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Old 06-01-2005, 12:46 AM   #1
Eledhewin Ilanora
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The Eagles

..One of my greatest confusion is about the eagles. One saved Gandalf from Isengard and they came to aid at the black gate.

And Nazgul are quite scared of the eagles as well.

But why on earth (or middle-earth), gandalf never used this eagles to carry Frodo all the way to mount doom so swiftly as they capable of, drop frodo at the doom's opening so he could run in and drop the ring into the fire where it was forged. And all things ends there.

Why the eagles were never used to a great extend? Could anybody clear the haze for me?
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Old 06-01-2005, 12:58 AM   #2
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This is an interesting question, Eledhewin Ilanora! (Welcome to the Downs, by the way...) Aside from the facetious answer - If they had, there would have been no LotR book/movie! - there have been some previous discussions on this topic, mostly on the Books forum. I'll list the most interesting ones here for those who want to look back and see what serious and humorous notions others have had on the question. However, it's a good idea to begin a new discussion here and to see what answers come up!

The Great Eagle Mystery
Why didn't Frodo use the eagles...
Middle Earth AirForce

Enjoy reading!
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Old 06-01-2005, 01:46 AM   #3
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It was always my impression that because of the free will of the Eagles, they didn't want to do it. Frodo would have been a mighty burden to ask any of the Eagles to carry. Plus, though Gwaihir(head Eagle) did owe Gandalf that life-debt, carry the Ring to Mordor would have been a hefty favour nevertheless.

I always assumed that the reason they showed up at the Gate was because their Lord and Creator in Valinor commanded them. Then Gandalf convinced them to bring back Frodo and Sam to repay their debt.

The Gods, like Gandalf, couldn't directly use their powers to influence the war. The free peoples needed to fight it themselves. So Eagle Airlines would have been considered direct intervention.
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Old 06-01-2005, 02:58 AM   #4
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Or is it that the eagle could be tempted by the ring as well??
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Old 06-01-2005, 04:27 AM   #5
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Now that is a scary thought, dark lord eagle.
I think also, that even though the Nazgul were 'scared' of the eagles, them coming (with Frodo) to Mordor would have tipped off Sauron and a big fight would ensue. And more of a chance for Sauron to get his hands on the ring. All was to be done in secrecy, and a flock of eagles coming, or even just one would be kind of obvious.
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Old 06-01-2005, 07:08 AM   #6
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Boots

Baffling for the movie-goer.
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Old 06-01-2005, 07:50 AM   #7
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And perhaps Sauron would have noticed the eagles too easily... I mean: though they're the fastest they could be ambushed or attacked from the place they are going to. I don't think eagles are very difficult to notice...
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Old 06-01-2005, 10:03 AM   #8
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White Tree

...especially ones as big as these. You could see them from miles away.

Another thought I've had was that, although the Wraith's steeds do die rather easily(too easily, in my opinion), having the Ring so near could have driven them to fight harder.

At the Black Gate the Eagles came upon the Ringwraiths in suprise, diving out of the sky and striking out almost before they were known to be there. The Ring's whereabouts were unknown. If the Eagles had Frodo and the Ring it would be different. First the Wraiths would see them coming, so no suprise attack. Second, with the Ring so close, they would push themselves and their steeds harder and fight more fiercely.

It seems to me that, if the Eagles did attempt this 'hit-and-fade', it would fail.
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Old 06-01-2005, 10:41 AM   #9
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Boots Puns that don't get airborne

Involving the eagles in carrying Frodo to Mt. Doom would, I suggest, have turned them into a sort of Air al-Gwahir whereas Tolkien appears to have preferred to restrict them to a sort of MASH capability (Mobile Air Search/rescue 'Hir). They can't look too much like a certain wizard's crow corps.

Okay, okay, bad I know, but not Rada-ghastly.
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Old 06-01-2005, 10:49 AM   #10
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Ring

And, in addition to possible anti-eagle flak and nazgul air combat, what about
kamikaze nazgul air attacks , with the ring then easily retreived on the ground.

Plus, recall that even Gwaihir told Gandalf, when rescuing him from Orthanc,
that he couldn't carry him forever, so a Great Eagle would have had to travel in several stages, with perhaps the nearest final flight originating from the White
Mountains?
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Old 06-01-2005, 02:32 PM   #11
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I have myself thought long and hard about this subject, and I think it would work. If they had taken the eagles from the start, then the ring wraiths would still be riding horses, there would be no way to attack the eagles. Also, if they flew above the clouds for the last few miles, they would not be visible to Mordor's armies.

The time would also be lessened so much that Frodo would not be nearly as attached to the ring and would have a lot less trouble disposing of it in the end. He would then not have to go to the grey havens at the end because he'd be perfectly healthy and would feel rest in the shire.

In the worst case scenario, Sauron would sense the ring coming and would have troops all around the mountain. Those troops would be easy enough for Gandalf to take care of and make a path for Frodo to get the ring in. Sadly, Frodo and Gandalf might be sacrificed in this desperate run, but it would be better to lose two then to lose the hundreds and thousands that do die in the story as it is right now.
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Old 06-01-2005, 03:17 PM   #12
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Boots

Manwe could have done it and saved even more time.
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Old 06-01-2005, 07:10 PM   #13
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The Eye

I think Tolkein had balanced everything in his books. When there is eagles it was balanced with the nazguls. Without the nazguls the whole story about the eagles appearing here and there would look silly, and the whole epic will be ridiculous since the eagles could be used to a great extend.

When the eagle saved Gandalf from Isengard, could it be that Saruman had tipped off Sauron about the Eagles involvements? And Sauron do have a counter plans to bring down the eagles should they carry the ring or the ringbearer at any range?

Though, Sauron was to stupid to know that his beloved ring was actually heading towards his own fords, he left the Mount Doom unguarded all the while. Or he is too confident that none can actually make it into his teritory.

But, seeing eagles flying into Mt.Doom would trigger him to excute his counter plan against the eagles. Gandalf and eagles could have know this. It makes sense.

If so..could it be that Sauron is allready eyeing the eagles..thus making any attempts by the eagle to destroy his plans would be useless??
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Old 06-08-2005, 09:29 AM   #14
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Boots

I think the main (only) purpose of this thread is to point out how silly the films were in that regard. Or how awkward it was to turn the story into a film.

I appreciate the difficulty but really: the Eagles were not explained at all. As a consequence, the non-book-reader was left scratching his/her head, or venturing to offer theories already scrutinised 100 times on the Downs alone.
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Old 06-08-2005, 05:33 PM   #15
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Baffling for the movie-goer.
Heh heh...

Because if the Eagles were to just drop the Ring into Mount Doom there wouldn't be a story!

If that's not good enough for you, then the Eagles don't want to serve anyone. They want to be free.

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Old 07-30-2005, 03:31 PM   #16
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Pipe Super healing talons?

*laughs*

Do the Eagles have super healing powers in there talons? I mean, if you were in the middle of a lava flow on a rock, it must be breathless. Didn't Frodo's and Sam's lungs-get-full-of-magma... Steam? They should- I mean could have died! Unless them Eagles had some secret powers in there talons to heal hobbits lungs! Maybe a hidden needle goes into them and it acts like a reliever, those with asthma, or know someone with asthma will know what I mean.

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Old 07-31-2005, 11:26 PM   #17
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White Tree

Quote:
I appreciate the difficulty but really: the Eagles were not explained at all. As a consequence, the non-book-reader was left scratching his/her head, or venturing to offer theories already scrutinised 100 times on the Downs alone.
Well put Mr. Eomer.

There are many problems with the Eagle theory of taking Frodo (with the ring) to Mount Doom.

One, They're not a FedEx service, that just does Gandalf (or anyone else's) bidding. They are servants of Manwe and do not have to obey anyone else. Gwaihir helps out Gandalf because Gandalf healed him from a poison arrow. If Gwaihir (or the eagles) didn't want to help out Gandalf they didn't have to.

It makes an awful story. "Gwaihir take Frodo to Mount Doom." "Ok." Forget all the stuff that makes the stories good (the characters, the ride to the black gates...etc) Let's scrap all that because since Eagles can go unseen there's no point for striking up a war and a diversion to keep Sauron busy.

Seeing as I doubt the Eagles would agree to such a thing, that means it aint gonna happen.

The Eagles could be clearly spotted, as Gwaihir was spotted several times when he carried around Gandalf and viewed areas for him. So, they're open targets and once Sauron finds out, it's gonna be pretty much over.

Finally, what good would the eagles do in the matter of destroying the ring? In Tolkien's letter to Milton Waldman he makes it clear that no one could "neglect, injure, or cast away the ring..." So even if the Eagles decided to take Frodo to Mount Doom and got him in Sammath Naur safely still doesn't solve anything as Frodo would do the same thing. Just claim the ring.
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Old 09-07-2005, 02:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gird
I have myself thought long and hard about this subject, and I think it would work. If they had taken the eagles from the start, then the ring wraiths would still be riding horses, there would be no way to attack the eagles. Also, if they flew above the clouds for the last few miles, they would not be visible to Mordor's armies.

The time would also be lessened so much that Frodo would not be nearly as attached to the ring and would have a lot less trouble disposing of it in the end. He would then not have to go to the grey havens at the end because he'd be perfectly healthy and would feel rest in the shire.

In the worst case scenario, Sauron would sense the ring coming and would have troops all around the mountain. Those troops would be easy enough for Gandalf to take care of and make a path for Frodo to get the ring in. Sadly, Frodo and Gandalf might be sacrificed in this desperate run, but it would be better to lose two then to lose the hundreds and thousands that do die in the story as it is right now.
What happens when Sauron himself shows up at Mount Doom? You think Gandalf can just "take care" of him? Plus, it don't matter how long you have it, no one could throw the Ring into the Cracks of Doom. The Ring's power is stronger nowhere else than at Mount Doom. No one had the will power to throw it in, not Frodo, not Gandalf, not anybody. Game over. Free Peoples lose. Insert tokens.
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Old 09-07-2005, 04:55 PM   #19
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One of the greatest plotholes in all of LOTR!

BTW, they coulda dropped the ring from the top of the mountain, and if not there, the eagle could throw Frodo off
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