View Full Version : New hunter ors models=half orcs?

28-11-2012, 23:08

I had a look at the new orc hunter and wolf rider models, and they're actually pretty decent.
My main issue, however, i that they look very human (ok, half savage human with bizarre hairstye and pointy ears, but mostly human none the less).
Would they be good, background wise, to be used as Isengardian half orc auxiliaries?

29-11-2012, 07:03
Background wise, we don't know all that much about the appearance of orcs. Some are as big as a man, most are smaller.

The race of orcs were brought about by Melkor (of whom Sauron, his servant is but a merest shadow) by slow torture and cruel arts inflicted upon elves he captured prior to the first age. They are essentially elves who have been completely ruined by a godlike being. Another thing that is important to know about orcs is that they reproduce sexually. Sex -> Pregnancy -> Childbirth. That may come as a surprise considering female orcs are never mentioned in any of the texts but it is 100% confirmed by Tolkien.

In the 15000 years since their conception orcs have developed into several distinct types but Tolkien doesn't explore very many of them in great detail. Compared to his other fictional races he seems to have had little interest in orcs. These different types of orcs were sometimes willfully bought about by their masters and perhaps (I am not sure) came into being because of necessity in a process similar to evolution. Uruk-Hai were bred by Saruman by breeding men with orcs as is hinted at in Lord of the Rings by this piece of dialogue by Treebeard and is later confirmed by Tolkien in one of his letters.

"It is a mark of evil things that came in the Great Darkness that they can not 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, or has he blended the races of orcs and men? That would be a black evil"

So background wise, yes, creatures which are the product of orcs and men are being used in the third age and are especially employed by the forces of Isengard. Apart from the obvious being the Uruk-Hai there are also hints that another mix of orcs and men exists, although we only encounter very few examples. There is someone who is a spy of Saruman in Bree and he is described as having features like an orc and being very ugly. I can't remember exactly where but somewhere in LOTR it is mentioned that his look could be explained as some sort of experiment by Saruman. Personally I think that its possible this man was not the product of breeding with orcs but was entirely another thing where Saruman had perhaps attempted in the same vein as the deeds of Melkor to pervert a man into a being like an orc. Of course the lack of success could be attributed to the fact that Saruman is a skinny choir-boy compared to the majesty of Melkor, Master of the Fates of Arda.

TL;DR - Background wise 'half-orcs' exist in Saruman's armies as Uruk-Hai. There is further evidence of other beings who were perhaps created created via the union of men and orcs.

Generally a lot of games and the Peter Jackson movies have taken a lot of liberties with the source material. In all of the works of JRR Tolkien goblin is just another word for orc. The whole idea that small orcs are called goblins is misinterpretation or willful altering of the original source material. In general we have very little description of orc appearances, apart from the tracking orc who is described in return of the king and knowing that Uruks/Uruk Hai are larger and stronger than regular orcs.

So you can pretty much do what you want. If you deem these to be orcs as you imagine them then you could identify them as orcs. If you think these guys are what you would imagine to be half orcs then that could be what you imagine to be Uruk Hai or some other result of the breeding of orcs and humans. Peter Jackson's portrayals are only his team's interpreations of the source material and are sometimes really wacky like the 'goblins' in the new hobbit movie.

TL;DR - Don't feel like the movies are (or even should be) your guide as to how orcs look. Do what you like and identify them as you see fit.

One other thing to note is that I am reluctant to use the term half-orc. The race of orcs was created by ruining elves as i said before. I think that the product of an orc and a human would best be described as a new type of orc instead of as a half-orc. At the end of the day orcs are just elves (and some men) who have been ruined. I think the offspring of an orc and a human qualifies as ruined enough to be counted as an orc.