1. Gandalf is either useless as a wizard or has some kind of code about limiting his powers. Sometimes he comes through and other times it's like, "A little help here!"
2. CAN WE JUST START WITH THE EAGLES? It would save a lot of time, injury and entanglement with orcs. In both stories, they could have just flown over to the Lonely Mountain or Modor and saved themselves TONS of hassle and a few lives, like Boromir. Just saying.