How do orcs reproduce?

dj_platinum
Posts: 2

How do orcs reproduce?

Post#1 » Sat Jan 01, 2005 7:15 pm

Hello, this question has really been bugging me on the back of my mind for quite awhile now , so i was hoping this place could give me an answer to my question.

My question is, how the heck do the orcs and uruk-hai (whom if you think about it, are really just a more resiliant strain of orc) of middle-earth reproduce? I have read the LOTR trilogy and in one of the books it states that they worm themselves like maggots out of the ground. This is portrayed in the movies also so to me it makes sense.

However...Uruk-hai are said to be a crossbreed/hybrid of orcs and men. But this is confusing because humans reproduce sexually (man+woman=babies) meaning orcs probably have the "tools" needed for regular reproduction in order to produce hybrids, but no mention of female orcs or orc children is given. So why do orcs come from gross egg-sac things in the mud if they can make babies like any other species? The entire subject of how Tolkien's orcs reproduce is very confusing and unclear to me.

So does anyone think they could possibly give me an answer to clear up my confusion? I'd really appreciate it.

Chathol-linn
Posts: 72

How do orcs reproduce?

Post#2 » Sat Jan 01, 2005 7:47 pm

Hello. Good question!

My reading of Tolkine's works suggest that Orcs reproduce like Mortals and Elves: sexually. However, I have never seen a canon reference to a femlae Orc.

Do you have a cite handy for the passage that says they came out of the ground? I would be curious to see it. Regards - Chathol-linn

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Amarië
Posts: 2785

How do orcs reproduce?

Post#3 » Sat Jan 01, 2005 8:02 pm

I don't remember reading in LOTR that they come out of the ground like worms. I belive the movies only make it look like they are grown in pods, not born, so they could have Saruman create an army of live, grown Uruks in a hurry.

Only Eru can give life, as seem with Aulë and his dwarves. Aulë really wanted them to live, but they where mindless puppets untill Eru gave them life. Morgoth must have created the orcs from some of Erus creations, since they can speak and act on their own. That also means that they have to be born the way all of us are born.

Male and female orcs might be as hard to seperate from each other as the dwarves are. Maybe the orc women are hidden away. Maybe they are fighting equally with the men. Maybe there is one (or a few) hidden and protected queen orc(s) that pours out babies like a queen bee. What an sight that could be. *shiver*
"Don't complain under the stars
about the lack of bright spots in you life."
Henrik Wergeland, Norwegian writer

dj_platinum
Posts: 2

How do orcs reproduce?

Post#4 » Sat Jan 01, 2005 8:30 pm

Actually the more that i think about it, the more i begin to think that line that states orcs come from the ground is something i read off of another message board or Lotr fansite than a line in the books. It's been a very long time since i finished the books, and plus with the movies i could have mistaken that line for a line in the book.

However. Your imputs so far have been very enlightening. Also, I think i found something that proves that Orcs reproduce the same way we do. I found a line from the book the The Silmarillion that goes like this;
"For the Orcs had life and multiplied after the manner of the Children of Iluvatar."
The children of Iluvatar are men and elves, whom we all know reproduce sexually. Therefore the Orcs probably do as well.

Also, conscidering that Orcs are fallen elves who were twisted and darkened by Morgoth the dark lord. Perhaps it is possible that after their transformation, they retained their sexual organs and methods of reproduction (?). If this is the case, than Peter Jackson's protrayl of Orc reproduction is way out there, or there's a detail in the works of Tolkien that i've overlooked.


Lets keep the discussion going and see what other people think of the subect. :smoke:

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Túrin Turambar
Posts: 614

How do orcs reproduce?

Post#5 » Sun Jan 02, 2005 2:19 am

orcs spawn, that's all i know... nothing more, nothing less....

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valedhelgwath
Posts: 4233

How do orcs reproduce?

Post#6 » Sun Jan 02, 2005 3:53 am

I'm pretty sure I have seen mention of "Breeding Pits" in a number of places in Tolkien's books. I'm pretty sure Orcs breed sexually, but I imagine they hide their females away in these breeding pits where perhaps only the stronger males have access to them.

What PJ did in the film is incorrect. Even Melkor did not have the power to create life, so Saruman would have no hope. Just a cinematic trick to explain how Saruman managed to raise an army so quickly.

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grondmaster
Posts: 25451

How do orcs reproduce?

Post#7 » Sun Jan 02, 2005 3:53 pm

What PJ did in the film is incorrect. Even Melkor did not have the power to create life, so Saruman would have no hope. Just a cinematic trick to explain how Saruman managed to raise an army so quickly.
I agree with that; however, what we have seen in PJ's movies may have been the output of cloning in glorified petrie dishes. By starting out with a live egg, from a stable of female orcs, and adding a cell or a two from a normally cross-bred Uruk-hai he could probably get a production line going. That's how I think it is done in those vats and tanks in all the Sci-Fi movies. :teacher:
'Share and enjoy'

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virumor
Posts: 3567

How do orcs reproduce?

Post#8 » Sun Jan 02, 2005 5:17 pm

Male and female orcs might be as hard to seperate from each other as the dwarves are. Maybe the orc women are hidden away. Maybe they are fighting equally with the men. Maybe there is one (or a few) hidden and protected queen orc(s) that pours out babies like a queen bee. What an sight that could be. *shiver*

I have read suggestions that either Gorbag or Shagrat was a female Orc, and that they actually were lovers. There is some material pointing in that direction, but nothing substantial :

'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 where there's good loot nice and handy, and no big bosses.'
'Ah! ' said Shagrat. `Like old times.'

Interesting theory, anyhow.

I just don't think Orc women just stayed home making banners for their absent Lords, like some Middle-Earth women... most Orc women would be like horrifying, evil Éowyns... (maybe that's why Faramir explains to Frodo that he even dislikes killing an Orc ;-) ).
Give up the Halfring, she-elf...

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Vee
Posts: 2711

How do orcs reproduce?

Post#9 » Sun Jan 02, 2005 5:33 pm

Maybe there is one (or a few) hidden and protected queen orc(s) that pours out babies like a queen bee. What an sight that could be. *shiver*


Funny you should say that, Amarie. There is a sentence in one of JRRT's letters about orcs and their corruption etc...

There might be other 'makings' all the same which were more like puppets filled (only at a distance) with their maker's mind and will, or ant-like operating under direction of a queen-centre.

glorfindel
Posts: 1

How do orcs reproduce?

Post#10 » Sat Jan 22, 2005 10:23 am

I was thinking the same thing. Tolkien also mentions orcs as mades. This might support the idea that orcs breed like insects (maybe Antz indeed with a queen)

By The Way, that queen must be nasty, man.

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