Much has been said—over and over again and usually with well-intentioned sciolism—about those blasted Eagles in The Lord of the Rings.
There is actually precious little written about Tolkien’s imperious birds of prey, and I suppose that’s why it’s easy to armchair criticize the good professor for his use of them as eleventh-hour saviors. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some important distinctions to make. And what’s not to love about giant raptors? Since the rocs of Eastern legends and Marco Polo’s apocryphal adventures, everyone is fascinated by the idea of big birds, right?