Who is Treebeard in the movie?
Treebeard is an Ent who lives in Fangorn Forest. There Merry and Pippin bump into him while escaping from an orc. Treebeard takes the hobbits with him and they go together to Entmoot. The Ents decide not to take part to the war but when Merry and Pippin manage to show Treebeard what Saruman has done to his forest, the Ents and the hobbits march to destroy Isengard.

Who is Treebeard in the book?
Treebeard is an old Ent and the leader of the Ents in Fangorn Forest. He meets Merry and Pippin in his forest after they escaped from the orcs and he takes them along. When he talks with the hobbits Treebeard realizes Saruman‘s treason. He takes them to the Entmoot where the Ents decide to go to war against Isengard.

Per Sjögren – Treebeard

Changes in The Two Towers

Tolkien’s description of Treebeard is “a large Man-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. Arms, at a short distance from the trunk, were not wrinkled, but covered with a brown smooth skin. The large feet had seven toes each. Grey beard, deep brown eyes, shot with a green light.” Treebeard is a wise and mysterious creature and it feels as if his thoughts were partly in the past all the time.

In the movie Treebeard looks pretty much like a walking tree. He has very tall legs and arms, and his head continues straight from a short trunk. He has brown/green beard and brown eyes. His hands are like branches and his skin from all over looks more like bark than skin. Some kind of branches with leaves leave from his trunk. Treebeard is old and very mysterious, and he also seems to be very wise.

Treebeard is standing in Fangorn Forest sleeping, and wakes up when Pippin climbing in his branches to escape an orc, grabs his nose and shouts to Merry. Treebeard kills the orc and catches the hobbits thinking that they are orcs too. Merry and Pippin try to tell Treebeard that they are not orcs but Treebeard says that the White Wizard knows. Later Treebeard is carrying the hobbits to his home saying that he promised Gandalf to keep the hobbits safe.

In the book Treebeard finds the hobbits standing on a hill in Fangorn taking a breath and looking around. For a while they discuss who is who and what their names are and then Treebeard takes Merry and Pippin along to take them to his home.

At Treebeard’s home
Merry and Pippin fall asleep while Treebeard is carrying them and telling stories in a form of poems. He brings the hobbits to his home to sleep and goes to find the other Ents. When he comes back he rescues Merry and Pippin from a willow tree that has taken the hobbits captive under its roots. He says the forest is waking up and they leave to Entmoot. On their way Treebeard tells them something about the Entwives.

In the book Treebeard takes the hobbits to his home, Wellinghall, so they can talk more. Merry and Pippin tell Treebeard about their adventures and he tells the hobbits about Saruman. Now Treebeard understands that Saruman’s actions are evil and Treebeard wants to go to war against him and asks the hobbits to join him. The next day they go to Derndingle where the Entmoot is kept to decide if the Ents will go to war.

In the movie it’s not very clear why the forest is now waking up or how Treebeard comes to the decision that the Entmoot must be held because of the events there are going on outside Fangorn. It seems that the coming of the hobbits just somehow suddenly make him notice that things have changed. In the book Treebeard has already seen dead trees and thought of Saruman’s actions before the hobbits came. It’s clearer that Treebeard connects what Merry and Pippin tell him now to his own knowledge about Saruman and that’s how he understands his treason.

The Entmoot
At the Entmoot the Ents decide that they can’t hold the storm and that they won’t go to war against Saruman. When he’s taking the hobbits out of the forest to go home, Pippin asks that Treebeard would take them south, near Isengard and he agrees. There Treebeard sees what Saruman has done to the forest. He gets angry and shouts all the Ents to go to war with them.

In the book at the Entmoot the Ents first agree that the hobbits are not orcs and that a new line must be added in the old lists. Then the Ents decide that they will go to war against Isengard and Saruman and they take the hobbits with them. Treebeard knows that it’s possible that they are going to their doom but says that if they stayed and did nothing, doom would find them anyway.

The change in the result of the Entmoot is probably made because of Merry and Pippin. They maybe needed something that shows their evolution throughout the movie but it somehow changes the character of Treebeard. He’s wise and the Ents know the war is coming but they still first decide not to do anything. They live much in their own world but the change from the book still feels big.

The destruction of Isengard
The movie shows how the Ents, having Merry and Pippin with them, destroy Isengard and kill the orcs with stones. Then they release the river and the water covers all Isengard. Later Treebeard is walking around in flooded Isengard, listening to the hobbits laughing and smoking pipe.

In the book the destruction is not described until later when the hobbits tell how it happened. In terrible anger the Ents tear down the gates of Isengard and brake and destroy Saruman’s machines and everything in Isengard with their terrible voices, and with stones and water. At the end of the attack Treebeard meets Gandalf who asked for his help with orcs. This happens before the Battle of Helm’s Deep but it’s not told what they discussed about. Treebeard just tells the hobbits that Huorns will help and the hobbits sense them moving past them. After the destruction of Isengard Treebeard talks with Gandalf and Théoden and again it’s not said what they discuss, just that they are making plans. These events don’t happen in ‘The Two Towers’ but Treebeard meets Gandalf and the others in ‘The Return of the King’.

Treebeard and the hobbits
The relationship between Treebeard and the hobbits is closer in the book than in the movie. Treebeard doesn’t get a confirmation that what creatures Merry and Pippin are and he treats them a little suspiciously but still kindly and takes them along. Right in the beginning he says their paths may go together for a while and they spend quite some time together when Treebeard tells the hobbits a lot of stories about elves, Entwives and Saruman.

In the movie Treebeard tells Merry and Pippin stories but naturally not so deeply as in the book. And at least that leaves the relationship with Treebeard and the hobbits a little shallow because the conversations are sucha big part of it in the book. He also seems more dangerous or angry when he first meets the hobbits. He starts to trust the hobbits only after meeting Gandalf but takes care of them from then on and treats them nicely.

John Howe – Treebeard

– In the book, Treebeard doesn’t meet Gandalf until they arrive at Isengard.

Bookie Details
– When Treebeard rescues Merry and Pippin from the willow, he uses the words of Tom Bombadil: “Eat earth. Dig deep. Drink water.” This is a reference to one of the many deleted chapters in ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’, namely The Old Forest, where Tom rescues the Hobbits from Old Man Willow.

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Related Information
Related Books vs. Movies Articles:
- Merry and Pippin in The Two Towers

Interesting Links:
Our Gallery has a separate section devoted to Treebeard. It also has the screencaps of the theatrical version, as well as the extended edition.

A transcript of 'The Lord Of the Rings: The Two Towers' can be found in our Film Fun & Facts section.

A summary of 'The Lord Of the Rings: The Two Towers' can be found in Elrond's Library.

Some articles that are related to Treebeard:
- Our Middle-Earth Section has an article about The Ents and the Entwives by Figwit.
- The Poems Section has a collection of Songs by the Ents.

Forum threads related to Treebeard:
- In the Books Forum there’s a thread about The Entwives.

Take a look at how some artists saw Treebeard:
- by
- Treebeard & the Hobbits by Anke Eissmann
- Treebeard Introduces Bregalad by Anke Eissmann
- Treebeard by Terry Ernest
- Treebeard by Daniel Govar
- Treebeard by Michael Green
- At the Entmoot by Stephen Hickman
- Treebeard by the Brothers Hildebrandt
- Treebeard by John Howe
- Treebeard sketch by lady_lucrecia
- Treebeard by Alan Lee
- Treebeard by Agnus MacBride
- Treebeard by Rodney Matthews
- Treebeard by Ian Miller
- Wellinghall by Ted Nasmith
- At the Entmoot by Ted Nasmith
- Treebeard sketch by Per Sjögren
- Treebeard and the Hobbits by Per Sjögren
- Treebeard by Spazzapan

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