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Old 12-07-2002, 04:56 PM   #1
Melkor89
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The Eye Orcs/Goblins

What is the difference between Orcs and Goblins, or are Orcs a type of goblin? In the Hobbit it says that Sting glows blue in the presence of goblins. But, in Lord of the Rings, it is said that Sting glows blue in the presence of Orcs. What's with that?
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Old 12-07-2002, 06:39 PM   #2
Judge Simon
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The Eye

My opinion only without consulting me books is that, they're pretty much the same, goblins not being as big and obtuse as orcs, but they are both foes of the elves, and I think, causing sting to glow at the presence of both

[ December 07, 2002: Message edited by: Judge Simon ]
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Old 12-08-2002, 01:32 PM   #3
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Sting

Orcs are goblins. They're the same. 'Goblins' is the term Tolkien uses to describe the smaller orcs through Chapter 3: Uruk-hai of The Two Towers. These smaller orcs have come from the Mines of Moria in the Misty Mountains - just as the orcs in The Hobbit, making the use of the term consistent, while the orcs (including Uruk-hai) from Isengard are referred to as 'orcs'. You may recall the confrontation between Uglśk (Isengarder) and Grishnįkh (goblin from the north). Grishnįkh tells us where he is from:

Quote:
We have come all the way from the Mines to kill, and avenge our folk. I wish to kill, and then go back north.
Then we see the size differences and the terms used to denote each:

Quote:
In the twilight he saw a large black Orc, probably Uglśk, standing facing Grishnįkh, a short crook-legged creature, very broad and with long arms that hung almost to the ground. Round them were many smaller goblins. Pippin supposed that these were the ones from the North. They had drawn their knives and swords, but hesitated to attack Uglśk. Uglśk shouted, and a number of other Orcs of nearly his own size ran up.
Quote:
The hobbits felt Grishnįkh's fingers twitch. 'O ho!' hissed the goblin softly. 'That's what he means, is it? O ho! Very ve-ry dangerous, my little ones.'
Tolkien regretted using that term in The Hobbit later on, hence the switch to using 'orcs' more often.

Letter 151:

Quote:
Your preference of goblins to orcs involves a large question and a matter of taste, and perhaps historical pedantry on my pan. Personally I prefer Orcs (since these creatures are not 'goblins', not even the goblins of George MacDonald, which they do to some extent resemble).
[ December 08, 2002: Message edited by: Legalos ]
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Old 12-08-2002, 10:30 PM   #4
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1420!

Well, it mostly comes down to terminology as JRRT struggled to interpret the Red Book and deal with the incomplete knowledge that the Wise couldn't help but have about the Dark Powers. As I like to point out, Morgoth did not release any type of Diary. I side with JRRT's first inclination, that severe mutilation, corruption and so forth of early Elves was the source of the base matter for Orc life, which Morgoth could not create. I see this as strictly material, not spiritual, and the soul of these early Elven victims were released to Mandos. Whatever spirit inhabits the body of any Orc, I would consider it to be only the perpetuation of some demonic energy that Morgoth added to the mix. Whatever other material or animation was introduced or bred into Orcs (or later manifestations, such as the Uruk-Hai) who can say. By the Elder Days, it may have included Men (especially Druedain), Dwarves, animals or ancient fell creatures.

Saruman appears to have been the first to introduce Orc traits into another people with his human hybrids, which are variously called Goblin-men, Orc-men and Half-Orcs.

As for Goblins, I consider that not only a variant term for all run-of-the-mill Orcs, but also more properly a term for that subset of Orcs that were of smaller size and tended to live in vast subterrainean places in the Northern Mountains, but were also best able to self-perpetuate themselves without the assistance of the Evil Powers. Hobgoblins might then be a sub-variety of this variety, such as Bolg, Azog and the Great Goblin that were of Uruk-like size.

It seems from the Books that Orcs were far from uniform in terms of both tribal markers and physical form.
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Old 12-09-2002, 02:43 AM   #5
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Sting

just a bit of comment:

Quote:
by Legalos

Grishnįkh (goblin from the north)
as far as I recall, he's not from the mines, but form Mordor

the sentence you refer to belongs to some unnamed orc

Quote:
'Not our orders!' said one of the earlier voices. 'We have come all the way from the Mines to kill, and avenge our folk. I wish to kill, and then go back north.'
Ugluk and Grishnakh both have some orders, and this is one of the so-called "maggots" speaking (Ugluk calls them thus)
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