In the extended edition, after Merry and Pippin wake up deep in the forest and Merry realizes it's the drink making Pippin taller, he goes to get some for himself and you can hear Pippin plainly say:

"No! Treebeard said you shouldn't have any. He said it could well be dangerous! Give me it back. Merry!"

And then the trees started eating them. So did Treebeard really say that in the book, and if so, why?

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    I think in the movie Pippin is making up a story so that he doesn't have to share with Merry. That the tree started "eating" them is an Easter egg to a sequence cut from the book version of Fellowship of the Ring, in the Old Forest outside Buckland. Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 6:07

2 Answers 2


Merry can (and does) drink the Ent-draught.

In the film, Pippin is lying, because he wants it all to himself, so he stays bigger than Merry.

Treebeard said no such thing, neither in the film nor the book.

"Well, well, now we can talk again," said Treebeard. "You are thirsty, I expect. Perhaps you are also tired. Drink this!" He went to the back of the bay, and then they saw that several tall stone jars stood there, with heavy lids. He removed one of the lids, and dipped in a great ladle, and with it filled three bowls, one very large bowl, and two smaller ones.

-- The Two Towers, Book Three, Chapter 4

The trees starting to "eat" them is unrelated.


In the book,

The only recorded time an Ent-draught was consumed by someone other than an Ent was when Merry and Pippin were given the liquid by Treebeard during their time in Fangorn Forest. As a result of them drinking the draughts, they grew into the largest hobbits in the Shire, adding at least two to three inches to their overall height.

From the book as mentioned in the answer to Why does the drinking the water in Fangorn make Pippin and Merry grow taller?:

The drink was like water, indeed very like the taste of the draughts they had drunk from the Entwash near the borders of the forest, and yet there was some scent or savour in it which they could not describe; it was faint, but it reminded them of the smell of a distant wood borne from afar by a cool breeze at night. The effect of the draught began at the toes, and rose steadily through every limb, bringing refreshment and vigour as it coursed upwards, right to the tips of the hair… He poured them out two full bowls from a stone jar; but from a different jar. The taste was not the same as it had been the night before: it was earthier and richer, more sustaining and food-like, so to speak.

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    But why can't Merry drink it?
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 9:56
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    That might be important to answering the question. Without the quotes, you aren't saying much.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 12:18
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    @Darrel Hoffman As you can see, the "2 or 3 inches" is from a fan site, and there is no basis for that in the book itself. In the Souring of the Shire, Sharkey's men notice immediately that Merry and Pippin are "uncommonly large and strong" for hobbits, and I would venture to say that they were half a foot taller, or more.
    – Wastrel
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 13:39
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    As a matter of fact, there is a reference for it in the book. "But amidst all these wonders [Sam] returned always to his astonishment at the size of Merry and Pippin; and he made them stand back to back with Frodo and himself. He scratched his head. 'Can't understand it at your age!' he said. 'But there it is: you're three inches taller than you ought to he, or I'm a dwarf.' (contd.)
    – A. B.
    Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 4:08
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    They did also drink Ent-draught another time; Treebeard asked them to drink with him again when the group passed through Isengard on their way back north after leaving Gondor (in book VI, chapter 6: Many Partings). This is after Sam remarked that they were three inches taller (which must be book VI chapter 4; Sam is never in the same place as Merry and Pippin in The Two Towers), so they could have been even taller by the time they get back to the Shire.
    – Ben
    Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 4:52

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