First of all - I never read Tolkien novels, that's why my knowledge about this world is only from movies. Secondly, I have a rationalistic point of view on the whole universe and there is no place for magic. When I watch fantasy [I like it :)] I'm saying to myself, ok, it's magic, calm down, let it be. But sometimes I really don't understand some facts.

At the end of the first part of "The Hobbit" Gandalf called birds to save them from orcs. They flight to some rock and stopped. From that rock they saw Erebor.

The question is why they didn't use birds to fly to Erebor or Mordor at LOTR? Are there any limitations because of which they can't do that? Or it's a magic and let it be?

  • This is not a duplicate of scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/2333/…. Most objections to eagles carrying the Ring to Mount Doom are specific to Mordor, Sauron, and the Ring. They don't preclude the Eagles from carrying the Fellowship near Mordor, or from carrying dwarves & co. to Erebor. – Paul Draper Apr 12 '14 at 21:06
  • The best answer is because Tolkien didn't write it that way. In my opinion. – FreshWaterTaffy Jun 4 '15 at 21:38
  • @PaulDraper - in both cases, the answer is "because a story about an airline run by big Eagles wouldn't be very interesting." – Wad Cheber Jun 14 '15 at 5:31
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    @WadCheber, there's compelling evidence that is the out-of-universe answer, most conspicuously that Tolkien didn't lampshade it. The in-universe answer is nonexistent or something different. – Paul Draper Jun 14 '15 at 6:27
  • @PaulDraper - As far as anyone has been able to ascertain (primarily his son and literary executor, Christopher Tolkien), this particular issue never occurred to Tolkien during his lifetime. He did say that a script for a proposed adaptation used the Eagles too much, and that they must be used very sparingly, or the whole story would be in jeopardy of falling apart. But it doesn't appear that he ever considered the possibility of using the Eagles to carry the Ring to Mordor or the Dwarves to Erebor. He was trying to write a good book, so such a cheap cop out wouldn't have crossed his mind. – Wad Cheber Jun 14 '15 at 7:41

This question is brought up a lot.

The LOTR Wiki Says

"It has been pointed out by several observers that the entire War of the Ring could have been over almost as quickly as it began if only Gandalf had requested that Gwaihir simply take the ring himself and delivered it to Mount Doom to have it destroyed. Whether or not this is a reasonable possibility is debatable, however, using logic, you can conclude that Sauron would have seen the ring and sent armies and the Nazgûl after him, thus eventually overpowering Gwaihir and ultimately giving Sauron the ring. This also is debatable because it is unknown how the wearing of the Ring on a claw or other appendage would affect an animal and Sauron's ability to see it with his Eye. It should also be understood that the mission to bring the One Ring to Mordor was appointed to Frodo by the Council of Elrond. Only Frodo alone should risk holding the Ring, thus it was not Gwaihir's mission, nor was it his burden, to carry either the Ring or the Ring Bearer. This is addressed in the video game Lord of the Rings: War In The North, when this is suggested by the party to Gandalf. Also, since a single poison arrow had nearly brought him down in the past, it would be reasonable to assume Gwaihir and the other eagles would be reluctant to fly over orc archers."

Personally, I think that Gandalfs Relationship with Gwaihir was one of mutual respect and more about helping each other in a pinch rather than engaging in a taxi service.

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    Everything is reasonable until the last sentence. Asking "Hey, I have an idea that will save Middle-Earth (where you live) from incredible evil. Will you help me?" is different than "Gwaifir, I'm running late to the party. Mind giving me a ride?" – Paul Draper Apr 12 '14 at 21:09
  • Who is to say that Gwaihir, a being of power, would be uncorrupted by the Ring himself? – Oldcat Aug 12 '14 at 0:01

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