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Thread: Wots up with Orcs

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I guess being locked in the deepest dungeons of Angband is enough to make anyone cranky....
i kinda wondered if they were immortal too. i don't think they are... or might be but the life expectancy shortened due to orcs butchering themselves to death. Big Smile Smilie Big Smile Smilie
we've had this discussion on a older and deleted board once...

The Orcs were originally Elves mutelated by Morgoth in mockery of elves and therefor they are immortal (till they are killed atleast) In LotR there's a confersation which hints that they can live very long (the part when sam is following the orcs whom captured frodo)

So Orcs would now be a different breed because it will be generations past when the first orcs were spawned and there offspring keeps being orcs and aren't born as elves
I read somewhere that Orcs are immortal too. In Silm I think. Gotta go check.

But then logically they should be, since they were bred from Elves. I've always thought of that as rather tragic. And trolls were created in mockery of Ents I believe, so they were what - corrupted Huorns? What else...Balrogs were demons of fire, corrupted spirits all of them! I feel slightly miffed that Morgoth chose not to create anything in mockery of Men though. Nazghul don't count, since they were Sauron's creation.
I think Margoth may have made a mockery of men, like you know the battle at Helms Deep there were bushmen and others fighting along side of the orcs, MAYBE ( a big maybe ) the were descendents of human slaves or corrupted men of Margoth's time, I dunno Im trusting you guys to set me straight!!!!! Wink Smilie
and ummmm how do Orcs breed??? Big Smile Smilie
cause I aint heard of any female orcs yet!!!!
Orc breeding - see the discussion on elven procreation in The Prancing Pony. I think orc females are probably indistinguishable from males to the layman's eye.

I dont think the bushmen were decendents of slaves. Maybe just one of the other races of Men that fell under the shadow of Morgoth.
Bushmen? What bushmen?
I always believed Orcs came originally from Elves, but they were turned bad in some dark place long ago. And they are immortal untill they are killed, indeed, and they are afraid of the light, unless you're dealing with Uruk-hai which are breeded from Orcs and what again? Big Smile Smilie
Tolkien called them 'the wild men of the Dunland fells' rather than bushmen, I think. And they were under Saruman's shadow, rather than Sauron's when they, with the orcs, attacked Helm's Deep. I doubt if the Dunlanders were corrupted my Morgoth, as that surely would have died out in the intervening centuries. In fact, I doubt if they were inherently evil, probably just needed a good king to nurture them. Of course I'm an Liberal Democrat, so I'm probably wrong. Smile Smilie
[Edited on 11/2/2002 by Grondmaster]
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Bushmen? What bushmen?

Shoot grondie, and I thought you guys were talking about Texas Republicans...Wink Smilie
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Shoot grondie, and I thought you guys were talking about Texas Republicans...Wink Smilie
Texan Molly Ivins is one of my favorite Liberal columnists because she knows how to call a bush a shrub. Big Smile Smilie

I know, I know, the topic is susposed to be orcs. Well politics Texas style is a lot like orc in-fighting. Wink Smilie
u from Texas, Grondy?
What makes you think that, Rosie? Big Smile Smilie Guess he is, yeah...

I don't recall any bushmen in the book... I must read on then. At the council of Elrond now. Can't wait to finish the fellowship. I want to meet Treebeard again! Smile Smilie
Don't think Grondy's Texan... so he might not appreciate that idea....
u're reading the book again?!
how many times is that now, 30? 40? Wink Smilie
I often wonder to myself if Tommy's ever managed to read it once! Wink Smilie
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...a huge orc-chieftan, almost man-high

so, if I'm interpreting this right, the hugest of the orcs was only almost as tall as a man...which means the average orc was probably pretty short...did anyone else originally picture the orcs as, well...somewhat more than 5ft tall?

and i think Grondy's from Washington...somebody around here's from Texas, though, I think, but I can't remember who it is...
Swampfaye's Texan, I think. Or lives there now, anyway.
I always figured orcs were about 5'-6" tall and about three feet wide, and didn't look the zombie-like in the least.
Orcs aren't necessarily corrupted elves... In fact it's stated in "The History of Middle-Earth part 4 - Morgoth's Ring" that they're not... The statment in the Silmarillion only says that the eldars believe the orcs to be of eldar origin, so the statment in "Morgoth's Ring" should perhaps wiegh heavier than that in the Silmarillion...

There is an idea that maybe Sauron created the orcs which is quite interesting. Because Sauron originally was a servant to Aulė, thus having quite a lot of knowlege in how to create things, he might have created the orcs in the time when he was not completly evil but rather semi evil semi good. This also fits with the fact that Aulė created the Dwarves so it would seem natural that his servants would follow his master... However, the problem is that the Dwarves created by Aulė don't have a life of their own which the Orcs seem to have... (the Dwarves are only alive when Aulė thinks about them and it isn't until Ilśvatar gives them life that they accually live...)[Edited on 12/3/2002 by iago]
Greetings Iago

So Morgoth may have created orcs with his hammer and anvil? Although true, it does not explain how they have self-awareness and do not all drop dead when Sauron falls. Melkor / Morgoth was a very powerful Vala, maybe he was able to steal some of the flame imperishable or whatever, and give his orcs life?

How he could have bread them from elves seems increadible, except that he apparently had many thousands of years to do so. He could have used selective in-breeding and exposure to certain elements (he awas a vala, he would know how to do that) to breed them slowly, until he had what he wanted.

A lot of people have difficulty with the idea that orcs came from elves. Even PJ seems to shy away from the idea. I think that it makes the idea that the elves and orcs are mirror images (or antithesis...I hope I spelled that correctly) of each other, all the more plausible.

It also had the effect of showing that not even the elves are perfect. And it freaked them out more than a little.
Hi Allyssa!

Well you're quite right that it seems a bit strange... if orcs were created by Sauron/Morgoth they shouldn't be able to have self-awareness, however another idea could be that Morgoth/Sauron used some of the beasts already in Middle-Earth (those hunted down by Ormė) and somehow gave them a certain intelligence thus breading orcs... (yes, "orcs" and "intelligence" in the same sentence is rather repulsive Smile Smilie)
Another thing about this beast idea... if Morgoth did pervert the already perverted beasts into orcs then he perhaps gave them some kind of will which was bound to himself (Morgoth) and thus when Sauron assumed power he'd need a way to communicate his will to the orcs thus he created the Black Speech and alas

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"It is said that the Black Speech was devised by Sauron in the Dark Years"


this is taken from Appendix E
Hey Iago! You are my favourite Shakespearan character of all time.. hehe

gee, i really should read the silmarillion..
Thanks Rosie (if Iago's your favourite then you gotta be a sick puppy Wink Smilie)

And yeah, you really should read the Silmarillion...[Edited on 15/3/2002 by iago]
This is actually the second time I've read LOTR, and I've finished it now... I'm making an essay on it. I'll be posting questions soon... Big Smile Smilie

I still stick to the fact that Orcs are Elves guided on the wrong path by Sauron... Smile Smilie
Well it's up to each person to decide what they believe is true, but if orcs are originally elves that would raise some interesting questions... Smile Smilie


[Edited on 22/4/2002 by iago]
They are... Very Evil Smilie
Then... are they immortal like the elves? Do they go to the Halls of Mandos? and, why aren't the offspring of two orcs an elf?

Just asking Big Smile Smilie
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i kinda wondered if they were immortal too. i don't think they are... or might be but the life expectancy shortened due to orcs butchering themselves to death. Big Smile Smilie Big Smile Smilie

And eating eachother...you forgot to eating eachother. Well, they usualy try to eat everyone else...Big Smile Smilie *shudders* can you imagine it? One minute your talking a nice, peacefull stroll through the mines of moria, the next minute theres and orc tryin' to chew your leg off. Oh the horror Sad Smilie


[Edited on 24/4/2002 by Halo_Black]
I believe that Orcs were once Elves, but they have been misguided by Sauron and are now breeded by him in order to have a fantastic army to rule ME. Sounds reasonable, doesn't it? Duck Smilie
I think Sauron created the original orcs using elves for his basic building blocks. Once created, they were no longer immortal, but could be bred, and using a certain amount of animal husbandry, Sauron built up his herd in sufficient numbers that they became self-generating, much to the detriment of the other races of Middle-earth. Read Smilie

I don't believe orcs were cannibalistic in nature, except during times when they were snowed into high mountain passes for the winter. Even they thought orc-flesh was stringy and tasted terrible; they would much rather have a nice hunk of chicken tasting man-flesh or elf, or even better yet, hobbit. Animated Wink Smilie
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Then... are they immortal like the elves? Do they go to the Halls of Mandos? and, why aren't the offspring of two orcs an elf?

Just asking Big Smile Smilie


I had some idea that orcs did not suffer natural deaths, but I am not sure where I read that.

I think Morgoth must have had the technology to alter DNA in order to produce the orcs, or yes, they would have reverted back to some kind of primitive elvish race. Would make an interesting scientific experiement (if such things were possible). Tolkien always hated anyone applying science to his world, but what if the process were reversable? Did orcs occasionally revert ie; did an orc woman occasionally give birth to something vaguely elf-like? Only for the poor babe to be immediately murdered or eaten? Frightening thoughts - or a good idea for some fan fiction!
Cross breeding orcs and humans. I think that Saruman represented all that is immoral in genetic research, reroductive technology and scientific advancement. Crossing orcs and humans could hardly have been done willingly, so this abomination must have come about via some sort of intervention (possible with the limited technology available).

And God knows what other little experiments Saruman had toyed with, without any thought to the "rightness" or "fairness" of what he was doing.
To be honest, I don't at all believe that the orcs were elves... I do believe Tolkien once intended for them to be orcs but once presented with the "theological" implications, he changed his mind. I see no reason as to why the orcs can't have been corrupted animals. There are numerous proofs that the animals where in fact "intelligent", so they were created and perverted by Morgoth, thus they gained a certain link to Morgoth. This link served perhaps as a communication link so that the orcs understood what their master wanted and could act without a language. Once Sauron became their ruler there would be a need for a new "com link" which would be the Black Language, constructed by Sauron. However, orcs being kind of stupid they would never fully control this language but pick parts from the Black Language and others and forming that into Orcish... Please, do point out anything and everything you don't believe is correct! Smile Smilie
I think it's another case of taking inspiration from the bible, just as the Elves are the first children of Illuvater, so were the angels with God, and when Lucifer split them right down the middle, his angels became demons, so perhaps JRR was trying to do something similar with Orcs and Elves? Just a thought...
Plastic's idea about the similitude, while it may have been in Tolkien's mind, doesn't bear that much fruit in that the two races are quite different in actuality while the angels and fallen angels were still very much alike. The demons weren't fallen angels, they were the original inhabitants of hell--don't ask where they came from because I don't know. Shaking Head Smilie

When Morgoth did his genetic engineering on his original elvin breeding stock, the results were mortal orcs, which could no longer be considered, in any way, elves.
So really, Orcs are just GM elves...ick! I hope the same thing doesn't happen to GM veggies and corn Very Big Grin Smilie
About Lucifer: there's no such thing as Hell mentioned in the story. The story is about a fight in heaven about the creation of mankind. God created the angels first, and then he created man, but now he states that the angels should serve man.
And the angels find out that there's man and woman, so this means that mankind can procreate. Since angels can't, man is bound to rule the angels one day.

Lucifer and his angels come up against this, and the whole thing ends up in a fight between Lucifer and his angels, and Michael (the leader of God's army) and his angels. Heaven is actually split in two by this. Lucifer is of course defeated, and then he is turned into a monster and banned from Heaven. Assuming that he went to live elsewhere with his followers, this is where Hell comes from. Angels founded it, lead by Lucifer the monstrous devil. I think this is probably what happened with the Elves (Orcs)too.
While Milton took a couple more words to get that story told, Tommy's was easier to read. Smile Smilie
YAY! Paradise lost for idiots, thanks Tommy.
:blush: No problem, you know... We saw that in the Dutch lessons. Very Big Grin Smilie Wasn't that funny though. It's really boring to read... Boring Smilie
Tioneb, welcome to the forum. Smile Smilie

I agree with your reasoning. To both of the S-men, Orcs were just tools, fodder to be expended in the cause.
Tioneb: I can see the point with your arguments but you think of immortality as something abnormal in ME at the time of the creation of orcs whereas in fact it was not. The only ones not immortal by that time was the dwarves but they seem to have lived very long lives. Immortality would be as threatening to Melkor or Sauron as mortality would be to anyone in our world. The fact that Saruman wanted to improve on the orcs is not strange either. It's merley the fact that orcs are inbred by nature and would need fresh blood in their veins to be able to improve. This would most easily been done by cross breed orcs with humans.
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Cross breeding orcs and humans. ... And God knows what other little experiments Saruman had toyed with, without any thought to the "rightness" or "fairness" of what he was doing.
I think Saruman gave thought to the "fairness" and "rightness" about what he was doing and rejected them both outright as irrelevant. He had the social conscience of a paving stone--my apology to all those umbrage taking paving stones out there who consider that they have a bit more than that. He believed his right to find out how things worked took preference over all other aspects of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Shaking Head Smilie Admiral Dewey's statement at Manila Bay, "Full speed ahead and d*mn the torpedoes" could have been Saruman's motto. Sad to say there are still a few scientists who hold this view even in this age of enlightenment. Very Sad Smilie
On Allyssa's post: Help me out here, I've got this memory of it saying somewhere that orcs where cross bred with evil men (thus perhaps making it less involuntary) tho' I don't remember from where I got it from (if it is at all something Tolkien has written Big Smile Smilie) :0:


[Edited on 7/6/2002 by iago]
If the concept of breeding half-orcs is disturbing, what about the Pertorogs (half-trolls), bred from Sauron's finest Olog-hai warriors and brutal Men from Khand (the Variags). Fortunately, there were only about twenty of these abominations described as being intellegent, agile, more brutal than any Troll other breed, and not suffering in sunlight. It is thought they acted as lietenants for the Nazgul or led groups of orc armies.
Question here: who's Tioneb, and why don' t I see his/her post anymore? Cool Smilie
Pertorogs! What are they!? where are they mentioned??? I thought I knew the stories inside out but I must have overlooked this part!
As for the Elves to Orcs situation I think its wholy likely that over millenia Morgoth could have created the new out of the old. If you look at the rings power to change and corrupt (As in Smeagol to Gollum over a relatively short space of time) which is only a part power or Sauron. If it were possible for Gollum to breed (heaven forbid) would he have nice little Hobbitlike children or something twisted?
The Orc/Elces were exposed to the horrors of Thangorodrim for far longer and so is it not possible that they could become something entirely new?
Also think how often Elves actually breed. not a lot, so is there creation and genetic make up even remotely similar to ours?
I think elven/orc breeding is a social difference, not a biological one. Elves only have small families because they want to be able to devote enough time and attention to them. Orcs on the other hand, couldn't care less whether or not their offspring grew up to be well udjusted or not, so they just kept reproducing with the strong encouragement of their lord.

Saruman cross bred orcs with evil men (in the book not the movie), and I dont think that Tolkien ever specifically described how this was done. I suppose he wanted the reader to imagine that part for themeselves, if they felt so inclined Animated Wink Smilie My belief? Artificial insemination does not actually require vast amounts of modern technology if done in a timely manner. (I hope that does not offend anyones' sensibilities) Angel Smilie
Cant it be both????!!!!!
Genetic mutation is something that can happen due to enviromental changes as well as social change. Look at frogs who change sex when theres a lack of the opposite gender about to procreate or basic evolutionary theory. I dont think Morgoth would have used anything like artificial insemination (it just feels a little too seedy.....hmmmm poor use of expressionTongue Smilie ) to create Orcs. As Elves are immortal I believe he just corrupted them and then left them to breed as the damage was already being done.
I definately agree however that its best left to the imagination as to how it happened, I have images of vast subteranean caverns filled with tormented creatures slowly century by century being altered physically and mentally by their environment! Gaaaaa wish I could put whats in my mind into words better!
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