Fangorn (Sindarin: [Fangaorne]; "Beardtree") in J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium, was a forest located in the fictional world of Middle-earth and was the home of the tree shepherds, the Ents. It was named after the oldest Ent, Treebeard, or Treebeard was named after it. Tolkien did, however, state that there was confusion about the two.
|J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium location|
|Type||Thick, dense forest|
Home of the Ents and Huorns
Remote from the world outside
The remnant of a larger more ancient forest
|Notable locations||Wellinghall, Derndingle, Treebeard's hill, the Entwash|
The Forest of Fangorn provided an important role in The Lord of the Rings novel as did Mirkwood and Lothlórien in the Third Age, a time when Sauron challenged Middle-earth to battle and domination. The forest provided the means by which adventure expanded with the breaking up of the Fellowship. Merry Brandybuck and Peregrin Took were the first to discover the Ents were alive but were dwindling in numbers due to the loss of the Entwives. They were lost because of the events of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. The forest was again severely damaged during the War of the Ring by the forces of Saruman who lived close by in the fortress of Isengard.
"Fangorn" was the original name for the Ent Treebeard, who was the eldest of his species and who looked after vast areas of his home and the surrounding land which was named Fangorn Forest. Additionally, Fangorn translated in the fictional language of Sindarin from "fanga" meaning "beard" and "orne" meaning "tree". Sindarin was a language Tolkien created and described the Elves of Middle-Earth to possess; who "awoke" the Ents and taught them language. In other parts of Middle-earth Fangorn Forest was called the "Entwood" by the Rohirrim.
Fangorn Forest apparently had several names as told by Treebeard who referred to the forest by various Quenya names in Lord of the Rings, some of which were Ambaróna, Tauremornalómë, Tauremorna and Aldalómë. "Ambaróna" means "uprising, sunrise, orient" from "amba" meaning "upwards" and "róna" meaning "east". "Aldalómë" means "tree twilight" from "alda" meaning "tree" and "lómë" meaning "dusk, twilight". "Tauremorna" means "gloomy forest" from "taur" meaning "forest" and "morna" meaning "gloomy, somber". "Tauremornalómë" means "gloomy twilight forest".
The Forest of Fangorn was located at the south-eastern end of the Misty Mountains near the Gap of Rohan. The mountains formed the western border of Fangorn. At the end of the mountain range stood the stronghold of Isengard near the southwestern corner of the forest and this was where Saruman lived. To the east and south of Fangorn was the land of Rohan, and Lothlórien lay to the north and slightly east. Fangorn Forest stretched for many miles and held many paths.
Tolkien stated that two significant rivers ran through the forest. To the north the Limlight flowed from the woods and then formed the northern border of Rohan. The river then merged into the larger Anduin. In the south, the Entwash spread deep into the forest arriving from Methedras, a mountainous region located near the Misty Mountains. The river then flowed from Fangorn and was directed through Rohan to the Anduin River. The valley of Derndingle was located to the south-west. There was a path where the Entwash passed into a region called Wellinghall and this was where the Entwash passed the home of Treebeard, the shepherd of the forest.
Fangorn Forest was said to be humid, and trunks and branches grew thick where very little light penetrated the forest. Similarly, Fangorn was said to be a dangerous and evil place like Mirkwood (where huge spiders roamed the forest and other evil creatures lay), but this was not the case following the events of The Lord of the Rings. The forest was home to many different kinds of trees. Huorns also lived in the forest, similar to Ents but more discreet. Most lived deep in the Forest of Fangorn. The Ents and Huorns drank from the river Entwash, and from it the Ents brewed their legendary drink, the Ent-draughts.
Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took entered the forest in the second volume of The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers. There, they met Treebeard and alerted him to the danger Saruman posed to the Ents and their forest. Following an Entmoot, the rest of the Ents agreed to march against Isengard, taking Merry and Pippin with them, and sent Huorns to Helm's Deep to deal with the Orcs there. Part of the Ents' anger was caused by Saruman's Orcs chopping down the trees at the south and west side of the forest. It was especially notable in that Fangorn Forest was embodied by Treebeard, whose deliberate and slow moving character anthropomorphised Tolkien's deep invented history and placed its vast time in a contrapuntal humour with the 'hasty' immediacy of the Hobbits' drama in the War of the Ring.
In The Two Towers, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas entered the forest to search for Merry and Pippin. They encountered an old Man dressed in white. At first they believed it to be Saruman before realizing that it was Gandalf, whom they thought had been killed at Khazad-dûm.
Fangorn forest was, in actuality, just the easternmost remnant of the immense forest that spanned all of Eriador and Calenardhon in the First Age and early Second Age. Treebeard expressed a deep sadness at the loss of the forest primeval to the Orcs and to the age of Men and their machines. The rest of the forest was destroyed by the Númenóreans and Sauron. It was the oldest part of Treebeard's realm, and the Ents' last retreat.
In The Two Towers, Treebeard organized an Entmoot, a town hall meeting-style political gathering, for the purpose of deciding what to do about Saruman's threat to Fangorn. While the rules governing Entmoots were never set out in detail, they appeared to be very irregular meetings convened in emergencies. The suffix -moot suggested a parliament. Treebeard implied that Entmoots were conducted in Old Entish; since it took a long time to say anything in the language, moots proceeded very slowly, taking several days to handle even simple things such as introductions and establishing the identities of visitors.
- Tolkien, J.R.R. The Silmarillion; Appendix: "Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names".
- Tolkien, J.R.R. "The Lost Road and Other Writings". The History of Middle-earth. 5. Cite journal requires
- Lobdell, Jared (1975). A Tolkien Compass. La Salle, IL: Open Court. p. 84. ISBN 0-87548-316-X.
only look at The Lord of the Rings for the briefest of times to catch a vision of ancient forests, of trees like men walking, of leaves and sunlight, and of deep shadows.
- Dickerson, Matthew T.; Jonathan Evans (2004). Ents, Elves, and Eriador: The Environmental Vision of J. R. R. Tolkien. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-7159-8.
- Tolkien in the land of Arthur: the Old Forest episode from The Lord of the Rings. Mythopoeic Society, 2006. An article discussing the significance of forests in Tolkien's work, in particular, the Old Forest with comparisons to other myths and romances.
- Fangorn Forest as illustrated by Ted Nasmith