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What are Orcs? Are Orcs evil?

FrodetteBaggins

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Um.............I think they are really evil underneath.....they sure are ugly.........so yeah they're evil....i mean with faces and noises like that how can they be anything else?:confused:
 

Nazgul

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I think that orcs are evil...
when they were first created, in the time that the Vala Melkor was in his rise, they were meant to be his followers - to do evil and cruel things as Melkor did, so they were grown to be evil.
I think that in the 3rd age, Sauron just used them for his own plans. the orcs had to obey him and to had to do his own evil plans and not theirs, who were evil too but not what Sauron wanted.
A possible prove for that is that when Sauron felt the present of the ring, his eye became focused on her and "left" to orcs to themselves, after that all the orcs felt that something was missing and that the control that has been over them has been lifted and they flee in terror of the troops that attack them...
 
T

The Ungoliant

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... but, if Orcs are truly evil, then they must have free will.

Orcs should be pittied, as they are mearly the pawns of higher powers.
 

Ancalagon

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Thisis an interesting question which I am sure myself, Gothmog, Grond, Walter to name but a few will have great pleasure in debating into the wee hours of the morning. However, consider this........if they were twisted from the forms of Elves would they be pitied by Mandos after death? Would they be given their place in the Undying Lands? Just a thought to add to the original question.
 

Dain Ironfoot

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They were elves that were tortured and mutated to OBAY!! They don't controle what they do. No Orks are not evil. Yes they will have there place.
 

Ragnarok

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What about the Orcs of the Misty Mountains, during the time of Bilbo's adventure? They werent controlled by Sauron then and still went around wreaking havoc in the countryside, waylaying travelers, and whatnot. Thats pretty mean, so I think theyre evil and a half.
 

Tar-Palantir

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By the time of Bilbo's adventure, Sauron had indeed risen again - he was the Necromancer. His influence certainly increased the activities of the "evil" folk. Read "Tale of the Years" in the appendix in ROTK.
 

Rosie Cotton

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I think that orcs are definately evil on their own. Why would a mindless extension of Saurons will get in arguments and kill other servents of Sauron? I know that there are some quotes from when Merry and Pippin are with the orcs, that show the orcs greedy nature. Unfortunately I can't get to my books right now (my Tolkien books were taken off the shelf to make room for x-mas decorations, and now I can't find the box that they're in.) I'll keep looking...
 

Kris Rhodes

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But Rose

The question is, can an Orc in any way help be anything but greedy? Is it possible for an Orc to act in an ethical manner?

I have an intuition that the dialogues involving orcs do indeed exhibit at least the rudiments of an ethical sense, expressed mostly in its socio-political dimension. Based on this, I have a feeling that in fact, it could be possible for an Orc to overcome its upbringing and genetics. It would be an overcoming tantamount to an evolutionary leap, but I think it could be possible.

Unfortunately, we are speaking of fictional creatures, and I also strongly suspect that my vision of the orc differs from Tolkien's in this detail. I don't think he intended for them to be anything but imps and devils, basically. Totally unredeemable, good for nothing but death or enslavement.

That's fine as far as it goes, but the fact that he had that idea about the Orcs, but then went on to script dialogues and actions for them which indicate at least faint traces of a moral sense, is disturbing to me. I think it may belie some of Tolkien's deepest, most unverbalized assumptions about moral worth and race, but I probably shouldn't have opened that can of worms so I take it back.

-Kris
 

Snaga

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To resolve this we need to look at evidence in two areas: (1) how do orcs behave if not directed by Sauron, and (2) what do the dialogue between the orcs tell you about them?

In LotR and the Hobbit, the orcs in the Misty Mountain are not directly following Sauron's instructions. Nevertheless they wish to kill, destroy, rob, enslave etc. So overwhelmingly evil. However in Appendix B it is stated that 'c2480 Orcs begin to make secret strongholds in the Misty Mountains so as to bar the passes into Eriador. Sauron begins to people Moria with his creatures'. My reading of this is that orcs may not be part of Saurons armies directly yet he is able to direct their actions through the strength of his will. But even so, does it appear likely that in his absence they would reform? Hardly.

Shagrat and Gorbag discuss life outside the armies of Mordor with relish - a bandits life that they view with nostalgic malice. They are unwillingly bound in service through fear. And that fear gives them the will to greater cruelty and greater efforts to evil. But they would only revert to a lazy self-serving, undirected life of preying on the weak.

If you detect some glimmers of things less evil, it can only be a faint camaraderie. But any loyalty to a greater purpose is not noble when the purpose is evil.

So there you are orcs are bad through and through. And I am longwinded.
 

Gothmog

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My view is that the Orcs are Evil in that they are the Personification of Melkors Evil.

They have no choice in the matter as they were bred by Melkor for the perpose of being a Mockery of the Elves and to be their eternal enemy. It is supposed but not confirmed that they were originally Elves captured by Melkor and then changed into Orcs by his black arts. If this is true then at some level they may still know what they should but can never be. This would be one reason for their hatred of other peoples.

The fact that from the begining of the Orcs they were bred and twisted by Melkor to be only one thing, The Personification of his hatred toward all life on Arda means that they would hate All even other Orcs. They would obey only one who could force them to as is seen in the Two Towers when there is an argument over the Hobbits. So they have little loyalty to other orcs only to force. Even the ones Saruman bred had little respect for him and that little only because of his power.
 

Wesley_Skiddles

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Orcs ???

These (shudder!) orcs of which you speak?

Do they ever come to your home, stand outside in large circles around your abode, howling, and stomping, and drooling, and staring at you at night with bright red or green-glowing eyes, like they want something?

I have a slight problem at my home right now, and was just wondering... Sincerely.
 

Ragnarok

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Orc Trouble?

Some orcs are giving you trouble? Well, '[and] you have my axe!'
 

pgt

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Are Orcs evil? Certainly.
Are Orcs manipulated from Elves as Dain suggests? - I disagree.

But some also appear to have tremendous bravery and intelligence at times. Some of the plots and attacks and such are quite devious in my opinion. There are times when they keep on charging when their brothers are being slaughtered - bravery or 'forced' by someones will? Some are quite strong physically.

They are very ambitious (often leading to internal strife!).

They have a good understanding of military tactics, strength in numbers and a a good understanding for the need to reproduce to procreate and strengthen the species, something many free peoples of ME seem not to understand.

They are bi- or tri-lingual speaking their own languages, the common speach and sometimes the language of Mordor.

They have developed a solid command and control structure (though perhaps crude and barbaric) and other infrastructures to make massive attacks across vast expanses. Some of this can be attributed to the Dark Lord but he can't micro-manage everything and certainly isnt' everywhere.

They are capable of temporary alliances with other nasty critters such as wolves, wargs and trolls.

They certainly have crafts and skills that allow them to mine, tunnel and forge metal utensils and weapons.

...But I suppose they can still posess all that and still be evil.

PS: They utilize some of the most potent booze around too!
 

Grond

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Orcs were bred by Melkor to be a mockery of elves. Everything that elves are, orcs are not. So there you have it. The ultimate king of evil, my boss Melkor, imbued them with evil that cannot be overcome until Melkor is again released and the world changes. So sayeth the Silmarillion and thus it is.
 

Lantarion

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Originally posted by FrodetteBaggins
Um.............I think they are really evil underneath.....they sure are ugly.........so yeah they're evil....i mean with faces and noises like that how can they be anything else?:confused:
Wow, that is the most vain thought I have ever heard. So you're saying all ugly things are evil?
But back to the topic: I think Orcs were not evil once, UNDERNEITH, because they were indeed once Elves, the epitome of good (if not always of goodness). But the Orcs were tortured and twisted and brainwashed so thoroughly that they have no more positive or kind thoughts left, and the good of their encestors the first corrupted Elves has been extinguished; probably right at the time they were 'created'. So I say yes, they are evil, but not of choise.
 

Wesley_Skiddles

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Ragnarok, do you...

Ragnarok, do you come WITH this axe? Indeed, you and it may be greatly needed if the creatures outside my home come any closer. (I think their sudden appearance has something to do with a pretty golden ring I found. I am looking into it.)

BTW, Ragnarok, what is it you have done to become such a bane? I refer, of course, to the words which appear beneath your reply: 'I am the Bane of night and day, love and hate, and of all things good and evil.'

(And I though I was having some difficulties.) Sincerely...
 

Obbit Trifill

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One man's evil

might very well be another man's good. For instance, I ate an egg for breakfast today and no one called me evil, though if you were to ask the hen (whose unborn embryo I just ate) if I were evil, I would think the hen would say, "Yes! Obbit Trifill is the most evil person I know." The definition of evil, I think, is in the eye and heart of the person who wonders about it.

Are orcs evil? Depends who is asking the question.
 

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