The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum

Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Announcements and Obituaries > Haudh-en-Ndengin
User Name
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-23-2002, 04:30 PM   #1
Posts: n/a
Question Orcs mortality

In the Silmarillion it states "All those of the Quendi who came into the hands of Melkor, ere Utumno was broken, were put in prison, and by slow arts of cruelty were corrupted and enslaved; and thus did Melkor breed the hideous race of the Orcs in envy and mockery of the Elves..." Did Orcs retain the immortality of Elves or was it lost in the corruption and slavery? Or could the Orcs live off the power of their master? Since in Return of the King after The Ring is destroyed "As when death smites the swollen brooding thing that ... holds them all in sway, ants will wander witless and purposeless and then die feebly, so the creatures of Sauron ... ran hither and thither mindless; and some slew themselves, or cast themselves into pits". Also, I believe in the Silmarillion it says something about Morgoth's power being diminshed from controlling his armies. If anyone knows the answer please help me.
Old 06-23-2002, 05:51 PM   #2
Shade of Carn Dûm
Join Date: May 2002
Location: East of the Misty Mountains
Posts: 339
GreatWarg has just left Hobbiton.

Welcome to the Barrowdowns Bladorthin! Hope you enjoy being dead! Post often! And, well, I don't know much about the topic; just popped in to say HI. heh... [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
"What shall we do, what shall we do!" he cried. "Escaping goblins to be caught be wolves!"
GreatWarg is offline  
Old 06-23-2002, 05:51 PM   #3
Elfa Arwena
Posts: n/a

Hello, I'm new membes of this forum, I am from Spain and my level of english is very low, but I have saw yor questions and I'm very interested about the orcs and it's origins.

Respcting to your question, the answer is very simple: you can read it in Morgothīs Ring (Orcs):
"They could be slain, and they were subject to disease; but apart from hese ills they died and were not immortal, even according to the manner of the Quendi; indeed they appear to have been by nature short-lived compared with the span of Men of higher race, such as the Edain."

And in the same book and the same chapter, you can read also this:
"But the Orcs were not of this kind. They were certainly dominated by their Master, but his dominion was by fear, and they were aware of this fear and hated him. They were indeed so corrupted that they were pitiless, and there was no cruelty or wickedness that they would not commit; but this was the corruption of independent wills, and they took pleasure in their deeds. They were capable of acting on their own, doing evil deeds unbidden for their own sport; or if Morgoth and his agents were far away, they might neglect his commands. They sometimes fought [> They hated one another and often fought]among themselves, to the detriment of Morgoth's plans."

I hope that with these I'll could help you in something.

Greetings from Spain for all of you!

Elfa Arwena
Old 06-23-2002, 05:58 PM   #4
Elfa Arwena
Posts: n/a
There is a little thing that I had forgot to tell you: I think that the orcs are not corrupted elves, and Tolkien wrote this in a note, you can also read this in Morgoth's Ring.

But this is only one of the a lot of theories about the origin of the orcs...
Old 06-23-2002, 09:41 PM   #5
Pile O'Bones
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Minas Morgul
Posts: 22
Ulairi has just left Hobbiton.

I am really curious as to wether orcs ever even had a chance to die of old age. There was constant fighting, killing of each other, and cannibalism in the orc society. Most orcs probably were killed either by the enemies of Sauron or the orcs themselves. Plus i could just imagine the diseases they could get just from their lifestyle. It isn't like they cared about each other or tended to wounds. Whoever was too weak to carry on his duty was slaughtered.

Just my thoughts. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
Ulairi is offline  
Old 06-24-2002, 08:29 AM   #6
Aldagrim Proudfoot
Shade of Carn Dûm
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Hobbiton
Posts: 328
Aldagrim Proudfoot has just left Hobbiton.

Welcome Elfa Arwena! In The Two Towers, don't two orcs talk about "The Great Battle", which would be the Last Alliance? Would that mean their mortality is the same as elves?
I do not suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it!
Aldagrim Proudfoot is offline  
Old 06-25-2002, 09:30 AM   #7
Elfa Arwena
Posts: n/a
Here I go again...

Hello Ulairi, nice to meet you, and thank you for reading my post and for your thoughts.
As you had wrote:
"I am really curious as to wether orcs ever even had a chance to die of old age."

Well, that is something I have thought too. The only answer I have for that is the same text that I had already copied. In Morgothīs Ring we can read that orcs should die, and that their lives are not so long as the quendis, or humans.

There is no doubt that many orcs had been killed by enemies or by themselves, but, you're right, I can't remember (in this moment) if in the HoME exists some refferences about the natural diseases of the orcs.

Whatever, I think that orcs are an independent race. You can read this in one of Tolkien's Letters:

"I have represented at least the Orcs as pre-existing real beings on whom the Dark Lord has exerted the fullness of his power in remodelling and corrupting them, not making them" (Letters, J.R.R. Tolkien)

There were male and female orcs, and they had little orcs, too [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
Like a race, they could born, growth and die. Why not? And pre-existing really doesn't means that they were elves or humans... It could mean too only that, other race. What do you think about that?


Hello Aldagrim Proudfoot, nice to meet you too, and thank you for your welcome.

I donīt think that orc's mortality can be the same as the elveīs. Why? because I believe what Tolkien had wrote about that in Morgoth's Ring (is my favourite book, after the Silmarillion, of course [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] )

"They could be slain, and they were subject to disease; but apart from hese ills they died and were not immortal, even according to the manner of the Quendi; indeed they appear to have been by nature short-lived compared with the span of Men of higher race, such as the Edain." (Morgoth's Ring)

Maybe I'm wrong? I donīt know, but it's my opinnion, (and I think that Tolkien's too [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] , well, maybe not the only opinnion, but surely one of them. And I think, too, after reading of HoME, that the latest opinnion that Tolkien had was that the orcs were surely not elven, nor human...
What about a independent race? (I like very much this theory, it's clear [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] )


Greetings for everybody and excuses, again, for my bad english (It's so difficult to express your ideas and thoughts in other language which you donīt domain... but I'm trying)

Elfa Arwena
Old 06-25-2002, 09:50 AM   #8
The Silver-shod Muse
Shade of Carn Dûm
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: The shoulder of a poet, TX
Posts: 388
The Silver-shod Muse has just left Hobbiton.

Just because the orcs in TTT spoke of the Great Battle doesn't necessarily mean they were there or alive then. The memory of it could've been passed down through the generations.
"'You," he said, "tell her all. What good came to you? Do you rejoice that Maleldil became a man? Tell her of your joys, and of what profit you had when you made Maleldil and death acquainted.'" -Perelandra, by C.S. Lewis
The Silver-shod Muse is offline  
Old 06-25-2002, 10:13 AM   #9
Elfa Arwena
Posts: n/a

Yes, I'm thik you're right. I'm agree with you. (This is something that I'd forgot to write [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img], and a very good argument). Thank you very much for your apport.


Elfa Arwena

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:00 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.