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
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-18-2002, 04:03 PM   #1
Grendel
Pile O'Bones
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Brittany, France
Posts: 16
Grendel has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via ICQ to Grendel Send a message via AIM to Grendel
Thumbs up Are there female orcs, or are they simply androgynous?

When using the singular 3rd person pronoun, Tolkien always refers to any individual orcs appearing in the various tales as masculine, unless I am mistaken. There are references to orcs as ruined elves etc; and the half-orcs (ýruk hai)it is hinted, are blended humans and orcs, but that does not answer the question. What do you think?
Grendel is offline  
Old 05-18-2002, 05:15 PM   #2
Guo Si
Animated Skeleton
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: I wanna kiss you but your lips are venomous
Posts: 27
Guo Si has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to Guo Si
Sting

Well, the orcs reproduce, right? So we can safetly assume there are female orcs. However, I just don't think there were really any female orcs worth mentioning, or perhaps there were, but since the books are all biased against orcs, they don't mention them there.
__________________
Gimme a d00t!
Guo Si is offline  
Old 05-19-2002, 11:43 PM   #3
Gimli Son Of Gloin
Shade of Carn DŻm
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: The Halls of Montezuma, and the Shores of Tripoli
Posts: 495
Gimli Son Of Gloin has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Well I always use the pronoun 'he' when referring to both sexes, unless it is a rather dalicate subject that should be rereferred to using 'his or hers ect.'. It is the traditional way to use the pronoun 'he'. Read some of the Bible, you'll notice it a lot.

[ May 20, 2002: Message edited by: Gimli Son Of Gloin ]
__________________
The Few, the Proud, the Marines.
Gimli Son Of Gloin is offline  
Old 05-20-2002, 09:25 AM   #4
Grendel
Pile O'Bones
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Brittany, France
Posts: 16
Grendel has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via ICQ to Grendel Send a message via AIM to Grendel
Thumbs up

I don't think we can safely assume that there are female orcs, as you put it, because they reproduce. There are non-sexual modes of reproduction, e.g. viral reproduction or even vegetative reproduction in plants (and please don't say "but orcs arn't viruses or plants"!) In both these cases there is replication of parent structures without the mixing of separate parent DNA.
Orcs are described as "multiplying" at one point in LotR, but that still doesn't tell us much about how that reproduction takes place. I'm still not convinced that the orcish life cycle is the same as the human one. What I'm getting at is that perhaps there is some kind of in vitro creation by the servants of Sauron etc.
Grendel is offline  
Old 05-21-2002, 12:04 PM   #5
Grendel
Pile O'Bones
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Brittany, France
Posts: 16
Grendel has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via ICQ to Grendel Send a message via AIM to Grendel
Thumbs up

The reason I was wondering about this is that, as far as I can remember, gandalf associates the multiplication of orcs in the mountains with other portents of the rise of Sauron. If these two events are associated, there might be a causal relationship between them, i.e. Sauron is responsible for artificially raising the numbers of orcs. So orcs might have something of the Bladerunner replicant or Frankenstein's monster about them.
This would also explain how Saruman was able to work in his own race of orcs. he learned how by " studying the arts of the enemy".
The use of the 3rd, sing. masc. pronoun would then just be a case of "nearest to" personification, like the sun being "she" etc; without any implication of a gender opposite.
Incidentally, I agree about the books being biased against orcs.
Grendel is offline  
Old 05-21-2002, 04:12 PM   #6
Gimli Son Of Gloin
Shade of Carn DŻm
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: The Halls of Montezuma, and the Shores of Tripoli
Posts: 495
Gimli Son Of Gloin has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

But orcs are supposed to be evil creatures

BTW, in The Hobbit there are goblins, are those orcs?
__________________
The Few, the Proud, the Marines.
Gimli Son Of Gloin is offline  
Old 05-22-2002, 08:38 PM   #7
Ulairi
Pile O'Bones
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Minas Morgul
Posts: 22
Ulairi has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Tolkien always said that orcs "multiplied", that kind of gave them an even more filthy and uncivilized nature. They seemed to multiply almost like insects and a disease. It also never went into detail so they either just reproduced on their own or in the case of the Uruk-hai or the armies of Sauron, they were created by the evil magiks of Saruman or Sauron.
Ulairi is offline  
Old 05-25-2002, 07:58 AM   #8
Grendel
Pile O'Bones
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Brittany, France
Posts: 16
Grendel has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via ICQ to Grendel Send a message via AIM to Grendel
Thumbs up

I suppose that was more or less my question, Ulairi, i.e. how do orcs reproduce, by nature or artifice? Its true that its not conclusive either way. I just find the idea of artifice appealing as an explanation for the nature of orcs.
Gimli, its the books that refer to them as evil, and since we have only that information to go by, and since all of that information comes from the anti-orc side, we can say that the notion that orcs are inherently evil may not represent the full picture. So the data we have, and thus the books themselves, are biased, as it were, against orcs (perhaps justifiably, perhaps not!!).
As far as I can recall, the word orc is represented as being elvish in origin. It may come from the sound of disgust that the elves made in response to orcs: Haldor of Lothlorien refers to orcs as "yrrch" or something like that (I've lost my copy of LotR so referencing is difficult!).
Goblins are orcs and orcs are goblins, as far as I can make out. The words appear to be interchangeable. The word orc may actually be inspired by an Old English word in the poem Beowulf. "Orcneas" is glossed as 'evil spirits of the dead" and, interesting from the point of view of this topic, is further explained as originating from "the practice of necromancy, by which evil spirits were conjured by means of corpses back from the world of the dead".
Artifice and unnatural selection or what??
Grendel is offline  
Old 05-25-2002, 12:00 PM   #9
onewhitetree
Seeker of Syntax
 
onewhitetree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: The Scene of the Crime
Posts: 273
onewhitetree has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to onewhitetree
Sting

Here is another thread on female orcs; I hope it helps.
__________________
onewhitetree (also known as Kate)

Well, I'M BACK.
onewhitetree is offline  
Old 06-28-2002, 09:21 AM   #10
Calencoire
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Rivendell
Posts: 89
Calencoire has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to Calencoire
Silmaril

There must be some kind of breeding orcs, if they may be female. But if there were female orcs, you probaly can't really tell the difference between male and female.
__________________
*Where there is life, there is hope*
Calencoire is offline  
Old 06-28-2002, 09:55 AM   #11
NazgulNumber10
Wight
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: The Lonely Mountain
Posts: 116
NazgulNumber10 has just left Hobbiton.
The Eye

well if it helps there are female orcs in morrowind (a great game btw). ok, so it dosen't help. whatever.
[img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]

[ June 28, 2002: Message edited by: NazgulNumber10 ]
NazgulNumber10 is offline  
Old 06-28-2002, 11:10 AM   #12
The Barrow-Wight
Night In Wight Satin
 
The Barrow-Wight's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 4,047
The Barrow-Wight is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Sting

Just thought a 'correction' was in order for the original question. I think it was supposed to have asked: "Are there female orcs, or are they simply hermaphroditic?"
__________________
The Barrow-Wight
The Barrow-Wight is offline  
Old 06-29-2002, 05:01 AM   #13
Beleglas
Pile O'Bones
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 20
Beleglas has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

But how can normal Elves change into hermaphroditic Orcs?
Beleglas is offline  
Old 06-29-2002, 12:52 PM   #14
Aule
Wight
 
Aule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Hammering away in Valinor
Posts: 126
Aule has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

In the silmarillion it says that orcs reproduce like the children of illuvater suggesting to me that there are Males and Females
__________________
For him that is pitiless, the deeds of pity are ever strange and beyond reckoning - of Melkor before his final downfall
Aule is offline  
Old 06-29-2002, 05:45 PM   #15
Caradhras
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: the moon
Posts: 55
Caradhras has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via ICQ to Caradhras Send a message via AIM to Caradhras
Silmaril

well I would figure that there might be female orcs but in the movie it didn't look like it at all, they all looked male [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img] though that is something to think about , I don't think that orcs do reproduce! i don't know oh well ... Laters~! [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
__________________
There is only one true reason for living...
ME!!!!!!!!!

http://www.uniquehardware.co.uk/serv...tz/grommit.gif http://216.40.201.38/otn/animals/bl_paw.gif
Caradhras is offline  
Old 06-29-2002, 06:18 PM   #16
Logan Evans
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Boots

Hey Caradhras! In the books, tolkien never really said whether the orcs were male or female. I do recall Gandalf talking about them being bred though for an army. Keep in mind, they are elves that were mutated into the service of the dark lord! [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
 
Old 06-30-2002, 04:27 PM   #17
Aule
Wight
 
Aule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Hammering away in Valinor
Posts: 126
Aule has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

I don't think that Tolkien ever said that Orcs were ruined Elves, he just wrote that that was what the elves believed
__________________
For him that is pitiless, the deeds of pity are ever strange and beyond reckoning - of Melkor before his final downfall
Aule is offline  
Old 06-30-2002, 07:47 PM   #18
Feanaro
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Formenos
Posts: 55
Feanaro has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to Feanaro
Silmaril

Quote:
"But of those unhappy ones who were ensnared by Melkor little is known of a certainty. For who among the living has descended into the pits of Utumno, or has explored the darkness of the counsels of Melkor? Yet it is held true by the wise of Eressea, that all those of the Quendi who came into the hands of Melkor, ere Utumno was broken, were put there into prison, and by slow arts of cruelty were corrupted and enslaved; and thus did Melkor breed the hideous race of Orcs in envy and mockery of the Elves, of whom they were afterwards the bitterest foes. For the Orcs had life and multiplied after the manner of the Children of Iluvatar; and naught that had life of its own, nor the semblence of life, could ever Melkor make since his rebellion in the Ainulindale before the Beginning: so say the wise." -The Silmarillion, Of the Coming of the Elves
Sorry about the long quote, but there it is, plain as day. If only the interpretation could be read so easily. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] I would have to say that there are female orcs, using this passage as foundation for my argument. Orcs did after all, reproduce in the manner of Humans and Elves, so I would believe it is safe to assume that there are female orcs. If I remember correctly, there was a similar tread like this awhile back, where someone said that the female orcs might've been holed away to be used specifically for breeding purposes. I'll try and dig it up if I can, but there's my opinion on orcish genders.
__________________
'See half-brother! This is sharper than thy tongue. Try but once more to usurp my place and the love of my father, and maybe it will rid the Noldor of one who seeks to be the master of thralls.' -Feanor, threatening Fingolfin with his sword. ~Moderator of the Mordor RPG.~
Feanaro is offline  
Old 07-01-2002, 07:41 AM   #19
Niphredil Baggins
Wight
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Finland
Posts: 118
Niphredil Baggins has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

I don't care. If it's an orc, shoot it. All dead orcs smell the same.
__________________
Wistful, willful, wingless, fly!
Niphredil Baggins is offline  
Old 07-01-2002, 12:39 PM   #20
Grendel
Pile O'Bones
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Brittany, France
Posts: 16
Grendel has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via ICQ to Grendel Send a message via AIM to Grendel
Sting

No, Barrow Wight, androgynous was the intended word. Check out the Oxford dictionary - androgynous can mean both hermaphroditic (i.e. both male and female) as well as, more broadly "of indeterminate sex'. The word androgynous contains more possibilities than the word hermaphroditic, and was thus more useful for the argument I presented. Actually, the term a-sexual might be a better option.
Grendel is offline  
Old 07-01-2002, 12:44 PM   #21
Grendel
Pile O'Bones
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Brittany, France
Posts: 16
Grendel has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via ICQ to Grendel Send a message via AIM to Grendel
1420!

As for the stuff on the Silmarilion info, thats what I was fishing for, hoping it wasn't there! Well done, there goes my theory. Pity, I liked it.... Have a pint..
Grendel is offline  
Old 07-01-2002, 01:53 PM   #22
Elfa Arwena
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Iím agree with Aule and Feanaro regarding to the Silmarillionís appointment; Itís said that the Orcs can to breed at the same that the Sons of Iluvatar. I think that it give a clear trail.
Moreover, in the Hobbit, there are a reference to the Orc children. Consequently, if they breeded at the same that the humans and the Orc children existed, they would have female-Orcs.(Even if, surely, they was ugly as the Orcs and wasnít impossible to differ)
Farewell

Elfa Arwena
 
Old 07-01-2002, 03:15 PM   #23
zaximus
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Silmaril

I remember in the Silmarillion how it said that when Morgoth ruined the elves into Orcs, He could not, of his own power, give them life in the same way that Eru did. So his creation were only mockeries of Elves, not a new race. So that suggests that, disgusting as it may be, they reproduced naturally.
 
Old 09-12-2002, 10:56 AM   #24
pippin_took0
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middle Earth
Posts: 82
pippin_took0 has just left Hobbiton.
Silmaril

I think there are feamle orcs, but maybe it's like in a beehive - there is only one female who produces all the offspring.
Just another idea [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
pippin_took0 is offline  
Old 09-12-2002, 02:31 PM   #25
Aule
Wight
 
Aule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Hammering away in Valinor
Posts: 126
Aule has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

When Tolkien wrote that the wise amongst the elves held true that Orcs where corrupted elves, i think that he was saying that this was their best theory of how Orcs came into being but they could never know for sure as none of the Eldar had ever been to Untumno.
__________________
For him that is pitiless, the deeds of pity are ever strange and beyond reckoning - of Melkor before his final downfall
Aule is offline  
 

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 11:41 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.