If you are at all familiar with Tolkien’s work, then Bilbo’s cry – proclaiming the arrival of Eagles – will be no stranger to you. Indeed, these plot-armoured birds are somewhat of a hallmark of the Master of Middle-Earth, one rejoiced over and lampooned in equal measure by both lovers and critics of his writing.
But they are misunderstood. Tolkien’s Eagles cannot be taken literally; they are a narrative embodiment of the unlooked-for grace, the redemptive turn – winged harbingers of Tolkien’s concept of eucatastrophe.
Anna Thayer has been fascinated, inspired and led by this concept since childhood. This book represents a eucatastrophe casebook of sorts, spanning over ten years of research. It is a series of investigations into Tolkien’s work that reveal how overarching this theory was in his writing and mindset.