Orcs

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You must dig swift and deep, if you wish to hide from Orcs.
~ Legolas

Our present-day conception of an orc or ork is one of a race of mythical humanoid creatures, generally described as brutish, aggressive and repulsive, stemming from the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien, where orcs contrast with the benevolent Elvish race. In Tolkien's writings, orc is another word for goblin. Tolkien developed his idea of the orc from the Old English term orcneas.

In popular culture (including fantasy fiction and fantasy games), orcs are variously portrayed. Facial features tend toward the grotesque (generally a mixture of the ape-like and pig-like), and their skin typically varies from black to grey to green, and sometimes red. They may be physically stronger or weaker than humans, but always high in numbers. They often ride boars, wolves, and wargs. In many role-playing and computer games, orcs have green or greenish skin.

Quotes[edit]

The Lord of the Rings[edit]

Quotes from The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.
  • Isildur was marching north along the east banks of the River, and near the Gladden Fields he was waylaid by the Orcs of the Mountains, and almost all his folk were slain. He leaped into the waters, but the Ring slipped from his finger as he swam, and then the Orcs saw him and killed him with arrows.
  • Those who pass the gates of Barad-dûr do not return. But I would not lead you into Moria if there were no hope of coming out again. If there are Orcs there, it may prove ill for us, that is true. But most of the Orcs of the Misty Mountains were scattered or destroyed in the Battle of Five Armies. The Eagles report that Orcs are gathering again from afar; but there is a hope that Moria is still free.
    • The Fellowship of the Ring, II, 4: "A Journey in the Dark"; said by Gandalf.
  • There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.
    • The Fellowship of the Ring, II, 4: "A Journey in the Dark"; said by Gandalf.
  • Orcs will often pursue foes for many leagues into the plain, if they have a fallen captain to avenge.
    • The Fellowship of the Ring, II, 6: "Lothlórien"; said by Gimli.
  • You must dig swift and deep, if you wish to hide from Orcs.
    • The Fellowship of the Ring, II, 6: "Lothlórien"; said by Legolas.
  • Orcs were as keen as hounds on a scent, it was said, but they could also climb.
    • The Fellowship of the Ring, II, 6: "Lothlórien"
  • It was dark, but not too dark for the night-eyes of Orcs.
    • The Fellowship of the Ring, II, 9: "The Great River"
  • Orcs travel fast.
    • The Two Towers (1954), Book III, Chapter 1: "The Departure of Boromir"; said by Aragorn.
  • Enemies of the Orcs are likely to be our friends.
    • The Two Towers, III, 2: "The Riders of Rohan"; said by Legolas.
  • 'Surely even Orcs must pause on the march?' said Gimli. 'Seldom will Orcs journey in the open under the sun, yet these have done so,' said Legolas. 'Certainly they will not rest by night.'
    • The Two Towers, III, 2: "The Riders of Rohan"
  • 'The Orcs have run before us, as if the very whips of Sauron were behind them.'
    • The Two Towers, III, 2: "The Riders of Rohan"; said by Legolas.
  • 'Who are you, and what are you doing in this land?' said the Rider, using the Common Speech of the West, in manner and tone like to the speech of Boromir, Man of Gondor.
    'I am called Strider,' answered Aragorn. 'I came out of the North. I am hunting Orcs.'
    The Rider leaped from his horse. Giving his spear to another who rode up and dismounted at his side, he drew his sword and stood face to face with Aragorn, surveying him keenly, and not without wonder. At length he spoke again.
    'At first I thought that you yourselves were Orcs,' he said; 'but now I see that it is not so. Indeed you know little of Orcs, if you go hunting them in this fashion. They were swift and well-armed, and they were many. You would have changed from hunters to prey, if ever you had overtaken them.'
    • The Two Towers, III, 2: "The Riders of Rohan"
  • Let the Orcs come as thick as summer-moths round a candle!
    • The Two Towers, III, 2: "The Riders of Rohan"; said by Gilmi.
  • Orcs came with axes and cut down my trees.
    • The Two Towers, III, 4: "Treebeard"; said by Bregalad.
  • The Orcs are in the Deep!
    • The Two Towers, III, 7: "Helm's Deep"; said by Gamling the Old.
  • The Orcs reeled and screamed and cast aside both sword and spear. Like a black smoke driven by a mounting wind they fled. Wailing they passed under the waiting shadow of the trees; and from that shadow none ever came again.
    • The Two Towers, III, 7: "Helm's Deep"
  • 'What has become of the miserable Orcs?' said Legolas.
    'That, I think, no one will ever know,' said Gandalf.
    • The Two Towers, III, 8: "The Road to Isengard"
  • 'I wonder when we'll find water again?' said Sam. 'But I suppose even over there they drink? Orcs drink, don't they?'
    'Yes, they drink,' said Frodo. 'But do not let us speak of that. Such drink is not for us.'
    • The Two Towers, IV, 8: "The Stairs of Cirith Ungol"

External links[edit]

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