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Timeline Event

Destruction of Isengard by Ents: Overview

Event Type: Military/Strategic

Age: 3rd Age - Ring War

Dates: March 3, 3019 ~ March 4, 3019


An event in the Invasion of Westfold by Saruman; see that entry for an overview:

Table of Contents:
The Summary
The Combatants
— Attacking Forces
— Defensive Forces
The Timeline
The Prelude
The Attack
The Aftermath

The Summary
Treebeard leads the Ents and the Huorns on a campaign of destruction of Isengard.

The Combatants

Attacking Forces
[The] Ents were swinging along with great strides down the slope towards them. Treebeard was at their head, and some fifty followers were behind him....

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 4, Treebeard

'But arrows are no use against Ents.... They cannot be poisoned, for one thing; and their skin seems to be very thick, and tougher than bark. It takes a very heavy axe-stroke to wound them seriously. They don't like axes. But there would have to be a great many axe-men to one Ent: a man that hacks once at an Ent never gets a chance of a second blow. A punch from an Ent-fist crumples up iron like thin tin.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 9, Flotsam and Jetsam

'I... had the feeling that the Forest itself was moving behind us.... It was the Huorns... deep in the darkest dales there are hundreds and hundreds of them....'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 9, Flotsam and Jetsam

Defensive Forces
'All Saruman's people were marching away.... He emptied Isengard....

'Treebeard... went up to the gates, and began hammering on the doors, and calling for Saruman. There was no answer, except arrows and stones from the walls....

As soon as our attack began, the few remaining rats in Isengard started bolting through every hole that the Ents made.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 9, Flotsam and Jetsam

The Timeline
February [3019]
Breaking of the Fellowship.... Meriadoc and Peregrin captured....

[See: Orc-raid at Parth Galen: Overview]
[See: Merry and Pippin captured]

Meriadoc and Pippin escape and meet Treebeard. The Rohirrim attack at sunrise and destroy the Orcs....

[See: Attack on the Orc-raiders at Fangorn: Overview]
[See: Merry and Pippin escape and flee into Fangorn]

[See: Merry and Pippin meet Treebeard]
[See: Merry and Pippin rouse Treebeard to action]

Entmoot begins....

[See: Ents gather for an Entmoot]

March 3019
... Entmoot continues....

... Entmoot ends in afternoon. The Ents march on Isengard and reach it at night.

[See: Ents march on Isengard]

... Battle of the Hornburg. Ents complete the destruction of Isengard.

[See: Hosts of Isengard leave for Helm's Deep]

[See: Ents breach the Ring of Isengard]
[See: Saruman imprisoned in Orthanc]

[See: Gandalf rides to Isengard]
[See: Huorns leave Isengard for Helm's Deep]
[See: Battle of the Hornburg: Overview]

Théoden and Gandalf set out from Helm's Deep for Isengard....

[See: Ents flood Isengard]
[See: Huorns return to Isengard]

Théoden reaches Isengard at noon. Parley with Saruman in Orthanc....

[See: Gríma Wormtongue imprisoned in Orthanc with Saruman]

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, The Tale of Years: The Third Age

The Prelude
'[Saruman] is plotting to become a Power. He... does not care for growing things, except as far as they serve him for the moment.... He has taken up with foul folk, with the Orcs.... Worse than that: he has been doing something to them... Are they Men he has ruined, or has he blended the races of Orcs and Men?'....

'[He] had been spying out all the ways [through my woods], and discovering my secrets. He and his foul folk are... felling trees.... Some of the trees they just cut down and leave to rot... but most are... carried off to feed the fires.... There is always a smoke rising from Isengard these days.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 4, Treebeard

[Said Gandalf,] 'It was not in vain that the young hobbits came with us... They were brought to Fangorn, and their coming was like the falling of small stones that starts an avalanche in the mountains. Even as we talk here, I hear the first rumblings. Saruman had best not be caught away from home when the dam bursts!'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 5, The White Rider

Treebeard was... most interested of all in Saruman's doings. The hobbits... were clear... that Uglúk and his troop came from Isengard, and spoke of Saruman as their master.

'Hm, hoom!' said Treebeard, when at last their story had wound... down to the battle of the Orcs and the Riders of Rohan. 'Well, well! That is a bundle of news and no mistake.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 4, Treebeard

The Attack
'Let me see,' said Merry:... 'We met Treebeard that morning after the battle; and that night we were at Wellinghall, one of his ent-houses. The next morning we went to Entmoot, a gathering of Ents.... And then late in the afternoon in the third day of their moot, the Ents suddenly blew up. It was amazing. The Forest had felt as tense as if a thunderstorm was brewing inside it: then all at once it exploded. I wish you could have heard their song as they marched.... It was very exciting. But I thought it was only marching music and no more, just a song — until I got here.'....

'They pushed, pulled, tore, shook, and hammered; and... in five minutes they had these huge gates just lying in ruin; and some were already beginning to eat into the walls, like rabbits in a sand-pit.'....

'When... what was left of his people had bolted and deserted him, Saruman fled in a panic.'....

'It must have been about midnight when the Ents broke the dams and poured all the gathered waters through a gap in the northern wall, down into Isengard.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 9, Flotsam and Jetsam

The Aftermath
The waters had now nearly all subsided. Here and there gloomy pools remained, covered with scum and wreckage; but most of the wide circle was bare again, a wilderness of slime and tumbled rock, pitted with blackened holes, and dotted with posts and pillars leaning drunkenly this way and that. At the rim of the shattered bowl there lay vast mounds and slopes, like the shingles cast up by a great storm....

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 10, The Voice of Saruman

'I saw [Wormtongue] crawling up the steps like a draggled rat. There is someone in the tower still: a hand came out and pulled him in.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 9, Flotsam and Jetsam

'I have just come round to see how you are faring, my lads,' [Treebeard] said; 'and to give you some news. Huorns have come back. All's well; aye very well indeed!' he laughed, and slapped his thighs. 'No more Orcs in Isengard, no more axes!'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 9, Flotsam and Jetsam

Lyllyn 11Sep03
Elena Tiriel 13Jan05, 1Feb05

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