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Orcs??

pgt

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Highly debatable. Check out the essay at:

tolkien.cro.net/orcs/origin.html

I found this essay to be objective, fair and balanced as well as succint. The posts I've seen on tis forum re this subject dont' take into account several issues raised in the essay above.
 

Greenleaf

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Thanks! I'm just know reading the books (I’m 3/4 the way though TT) and after seeing the movie I'm a little confused. So thanks again.
 
R

ReadWryt

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Orcs were apparently bred by Melkor in Utumno early in the first age (after the Awakening of the Elves, but before the Battle of the Powers), using Elves he had captured near Cuivienen and corrupted in his dungeons.
The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, Revised and Expanded edition by Robert Foster.
 

FrodetteBaggins

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In the first age, Elvs were taken captive, tortured and mutilated in the Dark Lord Dungeon until they tranformed from the most beautiful cratures in the world to a ruined and terrible form of life: orcs.
 

Melian

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Elves were not constantly captured and tortured throughout the next three epochs,so maybe here's the confusing thing-how were orcs created eventually?
I guess Sauron and Saruman had their ways of turning out new military units,perhaps they can be called second-generation, updated,factory-made orcs.In Saruman's case they were provided with the modern option of sunproof,as the formula was innovated by adding something human to the orcs' breed.
 

Cian

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Elves believed to be from orcs is the standard Silmarillion (as published) notion.

However this was not JRR Tolkien's final word on the subject, but Christopher Tolkien could not easily publish his fathers "re-thinkings" within the Silmarillion. Tolkien even once noted to himself: (against a typescript version of "orc origins" in Annals of Aman)

"Alter this. Orcs are not Elvish."

The results of this "re-thinking" are the orc-essays found in Morgoths Ring, in which we find Tolkien was seemingly (ultimately) leaning towards Men as the main stock rather (though certain problems, a bit complicated to easily describe, arise even there. As Chris Tolkien says :) it's not always so simple)

Into the mix was also the possibility of (some) orc-formed Maiar even!
 

Grond

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Cian beat me to it. A great discussion on the subject is indeed found in Morgoth's Ring in HoMe. As it stands, I find nothing conclusive to say of what stock orcs were made from. Maybe some of everything. A little of this and a little of that. It appears that even Saruman had some contribution to make as he made the evil orcs who could withstand sunlight. Confusing, isn't it??
 

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