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Gatsby
13-10-2010, 18:42
Why DIDN'T they just fly the great eagles to Mount Doom?

Before someone says they would have been caught or shot down, did you SEE how many of them there were, and it wouldn't be that hard to fly at night and get past any defenses they may have had. plus if you just fly to Gondor, load up all the great eagles with archers and rocks, now you got yourself a nice little air raid, and all you need is to get 9 or so (the ones carrying the main party) past the defenses and you've pretty much skipped the WHOLE defensive ground perimeter of Mordor.

The Satyr
13-10-2010, 19:03
Because practicality and common sense makes for short crappy books/movies.

If they did that it would've probably all been in 1 book and far less exciting then the 50+ battles that happen on their 3 part journey.

(p.s. 50+ is an exaggeration)...

scarletsquig
13-10-2010, 20:02
It's not the first time a parody has been made.

I remember the fighting fantasy book "return to firetop mountain" where the book starts by giving you a taxi ride via giant eagle straight to the mountain. Very subtle reference, but enough to make me smile. :)

Middenmordheimer
13-10-2010, 21:05
well its just not that easy. To start with the eagles are very stubborn creatures who dont really like anything to do with other races gandalf has very rarely even got to us them him self the only reason they prolly helped fror and sam was that he destroyed the one ring. And if they went to gondor to get archers and stuff they wouldnt have made it out as the ring wouuld have curropted every one into taking it.

Plus if there was no story to lord of the rings warhammer would have lost about 60 percent of its characters and fluff lol

Lord Inquisitor
13-10-2010, 21:16
I think the excuse is that anything like that would have been obvious enough that the Eye of Sauron would see it and stop it, the only way was to try and sneak in and be subtle about it.

Gatsby
13-10-2010, 21:38
thats what air raids are, quick and subtle.... until the first few rounds are fired then its anything but subtle. But then it ends almost as quickly, just as soon as they ditch the ring, they get out, i mean with access to great eagles, stubborn or not (i mean in the end they showed up to help, would it have been so hard to get them to lend a few like minded eagles who were willing to take the risk,) you effectively have a SpecOps strike team equipt with little birds (literally.)

And it wouldn't have been any more obvious than the 9 walking to mt doom and stirring up trouble every mile. in fact by the time they got wind of it (even with the eye of sauron) they would probably already be landing at mt doom (and lets face it, legolas would knock out any air power they could send to try and counter them,) and bows from the ground wouldn't have the range to hit them in the air, so ground based def against them would be useless.

It just seems to me that they should have thought through their options more when they were discussing their options..

Lord Inquisitor
13-10-2010, 21:55
(and lets face it, legolas would knock out any air power they could send to try and counter them,)
Well, when their "air power" is probably ringwraiths on fell beasts, no, I don't think he could. So it rather depends on whether you could do it without attracting the Eye. If only there were a way of distracting it...
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yqVD0swvWU)
"Well, that was incredibly easy!"

Higgsy
14-10-2010, 00:23
thats what air raids are, quick and subtle.... until the first few rounds are fired then its anything but subtle. But then it ends almost as quickly, just as soon as they ditch the ring, they get out, i mean with access to great eagles, stubborn or not (i mean in the end they showed up to help, would it have been so hard to get them to lend a few like minded eagles who were willing to take the risk,) you effectively have a SpecOps strike team equipt with little birds (literally.)

And it wouldn't have been any more obvious than the 9 walking to mt doom and stirring up trouble every mile. in fact by the time they got wind of it (even with the eye of sauron) they would probably already be landing at mt doom (and lets face it, legolas would knock out any air power they could send to try and counter them,) and bows from the ground wouldn't have the range to hit them in the air, so ground based def against them would be useless.

It just seems to me that they should have thought through their options more when they were discussing their options..

I don't think the eagles are slaves... They were not an 'option' as such...

Anyway, does it matter? Would you really have preferred the lord of the rings to have panned out like this? You also speak about it as if someone made a terrible decision during some important military operation in real life... The sequence of events in the lord of the rings never happened... :p

lotrchampion
14-10-2010, 00:28
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c35/zdodgyjam/mordor_defcon.png

:)

Whitwort Stormbringer
14-10-2010, 00:37
In reality, flying overhead and just dropping the ring into the crack of Doom would either require

a) precision timing, and they couldn't really risk dropping the ring and having it land on the side of Mt. Doom, where Sauron would definitely get his hands on it,

or b) flying very, very low, pretty close to the opening to the volcano, which would likely give Sauron ample time to get archers on the mountain-face and shoot them down. He'd definitely see them coming from some distance, and Mordor is a lot bigger than it seems in the movies (in fact, all of Middle-Earth is bigger than the impression you get from watching the movies).

However, if they were able to work out the physics of it and the eagles would agree, then yeah, that would have made more sense.

That said, perhaps being intelligent animals, they would have been susceptible to the ring's influence just as the other intelligent races were, and that's why Gandalf never brought it up in the first place. Entirely hypothetical, but it's a possibility.

And even if the eagles were willing, I think that fending off the 9 on fell beasts would be more than the Fellowship were a match for. Gandalf took on several (maybe all?) of them on foot, and Aragorn fended off the 5 at Weathertop, but in both cases being on foot allowed the good guys to stay close together and avoid being picked off or seperated (mostly, Frodo still got stabbed). In flight, the wraiths could probably isolate the weaker members and easily overwhelm them. The fact that Frodo was carrying the ring would have made him that much easier for the wraiths to target.


"Well, that was incredibly easy!"

"Can you imagine what it would be like if we had walked the entire way?"

"One of us might have died!"

Verm1s
14-10-2010, 02:07
Family Guy has no good points. Unless it's to inspire good episodes of South Park...

Tolkien was sent preliminary scripts from the animated movies Ralph Bakshi was producing, way back when. They featured the eagles giving the Fellowship a lift for long parts of the way, at least to the gates of Moria. Tolkien shot them down. (pun shamelessly intended) It turned the eagles into some form of Deus Ex Machina (well, more than usual) and cut out too much of the journey, adventures, and reasons for a tiny band of nine sneaking out from Rivendell on foot at night and not flying about on giant eagles so every spy of Sauron and Saruman would notice you in two minutes flat thanks very much.

Gatsby
14-10-2010, 04:18
So long as the moon is not full you would be FAR less noticeable flying high and even if you were noticed your to high for them to hit you with arrows (and dropping the ring into the volcano from the air wouldn't be THAT hard with some practice,) helicopters make a lot more noise than birds, and those are used to get past modern perimeters undetected, you just gotta be smart about it.

While yes the eagles do become Deus Ex Machina, it also saves the elves from dying to a man at Helms Deep (yes they die epicly, but they didn't have to) it stops the final battle where tons of people die who again, didn't have to.

Just seems to me that they should have sat there at their council for 5 more minutes and thought through ALL their options.

and for the record, Family Guy has TONS of good points and ideas, I never would have gotten my car to fly if they hadn't told me to fill it with jet fuel.

edit: im not saying that the great eagles are like slaves, but they seem to have some intelligence as they knew when Gandalf needed help, and when they needed help during the last battle.

Khamul
14-10-2010, 04:24
As much as the fellowship might have preferred the airbourne option, I think that the Lord of the Rings trilogy wouldn't have been quite so interesting had the hobbits flown to mordor. Plus they probably would have been shot down over the Mountains of Shadow by nine sniggering Black Dart wielding Ringwraiths!!! Not even Legolas could manage more than two with nothing but a bow.
"Family Guy has no good points. Unless it's to inspire good episodes of South Park..." Yup. And provide the world with stupidity on weeknights from 7.

-Grimgorironhide-
14-10-2010, 05:36
While yes the eagles do become Deus Ex Machina, it also saves the elves from dying to a man at Helms Deep (yes they die epicly, but they didn't have to) it stops the final battle where tons of people die who again, didn't have to.

Just thought i'd point out that the elves fighting at helms deep never actually happened in the books, those scenes were film only.

cheers:)

Gatsby
14-10-2010, 05:56
Just thought i'd point out that the elves fighting at helms deep never actually happened in the books, those scenes were film only.

cheers:)

but it was just SO epic.

ForgottenLore
14-10-2010, 08:21
Just thought i'd point out that the elves fighting at helms deep never actually happened in the books, those scenes were film only.

cheers:)

No, in the books elves don't join Aragorn and Theoden till just after Helm's Deep.

I believe that Gwaihir mentions somewhere in the books that he was only able to carry Gandalf for a limited distance, so if you factor in the eagles needing to land and rest it may not have been that much faster or safer, not to mention the fact that they had no way to contact the eagles, in the books it is pretty much random chance when Gwaihir shows up.

Yeah, if they had a cell phone number for Gwaihir during the council at Rivendell I think they would have considered the option, but they didn't.

DeadInTheHead
14-10-2010, 10:50
No, in the books elves don't join Aragorn and Theoden till just after Helm's Deep.


Just to correct that slightly, they're joined by the Dunedain, rather than elves. Although the sons of Elrond are 3/4 elvish I guess :D

As for the what's being discussed: it is just a hole in an excellent book, when pitting the work of one man against the scrutiny of millions of readers, holes will come out.

Much in the same way that when millions of people watch Family Guy, every now and again someone spots an attempt at humour. :p

StormCrow
14-10-2010, 13:46
It's already been mentioned but the main thing most people forget is that the ring corrupts absolutely, so who would risk giving it to the eagles if they may well fly off with it? Would be most embarrassing for all involved

EffCee
14-10-2010, 15:35
Saruman could have easily summoned a storm to knock the eagles about and any riders off them once his spies passed on to him what the fellowship were up to.

Jedi152
14-10-2010, 15:37
Basically because it would have made the story boring. It's not real life, it's a story.

Zond
14-10-2010, 16:46
Aside from the logistical and storyline problems mentioned, there's a spiritual aspect that usually seems to be forgotten.

By the Third Age, there seems to be a consensus or edict passed around the Valar that interference is bad and it's time for the races, mankind especially, to live or die by their own strength. I forget where it's mentioned, and I can't be bothered checking. The eagles in Lord of the Rings are angelic spirits in a specific form, much like Gandalf. Manwe, the Valar has a great affinity with the winds and the air, and the eagles are his creation. It doesn't take much to put two and two together and realise that although they might save Gandalf (essentially their brother) and appear at the end once the Free Peoples of Middle Earth had proved themselves, the eagles are more or less going to obey the big man upstairs. And after Manwe bends the rules and sends Gandalf back in a more powerful form to be the direct opposition to Sauron, there's even less chance they're going to help.

So it's a logistical, storyline and a political problem. :P

C-Coen
14-10-2010, 18:24
I think that, like other intelligent creatures in LotR, the eagles didn't want to have anything to do with the Ring. Just like Gandalf and Galadriel rejected it, they may simply have wanted to stay away from such a corrupting thing. And when you ask them to fly to Mordor, they'll most certainly wonder why.
Besides, it seems they only like to transport people to save them, when in dire need. Even though saving the world is a nice thing, there's another way of doing it (like they did do it in the books/movies), and for such mighty and possibly very old creatures, this temporarily peace may not seem all that important. Tom Bombadil was so old that he had seen it all, and the extreme power of the Ring was so amazing to him that.. he would probably forget it or throw it away. That's how much he cared now, so to speak. Same may go for the eagles.

Whitwort Stormbringer
14-10-2010, 19:22
So long as the moon is not full you would be FAR less noticeable flying high and even if you were noticed your to high for them to hit you with arrows (and dropping the ring into the volcano from the air wouldn't be THAT hard with some practice,) helicopters make a lot more noise than birds, and those are used to get past modern perimeters undetected, you just gotta be smart about it.

Haha, when and where would they practice dropping the ring into Mt. Doom from the back of a flying eagle?

That aside, comparisons to modern tech don't make a whole lotta sense - even though eagles would be stealthier than helicopters, Sauron would likely still see them.

Morathi's Darkest Sin
14-10-2010, 19:33
My view is a slightly different twist on the whole 'why didn't they fly the ring to the top' and going back to the start.

Why in the heck did Sauron have the ring outside the armour, why didn't he have it stitched to his chest or something.

Obviously the same answer applies, the story needs it to be there.. yadda yadda, but seriously, as a villian he fethed up big time.

Lord Inquisitor
14-10-2010, 19:35
Uh, presumably because it's a magical ring and needed to be worn on a finger to work.

I guess if he'd forged the one ankle bracelet it'd have been a different matter.

Morathi's Darkest Sin
14-10-2010, 19:43
The story always gave the impression to me he didn't need to wear it at all for some reason.

Still should have been under the armour mind.

Gatsby
14-10-2010, 20:21
Haha, when and where would they practice dropping the ring into Mt. Doom from the back of a flying eagle?

That aside, comparisons to modern tech don't make a whole lotta sense - even though eagles would be stealthier than helicopters, Sauron would likely still see them.

there are lots of rocks about the same weight. And Saurons about as likely to see them if they fly as he would should they walk and alert every single orc and goblin along the way... oh wait, they did and he did.

Although i probably would have just stuck feathers to Frodo, put the ring on him, and dropped him into Mt. Doom. He'd be like a ghetto version of a stealth guided missile at that point.

ForgottenLore
15-10-2010, 04:24
That is what I wonder about. Did Gandalf honestly expect Frodo to be able to let go of the Ring even if he made it to the volcano? If Gandalf hadn't fallen in Moria and had continued on to Mordor with Frodo, what was his plan? Was he going to push Frodo over the side? Take the ring from him and throw it away himself? Was he just winging it, "Oh, we'll take this massively powerful artifact into the heart of the enemy's domain where it CAN be destroyed, but no one will be willing to do so by then, and hope that something presents itself."

Dakkagor
15-10-2010, 09:12
I always got the impression that the council of rivendale was really clutching at straws when they realised exactly what had been uncovered. 'winging it' was pretty much all that was left to them, especially as the elves where naffing off.

C-Coen
15-10-2010, 09:40
Why in the heck did Sauron have the ring outside the armour, why didn't he have it stitched to his chest or something.
Does it say in the books that he wore the Ring that way? It's probably just the movie giving that impression. I believe the books only mention that Isildur cut a (yes, only 1) finger from Sauron (Gollum also mentions the 4-fingered hand), to obtain his Ring. Note that this was done when Sauron was lying on the ground, pretty much 'killed' by Gil-galad and Elendil. Indeed, the movie scene gives Isildur way too much credit. Anyway, it doesn't even make sense to have him wear the Ring outside his armour, but not because it's not safe, but because he doesn't actually wear it when it's like that, right? And..


The story always gave the impression to me he didn't need to wear it at all for some reason.
I think he would have to wear it in order to work. Having the Ring near him didn't make Frodo invisible, right? Not having the Ring didn't give Sauron all his power, did it? Of course not, it's a ring because it should be worn as such, in order to work.

So in short, he most probably did wear it directly on his skin. Whether armour was covering it is not known, though Sauron, in all his arrogance, may have thought he didn't need to wear armour (or at least there) because he was almighty now. He may also have wanted to show his bling around 'look what I've got, my Ring is so much better then yours'. After all, it was the source of his new power.

Jedi152
15-10-2010, 12:30
Sauron clearly needs to wear the ring in the film - when it's cut from his hand, he loses his power and dies, or something.

Grimmeth
15-10-2010, 14:07
Haha, when and where would they practice dropping the ring into Mt. Doom from the back of a flying eagle?


By Bullseying Wamp Rats on Tatooine?

Lord Inquisitor
15-10-2010, 20:20
That's it. If they'd just flown in and destroyed the ring in the first movie, then Sauron would only have built a larger and more powerful Death Ring by the third film.

Verm1s
16-10-2010, 00:44
there are lots of rocks about the same weight.

Blinkin' Nora. NASA must be breaking your door down. Maybe they could've stopped over at the Morannon and strolled around for an afternoon, looking for the right stones while Gandalf sat down and scratched trajectory equations in the ash.

Maybe they could've spent a year or so developing a special bomb casing for the ring, that'd bounce up the side of Mount Doom and into the crater. They could test each version (each holding a perfectly weighted stone, of course) by having the eagles fly it down to Gondor, then being dead sneaky and flying round to the south so they can hide from Sauron's big lighthouse-eye behind the volcano itself.

Dead simple to us big-brained people in RL 21st century, innit?


And Saurons about as likely to see them if they fly as he would should they walk and alert every single orc and goblin along the way... oh wait, they did and he did.

You don't realise just how far and wide Sauron's spies (everything from birds to orc-men) had spread, by the time the Fellowship set out. Even the flippin' Ringwraiths themselves turned up in Hobbiton three months before that! Nowhere was safe, except Rivendell and Lorien, and those were watched.
So it was a desperate task with little chance of success. Despite their small, secretive band, the Fellowship had very good fortune to avoid or keep ahead of Sauron's forces, as far as the Anduin and Amon Hen. (IMO that was the first attack where Sauron himself had any idea of their whereabouts) But how much further d'you think they would've got with a bunch of giant birds with 30-40' wingspans? That would've 'alerted every single' agent of Mordor for miles, on day one. Would James Coburn have got over the Pyrenees into Spain a lot easier if he had a squadron of Lancasters, instead of creeping around with the French Resistance?


That's it. If they'd just flown in and destroyed the ring in the first movie, then Sauron would only have built a larger and more powerful Death Ring by the third film.

:p :D

wilsongrahams
16-10-2010, 21:27
It was quoted on page 1, but I believe the 'official' version Tolkien gave in a letter somewhere (it's in a book I read years ago between him and editors and fans etc) was that the ring would have corrupted the Eagles too easily, being on their wavelength as members of the older powers - not quite Maia like Gandalf is though.

Also, without all thw War of the ring etc, Mordor would have been far more deadly - and the Eagles never passed the Black Gate until AFTER Barad Dur had fallen and the Ringwraiths fled - before then they were fighting with them but not exactly winning. I also imagine Sauron - whom was a powerful spirit without physical form, not a lighthouse remember, could have defeated the Eagles in his own land - at the time of the end of the third age he was even more powerful than when he was known as the Necromancer.

Verm1s
17-10-2010, 01:23
a powerful spirit without physical form, not a lighthouse remember

I do, don't worry. ;)

Not a word to the elf.
18-10-2010, 00:59
Basically because it would have made the story boring. It's not real life, it's a story.

Exactly, and if the ring had been destroyed in the first book 90% of the lord of the rings armies wouldn't have shown up.

Aladin_sane
18-10-2010, 01:04
Urgh.. this is why I sometimes have a problem with the Peter Jackson films, marvellous as they are. They tend to blur the depth of which Tolkien reaches in the books and reflect badly (Witch King breaking Gandalf's staff anyone?). As a few people have pointed out, the eagles were not a tool that the council didn't think to use, they were a stubborn and near demi-god race. Someone mentioned a few posts up that towards the end of the third age the Valar and such things, distanced themselves from Middle Earth as men were to inherit the earth (seems they needed to earn it first). This is why the Gwahir didn't actively take part and why many other things didn't happen.

On another note, say your special ops eagle mounted fellowship does reach Mordor, wouldn't it have been equally as plausible for eagle mounted Frodo to get shot down and leave the ring right in the open for Sauron. I'm not saying Sauron had anti-avian guns, but there would have been an obvious risk in flying straight into Mordor on 40 feet wingspan eagles.

Lord Inquisitor
18-10-2010, 01:07
I'm not saying Sauron had anti-avian guns
Heh heh, good one...

Iracundus
18-10-2010, 01:26
On another note, say your special ops eagle mounted fellowship does reach Mordor, wouldn't it have been equally as plausible for eagle mounted Frodo to get shot down and leave the ring right in the open for Sauron. I'm not saying Sauron had anti-avian guns, but there would have been an obvious risk in flying straight into Mordor on 40 feet wingspan eagles.

We don't know the endurance of the eagles so we don't know whether they could have made a long distance trip carrying such weight.

We also know many creatures had been subverted by Sauron and were feeding information back to him. A long distance eagle flight would surely be noticed by some spies along the way in time for Sauron himself to see or be aware of them and scramble the Nine on their own flying beasts. In an ensuing fight, they don't even need to win against the eagles, just knock Frodo or the Ring off (or they fall in the dogfight acrobatics).

Hellebore
18-10-2010, 05:20
They didn't need to fly from the getgo, they could have flown from Gondor or something. The eagles reach Frodo and Sam pretty quickly in the story when Gandalf goes to rescue them, so it obviously wouldn't have taken very long for the eagles to take Frodo to Mt Doom.

Also, if the eagles fly them earlier as well, they reduce the amount of time Frodo is affected by the ring. By shortening the journey the ring's influence is shortened as well. Boromir may have survived the ring's influence in that case.

As for using the eagles making the story dodgy, I think people are looking at it in the wrong way. The existence of the eagles makes the story dodgy. Their existence is a deus ex machina, using them is not. Using them is a sensible use of resources so not using them comes across as silly.

If a story requires an event to occur and previously you wrote something into the story that can affect that event and you DON'T use it, it looks contrived. Unless there is a reason for it not happening, it's just poor story telling. It also has to be a good reason too, not just another contrivance to remove said advantage from the story.

An analogy would be the Rebel Alliance possessing a remote detonator for the Death Star, but fighting a massive and expensive war to destroy it by hand instead of using something that already existed in the setting.

Hellebore

Aladin_sane
18-10-2010, 09:17
Iracundus, that's basically what I was saying...

IllidanStormrage
18-10-2010, 11:54
The ring would have made gwhir or any other eagle mad. And even if they did the nazgul would get them.

Iracundus
18-10-2010, 14:41
They didn't need to fly from the getgo, they could have flown from Gondor or something. The eagles reach Frodo and Sam pretty quickly in the story when Gandalf goes to rescue them, so it obviously wouldn't have taken very long for the eagles to take Frodo to Mt Doom.

Also, if the eagles fly them earlier as well, they reduce the amount of time Frodo is affected by the ring. By shortening the journey the ring's influence is shortened as well. Boromir may have survived the ring's influence in that case.


I think the mistake is in treating the eagles as if they were an air force that would be subject to the orders of Gondor (or the Fellowship in general). The eagles may have very well thought the conflict not a direct concern of themselves, in much the same way that a lot of the unaligned Men of Middle Earth living in small villages were not directly involved in either aiding or fighting against Sauron. The aid they give appears more aid rendered as personal favor to Gandalf who is really an angelic spirit, rather than aid given to the ideological cause of Gondor or fighting Sauron.

Also we don't know the effect of the Ring on the intelligent eagles. The Ring in particular seems to have greater temptation on the more innately powerful, hence why Gandalf never touches it. It is also known that the Ring grew more powerful the closer it got to Mount Doom and was at the height of its power right before it was destroyed, so its corrupting influence may have grown and tipped things over as they got closer to Mordor.

Ultimately the theme of Sauron was he failed due his focus on fighting a big war and the big picture, and imagining that his opponents would be thinking similarly to him. He may well have been prepared for "air strikes" even if not directly for a Ring bombing run. It was always hinted that no matter how hard Gondor and Rohan fought, they could not prevail against Sauron using force or conventional tactics, which again might include air force tactics.

Mike3791
18-10-2010, 20:12
The air raid would be impossible. Not only would the eagles be shot down by arrows and bolt throwers, but they would have to engage the Nazghuls in ariel combat too. Attacking at night wouldn't matter as pretty much all evil forces can see in the dark anyways.

Archers on eagles are impractable because:
1) not a lot of people can fit on the eagle for it to be effective
2) a lot of human/elven archers would put more weight on the eagles, making them slower and tire quicker. Adding stones to the eagles and they probably wouldn't be able to fly lol

Also I don't think there would be enough eagles in middle earth to form an effective air raid.

Oh yea, and most importantly the forces of evil would only have to kill the eagle carrying the ring bearer and its game over. Once that eagle dies it will fall into the heart of Mordor and the ring will be instantly lost to Sauron.

Nocculum
19-10-2010, 10:35
Perhaps in the final run up to the finale, the eagles had already been corrupted by Sauron, and only came to help again once the Ring had been destroyed?

Erealis
19-10-2010, 13:58
The Nazgul on there flying steeds could have stopped them from dropping it into the fire.

Hellebore
20-10-2010, 08:18
I think the mistake is in treating the eagles as if they were an air force that would be subject to the orders of Gondor (or the Fellowship in general). The eagles may have very well thought the conflict not a direct concern of themselves, in much the same way that a lot of the unaligned Men of Middle Earth living in small villages were not directly involved in either aiding or fighting against Sauron. The aid they give appears more aid rendered as personal favor to Gandalf who is really an angelic spirit, rather than aid given to the ideological cause of Gondor or fighting Sauron.


Well if Gandalf can convince the king of eagles to save 13 dwarves and a hobbit from trees because they were about to be burnt down and then eaten by goblins/wargs, and later convince Gwahir to save him from a powerful angelic figure (the equivalent to Sauron technically anyway) who had colluded with Sauron through the use of the potent Palantiri, I don't see why acting as a taxi to drop the ring into mt Doom is unreasonable.

They could have flown at an altitude of several thousand feet to avoid detection (above cloud level) and be out of range of mundane attacks leaving only the nazghul (which I was under the impression didn't actually get fellbeasts until much later - it didn't seem as though they were just sitting there in the garage for the Nazghul to drive on weekends). Then swoop down to the volcano and toss the ring in.

Then there is the fact that without prompting (afaik) they simply show up at the black gate and fight the Nazghul head on because...why exactly? They also showed up at the battle of five armies at the lonely mountain for the lolz too. If they were prepared to do that, then they'd be prepared to fly at altitude to dive bomb into Mordor where they MIGHT be attacked by Nazghuls as it's far less dangerous.

So in my opinion their behaviour as depicted by Tolkien really doesn't gel with the idea that they were above the squabbles of mortals or that they didn't care or wouldn't do things to help others. Especially considering that they showed up several times without being asked, aiding those in plight.

Gandalf spends months next to the ring and never takes it, the eagles could have spent a few hours doing the same.

Hellebore

DeadInTheHead
20-10-2010, 09:57
Hi Hellbore, some interesting arguments that have made me write a lengthy post. I don't want this to seem like me "having a go", just continuing the discussion.


Well if Gandalf can convince the king of eagles to save 13 dwarves and a hobbit from trees because they were about to be burnt down and then eaten by goblins/wargs, and later convince Gwahir to save him from a powerful angelic figure (the equivalent to Sauron technically anyway) who had colluded with Sauron through the use of the potent Palantiri, I don't see why acting as a taxi to drop the ring into mt Doom is unreasonable.

Not sure if these situations are comparable with flying the Ring to Mordor. In the first instance, it is explained that the eagles aren't evil and so they wouldn't need much convincing that it would be a good act to rescue the party from the goblins. With a rapport established, it's not much of a stretch for an eagle to decide to rescue Gandalf from Orthanc. The eagle then states that he could only bear Gandalf a short distance and that is how he ends up in Rohan - possibly that one statement is all we need to establish why the Ring could not be flown to Mount Doom.


They could have flown at an altitude of several thousand feet to avoid detection (above cloud level) and be out of range of mundane attacks leaving only the nazghul (which I was under the impression didn't actually get fellbeasts until much later - it didn't seem as though they were just sitting there in the garage for the Nazghul to drive on weekends). Then swoop down to the volcano and toss the ring in.

Sauron had many birds and beasts in his service, a troop of eagles swooping about Middle Earth (because they probably would not have been able to have covered the journey in one trip with passengers) would have been spotted well before they got anywhere near Mordor. Bearing in mind that the Nazgul probably had lots of spare mounts that could have been ridden by others or just goaded into battle, the aerial defence would be quite significant, and I don't think the eagles would be able to fight and carry passengers as well. And as there is a tunnel to get to the actual cracks of doom (a distinct area within the volcano), passengers would be needed to do the actual throwing of the ring.

The Nazgul's beasts were not revealed until much later in the story, they're something that Sauron wanted to hold back until total war was unleashed. If he thought the eagles were swooping in to Mordor I think he would have got them out earlier. It could be argued that if the forces of good did not know about the existence of the flying mounts they would not have had an argument for not trying to fly the ring in, but if they weren't sure what defences Mordor had they wouldn't want to take the risk.


Then there is the fact that without prompting (afaik) they simply show up at the black gate and fight the Nazghul head on because...why exactly? They also showed up at the battle of five armies at the lonely mountain for the lolz too. If they were prepared to do that, then they'd be prepared to fly at altitude to dive bomb into Mordor where they MIGHT be attacked by Nazghuls as it's far less dangerous.

Although I don't like the way you make your point, I do agree slightly with this. I don't think that they would have refused to take the ring out of self-preservation, but because losing the Ring might have been too risky. This is the plot hole, as walking the ring into Mordor isn't exactly risk-free either. I suppose the defence of Tolkien would involve saying that maybe walking the ring would lessen the risk of detection, but that argument doesn't really cut it for me.


So in my opinion their behaviour as depicted by Tolkien really doesn't gel with the idea that they were above the squabbles of mortals or that they didn't care or wouldn't do things to help others. Especially considering that they showed up several times without being asked, aiding those in plight.

Gandalf spends months next to the ring and never takes it, the eagles could have spent a few hours doing the same.

Hellebore

As I said in an earlier post, when pitting the imagination of one man against the scrutiny of millions of people, plot-holes will be found; it's a shame if you let that spoil your entertainment. If you don't find the book entertaining then that's another matter entirely.

As an aside, it would be Deus ex machina if the eagles had come in from nowhere and taken the ring to Mordor and destroyed it - the end. As their existence breaks the book for you rather than fixes it, I'd say they're more a MacGuffin ;)

Hellebore
20-10-2010, 10:06
Probably. It's not that they break the book so much, I was simply countering what others had said to justify why it didn't happen.

I personally like the Hobbit more. It had more condensed story and wasn't (IMO) as dry.

Basically, by creating the eagles ahead of time and not using them (or rather using them for relatively pointless scenes) it becomes a tad contrived. Tolkien wasn't above that though, at one point Legolas' arrows mysteriously ended up in a pile for him to collect so he didn't run out...:shifty:

All the story needed was some intrinsic reason why the eagles couldn't do it, rather than after the fact justifications. It wouldn't be easy, as Bilbo had the ring at the time he was rescued by the eagles in the Hobbit, so they clearly aren't super susceptible to it (although it wasn't as powerful as it is in LotR).

Hellebore

DeadInTheHead
20-10-2010, 10:14
Yes, I agree that all the book needed was something like this:

Glorfindel: "the eagles could fly the ring to Mordor"

Gandalf: "no, because the ring would become to heavy for them to bear as soon they crossed into Mordor" or some other (better) reason to that effect.

As you can probably tell, I *heart* LOTR; but I would never say it was perfect.

Hellebore
20-10-2010, 10:16
I don't know enough about the background never having read the Silmarillion, but perhaps the origins of the eagles could have been where the incompatability lay.

Hellebore

Bookwrak
20-10-2010, 18:14
They could have flown at an altitude of several thousand feet to avoid detection (above cloud level) and be out of range of mundane attacks leaving only the nazghul (which I was under the impression didn't actually get fellbeasts until much later - it didn't seem as though they were just sitting there in the garage for the Nazghul to drive on weekends). Then swoop down to the volcano and toss the ring in.

These are giant eagles, not jet-fighters. It takes a lot of energy to get that high, and stay up there. Which means you need to stop and rest more frequently. Which means coming down for pit stops in the middle or MOrdor. And while they might be out of eyesight, there's no telling what acuity the giant flaming eye with the affinity for the ring can detect, and you're going in be SOL if it's high cloud cover, or a cloudless day.

This issue has always been a 'plot hole' for people determined to make it one, but never has amounted to anything.

Hellebore
21-10-2010, 01:59
These are giant eagles, not jet-fighters. It takes a lot of energy to get that high, and stay up there. Which means you need to stop and rest more frequently. Which means coming down for pit stops in the middle or MOrdor. And while they might be out of eyesight, there's no telling what acuity the giant flaming eye with the affinity for the ring can detect, and you're going in be SOL if it's high cloud cover, or a cloudless day.


The eagles flew 13 dwarves, 1 hobbit and a wizard up to their aeries in the mountains on a cold night. Predatory birds use thermals to circle up (with little effort on their part) and then they drift down, effectively using trajectory flight to travel long distances with little effort.



This issue has always been a 'plot hole' for people determined to make it one, but never has amounted to anything.

And I could say 'this issue has never been a plot hole for people determined not to make it one'.

It is an obvious conclusion based on evidence. Denying it doesn't make it true. I'm sure there was a rational reason for Legolas' arrows to pile up neatly after use too. Tolkien wasn't the greatest writer of all time. I detest cults of personality where they can do no wrong. Joss Whedon has a similar one.



Hellebore

canucklhead
21-10-2010, 03:32
I'll only say this, and as always, this is only my take on it.

The Great eagles are significantly tied to Manwe and are almost spirits or Lords of the air, (essentially the greatest creatures of the air who were not evil). As such, they would help creatures who they perceived as good, if they could.

There is a bit of a catch though. Manwe was loath to interfere in the affairs of middle earth, preferring to wait until the peoples there came to a point where they had comitted to a course of action, and then lending what aid he could.

This falls under the "God helps those who help themselves" concept. If the Eagles had flown the ring and dropped it into the fire, then perhaps middle earth would have had victory, but a hollow one. No lesson to be learned by man, no struggle to temper the character of those who would go on to build middle earths kingdoms, and no memory of the struggle against evil that almost consumed all of them.

Once the fight had come to it, once the free peoples had set themselves to fight, even in the face of hopeless odds, to give two little hobbits a chance to make things right, then manwe would have lent his power to tip the scales, and bring to safety those who had risked everything.

Whitwort Stormbringer
21-10-2010, 04:17
The eagles flew 13 dwarves, 1 hobbit and a wizard up to their aeries in the mountains on a cold night. Predatory birds use thermals to circle up (with little effort on their part) and then they drift down, effectively using trajectory flight to travel long distances with little effort.

Conversely, they cannot both maintain a low-exertion long-distance trajectory flight and:


flown at an altitude of several thousand feet to avoid detection (above cloud level) . . . Then swoop down to the volcano and toss the ring in.

The premise of the trajectory flight is that they're gliding and slowly losing altitude, so it would have to be planned such that they were at the righ altitude when they approached Mt. Doom (assuming they could fly that far without stopping, and assuming they could plan their trajectory that precisely).

Also, I'm not sure why the fell beasts wouldn't have been immediately available for the Nazgul to use, the impression I always got was that they originally went out on horseback for subtlety (something the movie-versions didn't really achieve...), but after their hunt was known, at least to the wise, they went in full-force on their fell beasts.

It was also pointed out elsewhere in this thread, although I can't find the post right now, that the Eagles never crossed into Mordor until after Sauron's defeat. Whether this was simply coincidental, or they actually had placed some restriction on themselves (out of fear of Sauron or whatever other creatures he commanded, or something like that), I'm not sure. But there you have yet another possibility.

And, last of all, even flying at high altitude I don't think they'd escape detection before Sauron could sic the nazgul against them. Maybe, but it seems unlikely to me.
_________________________________________________

On the flipside, I disagree with the notion that the eagles would withold aid just because they're servants of Manwe or similar to maiar. Aside from the examples Hellebore has already pointed out, they also interfere quite often in the Silmarillion; the eagles frequently helped the Noldor and even attacked Morgoth directly at times, despite the fact that the Valar had left the elves to their own devices in that conflict as well.

It does, however, seem to be a trend that the eagles don't show up unless absolutely needed, and even then only after the other good guys are already in quite a bit of immediate physical danger. It's like there's some ridiculous mandate from Manwe that they're only allowed to serve as a rescue/relief force.

Suicide Messiah
21-10-2010, 12:35
I really dont see how this is any more contrived than Glorfindel not joining the fellowship. He could have done everyting that Merry and Pippin did (from what I remember anyway) and would have made the overall journey a lot safer/easier too. Infact I'd say its a lot less contrived. At least you can say that Saurons spies would have seen them much earlier or that the eagles were part of the valar pull out of middle earth. With Glorfindel its just to big up friendship.

Regardless, I think Verm1s summed it up nicely on page 1.


Family Guy has no good points.

Raellos
22-10-2010, 06:39
All this talk makes me want to do Vietnam LoTR. Orc yanks, VC elves...


Now to go all out and give the Orcs choppers or just run with Fellbeasts?

Bookwrak
22-10-2010, 15:04
And I could say 'this issue has never been a plot hole for people determined not to make it one'. You _could_ but that does nothing about the fact that as this thread demonstrates, most of the 'no reason not to use the eagles' posts are either outright silly, or at best, too flimsy to sustain actual scrutiny.

Such as

The eagles flew 13 dwarves, 1 hobbit and a wizard up to their aeries in the mountains on a cold night. Predatory birds use thermals to circle up (with little effort on their part) and then they drift down, effectively using trajectory flight to travel long distances with little effort.


Which is a completely different situation than attempting to sneak a mighty magical maguffin across a barren and hostile country, directly towards a giant flaming searchlight with mystical properties, where you're going to be completely boned if you don't have total low-lying cloud cover.

Wade Wilson
22-10-2010, 15:14
Well, when their "air power" is probably ringwraiths on fell beasts, no, I don't think he could. So it rather depends on whether you could do it without attracting the Eye. If only there were a way of distracting it...
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yqVD0swvWU)
"Well, that was incredibly easy!"

haha, that was fantastic. Thanks for sharing! :D

Col. Tartleton
23-10-2010, 04:05
You _could_ but that does nothing about the fact that as this thread demonstrates, most of the 'no reason not to use the eagles' posts are either outright silly, or at best, too flimsy to sustain actual scrutiny.

Such as


Which is a completely different situation than attempting to sneak a mighty magical maguffin across a barren and hostile country, directly towards a giant flaming searchlight with mystical properties, where you're going to be completely boned if you don't have total low-lying cloud cover.

Sauron didn't have a giant search light eye. That's just how the movie rendered it. Its kind of hard to simulate that "being watched feeling" through cinema. That's all it was. The "unblinking eye of Sauron" is that constant feeling of something hellish being behind you. The scary party being, he really is watching you.

Suicide Messiah
24-10-2010, 15:21
Giant lighthouse or not he would have seen the Eagles coming a mile off.

Gatsby
25-10-2010, 00:28
Giant lighthouse or not he would have seen the Eagles coming a mile off.

everyone says this, but no one gives any examples. We have examples of their walking having alerted EVERYONE, i mean they only awoke everyone in the mines of moria. Saruman knew where they were and sent an army to intercept. so clearly WALKING garnered the attention just as easily, if not easier than flying could have. Flying would have been harder to intercept, made it easier to evade, and they would have arrived MUCH sooner, making it FAR more difficult to mobilize a defense.

Iracundus
25-10-2010, 01:17
One of the reasons why Sauron lost was because he was mistaken about the motivations of the Fellowship. He knew a hobbit/halfling had the Ring, but not which one in particular. He also knew that the heir of Gondor was around. What he thought however was that Aragorn had taken or been given the Ring and was trying to challenge him directly, and the successful defeat of the Witch King's army only seemed to reinforce that impression. Thus his gaze was focused on Gondor and later Aragorn.

At no point did he think they were trying to destroy the Ring, not until Frodo claimed the Ring for himself and was thus seen right at the edge of the fire and lava. Even then, in that short amount of time Sauron was able to conclude their plan and send the Ringwraiths on the way to the mountain to stop Frodo and claim the Ring. They almost made it too. A group of Eagles making a line for Mt. Doom would have revealed their motives to Sauron.

Suicide Messiah
25-10-2010, 12:55
A group of Eagles making a line for Mt. Doom would have revealed their motives to Sauron.

This.

Is apparently not long enough.

BaloOrk
27-10-2010, 01:46
Im surprised noone posted this yet... :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yqVD0swvWU

R-Love
27-10-2010, 02:50
Im surprised noone posted this yet... :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yqVD0swvWU

Somebody did (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5049652&postcount=7) :D

BaloOrk
27-10-2010, 16:11
Somebody did (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5049652&postcount=7) :D

Oh darn! :o

TheTrueSloth
01-11-2010, 07:40
At the end of the day, flying the eagles would have been about as practical as building a huge trebuchet, rolling it up outside the black gate, loading Frodo into it (maybe with a parachute) and then aiming the trajectory toward Mount Doom and hoping for the best. Even better, they could wrap him in elven cloaks to camouflage him (or act as body armour in case he hits the black gate).

What the Elves did was about as practical in "reality" as sending a hobbit into a volcano with a corrupting artifact accompanied initially by a man that couldn't keep his hands off a little person's ring admittedly, but the Eagles idea just wouldn't have worked sadly.

Toodles

jp22102000
01-11-2010, 20:52
Is there a reason that the Elves could not have taken the Ring with them when they left Middle Earth?

ForgottenLore
01-11-2010, 20:56
The Valar would not have allowed it to enter Aman.

xxRavenxx
02-11-2010, 11:45
To add a comment which I think was overlooked (apologies if it wasnt):

The one ring, the thing that makes people go MENTAL for coveting it, being flown past Sauron himself, the apparent big daddy of mind control, plus his 9 flying fear-mongers.

"Hey, lets fly the ring in. Wait, why is the eagle landing in mordor, and bowing before the eye?... Aww crap."

Alternative:

"Hey, lets fly the ring in. Hey, what are those huge bats doing flying straight at us?... Aww crap."

Alternative:

"Hey, lets fly the ring in. Hey why has the eagle stolen the ring and thrown us off towards the cold hard ground... Aww crap."


I could come up with slightly tenuous reasons it wouldnt work all day :)

Bassik
04-11-2010, 11:29
Wasn't Sauron supposed to believe the Ring went to Minas Tirith, so Frodo could sneak past the majority of the Orks? Orks with bows, supported by evil spirits on flying monsters and an evil wizard with his own army and spies? You know, things that could take down a big eagle without any effort?

Pitalla Crimson
09-11-2010, 15:38
Wasn't Sauron supposed to believe the Ring went to Minas Tirith, so Frodo could sneak past the majority of the Orks? Orks with bows, supported by evil spirits on flying monsters and an evil wizard with his own army and spies? You know, things that could take down a big eagle without any effort?

Orks with trukks, dakkas, slash gitz and stompas! Its no easy taslk yeh kow.

Logarithm Udgaur
12-11-2010, 06:34
From what I remember, Sauron needed the ring to maintain corporeal form. Coupled with this was his influence over the young races (even the elves are young to Sauron) which also helped him exert his will over Middle Earth, more so than being a lidless, all seeing eye.

Promethius
16-11-2010, 18:05
Aside from the logistical and storyline problems mentioned, there's a spiritual aspect that usually seems to be forgotten.

By the Third Age, there seems to be a consensus or edict passed around the Valar that interference is bad and it's time for the races, mankind especially, to live or die by their own strength. I forget where it's mentioned, and I can't be bothered checking. The eagles in Lord of the Rings are angelic spirits in a specific form, much like Gandalf. Manwe, the Valar has a great affinity with the winds and the air, and the eagles are his creation. It doesn't take much to put two and two together and realise that although they might save Gandalf (essentially their brother) and appear at the end once the Free Peoples of Middle Earth had proved themselves, the eagles are more or less going to obey the big man upstairs. And after Manwe bends the rules and sends Gandalf back in a more powerful form to be the direct opposition to Sauron, there's even less chance they're going to help.

So it's a logistical, storyline and a political problem. :P

This is essentially what I was going to say. The films miss this out completely, in part through rubbish like adding the elves into helms deep, but there was a strong theme in the book that the younger races were going to be left to their own devices. It was up to them to stop sauron, and in general the elves/eagles whatever were not going to get involved directly. The different classes of angels or spirits is a theme that explains exactly why something like the balrog was such a threat to ordinary men/dwarves wheras back in the ages of the silmarillion, some of the great heroes used to kill tens of them at a time.

I would also argue that sauron valued the ring so much that it never occured to him that anyone would want to destroy it. Aragorn uses the palantir specifically to draw sauron's attention to him and focus his efforts on minas tirith so that frodo has a chance to sneak in unexpectedly. Eagle attack force would scupper that.

Not to mention that the eagles, whilst essentially good, much like the dwarves are not really interested in the events of men. They would probably help out if it isn't much effort, like with bilbo and the dwarves, or if it is directly in their interests, like the orc migration in the battle of five armies, but in general they aren't interested in sitting on the council or participating until their hand is pushed (or wing, whatever).

RMacDeezy
21-11-2010, 16:53
sauron could control the weather of mordor.

"oh, the crafty fellowship is trying to fly my ring to mount doom, eh? well, i'll just summon a howling gale with 200mph winds. all i have to do is force them to within 200m of the ground and have my oafish minions shoot them down, which i know they can do because they've shot that pesky gwaihir down before. what a terrible idea on their part, eh witch-king?"
"yes, milord, terrible idea. and uzgab wasn't even that good of a shot either."
"no, i daresay he wasn't!"
both break into howls of maniacal laughter.
"more tea, milord?"

Whitwort Stormbringer
22-11-2010, 04:07
Sauron was able to conjure up cloud cover for his army as he sent them to Minas Tirith, but I never took that as evidence that he had solid control over the weather in Mordor, certainly not to the extent of creating gale-force winds and/or thunderstorms anyways.

I did enjoy your dialogue a lot, though! And you bring up a good point. Through dense cloud-cover he could essentially force them to fly blind or fly lower to the ground.

Grey Mage
24-11-2010, 08:14
I dunno, all things considered I would have atleast asked to hitch a ride down to gondor.

The Inevitable One
25-11-2010, 09:16
The reason for not getting on a giant eagle and flying all the way there was probably due to the fact that the Nazgul riding Felbeasts were probably waiting at the other end to take them down. They all would go for the one with Frodo riding on top of it.

So...

Electromancer
25-11-2010, 22:33
well i think the whole eagle thing has been quashed with a lot of in depth knowledge (which i didn't actually know before reading this thread). So....what about a giant catapult?

RMacDeezy
27-11-2010, 13:22
well i think the whole eagle thing has been quashed with a lot of in depth knowledge (which i didn't actually know before reading this thread). So....what about a giant catapult?

problem #1 is finding a volunteer. carrying the ring to mordor is one thing, volunteering to be ammo for a giant trebuchet is quite different. and mount doom is roughly 75 miles or so from the black gate, thats gonna be a BIG trebuchet.

Codsticker
27-11-2010, 15:46
Silly thread is silly. :) Closed.

Codsticker

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