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Old Man Willow was a great willow tree of the Old Forest; he was the root cause of much of the Forest's anger and hatred toward the trespassing of the walking things that pass through there. He was most likely a Huorn, as the Old Forest was originally part of the same primordial forest as Fangorn. He had great power within the Old Forest, and was able to direct all paths in the woodland to him.

Tom Bombadil had power over Old Man Willow, and checked the evil in him as much as he could, or was willing to.


In The Fellowship of the Ring, Old Man Willow casts a spell on the Hobbits (Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin), causing them to feel sleepy. Merry and Pippin lean against his trunk and fall asleep, while Frodo sits on a root to dangle his feet in the water, before also falling asleep. The ill spirit then traps Merry and Pippin in the folds of its trunk. Sam and Frodo attempt to burn Old Man Willow in order to release their friends, but Old Man Willow communicates to Merry, who is still inside his roots, that if the burning does not cease, the Hobbits would be squeezed in two. They are saved by the timely arrival of Tom Bombadil, who 'sings' the ancient tree to sleep. Whether or not Old Man Willow is truly evil remains a mystery. It is possible that he represents the anger and bitterness of nature toward those who try to destroy it.[citation needed]

Appearances in adaptationsEdit

Although this scene did not appear in the 2001 movie adaptation, a very similar episode was included in the extended DVD edition of the 2002 second film where Merry and Pippin are attacked by a Huorn in Fangorn forest. In this interpretation Treebeard speaks Tom Bombadil's lines. He also appears in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game) and The Lord of the Rings Online.

Walking close to him in The Lord of the Rings Online will grant multiple debuffs, including slowness.

Translations around the WorldEdit

Foreign Language Translated name
Afrikaans Ou Man Wilgerboom
Albanian Vjetër Njeri shelg
Arabic الرجل العجوز صفصاف
Armenian Ծեր Մարդ Ուռենի
Azerbaijani Yaşlı Adam Söyüd
Basque Zahar Gizon Sahats
Belarusian Cyrillic Стары чалавек вярба
Bengali ওল্ড ম্যান উইলো
Bosnian Stari Covjek Vrba
Bulgarian Cyrillic Стар човек върба
Catalan Home vell salze
Chinese 老柳頭
Croatian Stari Čovjek Vrbe
Czech Staroměstská vrba
Danish Den gamle Pilemand
Dutch Oude Wilgeman
Esperanto Maljunulo Saliko
Estonian Vana Mees paju
Finnish Vanha Halavaukko
French Vieil Homme-Saule
Galician Vello Home Salgueiro
Georgian ძველი კაცი ტირიფი
German Alter Weidenmann
Greek Γέροντας Ιτιά
Gujarati ઓલ્ડ મેન વિલો
Hebrew איש זקן ערבה
Hindi ओल्ड मैन विलो
Hungarian Az Öregember fűz
Irish Gaelic Seanfhear Saileach
Italian Vecchio Uomo Salice
Japanese オールドマン柳
Kannada ಓಲ್ಡ್ ಮ್ಯಾನ್ ವಿಲ್ಲೋ
Kazakh Ескі Адам Тал (Cyrillic) Eski Adam Tal (Latin)
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Эски адам талдар
Laotian ຊາຍ​ເຖົ້າຕົ້ນໄມ້ຕົ້ນໄມ້
Latvian Vecais Vīrs Vītoli
Lithuanian Senosios Vyras Gluosnis
Macedonian Cyrillic Стар Човек Врба
Marathi ओल्ड मॅन विलो
Mongolian Cyrillic Хөгшин хүн Виллоу
Nepalese बूढो मानिसको विलो
Norwegian Gamle Pilemann
Pashto زوړ سړی وله
Persian پیرمرد بید
Polish Stara Wierzba
Portuguese (Brazil) Velho Salgueiro-homem
Portuguese (Portugal) Velho Salgueiro-Homem
Romanian Bătrân Omul Salcie
Russian Старый Вяз
Serbian Старац врба (Cyrillic) Starac vrba (Latin)
Sinhalese පැරණි මිනිසා විලෝ
Slovak Starý Muž Vŕba
Slovenian Stari Človek Vrba
Spanish (Spain and Latin America) Viejo Hombre-Sauce
Swahili Msafsafi ya Mzee Mtu
Swedish Gammal Videsläktet Man ?
Tajik Cyrillic Одам кӯҳна Бовар кунед
Tamil பழைய மேன் வில்லோ
Telugu ఓల్డ్ మాన్ విల్లో
Turkish Yaşlı Söğüt Adam
Ukrainian Cyrillic Стара Людина Верба
Uzbek Кекса Киши Тол (Cyrillic) Keksa Kishi Tol (Latin)
Urdu بوڑھے آدمی بید مجنوں
Vietnamese Ông già Chi Liễu
Welsh Hen Ddyn Helygen
Yiddish אלטע מאן װערבע