Many of the greatest movies are best enjoyed with a healthy dollop of imagination; we’ll leave the laws of physics at the door to disappear into impossible adventures, and love every minute. But sometimes the biggest blockbusters leave us with more questions than answers – especially when a major plot hole seems to contradict the movie’s entire set-up. Here are 30 huge plot holes from some cinematic classics.

40. Star Wars

Fans have long enjoyed finding plot holes in the Star Wars franchise, but the largest is hiding in plain sight. In Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan Kenobi sets about hiding the baby Luke Skywalker from his father Darth Vader, telling Yoda that he will put the boy and his sister “somewhere the Sith will not sense their presence.” In Leia’s case, mission accomplished.

However, to guard Luke, Obi-Wan chooses Owen Lars – Vader’s step-brother, who lives on Vader’s home planet, Tatooine – who proceeds to raise the boy with his father’s birth surname of Skywalker. Any amateur detective could find a man’s son on his home planet with the same surname, so how was this meant to hide Luke from the Sith?

39. The Karate Kid

1984’s The Karate Kid is a celebrated teen classic, in which Ralph Macchio’s bullied teen Daniel studies karate under wise master Miyagi (Pat Morita), and ultimately emerges victorious against his chief bully Johnny (William Zabka) at a tournament. However, in more recent years Daniel’s victory has been brought into question.

Many fans and commentators argue that the crane kick was an illegal move. While it is stated by Elisabeth Shue’s Ali that blows to the head are allowed, it is commonly accepted particularly in junior karate contests that competitors should not apply full force. As Daniel appears to do this, it’s likely he’d actually be disqualified.

38. Ocean’s Eleven

2001’s Ocean’s Eleven (a remake of the 1960 caper movie) presents us seemingly the mother of all heists. A criminal crew, led by George Clooney’s Danny Ocean, sets out to simultaneously rob three Las Vegas casinos owned by Andy Garcia’s crime boss. Twists and turns are plentiful, but not all of it holds up to close inspection.

The climactic heist hinges on a trick where a fortune in paper money is swapped for bags of flyers. But who carried out this switcheroo? Everyone is seen to be busy at the time of the crime, with no moment to spare for the swap. Director Steven Soderbergh has admitted that even he’s not quite sure how the crew pulled this off.

37. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Steven Spielberg’s 1982 classic ET: The Extra-Terrestrial is one of the most beloved family films of all time, hinging on the deep emotional bond which forms between lonely boy Elliot (Henry Thomas) and a little alien who has been left stranded on Earth after being accidentally left behind by his fellow space explorers.

E.T.’s most iconic scene sees the alien hero sailing into the sky on a bicycle. He has the power to levitate – and yet he was stranded on Earth as his spaceship flew away without him, pursued by government agents. Surely E.T. could have easily flown himself right up to the departing spaceship, which was not that far away, then?

36. Octopussy

If there’s one thing we’re certain of about Roger Moore’s Bond, it’s that he is clearly a dab hand at makeup. Knowing that a bomb is about to detonate at a circus, Bond disguises himself as a clown, then fights his way through the crowd in full clown regalia trying to warn everyone before defusing the bomb with seconds to spare.

Sure, it isn’t too unexpected that James Bond 007 would manage to deactivate a deadly device at the very last second – but even with his devil-may-care attitude, why would the secret agent take the time to get into a costume and carefully apply perfect clown make-up, knowing he had mere minutes to avert mass devastation?

35. Signs

In this 2002 sci-fi thriller by M. Night Shyamalan, an alien species invades Earth, seemingly with the intention of taking the planet from humanity. However, it eventually comes to light that these extra-terrestrial antagonists have a very simple weakness: they’re massively vulnerable to water, which scalds them on impact.

Given that 71% of the Earth’s surface is taken up by water, for these would-be invaders to settle here would make about as much sense as humans moving to a planet where it rains hydrochloric acid. This is an inconsistent point in the film, too: early on, we see the aliens run through a dewey cornfield to no adverse effect.

34. The Fly

This 1986 sci-fi horror classic sees Jeff Goldblum’s scientist Seth Brundle unwittingly step into an experimental teleportation pod alongside a stray housefly – at which point their DNA is inadvertently mingled. As Brundle takes on a horrific human-fly hybrid form, we’re left wondering about all the other foreign DNA in the teleporter.

Scientists estimate that we have around 39 trillion non-human cells living on and inside us. If the teleporter ‘fuses’ DNA from the different living organisms within it, surely poor man-fly Brundle would end up part-dust mite and part-bacteria as well? (Although if he had, the film’s special effects would have been even grosser.)

33. Indecent Proposal

1993 drama Indecent Proposal sparked widespread debate with its thought-provoking premise: what if a husband were offered $1 million for his wife to spend the night with another man? This is the question posed to Woody Harrelson’s David Murphy, when a billionaire (Robert Redford) takes a shine to his spouse Diana (Demi Moore).

Ultimately the couple accept the offer, but it kills their relationship. David then donates the $1 million to charity, thus winning back his wife’s respect. However, David’s steeped in legal fees by this point, and certainly doesn’t have the full $1 million in his account anymore, so his cheque inevitably would bounce, landing him in more hot water.

32. Gremlins

There are a few seemingly simple rules when it comes to caring for the Mogwai, according to the 1984 movie Gremlins. You must never expose them to sunlight or water, and most importantly, you must never feed them after midnight. But with 24 separate time zones around the world, how can this midnight deadline possibly work?

As well as keeping on top of time zones, navigating daylight saving hours must be a nightmare for any Mogwai owner. Many animals rely on an internal clock – or circadian rhythms – to judge when to sleep, eat and hunt. So we’d recommend you just steer far away from any night-time snacks when it comes to these unpredictable pets.

31. Superman

One of the most mocked scenes of 1978’s Superman occurs when our hero, devastated by the death of Lois Lane, turns back time. He races around the Earth to reverse its orbit, which somehow also reverses the turn of events on the planet. Physics aside, we have more pressing concerns about the Man of Steel’s newly found power.

In the original course of events, Lois Lane dies when a missile that causes mass destruction – but when Superman turns back time, we see the destruction reversed. However, Superman never intercepts that missile in the new timeline, which begs the question of why things didn’t play out again exactly the way they had before.

30. Gravity

Director Alfonso Cuarón’s space thriller Gravity casts Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts stranded in Earth’s orbit when their shuttle is destroyed. In one of its most startling twists – spoiler warning for a film made in 2013! – Clooney’s Lieutenant Matt Kowalski sacrifices himself to save Bullock’s Dr Ryan Stone.

Opinions vary on whether this was necessary. Matt unclips himself and drifts away into space, but experts including Neil deGrasse Tyson say that because of momentum in space, Ryan could have saved Matt with the gentlest tug on their connecting ropes. Gravity’s scientific advisor Kevin Grazier disagrees, arguing that the pairs’ deceleration would make this manoeuvre impossible.

29. The Hangover

From a tiger in a bathtub to a chapel full of gangsters, The Hangover is hardly meant to be taken seriously. But given this movie’s location and central conundrum, we can’t help but point out one major plot hole. The unfortunate groom-to-be Doug goes missing at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and is eventually discovered on the roof.

As if Doug’s many days of survival without food or water in the blazing desert heat isn’t straining credibility enough, we also have to take into account that for all this time Doug was on the roof of a casino. Considering that casinos are absolutely covered in security cameras, it’s inconceivable that he wouldn’t have been discovered sooner.

28. Contagion

Aside from Ocean’s Eleven, another classic movie directed by Steven Soderbergh suffers from a major plot hole. In 2011’s Contagion, Beth Emhoff, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, passes away from a mysterious virus. As this first case escalates to a full pandemic, we are surprised that the medics missed one very valuable detail.

The husband of Patient Zero appears to be completely immune to the disease that killed his spouse. Why aren’t medical staff rushing to run some tests on him, to detect the source of his immunity and pursue a cure? In fact, we never learn the secret behind the immunity of Beth’s husband Mitch Emhoff, played by Matt Damon.

27. Armageddon

Blockbuster director Michael Bay’s films are rarely noted for their plausibility, but one vital plot point in 1998 sci-fi disaster epic Armageddon really takes the biscuit. When Earth is threatened by an asteroid on a collision course, a team of drillers are sent to space to drill into the rock and plant a nuclear bomb.

Many critics have questioned the logic of this, including supporting actor Ben Affleck. In a now-legendary DVD commentary track for the film, Affleck recalls, “I asked [Michael Bay], ‘Wouldn’t it be easier to train astronauts to drill than to teach drillers how to be astronauts?’ To which he replied, ‘shut the f*** up, Ben’.”

26. Freddy vs. Jason

This slasher romp from 2003 is a crossover between horror franchises A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th. The nightmare demon Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) plays on people’s fears, and when probing into the mind of Jason Voorhees he discovers that the invulnerable killer in the hockey mask is afraid of water.

This might make sense, given that Jason’s backstory tells us he drowned in the lake as a child. However, as anyone who’s seen any of the earlier movies knows, Jason never showed any signs of being afraid of the water before. Indeed, most of the Friday the 13th movies feature Jason going in and out of the water with no problem.

25. Batman Begins

In the first film of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Scarecrow plots to unleash a madness-inducing toxin on Gotham’s residents. He releases it into the unsuspecting city’s water supply, intending to later vaporise the entire area’s water resources. The toxin lies inactive as long as the water containing it isn’t turned to steam.

However, Scarecrow has failed to account for all the regular uses of water that would trigger such an event. For example, anytime a city resident boils a kettle or runs a hot bath, presumably they would get a whiff of the dangerous chemicals. We are disappointed that no hysteria-struck tea lovers are seen in this movie.

24. The Stepford Wives

A 2004 remake of the 1975 movie of the same name, The Stepford Wives makes several major changes to the original tale. The 2004 version was made to be more of a black comedy than a psychological thriller. Most importantly, the eerie wives of Stepford are revealed to be humans controlled by brain implants, as opposed to robots as in the original.

Yet despite the fact that the wives of the 2004 version are human, they are still confusingly shown to have some robotic abilities. They’re fire-proof, and one of them dispenses dollar bills from her mouth like an ATM. Given that the remake is a comedy, these might be brushed off as comic affectations, but they’re still legitimate logical inconsistencies.

23. The Hunger Games

In The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the second instalment of the blockbuster franchise, Katniss Everdeen destroys the Hunger Games arena right in the middle of the Games. This event is heralded as the first time the Hunger Games does not have a single Victor. Instead, the lucky survivors escape with the help of District 13.

But the Hunger Games are notoriously indiscriminate in their violence, unleashing mass destruction on players. It beggars belief that, in all of 75 Games, there has never been an event that killed everyone and left no survivors. Perhaps this phenomenon will be further explained in the upcoming spin-off, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

22. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

There’s something particularly odd about the behaviour of Fred and George Weasley in this movie. They give Harry their treasured Marauder’s Map, which sees through any enchantment to name and locate everyone at Hogwarts. Yet despite owning this map for years, the twins never noticed a disturbing presence in the Gryffindor common room.

Ron’s pet rat Scabbers, as we discover in this movie, is and always has been the infamous Peter Pettigrew in disguise. We suppose it’s possible that Fred and George barely paid attention to the map, but we find it alarming that they never noticed that a notorious and reportedly dead criminal was sharing a bed every night with their little brother.

21. Face/Off

Director John Woo’s 1997 action extravaganza Face/Off casts John Travolta as an FBI agent who is forced to swap faces with Nicolas Cage’s deranged terrorist to save LA from a bomb, but things get complicated when the villain steals the hero’s face as well. With a plot like that, perhaps we should forgive Face/Off for being a little implausible.

However, one key moment really strains credibility. To prove his identity to his doctor wife (Joan Allen), Cage-as-Travolta gives her a sample of his blood, pointing out that the real Cage has a different blood type. However, if their blood types were different, then neither of their bodies would have accepted the face transplants in the first place.

20. Toy Story

Pixar’s groundbreaking feature-length computer-animated film remains one of the best-loved family films of the 1990s, and set up a story world whose rules are understood by young and old alike. The set-up is simple, yet brilliant: children’s toys are in reality living, sentient beings with a society all of their own, but whenever a human being comes into the room they stop still and pretend to be lifeless.

The problem is, in the original 1995 Toy Story, new arrival Buzz Lightyear doesn’t realise that he is a toy, believing himself to be a real Space Ranger. Why, then, does Buzz still automatically freeze in the presence of humans like the other toys? Moreover, if Buzz is fully aware of his own character’s backstory, why is Woody completely unaware of his own, as explored in Toy Story 2?

19. The Shawshank Redemption

Writer-director Frank Darabont’s 1994 adaptation of the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption is widely considered one of the greatest films ever made. Tim Robbins stars as Andy Dufresne, a jailed man who endeavours to escape. It shouldn’t be too much of a spoiler to reveal that Andy eventually succeeds, leaving prison via a tunnel dug over the course of many years.

Eventually the prison warden discovers the tunnel, which Andy had carefully concealed behind a large poster of Raquel Welch in his cell. The fact that Andy was able to use the poster to hide the tunnel while he was digging it is all well and good – but how exactly did he manage to pin it back up behind him, perfectly in place, once he had entered the tunnel?

18. Cinderella

This particular plot hole predates any of the film adaptations of Cinderella, and goes all the way back to the original fairy tale. We all remember the story: Cinderella, forced by her cruel stepmother into a life of servitude, gets her wish to go to the Royal Ball and dance with the handsome Prince, courtesy of her Fairy Godmother. But there’s a catch: the Fairy Godmother’s magic expires at the stroke of midnight.

Once the clock strikes twelve, Cinderella’s ball gown changes back into rags, her carriage turns back into a pumpkin, her horses turn back into mice, and so forth. And yet, the glass slipper which Cinderella loses at the palace – later used to prove her identity, and win her the Prince’s hand in marriage – somehow remains. Why did the slipper survive when nothing else did?

17. Ant-Man

By definition, superhero movies obviously require a significant suspension of disbelief, yet most of the time there’s a consistent internal logic at play. In the case of Ant-Man, however, there’s one minor problem which is never addressed, regarding the central device of the Ant-Man suit that shrinks the wearer to infinitesimal proportions.

While the suit miniaturises the wearer, it is made clear to Scott Lang that his body mass remains the same (it explains why Lang is still very strong at ant-size). However, this would also mean that Lang still weighs the same – meaning he would still be able to crush his new ant friends quite easily. How, then, is he able to ride around on the back of them?

16. Iron Man 2

The sequel to Marvel’s breakthrough blockbuster sees Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark acting erratically when he learns he may have a fatal condition. This devil-may-care attitude leads the billionaire playboy to impulsively dismiss the driver he has entered into the Monaco Grand Prix, and drive the race himself – at which point he comes under attack by new adversary Whiplash (Mickey Rourke).

Here’s the issue: Whiplash’s attack on Stark is clearly premeditated. But how could this be, when no one knew in advance that Stark was going to drive? Either Whiplash has some sort of precognitive power (not inconceivable in a superhero movie, but out of character for this particular series), or he somehow happened to be in the right place, at the right time, with his super-powered whips ready to go.

15. Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Most fans and critics hold up James Cameron’s 1991 follow-up to his breakthrough sci-fi thriller as one of the best sequels ever. Continuing the story of the 1984 original, Terminator 2 sees future human resistance leader John Connor come under attack in his youth, as Skynet send back their latest and far more advanced Terminator: the shape-shifting T-1000.

However, if we’re paying attention to the established Terminator rules of time travel, there’s a problem here. In the original Terminator, Kyle Reese explains that nothing dead may pass through the time portal. No problem for the T-800 model, as its cybernetic endo-skeleton is surrounded by living tissue. But how does this work for the T-1000, which is constructed entirely of mimetic polyalloy liquid metal?

14. Independence Day

Director Roland Emmerich’s apocalyptic 1996 blockbuster Independence Day presented warfare between mankind and attacking aliens on a scale we’d never seen before. For much of the film, humanity’s chances of defeating the extra-terrestrial invaders seem non-existent – until they hit upon the idea of uploading a computer virus to the orbiting mothership.

All well and good in theory, but the thing is, the plan necessitates uploading said virus from one of mankind’s terrestrial computers into the alien hard dive. How on earth (or, in this case, not on earth) would the two systems be compatible? If you’ve ever tried to use an old school floppy disc on a contemporary PC, you’ll know the answer is that there’s no chance whatsoever.

13. The Matrix

The groundbreaking 1999 sci-fi spectacular from the Wachowskis hinges on the premise that all human reality is a computer simulation projected into our minds by an oppressive artificial intelligence network. Our resistance heroes Neo and co. are able to go in and out of the Matrix via telephone lines, but in order to do so they need an operator following their movements from the real world.

Midway through the film, the resistance is betrayed by Cypher, who secretly meets up with the evil Agents inside the Matrix, and makes a deal with them to sell out resistance leader Morpheus. But how was Cypher able to go into the Matrix and come back out again completely on his own, with no operator involved and no one in the real world being any the wiser?

12. Back to the Future

Generations of viewers have grown up with beloved 1985 sci-fi comedy adventure Back to the Future. We’ve all thrilled at the sight of 1985 teenager Marty McFly travelling back in time to 1955, then gasped as he inadvertently alters the timeline and puts his own birth in jeopardy. Then, we’ve laughed and cringed as Marty befriends his adolescent parents in an effort to help start their relationship.

Once Marty succeeds both in getting his parents together then returning to his own time, we see that his actions in 1955 had a lasting impact on his parents. This being the case, it’s hard not to wonder why neither Marty’s mother Lorraine nor his father George have ever noticed the uncanny resemblance their son bears to that guy Marty they once knew at high school.

11. Back to the Future Part III

Sadly, the Marty issue is not the only significant plot hole in the Back to the Future trilogy. The third and final chapter begins with Marty trapped in 1955, after the DeLorean disappears along with the 1985 Doc Brown. However, after Marty reunites with the Doc Brown of that era, the pair uncover the DeLorean in an old mine where 1985 Doc left it after getting stuck in 1885.

Marty then takes the DeLorean back to 1885 to rescue Doc, but in the process the fuel line is ruptured. As the tank is empty, Marty and Doc have to find a new way to get the car to 88mph. The thing is, there’s another DeLorean in 1885: the one that Doc had had buried. Why don’t they simply dig that up again and siphon off the fuel?

10. Die Hard

There’s basically no debating that 1988’s Die Hard is one of the greatest action movies ever made. The tense, brilliantly structured yarn from director John McTiernan sees New York cop John McClane visiting LA to attend the corporate office party of his estranged wife, only to find the place seized by supposed terrorists, who it transpires intend to rob the building’s vault.

The bad guys’ plan was to make the police think the terrorists perished in an explosion, and then sneak away with their stolen wealth in the ambulance they brought in the back of their truck. There’s just one problem: when we see the terrorists all get out of the truck at the start of the movie, the truck is empty, meaning they quite clearly forgot to bring the ambulance that magically appears later in the film.

9. Die Hard 2

We don’t want to keep picking on this specific franchise, but we can’t help it when their villains must insist on having evil plots which hinge on the implausible. In the case of Die Hard 2, Washington Dulles International Airport is held ransom by terrorists who demand the release of a dictator from US custody, threatening to destroy every aeroplane that approaches the airport unless their demands are met.

The film shows the aeroplanes scheduled to land at Dulles receiving no communication, then being forced to remain in the air circling, with concerns that their fuel will run out. However, in reality this would never happen. Any time an aeroplane fails to get any radio response from their intended destination, the first thing they do is change course and head to the next closest airport in the vicinity.

8. Beauty and the Beast

It may be a tale as old as time, but we’re not sure the makers of Disney’s animated 1991 blockbuster Beauty and the Beast paid quite as much attention to the fine details as they should have. As the story goes, the Beast was originally a human prince who was cursed for his bad behaviour; he has lived in his ‘animal’ form for almost a decade, and if he doesn’t find true love before his 21st birthday he will never be human again.

So, if he’s about to turn 21 and he was cursed a decade ago, it doesn’t take a maths whizz to tell you that the Prince hasn’t taken human form since he was 11 years old. And yet, there is a portrait hanging in the Prince’s castle showing him as a grown man – and as we see at the end when the curse is lifted, it’s completely accurate to how he looks now. Wouldn’t any pre-curse portrait show him as a child?

7. Pokémon: Detective Pikachu

The first live-action movie of the Pokémon franchise sees young Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) set out to discover the truth about his father’s death. Along the way, he teams up with a Pikachu who, for some unknown reason, he can speak to; where everyone else hears the standard ‘pika-pika’ noises, Tim hears perfect English in a wry, pithy tone (it’s the voice of Ryan Reynolds, after all).

At the end of the film comes a big surprise: the whole time, the Pikachu (who had been struck with amnesia) was really Tim’s father Harry, who had been merged with his pet Pikachu until the two are separated at the end. This may have surprised many viewers – but, even if they had been estranged for a while, wouldn’t Tim have recognised the Pikachu’s voice as his own father’s?

6. Saw

The game-changing 2004 horror movie Saw set out to push its protagonists to breaking point. Cary Elwes and Leigh Whannell play strangers who wake up inside a repulsive windowless bathroom, both of them chained by the ankle at either end of the room. In the centre of the room, just out of reach, lies a cellphone – but far closer to hand is an unsanitary-looking saw.

Elwes’ medical man deduces that their captor is giving them the choice to saw off their own feet in order to escape – and by the climax, this comes to pass. But the phone is mere inches out of reach for Elwes – far less than the length of the saw’s blade. Why didn’t he try to pull the phone to him with the saw first, before opting to cut his foot off?

5. Monsters University

Disney-Pixar’s prequel to the CG animation house’s early hit Monsters Inc. takes our beloved professional scarers James ‘Sulley’ Sullivan and Mike Wazowski back to their college days. Here, we see the mismatched duo meeting for the first time, initially butting heads over their very different approaches to the academic life, but ultimately becoming the best of friends.

Of course, as anyone who was paying attention during the original Monsters Inc. should be able to tell you, there’s a major flaw in that premise: it’s made clear that Sulley and Mike have actually been friends since they were far younger. Sulley directly states in the earlier film that Mike has been jealous of him “since the fourth grade.” Quite a few years before college, then.

4. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Before adventuring archaeologist Indiana Jones reaches the Holy Grail, he must safely navigate three deadly tasks designed to test him, one of which is the Word of God. On seeing a grid of letters before him, Indy realises he must step on the letters that spell out the name of God, Jehovah – but forgets that in Latin, this begins with an I.

When Indy steps on the J, it breaks away beneath him, but he is able to scramble back up and chastise himself for his mistake. The problem is, he saved himself by grabbing on to the tiles directly in front of him, which are L and T. As neither of these letters are in ‘Iehova’ either, these too should have broken away and Indy should have plummeted to certain death.

3. Basic Instinct

The blockbusting crime thriller Basic Instinct got everyone talking with its provocative content and audacious twists and turns. Novelist Catherine Tramell is the prime suspect for the murder of rock star Johnny Boz, who was found stabbed to death during sex. However, the ice-cool Tramell denies everything, and the cops can’t find any way to pin the crime on her.

Even when the film was first released in 1992, this inability to identify the killer was patently absurd. DNA evidence had long been established as a vital part of any crime scene investigation, and – regardless of whether the killer was or was not Tramell – the cops would have had more than enough DNA from Boz’s lover-turned-killer for it to be an open-and-shut case.

2. Hercules

The inciting incident of Hercules revolves around the fact that Hades is jealous of his brother Zeus, and so plans to overthrow Olympus and rule in his stead. To ensure no one can interfere, the dastardly Hades sends his minions to feed Zeus’ son Hercules a potion that will strip him of his immortality, and then murder him.

The two minions, Pain and Panic, successfully strip baby Hercules of his immortality but fail to murder him – something they opt not to report to Hades, who only discovers Hercules’ survival many years later. The question is: as guardian of the underworld, shouldn’t Hades have realised Hercules wasn’t dead when his soul failed to appear in the afterlife at any point?

1. Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of the most beloved adaptations of all time, based on one of the most seminal texts in the fantasy genre. Both in book and movie form, the story is considered completely beyond reproach by fans, with the exception of one question that seems to pop up again and again: what about the eagles?

The giant mythic birds are called upon by Gandalf to rescue him from Saruman, and then they show up again to rescue Sam and Frodo from the lava fields of Mount Doom. Given how powerful and obedient they are, doesn’t it also follow that the eagles could have taken the burden of the ring, and delivered it to Mount Doom themselves (and much sooner than it took Frodo)? It might even have been a much easier job for them, since bird brains are probably a lot less corruptible than hobbit brains.