Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
the problem with orcs
First page Previous page 1 2 3 Next page Last page  View All

CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 27 2013, 7:53pm

Post #26 of 57 (244 views)
Shortcut
"All of them at once!" [In reply to] Can't Post

Which has the convenient multi-entendre of agreeing with everyone like a Congressman does, taking credit for the brilliance of my blank verse, semi-ambiguously calling you Morgoth, and ripping off a line from Bilbo.


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 28 2013, 1:29pm

Post #27 of 57 (243 views)
Shortcut
hi elthir [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Quote
Maciliel, I can't agree that Orcs from Elves was Tolkien's working model at his death -- in my opinion signs rather point to Orcs created from Men as being Tolkien's last known working idea -- nor, to my mind, is the idea of Orcs from Elves necessarily the most consistent idea Tolkien pursued [this could be a thread in itself I think].

Orcs created from Men has its own timeline by the way, as Tolkien was aware he needed to make this idea consistent with his world [if the timeline issue is raised as far as consistency is concerned, for example].



Quote
(maciliel):
also, there is (i believe) mention made of "goblin=men" and some such things, leaving room to think that the dna of the edain worked itself in there as well, perhaps through experiments of morgoth or sauron, perhaps from orcs raping female edain (and there does seem to be suggestion from tolkien that this sort of horrible event happened from time to time).


I think the goblin-men are the result of Saruman's breeding program -- Saruman breeding Orcs and Men resulting in Half-orcs; although this is thousands of years after Orcs were already in existence of course.



hi elthir --

no problem with disagreement. it's certainly nice to explore this topic.

again, i'm wondering if we aren't stumbling towards each other over terminology. in his published works, tolkien ascribed the origins of orcs to elves corrupted by morgoth (and presumably continued by sauron). it is this origin story that made it into the main published works (sil, lotr).

somewhere along the line, tokien still was troubled enough with the implications of this origin story that he explored other options. even if he was pursuing those other options right up to his death, by the time of his death, he had not fully replaced the old theory with a finalized new origin story.

this is my perspective from all that i've read of tolkien's writings (which is probably not the full extent of all the materials available) and all i've read of the commentary of others on this topic.

but, even if tolkien had dotted all the is and crossed all the ts in his new origin story of the orcs, and said, "yes, they come from men," it still doesn't negate the larger issues i'm trying to highlight here: 1) beings with souls slaying beings with souls; 2) beings with souls tormented from the moment they draw breath, because they are born into corrupted bodies.

for my money, any thoughts tolkien might have had to substitute the edain for the eldar as the original beings corrupted doesn't really change the fundamental horrors here.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Elthir
Gondor

Apr 28 2013, 11:08pm

Post #28 of 57 (243 views)
Shortcut
some of the external timeline [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
hi elthir -- (...) again, i'm wondering if we aren't stumbling towards each other over terminology. in his published works, tolkien ascribed the origins of orcs to elves corrupted by morgoth (and presumably continued by sauron). it is this origin story that made it into the main published works (sil, lotr).




Hi Maciliel. I don't know if it's terminology but Tolkien himself did not publish any orc origins.



Quote
somewhere along the line, tokien still was troubled enough with the implications of this origin story that he explored other options. even if he was pursuing those other options right up to his death, by the time of his death, he had not fully replaced the old theory with a finalized new origin story.




The old theory was that Melkor simply created orcs and did not need to corrupt other living beings into orcs. This idea held true for a fairly long time actually -- the big change was that Morgoth could not do this: rather he must corrupt something -- but the theory that was in place when The Lord of the Rings was begun was still the old one, that Morgoth simply created orcs out of stone and 'hatred'.

Tolkien might have switched over during the writing of The Return of the King [Frodo's comments about Orcs are interesting here], but even if he did, JRRT either forgot about this, or switched back to Morgoth simply creating orcs in the early 1950s [after 'finishing' The Lord of the Rings, when he took up his Silmarillion legends once more], as Christopher Tolkien notes that when his father took up the Annals of Aman in the early 1950s, the original idea of Morgoth creating Orcs still held, as first written.

And Orcs from Elves comes in in the early 1950s -- as a theory of the Wise of Eressea [wise though they were, they were not first hand witnesses in any case], but by the later 1950s Tolkien writes a note to himself that Orcs are not Elvish, and proceeds to look at a number of alternative ideas.

Orcs from Men is Tolkien's last idea at this time [later 1950s, early 1960s] -- Christopher Tolkien himself characterizes things this way, even though he adds that things are not so simple, and refers readers to two even later notes which need to be mentioned -- these two notes do not actually revise the notion of Orcs created from Men, it's just that they might possibly suggest Tolkien was once again thinking of revising orc origins. I emphasize 'might possibly' because it's very hard to know what these notes do or do not say about the Orcs from Men theory in general...

... for example, Christopher points out that in one of these notes Tolkien spells the word Orks instead of Orcs, and he had also written Orks in an older note in which Elves were still involved in some measure. Did he just change his spelling here? Does it mean anything beyond that? like Tolkien possibly reverting back to an origin in which Elves have a part? Impossible to know but in the end the mere choice of 'Orks' does not mean Tolkien was going back to an Elvish origin, even if one thinks this 'possible' in a very general sense.

And that said, there is yet another late note to the [late] essay The Druedain in which the Eldar say that surely Orcs originate from various kinds of Men.

So Orcs from Elves wasn't Tolkien's oldest idea, nor his youngest, idea... but one among several that came between early and late texts, and one which was never published by JRR Tolkien himself



Quote
but, even if tolkien had dotted all the is and crossed all the ts in his new origin story of the orcs, and said, "yes, they come from men," it still doesn't negate the larger issues i'm trying to highlight here: 1) beings with souls slaying beings with souls; 2) beings with souls tormented from the moment they draw breath, because they are born into corrupted bodies.



Oh I wasn't arguing with any of that Smile

As I say, this is just a tangent issue in any case.


CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 28 2013, 11:42pm

Post #29 of 57 (227 views)
Shortcut
Thanks for the succinct timeline [In reply to] Can't Post

It's great to have it put all in one place like that, since chasing Tolkien's varying ideas on the subject over several decades is dizzying.

I'm guessing that he wanted Morgoth to create Orcs from Elves partly because he couldn't create anything (according to the Rules) and also to make Morgoth all the more despicable for that act. But then he collided with all the issues that we bring up. It makes more sense to me that Morgoth created them from stone and "hatred" (love the use of that word; it goes beyond the physical so well) and that as soulless creatures, we don't need to feel sorry when they're slaughtered.

Dragons stick out as a sore thumb in the Rules. Were they originally lizards or other reptiles fed to giant size as Carcharoth was since they couldn't be created? If they were steroid-lizards, how did wings get added to them later? Adding wings seems like something only a creator could do. (*cringing at the thought of a wing/no wings debate*)

Trolls are a problematic too. If Orcs came from Elves, and trolls came from Ents, why do trolls turn to stone in the sunlight whereas Orcs just feel weak? That's a pretty big difference. Why wouldn't trolls turn into wood instead? Though maybe Tolkien invented that attribute for The Hobbit and was stuck with it later without thinking through all the implications. (I think the Internet created trolls, not Morgoth.)


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Apr 29 2013, 2:49am

Post #30 of 57 (238 views)
Shortcut
I'm not convinced that Trolls were supposed to have been made from Ents [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Trolls are a problematic too. If Orcs came from Elves, and trolls came from Ents, why do trolls turn to stone in the sunlight whereas Orcs just feel weak? That's a pretty big difference. Why wouldn't trolls turn into wood instead? Though maybe Tolkien invented that attribute for The Hobbit and was stuck with it later without thinking through all the implications. (I think the Internet created trolls, not Morgoth.)



Tolkien wrote that Trolls were made in mockery of Ents, but he doesn't outright state that they were corrupted Ents. Perhaps Trolls were originally made from stone; animated by evil or corrupted spirits or Ainur.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Elthir
Gondor

Apr 29 2013, 5:36pm

Post #31 of 57 (213 views)
Shortcut
Thanks... [In reply to] Can't Post

I should note that that was from memory but I think it's correct. It's based on a much more detailed external timeline [that I wrote up some time ago] of Tolkien's changing ideas about Orc origins over the years.

As for Trolls, I believe Tolkien wrote a couple of notable things: in one letter [1950s if I recall correctly] he wrote: 'I am not sure about Trolls. I think they are mere 'counterfeits', and hence (...) they return to mere stone images when not in the dark. But there are other sorts of Trolls, beside these rather ridiculous, if brutal, Stone-trolls, for which other origins are suggested.'

Later on JRRT noted that Trolls, in general, might be corruptions of primitive human types [Myths Transformed, Morgoth's Ring]: 'It seems clearly implied in The Lord of the Rings that trolls existed in their own right, but were 'tinkered' with by Melkor. (...) but they were larger and slower [than orcs]. It would seem evident that they were corruptions of primitive human types.' JRRT, Myths Transformed

Here Tolkien appears to be referring to the following, already in print: 'In their beginning far back in the twilight of the Elder Days, these were creatures of dull and lumpish nature and had no more language than beasts. But Sauron had made use of them, teaching them what little they could learn and increasing their wits with wickedness.' Appendix F

Hmm.


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 30 2013, 11:15am

Post #32 of 57 (190 views)
Shortcut
nice timeline, elthir [In reply to] Can't Post

 
it is indeed a chronological labyrinth trying to sort out orcs, given all the factors: tolkien's development of ideas, what was written into a workable theory, what got published, when things were published, successive thoughts, etc.

one thing i will note that is clear, even though much seems in confusion -- the origin of orcs coming from men is not sufficient to explain it -- orcs predate men by quite a bit. so, if morgoth cannot create independent life (which +does+ seem to be the settled upon rule), from where did those original orcs come?

i think this is a gordian knot that tolkien tied his universe up in, over time.

do you have any information as to why he thought orcs from elves was problematic, vs. orcs from men (which i see as equally problematic, plus adding some chronological/history problems that don't fly, in my assessment)?

for me, given all the inconsistencies, and issues, what makes greatest sense with the published material, and much of the unpublished history, is that orcs have (at least in part -- i'm certainly willing to adhere to the idea that, in later ages, the dna of the edain was thrown into the mix) elvish origins. tolkien created this problem, and could not resolve it.

again, thanks for all the research and insight into the material you bring to this discussion.

many cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 30 2013, 11:21am

Post #33 of 57 (194 views)
Shortcut
ents [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
I'm not convinced that Trolls were supposed to have been made from Ents --
Trolls are a problematic too. If Orcs came from Elves, and trolls came from Ents, why do trolls turn to stone in the sunlight whereas Orcs just feel weak? That's a pretty big difference. Why wouldn't trolls turn into wood instead? Though maybe Tolkien invented that attribute for The Hobbit and was stuck with it later without thinking through all the implications. (I think the Internet created trolls, not Morgoth.)



Tolkien wrote that Trolls were made in mockery of Ents, but he doesn't outright state that they were corrupted Ents. Perhaps Trolls were originally made from stone; animated by evil or corrupted spirits or Ainur.



what i remember in the published text (paraphrasing): "trolls were made in mockery of ents." which isn't necessarily the same thing as being made +from+ ents, which i never thought made sense, as ents were woody creatures, and trolls stony. something made +from+ ents would be more like old man willow, with extra nightmare features (perhaps wings! just like a balrog!)

perhaps the power of trolls, their sheer size, the fact that they are elemental is the mockery.

also, yavanna's intent with the ents was not that they just exist, but that they be the shepherds of the trees, and that they are beings that can actively fight to preserve and defend the olvar.

trolls are just destructive, on a massive scale. they would likely be formidable antagonists in any actual battle... a likely match-up, as it were.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Elthir
Gondor

Apr 30 2013, 12:17pm

Post #34 of 57 (196 views)
Shortcut
the early goblin catches the wyrm [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
one thing i will note that is clear, even though much seems in confusion -- the origin of orcs coming from men is not sufficient to explain it -- orcs predate men by quite a bit. so, if morgoth cannot create independent life (which +does+ seem to be the settled upon rule), from where did those original orcs come? i think this is a gordian knot that tolkien tied his universe up in, over time.




But here you are still plugging in a timeline in which Orcs predate Men, and as I say above, Tolkien revised his timeline to allow the new concept of Orcs created from Men (there were also Orc-formed Maiar now in the mix). Actually Tolkien revised his timeline not simply because of the Orc issue, but this is a complicated matter, so moving on for now...


Quote
do you have any information as to why he thought orcs from elves was problematic, vs. orcs from men (...)?




What I can say is that the 'immortality question' was one Tolkien posed to himself, and I think it shows that he found the matter somewhat problematic. Tolkien noted (text VIII):

'It also seems clear (...) that though Melkor could utterly corrupt and ruin individuals, it is not possible to contemplate his absolute perversion of a whole people, or group of peoples, and his making that state heritable. [added later: The latter must (if a fact) be an act of Eru.]'

'In that case Elves, as a source, are very unlikely. And are Orcs 'immortal' in the Elvish sense? Or Trolls? (...)'
JRRT, Myths Transformed, Morgoth's Ring

So here we have two concerns: immortality, and the possibility of Morgoth not just corrupting beings, but making this corruption a heritable state -- in other words (as I read this), what will the children be if corrupted Elves [who have become Orcs] breed? Elves or Orcs? If Orcs, Morgoth has made his corruption a heritable state, and if this is true, Elves seem an unlikely source to JRRT himself (or at least this seems part of the reason anyway).


Men would solve the immortality question, at least. And there might be other concerns. Tolkien also wrote that Morgoth could so dominate some Orcs that they seemed like 'puppets' with no will of their own, some even slaying themselves when the Dark Lord was defeated, for example. And in a late note Tolkien explained...

'Other originally independent creatures, and Men among them (but neither Elves nor Dwarves), could also be reduced to a like condition.'

JRRT, late note attached to text X 'Orcs from Men'


If Orcs could be so dominated, it makes sense (to me anyway) that the source for Orcs could be so dominated as well, but here it's said that neither Elves nor Dwarves could be reduced to such a notable condition. One could argue that once Elves became Orcs they could be 'absorbed' in this way, but I also think that Men were -- generally speaking now -- more easily swayed to the will of the Dark Lords.

Tolkien even notes, in text X [again he had adjusted the chronology to allow for Men to be the source for Orcs, although admitted that it was still not without its difficulties]:

'This view of the origin of orcs thus meets with difficulties of chronology. But though Men may take comfort in this, the theory remains nonetheless the most probable. It accords with all that is known of Melkor, and of the nature and behaviour of Orcs -- and Men.'

In my opinion, in general Men were already 'closer' to Orcs than Elves were, and notably I think, Men could be found in Morgoth's forces as well as Sauron's.

I think this is part of the reason Tolkien thought Orcs from Men made more sense, and while this origin includes that the state of Orkish-ness is heritable, my guess is that Tolkien thought this more possible with Men [noting that with respect to Elves he writes 'very' unlikely when considering what Morgoth has really done here].


But whatever the reasons, we can see JRRT working toward the Mannish idea. We know that the statement in The Lord of the Rings about orcs being created in mockery of Elves was not problematic, as JRRT himself had already written such an idea at a time when the Orcs were not in fact made from Elves...

'The origin of the orcs: In QS (62) the idea had already arisen that the orcs originated in mockery of the Elves, but not yet that the Orcs were in any other way associated with them: they were a 'creation' of Morgoth's own, 'made of stone' and he brought them into being when he returned to Middle-earth.' Christopher Tolkien, commentary, Morgoth's Ring



Also -- and I would stress that this is my own idea if based upon the general idea of Maiar-orcs -- I think these creatures could have been employed to help explain Orcs appearing before Men -- I think Tolkien employed them more to explain how some orcs appeared to be 'immortal', but I also think he could have delved deeper into using them for early orcs [that is, still within the 'older' timeline].


Maiar-orcs: they are not just for breakfast any more... oh wait, that's not the right saying Wink


(This post was edited by Elthir on Apr 30 2013, 12:21pm)


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Apr 30 2013, 3:36pm

Post #35 of 57 (177 views)
Shortcut
I think that you are confusing me with CuriousG... [In reply to] Can't Post

You've conflated my post with the one I was replying to. My position on Trolls seems to be about the same as your own.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


imin
Valinor


Apr 30 2013, 10:07pm

Post #36 of 57 (168 views)
Shortcut
Great post [In reply to] Can't Post

Really been enjoying your posts in the RR board - just thought i would say so, lol.

And Iluvatar spoke to Ulmo, and said: 'Seest thou not how here in this little realm in the Deeps of Time Melkor hath made war upon thy province? He hath bethought him of bitter cold immoderate, and yet hath not destroyed the beauty of thy fountains, nor of my clear pools. Behold the snow, and the cunning work of frost! Melkor hath devised heats and fire without restraint, and hath not dried up thy desire nor utterly quelled the music of the sea. Behold rather the height and glory of the clouds, and the everchanging mists; and listen to the fall of rain upon the Earth! And in these clouds thou art drawn nearer to Manwe, thy friend, whom thou lovest.


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


May 1 2013, 5:45am

Post #37 of 57 (161 views)
Shortcut
dragons [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
[curiousg] It's great to have it put all in one place like that, since chasing Tolkien's varying ideas on the subject over several decades is dizzying.

I'm guessing that he wanted Morgoth to create Orcs from Elves partly because he couldn't create anything (according to the Rules) and also to make Morgoth all the more despicable for that act. But then he collided with all the issues that we bring up. It makes more sense to me that Morgoth created them from stone and "hatred" (love the use of that word; it goes beyond the physical so well) and that as soulless creatures, we don't need to feel sorry when they're slaughtered.

Dragons stick out as a sore thumb in the Rules. Were they originally lizards or other reptiles fed to giant size as Carcharoth was since they couldn't be created? If they were steroid-lizards, how did wings get added to them later? Adding wings seems like something only a creator could do. (*cringing at the thought of a wing/no wings debate*)

Trolls are a problematic too. If Orcs came from Elves, and trolls came from Ents, why do trolls turn to stone in the sunlight whereas Orcs just feel weak? That's a pretty big difference. Why wouldn't trolls turn into wood instead? Though maybe Tolkien invented that attribute for The Hobbit and was stuck with it later without thinking through all the implications. (I think the Internet created trolls, not Morgoth.) [/curiousg]


perhaps it's not a stretch to think that morgoth, while he can't create life, can manipulate the building blocks.

so morgoth would have at his disposal all the genes, all the sequences... he could have just bent genes and morphology over time to produce the shapes he wanted.

now, the intelligence is another matter. i think that's harder to cook up via gene manipulation.



cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


CuriousG
Valinor


May 1 2013, 8:01pm

Post #38 of 57 (158 views)
Shortcut
Yes, still a problem about intelligence [In reply to] Can't Post

Though maybe if you can inflate a little lizard into a giant dragon, you can make him smart and talkative too.

It's also possible that he took something big and naturally-occurring, like the Watcher at Moria, and twisted it to his ends. And somehow made it smart and talkative and able to breathe fire.

Still problematic for me. It'd be easier to say he just created them.


Brethil
Half-elven


May 1 2013, 8:11pm

Post #39 of 57 (154 views)
Shortcut
I kind of like the Maiar or lesser spirit route... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Though maybe if you can inflate a little lizard into a giant dragon, you can make him smart and talkative too.
It's also possible that he took something big and naturally-occurring, like the Watcher at Moria, and twisted it to his ends. And somehow made it smart and talkative and able to breathe fire.
Still problematic for me. It'd be easier to say he just created them.




...like we discussed with Ungoliant, JRRT discusses a vast number of spirits in existence, only a small portion of whom actually 'came down' to arda to engage in the work, and then become 'real' in the scheme of Arda. And they can change their forms as their humor suits - until I think they become too distant from Eru. So I feel a lot of the nasties - dragons for example, and the Watcher - are spirits who chose a form, were corrupted by Melkor (thus losing their ability to change any more) and then had it become 'fixed'. Their offspring are then that natural form. I think it has to be that route because JRRT is pretty clear in saying none of the Valar could create actual Life - even Aule. They can only make something out of the materials (like the Dwarves, given Life by Eru) or corrupt and change something already in existence. It would explain the intelligence too I think, if they are spirits they already have that on some level.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


imin
Valinor


May 1 2013, 9:27pm

Post #40 of 57 (162 views)
Shortcut
I think of it [In reply to] Can't Post

in terms of selective breeding. So you select for the characteristics you are after - maybe size or submissiveness (can't have the orcs or whatever try and over power you) or intelligence (enough to do what you want, no more in most cases).

This can be seen on a small scale with dogs with them coming in a variety of sizes, with different personality traits for differing breeds in general terms and differing levels of intelligence. e.g. a border collie is more active, intense and clever than say a bulldog which just looks at you, lol.

I think if you combine that with the grim day to day life those creatures/races and you would get other environmental pressures - better immune systems, faster recovery etc. Obviously there will be problems along the way - unintended consequences of certain pairings but i don't really think of it myself as genetic manipulation on the level of tinkering with individual genes as that seems just wrong in Tolkien's world. Seems to me to be more on the level of selective breeding which i know is artificial selection pressures and so is changing the genes of things but the knowledge of genes isn't there and its more for the visible or easily identifiable characteristics - seems different to me.

If you gave it more time and thought i imagine the results would be more impressive - even though i feel it already is in real life!

And Iluvatar spoke to Ulmo, and said: 'Seest thou not how here in this little realm in the Deeps of Time Melkor hath made war upon thy province? He hath bethought him of bitter cold immoderate, and yet hath not destroyed the beauty of thy fountains, nor of my clear pools. Behold the snow, and the cunning work of frost! Melkor hath devised heats and fire without restraint, and hath not dried up thy desire nor utterly quelled the music of the sea. Behold rather the height and glory of the clouds, and the everchanging mists; and listen to the fall of rain upon the Earth! And in these clouds thou art drawn nearer to Manwe, thy friend, whom thou lovest.


Frostbitten
The Shire


May 2 2013, 3:55pm

Post #41 of 57 (135 views)
Shortcut
Orcs are people... right? [In reply to] Can't Post

Orcs, as you presumably know, were originally Elves morphed into evil perversions of themselves by Melkor, better known as Morgoth, so they (again, presumably) have at least near immortality to age. They have little or no conscience and their emotions are mainly fueled by greed, rage, and jealousy for the things they feel they need yet cannot have. They needlessly curse and murder because of what they are. The D&D adaption of an Orc makes it slightly more humanized, with emotions and doubts of consequence. After all, from what I know, you can actually play as one! Tolkien made it appear much more obvious that the Orcs, however evil, are worth pitying, but not befriending. They are lost from light for good, but we should consider them like Gollum, once thinking as a Free Race, but demented beyond return.

“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.”


CuriousG
Valinor


May 2 2013, 4:43pm

Post #42 of 57 (128 views)
Shortcut
Good distinction that you make [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
the Orcs, however evil, are worth pitying, but not befriending.

With friends like them, you wouldn't need enemies. And you wouldn't have enemies, because you would already be dead from your orc-buddy.


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


May 2 2013, 5:01pm

Post #43 of 57 (127 views)
Shortcut
didn't [In reply to] Can't Post

 
curiousg, didn't you receive an orc-buddy for your seventh birthday?


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


CuriousG
Valinor


May 2 2013, 5:15pm

Post #44 of 57 (121 views)
Shortcut
Yes, girls get ponies, boys get orcs-buddies. [In reply to] Can't Post

The batteries ran out on mine before he could do any harm.


Frostbitten
The Shire


May 2 2013, 7:50pm

Post #45 of 57 (111 views)
Shortcut
Thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks G. However, I happen to think the Orcs were one of the coolest races Tolkien invented.

“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.”


Frostbitten
The Shire


May 2 2013, 7:54pm

Post #46 of 57 (110 views)
Shortcut
Orcs were Elves, remember? [In reply to] Can't Post

Orcs were Elves, so it kinda is the same thing as kinslaying. However, they ARE demented perversions, so it's kinda different. I'm not really an expert on the fine line distinctions Tolkien didn't fully explain, but I've always had mixed feelings about kinslaying.

“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.”


CuriousG
Valinor


May 2 2013, 7:55pm

Post #47 of 57 (109 views)
Shortcut
I think they're cool in that they're not just monsters [In reply to] Can't Post

Normally that's what the vast armies are in fantasy, either legions of evil men or legions of monsters like the undead or statues turned to life or whatever. Orcs have a personality and culture to them that you don't see too often in cannon fodder.


CuriousG
Valinor


May 2 2013, 7:58pm

Post #48 of 57 (111 views)
Shortcut
Part of the back and forth we discuss is that [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien kept changing his mind on what orcs were. In the published books (LOTR and Silmarillion), it's mostly clear that they're from Elves. But in his unpublished works, he had Morgoth create them from stone, or even considered them an offshoot of Men, and he kept vacillating. If they were Elves, then that is a great tragedy, since the Kinslayings went on without end.


Frostbitten
The Shire


May 2 2013, 10:05pm

Post #49 of 57 (129 views)
Shortcut
More Orcish [In reply to] Can't Post

 Funny you should mention the Kinslayings, because in my mind, it was a foreshadowing of the Orcs' (or Elves') transformation into what they are now.
You're right about Tolkien's 'zooming in' on the Orcish race as a culture, not just a massive army of look-alikes, but a natural and physical people.

"Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement."


Brethil
Half-elven


May 2 2013, 10:34pm

Post #50 of 57 (105 views)
Shortcut
Excellent point [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Funny you should mention the Kinslayings, because in my mind, it was a foreshadowing of the Orcs' (or Elves') transformation into what they are now.
You're right about Tolkien's 'zooming in' on the Orcish race as a culture, not just a massive army of look-alikes, but a natural and physical people.




And Welcome, Frostbitten!Smile

I think the foreshadowing is a valid point in the mythos, as I think from what JRRT saw in the War as well as world politics in relation to tyranny the Orcs were a bit of a warning to men at large, that by domination of evil they can be perverted to a dehumanized form. So maybe not straight allegory, but a philosophical parallel that he saw there, using Elves as the example - which of course makes the end result more disturbing and sad.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."

First page Previous page 1 2 3 Next page Last page  View All
 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.