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Discussing: Saruman, Orcs, and Rohan

Saruman, Orcs, and Rohan

Regardless of the ultimate origins of Orcs, what I find myself needing to know is specifically Saruman's Orc-breeding program. I've never really dealt with Orcs, so I don't know much. Does anyone know:
  • When he began to breed Orcs, specifically the breed that wasn't much bothered by sunlight?
  • When other people might have first realized that there was a new, light-resistant Orc around? (Rohan especially, but Gondor too)
  • Approximately when Saruman began to dominate Theoden, either directly or through Grima - and if the danger of Orkish incursion might have been a factor?
Thanks for any help! Celandine



Re: Saruman, Orcs, and Rohan

The only definite one I can give is when Saruman began to dominate Theoden-- it was in 3014, I think late in the year. Theoden fell ill, and never recovered, and was ever after feeble and highly dependent on Wormtongue. Wormtongue may have been purchased long before this , or not long before-- it is not known. Saruman began to breed Orcs not long before-- I think not before 3000. But I am not positive of that date. I would have to look it up. So that's my tentative answer before the big researchers get here. I think Rohan was fairly wilfully ignorant of the whole thing until astonishingly late in the game, because Wormtongue made it very difficult to question. But I don't think i can be quoted on that. Oh-- forgot to cite source. Unfinished Tales, Battles of the Fords of Isen.



Re: Saruman, Orcs, and Rohan

Saruman began to breed Orcs not long before-- I think not before 3000. Hmmm. That's the bit I'm really worried about - this story is set in about 3002, and I was sort of hoping that the Orcs were already beginning to be a problem. Have to think about this! Thanks, dragonlady! Cel



Re: Saruman, Orcs, and Rohan

Ha! I found it! UT, page 412, a footnote of "The Palantiri", apparently an Author's Note. "For any more 'worldly' policy of power and warlike strength Isengard was well placed, being the key to the Gap of Rohan. This was a weak point in the defences of the West, especially since the decay of Gondor. Through it hostile spies and emissaries coudl pass in secret, or eventually, as in the former Age, forces of war. The Council seems to have been unaware, since for many years Isengard had been closely guarded, of what went on within its Ring. The use, and possibly special breeding, of Orcs was kept secret, and cannot have begun much more before 2990 at the earliest. The orc-troops seem never to have been used beyond the territory of Isengard before the attack on Rohan. Had the Council known of this they would, of course, at once have realized that Saruman had become evil. [Author's Note.]" note: by "its Ring" the author means "the Ring of Isengard", ie the fortifications around the tower complex, which were fairly large and, as he says, well-guarded-- a thorough barrier against anyone knowing what's going on in there. I knew I'd read it somewhere. You're lucky-- I'm a researching moron and if I had more than one book to look through I'd never have found it. Good for you my library's small yet. btw, Saruman was given Isengard by the then-steward of Gondor in the latter half of the 2700s, I forget the date now, but just saw it while looking for this passage.



Re: Saruman, Orcs, and Rohan

>3002, and I was sort of hoping that the Orcs were already beginning to be a problem Hm. It says Saruman didn't use them. Well... In 3002 we know Eomund was killed by Orcs up by the Emyn Muil, near the East Wall of Rohan, and it was a deliberate ambush. So, Orcs were certainly a problem, but not Saruman's Orcs, necessarily. You could probably stretch things a little to have him set a few of them out now and then, but if you're going by that passage then he was carefully keeping them secret at that point. Hmmm..... Well, do whatcha gotta. There's the author's note for ya.



Re: Saruman, Orcs, and Rohan

Thank you thank you thank you! Sure you don't want to be a researcher? Lyllyn is always hoping to find new victims volunteers... It's not critical by any means that Saruman's Orcs (that is, the light-resistant guys) be a problem, it would have just been a convenience for my plot. So I can work around it, I think; it's certainly not worth going AU over. Cel



Re: Saruman, Orcs, and Rohan

> Sure you don't want to be a researcher? *shakes head sadly* I'd love to, and my academic career would be much helped if I only had such a brain, but I'm really not very good at finding information. Had an earlier thread about how terrible I am at translations-- I think I'm dictionary-disabled. It's very tragic. Well, the other Orcs could deal with sunlight, they just disliked it strongly. Shrug. good luck!



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