Tolkien Gateway

Great Eagle

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The adventurers finally escape the dangers of the Misty Mountains.

The Great Eagle was the Lord of the Eagles in the Third Age and perhaps a descendant of Thorondor.

He resided in the eyrie of the Misty Mountains and he remembered helping Dwarves in his service.

Once he suffered from a poisoned wound, and was healed by Gandalf and thenceforth they became friends. He and his people served Gandalf and Radagast as spies and messengers.

During the Quest for Erebor, they saved Thorin and Company as they flew from the Goblin-town and brought them to the eyrie[1]; later they played a crucial role in the Battle of the Five Armies (T.A. 2941)[2]. After this he became King of All Birds and wore a golden crown[3].


It is often thought that the Great Eagle is the same individual as Gwaihir.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Clouds Burst"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Queer Lodgings"