Could some orcs be redeemable?

Discussion in 'The Hall of Fire' started by Elaini, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Elaini

    Elaini Lost in Eä

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    They were bred for slavery to begin with and never got to know freedom. Do you think they're closer to animals that are controlled by their impulses or can they learn to be civil?
     
  2. Azrubêl

    Azrubêl Drúadan

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    I know Tolkien's main idea with the different traits between races is that each embodies their natural values: elves are lithe for the woodlands, dwarves are stout for mining and hewing, men are strong for building cities, hobbits are short and like food for farming.

    Orcs are monster-like because of their violent and dim-witted dispositions.

    We generally don't see these characterizations being broken, but we see different versions of good and bad examples of each. Maybe there are limited differences that can occur, but that "peaceful orcs" would be like hobbits building Minas Tirith, there would be a thousand things preventing it, and so there would have to be a really strong reason for it to happen. And if it did, what would that say?

    Sounds like an interesting story to think about, like how the Drúedain exist as wild men with different traits.
     

  3. Miguel

    Miguel Active Member

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    There's gotta be many different tribes of them in the 4th age. I like the idea of them becoming independent but not turning into something that would engage in dealings with the other peoples such as trade, military aid, etc. They won't make war on people like before but they're not pals, they're foul. I like to think that some become very wise, among these a few get to be sorcerers/witch doctors and such. Maybe some character/ter's of Men, Avari, Dwarf, Hobbit... gets to hang out with some of them ala Eöl with the Dwarves of the blue mountains.
     
  4. Erestor Arcamen

    Erestor Arcamen Archivist Staff Member

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    Tolkien never wrote about them being redeemable, but he did write about whether they were evil or not. Towards the end of Letter 153:

    I also found this passage from Myths Transformed, section VIII, in Morgoth's Ring interesting:

    Most of this is from this discussion on Reddit that I participated in a while ago.
     

  5. Miguel

    Miguel Active Member

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    Of the Drúedain, one will speak with them.