The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Middle-Earth Discussions > The Books
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-19-2006, 11:05 AM   #1
ninja91
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
ninja91's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Chozo Ruins.
Posts: 439
ninja91 has just left Hobbiton.
Dark-Eye Orcs... were elves?

In the LOTR, there are a couple of differing views among the characters as to what the roots of the orcs are. Were they once elves? Or were they twisted beings made in mockery of them by Morgoth? There are alot of questions I have about LOTR, so if you guys would like to help me out that would be great!
Thanks!
ninja91 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2006, 11:42 AM   #2
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Short answer is that Tolkien altered his opinions on the subject. Originally they were corrupted Elves, but later he decided they were corrupted Men, or even a kind of organic 'robot'. During the period of LotR they were Elves but as with many things in the 'Legendarium' as he called it (ie the mythology as a whole) he altered & developed his ideas throughout his life.

This is one of those questions that would take an essay to answer in full, but the corrupted Elves idea was the one that Tolkien held to for most of his life, & the one that makes most sense in terms of the mythology.

EDIT

What you'll find with Tolkien's work is that the deeper you look into it for definitive answers the more you'll find confusions & contradictions. Only the main themes of the Legendarium found a fixed form - but the details & even some of the larger & more important ideas were subject to alteration - even published works like LotR & the Hobbit were revised after publication & changes were made.

Of course, if you want definitive answers you're in the wrong place - we like to argue too much here.

Word of warning - watch out for Lalwende - she's a troublemaker & will just get you into bother if you listen to her.

Last edited by davem; 05-19-2006 at 12:25 PM.
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2006, 12:43 PM   #3
Boromir88
Laconic Loreman
 
Boromir88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 7,068
Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Send a message via AIM to Boromir88 Send a message via MSN to Boromir88
White Tree

It really comes down to what you want to believe. It's clear that Tolkien's very LAST thoughts were that Orcs were taken in and corrupted men. But, Tolkien also played with the idea of Orcs coming form slime and rocks (which later he rejects), then it changes into being corrupted elves, and then switches all over the place. You can even make an argument that some orcs were Maiar that had taken an Orc form (Boldog for instance).

Let's start with the Elf theory. This occurs in the Silmarillion:
Quote:
But of those unhappy ones who were ensnared by Melkor little is known of a certainty. For who of the living has descended into the pits of Utumno, or has explored the darkness of the counsels of Melkor? Yet this is held true by the wise of Eressëa, that all those of the Quendi who came into the hands of Melkor, ere Utumno was broken, were put there in prison, and by slow arts of cruelty were corrupted and enslaved; and thus did Melkor breed the hideous race of the Orcs in envy and mockery of the Elves, of whom they were afterwards the bitterest foes.~Of the Coming of Elves
There are a few things about this quote...

1) First off just notice "little is known of a certainty..." therefor, it can already be tossed up into the air and debated endlessly.

2) Also notice "this is held true by the wise of Eressea..." Orcs being from corrupted elves is what the "Wise of Eressea," believe, it's not necessarily what Tolkien felt. As Tolkien tells us with Treebeard in Letter 153:
Quote:
Treebeard is a character in my story not me; though he has a great memory and some earthly wisdom, he is not one of the wise and there is quite a lot he does not know or understand.
The "Wise of Eressea" therefor, are characters in Tolkien and not necessarily what Tolkien feels about Orcs.

With that being said we do have this from HoME:
Quote:
It remains therefore terribly possible there was an Elvish strain in the Orcs. These may then even have been mated with beasts (sterile!) - and later Men. Their life-span would be diminished. And dying they would go to Mandos and be held in prison till the End.~Morgoth's Ring, Myth's Transformed: Text VIII
So at this time (which is dated in 1955) Tolkien still felt like Orcs were originally started as Elves. And over the years as they began to mate with men and beasts the elvish blood-line diminished as well as their life span.

It's clear that in Tolkien's last thoughts he felt like Orcs would be best to be originated from corrupted Men, and if I'm not mistaken he even alters when Men first appear to fit this theory:

Let's first start out of The Annals of Aman (which is dated to be 1959 and also appears in Morgoth's Ring: Myth's transformed, Text X:
Quote:
Alter this. Orcs are not Elvish
Tolkien continues on with the theory into Text X of Morgoth's Ring (1969):
Quote:
Other originally independent creatures, and Men among them (but neither Elves nor Dwarves) could be reduced to a like condition. But ’puppets’, with no independent life or will, would simply cease to move or do anything at all when the will of their maker was brought to nothing.
Tolkien talks about Orcs being nearly complete puppets, and here he says with Men they could be reduced this this form of "puppetness," but it is impossible for Dwarves or Elves to be reduced to this state.

So, that's pretty much all the information there is and it comes down to what matter do you want to believe. An argument for them originating from Men is easier, because those were Tolkien's final thoughts on the matter and he even goes as far as to want to change that idea. If you're like me, who believes in both ideas. However, it would be hard to hold to the theory that Orcs are and always were corrupted Elves.
__________________
I used to be for flip-flopping. Now I'm against it.

Fenris Penguin
Boromir88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2006, 01:18 PM   #4
Fordim Hedgethistle
Gibbering Gibbet
 
Fordim Hedgethistle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Beyond cloud nine
Posts: 1,842
Fordim Hedgethistle is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
I've always just figured that since Morgoth was all about corruption and mockery that he would pretty much take whatever he could find, break it, and make it monstrous -- so I see no reason against having all the theories of orc origin at once. The orcs are a hybrid, bastard race drawn from ruined Elves, enslaved men, beasts, unnatural arts and perhaps another race (or races?) of beings that he found and took for his own. This might also help explain where there is such a diversity of forms, sizes, abilities, types and races among the orcs...
__________________
Scribbling scrabbling.
Fordim Hedgethistle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2006, 01:39 PM   #5
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Clearly the problem he had was that he was importing creatures from Faery into his secondary world, & had to make them 'fit'. Traditional Goblins were a race in their own right & had always been Goblins, never 'corrupted' versions of other beings.

In Tolkien's world, however, everything has its origin in Eru, who is, by His nature, purely Good. Hence, if evil exists in that world it has to have come from good & devolved or been corrupted in some way ('Evil is fissiparous, but cannot create'). So Tolkien has to find an explanation for the evil beings by having them devolve from something else or be mere 'robots' controlled by the mind & will of another being (Morgoth/Sauron).

Dwarves, by their nature, cannot really be corrupted in such a way, so it would have to be Elves or Men. Men causes a problem 'philosophically' as Orcs seem to be 'supernatural' beings, inhabitants of Faery, which Men really are not. Elves becoming Orcs solves this problem, but its clear that Tolkien liked his Elves too much & was increasingly uncomfortable with them being corrupted in that way.

Of course, Elves are 'angelic' beings & Orcs could fit well into the Fallen Angel/demon role.
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2006, 01:56 PM   #6
Lalwendë
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendë's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,804
Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordim Hedgethistle
The orcs are a hybrid, bastard race drawn from ruined Elves, enslaved men, beasts, unnatural arts and perhaps another race (or races?) of beings that he found and took for his own. This might also help explain where there is such a diversity of forms, sizes, abilities, types and races among the orcs...
Could there even be Hobbit derived Orcses? Such an Orc might be a narfforc - only he can answer that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
Of course, Elves are 'angelic' beings & Orcs could fit well into the Fallen Angel/demon role.
Now davem has been cheeky about me and I no longer have the opportunity to sneak something nasty in his evening meal I shall just argue with him. I'm not at all sure we could call Elves 'angelic beings' at all. They are symbolic of men as they might be, but not divine. The only Elves who might even approach being Divine are the Eldar, and I am not even sure about them to be honest. Arda already has the Valar and Maiar, just how many angelic beings can it hold?

I also like the idea that Orcs are bred from several races, as it does allow for the many varieties. But if they were descended from Elves it also makes for a lot of interesting possibilities - e.g. could the Elvish nature be entirely taken form them? Were they immortal? What happened when they died? etc.

Possibly the reason Tolkien gradually shied away from having his Orcs derive from Elves was his semmingly growing need to make his work more 'divine', as shown in his later rewrites of Galadriel's character and nature. I happen to think that he had it right with LOTR. The Orcs being descended from Elves does not diminish Elves, rather it makes a greater tragedy that these beings could be reduced to such an existence. I suppose in that sense, if they were angelic then it would deepen that tragedy even more.
__________________
Gordon's alive!
Lalwendë is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2006, 02:42 PM   #7
Formendacil
Dead Serious
 
Formendacil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Perched on Thangorodrim's towers.
Posts: 3,012
Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Send a message via AIM to Formendacil Send a message via MSN to Formendacil
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendë
I also like the idea that Orcs are bred from several races, as it does allow for the many varieties. But if they were descended from Elves it also makes for a lot of interesting possibilities - e.g. could the Elvish nature be entirely taken form them? Were they immortal? What happened when they died? etc.
Only Orks with pureblooded Elven ancestry (tormented by Morgoth or no) would be immortal. Tolkien stated, with regards to Half-Elves, that they were inherently mortal, sharing the Gift of Men. Only those to whom the Choice was given: Eärendil, Elwing, Elrond, and Elros had a choice. The default setting was mortality, and so Dior, Elured, and Elurin died indeed and are gone beyond the circles of the World. It can also be taken as an explanation for why the Elven-choosing next generation of the family: Elladan, Elrohir, and Arwen, were given a Choice, whereas the Sons of Elros were stuck with their father's lot.

It therefore follows that part-Elf Orks would not have been Immortal. They would likely have inherited many other Elvish traits and there would certainly have been great enmity between Elf and Ork, but unless an Ork was of pure "Elvish" ancestry, he (or she) would not have been immortal within the circles of the world.
Formendacil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2006, 08:50 PM   #8
Boromir88
Laconic Loreman
 
Boromir88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 7,068
Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Send a message via AIM to Boromir88 Send a message via MSN to Boromir88
White Tree

Quote:
Only Orks with pureblooded Elven ancestry (tormented by Morgoth or no) would be immortal.~Formendacil
But the question is were there ever any "pure-blooded" through and through Elf corrupted into an Orc. We are told this from Home X, but it goes along with the "Man Origin."
Quote:
They could be slain, and they were subject to disease; but apart from these ills they were not immortal, even according to the manner of the Quendi; indeed they appear to have been by nature short-lived compared with the span of Men of higher race, such as the Edain
Again this applies more directly to the Mannish Origin, but it is (as far as I know) the only quote that talks about Orc life-span. Also notice that even the Elves believe Orcs were not immortal.
__________________
I used to be for flip-flopping. Now I'm against it.

Fenris Penguin
Boromir88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2006, 04:49 AM   #9
Raynor
Eagle of the Star
 
Raynor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Sarmisegethuza
Posts: 1,058
Raynor has just left Hobbiton.
It must be pointed out that Myths Transformed, to which you reffered repeatedly, contradicts _a lot_ of the whole of Tolkien's literature, so that I would refrain from giving it more weight when it comes to contradicting other texts. In another thread, I made several comments on it too.

There are some serious obstacles in accepting the version of the Sun and Moon as given in Myths Transformed. The opening salvo is: "At that point (in reconsideration of the early cosmogonic parts) I was inclined to adhere to the Flat Earth and the astronomically absurd business of the making of the Sun and Moon."

As Tolkien himself recounts, a minor loss would that of dramatic impact (no first incarnates walking in a starlit world, no unfolding of the elven banners at the first rising of the moon). More serious that this is the fact that the cosmological myth of the Silmarillion comes out as a "creative error". Moreover, in Christopher's words:

"As he stated it, this may seem to be an argument of the most doubtful nature, raising indeed the question, why is the myth of the Two Trees [as being created from the sun, not the other way around] (which so far as record goes he never showed any intention to abandon) more acceptable than that of the creation of the Sun and the Moon from the last fruit and flower of the Trees as they died? Or indeed, if this is true, how can it be acceptable that the Evening Star is the Silmaril cut by Beren from Morgoth's crown?"

The problem that seems to be at hand is that Tolkien considered the Sil. to be too "primitive" in nature; primitive, but not _absurd_. The here discarded myth cannot be excised as a "gratuitous element", since it is closely related to the two trees giving light to Valinor, while ME was in darkness - and it is in darkness that the elves had to wake, under the light of the stars (not of the sun).

Moreover, Tolkien concludes that Men should awake during the Great March - now this doesn't leave _that_ much weight to the stature of the elves as firstborn, does it?

Before the making of Utumno (and the waking of the elves) Melkor ravishes Arien - and it is thus burned and "his brightness darkened" - how then could he appear in fair form to the Men he would later corrupt? [Another problematic idea presented in M.T. is that Fionwe was son of Manwe, which is pretty much against my understaing of his Legendarium.]

To conclude with Christopher's words concerning this particular theory of Sun and Moon: "It seems to me that he was devising – from within it – a fearful weapon against his own creation".

And what about the rejected flat-earth theory? No walls of the night & co? Why would the elves call Men children of the sun if the sun was there from the begining? On the whole, I would go with the "mixed origin", since it is the least contradicting one.
Raynor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2006, 06:33 AM   #10
Boromir88
Laconic Loreman
 
Boromir88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 7,068
Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Send a message via AIM to Boromir88 Send a message via MSN to Boromir88
White Tree

Manwe, interesting post, there's one little thing though:
Quote:
or deny the trustworthiness of Treebeard’s memory.~Manwe
That itself is not a difficult thing to do. You pointed out Letter 153, and this Letter specifically points out when Treebeard talks about Trolls being a mockery of Ents.

Also, notice in the quote Treebeard says nothing about Orcs originating from Elves. The line is "in mockery of Ents, as Orcs were of Elves", which says nothing about Orcs originating from Elves, just they were made in mockery of the Elves.

You point out using Treebeard's "great memory," but I don't see how that holds any grounds. Treebeard can remember events from long ago but as Tolkien specifically points out with him there is a lot he didn't understand. When Treebeard talks about Trolls being mockery of Ents as Orcs are to Elves, this has nothing to do with his memory it's what he thinks about Trolls to Ents and Orcs to Elves. And Tolkien specifically talks about Treebeard to show that what his characters say is not always what he feels or what is "correct."

There is a time problem, but Tolkien clearly felt like the Mannish Origin is the most likely and he altered the chronology to try to best fit this theory. When it comes all down to it, it's just what you want to believe. Tolkien liked the Mannish Origin the best, but that doesn't mean the reader has to.
__________________
I used to be for flip-flopping. Now I'm against it.

Fenris Penguin
Boromir88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2006, 03:33 PM   #11
Mänwe
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Mänwe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: May as well be the Arctic Circle
Posts: 297
Mänwe has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via MSN to Mänwe
Tolkien

Raynor

Quote:
Moreover, Tolkien concludes that Men should awake during the Great March - now this doesn't leave _that_ much weight to the stature of the elves as firstborn, does it?
But the Elves were the Firstborn, Men were known as the 'Followers', the term for me makes them the 'siblings' if you will. Yes Tolkien changes the chronology to give the Mannish origins more weight, but it is nonetheless one of the many theories. However I do not see how this could mean that the Elves were anything less than the "Firstborn".

There is also a quote I remember reading that states something about Melkor appearing in fair form to Men. I shall try to find it...

I am inclined also to the 'mixed' origins, more plausible. My post if anything was to give a taste for the various themes that could be meddled with.

Boromir88 I see your point about Treebeard, but I don’t think that I’m using Treebeard’s wods as you think I am. I’m not even considering what he said about the connection of Elves and Orcs and whether they were made/created, counterfiets, etc. I’m solely using his statements on when Orcs appeared, those being:

"made by the Enemy in the Great Darkness" and "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".

Treebeard is talking about Orcs, especially in the second, and according ot his knowledge, Orcs first appeared during a Great Darkness. I interpret this Great Darkness to be the time before Melkor was captured; it could of course refer to the time when Melkor had just returned, that’s something I should think about.

But anyway, all that I need from Treebeard is that his memory on when Orcs appeared is stable, and Tolkien says he has a good memory. His understanding of what happened may not be top-notch (and hence he’s wrong), but I’m not convinced that his memory of when the Orcs appeared is not to be trusted. I think that the Letter is not suggesting that Treebeard is completely untrustworthy in the situation, only that his speculations on how, not when, Orcs were made is wrong.
__________________
"I am, I fear, a most unsatisfactory person."
- (Letter #124 To Sir Stanley Unwin)
Mänwe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2006, 11:51 AM   #12
Letty
Animated Skeleton
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 48
Letty has just left Hobbiton.
Yes,orcs were once elves.
Saruman explained that to Lurtz in The Fellowship of the ring.
__________________
Ash to ash
Dust to dust
Fade to black

I will have my vengeance-in this life or the next
Letty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2006, 05:30 AM   #13
ninja91
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
ninja91's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Chozo Ruins.
Posts: 439
ninja91 has just left Hobbiton.
Letty, Saruman explained that orcs were once elves to Lurtz in the movie, not the book. So I dont know if that is valid...
Lurtz did not exist in Tolkien's books, that is what I am trying to say. And we all know PJ had his filming faults.
__________________
Quote:
The rider was robed all in black, and black was his lofty helm; yet this was no Ringwraith but a living man. The Lieutenant of the Tower of Barad-dûr he was, and his name is remembered in no tale; for he himself had forgotten it...
ninja91 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2006, 03:22 PM   #14
Gil-Galad
Psyche of Prince Immortal
 
Gil-Galad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Above a Parapet Obvious exits are: North, South, and Dennis
Posts: 5,036
Gil-Galad is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Send a message via MSN to Gil-Galad
Melkor made orcs as a mockery of the elves, he made trolls as a mockery of the ents, he made dragons as a mockery of the eagles...

and don't beleive everything the movie said...
__________________
Love doesn't blow up and get killed.
Gil's Mind ENTER IF YOU DARE.
Gil-Galad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2006, 08:07 AM   #15
Mänwe
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Mänwe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: May as well be the Arctic Circle
Posts: 297
Mänwe has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via MSN to Mänwe
Tolkien

Gil-Galad, quite! Well said in part.
Raynor will you continue the discussion?

Anyone else is welcome too of course!!
__________________
"I am, I fear, a most unsatisfactory person."
- (Letter #124 To Sir Stanley Unwin)

Last edited by Mänwë; 10-07-2006 at 07:22 AM.
Mänwe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2006, 02:35 PM   #16
Raynor
Eagle of the Star
 
Raynor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Sarmisegethuza
Posts: 1,058
Raynor has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mänwë
However I do not see how this could mean that the Elves were anything less than the "Firstborn".
In my opinion, the shortening of the period [between the awakening of elves (1050 Valarian year, cf. the Grey Annals, HoME XI) and the awakening of Men (1500 Valarian Year) from 3980 normal years to a "meager" 702 normal years] is quite significant.

Another possible source for orcs is found in the Grey Annals too:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valarian Year 1330
Among these were the Orkor indeed, who after wrought ruin in Beleriand; but they were yet few and wary and did but smell out the ways of the land, awaiting the return of their Lord. Whence they came, or what they were, the Elves knew not then, deeming them to be Avari, maybe, that had become evil and savage in the wild. In which they guessed all too near, it is said.
Though this guess may just be an approximation of the marring of elves by Melkor, in accordance with your C-1 version (btw, that was some neat essay!).
Quote:
There is also a quote I remember reading that states something about Melkor appearing in fair form to Men.
I believe you are reffering to the Atrabeth:
Quote:
Then one appeared among us, in our own form visible, but greater and more beautiful; and he said that he had come out of pity.

- Ye should not have been left alone and uninstructed, he said. The world is full of marvellous riches which knowledge can unlock. Ye could have food more abundant and more delicious than the poor things that ye now eat. Ye could have dwellings of ease, in which ye could keep light and shut out the night. Ye could be clad even as I.

Then we looked and lo! he was clad in raiment that shone like silver and gold, and he had a crown on his head, and gems in his hair.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gil-galad
he made dragons as a mockery of the eagles.
Hm, the first dragons were wingless; the winged ones appeared only in the war of wrath, when it was too late anyway and the eagles beat them into submission. According to BoLT, the first dragons were "created" by Melkor at the advice of Meglin, to overcome Gondolin.
Raynor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2006, 10:39 PM   #17
Gil-Galad
Psyche of Prince Immortal
 
Gil-Galad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Above a Parapet Obvious exits are: North, South, and Dennis
Posts: 5,036
Gil-Galad is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Send a message via MSN to Gil-Galad
alright, i pulled the dragon-eagle one a little far, mind you my head was working on a 5 hour sleep then
__________________
Love doesn't blow up and get killed.
Gil's Mind ENTER IF YOU DARE.
Gil-Galad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2006, 09:47 AM   #18
Mänwe
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Mänwe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: May as well be the Arctic Circle
Posts: 297
Mänwe has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via MSN to Mänwe
Tolkien In reply...

Raynor;

Originally quoted by Raynor;
Quote:
"from 3980 normal years to a "meager" 702 normal years] is quite significant."
Then to be pedantic they were still the "Firstborn". No?

As for the Orkor, you are right, they are a possibility. Well spotted indeed, I found a quote I believe supports the fact that they were Elves, that they were Avari.

"It was indeed their obvious detestation of the Orcs, and their willingness to
assist in any war against them, that convinced the Eldar that the Dwarves were no creatures of Morgoth. Nonetheless the Dwarvish name for Orcs, Rukhs, pl. Rakhas, seems to show affinity to the Elvish names, and was possibly ultimately derived from Avarin."
- (HoME XI) [My Bold]

As for your quote from the Atrabeth, it does not ring any bells within my mind. I am afraid that the interim length has completely scrambled my brain and I cannot remember even reading the quote I thought I remembered!

In conclusion the dates we assign for the birth of Elves and Men allows I think sufficient time for their corruption and cross-breeding to form orcs. Although the short glimpse we have of the Avari does unsettle things somewhat.

I would also throw into the ring the following question.

What do we mean by the word "orc"?

For there were lesser breeds known as "snaga", "orcs" are reffered to as the more disciplined breeds from Mordor and given the name of "uruk" by Sauron.

"The word uruk that occurs in the Black Speech, devised (it is said) by Sauron to serve as a lingua franca for his subjects, was probably borrowed by him from the Elvish tongues of earlier times. It referred, however, specially to the trained and disciplined Orcs of the regiments of Mordor. Lesser breeds seem to have been called snaga." - (HoME XI)

Perhaps these more disciplined ones we can associate more with corrupted Elves.

"'There are Orcs, very many of them,' he said. `And some are large and evil: black Uruks of Mordor." - (Book II, Chapter 5 The Bridge of Khazad-dûm)

There is a clear distinction here between "orc" and "uruk". However there is a clear similarity between them, for "some are large and evil" there are but a few differences in appearance yet they are given another name.

Let us not forget also that Saruman also bred these, they did not just originate from Mordor.

So I ask you, can we actually sign a race that has been corrupted to an "orc" or an "uruk" or a "snaga"?
__________________
"I am, I fear, a most unsatisfactory person."
- (Letter #124 To Sir Stanley Unwin)
Mänwe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 10:47 AM   #19
Animalmother
Pile O'Bones
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 14
Animalmother has just left Hobbiton.
The Eye Hobbit kin as Orc ancestors

Treebeard identified Merry and Pippin as orcs. As were hobbits, most orcs were subterranean creatures small of stature. As were hobbits, they originated in the Misty Mountains region. In THE HOBBIT, the orcs were fond of rough song, as were the hobbits. In the wilds of Misty Mountains where they were not under the discipline of a Saruman or Sauron. their social structure was based on small clans, as was that of the hobbits. Like hobbits, the orcs are omniverous.

The elf-origin of the hobbits theory may simply be due to the obscurity of hobbit folk. A modest folk with much to be modest about, other races didn't notice the hobbits. There was no place for them in their histories.

When the hobbits emerged into history and began to write their own history, they could never imagine fellow hobbit folk as the origin of the horrible orcs.

Elves were creatures of tree and forest. Men are creatures of the plains. Hobbits were partly subterranean creatures. It would be much easier for such a creature to transform into a completely subterranean being than it would be for an elf or a man.
Animalmother is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 11:55 AM   #20
skip spence
shadow of a doubt
 
skip spence's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Back on the streets
Posts: 1,143
skip spence is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.skip spence is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Animalmother!

I remember that nick, although I had to look up the previous posts to correctly place it (which also gave me a nice reminder of Morth's class).

Anyway, I like the theory, it's very imaginative, and you really should post here more often. Orcs really are a bit hobbit-like, though one wonders why the Dark Lord would pick the smallest and most insignificant of talking peoples as a breeding stock for his invading armies...
__________________
"You can always come back, but you can't come back all the way" ~ Bob Dylan
skip spence is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 01:01 PM   #21
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,559
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Animalmother View Post
Treebeard identified Merry and Pippin as orcs. As were hobbits, most orcs were subterranean creatures small of stature. As were hobbits, they originated in the Misty Mountains region. In THE HOBBIT, the orcs were fond of rough song, as were the hobbits. In the wilds of Misty Mountains where they were not under the discipline of a Saruman or Sauron. their social structure was based on small clans, as was that of the hobbits. Like hobbits, the orcs are omniverous.
It is indeed an interesting idea, but I don't think it likely Orcs had their origin in Hobbits.
Dwarves also had a liking for underground dwellings, so that wasn't shared only by Orcs and Hobbits.

The largest point against the idea though, is that Sauron, who had been Morgoth's prime lieutenant from almost the first, before the Orcs ever appeared, didn't seem to know much about Hobbits.

Quote:
Now Sauron had never paid heed to the "Halflings", even if he had heard of them, and he did not yet know where their land lay.
Quote:
Sauron's fears were much allayed when he perceived from Gollum's account that Baggins must have been a creature of the same sort.
UT The Hunt for the Ring

And I don't have FOTR with me, but didn't Gandalf remark to Frodo that Sauron "had entirely overlooked the existence of Hobbits", or something like that?

It's really difficult for me to believe that Hobbits played a part, even an unwilling one, in the making of Orcs with Sauron displaying such ignorance of them.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 01:42 PM   #22
Galin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 945
Galin has been trapped in the Barrow!
Plus externally we don't find Tolkien considering Hobbits as Orc-stock, and he considered: Elves, Men, Elves and also (later) Men, Maiar, beasts, and noted that (internally) some thought the Druedain could have been involved. He even considered the discord of the Music! as another origin.

But this reminds me: one thing I do wonder about in the Elder Days (or Second Age) is height however, as orcs in general don't seem to be that tall. Even the huge uruk in Moria was almost man-high, with the half-orcs being generally man-high*

And by some accounts the Eldar were 6 and a half feet tall, with some kings or leaders even taller -- and by other accounts even taller, Tolkien imagining them normally about 7 feet tall (especially the Noldor), equal in general to the towering Numenoreans.

So I picture a seven foot Glorfindel or Ecthelion, for example, battling the average orc and it seems a notable disparity in height. The uruks of Mordor (and Isengard) are relatively late, just like Saruman's half-orcs -- maybe the Maiar-orcs could have been more use to JRRT, and become more (in number) than leaders of other Orcs, helping fill the ranks with larger stronger types.

Thousands of Boldogs to replace Balrogs one thousand?

Or did Orcs dwindle maybe, and at first 'regular' orcs from the First Age were taller? Or something I'm not thinking of.

__________
*I don't agree that 'man-high' in The Lord of the Rings text must necessarily equal 6 foot 4, as the term is also noted in Numenorean Linear Measures in Unfinished Tales.
Galin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 01:45 PM   #23
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,559
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galin View Post
One thing I do wonder about in the Elder Days (or Second Age) is height however: orcs in general don't seem to be that tall, even the huge uruk in Moria was almost man-high, with the half-orcs being generally man-high*

Ok but by some accounts the Eldar were 6 and a half feet tall, with some kings or leaders even taller -- and by other accounts even taller, Tolkien imagining them normally 7 feet tall (especially the Noldor), equal in general to the towering Numenoreans.
The first Orcs were thought by the Eldar to have been "ruined" Avari, weren't they? They, as a rule, weren't as tall as the Noldor, I don't think. Still, though, one would think elf-blood would make Orcs fairly tall. Perhaps Morgoth began with Elves, then somewhere along the way added Dwarves to the mix. Did the Orcs of the Third Age have blood of all three races, Elves, Men, and Dwarves?
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 02:01 PM   #24
Galin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 945
Galin has been trapped in the Barrow!
I agree: if any Elves were the source one would think they would be 'tall enough'. I wonder why enough orcs seem fairly short in the Third Age (or am I off with this impression)?

I guess if we speculatively add Dwarves that might add yet another race! but I would rather embiggen the orcs of the Elder Days somehow, and attribute a dwindling to... well something.

I do think uruks were 'created' by breeding bigger, stronger (and possibly straighter) orcs with similar larger types, so maybe breeding could explain smaller snaga too, but who knows.

Good Tolkien discussion embiggens us all... but what about Orcs
Galin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2010, 12:56 PM   #25
Pitchwife
Wight of the Old Forest
 
Pitchwife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Unattended on the railway station, in the litter at the dancehall
Posts: 2,906
Pitchwife is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Pitchwife is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Pitchwife is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Pitchwife is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
*succumbs to temptation of playing advocatus diaboli*
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galin View Post
Or did Orcs dwindle maybe, and at first 'regular' orcs from the First Age were taller? Or something I'm not thinking of.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galin a few posts later
I guess if we speculatively add Dwarves that might add yet another race! but I would rather embiggen the orcs of the Elder Days somehow, and attribute a dwindling to... well something.
Don't we know of another race that is said to have 'dwindled' in physical height? From LotR Prologue, Concerning Hobbits:
Quote:
Their height is variable, ranging between two and three feet of our measure. They seldom now reach three feet; but they have dwindled, they say, and in ancient days they were taller.
Strange coincidence, isn't it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun
It's really difficult for me to believe that Hobbits played a part, even an unwilling one, in the making of Orcs with Sauron displaying such ignorance of them.
That would depend on how closely Sauron was involved with Morgoth's breeding project. Plus, aren't Hobbits supposed to be a race or, in modern language, sub-species of ultimately Mannish stock? Again from the Prologue:
Quote:
It is plain indeed that in spite of later estrangement Hobbits are relatives of ours: far nearer to us than Elves, or even than Dwarves.
Now we don't know around which time in history the Hobbits branched off from the Big People, but I'm inclined to think that they weren't originally that much shorter than the average Man (maybe only a foot or so?) and only 'dwindled' to halfling size over time, possibly adapting to their semi-subterranean lifestyle. So Sauron needn't necessarily have made the mental connection between the hypothetical Proto-Hobbits used in Orc-breeding far back in prehistory and the contemporary midgets of the late Third Age.
__________________
The 21st century is when everything changes, you've got to be ready.
Pitchwife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2010, 01:25 PM   #26
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,559
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitchwife View Post
Now we don't know around which time in history the Hobbits branched off from the Big People, but I'm inclined to think that they weren't originally that much shorter than the average Man (maybe only a foot or so?) and only 'dwindled' to halfling size over time, possibly adapting to their semi-subterranean lifestyle. So Sauron needn't necessarily have made the mental connection between the hypothetical Proto-Hobbits used in Orc-breeding far back in prehistory and the contemporary midgets of the late Third Age.
Sauron needn't have been actively involved in the Orc-making project to have at least known where they came from. Since he made so much use of them himself, I'd expect him to know at least their basic history.

The First Age:
Sauron: "Hey Boss, what the Utumno are those things running around here? Is that the new servant race you've been talking about?"

Morgoth: "Yep. I captured a few _______ and tortured 'em for a while, and...here are they are."

Sauron: "Cool! Have you seen my Hummel figurines?"

Flash forward a few thousand years:

Sauron: "Hmm. This Gollum creature who had my Ring...I know I've seen something like him before. Let's see. He's not an Elf. Not a Man, and no Dwarf. He's not 15 feet tall, so I guess an Ent is out of the question. What's left? Ah! Those little Periannath worms 'ol Melkor used to make the Orcs!
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2010, 01:37 PM   #27
Pitchwife
Wight of the Old Forest
 
Pitchwife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Unattended on the railway station, in the litter at the dancehall
Posts: 2,906
Pitchwife is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Pitchwife is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Pitchwife is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Pitchwife is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
Sauron: "Cool! Have you seen my Hummel figurines?"
__________________
The 21st century is when everything changes, you've got to be ready.
Pitchwife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2010, 03:20 PM   #28
Feanor of the Peredhil
La Belle Dame sans Merci
 
Feanor of the Peredhil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: perpetual uncertainty
Posts: 5,956
Feanor of the Peredhil is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Feanor of the Peredhil is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Feanor of the Peredhil is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via MSN to Feanor of the Peredhil
Orcs:

Were-Elves.

Transformed into hideous beasts by the forces of darkness!
__________________
peace
Feanor of the Peredhil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 04:02 AM   #29
morwen edhelwen
Haunting Spirit
 
morwen edhelwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 91
morwen edhelwen has just left Hobbiton.
ha ha.. basically I guess if you're going with the older ideas... elves corrupted by torture ):.
morwen edhelwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 04:28 AM   #30
Nerwen
Wisest of the Noldor
 
Nerwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: ˙˙˙ssɐןƃ ƃuıʞooן ǝɥʇ ɥƃnoɹɥʇ
Posts: 6,701
Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Nerwen is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Send a message via Skype™ to Nerwen
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feanor of the Peredhil View Post
Were-Elves.

Transformed into hideous beasts by the forces of darkness!
Meaning they turn back into Elves by Day? (Capitalisation intentional, of course.)
__________________
"Even Nerwen wasn't evil in the beginning." –Elmo.
Nerwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 09:23 AM   #31
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
Morthoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ensconced in curmudgeonly pursuits
Posts: 2,359
Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Orcs were Elves who eschewed proper daily hair care. The conditioners and shampoos of the Elves were protein-rich, suffused with vitamins and had the essential oils and amino acids necessary for lustrous elvish coifs. As with all great civilization, once hair care was abandoned, Orkishness followed.
__________________
Please visit my newly resurrected blog...The Dark Elf File...a slightly skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.
Morthoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2010, 07:21 AM   #32
Formendacil
Dead Serious
 
Formendacil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Perched on Thangorodrim's towers.
Posts: 3,012
Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Send a message via AIM to Formendacil Send a message via MSN to Formendacil
As far as an overall decrease in height over the millennia between the War of Wrath and the War of the Rings goes--a period of seven thousand years, and close to as long as the Hobbits had to diverge significantly from their initial Mannish stock--is it not possible that the Orks became shorter as a result of evolution? After all, they survived the end of the First Age chiefly in dark hiding places, that is to say caves and such, and these remained their chief dwellings into the early First Age and beyond--Mordor and Isengard notwithstanding.

After all, if the Orkish breeding stock after 1 S.A. was to be found only in those Orks that made it off Beleriand and into the mountains somewhere (and presumably the Blue Mountains were a bad bet, given all those Elves, Dwarves, and Edain swarming about), wouldn't it make sense that almost all of the ancestors of the much-later Third Age Orks would have been, typically, the smallest specimens of Ork: those most suited to an underground life? What's more, barring the realm of Sauron in Mordor (which was not a constant for every century, and which still had to deal with daylight), smaller Orks would have been optimal for surviving in conditions such as those seen under the Great Goblin.
Formendacil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2010, 07:43 AM   #33
Galin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 945
Galin has been trapped in the Barrow!
It's possible that some Orcs diminished simply due to 'unchecked' breeding, smaller surviving orcs breeding or something.

Concerning Hobbits, for myself I imagine they 'awoke' as Hobbits, not that they became smaller through time to become 'halflings' in the first place. Is there anything that doesn't allow my opinion here concerning Hobbits? I don't recall anything at the moment, at least.

Last edited by Galin; 08-24-2010 at 10:15 AM.
Galin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2011, 11:28 PM   #34
Animalmother
Pile O'Bones
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 14
Animalmother has just left Hobbiton.
Orc Aristocrats

Given Melkor/Morgoth's evil proclivity as a sub-creator, the polygenesis hypothesis of orc origins makes most sense. He enjoyed twisting and ruining beings, so why would he limit himself to elves as his founding stock for orcs, when mankind (and perhaps proto-hobbit kind) were also available?

Polygenesis would explain some of the anomalies in the LOTR text. If orcs were of two original stocks, one immortal and the other mortal, orc society would have an orc-aristocracy with a proportionally greater share of elven ancestry, which would confer on the orc-aristocrats greater height, greater longevity, and greater knowledge of ancient orc lore and of the will of their dark masters. The great mass of orcs (snaga) would be twisted versions of mankind, would be shorter and shorter-lived, and would not be the carriers of high (low?) orc-culture. This parallels the caste differences between Numenoreans and other Men.

Shagrat and Gorbag (who remembered a "Great Siege" which could have been the siege of Minas Ithil 1000 years earlier) were likely aristo-orcs, and therefore would naturally be in positions of command. The father-son dynasty of Misty Mountain orc-kings which was so long-lived (Azog/Bolg if I remember right) would also be aristo-orcs. The Great Goblin of THE HOBBIT would be one too. The great mass of common orcs would be of longevity no greater than mankind's.

Orc fertility is another question. Elves would naturally have low fertility, which is unsuitable for a warrior species. Melkor/Morgoth's mutation of women into orc-women would include modifying normal human reproduction so that the orc women frequently produced twins, triplets, and quadruplets. This would explain how the orc population recovered quickly after crushing defeats. It would also explain, to some extent, the small stature of common orcs, as multiple fetuses competing for limited pre-natal nutrition tend to be less large and healthy than single fetuses.

Did orcs have free will? I think the answer, given their origins and actual behavior, must be yes. Their innate urges to be cruel and warlike were stronger than mankind's, and were reinforced by a culture of darkness, but they had free wills and could imagine having different lives, as could Gollum. Was the universal elf/human/dwarf policy of orc-extermination unjustifiable? That's too tough an ethical question for me.
Animalmother is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2011, 01:18 PM   #35
Alfirin
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 435
Alfirin has been trapped in the Barrow!
Another argument in favor of Orcs and Hobbits sharing a common ancestor might be the fact that Frodo and Sam were able to disguise themselves as Orcs......and get away with it . Leaving aside the fact that they Sam has little or no difficulty in Cirith Ungol finding orkish garments that will fit Frodo and himself (which seems to indicate that hobbit sized orcs are fairly common). The addion of those clothes is enough to let them pass for orcs well enough to fool other orcs cursory examination, up fairly close. Even factoring in the fact that the Orc that drove them back into the marching column was likey in a hurry (hereafter referred to as the OS (Orc Sargeant) as I don't remember if he had a name) and the possibility that he only saw them from the back, the fact that they were not immediately recongnized as not being orcs desite the fact they aren't wearing masks (Sam I think actually says that a mask might help frodo pass for an orc I think, which seems to indicate that orcish armor does not unusally come with face plates on the helmets or cloth covers worn on the face, or it would have been a non-issue) seems to indicate that orcs and hobbits are cursorarily similar in appearance, similar enough to fool an Orcish officer (who presumaby has a degree of perception somewhat higher than the rank an file orc as otherwise he would not likey be in a position of command, or at least would not stay there.)

As for the questiuon posed earlier with regards to Orcish lifespan, that's a little hard to determine, since the real measure would require something that the other races of ME likey would never see, a non-slave non-combat orc, and orc with a life of ease and peace and who dies of old age. Orc might in fact have very long natural lifespans, but because of their extremely agressive and violent natures, few if any get to the end of thier actual lifespan. Think of it like, say a parrot which lives maybe 5-6 years on average in the wild, but in captivity can live almost as long as a person.
Alfirin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2011, 07:37 AM   #36
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
Morthoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ensconced in curmudgeonly pursuits
Posts: 2,359
Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfirin View Post
Orc might in fact have very long natural lifespans, but because of their extremely agressive and violent natures, few if any get to the end of thier actual lifespan. Think of it like, say a parrot which lives maybe 5-6 years on average in the wild, but in captivity can live almost as long as a person.
Saruman: 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint.

(The Dark Lord does not respond.)

Saruman: 'Ello, Miss?

Sauron: What do you mean "miss"?

Saruman: I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint!

Sauron: We're closin' for the season. It's invasion time, you know.

Saruman: Never mind that, my lord. I wish to complain about this Orc what I purchased not half an hour ago in Mordor.

Sauron: Oh yes, the, uh, the Khandian Blue Uruk...What's, uh...What's wrong with it?

Saruman: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lord. 'E's dead, that's what's wrong with it!

Sauron: No, no, 'e's uh...he's resting.

Saruman: Look, matey, I know a dead Orc when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.

Sauron: No, no -- he's not dead, he's...he's restin'! Remarkable Orc, the Khandian Blue Uruk, idn'it, ay? Very large and muscular!

Saruman: The muscles don't enter into it. It's stone dead.

Sauron: No-no-no-no, no, no! 'E's resting!

Saruman: All right then, if he's restin', I'll wake him up! (shouting at the cage) 'Ello, Mister Lurtz! I've got some lovely fresh man flesh for you if you show...

(the Dark Lord hits the cage)

Sauron: There, he moved!

Saruman: No, he didn't, that was you hitting the cage!

Sauron: I never! I am the Dark Lord, I don't need to resort to no cheap parlor tricks!


Ummm...sorry, too much coffee this morning. I just saw Orcs in relation to parrots in the wild...and...well, I'm overly caffeinated.
__________________
Please visit my newly resurrected blog...The Dark Elf File...a slightly skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.
Morthoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2011, 08:13 AM   #37
Alfirin
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 435
Alfirin has been trapped in the Barrow!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
Saruman: 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint.

(The Dark Lord does not respond.)

Saruman: 'Ello, Miss?

Sauron: What do you mean "miss"?

Saruman: I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint!

Sauron: We're closin' for the season. It's invasion time, you know.

Saruman: Never mind that, my lord. I wish to complain about this Orc what I purchased not half an hour ago in Mordor.

Sauron: Oh yes, the, uh, the Khandian Blue Uruk...What's, uh...What's wrong with it?

Saruman: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lord. 'E's dead, that's what's wrong with it!

Sauron: No, no, 'e's uh...he's resting.

Saruman: Look, matey, I know a dead Orc when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.

Sauron: No, no -- he's not dead, he's...he's restin'! Remarkable Orc, the Khandian Blue Uruk, idn'it, ay? Very large and muscular!

Saruman: The muscles don't enter into it. It's stone dead.

Sauron: No-no-no-no, no, no! 'E's resting!

Saruman: All right then, if he's restin', I'll wake him up! (shouting at the cage) 'Ello, Mister Lurtz! I've got some lovely fresh man flesh for you if you show...

(the Dark Lord hits the cage)

Sauron: There, he moved!

Saruman: No, he didn't, that was you hitting the cage!

Sauron: I never! I am the Dark Lord, I don't need to resort to no cheap parlor tricks!


Ummm...sorry, too much coffee this morning. I just saw Orcs in relation to parrots in the wild...and...well, I'm overly caffeinated.
and I suppose he'll next claim the Orc is "Pinin' for the Misty Mountains"

Hmm maybe I shoud have used a beta (aka Siamese fighting fish) as my example. I also remebered last night there's a sort of marsupial mouse whose lifespan increases about tenfold if it remains chaste (once it gets ready to mate, it's testosterone level gets so high it poisons it.)
Alfirin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2011, 08:54 AM   #38
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,559
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfirin View Post
Another argument in favor of Orcs and Hobbits sharing a common ancestor might be the fact that Frodo and Sam were able to disguise themselves as Orcs......and get away with it .
It still doesn't make sense to me to say that Hobbits were used in the breeding of Orcs when Sauron himself seemed utterly clueless about Hobbits until he captured Gollum.

However, let's look at the issue about Frodo and Sam wearing the orc-clothes in Mordor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfirin View Post
Leaving aside the fact that they Sam has little or no difficulty in Cirith Ungol finding orkish garments that will fit Frodo and himself (which seems to indicate that hobbit sized orcs are fairly common).
The orc-clothes, save the helmets, were not an especially close fit for the hobbits.

Quote:
Over the tunic went a coat of stout ring-mail, short for a full-sized orc, too long for Frodo, and heavy....One [helmet] fitted Frodo well enough, a black cap with iron rim, and iron hoops covered with leather upon which the Evil Eye was painted in red above the beaklike nose-guard.
ROTK The Tower of Cirith Ungol

Sam remarks, after Frodo is fully dressed:

Quote:
'A perfect little orc, if I may make so bold--at least you would be, if we could cover your face with a mask, give you longer arms, and make you bow-legged. This will hide some of the tell-tales.' He put a large black cloak around Frodo's shoulders.
ROTK The Tower of Cirith Ungol

Sam then found an orc-helmet and black cloak for himself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfirin View Post
Even factoring in the fact that the Orc that drove them back into the marching column was likey in a hurry (hereafter referred to as the OS (Orc Sargeant) as I don't remember if he had a name) and the possibility that he only saw them from the back, the fact that they were not immediately recongnized as not being orcs desite the fact they aren't wearing masks (Sam I think actually says that a mask might help frodo pass for an orc I think, which seems to indicate that orcish armor does not unusally come with face plates on the helmets or cloth covers worn on the face, or it would have been a non-issue) seems to indicate that orcs and hobbits are cursorarily similar in appearance, similar enough to fool an Orcish officer (who presumaby has a degree of perception somewhat higher than the rank an file orc as otherwise he would not likey be in a position of command, or at least would not stay there.
First off, it was pretty dark when Frodo and Sam were spotted, and as Sam noted, the light of the torches carried by the column had already passed them by. They had the black cloaks on, which would have hidden a great deal, and the "beaklike nose-guard would have had some concealing effect as well.
Also, the "OS" appears to have only really seen the shields carried by the hobbits:

Quote:
He took a step towards them, and even in the gloom he recognized the devices on their shields.
ROTK The Land of Shadow

That was probably the most common way an individual orc was categorized in such a regimented, militaristic society, and thus the first place the "OS" looked.

Speaking of the "OS", his position as the "motivator" doesn't speak for his having any exceptional intelligence or command ability. All he was doing was getting a group of orcs from Point A to Point B inside Mordor, not ordering them in battle.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2011, 09:04 AM   #39
Galadriel55
Blossom of Dwimordene
 
Galadriel55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The realm of forgotten words
Posts: 8,044
Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
It still doesn't make sense to me to say that Hobbits were used in the breeding of Orcs when Sauron himself seemed utterly clueless about Hobbits until he captured Gollum.
They could have interbred without Sauron knowing. If they had a command "Breed", they'd breed with whomever they see first. If the mate is a bit short for a reglar (wo)man, it's just too bad.

Maybe orcs that spent most of their time near hobbit settlements (like Gladden Fields) became shorter overtime, whereas those near Rohan (for example) would have been quite tall.
__________________
"I have no great fondness for the universe, but I do live there." - Eliezer Yudkowsky
Galadriel55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2011, 03:54 PM   #40
Alfirin
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 435
Alfirin has been trapped in the Barrow!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
First off, it was pretty dark when Frodo and Sam were spotted, and as Sam noted, the light of the torches carried by the column had already passed them by. They had the black cloaks on, which would have hidden a great deal, and the "beaklike nose-guard would have had some concealing effect as well.
Also, the "OS" appears to have only really seen the shields carried by the hobbits:
okay my main point was really only that, if the average orc was as some had suggested only slightly shorter than a man, than the whole trick would have been impossible. The hobbits could not have MOVED in orchish clothing so oversized. Frodo of course has basically a full orc kit (since most to all of his own clothes were in the bundle the Cirith Ungol Orc had manged to get out of the tower and were currently headed to Barad-dur) but even sam would have had trouble since the cloak would drag on the ground so badly he'd be constantly tripping. An no matter how dark it was the OS would have presumably noticed that the orcs he was looking at were several feet too short for warrior orcs. (and if one belives in the "battle orcs are bigger than snaga theory" he'd likey be suspicios of two snaga who were out playing with the big boys (even if the orc legions took snaga with them, as camp retainers, they probably wouldn't be permitted to go out in full armor, that would be a privalage reserved for "true" orcs)

That was probably the most common way an individual orc was categorized in such a regimented, militaristic society, and thus the first place the "OS" looked.

Speaking of the "OS", his position as the "motivator" doesn't speak for his having any exceptional intelligence or command ability. All he was doing was getting a group of orcs from Point A to Point B inside Mordor, not ordering them in battle. [/QUOTE]

but if the shield was they way they were reconized it still means that the OS would have had to recognize the shield as being one he had seen before so at bare minimum Frodo and sam would have had to be roughly the same build as the orcs whose shields they were using (unless a shield (or its individual emblems)marks a tribe, not an individual).
As for command ability, at minimum the OS would have had to have some ability. If Orc society was so fractious that desertion was such a real problem (and the fact that this is his first thought when he sees frodo and sam rather than two orcs who are too weak to cut it and in need of being converted into corpses/battle rations (orcs are cannibalistic right?) mean he needs the ability to be able to confidently coerce wayward orcs back into line, and enough respect from the rank and file they don't turn en masse and fragg him. (unless whoever formed the patrol simply picked his biggest, nastiest, most brutal orc as OS on the grounds that he had enough power to keep everyone else in line.) and it's a pretty big bunch of orcs, the OS couln't survive the march if he had to watch his back around all of them.
Alfirin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

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 10:10 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.