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 the Eressea. that all those of the Quendi who came into the hands of Melkor, ere Utumno 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.
Whence they (Orcs) came, or what they were, the Elves knew not then thinking them perhaps to be Avari who had become evil and savage in the wild; in which they guessed all too near, it is said.
I thought the Silmarillion represented Tolkien's final decisions
Elves had few children, and these aged slowly. The fecundity of Men is occasionally cited as one reason for the decline of the Eldar. Yet Orcs bred like rabbits, so that after repeated decimation in the War of the Jewels Morgoth could bide his time, wait for Orcs to do what Orcs do, and come back with a huge numerical advantage. What gives?
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