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Old 07-20-2016, 12:33 PM   #11
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Gandalf does have a history with these particular eagles and their lord:

It seemed that Bilbo was not going to be eaten after all. The wizard and the eagle-lord appeared to know one another slightly, and even be on friendly terms. As a matter of fact Gandalf, who had often been in the mountains, had once rendered a service to the eagles and healed their lord from an arrow-wound.~Out of the Frying Pan Into the Fire
I'm not sure if it's ever cleared up that Gwaihir, in Lord of the Rings, is the 'eagle-lord' in The Hobbit. If we take "thrice pays for all" literally, then Gandalf is forgetting about being rescued by the eagles in The Hobbit. So, it could just be a common saying Gandalf picks up as Inziladun says.

But it is clear from The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Gandalf has a friendly bond to these particular eagles who helped him out of some sticky situations. I also think it takes reading the book to understand the mutual respect between Gandalf and Gwaihir, and why the eagles aren't a Middle-earth taxi service.

Whether the movies need to explain this as an answer to the question "why didn't the eagles just fly Frodo to Mordor?" It's probably not necessary. But I do think they confuse the friendship between Gandalf and the eagles, by adding the "moth." It makes it seem like Gandalf can just summon eagle allies, whenever he wants, as long as there's a moth around. And that gives an impression, the eagles are Gandalf's taxis.

When being rescued off Orthanc, Gwaihir made clear that he was coming to bring news from Radagast, not "to bear a burden.":

"How far can you bear me?" I said to Gwaihir.
"Many leagues," said he, "but not to the ends of the earth. I was sent to bear tidings not burdens."~The Council of Elrond
Heeehee, the orcs are a lot like Ewoks. But this video goes with the idea of the shooting tower, or that there is a physical/military reason why Eagles can't fly into Mordor (which still doesn't explain why they couldn't have carried the Fellowship from Rivendell until near the borders of Mordor in a single day).~Galadriel55
I shared that in hopes that others thought it was funny too, not as an serious rebuttal to the eagle question.

But I suspect Boromir had the right of does not simply walk into Mordor. And don't forget, that was the plan. They were going to try to sneak through the front gate. It took Frodo sparing Gollum, and Gollum to show them a secret path that Sauron didn't watch as closely. There would have been no meeting Gollum, and no one in the Fellowship would have known about that path, had the eagles dropped them off near Mordor.
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