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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Favourite Orc designs


Sep 7 2010, 3:09pm

Post #1 of 9 (521 views)
Favourite Orc designs Can't Post

So here's something I hope hasn't been done before. Let's celebrate the grotesque minions of The Lord of the Rings. Because there's so many of them we often take Weta's work in this area for granted and focus on the other designs in the trilogy, but if the Orcs didn't look intimidating enough, then the trilogy would've generally lacked in menace.

Me, I favour the more realistic, and therefore more palpable, make-ups. I absolutely adore the Orcs in FOTR and ROTK, moreso than the Uruk-hai (who look like shaved gorillas underneath their amazing armour) and the Morgul Orcs.

http://scrapbook.theonering.net/scrapbook/movies/production/makeup/view/1400 (This fella never made it on screen.)
http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/File:Darth_Maul_in_Minas_Tirith.jpg (Darth Maul Orc!)

These guys in the Company of the Orcs chapter were absolutely terrific:
http://www.framecaplib.com/lotrlib/html/episodes/images/rotk/rotk2000.htm (black-eyed, sickly green nose-ringed punk)
http://www.framecaplib.com/lotrlib/html/episodes/images/rotk/rotk2002.htm (huge fella with rotted nose and one blind eye)
http://scrapbook.theonering.net/scrapbook/movies/production/makeup/view/11619 (behind-the-scenes picture of big fella)

There's another Orc I loved but couldn't find an image of, I dubbed him Chicken Orc, he's seen in Osgiliath battering a Gondorian and making a funny screech during his close-up.


Sep 7 2010, 5:46pm

Post #2 of 9 (354 views)
I think your "Chicken Orc" was at Cirith Ungol" in the Extended Edition. [In reply to] Can't Post

I could be wrong but seem to remember him when all the Orcs began fighting amongst themselves in Cirith Ungol.


Sep 7 2010, 6:38pm

Post #3 of 9 (356 views)
oh, fun thread! [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, fun in a weird sort of way...Smile...thanks for posting this!

There was a podcast posted a little bit ago where Bruce Hopkins was interviewing one of the makeup folks from the films -- one of her points was that for the makeup professional, the actor's face is their canvas for their type of "art", and that you can do things with a real person that you can't do with CGI.

I'd definitely say the orc (and Uruk) makeup work qualifies as art...it would have been very easy to make all the bad guys all the same (like Stormtroopers), but instead, they treated them each as individuals, and I think that contributes to the sense that they are a "real" enemy, instead of just generic bad guys...visually, I guess, it's the closest we can get to the times in the book where Tolkien gives us some insights into the different personalities of a few orcs and uruks...

My own personal favorite is the one that yells "Catapult" in ROTK -- the one with the skull on his head -- ha! I don't have time to post the image now but will later if I remember...



Sep 8 2010, 1:34am

Post #4 of 9 (343 views)
here's my favorite orc! [In reply to] Can't Post

Had a few extra minutes finally so here's my favorite:



Idril Celebrindal
Tol Eressea

Sep 9 2010, 3:08am

Post #5 of 9 (464 views)
The Uruk-hai are my favorites [In reply to] Can't Post

I like how they project strength and fear. They didn't strike me as being ape-like at all. They look more like corrupted men -- make that corrupted NFL players -- than the other orcs do, giving the impression that they're a human-orc crossbreed. This isn't strictly canonical, but it works in the context of the movie.

You can see the "football as a metaphor for war" motif when they're arming themselves. They reminded me of football players putting on their pads before a big game. I also like their costumes, weapons and makeup, particularly the white handprints. It gives them a more organized, martial look than the rest of the orcs, befitting their status as Saruman's elite troops.

Of the "normal" orcs, my favorite is the one with cat's eyes. I disliked the piggy look of Gothmog, Lieutenant of Morgul.

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Sep 10 2010, 6:53pm

Post #6 of 9 (324 views)
Hard to pick [In reply to] Can't Post

I like the small ones in Moria in FOTR, Uruk-hai in TTT (and the smaller Sauron Orcs like the one chasing Pippy and Merry in Fangorn) and the elite Sauron orcs in ROTK.

Uruk-hai win for me. they looked more intidimading than any others. The sight of thousands of them making noise with their speers before the battle starts is spectacular.

(This post was edited by xy on Sep 10 2010, 6:53pm)

Tol Eressea

Sep 10 2010, 7:02pm

Post #7 of 9 (454 views)
With you on the Gothmog [In reply to] Can't Post

He did look just ridiculous. On top of that they made him a crippled, diseased orc. Now seriously, this is the kind of orc you'd see get torn apart in the "dog-eat-dog" world of the orcs - not as one of their leaders. More like the leader of the pack that was sent out in Fellowship by Saruman (Lurtz) makes sense.

And yes I know both characters were played by the same actor Lawrence Makori. Wink

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.

Tim: No I don't talk about my love life for a very good reason, and that reason is I don't have one. Which is very good news for the ladies-I am still available. I'm a heck of a catch, cos, er well look at it. I live in Slough, in a lovely house, with my parents. I have my own room, which I've had since yep, since I was born. That's seen a lot of action I tell you. Mainly dusting. I went to university for a year as well, before I dropped out, so I'm a quitter. So, er, form an orderly queue ladies.


Oct 28 2010, 7:14pm

Post #8 of 9 (270 views)
I'm not sure what the rules on bumping are [In reply to] Can't Post

But I found my favourite Orc design. This must be from the early days of promoting the trilogy.


Oct 28 2010, 7:35pm

Post #9 of 9 (307 views)
threads do not rise to the top of the queue... [In reply to] Can't Post

when they are replied to. If you want to make a new thread, you can.

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