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I got the idea to start this thread (my very first) from another thread about the most interesting characters AND a question that someone had posed to me to which I didn't have a solid answer:

Why didn't the Eagles help out more with the destruction of the Ring - once Gandalf knew what was going on and Gwaihir had saved him from Isengard, Gandalf could've asked him to attend the Council of Elrond and once the decision had been made the Eagles could have flown the Ring all the way to Mount Doom and done away with it? - It would've made things so much easier...

Forgetting the fact that it would've made the book very boring and much shorter, can anyone come up with some other good reasons for the Eagles not taking the Ring (or Frodo and the Ring is need be) straight to Mount Doom?

I look forward to reading your ideas/opinions...
The most popular answers you will get are as follows:

* Eagles would not do it. They only helped Gandalf becuase he had saved the Eagle lord from an arrow wound.

* Eagles would not go near any place where they might be slain by Arrows, this is why they told the Dwarves and Bilbo that they would not go too near places where men were.

* They would have to fly lower becuase of the burden of the Ringbearer on there back.

* The journey would be too long.

* The Nazgul on wings would be well warned of there coming by Sauron using the Palantir to view them from afar.

* Some people say that they could not simply 'drop' the Ring into the Fire - it has to be done from the Sammath Naur.


My rebuttals to these would be the following:

* The Eagles are of the same order as Gandalf, and were sent to Middle-earth by Manwe to guard over it in times of need. If there was a chance that they could have done this whilst Middle-earth stood on the brink of destruction I would think they could have helped.

* They were willing to risk arrow-fire when they came to the Black Gate so I cannot see why they would not here as well. Also they would be flying much higher then any Arrow could hope to achieve.

* The Eagles were pretty huge birds. It is said somewhere that in the First Age Thorondor, Lord of Eagles, was 180 feet from wingtip to wingtip. Obviosuly I doubt all were this size, but in any case I doubt a hobbit would be of any hindrance to them.

* They could take the journey in many parts. The only part that no rest could be found n would be from Emyn Muil to the Mountain itself. This is about the same distance the Eagle Lord caried Gandalf from Isengard to Lorien.

* The Nazgul were still unrobed and unhorsed fleeing back to Moprdor from Rivendell when this would take place. The Eagles would quickly overtake them and thus the Nazgul would still be far north and no threat if this did occur.

* Why not drop the Ring? It is a pretty huge hole to miss in the top of the mountain. I see no reason why it could not be dropped. Obviously the Eagles would have to come closer to the mountain but not within bowshot.
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Why didn't the Eagles help out more with the destruction of the Ring - once Gandalf knew what was going on and Gwaihir had saved him from Isengard, Gandalf could've asked him to attend the Council of Elrond and once the decision had been made the Eagles could have flown the Ring all the way to Mount Doom and done away with it? - It would've made things so much easier...

I believe this has already been discussed elsewhere. I remember posting about this matter maybe two or three years ago.

They didn't do that because they weren't allowed by the Valar. It was up to the Free Peoples of Middle-earth to overcome Sauron. Whilst the Istari were sent merely as Guides, the Eagles served another task, as messengers of the Valar.

Direct intervention by the servants of the Valar in Middle-earth was strictly prohibited; this is true for both Istari and Eagles, safe on a few occasions where they were told to act by Manwe - for example Gandalf being lifted from Orthanc, Gandalf being dragged to Lothlorien after his rebirth, the Eagles countering the Nazgul and saving the Hobbitses after the downfall of, Sauron.

From a more practical point of view, there would be hardly any story left if the Eagle Express did all the labour.

From a more cynical point of view, why let the Eagles do all the work if you can make the Free Peoples of Middle-earth suffer terribly?

Yes, a good ordeal is necessary to keep the Peoples fit and on their toes, it stimulates the physical and mental prowess... it's the essence from which heroes and heroines are born. If Arda hadn't been the purgatory it had become, but instead had been a paradise since the beginning, its peoples would've merely changed into an equivalent of H.G. Wells' eloi that appear in The Time Machine : numb, stupid -but happy- walking husks, preyed upon by Morlocks (Morlorcs?), and living empty, useless lives deprived of any excitement whatsoever, filled only with eating, drinking, dancing and lumbering around.

(Why, Hobbits are actually very alike to eloi)

Hence indeed, one should thank the evil powers, for without them there would be no Silmarillion, no LOTR, no heroes and heroines, just boring, unexciting bliss of happiness... and who would want that, eh?
Lord of All, I was thinking on exactly the same lines as you.

But thanks to the immensely vast library of all things Tolkien (in other words Vir) - I now have the answer to why the Eagle's didn't, or more acurately, couldn't help out more... it all makes sense.

Sorry Vir, I didn't know that the topic had been raised before - I scrolled down to the bottom of the page and didn't see any posts regarding eagles, so Bob's your uncle - or whatever his name is - strangle enough I do have an uncle named Bob, but I digress.
See The Eagles under Characters for another discussion about these great birds. Chicken Smilie
THE EAGLES ARE COMMING!
Well grondy do you consider the eagles as chicks judgeing by your smiley? Orc Grinning Smilie
What an insult GrondyBig Laugh Smilie
you aren't going to peck him mellon, are you? Elk Grinning Smilie Chicken Smilie
Moderator Smilie Please, take this inane chatter elsewhere.

This is a solemn thread about the Great Eagles, not a tavern thread nor a chatroom.

Thank you.
A baby Great Eagle is usually called by the more respectful name of 'eaglet' rather than the more plebeian name of 'chick'. I only used that smilie for want of a more majestic one. Sorry
Even now the Americans just as the Romans did, quite honor the eagles. How could one not take a look at them and feel like you are looking at great wisdom from ancient past?
they say 'ignorance is a bliss'.
Like the Romans, Napoleon's troops also had the eagle staves carried as banners at the head of their divisions(?) and it was a great honor for the Englishman who captured one of them.
And of course, there's Sam the Eagle from the Muppet Show, who even exceeded Statler & Waldorf in wisdom and ascerbicness : Sam

Maybe I should change my avatar.
yes, yes you should dear Vir, you should superimpose your own face over a majestic bald-headed eagle.
At the very least put up the eagle, a REAL one dear, not a muppet one. Too felty and fuzzy.
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At the very least put up the eagle, a REAL one dear, not a muppet one. Too felty and fuzzy.
You mean a more realistic one with all those bumps and spikes and scales and horns? Angel Smilie
a question..


why are eagles so "honoured" stil?? they are no more inteligent than most other birds, and are no more "majestic" (other than through 'ledgends') and definatly no more beautiful,

i personally prefer blackbirds and ravens (though is purely for estetic reasons)

Big Smile Smilie

xx
I think because of their size, probably, and because ravens eat carrion. In Celtic mythology ravens are messengers of the gods so you have a good case for them, tho..
In Celtic lore it's the crows, yes, but in Native American stories, and several other cultures, it is the Eagles who are the Messengers of the Gods. I believe (please correct me if I am wrong) that in the East Indies, the eagle is also held in high regard through many stories. In many cultures the eagle has long been the symbol of ultimate freedom, strength, and nobility. They are very large, imposing birds, and it is incredible to see one soaring so far above. In comparison to many smaller birds and thier frantic flight, eagles make flight look so easy, barely moving a wing for almost an hour as they majestically ride the thermals. Also, they are the largest of the predatory birds, and therefore hold the position of 'ruler of the skies' by sheer brute strength.
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They are very large, imposing birds, and it is incredible to see one soaring so far above. In comparison to many smaller birds and thier frantic flight, eagles make flight look so easy, barely moving a wing for almost an hour as they majestically ride the thermals.

The albatros blows away the eagle, then! Though owls are most probably the most fearsome and dominant predatory birds - but I do not like very much their attachment to Harry Potter.

But personally, I think the kingfisher is the most noble bird. Such extravagant colours, such speed at which they dive in and catch fish, such loyalty towards their partners, for never the bond of love between them is broken... for indeed, were Ceyx & Alcyone not the very first kingfishers?
Birds of Paradise hands down. Teacher Smilie