Battle of Isengard
Conflict: War of the Ring
Date: March 3, 3019
Place: Isengard
  • Decisive Fangorn victory
  • defeat of Saruman
  • Combatants
  • Fangorn Forest
  • Isengard
  • Dunland
  • Commanders
  • Treebeard
  • Quickbeam
  • Finglas
  • Fladrif
  • Beechbone
  • Rootcouncil(film only)
  • Birchseed(film only)
  • Lindenroot(film only)
  • Saruman
  • Gríma Wormtongue
  • Many Orc Pitmasters†
  • Strength
  • 50+ Ents
  • 10 Huorns
  • 2 Hobbits
  • 10,000 Isengard Orcs
  • 500 Uruk-hai
  • 300 Wild man
  • 50 Crebain
  • 2 Isengard Gate Guards
  • 1 Black Rohirrim
  • Casualties
  • Beechbone burnt
  • Several minor injuries
  • The entire force; except for Saruman and Wormtongue
  • War of the Ring

    Attack on the Woodland RealmWeathertopBalin's TombDurin's TowerAmon HenFords of IsenNear FangornCair AndrosHornburgIsengardIthilienBattle of OsgiliathDaleLórienMirkwoodPelennor FieldsCirith UngolBlack GateDol GuldurBywater

    The Battle of Isengard was described as an assault launched by a large group of Ents and Huorns. Persuaded by Treebeard to take action, they attacked Isengard and liberated the fortress, although they could not bring down Orthanc. It wasn't very well protected, as all the Uruk-hai had gone to battle, leaving only weak Orcs and Easterlings behind.

    Treebeard tore down the gates of Isengard as many Orcs fled and were killed by the many Huorns now surrounding Isengard. Saruman was on the grounds when the attack began and retreated to Orthanc, almost caught by the Ent, Quickbeam. Once Saruman was inside he started up the machinery housed underground, with several Ents scorched by the fumes and fires that erupted. Treebeard then calmed the enraged Ents and put them to work on tearing down the dam, releasing the river and cleansing Isengard of Saruman's treachery.



    After a three day long Entmoot, an army of Ents and Huorns set off for the tower-fortress of Isengard, making a terrifying racket. They arrived and began their attack on March 2. The time of their assault was fortunate, because they arrived just when the wizard Saruman was emptying Isengard for a final assault on Rohan. As a result, there were few left to defend Isengard besides Saruman himself.

    Once the army of Isengard had left for Rohan, the Ents launched their attack on the walls. Attempts were made to hinder them with arrows, but these only served to irritate the attackers further, and, in a matter of minutes the Gate and much of the Southern wall was reduced to ruin.

    The BattleEdit

    As the Hobbits Merry and Pippin, who were present during the battle, later recounted to their friends, Ents are so strong that their punches can crumple iron like tinfoil, and they can tear apart solid rock like breadcrusts. A ring of Huorns surrounded Isengard and killed all escaping Orcs.

    Once the Gate and walls had been reduced to rubble, a young Ent named Bregalad or 'Quickbeam' in the Westron tongue, spotted Saruman, and made for him, shouting 'The Tree Killer!', for his people and all Fangorn forest in general had suffered from heavy deforestation to fuel the furnaces of Saruman. Other Ents followed him, but Saruman succeeded in escaping into the tower of Orthanc. Once in the tower, he activated spouts and vents all over the plain, scorching many Ents who had entered the fortress. One Ent, Beechbone, was unlucky enough to be caught fully in one of the fiery blasts, and the death of this Ent by Saruman's fire caused the Ent host to go berserk. Merry and Pippin recounted the incident, saying that the enraged roars of the Ents were enough to crack the stones. They destroyed the buildings and machinery on the plain, but could do nothing to hurt the tower itself.

    At this point, the Ents took counsel and came up with a new plan of attack. By digging trenches and destroying Saruman's dam, the Ents and Huorns were to divert the course of the river Isen itself. As the Ents did work destroying the dam, Gandalf appeared to Treebeard and the hobbits during the night. Gandalf took counsel with Treebeard, resulting in the Huorns' involvement at the Battle of the Hornburg. At midnight, the Ents succeeded in destroying the dam, and the river flooded the 'bowl' of Isengard, submerging everything but the tower and filling in all the tunnels and holes where the machinery of war had been. The destruction of Isengard was complete, although Saruman was still untouched in the tower. Strangely enough, the 30 odd men from Dunland were not harmed in the least, (except some were hit with rocks), and were let to go back where they came from.

    The sound defeat of Saruman's hosts at the Battle of the Hornburg and the destruction of his fortress rendered him incapable of causing the West any further military harm, although he still had the power of his persuasive and commanding voice, with which he could still do (and did do) harm. Had the Ents not destroyed Isengard, despite the destruction of Saruman's main army, he still could have withstood a siege with his few remaining forces behind Isengard's normally impregnable walls, biding his time until he could renew his strength.[citation needed]


    The exact numbers are not specified, though in the book it is stated nearly 50 or so Ents marched on Isengard which was filled with only a few hundred Orcs and men, who were ill equipped for battle and tried to flee after realizing they could not destroy the Ents. All of the Orcs and Uruk hai were killed by the Huorns who surrounded the north of Isengard, and the 30-odd Wildmen who worked for Saruman were allowed to live as the Ents only had a feud with the Orcs.

    Portrayal in adaptationsEdit

    The Two Towers filmEdit

    The battle is depicted in Peter Jackson's film adaptation of The Two Towers (2002). There are a few differences between the novel and film. Saruman is already in Orthanc when the Ents arrive, as is Gríma Wormtongue. There are also many Orcs and Uruks left over at Isengard, whom the Ents destroy while the Huorns leave for Helm's Deep. Merry and Pippin are also more involved in the battle, sitting on Treebeard's branches and pelting Orcs and wildmen with rocks. Later(Extended ROTK version only) Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Gandalf and Théodon arrive at the foot of Orthanc to extract information from Saruman, but only to be greeted by Saruman's magical voice. He attempts to charm Théodon into accepting his offer of peace, but Théodon refuses leaving Saruman to retaliate with "Dotard". The treacherous wizard tries to kill Gandalf after Gandalf offered him mercy, but Gandalf destroys his staff. Théodon tries to convince Wormtongue to leave Saruman, but Saruman slaps Wormtongue in the face in anger. In response, Wormtongue stabs Saruman in the back, who falls from Orthanc and lands on a spike. Legolas then shoots Wormtongue dead.

    Video gamesEdit

    Lord of the Rings: ConquestEdit

    In The Lord of the Rings: Conquest game, both the Ents and the Rohirrim participate. The Rohirrim capture the Pits of Isengard, slaying the Uruk-hai Captain in charge and destroying Saruman's fire machines. This prevented the Ents from taking further fire damage. The Rohirrim then proceed to kill Wormtongue and take the keys to Isengard to Treebeard. The Ents take over, destroying all the watchtowers and capturing the Gates of Orthanc. Gandalf then arrives to climb Orthanc and kills Saruman.

    Translations around the WorldEdit

    Foreign Language Translated name
    Chinese (Hong Kong) 艾辛格毀滅之戰

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