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Orcs out of pods?

R

ReadWryt

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You believe ReadWryt by not taking his words out of context and actually looking at what he said. He said that Sauron created the Uruks but says nothing about Saruman NOT breeding his own batch. The Chinese created Pekingese, but this does not stop my landlady from breeding them herself.
 

Matiage

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I agree somewhat with Tuor.

One can make what one wants of the "pod" scene, but that is exactly how ovovivaporous snakes are birthed with the egg sack in tact. Anyone who has ever seen a clutch of simple garter snakes come out of their sacks should see the similarities.

I do not recall Tolkien stating how these beasts were created or born, so I will not take issue with this.

I do think all of the "look at my Evil Dead makeup" growling shots could have been best spent elsewhere.
 

Greymantle

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Yes, he did say something about this subject. I believe the quote was that "Orcs reproduce in the manner of the Elves." Must be a note from HoME. Could someone verify that, please? I have several thousand pages to go in this huge set of books...
 

aragil

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I think that's from the Silmarillion Grey, where the orcs are first being described

I have to give ReadWryt a point here- Uruk-hai was the term used to describe both Sauron's and Saruman's chief orcs. I looked in appendix F of RotK, Foster's Complete Guide to Middle-Earth, and the Encyclopedia of Arda- they all seem to agree on the point. I guess my confusion stems from the way in which they are treated in the narrative of the Two Towers. Aragorn takes note that several pieces of equipment from those slain by Boromir at Amon Hen are very different from what orcs normally carry. I find it hard to believe that Aragorn had never faced off against Mordor Uruks before. There is also various quotes by characters such as Treebeard (above) and Glamding the old which imply that the bulk of Saruman's troops are some sort of Orc-Human hybrid. I'm guessing that Saruman's troops are Uruk-hai, but they are bit different than your run-of-the mill variety (sort of like ReadWryt's neighbor's Pekanese). I guess the fact that they seem to identify themselves first as Uruk-hai, and then as the servants of Saruman made me think that the Uruk-hai were particular to Saruman, with Uruks being your more common variety.
 
R

ReadWryt

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Trust me, there are many days when I wish that the Chinese had exclusivity on the breeding of Pekingese, especially when all 12 dogs here start barking at the neighbor's cat.

Unfortunately I only have 4 of the books in the History of Middle-earth myself, and they leap from #5 to #9, and none speaks of Uruks. Since IX is "Sauron Defeated" and picks up from the time after the Ring is destroyed it only focuses upon the events after that. It IS interesting though to read the drafts of "The Souring of the Shire" as I feel that seeing what Tolkien didn't want it to say says as much about what he wanted as what was in the final version. He really cared deeply about the Hobbits and their development into brave and "mature" individuals...it's very sweet and his adoration at that point for the lot of them is heartwarming.
 

Greenwood

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You believe ReadWryt by not taking his words out of context and actually looking at what he said. He said that Sauron created the Uruks but says nothing about Saruman NOT breeding his own batch
The question that was raised was orcs vs. Uruk-hai.

To repeat my earlier post:

In the chapter The Uruk-hai (which as far as I remember is the first time the name is used in LOTR) Ugluk says: "We are the fighting Uruk-hai! We slew the great warrior [Boromir]. We took the prisoners. We are the servants of Saruman the Wise, the White Hand: the Hand that gives us man's-flesh to eat. We came out of Isengard, and led you here ..... "

Later in The Two Towers in the chapter Treebeard, Treebeard says in talking about Saruman: "He has taken up with foul folk, with the Orcs. Brm, hoom! Worse than that he has been doing something to them; something dangerous. For these Isengarders are more like wicked Men. It is a mark of evil things that came in the Great Darkness that they cannot abide the Sun; but Saruman's Orcs can endure it, even if they hate it. I wonder what he has done? Are they Men he has ruined, ir has he blended the races of Orcs and Men? That would be a black evil!"

Tolkien seems to be distinguishing the Uruk-hai as Saruman's and later implying Saruman had a hand in creating them.
 

Greymantle

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I'm afraid I don't know of any "primary source" quotes on this subject, but this is from J.E.A. Tyler's Tolkien Companion.

"Uruk-hai 'Orc-race' (Black Speech) The name given by Sauron to a new strain of Orcs bred in secrecy by him in Mordor towards the end of the Third Age, and said (by his enemies) to have been created by the blending of the races of Orcs and Men. It is certain, however, that (so far as Orcs went) the Uruk-hai were a far superior breed, being taller and stronger, with great endurance, and an altogether higher level of intelligence. For these reasons alone they were greatly to be feared. They first appeared in 2475 Third Age, when a strong force attacked the outposts of Ithilien and captured Osgiliath; this army was later driven out by Boromir, son of Ruling Steward Denethor I.
However, the Uruk-hai did not remain exclusively in Sauron's service. By the time of the War of the Ring a great number formed the backbone of the Army of Isengard, and were trained and paid by the renegade Wizard Saruman the White. Most of this force was destroyed at the Battle of the Hornburg. Saruman himself attempted further genetic experiments with this race of 'Great Orcs' -- with singularly unhappy results: creatures known as 'Half-orcs' which were said (by Saruman's enemies) to be the result of cross-breeding between the Uruk-hai and certain degenerate Men in his service."
-TC, 498-499
 

Greenwood

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I'm afraid I don't know of any "primary source" quotes on this subject, but this is from J.E.A. Tyler's Tolkien Companion.
Heavens, Greymantle!!! The purest purist accepting someone else's writing over Tolkien's? I am feeling faint. :eek: :)
 

Thorin

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Originally posted by Harad
AGAIN
why did LOTR only mention Uruk-Hai with respect to Saruman? If it was Sauron's invention, why didnt he have any?

Any "pundit" can make up quotes but Aragil (?) pointed out, the primary source trumps outside pundits.

JRRT's writings aside from LOTR (and even there...) are full of contradictions due to different epochs of writing with differing versions of stories.

What takes precedence?
Keep in mind, Harad that LoTR doesn't elaborate on a lot of things. Just because something is not mentioned or briefly mentioned in LoTR doesn't mean that there isn't anything else in Tolkien's writing to back it up. Gandalf's words to the Balrog, reference to Nimrodel, and the geography Treebeard mentioned, the mention of Carn Dum by Merry at the Barrow Downs, all of these are elaborated on by Tolkien or by Christopher Tolkien in other writings of Tolkien. Just because Tolkien mentions the fact that the Uruk-hai were in Saruman's service, doesn't mean that they didn't exist elsewhere. You make it sound like you must take LoTR the way it says or throw the whole concept out because JRR didn't elaborate on it.

Grey's quote says it all and I don't think it came out of thin air. Or did J.E.A Tyler consult JRR by Ouija board?
 

Greymantle

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The Companion is simply a concordence and index of much known information from LotR and the Hobbit. It predates the Silmarillion.
Tyler simply recorded available information. Her only additions/interpretations are explained in the preface:

"In addition, by using the same principles of decipherment as he did, although far more hesitently, I have attempted to give meanings to many words in the Elvish and Mannish tongues which were never translated by Tolkien. [As the only translation in the passage I cited was from the Black Speech, this presumably does not apply. -G] And I have also endeavored to postulate likely historical significances, based on all known facts, where Tolkien has not done so. I am of course aware of the dangers inherent in such a practice, but I believe I may claim with some justification that nowhere does an entry in this Companion conflict with any fact as reported by the Hobbit-creators of the Red Book (as translated by the scholar after whom this Companion has been named). Where three facts are known, it is sometimes easy to deduce a fourth: that is all I have done. And if for my own purposes I have attempted to adhere to the literary style of the original Red Book as closely as possible, then I hope that few will blame me."
-10
 
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Thorin

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AAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Banshee scream)


Tolkien is Tolkien. The scope of ME goes beyond just LoTR, and must be compared with each other to get the whole picture. LoTR shows that there is much more than meets the eye. I would have been a little miffed and confused if Tolkien left gaping holes. He did not. Who cares if he mentions something in LoTR which is not mentioned in Silmarillion or something in UT that is elaborated on in HoME. They all complement each other. What's your problem? If someone else uses his factual items to create a more cohesive picture (Like his son Christopher did) I have no problem with that.

I do have a problem with someone who feels Arwen should be some sort of warrior challenging the Nine which even Elrond and Galadriel wouldn't have done with no factual support. Consolidating, researching and reporting is a lot different than changing, taking liberties with, and distorting character and information.
 

Greenwood

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Greymantle, Thorin

Sorry but you can't use secondary sources to refute a primary source and you as purists should be the first to uphold that principle. Those of us in research are well aware of it. In fact in biological taxonomy and systematics (the science of organisms names and relationships) the rules are quite specific. Not only does a primary source trump any secondary source, but within a primary source, in the event of a conflict a citation from an earlier page in published material trumps a statement on a later page in the same publication. The rule even extends to precedence being given to what comes first on a page if there is a conflict between two things on the same page.

LOTR is clearly the primary source here, certainly over any compendium compiled by another author. LOTR even takes precedence over The Silmarillion in the event of a conflict between the two. LOTR was published first and during Tolkien's lifetime. The Silmarillion was published posthumously and thus Tolkien did not have a chance to deal with any inconsistencies between the two, as he might have wished prior to publication. Thus neither The Silmarillion, nor any other posthumously published publication can be used to refute Tolkien's own statements in LOTR. You can use them to perhaps bolster your opinions, but not directly contradict LOTR.
 
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Thorin

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I honestly can't belive what I'm hearing here.

If there is a contradiction in Tolkien's writings, LoTR must be taken as the true because it was published first??? Oh my. For your information, after LoTR was published and until his death, Tolkien turned his attention back to the Elder Days from which the Silmarillion is a part of it. So if you used your method of hermeneutics, Silmarillion would take precedence. And I don't see where in any of Tolkien's published writings (Other than the HoME series which shows the growing process of ME) there are contradictions. Elaborations that are not detailed in LoTR, yes.

You are assuming that Tolkien contradicted himself concerning the origin of orcs. He did not from what I can see. There is nothing I've seen that says that Saruman CREATED the Uruk-hai. Consider Treebeard's statement:

But Saruman's Orcs can endure it, even if they hate it. I wonder what he has done? Are they Men he has ruined, ir has he blended the races of Orcs and Men? That would be a black evil!"

The Uruk-hai (as mentioned in Tyler's researched statement) became servants of Saruman. And because of the what Saruman did to them, they not only were Uruk-hai orcs, but a revamped and improved version of orc. I don't see any contradiction at all.
 

Aerin

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I think what this thread boils down to is whether or not you are willing to look at someone else's perspective (it's the same for most of the threads on this message board).
I think that the question "Did Orcs come out of pods?" has become immaterial in this discussion. It seems that everyone has to have the last word.
Please do not take this as an accusation, because it is most definitely not.

Three days ago, when I was in the waiting room at the doctor's, my mother and I were having an argument about Frodo's taking the Ring; whether it was his Fate or not. She expressed the view that it didn't matter if Frodo wanted to take the Ring, but that it was Fate that chose him. I argued to the opposite, and she told me that within literature, there are many interpretations possible.
Four people, from different places and with different backgrounds, can read the same book and get variant thoughts from it. Literature is one of the fuzziest of the "fuzzy subjects". There are almost limitless ways to interpret literature, and that's what makes reading and discussing books interesting.
I would hate to live in a world where everyone had the same thoughts about everything. Variety is the spice of life.
One thing I have noticed about literature, is there are no hard, fast facts. Everything is open to interpretation.
Even when someone digs deep into Tolkien's works to come up with an exact quote, or when someone uses a reference, such as J.E.A. Tyler's book, and says "Here's a proven fact", I cannot take that as a fact.
Facts, to me, are 2 + 2 = 4. No one, no matter their background, can argue that fact. It is set in stone.
I am sure that if I read Tyler's book, I could find the same passages that have been quoted, and interpret them differently.

I'm not saying that anyone in this thread is wrong, I'm just saying that we all interpret things differently.
So as you continue to debate the origin of Orcs, please keep in mind, no one is "right" or "wrong". There can only be interpretations, not 'facts'.

Also, please keep in mind, this is only my opinion... not to be taken as fact either!
 

Greymantle

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Originally posted by Greenwood

Sorry but you can't use secondary sources to refute a primary source and you as purists should be the first to uphold that principle.
... You can use them to perhaps bolster your opinions, but not directly contradict LOTR.
Where, may I ask, does LotR definitively state that the Uruk-hai were originally the creations of Saruman? I'm not saying that it does not state it, but I've quoted my secondary source; show us your priumary source, and we can talk about it.
 

aragil

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Beware secondary material! I'm not going to let a companion guide (I own several) convince me of their interpretations without explicit evidence from the text. I have found no point in the text where the orcs bred by Sauron are referred to as anything but Uruks. The only time the term Uruk-hai is used (that I can find) is in application to those orcs serving Saruman. Aragorn has spent time defending Gondor, and tracked down Gollum in the Dead Marshes. Both of these are very near to Ithilien, where Sauron's Uruks (as they are termed in the entry for TA 2901 in appendix B, the tale of years) were originally observed. Yet he was surprised by the gear that Saruman's Uruk-hai carried, which is what I would call contextual evidence that Saruman's orcs were different from those serving Mordor since 2475. For further evidence, the direct quote from appendix a which undoubtedly provided Tyler with her info:
'In the last years of Denethor I the race of uruks, black orcs of great strength, first appeared out of Mordor, and in 2475 they swept across Ithilien and took Osgiliath.' This appears on page 414 of my edition of the Return of the King (silver jubilee edition, 71st printing of First Ballantine Books Edition), beginning of the last paragraph of the page.
Here, and all other places in the text Sauron's orcs are referred to as Uruks, not Uruk-hai. It is entirely plausible that those who wrote these companions (Foster made the same claim, as does the encyclopedia of Arda) were mistaken, which is what I will believe until I see contradictory evidence penned by Tolkien (JRR and not Christopher) himself.
I (and Greymantle) have posted further on the subject at:
http://www.thetolkienforum.com/showthread.php?s=&postid=27246#post27246

ps Since starting to write this thread, I have become 9 posts (at least) removed from where I had intended to place it. Please read it in that context.
 

Greenwood

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Thorin

You have ignored the other quote from LOTR I included in my earlier post. to repeat it:

In the chapter The Uruk-hai (which as far as I remember is the first time the name is used in LOTR) Ugluk says: "We are the fighting Uruk-hai! We slew the great warrior [Boromir]. We took the prisoners. We are the servants of Saruman the Wise, the White Hand: the Hand that gives us man's-flesh to eat. We came out of Isengard, and led you here ..... "

Tolkien seems fairly clear on this. The Uruk-hai, as opposed to any other kinds of orcs, came from Isengard, apparently the creation of Saruman. Whatever Tyler has said in some compendium is as a lawyer would say "immaterial and irrelevant."
 

Greymantle

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Greenwood, the quote you cite does not conradict my secondary source. I'm not saying I necessarily agree or disagree, but the Tyler says that there were Uruk-hai in the service of Saruman. She does not specify whether these were A. Saruman's own breed of Sauron's creation, B. Saruman's creation alone, or C. Renegade, mercenary Uruk-hai of Mordor. Personally I find option C the most likely, but I do think Saruman bred his own as a part of his genetic experiments.
 
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