Or are they?
Let's revisit Isengard and look at some facts:
1.) Over a rather short period of time (no more than sixty years,
possibly much less) Saruman breeds a huge army of orcs and sends them
out to the battle at Helm's Deep. How do they multiply so fast? A
rapidly growing population of humans will have a very high proportion
of children, and from a small start it will take several generations
for population growth to pick up speed.
2.) After he sends out his armies, the Ents attack Isengard, and there
doesn't seem to be a single orc in the whole place. We hear about the
gate guards running away, but never see a single orc attempting to
escape, even from the floods, which would surely drown any underground
So, we conclude that if Saruman is building up his army, he needs lots
of females. But if the underground barracks at Isengard were swarming
with female orcs surely they would have attempted to escape the
floods, and we would have seen them: for a 50-50 sex ratio, there
should have been tens of thousands of them. If orcs take decades to
reach maturity, there should have been problems building up the
population so fast, and there should have been many thousands of orc
My solution? Orcs mature very fast -- a year or so, maybe, like many
mammals. This allows quick growth of the population (the difference
in growth rates between a decade-or-two and a year-or-two before
females bear a child is just hugely enormous: the difference goes in
the exponent, not in a mere mulitiplier).
And where are the females? In the army, of course. Perhaps Gorbag
and Shagrat, for example, were female: I don't know of any evidence to
the contrary. In fact, they wanted to "slip off with some likely
lads" once there was "more room" after the war was won. Sounds like a
couple of wanna-be matriarchs to me!
Female orcs in the army explains how nearly the entire population of
orcs could be gone from Isengard (and, for that matter, the inner
parts of Mordor, when Frodo and Sam were on their way to the
Mountain). It also explains how the orcs of the Misty Mountains could
have been "cleaned out" by the Battle of Five Armies. If only the orc
males had been killed in that battle, the tens of thousands of females
left back in the caves could have continued reproducing (with the few
lucky males who were left). Only if both sexes were wiped out could
the North expect a lengthy period free from their depredations (and
seventy years later, the survival of Dale in the War of the Ring is
partly accounted for by the success of the BoFA).
Whattaya'll think of my conclusions? I know that canon is near-silent
on the topic, and we're well into the speculative here, and these
issues have been hashed-over before, but I'm posting this anyway, so
Jim Deutch (Jimbo the Cat)
"Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from
malice." -- Vernon Schryver
> And where are the females? In the army, of course. Perhaps Gorbag
> and Shagrat, for example, were female: I don't know of any evidence to
> the contrary. In fact, they wanted to "slip off with some likely
> lads" once there was "more room" after the war was won. Sounds like a
> couple of wanna-be matriarchs to me!
Gorbag and Shagrat - the female orcs - I like it! :-)
> 1.) Over a rather short period of time (no more than sixty years,
> possibly much less) Saruman breeds a huge army of orcs and sends them
> out to the battle at Helm's Deep. How do they multiply so fast? A
> rapidly growing population of humans will have a very high proportion
> of children, and from a small start it will take several generations
> for population growth to pick up speed.
Why no more then 60 years? He could have started experiments
any time after he moved to Isengard. And it's not like he had to
start from scratches. Had a large stock of Orcs and Humans at
his disposal in Dunland and Misty Mountains.
> 2.) After he sends out his armies, the Ents attack Isengard, and there
> doesn't seem to be a single orc in the whole place. We hear about the
> gate guards running away, but never see a single orc attempting to
> escape, even from the floods, which would surely drown any underground
There were few orcs who tried to escape, but most had gone with the army.
> So, we conclude that if Saruman is building up his army, he needs lots
> of females.
The Orc breeding grounds were in the mountains around Isengard.
Females and kids were there.
Some quotes, with emphasis added, from "The Tower of Cirith Ungol".
"'That's enough from you,' snarled Shagrat. 'I had my orders.
It was Gorbag started it, trying to pinch that pretty shirt.'
'Well, you put *his* back up, being so high and mighty. And *he*
had more sense than you anyway."
"Behind him came Shagrat, a large orc with long arms that, as *he*
ran crouching, reached to the ground."
Shagrat and Gorbag (and Snaga) are referred to as 'he'.
It could very well be in a society as violent as Orcish tribes must have
been that females were, in fact, protected from open strife. They may have
been objects of strife and intense competition. I can envision an Orc
chieftain with several wives, and with other Orcs competing with and trying
to kill him for mates.
After all, it takes only one Orc to impregnate many females, but too many
females in combat and you risk destroying the only means by which the next
generation could come about.
My hunch is that during the Battle of the Five Armies, the females were left
behind in the various strongholds, and that, over the next several decades
(what was it, close to 80 years?) the Orc population in the Misty Mountains
recovered. Possibly the reason we see Orcs out of Mordor in Moria is that
Sauron had sent them there to aid with the repopulation of the devestated
In this case, I would expect that Orcs would breed faster than humans, and
that population replacement in the Misty Mountains was from local groups.
I'm sure that the number of Mordor Orcs required to beef up the numbers
would have been so great that someone would have noticed it.
> Whattaya'll think of my conclusions? I know that canon is near-silent
> on the topic, and we're well into the speculative here, and these
> issues have been hashed-over before, but I'm posting this anyway, so
It has always been my contention that Orc armies consisted of both males
Gandalf, THE TWO TOWERS
-- The Wise will remove 'se' to reply; the Foolish will not--
"Honi soit qui mal y pense."
"If you ever reach total enlightenment while you're drinking a beer,
I bet it makes beer shoot out your nose."
A culture-wide acceptance of polygamy will result in a desparate underclass
of low-status, undersexed males. In addition, the males of middle status are
likely to prey upon children. Add to that continual propaganda from the
orkish elite that their society is the best on the planet; there are other
races to blame for any perceived shortcomings.
I think AC is right. Orkish females are kept locked away. No outsider will
ever see one.
zimriel sbc dot
at global net
because everyone else is doing it
> My solution? Orcs mature very fast -- a year or so, maybe, like many
> mammals. This allows quick growth of the population (the difference
> in growth rates between a decade-or-two and a year-or-two before
> females bear a child is just hugely enormous: the difference goes in
> the exponent, not in a mere mulitiplier).
> And where are the females? In the army, of course.
Feels about right to me. After all, Orcs were artificially bred by
Morgoth as cannon-fodder for his wars (he could have done a great many
things 'in mockery of the Elves', but he evidently chose to produce
fighting-machines). I can't see either Saruman or Sauron wasting
resources on a race where the female half of the population was of no
use for their purposes. Horses, for example, would have been of rather
less use to mankind if the females could not be put to work while they
(It doesn't entirely answer the question of where all the 'yearling'
orcs were when Isengard was emptied, though - presumably they were
being trained elsewhere...)
Igenlode <Igenl...@nym.alias.net> Bookwraith unabashed
The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
>> It could very well be in a society as violent as Orcish tribes must have
>> been that females were, in fact, protected from open strife. They may
>> been objects of strife and intense competition. I can envision an Orc
>> chieftain with several wives, and with other Orcs competing with and
>> to kill him for mates.
>A culture-wide acceptance of polygamy will result in a desparate underclass
>of low-status, undersexed males. In addition, the males of middle status are
>likely to prey upon children. Add to that continual propaganda from the
>orkish elite that their society is the best on the planet; there are other
>races to blame for any perceived shortcomings.
>I think AC is right. Orkish females are kept locked away. No outsider will
>ever see one.
There are no Orcish 'females' per se. All orcs are hermaphroditic with
complete, fully functional genitalia for both sexes. In questions of
'gender', the 'female' is the one on the bottom during the rape, uh,
intercourse. It's a dominance thing, like baboons. Frequently the
'male' uses the incorrect 'point-of-entry'. Thus orc bands are not
overrun with offspring ('imps'). In any band, the only 'complete'
'male' is the leader of the band. All of the other orcs have been
'female' at some time or other. Thus 'female' orcs are completely
indistinguishable from 'male' orcs, except that they average a trifle
We do not 'see' 'imps' because they have two instincts: hide and eat.
Notice that Gollum actually managed to catch a imp. It is dangerous
for any orc to fall to heavily asleep, because the imps will eat him.
The imps also keep the population of younger, smaller imps down. By
the time an imp is old enough and large enough to reproduce, it has.
At least it has gone through the Principle Ritual. It was either that
or be eaten.
'Female' orcs clutch one to five imps at a time. Generally there are
no more than two survivors of any one litter who live more than a
week. The other have become 'lunch'.
So the 'female' orcs and the immature orcs are not noticeable. Orc
populations grow rather slowly without Special Stimulus which was
obviously provided upon occasion by Morgoth and Sauron.
BTW, orcs hate dwarves because they find them so incredibly sexy,
leading to bloody orc orgies.
"Honi soit qui mal y pense."
"Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own.
You may both be wrong." Dandemis
This one is going to stick in my head for freaking YEARS!
Very good and very funny, softrat.
I find your theory convicing and logical. It is an obvious (in
hindsight!) extension of my own. Rather than males and females that
are merely difficult to distinguish, you have them actually identical.
That's truly cutting to the heart of the matter. I applaud you, sir,
and hereby relinquish (at least temporarily) the traditional enmity
between our kinds.
Jim Deutch (Jimbo the Cat)
"If a tree falls in the forest...it'll land on me." - Andrew Rakin
To say it simply, orcs are non-sexual. They do not reproduce, or rather, are
not produced (by Sauron and Saruman) on a sexual basis. They are spawned;
how, exactly, it is not made clear. But make no mistake, it would be a
horrible and gruesome process, akin to the macabre creation of the
Frankenstein monster. Is it not stated explicitly by Tolkien, that orcs were
elves, "twisted and ruined into terrible form", or is that just Christopher
Peter Jackson suggest orcs might be borne out of the mud deep (100m-ish) in
the earth, but one might reasonably infer from that suggestion, that you
could dig anywhere in Middle-earth there was wet muddy earth, and have a
chance of finding an orc, just waiting to be released. Totally preposterous,
of course. But, orcs are a literary device, and one need not worry too much
how they might be made, unless of course one were actually interested in
making said orcs. =P
I think Tolkien intuitively understood that a race, i.e. the orcs, would
not be viable without some diversity, and that is why orcs are not clones.
Today this is well-understood by the educated public to be true -- it might
best be referred to as 'genetic diversity neccessary for the continuation of
Clearly then, if orcs are 'made' rather than being something that reproduces
of its own volition, then their makers, being Sauron and his servants,
exercise some degree of choice and freedom and creativity in deciding what,
precisely, kind of orc to create. Indeed, if one could imagine a wicked man
of the Haradrim, working to create a new orc by some unknown means, how
would he go about creating what he wishes to create, i.e. by what mechanisms
does the choice of orc translate into what type of orc is created?
Certainly something involving the creation of body parts from pre-existing
body parts. You may not need to clone a whole orc to get another orc, but
you would at least have to, for instance, take one living orcish bone, or
heart, or brain, and make another. This seems vaguely feasible to me, but
the degree of meticiculousness required seems to me to be completely
prohibitive of the type of scenario where orcs are bred to vastly out-number
the men of Gondor.
You could horde orcs, one by one, and gradually, incrementally build them up
to such vast numbers, but what do they eat in the meantime? It's made
abundantly clear that Mordor is exactly the type of place that you're NOT
going to find any food, so where does the food come from that sustains the
orcs, while Sauron is building up his armies?
All this can be overcome by the realization the orcs do, in fact, have to be
sexual. There *must* be female orcs, but maybe with very little sexual
dimorphism evident. i.e. the male provides the seed, the female gestates,
but beyond that there are no concrete limitations to what can happen.
Perhaps, by 'spawning', Tolkien means that two orcs have sex, a fetus is
formed, but during the formation of the fetus some customizations can be
made. That would have to be how Sauron got orcs from elves. Or, Sauron could
just do what dog breeders do, and breed for certain characteristics. And,
the constant state of being in pain, that the orcs experience, as Gandalf
mentions, would be because what he's doing is so unnatural that his
'modified elves' have all sorts of genetic 'defects', biological features
that persistently hinder their ability to live comfortably. Kind hard to
imagine what those kind of features might be, that at any given moment any
given orc would be expected to say, "I wish I were dead".
And, if that were the case, obviously there would be a very high suicide
rate among orcs, presenting another massively prohibitive obstacle to Sauron
building up the types of armies neccessary to conquer Minas Tirith.
Or, maybe Gandalf is just lying, by essentially saying that the best thing
you could ever hope to do for an orc would be to kill it. A manifestation of
racial intolerence, so to speak. So in that sense, perhaps Tolkien *was* a
bit of a racist, though the species he was racist against did not and does
not, of course, in fact, exist.
[snip some silly stuff]
> Or, maybe Gandalf is just lying, by essentially saying that the best
> you could ever hope to do for an orc would be to kill it. A manifestation
> racial intolerence, so to speak. So in that sense, perhaps Tolkien *was* a
> bit of a racist, though the species he was racist against did not and does
> not, of course, in fact, exist.
I'm starting to find your posts amusing now.
Though I'm not sure others have caught on yet.
Yes, I'm glad you are. =)
>On Wed, 26 May 2004 19:31:50 -0700, the softrat <sof...@pobox.com>
>>There are no Orcish 'females' per se. All orcs are hermaphroditic with
>I find your theory convicing and logical.
Thank you. I rather bagged the theory, with certain modifications,
from the sci-fi writer Ursula K. LeGuin, _The Left Hand of Darkness_.
"Honi soit qui mal y pense."
Can you look at an aardvark and see nothing funny?
> On Thu, 27 May 2004 20:01:08 GMT, in rec.arts.books.tolkien
> 10313...@compuserve.com (Jim Deutch) wrote:
>>On Wed, 26 May 2004 19:31:50 -0700, the softrat
>>>There are no Orcish 'females' per se. All orcs are
>>I find your theory convicing and logical.
> Thank you. I rather bagged the theory, with certain
> modifications, from the sci-fi writer Ursula K. LeGuin, _The
> Left Hand of Darkness_.
I notice that many of the theories have the orcs with far more
males than females, or with a large portion of the population
marked out for breeding and useless as fighters, or with a slow
growth rate (excepting softrat's). It would make far more
sense, in an army and slave building venture, to have the
females be nearly indistinguishable in size and strength from
the males, and vastly outnumber them. One male could impregnate
(im-imp-gnate ?) many females, and if the females were as tough
as the males, they could carry on their duties almost up to the
moment of birth. I would imagine that, given this scenario, a
few weaker members (male or female) would be left in charge of
fostering the young orcs while the troop/band/group went about
murdering and mayhemming as usual. If a high-order multiple
birth (say a regular birthing of 3 or 4, with the human
equivalent of twins or triplets going as high as 9 or 10 in
orcs) were built in to the genetics then a single female could
replace quite a few adults in short order, during war-times, and
create huge armies in a short period during pre-war preparation
And as to the Uruk-hai et al - selective breeding and crossing
with select humans (by Saruman and Sauron) could create the
greater orc variation seen in the LOTR times. I imagine more
brutish and violent human males, bred for those and other traits
(not as intelligent so as to be more likely to follow Sauron,
less apt to question orders, and closer in looks to orcs so that
cross-breeding would not be as anathema, visually, to the human
male) would be used, as the death rate for female captives
treated thus would be too high a ratio for effective cross
breeding programs; drug a female orc or three, have the man do
his bit (maybe add a drop of the joy juice to his grog as well),
and you have a lesser chance of losing the breeder and a greater
chance of creating the orc "super race".
The only drawback I see is the potential for human and orc to
not successfully inter-breed. Then the uruk-hai were created by
other means, ones far more speculative than I dare to put forth.
TeaLady / mari conroy
You, know, I think you've got to be constricted to the fact that Tolkien
used the word "spawned", which is not really suggestive of any possibility
of "female" orcs, unless you are willing to concede that perhaps Tolkien
held a subtly cynical view of the role and uses of women. Vis a vis the
Eowyn character, it is clear he does not.
I am more likely to imagine that there are incubating vessels of some sort,
where you have the conception of life, you have influx of nutrients and
neccessary compenents to life, but without much else, how shall I put it, in
the way of 'female' body parts. A uterus, so to speak, with only minimal
extraneous apparatus. Muddy pits and chambers is perhaps quite a good
realization within these parameters -- I will retract my earlier claim that
Jackson's visualization was flawed, that it does in fact correlate very well
with the term 'spawned'. Still, one must then ask, what is so special about
these birthing chambers, than you can't just dig a hole in the ground
anywhere and hope to find an orc. What's been done to the mud, that is can
create orcs. All part of the wonderfully sinister mystery surrounding the
nefarious, profane affairs of Sauron and Saruman, of course. =)
> You, know, I think you've got to be constricted to the fact that
> Tolkien used the word "spawned
I believe that word (spawned) is only used in the books by Sam. He is
hardly likely to be an expert on orc reproduction. Best to think of it
as a colloquialism, despite the films.
I did not know that.
I'm not about to exhaustively go through the book to find specific
terminology, i.e. who says what about orcs. Does anyone hear recall how
Gandalf, or Tolkien, refer to the production of orcs? Or Elrond? Or anyone
more knowledgeable than Mr. Samwise?
And by Gandalf, when he reached the rest of the Company after having
spell-battled the Balrog at the Chamber of Mazarbul.
However, the word is, IMO, irrelevant with regards to the reproduction of
Orcs - Saruman might likewise have referred to "every Hobbit ever
spawned" when he reached the Shire, and it would still mean nothing.
The only evidence we have with respect to the reproductive habits of Orcs
is the comment that they reproduce after the manner of the Children
(the Eruhíni) - Elves and Men, and we do know how these reproduce: it
involves mother Elves (or Men) and father Elves (or Men) doing their
thing, and after the appropriate time a new little Elf/Man/Peredhil is
born. Since Orcs reproduce in the same way, it is inevitable that there
are two genders among Orcs as among Elves and Men.
 I don't recall where it's from - I think the reference is in the FAQ,
If no thought
your mind does visit,
make your speech
not too explicit.
- Piet Hein, /The Case for Obscurity/
It could, of course mean that the orcs have a somewhat ant-like society,
with a Queen, a fat behemoth thing with no mobility and no free will, laying
a disgusting number of eggs to be redistributed and otherwise tended for.
Perhaps put into mud incubating chambers, vis a vis the Fellowship
portrayal. Each distinguishable subset of orcs would have a different queen,
If that were true, then another way to see to Sauron's defeat would be to
send 'special ops forces', i.e. assassination squads, akin to ninjas, to
take out as many of the Orc Queens as is humanly (or elvishly, or
dwarvishly, or hobbitishly) possibly. =P
At the end of the day though, you've gotta realize that Tolkien was
advocating genocide against the orcish race, be it as it may that that race
only originated with the willful and malicious corruption of Elves, by
Sauron, or was it first done by Melkor?
> At the end of the day though, you've gotta realize that Tolkien was
> advocating genocide against the orcish race, be it as it may that that
> only originated with the willful and malicious corruption of Elves, by
> Sauron, or was it first done by Melkor?
You might like that to be true, but the real Tolkien
advocated that Orcs should not be killed without reason,
and surrendering Orcs should be treated humanely. Sorry.
I think the use of "spawned" is just an insult, implying that Orcs
are not only sub-human, but sub-mammalian. But remember, the Orcs
"multiplied after the manner of the Children of Iluvatar."
> I am more likely to imagine that there are incubating vessels of
> some sort, where you have the conception of life, you have influx
> of nutrients and neccessary compenents to life, but without much
> else, how shall I put it, in the way of 'female' body parts. A
> uterus, so to speak, with only minimal extraneous apparatus.
Uh, are you talking about Tolkien, or Herbert's Bene Tleilax?
- Ciaran S.
Through Evernight he back was borne,
on black and roaring waves that ran
o'er leagues unlit, and foundered shores
that drowned before the Days began
Nope, you're still mixing up the Tleilaxu and Tolkien.
I admire him for including that statement then.
Well perhaps you can suggest a more viable alternative, a way that sees huge
hordes of Orcs bred, with the kind of explosive population growth neccessary
to catch Gondor unprepared.
I haven't read Herbert. Don't care much for speculative science fiction.
Much prefer mythically-themed fantasy.
Good thing. I would hate to think what you would try to do about Duncan
Care to explain, please? What were the circumstances of Duncan Idaho's
He died quite early on in the first Dune book, though, he like Boromir, was
a warrior of great renown.
But was he also a warrior of great honesty and integrity?
Yes. Also, they kept resurrecting the poor guy for hundreds of
Drift on a river, That flows through my arms
Drift as I'm singing to you
I see you smiling, So peaceful and calm
And holding you, I'm smiling, too
Here in my arms, Safe from all harm
Holding you, I'm smiling, too
-- For Xander [9/22/98 - 2/23/99]
I saw no great honesty or integrity in Boromir. Integrity would have meant
not trying to steal the Ring from Frodo. That is not the act of an honest
man, but of an obsessed one, who cares nothing for consequences. He, like
Denethor, was mainly concerned with his own little corner of the world and
with his fame therein. It was Faramir, like Aragorn, who realized that the
larger battle was the defeat of Sauron, and not the maintenance of a
Boromir, unlike Denethor, realized his error in the end, and I'll give him
credit for that, at least. He was no hero when he tried to steal by force
what was not rightfully his. He had been told that the Ring would pervert
any who held it, and that to ultimately defeat Sauron would take someone of
great personal power. Gandalf also tells Denethor that if Boromir had taken
the Ring and returned to Minas Tirith, that he would not have known his own
And before you start asserting your own version of LotR in here or claiming
that you know better than JRRT, as you so often do, as if anyone besides
yourself should even give a damn about your private musings, this is the
book JRRT wrote. The Ring was a corruptor, it's power came at an incredible
price, and certainly for a mortal, victory would lead to an ultimately
terrible defeat. Boromir would have been no great hero among Men, but a
wraith tyrant, invisible, terrible and evil.
I'll gladly put aside any arguments we've had in the past, Chris, but only
if you refrain from pushing your own version of the book, which resembles
the actual book written by one John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (born 1892, died
1973) in no significant detail after the final chapter of FotR and differs
substantially even in basic makeup. I'll only debate you on what is written
in LotR, not on what you think should be written.
LOL... was he a juju zombie of sorts then? How did he feel about his own
Sometimes he was thrilled. Other times... not so much.
Predicated on the notion that Boromir's trust in his own willpower was
unfounded. But who's to say that Boromir would have been corrupted by the
Ring? Tolkien himself doesn't say that, at least not to my knowledge.
Tolkien's 'advocate' in Middle-earth, Gandalf, is quite dead and gone at the
point, so he's not able to conjecture as to the relative power of the Ring,
to Boromir's willpower. To say that Boromir, if he had possession of the
Ring, would not have been able to see to Sauron's defeat without becoming
just as bad, is speculation at best. Who is to say that Boromir himself, in
the end, would not have just carried the Ring to Mount Doom, as Frodo did?
Who is to say that he could not have slain/routed Shelob, appropriated Orcs
armor and clothing, and then crept into Mordor unbeknownst to Sauron and his
> Predicated on the notion that Boromir's trust in his own willpower was
> unfounded. But who's to say that Boromir would have been corrupted by
> the Ring?
You fell right into this trap! :-)
"What have I said? What have I done? Frodo, Frodo! Come back! A madness
took me but it has passed. Come back!"
"He ... walked towards them without speaking. His face looked grim and
"He put his head in his hands, and sat as if bowed with grief."
I read this as Boromir realising that he had succumbed to the lure of
the Ring and recognising that this was the 'madness' that took him. I
shudder to think what you think these passages mean, though I sure it
will be 'interesting'.
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard
He states quite clearly that the Ring would corrupt whoever wielded it.
Beyond that we have Gandalf's statement to Denethor that if Boromir had
seized the Ring, Denethor would not have known his son. He also states that
even if the Ring were locked away in Minas Tirith, it would eat at
> Tolkien's 'advocate' in Middle-earth, Gandalf, is quite dead and gone at the
> point, so he's not able to conjecture as to the relative power of the Ring,
> to Boromir's willpower.
Tolkien's intent is quite clear. And every character is controlled by JRRT,
despite your bizarre and idiotic attempts to minimize the role of the
> To say that Boromir, if he had possession of the
> Ring, would not have been able to see to Sauron's defeat without becoming
> just as bad, is speculation at best.
It is a fact, plain and simple. As I said, I will only discuss with you
what is in the book. I refuse to even give in a little to your silly little
>Who is to say that Boromir himself, in
> the end, would not have just carried the Ring to Mount Doom, as Frodo did?
It's pretty clear from Boromir's own words that his intent was to go to
Minas Tirith with it. And in the end even Frodo failed at Mount Doom.
> Who is to say that he could not have slain/routed Shelob, appropriated Orcs
> armor and clothing, and then crept into Mordor unbeknownst to Sauron and his
The fact that Boromir clearly had a growing obsession with the Ring and
using it, as he thought, to save his people.
INCOMING QUOTE AVALANCHE!!!!
*runs away fast*
"'Stir not the bitterness in the cup that I mixed for myself.' said
Denethor. 'Have I not tasted it now many nights upon my tongue, foreboding
that worse yet lay in the dregs? As now indeed I find. Would it were not
so! Would that this thing had come to me!'
'Comfort yourself!' said Gandalf. 'In no case would Boromir have brought it
to you. He is dead, and died well; may he sleep in peace! Yet you deceive
yourself. He would have stretched out his hand to this thing, and taking it
he would have fallen. He would have kept it for his own, and when he
returned you would not have known your son.'"
RotK - The Siege of Gondor
I think it makes it amply clear that Boromir was not strong enough to resist
the Ring, and that it would have worked its wickedness upon him. Elrond
made it quite clear, and it is continually reiterated, that strength was no
protection against the Ring. Rather, it was an added vulnerability.
So Chris, remember Gandalf's words. "He is dead, and died well; may he
sleep in peace!"
I think you need to be aware of the phenomenon known as "retrospective
thinking". He's tried and failed to secure the Ring, and that state of
profuse apology is his only way of coming to terms with his attempt at
taking the Ring, unless he's willing to admit that he's not as noble as he
might have previously thought.
Also, once he's tried and failed to secure the Ring, the only chance he has
of getting a second chance, now that he knows it turns its' wearer
invisible, is to make Frodo believe that he's genuinely sorry and would
never do such a thing again. Though he might well betray Frodo's trust
again, and in doing so be acting rather deceptively, you have to weigh that
against the threat of Mordor, felt in a very real way, by Boromir's people.
So, Boromir the Deceiver, similar to Sauron the Deceiver. Very clever, very
clever indeed Mr. Tolkien. But I'm afraid that you have to consider prior
motives. Sauron's motives were to effect his coming to power. Boromir's
motives were to protect and better his own people. That's a world of
Sauron's motives were to ensure order and stability.
> motives were to protect and better his own people. That's a world of
He is a warrior, and a spirit of wrath. In every
stroke that he deals he sees the Enemy who long
ago did thee this hurt.
Boromir's motives were to prevent pain and suffering, the death and
ruination of Gondor, then.
I don't see how wanting to end conflict and struggle is tantamount, in any
way shape or form, to wanting to ensure order and stability. One is to
relieve a state of suffering, the other is to achieve an aesthetic ideal.
I would also point something about that moniker that is given Sauron. Sauron
the Deceiver. So called by the likes of Aragorn, a ranger who uses multiples
aliases. Elessar. Strider. It's as though Tolkien is positing deception as
the cardinal sin, then plainly ignoring instances where our putative heroes
deceive one another, as well as the forces of Mordor.
<snip> of stuff I did not address>
Try responding to what I posted regarding your statement. The above
should make it clear.
Then we might continue.
> I would also point something about that moniker that is given Sauron.
> the Deceiver. So called by the likes of Aragorn, a ranger who uses
> aliases. Elessar. Strider. It's as though Tolkien is positing deception as
> the cardinal sin, then plainly ignoring instances where our putative
> deceive one another, as well as the forces of Mordor.
Because there are no such instances. Going ingognito is
not the same as pretending to be somebody or something
else then what you are, like Sauron did when calling himself
Annatar. Wherever Aragorn went he never tried to hide the
two basic facts - he was an Enemy of Sauron and he did
not want to reveal his true identity. Nothing decieving in that.
Also he did not choose aliases. People gave him names according
to how they saw him - Strider, Thorongil, Estel, and he accepted
them. You notice he never says "my name is Strider" but "I'm
called Strider". He never lies about his identity or try to decieve people.
Rather elaborate justification of the fact that Aragorn did in fact deceive
people on a regular basis.
> Rather elaborate justification of the fact that Aragorn did in fact
> people on a regular basis.
So you would say about half of the regulars in this newsgroup
are decievers too, since we use aliases? That does not sound
like a troll at all...
I would only point out that I use my real name, because I have no fear of
being tracked down and harrassed because of my suggestions. =P
I find them hilarious. Then I think to myself, 'well, perhaps he's about 12,
or he's mentally impared', which makes me feel a bit guilty. Although I'm
still laughing secretly. =P