Gwaihir

From Tolkien Gateway
Gwaihir
Eagle
"Gwaihir" by Roger Thomasson
Biographical Information
Other namesThe Windlord; Gwaehir
AffiliationManwë
LanguageWestron
Notable forhelping rescue Beren and Lúthien; aiding Gandalf twice
Family
ParentageUnknown; descendant of Thorondor
SiblingsLandroval
Physical Description
GenderMale
GalleryImages of Gwaihir

Gwaihir was the greatest of the Eagles of the North Middle-earth[1] and the swiftest of the Great Eagles[2] at the time of the War of the Ring.

History

Gwaihir was the mightiest of the descendants of Thorondor and the brother of Landroval.[2] In the First Age, Gwaihir was the vassal of Thorondor and helped Thorondor and Landroval to rescue Beren and Lúthien from Angband.[3]

During the War of the Ring, Radagast rode in the direction of Mirkwood where he had many old friends. The Eagles set off and gathered news: wolves and Orcs gathering and mustering, the movements of the Nine Riders, and the escape of Gollum from Mirkwood.[1]

As instructed by Gandalf, Radagast sent Gwaihir to bear the news to him at Isengard, but Gandalf was at that time imprisoned at the pinnacle of Orthanc. On an autumn night, Gandalf saw the Eagle flying towards him and so Gwaihir rescued the Wizard. But Gwaihir couldn't carry him far, so Gwaihir left him at Edoras in order to find a steed.[1]

Later he was sent by Galadriel to find Gandalf; he found him on the peak of Celebdil after the Battle of the Peak, and carried him to Lothlórien.[4] After Gandalf recovered, he sent Gwaihir to watch the Anduin and gather tidings.[5]

Gwaihir, Landroval and Meneldor and other great eagles helped the Free peoples in the Battle of the Morannon by stooping down on the Nazgûl who flew on winged beasts. After the destruction of The One Ring Gwaihir, Landroval and Meneldor flew into Mordor to search for Frodo and Sam and carried Frodo and Sam out of Mordor to safety.[6].

Stephen Hickman - Escape from Orthanc

Genealogy

Thorondor
Father of Gwaihir
GWAIHIR
Landroval

Etymology

Gwaihir is a Sindarin name,[7] which probably means "Windlord",[8] because he is often referred to as "Gwaihir the Windlord"[1][9][10]. The first element of the name is [[gwaew]|gwae(w)] ("wind").[7] It is probable that the second element is hîr ("lord", "master").[8][11]

Other versions of the legendarium

Eagles named "Gwaihir" and "Landroval" (or, in even earlier texts, "Gwaewar" and "Lhandroval") appeared in an early version of The Silmarillion, as vassals of Thorondor who helped to bear Beren and Lúthien from Angband[3]. These references were removed by Christopher Tolkien to escape the seeming discrepancy with The Lord of the Rings, although later he admitted that this omission was a mistake.[12][13]

In the whole Lord of the Rings Gwaihir carries Gandalf twice, and by the end of the book Gandalf says that Gwaihir had carried him twice.[14] This can be interpreted to imply that Gwaihir never carried him before, but it is also possible that Gandalf only referred to the number of times that Gwaihir carried him in the recent past in the events that took place in The Lord of the Rings.

Robert Foster implies that Gwaihir is the Lord of the Eagles of The Hobbit[15] although Tolkien never made a connection nor mentioned that Gwaihir was the Lord of the Eagles. Douglas Anderson[16] and Anders Stenström (Beregond)[17] reject that Gwaihir is the Lord of Eagles of The Hobbit.

Portrayal in adaptations

Films

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

Gandalf whispers "Gwaihir" repeatedly to a 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.

Radio series

1981: BBC Radio's The Lord of the Ring:

Alexander John provided the voice of Gwaihir during Gandalf's rescue from Orthanc.

Video games

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Gwaihir is first mentioned by Gandalf when the player meets up with him at the Prancing Pony.[18] The player first sees Gwaihir when entering Galadriel's garden in Lothlórien for the first time.[19] Later, he arrives on the peak of Iorbar in the Misty Mountains to reclaim a stolen eagle egg taken by a giant. Finally, he arrives at and participates in the Battle of the Morannon with the other eagles, and saves Frodo and Sam from the slopes of Mount Doom.

2011: The Lord of the Rings: War in the North:

Gwaihir is first mentioned in chapter 1, in which Beleram tells that he has been sent by Gwaihir to gather news. Later on in the game, he makes a full appearance.[20]

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond", p. 261
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Field of Cormallen", p. 948
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part One. The Grey Annals", $207, p. 68
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The White Rider", p. 502
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The White Rider", p. 495
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Field of Cormallen", pp. 948-51
  7. 7.0 7.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), entry , S Gwaihirpp. 33-4
  8. 8.0 8.1 Paul Strack, "S. Gwaihir m.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 20 March 2024)
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The White Rider", pp. 495 and 502
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Field of Cormallen", pp. 948-9
  11. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 247
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Two: Valinor and Middle-earth before The Lord of the Rings, VI. Quenta Silmarillion", 12-15 OF BEREN AND TINÚVIEL, commentary to with wings swifter than the wind, p. 301
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Sauron Defeated, "Part One: The End of the Third Age: V. The Field of Kormallen", pp. 44-5
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Field of Cormallen", p. 949
  15. Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, entry Gwaihir, p. 181
  16. J.R.R. Tolkien; Douglas A. Anderson, (ed.), (2002) The Annotated Hobbit: Revised and Expanded Edition
  17. Beyond Bree, April and Mai 1987
  18. The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, "The Red Maid", Foreword: "Aiding the Order"
  19. The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria, "The Shadowy Abyss", Chapter 9: "The Mirror of Galadriel"
  20. The Lord of the Rings: War in the North, Chapter 1: Fornost, Main Gate


Named Eagles
Thorondor · Gwaihir · Landroval · Meneldor