Also, is there some kind of explanation in the books as to why the giant eagles don't just fly Gandalf and the gang all the way to their destination? Like maybe they aren't able to leave a certain area? Or they don't want to get too close and risk the dragon sensing them?
I guess the idea is that the eagles aren't actually all that keen on interfering in the business of the other peoples of Middle Earth. But they'll do the occasional small favor for their good friend Gandalf.
Mr Light wrote:
I believe the Eagles are direct servants of god, like the Wizards, and so only help the heroes enough to get them to the next stage of their development.
The problem lies also lies with how Peter Jackson depicts the Eagles' rescues in both the trilogy and The Hobbit.
In the trilogy, Gwaihir rescues Gandalf from Orthanc because he happens to passing by the area, not because he was summoned by Gandalf. Additionally, in The Hobbit
, the eagles only happened to be in the area and decided to help out, and again, they were not summoned by Gandalf. In each case, there's a certain reluctance on their part to help out and only helped out in a limited manner and out of favor to Radagast, neither of which is clear in Fellowship of the Ring
or An Unexpected Journey