While in The Silmarillion the title “Lord of the Eagles” applies to Thorondor, in The Hobbit it evidently has another significance. No eagles are identified by name in this book, and titles “the Lord of the Eagles” or “the Great Eagle” distinguish their leader from others. It is stated that once he had been healed from an arrow-wound by Gandalf, and that it was in the memory of this service that his eagles helped the dwarves. After his participating in the Battle of Five Armies, he was given the title King of All Birds and wore a golden crown.
Many readers assume that it was Gwaihir that led the eagles in this story. However, in The Return of the King Gandalf said that Gwaihir had carried him twice before the Battle of the Morannon, while the proper count would have been three or four times if Gwaihir and the Lord of the Eagles had been the same individual.