orc freedom?

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Ristin 30/Dec/2006 at 07:05 PM
Thief of Mordor Points: 289 Posts: 553 Joined: 28/Aug/2006

what freedom do orcs have in pursuit of their own ends? can an orcs betray sauron? in The two towers ocrs are often portrayed as being out for themselves. the ones from the Mines seem especially independent. how far can they go?


Togo Baggins 30/Dec/2006 at 07:29 PM
Farmer of the Shire Points: 373 Posts: 49 Joined: 30/Dec/2006
hmm... even if they did betray Sauron, they couldn’t do anything about it... i think it’s that fact that for the most part keeps them in line
Boromir88 30/Dec/2006 at 10:13 PM
Merchant of Minas Tirith Points: 3627 Posts: 2473 Joined: 24/Mar/2005

Orcs certainly do have freedom, or at least the capability of being free.  Sauron and Morgoth did hold the Orcs into an ’ant-like’ control as Tolkien puts it...
"It is true, of course, that Morgoth held the Orcs in dire thraldom, for in their corruption they had almost lost all possibility of resisting the domination of his will. So great indeed did the pressure on them become ere Angband fell that, if he turned his thought towards them, they were conscious of his ’eye’ wherever they might be....this servitude to a central will that reduced the Orcs to an almost ant-like life was seen even more plainly in the Second and Third Age under the tyranny of Sauron, Morgoth’s chief Lieutenant."~Home X: Morgoth’s Ring, Myths Transformed

Despite this however, Orcs were not beyond redemption:
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 ultimatly good.)~Letter #153

Tolkien’s orcs aren’t are different than what most people tend to think.  As evidenced by the conversation between Shagrat and Gorbag the Orcs desired to live like the ’good ol days’ where there were no ’big bosses.’  Orcs, just like a human quality, had individualism and free will.  Eventhough if we typically see Orcs as the ant-like slaves of Morgoth and Sauron, they did possess a feeling of individualism.  So, Orcs can certainly and did certainly possess the ability to live on their own.

You might find this thread of some interest to read some ideas about Shagrat and Gorbag’s desire of what to do after Sauron’s war was over...

WyteWolf 01/Jan/2007 at 05:09 PM
Gardener of Lothlorien Points: 265 Posts: 37 Joined: 01/Jan/2007
I think the Orcs could go against Sauron but their desires for the most part wer alongthe same lines inthat the orcs wanted to plunder and feed on Humans flesh but Sauron wanted to plunder and feed on Human spirit/will they were both out to get what control over Humans elves dwarves and hobbits that the orcs saw no reason to go against sauron most of the time. however as evidenced in RotK they werent completely controlled By the Eye anymore because of the loss of power at Saurons loss of the ring
Skauril 02/Jan/2007 at 04:53 AM
Scavenger of Mordor Points: 467 Posts: 163 Joined: 13/Dec/2004

Interesting quote from the books. I haven’t read them in a while, so I had forgotten all about that specific passage.

I was always under the impression that orcs were, for the most part, mindless thralls with little free will, since they were created by Melkor to do his bidding, and later fine tuned by Sauron, and the parts describing their behavior right after the destruction of the ring (running amok aimlessly, as if their reason and will had suddenly been snuffed out) seemed to confirm this.

Every day you learn something new.

I wonder how an orc infant (if that is how they develop, from an infant to an adult) would turn out if it was taken at a very young age and raised by humans or elves? Would its actions and thoughts still be dominated by evil, or would it be redeemable, possibly growing up to posess some degree of morality and civility?