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Great Eagle

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Great Eagle

Biographical information

Other names
Lord of the Eagles
King of All Birds
Date of birth
Year ascended to the throne
Date of death
Realms ruled
Claws, beak

Physical description

Eagles of Misty Mountains
Hair color
Eye color
"The Eagles! The Eagles!" he shouted. "The Eagles are coming!"
The Hobbit, The Clouds Burst

The Great Eagle is the Lord of the Eagles of the Misty Mountains during the Third Age.


The Great Eagles first appeared upon hearing the commotion in the mountains. Fifteen other eagles flew down with him and took Thorin and Company to safety. Though initially taken as "prisoners" by the eagles, the company is spared through Gandalf's friendship with the Great Eagle, for Gandalf healed the eagle lord from an arrow-wound.[1]

The next morning, the Great Eagles and his fifteen chieftains carried the Company down the mountain.[2] The Eagles later arrived in the Battle of the Five Armies and played a crucial role in freeing the Lonely Mountain from the assault. After the battle, it was said that some eagles went to hunt and some returned to their eyries. Dáin swore friendship with the Eagles[3] and gave their lord a golden crown and his chieftain golden collars.[2][3]

Other versions of the legendariumEdit

Many readers assume that it was Gwaihir that led the eagles in this story. However, in The Return of the King Gandalf said that Gwaihir had carried him twice before the Battle of the Morannon,[4] while the proper count would have been three or four times if Gwaihir and the Lord of the Eagles had been the same individual.

Portrayal in adaptationsEdit

The Hobbit film trilogyEdit

The Great Eagle and his chieftains make a reappearance in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit film trilogy. During the An Unexpected Journey, soon after the confrontation in Goblin Town, Thorin and Company are pursued by Azog and his Warg-riders. The Great Eagle and his chieftains arrive to rescue Gandalf. Thirteen eagles arrived in total, one for each member of the Company. The Eagles drop the Company off at Carrock.

The Great Lord and his Eagles are expected to return for the third installment, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, wherein they will fight during the Battle of Five Armies for all of five seconds, and not be counted as the fifth army, as in the books.

Translations around the WorldEdit

Foreign Language Translated name
Chinese (Hong Kong) 巨鷹


  1. The Hobbit, Chapter VI: "Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire"
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Hobbit, Chapter VII: "Queer Lodgings"
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Hobbit, Chapter XVIII: "The Return Journey"
  4. The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, Book Six, Chapter IV: "The Field of Cormallen"

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