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Lord Of The Rings' Boat Theory Makes Sense - But Ruins Everything

It's not a controversial opinion to say that "The Lord of the Rings" is the best fantasy film series of all time. While the universal acclaim that JRR Tolkien's novels and Peter Jackson's films have received is completely warranted, fans are still wondering why the Fellowship didn't just take boats to get to Mordor instead of walking and running into side quests. This discussion has been happening for years among fans, and the reason is simple: It just wouldn't be fun. 

Tolkien-head and TikToker DonMarshall72 took to the platform to shut down a viral theory suggesting that taking a boat to Mordor from the Shire would have been a much more viable option.  


Pirates. The answer is pirates. Im tired #jrrtolkien #lotr #lordoftherings #middleearth #corsairs #middleearth

♬ original sound – DonMarshall72

The user's reasoning in dismantling the theory is simple: The Fellowship of the Ring would have had to deal with boring ol' pirates, as opposed to their more exciting adventures that shine light on the various factions, races, and cultures of Middle-earth. "Of course they should have gone and taken the boats. Would you rather meet a cool pirate or a Balrog trying to kill you?" the user said in frustration. We'll pick the Balrog every time!

Logically, taking boats to Mordor, from either the Shire or Rivendell — where the Fellowship of the Ring was actually established — seems perfectly sound. But would "The Lord of the Rings" still be as impactful? The beauty of the narrative lies in how arduous the journey is, coupled with the fracturing of the Fellowship, whose members each go on to do great things. Walking is the best decision that Tolkien could have made.

The Lord of the Rings boat theory might also be wrong

While it's difficult to know how the story would have panned out if they did take the boats, several fans are pointing out how navigating through Middle-earth's waters would have actually been more dangerous. On the r/lotr subreddit, u/Shta_qrd posed the same question, which was met with several rebuttals. On one hand, going by boat is boring, but speculation says it would also have been impractical because of nefarious forces. 

Redditor u/THE-JACKAL-LIVES stated, "They would have been sitting ducks for the ring wraiths." The Ringwraiths from "LOTR" are definitely complicated and need an explainer, but this response is apt. Seeing as the Ringwraiths can fly and have immense powers, the Fellowship would have been destroyed in no time if they were on a boat in the sea. By traversing across land, the Fellowship can hide, especially in Middle-earth's daunting mountains. 

Another response, which is in line with the TikToker's point of view, is that the mighty but small Fellowship would have been killed by pirates. "A small group alone in the sea wouldn't have a chance if they ran into a large corsair ship. They would also be visible to many of [S]auron's spies. I assume certain birds that fly over water would be working for him," wrote u/Donkeylord_303. Speaking of birds, many have said that the gang should have summoned Eagles to fly to Mordor. However, thinking that the Eagles could have saved the day is just one false fact from "The Lord of the Rings" that you've always believed