Fangorn Forest is a large area on the Southeastern portion of the Misty Mountains. The entire area spans the land between the Misty Mountains, the Gap of Rohan, and where Limlight River meets the Field of Celebrant.
Named after the Eldest Ent, Fangorn (Sinarin for “Treebeard”) it is the oldest forest and in it lives many Ent Folk. It is also referred to as “Entwood” by the Rohirrim, (Sinarin for “People of the Horse-lords” or simply “Horse-lords”).
“’Celeborn warned us not to go far into Fangorn,’ [Legolas] said. … ‘I have heard nothing of this in my own land, save only songs that tell how the Onodrim, that Men call Ents, dwelt there long ago; for Fangorn is old, old even as the Elves would reckon it.”Yes, it is old,’ said Aragorn, ‘as old as the forest by the Barrow-downs, and it is far greater. Elrond says that the two are akin, the last strongholds of the mighty woods of the Elder Days, in which the Firstborn roamed while Men still slept. Yet Fangorn holds some secret of its own. What it is I do not know.’”
– The Two Towers, Book 3, Ch 2, The Riders of Rohan
History of Fangorn Forest
Ent Folk used to populate throughout Middle Earth, in fact, it was said that all of Middle Earth was forest at first. However, due to deforestation by the Númenor and Dwarves in particular, the Ents migrated to Fangorn Forest where Treebeard took up permanent residence to shepherd the trees in one “central” location.
The Ent-Wives and Ent-Maidens used to also reside with their partners in Fangorn Forest, but by the end of the Second Age, they had all left. Presumably, they left to journey to Anduin but they were never heard from again and are considered Lost to Ent-Folk.
After the War against Saruman, Treebeard asks Merry and Pippin to keep a lookout for the Ent-Wives and to send to word to him if they see them. It is rumored that the Ent-Wives and Ent-Maidens are in The Shire, in the Old Forest.
By the Third Age, all of the Ents of Middle Earth populated Fangorn Forest and would jealously protect their fellow trees. When a being would wander too deep into Fangorn Forest or show up with axes, the Ents would eliminate the threat thus developing a deep, ominous energy in the forest that spread rumors about Fangorn Forest being evil and dense air.
” ‘I do not think the wood feels evil, whatever tales may say,’ said Legolas. ‘[…] I catch only the faintest echoes of dark places where the hearts of trees are black. There is no malice near us; but there is watchfulness and anger. […] Do you not feel the tenseness? It takes my breath. […] It is old, very old’, said the Elf. ‘So old that almost I feel young again, as I have not felt since I journeyed with you children. It is old and full of memory. I could have been happy here, if I had come in days of peace.’ “
– Legolas to Aragorn and Gimli, The Two Towers, Book III, The White Rider
The Entmoot was held within the territory of Fangorn Forest in Derndingle. This piece of information was the question that finally stumped Stephen Colbert (an aficionado of LotR lore and deep dives) who enjoyed many guests trying to find a piece of trivia from Tolkien’s works that would finally best him. Billy Boyd (Pippin in the Peter Jackson trilogy) was the guest who finally stumped Stephen on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Season 2021, Episode #1107.