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Minas Tirith Forums » Library Council of Minas Tirith » Why didn't Eagles just fly the Ring to Mt. Doom? (Page 7)
Author Topic: Why didn't Eagles just fly the Ring to Mt. Doom?
Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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What if the eagles had made their attempt while the Nazgûl were in the Shire, or elsewhere out west?
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The Witch-King of Angmar
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Then they'd just have the remainder of Sauron's forces to deal with-- a paltry 100,000. I'm sure that fell beasts could fly with other riders than Nazgûl on them, as well.

quote:
If the Eagles had tried to fly the Ring to Mordor, either Sauron would've noticed right off, or an alert would've been sounded, and then the Eagles would have to get through nine fell beasts acting as security.

I doubt that was their only airborne security; however it was the only security that he controlled directly, who could have rescued the Ring from Mount Doom. In any event, if the entire land of Mordor was after the Eagle, I doubt they could have made it to the Mountain unhindered, with or without Nazgûl.

quote:

Once the Ring was destroyed, it was easier to enter Mordor and save Frodo and Sam from the lava flows. This was daring and dangerous for the Eagles. This was possible only when the security was breached. So I can't say the Eagles were as much of a deus ex machina as previously thought.

I don't think it was that dangerous, since the hobbits weren't singed from the heat. If they could pick Gandalf, 13 dwarves and a hobbit from burning trees, then rescuing 2 hobbits from a lava-flow should have been on problem.

Likewise, the eagles came to the Battle of Five Armies, so it's natural that they would definitely join the deciding battle for Middle-Earth-- as Pippin recalled, just before learning a valuable lesson in why burglars would stab trolls in the BACK. It all fits.

[ 01-07-2006, 01:14 AM: Message edited by: The Witch-King of Angmar ]

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Q
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An army of eagles filling the sky, would outnumber the Nazgul in the blink of an eye, and the forces on the ground wouldn't really matter to them. Probably the reason why they didn't just all storm the mountain was because men would question what was going on, somehow get involved, and start shooting down the birds to recover the ring.
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The Witch-King of Angmar
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I don't know where you keep getting this.

Um.... in case you didn't know, there were PLENTY of orcs-- and men-- with bows and arrows in Mordor. You think they wouldn't matter to the eagles?

Seriously, do the math on why Gandalf waited until AFTER the Sauron was destroyed, to fly eagles to Mount Doom. Anyone who can't figure that out, simply lacks the brainpower, and shouldn't be speculating on Tolkien anyway.

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Young Master Merry
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WiKi, I'll grant you there were plenty of Orcs in Mordor. But I'm not sure how strong of ground you're on if you're assuming that they would be properly positioned to "shoot down" eagles who were flying to Mt. Doom. The way Tolkien described the land thereabouts made it seem pretty barren and empty. Doesn't it seem plausible that the Eagles could have just flown over the border-guards out of arrow range, only coming down into the lower airs once they reached the desolate areas around Orodruin?
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Q
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Good point Merry, you pinpointed what I brushed over.

And Wiki, there is one minor thing you overlooked...Gandalf didn't send for the eagles. They came because of the unmerited authority he wielded. They were draw to him like a magnet...but for what reason and during what times?

They arrived during the later half of the battle, so if they were willing to go as far as the gate in the heat of battle, why wouldn't he send one or two of them into the part of Mordor that by then was beginning to look sparce of orcs? Namely, behind the gates and up to Orodruin? If not allowed to carry the ring the whole way, why not help Frodo and Sam up the mountain and then wait to see that the job actually gets done?

I admit that he wouldn't have much athority over the eagles at all, being they don't consider themselves under obligation to anyone who FORCES them to make a move. For example; they chose not to carry Bilbo and Co. all the way to Erebor (and though that seems like a big distance, still it would be possible).

They obeyed Gandalf at Mordor because of the gravity of the situation...there was a chance that they could save a ringbearer. As opposed to helping some dwarves whose hord of gold would be easily forgotten. The eagles only helped at the battle of five armies because they considered Gandalf's safety with some of the same gravity as they did the ringbearer's...and because they hated orcs.

But I do see your point too Wikli, that eagles wouldn't be involved in carrying the ring itself...they were only there as the final burst or for the cleanup afterwards. And since Frodo was part of that "cleanup" so to speak, they were needed for that leg of the journey. That's why the eagles didn't help facilitate the immediate goal of the dwarves, because they believed that dirrectly interfering with their plans meant dirrectly interfering with Gandalf's plans, and so the chain of authority is strengthened. It was the same instance with the ring bearer and the ring. You might as well blame Gandalf in the first place for not sending the eagles to Mount Doom in the first place.

[ 02-10-2006, 05:11 PM: Message edited by: MANDOS ]

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Anborn
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I don't know how many times I've seen that question asked in forums.
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Prince Imrahil
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My take, as to the original question of the thread, is that sending in eagle to Mordor would only arrouse the sucpicion of Sauron/the Nazgûl (this is the same reason that Elrond didn't send a host of Elves to deliver the Ring to Mt. Doom). They would prove an easy mark.

Someone upthread also mentioned that perhaps the Eagles were not allowed to interfere until (what Denethor would call) the uttermost end of need. The closest thing I have to support for this is a quote from "Of Aulë and Yavanna" in Quenta Silmarillion:
quote:
In the mountains the Eagles shall house, and hear the voices of those who call upon us.
Even though it's not exactly the same. I think it was only the duty of the Eagles to keep watch upon Elves and Men in Middle Earth.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
And last and proudest, Imrahil, Prince of Dol Amroth, kinsman of the lord, with gilded banners bearing his token of the Ship and the Silver Swan, and a company of knights in full harness riding grey horses...tall as lords, grey-eyed, dark-haired, singing as they came.

-Minas Tirith

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The Real Beren
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The Eagles could've flied highr than the fell beasts.Usually an eagle flies much higher than a bat.And how could've they used the ring if they have claws,thicker than the ring(then again how did the ring fit to sauron if it fitted on frodo's thin finger?).the strategy with the eagles is the most efficient and easiest one.If they came all the way to the Black Gates what would've matter another few dozens of miles.

P.S.:Why can't i choose my Avatar image?

From: Minas Tirith,3rd level | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Prince Imrahil
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quote:
the strategy with the eagles is the most efficient and easiest one
Which is why that strategy could not be used. Doing the easy thing would have been to predictable. The strength of the strategy of sending a lone person (or even 2 people) was that Sauron never saw it coming until it was far past too late.

quote:
what would've matter another few dozens of miles
It was more like 100 hundred miles at least. Also, you're assuming that they could have gotten to the gates in the first place.

Most importantly (and though I have already said this, I'll say it again), it was not the job of the Eagles to get the Ring to Orodruin. Their job was to watch over Men and Elves, take messages to Manwë (and the other Valar as well). Only occasionally did they interfere with in the lives of Men and Elves. This usually happened when they saved an individual (or 2 in the case of Sam and Frodo) when help could not come any other way; Maedhros at Thangorodrim, the body of either Echthelion or Glorfindel in the Fall of Gondolin, Gandalf at Orthanc and Zirak-Zigil, Sam and Frodo at Orodruin. The only times they took part in large scale war was a small part in the Battle at the Morannon and a somewhat larger role in the Battle of Five Armies. Twice in three ages.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
And last and proudest, Imrahil, Prince of Dol Amroth, kinsman of the lord, with gilded banners bearing his token of the Ship and the Silver Swan, and a company of knights in full harness riding grey horses...tall as lords, grey-eyed, dark-haired, singing as they came.

-Minas Tirith

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The Witch-King of Angmar
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I have to strongly object to this notion of "non-interference;" if they were willing to save Frodo after he desroyed the Ring-- not to mention getting involved in the battle of Five Armies, as well as at the Gate-- then simply taking the Ring to Mt. Doom would have saved a lot of time and trouble. It's just a conceit.

Hoewver Mordor was simply too fortified for an eagle to get into it without being seen-- and shot.

If Gandalf could zap five Nazgûl with a beam of white light from his hand, what do you think Sauron could do to one Eagle?

Sauron would have seen the eagle, and the Ring... end of story; he would have fried it with a fireball, and eaten it for a victory-dinner.

Think about it: if the Eagles wouldn't take the Dwarves to Wilderland out of fear of a few farmers with bows of yew, when what do you think would happen with 100,000 orc-archers-- not to mention a super-powerful maia-sorcerer?

[ 08-28-2006, 03:34 AM: Message edited by: The Witch-King of Angmar ]

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Captain of Gondor
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Now, I heard this about the eagles flying the ring to Mount Doom (sorry if anyone pointed this out before).
1. They aren't Middle Earth taxi's. They can't and won't fly everywhere and anywhere.
2. The Nazgul are in the air. They won't go near where the Nazgul are in force (the Cormallin Field being the exception).
3. They really aren't apart of this world. Yes, they do get involved, but since they aren't bound to it, they really aren't part of it.
These three points come from the proffeser.

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Prince Imrahil
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quote:
he would have fried it with a fireball, and eaten it for a victory-dinner
Tastey! []

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
And last and proudest, Imrahil, Prince of Dol Amroth, kinsman of the lord, with gilded banners bearing his token of the Ship and the Silver Swan, and a company of knights in full harness riding grey horses...tall as lords, grey-eyed, dark-haired, singing as they came.

-Minas Tirith

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Captain of Gondor
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Tastes a little like chiken. []
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Arorë Silvertongue
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I still think (although I don't think I've posted it before) that any and all reasons why the Eagles didn't fly the Ring to Mt. Doom are excuses to make the story really long and interesting instead of really short and dull.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway.
~J.R.R. Tolkien


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Captain of Gondor
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And you are probably right.
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The Witch-King of Angmar
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And leave a huge gaping hole in the story? I don't think so.

They flew to Mount Doom immediately after Sauron was destroyed-- and while Mount Doom was erupting -- do the math.

I'm sure Gawaihir would rather make one trip to Mount Doom, than send messages for Galadriel, and provide air-transportation for Gandalf every time he got into trouble.

Gandalf clearly stated at the Council of Elrond, that they couldn't take the Ring to Valinor, or cast it into the sea; and this was after Gandalf specifically mentioned Gawaihir rescuing him from Orthanc. The Eagles weren't even mentioned, because it was just too silly-- there's no other explanation for overlooking such an otherwise-obvious plot-hole-- particularly after stating that the Valar would not receive the Ring, therby mentioning non-interevention: as such, Gandalf would mention the Eagle's non-intervention as well, if it existed.

Rather, this is just a typical wild fan-fic question, like "why didn't they melt the Ring by making a huge magnifying-glass and using the sun?" Ironically, that would make more sense than flying into a fortified realm guarded by an Eye that never sleeps, and packed so thick with armies that even two hobbits couldn't sneak through while dressed as orcs. The only way that could work, is with the Enola Gay. As stated in The Hobbit:

quote:
. As Bilbo listened to the talk of Gandalf he realized that at last they were going to escape really and truly from the dreadful mountains. He was discussing plans with the Great Eagle for carrying the dwarves and himself and Bilbo far away and setting them down well on their journey across the plains below.
The Lord of the Eagles would not take them anywhere near where men lived. "They would shoot at us with their great bows of yew," he said, "for they would think we were after their sheep. And at other times they would be right. No! we are glad to cheat the goblins of their sport, and glad to repay our thanks to you, but we will not risk ourselves for dwarves in the southward plains."

And that's just a few shepherds!

I think that settles that.

[ 09-01-2006, 07:35 PM: Message edited by: The Witch-King of Angmar ]

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Joe Stupid KingofBelfalas
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I think that since Sauron was a Maia, he had to have some type of magic protecting it from just that, it would have been to easy. If it could have been done without risking thousnads of lives, then they surely would have thought of it.
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Captain of Gondor
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If being the key word here. But, are you even sure the eagles would have taken them, even if they were asked? Even Gwahir wouldn't take Gandalf very far.
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Prince Imrahil
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At least not Gandalf the Grey. Maybe Gandalf the White could be taken further. GtG was said to have been a burden but GtW was light as a feather.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
And last and proudest, Imrahil, Prince of Dol Amroth, kinsman of the lord, with gilded banners bearing his token of the Ship and the Silver Swan, and a company of knights in full harness riding grey horses...tall as lords, grey-eyed, dark-haired, singing as they came.

-Minas Tirith

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Captain of Gondor
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Well, even when he was the white he wouldn't carry him far. He said so himself. I don't have the book handy right now for quotes.

[ 11-02-2006, 09:43 AM: Message edited by: Captain of Gondor ]

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
Embrace the power of the One Ring, or embrace your own destruction.

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The Witch-King of Angmar
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The eagles did carry Gandalf from the Black Gate to Mt. Doom, if you recall; and they carried the hobbits even more easily.

And Frodo sneaked up to the Black Gate, so the eagles could easily have taken him from there.
Rather, Sauron would have simply seen the Eagle, and realized what they were trying to do-- just as he realized when Frodo put the Ring on-- and he would simply order all his troops to "SHOOT THAT EAGLE!"

Then he'd roast it on a spit over Mt. Doom-- and let the Nazgûl quarrel over the drumsticks.

However he'd also go to Mt. Doom himself; in "Letters," Tolkien stated that even with the Ring, Frodo would have been "turned to dust" in a fight with Sauron; so it's unlikely that an Eagle would fare much better.

Tolkien doesn't say how Sauron would do this, but it's clear that Sauron still had a lot of power.

On the Pelennor fields, Gandalf drove off the Nazgûl with a "shaft of white light" from his hand:

quote:
But now the dark swooping shadows were aware of the newcomer. One wheeled towards him; but it seemed to Pippin that he raised his hand, and from it a shaft of white light stabbed upwards. The Nazgûl gave a long wailing cry and swerved away; and with that the four others wavered, and then rising in swift spirals they passed away eastward vanishing into the lowering cloud above; and down on the Pelennor it seemed for a while less dark.
And Sauron was much more powerful still, so he could probably fire even stronger bolts of energy.

[ 11-10-2006, 01:47 AM: Message edited by: The Witch-King of Angmar ]

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Captain of Gondor
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Kind of like this old movie where there's this plane and someone says: The plane! The plane! And his boss says: Shoot it down!
But, they told him they wouldn't carry him to the end of the earth or even very far. Mt. Doom was kind of a nessessity. They needed to save Frodo if it was possible and Gandalf kind of pushed the point.

[ 11-10-2006, 10:29 AM: Message edited by: Captain of Gondor ]

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The Witch-King of Angmar
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Um.... AGAIN, they could have just carried Frodo from the Black Gate to Mount Doom; Frodo reached the Black Gate by himself, he just didn't have any way of getting past it. This is why Gollum claimed to take him through Cirith Ungol instead of just marching right on past the Morannon-- which he was about to do.
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Earendilyon
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And now some entertainment: This is why the Eagles didn't just fly the Ring to Mount Doom!

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
"For I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words Bother me."

John 3:16-21

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Create a New Topic  Reply to this Topic Minas Tirith Forums » Library Council of Minas Tirith » Why didn't Eagles just fly the Ring to Mt. Doom? (Page 7)
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