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Elfwen 11-27-2002 08:23 AM

Sarumans Orcs
 
Greetings!
My fist question as a complete new member:
I have been assuming that Saruman crossed men and orcs to create the Uruk Hai. However when going through the books I only found one implication that this is the case. In thet two towers Fangorn once says that ha might have crossed orcs and men or that he have destroued men. Is there any other implications that Saruman acctually crossed men and orcs? [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Elfwen 11-27-2002 08:41 AM

Prehaps i may add that I just saw the discussion on this subject below and that I therfore may rephrase my question. So: Is there any other indication than Treebeards that Saruman crossed orces and men?

-Imrahil- 11-27-2002 09:33 AM

I cannot remember anything from the trilogy other than Treeberad saying that. Tolkien described the Urka-hai as swart-eyed goblin men, who were larger than the mountain orcs who were with them.

Dorathain_Flamesword 11-27-2002 07:25 PM

Actually Saruman, to my understanding, was breeding not Orcs and men for Uruk-Hai, but he was breeding Orcs with Goblin men. See,
Goblins, according to theory, were fast fighters, but they weren't as strong as the Orcs and they could move in daylight. But, Orcs, being slow but extremely strong, stronger than the Goblins could not move in daylight quickly. The Uruk-Hai Saruman bred was Goblins crossed with Orcs, so they were strong and fast and they could move in daylight at great speed. This is all according to theory, someone correct me if I am wrong please.

Tar Elenion 11-27-2002 10:33 PM

Orc and Goblin are two names for the same creature. JRRT used them interchangeably.
Saruman did not cross Men and Orcs to create the Uruk-hai. Saruman did have Half-orcs (made by crossing Men and Orcs), but these are seperate from the Uruk-hai. Saruman did not create the Uruk-hai. Sauron had Uruk-hai as well.

Eru 11-27-2002 10:50 PM

when did Sauron have the Urka-hai? i have never read anywhere that sauron had the Urka-hai. i always thought that it was mix between men and orcs. but, yeah, i'm not infallible.

-Lanwe

Tar Elenion 11-27-2002 11:53 PM

"In the last year of Denethor I the race of uruks, black orcs of great strength, first appeared out of Mordor, and in 2475 they swept across Ithilien and took Osgiliath."
LotR, App. A, (iv) Gondor and the Heirs of Anarion, The Stewards.

[ November 28, 2002: Message edited by: Tar Elenion ]

Orald 12-13-2002 10:49 AM

I am pretty sure Uruk and Uruk-Hai are different. I have seen a several references to Uruks and several to the fighting Uruk-Hai. Never however have I seen them used interchangeably.

As for the Uruk-Hai being part human, I think this is plausible if not exactly half and half, but more orc.

Tar Elenion 12-14-2002 09:52 PM

Uruk is a singular, Uruk-hai is a plural form (meaning something like 'Orc-folk'), 'Uruks' is the anglicized form of Uruk-hai. JRRT used the terms interchangeably (see, for example, Letter 78). Sauron had Uruk-hai, note that in RotK, Land of the Shadow, one of Sauron's soldier orcs is sent with a tracker to look for a small dwarf-man (Frodo), an Elf-warrior (Sam) and/or rebel Uruk-hai (any of those Orcs that may have fled from Cirith Ungol).

Manwe Sulimo 12-14-2002 11:06 PM

"Uruk-hai" was not the plural form of "Uruk".

Quote:

'There are Orcs, very many of them,' he said. 'And some are large and evil: black Uruks of Mordor....'
Quote:

A troop of heavy-armed uruks from Barad-dûr charged into the Durthang line and threw them into confusion.
While there were Uruk-hai in Mordor:

Quote:

'Who's blame's that?' said the soldier. 'Not mine. That comes from Highter Up. First they say it's a great Elf in bright armor, then it's a sort of small dwarf-man, then it must be a pack of rebel Uruk-hai; or maybe it's all the lot together.'
it isn't clear as to whether they were Saruon's own troops, or rather the "rebel" meaning as part of Saruman's troops in Mordor. Since there were troops of the Red Eye west of Anduin, there's no reason to assume that there weren't troops of the White Hand east of Anduin.

Quote:

'We are the fighting Uruk-hai! We slew the great warrior. We took the prisoners. We are the servants of Saruman the Wise, the White Hand: the hand that gives us man's-flesh to eat. We came out of Isengard, and led you here, and we shall lead you back by the way we choose. I am Uglúk. I have spoken.'
This shows that the Uruk-hai came originally out of Isengard and their master was Saruman and only Saruman; further proof that they were his creations (or mutations). Were they originally bred by Sauron (like the Olog-hai), they would have returned to Mordor with Merry and Pippin, instead of trying to get to Isengard, a more dangerous route.

[ December 15, 2002: Message edited by: Manwe Sulimo ]

Legolas 12-15-2002 12:04 AM

I agree with Tar Elenion, and frankly, Tolkien would too.

Letter No. 78:

Quote:

Urukhai is only a figure of speech. There are no genuine Uruks, that is folk made bad by the intention of their maker; and not many who are so corrupted as to be irredeemable (though I fear it must be admitted that there are human creatures that seem irredeemable short of a special miracle, and that there are probably abnormally many of such creatures in Deutschland and Nippon — but certainly these unhappy countries have no monopoly: I have met them, or thought so, in England's green and pleasant land).
(boldface was added by me to highlight the point)

Also, from The Two Towers:

Quote:

They were a gang of the smaller breeds being driven unwilling to their Dark Lord’s wars; all they cared for was to get the march over and escape the whip. Beside them, running up and down the line, went two of the large fierce uruks, cracking lashes and shouting.
These uruks were larger orcs, obviously Uruk-hai.

And from Appendix F from The Lord of the Rings:

Quote:

Orcs and the Black Speech. Orc is the form of the name that other races had for this foul people as it was in the language of Rohan. In Sindarin it was [iorch. 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 issued from Mordor and Isengard. The lesser kinds were called, especially by the Uruk-hai, snaga 'slave'.
Sauron knew Saruman's plan, but also knew he would have power over Saruman if the hobbits he captured were those carrying the Ring. Once Saruman had the Ring, he definitely would've attempted to use it which would've resulted in Saruman being under the control of Sauron. Since these Uruk-hai were already on the Isengard-side of the Anduin, the fortress of an 'ally,' why would he have them come all the way back to Mordor on their own? They would've had to pass through Gondor, Mordor's chief opposition. Too risky. I'm sure he would've sent the Nazgul to get the Ring (that is, if Saruman did not march right into Mordor and attempt to face Sauron on his own).

Because they headed to Isengard, the Fellowship had to split, as opposed to all of them going one place - Mordor - for the retrieval of Merry and Pippin and the destruction of the Ring. Saruman had already proved easier to ensnare than a hobbit.

[ December 15, 2002: Message edited by: Legalos ]

Tar Elenion 12-15-2002 12:19 AM

Uruk-hai is _a_ plural form. Uruks is an a anglicization. 'S' is the English plural marker. Uruk is a Black Speech word. Uruks is not.
Quote:

Unfinshed Tales, Index:
Uruks Anglicized form of Uruk-hai of the Black Speech; a race of Orcs of great size and strength.
Quote:

Letter 78
Urukhai is a figure of speech. There are no genuine Uruks, that is folk made bad by the intention of their maker...
Note that Uruks (the anglicized plural) is used in place of Uruk-hai.
We have three uses of -hai, Uruk-hai, Olog-hai, Oghor-hai it is never used as a singular. -hai would seem to mean something like folk, race.

Quote:

'Who's blame's that?' said the soldier. 'Not mine. That comes from Highter Up. First they say it's a great Elf in bright armor, then it's a sort of small dwarf-man, then it must be a pack of rebel Uruk-hai; or maybe it's all the lot together.'
It is quite clear that this is referring to events at Cirith Ungol. Frodo is the 'small dwarf-man'. Sam was mistakenly thought to be an Elf-warrior. The 'rebel Uruk-hai' would be the Orcs who might have fled from Cirith Ungol after the fight over Frodo and his mail. If you have any evidence that Saruman's Uruk-hai were involved I would be interested in reading it.

Quote:

'We are the fighting Uruk-hai! We slew the great warrior. We took the prisoners. We are the servants of Saruman the Wise, the White Hand: the hand that gives us man's-flesh to eat. We came out of Isengard, and led you here, and we shall lead you back by the way we choose.
This does not show that the Uruk-hai originally came out of Isengard. What it does show is that _these_ Uruk-hai came out of Isengard. These Uruk-hai were in the service of Saruman. Sauron had his own Uruk-hai in his service and had for a long time:
Quote:

In the last year of Denethor I the race of uruks, black orcs of great strength, first appeared out of Mordor, and in 2475 they swept across Ithilien and took Osgiliath.
[ December 15, 2002: Message edited by: Tar Elenion ]

Orald 12-15-2002 09:21 PM

Thanks for clearing that up Tar-Elenion and Legalos. And thanks for including many of the entries.

But even if the Uruk and Uruk-Hai thing is cleared up, why then are the uruk-hai of isengard so much different from the apelike orcs of lubgburz?
Quote:

In the twilight he saw a large black Orc, probably Uglúk, standing facing Grishnákh, a short crook-legged creature, very broad and with long arms that hung almost to the ground.
Grishnak is shorter than Ugluk but bigger than the orcs from the Misty Mountains. So how did the Isengarders get so much bigger than the others? If they would have been orcs originally from Mordor that were crossed with orcs from the Misty mountains, they would have attributes similar to those groups. But they don't, they are more like the men from Dunland than either of the other two groups of orcs.

[ December 15, 2002: Message edited by: Durelen ]

Legolas 12-15-2002 11:18 PM

I suppose that would have something to do with the 'goblin men' part of them where they gained the ability to withstand sunshine (which neither groups of orcs had either).

Saurreg 12-16-2002 01:38 AM

Quote:

As soon as the enemy had gained possession of the eastern end of the Fords there appeare a company of men or orc-men (evidently dispatched for the purpose), ferocious, mail-clad, and armed with axes.
What are these folks then? From the narration, it appears that they are elite troops of Isengard. Both times they were discribed as great - a) The one who hewed Theodred and b) the two who struggled for Theodred's body. Most importantly they were different from the Uruk-hai. If the Uruk-hai were Isengardian grenadiers, then these fell beasts must be its goddamned commandoes.

What are they originally? Do they appear any place else?

Tar Elenion 12-16-2002 01:07 PM

The axe armed orc-men would be Saruman's 'half-orcs'.

the real findorfin 12-16-2002 01:10 PM

Why doesn't someone do a big list of all the the different types, then we would have a basic sketch of things.

Tar Elenion 12-16-2002 01:13 PM

Are Sarumans Uruk-hai and Saurons really that different? Note for example the 'huge' orc chieftain in Moria (one of the 'black Uruks of Mordor'). By his discription he seems larger than Saruman's Uruks. The Isendardrs are also noted for their long arms (see Helm's Deep) chapter.

Also Grishnakh and his orcs seem to have no more problem with the sun the Ugluk's troop.
It is the Northerners who complain.

Galorme 12-16-2002 05:01 PM

hmm different types of Orcs

snaga: Slaves, bog standard orcs/goblins. They did the scurrying and made up the bulk of the army, but didn't do anything special

uruks: I actually think an Uruk is merely a large Orc, not particuly an Uruk-hai. An Urukhai is always an Uruk, but an Uruk does not have to be an Urukhai (this is just an idea it could be wrong).

Uruk Hai: high orcs, big fighting orcs. They are smarter than orcs, stronger and more skilled. I would assume that they are also less loyal, due to a few facts:
1) The orcs of Cirith Ungol think that S+F could be rough Uruk Hai
2) Saruman's Uruk Hai seem loyal because he offers them man-flesh (I wonder if man flesh is nicer than, say, cowflesh?)

You also have Half Orcs: These are Orcs that have been crosses with the Dunlendings (sp) to give an army that has the strength of the orcs but the stamina and resistance to sunlight men have.

Does all of that look ok?

Question: Does JRRT actually ever say Goblin Men? That seems to be a Filmification somewhat.

Tar Elenion 12-16-2002 08:15 PM

There is no such thing as "an Uruk-hai". Uruk-hai is a plural form. Saying "an Uruk-hai" is equivilent to saying "a Men" or "an Elves".
Uruk is the word "applied as a rule only to the great soldier-orcs that at this time issued from Mordor and Isengard" as Legalos noted above. Uruk-hai is a collective term for these great soldier orcs.

The term "goblin-men" is used in the chapter Helm's Deep by Gamling, while Merry speaks of Men with 'goblin-faces' in Flotsam and Jetsam.

Saurreg 12-16-2002 10:00 PM

Quote:

The axe armed orc-men would be Saruman's 'half-orcs'.
Thank you Tar Elenion. Do you mind telling me where I can find anymore descriptives of them other then in the Unifinished Tales?

[ December 16, 2002: Message edited by: Saurreg ]

[ December 16, 2002: Message edited by: Saurreg ]

Tar Elenion 12-16-2002 10:19 PM

There is a little bit in Morgoth's Ring (HoME 10) page 418 and 419 of the Houghton Mifflin edition which mentions Sarumans breeding program, but otherwise UT and LotR are the places to go (I dont recall there being any additional info in HoME 6-9, which deal with the writing of LotR).

Legolas 12-16-2002 11:52 PM

Galorme: Tolkien does speak of 'goblin-men'...

The Two Towers:

Quote:

'But these creatures of Isengard, these half-orcs and goblin-men that the foul craft of Saruman has bred, they will not quail at the sun,' said Gamling. 'And neither will the wild men of the hills. Do you not hear their voices?'
There's also an excerpt in Vol. 8 of The History of Middle-earth given by CT.

Quote:

The following dialogue, concerning the 'goblin-men' reminiscent of the squint-eyed Southerner at Bree, and Merry's estimate of the forces that left Isengard that night, is much the same as in TT (p. 171), except that Aragorn says that they had had many of the goblin-men to deal with at the Hornburg 'last night' (see note 7), and that there is here no mention of the bridge over the Isen over which a part of the host had passed. Then follows:

'... I thought it looked black for the Riddermark. But it seems in the end the only way in which Saruman could have been overcome. One wonders how much Gandalf knew, guessed, or planned. But Treebeard anyway let them go. He said that his concern was Isengard. "Stone - that we can fight," he said.
'But he sent off a whole wood of the Ornomi (15) down the valley after the army, as soon as the gates of Isengard were shut
again. I don't know, of course, much of what happened away south down there; but you will tell us later.'
'I can tell you now briefly,' said Aragorn. 'The Saruman army came down on both sides of the Isen and overwhelmed the men of Rohan, and most of the survivors scattered. A strong force under Erkenwald of Westfold (16) fled south towards the Black Mountains. We met a survivor of the battles of the fords yesterday evening, and were just in time to take refuge in Helm's Deep, a gorge in the hills, before the whole pack came on us.'
'I don't know how you survived,' said Merry. 'But you helped us. As soon as all the army had gone, the fun began here. Treebeard went up and began hammering on the gates....'
[ December 17, 2002: Message edited by: Legalos ]

Man-of-the-Wold 12-17-2002 01:13 AM

Harken to Tar Elenion for he is steeped in lore of the Enemy's multitude of foul servants.

Again, I think it is helpful to remember that we really cannot have a very precise knowledge of Orcs. They didn't socialize with decent folk much, Morgoth & Sauron's memoirs have been held up in litigation for years, and Orcology was not a recognized science in Middle-Earth until well into the Fourth Age.

Suffice it to say that by mixing mutilated Elven bodies and demonic energy Morgoth bred a race that appeared as the Glamhoth. A mysterious set of creatures of great variety and possible admixtures with other peoples or creatures.

They remained for the most part strong limbed, enduring and quick, but small and stunted compared to Men and Elves, and unable to endure strong sunlight and other pleasant things. But the Dark Powers could breed them in enormous numbers, even if great warriors could mow them like grass, and so, alone they could not win battles for Morgoth and Sauron, without the aid of Dragons, Balrogs and evil armies of Men.

But there was diversity, celebrate it, and some Orcs could live in different places better than others, and had different features and statures. Goblin and Orc are interchangeable terms but perhaps more properly applied to certain subsets. Some Orcs were big, and may have been known as Hobgoblins. Probably for some time in the Second Age Sauron had tried to create uniform groups of large, sunlight-resistent Orcs, and the Uruks, Shagrat and Gorbag may be so old, but it was not until the latter part of the Third Age that large numbers of these special Orcs were created, organized and recognized by the Free Peoples, as such, first, issuing from Minas Morgul and Dol Guldor. Later, they were the favored recruits of Saruman, who perhaps could not control them as directly as Sauron, but had to use mercenary methods, although he perhaps bred and cultivate his own Uruk-Hai, too, ala Lurtz of the Movie.

Saruman also apparently polluted the kindred of Men with Orkishness, hence, the references to Half-Orcs, Goblin-men, and Orc-men, but there may have been such experimentation going on before, and human admixture may have contributed something to the breeding of Uruk-Hai, but I do not consider any such contribution to be primary.

Galorme 12-17-2002 09:36 AM

So Goblin Men in the film (as him "He has bred Orc with Goblin Men") is incorrect, as the goblin men were in turn a subset of the Half Orcs?

Ok I am going to re-read some Uruk-Hai stuff in LoTRs.

Ok the plural of Uruk is Uruks:

Quote:

A troup of heavily armed Uruks
Uruks and Uruk-Hai seem to be interchangeable, but Uruk-Hai only seems to apply to the Elite Troops (for example the suspected rebels in Mordor and Saruman's Shock Troops), whereas Uruk seems to be general Big Orcs, such as the big ones in Moria.

Final point: In JRRT's index he has two entries Uruk and Uruk Hai. They seem to be separate.

Tar Elenion 12-17-2002 07:27 PM

Uruks is the anglicized plural.
S is not a plural marker in the Black Speech.
The word Uruk-hai applies to all Uruks.
Uruk is the singular form . Uruk-hai is a plural form indicating a group of Uruk-hai or all Uruk-hai.

Unfinshed Tales, Index:
"Uruks Anglicized form of Uruk-hai of the Black Speech; a race of Orcs of great size and strength."


JRRT's Index has two entries: Elf and Elven-folk.

[ December 17, 2002: Message edited by: Tar Elenion ]

Galorme 12-18-2002 03:32 AM

Does it? so it does. Hmm ok maybe i was wrong. So is one "Olog-Hai" an Olog?

Thanks for that Elenion. I always assumed they were different.

Tar Elenion 12-18-2002 08:10 PM

Yes, one Olog-hai is an Olog.
One thing to note though is that it was only later in the Third Age that Uruk, began to apply more specifically to the 'great soldier-orcs'. By implication it applied to all Orcs generally before that time.The usurpation by the greater orcs would seem to be a way to deny the 'humanity' of the lesser orcs.

Man-of-the-Wold 12-19-2002 01:13 PM

In reply to Galorme, I would say that Gandalf's dialogue with Elrond in Film I about mixing Orcs with Goblin-men does not exactly fit with anything from The Books, but it is not a great transgression, such as dropping Glorfindal in lieu of Arwen (which I for one fully approve of as a positive form of film adaptation/character compositing).

The point of Gandalf's news to Elrond (though not by way of the Council) is that the Traitor has this army. Film I is not saying that Saruman alone has created Uruk-Hai, though Lurtz and crew are his Uruk-Hai. Conceivably, in communicating with Sauron (after which he says to a lowly Orc "We've got work to do"), he may have received instructions about how to assemble a Uruk. With helpful "Arts of Devilry" hints from the Eye himself.

To say that this process involves taking one part Orc and one part Goblin-Man (which would be a Man with goblin/ockish blood/traits) is not really apostasy. Some here at the Barrow-downs, such as Bill Ferny seem to side with that sort of interpretation.

I think the Books suggest nothing more than that the introducion of half-orcs, orc-men, & goblin-men is a type of experimentation attributable to Saruman during the time immediately preceding the War of the Rings. While possible, there not necessarily anything The Books to suggest that Men were used in the orignal breeding and creation of the Uruk-Hai by Sauron, which first appear in a recognizable way hundreds of years earlier, and the genesis of which might go back to previous Ages.

Airehiriel 12-19-2002 01:41 PM

What I want to know is how they were created in the first place? I didn't see any women involved. How do you mix them and have them born (made) without women?

Man-of-the-Wold 12-20-2002 10:52 AM

Well, there I agree with Film depiction. Although on their own, Orcs may not be able to multiply at any greater a rate that Men or Elves, they can clearly be bred in vast numbers with the intervention of the Dark Powers. The 10,000s of Orcs at Mordor seems a bit hard to explain otherwise, when Gondor and Rohan have grown only marginally over much greater periods of time.

But in specific, I don't think there really are female Orcs in terms of secondary traits. I believe that quite literally, Orcs are "spawned" by mixing something from superficially androgynous pairs or whatever in pools of subterrainean muck, from which the appear ready to fend for themselves.

There are some who ascribe to a belief in regular genders, intercourse, gestation and rearing of orc children by Orcs on a par with other peoples. Burrahobbit, I think, is very adamant about it. I think the gestation and rearing part defies common sense in view of the lack of nuturing and inter-person support witnessed amoung the Orcs we meet in the Books.

Orald 12-20-2002 11:04 AM

I think Glorfindel being taken out of the FotR is a very big transgression, simply because Arwen doesn not have the ability do do what Glorfindel does. It makes the rest of the journey laughable because there is nothing stopping Legolas from being that powerful.

Airehiriel: How do you know you didn't see any women? They could be just is ugly and as mean as the men, doing all that the men do. Orcs multiply in the manor of Elves and Men.

Gralin Silverspear 12-22-2002 06:37 PM

In the Silmarillion it says
Quote:

For the Orcs had life and multiplied after the manner of the Children of Ilúvatar
The must have had women orcs

Samwise G. 12-22-2002 11:08 PM

Dwarf women are often mistaken for men, and orcs know what a whelp is, and speak of them in ways that sugest they have them. So how would you know a female orc? plus- how do you know that women live long enough to nurture their own children? Orcs are likley anti feminist mysoginist rapeists who kill their women when the task of childbearing is completed. [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]

doug*platypus 12-26-2002 09:36 PM

I never thought to question the fact before, but this must be one of the great liberties that the films have taken, showing Saruman creating the Uruk-Hai. This is the BOOK FORUM, though. It seems like the only time we ever hear about half-men, half-orc creatures is through the eyes of the observers on the good side, Gamling, Merry/Pippin, Treebeard, etc. But it's pure guesswork when they go around saying, 'that man looks like an orc', 'that orc looks like a man'. We'll probably never know what the Dark Powers really did. The quote from the appendices makes it highly likely that Saruman did not create the Uruk-Hai. Maybe he adapted them to sunlight better, or maybe all Uruk-Hai are resistant to the sun. Since originally Morgoth made Orcs from Elves, it seems possible that Saruman or Sauron could somehow make improved Uruk-Hai from Men and Orcs. Of course, it's very realistic that we don't know what the Dark Powers did - the fog of war makes it difficult to uncover facts.

Eol Telemnar 12-12-2003 07:28 PM

(if im inturupting any conversation, sorry, i went back to the question)

Actually, Uruk-hai are a combination of Orc and Goblins. men have nothing to do with it [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

Tuor Turambar,Cursed by the Valar 12-12-2003 09:35 PM

Um, if you do not know if you are interrupting a conversation, it is because you have not read the thread.
Also, i want to know where you got that information: Give me a quote!
(sorry bout that, Eol, but someone had to say it)
Also, how could you be interrupting a conversation if the thread is a year old?

Olorin_TLA 12-13-2003 07:46 PM

Orks and Goblins are THE SAME THING! [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

That's like saying Uruk-hai are a mix of Ork and Ork...which would be 1 Ork, NOT an Uruk-hai.

Here's how I see it.

Uruk-hai means "fighter folk."

So, there are Uruks in Mordor and Isengard, ie stornger Orks, BUT the ones Saruman uses are half-Orks.

Of course, some half-Orks are more manly, others more Orky (TOlkien descoribes them as Man-Orks (the Uruk-hai) and Ork-men (the "half-Orks"). The Orky ones are the ones called Uruk-hai in Isengard. They are not the same as the pure Orks called Uruk-hai in Mordor.

And yes, Tolkien himself said (HOMEX) that whilst Saruman bred Men and Orks together to get the hybirds, Sauron didn't, for reasons of his own.

Tar Elenion 12-13-2003 11:10 PM

Letter 78 and the essay Quendi and Eldar in WotJ provide the possiblity of an attested to translation for 'Uruk-hai'. Letter 78 says "Urukhai is only a figure of speech. There are no genuine Uruks, that is folk made bad by the intention of their maker". The pertinent portion of this is "folk made bad". In Q&E we learn that 'uruk' was borrowed by Sauron from the Elvish tongues when he was devising the Black Speech in the Second Age, and was related to words meaning 'horrible'.
If Uruks are "folk made bad" and 'uruk' is related to horrible, and 'horrible' and 'bad' are synonmous, then it could very well be that a reasonable translation of Uruk-hai (which is used interchangeably with its anglicization 'uruks') is:
Uruk-hai: *bad-folk, *horrible-folk.

Tar Elenion 12-13-2003 11:15 PM

"There were four goblin-soldiers of greater stature, swart, slant-eyed, with thick legs and large hands. They were armed with short broad-bladed swords, not with the curved scimitars usual with Orcs: and they had bows of yew, in length and shape like the bows of Men."
LotR, TT
The 'goblin-soldiers' are Uruk-hai.

"Upon a stake in the middle was set a great goblin head; upon its shattered helm the white badge could still be seen."
LotR, TT

Another Uruk-hai, perhaps Ugluk

"They had run a long way shouting-he could not remember how far or how long; and then suddenly they had crashed right into a group of Orcs: they were standing listening, and they did not appear to see Merry and Pippin until they were almost in their arms. Then they yelled and dozens of other goblins had sprung out of the trees. Merry and he had drawn their swords, but the Orcs did not wish to fight, and had tried only to lay hold of them, even when Merry had cut off several of their arms and hands. Good old Merry!"
LotR, TT

The Uruk-hai here are referred to as both 'goblins' and 'Orcs'.


"Also the Orcs (goblins) and other monsters bred by the First Enemy are not wholly destroyed."
Letter 131


"Orcs (the word is as far as I am concerned actually derived from Old English orc 'demon', but only because of its phonetic suitability) are nowhere clearly stated to be of any particular origin. But since they are servants of the Dark Power, and later of Sauron, neither of whom could, or would, produce living things, they must be 'corruptions'. They are not based on direct experience of mine; but owe, I suppose, a good deal to the goblin tradition (goblin is used as a translation in The Hobbit, where orc only occurs once, I think), especially as it appears in George MacDonald, except for the soft feet which I never believed in. The name has the form orch (pl. yrch) in Sindarin and uruk in the Black Speech."
Letter 144

"This, Thorin, the runes name Orcrist, the Goblin-cleaver in the ancient tongue of Gondolin..."
The Hobbit

Note the translation of ORCrist as GOBLIN-cleaver

"Orc is not an English word. It occurs in one or two places but is usually translated goblin (or hobgoblin for the larger kind)."
The Hobbit, Foreword

'Orc' and 'goblin' are interchangeable and refer to the same type of being.

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 12:17 AM December 14, 2003: Message edited by: Tar Elenion ]


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