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Are Orcs (and trolls) the one major "mistake" in the legendarium?

Eruonen
Valinor


Nov 17 2021, 9:40pm

Post #1 of 13 (1324 views)
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Are Orcs (and trolls) the one major "mistake" in the legendarium? Can't Post

Without a final origin story it can lead to contradictions with the world scheme.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-CDanQALn8

Spirits who served Melkor......but that poses problems of power, immortality etc. for the bulk of orcs.
Elves corrupted? Problems then of immortality with the Orcs did not have.
Corrupted men? Orcs had shorter lives than men and were subject to disease.

Speculating....what if Melkor could have changed men...not created...into a lesser version similar to our predecessor Homo Erectus for example by some corrupted breeding effect.
https://humanorigins.si.edu/...species/homo-erectus


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Nov 17 2021, 9:41pm)


No One in Particular
Lorien


Nov 18 2021, 2:12am

Post #2 of 13 (1295 views)
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Really [In reply to] Can't Post

The fea still have to come from Eru ultimately, whether elves or men. The orcs are really insoluble as long as you hold that Evil cannot truly create.

While you live, shine
Have no grief at all
Life exists only for a short while
And time demands an end.
Seikilos Epitaph


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Nov 18 2021, 2:48am

Post #3 of 13 (1291 views)
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Long-lived Orcs? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Corrupted men? Orcs had shorter lives than men and were subject to disease.

Speculating....what if Melkor could have changed men...not created...into a lesser version similar to our predecessor Homo Erectus for example by some corrupted breeding effect.
https://humanorigins.si.edu/...species/homo-erectus


Maybe we should leave real-life anthropology out of this (though Neanderthal Man might be a good explanation for the Druedain). But did Orcs really have shorter lifespans than Men? Bolg was the son of Azog, he had to be born no later than the year T.A. 2799, so he was at least 142 years old when he was killed by Beorn at the Battle of Five Armies. That seems reasonably long-lived when compared to the average Man. If Orcs had shorter life-expectancies, it's because they were likely to meet sudden, violent deaths.

The major problem with the notion of Orcs being created from corrupted Men is that Orcs show up earlier in the legendarium--well before the Awakening of Men. The timeline just does not work.

#FidelityToTolkien
#ChallengeExpectations

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Nov 18 2021, 2:53am)


Eruonen
Valinor


Nov 18 2021, 2:58am

Post #4 of 13 (1279 views)
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There was the rare exception but orcs were described as shorter lived by Tolkien [In reply to] Can't Post

"Tolkien wrote:

They could be slain, and they were subject to disease; but apart from those ills they died and were not immortal, even according to the manner of the Quendi; indeed they appear to have been by nature short-lived compared with the span of Men of higher race, such as the Edain."

Bor the Old, one of the longest-lived of the Edain, died at the age of 93; implying that their life expectancy was less than modern 21st century humans. And orcs had even shorter lifespans than that." The Quora article mentions Bolg as an exception.....


So it appears Orcs are possibly an unintended error. Trolls probably have a similar emergence problem too.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Nov 18 2021, 3:01am)


Eruonen
Valinor


Nov 18 2021, 3:06am

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It may be Tolkien got ahead of himself by focusing on the Children of Illuvater [In reply to] Can't Post

and then having to come up with a solution to his already employed Orc legions in his History. It seems he could not really resolve their origin or he would have.

There was no moment with Melkor that was similar to Aule and the dwarves. Now, that could be a solution....unrecorded.


sevilodorf
Tol Eressea

Nov 20 2021, 3:00am

Post #6 of 13 (1197 views)
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Are there two species of Orcs? [In reply to] Can't Post

Mordor's and Isengard's?

The Isendard Orcs appear to withstand sunlight better..... could Saruman have be doing some genetic tinkering either through wizardry or simple husbandry -- those half orcs??

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No One in Particular
Lorien


Nov 20 2021, 3:11am

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There's Orcs, and then there's Orcs [In reply to] Can't Post

Treebeard was of the opinon that Saruman had mingled the races of Orcs and Men, resulting in a breed that was larger and more resistant to sunlight. Someone else in the book also said that, but I'm going blank on who.

While you live, shine
Have no grief at all
Life exists only for a short while
And time demands an end.
Seikilos Epitaph


CMackintosh
Bree

Nov 20 2021, 5:29am

Post #8 of 13 (1183 views)
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difficult problem [In reply to] Can't Post

On one hand you have the published Silmarillion suggesting that Orcs are corrupted Elves, seized and tortured into demonic distortion by Melkor before his first overthrow in Utumno. On another hand, you have suggestion from Tolkien's other books that they were some sort of physical "development" of fallen embodied Maiar, that they were in some way related to the Druedain - both Druedain and Orcs calling each other rebels -, that they were animals that had been distorted and abused by Melkor into humanoid shape and taught a token language, and there may be others I have forgotten. (I've also forgotten the HoME books these suggestions are printed in. Help would be appreciated. Thanks.)

I worried about it for a while, before concluding that in a situation as chaotic as Melkor's attempted annexation of Middle Earth, there was a fair chance Melkor tried all of those solutions to breed an expendable soldier force, then combined the efforts to ensure some sort of success; I myself would argue that Druedain were repentant Orcs who were taken up by Iluvatar a la Aule with his Dwarves, and given a fresh start in life, with magical powers from the Elvish and Maiar ancestry that ordinary humans didn't have. FWIW. Smile


(This post was edited by CMackintosh on Nov 20 2021, 5:31am)


Elthir
Grey Havens


Nov 21 2021, 11:26pm

Post #9 of 13 (1119 views)
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the Awakening-s of Men [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The major problem with the notion of Orcs being created from corrupted Men is that Orcs show up earlier in the legendarium--well before the Awakening of Men.The timeline just does not work.


But JRRT was aware of this, and thus, within the notion of Orcs being from Men, he altered the timeline so that it would work (be possible).


Elthir
Grey Havens


Nov 21 2021, 11:37pm

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intendedness [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
JRRT wrote: They could be slain, and they were subject to disease; but apart from those ills they died and were not immortal, even according to the manner of the Quendi; indeed they appear to have been by nature short-lived compared with the span of Men of higher race, such as the Edain."


I'm not sure why this needs to be stamped as an unintended error. If my memory is working, this description is from text X, the Orcs from Men text -- with a certain number of long-lived Orc-formed Maiar in the mix.

In other words, Tolkien is stating this within the very concept in which his "regular" Orcs hail from Men, and he doesn't appear to think this is necessarily problematic.

And neither do I . . . so far Wink


Elthir
Grey Havens


Nov 22 2021, 12:01am

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training [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Mordor's and Isengard's? The Isendard Orcs appear to withstand sunlight better..... could Saruman have be doing some genetic tinkering either through wizardry or simple husbandry -- those half orcs??


My opinion is that Saruman's uruks were well trained to withstand sunlight.

And his half-orcs (resulting from Orks bred with Men) had help with the sun due to their mannish-ness.

That said, if you follow the race of the three Ork bands (The Northerners, the Isengarders, and the Mordor Orks) in the chapter The Uruk-hai, I think it's arguable that the Mordor Orks run just as well as the Isengarders, and even a few of the Northerners (a few of the larger, bolder Northerners) seem to hang with the Isengarders!

It was the Northerners in general who don't do as well, and actually say they can't run in the sunlight, to which Ugluk replied: " . . . What's the use of sending out mountain-maggots on a trip, only half trained. Run curse you! Run while night lasts."

And even when the Isengarders gradually pass through the Orks of Mordor, the text leaves the possibility, at least, that this might have been due to some plan of Grishnakh's . . .

"Either because they were quicker or hardier, or because of some plan of Grishnakh's, the Isengarders gradually passed through the Orcs of Mordor . . ."


Solicitr
Gondor


Nov 26 2021, 3:50pm

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Orc endurance [In reply to] Can't Post

In an unpublished note, Tolkien says that Uruk-hai could run somewhat faster than regular Orcs, and only needed 30 minutes' rest rather than an hour after five hours on the move. So there was a physical distinction of some sort, in addition to the matter of sunlight.

Linguistically, the term Uruk-hai is itself a source of confusion, since it literally simply means "orc-folk." T tells us that by the end of the 3A however "uruk" was used only for the big soldier-orcs... but this was used for the infantry of Mordor as well (cf. "Black uruks of Mordor" in the Moria section, and the mention in App B of their first appearance in Ithilien). It would seem therefore that Grishnakh and his company also were "uruks."

On the other hand, the U-H of Isengard seem to be qualitatively different from "normal" orcs, even from the soldiery of the Dark Tower.


Elthir
Grey Havens


Nov 26 2021, 11:59pm

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even more training? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
In an unpublished note, Tolkien says that Uruk-hai could run somewhat faster than regular Orcs, and only needed 30 minutes' rest rather than an hour after five hours on the move. So there was a physical distinction of some sort, in addition to the matter of sunlight.


My impression of the physical distinction between the Mordorians (at least those in the chase in The Uruk-hai) and Saruman's Uruks is that the Isengarders were of greater stature, possibly due to Grishnakh's crooked legs -- and a couple of score of others like him were: "long armed crook-legged Orcs"

But again, the Mordorians still seem to keep up. And with reference to Saruman's Uruks, training again seems to be a factor . . .


Quote
"Behind them came two battalions of Uruks, heavily armed but trained to move at great speed for many miles."

Unfinished Tales, Battles of the Fords of Isen


[in these texts Saruman's Uruk-hai are referred to as Uruks]

Maybe it could be that while Sauron had "snaga orcs" and the better trained uruks, the Isengarders had to be even better trained, since Saruman didn't have the numbers Sauron had.

In any case, the "huge" Orc-chieftain in Moria appears to be and Uruk from Mordor, and I'd put him against any of Saruman's lot!

 
 

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