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 "Could the eagles have flown Frodo into Mordor?"

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SteveL
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PostSubject: "Could the eagles have flown Frodo into Mordor?"   Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:24 pm

Yes, says Sean Crist.
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Wilhelm

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PostSubject: Re: "Could the eagles have flown Frodo into Mordor?"   Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:39 pm

Think of it like a bombing run. And you have one bomber carrying the bomb (a nuke in the case of the ring).

If the eagles cooperated (unlikely as they don't care about jewelery or the affairs of men and elves) you could run sweep and escort missions as well as decoys.

This is way too much like a frontal assault. The Nazgul can fly and would sense the ring. Escorts and decoys would be irrelevant as the Ringwraiths focused all of their efforts on the bird carrying the package.
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PostSubject: Re: "Could the eagles have flown Frodo into Mordor?"   Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:44 pm

Wilhelm wrote:
Think of it like a bombing run. And you have one bomber carrying the bomb (a nuke in the case of the ring).

If the eagles cooperated (unlikely as they don't care about jewelery or the affairs of men and elves) you could run sweep and escort missions as well as decoys.

This is way too much like a frontal assault. The Nazgul can fly and would sense the ring. Escorts and decoys would be irrelevant as the Ringwraiths focused all of their efforts on the bird carrying the package.
The eagles care about the affairs of men (e.g., they rescued Frodo and Sam at the end). Plus, the author addresses the issue of the Nazgul vs. the eagles.
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Wilhelm

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PostSubject: Re: "Could the eagles have flown Frodo into Mordor?"   Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:57 pm

They were doing a favour for a Wizard (a demi-god even) they really don't care about elves and men.

Even with winged defenders a concentrated attack on the winged ring bearer (say that 10 times fast) may succeed. The Council of Elrond would have rejected the idea in much the same way they rejected a frontal assault.
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PostSubject: Re: "Could the eagles have flown Frodo into Mordor?"   Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:21 pm

Wilhelm wrote:
They were doing a favour for a Wizard (a demi-god even) they really don't care about elves and men. [...]
Whether they "care" or not (whatever that means in practical terms), Gandalf could have asked them to do him another favour by flying the Ringbearer to Mount Doom. Because he didn't, the author contends that this is a plot hole.

Wilhelm wrote:
[...]

Even with winged defenders a concentrated attack on the winged ring bearer (say that 10 times fast) may succeed. The Council of Elrond would have rejected the idea in much the same way they rejected a frontal assault. [...]
From the essay:

Quote :
"Sauron would send the flying Nazgūl after the eagles."

It is likely that he would. However, there is a very good change that the Nazgūl would not reach the eagles in time to foil the threat.

First, the Nazgūl are almost certainly not always airborne; the flying mounts must rest sometimes. It would presumably take at least a few minutes to take the flying mounts out of their stables, harness them, and get the Nazgūl aloft. We are not told where the flying mounts are stabled (Barad-dūr would be a fair guess), but unless it is very close to Mt. Doom, the Nazgūl have little chance of catching up with the eagles unless they chanced to be aloft already.

Second, the Nazgūl would have to be able to fly faster than the eagles to be able to catch up with them. We are not specifically told whether the eagles are faster than the Nazgūl, but there is at least an oblique suggestion that they are:

Quote :
"Then come, and let your brother go with us, and some other of your folk who is most swift! For we have need of speed greater than any wind, outmatching the wings of the Nazgūl." (III, 280; emphasis is [Sean Crist's].)
Finally, we know that the eagles are willing to attack the flying Nazgūl, because they do so at the last battle before the Black Gate. An entirely possible series of events would be for some of the eagles to attack the Nazgūl and hold them back long enough to allow the eagle carrying the Ringbearer to reach Mt. Doom.

Quote :
[...]

The Council of Elrond would have rejected the idea in much the same way they rejected a frontal assault.
That the Council of Elrond didn't even mention the eagles as an option is a strong indication of a plot hole.
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PostSubject: Re: "Could the eagles have flown Frodo into Mordor?"   Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:26 pm

Frodo: Gandalf! Why didn't you get the eagles to fly the ring into Mordor in the first place? Wouldn't that have been quicker? And perhaps then I wouldn't have had my finger bitten off!

Gandalf: D'oh!
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Wilhelm

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PostSubject: Re: "Could the eagles have flown Frodo into Mordor?"   Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:20 pm

Quote :
That the Council of Elrond didn't even mention the eagles as an option is a strong indication of a plot hole.

We're talking about a book who's main premise is that a god who transferred 90% of his power into a ring, loses it and then spends the next 3000 years looking for it. We're talking about trees that walk and talk, humanoids that live forever, dragons, demons, trolls, giants, crystal balls (palantir), Magic rings, men that turn into bears, Eagles that talk and undead.

Methinks there are much bigger plot holes than "someone forgot to ask the eagles"
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PostSubject: Re: "Could the eagles have flown Frodo into Mordor?"   Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:58 pm

Wilhelm wrote:
Quote :
That the Council of Elrond didn't even mention the eagles as an option is a strong indication of a plot hole.

We're talking about a book who's main premise is that a god who transferred 90% of his power into a ring, loses it and then spends the next 3000 years looking for it. We're talking about trees that walk and talk, humanoids that live forever, dragons, demons, trolls, giants, crystal balls (palantir), Magic rings, men tat turn into bears, Eagles that talk and undead.

Methinks there are much bigger plot holes than "someone forgot to ask the eagles"
I don't see why your examples are plot holes rather than fantastic elements of the story. The alleged plot hole is that Tolkien introduced powerful eagles but neglected to account for their ability to end the story prematurely. He could've had the council at least raise the notion if only to have it rejected.

Another (alleged) plot hole mentioned by the essay author is Saruman's failure to take the Ring of Fire (one of the three elven rings of power) from Gandalf when he imprisoned the latter on Orthanc. This might be explainable by the fact that Gandalf wasn't totally at Saruman's mercy--or that Saruman decided he didn't need that ring "knowing" he'd soon have his hands on the One Ring. I don't remember if any detail was given about the nature of Gandalf's physical status as prisoner; was he merely locked on the roof, or was he under Saruman's full control?
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PostSubject: Re: "Could the eagles have flown Frodo into Mordor?"   Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:01 pm

Jonathan wrote:
Frodo: Gandalf! Why didn't you get the eagles to fly the ring into Mordor in the first place? Wouldn't that have been quicker? And perhaps then I wouldn't have had my finger bitten off!

Gandalf: D'oh!
I like to imagine Gandalf saying, "Sorry, bro'. My bad".
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Wilhelm

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PostSubject: Re: "Could the eagles have flown Frodo into Mordor?"   Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:44 pm

Gandalf did not wear the ring openly. I don't think Saruman knew about it. If he did, your explanations are possible but, I would think you would still take it just to weaken him further. I think it was simply ignorance on Sarumans part (he likely thought the fire ring was with Cirdan at the gray havens.

Forgetting to ask the eagles could also be a fantastic element of the story (now I'm just being argumentative).

Another offensive weapon that Sauron had was control over weather - he could have used this to foil the Eagles, ground them, pin them down and send in waves of orcs, trolls and nazgul. As a god he probably had other tools to stop the eagles. He affected the weather in the siege of Minas Tirith. He did not do so at the final battle as he was winning until Frodo announced his intention to keep the ring, gollum slipped on the proverbial banana peel and did the lava dive. The point being that any blatant assault was too risky.

The author had a flair for having the eagles save the day (see the battle of the 5 armies in the hobbit). He did not use them as shock troops and he did not use them as beasts of burden (with 2 exceptions when they they carried Gandalf and the hobbits).
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PostSubject: Re: "Could the eagles have flown Frodo into Mordor?"   Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:44 am

Here's another reason for not using the eagles:

http://oglaf.com/ornithology/1/
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kubera

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PostSubject: Re: "Could the eagles have flown Frodo into Mordor?"   Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:40 pm

Who in their right mind would trust the eagles?, everyone knows how flighty they are.

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