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Orcs

Dror

Dominions
Languages
Black Speech, Orcish; numerous tribal dialects, Westron; heavily accented
Height of average adult
Between 3' to 6'
Average lifespan
Accounts vary from immortal, long-lived to mortal and even shortlived in comparison to average men
Renowned individuals

The Orcs (B.S.: Uruku; Q.: Orcor; S.: Yrch) were a warlike tribal race which dwelt in the Westlands of Middle-earth and other territories of Arda. Tales of their origins varied, though most accounts agreed that the fallen Vala Melkor had some hand in their creation. Indeed, the disparate tribes all worshiped him as a deity and the Orcs were also known as the Children of Melkor.[1]

Orc society was rigidly divided into two castes - a slave caste composed of common Orcs (or Snaga, pl. Snagai) and a warrior caste (or Uruk, pl. Uruki[2]) composed of the socially privileged and physically strong. The appearance of Orcs varied considerably depending on their region of habitation, culture and caste, though most had sallow skin and were between three and six foot in height.

History

Origins

Melkor

The Vala Morgoth is said to have created the Orcs in the Great Darkness of the Elder Days.

It was speculated in the Quenta Silmarillion that the Orcs were created by the fallen Vala Morgoth (originally known as Melkor) in The Great Darkness of the Elder Days by capturing and corrupting wild Elven kindreds who had refused to make the Great Journey westward.[3] It is said that these Elves fled in terror at the sight of the Vala Oromë when he came to lead them from Cuiviénen, the birthplace of the Elven race, to the sanctuary of Valinor.

Orcs were widely believed to be the descendants of these corrupted Avari Elves, who became isolated from their kin and remained ignorant of the true deities of Arda, the Valar.[4] They were therefore easily ensnared by the the Dark Lord, who made thralls of them.

It was also proposed in the Quenta Silmarillion that the Orcs were originally a kindred of Avari who had become hardened and savage due to long exposure to the inhospitable, untamed lands of Middle-earth.[5]

An older theory had it that the Orcs were bred by Morgoth "from the heats and slimes of the earth" and imbued with life through his sorcery. This theory was later disregarded, as the deity Ilúvatar was thought to be the only being capable of independently creating life.[6][7]

Some regarded Orcs as being descended from Men who fell under the influence of Morgoth, in particular the tribal Drúedain or Drûgs. This theory, however, was most often propounded by those unfriendly to the Drúedain and those ignorant of their culture. The Elves, by contrast, affirmed the claim that Orcs were made from men, but not directly from the Drúedain, explaining that the Drúedain must have escaped the shadow of Morgoth, "for their laughter and the laughter of Orcs are as different as the light of Aman from the darkness of Angband". Further, the Orcs and the Drúedain each regarded the other as renegades,[8] which may imply distant kinship, perhaps sharing the same ancestors, and thus they viewed each other as straying from the ways they were supposed to adhere to, but the Drúedain themselves are by no means likely to be the ancestors of Orcs, simply perhaps their distant cousins.

Others held that Orcs were the result of interbreeding between corrupt Men and fallen Avari.[9]

First Age

In the Quenta Silmarillion, it is said that the renegade deity Morgoth subsided in a great fortress in the northernmost reaches of Middle-earth, until it was sacked by the Powers of the Arda at the end of the First Age of the Stars. Morgoth was then imprisoned with a great chain, and in the violence of this battle his creations, the Orcs, were scattered across the world.[10]

The Wars of Beleriand

No mention is again made of the Orcs in Elven texts until the Fourth Age of the Stars, when the Elves of Beleriand were overwhelmed by them and forced to seek the aid of their Dwarven allies in forging weapons. Equipped with Dwarven steel, the Elves defeated the invading hosts of Orcs, but in the Last Age of the Stars legions upon legions would issue from the Gates of Angband to assault the allied Elves and Dwarves.

The Sindar and the Laiquendi, led by Thingol and Denethor, decimated the first of the three great Orc armies, the remnants being dispatched by the Dwarves. When the second army of Orcs failed to conquer the cities of the Falas, they joined forces with the third army in an attempt to ambush the Noldor, newly arrived in Mithrim. Led by Fëanor the Great, these powerful High Elves slaughtered their Orc assailants in great numbers and pursued them through Eredwethion into the plains of Bladorion. It is even said that the light of Valinor which shone in their eyes seared the flesh of the fleeing Orcs.

This battle is known as the Second Battle in the Wars of Beleriand, or the Battle Under the Stars (Dagor-os-Giliath), as it took place between the diminishing of the light of the Two Trees of Valinor and the first rising of the Sun and Moon. It was in this battle that Fëanor was slain by a host of Balrogs and met his end at the hand of their lord, Gothmog. A second army of Noldor, led by Fingolfin, arrived soon after the defeat of Fëanor. As their arrival was concurrent with the first rising on the Sun and Moon, they were greatly feared by the Orcs and many fled at their arrival into the depths of the earth.

Fëanor's son, Maedhros, then formed an uneasy alliance with Fingolfin, and soon the Orcs were driven into Bladorion, encircled and utterly decimated in the Glorious Battle (or Dagor Aglareb). The remaining Orcs were penned against the walls of Angband by the encircling Elves in a siege which lasted over 400 years. During this time, some Orcs did attempt the perilous journey through the snowy north. One such group arrived at the coast west of Eredlomin but were discovered by the vigilant Elves and driven into the sea near Drengist.

Within the walls of Angband, however, Morgoth began to secretly replenish his forces, breeding Dragons, Balrogs, Werewolves, Trolls and vast numbers of Orcs. In the Battle of Sudden Flame, the Dagor Bragollach, and the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, the strength of Elves and their allies, the Edain, was broken.[11]

The War of Wrath

Few tales survive of this era, though it is known that Morgoth succeeded in bringing both Elves and Men under his power and was on the brink of total victory in Arda.

Second Age

Third Age

The War of the Ring

Fourth Age

Later Ages

Dagor Dagorath

Culture and Society

Culture

Orcs attacking

The Orcs were a warrior race who respected strength of arms above all things.

Orccamp

Orcish Camp

Village

Orcish earth-work Village

Orc society was divided into two large castes: the smaller, more numerous slave caste (or Snaga, pl. Snagae) and the larger, less numerous warrior caste (or Uruk, pl. Uruku).[12]

Although there was some regional variation in the culture of Orc tribes, this hierarchical pattern was consistent to them all. For example, a northern tribe, known as the Hiisiis, who were quite isolated from their southerly dwelling kin, were also divided into greater and lesser Orcs. Even the secretive Fel, who resided in the distant deserts of Far-Harad, divided themselves in this way.

Young Orcs, referred to as "imps", were raised jointly by older females who were no longer capable of bearing children. Orcs were divided into one of the two castes at birth. The young Snagae subsisted within large, overcrowded "breeding pits", where craftiness, cunning and brute force alone assured a young Orc's survival. The considerably stronger Uruku were raised apart from the Snagae, which they would undoubtedly have slaughtered had they been raised together.

The Uruku would then be educated in their superiority over the Snagae and trained to occupy the roles of officers, priests and healers or bodyguards (Hoerk) of their Orc lord.[13] A young Orc's upbringing emphasised the values of strength, aggressiveness, combat and heavy labour over and above more peaceful or nurturing values. The weakest of imps would be consumed by the stronger, which Orcs regarded as a way of relieving the community of "unnecessary burdens".[14]

When a young male Orc reached the age of full maturity at nine years old, he was assigned to a regiment, or lurg, composed of ten to fifteen Orcs. Though most were relegated to general purpose lurgs (responsible for hunting, foraging, mining, or raiding as required), those who displayed a special aptitude in certain fields at an early age were assigned to more specialized lurgs. Among some clans there were castes of hunters (Gajutar), herdsmen (Grauga), chanters (Kangtar) and miners (Garmog). Some of the more civilized tribes even maintained a class of learned scribes and scholars, the Lamoshgongs. There also existed a small bloodline of Orcish sorcerers and sorceresses, the Dushi.[15] Some tribes included a small caste of masterful craftsmen, organised within the Nazg-artha. Of this caste, smiths (or Tûtûli) were especially prized, as were engineers (or Zongoti).[16]

The distinction between Uruk and Snaga should not, however, be confused with the distinction between Orcs in general and the Uruk-Hai of the late Third Age, which were bred and trained by the rulers of Mordor and Isengard with the purpose of conquering the Westlands. These Uruk-Hai, who first revealed themselves to the world with their assault on Ithilien in T.A. 2475, were believed to have all been destroyed by the time the War of the Ring had ended, while the common Orcs fled eastward or continued to dwell in secret beneath the Misty Mountains.[17]

Society

Orcwife

A female Orc, or Gru, weaving.

Orcs lived in tribes, called Hai in Orcish. While some tribes had a strict militaristic hierarchy, others suffered from constant inner strife and chaos. Orcish tribes and clans were ruled by the strongest males and weaker members of the tribe were held as slaves.

From early childhood on, male Orcs were favored above female Orcs, who were reduced to the status of mere chattel. Gender roles were rigidly defined within Orcish society, with common female Orcs working exclusively within the confines of the tribe's territory, performing domestic duties such as weaving, preparing meals, mushroom-harvesting and child-rearing. Female Orcs were generally not trained in the use of arms. Females of the Uruk caste, on the other hand, enjoyed certain privileges, though they were still poorly treated in comparison with male Uruku. As a concubine of a powerful Orc lord, an Uruk female could enjoy some status and even exercise considerable influence through manipulation. Stronger females occasionally rose to higher ranks, even to second-in-command.[18]

This was not the fated structure of all Orc tribes, however. Matriarchal tribes were also known to exist. In such tribes, the "breeding pits" associated with patriarchal tribes were replaced with male dormitories and males added child care to their list of duties, which also included hunting and raiding. The females occupied private chambers and engaged in all the activities usually reserved to males in patriarchal tribes. In either arrangement, paternal or maternal feelings were almost non-existent. Females would only nurse young Orcs because the suckling of their toothy jaws relieved the pain associated with swollen mammaries, while male Orcs would perform parental duties only when compelled by higher-ups or when it was acknowledged to be in the collective interest of the Hai.[19]

Snagae did not labour for pay or pleasure, but solely at the compulsion of their rulers, who would reward them with only the resources necessary to sustain them in their toil. In spite of this exploitative slave system, the Orcs were nonetheless capable of producing superior, if not especially beautiful, goods and weapons. Though not rewarded for good work, Snagae were severely punished for shoddy work.[20]

Within Orcish society, material well-being was a direct function of rank. Looting was the main source of Orcish currency and treasure, and was distributed based on status; the majority of the treasure going to upper caste and the leavings given to the lower caste. Every Orc was entitled to a ration of food, clothing, and in the case of males, weapons and armor, though quality and quantity varied with social status. With what resources or currency a common Orc had, he or she could barter for meager pleasures, such as liquor. The upper caste enjoyed a much more varied range of pleasures, including superior drink, fine garments and herbal drugs.[21]

Some tribes would gather large mushrooms, plants and fish in subterranean rivers and lakes, but most tribes herded animals such as pigs (Bûb), Orcish Kine and Black goats (Dagri). Orcs did not typically engage in agriculture, though a few tribes held plantations (Kuflags) tilled by foreign slaves. These non-Orc slaves held the lowest social position within the tribe and were often abused by even the lowliest Orc. Typically these slaves were clad in rags and lived on a subsistence diet. Although both Uruk and common Orc were entitled to care if injured, these non-Orc slaves were usually abandoned.[22]

Orc lords or chieftains surrounded themselves with loyal captains, lieutenants and sergeants who led the lesser groups. Orcish chieftains, princes and lords used titles which varied from tribe to tribe, such as Afûkhaush, Durub, Durba, Dûrohtar, Fha-Korlash, Goth, Great Goblin, Shakh and Zot. Greater Kings or High Kings seldom emerged and were usually no more than warlords who ruled for a brief time, although some succeeded in preserving the power of their bloodline over several generations. Such High Kings were known as Ashdurbuk or Gothsnaga.[23] Lesser commanders, lieutenants, leaders, sergeants or small chiefs were variously called Drartul, Gottul, Hrizgthrakî, Krir, Kritar, Rroshatar, Slasher, Shirûk or Ujâk. Soldiers were known as Dogi, Daugi, Kragashi, Nadaki or Ushatar.[24]

Orcs and other Races

Orcs were virtually outlawed by any other culture, especially the Quendi and the Drûghu but also most Dwarves and Men of the West. However, many Haradrim and Easterlings and even some Western Men as the Dunlendings, Hillmen and Angmarrim fought and lived side by side with Orcs, so both races had long periods of times where they virtually coexisted and Orcs walked more or less freely in Mannish territory and settlements. But still most Men of Darkness either disdained or feared the Orcs and there was never much true friendship and real trust between both races.

Languages

Orcish

For more information, see Orcish

Orcish was a collection of guttural tribal dialects spoken among the Orcs. There was great linguistic and grammatical variance between Orcish tongues and many of them were mutually unintelligible. Because of this, most Orc tribes used Westron as a lingua franca.[25]

Westron

For more information, see Westron

A heavily accented, guttural version of Westron was used by many Orcish tribes as a trade language. The Orcish inhabitants of Gundabad and the Misty Mountains adopted Westron as their native tongue.[26]

Black Speech

For more information, see Black Speech

The Black Speech was a language devised by Sauron during the Dark Years to be the sole language of the servants of Mordor, replacing the many different varieties of Orcish and other languages.

Melkorin

For more information, see Melkorin

Melkorin was an ancient language which influenced both the many Orcish tongues and the Black Speech of Mordor.

Physiology and Biology

Appearance

Orcish appearance could vary greatly between the different Castes, Tribes, Breeds and even one single clan however the typical Orc was always described as squat, stout, square and generally at least a bit shorter than the average man.They were depicted as dark, swarthy, swart ,sallow, black or grey-skinned, had slant, catlike eyes red, green or yellowish in color, dark hair, hairy ears, wide mouths, flat noses, claws and fangs like beasts of prey.Some of the Men of the Westlandss felt that Orcs resembled degraded and repulsive versions of the (to Men of the West) least lovely types of the Men of the East.

Intelligence

Orcs were said to have been clever and competent craftsmen, miners and engineers, though they turned this intelligence largely toward the production of machines of war. Some innovations in weaponry are attributed to Orcish designs, as "wheels and engines and explosions" were said to have "always delighted them". Their mining techniques were also said to rival all but the most competent of Dwarves.[27]

Yet there were some who regarded them as being no more than beasts of humanized shape, deliberately designed by the Vala Morgoth to mock the form of Men and Elves. Even their speech, it was claimed, was in imitation of intelligent peoples, much like a parrot speaks in imitation of its master and should not be taken as indicative of intelligence.[28] This theory, however, contradicts much of what is known of Orcish origins and should not be taken as fact or an accurate reflection on the intelligence of Orcs.

Height

Orc height varied considerably depending on breed and tribe, with some particularly large Orcs being as tall as the average adult Man and others being below three foot.[29] The average Orc height was generally between three and six feet tall.[30]

Strengths and Weaknesses

Orcs were intolerant of sunlight and traveled by night so as to avoid it, some Orcs were only weakened ans slowed down by the Sun, but others could pass out or even turn blind if suddenly exposed to sunlight. Only breeds which emerged in the late Third Age showed greater tolerance for the rays of the sun although they still despised it. Orcs otherwise showed tremendous endurance, needing to rest but once every three days if necessary. Orcs were also highly resistant to the extremes of heat and cold, and could function in nearly any climate, allowing them to make their habitations in even the most desolate of settings.

Orcs also possessed superior night-vision, capable of seeing in starlight what other races could only perceive during the light of day. Orcs were even capable of discerning shapes in absolute darkness. In daylight, by contrast, Orc eyesight was seriously impaired, leaving the Orcs confused and disoriented. An Orc could compensate for this disadvantage by using their heightened sense of smell. With proper training, an Orc could even track by scent alone.[31]

Diet

Orcs were said to have been constantly hungry.[32] They frequently consumed the flesh and blood of their enemies and that of traitors,[33][34] though it may have been taboo to consume the flesh of allied fellow Orcs.[35]

Lifespan

The average lifespan of Orcs is uncertain, though the chieftain Bolg, son of Azog, was approximately 150 years old, suggesting that, like Dwarves, Orcs may have been able to live extremely long lives. If Orcs were the descendants of Elves, as the Quenta Silmarillion suggested, it is also possible that they were immortal and may even have been capable of reincarnation.

However, due to the constant in-fighting which prevailed among Orcish tribes, the lifespan of the average Orc often proved to be considerably shorter than that of other peoples. Although it is certain that some Orcs led extremely long lives, most would meet their end in the rebellious, combative social structure of Orc tribes.It was also stated that common or lesser Orcs had short lifespans in comparison to common Men.[36]

Reproduction

It was stated in the Quenta Silmarillion that Orcs "multiplied after the manner of the Children of Ilúvatar".[37] Unlike the other peoples of Middle-earth, Orcs did not marry, they simply bred. Orcish females of child-bearing age were kept together in a secluded area of the Orcish domain, guarded and accessible only to the stronger males. Foreigners were never permitted to see the female Orcs, explaining their general absence from historical accounts and even suspicion among other races as to whether or not female Orcs existed at all.[38]

Some Orc females were kept as part of harems and would procreate exclusively with the warrior caste. Others were kept as the personal possessions of Orc lords, as an emblem of their power. Although these practices were undoubtedly cruel and inhumane, it did allow Orcs to reproduce at a startlingly greater rate than the other peoples of Arda. Orc pregnancies lasted less than five months, quadruplets were common and male births were twice as common as female births. Orc females were also capable of twice as many conceptions as human females.[39] This meant that Orc tribes could replenish their numbers within a few generations, even if the majority of the tribe had been decimated in battle, provided the females remained unharmed. [40]

Throughout their history, Orcs interbred with competing groups and different Orc strains. Orcs who were the result of interbreeding between lesser Orcs and the Uruk-Hai were known as Gusmûras, while those who had Mannish blood were known simply as Half-Orcs. While in the service of Morgoth, Sauron and Saruman, Orcs were the subject of numerous breeding experiments. For example, although Orcs were not naturally adept at wielding sorcery, Sauron attempted to breed a race of Orc mages. These sorcerer Orcs were regarded as Uruk or Snaga on an individual basis, as they were not strictly born into either caste.[41]


Final destiny

It is unknown what eventually later happened to the Orcs after Sauron's Fall.This is for large parts due to their uncertain origin.Orcs of maiarin descent would likely continue to exist as lesser Demons, but not multiply again in large numbers, Orcs of elvish origin would eventually start to fade, just like the remaining avari and turn into spirit-like lesser Goblins like the goblins of actual folk-lore and again possibly not multiply again, Orcs of mannish descent might actually re-generate and turn into primitive, but not necessary evil or monstrous men and Orcs of bestial descent would degenerate into lesser and of course soulless beasts, nasty but not as dangerous as their earlier progenitors.Elf-Orcs and man-Orcs also would have,at last in theory, a free will and without being dominated by a greater evil power could eventually become harmless and perhaps would alternate to a state more similar to the early elves and men their ancestors had once been and then either fade like Avari (Indeed Tolkien discusses the possibility of dead Orcs becoming Poltergeists) or adapt again to common men and merge with them (There is the idea that all later men had some sort of orcish "strain", and Tolkien once stated allegorical "We were all Orcs in the War") .By the Lifetime of Berelach in the early Fourth Age, Orcs had already become largely the focus of fairy tales, indicating they were uncommon, at least to the civilized regions such as Gondor. However the mention of annoying acts performed by goblins in later Ages (as is hinted at in The Hobbit- or There and Back again) and the re-appearance of Orcs in the Dagor Dagorath at the end of days suggests that at least demonic or beast-like Orcs continued to exist in one way or another.

See:

Faith and Worship

Orcs held the Vala Morgoth in fear and reverence as their creator and ruler. Morgoth's capacity to induce terror was considered a highly worshipful quality among the warlike Orcs. The Maia Sauron, too, was worshiped as a deity by the Orcish tribes in the Second Age and the late Third Age, much as he was revered as a prophet by the inhabitants of Númenor in the Second Age.

Yet religious feeling among Orcs took on a very different character than that found among the other peoples of Arda. Orcs universally feared and reviled the object of their worship, regarding him as a great tyrant to be placated with sacrifices and offerings. It is also likely that the Orcs believed the godhead Ilúvatar to be a fiction devised by the Valar to keep them in chains - a belief that was also held by the Men of Númenor before the catastrophes recounted in the Akallabêth buried their island homeland beneath the sea.[42]

In Gundabad there existed an ancient priesthood whose duty it was to placate the Dark Lord by conducting rituals, maintaining tribal records, chanting, human sacrifice and the burning of pyres.[43] However, Orc faiths made no claims of an afterlife. The bodies of common Orcs were typically disposed of without ceremony, while Uruku were entombed within ritually prepared crypts.[44]

Breeds and Tribes

Moriaorcs

Orc breeds varied considerably in their physical traits.

Breeds

A great number of physically distinct Orc breeds existed.[45][46][47][48][49]

see:Orc-Kind

Tribes

Orc tribal banners

Orc tribes were often in conflict, unless unified under a single ruler.

A number of Orcish tribes are known to have dwelt in the Westlands and other regions of Arda.[50][51][52][53][54][55][56][57][58]

Etymology

Northern and Western tongues

  • Quenderin or Primitive Quendian: urku, uruku or urkô
  • Quenya: orco (pl. Orkor)
  • Exilic Quenya: urko (pl. orkor and orqui)
  • Sindarin: orch/Orch (pl. yrch/Yrch, class pl. Orchoth/orchoth; glamhoth)
  • Nandorin: ūriʃ
  • Adûnaic: urku, urkhu
  • Westron: orka
  • Black Speech: uruk
  • Khuzdul: Rukhs (pl. Rakhās), possibly derived from an unknown Avarin word of the same meaning.
  • Drúadan language: gorgûn ("orc-folk"; the form gorgûn is perhaps plural of an unknown singular form).
  • Dunlending: coblun
  • Labba: hiisis
  • Danian: urc (pl. yrc)
  • Doriathrin: urch (pl. urchin)

Eastern and Southern tongues

Other tongues

Orcs were also known by the names Gongai, Kapûl, Khoblún, Orkhor, Orog, Rakhash, Rakhsha,Ruk, Rûkh, Rukhâs, Ruki, Rûku, Tanarukk, Urûk, among others.

Other Media

Rolemaster

Rolemaster and Loremaster (ICE Series) have a race corresponding to Orcs, the Murlogi who are ruled by the greater and more dangerous Lugroki, who are more similar to Orc-Demons or Boldogs, as well as the race of the Karku, with it's two sub-breeds the Garks and Krals, who are similar to Orcs or primitive ape-men but are said to be more closely related to both Men and Trolls.

Orcs in The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game

Breeds

The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game describes several breeds of Orcs.

Orcs:

Tribes

Hall of Fire Magazine

The Hall of Fire Magazine proposed several additional sub-breeds of Orc for LotR RPG:

Orcs in The Lord of the Rings Online

Goblins

Goblins as depicted in The Lord of the Rings Online.

Orcs

Orcs as depicted in The Lord of the Rings Online.

Halborks

Half-Orcs as depicted in The Lord of the Rings Online.

Uruks

Uruk-Hai as depicted in The Lord of the Rings Online.

Some of the tribal names of Orcs in The Lord of the Rings Online are modeled after Orcish tribal names found in the Midde-Earth Roleplaying Game, for example Blogmal, Ghâsh-Hai and Ongbúrz.

It seems likely that a millennium after the fall of Angmar most of the old tribes have diminished or been decimated in internal feuds and new tribal alliances grew out of these struggles.

Another possibility is that agents of the Witch-King installed the great seven tribes of Angmar (Blogmal, Ghâsh-Hai, Kraiarn, Ongbúrz, Tarkrîp, Ghâshfra, Hontimurz) to establish a formal rule among the many disparate Orc clans of the north.

On the other hand, the three main tribes of Moria seem to have fallen apart and their realm turned to the anarchy of constantly emerging and fading small groups.

The existing tribes (Durub, Gazathrug, Highpeak, Largzurm, Pûlpum) are just small alliances that have shortly appeared, perhaps during the reigns of Durburz and Mazog, and will probably fall apart soon.

Finally the newer tribes of Mirkwood (Burzthrâng, Dushmau, Frûmhon, Hishtgropor, Maukglob) may be lesser known subdivisions of the Guldur Orcs or newer tribal alliances established after the second rise of Dol Guldur.

Breeds

There are four main breeds of Orc in The Lord of the Rings Online:

  • Goblins - several breeds of different appearance, usually small and gaunt, but sometimes larger and even huge.
  • Orcs - several breeds of different appearance but usually stout warrior Orcs, sometimes large.
  • Uruk-Hai - large Orcs with a rather Mannish appearance.
  • Half-Orcs - several breeds with different appearances, sometimes ugly and sallow-faced Men, sometimes similar to Uruk-hai.

Tribes

The Lord of the Rings Online features several Orc tribes, such as:

  • Orcs of Angmar
    • The Blogmal - a Tribe from the misty mountains, found also in Angmar and the North Downs.
    • The Ghashfra - an Orc tribe located in Angmar.
    • The Gramsfoot Goblins - a tribe from Mount Gram, but groups are also found at evendim and near the borders of the Shire.
    • The Krahjarn - a large tribe from the Misty Mountains, found in Angmar, Eregion and the Ettenmoors.
    • The Ongbúrz - an Orc tribe from Angmar, also found in the North Downs, the Ettenmoors and Eregion.
    • The Snowreap Tribe - a Goblin tribe from the Misty Mountains, found also in the Ettenmooors.
    • The Tarkrîp - an Orc tribe of Angmar, also found in the Lone Lands, the North Downs and northern Breeland.
  • Orcs of Moria - various Orc groups are found in Moria at Nud-melek, Durin´s Way, The Silvertine, The Redhorn Loades, The Foundation of Stone and Great Delving, but also near the borders of Lórien.
    • The Dark Orcs - a tribe of Orcs found in Moria at The Silvertine Lodes.
    • The Durab - a tribe of Orcs found in Nud-melek at Moria.
    • The Durub - a tribe of Orcs found in Eregion and at Zerem-melek in Moria.
    • The Gazathrug - a tribe found in Moria at The Grand Stair.
    • The Ghâsh-Hai - a tribe found in The Flaming Deeps in Moria, but also in Angmar.
    • Globsnaga - infected outcasts of The Waterworks of Moria
    • The Highpeak Goblins - a tribe found at The Grand Strait in Moria.
    • The Largzurm - a tribe of Orcs found at Nud-melek in Moria.
    • The Pûlpum - a tribe of Orcs found in Nud-melek in Moria.
  • Orcs of Mirkwood
    • The Bûrzthrâng - an Orc tribe of Gathburz in Mirkwood.
    • The Durbúrz-stazg - an Orc tribe of The Eaves of Mirkwood.
    • The Dushmau - an Orc tribe of Mirkwood.
    • The Frûmhon - an Orc tribe of Mirkwood.
    • The Guldur Orcs - Orcs and Uruks of Dol Guldur.
    • The Hîshtgropor - an Orc tribe of Mirkwood.
    • The Maukglob - an Orc tribe of Mirkwood.
    • The Mirk-eaves Orcs - Orc clans of The Eaves of Mirkwood.
    • The Taughâsh - an Orc tribe of Amon Anghed in Mirkwood.
  • Orcs of Eriador
    • The Blue-crag goblins - a tribe of smaller Orcs found in the Ered Luin.
    • The Boggarts - a tribe of Goblins that live near Lake Evendim.
    • The Bugans - a Goblin Tribe in Enedwaith and Dunland.
    • The Hontimurz - an Orcish tribe in the Lone Lands.
    • The Laenan Orcs - a tribe of Laenan in the Trollshaws.
    • The Midgewater Goblins - a small Goblin tribe in the Midgewater Marshes in Breeland.
    • The Stonehold Tribe - a small Orc tribe in the North Downs.
  • Orcs of the White Hand, Saruman´s tribe from Isengard, also slowly infiltrating Eregion, Moria, the Lone Lands, Breeland and Angmar.
    • The Grishgúk - an Uruk-Hai tribe from Enedwaith
    • Isendale-Goblins - A Goblin tribe from the Gap of Rohan.
    • Nâkhmau - a Goblin tribe in Dunland.
    • Nink-Hai - an Orc tribe from the Wold.
    • Rashat-Hai - an Orc tribe of the River Isen.
    • Shak-Hai - An Uruk tribe of the Nan Curunir.
  • Orcs and Uruks of Mordor.
M1580025 99061462045 LotRMorannonOrcCaptainsMain 873x627

Orcs as depicted in The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game.

Orcs in The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game

In The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game there are several Orc breeds that also make appearances in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film series: the Moria Goblins, Mordor Orcs and the larger Morannon Orcs, as well as Isengard Uruk-Hai and Mordor Uruk-Hai.

However there are also several additional breeds, such as the Orc Trackers mentioned in J.R.R. Tolkien's novels, larger Goblins or Hobgoblins (Durburz, Golfimbul and Groblog) and the Morgûl Stalkers, assassin Orcs with wraith-like qualities.

Some special Orc characters were invented for the game, such as Ashrak, Druzhag, Durburz, Groblog, Kardush and Vrasku.

Orcs in The Battle for Middle-Earth

In The Battle for Middle-Earth series there are a number of Orc breeds, most of which also appear in the film trilogy: Orcish workers or slave Orcs of Mordor and Isengard, lesser Mordor Orcs and greater Black Orcs (or Morannon Orcs), Uruk-Hai and Moria Goblins.

In Rise of the Witch-King the Gundabad Orcs are shown as an archaic Orc breed similar or identical to the Orcs shown in the film trilogy's introduction. There are several Orc characters who were invented for the game: Gorkil, Krashnak and Thrugg.

Orcraces

Orcs as depicted in The Lord of the Rings Film Trilogy.

Orcs in The Lord of the Rings Film Adaptations

The film adaptations depict several different Orc races and tribes, including the Uruk-Hai and Snaga of Mordor and Isengard, the Moria Goblins, Morannon Orcs, Orcish trackers of Mordor, the Goblins of Goblin-Gate, Hunter-Orcs and Gundabad Orcs.

Orcs in Fan-Fiction and Live-Action Roleplaying

Some Fan-Fiction and Live-Action Roleplaying backgrounds have given original names to the different Orc breeds:

However, this contradicts other sources. For example, The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game considers Orc Trackers and Forest-Orcs to be of the same race.

Gallery

References

  1. Lords of Middle Earth, Vol. III, p. 85
  2. Lord of Middle Earth, Vol. III, p. 84
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  4. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, p. 191
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sindar", p.102
  6. http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Orcs#Origin Tolkien Gateway: Orcs: Other Versions of the Legendarium: Origin, "According to the oldest "theory" proposed by Tolkien, Orcs were made of stone and slime through the sorcery of Morgoth. But, Tolkien later changed the legendarium so that Morgoth could no longer produce life on his own."
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales, Vol. 2, p. 159
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Drúedain"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The History of Middle-earth, Morgoth's Ring, "Myths Transformed", Text IX
  10. Middle Earth Role Playing Game: Lords of Middle Earth Vol. III, p. 88
  11. Middle Earth Role Playing Game: Lords of Middle Earth Vol. III, p. 88
  12. Middle Earth Role Playing: Mount Gundabad, ISBN-10: 1558060693, Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm) (October 1989)
  13. Middle Earth Role Playing: Mount Gundabad, ISBN-10: 1558060693, Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm) (October 1989), p.14
  14. Middle Earth Role Playing: Mount Gundabad, ISBN-10: 1558060693, Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm) (October 1989), p.14
  15. Middle Earth Role Playing: Empire of the Witch-King, ISBN-10: 1558060243, Publisher: Iron Crown Enterprises (ICE) (November 1989)
  16. Middle Earth Role Playing: Mount Gundabad, ISBN-10: 1558060693, Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm) (October 1989)
  17. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
  18. Middle Earth Role Playing: Mount Gundabad, ISBN-10: 1558060693, Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm) (October 1989), p.14
  19. Lords of Middle Earth Vol. III, p. 88
  20. Middle Earth Role Playing: Mount Gundabad, ISBN-10: 1558060693, Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm) (October 1989), p.14
  21. Middle Earth Role Playing: Mount Gundabad, ISBN-10: 1558060693, Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm) (October 1989), p.14
  22. Middle Earth Role Playing: Mount Gundabad, ISBN-10: 1558060693, Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm) (October 1989), p.15
  23. Middle Earth Role Playing: Goblin Gate and Eagle's Eyrie, ISBN-10: 091579540X, Publisher: Iron Crown Enterprises (July 1985)
  24. Middle Earth Role Playing: Gorgoroth, ISBN-10: 1558061053, Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (September 1990)
  25. Middle Earth Role Playing: Mount Gundabad, ISBN-10: 1558060693, Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm) (October 1989), p.15
  26. Middle Earth Role Playing: Mount Gundabad, ISBN-10: 1558060693, Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm) (October 1989), p.15
  27. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
  28. J.R.R. Tolkien, The History of Middle-earth, 'Morgoth's Ring', "Myths transformed", Text VIII
  29. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Bridge of Khazad-dûm"
  30. Middle Earth Role Playing: Mount Gundabad, ISBN-10: 1558060693, Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm) (October 1989), p.13
  31. Middle Earth Role Playing: Mount Gundabad, ISBN-10: 1558060693, Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm) (October 1989), p.13
  32. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
  33. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Choices of Master Samwise"
  34. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, "The Tower of Cirith Ungol"
  35. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers, "The Uruk-hai"
  36. Middle Earth Role Playing: Mount Gundabad, ISBN-10: 1558060693, Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm) (October 1989), p.13
  37. TheOneRing.net: The Science of Middle-earth: Sex and the Single Orc. "There must have been orc-women. But in stories that seldom if ever see the Orcs except as soldiers of armies in the service of the evil lords we naturally would not learn much about their lives. Not much was known."
  38. Middle Earth Role Playing: Mount Gundabad, ISBN-10: 1558060693, Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm) (October 1989), p.13
  39. Middle Earth Role Playing Game: Lords of Middle Earth Vol. III, p. 88
  40. Middle Earth Role Playing: Mount Gundabad, ISBN-10: 1558060693, Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm) (October 1989), p.13
  41. Middle Earth Role Playing: Empire of the Witch-King, ISBN-10: 1558060243, Publisher: Iron Crown Enterprises (ICE) (November 1989)
  42. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), "Akallabêth"
  43. Middle Earth Role Playing: Mount Gundabad, ISBN-10: 1558060693, Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm) (October 1989), p.15
  44. Middle Earth Role Playing: Mount Gundabad, ISBN-10: 1558060693, Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm) (October 1989), p.15
  45. Middle Earth Role Playing: Mount Gundabad, ISBN-10: 1558060693, Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm) (October 1989)
  46. Middle Earth Role Playing: Gorgoroth, ISBN-10: 1558061053, Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (September 1990)
  47. Middle Earth Role Playing: Goblin Gate and Eagle's Eyrie, ISBN-10: 091579540X, Publisher: Iron Crown Enterprises (July 1985)
  48. Middle Earth Role Playing: The Grey Mountains, ISBN-10: 1558061541, Publisher: (ICE) Iron Crown Enterprises (1992)
  49. Middle Earth Role Playing: Empire of the Witch-King, ISBN-10: 1558060243, Publisher: Iron Crown Enterprises (ICE) (November 1989)
  50. Middle Earth Role Playing: Mount Gundabad, ISBN-10: 1558060693, Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm) (October 1989)
  51. Middle Earth Role Playing: Gorgoroth, ISBN-10: 1558061053, Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (September 1990)
  52. Middle Earth Role Playing: Goblin Gate and Eagle's Eyrie, ISBN-10: 091579540X, Publisher: Iron Crown Enterprises (July 1985)
  53. Middle Earth Role Playing: The Grey Mountains, ISBN-10: 1558061541, Publisher: (ICE) Iron Crown Enterprises (1992)
  54. Middle Earth Role Playing: Empire of the Witch-King, ISBN-10: 1558060243, Publisher: Iron Crown Enterprises (ICE) (November 1989)
  55. Middle Earth Role Playing: River Running, ISBN-10: 1558061592, Publisher: Iron Crown Enterprises (ICE) (1992)
  56. Middle Earth Role Playing: The Shire, ISBN-10: 1558062343, Publisher: Iron Crown Enterprises (ICE)
  57. Middle Earth Role Playing: Sealords of Gondor: Pelargir and Lebennin, ISBN-10: 0915795884, Publisher: Iron Crown Enterprises; Game edition (April 1987)
  58. Middle Earth Role Playing: Havens of Gondor, ISBN-10: 0915795256, Publisher: Iron Crown Enterprises; Game edition (April 1987)

See also

External links

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