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Old 09-27-2000, 09:49 AM   #1
HerenIstarion
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The topic started by Arathorn II reminded me of another interesting problem - what about orcs? some hints are there, that they were elves by origin, tortuted by Bauglir.

All the notes of JRRT himself differ in this case - what about orcs - do they have fa, or are even less developed than mere kelvar? All of those orcish leaders, having some tactical independence and criticising their lords (Shagrat, Gorbag, Grishnakh, Saruman's uruks) prove as it seems, that orcs must have some kind of free will. On the other hand, the whole mass of ordinary orcs have no will of their own at all, it seems. It's well understood why - Dark Lord needs no free subjects, but slaves. But if orcs had not far, it would be impossible for them to survive when their master were gone for a while (after losing his Ring), for they would be like leaderless ants. Yet we see them acting more or less without Sauron (not all the time, but when Sauron is actually gone). It would be great to hear what you have to say about this problem
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Old 09-27-2000, 01:41 PM   #2
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Re: Orcish Fear

Orcs as corrupted elves.
Problems here, not only from Tolkien's own conception (which changed later), but story internal also.
If Orcs are corrupted Elves, then upon death they would travel to the halls of Mandos. We now come upon the re-housing problem for those who realize the 'error' of their ways. The Hroa is in accord with the fea's rememberance of it. Anything else would be unnatural, so; same bodies upon re-housing. Some could argue that they were corruptions, but of the orcs born as orcs, what of them? They have no other rememberance, nor real choice in development. That's alot of fear to submit to Eru for re-birth in other bodies as children to escape this problem of natural affinity. This addresses only some of the problems associated with this idea.

Orcs as Beasts.
No problems of Fea and Hroa really. Nothing more than trained monkeys who mimic speech like parrots. Is this workable? To 'some' degree. Front-line troops, garrisons, etc are fine for this. Halls of Mandos are left out of the equation, so no need to delve into re-housing, re-birth, etc. Do orcs exhibit some degree of intelligence? Yes. Could 'trained monkeys' develop this intelligence after centuries? Possibly.

Orcs as Maiar.
No problems with Fea/Hroa situation. Could Maiar show the level of basic intelligence and speech that is evidenced in orcs? Really dumb Maiar I suppose.

Orcs as Men.
Still no real problems with fea/hroa situation as Men go elsewhere not known to elves. Intelligence levels would be comparable in the environment.

I believe this may be why Tolkien seems to have decided that there were various forms of orcs.
Maia forms as strong leaders.
Mannish/and possibly Elvish (although Tolkien doubts that elves were corrupted so) forms to control the numerous troops.
Beast forms to make up the bulk of the armies.

Since there are interbreedings between Orcs and men in LOTR (Saruman's troops etc) then orcs MUST have some compatability with men, which removes the idea of ALL orcs as beasts.

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Old 09-27-2000, 02:05 PM   #3
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Re: Orcish Fear

Excellent points about Hroa/Fea and interbreeding. I never thought of that. I recognize that JRRT grew to dislike corrupted elves as orcs, but men as orcs screws up the timeline (orcs appeared before men awoke in the Sil., which could have been changed if JRRT ever got around to it). Also there's the &quot;bad old times&quot; conversation between Gorbag and Shagrat which seems to refer to either the seige of Barad Dur or even of Angband. Different origins works though. The captain of the orcs during the First Age was supposed to be a Maia (Baldog I think his name was).

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Old 09-27-2000, 04:27 PM   #4
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Re: Orcish Far


I want to add some points that I missed in the first posting. For one, orcs - 'corrupted elves' must have been hating their Dark Lord for that corruption. Another point is that killing of such elf-orc must be considered not as murder of kelvar, but as release of fa out of deceased hroa. Further comments concern Saulotus reply.

I do agree about different breeds of orcs, and accept that maybe some of orcish hroar were inhabited by corrupted Maiar spirits (why not, if even some beasts were possesed? e.g. Draugluin and others). But I dont think men were used to produce orcs by Dark Lord himself . Saruman invented that first, I deem. As for Man-Orc compatability, tis clear, that not beast breed was used for those experiments, as Sarumans Uruks had stronger wills (and bodies, too) than northern race. On the other hand there is no proof that orcs used were of the human origin, cause elf-orcs must have been equally compatible genetically, since human and elven hroar were same (otherwise the birth of Dior Thingols Heir would be impossible)

It is important to remember also that houseless far were not brought, but summoned to Mandos, so it is possible that corrupted elforcish fea (if not repenting) wouldnt go there by its own will, but remain houseless in a form of some sort of ghost or wraith (remember Sharkus shadow going west at first? Of course, he was a maia, but bieng in a hroa for centuries he got some aspects of a Children kind of a creature)
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Old 09-27-2000, 05:11 PM   #5
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Re: Orcish Fear

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> it is possible that corrupted elforcish fea (if not repenting) wouldn't go there by it's own will, but remain houseless in a form of some sort of ghost or wraith<hr></blockquote>Perhaps this is where the wights of Tyrn Gorthad come from. On a side note, whenever I see &quot;fear&quot; in these threads I think of something being scared. &quot;Orcish fear? Of course Orcs get afraid, look at how that reacted to Biter and Beater.&quot; Silly me.

What's a burrahobbit got to do with my pocket, anyways?</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000062>burrahob bit</A> at: 9/27/00 7:21:41 pm
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Old 09-27-2000, 07:39 PM   #6
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Re: Orcish Far

No, wights of tyrn must have been cardolanian highmen
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Old 09-27-2000, 09:32 PM   #7
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Re: Orcish Fear

In the timeline established with the orc/beast/men thing, Men are stated as awaking SECOND of the Children, not third. This is important, as it is also confirmed in OF DWARVES AND MEN. Dwarves are stated as being seen as early as 1250 VY.

The elves marched from Cuivienen in great rains. Men awoke in the great rains on an island and did not leave it until the rains and flooding of the area subsided. This places the awakening of men around 1190 VY or thereabouts. This is enough time for Melkor to discover men, capture and corrupt to his service some (as evidenced in ATHRABETH) before his chaining. On the 144 year conversion that Tolkien develops; this amounts to something like nearly 300 years of worship under Melkor before the siege of Utumno begins.

Of what consequence these rains are to the biblical Noah story is unknown.

Men as orcs does not screw up the timeline except in the traditional SILMARILLION sense.

Elves as orc stock is ruled out with fair certainty by Tolkien finally at the end.

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Old 09-28-2000, 06:20 AM   #8
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Re: Orcish Fear

Ah! You're talking revisionist or updated Silmarillion. As published, elves wake first, dwarves wake second during Morgoth's captivity, and men wake last at the rising of the sun (ignoring round earth issues or mannish vs. elvish perspective). I always thought that a few hundred years was too little for man to wake, advance, learn languages and some semblance of culture/technology, and travel to Beleriand. Still doesn't explain the Shagrat/Gorbag dialogue though. I always thought that JRRT's desire to avoid corrupted elves as orcs would be one of those issues where what was published would override his desire to revise.

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Old 09-28-2000, 09:40 AM   #9
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Re: Orcish Fear

I'm taking the position of round earth which is verified from many sources, yes. But I am ALSO taking the intent and statement of Tolkien established in ANADUNE and carried forth in subsequent revisions (accompanied by letters of the time and afterward) that it was always round.

They go hand in hand.

If you choose to call that revisionist, then I stand with Tolkien in his 'revisionism' with pride.
Although it seems to me that in trying to piece information in, and disregarding text that doesn't fit the old models, the term revisionist is backflowing to the originator.

Examining an oft quoted text such as OF DWARVES AND MEN gives a perfect example.
They will cite information selectively from it, but hold the text as unacceptable because it damages too much of the old text.
Who's truly revising here really?

They are trying to window dress old text that in places has been abandoned or altered as shown clearly from the (to them) unacceptable sources they are pulling from. These are the creators of differing mythologies, not Tolkien.

By exemplication of comparison: they are trying to hold the text of HISTORY of LOTR as canon (RETURN OF THE SHADOW, TREASON OF ISENGARD, WAR OF THE RING, SAURON DEFEATED), while pulling information from the finished LOTR, and rejecting passages that contradict this 'established' canon.

As for what is published in LOTR concerning elvish orcs, the conclusions are stated as only assumptions by the elves.
Look again.

Concerning the 'Bad ol days', this could have valid applications several ways.
1 They were present. (Possible if the corruption of fea/hroa is strong enough to have been rendered unnatural and against Eru's law; see sorcerors, wizards, deadmen of dunharrow for other examples of extended time in Arda)

2 They were not present. (Also possible, as statements are made that are carry-overs or references to/from bygone eras. See 'those were they good ol days', 'in the days of yore', 'once upon a time' etc.)

This does not examine the possible applications from learned speech patterns (beasts), orcish mythology, possible references to a time of indirect control of a dark lord, or other scenarios.


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Old 09-28-2000, 05:25 PM   #10
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Re: Orcish Fear


I know Tolkien himself changed his opinion about orc origin putting in men, and there were some points of men serving Bauglir becoming like orcs after some generations. but I for myself want to keep Silmarillion point of view and add such not 'source backed' argument as special kind of hatred between orcs and elves.

It's my personal opinion, of course, but I deem one would hate his evil brother more than some distant evil stranger. Looking at elves, orcs were watching what they might have been if not Morgoth, so they hated elves more than other living creatures. On the other hand, for elves orcs were mirrors of their own dark sides, therefore more hateful. I am not rejecting nor beasts or men theories, but it seems to me greater part of the first orcs were made out of avari.
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Old 09-28-2000, 05:40 PM   #11
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Re: Orcish Fear


Returning to far. I will need a citation here:

Quote:
Aragorn holding an orc-knife:

'...it was an orc-weapon' he said, holding it gingerly, and looking with disgust at the carved handle; it had been shaped like a hideous head with squinting eyes and leering
Carved handle, mind you! No breed of mere kevlar were able to do anything like that (I suppose). It is an art, wich, probably, is a proof enough to make it clear that [at least some] orcs have far. Of course, that knife belonged to Grishnakh, not ordinary orc but one of the leaders, but never is mentioned, that weapon was made by his own hands. So, if ordinary orcs were able of performing works of art, it's impossible to say that the whole mass and bulk of the population were of the beast origin.
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Old 09-28-2000, 08:42 PM   #12
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Re: Orcish Fear

Saulotus - Don't take the term &quot;revisionist&quot; as having a negative connotation. The whole point here is to discuss areas where the Sil. could or should be &quot;revised&quot;. I raised the origin of orcs as an issue myself in an early thread in this section of the board. I did so recognizing that JRRT was inclined to change earlier conceptions of elves being corrupted into orcs per Morgoth's Ring. My personal preference, based upon a visceral feeling and not from any &quot;authority&quot;, is that Morgoth corrupted elves. The story &quot;feels&quot; right that way. Nonetheless, if JRRT decided otherwise, well, he created the Mythos.

But I think there's room for doubt on the issue. Another example is the Orcs recognizing Orcrist and Glamdring. Per JRRT, Sauron taught Orcs the Black Speech because the various tribes/races each had their own languages. Would they be literate and educated enough to: (1) read the inscriptions written in Quenya or Sindarin; and (2)recognize the names from events that occurred about 6000 years before? To me, thats stretching the capabilities of &quot;mannish&quot; orcs to maintain accurate oral traditions for that long. Its more likely that the blades were recognized because some of the orcs were there. A first hand account is far less likely to be corrupted than a story that's 200 generations old.

I do like your multi-origin theory because it could fit. That would explain why some masterless orcs wander aimlessly while others could coordinate an attack upon Isildur at the Gladden Fields without guidance from Sauron.

As for round earth, I've always said that I like it, but its hard to make everything fit. Hard, not impossible. The problem is we have to rewrite big chunks of the Sil. without knowing how JRRT would have done it. Even the story of Earendil could be worked out without severely straining the imagination. But its our imagination not JRRT's, so it wouldn't be canon. Its one thing to say JRRT wanted round Arda, that can't be disputed. Its another thing to predict how he would fill in the spaces.

HerenIstarion - The multi origin idea doesn't preclude some portion of the Orcs creating blades to be used by bestial orcs. Amother issue is that we don't know the make up of the party that seized Merry and Pippin. They may have been elite troops, made up entirely of elvish/mannish orcs, all having fear. Though the fear issue makes it hard to work out how some trolls have speech. I don't buy the idea that trolls are corrupted ents. Other than size there's no resemblance.

Your earlier point about the source of the hatred between orcs and elves makes some sense, and matches up with why I viscerally prefer the theory of orcs deriving from elves.

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Old 09-28-2000, 09:45 PM   #13
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Re: Orcish Fear

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> The problem is we have to rewrite big chunks of the Sil.<hr></blockquote>
Why?
<blockquote>Quote:<hr> if JRRT decided otherwise, well, he created the Mythos.<hr></blockquote>
A sensible attitude.
<blockquote>Quote:<hr> But I think there's room for doubt on the issue.<hr></blockquote>
Probably, especially since Tolkien worked on the problem for a long time and eventually came to the conslusions presented, but does it TRULY need an ABSOLUTE answer?
<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Its another thing to predict how he would fill in the spaces.<hr></blockquote>
Then don't fill them in, that's what imagination is for. The best one can hope for is to recognize what is canon and not (new text vs. old text) and mentally delete that which no longer is valid. If that leaves spaces, then so be it.


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Old 09-28-2000, 09:55 PM   #14
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Re: Orcish Fear

Yeah. But I hate to leave spaces in the fabric of something so many find enjoyable. OK, Earendil appeals to the Valar, Varda creates a new planet with Aule's help as a challenge to Morgoth. How does Earendil end up in the sky to fight Ancalagon? BTW just how big is Ancalagon if his fall destroys three mountains? Manyana, dude.

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Old 09-28-2000, 10:08 PM   #15
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Re: Orcish Fear

Ancalagon is a past form of the legend dude. You know this.
I assume you're trying to make a point here.

Let me try one...
Would you include Tevildo: prince of cats? Or Omar? Or Meleth? Or Nan the giant? Or any of the other instances of this type?

Why or why not? (As the case may be).

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Old 09-28-2000, 10:11 PM   #16
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Re: Orcish Far


Ancalagon had no need to be so big to destroy 3 mountains - this free fall adds you some weight, I deem
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Old 09-28-2000, 11:32 PM   #17
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Re: Orcish Fear

Ancalagon is gone.
It don't matter what Ancalagon's size is/was/or could be. He's toast.

The star of Earendil (Aurvendil's Toe legend tie in) is not the planet Venus, but the star Rigel, in the constellation of Orion.

The fact that everyone seems to mistake Earendil as the North Star (Venus) might have something to do with the Elves naming it Earendel/Earendil (considering the mannish mythology tale aspect that Tolkien is striving for), and allows for the Numenorean assumption that a 'father figure' is watching over them based on this presumption of Earendil the star is Earendil the Mariner due to similarity of nomenclature.

I think Tolkien would know the difference between the two, since he expressly states he does.

AFAIK Earendil the Mariner was last positively seen in the War of Wrath, with a POSSIBILITY of leading the way to Numenor in the early Second Age. After that; he's gone. From then on, we have the confusion and mannish mythology taking effect.

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Old 09-29-2000, 05:19 AM   #18
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Re: Orcish Fear

1. Why is Ancalagon gone? Are you referring to Andreth's Prophecy re: the Final Battle? Even that Prophecy wavers a bit as to details. Ancalagon was still around at least as late as 1951 in JRRT's rewrite of the Tale of Years (First Age). He's also referred to in LoTR.

2. Venus is not the north star. Why is Earendil's Star Rigel?

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Old 09-29-2000, 06:13 AM   #19
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Re: Orcish Fear

Looked it up. Rigel is in the constellation Orion, specifically, its Orion's foot (Orion=Menelmacar). Menelmacar predates Earendil. If I recall, Earendil was the morning star, which is Venus. JRRT may have rearranged some portion of this, but if so, I don't recall.

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Old 09-29-2000, 09:45 AM   #20
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Re: Orcish Fear

Ancalagon is gone. The prophecy of the Old Hope replaces the events you are thinking of. Ancalagon and Turin have no place in the reconstruction. I didn't say Ancalagon didn't exist, I said he's gone (in the respect he's being used for in the prophecy).

I'm aware of what Aurvandel's toe signifies. (Orion's foot.... toe)

My bad on North star. Don't know 'that' much on Astronomy. Did go look.
Ok, North star=Polaris.
Evening star=Venus
Tolkien was fully aware of Aurvandel's toe and it's significance and placement, yet the name of Venus in Elvish is Earendel/Earendil.
Taken from MORGOTH'S RING (star names)
Elemmire---Mercury
Earendil----Venus
Arda-------Earth
Karnil------Mars
Lumbar----Saturn
Alkarinque-Jupiter
Nenar-----Uranus
Luinil------Neptune

Note: Christopher mentions that Tolkien did not create names for the Evening Star or Pluto.
But the Evening Star is equivalent to Venus, and named as a planet in the same text.
This tells us that the name of Earendil the mariner is not associated with Venus, but that the name of the planet (Venus) is Earendel, and the two are very seperate.

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Old 10-04-2000, 09:31 AM   #21
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Re: Orcish Fear

To get back on topic, a post I just made under Books reminded me of something applicable to Saulotus' first post in the thread. S. points out that if orcs are corrupted elves, then, upon death (and lots of them died) they would return to Mandos (unless they reject the summons which is also a possibility) to think, repent, heal themselves, and ultimately rebuild their Hroar. Howver the body would still be that of an orc, its the only body they would recall. Excellent logic and application of theory to facts!

However, JRRT says that orcs are &quot;Morgoth's greatest Sins, abuses of his highest privilege, and would be creatures begotten of Sin, and naturally bad (I nearly wrote 'irredeemably bad'; but that would be going too far...&quot; Letters, #153. The idea that orcs could not be &quot;cured&quot; by a stay in Mandos runs contrary to JRRT's view that they, and indeed any evil entity are not &quot;irredeemable&quot;.

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Old 10-04-2000, 03:00 PM   #22
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Re: Orcish Fear

Maybe an orcish fea would rebuild its hroa in the form it was intended to be in, that of an elf. As part of the repenting and healing that you mentioned. Maybe a fea, being more than just a mind and memory, would know what is was supposed to be, even if the orc it came from had no idea.

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Old 10-04-2000, 03:31 PM   #23
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Re: Orcish Fear

Exactly, assuming that orcs are corrupted elves. However, Saulotus was correct in pointing out that JRRT's last conception of the origin of orcs was that they do not derive from elves. Thus they are men or beasts or both. This is at least inconsistent with implications made in LoTR and the published Sil. It would also not be consistent with his timeline. I feel that this is one of those issues where he would have looked at LoTR and his then unpublished work and either changed his mind or modified the idea to orcs being of various races and origins. Going in a circle here.

Anyway, if orcs could be redeemed in Mandos (and were elves) they could possibly have been reborn as they should have been rather than how they did appear.

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Old 10-08-2000, 11:27 AM   #24
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Re: Orcish Fear

Our discussion here has caused some inspiration and some of the points discussed in this thread have been exported to another board. The topic there is the age or longetivity of orcs. They have touched upon the Gorbag-Shagrat conversations and the recognition by the orcs of Glamdring and Orcrist as evidence of at least non-human longetivity. Since one good turn deserves another, I will import a point they made which we missed. The timeline contained in LoTR's appendix sets the interval between the Battle of Nanduhirion, when Azog fell, and the Battle of Five Armies, when Azog's son Bolg was slain, at 140 years, meaning that Bolg was at least 140 years oldwhen he died in battle (not of old age). Now the line of Elros and the Numenoreans had lives of thrice that of normal men due to special dipensation for deeds done in the First Age. Orcs cannot claim such a dispensation.

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Old 10-08-2000, 11:39 AM   #25
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Re: Orcish Fear

I read that yesterday. My first trip over and I see a reference to the Downs. Orcs can not claim such dispensation, but since they are currupted Elves...

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Old 10-08-2000, 08:47 PM   #26
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Re: Orcish Fear

...and elves are naturally long-lived...

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Old 10-08-2000, 11:02 PM   #27
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Re: Orcish Fear

Ok, back for a day.
I'll check out a couple of threads, then it's off to Carmel for the week.

No orc can claim such dispensation?

Orcs are elves?

How about mannish orcs after the awakening of Men?

Ever read ATHRABETH?
Ever read Andreths' account of the awakening of Men; and their fall?
Ever read about the legend of Men having far longer lifespans before Eru changed that?

Makes ya think eh?

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> ...and elves are naturally long-lived...<hr></blockquote>

And so were the first Men.



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Old 10-09-2000, 05:55 AM   #28
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Re: Orcish Fear

Welcome back. Enjoy yourself in Carmel.

Of course, well aware of Athrabeth and Morgoth's Ring. This thread has highlighted the fact that whatever JRRT's &quot;last&quot; or &quot;latest&quot; intention was with respect to the origin of orcs, LoTR and the Hobbit contain materials which are at least arguably inconsistent with the view that orcs are not corrupted elves. On the other side of the coin, the fea argument appears to support non-elven origins, but not necessarily convincingly so. I lean towards Saul's multi-origin theory at present, but have doubts that I will ever be completely convinced that no orcs descend from elves.

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Old 10-09-2000, 05:56 PM   #29
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Re: Orcish Far


hm, here we are again, starting over I deem multi -origin theory is right, but with greater part of elves included that it was considered by JRRT himsel
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Old 10-15-2000, 09:30 AM   #30
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Re: Orcish Fear

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> I deem multi origin theory is right, but with greater part of elves included that it was considered by JRRT himself<hr></blockquote>
See the text for MYTHS TRANSFORMED section IX for the mulit-origin thory with Elves as an orc ingredient (this is an earlier text as it does not have the beast stock); however Tolkien states that many were (at this time of writing; which was later supplanted).

The text related to the last ideas on orcs are tied with QUENDI AND ELDAR, the awakening of men shortly after the great march, and the attacks upon Elves when they awoke of Orcs (who could NOT exist from Elvish stock), and an interesting passage where he ascertains that orcs wewre short lived according to the long lives of the Edain (aka Numenoreans). The last writings on orcs states that neither ELVES nor Dwarves could be reduced to an orkish puppet state. The interesting thing about this essay is the conception that only orcs living DIRECTLY UNDER MORGOTH's POWER AND ATTENTION were reduced to this puppet state.

I think the best answer for the Elvish orc question (and one in accord with the last writings) is taken from ATHRABETH:
<blockquote>Quote:<hr> J.R.R. Tolkien
'Individual Elves might be seduced to a kind of minor 'Melkorism': desiring to be their own masters in Arda, and to have things their own way, leading in extreme cases to rebellion against the tutelage of the Valar; but NOT ONE had ever entered the service or allegiance of Melkor himself, nor ever denied the existence and absolute supremacy of Eru. Some dreadful things of this sort, Finrod guesses, Men must have done, as a<hr></blockquote>

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Old 10-15-2000, 04:12 PM   #31
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Re: Orcish Far


Still there are too many unclear points, and this discussion is wheeling in a kind of a enchanted circle - what are we to do than of Shagrat's and Gorbag's memory ofgood old days of the siege? Are we assuming that those two were lessened and, what's the word, 'orcicized' Maiar?
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Old 10-15-2000, 08:08 PM   #32
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Re: Orcish Fear

First: an actual ANALYSIS of the passage in question is in order.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> J.R.R. Tolkien THE TWO TOWERS
'There's no grief in that; but think- there's someone loose hereabouts as is more dangerous than any other damned rebel that ever walked since the bad old times, since the Great Siege.'<hr></blockquote>

Now this does NOT state that Gorbag or Shagrat were PRESENT for this event. That has been an ASSUMPTION that has been carried onward through mass misinterpretation for some time now.

How this happened is with this earlier passage (not connected to this statement of Great Siege at all):

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> J.R.R. Tolkien THE TWO TOWERS
'What d'you say?- if we get a chance, you and me'll slip off and set up somewhere on our own with a few trusty lads, somewhere where there's good loot, nice and handy, and no big bosses.'
'Ah!' said Shagrat. 'Like old times.'<hr></blockquote>

Your post illustrates this mass misconception by your statement of:

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Posted by HerenIstarion
'what do we do than to Shagrat and Gorbag recalling &quot;good old days&quot; of a siege?'<hr></blockquote>

The compression of ideas is done by others, not textual.

The siege statement is regarding spies in Mordor, with a different statement concerning the former lives of these two orcs before Sauron came back to Mordor to lord them over.

There is no need or reason to introduce either an non-existant elvish strain OR a really dumb maiar strain here at all.

There is no circular argument by text; only from misreading of such.


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Old 10-16-2000, 06:37 PM   #33
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Re: Orcish Far


Ok, Saul, I give up I am convinced and I admit you are right
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Old 10-17-2000, 07:42 AM   #34
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Re: Orcish Fear

Now wait a minute! <img src=smile.gif ALT="">

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Old 11-05-2000, 09:33 PM   #35
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Re: Orcish Fear

Interesting conversation.

I have to go with orcs having been corrupted Elves. It's the only theory that makes sense. Most likely they were Moriquendi captured by Melkor and transformed through unspeakable torture and powerful spells. Genetics would have to be involved, however, for the orcs to pass on their transformation to their offspring. That Tolkien may have regretted this original idea is irrelevant. That this was his original idea is clear. Orcs were also referred to as goblins, and goblins in folklore have always been associated with elves (small e used to indicate the original conception of elves, from Germanic folklore), which could be either good or bad. This is probably what led to the notion that orcs were really corrupted Elves. The reason why it's the only explanation that works has already been stated in this thread, so I won't go into that. Suffice it to say that Melkor either corrupted Elves to make orcs or he made them from scratch. We already know he did not make them from scratch. But why is the idea of Elves changing so drastically so hard for some of you to accept? Gollum was once a hobbit, and he was transformed almost beyond recognition in a single lifetime. The orcs were probably transformed over generations.

Incidentally, Earendil comes from the Germanic god Earendel, who was the god associated with the Morning or Evening Star, and this could be any bright planet seen at twilight, whether Venus, Mars, or Mercury. Earendel was a god of mariners because stars were essential to navigation.

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Old 11-05-2000, 11:36 PM   #36
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Re: Orcish Fear

On orcs:
Believe what you will.

If it is the only theory that makes sense; then why did Tolkien reject it himself?
Why did he spend years devising a new origin?

No-one is in disagreement about the original thought concerning orcs, only that their origin evolved, and its the evolution that is erringly disregarded (yourself inclusive).

Again; believe what you will.

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Old 11-06-2000, 08:29 AM   #37
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Re: Orcish Fear

Are you saying he rejected the theory because it didn't make sense? or did he reject it because he simply didn't like it, as he simply didn't like his earlier conception of the Elves as more folklorish, diminutive beings, and then spend every effort to try to invent a new origin for the orcs, revising backward? And did he succeed? What was his final decision on the matter? because if he made this known then I see no point for this debate.

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Old 11-06-2000, 09:44 AM   #38
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Re: Orcish Fear

Welcome again Black Lieutenant. There's an interesting discussion on how you forgot your name and whether your life was somehow extended in the Books Forum, Magic thread.

JRRT voiced his dissatisfaction with elvish origin of orcs in Letters and in a couple of Essays published in Morgoth's Ring. Concededly, he sounds pretty firm in his position that orcs don't come from elves. One of the things that this and the related thread have highlighted are the inconsistencies that such a change in position would create.

This is also an area that seems to generate strong opinions, right up there with whether Balrogs have wings, whether elves' ears are pointed, and the origins of Bombadil. The theoretical purpose of this forum is to try to hash through issues raised in HoME concerning the evolution of the Sil. This issue is kind of tough. The evidence of JRRT's intent to make a change is there. But the visceral response to such a change appears to be rejection due to individually held views rather than fact.

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Old 11-06-2000, 12:20 PM   #39
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Re: Orcish Fear

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> by The Black Lieutennant
&quot;What was his final decision on the matter?&quot;<hr></blockquote>
Do you really want to hear this?

Orcs are originally descended from beasts. They later were bred with men.
There are Maia orcs who are the leaders of orc armies and figures of note.
Orcs are not Elves.
The orcs that the Elves met before the arrival of Orome were the beast and Maia breeds/versions.
After the awakening of Men very shortly afterward, the interbreeding of Beast and Man began.

He still holds that orcs need to be controlled by strength of will, but maintains the idea that they could funtion without it. He refers to a passage in LOTR where Sauron upon discovering the Ring at Mt. Doom concentrates all of his thought there, and that his armies were steerless and befert of will. However he maintains that only a small portion of the orcs were held in this thrall in Beleriand, as it required vast amounts of expenditures of will. This is tied to the concept that the armies of Sauron in the Third Age were forgotten after Frodo and the Ring declared itself/themselves and as to why the Ring was able to get so far into Mordor due to the vast amounts of concentration needed for his armies.

He maintains that it was Sauron, not Melkor who truly devised the orcs; but acknowledges that the idea originated from Melkor.

This is the final view held. He expands upon the will/thralldom aspect a little more, but this is the answer you requested.

Again; believe what you will.

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Old 11-06-2000, 12:53 PM   #40
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Re: Orcish Fear

Two quick little points, Black Lieutenant:
1) Erendel was neither a deity nor a god. He was a mythological figure of Anglo-Saxon folklore, no less, no more. The God of Mariners was always Njrdr.
2) Tolkien got the idea for Orcs from Bowulf, where they are mentioned but not elaborated. Goblins did not really have an immediate relation to the elves of Norse-Teutonic myth; so this connection is flawed somehow.

Don't get me wrong - this was just to prevent minor mistakes infiltrating this discussion (which I normally only watch).

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