The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Extremely old1
On the western bank of the River Withywindle in the heart of the Old Forest; his power was said to extend throughout the trees of the Forest
Other names


About this entry:

  • Updated 14 November 1998
  • Updates planned: 3

Old Man Willow

The dark heart of the Old Forest

A name for the ancient willow tree that lay at the heart of the Old Forest, and from whom much of that forest's hatred of walking things was derived.



We're never told exactly how old the Great Willow was, but the 'Old' in his name seems well earned, and he was clearly far, far older than any normal tree. He was in fact one of the most ancient of trees in the Old Forest, ' ...ageing no quicker than the hills, the fathers of the fathers of trees, remembering times when they were lords' (The Fellowship of the Ring I 7, In the House of Tom Bombadil). The wording here is vague, but it seems to date the willow back to the time even before the Elves came into the west, making him thousands upon thousands of years old.

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