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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Great Eagles In The Hobbit
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Gavin Of Lorien
Registered User

Apr 11 2013, 2:13am

Post #1 of 46 (2277 views)
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Great Eagles In The Hobbit Can't Post

Ever since my first viewing of AUJ all I can ask about it is why the eagles decided to land everyone on top of a giant rock. Also, couldn't they have just flown them to Erebor? Or at least past Mirkwood? I understand that Tolkien didn't want to abuse the eagles power and that they try not to interfere too much, but surely it wouldn't hurt them to land the company in a better spot. Now I understand that the closer the eagles would fly them, the more that Smaug would become an issue. It's just been bugging me a bit and I want some opinions.
Thanks!


MouthofSauron
Tol Eressea


Apr 11 2013, 2:35am

Post #2 of 46 (1874 views)
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the eagle sequence was spectacular, but the music really made it!! [In reply to] Can't Post

a shame that track didn't make it onto the soundtrack. Regarding the eagles not flying them to the lonely mountain, the eagles didn't know where they were heading, they were simply flying them away from danger. However, the reason why Gandalf did not ask them to fly the ring to mount doom escapes me.


take me down to the woodland realm where the trees are green and the elf women are pretty....Oh will you please take me home!!


Fredeghar Wayfarer
Lorien


Apr 11 2013, 5:12am

Post #3 of 46 (1816 views)
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This is why we needed talking Eagles [In reply to] Can't Post

These kinds of questions always come up. If the Eagles had been able to talk in the movie, this could have been addressed. It also would have provided some of the fairy tale feel of the book.

But I digress. There are several reasons why the Eagles didn't fly the company all the way to Erebor. For one thing, they don't like to leave their territory, for fear of the arrows of human hunters. For another, they are not the Dwarves' servants to be ordered about or treated like a taxi service. I would imagine they also would not want to go anywhere near Mirkwood or Erebor due to the evil powers (Necromancer and Smaug) that rule there.

As for flying the Ring to Mount Doom, they would have been shot out of the sky by arrows or catapults or attacked by the Nazgul on their fell beasts before they got anywhere close to the volcano.


dormouse
Half-elven


Apr 11 2013, 10:15am

Post #4 of 46 (1691 views)
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Maybe because it's easier for an eagle.... [In reply to] Can't Post

... particularly a very big eagle, to drop someone off on a mountain top from which he can easily climb down than to fly him right down to ground level.

As to the rest, the eagles are fiercely indepent and help when they want to and as much as they choose. As they explain in the book, flying over lands where men live exposes them to danger from arrows, so they don't do that if they can help it.


Hamfast of Gamwich
Rivendell


Apr 11 2013, 10:24am

Post #5 of 46 (1701 views)
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I really hope... [In reply to] Can't Post

...DoS begins with a scene in which the Dwarves are stuggling to climb down the Carrock and a disgruntled Bofur says "why couldn't those damn Eagles drop us on the ground, or just fly us to the Lonely Mountain for that matter?"

To which Gandalf replies "The eagles of Middle Earth are not your personal taxi service Master Dwarf, they seldom meddle in the matters of the free people's of middle earth, be thankful they saved you at all."

"Durin's Heir you may be, but even with one eye you should see clearer. If this is victory, then our hands are too small to hold it. We will not enter Khazad-dum. You will not enter Khazad-dum. I have looked through the shadow of the Gate. Beyond the shadow it waits for you still: Durin’s Bane. The world must change and some other power than ours must come before Durin’s Folk walk again in Moria.”


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 11 2013, 11:49am

Post #6 of 46 (1654 views)
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for all the reasons mentioned above [In reply to] Can't Post

 
but also, i think the eagles rather did them a favor.

from that vantage point, they got to see erebor. given how their road went far astray when they went under the misty mountains, they might have not had a good idea of where exactly they were, in relation to their destination.

placing them on the carrock allowed them to see where they needed to go.

also, if they eagles know about beorn (probably), they might have thought that by dropping the off on the carrock, they might be more likely to hook up with beorn.

as for talking, i certainly assume that the eagles can (and do) talk. we just didn't get a chance to see it here.


cheers -

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Luinnár
Rivendell

Apr 11 2013, 11:52am

Post #7 of 46 (1648 views)
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The eagles are not their pets. [In reply to] Can't Post

They don't come when it is convenient, they come only when there is no other option. Eagles are not in the story to make it easy for them.


Eleniel
Grey Havens


Apr 11 2013, 1:46pm

Post #8 of 46 (1643 views)
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But that's just it... [In reply to] Can't Post

By PJ reusing the idea of the moth to "call the Eagles" he has just turned them into the M-e taxi service!!

It would have been far better to show the Eagles acting independently - rescuing Gandalf and the Dwarves because they happened to notice the fires and commotion from their nearby eyries. <shrug>


"Choosing Trust over Doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened."
¯ Victoria Monfort






Arannir
Valinor

Apr 11 2013, 2:26pm

Post #9 of 46 (1633 views)
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While the moth certainly makes it look more like that... [In reply to] Can't Post

... it still is an issue that did not just come up with PJ, but something Tolkien himself never really addressed satisfactorly imho in the books either (I know he commented on it in letters and such, but I am talking about stand-alone books without background research).

Because, essentially, also Tolkien could have easily slipped in a short sentence in "The Council of Elrond" in which everything would have been explained... they talk about stuff like giving the ring to Bombadil, however, the Eagles do not come up.

However, even explanations like "they do not normally meddle with the business of the world" or "they are independent and do not answer to anyone" still offers some issues - and I guess Tolkien was very aware of it and that is why he wrote himself that they are a complicated (dangerous?) devise for good story-telling.

They are independent, yes, but still they seem to engage relatively often, still. It would have been dangerous for them to fly to Mordor, yes, but Frodo walking their is not really a smaller risk either. I have listened and read on this discussions so many times, and still, I think, the only real answer is that they will remain a complicated devise for story-telling that every reader will have to make sense of themself.

Same goes for the movie, although I do see why many think the moth makes it much worse. However, the music of the Eagles when the moth comes back worked too good on me to wish it out ;)

What I think is more important - and that still works in the movies - is the notion of Tolkien's eucatastrophe.


(This post was edited by Arannir on Apr 11 2013, 2:32pm)


QuackingTroll
Valinor


Apr 11 2013, 2:38pm

Post #10 of 46 (1632 views)
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Correct answer: The eagles don't want to fly near men, because they'll get shot [In reply to] Can't Post

It says very specifically in the book, they ask Gwahir to fly them to Erebor and Gwahir says something like "We will take you as far as we can, but we will not go near men, because they will shoot us thinking that we're after their sheep, and on any other occasion they would be right"

I just wish they'd included it in the film, Gandalf could have said it if they don't want talking eagles Frown


(This post was edited by QuackingTroll on Apr 11 2013, 2:41pm)


DanielLB
Immortal


Apr 11 2013, 2:40pm

Post #11 of 46 (1596 views)
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It would certainly save a lot of questions from general audience members [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
To which Gandalf replies "The eagles of Middle Earth are not your personal taxi service Master Dwarf, they seldom meddle in the matters of the free people's of middle earth, be thankful they saved you at all."


Though, "transport" might be better than "taxi", since taxi is a very modern word.

I suspect the whole moth-eagle thing is a small joke by PJ. He probably enjoys the fact that people ask "why can't the eagles ....?"

I do wish they spoke as well.


tarasaurus
Rohan


Apr 11 2013, 2:41pm

Post #12 of 46 (1604 views)
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Yes!! I agree! [In reply to] Can't Post

I was blown away by the entire eagle flight sequennce, especially with that music! It was so beautiful and I'm sad it's not even on the deluxe edition. :(


tarasaurus
Rohan


Apr 11 2013, 2:45pm

Post #13 of 46 (1597 views)
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All the reasons posted before me [In reply to] Can't Post

and because, as Balin says, they have to be in exactly the right place at the right time for the doors to be opened. I imagine if the eagles could have taken them there and if they stood there until that time came, Smaug would have a tastey dindin right outside 'his' realm.


(This post was edited by tarasaurus on Apr 11 2013, 2:46pm)


Luinnár
Rivendell

Apr 11 2013, 2:48pm

Post #14 of 46 (1591 views)
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Maybe P.J. [In reply to] Can't Post

is trying to avoid talking animals so people won't compare it to the Chronicles of Narnia. I wonder if this means that the ravens and the thrush will not speak.


QuackingTroll
Valinor


Apr 11 2013, 2:49pm

Post #15 of 46 (1594 views)
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I think Radagast might talk to them. Which is a scary thought [In reply to] Can't Post

 The fact that even fans are questioning why the eagles didn't fly them all the way is evidence that this - really very simple - line really needed to be included. Please fix it, PJ Unsure


(This post was edited by QuackingTroll on Apr 11 2013, 2:51pm)


tarasaurus
Rohan


Apr 11 2013, 2:50pm

Post #16 of 46 (1574 views)
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I have to say [In reply to] Can't Post

I really liked that the eagles didn't speak. I think it's one of those things easily done in text, but I bet it's difficult to get it to screen without it looking cheesy or awful.


Arannir
Valinor

Apr 11 2013, 2:50pm

Post #17 of 46 (1577 views)
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I think... [In reply to] Can't Post

... the thrush won't speak and that Bilbo will have a much more active role in warning Bard/Laketown by attaching a message to the thrush. Or something similar to that. However, this version would have to explain how the thrush knows where to fly... so it would have to be indicated that it also has some sort of "higher intelligence", such as the eagles and the moth (maybe by also showing the thrush in Laketown, close to Bard, etc.).


Arannir
Valinor

Apr 11 2013, 2:51pm

Post #18 of 46 (1572 views)
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100% agreed. I am so glad they did not speak. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Luinnár
Rivendell

Apr 11 2013, 2:53pm

Post #19 of 46 (1565 views)
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Perhaps [In reply to] Can't Post

The thrush will be Bard's pet.Laugh


Arannir
Valinor

Apr 11 2013, 2:56pm

Post #20 of 46 (1563 views)
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Maybe not that... [In reply to] Can't Post

... but maybe it gets hurt and cared for by Bard.

Or the bird will simply be shown as "smart" enough to know where Bilbo wants it to fly with the message.


QuackingTroll
Valinor


Apr 11 2013, 2:56pm

Post #21 of 46 (1566 views)
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Yeah, and it looked incredible in 3D, it was really the highlight of the film. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


DanielLB
Immortal


Apr 11 2013, 2:56pm

Post #22 of 46 (1569 views)
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I think it can be done very well [In reply to] Can't Post

The Gryphon in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was very well done. To make it better, they needed to alter the human voice though - giving it more animalistic tones. Though, I recognise that the concept of speaking animals works far better in Narnia, than it does in Middle-earth.

The other way of doing is for them not to speak Westron, so that Gandalf interprets what they are saying (like Radagast does), or they are telepathic (like the Mirkwood spiders will be).

Many options. They probably did consider it. But it was probably easier to leave them not speaking. And the Carrock scene underwent a late alteration ...

I wonder if there are alternative scenes in the eagles eerie. Maybe they were supposed to talk.

I hope this is all explained in behind-the-scene videos on the EE DVD. I would love to fully understand the two films were going to be structured, and which scenes had to be changed/cut because of the 3 film decision and Azog/Bolg/Yazneg change/s.


(This post was edited by DanielLB on Apr 11 2013, 3:03pm)


QuackingTroll
Valinor


Apr 11 2013, 2:59pm

Post #23 of 46 (1563 views)
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It can be done right. But it doesn't bother me that they don't speak, it makes them more majestic and mysterious [In reply to] Can't Post

Said it a million times, but they could easily have had Gandalf explain that they could get shot if they went near men Frown and I would love if he had told them about the poison arrow. But hey, there's 2 sequels and EE's to come yet **fingers crossed**


(This post was edited by QuackingTroll on Apr 11 2013, 2:59pm)


Arannir
Valinor

Apr 11 2013, 3:00pm

Post #24 of 46 (1552 views)
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Hm... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The Gryphon in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was very well done. To make it better, they needed to alter the human voice though - giving it more animalistic tones.

Yes, I guess whether one thinks that it could have worked also depends on the perception of those. I did not like it very much there, although it worked better for me in the Narnia context. When I read TH for the first time (years after I read LotR for the first time), I was almost upset about them talking... never cared for it, really. I was already a bit alienated by the fox in the Shire wondering about the Hobbits :D


QuackingTroll
Valinor


Apr 11 2013, 3:02pm

Post #25 of 46 (1550 views)
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I think it will not speak, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

It will catch Bard's attention, pluck out one of its feathers and, using it as a quill, draw a basic anatomical map of Smaug with an X marked in the right place. Much better than this talking bird nonsense!

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