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Greatest of the Eagles at the time of the War of the Ring. Gwaihir had keen eyesight and was the swiftest of the Great Eagles. He was large and strong enough to carry a grown man. Gwaihir was intelligent and was capable of speech.

Gwaihir was descended from Thorondor, the greatest Eagle who ever lived. He had a brother named Landroval. They lived in the northern Misty Mountains and had many other Eagles as their vassals.

In the summer of 3018, Gandalf the Grey asked Radagast the Brown to send word among his friends the birds to learn what they could of the Enemy's plans. The Great Eagles flew far and wide and gathered news of the Nine Ringwraiths and the mustering of Orcs and Wargs and the escape of Gollum from Mirkwood.

Gwaihir went to Isengard to bring this news to Gandalf. In the early hours of September 18, he found Gandalf imprisoned by Saruman on the pinnacle of Orthanc. Gwaihir bore Gandalf away, and when the Wizard said that he needed a horse, Gwaihir set him down in the land of Rohan.

On February 17, 3019, Gwaihir was searching for Gandalf at the request of Galadriel when he found the Wizard atop the Silvertine. Gandalf had vanquished the Balrog in the Battle of the Peak, but the entrance to the Endless Stair had been blocked and he had been unable to escape from the mountaintop. Gwaihir once again bore Gandalf and he found his burden to be as light as a feather, for Gandalf's old life had been burned away and he had been reborn as Gandalf the White.