In J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy writings, Orcs are a race of creatures who are used as soldiers and henchmen by both the greater and lesser villains of The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings—Morgoth and Saruman. Although not dim-witted and crafty, they are portrayed as miserable beings, hating everyone including themselves and their masters, whom they serve out of fear, they make no beautiful things, but rather design cunning devices made to destroy. In some of his unpublished early work, Tolkien appears to distinguish orcs from goblins. By the time of his published work, the terms had become synonymous; the Hobbit uses the term goblin, while The Lord of the Rings prefers orc. The opponents of the dwarves in "Dwarf and Goblin War" of The Hobbit are described as orcs in Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings. No distinction is made by size. Tolkien's The Father Christmas Letters features goblins. Orc is from Old English orcneas, which appears in the epic poem Beowulf, refers to one of the races who are called the offspring of Cain during the initial description of Grendel.
In a letter of 1954 Tolkien gave orc as "demon" and claimed he used the word because of its "phonetic suitability"—its similarity to various equivalent terms in his Middle-earth languages. In an essay on Elven languages, written in 1954, Tolkien gives meaning of'orc' as "evil spirit or bogey" and goes on to state that the origin of the Old English word is the Latin name Orcus—god of the underworld. About the goblins of The Hobbit, Tolkien wrote: They are not based on direct experience of mine. There is no evidence for Tolkien having been influenced by the spelled character Orc in William Blake's mythology. In the High-elven tongue Quenya, the word for "Orc" was urco, plural urqui, meaning "bogey", or "bogeyman", that is, something that provokes fear. In the Grey-elven tongue Sindarin, it was plural yrch. In the Dwarven tongue Khuzdul, it was rukhs, plural rakhâs. In the language of the Drúedain or Wild Men, it was gorgûn. In the Black Speech of Mordor, the equivalent was Uruk, as can be seen in Uruk-hai, "Orc-folk".
Orc itself is from Rohirric and the Hobbit-language, which shared linguistic roots, but the term is related to the older Elvish words. Uruk and Uruk-hai were reserved for the Uruks themselves, breeds of Orc; the Sindar referred to the Orcs as a whole as the Glamhoth, "noisy horde". The word "goblin" is used to represent the original Hobbit Orc. In The History of Middle-earth Tolkien writes about an Orc captain named Boldog but specifies that Boldog may have been either a term or a title for another special kind of Orc instead of a personal name; the earliest appearance of goblins in Tolkien's writings is the 1915 poem Goblin Feet his first published work, which appeared in the annual volume of Oxford Poetry published by Blackwells. It features quaint elvin creatures, some 45 years Tolkien dismissed it as juvenile. In The Book of Lost Tales the names Orcs and goblin are given to creatures who enslave and war with the Elves. Christopher Tolkien notes that while the author differentiates between "goblins and Orcs" in the Tale of Tinúviel, the two terms appear to be synonymous in the Tale of Turambar.
The word Gongs is used on a few occasions. Christopher Tolkien remarks that Gongs are "evil beings obscurely related to Orcs". Both goblins and Orcs are mentioned as being "of Melkor" and acting independently. Orcs and gongs appear in Tolkien's two lexicons of elvish languages; the Qenya Lexicon from 1915 defines Orc as meaning "monster, demon", the Gnomish Lexicon dated 1917 defines Orc as "goblin" and Gong as "one of a tribe of the Orcs, a goblin". Christopher Tolkien notes that in the latter lexicon, the word Gnome is an emendation from Goblin. In The Hobbit the inhabitants of the Misty Mountains who capture the Dwarves of Thorin's Company, who fight the Men and Dwarves at the Battle of the Five Armies, are identified as goblins, consistent with the usage in The Book of Lost Tales; the term Orc does occur twice. In The Lord of the Rings, Orc is used predominantly, goblin appears in the hobbits' speech; the second volume of the story, The Two Towers, "goblin" is applied to large orcs of the Uruk-hai: There were four goblin-soldiers of greater stature, slant-eyed, with thick legs and large hands.
They were armed with short broad-bladed swords, not with the curved scimitars usual with Orcs: and they had bows of yew, in length and shape like the bows of Men. And: Upon a stake in the middle was set a great goblin head; the "white badge" mentioned in the latter passage makes it clear that the beheaded goblin was one of Saruman's Uruk-hai. Tolkien writes. Tolkien wrote the following note, a
Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth is a collection of stories and essays by J. R. R. Tolkien that were never completed during his lifetime, but were edited by his son Christopher Tolkien and published in 1980. Many of the tales within are retold in The Silmarillion, albeit in modified forms. Unlike The Silmarillion, for which the narrative fragments were modified to connect into a consistent and coherent work, the Unfinished Tales are presented as Tolkien left them, with little more than names changed, thus some of these are incomplete stories, while others are collections of information about Middle-earth. Each tale is followed by a long series of notes explaining obscure points; as with The Silmarillion, Christopher Tolkien edited and published Unfinished Tales before he had finished his study of the materials in his father's archive. Unfinished Tales provides more detailed information about characters and places mentioned only in The Lord of the Rings. Versions of such tales, including the origins of Gandalf and the other Istari, the death of Isildur and the loss of the One Ring in the Gladden Fields, the founding of the kingdom of Rohan, help expand knowledge about Middle-earth.
The commercial success of Unfinished Tales demonstrated that the demand for Tolkien's stories several years after his death was not only still present, it was growing. Encouraged by the result, Christopher Tolkien embarked upon the more ambitious twelve-volume work entitled The History of Middle-earth which encompasses nearly the entire corpus of Tolkien's writings about Middle-earth. "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin" "Narn i Hîn Húrin" "A Description of the Island of Númenor" "Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner's Wife" "The Line of Elros: Kings of Númenor" "The History of the Galadriel and Celeborn the great" "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields" "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan" "The Quest of Erebor" "The Hunt for the Ring" "The Battles of the Fords of Isen" "The Drúedain" "The Istari" "The Palantíri" The Hobbit The Lord of the Rings The Silmarillion The Book of Lost Tales The Lays of Beleriand The Peoples of Middle-earth The Children of Húrin The Fall of Gondolin "Unfinished Tales".
Mythgard Institute. Signum University
Minor places in Beleriand
J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium contains many locations; some of the minor places in the region of Beleriand during the First Age are described below. It is to be supposed that all of them were destroyed in the Drowning of Beleriand during the War of Wrath unless otherwise noted. Aelin-uial A marshy confluence of Aros in Sirion, held to be a part of Doriath, it was protected by the Girdle of Melian and secret ferries were maintained on the east shore. This area had a strong connection to Ulmo, able to send visions to both Finrod and Turgon bidding them to seek a place where a stronghold hidden from the eyes of Morgoth could be established. Aglon See Pass of AglonAmon Darthir A peak in the Ered Wethrin to the south-east of Dor-lómin, over which led the only pass over the mountains; the stream of Nen Lalaith sprang from its side, after the coming of the Easterlings some outlaws of the House of Hador maintained a refuge in a cave here. Amon Ereb The broad, shallow-sided hill between Ramdal and the river Gelion that dominated the southern plains of East Beleriand.
As the highest point in that region and the easternmost hill of Andram, standing alone, it had tremendous strategic importance, because it guarded the eastern passage around the long wall of the Andram into the southern parts of Beleriand and the northern Taur-im-Duinath. It was here that Denethor Lord of the Nandor met his end in the First Battle against the Orcs in the Wars of Beleriand, much Caranthir fortified it to guard his escape into the south after the Dagor Bragollach and the Fëanoreans withdrew there after Nírnaeth Arnoediad; the hill was called "Ereb" for short. Amon Ethir A hill raised artificially by the people of Finrod in the wide plain of Talath Dirnen, a league east of the Doors of Nargothrond above the river Narog. Over the years, trees grew on its flanks, but from its clear summit the watchers of Nargothrond could watch the lands about with the clear sight of the Elves, so the hill got its name, Amon Ethir, meaning'Hill of Spies'. After the Sack of Nargothrond, the hill still stood, it was here that Nienor encountered Glaurung the Dragon.
Having plunged the land into a thick fog of dragon-reek, so that only the hill remained above the mists, he cast Nienor into a deep spell of darkness and forgetfulness. Amon Rûdh In the First Age, Amon Rûdh was a stone hill south of Brethil in West Beleriand, it had only deep red flowers called seregon "stone's blood" growing on its top, which made it seem blood-covered. Mîm the Petty-dwarf lived within Amon Rûdh with Ibûn and Khîm. Mîm was captured by a group of outlaws led by Túrin Turambar and forced to reveal the location of his refuge, called Bar-en-Danwedh "House of Ransom"; when it was discovered that Khîm, shot at, had been killed, Túrin repented and offered his services to Mîm, who from on tolerated the presence of the outlaws. Amon Rûdh became the base of operations for the outlaws and with the arrival of Beleg, it became the heart of the area known as Dor-Cúarthol "Land of Bow and Helm", a centre of resistance against the forces of Morgoth. Túrin's location was discovered and orcs slew the outlaws and captured Turambar, covering the hilltop with real blood.
Amon Rûdh was lost under the sea with the destruction of Beleriand during the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age. Andram A long line of hills that ran across Beleriand, from Nargothrond and the Gates of Sirion in the west to Ramdal in the east, it marked a steep fall in the height of the land of Beleriand. At the easternmost edge stood Amon Ereb, not considered a part of the Andram. Androth A complex of caves in the Mountains of Mithrim. After Nírnaeth Arnoediad, some of the Sindar and Edain that survived the battle took refuge there. Tuor was fostered by the Elves of Androth. Annon-in-Gelydh A subterranean passage below the Ered Lómin. Through it a river from the Mountains of Mithrim flowed towards Cirith Ninniach; the tunnel was enlarged and carved by the Noldor of Turgon when he dwelt in Nevrast to ease the communication with Fingon in Hithlum. Gelmir and Arminas led Tuor through this passage at the bidding of Ulmo. Ard-galen Anfauglith, was the wide green plain that lay north of the highlands of Dorthonion and south of Morgoth's fortress of Angband in the Iron Mountains, in the First Age.
In the first days after the rising of the Sun, Ard-galen was a green plain with rich grass, reaching from Hithlum and the Ered Wethrin in the west to the Ered Luin in the east, rising into highlands of Dorthonion in the south. But the plain was laid waste by rivers of flame and poisonous gases that issued forth from Angband in the Dagor Bragollach and renamed Anfauglith; the Fifth Battle of the Wars of Beleriand, called Nírnaeth Arnoediad, was fought upon the plain, the dead bodies from that battle were piled up, forming a hill in the midst of the plain, named Haudh-en-Ndengin, the Hill of Slain, by the Elves, Haudh-en-Nirnaeth, the Hill of Tears. Like the other lands around it, Anfauglith sank beneath the waves after the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age. Arossiach A ford in Dor Dínen near the north-eastern edge of Doriath known as The Fords of Aros, it connected the Esgalduin on Aros on the east. Besides providing the only pass between Himlad and Dor Dínen, the crossing was part of an ancient road running from Vinyamar
The Lays of Beleriand
The Lays of Beleriand, published in 1985, is the third volume of Christopher Tolkien's 12-volume book series, The History of Middle-earth, in which he analyzes the unpublished manuscripts of his father J. R. R. Tolkien; the book contains the long heroic lays or lyric poetry Tolkien wrote: these are The Lay of the Children of Húrin about the saga of Túrin Turambar, The Lay of Leithian about Beren and Lúthien. Although Tolkien abandoned them before their respective ends, they are both long enough to occupy many stanzas, each of which can last for over ten pages; the first poem is in alliterative verse, the second is in rhyming couplets. Both exist in two versions. In addition to these two poems, the book gives three short, soon-abandoned alliterative poems, which are The Flight of the Noldoli from Valinor, The Lay of Eärendel, The Lay of the Fall of Gondolin; the first versions of the long lays fit chronologically in with Tolkien's earliest writings, as recounted in The Book of Lost Tales, but the version of The Lay of Leithian is contemporary with the writing of The Lord of the Rings.
The book is split into these main sections: The Lay of the Children of Húrin First version Second version Poems Early Abandoned: The Flight of the Noldoli Fragment of an alliterative Lay of Earendel The Lay of the Fall of Gondolin The Lay of Leithian: The Gest of Beren son of Barahir and Lúthien the Fay called Tinúviel the Nightingale or the Lay of Leithian - Release from Bondage Unwritten cantos Appendix: Commentary by C. S. Lewis The Lay of Leithian RecommencedIn the book Christopher Tolkien mentions a third Túrin poem, this time in rhyming couplets and incomplete called The Children of Húrin and is only 170 lines long. There is an inscription in the Fëanorian characters in the first pages of every History of Middle-earth volume, written by Christopher Tolkien and describing the contents of the book; the inscription in Book III reads: In the first part of this Book is given the Lay of the Children of Húrin by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, in, set forth in part the Tale of Túrin. In the second part is the Lay of Leithian, the quest of Beren and Lúthien as far as the encounter of Beren with Carcharoth at the gate of Angband Beren and Lúthien Narn i Chîn Húrin The Children of Húrin The Lay of Leithian The Lay of the Children of Húrin The Silmarillion More in-depth information on The Lays of Beleriand by JRR Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel written by English author and scholar J. R. R. Tolkien; the story began as a sequel to Tolkien's 1937 fantasy novel The Hobbit, but developed into a much larger work. Written in stages between 1937 and 1949, The Lord of the Rings is one of the best-selling novels written, with over 150 million copies sold; the title of the novel refers to the story's main antagonist, the Dark Lord Sauron, who had in an earlier age created the One Ring to rule the other Rings of Power as the ultimate weapon in his campaign to conquer and rule all of Middle-earth. From quiet beginnings in the Shire, a hobbit land not unlike the English countryside, the story ranges across Middle-earth, following the course of the War of the Ring through the eyes of its characters, not only the hobbits Frodo Baggins, Samwise "Sam" Gamgee, Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck and Peregrin "Pippin" Took, but the hobbits' chief allies and travelling companions: the Men, Aragorn, a Ranger of the North, Boromir, a Captain of Gondor.
The work was intended by Tolkien to be one volume of a two-volume set, the other to be The Silmarillion, but this idea was dismissed by his publisher. For economic reasons, The Lord of the Rings was published in three volumes over the course of a year from 29 July 1954 to 20 October 1955; the three volumes were titled The Fellowship of The Two Towers and The Return of the King. Structurally, the novel is divided internally into six books, two per volume, with several appendices of background material included at the end; some editions combine the entire work into a single volume. The Lord of the Rings has since been translated into 38 languages. Tolkien's work has been the subject of extensive analysis of its origins. Although a major work in itself, the story was only the last movement of a larger epic Tolkien had worked on since 1917, in a process he described as mythopoeia. Influences on this earlier work, on the story of The Lord of the Rings, include philology, mythology and the author's distaste for the effects of industrialization, as well as earlier fantasy works and Tolkien's experiences in World War I.
The Lord of the Rings in its turn is considered to have had a great effect on modern fantasy. The enduring popularity of The Lord of the Rings has led to numerous references in popular culture, the founding of many societies by fans of Tolkien's works, the publication of many books about Tolkien and his works; the Lord of the Rings has inspired, continues to inspire, music and television, video games, board games, subsequent literature. Award-winning adaptations of The Lord of the Rings have been made for radio and film. In 2003, it was named Britain's best novel of all time in the BBC's The Big Read. Thousands of years before the events of the novel, the Dark Lord Sauron had forged the One Ring to rule the other Rings of Power and corrupt those who wore them: three for Elves, seven for Dwarves, nine for Men. Sauron was defeated by an alliance of Men led by Gil-galad and Elendil, respectively. In the final battle, son of Elendil, cut the One Ring from Sauron's finger, causing Sauron to lose his physical form.
Isildur claimed the Ring as an heirloom for his line, but when he was ambushed and killed by the Orcs, the Ring was lost in the River Anduin. Over two thousand years the Ring was found by one of the river-folk called Déagol, his friend Sméagol fell under strangled Déagol to acquire it. Sméagol was hid under the Misty Mountains; the Ring gave him long life and changed him over hundreds of years into a twisted, corrupted creature called Gollum. Gollum lost the Ring, his "precious", as told in The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins found it. Meanwhile, Sauron took back his old realm of Mordor; when Gollum set out in search of the Ring, he was tortured by Sauron. Sauron learned from Gollum. Gollum was set loose. Sauron, who needed the Ring to regain his full power, sent forth his powerful servants, the Nazgûl, to seize it; the story begins in the Shire, where the hobbit Frodo Baggins inherits the Ring from Bilbo Baggins, his cousin and guardian. Neither hobbit is aware of the Ring's nature, but Gandalf the Grey, a wizard and an old friend of Bilbo, suspects it to be Sauron's Ring.
Seventeen years after Gandalf confirms his guess, he tells Frodo the history of the Ring and counsels him to take it away from the Shire. Frodo sets out, accompanied by his gardener and friend, Samwise "Sam" Gamgee, two cousins, Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck and Peregrin "Pippin" Took, they are nearly caught by the Black Riders, but shake off their pursuers by cutting through the Old Forest. There they are aided by Tom Bombadil, a strange and merry fellow who lives with his wife Goldberry in the forest; the hobbits reach the town of Bree, where they encounter a Ranger named Strider, whom Gandalf had mentioned in a letter. Strider persuades the hobbits to take him on as their protector. Together, they leave Bree after another close escape from the Black Riders. On the hill of Weathertop, they are again attacked by the Black Riders, who wound Frodo with a cursed blade. Strider leads the hobbits towards the Elven refuge of Rivendell. Frodo falls deathly ill from the wound; the Black Riders nearly capture him at the Ford of Bruinen, but flood waters summoned by Elrond, master of Rivendell, rise up and overwhelm them.
Middle-earth armies and hosts
In J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional Middle-earth, much of the history of the three ages of his legendarium are concerned with wars and the battles and armies of those wars; the charts below show the general hierarchical terms used by Tolkien to describe military formations and organization, how these relate to specific or estimated strengths in battles throughout the history of Middle-earth. These terms, with host indicating military forces larger than an army and the others indicating forces smaller than an army, are used with a remarkable general consistency over the time of Tolkien's writings from 1917–1972, as well as an in-universe consistency over the three ages of Middle-earth. There are times when some of these words: host, company, band are used outside of this context. For example: host can refer to the whole of a people which includes males and children, not just the warriors, or "the war-high", to use Tolkien's own phrase. At times, army can mean host. Within the context of most battle, or war, descriptions these terms are consistent throughout the canon.
More modern military terms such as battalion and regiment see occasional use, but are not widespread. While estimates of numbers can be supported textually by simple extension of textually cited numbers, they are only estimates when there is not a specific number stated by Tolkien. However, it can be said with some certainty that a description of strength using the Names, such as: Name-host as a number of the Name-armies, is supported textually across the board in the canon, as the selected, but by no means only, references demonstrate, it is important to consider the context in which these terms appear in the stories since, as a writer of fiction, Tolkien's primary purpose is to engage and entertain the reader while not being tied to a set terminology the way a military historian must be. Tolkien sometimes adopts just that historian stance going into great detail about tactical movements and formations as he does in The Battles of the Fords of Isen, or Cirion and Eorl, he can apply the same attention to detail to the drill of a shield-wall formation as to the intricacies of family relationships of the Sackville-Baggins.
In the subsections that follow, the hierarchy and organization described above is shown and applied to an exemplar war from each of the three ages of Tolkien's fictional legendarium of Middle-earth. They demonstrate that there is little variation or change to the structure of Armies and Hosts through the fictional and literary history of Tolkien's Middle-earth canon. At the end of the First Age, Morgoth is defeated in a final campaign called the War of Wrath by the host of the Valar made up of the Elves of Valinor and Maiar led by Eönwë, the Herald of Manwë; this host of the Valar, or host of Valinor, is described as a host and contains the armies of Elven warriors of the Vanyar as well as those of the Noldor that remained behind in Aman. In The Silmarillion it was stated that "the host of the Valar were arrayed in forms young and fair and terrible, the mountains rang beneath their feet." Implying other Maiar present. Ingwion, the son of the High-king of all Elves, Ingwë, leads the Vanyar and Finarfin, son of Finwë and king of the Noldor in Valinor, leads the Noldor.
The size of the host of the Valar is ascertained by relative statements by Elrond, present, a similar statement in The Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age, in which it is described as the only host greater than that of the great host of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. As shown in the following section, the great host of the Last Alliance is composed of other hosts which are composed of armies. Since the host of the Valar is greater than the host of the Last Alliance, it too would be composed of hosts and there is evidence that this is so. In March of the Elves of Kôr the encampment in the Land of Willows of the "first host" is noted indicating, at least, a second host. Furthermore, the outline suggests that this host is Noldoli. At minimum, a host of Noldor and a host of Vanyar whose combined strength exceeds the great host of the Last Alliance, estimated below at 105,000 to 140,000, it is possible to develop a general proportional picture of the host of the Valar. In Quendi and Eldar the proportions of the three original clans are given and adjusted for the divisions during the migration march from Middle-earth to Aman.
The proportional factors given by Tolkien are: 14 for the Minyar in Aman. It is told most of the Noldor return in the rebellion but that first a "tithe", or 10%, refuse to follow Fëanor and later Finarfin with "many of his people" turned back, and that Fingolfin has the greater of the two hosts, including Finarfin and it remains greater than the Fëanorians after Finarfin leaves and Helcaraxë is crossed. Further, it is stated that the Elves of Beleriand outnumber the returning Noldor so that the factor for the returning Noldor must be less than the factor of 26 for the Sindar and Nandor. Finarfin needs a factor of at least 6 or 7 to allow a noticeable difference between the Noldor and Sindar, or 19 or 20 Noldor to 26 Sindar; this would leave 6 to 7 Noldor in Aman and 14 Vanyar, about 2 to 1. This suggests that the host of the Valar is composed of a host of Noldor and a host of Vanyar, twice as large, or two hosts of Vanyar. Having used the hierarchy established in the subsection of the War of the Last Alliance to show the structure of the forces in the War of Wrath, the numbers for these structures demonstrated in subsection The War of the Ring below can be appli
The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien
The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien is a selection of J. R. R. Tolkien's letters published in 1981, edited by Tolkien's biographer Humphrey Carpenter assisted by Christopher Tolkien; the selection contains 354 letters, dating between October 1914, when Tolkien was an undergraduate at Oxford, 29 August 1973, four days before his death. The letters can be divided in four categories: Personal letters to Tolkien's wife Edith, to his son Christopher Tolkien and his other children, Letters about Tolkien's career as a professor of Anglo-Saxon Letters to his publishers at Allen & Unwin explaining his failing to meet the deadline and related topics Letters about Middle-earthThe last category is of interest to Tolkien fans, as it provides a lot of information about Middle-earth which cannot be found anywhere in the works published by Tolkien himself. In letters 29 and 30, it appears that a German translation of The Hobbit was being negotiated in 1938; the German firm enquired. Tolkien was infuriated by this, wrote two drafts of possible replies for his publisher to choose.
The first one is not present – in it Tolkien is assumed to have refused to give any declaration whatsoever of his racial origins. The second, draft included: Thank you for your letter... I regret. I am not of Aryan extraction:, Indo-Iranian, but if I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people. A former signals officer at the Battle of the Somme, Tolkien expressed his great dislike for war, whatever the cause; this is evident in a great many letters which he wrote during the Second World War to his son Christopher, which invoke a sense of gloom. Notable among these is his reaction to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, in which he refers to the bombmakers of the Manhattan Project as "lunatics" and "Babel builders". Tolkien Letters FAQ at the Wayback Machine The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien on Tolkien Library The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien video