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Old Forest

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Lode Claes - The Old Forest
Old Forest
Background Information
Type Forest
Location Eastern Shire
Realms Arnor
Other Information
Other names
Inhabitants Tom Bombadil, Goldberry, Old Man Willow
Spoken Languages Westron

The Old Forest was a large woodland on the eastern border of Buckland, located close to the Shire.

It was bordered in the east by the Barrowdowns and in the west by The High Hay, a large hedge which the Hobbits of Buckland grew to protect their eastern border.


Map - Old Forest

Map of the Old Forest in The Lord of the Rings Online

The forest, like Fangorn, was described to be dark and tangled, though both were less so than the Taur-im-Duinath of Beleriand.[1]

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 consisted primarily of oak and ash, being much more dense than the pine and fir-filled north.


Before the Third AgeEdit

Ben Zweifel -

Old Forest Road, by Ben Zweifel. ©Fantasy Flight Games and ©Middle-earth Enterprises

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.

Third AgeEdit

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.[2]


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

Video gamesEdit

Old Forest

Old Forest at night (in The Lord of the Rings Online)

Translations around the WorldEdit

Foreign Language Translated name
Arabic الغابات القديمة
Belarusian стары лес
Bengali প্রাচীন বন
Bulgarian Старата гора
Catalan Bosc Vell
Chinese (Hong Kong) 老林
Croatian Stare šume
Czech Starý Les
Danish Gammel skov
Estonian Vana mets
French Vieille Forêt
Finnish Vanha Metsä
Georgian ძველი ტყის
German Der alte Wald
Greek Παλιό δάσος
Haitian Creole Forest vye granmoun ?
Hungarian Öregerdő
Italian Vecchia Foresta
Hindi पुराने जंगल
Japanese オールドフォレスト
Korean 오래된 숲
Lithuanian Senas miškas
Macedonian Cтара шума
Malayalam പഴയ ഫോറസ്റ്റ്
Maltese Foresti ta ' l-Qadima
Nepali पुरानो वन
Norwegian Gamleskogen
Persian جنگل قدیمی
Polish Stary Las
Portuguese (Brazil) Floresta Velha
Portuguese (Portugal) Velha Floresta or Floresta Velha
Punjabi ਪੁਰਾਣਾ ਜੰਗਲਾਤ
Spanish (Spain and Latin America) Bosque Viejo
Swedish Gammal skog
Romanian Pădurea veche
Russian Старый лес
Siamese (Thai) เก่าป่า
Serbian Стара Шума
Slovak Starého lesa
Tajik сола ҷангал
Turkish Yaşlı Orman
Welsh Hen goedwig
Yiddish אַלט וואַלד
Places of Middle-earth and Arda

Middle-earth Locations:


Dunland | Ithilien | Rohan | Arnor | Ettenmoors | Gondor | Lindon | Minhiriath | Rhûn | The Shire | Mordor | Harad | Forochel

Forests & Mountains:

Amon Dîn | Amon Hen | Amon Lhaw | Emyn Muil | Erebor | Fangorn Forest | High Pass | Iron Hills | Lórien | Mirkwood | Mount Doom | Old Forest | Redhorn Pass | Tower Hills | Weather Hills


Angband | Barad-dûr | Bree | Caras Galadhon | Dol Guldur | Fornost | Helm's Deep | Isengard | Minas Morgul | Minas Tirith | Osgiliath | Rivendell | Umbar | Utumno


Cair Andros | Gap of Rohan | Grey Havens | Buckland | Enedwaith | Dagorlad | Dead Marshes | Fords of Isen | Weathertop | Argonath

The rest of Arda:

Valinor | Númenor | Dark Land | Aman | Tol Eressëa


  1. The Atlas of Middle-earth, Thematic Maps, "Vegetation"
  2. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book One, Chapter VI: "The Old Forest"

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