Merry and Pippin meet Treebeard (approximate date)
Event Type: General
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: February 28, 3019
[Note: the actual date is 29 February 3019, but modern date software cannot handle such a date.]
An event in the aftermath of the Attack on the Orc-raiders at Fangorn and the prelude of the Destruction of Isengard by Ents; see those entries for overviews:
... the hobbits went with as much speed as the dark and tangled forest allowed, following the line of the running stream, westward and up towards the slopes of the mountains, deeper and deeper into Fangorn. ...
'I suppose you haven't lost us already?' said Pippin, leaning back against a great tree-trunk. 'We can at least follow the course of this stream, the Entwash ... and get out again the way we came.'
'We could, if our legs would do it,' said Merry; 'and if we could breathe properly.'
'Yes, it is all very dim, and stuffy, in here,' said Pippin. ...
'But the Sun at any rate must peep in sometimes.' said Merry. ... 'This is just dim, and frightfully tree-ish. You can't imagine animals living here at all, or staying for long.'
'No, nor hobbits,' said Pippin. 'And I don't like the thought of trying to get through it either.' ...
'Well, we'd better decide on the way now,' said Pippin. 'The morning must be getting on.'
Just then they became aware of a yellow light that had appeared, some way further on into the wood: shafts of sunlight seemed suddenly to have pierced the forest-roof. ...
They found it was further than they thought. The ground was rising steeply.... The light grew broader as they went on, and soon they saw ... the side of a hill ... the sun was falling full on its stony face. ... Where all had looked so shabby and grey before, the wood now gleamed with rich browns, and with the smooth black-greys of bark like polished leather. The boles of the trees glowed with a soft green like young grass: early spring or a fleeting vision of it was about them.
In the face of the stony wall there was something like a stair.... High up ... there was a shelf under a cliff. Nothing grew there but a few grasses and weeds at its edge, and one old stump of a tree with only two bent branches left....
'Up we go!' said Merry joyfully. 'Now for a breath of air, and a sight of the land!' ...
They came at length to the edge of the shelf almost at the feet of the old stump; then they sprang up and turned round with their backs to the hill, breathing deep, and looking out eastward. They saw that they had only come some three or four miles into the forest ...
'The wind's changing,' said Merry. 'It's turned east again. It feels cool up here.'
'Yes,' said Pippin; 'I'm afraid this is only a passing gleam, and it will all go grey again. What a pity! This shaggy old forest looked so different in the sunlight. I almost felt I liked the place.'
'Almost felt you liked the Forest! That's good! That's uncommonly kind of you,' said a strange voice. 'Turn round and let me have a look at your faces.' ... A large knob-knuckled hand was laid on each of their shoulders, and they were twisted round, gently but irresistibly; then two great arms lifted them up.
They found that they were looking at a most extraordinary face. It belonged to a large Man-like, almost Troll-like, figure, at least fourteen foot high, very sturdy, with a tall head, and hardly any neck. Whether it was clad in stuff like green and grey bark, or whether that was its hide, was difficult to say. ... The lower part of the long face was covered with a sweeping grey beard, bushy, almost twiggy at the roots, thin and mossy at the ends. But at the moment the hobbits noted little but the eyes. These deep eyes were now surveying them, slow and solemn, but very penetrating. They were brown, shot with a green light. ...
'Hrum, Hoom,' murmured the voice, a deep voice like a very deep woodwind instrument. 'Very odd indeed! Do not be hasty, that is my motto. But if I had seen you, before I heard your voices ... I should have just trodden on you, taking you for little Orcs, and found out my mistake afterwards. Very odd you are, indeed. Root and twig, very odd!'
Pippin, though still amazed, no longer felt afraid. Under those eyes he felt a curious suspense, but not fear. 'Please,' he said, 'who are you? And what are you?'
A queer look came into the old eyes, a kind of wariness; the deep wells were covered over. 'Hrum, now,' answered the voice; 'well, I am an Ent, or that's what they call me. Yes, Ent is the word. The Ent, I am, you might say, in your manner of speaking. Fangorn is my name according to some, Treebeard others make it. Treebeard will do.'
'An Ent?' said Merry. 'What's that? But what do you call yourself? What's your real name?'
'Hoo now!' replied Treebeard. 'Hoo! Now that would be telling! Not so hasty. And I am doing the asking. You are in my country. What are you, I wonder? I cannot place you. You do not seem to come in the old lists that I learned when I was young. But that was a long, long time ago, and they may have made new lists.'
The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 4, Treebeard
'But the hobbits!' Legolas broke in. 'We have come far to seek them, and you seem to know where they are. Where are they now?'
'With Treebeard and the Ents,' said Gandalf.
'The Ents!' exclaimed Aragorn. ... 'I thought they were only a memory of ancient days, if indeed they were ever more than a legend of Rohan.'
'A legend of Rohan!' cried Legolas. 'Nay, every Elf in Wilderland has sung songs of the old Onodrim and their long sorrow. ... But Treebeard: that is only a rendering of Fangorn into the Common Speech; yet you seem to speak of a person. Who is this Treebeard?' ...
'Treebeard is Fangorn, the guardian of the forest; he is the oldest of the Ents, the oldest living thing that still walks beneath the Sun upon this Middle-earth. ... Merry and Pippin have been fortunate: they met him here, even where we sit. For he came here two days ago and bore them away to his dwelling far off by the roots of the mountains. He often comes here, especially when his mind is uneasy, and rumours of the world outside trouble him.'
The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 5, The White Rider
Elena Tiriel 28Dec04, 2Feb05