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Old 11-30-2003, 04:16 PM   #33
Tar Elenion
Shade of Carn Dm
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 283
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However, in light of Treebeard's speculation that the Uruk-hai are a mix of orcs and men, the passage from Morgoth's Ring is doubly indicting of Saruman.
Treebeard's speculation is just that, it is not a statement of fact from the author.

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The southerner at Bree does not have orc-blood in him.
This would be be your speculation, not a statement of fact from the author.

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In FotR he looks "more than half-like a goblin" and in UT Tolkien writes that because he was a wild-man from Dunland it made people speculate that he might have had orc-blood.
No, he did not write that. What was written in UT was:
"Some while ago one of Saruman's most trusted servants (yet a ruffianly fellow, an outlaw driven from Dunland, where many said that he had Orc-blood) had returned from the borders of the Shire, where he had been negotiating for the purpose of "leaf" and other supplies."
This is something different than what you have inferred. The Southerner was driven from Dunland and it was said in Dunland that he had orc blood in him. Why would the Dunendings say that? Probably because of his unusual appearance.

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Neither of these seems to actually mean that the squint-eyed southerner is anything more than a barbaric man. The only real evidence would be Merry's relating of him to the half-orcs at Isengard, but even then, he states that the man in Bree was not so apparently orc-like. Aragorn also does not mention the Southerner being a half-orc, just a spy of Saruman when he responds.
What Aragorn actually says is:
"[Merry speaking]'...And there were battalions of Men, too. Many of them carried torches, and in the flare I could see their faces. Most of them were ordinary men, rather tall and dark-haired, and grim but not particularly evil-looking. But there were some others that were horrible: man-high, but with goblin-faces, sallow, leering, squint-eyed. Do you know, they reminded me at once of that Southerner at Bree: only he was not so obviously orc-like as most of these were.'
'I thought of him too,' said Aragorn. 'We had many of these half-orcs to deal with at Helm's Deep. It seems plain now that that Southerner was a spy of Saruman's; but whether he was working with the Black Riders, or for Saruman alone, I do not know. It is difficult with these evil folk to know when they are in league, and when they are cheating one another.'"
Aragorn says the Half-orcs (Men with goblin-faces) made him think of the Southerner at Bree.

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Finally, the half-orcs Merry mentions at Bree would hardly fit into the description of "Men-orcs, large and cunning." They are described to be almost men, but with orc-like faces. They seem to fit much better into the description of "Orc-men, treacherous and vile."
Bree? Do you mean Isengard?. But the goblin-faced men are large. In UT Theodred is described as being slain by a "great Orc-man", Grimbold slays the Orc-man and later fights two "great axemen" for Theodred's body (these are from the "company of men or Orc-men... ferocious, mail-clad and armed with axess"). These are not Uruk-hai, and are distinguished from the Uruks in 'Fords of Isen'.
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This leaves the Uruk-hai as the only things that could really fit (and they do so very perfectly) into the description of "Men-orcs, large and cunning."
I think the half-orc axemen, who are described as 'great', fit in with the description of 'large and cunning' better than they do with 'treacherous and vile', despite the possible reversal in terminology a decade later (though the MR essay and the 'Isen' narrative are not necessarily related). Perhaps more telling is that the Uruk-hai are not described as 'half-orcs' directly, though Treebeard speculates that Saruman's Orcs may be either ruined Men, or blended Orcs and Men. Gamling refers to 'these half-orcs and goblin-men' which can be taken to refer to Saruman's Uruk-hai yet in the narrative voice they are always referred to as Orcs (or sometimes goblins). And then there are also Sauron's Uruk-hai.

[ 5:17 PM November 30, 2003: Message edited by: Tar Elenion ]
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