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Dáin Ironfoot 12-22-2001 07:04 PM

Ok i know that orcs were made from elves in the very begginning, by morgoth. Yet how can orcs be so weak whire elves are so strong? Is it because they were a mockery of elves? ALso do they breed or are they spawned? cuz it seems that the darks lords can whistle up huge numbers.

Orald 12-23-2001 12:38 AM

Orcs breed after the manner of Elves and Men, albeit rather quickly and maybe more like bunnies.

Orcs probably were made from Elves in the beginnings, but there may have been more in the mix than just that, if that at all. But if you want to look at it from an evolutionary standpoint, then orcs may have been bread to be ugly and squat and dumb and able to propagate quickly. Each of these may have a very good reason behind them, and perhaps the loss of strength was just a bad side affect.

Dáin Ironfoot 12-23-2001 08:51 PM

OK, well there are a lot of orcs, i think they are immortal also, but that doesnt seem right. Also, are they tireless like elves?

Nils 07-30-2003 09:00 PM

Why do so many people believe that Orcs were originally Elves?

Yavanna228 07-30-2003 09:05 PM

Because it's in the Silm. Even though it's contradicted in other writings, people take a certain stance on the subject.

Nils 07-30-2003 09:13 PM

Yet the Silmarillion was not published by JRR Tolkien.

Besides, even in the Silmarillion it is a qualified statement. The Orc statement is an "it is said by the wise" statement.

It was also said in the Silmarillion that Frodo cast the ring into Mt. Doom.

[ July 30, 2003: Message edited by: Nils ]

Esgallhugwen 07-30-2003 09:41 PM

I believe that the orcs were once elves that were tortured by Morgoth, although there are some discrepencies among some earlier or later writtings of Tolkien.

And Frodo tossing the Ring into Mount Doom, well in any story true or fiction you want to make it seem that the hero is the one that saves the day and finishes the quest succesfully, not a creature like Gollum who no one would want to be a hero in a story like that, whose absent greedy mindlessness sent him tripping over the edge into a pit of lava.

And what about the supposed mechanical monsters that the Valar made to help in the task of ridding ME from Melkor, so the elves could be saved? Of course this was never written in the Silm. ...oh but what could have been... and now is not. Personaly i like the fact that those mechanical beasts were not decided to be in the book. Because I also believe that Tolkien wanted the Evil ones Melkor, Sauron etc. were meant to be the industrializers who used machines to corrupt the world and people for their dark purposes.

Nils 07-30-2003 09:46 PM

Why is it that you prefer the Elf origin theory?

Esgallhugwen 07-30-2003 10:22 PM

I like to see a dark side to the light of the elves (except the Noldor and their curse) and i'm open to other opinions so what is yours?

Do you feel that like Eru who made the elves, Melkor made the orcs by his very own means. Aulë made the Dwarves but they were of lesser stature and glory (except by their own standards) then Eru's creation, so then orcs are of even a lesser nature that is why they stoop low are ugly and hate all life. For a lack of skill (Eru is mightiest, and Aulë is of the good Valar, Melkor being corrupt and dark can only mock life that others have created in goodness). And in time he lost many of his powers that he once took for granted.

Orogaerion 07-31-2003 12:20 PM

Aulë didnt make life, he only made what would be percieved as vessles of his own mind until Erü gave them a will of their own

Duncariel 07-31-2003 02:11 PM

Tolkien spent most of his adult life writing and perfecting the Silmarillian. His son, Christopher, had it published posthumously.

These would be my reasons for believing that orcs were originally elves corrupted by Melkor. Orcs, in the beginning of Arda, did not exist, since they were not created directly by Illuvatar. It says that Melkor secretly captured the Elves that wandered too far from the others and took them to Utumno. (I think, don't quote me on that.) Since Aule "created" the Dwarves without the original permission of Illuvatar, and they did not have wills of their own, Melkor could not have created creatures of his own without the knowledge and permission of Illuvatar. Therefore, he had to find some way to bend already living being to his own warped uses.

I don't know how he accomplished this feat, nor do I want to, but it seems the only logical (and possible) way for him to bring these hideous beings into the world.

Esgallhugwen 07-31-2003 03:03 PM

You are absolutely right Duncariel that is true that Eru gave the Dwarves thought and a will of their own. And it is true that Melkor being of lesser stature do to his corruption would definetly not be able to makes wills of his own he is only able to control the wills of others that had already been created.

Nils 07-31-2003 03:06 PM


As Orogaerion has correctly pointed out, it was Eru who gave life to the Dwarves. Aule merely created their bodies.


i'm open to other opinions so what is yours?
It is my opinion that we should try to take Tolkien's later opinions on the matter and accept them above those printed in the Silmarillion.

From Morgoth's Ring

This then, as it may appear, was my father's final view of the question: Orcs were bred from Men, and if 'the conception in mind of the Orcs may go far back into the night of Melkor's thought' it was Sauron who, during the ages of Melkor's captivity in Aman, brought into being the black armies that were available to his Master when he returned.
But, as always, it is not quite so simple. Accompanying one copy of the typescript of this essay are some pages in manuscript for which my father used the blank reverse sides of papers provided by the publishers dated 10 November 1969. These pages carry two notes on the 'Orcs' essay: one, discussing the spelling of the word orc, is given on p. 422; the other is a note arising from something in the essay which is not indicated, but which is obviously the passage on p. 417 discussing the puppet-like nature inevitable in creatures brought into being by one of the great Powers themselves: the note was intended to stand in relation to the words 'But the Orcs were not of this kind'.

Then there is this earlier quote

In summary: I think it must be assumed that 'talking' is not necessarily the sign of the possession of a 'rational soul' or fea. The Orcs were beasts of humanized shape (to mock Men and Elves) deliberatley perverted/converted into a more close resemblance to Men.

I believe that Tolkien saw two different origins for Orcs: Maiar and beasts. As quoted above, I believe that Tolkien intended Orcs to have been the product of breeding Men with beasts. I guess it is possible that the Maiar type Orcs could have bred with humans too.

I had another theory about Orc origins that I went into in the thread:

Breeding for fear

Tar Elenion 07-31-2003 03:48 PM

The Men with beasts theory would not work. JRT recognized the problems of imterbreeding different species:
"I suppose that actually the chief difficulties I have involved myself in are scientific and biological - which worry me just as much as the theological and metaphysical (though you do not seem to mind them so much). Elves and Men are evidently in biological terms one race, or they could not breed and produce fertile offspring - even as a rare event...".
Letter 153

He had several different conceptions through the years (Elves, Men, Maiar (or a mixture of the three), Beasts or automaton). However he never seems to have come to a firm conclusion, as he wrote at one point 'the origin of Orcs is a matter of debate'.

Nils 07-31-2003 05:23 PM

Which is exactly why I get so frustrated with the idea that Orks had to originate with Elves.

Yavanna228 07-31-2003 05:39 PM

It's not that orcs had to come from elves. I think we need to allow for thorough searching through the subject till we can definitively disprove a theory. Once that happens, then I'm sure we'll happily forsake our erroneous ways. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] Until then, I think we need to allow free reign for discussion of the subject.

Nils 07-31-2003 05:42 PM


Ok i know that orcs were made from elves in the very begginning, by morgoth.
Statements like these lead me to believe that many people believe Orcs had to originate with Elves.

All the movie did was cement that belief even more. [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]

[ July 31, 2003: Message edited by: Nils ]

Esgallhugwen 08-01-2003 12:11 PM

I'm not taking my idea from the movie although that is true enough for people that have not read any of the books. And try to be in Chris Tolkien's shoes trying to edit one of his father's works not knowing what to put in or which idea's his father would have used in the Silm instead of what Chris put in... overall though i think he did a marvelous job editing it for one that didn't write it himself. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] Each person is entitled to their own opinion but please respect the opinions of others because all your ideas are very good. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

Nils 08-01-2003 12:53 PM

I am aware of the fact that each of us has our own view of Middle-earth. I just wish more people were aware of the fact that the Orc issue is not as simple as it appears.

Yavanna228 08-01-2003 02:13 PM

Which is precisely why we have this thread. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

william 08-02-2003 07:57 PM

could the orcs not be elves who were instead of being tortured by morgoth convinced to join him and they gave their "souls" willingly and in doing so allowed him to change them to his image. he was very powerful in the begining and why not create them lesser and uglier to mock elves and use it as a personal affront to Eru himself. if i am wrong just hit me over the head and put me in a criquet closet.

OrcChieftain 08-03-2003 12:42 PM


Ok i know that orcs were made from elves in the very begginning, by morgoth. Yet how can orcs be so weak whire elves are so strong? Is it because they were a mockery of elves? ALso do they breed or are they spawned? cuz it seems that the darks lords can whistle up huge numbers.
When you say that orcs are weak do you mean physical muscle strength? In that matter, the bulk of orcs(not the mountain goblins) aren't weak. Take a look at gollum, they have strength, they would have to for the work they do. You hear Sam describing Gollum as strong when he's fighting Gollum in Shelob's cave. Gollum is quite similar to orcs, self-loathing, while hating everything and everyone else, just filled with Hate. The orcs were from elves, I think.


OK, well there are a lot of orcs, i think they are immortal also, but that doesnt seem right. Also, are they tireless like elves?
Do we have any evidence that orcs AREN'T immortal? That they don't live forever? I say we don't. They just die quite often, and soonly, because they are the grunts, because they are sent to the slaughter, to get things done, and who cares if they die.
Are they tireless? Well, they can go long distances, You see the party of Uruk's, Goblins, and Orcs traveling with hobbits go for a very long time, kept up with the orc-draught, probably their equivalent of the elvish Lembas Bread. Tireless? I don't think even the elves are tireless, as if they never tire, They still need sustinence. They are very tough, and very resilient, but I don't think they could run forever on empty.

Nils 08-03-2003 12:48 PM


Do we have any evidence that orcs AREN'T immortal?
Do you consider sources like HoME and Letters as credible evidence?

Lord of Angmar 08-03-2003 01:17 PM


Orcs breed after the manner of Elves and Men, albeit rather quickly and maybe more like bunnies. (Durelen)
*shudders at the thought of orcs being compared to rabbits!* [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

I believe that if Tolkien had the chance, he would lay out in more detail the true origins of orcs, which I believe would be somewhere along these lines

-Morgoth bred the Captains of the Orcs by corrupting lesser Maiar (I have read in several forums that the leader of the orcs in the First Age was a Maia, and still others have suggested that the first orcs were all Maiar)
-At the awakening of the Elves by Cuivenen, many were ensnared and corrupted into lesser orcs. At this point their fear (that is, their spirit) became enslaved to the will of Morgoth, and thus they lost their identities as the Firstborn, losing their immortality.
-I think Tolkien wished later for readers to consider all orcs as corrupted Men, but since that was impossible based on his already published writings, I think he would have given the impression that many men had been assimilated by Morgoth and corrupted into orcs after their birth, and that they made up the largest part of Morgoth's orkish hosts in the battles of the First Age. This would leave the impression that orcs were by and large corrupted Men (which was the Professor's intention later in life), (almost) dismiss the idea that orcs are immortal, and still have it all make sense in context of his earlier works (since there would still be some Maiar and Elven orcs).

Yavanna228 08-03-2003 02:38 PM

Here's an interesting thread to throw into the mix:Orcish Fear
Nils graciously showed me this one, and it gives some wonderful insight to the issue. Enjoy!

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