Tag Archives: lotr

Why Gandalf Didn’t Just Use the Eagles

One of the presumed plotholes in Lord of the Rings is after all is said and done giant eagles come to Mordor to rescue Frodo and Samwise at Gandalf’s request. If Gandalf could command eagles, why didn’t he just use them to fly the Ring to Mordor from the very beginning? A theory from Reddit:

“When [he]Gandalf escapes on the eagle he doesn’t go directly to Rivendell to meet the hobbits, he first goes to meet the eagles… Gandalf and the eagles discus the plan for the eagles to take Frodo and the ring to Mordor and the eagles agree to do it, even though it could be dangerous for them because of the nine dragons the Nazgûl ride – the only things in Saurons defences that could stand in the eagles way…. Gandalf and the eagles agree that the plan should be kept very secret.

Being closest to the eagles the High pass would have been ideal for Gandalfs plan, but he decided against it because it was the obvious route …

The next most northern pass is what Gandalf settled for, even though it’s a very dangerous pass and even though it would mean a long journey north to meet the eagles, it is still the safest route for his plan to remain secret and that is all that’s important to him now. Keeping his plan secret was the main reason for him choosing the Redhorn pass. But Saruman was watching here too and sent storms to stop them. The Gap of Rohan would take them far too close to Isengard, and more importantly too far south. Which was no good for the plan as they’d have to travel the whole length of the Misty Mountains up the eastern side to meet the eagles. So the Gap wasn’t an option for Gandalf and the only way left was Moria. Which he didn’t like at all and we see he’s very reluctant. We think it’s only because of the Balrog but it’s also because of the risk of goblins and orcs seeing them go north on the eastern side (like the High pass) and because it was further south than he’d planned for which meant it would take longer to reach the eagles.

They almost get through Moria but Gandalf ends up fighting the Balrog and falling down the chasm. When he’s about to fall he realises he has to tell them the eagle plan quickly before he falls, and in a way that any nearby orcs and golbins won’t understand. He says ”Fly, you fools” hoping at least one of the fellowship understands what he really means… but they don’t. He falls and fights the Balrog.

Meanwhile the fellowship escapes Moria and carries on with the only plan they’ve known – get the ring to Mordor.Gandalf the Grey dies in the battle against the Balrog, but he comes back later as Gandalf the White. When he comes back he has forgotten a lot of things about his previous life. Even his own name, until he’s reminded of it when Aragorn calls him Gandalf. And he even forgot his plan to meet the eagles.

At the end when he needs to get Frodo and Sam away from the erupting Mount Doom he knows only one way to do it – calling the eagles to fly them out of there. This is when he remembers the plan, calling the eagles reminds him of it in the same way Aragorn calling him Gandalf reminded him of his name. But by this time the ring is destroyed and the plan is redundant.

TL;DR (I don’t blame you) Gandalf secretly planned on taking the fellowship to where the eagles live and having the eagles fly them to Mordor. The eagles lived on the other side of the Misty Mountains but all the routes for crossing them were too dangerous and difficult, and Gandalf (along with his secret plan) ends up falling down a chasm in a battle with the Balrog. Just before falling with the Balrog he tries to surreptitiously tell them the secret plan but was too surreptitious and they didn’t understand. When he came back as Gandalf the White he had forgotten many things, including the plan to meet the eagles.”

Full details http://www.reddit.com/r/FanTheories/comments/130it2/lord_of_the_rings_a_theory_about_the_eagle_plot/

If Gandalf Had Taken The Ring

A commenter on Reddit plays out the scenario if Gandalf kept the ring:

“Gandalf would be more like Mao, I think. He comes onto the scene as a conquering hero, overthrowing the Shadow in the East and promising a return to peace and prosperity. For a time, it works. He sets about showing the world how to order itself without the threat of a Dark Lord to rule it. A cult of personality springs up, and Gandalf is worshiped as the great savior of Middle-earth. His wisdom spreads throughout the land in the form of a Red Book, composed by his closest friends, the Halflings. He continues to go by names others have created for him, a sign of his humility, and so he is known still as Mithrandir, or Gandalf, or Incanus, or Tharkun.

“He finds the task difficult. Early on, he sticks to the restrictions of the Istari, trying to lead by example and persuasion, rather than by force or command. But over time, the ordering of his great realm, stretching from the Tower Hills to Harad, proves too much. Shadowfax grows lean and rebellious as Gandalf rides him too hard, for too long, responding to small crises all over the continent. Wherever Gandalf turns his attention, though, things prosper. Projects are streamlined, the poor are fed, fields are planted and harvested to unheard-of bounty.

“But he cannot be everywhere at once. After a time, Gandalf convinces several of the Fellowship to go to different parts of the continent, to rule there in his name. After all, they knew him best, and can carry the wisdom he has to the furthest reaches. He sends with each of them a palantir. It grieves him to separate old friends like Frodo and Sam, and they feel totally under-prepared for the tasks before them, but with Gandalf a mere palantir-communion away, they go. And after all, how can they deny Gandalf? Just being in his presence, they feel compelled to follow his requests. They are, after all, perfectly reasonable ideas, and only the Fellowship can be trusted to implement them.”

Read the rest http://np.reddit.com/r/tolkienfans/comments/2qgw03/was_gandalf_able_to_be_corrupted_by_the_ring_if/cn657zi

Gandalf and the One True Ring

“Tolkien–like most Christians–believed that the most important things about the world are not subject to quantification. ‘Magic’ and ‘power’ in his mythos are qualitative, not quantitative phenomena. … the Rings of Power act more as multipliers of their wielders’ inherent virtue/vice and force of personality than by conveying discrete, quantifiable powers. Each person who comes in contact with any ring would be effected by it slightly differently, depending on who they are, though any given ring would have tendencies in one direction. The One Ring tended towards domination and possessiveness, while the Elven Rings towards healing and restoration. Etc. But the reason we don’t see the One Ring do all that much is that Sauron is the only person who ever wielded it who actually had the underlying strength of spirit to use it to its full potential. The books actually talk about this in as many words. Gollum became a sneaking, spiteful creature–because that was in his nature to begin with. But his nature did not really have much in the way of ‘strength of spirit’ in Tolkien’s terms, so he was never going to be a great lord. Just a really sneaking, spiteful creature instead of an ordinary one.”

From a Metafilter thread “Gandalf as Ring-Lord would have been far worse than Sauron.”