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Old 06-18-2002, 02:36 PM   #1
Thinlaithion
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Shield Goblins or Orcs?

In his books, J. R. R. Tolkien uses goblins and orcs as the same thing. In the Hobbit, they are usually refered to as goblins, but in the trilogy as orcs. I was wondering, what is the main difference.
 
Old 06-18-2002, 02:39 PM   #2
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The difference is the Hobbit was written before The idea was fully realized. Goblins are just another name for orcs (possibly northern ones?)
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Old 06-18-2002, 02:40 PM   #3
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ive heard things like goblins cant stand day, but orcs can. and that the orcs are twisted elves, but the goblins are their own race. and ive heard that their just the same thing,and j.r.r. tolkien said that he wished in the hobit, he would of just called them orcs, or something like that.
i think theyre just the same thing
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Old 06-18-2002, 02:50 PM   #4
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"ive heard things like goblins cant stand day, but orcs can. and that the orcs are twisted elves, but the goblins are their own race"

Not quite accurate...

Uruk-hai (a type of orcs) can stand day, but other orcs cannot. I don't think the origins of "goblins" is ever given.

'Goblin' is a term used *most often* in reference to the orcs of the Misty Mountains. Aldagrim Proudfoot's assessment seems to be the general concensus - it's most likely just that Tolkien decided on calling them 'orcs' after <u>The Hobbit</u> was written/published (much like Thranduil was only referred to as the Elven-king in <u>The Hobbit</u>) and that they're the same thing.

[ June 18, 2002: Message edited by: Legalos ]
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Old 06-18-2002, 03:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
it's most likely just that Tolkien decided on calling them 'orcs' after The Hobbit was written/published and that they're the same thing.
"The Hobbit " is very much like a fairy-tale, and goblins are usual fairy-tale creatures, described in dictionaries as simply "unpleasant, mischievous" etc. Besides they are usually quite little and at times not unfriendly to humans. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

But I couldn't fnd the word ORK in any dictionary. So perhaps (sorry if I'm wrong) Professor coined a new word to name the utterly repulsive, dangerous and deadly creatures he has in his books.
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Old 06-18-2002, 04:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
<em>Orc</em> is not an English word. It occurs in one or two places but is usually translated to <em>goblin</em> (or <em>hobgoblin</em> for the larger kinds). <em>Orc</em> in the hobbits' form of the name given at that time to these creatures, and is not connected at all with our orc, ork, applied to sea-animals of the dolphin-kind.
From a note on the text in the beginning of The Hobbit.

[ June 18, 2002: Message edited by: Gimli Son Of Gloin ]
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Old 06-18-2002, 05:25 PM   #7
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I thought Tolkien made up Orcs himself.

Well there is obviously a big difference between Orcs and Goblins.

When I think of Orcs I tend to think of them as big and bulky. And Goblins as small and lithe.
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Old 06-18-2002, 07:14 PM   #8
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This subject is kinda easy.

First off you rarely hear the tearm goblin in the Lord of the Rings. But in the Hobbit it is used all the time and you don't hear the word orc. Maybe Tolkien wanted to make his fantasy seem different from others by giving the Goblins there own name of Orc.

Goblins and orcs are EXACTLY the same thing.
If you doubt this prove it.
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Old 06-18-2002, 07:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
When I think of Orcs I tend to think of them as big and bulky. And Goblins as small and lithe.
This isn't really based on anything textual though, that I know of (Error here - I found it in The Two Towers); just a personal image. Mornie Alantie's assertion is right - it's important to note that Tolkien didn't make the term 'goblin' obsolete after writing <u>The Hobbit</u>.

[ June 20, 2002: Message edited by: Legalos ]
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Old 06-18-2002, 09:09 PM   #10
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i always understood that goblin was a term commonly used by hobbits and orc was used in "the wide world"...
but dont yell at me if i'm wrong!
[img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 06-18-2002, 11:49 PM   #11
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It seems, Mornie, that there is indeed a difference between orcs and goblins, and that Imperica's impression of the differences were quite well-founded. In TTT, Ch. The Uruk-Hai, I found this:

Quote:
In the twilight he [Pippin] saw a large black Orc, probably Ugluk, standing facing Grishnak, a short, crook-legged creature, very broad and with long arms that hung almost the ground. Round them were many smaller goblins. Pippin supposed that these were from the North.
In fact, it was these Northern goblins that cause the Uruk-hais so much trouble throughout the chapter because the Uruk-hais are not bothered by the light, but the goblins are. There are many examples of their incompatibilities, both physical and constitutional (meaning how much they can stand, not their Bill of Rights [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] ). There was even something of a mutiny because of their differences:

Quote:
There was some cursing and scuffling, and then most of the Northerners broke away and dashed off...The hobbits were left with the Isengarders...A few of the larger and bolder Northerners remained with them.
[ June 19, 2002: Message edited by: The Silver-shod Muse ]
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Old 06-19-2002, 07:54 AM   #12
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Aren't there also two races of orcs, fighters and scouts? (Frodo and Sam watch them fight in Mordor.)
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Old 06-19-2002, 11:47 AM   #13
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There are many different types of Orcs. Some were taller than men and others as small as Hobbits. So either way Goblin could be used generically or for one thing. Although it says in the battle of Five armies that all the Misty Mountains was nearly emtied of Goblins.(generically) but In moria, part of the misty mountains they are actually refeared to as both. Legolas I think says Goblins in the books so maybe It is an elvish thing [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] to call them goblins
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Old 06-19-2002, 12:20 PM   #14
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<font=#3333FF">In the hobbit at the end of Riddles in the Dark he call the big goblins "orcs of the mountains" if that helps.</font="#3333FF">

[ June 19, 2002: Message edited by: shadow_knight ]
 
Old 06-19-2002, 12:43 PM   #15
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Thanks a million, shadow_knight.

I couldn't find the quote!
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Old 06-19-2002, 03:02 PM   #16
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doesn't he also say orcs are bigger?
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Old 06-20-2002, 09:38 PM   #17
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When I read the Hobbit and LoTR I viewed goblins and orcs as two different species. Almost like cousins in a way. I pictured goblins as smaller, long lanky arms, a bit slimy and with larger eyes. They were found in Moria and other dark places. While I pictured orcs as larger, about the size of a human. They were broad shouldered, darker skinned, and were a lot fiercer than goblins. The Uruk-hai were even larger and more fearsome than reagular goblins and orcs.
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Old 06-21-2002, 02:40 AM   #18
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"Orc" is used once in The Hobbit. It says that even the great Orcs of the mountains can go through the small passages. [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]
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Old 06-21-2002, 11:13 AM   #19
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in a 1954 letter to Naomi Mitchison TOlkien seems to make clear that "goblin" and "orc" are actually different translations of the same term. Tolkien in that letter describes where the term "goblin" is derived and in a later writting(published in The War of the Jewels(HoME XI) Tolkien makes clear that "orc(being derived from the Old English for: "Demon, Boegy"" is not only used due to "phonetic suitibility" but also due to certain, more or less, parallel definitions to primitive elvish. Tolkien says that for him "orc" and the "elvish" forms: uruk, orch, etc. do not hold any real relationship(ie the similarities in word form are only conincidences). Here is an excerpt from that letter:

Letter 144:
Quote:
Orcs (the word is as far as I am concerned actually derived from Old English orc 'demon', but only because of its phonetic suitability) are nowhere clearly stated to be of any particular origin...They are not based on direct experience of mine; but owe, I suppose, a good deal to the goblin tradition (goblin is used as a translation in The Hobbit, where orc only occurs once, I think)...
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Old 06-21-2002, 10:06 PM   #20
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I always had a kind of thesis for this (is that the right word?) I know that orcs are the elves that were tortured and twisted until they were evil by Sauron long ago. I always thought that goblins were an off-shoot of the orc "family tree". Pippin refers to the northern ones as goblins and the Isengarders as orcs. Also the so-called goblins have very different physical features than orcs but are still similar in that they can't abide the sun (except for the Uruk-Hai). That's why i think that they're like cousins as someone else said
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Old 06-22-2002, 11:53 AM   #21
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Kind of like hobbits and humans? that makes sense.
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Old 06-23-2002, 10:16 AM   #22
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Ok, as far as know, Goblins and Orcs are the exact same thing. As has been mentioned before,the foreword of the Hobbit states, "[The word 'Orc'] occurs in one or two places but is usually translated goblin." Uruk-hai on the other hand are a bit different. Firstly, there are two types of Uruk-hai. The ones that Sauron made and the ones that Saruman made. Sauron, using the magic that the maiar of Aule can perform, took larger, smarter, stronger orcs from the reglar orcs and bred them (or transfromed them directly, I'm not really sure).
Saruman had captured Dunlendings and crossed them with regular orcs. (In the movie, Gandalf said, "He has crossed Orcs and Goblin-men" This was probably a mistake because Goblin-men are Saruman's Uruk-hai. . .did you undersatnd that? It sound confusing to me).
 
Old 07-31-2002, 11:26 AM   #23
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They are the same. In a letter at the start of the Silmarilion, Tolkien says '... orcs (goblins)...' thus implying that they are indead the same.
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Old 07-31-2002, 12:38 PM   #24
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In the movie when referring to goblin-men it was meant that some of the Dunlendings had goblin blood (like the princes of Dol Amroth having elven blood)these (e.g the squint eyed southerner at Bree) were outcasts from Dunland that Saruman captured (or possibly hired) and bred with orcs to create the Uruk-Hai.
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Old 07-31-2002, 03:14 PM   #25
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No no no no no. The Goblins and the orcs were the same things, though Orcs, while literally meaning the same as Goblins, were usually used more for Uruks, being the Orcish word for Fighters. There were Uruks and Slaves. The word Goblin, by process of elimnation, was more often used for the smaller, less powerful 'slaves'.

The Uruk-hai were not bred from Men, but were created by Sauron (not Saruman as in the movie). They were fearsome, mighty fighters, able to match a man one on one and win, and even able to take a fair swipe at Elves. They were also smarter than the Orcs, which was not shown in the movie. The Half-Orcs were rarely described in the LoTRs, but they were bred to be fast and easily deployable, but being both of the war like race of the Dunlending and the horrible race of the Orcs they could hold their own in battle.

Also Orc is the High-Elven (Quenya) word, derived from the Noble-Elven (Sinder) Yrch, which is in turn derived from the Orcword Urk, and Golbin is the Mannish word (hence the Hobbits using it more). Also a Uruk-hai (High Orc or High Fighter) is a Hobgoblin. Does anyone know if Hob means High or something like that?

Hope this is useful, if i have made any mistakes please tell me cause it means by perception of ME is wrong.
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Old 07-31-2002, 10:56 PM   #26
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Uruk does not mean 'fighter', but is actually drawn from Elvish roots meaning things like 'horrible' or 'bad'. 'Uruk' is an Elven word that was borrowed into the Black Speech.
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Old 08-01-2002, 08:55 AM   #27
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I am torn here. In the Tolkien Bestiary by David Day it says that the word Yrch was made in imitation of the Orcish word Uruk. I have checked the Sil(quickly)and i cant find a reference to it, but i seem to remember reading somewhere that Uruk was derived from Yrch as Tar Elenion said. Someone help...

P.S. It was not the Black Speech, as that was invented by Sauron much later. It was just common Orcish.
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Old 08-01-2002, 07:00 PM   #28
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Do not trust David Day. He presents opinions as facts and sometimes just plain makes things up.

JRRT wrote:
" For these shapes and the terror that they inspired the element chiefly used in the ancient tongue of the Elves appears to have been *RUKU. In all the Eldarin tongues (and, it is said, in the Avarin also) there are many derivatives of this stem, having such ancient forms as: ruk-, rauk-, uruk-, urk(u), runk-, rukut/s, besides the strengthened stem gruk-, and the elaborated guruk-, nguruk. (Note 27, p. 415) Already in PQ that word must have been formed which had in CE the form *rauku or *rauko. This was applied to the larger and more terrible of the enemy shapes. But ancient were also the forms uruk, urku/o, and the adjectival urka 'horrible'."

"The form in Adunaic urku, urkhu may be direct from Quenya or Sindarin; and this form underlies the words for Orc in the languages of Men of the North-West in the Second and Third Ages. The Orcs themselves adopted it, for the fact that it referred to terror and detestation delighted them. The word uruk that occurs in the Black Speech, devised (it is said) by Sauron to serve as a lingua franca for his subjects, was probably borrowed by him from the Elvish tongues of earlier times."

Quoted from 'Quendi and Eldar', in in 'War of the Jewels'.

Uruk-hai most likely means something like 'Orc-folk' ('hai' likely indicating a 'plural' form).

[ August 01, 2002: Message edited by: Tar Elenion ]

[ August 01, 2002: Message edited by: Tar Elenion ]
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Old 08-02-2002, 11:16 AM   #29
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I always assumed that goblins were those of the mountains, that were once orcs but somewhat adapted to the dark places of the world, like fish who live in caves have no eyes or pigment because there is no need for it, While they acquire other better senses for living in the dark. So naturally goblins wouldnt like the light. While orcs were those of mordor your average orcs who still didnt like the light but could bare it.(The Reason they didnt like light was because where they are from is mordor and there is a constant shadow above) and uruk-hai were specially crafted, to be the killers of men, to withstand sunlight, and not be so...er...run-of-the-mill as orcs were, kind of like special genetic engineered orcs if you would. But those are just my thoughts.
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Old 08-02-2002, 12:32 PM   #30
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Er Galmore I think you mean that Uruks were created by Sauron (It says this in ROTK) to be better warriors than normal orcs. Uruk Hai were created by Saruman (it says so in TTT) I think the three hunters once said that they thought Sauron must have created the Uruk Hai and this is where you got your info from.
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Old 08-02-2002, 03:11 PM   #31
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I must be very mistaken, for I always thought that Saruman created the Uruk-hai by crossing Goblins and orcs - and that is mentioned in the film. Now using my scientific knowledge I can reasonably assume that there must be some genetic link between the two inorder that the cross be sucessful, but was the link as weak as that between a donkey and a horse, in which case a cross would produce infertile offspring, or was the link as strong as that between different types of dog, in which case a cross would have resulted in fertile offspring. If the offspring were fertile we can assume that goblins are merely an offshoot of the orc family tree (as has been said before) that have evolved a little differently, but if this was not the case and the offspring were infertile, then the two races must be separate and even prehaps at different evolutional levels.

Ok, my two cents worth there, sorry to have bored you.
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Old 08-02-2002, 03:28 PM   #32
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Uruks and Uruk-Hai are two very different things. An Uruk is ANY orc, where as the Uruk-Hai were a specifically bred race fed on the flesh of men by Sauron to be extra strong and fast. Sorry to say this again, but generally GOBLINS AND ORCS are the same thing. See my post above for general differences, but genetically they were probabily identicle. Please do not take anything in the film for granted, as, though it is highly entertaining, a lot of it is highly venerable bovine excrement.
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Old 08-03-2002, 12:55 AM   #33
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'Uruks' and 'Uruk-hai' are not two very different things (at least as the terms are used in the later part of the Third Age).
The word 'uruk' at that time refers to the great soldier-orcs of Mordor and Isengard. 'Uruks' is merely an anglicized plural. 'Uruk-hai' would seem to be the group plural most likely meaning something to the effect of 'Orc-folk'.

And yes both Sauron and Saruman had Uruk-hai.
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Old 08-03-2002, 03:17 PM   #34
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I remember seeing essay on this somewhere. They said that there was a reference to a creature like the Orc in a Norse saga. Tolkien's work has been heavily influenced by such mythology and it wouldn't be implausible I guess?
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Old 08-03-2002, 04:32 PM   #35
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Dear Straight A Student,

1) You should never cite the film when trying to explain a point in Tolkien's works.

2) Goblins are orcs.

3) If you must refer to rules 1 and 2, scientific knowledge should be considered later, preferably after a satisfactory grasp of reading is attained. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

Lovingly,

Principal Bob

[ August 03, 2002: Message edited by: Legalos ]
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