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Old 04-09-2003, 08:11 AM   #17
Seeker of the Straight Path
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: a hidden fastness in Big Valley nor cal
Posts: 1,680
lindil has just left Hobbiton.

Tolkien wrestled with the ORcs from Elves idea ad tried to discard it entirely [see Morgoth's Ring - section 5 Myths Transofrmed].

He had however problems with all of his replacement ideas:

1- orcs were really clever animals imbued with a certain power o Morgoth and or Sauron. Bereft of their controlling will they just replayed mechanical actions - I hate, I will kill etc...

2 - orcs as degenerate Men. This was I think for JRRT the optimum solution BUT it hinged on his abandoning the flat earth [pre-numenorean] world and having a pre-exisisting Sun - so Men would awaken early - before Mekor was captured the first time and then released.

He went back and forth on these ideas - nothing definitive.

As far as I understand it[I have been researching this for an entry on the Avari] the only canonical thing you can say about orc origins is that 'within the legendarium' some elves and men believed Elves [specifically captured Avari in some accounts] to be the origin of orcs. This however as I said before was severla times accounted as a myth, though no satisfactory resolution was ever perfectly decided.

If I have any details wrong hopefully some of the real scholars round these parts will fix it up.
The dwindling Men of the West would often sit up late into the night exchanging lore & wisdom such as they still possessed that they should not fall back into the mean estate of those who never knew or indeed rebelled against the Light.
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