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(Empire Magazine)   One hundred things you probably didn't know about the Lord of the Rings, both the book and film trilogy, including why the eagles didn't just fly everyone to Mount Doom and Gandalf's original name   (empireonline.com) divider line 178
    More: Cool, Mount Doom, Gandalf, polystyrene, Lord of the Rings, Viggo Mortensen, Discworld, Uruk  
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14178 clicks; posted to Geek » on 24 Nov 2012 at 7:34 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-24 07:39:30 AM  
The reason the eagles don't just fly everyone to Mount Doom because "the eagles are their own race and do things for their own reasons". Also, Tolkien didn't like them to be seen as "Middle-Earth taxis"...


...Also, the Nazgul would have totally killed them.


There were, what, about half the Nazgul left when they went in and out with no trouble, so no dice there. And Tolkien saying "'cause I didn't wanna" isn't the same as an actual explanation and does nothing whatsoever to close the plot-hole.
 
2012-11-24 08:00:32 AM  

Jim_Callahan: There were, what, about half the Nazgul left when they went in and out with no trouble, so no dice there. And Tolkien saying "'cause I didn't wanna" isn't the same as an actual explanation and does nothing whatsoever to close the plot-hole.


Very much this. If they can simply walk into Mordor with the Ring and not be detected, why would an army of huge eagles be in any kind of real danger from the lying beasts the Nazgul had? Just put a few archers on every eagle and shoot the critters down.
 
2012-11-24 08:20:00 AM  
 
2012-11-24 08:20:19 AM  

Jim_Callahan: The reason the eagles don't just fly everyone to Mount Doom because "the eagles are their own race and do things for their own reasons". Also, Tolkien didn't like them to be seen as "Middle-Earth taxis"...


...Also, the Nazgul would have totally killed them.

There were, what, about half the Nazgul left when they went in and out with no trouble, so no dice there. And Tolkien saying "'cause I didn't wanna" isn't the same as an actual explanation and does nothing whatsoever to close the plot-hole.


I seem to remember from The Hobbit that it was kind of a big deal just to get the Eagles to help as little as they did in that adventure. They basically just picked the dwarves up out of some trees and carried them a ways.
 
2012-11-24 08:21:01 AM  
Jim_Callahan
There were, what, about half the Nazgul left when they went in and out with no trouble,


Yeah, maybe in the movie.
It has been ages since I read the books, but I'm pretty sure the ring, Sauron, the Nazgul and pretty much most of Mordor were gone when the eagles "went in and out with no trouble"; IIRC the eagles appeared at the battle at about the same time when the Nazgul were rushing back towards Mount Doom.
 
2012-11-24 08:23:57 AM  
How Not To Get Laid 101:

Fierce debate rages over whether Balrogs have wings.
 
2012-11-24 08:25:45 AM  
101: Stuart Townsend was originally cast as Aragon. They spent a week filming some of his scenes before they realized he sucked as an actor. Queen of the Damned" and "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" proved it.
 
2012-11-24 08:26:39 AM  

Jim_Callahan: The reason the eagles don't just fly everyone to Mount Doom because "the eagles are their own race and do things for their own reasons". Also, Tolkien didn't like them to be seen as "Middle-Earth taxis"...


...Also, the Nazgul would have totally killed them.

There were, what, about half the Nazgul left when they went in and out with no trouble, so no dice there. And Tolkien saying "'cause I didn't wanna" isn't the same as an actual explanation and does nothing whatsoever to close the plot-hole.


They only owed ONE favor, and each taxi direction is a favor?
 
2012-11-24 08:30:25 AM  
Keep in mind the eagles were pretty much solely under the control on Manwe. And the Valar already had a "we're not doing it all for you" attitude. The Valar and Maiar for the most part restricted their interactions to giving advice and small miracles. Sending the eagles to carry the Ring all the way would have been too much interference.
 
2012-11-24 08:45:02 AM  

taurusowner: Keep in mind the eagles were pretty much solely under the control on Manwe. And the Valar already had a "we're not doing it all for you" attitude. The Valar and Maiar for the most part restricted their interactions to giving advice and small miracles. Sending the eagles to carry the Ring all the way would have been too much interference.


DNRTFA, but when they arrived, wasn't it specifically as a favor to Gandalf?

As you said, the eagles were either under no obligation to help, or prohibited from helping too much, or, like honey badgers, didn't give a shiat.

I'd say the error in storytelling, if any is to be argued at all, was them helping in the Hobbit, not their failure to help in LOTR.
 
2012-11-24 08:48:28 AM  
Women who lusted after Sean Bean in set were called "Beanstalkers"

I'd have thought they'd be called "deathstalkers", since that's what Sean Bean does best.
 
2012-11-24 08:49:37 AM  
Does it explain why, with all the walking and crying scenes in these ponderous movies, Christopher Lee (the Darth Vader of the series)'s fate was left for the DVD?
 
2012-11-24 08:52:52 AM  

born_yesterday: I'd say the error in storytelling, if any is to be argued at all, was them helping in the Hobbit, not their failure to help in LOTR.


In The Hobbit, the crew is treed by a bunch of wolfs and goblins. I think the only reason the eagles helped was because, "Hey, fark goblins!" That's why they couldn't get them to carry them very far. They had other shiat to do.
 
2012-11-24 08:58:16 AM  
They could have thrown in a line of dialog that the eagles won't help because they don't interfere with the business of other races. That would have made for a bigger payoff when they eventually rescue Dildo and Mary at the end.
 
2012-11-24 09:05:05 AM  
Link

It didn't have Lo Pan in it.
 
2012-11-24 09:10:17 AM  

Mugato: They could have thrown in a line of dialog that the eagles won't help because they don't interfere with the business of other races. That would have made for a bigger payoff when they eventually rescue Dildo and Mary at the end.


Maybe. But then the less observant and literate viewers might pitch a fit when the eagles did help Gandalf and Frodo and Sam at the end. Of course there are specific reasons why that was ok for them, but not ok for them to carry the Ring to Mt. Doom. But I have a feeling that subtlety would be lost on many viewers. And hanging a lampshade on them not interfering might just make it an even bigger deal.
 
2012-11-24 09:12:41 AM  
Why didn't the eagles just fly the ring into Mordor?

It would've made LotR into a short story. That's why.


/also, The Mouth of Sauron was played by Bruce Spence, the gyro captain from The Road Warrior
//the more you know
 
2012-11-24 09:34:31 AM  

taurusowner: Keep in mind the eagles were pretty much solely under the control on Manwe. And the Valar already had a "we're not doing it all for you" attitude. The Valar and Maiar for the most part restricted their interactions to giving advice and small miracles. Sending the eagles to carry the Ring all the way would have been too much interference.


Sauron was a Maiar (once? still?). How is mitigating the damage one of your own inflicts, in direct opposition of the order to not interfere, wrong? Having an overwhelmingly powerful enemy against ordinary people and then hoping everything works out seems much more intrusive if you ask me.
 
2012-11-24 09:35:43 AM  

Mugato: Does it explain why, with all the walking and crying scenes in these ponderous movies, Christopher Lee (the Darth Vader of the series)'s fate was left for the DVD?


The Trololo song wasn't 'discovered' until after the movies were released in theatres :P
 
2012-11-24 09:36:59 AM  
For anybody here that likes The Hobbit, you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of the annotated version. It's pretty interesting seeing all the thought and references that went into Tolkien's writing.
 
2012-11-24 09:38:05 AM  
Jackson should really, really downplay the role of the eagles in the Hobbit. They came to the rescue twice in the LOTR movies. They're going to do it again in the Hobbit, twice, if Jackson holds to the book. It's going to look like a lame deus ex machina by the end of the third Hobbit film.
 
2012-11-24 09:39:29 AM  
 
2012-11-24 09:40:56 AM  

Roto-Rot: How Not To Get Laid 101:

Fierce debate rages over whether Balrogs have wings.


Well there's no real debate because THEY DON'T HAVE WINGS. THE END.
 
2012-11-24 09:41:34 AM  

Richard_The_Clown: 101: Stuart Townsend was originally cast as Aragon. They spent a week filming some of his scenes before they realized he sucked as an actor. Queen of the Damned" and "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" proved it.


So they decided to ditch the acting requirement and go for someone who looked better in a wig?
 
2012-11-24 09:51:45 AM  

czei: Richard_The_Clown: 101: Stuart Townsend was originally cast as Aragon. They spent a week filming some of his scenes before they realized he sucked as an actor. Queen of the Damned" and "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" proved it.

So they decided to ditch the acting requirement and go for someone who looked better in a wig?


He was fired because he wasn't greasy enough.
 
2012-11-24 09:55:52 AM  

The Voice of Doom: Jim_Callahan
There were, what, about half the Nazgul left when they went in and out with no trouble,

Yeah, maybe in the movie.
It has been ages since I read the books, but I'm pretty sure the ring, Sauron, the Nazgul and pretty much most of Mordor were gone when the eagles "went in and out with no trouble"; IIRC the eagles appeared at the battle at about the same time when the Nazgul were rushing back towards Mount Doom.


The Nazgul are clearly seen being destroyed at the fall of Barad-dûr.
 
2012-11-24 09:56:45 AM  

DerAppie: taurusowner: Keep in mind the eagles were pretty much solely under the control on Manwe. And the Valar already had a "we're not doing it all for you" attitude. The Valar and Maiar for the most part restricted their interactions to giving advice and small miracles. Sending the eagles to carry the Ring all the way would have been too much interference.

Sauron was a Maiar (once? still?). How is mitigating the damage one of your own inflicts, in direct opposition of the order to not interfere, wrong? Having an overwhelmingly powerful enemy against ordinary people and then hoping everything works out seems much more intrusive if you ask me.


Except I don't think there was any "hoping" involved. Within the Tolkein universe, what essentially amounts to angels, archangels, and God do indeed exists. It's very possible that the Valar left Sauron in Middle Earth because they already knew that the people of Middle Earth would be able to win in the end. Not quite the "here's the exact reason" answer you might have been looking for, but in the context of LotR, it fits pretty well. Eru Illuvatar (God in LotR) did many things even the Valar didn't understand. Even when Gandalf says to Frodo that "Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, and not by its maker." he was very likely referring to Eru.

Middle Earth could not deal with Morgoth on their own, and in the end The Valar came and saved them. But one of his servants, Sauron, was a challenge that was just small enough that Middle Earth could indeed win on their own. And they did. Eru knew this. Is that the reason why the Valar would not directly intervene or send agents (the eagles, other Maiar acting with their full power) to intervene either? Tolekin doesn't say. But it would make sense within the context of the LotR universe.
 
Slu
2012-11-24 09:58:53 AM  
Nerds.jpg
 
2012-11-24 09:59:16 AM  

Metaluna Mutant: Roto-Rot: How Not To Get Laid 101:

Fierce debate rages over whether Balrogs have wings.

Well there's no real debate because THEY DON'T HAVE WINGS. THE END.


'...suddenly it drew itself up to a great height, and its wings were spread from wall to wall...'
The Fellowship of the Ring II 5 The Bridge of Khazad-dûm
 
2012-11-24 10:03:45 AM  

taurusowner: Metaluna Mutant: Roto-Rot: How Not To Get Laid 101:

Fierce debate rages over whether Balrogs have wings.

Well there's no real debate because THEY DON'T HAVE WINGS. THE END.

'...suddenly it drew itself up to a great height, and its wings were spread from wall to wall...'
The Fellowship of the Ring II 5 The Bridge of Khazad-dûm


i.imgur.com
 
2012-11-24 10:12:07 AM  
I found the lack of Tom Bombadil and Ent draughts, disturbing.


/my only gripe
 
2012-11-24 10:15:59 AM  

fozziewazzi: Jackson should really, really downplay the role of the eagles in the Hobbit. They came to the rescue twice in the LOTR movies. They're going to do it again in the Hobbit, twice, if Jackson holds to the book. It's going to look like a lame deus ex machina by the end of the third Hobbit film.


It will look that way because they are a lame deus ex machina.
 
2012-11-24 10:24:09 AM  
i97.photobucket.com
 
2012-11-24 10:26:59 AM  

czei: Richard_The_Clown: 101: Stuart Townsend was originally cast as Aragon. They spent a week filming some of his scenes before they realized he sucked as an actor. Queen of the Damned" and "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" proved it.

So they decided to ditch the acting requirement and go for someone who looked better in a wig?


The official reason was that Stuart Townsend couldn't conceivably pass for a man of 87
 
2012-11-24 10:29:20 AM  

Son of Thunder: I'd have thought they'd be called "deathstalkers", since that's what Sean Bean does best.


On the set of "Game of Thrones" Sean Bean groupies were called "headhunters".
 
2012-11-24 10:30:30 AM  

GRCooper: also, The Mouth of Sauron was played by Bruce Spence, the gyro captain from The Road Warrior


Mind Blown....
 
2012-11-24 10:34:16 AM  

GRCooper: Why didn't the eagles just fly the ring into Mordor?

It would've made LotR into a short story. That's why.


/also, The Mouth of Sauron was played by Bruce Spence, the gyro captain from The Road Warrior
//the more you know


wow...you should invent a site with all the cast and crew from films...it could have trivia like this here Bruce Spence trivia...you could call it "the internet trivia movie database" or something like that...

i'm sure it would be a big hit...
 
2012-11-24 10:35:02 AM  

fozziewazzi: Jackson should really, really downplay the role of the eagles in the Hobbit. They came to the rescue twice in the LOTR movies. They're going to do it again in the Hobbit, twice, if Jackson holds to the book. It's going to look like a lame deus ex machina by the end of the third Hobbit film.


The only people who would care about something like that are people who are over-analyzing the movies, and don't understand the story.

So they are being overly critical AND not knowledgeable of Tolkien's stories. Therefore, it doesn't really matter what they think.
 
2012-11-24 10:37:49 AM  
I learned that Viggo is one dedicated method actor.
 
2012-11-24 10:43:21 AM  
The Eagles didn't help, I hypothesize, because they represented America who, in Tolkein's opinion, didn't get involved in WWII until well after they should have.
 
2012-11-24 10:46:32 AM  

cowboybebop: The Eagles didn't help, I hypothesize, because they represented America who, in Tolkein's opinion, didn't get involved in WWII until well after they should have.


Tolkien hated allegory, so no.
 
2012-11-24 10:50:31 AM  

TheWizard: fozziewazzi: Jackson should really, really downplay the role of the eagles in the Hobbit. They came to the rescue twice in the LOTR movies. They're going to do it again in the Hobbit, twice, if Jackson holds to the book. It's going to look like a lame deus ex machina by the end of the third Hobbit film.

The only people who would care about something like that are people who are over-analyzing the movies, and don't understand the story.

So they are being overly critical AND not knowledgeable of Tolkien's stories. Therefore, it doesn't really matter what they think.


You don't need to be over-analytical when you see the same very specific device used, twice, to get characters out of a sticky situation in both trilogies. If Jackson holds to the book we'll see the eagles yet again plucking a hero out of harms' way in the first Hobbit film, and then coming to the rescue during a critical battle in the last film. Even to the most casual fans of the film series it's going to look amatuerish. I don't see how Jackson can pull this off without making some changes to the original story.
 
2012-11-24 10:50:48 AM  

taurusowner: Metaluna Mutant: Roto-Rot: How Not To Get Laid 101:

Fierce debate rages over whether Balrogs have wings.

Well there's no real debate because THEY DON'T HAVE WINGS. THE END.

'...suddenly it drew itself up to a great height, and its wings were spread from wall to wall...'
The Fellowship of the Ring II 5 The Bridge of Khazad-dûm


Which leads to the question, why didn't he use them?

Answer:
In the special, super extended edition you can see Gandalf has an Earthbind Magic:TG card in his hand.
 
2012-11-24 10:53:53 AM  

Jim_Callahan: The reason the eagles don't just fly everyone to Mount Doom because "the eagles are their own race and do things for their own reasons". Also, Tolkien didn't like them to be seen as "Middle-Earth taxis"...


...Also, the Nazgul would have totally killed them.

There were, what, about half the Nazgul left when they went in and out with no trouble, so no dice there. And Tolkien saying "'cause I didn't wanna" isn't the same as an actual explanation and does nothing whatsoever to close the plot-hole.


The eagles were a metaphor used by Tolkien to symbolize the americans in WW1, who didn't help at all until the war was basically already decided (Albeit still far from over). "coming late for every war". Was meant as aa subtile insult towards the americans.

/this is all AFAIK, anyway.
 
2012-11-24 11:03:06 AM  

cowboybebop: The Eagles didn't help, I hypothesize, because they represented America who, in Tolkein's opinion, didn't get involved in WWII until well after they should have.


Damn, missed it by THAT much.
 
2012-11-24 11:03:53 AM  

Smoking GNU:
The eagles were a metaphor used by Tolkien to symbolize the americans in WW1, who didn't help at all until the war was basically already decided (Albeit still far from over). "coming late for every war". Was meant as aa subtile insult towards the americans.

/this is all AFAIK, anyway.


As I've just learned from three posts ago, Tolkien hated allegory, so I'm going to have to call Bravo Sierra on this and demand a citation.
 
2012-11-24 11:05:52 AM  
cowboybebop: The Eagles didn't help, I hypothesize, because they represented America who, in Tolkein's opinion, didn't get involved in WWII until well after they should have.

Tolkien hated allegory, so no.


And so Gandalf wasn't even a little bit of a Christ figure? Saruman (or however it's spelled) didn't represent forces of the industrial revolution?
 
2012-11-24 11:13:13 AM  

cowboybebop: cowboybebop: The Eagles didn't help, I hypothesize, because they represented America who, in Tolkein's opinion, didn't get involved in WWII until well after they should have.

Tolkien hated allegory, so no.


And so Gandalf wasn't even a little bit of a Christ figure? Saruman (or however it's spelled) didn't represent forces of the industrial revolution?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acqOGX62gys
http://verdevivoverdechiaro.blogspot.com/2008/03/tolkien-allegory-and - applicability.html

From the foreword to The Lord of the Rings:
"I should like to say something here with reference to the many opinions or guesses that I have received or have read concerning the motives and meaning of the tale. The prime motive was the desire of a tale-teller to try his hand at a really long story that would hold the attention of readers, amuse them, delight them, and at times maybe excite them or deeply move them. As a guide I had only my own feelings for what is appealing or moving, (...)"
Deeply move! That's an essential point about the epic.
"As for any inner meaning or 'message', it has in the intention of the author none. It is neither allegorical nor topical. As the story grew it put down roots (into the past) and threw out unexpected branches (...)" -- Then the author justifies there was no allegory of the war implied.
 
2012-11-24 11:13:44 AM  

Pelvic Splanchnic Ganglion: Smoking GNU:
The eagles were a metaphor used by Tolkien to symbolize the americans in WW1, who didn't help at all until the war was basically already decided (Albeit still far from over). "coming late for every war". Was meant as aa subtile insult towards the americans.

/this is all AFAIK, anyway.

As I've just learned from three posts ago, Tolkien hated allegory, so I'm going to have to call Bravo Sierra on this and demand a citation.


Link

It does also say in there that he denied LotR being an allegory, so take my point of view with a pinch of salt.
/Saw the bit about the eagles in a documentary about LotR (book), but then again, don't know if they sucked this out of their thumbs or anything.
 
2012-11-24 11:19:48 AM  
Re: The Eagles. Why couldn't they carry Frodo and Sam into Mordor?

Do you remember at the beginning when Gandalf was interacting with Biblo and Frodo in regards to the One Ring? How he wouldn't touch it? How he wouldn't even let them get near him with it because the ring's terrible power is known to have way more influence over every other race than it seems to have with hobbits? Gandalf made Bilbo drop the ring on the floor. He would not touch it. He would not go near it. Later, he made Frodo hold out his hand and read the writing. The closest Gandalf would get was to snag it with tongs, and even then he dropped it like it was burning him.

The same goes for Galadriel. She would not have the ring in her hands, either. She told Frodo exactly what would happen if she did lay hands on it.

Elrond wouldn't touch it. He knew better, too. He wouldn't even go near it.

Do you remember the history lesson? Humans are basically corrupted simply by being within shouting distance of the ring. Boromir went homicidal just being in the same company with Frodo for a few weeks. Isildur went over the deep end as soon as he touched it.

So why won't the Eagles carry Frodo while he bears the One Ring? Because the One Ring has such a great and terrible power over all races, save for hobbits (and even they succumb, eventually), that it's very likely they would be affected and end up either keeping it for themselves, or dropping Frodo to watch him die, and then retrieving it to do its bidding.

The Eagles didn't carry the ringbearer because they knew better than to be that close to that particular object. It would have overpowered them and it would never have been disposed of.

Tolkien doesn't come out and say this, but I think it's pretty well implied by the foreshadowing and lore attributed to the ring. If it could turn a man to an evil being in a split second from touch, make him attempt to murder his friends after just being near it for a week, make a hobbit murder his best friend upon sight, and cause a wizard such as Gandalf to keep a wide berth, then touching the Ringbearer for the amount of time it would take to go from the Shire to Mordor would almost certainly be enough to corrupt the Eagles, thus dooming the mission.

People read and watch, but they apparently don't think things through.
 
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