Good Orcs Really Exists Or Not
Today we’ll be talking a bit about Orcs. Now when we hear the word Orc, the first thing that comes to mind, is an ugly brutish creature, that its very nature is corrupt. But how true is this? And could good Orcs exist? Now Orcs were corrupted by Morgoth, who was the first dark lord. I think you guys know many half orc names.
The point is that since they were corrupted, they weren’t inherently bad. So if they could be turned from good to bad, why wouldn’t it be possible to reverse this? Tolkien himself wasn’t comfortable with the idea of an irredeemable evil race, and it bothered him greatly. In one of his letters, number 153 for those of you who are interested and want to check it out, Tolkiens states:
”They would be Morgoth’sgreatest Sins, abuses of his highest privilege, and would be abnormal creatures begotten of Sin, and naturally bad” and then he wrote in brackets “I nearly wrote “irredeemably bad”; but that would be going too far.” So from this letter, we can understand that’s in their nature are bad, but not beyond redemption. Now whether the redemption is possible through their will, by other races such as Men or Elves trying to integrate and help them, or through the god Iluvatar’s intervention, is something we can’t really answer.
One must also wonder where their bad nature comes from. We know that Orcs are bound to Sauron and his will, and he drives them to be eviler. Yet most of them hate him and fear him. So is it possible that with Sauron’s defeat, and his control over them being diminished, could some of them actually have a chance to live good lives? Now, I do believe that Orcs are more prone to violence and aggression, but that doesn’t mean they can’t eventually learn restraint. In the books when the Uruk Hai is takingMerry and Pippin to Isengard, their loyalty to their master and their mission overcame any inert desires to attack, kill, or torture the hobbits. I also believe that the violence and bloodlust of orcs have both inert and learned factors.
If they’re living a tough life where their sole purpose is to be soldier slaves to a dark lord it will eventually rub off them. I’m sure that as they grew up, any orcs that were weak both physically or in character, such as if hypothetically they showed kindness, pity or guilt, they’d have been rooted out and slain. Thus could it be that orcs were always evil because they never had the opportunity or choice to learn and be otherwise? And more than that maybe the free races of Middle Earth never gave them the chance also? In the Lord of the Rings, Elves are typically seen as naturally good-natured and yet in the books there are examples of Elves that are bad or commit bad deeds. So if Orcs are bad in nature, can’t there also be exceptions for them?
Now I’d like to go through some quotes from the book and discuss them. So the first one is from the Fellowship of the Ring where we read that: “Orcs will often pursue foes for many leagues into the plain if they have a fallen captain to avenge” This shows that orcs can have a sense of comradery care for their own people and leaders since they’d go out of their way to avenge a comrade. Orcs are also capable of living in tribes, a society of sorts, as can be seen in the Goblins of the Misty Mountains. Now for a society to work, care and working together is required, since the society would be working for an ulterior motive, which is again all positive traits. Another quote is from the Return of the King, were two Orcs are discussing what they’d do once Sauron is victorious.
“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 I’ll slip off and set up somewhere on our own with a few trusty lads, somewhere where there’s good loot nice and handy, and no big bosses.” “Ah!” said Shagrat. “Like old times.” This is again a show of comradery and friendship along with a desire to be their own bosses. So if they’re allowed to live peacefully and well and comfortably, wouldn’t they take it also? Here’s an interesting hypothetical question. Suppose Saruman had repented, sometime before the battle of Helm’s Deep.
What would become of his Orc armies? Now I think they’d still be loyal to Saruman, and yet they would have no reason to attack the free people at this point. Instead, I’m pretty sure Saruman would have used them against Sauron, Orcs fighting Orcs. So if these Orcs are doing a good deed, a good act, even if perhaps mindlessly, wouldn’t something inertly bad not allow this?
There is one last point I’d like to make. Now Trolls were also supposedly created by Morgoth, and in the hobbit, we see a troll called William trying to tell the other two trolls to let Bilbo go. He calls Bilbo a ‘poor little blighter’ and is this not empathy? And if trolls were capable of it, perhaps also Orcs were in the right environment? Thus considering all this, and the thought Tolkien expressed I think that even though we have no examples of good Orcs, as a philosophical possibility they were possible in Middle-Earth.
I’d like to end this article with a quote which I feel is quite relevant to this discussion, and it’s from a game of Skyrim, were said: what is better – to be born good, or to overcome your evil nature through great effort. Now I think this quote ties in what we’ve been talking about and it’s worth some thought. Anyway, if you agree with me or disagree with me please share your opinion, I’d love to hear it and discuss it.