (2001-2003 Slovak radio series):

The voice of Treebeard is provided by Leopold Haverl.

2012: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Treebeard's encounter with Merry and Pippin, the Entmoot and the Breaking of Isengard are told in a series of flashbacks, narrated either by Gandalf, the Hobbits or Treebeard himself. The player themselves does not meet Treebeard until after the confrontation between Gandalf and Saruman. Afterwards, Treebeard remains at the Ring of Isengard to watch over the Wizard.


Treebeard (Fangorn) · Leaflock (Finglas) · Skinbark (Fladrif) · Quickbeam (Bregalad) · Beechbone · Fimbrethil (Wandlimb)
The Lord of the Rings film series
Source material: The Hobbit · The Lord of the Rings
Films The Fellowship of the Ring (extended editionThe Two Towers (extended edition) · The Return of the King (extended edition)
Music The Fellowship of the Ring (The Complete Recordings) · The Two Towers (The Complete Recordings) · The Return of the King (The Complete Recordings) · "May It Be" · "Gollum's Song" · "Into the West"
Tie-in books Official Movie Guide · The Making of the Movie Trilogy · Complete Visual Companion · Gollum: How We Made Movie Magic · There and Back Again: An Actor's Tale · Weapons and Warfare · The Art of The Lord of the Rings · Sketchbook
The Fellowship of the Ring Visual Companion · The Art of The Fellowship of the Ring
The Two Towers Visual Companion · Photo Guide · The Art of The Two Towers
The Return of the King Visual Companion · The Art of The Return of the King
Video games The Two Towers · The Return of the King · The Third Age · Tactics · Conquest · Aragorn's Quest · Lego The Lord of the Rings
Characters Frodo · Bilbo · Gandalf · Sam · Merry · Pippin · Gandalf · Aragorn · Boromir · Legolas · Gimli · Elrond · Galadriel · Théoden · Éomer · Éowyn · Saruman · Sauron · Witch-king · Denethor · Faramir · Gollum · Gríma · Treebeard · Celeborn · Haldir · Lurtz · Sharku · Grishnákh