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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
SPOILERS! Sympathy for Orcs?

boldog
Rohan


Nov 5 2013, 9:46am

Post #1 of 25 (1307 views)
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SPOILERS! Sympathy for Orcs? Can't Post

After I just read on the one ring.net home page about the 20 minutes of extra footage, one scene caught my attention. It was the part to do with the Orc interrogation. Quoted from the article below



Quote


At that point, Thranduil’s expression changes to one that almost says “Oh s***!” And let’s face it, when a Telerin elf gets that kind of a look on his face, things are bad. Rather than continue questioning the orc, Thranduil quickly unsheathes a sword and decapitates him. Legolas is clearly upset by this, telling his father that he promised to free him. Thranduil replies by saying “I did. I freed him from this world.”


Now Apparently Thranduil Promised to free the Orc before hand, but after he said "my master serves the one" Thranduil does what is quoted above. But Legolas' reaction to it stood out a lot to me. I know its the smallest detail of the whole film, but why would he even want to free an orc!? Wont it just go and wreak more havoc? But that's what I like about the whole thing. Perhaps this is an insight to Legolas' personality, in which he doesn't like to break promises? His father did so, and so he was grieved to see what he did. Could this also mean that there may be a bit of dynamic with the orcs in these films? Something like this, A good guy, being somewhat grieved by the death of one, to me, shows the orcs aren't just evil beings who are killed without any regret. This little dynamic may lead to larger things such as Azog/Bolg relationship. whether their relationship will be close or not depends on how much Dynamic is added to the orcs.
To me this scene can also serve as an establishment for Thranduil as an antagonising character. Being SO ruthless and merciless to an orc, that makes even his own son upset by his actions, is a really antagonising characteristic.
what are your thougghts? and before I leave WHAT A PERFECT DAY TODAY! now all I want is to be sitting in the theatre with a nice big bucket of popcorn watching the title sequence come forth! bring on December 26!!

"And do you really think, Thorin Oakenshield, that Bolg will have the slightest symphony for you? After he watched you hack his fathers hand off, so ruthlessly in Moria. Azogs defeat has brought nothing to you, only refuelled hate of his kin, upon yours"

(This post was edited by boldog on Nov 5 2013, 9:49am)


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Nov 5 2013, 9:51am

Post #2 of 25 (701 views)
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It is about keeping one's word, and slaying a defenseless captive. Only [In reply to] Can't Post

to the spiders were the Elves without mercy. THey showed mercy to Gollum. Yet, more importantly, Thranduil gave his word. That is a powerful thing, especially in ancient times. Without bond of word, one was an untrusted pariah. It was Sauron's way to deal with such treachery and technicality. Indeed, I am exactly reminded of how Sauron dealt with one of the companions of Barahir. And thus Gandalf's words, "we did not come here to waste words in treating with the likes of Sauron, faithless and accursed." What a shameful mark for Thranduil to behave as likewise faithless, even with an orc.

In Reply To
After I just read on the one ring.net home page about the 20 minutes of extra footage, one scene caught my attention. It was the part to do with the Orc interrogation. Quoted from the article below



Quote


At that point, Thranduil’s expression changes to one that almost says “Oh s***!” And let’s face it, when a Telerin elf gets that kind of a look on his face, things are bad. Rather than continue questioning the orc, Thranduil quickly unsheathes a sword and decapitates him. Legolas is clearly upset by this, telling his father that he promised to free him. Thranduil replies by saying “I did. I freed him from this world.”


Now Apparently Thranduil Promised to free the Orc before hand, but after he said "my master serves the one" Thranduil does what is quoted above. But Legolas' reaction to it stood out a lot to me. I know its the smallest detail of the whole film, but why would he even want to free an orc!? Wont it just go and wreak more havoc? But that's what I like about the whole thing. Perhaps this is an insight to Legolas' personality, in which he doesn't like to break promises? His father did so, and so he was grieved to see what he did. Could this also mean that there may be a bit of dynamic with the orcs in these films? Something like this, A good guy, being somewhat grieved by the death of one, to me, shows the orcs aren't just evil beings who are killed without any regret. This little dynamic may lead to larger things such as Azog/Bolg relationship. whether it will be close or not depends on how much Dynamic is added to the orc.
To me this scene can also serve as an establishment for Thranduil as an antagonising character. Being SO ruthless and merciless to an orc, that makes even his own son upset by his actions, is a really antagonising characteristic.
what are your thougghts? and before I leave WHAT A PERFECT DAY TODAY! now all I want is to be sitting in the theatre with a nice big bucket of popcorn watching the title sequence come forth! bring on December 26!!


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Arannir
Valinor


Nov 5 2013, 10:00am

Post #3 of 25 (695 views)
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I absolutely love... [In reply to] Can't Post

... what kind of layers the character of Thranduil seems to get.

The whole prince/king, father/son dynamic was already interesting, but the way he talks about the Woodland Realm is magnificent ("This kingdom will endure.").

He is not only an appeaser as the White Council, he is above all an isolationist. However, at some point isolationism and greed will blend...

I really think the politics of TABA will be amazing.


“All good stories deserve embellishment."

Praise is subjective. And so is criticism.

(This post was edited by Arannir on Nov 5 2013, 10:01am)


Salmacis81
Tol Eressea


Nov 5 2013, 10:48am

Post #4 of 25 (593 views)
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Sort of like... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
What a shameful mark for Thranduil to behave as likewise faithless, even with an orc.


...Aragorn decapitating Sauron's ambassador in the RotK EE.


Shirriff Anthony
Bree


Nov 5 2013, 11:13am

Post #5 of 25 (577 views)
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The mouth of Sauron [In reply to] Can't Post

His beheading too was out of character for Aragorn and for a King. The black numenorean enjoyed diplomatic immunity and that's why Tolkien did not have Aragorn execute him in the book.

Faramir: “I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”


Salmacis81
Tol Eressea


Nov 5 2013, 11:27am

Post #6 of 25 (557 views)
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I agree that it was out of character... [In reply to] Can't Post

After all, this is the same Aragorn that stopped Theoden from executing Grima.


book Gandalf
Rohan


Nov 5 2013, 12:01pm

Post #7 of 25 (522 views)
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hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

i got the impression from seeing the clip at the event that thranduil was merely trying to trick the orc into giving away info , and was always going ot kill him, it was just a shock for legolas when it happened (being s young and all;)

as soon as the orc mention th eone, bang, dead. nobodys mentioned th etwitching corpse yet, hilarious.

This is a serious journey, not a hobbit walking-party.


stoutfiles
Rohan


Nov 5 2013, 2:17pm

Post #8 of 25 (441 views)
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Promises can be broken [In reply to] Can't Post

If the orc has said "As soon as you let me go I'm going to bring an orc army here and kill lots of people", you can't expect Thranduil to say "Oh, well darn, I promised to let you go so I have to. It's a shame too, so many elves are going to die, but a promise is a promise! Off you go villain!"

As for Legalos, well, he's always brooding. Movie Legalos, that is. If he's not competing with Gimli for kills he's brooding. I wouldn't look too much into it; he does it mainly to excite the ladies.



(This post was edited by stoutfiles on Nov 5 2013, 2:18pm)


Avandel
Valinor

Nov 5 2013, 2:58pm

Post #9 of 25 (411 views)
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Yeah..... [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm starting to avoid xtra details - but, if Thranduil does this "pest control" agree with him, and find it perversely funny - besides, Thranduil is old and wise = inexplicable. Reminds my of Tyrion in GOT e.g what's the difference in killing people at dinner vs. the battlefield, e.g. practical and protecting his people.

And Legolas should NOT try brooding, he doesn't have the face for it. Or trying to look grim. He has a nice smile, like when he smiles at Gimli at the wall of Helm's Deep - he also does a sad, shell-shocked expression really well, like when Aragon goes over the cliff - and looking far away, like at Lothlorien.


Lieutenant of Dol Guldur
Gondor


Nov 5 2013, 3:45pm

Post #10 of 25 (372 views)
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It's Tywin and not Tyrion who says that ;-) [In reply to] Can't Post

Tyrion is the one who sees it as an even worse way of killing while Tywin argues that killing is killing and this way is even better for their family

Back to topic:
I saw it the way that immediately after the Orc reveals whom he (or whom his master/Azog) serves Thranduil kills him because he don't want Legolas and Tauriel hear about the Necromancer and his true identity. Why? Because it would be another reason for Legolas and Tauriel to became active and leave the realm. And that's what Thranduil wants to avoid at all costs.

"There is only one Lord of the Ring, only one who can bend it to his will. And he does not share power."


Oin K
Rivendell


Nov 5 2013, 6:07pm

Post #11 of 25 (305 views)
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Then again, Grima was still just a human, even if a pathetic and scheming one [In reply to] Can't Post

Wormtongue was entirely defenseless and pitiable at that point. You can't say the same thing about the Mouth of Sauron, who, whatever he once was, could no longer be said to be human by any stretch. Moreover, the Mouth of Sauron had an army at his back behind the gate, as well as being both fully armored, and in danger of learning the secret of Frodo's quest, which would have undone them all. In the context of the film, Aragorn's action was entirely justified, if not exactly just.

Thranduil's reaction here seems to be in the same vein. When the orc utters the name "The One" his long-smoldering suspicions about the darkness in his wood are confirmed. Remember, he was alive in Doriath when Beren and Luthien defeated Sauron, and he was around still when Sauron returned in full power before his defeat by Gil-Galad and Elendil, so he knows of the danger first-hand.

Plus, the idea of showing pity to an orc would probably never occur to an elf. To the elves, the orcs are the corrupted, the lost, and slaying them is considered a mercy, just as Thranduil says here, "I freed him from this world."

"The Naugrim were ever, as they still remain, short and squat in stature; they were deep-breasted, strong in the arm, and stout in the leg, and their snouts were long. Indeed this strangeness they have that no Man nor Elf has ever seen a snoutless Dwarf - unless he were rhinoplasted in mockery, and would then be more like to die of shame than of many other hurts that to us would seem more deadly. For the Naugrim have snouts from the beginning of their lives, male and female alike..." (History of Middle Earth, volume 11, The War of the Truffles, p. 205)


Avandel
Valinor

Nov 5 2013, 7:07pm

Post #12 of 25 (250 views)
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my bad.... [In reply to] Can't Post

"Tyrion is the one who sees it as an even worse way of killing while Tywin argues that killing is killing and this way is even better for their family"

*Bleep* that's what I get for posting without enough caffeine in me - thank you for the correction.

Think you make an interesting observation, dovetails with Lee Pace describing how much Thranduil has seen, how long-lived he is, and how precious elven lives are BECAUSE they are long-lived. Don't know if Tolkien ever talked about the "birth rate" of elves, but the author Tad Williams in the "Memory, Sorrow and Thorn" trilogy (very good but HEAVY Tolkien "borrowing") describes his elves as never having that many children, ever, a birth for them is unusual and cherished as there are so few.




Cillendor
Lorien

Nov 5 2013, 7:57pm

Post #13 of 25 (224 views)
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In the depths of their souls, [In reply to] Can't Post

Orcs are still Elves. [url=http://www.unm.edu/~tolkien/Greybook/vol3/The%20Morality%20of%20Orcs.pdf]This essay explores Tolkien's perspective on the morality of Orcs. While they were born in an evil culture and thus raised in evil from early on, Tolkien left the door open for an Orc to be redeemed. Presumably they still stand before Mandos when they die, and who knows their fate? An Elf taking pleasure in killing—even killing an Orc—is a very disturbing attitude (although I doubt PJ & Co put that much thought into it during LOTR).

I hope this scene indicates that the movie will explore these themes a little bit.


Eruvandi
Tol Eressea


Nov 5 2013, 9:18pm

Post #14 of 25 (194 views)
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I had always wondered if Tolkien had left a door open for orcs to be redeemed. [In reply to] Can't Post

Being Catholic, redemption would have played a large part in Tolkien's system of beliefs and I had always wondered, if the orcs were originally elves who were tortured, mutilated and corrupted, does that mean that there was hope for any of them to possibly be redeemed? I guess this answers my question and I am not surprised that Tolkien left room for such redemption at all.

I haven't seen anything that would lead me to believe that Thranduil necessarily took pleasure in killing the orc. In fact, I think to a certain extent he did it out of fear after realizing whom the orc's master serves. I think the fact that Thranduil went back on his word also serves as an example of how he, as Lee Pace stated in a couple interviews, is corrupted. How exactly he became corrupted and to what extent I do not know, but I think he is deeply fearful of the fact that the Darkness could return to the point that he is willing to commit such acts as this.

I hope some of these themes will be explored a bit too. There is potential for a very deep and complex story here.


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Nov 5 2013, 11:10pm

Post #15 of 25 (161 views)
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"Perry-the-Winkle" [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien sympathetically wrote of the Lonely Troll in his poem "Perry-the-Winkle". There's no reason to think that an Orc of good will could not have existed as well.

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


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Nov 5 2013, 11:45pm

Post #16 of 25 (149 views)
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And you know it. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Quote
What a shameful mark for Thranduil to behave as likewise faithless, even with an orc.


...Aragorn decapitating Sauron's ambassador in the RotK EE.


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Nov 5 2013, 11:48pm

Post #17 of 25 (153 views)
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They just wouldn't let him go. A broken oath is bad business, especially [In reply to] Can't Post

then and with Enchantment still very active in the world.

In Reply To
If the orc has said "As soon as you let me go I'm going to bring an orc army here and kill lots of people", you can't expect Thranduil to say "Oh, well darn, I promised to let you go so I have to. It's a shame too, so many elves are going to die, but a promise is a promise! Off you go villain!"

As for Legalos, well, he's always brooding. Movie Legalos, that is. If he's not competing with Gimli for kills he's brooding. I wouldn't look too much into it; he does it mainly to excite the ladies.


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Lio
Lorien


Nov 6 2013, 1:52am

Post #18 of 25 (193 views)
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This scene made me go [MORE SPOILERS] [In reply to] Can't Post

"Thranduil is a jerk!" (Well, replace "jerk" with some other not-so-nice word. Evil And not just because I'm an Orc fan.)

I liked Legolas in this scene, his father lied and Legolas called him on it. It does seem like they're setting up old Thrandy as a rather ambiguous character.

By the way, did anyone else who got to watch the scene think it was really gross (even aside from the fact that an unarmed captive is being executed)? I mean, Thrandy slices the Orc's neck even as Legolas is holding the Orc by the head, leaving a shocked Leggy holding just the head as the body falls to the floor AND THE BODY TWITCHES LIKE FOREVER (Thrandy even gives it a little kick Crazy). Really, there is no blood, but I still kind of wonder if they'll have to tone it down a bit for the finished film.

Anyway I agree with you that it would be interesting to add more characterization and dynamic to the Orc characters. I wonder if they will give the captured Orc some background, or will he just be a random Orc introduced just for this scene?

Dwalin Balin Kili Fili Dori Nori Ori Oin Gloin Bifur Bofur Bombur Thorin

Orcs are mammals!

"Don't laugh at the Dwarves because they will mess you up." — Dean O'Gorman (Fili)

Want to chat? AIM me at Yami Liokaiser!


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Nov 6 2013, 5:06am

Post #19 of 25 (143 views)
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I would like to think they will need to tone it down a touch. I cannot say with American [In reply to] Can't Post

culture these days. If it was a slap on the bare ass, whoahhahaha, but a gruesome slaying... meh... Sick. Anyway, it still has an international audience, and some nations like Germany don't play the gore game so casually, so they may clean it up a touch and leave the excess (the kind of thing a certain film crew member sometimes finds funny) for the EE.

In Reply To
"Thranduil is a jerk!" (Well, replace "jerk" with some other not-so-nice word. Evil And not just because I'm an Orc fan.)

I liked Legolas in this scene, his father lied and Legolas called him on it. It does seem like they're setting up old Thrandy as a rather ambiguous character.

By the way, did anyone else who got to watch the scene think it was really gross (even aside from the fact that an unarmed captive is being executed)? I mean, Thrandy slices the Orc's neck even as Legolas is holding the Orc by the head, leaving a shocked Leggy holding just the head as the body falls to the floor AND THE BODY TWITCHES LIKE FOREVER (Thrandy even gives it a little kick Crazy). Really, there is no blood, but I still kind of wonder if they'll have to tone it down a bit for the finished film.

Anyway I agree with you that it would be interesting to add more characterization and dynamic to the Orc characters. I wonder if they will give the captured Orc some background, or will he just be a random Orc introduced just for this scene?


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Eruvandi
Tol Eressea


Nov 6 2013, 2:58pm

Post #20 of 25 (109 views)
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I'm American and I would prefer it be toned down a bit [In reply to] Can't Post

It does sound a bit icky although I'm glad there apparently isn't blood. I think the goal is to sort of shock the audience into disliking and distrusting Thranduil. Like they want you to think "What the heck just happened?! Why did he do that? He totally just lied! What's his problem?!" Well, from the sound of it they've achieved that goal. I would much prefer, if Thranduil just HAS to behead the orc that the body would just fall out of camera frame, Legolas quickly drops the head out of frame too and then we don't see it again. Or if we do see it again then it is from a good distance and the body is lying still.


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Nov 6 2013, 7:02pm

Post #21 of 25 (97 views)
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"Girl" (if you are female, and not in the derogatory sense, but in the vernacular, "female friend!" sense), I am a North American, American tooo, [In reply to] Can't Post

and am getting increasingly sick of watching my American shows in prime time showing more and more grusome violence, even on networks, while staying just as shy about butts (which, really, are as innate and ubiquitous as elbows) and breasts as they ever were. Something ARE (intentional grammar error for empasis) WRONG! lol

I entirely agree with hoping it is handled the way you do. They can keep the action, but lets not focus on the body, twitch or the held head.

In Reply To
It does sound a bit icky although I'm glad there apparently isn't blood. I think the goal is to sort of shock the audience into disliking and distrusting Thranduil. Like they want you to think "What the heck just happened?! Why did he do that? He totally just lied! What's his problem?!" Well, from the sound of it they've achieved that goal. I would much prefer, if Thranduil just HAS to behead the orc that the body would just fall out of camera frame, Legolas quickly drops the head out of frame too and then we don't see it again. Or if we do see it again then it is from a good distance and the body is lying still.


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Eruvandi
Tol Eressea


Nov 7 2013, 3:20am

Post #22 of 25 (76 views)
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Amen my American brother! I'm sick of it too! [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I am a girl and I totally understand that you meant it in the "female friend" sense!Wink

Anyhoo, I'm a big fan of crime dramas but there are some of them that I refuse to watch because the violence is disgusting to the point of making me nauseated. Not to mention other shows that aren't even about crime yet still their budget for fake blood must be incredibly high!

Although the violence in LotR and even the Hobbit sort of comes with the territory, I would prefer that it be handled quickly and tastefully then we just move right along instead of lingering on it. I'm actually a little concerned about how the BO5A because although it is a battle, I hope the violence isn't too horribly graphic. The Hobbit movies are the first PG-13 movies I think I've ever seen in a theater (I've seen PG-13 movies before, just not in theaters) and I just hope the battles will be handled well.


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Nov 7 2013, 7:04am

Post #23 of 25 (71 views)
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Absolute agreement. [In reply to] Can't Post

I watch some of the NBC shows like Dracula and sometimes Grimm, and this season I watched American Horror story. Even on the NBC shows, I have seen violence on par with something I would expect from HBOs Game of Thrones (where at least you know everything is fair game).... but shower scenes still get cut above the waist even from the back... yeah, cause a beheading is good viewing for "decent" folk, but behinds, no one should know those exist. Crazy

I think Fellowship (up until Lurtz) handled it best. Quick shots, you knew serious violence had transpired, but it wasn't rubbed tactlessly in anyone's face.

In Reply To
Yes, I am a girl and I totally understand that you meant it in the "female friend" sense!Wink

Anyhoo, I'm a big fan of crime dramas but there are some of them that I refuse to watch because the violence is disgusting to the point of making me nauseated. Not to mention other shows that aren't even about crime yet still their budget for fake blood must be incredibly high!

Although the violence in LotR and even the Hobbit sort of comes with the territory, I would prefer that it be handled quickly and tastefully then we just move right along instead of lingering on it. I'm actually a little concerned about how the BO5A because although it is a battle, I hope the violence isn't too horribly graphic. The Hobbit movies are the first PG-13 movies I think I've ever seen in a theater (I've seen PG-13 movies before, just not in theaters) and I just hope the battles will be handled well.


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Eruvandi
Tol Eressea


Nov 7 2013, 4:20pm

Post #24 of 25 (54 views)
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The double standard in Hollywood is truly disturbing. [In reply to] Can't Post

And I agree FotR handled the violence the best and even though the thing with Lurtz was nasty (especially in the EE when he just had to lick the bloody knife and almost made me barf) at least he didn't lay there twitching after Aragorn dispatched him.


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Nov 13 2013, 12:38am

Post #25 of 25 (36 views)
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Interesting LoTR find [In reply to] Can't Post

"I would not snare even an orc with a falsehood."---Faramir

Faramir says that he would not even lie to an orc. What do you think of Thranduil in light of this?

Just thought it was interesting.......

Call me Rem. Rembrethil is a lot to type!!

 
 

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