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Old 03-30-2006, 11:50 AM   #41
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Tolkien Note

Well, I found the quote I was looking for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tolkien
"You should try being up here with Shelob for company," said Shagrat.
"I'd like to try somewhere where there's none of 'em. But war's on now and when that's over things may be easier."
"It's going well they say."
"They would" grunted Gorbag. "We'll see. But anyway, if it does go well, there should be a lot more room. What d'you say? - if we get a chance, you and me'll slip off and set up somewhere on our own with a few trusty lads, somewhere there's good loot nice and handy, and no big bosses."
"Ah!" said Shagrat. "Like old times."

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Book 4 - Chapter 10 - The Choices of Master Samwise
Make of that what you will.
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Old 03-30-2006, 04:21 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinlómien
Are you saying that wild animals are brutish and mean?!? Wild is no synonym for brutish and mean.

About half-orcs
If orcs have limited free will (they can only do evil, but they can choose what), what about a half-orc? Would he/she have this limited free will? Or a free will of a human?
No. It was a comparison. If wild animals raised by people grow up and still have a need to be wild. Then maybe its the same thing with an orc. If an orc has an instinct to be evil, then it will be evil.

A 1/2 orc would very likely be like those in AD&D I guess. Tolkiens works is where the TSR people got the whole idea, so anytime I think of 1/2 orcs I think of the D&D ones. Given they aren't real creatures, thats the only source I have to really go on.
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Old 03-31-2006, 03:19 PM   #43
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Orcs had to be portrayed as 'evil' - Tolkien's stories at heart are struggles of good versus evil, and this also includes a lot of slaughter. From our modern perspectives, where we examine all acts of battle through the microscope to ascertain if they are 'war crimes' or not, the idea of slaughtering many peoples of one race would seem abhorent, yet it is necessary to stories such as those written by Tolkien. The story would have been very different if Aragorn had decided to go and reason with the Orcs instead of lopping off their heads.

Hence, to make the story acceptable, even to readers back in the 50s, the Orcs had to be portrayed as evil by nature. Yet the interesting thing is that Tolkien did not necessarily carry out this thesis all the way through his work. One of the best known incidences is that quoted by Hookbill above, where we see Orcs discussing their independence from Sauron. They clearly have a culture, a language, a society of their own. They are not mere beasts without a moral code. The moral code may be different to our own, and indeed different to that of Aragorn, Gandalf, etc, but they have one nevertheless. Even to a reader in the 1950s this would stand out.

I think what davem has said is interesting. Orcs, taken as a separate entity to how they are used in the story as representatives of evil, maybe are not to be judged by our own codes and standards. They are something very different to us and thus cannot or should not be judged like we might be.

Anyway, onto Orcs and souls. I don't see why an Orc should not have a soul just because he (or she!) is evil. After all, Saruman clearly has a Fea of some kind, which we see at the end of Lord of the Rings, being turned back or rejected by the Valar. Why should an Orc not have a Fea too? It may make us uncomfortable that an 'evil' creature possesses a soul, but that should not preclude the possibility. However, I can see that a 'created' Half-Orc might not have a Fea in the same way that other beings do, following the logic of the creation of the Dwarves and the special case made by Eru to allow them life.
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Old 03-31-2006, 04:03 PM   #44
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The central problem is that Fear are bestowed by Eru. If Orcs were corrupted Elves they would retain their Fea, but what about Orc children? Why would Eru give them souls if the only possible destiny for them was to be evil - or could Eru create Evil souls just or Orcs?

A second possibility would be that second generation Orcs do not have Fear, merely Hroar & Sana (ie, as well as a body they have a mind but no soul). But is this actually possible?

I suppose we could speculate that in place of a Fea, a motivating 'force' if you will, an orc would be 'powered' by the will of first Morgoth, then Sauron. So, rather than the tri-partite division we see in Elves & Men: Fea-Sana-Hroa, in Orcs we would have 'Evil Will of Morgoth/Sauron'-Sana-Hroa.

This would mean that Orcs would be quite sentient & completely self aware, able to reason (& rebel) but that in a real sense they were not truly 'alive', as the 'Life-force' in them would not have its origins in Eru, but in the will of Morgoth/Sauron.
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Old 04-01-2006, 07:50 AM   #45
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Lalwende made some very interesting (and good points), but they didn't actually answer to the original question. If orcs shouldn't be judged the same way as humans does it have any effect on would an orc cope in a human/elf society. I would like to hear what do you have to say on this, Lalwende.

Or is the reason why an orc couldn't possibly live among humans that they are too different from humans, not that they're evil?
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Old 04-01-2006, 08:22 AM   #46
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Silmarillion, Of Aulë and Yavanna:
Quote:
Now Ilúvatar knew what was done, and in the very hour that Aulë's work was complete, and he was pleased, and began to instruct the Dwarves in the speech that he had devised for them, Ilúvatar spoke to him; and Aulë heard his voice and was silent. And the voice of Ilúvatar said to him: 'Why hast thou done this? Why dost thou attempt a thing which thou knowest is beyond thy power and thy authority? For thou hast from me as a gift thy own being only, and no more; and therefore the creatures of thy hand and mind can live only by that being, moving when thou thinkest to move them, and if thy thought be elsewhere, standing idle. Is that thy desire?'
...

Then Aulë took up a great hammer to smite the Dwarves; and he wept. But Ilúvatar had compassion upon Aulë and his desire, because of his humility; and the Dwarves shrank from the hammer and wore afraid, and they bowed down their heads and begged for mercy. And the voice of Ilúvatar said to Aulë: 'Thy offer I accepted even as it was made. Dost thou not see that these things have now a life of their own, and speak with their own voices? Else they would not have flinched from thy blow, nor from any command of thy will.'
This may seem a bit off topic, but in my opinion it sheds some light on the process of creating a creature with it's own free will. This proves that without the blessing of Eru, a created creature is nothing more than it's creator's puppet. The dwarf's had no will of their own, until Eru took pity on Aulë and the dwarfs. It wasn't until then that the dwarfes shrank away from the coming blow. What Eru gave the dwarfs was the soul, the Fea, right? And even if it's not Fea, it's obvious that the creations of anyone save Illuvatar himself are doomed to a life without their own will or thoughts.

If that's the case, how can we then say that the orcs, except those that are the first generation of twisted elves, lack Fea? The proof lies in Hookbill's quote. If they didn't have a soul and were controlled by Sauron, then I doubt that they would be able to talk about getting away from him! Besides, after Sauron is defeated, there still existed living, moving and thinking orcs. If they indeed lived without Fea, they would stand dumbstruck as soon as Sauron was destroyed. Or when he lost his power and wondered around as a shadow for that matter.

This raises new questions. Why would Eru give these wretched creatures, the mockery of his own children, the benefit of a soul? And the question that is important for this thread: why would Eru grant such a gift to something destinied for evil deeds without a possibility to redeem themselves? That doesn't make sense. Therefor I still think that Orcs could become more or less "good", with the right upbringing and in the right environment.
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Old 04-01-2006, 10:29 AM   #47
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Tolkiens Corrupt World.

Remembering that after all, these are stories from the mind of a man, we must accept the flaws. Tolkien uses many myths as blue-prints for his own sub-creation,
so we see there is no point in Utopia without corruption, but then where the main criticism of Tolkien comes in, is his lack of Hell without redemption. There are lots of good gone bad elements, but where are the bad redeemed. The only two instances in LotR are:

Boromir is corrupted by the Ring (briefly)/ He redeems himself by trying to save Merry and Pippin

Smeagol (good?) corrupted by the Ring and kills Deagol/ He almost turns ,until the nasty words of Sam(un)wise Gamgee on the Stairs of Cirith Ungol, and the fleeting moment has gone.

So why are there no bad turning good, Why doesn't Saruman come down (pride),
why doesn't Grima repent (fear/hate maybe self-loathing) Ted Sandyman becomes a collaberater, what happens to him. The whole point of the story is Good battling Evil, you cannot allow your evil to turn good, for evil will always defeat itself , and in Lotr, Good allows Evil to do this.
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Old 04-01-2006, 11:19 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narfforc
Tolkien uses many myths as blue-prints for his own sub-creation,
so we see there is no point in Utopia without corruption, but then where the main criticism of Tolkien comes in, is his lack of Hell without redemption. There are lots of good gone bad elements, but where are the bad redeemed.
Of course, many Christians don't believe that Hell is an actual place of eternal torment, but simply a ceasing to be - non-existence.

This seems to be the case with both Sauron & Saruman, whose Fea seem to arise asshadows only to be blown away to nothing by a wind from the West (though its not clear whether this wind comes from Manwe or Eru.

The whole idea of worldly Utopia seems absent from Tolkien's creation. It is apparently an impossibility - at least as far as the possibility of any of the sentient races bringing it about is concerned. There is only the battle against Evil, which cannot ever be won. Evil can only be held at bay, or at best temporarily defeated so as to gain a respite.

In that sense both Sauron & Saruman are Utopians. They believe they can attain absolute victory & their own version of the 'Thousand Year Reich'. What's interesting is that those who desire to achieve a Utopia within M-e are seduced into Evil. Sauron & Saruman are the great idealists, the ones who want to bring about (what they consider to be) paradise on earth. But they seek to do this by rejecting Eru & replacing Him.

Those on the side of Good, however, are the ones who have rejected all possibility of achieving an absolute victory & eternal peace. The 'good guys' have accepted that life in the world is summed up by the concept of 'many defeats & many fruitless victories', of the 'long defeat'.

It is the affirmation of life in the face of death, even though death, in the end, will triumph, because what the 'Utopians' like Sauron, Saruman (& others, like Smeagol & even Ted Sandyman) want is actually stagnation, an unchanging state of affairs where their rule will be absolute. Life is change, for the bad as well as the good. As Gandalf says:

Quote:
'Other evils there are that may come; for Sauron is himself but a servant or emissary. Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.
Or in other words, 'all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us'. It is that act of 'surrender' that is required of good folk in M-e, that acceptance that while death is inevitable, & peace can never be won permanently, the fight is necessary.

In this context I think Ted Sandyman is an interesting case. He too seeks order over chaos. Walking (& talking) trees are not simply fantastic as far as he is concerned, but more importantly are dangerous. They have to be mocked out of existence, replaced by sensible, logical things. Trees are a source of fruit, raw materials, or fuel - or that is what he demands they should be. The new Shire, under Sharkey, is a place of extreme logic, where if Ted himself is not to be in charge then someone who thinks like him will be. After all, your Utopia doesn't have to be aesthetically pleasing, it merely has to be a 'safe', unchanging, unthreatening place.

What the 'Utopians' fear is chaos - actually, what they fear, what they see as their enemy, is life itself. Sauron chooses a dead, blasted heath peopled by creatures no better than worker ants as his Utopia, Saruman chooses a world of 'metal & wheels'. Both desire life replaced by absolute control, by death in fact.

From this point of view Orcs are zombies, the living dead, as are the Nazgul & the Balrog. They are anti-life. As are all 'Utopians'. No-one is going to turn the world into Paradise. The good folk of Middle-earth are the ones who have realised that they can't build a 'Republic of Heaven' - all they can do is struggle to prevent 'Utopians' building a 'Republic of Hell'. And in that battle one must be prepared, if necessary, to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Quote:
'I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them.'
That's something Sauron, Saruman, Smeagol, Ted Sandyman, Wormtongue, the Nazgul, & all the rest of the Enemy could never say...
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Old 04-01-2006, 02:15 PM   #49
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They would at least 'be' real physical realities in the physical world, however evil they might prove, even 'mocking' the Children of God. They would be Morgoth's greatest Sins, abuses of his highest privilege, and would be creatures begotten of Sin, and naturally bad. (I nearly wrote 'irredeemably bad'; but that would be going too far. Because by accepting or tolerating their making - necessary to their actual existence - even Orcs would become part of the World, which is God's and ultimately good.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinlomien
Lalwende made some very interesting (and good points), but they didn't actually answer to the original question. If orcs shouldn't be judged the same way as humans does it have any effect on would an orc cope in a human/elf society. I would like to hear what do you have to say on this, Lalwende.

Or is the reason why an orc couldn't possibly live among humans that they are too different from humans, not that they're evil?
I think, looking at what Tolkien said in the quote above, an Orc was indeed by nature 'evil', but Tolkien would not go as far as saying that an Orc could never be 'redeemed'. So, taking this as a starting point, presumably an Orc could live with other races and conform to their moral code? The interesting question is whether anyone would be willing to try, and would they be willing to try with an adult Orc?

One thing that Tolkien does make clear, unlike the question of whether Orcs are by nature evil, is that in many ways, their behaviour is determined by their masters/master. It seems that Sauron utilises the familiar bad management practice of 'divide and conquer', pitting one type of Orc against the other type. He also tries to get loyalty by promising things, and by instilling fear - the Nazgul seem to have a certain notoriety even amongst Orcs!

I wonder if this is due to the time Sauron has spent effectively 'in hiding'? He has not been there to act as master to the Orcs at all times, and taking the 'Goblins' of the Hobbit as an example, they could indicate how Orcs organised themselves during times that they were independent of Sauron.

Quote:
But whether they could have 'souls' or 'spirits' seems a different question; and since in my myth at any rate I do not conceive of the making of souls or spirits, things of an equal order if not an equal power to the Valar, as a possible 'delegation', I have represented at least the Orcs as pre-existing real beings on whom the Dark Lord has exerted the fullness of his power in remodelling and corrupting them, not making them. That God would 'tolerate' that, seems no worse theology than the toleration of the calculated dehumanizing of Men by tyrants that goes on today.
Here Tolkien seems to be suggesting that as the Orcs had their origins in Eru, as beings which were corrupted into 'Orcitude' (), they also had souls/Fear. As beings which reproduced, I would say that their offspring too must have had souls. We do not know, after all, what an Orc child may have been like. It may have been born in the original nature of the race to which its parents once belonged, it may not have, we cannot say. It is possible that this could have happened, however uncomfortable it may seem to us, as creation of a new race was not permitted, only the corruption of an existing one. If this speculative idea was indeed a possibility, then this might only serve to underline the evil of Morgoth and Sauron.
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Old 10-09-2007, 07:02 PM   #50
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A bit in Rankin-Bass

I feel it would be remiss in this dicussion not to point out that at least one major media version of LOTR made it very clear that orcs may be redeeemable. If you watch the Cartoon ROTK ( the old rankin bass one you will notcie that duirng one of the songs while Frodo is sitting in his garden smoking (in a post ring-destruction world) you see two orcs stopping by the gate and it is clear in the scene that they are simply travelers in a work now peacful (I think they even smile a little) Grandted this is just supposed to be one of Frodo's fever dreams but it seems to me that the writers are making it clear that in Frodo's mind a peaceful orcs are possible.
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Old 10-11-2007, 10:33 AM   #51
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In reading this thread one post caught my eye.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendë
Orcs had to be portrayed as 'evil' - Tolkien's stories at heart are struggles of good versus evil, and this also includes a lot of slaughter. From our modern perspectives, where we examine all acts of battle through the microscope to ascertain if they are 'war crimes' or not, the idea of slaughtering many peoples of one race would seem abhorent, yet it is necessary to stories such as those written by Tolkien.
Interesting. It is a very reasonable explanation, I had thought something like that myself (if not as clearly, but anyway). It was necessary for Tolkien to keep the heroes such as Aragorn pure and good, which they wouldn't have been had they killed numerous men. I might want to criticise him in this a little (or is it forbidden here? ) . I would have found LotR much more fascinating if orcs, too, had been portrayed as more than the silly baddies you can kill without bad conscience.

What comes to an orc orphaned with men or elves, I don't know. If orcs are indeed the brutal, all-evil, almost-thoughtless killing machines Tolkien shows them like, I very much doubt they could be made less orkish by mere upbringing. As for the idea of a some kind of 'Morgoth's will' controlling them, I find it quite horrible. It would make the orcs little more than robots.

And the soul-Fea-business discussed earlier I don't get at all.
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Old 10-11-2007, 11:31 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Little Green
I might want to criticise him in this a little (or is it forbidden here? )
No, it isn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALG
If orcs are indeed the brutal, all-evil, almost-thoughtless killing machines Tolkien shows them like
I'd agree about them being brutal, but not about them being all-evil or almost-thoughtless - there's far too much personality (and even sympathicity, bless me!) in Tolkien's Orcs to classify them that way.

Now, rereading this thread, I started to wonder what causes Orcs to be evil. My own thoughts and many replies here suggest that this evil is caused by Morgoth. Now, would Eru have been able to undo this Evil? Or to "cure" it by giving Orcs Fëar? I think he would. No we know he didn't want to mess with Valar's or Melkor's business. But isn't it quite outrageous of him to leave a whole race to suffer from inherent evil just because of his principle of not interfering? I mean, he gave souls to Aulë's Dwarves. Why didn't he treat Melkor's Orcs differently?

Now I know Melkor had forsaken Eru and not merely rebelled against him like Aulë - and he was "evil" while Aulë was not. Thus it would make sense that Eru would "favour" Aulë's creations and not Melkor's. Yet did he ever think of orcs? Did he ever pity them, tormented poor Elves and their children, and thereby his children as well, eh? Do Dwarves have any more right to souls than Orcs? Wasn't Eru unfair here?

A lot of questions and no answers. Sounds like philosophy.

I like davem's and Lal's point about Orcs as such that they can't be compared to humans. Should we take this point a bit further and stop thinking of Orcs as people and merely consider them an aspect of Evil in Tolkien's works?

Now that is an interesting thought, yet I'm not sure I can accept it. What about those glimpses of humanity in Orcs? What about the passage Hookbill quoted? Does it disprove the theory of orcs merely as an aspect of evil?

I don't know. It could. But it could also hint that even Tolkien's relatively black-and-white world there's no such thing as complete evil. It could be a "proof" that even evil people (=orcs) dream of a simpler life under no evil bosses (even though their concept of simple life and pleasure is morally questionable to us). But yet again, I don't know. Can we reduce a race to the level of a mere aspect of evil? This is the intriguing and troubling nature of Tolkien's works, one that his admirers see, but those who criticise him of writing black-and-white & morally simple fantasy don't.
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Old 11-12-2007, 11:54 AM   #53
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It occured to me that maybe I could post a link to my post about "nice trolls" here, concerning the trolls from Hobbit and the compassion one of them shows. I speak about both orcs and trolls there and I believe that it is a valid argument even for this discussion.
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Old 11-26-2007, 12:07 PM   #54
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Orc restoration project

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This raises new questions. Why would Eru give these wretched creatures, the mockery of his own children, the benefit of a soul? And the question that is important for this thread: why would Eru grant such a gift to something destinied for evil deeds without a possibility to redeem themselves? That doesn't make sense. Therefor I still think that Orcs could become more or less "good", with the right upbringing and in the right environment.
Why didn't the First Age elves, prompted maybe by the Powers, kidnap all of the orcs that they came upon and send them across the Sea to Valinor? If Frodo, ages later, can find healing on those distant shores after his ordeal with the One Ring, why not the first few generations of orcs? Could they not be turned back, somewhat if not wholly, and the world be the better for it? Why not set up a place in the West like Ellis Island (New York Harbor) where the orcs deboat, get restored as much as possible, then are reboated and released back into the wilds of Middle Earth? Could this be the beginning of a new race - not elf nor orc, but something in between?
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Old 11-26-2007, 12:47 PM   #55
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alatar's proposition seems a little bit too "mechanic" to me. First, I don't like it, the idea just seems awful to me. And furthermore, I believe that it wouldn't work much. But that's not what I wanted to speak of, since I just got a different idea. It would create a response to certain kind of questions, but only under certain circumstances. Not everyone has to agree with me. But here is the idea I got after reading the last sentence I quote from Gothmog - please read it:

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Originally Posted by Gothmog View Post
This raises new questions. Why would Eru give these wretched creatures, the mockery of his own children, the benefit of a soul? And the question that is important for this thread: why would Eru grant such a gift to something destinied for evil deeds without a possibility to redeem themselves? That doesn't make sense.
I would like to show here that it would make perfect sense. I would like to presume here that Orcs, if they have free will, could be redeemed. Now, Eru is the only one who could give them one. Follow, please, my thoughts:

Presumption (and a prerequisite): Eru is using all things, even bad things, and brings them to ultimately good ends in new and unexpected ways. This is absolutely logical, and what more, it is shown even before (Ainulindalë, water, snow, all the stuff).

Consequence: It makes perfect sense that the Orcs are redeemed. Created by Morgoth in the mockery of Elves and/or Men, they are, against all odds, given Fëar (!) and thus, also free will. What more, there may start to appear some individuals or groups among them who reject evil and ultimately, are redeemed. It is a slow process and it involves falls and setbacks, but since it is brought into motion by Eru himself, it never ceases. What does that mean: Once Eru gave the Orcs Fëar, it means he espoused himself with the Orcs. He says: "Yes, you are my Children as much as Men or Elves." From that point, he is expected to act on behalf of his Children - including the Orcs. He obviously does. The destruction of the Ring and fall of Sauron is probably even larger victory for the Orcs than it is for the Men. It means the end of slavery. One can only guess how it went in the further Ages. But given what I mentioned above - the redemptive way Eru works with all things - gives the possibility to think of more Orc individuals or groups who may start a new way of living, and not just lives of raids and robbery.

It is a theory. And it is based on observation - but this time not concerning Orcs, but concerning Eru. Maybe it would not work like that. But given the way he acts (and we don't see him acting very often, but when we do, we can get some basic glimpse of certain way of acting), I would expect him to do this.
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Old 11-27-2007, 10:24 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Legate of Amon Lanc View Post
alatar's proposition seems a little bit too "mechanic" to me.
Does not the mechanism exist? Corrupted beings go West and get cured.

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First, I don't like it, the idea just seems awful to me.
Why not, and why awful?

What was the fate of gutless traitors like Maeglin and Celegorm and what of the Kinslayers? Where be their eternal fate? Why must the orcs, cursed from birth, be unworthy of some hope?

Note that I agree with davem's earlier post in that only adults are concerned that the orcs are well-fed and have the offer of salvation; my proposal is one of logic.
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Old 11-27-2007, 10:56 AM   #57
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I doubt there is a solution. Originally the young Tolkien just needed hordes of cannon-fodder who could be slaughtered without compunction. Under the old dispensation, they were 'made' by Melko, so what the hell.

As Tolkien applied deeper and deeper thought to Evil's sterility, and the problem of salvation, and on and on and on, he made an intractable conundrum for himself.

If Tolkien couldn't solve it, how could we?
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Old 11-27-2007, 12:25 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by William Cloud Hickli View Post
I doubt there is a solution. Originally the young Tolkien just needed hordes of cannon-fodder who could be slaughtered without compunction. Under the old dispensation, they were 'made' by Melko, so what the hell.

As Tolkien applied deeper and deeper thought to Evil's sterility, and the problem of salvation, and on and on and on, he made an intractable conundrum for himself.

If Tolkien couldn't solve it, how could we?
Yes, unfortunately Tolkien increasingly felt a need to 'explain' aspects of his creation - hence the dead end of 'Myths Transformed'. Its as if he became dissatisfied with 'magic', with Faery itself in a way - which in its essence is beyond logic & cannot be explained - or only 'explained' badly & unconvincingly.

Orcs are best seen & thought of as bad guys & 'cannon-fodder', & any 'explanation' of them offered by Tolkien taken & filed away, because we don't need it. In the 'great works' like LotR, CoH & much of the Sil itself (even in TH) we don't need to know where Orcs originated - in fact the various theories Tolkien came up with just get in the way.

Sadly, too much of Tolkien's later writing on M-e was little better than a dead end with only a certain curiosity value. If only he had spent his creative energies in completing CoH, Beren & Luthien & The Fall of Gondolin, rather than dissipating them in the confused, dissonant mish-mash of stuff like the Athrabeth, Laws & Customs & 'Myths Transformed'.....
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Old 11-27-2007, 01:42 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by alatar View Post
Does not the mechanism exist? Corrupted beings go West and get cured.
Let me explain. What I meant was (and that was also the "awful" part), that you made it sound like a mechanic process, sort of a "reconditioning camp". Now that would be really awful. For the Elves, they went where they longed, to see the light of the Trees and everything, to finally rest after the long years in the fading world. For Frodo and all these folks who could not enter Valinor directly, it was also a rest. But for the Orcs, it would become something very nasty. I mean - of course not if they chose it themselves, like Frodo or others. If an Orc - in Middle-Earth - changed his mind, became "good" and everything, then as a sort of "reward" he could be allowed to go to Eressëa. Wonderful thing. But you made it sound to me like a bunch of Elves arriving with large ships and "Come on, all Orcs, pick the green armbands, yes, line up here, please, and to the ship. Yes, sir, over there. Large Orcs to the large ships, small Orcs to the smaller ships. No, sir, this ship is full. Eighty passengers maximum. Proceed to the next one, please..."

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Originally Posted by alatar
What was the fate of gutless traitors like Maeglin and Celegorm and what of the Kinslayers? Where be their eternal fate? Why must the orcs, cursed from birth, be unworthy of some hope?
And to this question, my response was NO, given the logic they would have it: the Orcs are saved, but not because of any re-educational program, but by the grace of Eru himself, to use that term. I said that all in my previous post - from giving Fëar to the Orcs to the possibility of ultimate personal redemption of every single one of them. I said it was a theory and I said not everyone has to agree with it, and the logic I was using is explained above. If there is anything that is not clear, anyone is free to ask, of course.
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Old 11-27-2007, 02:53 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Legate of Amon Lanc View Post
Let me explain. What I meant was (and that was also the "awful" part), that you made it sound like a mechanic process, sort of a "reconditioning camp". Now that would be really awful. For the Elves, they went where they longed, to see the light of the Trees and everything, to finally rest after the long years in the fading world.
But what of the ones that were taken by Melkor and changed? It is these poor souls that I was hoping to recondition. Or is it that they had, willingly, started down Melkor's road, and by the time that they figured out that it wasn't a good thing, found that they were caught? How long, starting from a few of Feanor's sons, would it take to get something like an orc? And just how far from the original captive does one have to be to be no longer welcomed on those Western Shores?

This is assuming that Melkor made orcs from elves, as it seems later that he was only interested in making his elvish captive slaves.

Quote:
I mean - of course not if they chose it themselves, like Frodo or others. If an Orc - in Middle-Earth - changed his mind, became "good" and everything, then as a sort of "reward" he could be allowed to go to Eressëa. Wonderful thing. But you made it sound to me like a bunch of Elves arriving with large ships and "Come on, all Orcs, pick the green armbands, yes, line up here, please, and to the ship. Yes, sir, over there. Large Orcs to the large ships, small Orcs to the smaller ships. No, sir, this ship is full. Eighty passengers maximum. Proceed to the next one, please..."
I wouldn't sort by size, as with Osse running about, I'd hate to lose a whole subspecies of orc, and end up, in the end, having only revived the pygmy orcs for all my troubles.

But if the orcs were given a chance between going on the ship for rehabilitation or death (either by the hands of the Elves or the orcs' masters), what then would they choose? Maybe I watched too many TV dramas where a group rescues a person from a cult by whatever means possible for the person's own good, assuming that the person no longer possesses the means by which to make a real choice.

And your last bit made sense - it must have been early for me.
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Old 11-27-2007, 03:24 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
Or is it that they had, willingly, started down Melkor's road, and by the time that they figured out that it wasn't a good thing, found that they were caught? How long, starting from a few of Feanor's sons, would it take to get something like an orc? And just how far from the original captive does one have to be to be no longer welcomed on those Western Shores?
Concerning the bolded part, Tolkien stated that no elf ever served Melkor willingly:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Note 9, Quendi and Eldar, HoME XI
The implication that as opposed to Celbin the Moerbin were allies of Morgoth, or at least of dubious loyalty, was, however, untrue with regard to the Avari. No Elf of any kind ever sided with Morgoth of free will, though under torture or the stress of great fear, or deluded by lies, they might obey his commands: but this applied also to Celbin.
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Old 11-27-2007, 03:31 PM   #62
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Concerning the bolded part, Tolkien stated that no elf ever served Melkor willingly:
Maybe I'm mixing up my Sil and HoME, but just how did Gondolin fall? And the sons of Feanor, though foes of Morgoth, weren't exemplars of good conduct.
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Old 11-27-2007, 03:41 PM   #63
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Maybe I'm mixing up my Sil and HoME, but just how did Gondolin fall? And the sons of Feanor, though foes of Morgoth, weren't exemplars of good conduct.
Well, his treachery falls under the conditions of the Quendi and Eldar (fear of torment):
Quote:
Originally Posted by Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin
... it came to pass, as fate willed, that Maeglin was taken prisoner by Orcs, and brought to Angband, Maeglin was no weakling or craven, but the torment wherewith he was threatened cowed his spirit, and he purchased his life and freedom by revealing to Morgoth the very place of Gondolin and the ways whereby it might be found and assailed.
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And the sons of Feanor, though foes of Morgoth, weren't exemplars of good conduct.
I agree, they weren't. However, I would opine that their oath and the curse is what led them astray, not a desire to serve Melkor. Then again, you might be right if we give "going down Melkor's road" a large enough meaning - i.e. turning towards evil, for one reason or another. But on the strictest of senses, I would say it was not the case.
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:51 AM   #64
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Well, his treachery falls under the conditions of the Quendi and Eldar (fear of torment):
Surely it had nothing to do with Tuor and Maeglin's desire for Idril (or was that HoME?). So Maegil's exempted because he bought his life (temporarily) with the blood of Turgon and the millions of Gondolindrim who perished at the fall of the city.

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I agree, they weren't. However, I would opine that their oath and the curse is what led them astray, not a desire to serve Melkor. Then again, you might be right if we give "going down Melkor's road" a large enough meaning - i.e. turning towards evil, for one reason or another. But on the strictest of senses, I would say it was not the case.
True - they didn't serve Melkor, but from their actions, it's hard to see how they could have done his work any better. So in the less strict sense, if an elf can work against Eru (or however you want to phrase it), and yet go west, why cannot the orcs, who, again assuming that they were taken and corrupted by Melkor? Ungoliant served Melkor when it served her purpose. She was evil, yet not always his pet.

Where do we draw the thin red line?
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:36 AM   #65
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Sadly as it is, it is true there are many way of evil even in Middle-Earth and serving Melkor is only one. For sure many of the Noldor went a good way down the wrong road. But all elves had a choice, at least after their death: they could follow the way Iluvatar had paved for them and go to the halls of Mandos to be judged and redeemed (the halls of Mandos were a kind of a purgatory and not part of paradise) or they could after their death (further) rebel against Iluvatars authority and deny that road. In one of the HoM-E volumes were are told that elves that did not follow Mandos call were easily cached by Melkor to serve him since he was the prime rebel against Iluvatar.

For Orcs that means in my opinion: The first generation that was transformed from Elves did never leave their prison alive. Dieing they would surely choose to go to Mandos and they would be redeemed. But they would naturally not speak much about their former lives. First of all part of the process of redemption would be a at least partial lose of the most horrible memory. And second who would be willing to listen too such a story? Of course the Valar especially Mandos and Nienna but from the Elves of Valinor? Anyway we do not know when the first of them died nor who long it took to redeem him or her in Mandos. Probably non of them left Mandos before the end of the First Age.
The later generations might have chosen to stay with Melkor even after death and thus became dragged further down. For such beings redemption must, in my opinion, wait until the last end of Arda when the elves will die indeed and have to deepened only on pure estel. But if they chose to go to Mandos, I don't think that these way was ever closed in the face of any elf. But we hear from some elves that they would never be released from Mandos within the time of Arda (Finwe and his son Fëanor, for completely different reasons). Thus redemption could take very long if on was fixed in his own evil ways or it could be even impossible with in Arda. We hear from other elves that they did not desire a reincarnation and that could be true for Orcs as well, if they once understood what crime against their own people they had committed.

As a last remark: In my view the number of Orcs with pure elvish blood would have been very small indeed. From what I understood of Tolkiens later scripts the main source for Orcs would have been men, as soon they were available. And as soon as the Orcs were of mixed origin the way to the west was blocked from them in life and in death.
A remorseful reversal in life would be very difficult indeed. Either the remorse Orc would be killed by his companions or he would cast out of any community.
And in death he would go straight away to Iluvatar. Who could say what awaited the Orcs on this road? But estel is not restricted to the good guys! It depends on the believe that Iluvatar likes his creation and will not let it suffer for ever from what ever evil befalls it nor will he deliver even part of his creation for ever to Melkor or any other rebel against his authority.

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Old 11-29-2007, 06:25 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by alatar
Surely it had nothing to do with Tuor and Maeglin's desire for Idril
True, but this seems to come from a source mightier than Maeglin himself - the curse of Mandos:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Of Maeglin, Silmarillion
And however that might be, Idril loved Maeglin not at all; and knowing his thought of her she loved him the less. For it seemed to her a thing strange and crooked in him, as indeed the Eldar ever since have deemed it: an evil fruit of the Kinslaying, whereby the shadow of the curse of Mandos fell upon the last hope of the Noldor.
Quote:
So in the less strict sense, if an elf can work against Eru (or however you want to phrase it), and yet go west, why cannot the orcs, who, again assuming that they were taken and corrupted by Melkor?
If the orcs still have souls (and thus preserve their status as Children of Eru), then I believe you are right:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth
If we are indeed the Eruhin, the Children of the One, then He will not suffer Himself to be deprived of His own, not by any Enemy, not even by ourselves.
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Old 01-18-2008, 03:50 PM   #67
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"You should try being up here with Shelob for company," said Shagrat.
"I'd like to try somewhere where there's none of 'em. But war's on now and when that's over things may be easier."
"It's going well they say."
"They would" grunted Gorbag. "We'll see. But anyway, if it does go well, there should be a lot more room. What d'you say? - if we get a chance, you and me'll slip off and set up somewhere on our own with a few trusty lads, somewhere there's good loot nice and handy, and no big bosses."
"Ah!" said Shagrat. "Like old times."
Very interesting!
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