The Two Towers Book 3, Chapter 8
The men of Rohan are overjoyed at the victory over the Orcs of Saruman. Gimli tells Legolas that he killed 42 orcs and Legolas says he killed around 40. Eomer is pleased to seeGandalf who says that he must leave at once for Isengard. Eomer picks twenty men to go with them and Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli elect to follow them. Theoden is saddened that the guard Hama fell in the battle. With Theoden, the small band departs and rides into the night. When they near the gates of Isengard, they notice that menacing groves of trees surrounds it. Legolas wants to speak to them and Gimli talks about the beautiful caverns of Helm's Deep. They promise each other that when all of the trouble is over they will go visit both the caverns and Fangorn. As they get closer, they notice that the trees have eyes and Gandalf explains that these are ents who are shepherds of trees. Theoden is amazed that legends are coming to life around him. Gandalf says, "'For not only the little life of Men is endangered, but the life also of those things which you have deemed the matter of legend.'" Book 3, Chapter 8, pg. 197. Gandalf explains that Sauron's victory from Mordor would end all good on the earth. As they continue on the road, the sky is filled with carrion birds and wolves feed on the bodies of unburied orcs. Gandalf sent Erkenbrand and a great number of men to watch over Edoras. A great plume of smoke rises from Isengard. They sleep a few miles from the fortress. Darkness passes over them and lingers.
At dawn, they start off again and enter a valley that was once fair and green, but became foul and barren with the vile orcs. Isengard has only one door as an entrance. Within the great stone walls are hundreds of houses. In the middle of all of this is an ancient tower called the Orthanc. Once, Isengard was beautiful place, but it changed with Saruman's fall to evil. They enter the circle of walls near Orthanc. At the door, they find Merry and Pippin. They tell them that Saruman is busy and that they were ordered by Treebeard to wait for Theoden. Gimli explodes because they have not welcomed their own companions, yet Pippin tells him that his comforts are well earned. Theoden is amazed at the little creatures. Pippin bows because Theoden has heard hobbits before. Theoden asks him about their pipe smoking and Merry begins to tell a long tale. Gandalf asks where Treebeard is and says he wishes to speak with him quickly. Treebeard left a message for Gandalf and the wizard laughs then rides Theoden to meet Treebeard.