The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3) The Return of the King discussion


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Why didn't Gandalf take the ring to Mount Doom on the back of an eagle.

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message 1: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Field That's more or less it. They were faster than the Nazgul, and anyway, when it would have been discussed, at the council, the 9 didn't have their wings yet. Flying from the misty mountains or wherever it would probably have been an afternoons work. Job done, home in time for supper...


Beatrice Because Gandalf does not control the eagles, they are Radagasts'. Even if the brown wizard was part of the council, which he's not, are you forgetting Saruman? He would not have let it happen. He WAS more powerful than Gandalf at the time.


Erin C. And because gandalf found the ring too powerful for him and didnt want to hold it


Dave West Not to mention the purpose was for men (and hobbits) to stand up and be counted to resolve the world's problems (what with the elves leaving for valinor).

Furthermore Radagast did not control the Eagles, although he did give advice and tutelage. They themselves were emisaries of the Valar and therefore not necessarily allowed to aid the war effort. See the link for more http://www.examiner.com/j-r-r-tolkien...


Vivienne Johns Gandolf couldn't take the ring.... He would've kept it and not destroyed it. Just like anybody else would have, except frodo!


message 6: by Ignacio (new)

Ignacio Vivienne wrote: "Gandolf couldn't take the ring.... He would've kept it and not destroyed it. Just like anybody else would have, except frodo!"

You mean Sam. Sam's the hero.


Nathaniel Bertram The Great eagles are very powerful in the lore of Middle Earth, which means Sauron would more than likely be keeping tabs on them. It stands to reason he would know if they made a move to attempt to fly the ring to Mount Doom. Hobbits on the other hand were deemed worthless in the mind of Sauron, to the point where he wouldn't have even bothered with them had Gollum not told about Bilbo having the ring.


Lostshadows The flying beasts the Nazgul used would have still been in Mordor as an effective aerial defense.


Elizabeth Baxter This question has bugged me ever since I read LOTR. If the eagles can travel into Mordor to save Frodo and Sam, why couldn't they have carried them to Mount Doom with the ring? Some good answers here though, especially that Sauron would probably be waiting for them - I think I can put that one to bed.


Nathaniel Bertram Elizabeth wrote: "This question has bugged me ever since I read LOTR. If the eagles can travel into Mordor to save Frodo and Sam, why couldn't they have carried them to Mount Doom with the ring? Some good answers he..."

You have to remember that when they came in to collect Frodo and Sam there was a massive battle raging at the Black Gate, and also that the ring was in the middle of being destroyed inside the mountain. Sauron was dying at this point.


Marko Vivienne wrote: "Gandolf couldn't take the ring.... He would've kept it and not destroyed it. Just like anybody else would have, except frodo!"
Cannot help it, but that misspelling of Gandalf's name always reminds me of the Friends episode where they misspelled and pronounced it the same way. Irked me then, and still irks me today.


Badgerlord I'm pretty sure Sauron would be keeping a close eye on Gandalf. Geddit? Eye? Hahahaha ... sorry.


Gretchen Because then it would have been a really short story.


message 14: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Field Some interesting ideas here buuuut.
1) The eagles helped out plenty, all Gandalf had to do is ask. In the hobbit they carry the whole company, they evacuate Gandalf from Orthanc, and from the top of the endless stair, and the hobbits from mount doom. No reason why they wouldn't have done a bit more.
2) Nobodies neutral in Middle earth, Gandalf and Saruman are emissaries of the Valar, sauron himself is a maia - lesser Vala.
3) A force of eagles could take the steeds of the nazgul, Gandalf would ride the front one, shooting lazer beams, Frodo would bring up the rear. Gandalf wouldn't actually have to take the ring himself.
4) The purpose was to kick Saurons ass, not to learn a lesson, I don't think. I mean lessons were learnt but they were incidental.
5) Even if Sauron had his eye on the eagles, what could he have done?
6) All these questions clearly make it an interesting idea, so why was it never mentionned at the Council...
Hopefully that will kick the debate on a notch...


Nathaniel Bertram J.D. wrote: "Some interesting ideas here buuuut.
1) The eagles helped out plenty, all Gandalf had to do is ask. In the hobbit they carry the whole company, they evacuate Gandalf from Orthanc, and from the top o..."


1) Yes, the Eagles did help out, but remember that the War of the Ring was being waged in more than just Mordor. There were battles going on all over Middle Earth being headed by servants of Sauron that the Eagles were also lending their aid in. Regarding The Hobbit: the eagles were only carrying them from the foothills to the entrance to the forest, not carrying them all the way across the vast plains of Mordor.

Furthermore, as Gwaihir says about carrying Gandalf from Orthanc: "I was sent to bear tidings, not burdens." He takes him the the neighbouring gap of Rohan because its the closest place Gandalf can get a horse. Gwaihir can't carry much farther than that, and if you know your Middle Earth geography, Edoras isn't that far from Isengard.

2) The Eagles were not neutral per say, but they do have their own society and keep their own council. They answer to Gwaihir, and he would be forced to choose what is best for his people. This is just theory, but perhaps there were more immediately pressing threats to his people during the time of the council to spare.

3) See answer 1. The eagles are engaged in the war just like any other race of people. On top of that, it's not like they are immortal, unlike the Nazgul. Sauron could do plenty to prevent them from reaching Mount Doom. He has the biggest army in the history of Middle-Earth and home court advantage. You can bet he would have a contingency in place to counter an aerial attack.

4) No, I don't think they were sent out to be taught a lesson, but the author needed to teach the readers a lesson through the characters. If the story simply ended by the eagles tossing the ring into the mountain it would be a sorely disappointing story.

5) see answer 3

6) Not everything the council discusses is mentioned in the book, it's possible there was mention of the idea but it was debunked, and therefore irrelevant to the record.

Feel free to poke holes, this is a just a quick look at the questions off the top of my head.


Lostshadows J.D. wrote: "A force of eagles could take the steeds of the nazgul, Gandalf would ride the front one, shooting lazer beams"

Go back to LotR & The Hobbit and look at how much magic Gandalf actually does. (Hint: Not much and nothing remotely close to firing lasers.)


message 17: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Field Emma wrote: "J.D. wrote: "A force of eagles could take the steeds of the nazgul, Gandalf would ride the front one, shooting lazer beams"

Go back to LotR & The Hobbit and look at how much magic Gandalf actually..."


that was kind of tongue in cheek... but he does shoot light at the winged nazgul...


Geoffrey The eye would have spotted the eagles immediately. Remember, as Sam and Frodo entered Mordor they continually had to seek obstruction to the sight of the wandering eye. Its power of observation was formidable.


message 19: by Kevin (last edited Apr 05, 2012 07:44PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kevin Gandalf and ring equal disaster.

Gandalf would not dare handle the ring.

The ring and the eagles wouldnt work either. The ring would overwhelm the eagles and they wouldnt be able to control it's force. The ring would never reach the crack of doom if using the eagles to carry it. As inteligent as the eagles may be they are merely animals in the long run.


message 20: by Mark (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mark Kaye Simple if he had, Lord of the rings would have been a very short story.


Michael Brady Reminds me of an old SNL skit: "What if Spartacus had a Piper Cub?"


message 22: by Mark (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mark Kaye Tirzah wrote: "Badgerlord wrote: "I'm pretty sure Sauron would be keeping a close eye on Gandalf. Geddit? Eye? Hahahaha ... sorry."

Lol :)"


LOL hahahahahaha


Crosly Anderson Saranar wrote: "Tirzah wrote: "Badgerlord wrote: "I'm pretty sure Sauron would be keeping a close eye on Gandalf. Geddit? Eye? Hahahaha ... sorry."

Lol :)"

LOL hahahahahaha"


Makes perfect sense :)


Edward I always thought it was because the Eagles wouldn't have been the most inconspicuous way of getting into Mordor, so he chose the more difficult, albeit very secretive method of gaining access into Mordor.


Geoffrey Edward
Exactly


message 26: by Max (new) - rated it 5 stars

Max Bolongaita Badgerlord wrote: "I'm pretty sure Sauron would be keeping a close eye on Gandalf. Geddit? Eye? Hahahaha ... sorry."

HOHOHO. excellent pun.


Geoffrey But never in the past tense.


message 28: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim Vivienne wrote: "Gandolf couldn't take the ring.... He would've kept it and not destroyed it. Just like anybody else would have, except frodo!"

Actually, Frodo did try to keep the ring. In Mt. Doom he turns to Sam and claims that he is is now the Lord of the Ring. And then Gollum bites his finger off. Gandalf refuses to take the ring for fear of corruption, as does Galadriel. The only people you can argue resist the ring thoroughly are Sam, who returns it to Frodo, Bilbo, who walks away from it after years of possession, and Faramir, who knows what the ring is and doesn't attempt to take it from Frodo.


message 29: by John (new) - rated it 5 stars

John Van Stry J.D. wrote: "That's more or less it. They were faster than the Nazgul, and anyway, when it would have been discussed, at the council, the 9 didn't have their wings yet. Flying from the misty mountains or wherev..."

1) the eagles were faster than the dragons the nazgul rode? You sure about that?
2) Probably not a trip that could be made in a single day, when you landed to sleep at night you're be really vulnerable
3) massive army with archers. (anti-air)
4) massive army with magic users. (anti-air)
5) When they made the decision to throw it in the lava there were no eagles around.
6) Gandalf was afraid of even touching the ring.


Rachel Eliason These are the things that keep writers up at night. You spend months, years even, working on a story and then some fan walks by and says, "why didn't you just get the eagles to do it?" ;)


message 31: by Mike (new)

Mike Wilson Yes - that would have been too easy, and eliminated a lot of great storytelling. An author wants to keep the reader turning pages and wondering. As has been mentioned, Gandalf did not want to try to carry the ring - he instantly refused such a suggestion in the first book (by Frodo, I believe.).


message 32: by Geoffrey (last edited May 25, 2012 04:12PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Geoffrey Remember the comment early on in the story that men were more tempted by the ring`s powers than the other critters, hobbits least of all. Gandalf would have been corrupted, certainly.
And no, a whole vast army would have laid in waiting for the eagles long before they reached Mt. Doom. Not only the Nazgul but hundreds of thousands of nasty little orcs with their missiles.


Peter West Remember that the ring had great power to corrupt its wielder.
The reason it was given to a scrawny hobbit was to reduce the risk. A power crazed corrupted hobbit is much easier to handle than a corrupted power crazed Gandalf. Those with great power and wisdom had the wisdom to stay away from such a foul device of corruption. It was also thought that the hobbits simple life and good values would help them resist the power of the ring, that is they were the least corruptible race of all. Even a short journey for Gandalf would have been extremely risky.
If Gandalf had sealed the hobbit with the ring in a lead box, attached a 100 meter rope to it and then flown with the box hanging below him then perhaps he could have maintained sufficient distance between himself and the ring of corruption.


Geoffrey And with Frodo in tow, that would have been a completely different story.
A RING AROUND FRODO
A RINGLED FRODO IN TOW
FRODO IN TOW TO DOOM
GANDALF LEADS FRODO TO DOOM

Interesting change of title. Perhaps Gandalf would have kept Gollum in the box as well. Oh No, that wouldn`t work either as Gollum in his schizophrenic alter ego would have eaten our hero.


message 35: by Lena (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lena J.D. wrote: "That's more or less it. They were faster than the Nazgul, and anyway, when it would have been discussed, at the council, the 9 didn't have their wings yet. Flying from the misty mountains or wherev..."

You've been watching HISHE, haven't you?


Cherie Waggie Because that's not the way Tolkien wrote it. (LOL) I often do this when I watch a movie or show, why didn't the characters do the obvious more easier thing. Because it wasn't in the script.
Actually, all joking aside, Sauron knew Gandalf. They were of the same order of wizards, though Sauron was of a higher order. Gandalf riding the eagles would have been instantly visible. Sauron would immediately have know he carried the ring, providing the eagles could have carried the weight of that ring. The ring had it's own will, remember. Any being of higher order Sauron would have felt and/or seen, and destroyed before they reached Mount Doom. Hobbits were unknown to Sauron. They were small, and able to slip through all his defenses without being noticed. Even Gollum slipped unnoticed by Sauron until he blundered into Mordor.


message 37: by Elly (new) - rated it 5 stars

Elly here is a link to flash youtube video exploring this as an alternate ending... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yqVD0...


message 38: by Gary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary Sauron didn't know where the Ring was and never suspected that somebody could bring themselves to even think of destroying it. Hence how the hobbits could sneak through.

If the Eagles took the ring would they be able to destroy it? If the Eagles carried Frodo Sauron would quickly learn of their approach and give them his full attention. As soon as he realised they were trying to fly the Ring into Mount Doom he could seal the Sammath Naur, surround it with troops and set the Nazgul and their power to hunting the Eagles down. One of the Nazgul being the Wytch-King with sorcerous powers himself.

Also Confucius the Easterling says "Never get in line of sight of a powerful wizard, let alone a demi-god."


Alana Someone said above (can't find it now) that the ring would have overpowered the eagles. I tend to take more of this view, as at times when the Ring felt it was in danger (as when it's being taken up the mountain) it somehow becomes massively heavy, pulling its bearer down. This would be disastrous in the air. Also, no matter who carried it into the mountain, they would have been corrupted in the end. If it had been in Sam's hand, he would have reacted the same way. If you'll recall, no one ever just tossed it into the fire; Gollum in his glee at finally retrieving the Ring, falls over the edge in his dance for joy. The Ring is conquered by its own greed and lust, not because someone managed to resist it in the end.


message 40: by Agata (new) - added it

Agata Geoffrey wrote: "Remember the comment early on in the story that men were more tempted by the ring`s powers than the other critters, hobbits least of all. Gandalf would have been corrupted, certainly.
And no, a who..."


Loved the part about "the hobbit in a lead box,attached a 100 meter rope to it and then flown with the box hanging below him" Hahaha, it made my day! :)


Robert Lent The eagles wouldn't have made it. They would have been cut down before they could get into Mount Doom. No, the way into Mount Doom was to sneak it there. Sam wasn't immune to the ring, he felt the effect after only a short exposure. He shrugged off his "Samwise the Strong" fantasy, but if he kept the ring longer, it wouldn't have been long before he wasn't able to shrug it off. Bilbo had the ring for a long time without much obvious ill effect, but the power of the ring was weaker than. As Sauron grew in strength, and as Frodo and Sam got closer, the ring began to exert more influence. At the end, getting the ring from Bilbo was like pulling teeth.


message 42: by Bill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill Kuchler Did you skip pages???


Sophie-Lousie Chloé wrote: "And because gandalf found the ring too powerful for him and didnt want to hold it"

Agreed. He knew that power was his one weakness, and that the world would be pretty much doomed if he became ensnared by the ring.


Graeme Skinner Would've been a pretty poor book if that's all that happened.....!


message 45: by Arjun (last edited Jun 28, 2012 09:02AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Arjun Chatterjee One does not simply fly into mordor...


message 46: by Evan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Evan Williams I would love to have heard Mr. Tolkien's reasoning behind it. Surely he gave it consideration, based on the intricate details throughout the entire story. When I began reading The Hobbit forty years ago,I was transported like no other book had ever done. I kept up with a little piece of paper which I used as a bookmark. It traveled through multiple readings of The Hobbit and LOTR series. I searched and searched for something comparable back then, e.g. Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea trilogy, Terry Brooks' Sword of Shannarra, but nothing ever satisfied like Tolkien. For decades I awaited the tale to become cinematic (the animated movie didn't quite cut it). Now my extended version LOTR DVD's get plenty of play time. It sure beats staring at the Hildebrandt brothers' paintings, and wishing for more. And just like a slick re-make of an iconic old song, sold to youngsters unaware of its fabled origins, J.R.R. Tolkien is the source, the wellspring of imagination, who's fame lesser authors have attempted to duplicate, and earned many dollars thanks to his genius. RIP Mr. Tolkien. Millions of thanks for the gift you gave us.


Douglas Larson Well I believe that Gandalf didn't take the ring for two main reasons. Here the are from most important -
1) He knew the rings power and that it might well corrupt him. If such a thing were to happen then either Sauron would be replaced by an evil Gandalf or Gandalf would fall under the sway and dominion of Sauron (more likely the latter).
2) He knew that Sauron was expecting some powerful prince or lord to attack Mordor, bearing the newly found ring. In other words, Sauron would have expected such a move and be ready for it.


Michaela Well, for one thing, the eagles pretty much do as they please, and the fact that they rescued them at the end - that was awesome, but it was their choice.

Another thing, the Nazgul would see them too soon and just take them out. Not to mention Sauron would see them.


Geoffrey Michaela, Remember that once the ring was destroyed, the Nazgul were through.


message 50: by Will (new) - rated it 5 stars

Will IV The point Michaela was making is that the Eagles wouldn't be able to slip past the Nazgul in order to destroy the ring.


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The Return of the King (other topics)
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