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Old 09-16-2001, 09:01 AM   #1
Dmitry
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Ring Maggot-folk of Mordor.

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Ladies and Gentlemen!

Tell me please what does mean the term &quot;maggot-folk of Mordor&quot; (in LotR)? How the English understand this term? Is &quot;maggot-folk&quot; suggest &quot;the folk like larvas of fly&quot; in the sense &quot;abhorrent folk&quot;? Or only &quot;strange folk&quot;, &quot;extravagance folk&quot;, &quot;obscure folk&quot;?

Thank you.

Sincerely yours,
Dmitry.

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Old 09-16-2001, 09:24 AM   #2
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Re: Maggot-folk of Mordor.

Obviously, it is used to compare the folk of Mordor to maggots, which most people aren't too fond of. In a way, it is saying that the folk of Mordor are scum, as are maggots.

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Old 09-16-2001, 10:05 AM   #3
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Re: Maggot-folk of Mordor.

Probably refers to their large numbers as well, comparable to crawling maggots.

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Old 09-16-2001, 10:05 AM   #4
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Re: Maggot-folk of Mordor.

Knowing how Tolkien rarely used words without having considered them well, we can assume a deeper meaning behind the 'maggot-folk' as well.

What Théodred said may be one part, but also other associations spring to mind upon closer examination. For like maggots bury into the dead ground they are on, so did the orcs. The context of the quote is especially illustrious for that - the orcs have dug deep into the mountains surrounding the Black Gate, and delved tunnels beneath it, like maggots to a body. When they are stirred, they swarm out as one, pouring forth in large hives, as is observed by the host of the West in front of the Morannon later in the War.
For this similarity alone, the metaphor is striking already.

However, what may at first glance seem dubious is the way of the dwarves, who also dig tunnels and cave mountains. In Norse mythology even, one image of the creation of the World is that it evolved from the corpse of a fallen giant, and the maggots in it became the folk of the dwarves.
But Tolkien did not copy in any way, and this is why the the dwarves of his Middle-Earth are not maggots, like the dwarves of Midgard may have been derisively called.
Such aspects of the latter, as the turning into stone upon sunlight, and the maggot-aspect, have passed on to the side of evil, and are well justified within the cosmology of Tolkien.
As dwarves dug into the dead ground of Ymir, so do in Middle-Earth only orcs dwell upon dead ground, ground they have spoiled and bereft of all life and beauty before. This is of course not at all the way of the dwarves of Tolkien, who rather are (not least because of their creation and the order tied to it) guardians of the bones of the earth and its treasures (although not immune to corruption and fall, as all are). No orc would treat Aglarond like Gimli's men did, no maggot of Mordor could achieve a wonder like Khazad-Dûm.

No, the ways of the orcs are like that of maggots to the ground, despoiling, killing, thriving upon the decay of others.
I daresay what Tolkien meant may have not been far from this.



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Old 09-16-2001, 10:49 AM   #5
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