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Old 06-05-2003, 04:18 PM   #1
Hans Markus Rod
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Sting orcs compared to men

I have always had the impression that orcs were particulary small, and had less strenght and stamina compared to men.

To me it looks like the strenght of orcs was that they often outnumbered men, not in their stature and strenght. Tolkien has described as easy to kill, even in large numbers.

Looks like the only orc comparable to men in stature and strenght is the uruk-Hai, because they were a hybrid between men and orcs.

What are your sight at this. Did it take much for a great hero like Aragorn or Turin Turambar to kill an orc?

Do you think the common people of for instance Rohan/Gondor had trouble winning head to head combats with rocs?
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Old 06-05-2003, 05:47 PM   #2
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Hi Hans,

I think you're correct in saying that the vast majority of orcs were 'weaker' in combat than men (and considerably inferior to elves of course). It's noted that some few orc chieftains or Uruk-Hai are said to be 'nearly man-high' as an indication that these are the largest of their kind. It's implied that there were low-status orcs which were even less useful in combat, the Snagas.

Also Denethor questions the fate of Boromir, not expecting him to have been killed by mere orcs. However, Pippin has a good point when he says that any man may be killed by a single arrow (something that D+D-ers should note!). This indicates that the real danger was being heavily outnumbered by orcs. However, in the first age, the Green Elf Denethor was defeated by the orcs of Morgoth because his forces were un-armoured and ill-equipped for war whereas Morgoth equipped his troops with weapons of iron and steel.

Other points are that the orcs were afraid of sunlight, so less useful in open battle, but had good night vision so were dangerous after dark. Their 'home ground' would have been caverns and tunnels, which would have presented more of a challenge for the human warriors.

(as for rocs, well that's an entirely different kettle of fish)
[img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

[ June 05, 2003: Message edited by: Rumil ]
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Old 06-06-2003, 09:15 AM   #3
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"There's strenght in numbers". Let's look at it like this: Aragorn (or any other warrior) - grasshopper, orcs - ants. No questions about who wins...
Orcs without leaders are easy to kill, but orcs with a king like Sauron... They feared him more than death.
Does anyone else here find it completely disgusting that Uruk-hai are half men half orcs?
[img]smilies/eek.gif[/img]
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Old 06-06-2003, 09:27 AM   #4
Hans Markus Rod
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Sting

Quote:
(as for rocs, well that's an entirely different kettle of fish)
Excuse the spelling error, Orcs was what I intended to write, hehe. I was in a hurry when I wrote it.
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Old 06-06-2003, 09:44 AM   #5
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Everyone finds the half-man half-orc thing disgusting.

However, whether the Uruk-Hai were such a thing is not as universally agreed-upon. They could just be genetically engineered or the product of a selective breeding program that emphasizes traits normally found only in the stronger orc chieftains.
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Old 06-06-2003, 09:46 AM   #6
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Sting

Yeah, that's possible...
And the question was rhetorical [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 06-06-2003, 12:53 PM   #7
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If you flood the greatest warrior in the world with loads of enemies, then he will eventually go down, just by their weight alone. Look what happened to Hurin in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. He was a mighty warrior to be sure, but the bodies (or pieces of bodies) of his enemies eventually weighed him down so much that he couldn't fight, and was taken captive.
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Old 06-06-2003, 03:57 PM   #8
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Just a thought, if the Uruk-hai were half man half orc, wouldn't they have atleast half of man's strength??
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Old 06-06-2003, 04:35 PM   #9
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Sting

I've always had the impression that teh Uruk-Hai were half-Goblin half-Orc. I've read the Hobbit and the LotR trilogy, but, in the FotR movie, Gandalf is talking to Elrond and says this:

Elrond: And Saruman you tell me has betrayed us; our list of allies grows thin.

Gandalf: His treachery runs deeper than you know. Saruman is breeding Orc with Goblin men.


Now, that makes the impression that the Uruk Hai were Goblin and Orc. I might be wrong, so, if I am, someone tell me please.
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Old 06-06-2003, 04:55 PM   #10
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Silmaril

I was wrong [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img] i was just going by what Hans said "Looks like the only orc comparable to men in stature and strenght is the uruk-Hai, because they were a hybrid between men and orcs." But hey I'm new at this!
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Old 06-08-2003, 04:55 AM   #11
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The Uruk Hai cannot be half-Goblin and half-Orc because goblin and orc are the same [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] as Tolkien says:
Quote:
Orc is not an english word. It occurs in one or two places but it is usually translated goblin (or hobgoblin for the larger kinds)
Introduction - The Hobbit
You can find more information in this thread: http://forum.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin...c&f=1&t=000570


The Uruks or Uruk-hai are a kind of orcs that are stronger than standard orcs, the ones that in The Hobbit are called hobgoblins. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] Here are two threads dealing with this issue:
http://forum.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin...c&f=1&t=001087
http://forum.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin...c&f=1&t=000308
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Old 06-08-2003, 11:41 AM   #12
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Pipe

I always perferred to look at as the evolution of evil.

EVOLUTION CHART:

goblin---orc---URUK_HAI

They grew in stature and strength therefore I belive that had there been more uruk-hai they would have survived longer than orcs or goblins after the destuction of Mordor. Not saying I agree with Darwin But natural or unnatural selection seems to have played out here.

[ June 08, 2003: Message edited by: mordor136 ]
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Old 06-08-2003, 01:03 PM   #13
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Sting

Quote:
I always perferred to look at as the evolution of evil.
EVOLUTION CHART:

goblin---orc---URUK_HAI
Yes that is what usually think of aswell. I also thought that orcs were considerably weaker than men because the men simply have alot more training than they do. Whereas orcs are just given a sword and thrown into battle, men spend alot more time training.
I could be wrong though.
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Old 06-08-2003, 01:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Whereas orcs are just given a sword and thrown into battle
thats a very cool way to think about it. It reminds me of ants you have soldiers and then you have workers they are born into thier roles without a choice.Therefore orcs have to fight no matter what. Whereas men choose to fight for what they belive in with motivation. Orcs usually hate their masters as we were shown when frodo and sam overheard the orcs that were tracking thems conversation. I guess all it boils down to is orcs have no motivation other than hate, fear, or revenge.

[ June 08, 2003: Message edited by: mordor136 ]

[ June 08, 2003: Message edited by: mordor136 ]
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Old 06-10-2003, 06:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
I guess all it boils down to is orcs have no motivation other than hate, fear, or revenge.
IMHO that's a motivation under ANY war. Even good guys fight when they HATE the current state of affairs, FEAR for the future (e.g. of their homeland and children) or REVENGE for some wrong done in the past. [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]
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Old 06-10-2003, 06:39 PM   #16
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Sting

I always thought that orcs were much weaker fighters than men. The only thing that they were really good for was making a large army that would place pressure on the other side.

Even though Gimli and Legolas were an Elf and a Dwarf, look at how many orcs they killed during the battle of Helm's Deep. Probably a man would be able to kill the same amount or even more.
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Old 06-11-2003, 10:59 AM   #17
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I also always thought that orcs were a good deal smaller and weaker than humans and usually had numbers on their side. However, they have other advantages too. In The Hobbit, Tolkien describes orcs as being extremely stealthy.He also says that although they weren't too intelligent, they were extremely cruel and cunning. I believe the quote said something about orcs creating many devices for killing large numbers of people. Perhaps this and their overwhelming numbers were their advantages in battle.

[ June 11, 2003: Message edited by: Dwalin ]
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Old 06-15-2003, 01:18 PM   #18
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Eye

Don't mean to be a nuisance or anything, but ehr, the Orcs where the same size as the humans. A bit taller actualy. The look small because they are low to the ground. They are always ducking, because they live in tunnels and stuff, but if an Orc would raize to his full size he would be a few inches bigger actualy.

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Old 06-15-2003, 03:24 PM   #19
Hans Markus Rod
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Sting

Quote:
Don't mean to be a nuisance or anything, but ehr, the Orcs where the same size as the humans. A bit taller actualy. The look small because they are low to the ground. They are always ducking, because they live in tunnels and stuff, but if an Orc would raize to his full size he would be a few inches bigger actualy.
I find that interesting. How do you know that? Do you have polite sources, or do you just assume it?
It could be possible because orcs were twisted elves, and elves usually were a bit higher than regular sized men.
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Old 06-16-2003, 06:21 AM   #20
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Eye

I have a book where there is a picture of the real hights. And the Orc's are bigger than humans. Underneeth it it says: This is the size if they reach out to their full length. PJ took this fact over clearly. It is also in his movie book. But I don't really use that one for sources, since few people see him as an expert on Tolkien.

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Old 06-17-2003, 06:26 AM   #21
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I have found a quote from the book.
Quote:
But even as they retreated [...] a huge(!) orcchieftain, almost man-high (!) clad in black mail from head to food[...]
That is the passage in Moria shortly before the Balrog is coming.
So, if the orc chieftain was huge and almost mansize, the orcs of Moria couldn't be that tall. But then, if their tribe is living in caves for centuries, it seems clear that, without any light, they don't get that tall.

[ June 17, 2003: Message edited by: Balin999 ]
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