I went to see The Hobbit last night (Loved it!) and seeing the eagles made me think of the Lord of the Rings plot hole (Why they did not just catch a ride on them to Mordor) but it got me and my friends thinking on what was the biggest/ worst plot hole.
Then why the heck were the eagles capable of entering the territory without problems in the end?
Don't forget that the followship has a wizard and master bowmen, those fancy flying mounts are surely vulnerable to arrows in the eyes as well as some protective magic from Gandalf (also a ringbearer). Heck, why not even ask Radagast for help as well. Screaching? Have fun screaching with arrows in your throat. Oh, and we also can't hear you over Gandalfs awesome magic.
Right, I'm going to end this 'Eagles' nonsense right here and now. The Eagles are not a plot hole in Lord Of The Rings, for the following reason. The following is a picture of Sauron as represented in the LOTR films:
While the books imply that Sauron is more of a metaphorical eye than a literal fiery one, both the film and the book share the same thing in common: to be caught directly in Sauron's gaze is to suffer the biggest case of mind-rape this side of Cthulhu. Having the Dark Lord stare at you is akin to having your soul stripped from its bones. Lest we forget, in the film adaption of Fellowship, Frodo twice is caught in Sauron's gaze, and each time it reduces him to the state of a rabbit caught in the headlights. The second time, he damn near throws himself off the top of a watchtower to escape Sauron's glare.
Remember this scene?
Additionally, in the books (and partly in ROTK) we get even more insight into the effect Sauron's presence has on mortals. Pippin looks into the Palantir, gets directly caught in Sauron's presence, and has a mental breakdown as a result. When they find him, he's a complete wreck. Only Gandalf's semi-telepathic abilities are able to bring him back to any kind of normalcy, though even recollecting the experience is incredibly painful for him thereafter. Similarly, Lord Denethor was also ensnared by Sauron using a palantir, and went completely mad and devoid of hope as a result. Aragorn looks into the Palantir to challenge Sauron, and in his own words the Dark Lord nearly breaks him. The others feel that the encounter prematurely ages him somewhat. Saruman looked into the palantir, and was so driven to despair by Sauron that he felt the only viable option was to end up siding with the big bad.
That is the effect that being looked at by Sauron has. The strongest willed characters in the story are driven to the point of madness, and lesser characters are completely crushed by his presence. If there is one golden rule in Lord Of The Rings, it is do not directly attract Sauron's attention, as he will rape your mind and utterly destroy you.
So with that in mind, which do you think is a better option? Laying low, and trying to sneak to Mt Doom without catching his attention? Or hopping on the back of the largest winged creatures in Middle Earth, and flying in a straight line directly towards the one character who will turn your mind into sushi just by looking at you'? Bearing in mind that the object that you're supposed to be destroying is actively trying to be found, and will attract Sauron's attention by itself first chance it gets, though it isn't exactly going to be hard for him to miss a posse of giant frickin' eagles headed straight towards him.
All of this is regardless of the fact that he has Fell Beasts and other creatures/weapons to launch at the Eagles in response (the Witch King by himself would be able to flay the minds of any posse of eagles stupid enough to head in his direction, whether or not they bring Gandalf with him), and that as soon as he realises they're heading towards Mordor, rather than say Minas Tirith, he can just send a battalion of Orcs to the top of Mt Doom (remember that he specifically keeps a path clear to the top of the mountain at all times) and have them wait there for the eagles to arrive. Flying directly towards Mordor is stupid in and of itself, simply because Frodo and co would have to spend at least several hours flying directly into Sauron's line of sight, and try to not let their minds turn to complete porridge as a result.
If the Fellowship didn't want to get corrupted, driven to despair or utterly mentally broken as a result of entering a staring contest with Sauron, then trying to avoid line of sight and going the sneaky walking route was the only option. Anything else, including trying to hitch a lift with the Eagles, would have utterly failed due to Sauron's ability to break minds from afar.
Also, the only reason the Ring even got destroyed was because Gollum stole it at the last minute and ended up falling in himself. The whole point was that, when it came to it, Frodo couldn't willingly give it up, and it took an act of god for the thing to be destroyed. If they hypothetically did get to Mt Doom via Eagle transit, and Frodo decided to keep it for himself... how would the Ring get destroyed then? Bearing in mind that a posse of Eagles can't exactly hang about in Mordor under Sauron's gaze while working out what to do next.
If you want a real plot hole from the films, consider this one instead: In The Two Towers, when Frodo and Sam get sidetracked in Osgiliath (ugh!), Frodo gets ambushed by a Nazgul, and in a moment of weird behaviour, actually offers the Ring to the Nazgul hovering before him. The damn thing literally gets within two inches of snapping the Ring back for Sauron.
In Return of The King, Pippin looks into the Palantir, and ends up being tormented by Sauron. According to Gandalf and Merry, Sauron now believes that Pippin has the Ring, and is going to lash out at Minas Tirith pre-emptively as a result.
...except, why would Sauron think that Pippin has the ring in Rohan/Isengard, when he knows for a fact that the Ringbearer was in Osgiliath, the other side of Minas Tirith? His own Nazgul have discovered that Frodo has cleared the distance from Rohan, has ended up on the other side of Minas Tirith and is actually heading his way to Mordor via Osgiliath? Why would Sauron want to attack Minas Tirith when his own emissaries have discovered that Frodo's already cleared past it, and is on his way eastwards?
In the book, Frodo never gets discovered anywhere near Osgiliath, and Sauron's move to attack Gondor comes as result of misdirection from Aragorn fooling him into thinking he has the Ring, and is going to go on the offensive with it. Sauron thinks Isildur's Heir is now the biggest threat, and moves to wipe out Gondor before Aragorn can unite its people under his banner, and use the Ring to assault Mordor. In the film? None of that happens, so none of Sauron's offensive makes any sense. If the Nazgul had seen Frodo in Osgiliath, then surely he would have spent all his resources in capturing Osgiliath, and then from there ascertaining exactly where Frodo went with the Ring, rather than simply assuming Frodo went back to Minas Tirith after already (seemingly) come from there. The whole thing is a mish-mash of illogical tactics and reasoning which don't bear up to scrutiny.
That's a plot hole worth looking at.
One of my favourite quotes on the escapist.
If this doesn't clear things up, nothing will.