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"...It is a long tale..." — Aragorn
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Gwaihir by Roger Thomasson.

Gwaihir was the Lord of the Eagles of Middle-earth at the time of the War of the Ring.



Gwaihir was the Lord of the Eagles and resided in the eyrie of the Misty Mountains. 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.

The adventurers finally escape the dangers of the Misty Mountains.

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[2]. After T.A. 2941 Gwaihir became King of All Birds.

Stephen Hickman: Escape from Orthanc

During the War of the Ring, he rescued Gandalf from the pinnacle of Orthanc while trapped by Saruman, and later from the peak of Celebdil after the Battle of the Peak;

Gwaihir with Landroval brought Frodo and Sam out of Mordor after the destruction of the One Ring.


Gwaihir comes from the Sindarin gwaew "wind" + hîr "lord". His name could be translated "Windlord".

Since the name contains gwaew, it's unknown why its form is Gwaihir, and not *Gwaehir.

It's possible that the name is influenced from some Sindarin dialect, perhaps Silvan from the Elves of Mirkwood. Ilkorin is an Elvish language where ai represents Sindarin ae.

Portrayal in Adaptations

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:

Gandalf whispers "Gwaihir" repeatedly to the moth that arrives at Isengard. Later, Gwaihir rescues Gandalf from Isengard, and carries him to safety.

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:

Gwaihir and his Eagles come to aid at the Battle of the Morannon. They attack the Nazgûl and their fell beasts. After the battle is won and the One Ring destroyed, Gwaihir along with Gandalf and a second Eagle rescue Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee from the rocks of Mount Doom.

See Also

Lords:  Manwë · Ulmo · Aulë · Oromë · Mandos · Irmo · Tulkas
Queens:  Varda · Yavanna · Nienna · Estë · Vairë · Vána · Nessa
Rebel:  Melkor
Associated Maiar
Manwë Eönwë · Olórin (Gandalf) Varda Ilmarë · Olórin (Gandalf) · Arien
Aulë Mairon (Sauron) · Curumo (Saruman) Yavanna Aiwendil (Radagast)
Ulmo Ossë · Uinen · Salmar Estë Melian · Arien
Oromë Tilion · Blue Wizards Vána Melian · Arien
Other Maiar
Evil:  Sauron · Balrogs (Gothmog · Durin's Bane)
Wizards Saruman · Gandalf · Radagast · Blue Wizards
Music · Valarin · Almaren · Valinor · Valmar · Second Music


  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"