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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:11 am 
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Why not use the Eagles to bring the ring?

Yes, this has been discussed ad nauseum, but not here yet, so off we go.

Caveat: Of course it probably made for a better story the way it is, but this is just ideas and theories pretending the situations are real, and not trying to entertain.

When I first read the Gandalf did mean to use the eagles theory, I thought it had merit. Then reading many, 'No he didn't' theories, I actually thought is was even more possible that he did, or at least could have.
Case in point, one of the main debunking points is that a bunch of eagles flying toward Mordor would be to conspicuous and Sauron would mount a defense. Which, doesn't hold up, because eagles are fast, even carrying something small like a hobbit or elf or wizard, yes they make the point of saying eagles are slowed by carrying Gandalf, but still faster than anything else known to Gandalf at the time (the Ring Wraiths are still on horse back at this time), and are flying straight. They would get there before word of them traveling did. The only way that Sauron could know before hand, would be through a Palantír, which Gandalf does not know he has yet, so eagles are still a viable option, me thinks.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:34 am 
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I haven't read any of the theories but I would think that his concern for the eagles being corrupted by the influence of the ring was a reason if not the main reason for not using them.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:40 am 
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John Carter wrote:
I haven't read any of the theories but I would think that his concern for the eagles being corrupted by the influence of the ring was a reason if not the main reason for not using them.
The eagles would not need to be wearing the ring, or carrying it directly, but carrying someone with the ring. They are supposed to be somewhat gods or god like, or at least servants of a good god (depends on what supplemental material you go by), and do not have the same lust for power that lesser beings do. Even if you just go by what is written in The Lord of the Rings, the don't seem to have that type of conquest or power need.

The theory is them simply helping for a time, and not taking the ring or the ring bearer all the way to Mordor or Mt Doom, just helping with a large chunk of the journey.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:48 am 
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I've always found this one to be pretty simple: the eagles aren't taxis. They're ancient, noble creatures. Much like the Ents, their help is a rare gift given at their discretion.

Plus, they couldn't just fly into Mordor. Mordor was protected. Sauron had flying creatures, and the land's borders were watched. They'd have been seen coming in, and Sauron would have sensed the presence of the Ring. Mount Doom would have been quickly fortified, and the eagles themselves attacked. Flying the Ring in would have quickly turned into a disaster.

Sauron didn't noticed the hobbits creeping in because he was distracted with the war, and with Aragorn revealing himself in the Palantir. He DID finally notice, but only when it was too late. Had they flown in, he'd have had too much warning.

The eagles were able to rescue Frodo and Sam at the end because at that point, Mordor had fallen. The Nazgul were destroyed and all of Mordor was falling into chaos. Their way in was then clear.

The journey needed to be made in secrecy, which is why the company was small. Even using the eagles early on to cut some time off the journey may have brought unwanted attention to it, especially after Gwaihir rescued Gandalf from Orthanc.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:00 am 
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Theory 1:

Gandalf hated flying.

Just as Bones hated using the transporter.

Theory 2:

Eagles are neutral for the most part and got their own shit going on. Eagle shit to do and whatnot.

After all, weren't the orcs/goblins/trolls/giants/etc all up in mountains?

Eagles live in the mountains, they had tons of shit to protect and worry about.

They simply were not available to do more than what they had already done.

Theory 3:

Exposure to the ring is bad (i.e., Boromir, the Elrond Council event, etc.).

The eagles hated that shit and hated being around it.

They had no problem helping as much as they could, but for long exposure times they just knew their little bird brains could not handle that much vile corruption. Therefore, they bowed out of offering to help further than what they had.

Theory 4:

A variation of all the exposure theories out there.

Remember, the Eye is looking for the Ring.

Obviously, being carried and close to the ground (i.e., no direct "line-of-sight"), the Eye would be unable to pinpoint the location without the Ring being activated.

With the Ring being carried up in the air without any discernible cover or concealment, the Eye would easily spot them coming farthings away and be able to await the hapless airborne idiots anywhere they landed in Mordor (and because of the lead time, he would easily be able to send the wraiths on horseback - though this would be unnecessary due to Theory 5, see below).

Theory 5:

The wraiths were only on horseback because of the Eye's desire to try to capture the Ring without attracting attention.

The airborne Wraiths was always an option that Sauron had in his imaginary back pocket (he was only a giant fiery eyeball for most of the story, so he really had no 'back pocket'), but his need to get his Wraiths into a position to corner the Ring-Bearer required him to keep them grounded for the moment - moving, largely, undetected.

Once everyone knew what was what, and Gandalf knew the shit storm brewing, there was no longer a need for secrecy on the Eye's side of the War.

Thus, the airborne option was enabled.

Gandalf knew the potentials and knew if he used the airborne option, the Wraiths would likely be immediately recalled to Mordor and launched into the air (remember, Gandalf spent much time gathering intel on Mordor - the likelihood of someone reporting flying beasts that the Wraiths use being bred and raised would have been extremely high).

It would be Hobbit Suicide.

Therefore, it is simple why the Eagle option was not used - and this was why fucking idiots that ask this question were not admitted to the Council of Elrond to discuss the options.

Done.

Next.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:09 am 
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I also think it is pretty fucking stupid of people to think that the Wraiths were limited to horseback until those forms were destroyed.

The beasts that they use were likely highly guarded, pampered, and raised in multiple generations at one time.

Those nine horses were not the only horses they would have.

Horses would not be the only beasts being bred for the Wraiths' use.

Those fucking flying things were not hatchlings and they were not novices to battle conditions and training - they were obviously well-trained and mature disciplined killing machines in and of themselves.

It is just moronic and pisses me the fuck off that people cannot understand these simple facts.

I am so fucking vexed right now.

Only Joaquin Phoenix could understand how truly vexed I feel at this moment.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:19 am 
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Gandalf loved flying, only a brain dead mud dweller would not be able to ascertain that from the books. He asked how far Gwaihir could carry him.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:24 am 
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Put yourself in Gandalf's leathery slippers. The plan in secrecy was outrageously dangerous and risky, would you have wanted to use the eagles in some way?

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:28 am 
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Pender wrote:
The beasts that they use were likely highly guarded, pampered, and raised in multiple generations at one time.

Those fucking flying things were not hatchlings and they were not novices to battle conditions and training - they were obviously well-trained and mature disciplined killing machines in and of themselves.

Yep.

From the book:

A creature of an older world maybe it was, whose kind, lingering in forgotten mountains cold beneath the Moon, outstayed their day, and in hideous eyrie bred this last untimely brood, apt to evil. And the Dark Lord took it, and nursed it with fell meats, until it grew beyond the measure of all other things that fly; and he gave it to his servant to be his steed.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:03 am 
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Ericubus wrote:
Gandalf loved flying, only a brain dead mud dweller would not be able to ascertain that from the books. He asked how far Gwaihir could carry him.

He asked, because he wanted to get back on the ground.

If he loved flying so much, he would have always arrived by Eagle.

But when he arrives in almost every instance, it is by horse, cart, or foot.

Look, I love fishing, but I get seasick. There were guys in the 82nd that got sick on every flight to jump. These guys loved the Airborne - they had made it their career (senior officers and senior NCOs) and had been in the 82nd since Vietnam through the 80s when I was there. Sure as shit, though, they were puking into a bag on every jump. They loved jumping, though.

Ericubus wrote:
Put yourself in Gandalf's leathery slippers. The plan in secrecy was outrageously dangerous and risky, would you have wanted to use the eagles in some way?

Any plan to go against Sauron would be outrageously dangerous and risky.

After all, Sauron could plunge Middle-Earth into eternal darkness.

E-fucking-ternal DARKNESS.

Forever.

That is a powerful fucker, right there.

Even Saruman The Wise could not see any wisdom in standing against Sauron.

That is a Godlike Angel looking at the shit about to happen and saying, "Ah, fuck it, I give up."

People may think Saruman a simple bad guy, but he was more powerful and wise than even Gandalf. Likely even more intelligent, too.

Not until Gandalf gets an extra helping of Planetary Help is he able to truly throw down Saruman.

So, let's not debate on the overall wisdom of opposing the Dark Lord.

Simply standing up to the Dark Lord is unwise, through and through. There was no risk in doing so - only guaranteed doom.

Now, all that said, Gandalf was not entirely without some military intelligence and he knew how most everything obvious would play out.

What would be more obvious than using transport to get to Mordor?

What transport could be more obvious than aerial transport (i.e., Eagles)?

So, Gandalf would have already considered this option and dismissed it because of multiple factors. Not the least of which, he would know of the potential of the Nine being able to be sent into airborne status quite easily and readily.

The Nine were in obvious instantaneous communication with their Lord and it could be quite easy for them to abandon any material form they have and quite rapidly be transported back to Mordor and given riding mounts that were waiting for their eventual use.

These mounts would, again as I said before, have been hatched and raised in Mordor specifically for the Nine - and not just the generation being used in the book, but multiple generations.

Mordor is a giant War Machine, so it is obvious that these flying beasts would be bred in numbers more than just 9.

It is also obvious that Gandalf had been in communication and gathering intel about Mordor, so he would know about these things.

So, what would be the least obvious way to go about things? Foot.

Gandalf even admits his actions and "plan" are mostly intuition and faith (JRRT was a catholic after all). Faith in doing something that is the least obvious in hopes that it will work out, some how, some way.

Remember, it is the slow blade that penetrates the shield.

Gandalf's intuition of doing the least obvious thing works and works more assuredly than any obvious plan - toss me any other plan and I can easily show you how it would fail.

Gandalf's use of nothing but the least obvious method is pure genius - and remember hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours of the Council had likely covered every other fucking option out there.

There could have been 30 novels of meeting notes from the Council, but would you really want to read them?

People that bring this argument up have obviously not even read any of the books beyond the LotR or The Hobbit (and likely have not even read those books).

It just baffles me how the uneducated can toss rocks at one of the best examples of an author building a complete and living world - rocks made of a stupid idea, no less.

I mean, I saw that one guy asking why Gandalf didn't chop Frodo's hands off before sending him on his way - that had more merit than this whole Eagle debacle.

Sheesh.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:14 am 
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This, is more interesting and valid than this "Eagle Debacle"


NSFW

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:36 am 
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OK, if the eagles are such an obvious means, then why not use them as a decoy? In a way that would not get them into immediate danger, like flying in a large group towards an area away from where they are going, and then disappearing back to their land. Make it appear that they helped a group move quickly. After Sauron had already learned that they were traveling, make them think they are gathering forces somewhere or the ring was somewhere else, which they did, but without the eagles.


Don't let this discussion fool you though, I do believe the plan set out by Gandalf (Tolkien) was brilliant and probably had the only chance of success, no matter how slim it actually was. I just want to discuss and do think the eagles could have been used, and probably would have been used in some way.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:24 pm 
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Simply put, I view the Eagles in the same way as I view the Ents.

They are natural or quasi-natural beasts (and even JRRT said they were very similar to Gandalf - Angelic beings) that have a way of the world that is ancient and noble.

They also move at a similar pace as the Ents when it comes to major decisions.

Given these facts, and they are Middle-Earth facts, the Eagles likely rarely involved themselves in direct action without having come to that decision after much thought and pondering.

The Eagles were definitely not beasts of burden and most of the argument for their "use" by Gandalf almost always treats them as unthinking automatons that should be at the beck and call of the wizard. No matter what.

That is a absurd assumption.

Therefore, "using" them as a decoy is not a decision Gandalf or others are able to make - only the Eagles themselves can make that decision.

And as I said, much of Nature was already being attacked and had their own battles to fight.

When a reader is reading Tolkien they may feel that it is the main highlight of what is happening - because as a far-removed observer, we know it is, but there is a shitload of other things going on all over the place.

The size and capabilities of Mordor as a War Pig is only lightly touched on as well as all the other battles raging all over the place.

The shit has really already hit the fan - the splatter may not have hit the Shire quite yet, but yeah, all sorts of crap was already happening.

So, we know several things just by reading the 3 main books.

A.) The Eagles are not under the command of Gandalf
B.) The Eagles seem to be very autonomous in their decisions as to when and how to help
C.) Hotel California

Well, alright, point C is likely not part of the books.

Casting further than the 3 books, we come to understand Tolkien's vision of the Eagles as angelic or spiritual animal creatures. This vision runs throughout much of his work where characters may or may not help given on reasoning we could never really understand since it is all based on divine reasoning that seems extremely selective at best and fickle and nit-picky at worst.

All of that ties very nicely into JRRT's world being created by beings that essentially set shit up and then let everyone to make their own beds.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:54 pm 
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OK, but you can't argue against the fact that Gandalf should have taught the hobbits spinjitzu first. It definitely would have come in handy, ya know, if they kept it secret until they really needed it.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:24 pm 
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I think seeing the eagles as a force of nature, like the Ents, is the right way to see them. They're not as much an ally of the peoples of Middle Earth as they are a force of nature. They are generally above (figuratively) the cares of man. As the Third Age came to a close things had changed, nature itself was under assault and Sauron's darkness threatened to engulf the entire world, so the took a slightly more active role in things, but they were still a thing apart.

Gandalf used them in the best way he could. They passed messages when needed, and helped their friend Gandalf (and really only Gandalf) in times of crisis, but such choices were always their own to make.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:07 pm 
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I think the eagles are a force of nature, god-like and unbending to the will of man, mainly because Tolkien realized his plot made no fucking sense unless he came up with some bullshit like that.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:11 pm 
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As already explained, even if the eagles weren't that sort of being, just flying into Mordor wouldn't have worked for a host of reasons.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:21 pm 
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The book's pretty clear that walking into Mordor is at least as equally hopeless.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:35 pm 
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And no matter what anyone says, there would have been guards at the fucking entrance to the mountain opening thingy. Yes, I know Sauron, the dark master of everything, had no idea that anyone would actually have the balls of light to try to enter Mordor and actually destroy the ring, his hubris was his downfall, but, ya, there still would have been fucking guards. But, but Gollum probably just killedses them first, yes, yessss.




No

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:42 pm 
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Ericubus wrote:
And no matter what anyone says, there would have been guards at the fucking entrance to the mountain opening thingy.

There were. A whole damn tower of them. Shelob guarded the tunnel, and the tower of Cirith Ungol guarded the pass. Outside Mordor, the stairs themselves were at the foot of Minas Morgul, the most foul city of Middle Earth.

They passed Minas Morgul safely largely because the city was just emptying out to go to war with Gondor as they arrived. Shelob as a guard worked and Frodo was captured. Cirith Ungol only failed because the orcs there ended up fighting amongst one another for Frodo's mithril shirt.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:42 am 
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Shoe wrote:
Ericubus wrote:
And no matter what anyone says, there would have been guards at the fucking entrance to the mountain opening thingy.

There were. A whole damn tower of them. Shelob guarded the tunnel, and the tower of Cirith Ungol guarded the pass. Outside Mordor, the stairs themselves were at the foot of Minas Morgul, the most foul city of Middle Earth.

They passed Minas Morgul safely largely because the city was just emptying out to go to war with Gondor as they arrived. Shelob as a guard worked and Frodo was captured. Cirith Ungol only failed because the orcs there ended up fighting amongst one another for Frodo's mithril shirt.

You know I'm talking about the actual opening in the mountain. The Evil Dark Gap of Mitharaliulenessess or whatever it was named. Yes, the city was emptying to go to war with Aragon and his mighty band of rebels, but even so, they would have left a few guards at that opening, just in case. I know the argument against it is that Sauron never had the thought that anyone would attempt to destroy the ring, which, is a bit of a stretch too, he was a genius, very wise, and very well adapt at military and strategic thinking, all angles would have at least occurred to him in the hundreds/thousands of years he had to mull it over. He would have thrown a legion of goblins or elite band of commando orcs or something as protection for that ever so slight possibility. Maybe a few of those bat/dragon-like/flying warrior beasts as sentinels.

I love the books, and have read them, and listened to them 4 or five times each. I am listening to The Lord of the Rings again right now (not this second, but in my car as I drive or at lunch), and watching The Hobbit extended versions at night, but that does not mean they are perfect.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:13 am 
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Ahhh, okay, you meant Mount Doom. I thought you meant the pass.

I dunno, though, what would they be guarding? I think it's pretty legitimate to say that the idea of destroying the Ring was beyond imagination. It was even a huge debate among the good people, with only a few agreeing that it was the right choice. In many ways destroying the Ring seems like an absurd thing to do. Boromir makes some sense when he says using the Enemy's weapon against him would turn the tide of the war.

Granted, yes, you'd think it wouldn't have been totally abandoned. The whole area was desolate.

But maybe that desolation WAS the protection. No one could have crossed it unnoticed. Certainly no army could have, and no person of power, either. Plus there were Nazgul in the skies over the area. That's what made the use of the hobbits -- so small as to be beyond notice, a creature Sauron wasn't even aware of until Gollum was captured -- so effective.

Granted, his arrogance was his undoing there, and it's not unfair to say that some guard there would have been wise.

So, I don't really disagree with you. I would not agree that it was a glaring plot hole (which I know you're not saying), but I do agree it was a mistake on Sauron's part.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:36 am 
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Y'know, we all should've realized that you can't really debate LOTR when talking to a hobbit. It's like arguing the Bible with born-again Christians--it's useless to question people's holy texts.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 10:08 am 
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Eric wrote:
Y'know, we all should've realized that you can't really debate LOTR when talking to a hobbit. It's like arguing the Bible with born-again Christians--it's useless to question people's holy texts.


Eric wins the thread!

Actually, even though I've read the books, and seen the films, this is the most wonderfully geeky thread on this board in years!

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 10:23 am 
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I can't help it if I'm right.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 11:45 am 
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Eric wrote:
The book's pretty clear that walking into Mordor is at least as equally hopeless.

Thinking back on it a bit more, people fail to realize that Gandalf wasn't really in-charge, Frodo was.

As was pointed out before, regardless, Gandalf had nothing planned.

Plus, the majority of the final decisions rested on Frodo's shoulders - even after Gandalf's fall, Aragorn (second in-command) still said Frodo was in-charge.

Could these decisions have been influenced by the Ring?

Most likely.

Now, if people want to make a case for why walking into Mordor being the "worst" idea possible, that would be the way to do it.

Frodo, already influenced by the Ring, chose to walk since it gave the "best" opportunity for its true Master to find It.

Sheesh.

Make a good argument, if you're gonna argue at all.

Stupid humans.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:45 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:26 pm 
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I hate the fuckin' Eagles, man.



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:04 pm 
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Nerdy Tolkien fun on my latest Youtube thingamajigger, so enjoy:


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:46 pm 
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I thoroughly enjoyed that - especially the intermissions.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:58 pm 
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Black Hole
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Must watch as soon as I get home.

Putting it on the big screen, too.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:32 pm 
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Pollution Baby
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Pender wrote:
Must watch as soon as I get home.

Putting it on the big screen, too.

Ditto, I'll watch it tonight via PS3 YouTube.

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In the future it will become even easier for old negatives to become lost and be "replaced" by new altered negatives. This would be a great loss to our society. Our cultural history must not be allowed to be rewritten. - George Lucas 1988


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:36 pm 
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Singularity ∞
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You guys are rad. I hope you're at least entertained for a few minutes with this stuff.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:26 pm 
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Black Hole
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OMG, you both did very well.

Thanks for the Bakshi shout outs. His version is definitely underrated.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:30 pm 
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I was worried Tig would cut the Bakshi stuff. Glad he didn't. (Even still, some got cut out, 'cause I talked about it for a bit, like how C-3PO voiced Legolas, and John Hurt voiced Aragorn.)

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