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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
SCOD: All Manners of Orc

GoodGuyA
Lorien

Sep 26 2012, 10:08pm

Post #1 of 19 (1175 views)
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SCOD: All Manners of Orc Can't Post

Welcome to SCOD! Today we are going to be looking at the exterior of Fangorn sequence where Merry and Pippin see orc society first hand. I thought about this one a while and whether speaking on Eomer's banishment could have been more beneficial, but I also realized that I wouldn't get the chance to talk about this sequence afterwards and wanted to try something different. Also, first SCOD after Tolkien Week! Hurray!







Yes, it's another multi-image SCOD! Time to admire some hideous orcses.

1. Probably the biggest concern about the orcs in Two Towers was how they evolve from faceless creatures to a full fledged society. Do you find their transition disconcerting, given how they were represented in Fellowship? Is this a convincing society, or is it over-brutalized?

2. As an addition to the prior question, the humans never seem to hear the orcs speak. Does this give the impression that only Hobbits can understand the creatures? Was this deliberate?

3. Look at the orcs around the ones in focus. How are orcs represented as a race and do you think the different breeds of orc here help establish a wide range of visual features that determine an orc or Uruk-hai? Does this assist their appearance in Return of the King?

4. I chose shots somewhat at movement so that we may observe the versatility of the make-up at work here. Does it look convincing? What are the orcish visual traits here and what would you do to improve them and bring them closer to your imagination?

5. Any additional thoughts about the orc episode is encouraged!

Bonus Question: Which orc here is voiced by Andy Serkis?




Elutherian
Rohan


Sep 27 2012, 5:01am

Post #2 of 19 (534 views)
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Let's see... [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Probably the biggest concern about the orcs in Two Towers was how they evolve from faceless creatures to a full fledged society. Do you find their transition disconcerting, given how they were represented in Fellowship? Is this a convincing society, or is it over-brutalized?
I remember Lurtz talking in Fellowship, so I assumed orcs would be speaking from the beginning. This was just the first time we were allowed to see orcs/uruk-hai interact among themselves.

And I think you have to make their "culture" seem brutal. They are the villains after all.

2. As an addition to the prior question, the humans never seem to hear the orcs speak. Does this give the impression that only Hobbits can understand the creatures? Was this deliberate?
This never even occurred to me. Couldn't the Fellowship hear Lurtz shouting out orders? How about Gothmog at Minas Tirith?

3. Look at the orcs around the ones in focus. How are orcs represented as a race and do you think the different breeds of orc here help establish a wide range of visual features that determine an orc or Uruk-hai? Does this assist their appearance in Return of the King?
I was able to tell the difference. Uruk-Hai are portrayed as larger, bulkier, and more like alpha-males.

4. I chose shots somewhat at movement so that we may observe the versatility of the make-up at work here. Does it look convincing? What are the orcish visual traits here and what would you do to improve them and bring them closer to your imagination?
Looks amazing. WETA did a great job with the makeup for all three films. The diversity made it even more believable.

Bonus Question: Which orc here is voiced by Andy Serkis?
I think it's the middle one. If my memory serves me correctly.


The Grey Pilgrim, they once called me. Three hundred lives of men I walked this earth, and now I have no time...


Shelob'sAppetite
Valinor

Sep 27 2012, 5:59am

Post #3 of 19 (492 views)
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Love the blues in these scenes {NT} [In reply to] Can't Post

 


titanium_hobbit
Rohan


Sep 28 2012, 3:46am

Post #4 of 19 (470 views)
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The Hobbit contamination [In reply to] Can't Post

sorry to speculate on your thread! :)
SPOILERS for non readers within!

The idea of only Hobbits understanding orcs and orkish society is explored a bit more in The Hobbit, when the dwarves and Bilbo are captured by the misty mountain goblins, and taken to the leader. this 'taken to leader' thing is happening again with Merry & Pippin, it's just the distance to travel is lots longer!

The idea of goblin kings isn't really explored in LOTR- it's all about Sauron. I wonder if this is a deliberate change, or just an aspect of the different kinds of stories being told? Or maybe Gandalf and Beorn taking out the Goblin king and Bolg has changed orkish society so that there is a power vacuum for Sauron (and Saruman) to inhabit?

TH


Hobbit firster, Book firster.


Have you explored all of TORN's forums?


zarabia
Tol Eressea


Sep 28 2012, 6:00am

Post #5 of 19 (522 views)
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Interesting choice [In reply to] Can't Post

I feel that a little orc goes a long way. The more you see - and certainly, the more you hear - the less effective they are.

In FOTR, the Moria orcs were good and creepy because there was little focus on individual goblins; it was the sheer number of them and their roach-like ability to climb that made them so horrifying. The Uruks were hulking and effectively menacing. I liked that all we really hear is "Find the Halfling!" No chit-chat.

Then we get to TTT where we encounter more Mordor orcs who, IMO, are sillier looking than they are scary. And the more they talk, the sillier they seem, even the Uruks who were pretty darn frightening in FOTR. I realize that they talk in the books, but that's something, again IMO, that should have been left in the book. Monsters are more frightening on screen when they keep their cake-holes shutLaugh But that's just me. I know a lot of people really liked the orcs.




Shelob'sAppetite
Valinor

Sep 28 2012, 4:40pm

Post #6 of 19 (520 views)
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You crack me up, zarabia [In reply to] Can't Post

I like your style.

The thought of telling an orc to keep his "cake-hole shut" is unbearably hilarious. Good thing I wasn't sipping on coffee when I read that! Smile


Bombadil
Half-elven


Sep 28 2012, 7:06pm

Post #7 of 19 (486 views)
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"Meat izz Back on the Menu ...Boys" [In reply to] Can't Post

Always get a Laugh..one of My
favorites Lines


Elenorflower
Gondor


Sep 28 2012, 9:40pm

Post #8 of 19 (429 views)
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I definately saw [In reply to] Can't Post

3 distinct groups, the Uruks, the Moria orcs and Saurons orcs. I liked the insect Moria orcs with their big eyes for bugging about in the dark, and I thought Saurons Orcs were the most 'humanoid' of the lot. I can well imagine Bill Ferny being half Orc, and I imagine these humanoid orcs taking over the Shire before the Scouring. Some of Saurons Orcs were witty in their own horrible way. The Moria orcs scared me the most.


(This post was edited by Elenorflower on Sep 28 2012, 9:42pm)


Loresilme
Valinor


Sep 28 2012, 9:54pm

Post #9 of 19 (470 views)
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"Find the Halfling!" [In reply to] Can't Post

You hit that right on the head, zarabia. When I first watched the films, I found that line so disturbing, so frightening. Thinking from the perspective of these little Hobbits, to hear those orders shouted in that growling half-animal way. Very frightening.

And also, the swarming, 'roach-like' behavior of the goblins in Moria - horrifying.

I agree they get less threatening the more they speak, and I found that to be the case in the books as well. There is something odd (to me) of hearing these supposedly brutal, beastlike creatures conversing in somewhat proper English.

Also I found this to be the same with the Ringwraiths. The scene in the Prancing Pony when they are gliding past Butterbeer, who is cowering in fear under the bar, was just terrifying. Yet later on in the trilogy, the Ringwraiths 'seemed' less menacing, even though they continued to do very horrible things.

I think you are spot on, that monsters are more frightening when they keep their mouths shut :).



Ziggy Stardust
Gondor


Sep 29 2012, 12:55am

Post #10 of 19 (440 views)
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I found that line horrifying too [In reply to] Can't Post

But sometimes monsters talking can seem more scary than when they don't talk. For example, I found the orcs scary in both the novels and the films because they talked! Think about it: these brutish creatures talking in complete sentences, something maybe they shouldn't do, but they are. That tells one that they are smarter than they seem, and that one should be on their guard. If these creatures can talk, they can certainly think, plan, and strategize. That's not a good thing if you're a human going up against a supernatural creature who's not only smart but strong. That's one of the reasons I love (non-sparkly, wussiified) vampires. They are monsters, but they are smart and can speak eloquently, and it takes a lot to bring them down, because they have the superstrength and the smarts. Just my humble opinion.


zarabia
Tol Eressea


Sep 29 2012, 1:21am

Post #11 of 19 (396 views)
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Thanks, SA :D // [In reply to] Can't Post

 




zarabia
Tol Eressea


Sep 29 2012, 1:32am

Post #12 of 19 (415 views)
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Yes, the Ringwraiths! [In reply to] Can't Post

They are much scarier in FOTR. That screech is chilling. Shocked Even the simple hissed whisper of "Shire...Baggins" works because it makes the Raith seem so single-minded. And, yes, gliding heedlessly past Butterbur shows how otherworldly they are.




zarabia
Tol Eressea


Sep 29 2012, 1:43am

Post #13 of 19 (401 views)
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I understand your point [In reply to] Can't Post

But I guess where I differ is that I never doubted the orcs' intelligence and ability plan. The Uruks in FOTR certainly seemed intelligent and single-minded in their goal. The lack of small talk, to me, emphasised their discipline and competence. Later in TTT when they're talking about "maggo'y bread", they seem a bit dense and therefore, less intimidating. But I definitely agree that clever, eloquent (non-sparkly Laugh) vampires who have brains as well as teeth make wonderful villains.




GoodGuyA
Lorien

Sep 29 2012, 3:53am

Post #14 of 19 (413 views)
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You're the only one who guessed on the bonus question [In reply to] Can't Post

And you are correct! Ten op up! Wink



Elenorflower
Gondor


Sep 30 2012, 3:00pm

Post #15 of 19 (392 views)
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I have somewhat the opposite view [In reply to] Can't Post

I think if a creature can talk you are more likely to be able to reason with it, even if its to ask exactly why they are snacking on bits of your leg. If the creature cant talk its probably because its way out of the realms of chatting about the weather. In the Barrows the creeping hand was the scariest bit of LOTR.


GothmogTheBalrog
Rivendell


Sep 30 2012, 7:54pm

Post #16 of 19 (362 views)
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I don't agree [In reply to] Can't Post

about the Ringwraiths. I found them scary all the way through. I would also like to point out that they talk the most in FotR. As well as mostly being shown at night.

"It was like a great shadow, in the middle of which was a dark form, of man shape maybe, yet greater; and a power and terror seemed to be in it and go before it." ~FotR


Xanaseb
Tol Eressea


Oct 1 2012, 11:18am

Post #17 of 19 (327 views)
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Belated post ;) [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Probably the biggest concern about the orcs in Two Towers was how they evolve from faceless creatures to a full fledged society. Do you find their transition disconcerting, given how they were represented in Fellowship? Is this a convincing society, or is it over-brutalized?

I don't find it disconcerting, mainly because in the Fellowship the orcs shown were Goblins for the most part, who indeed have a less ordered (if that's the right word!) society. I think it is convincing entirely; Orcs simply are that brutal!! Very imaginable.

2. As an addition to the prior question, the humans never seem to hear the orcs speak. Does this give the impression that only Hobbits can understand the creatures? Was this deliberate?

Hmmmm this is a great point. I think that it is just that we did not get much of an opportunity to see the non-hobbits converse with Orcs (... because they're busy killing them ...)

3. Look at the orcs around the ones in focus. How are orcs represented as a race and do you think the different breeds of orc here help establish a wide range of visual features that determine an orc or Uruk-hai? Does this assist their appearance in Return of the King?

I'd say that there are very distinct differences established between Orcs and Uruk-hai here (skin tone, body and facial structure (angled / less angled), hair (and lack of), armour)
However, it does not entirely assist their appearance in Return of the King, as of course the Saruman contingent is non-existent. Plus, the Orcs of Mordor shown in Film 3 are for the most part tough well bred Orcs, who are greater in stature. There are parts of RoTK however where Uruk-Hai - Orc separation onec more comes into play (thinking of Cirith Ungol especially with Shagrat and Gorbag)

4. I chose shots somewhat at movement so that we may observe the versatility of the make-up at work here. Does it look convincing? What are the orcish visual traits here and what would you do to improve them and bring them closer to your imagination?

I think it looks very convincing, perfect IMO. Nothing I'd do to improve them. I suppose before I saw the films I had imagined them to be more green-skinned (though that might be down to Warhammer), and I had also for some reason imagined them as looking akin to dark and demented Tusken Raiders (that's probably down to The Bakshi version of the 70s (I liked that design))

5. Any additional thoughts about the orc episode is encouraged!

They're awesome in this scene, really awesome

Bonus Question: Which orc here is voiced by Andy Serkis?

all of them I think!!

*then looks at other posts after posting*


Join us over at Barliman's chat all day, any day!


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Loresilme
Valinor


Oct 1 2012, 5:04pm

Post #18 of 19 (307 views)
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Interesting [In reply to] Can't Post

I wonder why he did that particular line of dialogue.



dungolfin
The Shire

Oct 2 2012, 11:43am

Post #19 of 19 (667 views)
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Meat's back on the menu boys... [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Probably the biggest concern about the orcs in Two Towers was how they evolve from faceless creatures to a full fledged society. Do you find their transition disconcerting, given how they were represented in Fellowship? Is this a convincing society, or is it over-brutalized?

I think that even in FOTR it was clear that orc society had structure and organisation. It was obvious from the sequences at Isengard that there are smiths and engineers as well as the fighting caste of Uruks. There's even middle management orcs that report progress to Saruman. The fact that Jackson unfortunately chose to show the Uruks being spawned probably confused things a bit. As for being over-brutalised, no I don't think it's beyond the realms of imagination to see a society, however loosely held together, that brutalises its population - any number of failed African states can testify to that.

2. As an addition to the prior question, the humans never seem to hear the orcs speak. Does this give the impression that only Hobbits can understand the creatures? Was this deliberate?

Well there's certainly more close contact between hobbit and orc in the films. There were opportunities from the book for Jackson to have human - orc dialogue but he didn't go for that. One passage that springs to mind is Aragorn addressing the troops of Saruman at Helms Deep, a nice bit of subtle character development for both sides, but instead he goes for the olympic torch bearer. Certainly Gimli has a brief discussion with an orc after the warg attack scene. I'd suggest that rather than not understanding each other, Jackson didn't see the need to have humans talking to orcs - perhaps given the dialogue they did choose to write we've got the lesser of two evils.

3. Look at the orcs around the ones in focus. How are orcs represented as a race and do you think the different breeds of orc here help establish a wide range of visual features that determine an orc or Uruk-hai? Does this assist their appearance in Return of the King?

I think the design of the orcs was fantastic. Slight variations in racial characteristics suggesting different roles and geography - brilliant.

4. I chose shots somewhat at movement so that we may observe the versatility of the make-up at work here. Does it look convincing? What are the orcish visual traits here and what would you do to improve them and bring them closer to your imagination?

These will do for me although I wasn't as keen on the design of the Uruks but on the whole fairly good.

5. Any additional thoughts about the orc episode is encouraged!

I always thought of the orcs as being portrayed through the eyes of the victor. Like the Romans or Bards did with their descriptions of defeated tribes, exaggerating their enemies cruelty, numbers, prowess or appearance to make their victories appear greater. So the orcs are almost caricatures from descriptions that might have been second, third or even fourth hand.

Bonus Question: Which orc here is voiced by Andy Serkis?

 
 

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