Ents breach the Ring of Isengard
Event Type: Military/Strategic
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: March 3, 3019
An event in the Destruction of Isengard by Ents; see that entry for an overview:
'As soon as Saruman had sent off all his army, our turn came. 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. But arrows are no use against Ents. They hurt them, of course, and infuriate them: like stinging flies....
'When Treebeard had got a few arrows in him, he began... to get positively "hasty", as he would say. He let out a great hoom-hom, and a dozen more Ents came striding up. An angry Ent is terrifying. Their fingers, and their toes, just freeze on to rock; and they tear it up like bread-crust. It was like watching the work of great tree-roots in a hundred years, all packed into a few moments.
'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.... I don't know what Saruman thought was happening; but anyway he did not know how to deal with it.'....
'He seems at one time to have got round them, but never again. And anyway he did not understand them; and he made the great mistake of leaving them out of his calculations. He had no plan for them, and there was no time to make any.... As soon as our attack began, the few remaining rats in Isengard started bolting through every hole that the Ents made. The Ents let the Men go, after they had questioned them, two or three dozen only down at this end. I don't think many orc-folk, of any size, escaped. Not from the Huorns: there was a wood full of them all round Isengard by that time....
'When the Ents had reduced a large part of the southern walls to rubbish... Saruman fled in a panic....
'When Saruman was safe back in Orthanc, it was not long before he set some of his precious machinery to work. By that time there were many Ents inside Isengard... they were roaming about and doing a great deal of damage. Suddenly up came fires and foul fumes: the vents and shafts all over the plain began to spout and belch. Several of the Ents got scorched and blistered. One of them, Beechbone I think he was called, a very tall handsome Ent, got caught in a spray of some liquid fire and burned like a torch: a horrible sight.
'That sent them mad. I thought that they had been really roused before; but I was wrong.... It was staggering. They roared and boomed and trumpeted, until stones began to crack and fall at the mere noise of them.... Round and round the rock of Orthanc the Ents went... storming like a howling gale, breaking pillars, hurling avalanches of boulders down the shafts, tossing up huge slabs of stone into the air like leaves.... I saw iron posts and blocks of masonry go rocketing up hundreds of feet, and smash against the windows of Orthanc. But Treebeard kept his head. He had not had any burns, luckily. He did not want his folk to hurt themselves in their fury, and he did not want Saruman to escape out of some hole in the confusion. Many of the Ents were hurling themselves against the Orthanc-rock; but that defeated them.... [They] could not get a grip on it, or make a crack in it; and they were bruising and wounding themselves against it. So Treebeard went out into the ring and shouted. His enormous voice rose above all the din. There was a dead silence, suddenly. In it we heard a shrill laugh from a high window in the tower. That had a queer effect on the Ents. They had been boiling over; now they became cold, grim as ice, and quiet. They left the plain and gathered round Treebeard, standing quite still. He spoke to them for a little in their own language; I think he was telling them of a plan he had made in his old head long before. Then they just faded silently away in the grey light. Day was dawning....
'They set a watch on the tower... but the watchers were so well hidden in shadows and kept so still, that I could not see them. The others went away north.'
The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 9, Flotsam and Jetsam
Elena Tiriel 1Feb05