Concerning Orcs and Goblins in the Tolkien Universe

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Concerning Orcs and Goblins in the Tolkien Universe

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, or simply J.R.R. Tolkien as he was commonly called, is the author of a widely known series of books which take place in the fictional land of Middle Earth. Of these books, the ones which garner the most attention are those of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and their prequel, The Hobbit. Seeing as these are novels of the fantasy genre it may come as no surprise that many of the characters or creatures described within their pages are those of fiction. Occasionally Tolkien would draw his characters from other sources or medieval texts. Halflings for example, or Hobbits as Tolkien called them, were a race of people short in stature but bold in spirit. Hobbits are often depicted as joyful high-spirited folk with little technology and a wide array of farming and gardening techniques. A good comparison might be Irishmen from the countryside. Hobbits serve as the main protagonists of the novels, alongside a choice group of men and dwarves. Opposing the hobbits in the Fellowship of the Ring and The Hobbit are the orcs and goblins of Mordor, Isengard, and the Misty Mountains. Orcs and goblins were mentioned in literature long before the days of Tolkien, but it was his work in these novels that rocketed them into the spotlight as a common enemy in literature, film, and even video games. The mindset of the orc is a foul, battle-centric one. There are quite a few examples and descriptors of Tolkien's orcs which inform the reader of their evil and malevolent ways. Despite this fact, orcs and goblins are not just faceless enemies. They are intelligent and interesting races with a complex back story and a strong social and moral system. Though to fully u...

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...y cannot see the benefits of taking a side, and serving a master, whether he birthed them from the ground or not. In some ways, they can be likened to the Vikings, who were also bold fighters; exhibiting devotion to their lord of thane. They were also a crafty people, inventing long ships and the first magnetic compasses; inventions that would time and time again lead them to swift victories. Perhaps this is where Tolkien got his inspiration. One thing is undeniable though, and that is that the Orcs are a deeply fascinating and complex fantasy race.

Works Cited

Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel, Humphrey Carpenter, and Christopher Tolkien. The Letters Of J.R.R. Tolkien. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), 1981. Web. .

. "Goblin." Online Etymology Dictionary. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb 2012. .
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