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Eagle (Middle-earth)
[Image: 250px-Darrell_Sweet_-_The_Lord_of_the_Eagles.jpg]

In J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional universe of Middle-earth, the eagles were immense flying birds that were sapient and could speak. Often emphatically referred to as the Great Eagles,[1][2] they appear, usually and intentionally serving as agents of eucatastrophe or deus ex machina, in various parts of his legendarium, from The Silmarillion and the accounts of Númenor to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Just as the Ents are guardians of plant life, the giant eagles are the guardians of animal life.

These creatures are usually thought to have been similar to actual eagles (for example, as an independent species of the subfamily Buteoninae), but much larger. In The SilmarillionThorondor is said to have been the greatest of them and of all birds, with a wingspan of 30 fathoms (55 m; 180 ft).[3] Elsewhere, the eagles have varied in nature and size both within Tolkien's writings and in later visualisations and films.
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