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Old 05-04-2004, 07:33 AM   #1
rutslegolas
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Sting are there she orcs??

i have read the lotr many times but i havent found Tolkein mentioning she orcs

and if there arent any then how do orcs multiply??
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Old 05-04-2004, 08:41 AM   #2
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Try the search engine. There are a few good threads on that subject.
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Old 05-04-2004, 02:36 PM   #3
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Half of the obvious answer would be that Sauron only tortured elves to make them in the beginning, & the other half would be that Sauron bred them using his power, I'm sure he didn't need an 'help'. But some really interesting opinions have probably been brought up in one or all of the threads that Eomer mentioned, so try there...

p.s. i love the way we're calling them she orcs, i guess the 'she elf' trend that the movies started has caught on .
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Old 05-04-2004, 05:52 PM   #4
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It seems to me (and I have not really read any threads concering orkish reproduction), that all Children of Iluvatar have the power to bear offspring, and although orcs may be corrupted Children of Iluvatar, they are his Children nonetheless. Since I see no other logical explanation for how orcs "multiplied" at all the times throughout M-E history when Tolkien said they did, I think it is safe to assume that they reproduced sexually.
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Old 05-05-2004, 06:37 AM   #5
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Better yet, try our archive index.
You're right, Tolkien never mentioned female orcs, but there's enough speculation and implication about the matter. But I guess that's non-canonical (non-published), so I shouldn't even have mentioned it.
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Old 05-05-2004, 08:15 AM   #6
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Well considering Tolkien says Orks bred just like Men and Elves, I think it's a gurarantee that there are women Orks. They probably look as ugly as the men though.

(PS: Tolkien used She-Elf first )
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Old 05-05-2004, 08:19 AM   #7
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(PS: Tolkien used She-Elf first )
No he didn't.
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Old 05-05-2004, 08:29 AM   #8
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Yeah he did. At least once. I'm not saying it was often.
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Old 05-05-2004, 08:33 AM   #9
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No he didn't!
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Old 05-05-2004, 10:13 AM   #10
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Tolkien

What about some proof, Olorin_TLA?
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Old 05-05-2004, 03:54 PM   #11
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What about some proof, Olorin_TLA?
Good idea. I must say I never remember reading 'She-elf' in Tolkien's books. That's the main reason why the Blackrider's usage of it stood out so much...
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Old 05-06-2004, 06:14 AM   #12
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1420!

I'm sure I read it in Letters or HoMe...most of which I don't own.

In case this turns into a big deal, I'm perfectly ready to admit I amy be imagining things. So I'll say: "I'm really, really sure he used it once. But this is all relying on my memory." But I definately came across it somewhere, and it stuckin my mind precisely because it was an unusual term.

Better?

Plus it would be a bit wierd for PJ to invent somehting like that. Mind you, having said that...*Two Towers*
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Old 05-06-2004, 02:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Plus it would be a bit wierd for PJ to invent somehting like that.
Yeah, next thing you know he'd have Elrond showing up at Dunharrow or Gimli exclaiming, "Nobody tosses a Dwarf!"

Now back to the original topic of the thread: I think it can be inferred that there were female orcs simply because A) They somehow inexplicably multiplied! & B) It can be assumed that Melkor corrupted both male and female Elves (or Men?), & I doubt even he had the power to change the sexes of his corruptions &/or make impotence a hereditary trait.

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Old 05-06-2004, 03:19 PM   #14
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Silmaril

I don't think orcs really had gender. They just sort of... multiplied. Kind of like insects, if you know what I mean.
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Old 05-06-2004, 03:39 PM   #15
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Insects have genders.

Here's an interesting topic: If orcs do reproduce sexually, what is the cause for the growth of their population? Can corrupted Elves/Men really be so utterly enslaved as to begin ravenously reproducing at any sign of evil gathering power?
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Old 05-06-2004, 04:01 PM   #16
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Fine, if people simply don't believe Tolkien's words in the Silmabout Orksbreeding like the Children of Eru, perhaps the fact that they had to cross-breed with Men, and that their's onlyone way to do that!, to produce Uruk-hai!

I think it's more a case of them breeding when they're free from Ork-killing enemies. For instance, the population in the Misties increases by a lot between Bilbo's adventure and the War of the Ring, but this is because almost all had been wiped out first in the War against Dwarves, and then (more recently, so more relevantly) in the Battle of Five Armies. So basically the population was getting back to I guess it's natural peak.
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Old 05-06-2004, 06:10 PM   #17
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Here's an interesting topic: If orcs do reproduce sexually, what is the cause for the growth of their population? Can corrupted Elves/Men really be so utterly enslaved as to begin ravenously reproducing at any sign of evil gathering power?
And another question:

Why would Sauron/Saruman bother with sexual reproduction if they could just breed them (presuming that they could)? Why wait for them to grow up? Or are we operating under the assumption that Orcs & Uruks are not born as babies?
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Old 05-06-2004, 06:17 PM   #18
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Why would they not be born as babies? What possible evidence can anyone give to suggest they're spawned, like the potato-fields of Jackson's Uruk-hai?
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Old 05-06-2004, 06:53 PM   #19
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The Eye Congratulations! It's an Orc.

As Sharkû suggested, its worth taking a look in the archive index in Haudh-en-Ndengin. There are five threads on female orcs and orcish reproduction. Not that this thread shouldn't continue, but it's always interesting to see what others have said on a topic in the past.

One point that hasn't been raised here yet (and really needs to be) is that the Silmarillion states:


Quote:
For the Orcs had life and multiplied after the manner of the children of Iluvatar
Now, Tolkien changed his views on the origins of Orcs (as presented in the Silm), so it cannot be considered definitive of his intentions as far as Orcish nature is concerned. Personally, I tend to go along with what is stated in the Silm, so I am quite content to accept this extract as the end of the matter.

But, whichever explanation of Orcish origin you prefer, they all involve the corruption by Morgoth of creatures (whether Elves, Men or beasts) that were, in their pre-corrupted state, capable of progeneration. Even if you hold with the theory that they (or some of them) were Maia spirits within physical bodies, they were incanate and therefore capable of reproduction (as Melian, another incarnate Maia, was).

Another piece of evidence not yet raised here is the reference to Azog being the father of Bolg. Again it's not definitive, since Azog may have been hermaphroditic or he may have been Bolg's "spawning father" ( ) or he may simply have raised a spawned Bolg. But none of those explanations ring true to me.

Now put all that together and add in the fact that there is no reference (as far as I am aware) in any of Tolkien's writings to Orcs being "spawned" in the manner the films suggest, and it seems to me that PJ has a lot of threads on this forum to answer for. There is simply nothing to suggest that Orcs multiplied in any manner different from the Children of Iluvatar.
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Old 05-06-2004, 11:07 PM   #20
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Oh No....

This does not bode well...

Imagine the stuff that Professor Morgoth is thinking when Luthien appeared before him at his throne...

Was he thinking of how to twist the hottest babe in Arda into an... orc?

I think I just lost my breakfast, lunch and dinner.
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Old 05-07-2004, 06:58 PM   #21
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Why would they not be born as babies? What possible evidence can anyone give to suggest they're spawned, like the potato-fields of Jackson's Uruk-hai?
You think it might take Saruman awhile to wait for thousands & thousands of Uruk-Hai babies to grow up to, even say 20, until he warred against Rohan? Even if Tolkien never hinted towards Jackson's version of it, I'm not quite ready to believe that Uruks/Orcs produce sexually. Not to say that I'm right of course, but I've never accepted the 'born & raised' version as of yet.

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Old 05-07-2004, 07:15 PM   #22
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The Eye Army breeders

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You think it might take Saruman awhile to wait for thousands & thousands of Uruk-Hai babies to grow up to, even say 20, until he warred against Rohan?
According to the Tale of Years in the Appendices, Saruman withdrew to Isengard and fortified it in TA 2953. At the same time, he started setting spies on Gandalf and began keeping agents in Bree and the Southfarthing. He first used the Palantir of Orthanc, and became ensnared by Sauron, in about TA 3000. Even if you take the later date (which is the more likely), that's sufficient time to enlist Orcs to his service and to breed more for an army. I'm sure that Orcs were old enough to fight by 18.
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Old 05-07-2004, 07:19 PM   #23
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I'm sure that Orcs were old enough to fight by 18.
Maybe that would explain why they can't fight at all, draft them when they're 18, give 'em a scimitar, & send 'em out?

But still, even with 47 years, that's not all that long to raise 10,000. Although I suppose it depends on wether the Uruks-Hai breed is as agressive everwhere as it is on the battlefield...
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Old 05-11-2004, 04:00 PM   #24
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If Orcs reproduce sexually then surely they would go through a period of time when they are young when they can't fend for themselves. I really want to believe they reproduced sexually but I just can't see an Orc, female or otherwise nursing a baby, unless they're more like fish in that they produce a lot in one go but then leave them to fend for themselves.
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Old 05-17-2004, 10:28 AM   #25
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go here

And here
Like has been said a few times before this has been discussed before.... anyway I think that we didn't see the orc women because you wouldn't see them all the time and this book was written from the victors(hobbits) point of veiw not the orc's.
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Old 05-28-2004, 11:48 PM   #26
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Sting

Well the question still seems to hang whether there are she-orcs or no??

but i do not think that orcs reproduce sexually,and where do they breed their young ones????

well can some of the scholars please help??
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Old 05-29-2004, 02:45 PM   #27
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umm.... I think that the orcs reproduce sexually I need to look some stuff up for you and I also am going to repeate myself..... This book was written from the victor's point of veiw.... hence the reason we don't hear much if any tell of orc women and children.... please please, rutslegolas, look at the links in my post above. I know that you don't think that orcs reproduced sexually but you should check out these old discussions. I will get back to you on this when I get my books out.

but orcs were perverted not wholey differnt creatures.... Morgoth could not create so he had to resourt to deforming an existing creation. so when it comes to the reproduction of these beings they still reproduced in the way of the children of Iluvitar.... Like I said I will find you the referance and stuff.
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Old 05-29-2004, 04:44 PM   #28
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Concerning Saruman

Think of horse breeders. They have mares and stallions. They take the stallions around and breed them to all the mares they can, to produce top-of-the-line foals. Some breeders even breed the mares right after they produce the foal.

This may sound a little twisted, but twisted is what Saruman became, so: Couldn't it be possible that Saruman did the same thing? Also, we are assuming that he did not have many to begin with; perhaps he had five thousand. 47 years is more than enough to produce 10,000 from 5,000. Or is it?
Quote:
I really want to believe they reproduced sexually but I just can't see an Orc, female or otherwise nursing a baby, unless they're more like fish in that they produce a lot in one go but then leave them to fend for themselves.
I think that they would produce them and then leave them.
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Old 05-29-2004, 05:01 PM   #29
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maybe orcs are like rabbits. they just dont stop multiplying likerabbits. In which case there are "she-orcs". But just because Tolkein didnt mention them doesnt mean they dont exist. But they are probably like martha stewart, every body hates them, so we dont talk about them. It is also like the "she-dwarf" thing in the sense that they are rarely mentioned.
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Old 05-29-2004, 07:12 PM   #30
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Morgoth could not create so he had to resourt to deforming an existing creation. so when it comes to the reproduction of these beings they still reproduced in the way of the children of Iluvitar....
Morgoth could not create creatures, but he could mock them. I think that that leaves open the door to others 'breeding' their orcs in a manner other than 'the Children of Iluvitars method '. When they also said that Sauron could only mock, not make, I think that means that he couldn't make orc who lived on the 'poison & filth' of Mordor like Sam had guessed. Still, could he not make orcs after the original patterns set forth by others?

Um...sorry if this post is a little confusing, but I haven't slept for close to 35 hours, & my brain is baring the brunt of that .
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Old 06-11-2004, 08:52 PM   #31
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Question

Ah, but it would be kind of funny to see a pregnant orc walking around, wouldn't it? So what if orcs laid eggs? (*falls over laughing again at how funny that sounds, and how untrue it probably is*) Yes, that sounds sooo odd. But, I mean, would you honestly see a 'she-orc' walking around pregnant, with a big belly? Or would they gave birth at an early stage?

Okay, that sounded waay to odd... *shakes head at self* orcs laying eggs. that was random.

EDIT: yes, I did realize how stupid orc laying eggs sounded, and do not believe for a second that it is true.
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Old 06-12-2004, 09:37 AM   #32
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Female orcs

Just because Tolkien didn't mention them doesn't mean they didn't exist. Tolkien didn't mention female eagles or female Haradrim either, as far as I know, but no one is suggesting they were dug out of the ground. Yes, eagles and Haradrim are "natural" creatures, whereas orcs are something a bit off-center, but my point is not bothering to talk about something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I don't think Tolkien would have cared enough about the mechanics of orc reproduction to include it in LotR. He probably felt our imaginations were horrid enough without going into graphic detail.

"Breed" (the transitive verb) can mean several things:
"1. To cause to reproduce, especially by controlled mating and selection: the Rohirrim breed horses.
2. To develop new or improved strains in (organisms), chiefly through controlled mating and selection of offspring for desirable traits.
3. To inseminate or impregnate; mate with."

I certainly hope Saruman was doing 1 & 2 and not 3!

Getting up sufficient numbers of orcs in 50 odd years is possible depending on starting numbers, when orcs become adults/sexually mature, and how many offspring they have at one time. Let's say time of gestation is a year. So, if you start with 400 orcs (200 of which are female), and orcs become adults at the age of 10 years, and they always have quadruplets:

Year 1: 200 adult female orcs (and 200 male orcs to fertilize them)
Year 2: 200 female, 200 male and 800 baby orcs (400 female, 400 male). The 200 original females breed again.
Year 3: 200 female, 200 male and 1600 baby orcs
Year 4: 200 female, 200 male and 2400 baby orcs
Year 5: etc.
Year 10: 200 female, 200 male and 7200 immature orcs
Year 11: The first crop of 800 baby orcs are now adults and ready to breed.
600 female, 600 male and 7200 immature orcs (the original adults made new babies to make up for the ones transitioning to adulthood)
Year 12: The second crop of baby orcs become adults. 1000 female, 1000 male and 8800 immature orcs (7200 from the original adults and 1600 from the new breeders)
Year 13: The third crop of babies matures. 1400 female, 1400 male and 12,000 immature orcs (7200 from the original orcs, 3200 from the first set of babies and 1600 from the second set of babies.)
Year 14: The fourth crop of babies matures. 1800 female, 1800 male and 16,800 immature orcs (7200 + 4800 + 3200 + 1600)

You can see things are going to rapidly increase from here, especially once the offspring of the original baby orcs start to breed. Even if we stopped after Year 14 and waited another 10 for all the babies to reach fighting age, we'd have 20,400 adult orcs (10,200 male) after 23 years. Under these hypothetical conditions, Saruman would have no trouble building up an army of massive proportions in 47 years (although some orcs might be geriatric). Of course, the timeline changes if orcs mature more slowly or have fewer offspring, but increasing starting numbers can make up for that a bit. If any computer savvy people want to build an "Orc breed-o-meter" so we could play with the parameters, that would be entertaining.

-Lily
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Old 06-14-2004, 12:11 PM   #33
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Just because Tolkien didn't mention them doesn't mean they didn't exist. Tolkien didn't mention female eagles or female Haradrim either, as far as I know, but no one is suggesting they were dug out of the ground.
True, but Tolkien didn't mention someone breeding Haradrim or Eagles, either.

Because Tolkien never specified it (perhaps we should be thankful for that ), we'll most likely never no for sure, but you made some good points, Lily.
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Old 06-14-2004, 12:39 PM   #34
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True, but Tolkien didn't mention someone breeding Haradrim or Eagles, either.
Well, the word 'breeding' denotes sexual reproduction (e.g. a farmer breeding pigs, a family of rabbits breeding).'Breeding' cannot be done without sexual intercourse.

While it may not be 100% provable, unless you take The Silmarillion quote that The Saucepan Man provided as definitive, it is far more likely that orcs do breed (or are bred) than that they are somehow 'created' by Sauron when the need arises.
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Old 06-15-2004, 12:18 PM   #35
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I figured orcs reproduced as Men and Elves, but it was always an alien topic with little meaning in my mind. Then, as I was flipping through one of my books...*pauses to retrieve said volume*

Alas! 'Tis lost to me! However, in one of my volumes, (perhaps one of you can help me on which volume) I believe Golfimbul the goblin was refered to as 'Golfimbul son of ____', and-seeing as how I cannot find the book-I do not remember the father's name. (If I am wrong, and Golfimbul is not the goblin in question, please don't impale me.)
However, an orc-or goblin, for that matter-being refered to as 'son of' gives little credit to the 'fish theory' because it implies that orcs do not entirely neglect their young (at least not immediately).

Do I make any sense whatsoever? If not, ignore me entirely. I merely felt up to blurting my thoughts.
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Old 06-21-2004, 10:55 AM   #36
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In The Book of Lost Tales, Part 1, Tolkien describes that when Elves die, they are reborn in later generations. Tolkien implies that there are a set number of Elves that neither increases or decreases.

Orcs are Elves that were desecrated by Melkor before the Valar became aware of them, so there must me a set number of Orcs. And when Orcs are killed they are reborn. I guess the real question should be are they reborn as Elves or Orcs?

Uruks, I've not read about thoughly so I don't yet know the origin of them only that they appeared out of Mordor in the late 3rd Age. The Encyclopedia of Arda puts this date approxiametly 2475. Does anyone know if any of the HoME series discusses Uruks?
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Old 06-21-2004, 11:55 AM   #37
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It seems fairly obvious to me that there are she-orcs, but they stay at home doing all the cooking and cleaning and Tolkien, a man of his generation, didn't think the women worth mentioning. I would imagine they looked pretty much the same as the 'men'.

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Old 06-21-2004, 05:41 PM   #38
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About the young orc thing...
Tolkien does mention young orcs in The Hobbit. He says that Gollum sometimes caught a small goblin imp. I don't know if that menas young orc, but its a place to start.
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Old 06-21-2004, 06:22 PM   #39
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Good point, Orcrist. He could've meant a smallish, punier one, but you may be right in guessing that he meant a younger orc.
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Old 06-22-2004, 12:13 PM   #40
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Silmaril 'All The Pretty Little Orcses...'

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It is also like the "she-dwarf" thing in the sense that they are rarely mentioned.
It may be that they are actually like 'she-dwarves' - like the dwarves, I seriously doubt the orcs simply "spring out of stone". So instead of simply not existing, it may simply have been unnecessary to mention them: they may not have done anything of particular note. Bear in mind that even in mention of the dwarves, only one female was ever named and noted, the mother of Kili and Fili.

And if, as is often and certainly stereotypically the case with humans, the female orcs were not as strong or physically able as the men, they may just have been counted as irrelevant - maybe they were much smaller than their male counterparts, and so just get beaten back into insignifigance. The Dark Lord didn't exactly seem to go in for a cuddly and politically correct approach: if there were female orcs and this was the case, they may simply have been used as breeding machines - simply a brutal way or achieving new warriors.

Still, producing orcs by means of a conventional union in the way of Men, Elves, Hobbits etc would probably be a little tiresome and slow for the ends of Sauron. It would take time not only for the actual union, meaning also that some orcs would have to be at the base to carry it out, but in a more long term sense, there is the problem of the orcs in childhood: during this time, they would not be able to fight, especially when very young. Surely this would seem a bit of a time-waster for Sauron. Maybe there was another way? Or, if not, how long is an orc 'childhood'? In this 'childhood', what sort of things would be done - certainly, I don't think the orcs could ever really be described as an 'educationally-inclined' race, but the hatred of the Free Races of Middle Earth, and especially of the elves, was certainly passed on somehow - how?
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