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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Orcs scarier than Men??

FaramirFan
The Shire

Nov 12 2013, 12:25am


Views: 37
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Orcs scarier than Men?? [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh, my goodness. You gentlemen all seem to believe that Orcs are scarier than Men as soldiers. This is just wrong.

Most very large Orcs are described in the books as "Man-sized". Even with Saruman's larger White-Hand Orcs, Gimli preferred to fight them and avoid the larger Dunlendings. (No giants among Men themselves.)

Likewise, in terms of military efficiency, without Sauron's will backing them Orcs were lacking in the two most important military characteristics of the mass unit era - morale and discipline. It was Sauron's will that made them dangerous - or in exceptional circumstances, the Ring itself. (This was illustrated in the account of the Battle of Gladden Fields when an Orc band attacked Isildur returning north.)

In Middle-Earth, a Man is a bad ass piece of gear. The problem with the movies is that movie makers know no military science. They don't understand how Sauron's power makes Orcs dangerous. <sigh> it's the same with historical documentaries - they read that Roman Legions butchered Germanic warriors, so they portray the shorter, slighter Romans as formidable individual fighters, rather than more organized as a group. Sauron's power forges the disorganized Orcs into formidable units of a well-oiled war machine.

We can thank Peter Jackson for the inversion from canonical. argh.

Edit: My brother and I often discuss how Tolkien got so much in this area "right", and why. Tolkien had a military background, but I think more importantly he grew up in a time where English landed gentry were expected to serve, in a culture steeped in military tradition. Most Brits are sort of funny that way, they get the whole Wellingtonian ethos drummed into them. They understand discipline as a military virtue from a very young age.

"The moral is to the physical as three to one" - Napoleon


(This post was edited by FaramirFan on Nov 12 2013, 12:29am)

Subject User Time
The Scouring of the Shire Hamfast Gamgee Send a private message to Hamfast Gamgee Oct 7 2013, 11:42pm
    Oh, a ruffian-luvr among us, I see? CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Oct 7 2013, 11:59pm
    I've sometimes wondered Meneldor Send a private message to Meneldor Oct 8 2013, 3:43am
        Captured brilliantly in the movie. Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Oct 8 2013, 6:44am
    Ruffian enemies Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Oct 8 2013, 6:48am
    There are hints that the ruffians are not all Men Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Oct 8 2013, 2:16pm
        How long did he have? sador Send a private message to sador Oct 8 2013, 5:41pm
            Appendix B Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Oct 8 2013, 7:32pm
                Isn't the last sentence your conjecture? sador Send a private message to sador Oct 9 2013, 7:04am
                    Not my conjecture, but indirectly taken from Tolkien Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Oct 9 2013, 4:09pm
                        Could any of it have to do with... bauglir Send a private message to bauglir Nov 6 2013, 6:40pm
                            Maybe... Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Nov 6 2013, 6:56pm
                                but maybe the fact that they had man blood... bauglir Send a private message to bauglir Nov 6 2013, 7:38pm
                                    I see what you're saying Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Nov 6 2013, 7:46pm
    Well.... RosieBaggins Send a private message to RosieBaggins Oct 8 2013, 10:16pm
    Orcs scarier than Men?? FaramirFan Send a private message to FaramirFan Nov 12 2013, 12:25am

 
 
 

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