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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The Hobbit orcs vs. LOTR orcs
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Jan 24 2013, 3:18am

Post #26 of 32 (696 views)
Hobgoblins [In reply to] Can't Post

The word Orc is Common Speech but (as far as I recall) Tolkien doesn't note its historical derivation from Sindarin orch (despite the similarity). The Appendices note:

'Orc is the form of the name that other races had for these foul people as it was in the language of Rohan. In Sindarin it was orch. Related no doubt was the word uruk of the Black Speech, though this was applied as a rule only to the great soldier-orcs that at this time emerged from Mordor and Isengard. The lesser kind were called, especially by the Uruk-hai, snaga, ’slave’.

In Quendi And Eldar (1959-60) if I recall correctly JRRT did note that the later words for orc in the speech of Men hailed from Adunaic forms, although there was general influence from Elvish words as well. However at this point Tolkien seems to have thought the Westron form was orka (judging by Words, Phrases, And Passages), and had not yet decided that orc was Westron.

Pedantry alert: technically goblin and hobgoblin are not Common Speech but modern English translations -- although granted you may have meant that anyway, since Tolkien used English to translate Westron, in theory. So:

Westron <> English

Orc <> 'goblin'
large Orc <> 'hobgoblin'

Black Speech <> English

Uruk <> 'goblin' or in usage 'great soldier goblin' in distinction to...
snaga <> 'slave' (used for lesser kinds, especially by the Uruk-hai)

Unfortunately I do not how to say 'large' in Westron so the Westron contains a bit of English there Wink

It might get confusing as one could use orc to translate uruk too... but neither word is English, if so.

(This post was edited by Elthir on Jan 24 2013, 3:23am)


Jan 24 2013, 5:15am

Post #27 of 32 (633 views)
Movie-Saruman and his Uruk-hai... [In reply to] Can't Post

First, thanks for catching my spelling mistake; I did indeed mean 'uruk' not urik'.

Saruman's Half-orcs seem to have been combined with Sauron's Uruk-hai in the films, so that there are no Half-orc spies that can pass for Men of the South or East. The addition of an alchemical creation process is necessary because Saruman has much less time to breed an Uruk army--months instead of almost two decades (or more?). Although, to gather a force of ten thousand, I assume he still had to recruit additonal Uruk-hai from Mordor.

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


Jan 24 2013, 12:02pm

Post #28 of 32 (632 views)
Always plan ahead [In reply to] Can't Post

Well then I think film-Saruman could have started breeding his half-orcs sooner, and kept the matter behind closed doors. Very thick and hopefully sound proof stone doors, or something, but still. In other words, I'm not sure why the films could not have simply revealed that Saruman had been breeding (and recruiting) an army in secret, and was 'now' ready enough.

I think the filmmakers could have merely mentioned this quickly. Again I'm not sure why 'Saruman revealed'... and with an orc army of his own no less... would not have worked for a film.

(This post was edited by Elthir on Jan 24 2013, 12:08pm)


Jan 24 2013, 3:34pm

Post #29 of 32 (612 views)
It depends on when Saruman first turned against the Council... [In reply to] Can't Post

The turning point for Saruman seems to be even before he first looks into his Orthanc-stone and his mind is captured by Sauron (which happens around T.A. 3000 according to Tolkien). Saruman had been living in Isenguard since 2759; however, he wasn't given full control of the tower until 2953. This was when he began recruiting Orcs and Dunlendings to begin harassing Rohan and Fangorn, and when he started using spies in Bree and the Shire to keep track of Gandalf.

Of course, even before that Saruman was deceiving the White Council concerning the fate of the One Ring, but it can be argued that he felt justified in doing so because he felt he was the only one fit to deal with the Ring. I don't think that he was wholy given over to Evil yet, but was balanced as on the blade of a knife, ready to tip one way or the other.

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


Jan 24 2013, 4:40pm

Post #30 of 32 (613 views)
Tolkien wrote a bit about this [In reply to] Can't Post

'The White Council seems to have been unaware, since for many years Isengard had been closely guarded, of what went on within its Ring. The use, and possibly special breeding, of Orcs was kept secret, and cannot have begun much before 2990 at earliest. The Orc-troops seem never to have been used beyond the territory of Isengard before the attack on Rohan. Had the Council known of this they would, of course, at once have realized that Saruman had become evil.'

Author's note, Unfinished Tales, The Palantíri: note 7

Tol Eressea

Jan 24 2013, 5:45pm

Post #31 of 32 (690 views)
Boldogs! [In reply to] Can't Post


"Choosing Trust over Doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened."
¯ Victoria Monfort


Jan 24 2013, 9:37pm

Post #32 of 32 (622 views)
Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

The Great Goblin, Azog, Bolg and even Golfimbul may have been Boldogs or descended from them.

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

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