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Old 10-10-2003, 04:21 PM   #1
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Tolkien Warg Riders

Dear, freinds of the downs
Suilaid friends of the downs, I must know, where did the Warg Riders come from? Who were the monsters that rode them? Were they Urkhais, goblins, orcs, or were they a different bread of beasts.
From Ugluk-120,
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p.s if anyone can help me learn elvish
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Old 10-10-2003, 04:47 PM   #2
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Warg riders are simply Orks that ride Wargs (evil wolves).

Orks are the same as goblins, byt eh way, and Ukruk-hai are Orks bred with humans *shudders*
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Old 10-10-2003, 06:29 PM   #3
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Uruk-hai are not orcs bred with humans. That is a misconception brought about by the movie. In fact, in the books, there is no mention of these 'Warg Riders'. Wargs are simply large wolves, and anyone who rode them would be some sort of orc, Uruk or evil man.

[ October 11, 2003: Message edited by: Legolas ]
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Old 10-10-2003, 07:27 PM   #4
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Tolkien

Dear Lord of Angmar,
I am sorry if I was miss under stood, but i was not refering to the books or the movie. What i was reffering to was my tolkien Bestiary, I am sorry, But you did answer my qestion. Than you very much, yu've proved that you know much of tolkien

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Old 10-10-2003, 10:37 PM   #5
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Isn't it mentioned in The Hobbit that the goblins and the Wargs have an alliance, and that they sometimes ride the wolves? I haven't read that quite as often as LOTR and my books are currently inaccessible, but I'm sure somebody will double-check this.
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Old 10-10-2003, 10:46 PM   #6
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No need to apologize. Also, forum members should leave the moderating to the moderators.

There were indeed Warg riders in Tolkien's work. About Wargs, in The Hobbit:

Quote:
But even the wild Wargs (for so the evil wolves over the Edge of the Wild were named)
The next paragraph notes the existence of Warg riders:

Quote:
I will tell you what Gandalf heard, though Bilbo did not understand it. The Wargs and the goblins often helped one another in wicked deeds. Goblins do not usually venture very far from their mountains, unless they are driven out and are looking for new homes, or are marching to war (which I am glad to say has not happened for a long while). But in those days they sometimes used to go on raids, especially to get food or slaves to work for them. Then they often got the Wargs to help and shared the plunder with them. Sometimes they rode on wolves like men do on horses.
'The Clouds Burst':

Quote:
The Goblins are upon you! Bolg of the North is coming. O Dain! whose father you slew in Moria. Behold! the bats are above his army like a sea of locusts. They ride upon wolves and Wargs are in their train!
They are never specifically called "Warg riders" but that's obviously what they are. There's a good chance that we wouldn't hear the term even if it was used regularly because of the point of view the stories are written in. We never see anything behind the scenes with the wargs/orcs.

[edit] we couldn't expect Saruman to say "Send out your orcs that are riding on the backs of Wargs." Just doesn't flow.

Overlooked quote below.

[ October 11, 2003: Message edited by: Legolas ]
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Old 10-10-2003, 10:58 PM   #7
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cf. LR III, 9: "He emptied Isengard. I saw the enemy go: endless lines of marching Orcs; and troops of them mounted on great wolves."
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Old 10-11-2003, 02:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Uruk-hai are not orcs bred with humans. That is a misconception brought about by the movie.
Sorry to gang up on you, Witch-King, but I'm afraid that isn't correct either. =) It is not known what stock they were bred from, but there is certainly a suggestion somewhere (couldn't find the quote) that this might in fact be their origin.

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I am sorry if I was miss under stood, but i was not refering to the books or the movie. What i was reffering to was my tolkien Bestiary.
I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean.
'The books' are not grouped with the movies; they are Tolkien, and this forum is about that. But I would appreciate it if you could explain what you are trying to achieve here, and what in fact you are doing.
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Old 10-11-2003, 03:16 AM   #9
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Ugluk is referring to the Tolkien Bestiary, by David Day. That is an interesting reference book, but it is important to realize that Day's books are not always entirely true to Tolkien's works. For more information and opinions, check out the thread David Day: Literary Burglar?.

I also used the search function to find more entries on David Day, and found this quote by one of the Downs' resident experts, Aiwendil:
Quote:
My advice is to stay away from David Day. I have his Illustrated Encyclopedia and, though some of the artwork is nice, the actual entries ranges from slightly misleading to blatantly inaccurate.
For more, see the thread Legendarium/David Day books.

[ October 11, 2003: Message edited by: Estelyn Telcontar ]
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Old 10-11-2003, 07:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
there is certainly a suggestion somewhere (couldn't find the quote) that this might in fact be their origin.
Perhaps you mean Treebeard's comments about Saruman:

Quote:
He has taken up with foul folk, with the Orcs. Brm, hoom! Worse than that, he has been doing something to them; something dangerous. For these Isengarders are more like wicked Men. It is a mark of evil things that came in the Great Darkness that they cannot abide the Sun; but Saruman's Orcs can endure it, even if they hate it. I wonder what he has done? Are they Men he has ruined, or has he blended the races of Orcs and Men? That would be a black evil!
Or perhaps Gamling's comment to Aragorn at the Hornburg: "But these creatures of Isengard, these half-orcs and goblin-men that the foul craft of Saruman has bred, they will not quail at the sun".
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Old 10-11-2003, 10:04 AM   #11
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And Tolkien's comments (in HoMe X) that yes, they ARE half-men, half-Orks (which seemed evident anyway)... [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]

I suppsoe men could ride Wargs, but there's never been any examples; only examples of Orks riding them. A Warg may well have consented for an evil man to team up and ride on it, but if any man tried to "tame" a Warg they would've eaten him. [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]
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Old 10-12-2003, 01:07 AM   #12
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That'd be it, Squatter.
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Old 10-12-2003, 10:17 AM   #13
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I disagree that the idea that the uruk-hai are orcs crossed with men is a creation of the films. In the book there is speculation that Saruman had crossed orcs and men, allowing the uruks to travel under the sun etc. 'That would be a black evil!'
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Old 10-12-2003, 12:34 PM   #14
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The Uruk-hai were originally bred by Sauron, and by Sauron alone. They were a much larger, stronger breed of Orc out of Mordor, and were most often referred to as "the uruks of Mordor" or the "black uruks of Mordor."
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Old 10-12-2003, 01:37 PM   #15
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I don't have my books with me so I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that the Uruk-Hai were bred by Saruman, not Sauron. The orcs were created by Sauron, but the only place I've seen mention of the Uruk-Hai is in relation to Saruman. And I'm pretty sure there is very strong hinting in the books about the Uruk-Hai being a crossbread of Humans and Orcs because I had thought that before the movies came out.
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Old 10-12-2003, 04:03 PM   #16
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Sting

We've established that. There are three references above.
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Old 10-12-2003, 07:11 PM   #17
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Saruman's army did feature Wolfriders. In UT, in The Battles of the Fords of Isen, it is said of the army that attacked Theodred's forces:

Quote:
In its van were some Dunlending horsemen and a great pack of the dreadful Orcish wolfriders, feared by horses.
and

Quote:
But before them, swift and silent, went several troops of the dreaded wolfriders.
The wolves here are not referred to as Wargs. But given that we are told in LotR (A Journey in the Dark) that the wolves which attack the Fellowship in Eriador are Wargs which have "come west of the Mountains", it is not unreasonable to assume that Saruman's wolfriders were in fact Warg-riders. (In that sense, the Warg-rider scene in the film did have a grounding in the books, even if the "Wargs" looked more like hyenas than wolves [img]smilies/mad.gif[/img] ).

I doubt, however, that the wolfriders referred to in UT were Uruks, as the Uruk-Hai in Saruman's army are distinguished from run-of-the-mill Orcs and the wolfriders are simply described as being Orcish.
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Old 10-12-2003, 11:21 PM   #18
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The quote I gave above seems to imply that it was indeed Uruks riding the wolves, since Merry at any rate does not distinguish between them and other orcs.
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Old 10-13-2003, 08:40 PM   #19
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Uruk Hai refered to th egreat orcs (out of Mordor or Isengard) who were larger than the other orcs, and the small orcs called snaga (slave) by the great orcs at the time of the war of the ring. The Uruk Hai (high orcs in the black tongue) were larger, stronger, more grotesque and more violent htan the snaga under them. These were raised by both Sauron and Sarumon, however, the orcs exclusive to Sarumon were the uruk-hai out of Isengarde who could endure the light of day and were a stronger, nore volitile breed than the normal orcs. The lesser orcs were mostly from the mountains in their caves and mines, and the other great orcs were from Mordor, however slightly less than the Isengard-Orcs, they were strong and fell. (my main source for this is UT, but my copy is at home while I kick it here in college, so a quote by one of my fellow dead men (Legolas or Gwaihir will have one I'm sure) would greatly clarify the issue)
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Old 10-14-2003, 08:03 AM   #20
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It's not like the issue isn't already clear. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 10-14-2003, 09:52 AM   #21
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true. Also, I believe Legolas and Gwaihir are far beyond your *fellow dead* people. [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]
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Old 10-14-2003, 09:54 AM   #22
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Well actually, Uruk-ahi were only from Isengard, ebing half-Orks; Uruks of Morodr were 100% Ork, but bigger, meaner, strnger etc than the snaga - but the Uruk-hai of Isengard were better than even them. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 10-14-2003, 10:01 AM   #23
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There is a certain logic in the idea that smaller Orcs rather than Uruks rode the Wargs. Although large, the wolves were, I think, nowhere close to horse-sized as portrayed in the movie. Gandalf's comments in II.4 ("These were no ordinary wolves hunting for food in the wilderness.") suggests that Wargs were at least close to normal wolf size.

If Sam and Frodo could be mistaken for Orcs in Mordor (VI.2), then the size of the average snaga must be rather on the runtish side. These smaller types would seem to make more accurate riders for wolves that were large but not gigantic.
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Old 10-14-2003, 10:53 AM   #24
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Well Sam did say he had to look well for a fit for hobbit-sized Ork gear, so we can assume most Orks were bigger than Hobbits; not man sized snaga thoguh; also, Orks slouch. A lot. [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]

Tolkien says that Wargs were feared by the Rohirrim's horses because they could get under the horses and slash their bellies open - so yes, the wolves couldn't be too large. Werewolves of the old 1st Age, maybe even the Wargs in Caradhras' foothills in FotR may have ben bigger; who knows?
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Old 10-14-2003, 12:36 PM   #25
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Quote:
The quote I gave above seems to imply that it was indeed Uruks riding the wolves, since Merry at any rate does not distinguish between them and other orcs.
The quote is inconclusive, particularly as Merry is likely to have limited knowledge of different Orcish strains. Also, from a distance, the different types are likely to have been indistinguishable save in size alone, and it would therefore have been natural simply to use the generic term to refer to all of them.

But, then again, the quotes that I gave from UT are inconclusive too.

My belief that the wolf-riders were not Uruk-Hai derives primarily from two points.

First, I agree with Mister U when he says:

Quote:
Although large, the wolves were, I think, nowhere close to horse-sized as portrayed in the movie.
It seems to me that Uruks, being man-sized (or perhaps bigger) would have been too large to ride Wargs comfortably.

Secondly, the Warg-riders that we meet in the Hobbit are Orcs of the Misty Mountains. We know that these cave-dwellers were small in stature, and we know that they did indeed ride Wargs. So, makes perfect sense to me that the Warg-riders employed by Saruman were Orcs from Moria, or possibly other cave settlements in the Misty Mountains - perhaps closer to Isengard, that he had pressed into his service, rather than being the Snaga of Mordor.

On a side note, I envisage Snaga as being smaller even than the Misty Mountain Orcs, so that two Hobbits suitably attired could quite easily be mistaken for them.
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Old 10-15-2003, 07:57 AM   #26
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Hmm...it'd make more sense if the moria ones were snaga, seeing as there are Uruks from Mordor there, why can't the others be snaga? Besides, if snaga were so small the size of hobbits would be no surprise to Ork-fighting everyones.
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Old 10-15-2003, 06:00 PM   #27
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The only time that we come across "Snaga" in LotR is in reference to the lesser Orcs (generally scouts and trackers) in the companies led by Shagrat and Ugluk (Mordor Orcs and Isengarders respectively).

But, on reflection, the Misty Mountain Goblins were probably thought of by the Uruk-Hai as Snaga (Snagas?). Snaga, meaning "Slave" was, according to Appendix F, a term used by larger breeds of Orc, especially the Uruk-Hai, to refer generally to lesser Goblins.
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