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Old 10-15-2002, 02:49 PM   #1
alaklondewen
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Sting Orcs and Goblins

In The Hobbit, Bilbo and Thorin and Co. were kidnapped by goblins in the Misty Mountains. In LotR, orcs are the foul creatures that live within the caves of the mountains. I have always believed that they were the same creature. I thought JRRT opted for a better word in LotR.

As I watched the movie again the other day, something stuck in my mind. Gandalf tells Elrond that Saruman is breeding Orcs with Goblin men. What is the difference? I've tried finding differences physically in the movie, but the books are what matter. Are the orcs and goblins two separate species or races? If so, where do the goblins come from?
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Old 10-15-2002, 03:07 PM   #2
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Yes, they are 2 different species. Goblins can travel in sunlight and orcs can't (but they can run very fast). Goblins are smaller than orcs, who are stronger and more bulky.
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Old 10-15-2002, 03:15 PM   #3
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Tolkien

Okay, so then why when the fellowship is in Moria (in the movie) does Legolas say "goblins" instead of orcs? Or is that just one more of the many mistakes?
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Old 10-15-2002, 03:49 PM   #4
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Sting

When the Company escapes their captors, isn't there some reference to the fact that the goblins won't come after them while the sun is up? Are they just slower, perhaps? Or, do they genuinely dislike the light?
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Old 10-15-2002, 04:59 PM   #5
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In the book it says orcs:
Quote:
There was a guard of orcs crouching in the shadows behind the great door posts towering on either side...
Book II, pg. 323
Quote:
'Be swift then!' said Aragorn, looking back towards the Gates. 'The Sun sinks early. The Orcs will not, maybe, come out till after dusk, but we must be far away before nightfall. The Moon is almost spent and it is dark tonight.'
Aragorn, Book II, p.325
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Old 10-15-2002, 05:34 PM   #6
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But the goblins in the Hobbit couldn't go out in the sun.
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Old 10-15-2002, 05:37 PM   #7
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Sting

Then maybe thay are the same thing! I could've sworn they weren't though... hmmm...
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Old 10-15-2002, 05:50 PM   #8
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Sting

I believe that orcs and goblins are the same. Goblin men are a cross between orcs and men, so when you combine those you get orcs that can live in caves but can also live outside, are built kinda like men but are definetly orcs. Confused?

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Old 10-15-2002, 06:12 PM   #9
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I'm not sure, but I always thought that Orcs were stockier, stronger, and better fighters, and Goblins were smaller, craftier, and sneakier. I think that they live together in the Misty Mountains, but in Mordor there are mostly orcs. In The Hobbit, the dwarves had trouble mostly with goblins.
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Old 10-15-2002, 06:34 PM   #10
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That's a bit confusing! Hmm. So, were Saruman's workers etc. in the movie (when he was messing up Isengard) goblins? I get goblins and orcs mixed up so bad it's embarrassing, lmao [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]
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Old 10-15-2002, 06:45 PM   #11
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Sting

Quote:
Saruman is breeding Orcs with Goblin men.
Goblin men, perhaps these were different then regular goblins and regular goblins were still the same thing as orcs.
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Old 10-16-2002, 04:25 AM   #12
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Sting

There are many Orcs of different shapes and sizes. I don't think anyone in Middle-earth would call one of the hugest Orcs a "goblin"

But maybe the cute, little Orcs get called "Goblins"

I don't think they're a different race.
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Old 10-16-2002, 06:39 AM   #13
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I'm fairly sure that Tolkien himself states that orcs and goblins are two words for the same thing. The Orcs (or goblins) that can travel in sunlight were specially bred to do so (the Uruk-Hai); it's not that orcs are foul creatures that can move during the day and goblins are restricted to the night.
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Old 10-16-2002, 08:09 AM   #14
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Sting

As Ewoyn, Eomer and Durelin said orcs and goblins are the same thing. Men call them goblins, but the older elven term is “orc”. It refers to the species of creature that Melkor created through torturing and tormenting elves in the Pits of Utumno during the first age. This was Melkor’s greatest evil, a twisted form of creating.

Likewise, Sauron’s greatest act of evil was the creation of the Uruk-hai. These were orcs of greater strength, as tall as men, and they did not fear day light. They sacked the greatest city of Gondor, Osgiliath in 2475. The sticking point in relation to the Uruk-hai, at least for me, is that nothing is written about their creation, only that Sauron used sorcery to “make” this terrible breed of orc.

Then you have half-orcs or goblin men. The blood of men, Dunlendings, were mixed with that of orcs by Saruman’s sorcery, thus the creation of half-orcs. The Squint-eyed Southerner is one example. However, it would seem that many of Saruman’s half-orcs were more terrible in form, and at the Battles of the Fords of Isen, Theored, the son of King Theoden of the Mark, was, in fact, slain by a “great orc-man”. I find it hard to believe that a creature with the stature of the Squint-eyed Southerner could accomplish such a feat.

So between Uruks and goblin men, what do we have?

From description, these two fell breeds were very similar: Uruks were not frightened of day light; goblin men were not frightened of day light. Uruks were as tall as men; goblin men were as tall as men. Uruks stood upright; goblin men stood upright. Uruks were lynx-eyed; goblin men were lynx-eyed. Both Uruks and goblin men are “made” not bred. In other words, sorcery is used, not a process of inter-mating two species. Tolkien never says whether mating between these two species is possible, and I strongly suspect it is not.

Minor or non-universal differences include: Uruks were clawed, not all goblin men are described as such. Uruks had fangs; the only description of fangs in a goblin man (that I can find) is the words “fang like”.

Differences that seem to be universal: Uruks have black skin like charred wood. To my knowledge no goblin man is described as such.

From my perspective there seems to be more similarities than differences, leading me to conclude that Uruks and goblin men, while definitely different, are in theory the same. It is my hypothesis that Uruk-hai are, indeed, orcs crossed with men. There is nothing in the Tolkien canon that supports or contests this hypothesis, only reticence. There are also a few arguments that might support this hypothesis.

Melkor’s greatest evil was the creation of orcs. Sauron’s greatest evil was the creation of the Uruk-hai. When Melkor made orcs he was twisting a fair thing into a thing of utter loathing and evil. Now if Sauron merely transformed an already loathsome and evil race into a more powerful, but equally loathsome and evil race, this doesn’t seem to even approach the same level of sinfulness as Melkor’s evil. I’m a little hard pressed to see Sauron’s creation of the Uruk-hai in this manner as an evil that outstrips his creation of the one ring. If, however, Sauron used sorcery to mix the blood of orcs and men in the creation of the Uruk-hai, then we are talking about an evil on a completely different level. This sin would approach the terrible magnitude of Melkor’s sin.

Sauron not only improved the orc theme, he also improved on the troll theme. Creating the Olog-hai. These were trolls, not surprising, who could withstand the light of day. However, their greatest strength is that they had the intelligence of men. Whenever Tolkien wrote about Sauron’s “improvements” he referred to how these improved beasts were more man like.

Saruman’s fall is mostly brought about by his envy and jealously. He is envious of Gandalf who has one of the three rings, and he knew that Gandalf was greater than he. He is envious of Sauron and the power he wields. Out of envy, Saruman immolates both Gandalf and Sauron. Saruman (secretly) develops a hobbit weed habit like Gandalf, and takes a great interest in the Shire. Saruman forges for himself a “ring of power” like Sauron did. Would it be such a stretch, therefore, to say that in imitation of Sauron, Saruman made the half-orcs, attempting to create a fighting force like the Uruks? Saruman never understood the Shire like Gandalf, and his ring was more than likely a worthless trinket in comparison with the one ring. Thus Saruman’s half-orcs would pale in comparison to Sauron’s Uruk-hai.

This is only a hypothesis, and I'm always open to different opinions and takes on the way I see this.

[ October 16, 2002: Message edited by: Bill Ferny ]
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Old 10-16-2002, 08:49 AM   #15
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Sting

Why then in the film does it say that Saruman is creating the race of the Uruk-Hai?

I know its the film buts its been a few years since i've read the book and can't remember.

I've always thought that there were loads of different types of creatures of different stature and different people called them Goblins or orcs or whatever.

The different types I can think of are UYruk-Hai and Snaga and their must also be a name for the common orc in mordor, is it just Mordor orcs by any chance?
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Old 10-16-2002, 09:15 AM   #16
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Findorfin,

PJ may have fabricated the Uruk-hai/half-orc for dramatic effect, or he may have simply made a mistake. Or perhaps, he saw the same similarities between the two that I see, and drew a conclusion.

Perhaps Saruman truly believed that the half-orc he created were indeed Uruk-hai of the same order as Sauron's. Maybe Saruman's Uruk-hai outside of Helm's Deep, shouting "we are the fighting Uruk-hai" weren't Uruk-hai at all, but were half-orcs sharing the same dellusion as Saruman.

Hmmmm.
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Old 10-16-2002, 10:22 AM   #17
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Sting

Well I looked it up in the Tolkien Companion and it says

Quote:
Goblins: A translation of the Grey-elven YRCH. See Orcs.

When I looked up Orcs, however, it has a 4-page history, that I won't bother to copy, because Bill Ferny has already given us an apt definition.


Quote:
Uruk-hai "orc-race" (black speech) The name given by Sauron to a new strain of Orcs bred in secrecy by him in Mordor towards the end of the Third Age,and said (by his enemies) to have been created by the blending of the races of Orcs and Men.It is certain, however, that (so far as Orcs went) the Uruk-hai were a far superior breed, being taller and stronger, with great endurance, and an altogether higher level of intelligence.


Saruman himself attempted further genetic experiments with this race of "Great Orcs"- with singularly unhappy results: creatures known as "Half-orcs" which were said( by Saruman's enemies) to be the result of a cross-breeding the Uruk-hai and a certain degenerate Men in his service.
Hope this helps. I thought of adding "trolls" to the discussion but I think this would just add further confusion.
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Old 10-16-2002, 10:28 AM   #18
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Orcs and Goblins are the same! The elves use the word Orc as a common name for all things which are evil. Goblins is generally a term which is used by men.
Saruman did have Uruk Hai in his service but these have some how been confused wiv the Half Orcs that he created (the film contributes to this) but the half Orcs were different to the Uruk Hai but probably of the same standard. I may be wrong but i cant remember anywhere where it says Saruman created Uruk Hai, if any one knows of any where let me know?

[ October 16, 2002: Message edited by: Paul Phillips ]

[ October 16, 2002: Message edited by: Paul Phillips ]
 
Old 10-16-2002, 11:33 AM   #19
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The same place you find most of the average person's misconceptions of ME. The movie.
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Old 10-16-2002, 02:25 PM   #20
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Sting

Welcome to the Downs, Paul.

According to The Tolkien Companion
(not cannon, I know) Sauron breeded Uruk-hai and Saruman breeded half -orc men.
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Old 10-16-2002, 03:02 PM   #21
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Sting

Could uruk hai even be compatible with goblin men, since I've yet to see a reference to any females of either species?
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Old 10-16-2002, 04:56 PM   #22
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Sting

Wow! Thanks for the clarification, Bill Ferny. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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