Lord of the Rings – The Lore (and Laws) of The Eagles Explained

Okay. This has been sparked many times over my life of being a self-confessed Lord of the Rings nerd. My friends, who watch Lord of the Rings for the first time (I know, it’s truly disgraceful isn’t it?), always think they’re incredibly clever and ask me smugly “why didn’t Frodo and Sam just ride the eagles into Mordor?”. They then take my inability to answer as a victory. Yet this is not the case. The reason for my inarticulateness is that fully explaining why the eagles did not help would involve delving into the actual Lore of Lord of the Rings, going all the way back to The Silmarillion, and then explaining it to my friends in some condensed way that their inexplicably useless brains would understand (when I say useless, I mean useless at understanding Lord of the Rings… heh, awkward). As I find it easier to write things than actually say them, I decided I’d do a blog post about it in some vain attempt to make them understand.

So it begins:

In The Silmarillion (basically the history of Middle-earth), Tolkien – and his son, Chris – mentioned that the eagles were in fact Maiar incarnated as large birds (Maiar being lesser Gods, or Angels, if you prefer). Therefore, they are servants of Manwë, the King of Valar (who is basically an archangel). As they are servants, they obey Manwë, and Manwë only. Gods are always depicted as rulers, who tend to survey mortals and let them solve their problems. Imagine that eagles are the sort of pompous person, who basically flat-out refuses to get involved in anything, unless they’re either feeling really nice, or are commanded to do so by a higher authority. The only reason that the eagles save Frodo and Sam at the end of the Lord of the Rings is because the One Ring has been destroyed, so the eagles seem almost to ‘reward’ Frodo and Sam for their victory by carrying them away to safety. Eagles also have an extreme hatred of Orcs and Wargs, which would explain why they attacked and saved Thorin and his Company in The Hobbit. As for why they save Gandalf in Lord of the Rings…

The most obvious reason is that Gandalf once healed Gwaihir (the Lord of the Eagles) from an arrow wound, and he therefore feels obliged to save Gandalf. However, further explanation for the reasons shows that Gandalf is not a mortal man. He is an Istari. A mortal(ish) interpretation of Maia Olórin, sent by Manwë to aid mortals in their fight against Sauron. So obviously he gets special treatment. For example, when he dies, he is sent back by the Valar, until his task is done. In the book of The Lord of the Rings, when Gandalf is imprisoned on top of Orthanc, he is sent a message by Radagast (you know, the eccentric brown wizard in the Hobbit film played by Sylvester McCoy?) who has an extremely magical (and quite frankly, weird) connection with birds and beasts. Radagast makes use of the eagles because of this connection with the birds and beasts. So really, Gandalf is saved completely by chance.

A fairly obvious point to why the eagles weren’t used to fly the Hobbits to Mordor is also that it’s not exactly very inconspicuous… I mean, imagine, having an eagle for each Fellowship member (that’s nine, in case you didn’t know), all flying towards Mordor. Orcs have bows and arrows, Sauron has his eye (which can “pierce cloud, shadow, earth and flesh), and then just in case you’d forgotten, Sauron also has his nine ‘birds’: The Nazgul upon their Fell-beasts. Even though the Eagles could probably win a fight against a Nazgul, I don’t think they’d be able to with a Hobbit upon their back…


So there you have it. I think that’s most plot holes to do with the Eagles covered… Hopefully I’ve managed to expand upon your understanding and will no longer have to bandy crooked words with a witless worm. 


Escapism into the world of Fantasy

Fantasy books, films, games have always been at the forefront of my life. I personally believe that the reason for this is not only that they’re usually complete nonsense (if you disagree with this then read some Terry Pratchett books…), but that they have that allure of escaping from your life, and being able to lose yourself within a world of a different kind.

Being a big fan of fantasy myself, I tend to escape into fantasy on a daily basis. I try read most nights, as I find that even if my day has been bordering on excruciatingly painful, that fantasy brings me back into a sort of bearable mood. Most days I escape into fantasy through the use of gaming, which has it’s pros and cons over books.

Books you don’t live the fantasy – you are a spectator; slightly removed from the ordeals yet still very much part of the surroundings. It’s as if you are a sub-character – who’s job it is to follow the main characters every move and decision, to mirror them, and learn from them. Whereas when it comes to gaming; you actually live the life. No matter what game it is, be it a strategy game, or a role-playing game, you are the controller. The games that sum this up perfectly for me, are the Black and White games. During these, you literally are a God. you control what the your village does, by moving a big God-like hand around. This is how I feel we see ourselves within games, and I have to admit, it is a pretty amazing feeling.

Music has also been used to escape. Not necessarily into fantasy, but in order to escape from life. Everyone seems to have some sort of resent for life. Even people who claim to be happy go through their bad spells of blaming life for everything. So it is natural that we wish to escape – not drastically escape like committing suicide – but a way of changing the way you view the world for a short period of time.


Absolutely no idea why I wrote this – In all honesty, I’m extremely bored and just feel like writing down whatever I think about!