Qagdop, you tease....

Can you please tell me the differrence between ords and Uruk-hai? Thanks!

Yes, I want to know, too.

To simplify: Orcs in their beginning were elves kidnapped from Cuivienen and other locales during the Age of the Trees. Melkor (not yet named Morgoth) grabbed them, took them to Angband, and slowly corrupted them, turning them into orcs. It is this deed most hated by Iluvatar.

(Note that tremendous controvery surrounds the above interpretation. It seems at the time of his death, JRRT had been re-writing the canon, to make orcs pure descendants of men.)

Uruk-Hai: The “great orcs” who were larger, stronger, and fiercer than previous breeds, and who could tolerate the sunlight. Contrary to popular belief that they first appeared at Isengard, they actually made an initial appearance over 500 years earlier.
In Appendix A (iv) of The Lord of the Rings, in the section recounting the history of the Stewards, we find an account of the first appearance of the uruks. ‘In the last years of Denethor I the race of uruks, black orcs of great strength, first appeared out of Mordor, and in 2475 they swept across Ithilien and took Osgiliath.’

So where’d they come from? Unknown. In LOTR, there is speculation that Saruman interbred orcs and men. However it seems likey that Sauron or his minions were doing some selective breeding at earlier times.

Goblins so, what are they?

It is orcs and “goblin men” that attack in Moria no? As I understood it (in the movie anyhow, while since I read the books) the goblins were the ones that crawled down the pillars?

Well, you got your goblins, hob-goblins, and then your orcs. Goblins are the smallest, hob-goblins are bigger. Orcs are biggest. Basically they’re all orcs. No actual scale was provided by JRRT, you can just estimate.

Goblin-men on the other hand, are mentioned only at the Battle of the Hornburg, and imply that Saruman had interbred orcs and men.

Isn’t “uruk” just the same word as “orc”, though? Or at least, the Black Speech cognate of the Elvish word?

As for scale, even the nasties at the Hornburg were smaller than Men (or at least, smaller than the Dunlander men present there). Gimli says that the men seemed over-tall for him, so he went to town on the orcs, instead.

The books use the word “Uruk” in a context which means they’re a slightly larger strain of orc out of Mordor. I think they pretty consistently use “Uruk-hai” to mean the strain that Saruman has come up with, where he’s crossed these “Uruks” with men to make a stronger race that aren’t as afraid of the sunlight. Surrounding people (like the Rohirrim) haven’t heard the name “Uruk-hai” (that’s what they call themselves), and just use “goblin-men”.

Hob-goblins are bigger than goblins? That’s whacked!

I thought Saruman said that Orcs were made from dwarves. Am I mis-remembering, or did they change that for the movie?

Look, there is no real difference between Orcs and Goblins, they are two words for the same thing, used in different places for different flavor. A more rustic character might speak of “Goblins”, a more familiar english word, where a more sophisticated character would use “Orc”. However, it seems to me that when characters in the books speak of Goblins, they are usually referring to smaller Orcs. Uruk is simply another pronounciation of Orc. Uruk-hai seems to imply something like “High Orcs”, Orcs of greater size, strength, and courage who were able to withstand sunlight.

It is very strongly implied that Sarumen crossbred Men and Orcs, although he is not neccesarily (in the books) the creator of the Uruk-hai, or that the Uruk-hai were created this way. The Half-Orcs I’m thinking of were the squint-eyed, ugly sallow faced characters snooping around Bree that are seen at the Prancing Pony, spies of Saruman.

Also note that Tolkien capitalizes the names of the various species, so it is Elves, Dwarves, Men, Orcs, etc.

So, the next question would be, given that Elves are immortal, are Orcs?

Well, that’s what the Monster Manual says!:smiley:

Sorry, knead old buddy. You misremember. Saruman in the movie said that orcs were created from elves by “the dark powers”.

Of note, so far Morgoth has been mentioned twice in the series: Once in FOTR (extended DVD edition) where Legolas tells Galadriel that they encountered a “Balrog of Morgoth” in Moria. Second, in TT, where Gandalf the White refers to defeating the “Balrog of Morgoth”.

Which of course has nothing to do with your question! :smiley:

There has been speculation that they are. But there is little written about it. Frodo and Sam, overhearing the hunting orcs trailing them thru the Morgai, hear them mention “The Great Wars”, which could mean either the Last Alliance of Elves and Men at the end of the second age, or it could even mean the War of Wrath at the end of the first age. Some have seen this as an implication that these orcs remembered those battles firsthand.

The Orcs by Cirith Ungol also refer to elf-warriors, which they probably would not have encountered personally since the close of the second age.

This quandary is probably why JRRT was re-writing the canon about where Orcs came from.