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Thread: Wots up with Orcs

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Question here: who's Tioneb, and why don' t I see his/her post anymore?
Has his posts gone?
What about Anilorak? Weren't he and Tioneb two brothers sharing the same PC?
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Pertorogs! What are they!? where are they mentioned??? I thought I knew the stories inside out but I must have overlooked this part!
To tell you the truth, Cirdan, I've been searching LOTR, Silmarillion and UT for some mention of them, but so far have come up a blank.
I used to play a lot of Middle Earth Roleplaying, which is obviously based around Tolkien's world, and being rather nasty, Pertorogs are something we often came across. Sad Smilie
As a game aid I used to use a three volume set of books called Lords of Middle Earth which basically lists all the characters mentioned in the books, gives a detailed account of their history and then gives them a set of statistics for use in the game. Obviously these books were not written by Tolkien, but they do seem to have been very well researched and most of the details given does seem to check out okay. In Vol 3, which concerns itself with dwarves, hobbits, ents, orcs and trolls it mentions the Pertorogs and gives a quotation. As I cannot find this quotation in the books mentioned above, maybe it is included in one of the other works. As I have never read these, I cannot be of any help. Over to Grondy or Plastic for guidence. Smile Smilie
Pertorogs: I know nothing about them. Were they spelled different, I could imagine them as hardrock ogres. But that is only making something up, what is their description?
I've been having a look and cant find Pertorog yet Sad Smilie but! I found a reference to Torog's

"The Sindarin word that Tolkien normally renders as 'troll' in his works. The derivation of this word is uncertain - it perhaps imitates olog, which seems to be the comparative term in the Black Speech."

i guess i may need to start reading again!
Per = half, as in Per-edhel = half-elf

PerTorogs must be "half troll". Cant find any references in Robert Fosters Guide or the Letters, unless per-torog = olog-hai, which is unclear.

[Edited on 6/7/2002 by Allyssa]
it all makes sense now! But where are they in the books???!!!
As far as I know they're not. I've never heard of them anyway, and can find no mention of them in any of my books (yeah right, like I even looked) I assume they have just been invented for the purposes of the thing we were talking about.
Also, perian, periannath, pheriannath = halfling = holbytla = hobbit are other examples where per = half.

Based on Allyssa's and Cirdan's findings, I now believe that the 'Olog-hai' in the Black Speech is the equivalent to 'Pertorog' in the Sindarin.
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Troll has been used to translate the Sindarin Torog. ... But at the end of the Third Age a troll-race not before seen appeared in southern Mirkwood and in the mountain borders of Mordor. Olog-hai they were called in the Black Speech. That Sauron bred them none doubted, though from what stock was no known. Some held that they were not trolls but giant Orcs; but the Olog-hai were in fashion of body and mind quite unlike even the largest of Orc-kind, whom they far surpassed in size and power. Trolls they were, but filled with evil will of their master: a fell race, strong, agile, fierce and cunning, but harder than stone. Unlike the older race of the Twilight they could endure the Sun, so long as the will of Sauron held sway over them. - From ROTK, Appendix F, under Trolls
I think this was the type of Troll that Pippin and Beregond faced at the end of Book V. Cool Smilie


[Edited on 8/7/2002 by Grondmaster]
Cheers Grondy! Have to buy you a pint down the ol' fersaken for that! Wonder if its alowed to have an orc (or even Pertorog) in Arwen Evenstars new roleplay? I think someone speculated earlier as to whether any orcs could be born good....like a throwback to the time they were Elves....cant remember who came up with that idea and to lazy to check....but could make for an interesting rpg character ne? certainly have a lot of issues (bit like Drizzt Do-Urden.....always liked that character!)
I think it may well have been me Cirdan. Wink Smilie Yes, I am a big Salvatore fan from way back. Cyclops Smilie Cat Smilie Disturbed Smilie Jumping Flame Smilie Super Scared Smilie

Could there be an orcish Drizzit wandering ME in lonely melancholy? Will he be taken to the Halls of Mandos when he dies of grief?

Note: Drizzt Do'Urden was a dark elf, who for some reason had a heart that was not turned to evil, unlike his fellow dark elves. He forsook his race and forged a new life (with great hardship) among the "good" races of his world.

[Edited on 19/7/2002 by Allyssa]
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Note: Drizzt Do'Urden was a dark elf, who for some reason had a heart that was not turned to evil, unlike his fellow dark elves. He forsook his race and forged a new life (with great hardship) among the "good" races of his world.
It was partly do to his father's secret teaching him that there had to be a better way than the evil way practiced by the matriarchal society of the Underdark. His father paid with his life for that view; Drizzt escaped with his life and put some of his father's views into practice.

I'm playing a half-orc (in the Baldur's Gate II series of computer RPGs) who is trying to find out who he is, while striving toward lawful-goodness against his heritage, as his father was a deadly slayer god. There is a great threat that he will become like his father.
Yes, we must give credit to Zaknafien. He illustrated the importance of parental influence on our lives (a bit of a hang up of the postAuthorID's I think).

Hope your character finds his way to the light Grondy! Wink Smilie I wish I had time to join you in RPG, but I haven't enough hours in one of my days as it is.
I just found in the History of ME Vol. 4 a statement that Orcs were made by Morgoth "out of stone, and their hearts were made of hatred". But this does not mean that JRTT retained that view in later vesrions of his world as well...
Orcs were created by Morgorth from captured Elves in the time before Orome foud them and when he took the three high kings to the undying lands to se the light of the trees.
The reason the Half-Orcs were created was because Orcs were created in the dark ages and were therefore afraid of the light of the sun and to some extent the moon.
Orcs were immortal as can be gleaned frm this quote.
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''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 there's good loot nice and handy, and no big bosses.''
''Ah!'' said Shagrat. ''Like the old times.''

The reason Sauron created the Black Speech is that Morgorth was imprisoned by the Valar, yet Sauron escaped by hidding in the darkest pits of Angbad were he was Liuetenant.
Melkor was the greatest amongst the Valar so he would be more than able to pervert the Elves. The power of the Valar and Miar is nothing to do with there actual power but to do with when they first came to Arda.
Morgorth did corrupt Men the Easterlings for example. He didn't need to physically corrupt them as there would be no point they are to short lived too do this. In the elder days before the sun and the moon each year was the equal to five hundred current years, hence he had more than enough time to corrupt the Elves.
Morgoth was also a lot more powerful in the early early days. Some of the trolls were created from stone (as in the hobbit) in mockery of the ents, but this always seemed strange due to his inability to create. It seems more likely that the Orcs were indeed coruptions of Elves. Physically they are completely different, but look at how much Gollum changed from his origional Stoor form in just a few centuries. That was only with the power of Morgoths servant too. with a few millenia, some breeding programmes, and a whole lot of evil primal malice kinda stuff going on, I think its highly plausible that Orcs are Elves
Hmmm, perhaps Gorbag is a distant cousin of Galadriel!
ok, I was going to ask about Orcs too but found this thread instead. I'm going to attempt to summarize all this, and if I make any mistakes please correct me. These are statements but not at all postAuthorIDitative.

So let's see if I get this straight:

First of all, there are two types of Orc. The first species of Orc was created/bred by a Valar that was either evil or going bad. "They were the Anti-Elf". They contained elf blood (mixed with ___?), which presumably made them good archers and also made them immortal but they fought so much, both in battle and amongst themselves that they hardly ever lived very long. They are skilled and intelligent in matters of hatred, warfare, and torture, etc but this is the extent of their expertise. They can not stand sunlight so they are nocturnal. The Orcs who served Sauron during the War of the Ring were an advanced strain of this original Orc...they were not identically the same species due to being genetically "improved" by their creator over the years...but they were the same species just like we would say that cavemen were human, but unlike us due to evolution.

The second species of Orc was specially bred by Saruman to serve him in his attempt to get the Ring and to protect Isengard, and if I'm not mistaken these are the Urukai. They were advanced in that they could stand sunlight. (any other major differences?) They are a breed of ordinary Orcs and ____? These Orcs were bred to not only be enemies of everything good but also Sauron's Orcs.

Neither species of Orc was ever meant for anything but the service of something evil. Orcs are NOT formerly good creatures that were corrupted by evil (such as Ringwraiths used to be Men). In other words, Orcs are, from the beginning of their lives, completely BAD, and we can presume that they have no capacity to do good.

Orcs are free thinking beings and separate from their creators, they are not just extensions or puppets that are spiritually or mentally connected to their makers. They are in a sense slaves and very compliant to their masters but they are separate from them in that the Orcs' lifeblood/energy is not tied up in their masters'.

Does that wrap it up? Did I leave anything out as a very wide generalization of this species? Am I mistaken?




[Edited on 14/2/2003 by musicimprovedme]
This is just a follow-up on why didn't Melkor corrupt Men along with the other races. He did. From what i've read Melkor's Dragons are the creation of all the bad in Men, Elves, and Dwarves. Dragons desire gold (dwarf) dragons are long lived, intelligent, and have speech (Elf) and dragons desire power (Men).

Im still a bit confused though because i thought dwarves were immune from corruption to that extent.
I like the way musicimprovedme always manages to get her point across in an well spoken and articulate way, i think see's trying for post of the week again!

Komosot nobody dispuuted the fact that Melkor corrupted men and Sauron managed to corrupt Dwarves both with the rings and at the battle of the last alliance.
I can see where your coming from with the dragon theory. I however don't agree with you, I think you're looking to much into christian, judaism and islamic theology with the serpent theory.
The Dragon's were created by Melkor to have a shock troop that was as powerful as a Balrog, but at the same time something that was new that would throw his enemies of guard. The fact they devoloped their own ambitions is something I don't think he intended on them having, as we all know he was a complete control freak.
Just to throw a spanner in the works, I read somewhere that Tolkien had changed his mind about orcs, writing in a letter, or a margin, or notes somewhere that "orcs were NOT elves" , and underlining it twice (or something to that effect). I think he was a worried about the connexion between Elves and Orcs as many of us our.

I don't really have a problem with it, because I think Morgoth (and Sauron who did most of his clever work) could have corrupted anything, and by "corruption" I don't just mean like Wormtongue or Theoden under Saruman's voice, it's much more total and complete than that. Thinking of it in genetic terms doesn't really work--this is a myth-world and science hasn't been invented as a language yet. Anyway, the rules that we do know are that nobody but Eru could create an independently thinking life (though there were lots of monsters running around (like Ungoliant) that probably eventually led to dragons) so orcs must be a corruption of something, while trolls are a more interesting problem because they actually turn to stone again... But anyway, maybe JRRT was going to revise it all and make orcs corrupted men, but I doubt it--they wouldn't work so well as anti-elves, then. So I don't know why he wrote "they were NOT elves" but I know that he did...

btw, it was Farragut at Mobile Bay who said "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" Wink Smilie
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Admiral Dewey's statement at Manila Bay, "Full speed ahead and d*mn the torpedoes" could have been Saruman's motto
Melkor was a control Freak!?!?


I always took him for one of those tree-hugging hippie liberals. Back to the drawing board for me. Very Sad Smilie
They can't have been humans as they were around before them and they have to have been corrupted as they were able to enact indipendant thought and do things behind their masters backs.

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Admiral Dewey's statement at Manila Bay, "Full speed ahead and d*mn the torpedoes"


this is because if you head straight at them they most likely wont have armed when you hit them! One of the oldest tricks in naval stratergies.
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They can't have been humans as they were around before them and they have to have been corrupted as they were able to enact indipendant thought and do things behind their masters backs.


Yeah, I thought about that, too. But he did say "Orcs are not elvish", but maybe that means that they aren't elvish anymore. I do think that they live quite a long time, if they don't die from in-fighting, if they aren't quite immortal. Orcs are quite intelligent, really, and they have a long historical memory (remembering biter and beater, plus the "old days" reference already mentioned).

Here's a link to someone who's done the research: http://www.annalsofarda.dk/annals-of-arda/Orcs-index-tables/Orcs.htm. I have no materials at my command unless I go down to a bookstore and read them all there... Wink Smilie

And about the torpedoes, when he said it, at Mobile Bay, American civil war, "torpedoes" were really just mines...

[Edited on 14/2/2003 by Dain_II]
That's a good refrence link I still however think that they were once elves as they're to hardy to be of human descent and the Uruk-Hai being made by breeding men with orcs would be pointless.

As for the torpedo thing ahhh, but if for some strange reason you are fired upon by a torpedo head straight for and hope that the gunnery captain has indeed set a distance fuse.
From The Silmarillion/Of the coming of the elves

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Thus it was that when Nahar neighed and Orome indeed came among them[Quendi], some of the Quendi hid themselves, and some fled and were lost. But those that had courage, and stayed, perceived swiftly that the Great Rider was no shape out of darkness; for the light of Aman was in his face, and all the noblest of the Elves were drawn towards it.
But of those unhappy ones who were ensnared by Melkor little is known of a certainty. For who of the living has descended into the pits of Utumno, or has explored the darkness of the counsels of Melkor? Yet this is held true by the wise of Eressea, that all those of the Quendi who came into the hands of Melkor, ere Utumo was broken, were put there in prison, and by slow arts of cruelty were corrupted and enslaved; and thus did Melkor breed the hideous race of the Orcs in envy and mockery of the Elves, of whom they were afterwards the bitterest foes. For the Orcs had life and multipled after the manner of the Children of Iluvatar; and naught that had life of its own, nor the semblance of life, could ever Melkor make since his rebellion in the Ainulindale before the Beginning: so say the wise.



So, at least when Tolkien wrote The Silmarillion, he meant for the Orcs to have been corrupted ( in the physical and psychological sense) from unhappy elves, not necessarily evil elves.

Christopher Tolkien notes in Unfinished Tales 'but this was only one of diverse speculations on the origin of the Orcs.
So, it would seem, JRRT couldn't quite make up his mind on this one.
And MIM is correct when she says the Uruk-hai were a special type of Orc bred by Saruman to withstand direct sunlight.

In Merry and Pippin's trek across northern Rohan, the only reason the Orcs of Moria and Mordor went with the Uruk-hai in the daylight, was due to fear of what Sauron would do if they lost the hobbits and didn't come back to Mordor with them. These smaller Orcs were also afraid of Saruman's larger Uruk-hai, so they couldn't just grab the hobbits and take them to Mordor.

Later on in RotK Sauron caused Orodruin (Mount Doom) to pour out smoke (where was the ash?) and blot out the light of the Sun so that his Orcs and Trolls could fight during the hours of normal daylight.

At least that is my take on the subject.
Cheers Rednell, I was trying to find that passage.
I think we should go off the published works in the silmarillion though, as for all we know Christopher could just be grabing at straws or misundersdtanding his father's letters.

Come on Grondy he was too busy inventing languages, lecturing and creating stories to study geology. We're still learning new stuff about volcanos today.
Somehow I don't think Tolkien would have used terms like pyroclastic flow, phreatic eruption, or high speed tephratic ejecta. Just wouldn't have worked Big Laugh Smilie
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