Login | Register
 
Message Board | Latest Posts | Your Recent Posts | Rules

Thread: Orcs / Goblins

Is this discussion interesting? Share it on Twitter!

Bottom of Page    Message Board > The Hobbit > Orcs / Goblins   << [1] [2] [3] >>
Yes, it would be considered Grey-elven for 'Goblin-cleaver'. The sword-name Orchrist appears in a text known as Etymologies too, which also includes examples of 'orc-words' like *órku goblin Q. orko (...) N orch. In this document N stands for Noldorin, a language that Tolkien would tinker with, later becoming 'Sindarin'.

As of today we have no specific explanation for -hai from Tolkien, but my personal opinion is that it means something like 'folk'. Christopher Tolkien's entry in Unfinished Tales also tells us that 'Uruks', a plural of course, is an anglicization for Uruk-hai.

Whatever it means it should probably fit with the examples Uruk-hai, Olog-hai, Oghor-hai.
I figure "hai" was a stylized form of "high" as in "great". For the Uruk-hai, Olog-hai, Oghor-hai, the the Greater Orcs, Greater Trolls, and Greater Ogres, were all taller and stronger than their lesser cousins.
Quote:
I figure "hai" was a stylized form of "high" as in "great". For the Uruk-hai, Olog-hai, Oghor-hai, the the Greater Orcs, Greater Trolls, and Greater Ogres, were all taller and stronger than their lesser cousins.


In Christopher Tolkien's entry, Uruk-hai is said to be Black Speech however, thus, according to this at least, -hai is not a stylized form of English 'high'. Appendix F notes that the Black Speech word uruk itself was applied as a rule only to the 'great soldier orcs' at this time issuing from Mordor and Isengard.

Also, Tolkien writes that Oghor-hai refers to the Drúedain (not certain of them, for example).
I realize this question might permanently brand me as a complete idiot but........
Why were there no female Orcs, Uruk Hai, whatever that did battle, they would have the same strength, there were females weren't they, I thought I read they were bred or something like that.They were simply a perversion not a unique creation is that not true?
And just where were all these females kept? It has bothered me for quite a while.
Any help would be much appreciated.
A fairly 'new' letter has come to light, in which Tolkien stated...

'There must have been orc women. But in stories that seldom see the Orcs except as soldiers of armies in the service of evil lords we naturally would not learn much about their lives. Not much was known.' JRRT
Also, as another example of an ostensible lack of female kind, consider what is said of the dwarf-women in Appendix A III, "Durin's Folk":

Quote:

They are in voice and appearance, and in garb if they must go on a journey, so like to the dwarf-men that the eyes and ears of other peoples cannot tell them apart.


I guess that means that dwarf-women have big bushy beards? I always thought that this also characterized orc-women.
Quote:
And just where were all these females kept? It has bothered me for quite a while.
Any help would be much appreciated.

I think female Orcs were indiscernable from male Orcs, just like with Dwarven women and Dwarven men.

I think they were mostly kept at home like with the other peoples of Middle-earth, although I would not be surprised if both Orc sexes took equally part into the profession of marauding.
Thankyou, that has bothered me for the longest time. I suppose all the depilitories in the world and all the lovely perfumes and lotions and whatnot could never really help them. How dreadful!
"For the Orcs had life and multiplied after the manner of the Children of Ilúvatar; and naught that had life of its own, nor the semblance of life, could ever Melkor make since his rebellion in the Ainulindalë before the Beginning: so say the wise." The Sil

There were indeed Orc women as we see here. As for where they were kept it seems plain to me. They were kept probably in 'Orc houses' or some such thing and would be solely used to increase the population rapidly. Pretty poor treatment but beyond doubt effective...
I seriously doubt they would be used in combat or indeed have any other purpose except this.
I have to agree completely. How dreadful and hopeless. But then I wonder what their thoughts were beyond obedience to orders and fighting for position and power. Their thoughts must have been only dark and fell because I don't recall reading that any had a single even remotely lofty thought or feeling.Were they incapable or just brainwashed I wonder?
Only the first Orcs which had experienced what it was like to be Elves were brainwashed. All other generations were simply brought up into evil and knew nothing else, thus became evil themselves, as opposed to just corrupted. However according to Tolkien even the Orcs were not irredeemable:

"They would be Morgoth’s greatest Sins, abuses of his highest privilege, and would be creatures begotten of Sin, and naturally bad (I nearly wrote ’irredeemably bad’; but that would be going too far." ~Letter #153
So a lot of their nature was caused by their nurture. I always figured the snaga tracker Sam and Frodo overheard while in the vale between Ethel Dúath and the Morgai, after their escape from the Tower Cirith Ungol, might have liked to get off on his own, away from all the warfare and political infighting, where he could take up marrow farming. Thus even he might have become redeemable.
Well that is the most h eartbreaking t hing. To live your whole life knowing only evil and to never ever have a chance to step into the light and see something good, feel the joy of doing something good. It makes you see how precious freedom is, even if it is routinely abused. Thankyou for that Grondy dear.
Quote:
To live your whole life knowing only evil and to never ever have a chance to step into the light and see something good, feel the joy of doing something good.

They were only deemed 'evil' by the Free Peoples of Middle-earth. They would not deem themselves 'evil'; to them the Elves, Dwarves and Men would be 'evil'.

They were only 'evil' in the absolute sense, meaning they rejected Creation and wished to replace it by Morgoth's, or at least helping Morgoth in establishing his own.
Are you sure Vir that the Orcs and kind actually thought of the race of Men as 'evil' or just hated enemies. They had no concept of good or evil like the first born elves and men and hobbits and dwarves, so how could this be?
And I know that in the account of the taking of Merry and Pippin, the Sauron group and the Saruman group hated one another and called them names, things of derision and contempt. But I don't think they thought one another as worse than t hemselves. I just don't see how they could think of anyone as evil since they had not good to be the true basis to start from. They were conceived in 'the dark' as it were, brought forth in the dark and knew only the dark and unbelievable cruelty and hardship. The fact that even the bread t hey were given was grey and dreadful shows they never were even rewarded for their service to their dread lords.They knew only pain and fighting and strife and ugliness all their days.
The Orcs did not think of 'Good and evil' as the Free peoples do. The Orcs secretly loath Morgoth for what he did to them and serve him only out of pure fear and the fact that they could not hope to unite against him becuase for a union to occur you have to trust eachother and believe in your cause. The Orcs however were never brought up knowing trust or faith only strict loyalty to there superiors.
The Orc empire led by Morgoth, secondly by Sauron is based wholly on loyalty held together by malice and dread of the Master. That is why when Morgoth fell the Orcs that survived were utterly wretched and confused and even witless. Fear and obedience was all they had ever known and that was robbed of them at the Downfall of Morgoth thus there purpose of there lives was deminished.
I doubt they even thought that the purposes of there Master were 'right', they simply followed and ordered it like ants that do not know there overall purpose yet try to fulfill what is required of them regardless.
As all living beings, Orcs had desires and plans and were not witless husks, as can for instance be learnt from the conversation between Shagrat & Gorbag; it is clear they loathed their master and wishes to be free to live according to their own plans :
Quote:
`You should try being up here with Shelob for company,' said Shagrat.
'I'd like to try somewhere where there's none of 'em. But the war's on now, and when that's over things may be easier.'
`It's going well, they say.'
'They would.' grunted Gorbag. `We'll see. But anyway, if it does go well, there should be a lot more room. What d'you say? - if we get a chance, you and me'll slip off and set up somewhere on our own with a few trusty lads, somewhere where there's good loot nice and handy, and no big bosses.'
'Ah! ' said Shagrat. `Like old times.'
( `Yes,' said Gorbag. 'But don't count on it. I'm not easy in my mind. As I said, the Big Bosses, ay,' his voice sank almost to a whisper, `ay, even the Biggest, can make mistakes. Something nearly slipped you say. I say, something has slipped. And we've got to look out. Always the poor Uruks to put slips right, and small thanks. But don't forget: the enemies don't love us any more than they love Him, and if they get topsides on Him, we're done too. But see here: when were you ordered out?)'

(from Chapter Ten of TTT)

The Orcs to me seemed to be in essence a purely tribal society lead by the largest and strongest Orc, like for instance the tribe lead by Azog and later Bolg.

The Uruk-hai bred by Sauron and later Saruman were of course different, more destructive killing machines than anything else, not the cowardly, sneaky Orcs of old.
Indeed the Orcs were able to think for themselves. I said that after the Downfall of Morgoth and Sauron the Orcs were witless:

"So great indeed did its pressure upon them become ere Angband fell that, if he turned his thought towards them, they were conscious of his 'eye' wherever they might be; and when Morgoth was at last removed from Arda the Orcs that survived in the West were scattered, leaderless and almost witless, and were for a long time without control or purpose." Morgoth's Ring

"As when death smites the swollen brooding thing that inhabits their crawling hill and holds them all in sway, ants will wander witless and purposeless and then feebly die, so the creatures of Sauron, orc or troll or beast spell-enslaved, ran hither and thither mindless; and some slew themselves, or cast themselves in pits, or fled wailing back to hide in holes and dark lightless places far from hope." LOTR

When there Master was enthroned they were perfectly Orc-like and evil and able to think for themselves but becuase the Dark Powers had such strong holds over them, once they were de-throned the Orcs felt as though the bonds that held them together was severed.

Indeed in my opinion there is no being that deseves greater pity than the Orcs.
Quote:
As when death smites the swollen brooding thing that inhabits their crawling hill and holds them all in sway

Eeew!! That's it, I'm going to have nightmares tonight! Sad Smilie
I would advise against it...
It is too bad some free thinking elf or Numenorean didn't set up a deprogramming business the likes of w hich was vastly popular in the sixties or seventies . I read that many of the youth who got caught up in seriously scarey cults and after being partially starved and brainwashed day and night ended up being little more than thralls themselves , merely living to go and earn money for the top guy. They simply could not be changed unless caught and taken for deprogramming. Many who were successfully deprogrammed said it was hard to accept freedom of th ought once more and love that was genuine and many had trouble actually remembering large bits of their mental captivity. Poor Orcs, but still they gave one no choice but fight th em to the death or die a horrible death themselves or end up in the dungeons of the Dark Lord. shudder.
Quote:
I read that many of the youth who got caught up in seriously scarey cults and after being partially starved and brainwashed day and night ended up being little more than thralls themselves , merely living to go and earn money for the top guy.

That's the way the world works. It's all about the money. All about the dumdidumdididum.
honestly you are too dear. I bet your family just spoils you rotten with love and affection.
Quote:
It's all about the money. All about the dumdidumdididum.

Haven't heard that song in years! Big Smile Smilie But now I'll probably be humming it all day. Great... Elf Sticking Tounge Out Smilie

I don't think Orcs can be reprogrammed and return to being elves/humans/whatever they were to begin with. They are Orcs now and have been for many many generations. They hate humans and elves, and human and elves hate them. Though it would be interesting to see what they did after Sauron was gone, what communities they made, what life they chose now that they had a choise.
I think Nienna could convert them, in time. What else is there to do, after all, in the Undying Lands except for singing, dancing and reciting poetry?

Send in the Orcs and start some excitement. Wake up them Eldar from their dreary slumber.
Well, since the Orcs (according to the Sil) come from humans or elves, they probably go to a part of the Halls when they die. And Nienna spends a lot of time in the Halls, maybe she has converted quite a few already?
It is not compulsary to go to the Halls of Mandos for any race. Irmo summons them and most heed him but some do not and of those many become the spirits of Morgoth, too weak to refuse his summons as well. It says it all in Morgoth's Ring.
Really, I had n o idea. How kind of Illuvatar to give everyone freedom even in that. That is most gracious.
But I cannot think why they would choose not to go in view of the alternative. sheesh!
The same could be said as to why the Elves were not wholly willing to depart for Valinor. They saw the benifits and wonders of the mortal World Without (middle-earth). When an Elf goes to Mandos they rarely are allowed to mingle with other spirits.They are confined to dwell alone and dwell on there deeds when they were phisical until, if they are so fortuned, reincarnated. If there deeds were rebellious, like Feanor's, then they would be ever confined to those Halls and imprisoned in there own minds.
The ones who refused the summons stayed under the Starlit Outer lands and watched the deeds unfolding, unless, as most were in the Eldar days, summoned by Morgoth and often being too wearied/weak to refuse these dread summons they were put to use by him.
Quote:
But I cannot think why they would choose not to go in view of the alternative.

Not everybody likes eating porridge from golden spoons for all eternity.

Some apparently prefer being sticked into the buttocks with pointy tridents, or pushing a behemoth boulder upto a steep hill for all eternity.

Quote:
Really, I had n o idea.

Don't pay too much attention to that, it's from HOME. Nobody knows what JRRT intended to be fina and what he discarded l amongst that plethora of tidbits. Just consider it as one of JRRT's many fruitful ideas, but nothing more.
Na-na-na-na-na Smilie How does it feel Vir to have a family that just spoil you rotten with love and affection... Very Big Grin Smilie
To take a wild guess: it would be nice, safe and at times a bit embarrasing. Spoiled or not, Vir grew up to become an intelligent, funny and well-spoken person.

What's this? "Haha, your family loves you!"? Either you really wonder what it is like, which would be sad, or this must certainly be worthy of 'strangest post of the year'. *looks around for Clover*

HOME says a lot of things, I'm with Vir there. But there are many interesting ideas and thoughts.
Well I would take it as pretty solid proof unless its disputed in a more reliable source. Morgoth's Ring is usually pretty accurate with a few exceptions.
Simply because something appears in HME is not a good reason to pay it less attention than something else Tolkien himself never published.

The History of Middle-Earth indeed says a lot of things... pick out anything from the constructed Silmarillion and unless Christopher Tolkien invented it, it's from HME in the larger sense.
You can pay as much or as little attention to is as you like, but HOME is still filled with ideas and sketches and we have no way of knowing what the Professor would have chosen in the end. LoA said "this is the way it is". But I don't think it should be said like that, since there is no way of knowing. We can only guess.
Quote:
You can pay as much or as little attention to is as you like, but HOME is still filled with ideas and sketches and we have no way of knowing what the Professor would have chosen in the end.


HME is filled with the Silmarillion too (keep in mind).

Quote:
LoA said "this is the way it is". But I don't think it should be said like that, since there is no way of knowing. We can only guess.


If I post Earendil slew Ancalagon that's from HME. It isn't necessarily 'final' either but how many people include that caveat every time they post this for example (I could post text in which Túrin was prophesied to slay Ancalagon)?

What Tolkien left on paper at his passing is 'what there is' though certain factors might exist that give one 'unpublished' idea weight over another unpublished idea.
Of course some parts of HOME are more likely to be true than others. And the Sil can be seen as part of the HOME series, if that is what suits you best. People have different opinions, mine is that HOME quotes usually should be taken with a grain of salt (some with a lot more salt than others), while the Sil, LOTR and the Hobbit are as close to the final result of the Profs ideas as we can get.
Quote:
Of course some parts of HOME are more likely to be true than others. And the Sil can be seen as part of the HOME series, if that is what suits you best.


Essentially there is no Silmarillion outside of what Tolkien wrote, and that is to be found in HME. The construction was made out of what might be called the larger HME, as sources like the Narn were used too, for example, Unfinished Tales being produced before the XII volume series (as it turned out).

The 'new' Children of Húrin (coming out) doesn't exist either as a Tolkien-made work. Christopher is again constructing something using his father's extant materials, out of HME in the larger sense. And it's not intended to represent the version in an ultimate or 'final' sense, but a version.

Quote:
People have different opinions, mine is that HOME quotes usually should be taken with a grain of salt (some with a lot more salt than others), while the Sil, LOTR and the Hobbit are as close to the final result of the Profs ideas as we can get.


And when you mean the Silmarillion of 1977 (by 'the Sil') that is simply not something Tolkien himself ever constructed or published. The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, The Road Goes Ever On, are all a different animal in comparison to Christopher Tokien's Silmarillion (who had help from Guy Kay).

Tolkien left piles of unpublished material at his passing, and the fact that Christopher Tolkien first published some of it (1977)... then later most of it (HME) is simply due to his decision to try one presentation before (he decided to try) another.
My, one goes away for a tiny while and comes back to find an entire encyclopedia added in her absence.
In the Letters of Tolkien, in letter after letter Jrr shared just everything from his heart, his ideas, his hopes and desires concerning them, his triumphs and frustrations and failures with Christopher above everyone else except perhaps Edith and on this I can find nothing. So unless that is true, than no other human knew as much, was priveleged with as much knowledge and inner thoughts of Jrr than his beloved son Christopher. We do not and cannot know the hours they spent when together just talking, or be privy to the untold numbers of letters that went back and forth between the two that were not preserved and we will never share. So, because Christopher like his father was a stickler on points and such I believe that ANYTHING he has put down is because he implicitly knew about it from h is father if only in hints here and there and projected dreams and so I think were his father here he would heartily approve and give his 'seal' to it. I feel very strongly on this point. He is the most careful of men and would never in my opinion put down one thing that he seriously from the depths of his heart did not believe would be the thoughts and vision and such of his father. He has dedicated his life to preserving and putting out there as best as he can all his father's unfulfilled dreams writing wise and so to do anything apart from that is not even in his character.
As Galin said the Silmarillion is essentially HOME. Some parts are worded slightly differently and they were the parts altered by Chris. If you notice you will find that over 90% of the Silmarillion is in HOME. HOME is all Christopher Tolkien had to create a published Sil.
Of course there are some incorrect old versions of things in HOME but they are pretty obvious. The part I am refering to about the Halls of Mandos though is pretty accurate.

The only truly reliable books are LOTR and The Hobbit.
The Simarillion was indeed constructed from HOME, but it was created as a standalone work. The material that was not included in the Silmarillion, was done so for a reason. Either it was unclear what JRRT intended with them, or it was not possible to make this stories fit in what Christopher Tolkien had already assembled. That is why applying HOME quotes/ideas that did not make it to the Silmarillion, UT or LOTR is dubious, imo.

If Christopher Tolkien and his co-author did not include it, then that must be respected. Period.

If people want to discuss HOME, I propose for them to do this in the HOME section of this forum.
Quote:
The Simarillion was indeed constructed from HOME, but it was created as a standalone work. The material that was not included in the Silmarillion, was done so for a reason.


And whatever the reason, it was not to tell Readers a given passage was necessarily 'final' or even the latest text on a given matter.

Quote:
If Christopher Tolkien and his co-author did not include it, then that must be respected. Period.


What does 'respect' have to do with it?
For a start just becuase its not in the Silmarillion, doesn't make it unreliable. HOME covers 12 books - how are you meant to fit all that in the Sil? Chris clearly took out the most relevent parts that he needed in relation to where he was in creating the story.
In addition to his general commentary from The Book of Lost Tales, otherwise known as The History of Middle-Earth volume I, here are a few examples from Christopher Tolkien himself with respect to the published work. The first is from The War of the Jewels when the presentation of the matter of the Elder Days was finally, after years or work, winding down (I have divided this first part into two paragraphs for emphasis here)...

'The Silmarillion', again in the widest sense, is very evidently a literary entity of a singular nature. I would say it can only be defined in terms of its history; and that history is with this book largely completed (...). It is indeed the only 'completion' possible, because it was always 'in progress'; the published work is not in any way a completion, but a construction devised out of the existing materials.'

'Those materials are now made available, save only in a few details and in the matter of Túrin just mentioned; and with them a criticism of the 'constructed' Silmarillion becomes possible. I shall not enter into that question; although it will be apparent in this book that there are aspects of the work that I view with regret.'
CJRT The War of the Jewels

With respect to a decision concerning The Shadow that fell upon Brethil (The Wanderings of Húrin) Christopher ultimately noted...

'But it seems to me now, many years later, to have been an excessive tampering with my father's actual thought and intention: thus raising the question, whether the attempt to make a 'unified' Silmarillion should have been embarked on'. Christopher Tolkien

That's quite a statement coming from the person who constructed the Silmarillion incidentally. Or on the Ruin of Doriath...

'(...) It seemed at that time that there were elements inherent in the story of the ruin of Doriath as it stood that were radically incompatible with 'The Silmarillion' as projected, and that there was an inescapable choice: either to abandon that conception, or else to alter the story. I think now that this was a mistaken view, and that the undoubted difficulties could have been, and should have been, surmounted without so far overstepping the bounds of the editorial function.' Christopher Tolkien A note on chapter 22 Of the Ruin of Doriath in the published Silmarillion

The idea here is not to present 'mistakes' or regrets but rather to help show that Christopher Tolkien himself struggled with what he should do, as even he could not know what the ultimate legendarium would be if published by JRRT himself. His primary goal however has now been achieved, and very well too, as he has done it in two ways: to make Tolkien's matter of the Elder Days available for the general public to enjoy.

To say it another way, to not let his father's life's work sit in some drawer somewhere, never to be seen or known about. To present it in some fashion. And the presentation of HME, reproducing or describing much of the Tolkien-written texts as they really existed (with helpful commentary), has also served to clarify the first presentation in 77, as to what the unpublished and disparate sources (the materials of the constructed Silmarillion) really are.
You put it all so well. I believe that whenever he constructed something, Christopher, at that time did the very best he could to bring his father's work to life in the manner of his father. Of course later on if he had doubts I do not think that diminishes a thing; for so too did his father have regrets and sighs concerning his own work. He said years later that it was too late for instance to do anything about the error, whatever that was, that he thought he made concerning Eowyn. And he also said when he read his work years later it was as if Someone Else penned it.
So if being Catholic and being that he worked under Illuvatar that he knew and loved, God, it would not be surprising that things changed here and there and that, if his son worked under the same Someone Else, he too would at times write differently than he at first decided based upon what his father had written. But at the heart of it all is the fact that this father and son duo were super close, collaborated intensely and loved each other as friends as well. That could not but cause a lot of the thought processes and routine and style of writing to rub off on Christopher.After him I think that Raynor who was the child that first endorsed the Hobbit to his father the pubisher would have known a great deal as well.
I have moved the HOME discussion to the HOME section of this forum, where it belongs. You will find your posts there in the first two posts under my name. Here is the link: HOME vs the Sil

The HOME posts here will probably be deleted when someone has the time to do so.
Above I said 'As of today we have no specific explanation for -hai from Tolkien,...'. That was then, but as of 'today' it appears we have something 'new' from JRRT.

'The debased form of the B. S. which survived in the Third Age only in the Dark Tower is seen in a few names (as Uruk-hai 'Orc-folk') and the fragment of vituperation uttered by one of Grishnakh's companions, emissaries from Sauron.' from 'Words, Phrases and Passages...' Parma Eldalamberon
I usually use "Bull Roar"Cow Sleeping Smilie as a euphemism for "B.S."; I wonder what the professor meant in his above statement.
Recently a 'new' passage came to light in which Tolkien states that orka was the Westron word, and that Orc is an 'adaptation'.

Ack! That threw me a bit, but without going into why I think this is unnecessarily confusing, it remains that this passage was not published by Tolkien himself -- while the note in revised editions of The Hobbit ('Orc is the hobbits' form of the name given at that time to these creatures' and etc.) was.

The published explanation, at least as I read it, is simpler. Being only a vowel away! and 'goblin' still being a translation of course, perhaps Tolkien thought 'adaptation' was more confusing that it was worth, or that 'orka' wouldn't do for actual Westron (for some reason).
In this occurrence, "B.S." stands for "Black Speech," Grondmaster. Wink Smilie
  << [1] [2] [3] >>