Aside from the trees, a valley lay at its center and the Withywindle river flowed through it. The Withywindle, as told in Hobbit folklore, was the center of queerness in the vast queerness of the forest. At the south-eastern edge of the forest, on the bank of the river Withywindle, stood the house of Tom Bombadil--the only constructed dwelling in the forest. The home of Bombadil rested in a glade near the Withywindle--a sunny spot with green grass and bright trees.The pathway through the Old Forest known by the Hobbits was near the bonfire grove, although when the company arrived there, it appeared to have shifted. The southern edge of the forest was primarily oak and ash, being much more dense than the pine and fir-filled north.
Before the Third AgeEdit
The Old Forest, along with Fangorn Forest, was all that remained of a vast and ancient primordial forest that once spanned nearly all of Eriador before the Second Age, and is one of the few forests that the Elves decided to wake and teach to speak. Beginning in the middle of the Second Age, the forest came under threat by the felling of trees by the Men of Middle-earth and of Númenor. Later, when Sauron declared war on the elves, the havoc and destruction he and his troops created resulted in the near destruction of Eriador and the burning of much of the forest.
By the Third Age, the forest had become wild and dangerous and those that lived near it had to take precautions, particularly the Bucklanders, who built the High Hay to keep out wild creatures. Before the War of the Ring, Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin passed through the Old Forest on their way to Bree and were rescued by Tom Bombadil, after being trapped by Old Man Willow.
The Hobbits believed the trees of the Old Forest were in some manner "awake". They sway when there is no wind, whisper at night, and mislead and waylay travelers. In a notable incident, trees from the Old Forest moved right next to the protective hedge; the Hobbits in turn cut down and burned them in an enormous bonfire. Ever since then, the trees were more hostile --the Huorns. In any event, despite being an ancient and "awake" forest, no Ents tend to this woodland, and it seems to be avoided by Elves as well.
Portrayal in adaptationsEdit
- The Old Forest is depicted in the video games The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game) and The Lord of the Rings Online.
Translations around the WorldEdit
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||老林|
|Haitian Creole||Forest vye granmoun ?|
|Maltese||Foresti ta ' l-Qadima|
|Portuguese (Brazil)||Floresta Velha|
|Portuguese (Portugal)||Velha Floresta or Floresta Velha|
|Spanish (Spain and Latin America)||Bosque Viejo|
Places of Middle-earth and Arda
Forests & Mountains:
The rest of Arda:
- ↑ The Atlas of Middle-earth, Thematic Maps, "Vegetation"
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book One, Chapter VI: "The Old Forest"