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Timeline Event

Ents march on Isengard

Event Type: Military/Strategic

Age: 3rd Age - Ring War

Date: March 2, 3019


An event in the prelude to the Destruction of Isengard by Ents; see that entry for an overview:
Before long they saw the marching line approaching: 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, two abreast, keeping step with their feet and beating time with their hands upon their flanks....

'Hoom, hom! Here we come....!' called Treebeard when he caught sight of Bregalad and the hobbits. 'Come... We are off to Isengard!'

'To Isengard!' the Ents cried in many voices.... [They] sang as they marched southwards....

The old Ent now took the hobbits back, and set them on his shoulders again, and so they rode proudly at the head of the singing company with beating hearts and heads held high.

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

'The Ents made up their minds rather quickly, after all, didn't they?' Pippin ventured....

'Quickly?' said Treebeard. 'Hoom! Yes, indeed.... I have not seen them roused like this for many an age. We Ents do not like being roused; and we never are roused unless it is clear to us that our trees and our lives are in great danger.... It is the orc-work, the wanton hewing — rárum — without even the bad excuse of feeding the fires, that has so angered us; and the treachery of a neighbour, who should have helped us.... There is no curse in Elvish, Entish, or the tongues of Men bad enough for such treachery. Down with Saruman!'

'Will you really break the doors of Isengard?' asked Merry.

'Ho, hm, well, we could, you know!... We can split stone like the roots of trees, only... far quicker, if our minds are roused! If we are not hewn down, or destroyed by fire or blast of sorcery, we could split Isengard into splinters and crack its walls into rubble.'...

Treebeard marched on.... But after a time his voice... fell silent again.... [His] old brow was wrinkled and knotted. At last he looked up, and Pippin could see a sad look in his eyes, sad but not unhappy. There was a light in them, as if the green flame had sunk deeper into the dark wells of his thought.

'Of course, it is likely enough, my friends,' he said slowly, '... that we are going to our doom: the last march of the Ents. But if we stayed at home and did nothing, doom would find us anyway, sooner or later. That thought has long been growing in our hearts; and that is why we are marching now. It was not a hasty resolve. Now at least the last march of the Ents may be worth a song. Aye,' he sighed, 'we may help the other peoples before we pass away.'...

The Ents... began to climb up... on to the high western ridge. The woods fell away and they came... to bare slopes where only a few gaunt pine-trees grew....

Pippin looked behind. The number of the Ents had grown — or what was happening? Where the dim bare slopes that they had crossed should lie, he thought he saw groves of trees. But they were moving! Could it be that the trees of Fangorn were awake, and the forest was rising, marching over the hills to war? He rubbed his eyes... but the great grey shapes moved steadily onward.

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

'Well, in the early night we crept down a long ravine into the upper end of the Wizard's Vale, the Ents with all their rustling Huorns behind.... not long after midnight there was a tall wood all round the north side of Isengard. There was no sign of enemies nor of any challenge....

'Treebeard and a few more Ents crept... to within sight of the great gates.... We were sitting on Treebeard's shoulders, and I could feel the quivering tenseness in him. But even when they are roused, Ents can be very cautious and patient. They stood still as carved stones, breathing and listening.

'Then all at once there was a tremendous stir. Trumpets blared and the walls of Isengard echoed. We thought that we had been discovered.... But nothing of the sort. All Saruman's people were marching away.'...

'They took an hour to pass out of the gates.... I thought things looked very black for Rohan. But Treebeard did not move. He said: 'My business is with Isengard tonight, with rock and stone.'

'But, though I could not see what was happening in the dark, I believe that huorns began to move south, as soon as the gates were shut again. Their business was with Orcs I think. They were far down the valley in the morning; or any rate there was a shadow there that one couldn't see through.'

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

Elena Tiriel 31Jan05

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