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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 27
    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 (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-24 11:19:48 AM  
9 votes:
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.
2012-11-24 06:21:50 PM  
2 votes:

AppleOptionEsc: msupf: And all the discussion of who would get corrupted and how quickly just reminds me how disappointing it was that they cut Tom bombadil out of the story.

He considered the ring a trinket and a trifle thing.

Frodo: Can't anyone else take this shiat?
Tom: I can
Frodo, sweet, here it is
Tom: LOLZ SWITZERLAND. Now go away.

It's great and all that he is an unstoppable juggernaut, but he just comes off as a dick. It's best not to introduce a Dues Ex device, then have him say no because "he prefers to stay home and have sex with his hot wife". I skip those 2 chapters everytime I read that book. It's like the birth of the filler episode.


Tom Bombadil was an older evil than Sauron and his rings.
2012-11-24 02:30:14 PM  
2 votes:

msupf: And all the discussion of who would get corrupted and how quickly just reminds me how disappointing it was that they cut Tom bombadil out of the story.

He considered the ring a trinket and a trifle thing.


Frodo: Can't anyone else take this shiat?
Tom: I can
Frodo, sweet, here it is
Tom: LOLZ SWITZERLAND. Now go away.

It's great and all that he is an unstoppable juggernaut, but he just comes off as a dick. It's best not to introduce a Dues Ex device, then have him say no because "he prefers to stay home and have sex with his hot wife". I skip those 2 chapters everytime I read that book. It's like the birth of the filler episode.
2012-11-24 09:59:16 AM  
2 votes:

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 06:48:25 PM  
1 votes:
It's also possible Gandalf knew (because some Valar or Eru or someone told him) that the only way to destroy the Ring was to give it to Frodo. He had some inkling that Gollum would play a role, after all.

Remember, they all decided that Frodo would take the Ring. Not Aragorn or someone else better qualified. Even if the Eagles could be convinced to help, they almost certainly would have taken it for themselves, sort of like how Galadriel would have done things. Kind of like what led to the Fall of Numenor. They would have taken over Middle Earth in the name of Sauron, and then they would have assaulted Valinor. End of the world.

You can't trust the Ring with anyone powerful. Hobbits were special because they were weak and innocent, and even they only won because of shenanigans with Gollum (the best character in all of fantasy literature).
2012-11-24 05:53:23 PM  
1 votes:

LoneWolf343: ZeroCorpse: I guess I should clarify: it wasn't a Hobbit that murdered his best friend upon seeing the Ring. It was one of the Stoorish Hobbits, who were almost-but-not-quite Hobbits as they are in Frodo's era. So while Frodo was able to resist (as was Bilbo and Sam) for much of the time they had the ring, Smeagol and Deagol could not. The latter two reacted to it as if they were Men.

So as I understand it:

Men: Contact equals instant corruption. Proximity equals corruption within a short time frame.
Elves: Contact equals eventual corruption, though not sure how long it would take. Proximity takes much longer.
Wizards: Contact equals eventual corruption. Proximity takes longer.
Orcs: Unknown, but considering they're already evil it's probably pretty quick, I'd assume.
Hobbits: Contact equals corruption, though it takes a long time. Proximity takes decades.
Dwarves: Contact equals corruption, though we know not how long it takes. Proximity seems to take a very long time.
Eagles: Unknown, but we can assume they're more susceptible than Hobbits.

Another thing people don't realize is that Tolkien didn't intent that Orcs were to be always evil, and regretted not ever having a "hero" Orc.


Actually, Ugluk was a decent Orc: he led his troops well, was disciplined enough to not get distracted by Merry and Pippin's attempted escape, and was given the honor of Eomer dismounting to fight him hand to hand. He died, of course, but died fighting, not running. All in all, pretty admirable.
2012-11-24 05:17:34 PM  
1 votes:

ZeroCorpse: I guess I should clarify: it wasn't a Hobbit that murdered his best friend upon seeing the Ring. It was one of the Stoorish Hobbits, who were almost-but-not-quite Hobbits as they are in Frodo's era. So while Frodo was able to resist (as was Bilbo and Sam) for much of the time they had the ring, Smeagol and Deagol could not. The latter two reacted to it as if they were Men.

So as I understand it:

Men: Contact equals instant corruption. Proximity equals corruption within a short time frame.
Elves: Contact equals eventual corruption, though not sure how long it would take. Proximity takes much longer.
Wizards: Contact equals eventual corruption. Proximity takes longer.
Orcs: Unknown, but considering they're already evil it's probably pretty quick, I'd assume.
Hobbits: Contact equals corruption, though it takes a long time. Proximity takes decades.
Dwarves: Contact equals corruption, though we know not how long it takes. Proximity seems to take a very long time.
Eagles: Unknown, but we can assume they're more susceptible than Hobbits.


Another thing people don't realize is that Tolkien didn't intent that Orcs were to be always evil, and regretted not ever having a "hero" Orc.
2012-11-24 04:57:18 PM  
1 votes:
There are plenty of good reasons why the eagles didn't just fly them to Mount Doom. The larger difficulty is why no one at the Council brought it up.
2012-11-24 04:19:39 PM  
1 votes:

Funbags: You know who cared even less for the affairs of men? Ents. But when they realized the threat posed by Sauron (and Saruman) to all of Middle-Earths inhabitants, they acted.


The Ents didn't even give a shiat until they saw what Saruman was doing to the forest. As long as it was only other species being affected, they were content to hang around and chat. And the Ents wouldn't have been able to relocate nearly as easily as the Eagles.
2012-11-24 04:03:44 PM  
1 votes:

Funbags: 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.


This is where I SRTFA. There were exactly 9 Nazgul. Not ten, nine. Against probably several hundred Great Eagles at least.

The Witch-King could kill a couple, at most, but the rest combined would have been lucky to kill even one before their fell-beasts were torn into tiny shreds. Then Frodo & Co are carried into Mordor laughing contentedly while the Eye of Sauron, having nothing else that can fly, watches completely helpless as the True Ring is casually dumped into Mount Doom's fiery depths.

You know who cared even less for the affairs of men? Ents. But when they realized the threat posed by Sauron (and Saruman) to all of Middle-Earths inhabitants, they acted.

The reason the Eagles didn't help is because it would have been a 40 page book and a 10 minute movie, not because Eagles were apathetic to their own interests.


First, I'm going to copy-paste some mileage data from another website, because I'm lazy like that:


Hobbiton to Rivendale 500+ miles
Hobbiton to Erebor (the Lonely Mountain) 1000+ miles
Hobbiton to Grey Havens 150 miles
Rivendale to Durin's Gate (Moria) 150 miles
Durin's Gate to Lothlorien 100 miles (!)
Lorien on Anduin to the falls of Rauros 300 miles
The falls of Rauros to the nearest approaches to Fanghorn 150 miles
The crossing of Emyn Muil and the Dead Marshes at least 150 miles
Edoras to Helm's Deep 60 miles Meriadoc, Peregrin
Isengard to Helm's Deep 75 miles
Edoras to Minas Tirith 300 miles
Minas Tirith to Minas Ithil (Morgul) 50 miles
Morannon to Minas Morgul 110+ miles
Minas Tirith to Morannon 160+ miles
Minas Morgul to Barad-dur by way of the Isenmouthe nearly 200 miles
Barad-dur to Orodruin 30-50 miles


Here's how that would have gone down:

* Eagle picks up Frodo in Rivendell to begin the flight of several hundred miles. Eagles travel at about 35 miles per hour, give or take 10 mph, and that's when they're not carrying 50+ pounds of Hobbit and the "unbearable" weight of The One Ring.

* About 1/4 of the way on the journey, the eagle bearing Frodo begins to really feel the weight of The One Ring. He also begins to feel a lust in his heart, and resentment for the wingless creature on his back.

* About 1/2 way to Mordor, they're spotted and Ring Wraiths attack. Assuming there was a whole flock of Eagles to fight them off, and they survive the attack, there's still the problem with the eagles who come near Frodo being altered by the ring's influence.

* About 3/4 through the journey, the eagle bearing Frodo decides that HE deserves the ring, not this stupid little Hobbit. He does a fancy spin in the air, and Frodo drops to the ground. The eagles then all dive for the ring, and begin fighting amongst themselves.

* Middle Earth is f♥cked. The end.
2012-11-24 03:45:31 PM  
1 votes:
Everyone forgets that Middle-Earth isn't just good guys and bad guys, and everyone on one team will always help each other. The Eagles are their own race with their own kingdom, they make decisions based on what will help their own kind, not everyone's. They don't like Sauron, but if Sauron wins the war, they fly somewhere else. There's very little at stake for them (at least in their eyes), so there's no reason to risk their lives.

They help out at the end because that's when they chose to, not because someone suddenly remembered to ask them.
2012-11-24 02:38:37 PM  
1 votes:

ObeliskToucher: AppleOptionEsc: It's great and all that he is an unstoppable juggernaut, but he just comes off as a dick. It's best not to introduce a Dues Ex device, then have him say no because "he prefers to stay home and have sex with his hot wife". I skip those 2 chapters everytime I read that book. It's like the birth of the filler episode.

This. Alternatively, you're allowed to substitute the Tim Benzedrine & Dingleberry Hashberry section from "Bored of the Rings"...

2012-11-24 02:26:18 PM  
1 votes:
Tryfan
It was a plot hole, everyone knows it, and no amount of retconning will change it.


Didn't feel like that to me when reading the books.

To me it seemed quite obvious that Sauron or the Witch King would have made them witness the power of his fully operational battlestation upon entering Mordor and then fed his troops on buckets of MFE (Mordor Fried Eagles) for weeks.
2012-11-24 01:10:59 PM  
1 votes:

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


They are metaphorical wings of shadow.

[1] 'His enemy halted again, facing him, and the shadow about it reached out like two vast wings.'

The Fellowship of the Ring II 5 The Bridge of Khazad-dûm

Which is about one inch up on the page where you got your quote. If the Balrog had real wings, functional or not, the sentence about shadow reaching out "like" two vast wings would make absolutely no sense. Whereas using these metaphorical wings a few sentences later is perfectly legitimate. Would this syntax clarify things?

'...suddenly it drew itself up to a great height, and its wings of shadow were spread from wall to wall...'
2012-11-24 01:08:00 PM  
1 votes:
The Special Editions, in total, are 158 minutes longer than the Theatrical releases (718 minutes to 560 minutes).

Jesus Christ, Jackson, hire a farking editor. I'm available.

Yes, Jackson is a hugely successful filmmaker and I'm an editor and FX guy but Christ. How long did it take King Kong to die, like 20 minutes? Reign yourself in once in a while.

....and really Christopher Lee didn't get a proper death scene?
2012-11-24 12:51:44 PM  
1 votes:
"Could you turn that down? I've had a bad day and I hate the farking eagles, man!"
2012-11-24 12:25:16 PM  
1 votes:

thrasherrr: NeoCortex42: farkeruk: Lord Of The Rings is the sixth-highest grossing franchise ever, behind Harry Potter, James Bond, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean and Shrek.

I don't buy it. I know those 3 Star Wars films were big in the 70s and 80s, but surely inflation must have put them behind LOTR?

Not just that, but Shrek? Really? I guess it got a lot of ticket sales since it's a children's movie, but that still seems ridiculous.

Shrek has five films in its franchise, and it has more adult content that you apparently know about.

/kids aren't going to get John Woo references, see the third meaning behind the 'ogres are like onions' dialog, or notice delicate subversion of traditional characters into real-world caricatures


Kids wouldn't get a lot of the references in the My Little Ponies show. Doesn't mean it's not a kids show.

The adult stuff is there just to make it bearable for the parents.
2012-11-24 11:41:52 AM  
1 votes:

ZeroCorpse: I guess I should clarify: it wasn't a Hobbit that murdered his best friend upon seeing the Ring. It was one of the Stoorish Hobbits, who were almost-but-not-quite Hobbits as they are in Frodo's era. So while Frodo was able to resist (as was Bilbo and Sam) for much of the time they had the ring, Smeagol and Deagol could not. The latter two reacted to it as if they were Men.

So as I understand it:

Men: Contact equals instant corruption. Proximity equals corruption within a short time frame.
Elves: Contact equals eventual corruption, though not sure how long it would take. Proximity takes much longer.
Wizards: Contact equals eventual corruption. Proximity takes longer.
Orcs: Unknown, but considering they're already evil it's probably pretty quick, I'd assume.
Hobbits: Contact equals corruption, though it takes a long time. Proximity takes decades.
Dwarves: Contact equals corruption, though we know not how long it takes. Proximity seems to take a very long time.
Eagles: Unknown, but we can assume they're more susceptible than Hobbits.


The Seven Dwarf Lords who accepted rings from Sauron never faded into Ringwraiths; the Dwarves were made to endure. So Sauron worked hard to get them back, and succeeded with 3 of them. The other 4 perished in dragonfire.

Now, the corrupting power of the One Ring would be greater than that of the Seven. Hard to guess how much it would affect them.
2012-11-24 11:24:31 AM  
1 votes:
"they who dwell beyond the Sea would not receive it: for good or ill it belongs to Middle-earth; it is for us who still dwell here to deal with it."
-During the Council of Elrond

The Eagles belonged to Manwe, king of the Valar. The ring was Middle-Earth's problem and only the free people of Middle-Earth could take any direct action to destroy it.
2012-11-24 10:30:30 AM  
1 votes:

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


Mind Blown....
2012-11-24 09:56:45 AM  
1 votes:

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.
2012-11-24 09:40:56 AM  
1 votes:

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 09:38:05 AM  
1 votes:
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 09:36:59 AM  
1 votes:
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 08:58:16 AM  
1 votes:
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 08:30:25 AM  
1 votes:
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 08:25:45 AM  
1 votes:
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.
 
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