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Old 05-29-2017, 07:05 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
It is curious, though, if orcs that were far enough to the East not to be cleared and slaughtered immediately formed their own communities that did not live off looting/killing/other orcish occupations. Would they even like the idea of something like that. I always imagined surviving orcs to be more individual hideouts, or small bands at most, hiding in the farthest corners of the Mountains of Mordor and living on small skirmishes and whatever mean food could be found in Mordor. Eventually they'd be cleared out, but I allowed in my imagination for one or two hermit orcs to remain alive and successfully hidden, to be discovered only many years later (or not at all). The idea on entire communities that would be 1. alive and 2. peaceful is a curious investigation.
This is somewhat how I imagined things in the aftermath of the War of the Ring as well, with tiny enclaves of Orcs scattered across the world, to eventually die out or mingle with Men long after their reputation was forgotten.

Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
The reason I don't see such larger groups of orcs forming up where Gondorians would be in control is that there seems to be something fundamental about orcs that makes them unforgivable. Enemy Men can be pardoned - perhaps still hated, but pardoned. Are orcs ever pardoned in the history of the legendarium? For that matter, have orcs ever surrendered, to be held captive? It may simply be a vicious cycle, where Men wouldn't offer, and orcs wouldn't ask, so no one even considered it. Or it may have something to do with their nature being so fundamentally different. Men of different races are still Men, but orcs are orcs. Perhaps the implication of "good" orcs is more that Morgoth could not even corrupt absolutely - some human desire and thought still remained.
It might be worth recalling this remark from the essay on Orcs found in "Myths Transformed":
But even before this wickedness of Morgoth was suspected the Wise in the Elder Days taught always that the Orcs were not 'made' by Melkor, and therefore were not in their origin evil. They might have become irredeemable (at least by Elves and Men), but they remained within the Law. That is, that though of necessity, being the fingers of the hand of Morgoth, they must be fought with the utmost severity, they must not be dealt with in their own terms of cruelty and treachery. Captives must not be tormented, not even to discover information for the defence of the homes of Elves and Men. If any Orcs surrendered and asked for mercy, they must be granted it, even at a cost. This was the teaching of the Wise, though in the horror of the War it was not always heeded.
Professor Tolkien adds as a footnote:
Few Orcs ever did so [ask for mercy] in the Elder Days, and at no time would any Orc treat with any Elf. For one thing Morgoth had achieved was to convince the Orcs beyond refutation that the Elves were crueller than themselves, taking captives only for 'amusement', or to eat them (as the Orcs would do at need).)
Thus it seems like while Orcs ought to have been treated with mercy, they almost never surrendered. It might be worth noting that at the Morannon after the Ring was destroyed, the Orcs of Sauron's personal armies, which were almost totally under the thraldom of his will, slew themselves or fled "far from hope".

Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
And perhaps they would be more successful in the East, which we know less of (so can imagine more) and which was friendlier with Sauron and probably had more allied contact with orcs.
This is my thought also. It seems to me that, given the fissiparous nature of evil, and without a singular will directing them, Orcs such as those of the Mountains would either destroy each other or become mingled with Men who, as we know, could be altogether Orc-like themselves. Professor Tolkien certainly seems to have thought, in my reading at least, that in the Ages leading to the modern day there came to be little, if anything, to differentiate Orcs from Men in many places and situations. In saying this I also mean to propose that this would not be a quick process; I scarcely think you would see Orcs mingling in the societies of Men during Aragorn's reign, but very slowly and gradually in the centuries that followed, perhaps.
"Since the evening of that day we have journeyed from the shadow of Tol Brandir."
"On foot?" cried Éomer.
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