pettytyrant101 wrote:So what do you think? Half-orc-humans real or just a slur on people who look a bit rough?
I would say they're both "real" (within the story) and a slur. We know from The Silmarillion that orcs reproduce sexually, and Treebeard speculates that Saruman may have interbred humans and orcs (I don't recall his exact words, but interbreeding is really the only way that would have been possible given the natures of both). In the (dubiously canon) "Myths Transformed" essays published in Morgoth's Ring
Tolkien states that Morgoth had also interbred humans and orcs.
Additionally, while the exact origins of Orcs are unclear, it is likely that they were corrupted elves and/or humans. Given that many of the races in LotR were a single species
, this would imply that they could interbreed. It is also possible that Orcs were in origin corrupted Maiar, but as we know from Melian, some Maiar can interbreed with the Children of Iluvatar.
So, while none of the Hobbits could have known if the "squint-eyed Southerner" actually was a half-orc, I think it is fairly clear that some existed.