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 Post subject: Immortal Orcs?
PostPosted: July 11th, 2006, 2:19 pm 
Rider of Rohan
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Hello Everyone,

First of all I'm not sure if it was good that I created a new thread for this. If it is not so, please, the moderators can delete this or transfer it to another section of the forum. Thank you.

Now for the question in the title topic. I was discussing this with my friend once and we came up with the subject if Orcs were immortal or no. If we take the theory of them being corrupted Elves, it might have been possible that they were immortal or had a long life span.

My friend said that orcs could not have been immortal. The reason he gave was that whilst Morgoth corrupted, tortured and experimented on the Elves (sigh!), they lost their immortality, and being transformed into these new creatures, they lost all trace of this gift and became mortal.

I'm not sure which side I should take. Therefore, I would like to here some opinions on what everyone thinks regards this matter. :)

Thanks alot, :bye2:
Eärendil The Mariner

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PostPosted: July 11th, 2006, 2:33 pm 
Istari
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i do think orcs are immortal, because even though they were tortured and corrupted, well i believe the purpose of them being tortured was to make a race equal to the elves

-do correct me if i am wrong....i havent read the books in a long time

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PostPosted: July 11th, 2006, 2:52 pm 
Rider of Rohan
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I do agree on your statement Mornie utúlië very interesting and thanks for posting your suggestions :)

Thanks,
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PostPosted: July 11th, 2006, 5:12 pm 
Istari
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no problem...glad to speak my mind anytime :p

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PostPosted: July 12th, 2006, 6:16 am 


I also think orcs were immortal. Here I will use a quote from page 47 of the Silmarillion, 'of the coming of the Elves' is the chapter.

Quote:
For the Orcs had life and multiplied after the manner of the Children of Ilúvatar; ...


That essentially says that the Orcs lives were like that of the Elves, at least in length and reproduction.

So using a direct quote from Tolkien, I think we can be sure that orcs were immortal after the same nature as elves. :D


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PostPosted: July 12th, 2006, 1:33 pm 
Rider of Rohan
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I see. Thanks Darrell for your comments. I saw and read that sentence in 'The Silmarillion', but I never thought it would have meant as an immortality issue.

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PostPosted: July 12th, 2006, 11:46 pm 
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But, you have to keep in mind, elves aren't immortal. They can die in battle and such. (Hope this doesn't confuzzle you more)

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PostPosted: July 13th, 2006, 12:01 am 


hmm this gets me thinking Im Guessing they have life longspand but I doubt hardly any orc live long as there killed in battles so many times rofl...


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PostPosted: July 13th, 2006, 3:27 am 
Rider of Rohan
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Quote:
But, you have to keep in mind, elves aren't immortal. They can die in battle and such.


Yes Arneth. I was refering to the life style. As a life in general, without battles or anything. Thanks for posting! :)

Thanks Faithless for posting aswell. :) ... Yes I'm beginning to think that they had long life span. Apparently, Bolg, the son of Azog, who led the orcs in The Battle of Five Armies, lived to be at least 140 or 160 years old.

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PostPosted: July 13th, 2006, 7:56 am 


I'm not saying they can't die, but Orcs, like Elves, if left alone, will live forever.

From The Encyclopedia Of Arda
Quote:
Of these, the most significant is that Elves are 'immortal', at least while the World lasts; they do not suffer ageing or disease, and if they are slain or wither with grief, they are reincarnated in the Halls of Mandos in Valinor.


And using my quote above you can assume that orcs, if unslain, live forever.


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PostPosted: July 24th, 2006, 12:57 pm 
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Personally i think that they are not immortal, but they live long lies ( like dwarves or hobbits) I think this because when Morgoth created the orcs most of their magic "seeped" out of their bodies therfore reducing their lifespan.

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PostPosted: July 24th, 2006, 1:10 pm 
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Once they were elves, they should live long life if not their gift had not taken away by the Valar before

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 Post subject: Re: Immortal Orcs?
PostPosted: February 14th, 2017, 4:28 pm 
Gondorian
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Quote:
For the Orcs had life and multiplied after the manner of the Children of Ilúvatar; ...

Darrell wrote: That essentially says that the Orcs lives were like that of the Elves, at least in length and reproduction.


I disagree that this is the meaning. The Orcs multiplied after the manner of Eru's children yes, and that's because they had true life, and were not "makings" of Melkor. Looking at the fuller quote: "... and thus did Melkor breed the hideous race of the Orcs in envy and mockery of the Elves, of whom they were afterwards their bitterest foes. For the Orcs had life and multiplied after the mannr of the Children of Iluvatar; and naught that had life of its own, nor the semblance of life, could ever Melkor make since his rebellion in the Ainulindale before the Beginning: so say the wise."

To my mind the distinction is that we have true life with the Orcs, and thus they could be bred just like other beings made by Eru, by sexual reproduction. The reason this is important is due to a notable shift in thinking about the making of the Orcs. For decades, even including time during the writing of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien had Orcs being devised by Melkor, that is, they were a creation of Melkor's (made out of subterranean heat and slime at one point, or stone and hatred) rather than a corruption of something already alive. But Tolkien revises his thinking here, and especially in the early 1950s, the idea arrives that Melkor could not create life, and JRRT introduces this to alter both the creation of Balrogs and Orcs, for examples. Christopher Tolkien notes: "He then (as I conjecture) devolped the interpolation at the earlier point much more fully (Annals of Aman sections 43-45), where the idea becomes less a supposition than a certainty of history: the powerlessness of Melkor to make living things is a known fact ('so say the wise')."

And that said, Tolkien would later question his own idea about Orcs hailing from Elves. At one point, after looking at various matters that arose, Tolkien writes: "In that case Elves, as a source, are very unlikely. And are Orcs "immortal", in the Elvish sense? Or Trolls?" (Myths Transformed, text VIII, Morgoth's Ring). So in my opinion, Tolkien appears to wonder if the 'immortality" issue might also not be problematic (as this question follows right on the heels of other factors that make an Elvish origin very unlikely). In the text at hand, Tolkien deals with the immortality issue in a sense, concluding (here) that Orcs were not corrupted Elves but corrupted beasts, adding that it remains possible for an Elvish strain in Orcs, but that "These may then even have been mated with beasts (sterile!) -- and later Men. Their life span would be diminished. And dying they would go to Mandos and be held in prison to the end." So, according to text VIII, there were some Maiar-orcs who would be long lived, but these did not account for the great numbers of orcs; and, any Elvish strain in orcs would seemingly result in a diminished lifespan in any case, by interbreeding.

Other ideas followed :)

Text IX presents yet another idea about Orc-origins, but it's brief and does not specifically speak to the matter of immortality. Tolkien is here back to a mostly Elvish origin, probably later mixed with Men, and among these, numerous corrupted Maiar-spirits.

Text X makes the main stock of Orcs hail from Men, not Elves (along with adjusting the timeline), JRRT explaining: "They could be slain, and they were subject to disease; but apart from these ills they died and were not immortal, even according to the manner of the Quendi; indeed they appear to have been by nature short-lived compared with the span of Men of higher race, such as the Edain." And here too, some of the great Orcs or Orc-captains could be Orc-formed Maiar, and so these could appear to live as long as Elves.

So what would have been Tolkien's ultimate choice for Orc-origins? We don't know for certain. I myself think he was leaning toward making the bulk of Orcs hail from corrupted Men, which takes away the question of Elvish "immortality", among other things, and yet includes the possibility of some "immortal" Maiar-orcs. What Tolkien himself would have published here is another debate in itself perhaps...

... but I don't agree that even this statement, as published in the constructed Silmarillion (within the context of the Wise believing Orcs hailed from Elves), relates that Orcs were immortal like Elves, but rather that they reproduced like Elves and other true children of Eru, because they had true life -- compared to life such as Aule had attempted with the Dwarves, for example, that Eru needed to sanction, so to speak.


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