Thread: Orcs, Goblins, and Trolls; Oh My!
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[quote="Zeonista":158v1tbr]Untrue, Tolkien uses the two words interchangeably in LOTR, so they are meant to be divergent Westron words for the same race.[/quote:158v1tbr]
Let's look at what Tolkien actually had to say on the matter. Incidentally, he uses both phrases in TH as well.
[i:158v1tbr]"[/i:158v1tbr]Orc[i:158v1tbr] is not an English word. It occurs in one or two places but is usually translated [/i:158v1tbr]goblin[i:158v1tbr] ([/i:158v1tbr]hobgoblin[i:158v1tbr] for the larger kinds). [/i:158v1tbr]Orc[i:158v1tbr] is hobbits' form of the name given at that time to these creatures...
[/i:158v1tbr] ~ The Hobbit, Author's Note
[i:158v1tbr]"[/i:158v1tbr]Orc[i:158v1tbr] is the form of the name that other races had for this foul people as it was in the language of Rohan. In Sindarin it was [/i:158v1tbr]orch[i:158v1tbr]."[/i:158v1tbr] ~ TLotR, Appendix F, Orcs and the Black Speech
(This isn't a contradiction, incidentally; traditional Hobbit words and Rohirric words were related. See the Prologue to [i:158v1tbr]TLotR[/i:158v1tbr], Note on the Shire Records.)
[quote:158v1tbr]In Middle-Earth, "orc" is a Westron corruption of the Elvish [i:158v1tbr]yrch[/i:158v1tbr][/quote:158v1tbr]
That may well be how it entered the lexicon of the inhabitants of the Vales of Anduin (i.e., Hobbits and Rohirrim), but I don't see how that's relevant. It does not change the fact that the only difference between the word goblin and the word orc is one of translation, and that they refer to exactly the same people, and do not reflect a size difference.
[quote:158v1tbr]The uruk-hai are explicitly stated to be able to tolerate the Sun[/quote:158v1tbr]
Saruman's Uruk-hai were yes; but my point was that it's possible they were in fact not pure Uruks but a mix of Uruk and Human. If that is the case any statements about them cannot be extrapolated to other Uruks.
I am aware of the history.
[quote:158v1tbr]So he decided to make up uruk-hai on his own, with or without consultation from Mordor.... The orc+man breeding program was ultimately successful in giving him uruk-hai of a useful sort.[/quote:158v1tbr]
Saruman did not "make" Uruk-hai, the Uruks were already in existence. Also, Uruks are not half-orcs, and any half-orcs would be definition not be pure uruks (though they might call themselves that). Saruman's did breed half-orcs, but he merely recruited uruks.
Incidentally (you may or may not know this already), according to Myths Transformed, Text X ([i:158v1tbr]HoME X: Morgoth's Ring[/i:158v1tbr]), Morgoth bred half-orcs too. I've always wondered if Saruman discovered some ancient instructions for how to do it or got the idea based on old legends or if he came up with his program entirely on his own. Tolkien doesn't say one way or another.
All I can say is that Sarauman's uruk-hai were a 'new' breed to Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. But their knowledge of history was clearly not as extensive as that of you guys. Mind you, they were making history, not studying it.
I must say, I'm keen to hear your response, Zeonista!
[b:3bo2w1t4]Eldorion:[/b:3bo2w1t4] Well, what's the point of a fan forum otherwise if we can't have debate posts and make obscure citations?
Hmm, after looking at a book or two myself, I believe the ready reference to perceived size differentials comes properly from [i:3bo2w1t4]The Hobbit[/i:3bo2w1t4] where Bilbo is trying to find his way through the tunnels of Goblin-Town, idly wondering about the low ceilings. He doesn't know that "the largest goblins, the orcs of the mountains", can run along the tunnels at a stooped posture. Gandalf also refers to the Grey Mountains as being "stiff with goblins, hobgoblins and orcs of all kinds". However, the LOTR text seems determined to marry "goblin" and "orc" as racial synonyms, to the point that only the uruk-hai need to be defined separately. So he seemed to have made his decision by the revised drafts of LOTR as a whole. (Again, the orcs themselves seemed to have seen the differences glossed over by others, with "uruk" and "snaga" indicating differences in status including, but not limited to, the physical. Apparently all orcs are equal, but some are more equal than others. )
Saruman's uruk-hai thought of themselves as being uruk-hai, and they tended to act like it, so if the hob-nailed shoe fits... Indeed Tolkien's first description of Ugluk is "a great black orc", albeit with a more man-like posture than the the shorter northern orcs or the simian-like Grishnakh. Not to say that the Isengarders were 100% the same as the big soldier-orcs of Mordor, but the Isengarders called themselves "the fighting uruk-hai", which seems plain enough. Ugluk and his crew were orc-like enough to be considered the "orc" or "uruk" side of the orc/man mix. I would say they were what Saruman wanted anyway, uruk-hai who were loyal to him first and foremost.
[quote:36q1ko2x]Saruman's uruk-hai thought of themselves as being uruk-hai, and they tended to act like it, so if the hob-nailed shoe fits...[/quote:36q1ko2x]
After thinking about it a bit more I'm prepared to concede this point especially since Grishnakh's orcs (who were pure orcs, I think it is safe to say) were also able to withstand the light. That's a lot of posts I've made in a lot of places wrong now ... oh well. My mistake, it would seem.
Hadn't thought of that angle before. Will have to save it for future reference.