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Old 12-15-2008, 03:42 PM   #1
Shade of Carn Dűm
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 435
Alfirin has been trapped in the Barrow!
The Eye Winged Beasts, a squandered resource?


As I was re-reading the ROTK, it struck me that Sauron having the winged beasts at his disposal, seemed to make very poor use of them, both in the sense of keeping them hidden till so late in the war, and more importantly in pretty much reserving thier use for the Nazgul only. The first is barely understandable, as Sauron may have wanted to keep them as a trump card until necessary. so as to aviod giving the West a chance to devise a retaliation. (while not likely is is just possible that, if the West had known Sauron had flying troops, they might have been able to convince Gwahir and the Eagles to join with the west implicitly, by making it clear to him that his territory, the skies, would not be spared by Sauron any more than the lands were.) The second point however just seems like pure folly. Granted there are proably not many in saurons forces outside of the wraith with sufficent strength of will to master a winged beast, but there must have been a few with the strenght either inherent in themselves or gifted by Sauron, who can (and on ocassion does) give power without giving rings. For example it would not suprise me to find that the Mouth of Sauron would have enough strengh. Granted wingled beast may not be readily avalible, but there is some evidence that there are at least a few extras (Legolas shoots one down, but all of the nazgul are with beasts in the battle at Pellenor and afterwards, so it seems that there would have had to be at least one spare in Sauron's stables).

Even with the situation as it was, the Nazgul seem to make little effective use of their beasts. Indeed except for the WK they seem to use them only for either 1. carrying messages to and from Mordor and 2. flying around over the battlefields making demoralyzing screeches. Not that there arent both prefectly useful things, but the beast could be used for so much more. For example (assuming that each wraith has some comapanies of troops under his own command, with all of course ultimately under the WK command). each Wraith could use his position in the sky to survey the battle and relay commands to his troops (say through a signal flag code) In a battle like pellenor, being able to see the whole field when your opponent can't (okay so someone standing at the very top of Minas Tirirth might be able to see, but a winged beast would give you a movable "eye in the sky" also (this would be more in the case of the first argumetn where there were "winged beast troops" rather than just wraith officers a person in the air would be in an excellent position to rain arrows or throwing spears down on the enemy. They wouldn even have to be all that powerful a shot since gravity would be working for them if they were above. Now onto the WK himself

The WK in my opinion is one of the few charcters who does make effective use of his winged beast. The moment he hears the horns of the Rohirrim he turns from the Gate and Gandalf and goes to the battlefield. Not that he does not go into the battle directly, on the horse that he is riding at the time but go and mount up his beast, This in my opion is a very smart move as it allows him to take Theoden out in what amount to a "surgical strike". Had he stayed on his horse (as in the heat of battle he might have contemplated in the interest of getting to Theoden as quickly as possible, before the Rohirrin turned the battle. The WK migh have had a hard fight to get near Theoden, a fight that while the WK would still suceed in (he is after all unhinderable by any man) would have taken a lot of time and would have involved theoden actually being ready for him. As is he is able to get straight at Theoden and, had Eowyn and Merry not happen to be exactly next to the king would have be able to slaw him with no resitiance whatsoever (it's unclear whether the WK knew Snowmane would rear the moment he saw the WK, but I tend to think that this was a happy (for the WK) accident as even if the WK did know, he could not have know that the horse would be guarteed to land on the king. Once again had Eowyn not been there. I think the WK plants after this would have been as follows, he would have stuck a killing blow on the now crushed Theoden (who is still tecnically alive, if crippled and pinned at this point) possibly taking his head to show the troops of the west to further demoralize them ("See how easily I have slain your King, Men of Rohan! I and my forces cannot be overcome!") The WK words seem to imply that he plans to let his winged beast eat the king and his horse, but it is unclear to me whether the WK would want to actually allow the beast enough time to do this, in the middle of a battle. After this the WK proably planned to either fly back into the sky and command from there (as suggested previosly) or even better signal to the other wraiths (the ones that are there, at least and simply fly OVER Gondors battlements, land and attack the citys troops from the inside crushing them between the two forces. The city would likey have fallen almost instantly and the battle would have been won. (yes the over the wall would only have had the WK and maybe five or so wraiths doing the inside fighting, but all of them are unkillable or unwoundable by any of the weapons held within the city (except for maybe Gandalf's (assuming that, somehow he manage to hold onto Glamdrig until he got to Lothlorien) and they would all know not to try and attack Gandalf one on one (execpt maybe the WK himself, who migh have been sufficently matched) Yes I know this is all specuation but this is how I see it might have gone down.

Last edited by Alfirin; 12-16-2008 at 06:28 AM.
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