Merry and Pippin rouse Treebeard to action (approximate date)
Event Type: General
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: February 28, 3019
The actual date of this event is 29 February 3019, but it cannot be represented using modern date software.
An event in the prelude to the Destruction of Isengard by Ents; see that entry for an overview:
'Now tell me your tale, and do not hurry!' said Treebeard.
The hobbits began to tell him the story of their adventures.... They followed no very clear order... and Treebeard often stopped the speaker, and went back to some earlier point, or jumped forward asking questions about later events. They said nothing whatever about the Ring, and did not tell him why they set out or where they were going to; and he did not ask for any reasons....
Treebeard was... especially interested in everything that concerned Gandalf; and most interested of all in Saruman's doings. The hobbits regretted very much that they knew so little about them.... But they were clear at any rate 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 and wandered down to the battle of the Orcs and the Riders of Rohan. 'Well, well! That is a bundle of news and no mistake.... There is something very big going on, that I can see.... By root and twig, but it is a strange business: up sprout a little folk that are not in the old lists, and behold the Nine forgotten Riders reappear to hunt them, and Gandalf takes them on a great journey, and Galadriel harbours them in Caras Galadhon, and Orcs pursue them down all the leagues of Wilderland: indeed they seem to be caught up in a great storm. I hope they weather it!'
'And what about yourself?' asked Merry.
'Hoom, hm, I have not troubled about the Great Wars,' said Treebeard; 'they mostly concern Elves and Men. That is the business of Wizards: Wizards are always troubled about the future. I do not like worrying about the future. I am not altogether on anybody's side, because nobody is altogether on my side, if you understand me: nobody cares for the woods as I care for them, not even Elves nowadays.... And there are some things, of course, whose side I am altogether not on; I am against them altogether: these — burárum' (he again made a deep rumble of disgust) '— these Orcs, and their masters.
'I used to be anxious when the shadow lay on Mirkwood, but when it removed to Mordor, I did not trouble for a while: Mordor is a long way away. But it seems that the wind is setting East, and the withering of all woods may be drawing near. There is naught that an old Ent can do to hold back that storm: he must weather it or crack.
'But Saruman now! Saruman is a neighbour: I cannot overlook him. I must do something, I suppose. I have often wondered lately what I should do about Saruman.'
'Who is Saruman?' asked Pippin. 'Do you know anything about his history?'
'Saruman is a Wizard,' answered Treebeard.... '[He] was reckoned great among them, I believe. He gave up wandering about and minding the affairs of Men and Elves,... a very long time ago: and he settled down at... Isengard.... He was very quiet to begin with, but his fame began to grow. He was chosen to be head of the White Council, they say; but that did not turn out too well. I wonder now if even then Saruman was not turning to evil ways. But at any rate he used to give no trouble to his neighbours. I used to talk to him. There was a time when he was always walking about my woods. He was polite in those days, always asking my leave... and always eager to listen. I told him many things that he would never have found out by himself; but he never repaid me in like kind....
'I think that I now understand what he is up to. He is plotting to become a Power. He has a mind of metal and wheels; and he does not care for growing things, except as far as they serve him for the moment. And now it is clear that he is a black traitor. He has taken up with foul folk, with the Orcs.... Worse than that: he has been doing something to them; something dangerous.... It is a mark of evil things... that they cannot abide the Sun; but Saruman's Orcs can endure it, even if they hate it. I wonder what he has done? Are they Men he has ruined, or has he blended the races of Orcs and Men? That would be a black evil!'
Treebeard rumbled for a moment, as if he were pronouncing some deep, subterranean Entish malediction. 'Some time ago I began to wonder how Orcs dared to pass through my woods so freely,' he went on. 'Only lately did I guess that Saruman was to blame, and that long ago he had been spying out all the ways, and discovering my secrets. He and his foul folk are making havoc now. Down on the borders they are felling trees — good trees. Some of the trees they just cut down and leave to rot — orc-mischief that; but most are hewn up and carried off to feed the fires of Orthanc. There is always a smoke rising from Isengard these days.
'Curse him, root and branch! Many of those trees were my friends, creatures I had known from nut and acorn; many had voices of their own that are lost for ever now. And there are wastes of stump and bramble where once there were singing groves. I have been idle. I have let things slip. It must stop!'
Treebeard raised himself from his bed with a jerk, stood up, and thumped his hand on the table. The vessels of light trembled and sent up two jets of flame. There was a flicker like green fire in his eyes, and his beard stood out stiff as a great besom.
'I will stop it!' he boomed. 'And you shall come with me.... You will be helping your own friends that way, too; for if Saruman is not checked Rohan and Gondor will have an enemy behind as well as in front. Our roads go together — to Isengard!'
'We will come with you,' said Merry. 'We will do what we can.'
'Yes!' said Pippin. 'I should like to see the White Hand overthrown.... I shall never forget Uglúk and the crossing of Rohan.'
'Good! Good!' said Treebeard. 'But I spoke hastily. We must not be hasty. I have become too hot. I must cool myself and think; for it is easier to shout stop! than to do it.'
He strode to the archway and stood for some time under the falling rain of the spring. Then he laughed and shook himself.... He came back and laid himself on the bed again and was silent.
After some time the hobbits heard him murmuring again. He seemed to be counting on his fingers. 'Fangorn, Finglas, Fladrif, aye, aye,' he sighed.... 'Only three remain of the first Ents that walked in the woods before the Darkness... Leaflock and Skinbark are not much use for this business.... Still, I daresay I could get together a fair company of our younger folks — if I could make them understand the need; if I could rouse them: we are not a hasty folk. What a pity there are so few of us!'....
'[Tomorrow] we have councils to call, and work to do, and maybe a journey to begin.'
The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 4, Treebeard
Elena Tiriel 30Jan05