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Thanks Tyrhael/Arco, I missed seeing that. Happy Elf Smilie
Old thread, but I recently found this posted at another forum...

Quote:
'(...) I came across something interesting on this subject by the writer George MacDonald Fraser (1925-2008), in his book The Light's on at Signpost (2002), which dealt with his scriptwriting days in Hollywood, but which also included other matters. He said that he was working for the newspaper The Glasgow Herald in the 1960s; and there was a debate in the canteen on whether the orcs in LotR were the same as the goblins in The Hobbit. He wrote to Tolkien, and received a reply:

Yes, orcs and goblins were identical, and he added the fascinating information that they had been inspired by his childhood reading of The Princess and the Goblin and The Princess and Curdie, eerie spellbinders which had helped to freshen my own infant nightmares. Their author was a Scottish minister named George MacDonald. (George MacDonald Fraser, The Light's on at Signpost: Memoirs of the movies, among other matters, (London: Harper Collins Publishers, 2003), p. 53.)

Fraser, after saying that this George MacDonald was related to him through his paternal grandmother, discussed the difficulty of discerning other inspirations, giving as an example what had been written on himself:

His [Tolkien's] orcs and goblins are George MacDonald's, but as to other inspirations, who knows? It is a common mistake to think that one can spot with certainly the wellsprings of an author's imagination, as I know only too well, having had a critic state flatly that I was plainly much influenced by Conrad - of whom I had not read a single word at that time. (Ibid., pp. 53-54.)'


Posted by Faramir Jones at Barrow Downs, in a thread titled ‘Strains of Elvish Song and Voices', Bradford Lee Eden


Of course the actual statement from Tolkien is really needed, I already agree, but it's interesting nonetheless, even if not a primary source.
All this confusion about orcs/goblins purely stems from some fantasy role-playing systems, especially D&D, who introduced big differences between Orcs, Ogres, Goblings & Hobgoblins.

One might even blame D&D for Elves having pointy ears. JRRT himself never emphasized this.
All of those creatures bring up totally different mental pictures for me. Galin, that's so cool that you found that information straight from the Professor himself! In the Hobbit I pictured goblins as something totally different from the orcs that came later...

Orcs were first bred in the First Age shortly after the Elves awoke at Cuivienen. Melkor kidnapped many Avari (Dark Elves), and interbred them with Talking Apes (australopithecines) he had obtained from the Dark Lands south and east of Middle Earth. This was done in Utumno. The resulting hybrids were the first Orcs. After Dwarves appeared, Melkor kidnapped a huge proportion of them and interbred them with Orcs, producing a much tougher Orc. When the various varieties of Man appeared, Melkor used Hobbits and Druadan (neanderthals) for his Orc stock. Melkor's work ended with his capture and expulsion from Arda,  His work was continued under the expert hand of Sauron, who contributed innovations of his own. It was Sauron who finally used Man Proper for breeding stock; Melkor had always scorned to do so, because of Man's short lifespan. He bred Orcs with Dunlendings to produce Half-Orcs, then bred these with larger Orcs to make the Urukhai. This process was later perfected by Saruman. Sauron also bred Urukhai with Trolls to make the Ologhai.  From the very earliest times, Melkor had augmented  his basic breeding stock with chromosomal material obtained from the Lizard Men (intelligent descendants of struthiomimus) of the Dark Lands. At various times this stock was also genetically altered with genes from Gorillas from the same Dark Lands. Who knows where Orc Engineering would have gone if not cut short by Sauron's demise. In a story from his Unfinished Writings, Tolkien confided that the millions of remaining Orcs were turned into Men by Iluvatar and became the Chinese. Oddly enough, Glorfindel the Elf was witness to this event. The legions of Avari refused Eonwe's Final Summoning at the end of the Fourth Age. Iluvatar made them Men also, and they became the Finns. Melkor's vilest act was defiling the Elves, though Iluvatar managed to undo most of his harm at the end.

Orcs were first bred by Melkor in the Fist Age, at Utumno. Shortly after the first Awakening of the Elves at Cuivienen, Melkor kidnapped a large amount of Avari (Dark Elves). He bred them with Talking Apes (australopithecines) from the Dark Lands south and east of Middle Earth, producing the first Orcs. While he was prisoner at Mandos, Sauron augmented this basic stock with a multitude of Dwarves captured after their first appearance (this greatly depleted the dwarf population). With the advent of Man, the returned Melkor utilized Hobbit and Druedain (Neanderthal) stock. His work was cut short by his defeat and expulsion fom Arda, but was carried on under the expert hand of Sauron. Sauron finally incorporated Man Proper into Orcs; Melkor had always scorned to do this because of Man's short lifespan. Sauron bred Dunlendings with Orcs to make Half-Orcs, then bred these with Larger Orcs (Boldogs) to make the Urukhai. Later he bred the Urukhai with Trolls to make the Ologhai (with an infusion of Entwife genes). Throughout his experiments, Melkor modified his work with chromosomes obtained from the Lizard Men (intelligent descendants of Struthiomimus) of the Dark Lands, and with occasional grafts of Gorilla genes from the same source. In his Unfinished Tales, Tolkien confides that  after the War, the millions of remaining Orcs were turned into Men by Iluvatar: they became the Chinese. Oddly enough, Glorfindel the Elf was witness to this event. The remaining Avari refused Eonwe's Last Summoning at the end of the Fouth Age, and were also turned into Men; they became the Finns.

Where are the sources for this? Specifically, the lizard-men and the explanation of the transformation of species into men. I've read the UT, and recall no mention of this.

Thanks

 

Ed note: Wow, it seems in my absence I was transformed into a Hobbit from Buckland.

^^I do believe he was joking, Turin. Though the line about the Chinese was hilarious...

I hate joining in all these threads when they've died out, I missed on all the good discussions!! Goblins are different from Orcs, this is mentioned somewhere in greater detail, I believe in one of the appendices of the LOTR. They are indeed smaller. Sauron did breed the Uruk-hai, though Sauruman made changes, and thus were born the Uruk-Hai of Isengard.

Also remember this, in the FoTR, when the balrog arrived in Moria, and all the goblins scattered, they actually did scurry up the walls and pillars and whatnot in terror; whereas, in TT, Merry/Pippin ran into Fangorn to escape the orcs, and climbed the trees because they knew the orcs couldn't follow, but instead would just chop down the tree. Thus, there is a difference.

But I think everything has already been cleared up so...

Turin, my friend, you rise from the dead to question me? I do not know who gave that poor Elf the name of Balrogs R Us, but  I think he is joking, not I. The story about Orcs turning into Chinese and Avaris into Finns is indeed real, and is in one of the Unfinished Tales books. There's about eight of them, try the last one. The Lizard Men are inferred rather than attested, unless they are the Wereworms of the Last Lands mentioned by Sam in the FOTR. Orcs are frequently mentioned as having reptilian characteristics. some of them had green skin. Some Trolls actually had scales. Tolkien says in The Silmarillion that many foul things were fetched up from the Dark Lands to breed the Orcs. He alludes only to Apes, but something intelligent and reptilian must have been there as well to account for the orc's reptilianism. A lot of genetic engineering must have been going on to make such disparate genes add up to one thing. No wonder the Orcs were hideously deformed. It is well known that Melkor played around with reptile genetics quite a bit to make the Dragons (don't forget Sauron's pterodactyls). Maybe he playfully inserted some dragon genes into Orcs as a whimsical touch. The poor Avari who were kidnapped were used only for Breeding Stock; after they were used for this, they were killed and eaten, probably to feed their monstrous progeny.

The Lizard People probably looked like man-sized  Geico Lizards, and they lived roughly in the location of present-day Australia. Coincidence? Maybe Melkor got pissed because they tried to sell him something. Turin, I am so sorry that you are now a Hobbit. Buckland agreeing with you, is it? Perhaps Saruman lurks still. Goblins are just small Orcs, probably of basal Hobbit stock. I think they're the same as snagas in the LOTR. Why do so many people have trouble with this? Incidentally, this site is spell-check hell! Living in Aman as I do, I meet many strange people who give me stories unknown in Middle Earth. Manwe has retained me to conduct an investigation into Orc Origins, it's thankless work, I'll tell you! Maybe I'll go to China and do some interviews. Galadriel says hi, and she hopes the hobbit thing will pass.

You're right, I do remember the pterodactyls now that you mention it. And I don't know how I could've forgotten the Lizard people's good news about saving money on car insurance. Good call!!

Keep it up, I'm sure there's other things that have slipped my mind...

I hate joining in all these threads when they've died out, I missed on all the good discussions!!

 

Well you can discuss this matter now if you like, for example...

Goblins are different from Orcs, this is mentioned somewhere in greater detail, I believe in one of the appendices of the LOTR. They are indeed smaller.

 

I don't remember that in any of the Appendices, but I seem to recall large 'goblins' in both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, so I'm not sure I can agree goblins are smaller.

Sauron did breed the Uruk-hai, though Sauruman made changes, and thus were born the Uruk-Hai of Isengard.

 

For myself, I think Saruman hired some uruks and paid some in man-flesh (or claimed he gave them man-flesh at least), and trained them well.

Also remember this, in the FoTR, when the balrog arrived in Moria, and all the goblins scattered, they actually did scurry up the walls and pillars and whatnot in terror; whereas, in TT, Merry/Pippin ran into Fangorn to escape the orcs, and climbed the trees because they knew the orcs couldn't follow, but instead would just chop down the tree. Thus, there is a difference.

 

I don't remember the word 'goblin(s)' at the point in the tale when the Balrog appeared -- did I miss it? In any case, I maintain that there's no difference between an orc and a 'goblin'.

But I think everything has already been cleared up so... 

 

Maybe not, it appears 

It is very simple. "Goblin" is used to translate the Westron word, Orc is the more high-falutin' word used in Gondor and amongst the Elves when speaking Westron (it's derived from Elvish "yrch"Wink Smilie. Just synonyms. But for those who insist there is a difference, the Goblins of the Misty Mountains are probably the Snagas mentioned in the later books. The earlier Orcs were rather small, having as they did infusions of Dwarf genes, and even Hobbit genes.

Oopsie, my bad! The quote about the Were-worms of the Last Desert was made by Bilbo on Page 31 of the Hobbit. Sam probably knew about them as well. I am fairly sure that Melkor used them for chromosomal material to graft onto the genes of his Orcs and Trolls. Their present-day descendants are the Car-Insurance Salesmen.

It is very simple. "Goblin" is used to translate the Westron word, Orc is the more high-falutin' word used in Gondor and amongst the Elves when speaking Westron.

 

Orc is the Hobbit's word for these creatures, as well as a word used by the Rohirrim. I'm not aware that it was considered a pretentious word in Gondor however, or among Elves.

But for those who insist there is a difference, the Goblins of the Misty Mountains are probably the Snagas mentioned in the later books.

 

But that isn't a difference between a goblin and an orc of course. I would insist there are differences between orcs -- between uruks and snagas for example, but I'm not sure anyone would argue with that.

Just to add: goblins in or from the Misty Mountains need not always mean smallness. Keep in mind that in Moria we meet large Uruks from Mordor, and that in The Hobbit: 'Out jumped the goblins, big goblins, great ugly-looking goblins, lots of goblins, before you could say...'

And back to The Lord of the Rings, a few of the larger, bolder Northerners (of those Northerners that we happen to meet in The Uruk-hai chapter anyway) stay with the Isengarders before their run under the Sun. So even the idea that all the Northerners present can't keep up with the Isengarders under the sun would seem too sweeping.

In general 'goblins' being smaller than orcs really doesn't hold up in the text, but in any event, to me it would be like saying that a 'dog' is (for some reason) smaller than a hund, if the original language was German instead of Westron (and in a story including dogs!)

It is told that when Morgoth (Melkor) first captured Maedhros, he showed him seven gnawed-at skulls on a stone table and said: " Behold the common ancestors of the Orcs and the Elves! What shall we call them? How about 'stupid'?" And then Morgoth laughed uproariously, as if at a favorite joke. Even his sense of humor was atrocious!

You are quite right, sir, the terms Orc and Goblin are indeed synonymous. But in The Hobbit, everyone says Goblins, and in the LOTR, everyone says Orcs. I think the newer term came to the Shire from Gondor, via Bree.

The word "Goblin" was probably used to translate the word "Glam."

You are quite right, sir, the terms Orc and Goblin are indeed synonymous. But in The Hobbit, everyone says Goblins, and in the LOTR, everyone says Orcs. I think the newer term came to the Shire from Gondor, via Bree. 

 

I think a better way to put it is: in the world of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings no one said 'goblin'.

Because no one spoke English

The Elvish word for "enemy" was Glam. In the Colloquial Westron of Eriador, Glam simply meant "Goblin." In the Proper Westron of Gondor, the word for Goblin was "Orc."

The Elvish word for "enemy" was Glam. In the Colloquial Westron of Eriador, Glam simply meant "Goblin." In the Proper Westron of Gondor, the word for Goblin was "Orc." 

 

There's no textual support for this that I'm aware of...

... but as a number of your posts appear to be fan fiction, I guess this might be fan-fic too. 

[by the way, from the new EMPIRE Hobbit issue]...

Note that it's definitely goblins, here, not orcs. "There's a distinction," insists make-up and hair designer Peter King. Dan Hennah defines it vividly: "Goblins are like lice in the seam of your trouser leg, whereas orcs are much more upstanding and larger in scale."

 But don't be fooled by the filmmakers.

And by that I don't mean that they are trying to fool anyone with respect to the books, but for whatever reason they appear to have taken up the idea that there is a distinction between an orc and a goblin, for their films at least.

One reason I believe that orcs and goblins are the same or atleast different breeds of the same species is that sting glowed in the preseance of orcs and goblins. But it it didn't didn't glow at any other evil creatures, atleast not that I know of.
Very true Glorgindel. I still reckon that with evolution the underground Orcs (Goblins) would look very different to the above ground Orcs who brave the light. We saw it in the caverns of Moria and again in Goblin Town. I like the distinction as it make sense in an evolutionary manner as the breed of the Orc had been around for tens of thousands of years. Time enough for one species (or creatures) physical appearance to change. After all if the Orcs originated from the Elves, look how far they changed or were changed. I know it's drawing a long bow but in nature physical appearance can change over a handful of generations.

For a distinction in Tolkien's world, for example:

'Presently two orcs came into view. One was clad (...) it was of a small breed, black-skinned, with wide and snuffling nostrils: evidently a tracker of some kind. The other was a big fighting-orc, like those of Shagrat's company (...) As usual they were quarrelling, and being of different breeds they used the Common Speech after their fashion.

JRRT, The Land of Shadow

And all these creatures are 'Orcs' because that is the actual word in the fictive original Red Book, the word the Hobbits actually spoke. Sam's name wasn't 'Sam' in the original, but Ban (for short), and Banazir said Orc or wrote Orc, just like the Men of Rohan did. The word 'goblin' is the English translation in the modern book.

Actually Tolkien thought about not employing Elves 'in translation' as he wanted to avoid the modern connotations of the word (in the 1950s more especially perhaps), but his tale makes it clear that his Elves are not small creatures for instance, and in the Appendices JRRT even notes that they are not winged!

Which I'm not sure would have been a problematic interpretation for The Lord of the Rings, but it's still noted!

Personally I think that the Orcs were small dice. I could deal with facing Orcs with only a dagger or sword, but if I saw an Uruk-hai coming at me, give me a freaking machiene gun! Those guys are fueled by hate! A hate so pure that if they get their arm cut off, they fight even harder! Those things are the scariest creatures in Middle-Earth! With a few exceptions (Shelob, the Balrog, the Nazgul, Sauron, to name a few). I'd rather deal with the Barrow-wight!

Yes, an uruk is normally a larger type, well trained soldier goblin, while a snaga is a lesser goblin.

In [noted Tolkien scholar] Tom Shippey's article History in Words, Tolkien's Ruling Passion, Mr. Shippey writes:

'I used to say that Tolkien dropped the word goblin after he introduced the word orc, because he was not satisfied with its etymology [...] I was wrong about goblin, as the Thesaurus again revealed to me, with nine uses of the word in The Lord of the Rings. The Thesaurus also reveals, however, that the word tends to be used, in The Lord of the Rings, not by the wise and the long-lived, like Gandalf or Elrond, but by the Hobbits*: and hobbits, like modern English-speakers, are not good at etymology. The word is perhaps part of their low-style speech mode, which attracts particular attention in Gondor and indeed in the Riddermark. Tolkien's use of language, in short, is deep and consistent, and the Thesaurus helps you trace it.'

*five times out of nine the word is either used by a Hobbit or in an entirely hobbitic context. Gimli and Gamling the Rider also use the word once, the latter perhaps showing the connection between the Rider's language and the ancestral speech of the hobbits. Twice it is used in general narration.'

I don't think I agree with a couple of things here. The Thesaurus noted is Richard Blackwelder's. I don't have it, but for myself I have counted more instances of goblin than nine. And although I count instances of the word in a compound, if Shippey is counting Gamling's example, the one I found is also a compound [unless Gamling uses 'goblin' twice and I missed another instance, but he doesn't speak very much in any event].

We could put a different emphasis on things here, as more often than not [9 examples out of 13 that I am currently aware of] we simply have narration or non-hobbits speaking. I'm not sure this usage necessarily speaks to Tolkien being consistent about employing 'goblin' to represent a low-style speech of the Hobbits. Gamling uses 'orc' just before 'goblin' and this example may simply illustrate the desire [of the author] to use variant terminology in the same sentence.

Shippey does not attempt to explain Gimli's example within his theory, nor does he speak to the fact that the Hobbits also use orc in The Lord of the Rings -- which seemingly he would have to explain as well, again, at least as to how it fits within the context of his suggestion.

In any case the numbers are off. Again, I found more examples of 'goblin' in The Lord of the Rings than noted in the source used by Shippey, and without the aid of a computer search, so I might be missing some instances as well.

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