Friday, October 22, 2010

Enough of the Eagles!

Yeah, screw these guys.

Because of this blog’s increasing nerd obsession with Lord of the Rings, and because I simply have nothing better to do, it seems as though it would be in everyone’s (i.e. my) best interest to clear up a standard misconception about Lord of the Rings, namely the eagles. Oh boy, here we go . . .


Every jerk smart-aleck who fancies themselves an English major knows about the supposed gaping plot hole of Lord of the Rings, the eagles. I mean, come on, for a classic of modern literature, Tolkien sure was dumb! Why couldn’t they just ride the eagles to Mount Doom, without all that tedious walking? Like . . . duh? This is so prevalent that there’s a popular YouTube video called “How Lord of the Rings Should Have Ended” that covers the supposed plot hole.

Lord of the Rings lovers like myself seem not to have many responses to this except “well, it would kind of be a lame book if they took the eagles.” Well, sure, it would be a lame book, but it’s kind of a lame book anyway if they could’ve just taken the eagles. I mean, come on, Gandalf is on good enough terms with these guys that he can just send off a quick moth-o-gram and they’ll come pick him up like a giant feathery taxi service. So presumably if someone could explain the importance of the whole Ring deal to the eagles, then it should be a piece of cake, right?

He looks like a reasonable fellow.
Well, actually, this whole “dur hur the eagles suck” thing is entirely wrong. I know this, because I’m a total nerd. Seriously. It wouldn’t work to just fly in with eagles. There are multiple reasons for this, let’s start with the blatantly obvious ones. First of all, Sauron can see them. Remember the whole giant eye of fire thing? The video explains that away by having Boromir moon Sauron. First of all, I’m pretty sure that would make him inclined more to look away (although Sean Bean is admittedly pretty attractive), and second of all, Sauron would still notice the freaking giant eagles flying right by him. I mean, they’re kinda hard to miss. Well, so what, you say? Sauron has an air force too, remember that giant creepy bat-dragon thing? That wasn’t in the book, you scoff. Actually, there was one in the book, and it was further implied that Nazgul could still fly. So there would be nine immortal demons (who can sense the Ring) up there trying to kill the eagles while they were flying over Mordor. Also, remember that giant orc army attacking Minas Tirith? Yeah, that wouldn’t have attacked yet, so it would just be chilling in Mordor, so Sauron could just station some guys on Mount Doom, meaning the eagles would also have to dodge arrows and catapults and whatever other fancy siege stuff Sauron has. It would be like the Battle of Britain only . . . well I'll leave you to fill in that analogy.

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's a suicide mission!
Oh, and to finish off the Ring, they’d have to get in Mount Doom. One problem: Mount Doom isn’t a handy little pool of lava chilling at the top of a mountain like in the video. First of all, that kind of volcano doesn’t exist. Sorry to burst your bubble, but your fancy little baking soda volcanoes were completely inaccurate. Stratovolcanoes like Mount Doom aren’t open-top, but instead contain magma chambers full of fairly viscous magma inside, which is why Frodo had to go to that fancy bridge thing in the middle of the mountain (called the Cracks of Doom). So the eagles would have to land, presumably on top of an army of orcs, wait for their passenger to get off, and then the passenger would have to walk into Mount Doom and throw the Ring in there. Presumably the return part is expendable, because this would be at best a suicide mission.

Come on, guys. Even if you had a whole freaking flock of eagles it would only take one lucky arrow or, I dunno, Nazgul, to take out the eagle with the Ring and hey presto, Sauron takes over the world. And even if you made it to Mount Doom, you’d have to chop your way through something like those trolls that jumped through the gates of Minas Tirith to get the Ring in the magma. Good luck. I’m sort of imagining someone mentioning this at the Council of Elrond and Gandalf just hitting them straight in the face with his stick. Which is what should happen to you if you ever mention the freaking eagles ever again.

Death and Glory,

Joseph

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