Tolkien Gateway

Great Eagle

The Great Eagle
Darrell Sweet - The Lord of the Eagles.jpg
"The Lord of the Eagles" by Darrell Sweet
Biographical Information
Other namesLord of the Eagles
TitlesKing of All Birds
LocationEagle's Eyrie
Notable forsaving Thorin and Company
Physical Description
GalleryImages of the Great Eagle

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

He resided in the eyrie of the Misty Mountains with 15 chieftains, and remembered helping Dwarves in his service.

Once he suffered from a poisoned wound, and was healed by Gandalf and thenceforth they became friends.

During the Quest of 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 Five Armies (T.A. 2941).[2] After this he became King of All Birds and wore a golden crown.[3]

[edit] Background

It is often thought that the Great Eagle is the same individual as Gwaihir. Among several points which separate the two, the Great Eagle is mentioned to wear a crown after The Hobbit but no crown is mentioned with Gwaihir in The Lord of the Rings. Furthermore, Gandalf states that he was carried by Gwaihir three times, including following the Battle of the Morannon,[4] whereas the number would be at least five if Gwaihir and the Lord of the Eagles were one and the same.


  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"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Field of Cormallen"

Named Eagles
Thorondor · Gwaihir · Landroval · Meneldor