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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
do Orcs have souls?

FaramirFan
The Shire

Nov 11 2013, 9:35pm


Views: 98
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do Orcs have souls? [In reply to] Can't Post

It's really going to all come down to that, isn't it.

To be clear, the issue Tolkien was trying to resolve in his latter days was the dichotomy between his earlier writings and his "serious" mythology.

His earlier writings were based on a mix of Germanic, English (same thing really) and Norse folk tales. Anything goes there, world's a puzzle of infinite complexity, all sorts of odd critters and powers running around. No more need to justify Orcs breeding true than explain how acorns sprout.

When he got "serious", though, he moved into an analogue of Middle Earth Christianity. Everything devolves from Eru (God), and everything unattractive from the Great Enemy. Demons, sprites, talking animals, everything is just a flavor of angel (or Valar, Maiar, same thing).

But, if you want to keep the enchanting complexity? Along with grandfathering in the early critters and were-bears and sleepy rivers and grumpy trees? Gets a little difficult to carry the tune there. :)

No point here, because there is no answer to this question. The only one who can answer it is no longer with us. My opinion, though, is that given time Tolkien would have broadened his vision. We'd have non-Maiar supernaturals, Eru enabled magic, and sentient squirrels. Because, frankly, the stories just work better that way. In which case, yep, Orcs have free will. But that's just me. Wink

Subject User Time
Orcs and Free Will Flame of Udun Send a private message to Flame of Udun Oct 21 2013, 11:03pm
    Some thoughts Faenoriel Send a private message to Faenoriel Oct 22 2013, 7:49am
    They don't even show compassion to other orcs. Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Oct 22 2013, 7:49am
        I think that the fact they can and do hate Melkor/Sauron Faenoriel Send a private message to Faenoriel Oct 22 2013, 7:58am
            Yes......the word escapes me..... Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Oct 22 2013, 4:18pm
                Yes, it is similar to abuser/abuse victim relation Endor Dweller Send a private message to Endor Dweller Oct 22 2013, 6:53pm
            Just following orders? Kalimac Send a private message to Kalimac Oct 23 2013, 4:00am
                Yes, there could be an innumerable amount of small things that add up... Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Oct 23 2013, 3:33pm
                    Yes, I'm waiting anxiously for her to come to their defense CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Oct 23 2013, 4:52pm
                    The idea of redemption Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Oct 23 2013, 5:20pm
                        Enlightened self-interest and redemption CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Oct 23 2013, 6:28pm
                        Yes... elaen32 Send a private message to elaen32 Oct 23 2013, 6:55pm
        We don't necessarily see it said Hamfast Gamgee Send a private message to Hamfast Gamgee Oct 22 2013, 11:21pm
            Good point CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Oct 22 2013, 11:57pm
    Ah, but the Troll William wanted to show Bilbo mercy. RosieBaggins Send a private message to RosieBaggins Oct 22 2013, 10:02pm
    The Orcs in the tales that we read about Hamfast Gamgee Send a private message to Hamfast Gamgee Oct 22 2013, 10:55pm
    do Orcs have souls? FaramirFan Send a private message to FaramirFan Nov 11 2013, 9:35pm

 
 
 

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