View Full Version : orcs, half orcs and uruk hai

02-05-2009, 17:37
Hello all,
i read LOTR around 25 years ago, so it is quite likely my memories are not accurate, but i seem to recall that half orcs were present in isengard armies, and they were either nefarious men with orc blood or, for the most horrible ones, orcs with mannish blood.
I seem to recall the hobbits witnessed the passage of Isengard host and counted half orcs among its variegated components.
In any case i suppose they were an altogether different thing than uruk hai.
I think Saruman also had half orc spies in human communities, and quite likely some of the ruffians he brought with him in the Shire after he lost Isengard were half orcs.
Now i cant see anything like that in the movies, and i suppose Peter J. just considered uruk hai to be some kind of human/orc crossbreed.
After all they appear to be (slightly) more human looking than average orcs (Gothmog?), though none of them could infiltrate human society.
So could the movie uruk hai be he most orc like half orcs?
What do you think?

Suicide Messiah
02-05-2009, 19:36
In the movie someone (Gandalf?) says hes crossed orcs with goblin men. Now what that means is open to interpretation but so far as the movie goes Uruks are half Orcs.

02-05-2009, 20:28
As I recall LotR, the Hobbits on the way to Rivendell noticed some shifty characters, who were supposedly Half Orcs.

Uruk hai are Orcs cross bred with men, creating a hybrid race that was both stronger and more cunning.

03-05-2009, 15:59
Huh, got the same impression: the movie uruk hai are somewhat half orcs.
Problem is, i distinctly remember they are considered different races in the book: there are half orcs (either men with some orc traits or vice versa) and the regular uruk hai (somewhat more mannish themselves, but a different breed on all accounts and wholly orcs).
Half orc traits were, unless i am mistaken, squint eyes and olive skins, but other than that they were regular men.
PS: please all squint eyed, olive skinned men take no offence, its not that i consider you other than human, just quoting the hobbits (pippin and the other one, was it merry?).
They sound like pretty spiteful little racist buggers, indeed.

Suicide Messiah
03-05-2009, 17:25
I would imagine that the distinction between uruks and half orcs lies in there creation more than anything else. half orcs being the unfortunate union between the two races and uruks being an artificially bred warrior race.

04-05-2009, 11:26
Hmm...a shame PJ and new line did not invest a bit more in recreating Saruman's army, it should have been much more varied.
Hillmen should have had isengardian armour and half orcs should have been their own breed, more human looking than uruk hai since all observers are able to tell the two apart.
Much more interesting are the battle scenes in rotk, too bad they did'nt pay the same attention to helm's deep.

Suicide Messiah
05-05-2009, 06:33
I think that was more an artistic choice than anything. Having them look the same gives them that manufactured death machine vibe.

05-05-2009, 21:26
Ermm..just wondering but how did he mix the races......Im hoping it was just magic or Saruman with lots of testtubes.....

05-05-2009, 21:56
Jackson would go for test tubes, though if I recall correctly, Brave New World came out before LotR, so Tolkien may have been inclined towards the industrial method as well.

11-05-2009, 20:03
Hello, do you think the humans used to produce half orcs were of dunlandig blood?
Or could they be from different breeds?

12-05-2009, 04:40
Probably used the material closest at hand; Tolkien seems sparse on breeding technique, they might have prisoners and slaves from other regions shipped in.

12-05-2009, 21:58
Hello, do you think the humans used to produce half orcs were of dunlandig blood?
Or could they be from different breeds?

Quite so. Tolkien says that Saruman bred Orcs/ Uruk with those from Dunland (the Dunlendings, who are 'Dunnish', lol,:p)

These half Orks were used to despoil Rohan and soften it for invasion. I seem to remember that, in the books, Uruk Hai were actually created by Sauron in Mordor during the Third Age. Unsatisfied by orcs fear of light and inferior physicality/ intelligence to Man, Dwarf and Elf he sought to create a more worthy stalwart for his army in the upcoming great war. These greater Uruk then spread through Middle Earth and were used by Saruman for a variety of tasks including, I imagine, the creation of the half orc. It is half orcs that generated the true ire of the Ents as it is they, under orders of Saruman who got stuck in burning Fangorn.:)

Col. Tartleton
14-05-2009, 11:22
There are Goblins which are cave orcs.
There are Orcs which are the main breed.
Uruk Hai which are Aryan Orcs (Racially superior and all that.)
Half Orcs are part Orc and Part Human.

I would think that Goblins have whitish skin, orcs have blackish skin, uruk hai have blackish (human tone) skin, Half orks are swarthy and deformed.

The Muster of Rohan
18-05-2009, 22:52
The reason that Uruk-hai have "black skin" is that it's been burnt by the sun - Sauron couldn't breed that out of them, though he did make them so that they weren't bothered by it the way snaga were.

19-05-2009, 19:11
Since we are discussing skin tones: many half orcs could pass as(linx eyed???) humans, this probably means their skin is human like in texture and colour?

20-05-2009, 00:12
Human skin tone and textures have a range, even within racial, ethnic and regional groups.