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 Post subject: Orcs...
PostPosted: December 31st, 2006, 1:06 pm 
Dwarf
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I went to a summer program at Oxford last summer and took a class that talked a lot about Tolkien. One of the things that came up was stereotypes, and we ended up having a discussion among "Elves"and "Men", and "Orcs". The "Orc" side of the discussion came up with a whole thing that was crazy... but the gist of it was that Orcs aren't really evil; they're just forced to do what their betters tell them to. Now I realize that this isn't at all what Tolkien wrote or anything, but I was wondering if any of you ever thought about some of the evil-ish characters like the orcs, goblins (or are they the same as orcs? I don't think so...), and wargs that we don't hear much about. It did get me wondering about some of the things that aren't fully explained in LOTR... What do you all think? Did you ever wonder about all those creatures? :blink:

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PostPosted: December 31st, 2006, 1:30 pm 
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Well, I do think that Goblins and Orcs are the same thing--Goblins are kind of a sub-breed of Orcs, slightly smaller, and with larger eyes, if I recall Tolkien's descriptions of them from TTT correctly.

But I have wondered somewhat about Wargs, etc. Especially about the terrors of Nan Dungortheb--I've wondered about those since I first read The Silmarillion.

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PostPosted: December 31st, 2006, 1:37 pm 
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yeah, we really don't know too much about the orcs, do we? the "orcs" series by stan nicholls is meant to address that point - he writes from the orcs point of view in an attempt to redress the balance. i thought that was an interesting premise, so i started reaing the first one, but it is disgustingly explicit so i gave up after the first chapter. not recommended for the young or the faint-hearted.

with regards to the "are orcs evil?" question, it seems to me that the orcs were bred by sauron and saruman for the sole purpose of killing and destroying, so in a way thy cannot be blamed - they didn't know any different and they didn't know any better. they were amoral (without morals) rather than immoral (acting against understood morals).

as a side note, i guess when you say oxford you mean oxford uni, right? i'm surprised they let you talk about tolkien there - i was always under th impression that they were almost embarrassed about his fantasy writing. i mean, i had an interview at his old college there, and as soon as i mentioned him, the tutor interviewing me appeared to stop listening. grrr!

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PostPosted: December 31st, 2006, 2:15 pm 
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Yes, I went to the Oxbridge Academic Progam in Oxford. I think the reason we talked about Tolkien so much was just becuase my teacher was a fan; the course was called Literature and the Fantastic. Yay for Oxford!!!!!

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PostPosted: December 31st, 2006, 3:37 pm 
Vala
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[quote="eowyn of ithilien"] the "orcs" series by stan nicholls is meant to address that point quote]

What Orcs series by Stan Nicholls?

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PostPosted: January 1st, 2007, 4:41 am 
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Quote:
What Orcs series by Stan Nicholls?

Yes I saw that book in a shop once. Had a glance through the pages. It seemed and interesting book, but I never really bothered to buy it. Wish I could read it though :) hehe

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PostPosted: January 1st, 2007, 7:18 am 
Vala
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It's a book dealing with Orcs in Middle-earth, right? Not just a random book containing his personal views on Orcs in any fantasy series?

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PostPosted: January 2nd, 2007, 4:17 am 
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Quote:
It's a book dealing with Orcs in Middle-earth, right? Not just a random book containing his personal views on Orcs in any fantasy series?

Correct. It revolves around the Orcs of Middle Earth. Not sure if the book also includes the Orcs of the First Age (during 'The Silmarillion').

Thanks

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PostPosted: January 2nd, 2007, 7:17 am 
Vala
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Okay, thanks Earendil.

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PostPosted: January 4th, 2007, 2:37 pm 
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I think Tolkien says something about the orcs being elves tortured into the unrecognizable (sp?). You can also see that they have pointy ears and are slightly like the elves.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: February 16th, 2017, 1:51 pm 
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Aerandir wrote:
Well, I do think that Goblins and Orcs are the same thing--Goblins are kind of a sub-breed of Orcs, slightly smaller, and with larger eyes, if I recall Tolkien's descriptions of them from TTT correctly.


But even Saruman's larger uruks are referred to as goblins in The Two Towers. I say goblins are not a sub-breed of orcs, but what we have here is rather an English word sometimes used to translate orc (and in The Hobbit, almost always used to translate the word orc).

HaHa! No "orc versus goblin" statement or thread can hide from me! Or...

... can it? :wary:


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 Post subject: Re: Orcs...
PostPosted: February 18th, 2017, 3:16 pm 
Warden of the Knight
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That is what I have understood, that orcs, goblins and even the uruks are all the same thing really. There might have been a different way to translate them or perhaps the "Biggest and Best" were chosen and called something else? *shrugs*

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 Post subject: Re: Orcs...
PostPosted: February 18th, 2017, 4:16 pm 
Gondorian
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Here's how I would set up the translation scenario Jax.

orc [Common Speech] translated "goblin" in English. For The Lord of the Rings Tolkien comes to prefer orc to the word goblin, so goblin as a translation is used sparingly in this book [14 times]

orch [Sindarin] urko [Quenya] Kennings include Sindarin Glamhoth "Din-horde" or "the Yelling-horde".

uruk [Black Speech] denotes a larger, better trained goblin compared to "snaga types". In The Hobbit, English "hobgoblin" is used once, the word said to denote larger kinds.

snaga [Black Speech] denotes a lesser kind of orc compared to uruks.

So we do have distinctions of size and formidableness within the nomenclature for orcs.


Keeping in mind that one can translate S. orch with C. S. orc as well, for example, it just won't be translated into English; although also keeping in mind [and perhaps confusingly] that now the word orc can be found in certain English dictionaries with the definition: "one of an imaginary race of evil goblins, esp in the fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien"

Tolkien has essentially revived this word in English, in a measure anyway, and at least with respect to his particular meaning. In JRRT's day, as far as he was concerned, Old English orc meant "demon". Also, notice that goblin is used to help define orc here...

... from Dictionary.com :-D


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 Post subject: Re: Orcs...
PostPosted: February 19th, 2017, 2:15 pm 
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Thank you, that makes it seem much simpler put that way. That is more or less what I remembered it being but could not have put it so directly. It does make sense this way and I do wish they would have portrayed this better in the movie instead of confusing things and making it seem like the goblins, orcs, and uruks were all so different.

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 Post subject: Re: Orcs...
PostPosted: February 19th, 2017, 4:08 pm 
Gondorian
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Of course, now comes the expected question: if Tolkien is supposed to translate the Common Speech term orc with English "goblin", then why do we have both terms in The Lord of the Rings, and even a taste of both in The Hobbit?

Tolkien answered this in his guide for other translators of The Lord of the Rings...

"Orc. This is supposed to be the Common Speech name of these creatures at that time; it should therefore according to the system be translated into English, or the language of translation. It was translated 'goblin' in The Hobbit, except in one place; but this word, and other words of similar sense in other European languages (as far as I know), are not really suitable. The orc in The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, though of course partly made out of traditional features, is not really comparable in supposed origin, functions, and relation to the Elves. In any case orc seemed to me, and seems, in sound a good name for these creatures. It should be retained. It should be spelt ork (so the Dutch translation) in a Germanic language, but I had used the spelling orc in so many places that I have hesitated to change it in the English text, though the adjective is necessarily spelt orkish. The Grey-elven form is orch, plural yrch. I originally took the word from Old English orc [Beowulf 112 orc-nass and the gloss orc = pyrs ('ogre'), heldeofol ('hell-devil')]. This is supposed not to be connected with modern English orc, ork, a name applied to various sea-beasts of the dolphin order."

In short [and paraphrased]: the word orc is supposed to be translated to goblin in The Lord of the Rings... but don't... leave it where it is, Tolkien likes it...

... retain it rather, despite the system :-D


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 Post subject: Re: Orcs...
PostPosted: May 5th, 2017, 6:40 am 
Gondorian
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Hmm, I didn't use hund versus "dog" here... must be slipping.

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