Let me make something clear: I love the books of J.R.R. Tolkien. Besides The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, I’ve read The Silmarillion and many of Tolkien’s obscurer works, not to mention two or three biographies of the man and several books about his mythos. (I once went through a Tolkien/Lewis phase.) There are few people in all history who fascinate me more than the reclusive, disheveled Oxford professor who created a universe in his spare time.
As much as I love Tolkien’s works, I have to wonder how he could have overlooked the eagles as a way to carry the cursed Ring to Mount Doom. He had no qualms about using them as a deus ex machina to rescue Sam and Frodo from Mount Doom after they’d walked hundreds of miles through dangerous enemy territory to cast the Ring into the volcano’s molten depths. Why not just fly the Ring there in the first place? If the villain’s domain were completely eagle-proof, couldn’t the eagles have carried the heroes at least to its border? And if there were a good reason, why not mention it?
Tolkien was incredibly meticulous about his writing. As he drafted The Lord of the Rings, he kept track of things like the phases of the moon and how long it takes to travel distances on foot. I’m surprised he overlooked (or ignored) so great a plot hole as the eagles as an alternative to walking the whole freaking way.
Incidentally, How It Should Have Ended is a remarkably funny, clever YouTube series that’s worth checking out. Its writers have a gift for pointing out inconsistencies and plot holes in films, and the series is pretty darn funny.