LOTR: What Happened To Isengard After The War Of The One Ring?
Everyone knows the Saruman lost his powers, but what happened to the Orthanc tower and Isengard?
- Isengard, once a beautiful realm, was gifted to Saruman the White by the former Numenoreans and became corrupted by his twisted needs.
- The Ents, angered by the corruption, attacked Isengard, flooding the area and forcing the orcs and men to flee.
- After the War of the One Ring, Isengard became Treegarth of Orthanc, under the self-governance of the Ents within the borders of the Reunited Kingdom.
Many great changes came to Middle-earth after Sauron’s fall. Former Numenoreans built Isengard as a great fortress to protect Gondor’s border until they gifted it to Saruman the White, who used it as his domain. It was once a beautiful land that fans of the cinematic trilogy remember as being surrounded by snow-capped mountains and lavish green fields. The great wizard gradually twisted the realm of Isengard to fit his needs until it became unrecognizable. Orcs polluted the land and ripped massive trees from the ground to build their forges underneath.
The tower at the center of the Ring of Isengard was impenetrable, making it the perfect home for a wizard. However, the land around it was not. The Ents, furious with the way their old friend perverted the land and surrounding forests, sieged Isengard and put a stop to the corruption. However, whatever happened to Isengard after the Ents attacked? What became of the wizard who lived there and his great tower?
Where is Isengard?
While many former Numenoreans found refuge in the capital cities of Gondor and Arnor, others created smaller settlements within the boundaries of these great cities. Isengard is one such realm. Isengard was once a vital settlement for Gondor as it sat on the edge of its border in a valley at the southern end of the Misty Mountains. It protected one of the realm’s prominent entrances, the Gap of Rohan. The region was so vital that Gondor assigned a warden to live in the tower of Orthanc, which sat in the center of the Ring of Isengard. Settlers in Isengard built farms, raised families, and prospered for a time.
Isengard Quick Facts
- Another name for Isengard is Angrenost, which means ‘Iron Fortress’ in Sindarin
- Isengard was abandoned following the arrival of a great plague
- Isengard eventually became a Dunlending stronghold, and its inhabitants were hostile toward Rohan
The Rohirrim of Rohan guarded the area and kept it free of bandits in the warden’s absence, but they were more than willing to hand Isengard and its tower over to Saruman the White when he returned from his travels in the east. The wizard offered to defend the West as long as he got to keep Isengard as his home. Rohan and Gondor eagerly accepted as they were more than willing to have a powerful wizard protect their borders. Unfortunately, making Isengard his home was only the first sign that Saruman no longer honored his duty and had a bit of an ego.
What Became of Isengard After the War of the One Ring?
During the War of the Ring, the Ents attacked Isengard because they saw the damage Saruman caused to Fangorn Forest. The Ents destroyed the dam the orcs constructed to block the river that poured out of the Misty Mountains. This flooded the Ring of Isengard and doused the subterranean furnaces the orcs used to construct armor and weapons for the Uruk-Hai.
They have business with the Orcs. My business is with Isengard tonight, with rock and stone. Come, my friends. The Ents are going to war. It is likely that we go to our doom. The last march of the Ents.
Between the flood and angry tree folk, the remaining orcs and men in Isengard fled, leaving the once-great wizard and his servant, Grima Wormtongue, locked away in Orthanc Tower. Treebeard allowed Saruman and Wormtongue to vacate the tower and Isengard once Sauron was no longer a threat. By this time, Treebeard and the other Ents tore down the walls that formed the Ring of Isengard and called the new forest in its place the Watchwood. With the river no longer dammed, the Ents filled the former Ring of Isengard with gardens and orchards, and the river formed a small clear lake at the base of Orthanc Tower. This, too, earned a new name, which Treebeard dubbed Treegarth of Orthanc.
After the war, the free people crowned Aragorn the new King in Minas Tirith, and he restored the great kingdom of Gondor and Arnor, which became known as the Reunited Kingdom. Isengard fell within the Reunited Kingdom’s borders, but Aragorn granted the Ents self-governance over the Treegarth of Orthanc. While the Ents were given the freedom to search out the Entwives once more, they gradually faded away, becoming no different than the trees they herded.
The Lord of the Rings is one of the most iconic names in entertainment. The franchise started with novels from J. R. R. Tolkien before being adapted onto the big screen by Peter Jackson in one of the most critically-acclaimed film trilogies of all time. There have also been numerous The Lord of the Rings video games of varying quality.