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: Main:
does any one wish tolkien invented at least one good orc?
First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

boldog
Rohan

Sep 7 2013, 9:01pm

Post #1 of 37 (479 views)
Shortcut
does any one wish tolkien invented at least one good orc? Can't Post

Some might find this stupid, but I always wondered what if there was a good one? Perhaps he defies his masters, and sees that he is evil,thus trying to be much more on the good side. What if an orc saw an elf maid, in trouble and tried to save her? Love between and elf and orc? Either way, what do you all think. I know Tolkien invented orcs to be true evil, but to have at least one as an exception, I believe could be a potential remarkable story...

"fingolfin looked up in grief to see what evil morgoth had done to maedhros"


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Sep 7 2013, 9:06pm

Post #2 of 37 (302 views)
Shortcut
Not really..... [In reply to] Can't Post

It would have to take something drastic to get one to change their mind, let slope to escape the wrath of men, elves, dwarves, and orcs.

Maciliel might though, she pities them already. Perhaps a fanfic is in the near future?


Semper Fi
Rohan


Sep 7 2013, 10:18pm

Post #3 of 37 (288 views)
Shortcut
Not stupid at all [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't want that to happen purely because I hate "one and only exception" plot devices. It's too fanfiction.

Also, it's in the nature of Middle Earth universe to have 100% unsympathetic villains. Not every story requires humanized ones, including one exception.

Besides, Orcs in Moria evolved into banker goblins from Harry Potter. So they turned well and wealthy in the end. Laugh

"RadagaStoner deserves no mercy!" Tauriel the Radagast Slayer, the Chief of Inglorious Elfguards

Tauriel saved us from Itaril. Never forget.



IdrilofGondolin
Rohan

Sep 7 2013, 10:23pm

Post #4 of 37 (282 views)
Shortcut
Have to agree Not Really [In reply to] Can't Post

I am not a fan of the anti-hero, the flawed hero or the misunderstood bad guy. I like my fantasy straightforward and uncomplicated. Good guys good and bad guys bad. But that's just me.


Mat
The Shire

Sep 7 2013, 11:45pm

Post #5 of 37 (278 views)
Shortcut
No... [In reply to] Can't Post

I believe hate is all they have the mental capacity for.

PISSING CONTEST (Heavy Punk)
www.facebook.com/pissingcontest



Joe-Mathews
Rivendell


Sep 7 2013, 11:56pm

Post #6 of 37 (260 views)
Shortcut
Hmmmm.... Interesting. [In reply to] Can't Post

Much is made about Tolkien's Christian influences in Middle-Earth. In that light, it is surprising he didn't create an orc that "saw the light" and tried to convert back to goodness. One of the major themes in Christianity is that redemption is available to all, yet Middle-Earth isn't bound by Christian dogma or doctrine. (After all, it is not Earth or at least set in a pre-Christ time...)

Tolkien's orc mythology created orcs from elves that either rejected the Maia and turned to Melkor or were captured by Melkor and over generations were corrupted and changed. In effect, there was nothing good in them for them to turn to. By the Third Age, they were thoroughly evil. They had nothing to aspire to. As unnatural creature (creatures not inherently natural to Eä) their very existence is unnatural, hence, they are incapable of benefiting nature and always destructive to whatever they encounter.

It could be argued that only Elves were born with good as only they could journey West. Men, Dwarves, and Hobbits seems to have had the capacity to become either good or bad.

I don't think Tolkien ever intended us to relate to orcs or trolls. He wrote them so that we could recognize characteristics in them that we often see in non-compassionate people, but all orcish behavior was portrayed to be actions we should eschew.

Tolkien saved redemptive themes for more admirable characters like Boromir and Aragorn. While Ghan-Buri-Ghan wasn't an orc nor were the Dead under the White Mountains, Tolkien used them for redemptive themes.

'There is some woe that lies upon you... Why will you not tell me more?'
'For that woe is past,' said Galadriel; 'and I would take what joy is here left, untroubled by memory. And maybe there is woe enough yet to come, thought still hope may seem bright.'


DanielLB
Immortal


Sep 8 2013, 12:03am

Post #7 of 37 (272 views)
Shortcut
Don't underestimate Gorbag and Shagrat: [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
'They would,' grunted Gorbag. 'We'll see. But anyway, if it does go well, there should be a lot more room. What d'you say? -- if we get a chance, you and me'll slip off and set up somewhere on our own with a few trusty lads, somewhere where there's good loot nice and handy, and no big bosses.'

'Ah!' said Shagrat. 'Like old times.'


Perhaps it isn't for me to say, but they never seemed that "bad" if they wanted to abandon Sauron's regime.....



demnation
Rohan

Sep 8 2013, 12:46am

Post #8 of 37 (259 views)
Shortcut
It might be just me [In reply to] Can't Post

But I've always found orcs to be sympathetic caricatures, or at lest pitiable. And I think Tolkien intended for them to be so.

"In the beginning the Universe was created.This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.” Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


Meneldor
Tol Eressea


Sep 8 2013, 1:39am

Post #9 of 37 (255 views)
Shortcut
What about half-orcs? [In reply to] Can't Post

Of course men have the capacity to be good, so might that be true of the Saruman's half-breeds?


They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.


Hamfast Gamgee
Gondor

Sep 8 2013, 9:32am

Post #10 of 37 (225 views)
Shortcut
The Orcs that captured Merry and Pippin [In reply to] Can't Post

Whilst I wouldn't trust them and whilst one can understand Eomer's actions, one can also almost sympathize with them as they try to escape from Rohan.


Gorbadoc
Registered User

Sep 8 2013, 9:48am

Post #11 of 37 (223 views)
Shortcut
Why not good orcs? [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, Tolkien made elves do bad things: Feanor and a few of his sons. And Eol and Maeglin are arguably mostly bad. Why not good orcs? Or at least orcs doing good things. It would have been ironic if Grishnakh was killed while trying to free Merry and Pippin. Or if Shagrat decided that Sauron was doing wrong and was going to get all of his orc family killed, so he helps Frodo escape from Cirith Ungol.


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Sep 8 2013, 11:26am

Post #12 of 37 (219 views)
Shortcut
They didn't seem all that good... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Quote
'They would,' grunted Gorbag. 'We'll see. But anyway, if it does go well, there should be a lot more room. What d'you say? -- if we get a chance, you and me'll slip off and set up somewhere on our own with a few trusty lads, somewhere where there's good loot nice and handy, and no big bosses.'

'Ah!' said Shagrat. 'Like old times.'


Perhaps it isn't for me to say, but they never seemed that "bad" if they wanted to abandon Sauron's regime.....



I don't know how "good" the pair could have been considering they were still contemplating a life of banditry and (presumably) murder.

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


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Sep 8 2013, 11:34am

Post #13 of 37 (214 views)
Shortcut
Could an Orc be raised to be good? [In reply to] Can't Post

What if someone (more likely one of the race of Men, rather than an Elf or Dwarf) took pity on an orphaned Orc-cub and attempted to raise it to be good? Could it be done? Or, would the attempt be doomed to failure?

Saruman's Half-orcs might be more easily redeemable. They are closer to human (often able to pass as Men) and may retain more free will than a normal Orc.

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


Semper Fi
Rohan


Sep 8 2013, 12:17pm

Post #14 of 37 (215 views)
Shortcut
Raising an Orc cub in a biased environment [In reply to] Can't Post

Mind you, that wouldn't be easy because you can always count on other people not being kind to adopted cub. Parents would show love but it takes more than just parents to shape a personality.

"RadagaStoner deserves no mercy!" Tauriel the Radagast Slayer, the Chief of Inglorious Elfguards

Tauriel saved us from Itaril. Never forget.



Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Sep 8 2013, 12:21pm

Post #15 of 37 (234 views)
Shortcut
True [In reply to] Can't Post

Alternate scenarios come to mind, however, where such a youngling could be raised in isolation. The real test might come when the Orc has to go it alone as an adult.

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


Semper Fi
Rohan


Sep 8 2013, 2:43pm

Post #16 of 37 (199 views)
Shortcut
Born evil [In reply to] Can't Post

I think that Tolkien established that they were born evil as a species. They were created to be evil and then reproduced as such, like genetic instead of socially-induced evil. Though it's hard to accept the genetic evil concept nowdays when we know how that really works, it makes sense in a fantasy world that doesn't follow real world rules. No wonder we never see or hear about Orc children and women thought they technically exists somewhere, since they breed "in the manner of Illuvatar's children". Still, speculation about raising Orc kids (why cubs...they are humanoids) is an interesting one.

"RadagaStoner deserves no mercy!" Tauriel the Radagast Slayer, the Chief of Inglorious Elfguards

Tauriel saved us from Itaril. Never forget.



(This post was edited by Semper Fi on Sep 8 2013, 2:45pm)


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Sep 8 2013, 2:54pm

Post #17 of 37 (193 views)
Shortcut
Destiny or Choice? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I think that Tolkien established that they were born evil as a species. They were created to be evil and then reproduced as such, like genetic instead of socially-induced evil. Though it's hard to accept the genetic evil concept nowdays when we know how that really works, it makes sense in a fantasy world that doesn't follow real world rules. No wonder we never see or hear about Orc children and women thought they technically exists somewhere, since they breed "in the manner of Illuvatar's children". Still, speculation about raising Orc kids (why cubs...they are humanoids) is an interesting one.



Even so, we like to think that people can change for the better. And Orcs were once Elves (and perhaps Men as well) before they were twisted by Morgoth and later Sauron. Perhaps an Orc raised in a loving, nurturing environment (with a great deal of patience) could be turned to Good.

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


Mat
The Shire


Sep 8 2013, 3:02pm

Post #18 of 37 (194 views)
Shortcut
Human Nature [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
I think that Tolkien established that they were born evil as a species. They were created to be evil and then reproduced as such, like genetic instead of socially-induced evil. Though it's hard to accept the genetic evil concept nowdays when we know how that really works, it makes sense in a fantasy world that doesn't follow real world rules. No wonder we never see or hear about Orc children and women thought they technically exists somewhere, since they breed "in the manner of Illuvatar's children". Still, speculation about raising Orc kids (why cubs...they are humanoids) is an interesting one.



Even so, we like to think that people can change for the better. And Orcs were once Elves (and perhaps Men as well) before they were twisted by Morgoth and later Sauron. Perhaps an Orc raised in a loving, nurturing environment (with a great deal of patience) could be turned to Good.


Using the Christian representations, the demons (orcs) have already fallen and cannot turn back. But, I don't want to speak for Tolkien, either. It is an interesting thought.

Humans: Domesticating the world, one species at a time!

PISSING CONTEST (Heavy Punk)
www.facebook.com/pissingcontest



Semper Fi
Rohan


Sep 8 2013, 5:24pm

Post #19 of 37 (191 views)
Shortcut
Foir such a big Catholic [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien certainly didn't paint Eru in a very positive light. When you read all his work, the guy comes off more as an arch villain, albeit disguised as a benefactor, rather than a true force of good. So the fallen could probably be unfallen especially when it wasn't their fault - Orcs came from captured and tortured Elves (and Men). So not their choice or fault.

"RadagaStoner deserves no mercy!" Tauriel the Radagast Slayer, the Chief of Inglorious Elfguards

Tauriel saved us from Itaril. Never forget.



Semper Fi
Rohan


Sep 8 2013, 5:27pm

Post #20 of 37 (190 views)
Shortcut
Since it wasn't their choice to turn evil [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess the fallen angel rule wouldn't apply and they could be un-turned.

"RadagaStoner deserves no mercy!" Tauriel the Radagast Slayer, the Chief of Inglorious Elfguards

Tauriel saved us from Itaril. Never forget.



dormouse
Half-elven


Sep 8 2013, 5:59pm

Post #21 of 37 (184 views)
Shortcut
No, not really... [In reply to] Can't Post

Into the world he created, I don't think it would fit.

It's supposed to be a measure of the evil of Morgoth, I think, and those who came after him, that the orcs were so corrupted that they were beyond redemption of their own free will - they couldn't choose to change sides. A good orc would be a contradiction in terms, and would lessen the evil of those who made them. There's a quotation about the irredeemable wickedness of orcs in one of Tolkien's letters, but the page reference in my copy's wrong so I can't find it - I'm sure someone here will know.

Of course Eru, in Arda reborn, might do - anything - to undo the evil that was done...


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Sep 8 2013, 7:20pm

Post #22 of 37 (186 views)
Shortcut
Perhaps they had a choice... [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe at birth, they have to make a decision.

'Be Evil, or Die.'

Perhaps there is a silent holocaust going on in the orc society. This would be reason to "pity them", as Maciliel says.

Just an Idea......


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Sep 8 2013, 8:52pm

Post #23 of 37 (170 views)
Shortcut
I would not equate Orcs to demons. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Using the Christian representations, the demons (orcs) have already fallen and cannot turn back. But, I don't want to speak for Tolkien, either. It is an interesting thought.

Humans: Domesticating the world, one species at a time!



Orcs are flesh-and-blood creatures. Melkor, Sauron, the Balrogs, Ungoliant, and other evil and corrupted Ainur--those are Tolkien's demons and devils.

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


Mat
The Shire


Sep 9 2013, 3:53am

Post #24 of 37 (162 views)
Shortcut
Here is a great excerpt from Letter 153: [In reply to] Can't Post

"They would be Morgoth's greatest Sins, abuses of his highest privilege, and would be creatures of begotten Sin, and naturally bad, (I nearly wrote "irredeemably bad'; but that would be going too far. Because by accepting or tolerating their making- necessary to their actual existence- even Orcs would become part of the world, which is God's and ultimately good)."

That seems to explain it pretty well and leaves it open.

PISSING CONTEST (Heavy Punk)
www.facebook.com/pissingcontest



Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Sep 9 2013, 5:39am

Post #25 of 37 (147 views)
Shortcut
lol! [In reply to] Can't Post

 
you made me laugh, rembrethil! : ) my "pity the orcs" thread has followed me out of the reading room. : )

seriously, 'tho, the original reason i started that thread is because of some of the ideas spoken in parallel here.... it seems rather awful, especially in a world created by tolkien, that orcs could be born, doomed beyond all hope, to be miserable, enslaved, and yet have not the sliver of a chance for improvement or redemption.

even though tolkien (in letter #153, which is quoted by mat) removes the absolutism, it does seem that -- in a practical sense -- the deck is stacked entirely against orcs, for the possibility of any of them living something other than an evil life, a violent life, a corrupt life.

in the "pity the orcs" thread, we also ruminated on whether an orc raised from an infant would inevitably mature into the orcs we generally know. it seems that there would be a sliver of a chance... not a very good chance, but a possibility. gollum / smeagol had not much chance, given that he had lived with the (absolutely) evil influence of the ring for about 500 years, but he certainly did prove that he was making conscious choices that were in alignment with "good."

also, re your scenario... while i don't think that they make a decision at birth, i do think that any that show a smidgen of kindness or potential goodness are attacked, beaten, harassed, and / or killed some time along the way. i think it would be difficult for an orc to advance in years, surrounded by other orcs, being enslaved, surrounded by filth, being sent on horrible missions to kill and defile things, and retain a spark of goodness. not impossible, but very, very difficult.


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 telpemairo

First page Previous page 1 2 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.