Life and Times of the Orcs

On the Origin of Orcs

2. Thoughts: the effect of Orc-origin on Orc-child rearing

When I read Amanda's story Enmities I thought about the fact that Orcs are Elves twisted and maimed by Morgoth/Melko(r). Would they have Orc children or Elven children who need to be twisted again ? Would they look maybe more like Elves as children and develop into Orcs ?

Elven children by Orc women would in my mind induce enmity even in a mother's heart. Such an enmity would lead to an very harsh upbringing which then could explain the heartless behaviour of the Orcs. Orc cubs loved by an Orc mother: would they not become gentle beings at least within their own hordes ? But I feel no gentle beings in the Orc hordes as I feel them in hyena packs. For me Orcs are not gentle in their own horde. I think one can feel the nature of their interaction as hostile in extremis.

A loving Orc mother is for me somehow a contradiction in itself. One can write it convincingly and moving, as did Amanda, but for me this fits not with Orc culture. They are constantly bickering between themselves, constantly snapping at each other, suppressed only by an alpha male, who has to express his alpha status constantly, that it feels more like a group of solitary cats crammed together in a pack. But even a cheetah mother cuddles her offspring. Why not an Orc mother ?

I think an Orc mother would not love her children if they look fair like elves. It is not hardwired into an Orc mother. Neither is it hard wired into an Elven mother because Elves are immortals, there is no evolutionary need for Elves to protect their offspring. Elves protect their offspring because they are faerie, wise, and loving. But Orcs are the villains, they are neither wise nor loving. Though there might be more need for Orcs to protect their offspring as they are dying much earlier IMO due to their life-despising attitude. I think Orcs would express a large degree of self-loathing if they were to think on themselves, which they do seldom I agree. It is better for their self-esteem to loathe and vilify others, and that they do with relish.

Now the Orc mother could be as protecting as a cheetah, but why would she ? Do Orcs like their own species ? Do Orcs like Elves ? So children looking like any of these species would not inspire love. Do Orcs like anybody ? No, IMO, not even themselves. Would the children at least invoke a sense of protection needed ?

Protection of offspring is only hardwired into the female brain (or male see sea-horse) if the species can only survive by protecting offspring. Then mostly the offspring of protecting females survives and thus offspring protection is breed into the line. Fishes normally have no sense for protection. And Orcs were made by Melkor out of immortal Elves. Were should the hardwiring have originated ? From Eru when he created the Elves ? But Elves are Faerie, they are not of this Earth, they are not a product of evolution. They are mythical beings. As are the Orcs.

Orcs do not like themselves IMO, why should they want to lengthen their bloodline ? OK, if you simply make them out as beasts, then there would be an animalistic urge to procreate. But as twisted descendants of the wise Elves IMO the Orcs would have ere a death-wish than a life-wish simmering in their minds. And the immortal Elves surely have a very small urge to procreate, otherwise they (immortal, never sick) would fill Middle-Earth much faster than Man-kind was able to do. The Orcs are angry on their brothers that they had the luck not to fall into Morgoth's hands, but surely they are not lucky to be Orcs. Would they not ere try to shorten their blood-line when thinking consciously ?

I agree any living being feels the urge to procreate if it is well fed and secure enough, so Orcs would also feel this urge (but IMO to a much lesser degree than humans). And I agree any mother could feel satisfaction with offspring born. But when thinking of the twisted Orcs I think many Orc mothers would not be able to love their children. So one could view a loving Orc-mother as a special case in being able to love her offspring, being proud of her heritage and so on, but this feels not like building the world of Orcs IMO.

Bear mothers are very protecting, but bear fathers would eat their offspring, the mother has to protect her cubs from a prowling father who has no sense of being a father. Many males do not know their offspring. This is my comparison for Orc fathers whom I see only as provider of semen as with large cats (exception lions) and bears.

Elven fathers in contrast are needed for the nurturing of the unborn and the small ones, thus they know their offspring. Numenorean fathers are expected to be the first years of the newborn with mother and child.

(UT, Aldarion and Erendis, note 22) It is stated that the Numenoreans, like the Eldar, avoided the begetting of children if they foresaw any separation likely between husband and wife between conception of the child and at least its very early years. Aldarion stayed in his house for a very brief time after the birth of his daughter, according to the Numenoreans' idea of the fitness of things.

Aldarion stayed home until Ancalime became four years old. (UT, Aldarion and Erendis). Erendis had hoped to hold him back with small children, but as there was only Ancalime, he felt free when he deemed his daughter old enough to weather his absence. Only when he came not back after the promised two years but after five Erendis had hardened her heart against him. This was the origin of the great rift between Aldarion and Erendis.

My conclusion: even four years were deemed too short a time for a father's "stay at home"-time. But I really do not feel, at least until new information might convert me, the Orcs to have the same rules of parenting.

Yet an hostile mother in combination with an aggressive life-threatening father (remember bears or great cats) would explain many things in Orc culture IMO.

One could compare hostile Orc-mothers to real life mammals. Between real life mammals hostile mothers are aberrations due to a very hostile surrounding or a psychical illness, in either case the mother sets her own survival first and feels her offspring as a threat to her survival. I think any Orc lives in a very hostile surrounding and the self-hate as well as the wish to destroy any living being alludes to a psychical illness experienced by all Orcs. Thus, for me hostile Orc-mothers are easier to visualize than loving Orc-mothers. IMO hostile Orc-mothers are the logical result as well as the maintainers of Orcish heritage and culture.

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.


In Challenges

Story Information

Author: elanor of aquitania

Status: Beta

Completion: Work in Progress

Rating: General

Last Updated: 09/06/04

Original Post: 09/05/04

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