FRAGMENTA HISTORIAE ORCUM
Ôðàãìåíòû èñòîðèè îðêîâ è ñîïóòñòâóþùèå ìàòåðèàëû ïî
è ðàñîãåíåçà Àðäû
Çàäà÷è è ñòðóêòóðà íàñòîÿùåé ðàáîòû.
Òåìàòè÷åñêèé èíäåêñ ôðàãìåíòîâ ïî íîìåðàì
PM (HME12)/1:7. The Heirs of Elendil.
Denethor I. born 2375 lived 102 years died 2477. Great troubles arose in his
day. The Morgul-lords having bred in secret a fell race of black Orcs in
Mordor assail Ithilien and overrun it.
PM (HME12)/1:9. The Making of Appendix A. (iii) The House of Eorl.
of Eomund chief Marshal of the Mark in an Orc-raid in 3002 is recorded, with the
note that 'Orcs at this time began often to raid eastern Rohan and steal
PM (HME12)/1:9. The Making of Appendix A. (iv)
The passage added to the first version was slightly filled
out and improved, but the only difference worth noticing here lies in the
sentences following the words 'made war on the Orcs of the Misty Mountains
in revenge for Thror', which now read: 'Long and deadly was that war, and it
was fought for the most part in dark places beneath the earth; and at the
last the Dwarves had the victory, and in the Battle before the Gate of
Moria ten thousand Orcs were slain. But the Dwarves suffered also grievous
loss and his folk were now so diminished that Thrain dared not to enter
Moria, and his people were dispersed again.'
Little indeed is known of
what happened to him afterwards. It would seem (from afterknowledge) that
no sooner was he abroad with few companions (and certainly after he came at
length back into Rhovanion) he was hunted by the emissaries of Sauron.
Wolves pursued him, orcs waylaid him, evil birds shadowed his path, and the
more he tried to go north the more he was driven back.
PM (HME12)/2:10. Of Dwarves and Men I /Dwarwes/.
Longbeards/ regarded the Iron Hills, the Ered Mithrin, and the east dales of the
Misty Mountains as their own land. But they were under attack from the Orks
of Morgoth. During the War of the Jewels and the Siege of Angband, when
Morgoth needed all his strength, these attacks ceased; but when Morgoth
fell and Angband was destroyed hosts of the Orks fled eastwards seeking
homes. They were now masterless and without any general leadership, but
they were well-armed and very numerous, cruel, savage, and reckless in
assault. In the battles that followed the Dwarves were outnumbered, and
though they were the most redoubtable warriors of all the Speaking Peoples
they were glad to make alliance with Men. /.../
At the same time,
however, /First Half of S.A./ Sauron came out of hiding and revealed himself in
fair form. For long he paid little heed to Dwarves or Men and endeavoured
to win the friendship and trust of the Eldar. But slowly he reverted again
to the allegiance of Morgoth and began to seek power by force, marshalling
again and directing the Orks and other evil things of the First Age, and
secretly building his great fortress in the mountain-girt land in the South that
was afterwards known as Mordor. /.../
/after 1700 S.A./ For though
Moria remained impregnable for many centuries, the Orks reinforced and
commanded by servants of Sauron invaded the mountains again. Gundabad was
re-taken, the Ered Mithrin infested and the communication between Moria and
the Iron Hills for a time cut off. The Men of the Alliance were involved in
war not only with Orks but with alien Men of evil sort. For Sauron had
acquired dominion over many savage tribes in the East (of old corrupted by
Morgoth), and he now urged them to seek land and booty in the West.
PM (HME12)/2:10. Of Dwarves and Men. II. The Atani and their
/The Folk of Haleth/ were and remained to their end a small
people, chiefly concerned to protect their own woodlands, and they excelled
in forest warfare. Indeed for long even those Orks specially trained for
this dared not set foot near their borders.
PM (HME12)/2:10. Of Dwarves and Men. Note 25.
[In the rejected conclusion of
note 21 the place of the awakening of the ancestor of the Longbeards was 'a
valley in the Ered Mithrin' (the Grey Mountains in the far North). There has of
course been no previous reference to this ancient significance of Mount
Gundabad. That mountain originally appeared in the chapter The Clouds Burst
in The Hobbit, where it is told that the Goblins 'marched and gathered by
hill and valley, going ever by tunnel or under dark, until around and
beneath the great mountain Gundabad of the North, where was their capital, a
vast host was assembled'; and it is shown on the map of Wilderland in The
Hobbit as a great isolated mass at the northern end of the Misty Mountains
where the Grey Mountains drew towards them. In The Lord of the Rings,
Appendix A (III), Gundabad appears in the account of the War of the Dwarves and
Orcs late in the Third Age, where the Dwarves 'assailed and sacked one by
one all the strongholds of the Orcs that they could from Gundabad to the
Gladden' (the word 'find' was erroneously dropped in the Second Edition).]
PM (HME12)/2:10. Of Dwarves and Men. Note 51.
/Note common and specific habit of Orcs and Druedain to eat funguses,
cf.tradition on their common origin/. Apart from some slight and largely
unnecessary modifications to the original text (in no case altering the
sense) there are a few points to mention about that printed in Unfinished Tales.
(1) The spelling Ork(s) was changed to Orc(s), and that of the river
Taiglin to Teiglin (see XI.228, 309-10). (2) A passage about the liking of
the Drugs /Druedain/ for edible fungus was omitted in view of my father's
pencilled note beside it: 'Delete all this about funguses. Too like
Hobbits' (a reference of course to Frodo and Farmer Maggot's mushrooms).
This followed the account of the knowledge of the Drugs concerning plants,
and reads: To the astonishment of Elves and other Men they ate funguses
with pleasure, many of which looked to others ugly and dangerous; some kinds
which they specially liked they caused to grow near their dwellings. The
Eldar did not eat these things. The Folk of Haleth, taught by the Druedain,
made some use of them at need; and if they were guests they ate what was
provided in courtesy, and without fear. The other Atani eschewed them, save
in great hunger when astray in the wild, for few among them had the knowledge to
distinguish the wholesome from the bad, and the less wise called them
ork-plants and supposed them to have been cursed and blighted by Morgoth.
PM (HME12)/2:10. The Shibboleth of Feanor.
The lore of the Eldar did not depend on perishable records, being stored in the vast
houses of their minds.(23)
Note 23. Nor were the 'loremasters' a
separate guild of gentle scribes, soon burned by the Orks of Angband upon
pyres of books. They were mostly even as Feanor, the greatest, kings, princes
and warriors, such as the valiant captains of Gondolin, or Finrod of
Nargothrond and Rodothir [> Arothir] his kinsman and steward.
a. PM (HME12)/4:16. The New Shadow.
Such as the
evidence is, then, the original work (represented by the manuscript A and the
typescript B) derives from the 1950s. In a letter of 13 May 1964 (Letters
no.256) he wrote: I did begin a story placed about 100 years after the
Downfall [of Sauron], but it proved both sinister and depressing. Since we
are dealing with Men it is inevitable that we should be concerned with the
most regrettable feature of their nature: their quick satiety with good. So
that the people of Gondor in times of peace, justice and prosperity, would
become discontented and restless - while the dynasts descended from Aragorn
would become just kings and governors - like Denethor or worse. I found
that even so early there was an outcrop of revolutionary plots, about a centre
of secret Satanistic religion; while Gondorian boys were playing at being
Orcs and going round doing damage. I could have written a 'thriller' about
the plot and its discovery and overthrow - but it would be just that. Not
worth doing. From the evidence given above, however, it is seen that his
interest in the story was subsequently reawakened, and even reached the
point of making a new (though incomplete) version of what he had written of
it years before. But in 1972, fifteen months before his death, he wrote to
his friend Douglas Carter (Letters no.338): I have written nothing beyond
the first few years of the Fourth Age. (Except the beginning of a tale
supposed to refer to the end of the reign of Eldarion about 100 years after
the death of Aragorn. Then I of course discovered that the King's Peace
would contain no tales worth recounting; and his wars would have little
interest after the overthrow of Sauron; but that almost certainly a
restlessness would appear about then, owing to the (it seems) inevitable
boredom of Men with the good: there would be secret societies practising
dark cults, and 'orc-cults' among adolescents.)
THE NEW SHADOW.
This tale begins in the days of Eldarion, son of that Elessar of whom the
histories have much to tell. One hundred and five years had passed since
the fall of the Dark Tower, and the story of that time was little heeded
now by most of the people of Gondor, though a few were still living who
could remember the War of the Ring as a shadow upon their early childhood.
One of these was old Borlas of Pen-arduin. He was the younger son of
Beregond, the first Captain of the Guard of Prince Faramir, who had removed
with his lord from the City to the Emyn Arnen.
/.../ 'Deep indeed run the
roots of Evil,' said Borlas, 'and the black sap is strong in them. That
tree will never be slain. Let men hew it as often as they may, it will
thrust up shoots again as soon as they turn aside. Not even at the Feast of
Felling should the axe be hung up on the wall! '
'Plainly you think you
are speaking wise words,' said Saelon. 'I guess that by the gloom in your
voice, and by the nodding of your head. But what is this all about? Your
life seems fair enough still, for an aged man that does not now go far
abroad. Where have you found a shoot of your dark tree growing? In your own
Borlas looked up, and as he glanced keenly at Saelon he wondered
suddenly if this young man, usually gay and often half mocking, had more in
his mind than appeared in his face.
Borlas had not intended to open his
heart to him, but being burdened in thought he had spoken aloud, more to
himself than his companion. Saelon did not return his glance. He was humming
softly, while he trimmed a whistle of green willow with a sharp nail-knife.
The two were sitting in an arbour near the steep eastern shore of Anduin
where it flowed about the feet of the hills of Arnen. They were indeed in
Borlas's garden and his small grey-stone house could be seen through the
trees above them on the hill-slope facing west. Borlas looked at the river,
and at the trees in their June leaves, and then far off to the towers of the
City under the glow of late afternoon. 'No, not in my garden,' he said
'Then why are you so troubled?' asked Saelon. 'If a man has
a fair garden with strong walls, then he has as much as any man can govern
for his own pleasure.' He paused. 'As long as he keeps the strength of life
in him,' he added. 'When that fails, why trouble about any lesser ill? For then
he must soon leave his garden at last, and others must look to the weeds.'
Borlas sighed, but he did not answer, and Saelon went on: 'But there are
of course some who will not be content, and to their life's end they
trouble their hearts about their neighbours, and the City, and the Realm,
and all the wide world. You are one of them, Master Borlas, and have ever been
so, since I first knew you as a boy that you caught in your orchard. Even
then you were not content to let ill alone: to deter me with a beating, or
to strengthen your fences. No. You were grieved and wanted to improve me.
You had me into your house and talked to me. 'I remember it well. "Orcs'
work," you said many times. "Stealing good fruit, well, I suppose that is
no worse than boys' work, if they are hungry, or their fathers are too
easy. But pulling down unripe apples to break or cast away! That is Orcs'
work. How did you come to do such a thing, lad?"
'Orcs' work! I was
angered by that, Master Borlas, and too proud to answer, though it was in my
heart to say in child's words: "If it was wrong for a boy to steal an apple
to eat, then it is wrong to steal one to play with. But not more wrong.
Don't speak to me of Orcs' work, or I may show you some!"
'It was a
mistake, Master Borlas. For I had heard tales of the Orcs and their doings, but
I had not been interested till then. You turned my mind to them. I grew out
of petty thefts (my father was not too easy), but I did not forget the
Orcs. I began to feel hatred and think of the sweetness of revenge. We
played at Orcs, I and my friends, and sometimes I thought: "Shall I gather my
band and go and cut down his trees? Then he will think that the Orcs have
really returned." But that was a long time ago,' Saelon ended with a smile.
Borlas was startled. He was now receiving confidences, not giving them.
And there was something disquieting in the young man's tone, something that
made him wonder whether deep down, as deep as the roots of the dark trees,
the childish resentment did not still linger. Yes, even in the heart of
Saelon, the friend of his own son, and the young man who had in the last few
years shown him much kindness in his loneliness. At any rate he resolved to
say no more of his own thoughts to him.
'Alas!' he said, 'we all make
mistakes. I do not claim wisdom, young man, except maybe the little that
one may glean with the passing of the years. From which I know well enough the
sad truth that those who mean well may do more harm than those who let
things be. I am sorry now for what I said, if it roused hate in your heart.
Though I still think that it was just: untimely maybe, and yet true. Surely
even a boy must understand that fruit is fruit, and does not reach its full
being until it is ripe; so that to misuse it unripe is to do worse than
just to rob the man that has tended it: it robs the world, hinders a good
thing from fulfilment. Those who do so join forces with all that is amiss,
with the blights and the cankers and the ill winds. And that was the way of
'And is the way of Men too,' said Saelon. 'No! I do not mean
of wild men only, or those who grew "under the Shadow", as they say. I mean
all Men. I would not misuse green fruit now, but only because I have no
longer any use for unripe apples, not for your lofty reasons, Master Borlas.
Indeed I think your reasons as unsound as an apple that has been too long
in store. To trees all Men are Orcs. Do Men consider the fulfilment of the
life-story of a tree before they cut it down? For whatever purpose: to have
its room for tilth, to use its flesh as timber or as fuel, or merely to
open the view? If trees were the judges, would they set Men above Orcs, or
indeed above the cankers and blights? What more right, they might ask, have
Men to feed on their juices than blights?'
'A man,' said Borlas,
'who tends a tree and guards it from blights and many other enemies does not
act like an Orc or a canker. If he eats its fruit, he does it no injury. It
produces fruit more abundantly than it needs for its own purpose: the
continuing of its kind.' 'Let him eat the fruit then, or play with it,'
said Saelon. 'But I spoke of slaying: hewing and burning; and by what right
men do such things to trees.'
'You did not. You spoke of the judgement
of trees in these matters. But trees are not judges. The children of the
One are the masters. My judgement as one of them you know already. The evils of
the world were not at first in the great Theme, but entered with the
discords of Melkor. Men did not come with these discords; they entered
afterwards as a new thing direct from Eru, the One, and therefore they are
called His children, and all that was in the Theme they have, for their own
good, the right to use - rightly, without pride or wantonness, but with
'If the smallest child of a woodman feels the cold of
winter, the proudest tree is not wronged, if it is bidden to surrender its
flesh to warm the child with fire. But the child must not mar the tree in
play or spite, rip its bark or break its branches. And the good husbandman will
use first, if he can, dead wood or an old tree; he will not fell a young
tree and leave it to rot, for no better reason than his pleasure in
axe-play. That is orkish. 'But it is even as I said: the roots of Evil
lie deep, and from far off comes the poison that works in us, so that many
do these things - at times, and become then indeed like the servants of
Melkor. But the Orcs did these things at all times; they did harm with
delight to all things that could suffer it, and they were restrained only
by lack of power, not by either prudence or mercy. But we have spoken
enough of this.'
'Why!' said Saelon. 'We have hardly begun. It was not of
your orchard, nor your apples, nor of me, that you were thinking when you
spoke of the re-arising of the dark tree. What you were thinking of, Master
Borlas, I can guess nonetheless. I have eyes and ears, and other senses,
Master.' His voice sank low and could scarcely be heard above the murmur of
a sudden chill wind in the leaves, as the sun sank behind Mindolluin. 'You
have heard then the name?' With hardly more than breath he formed it. 'Of
Borlas looked at him with amazement and fear. His mouth made
tremulous motions of speech, but no sound came from it.
'I see that
you have,' said Saelon. 'And you seem astonished to learn that I have heard it
also. But you are not more astonished than I was to see that this name
has reached you. For, as I say, I have keen eyes and ears, but yours are
now dim even for daily use, and the matter has been kept as secret as
cunning could contrive.'
'Whose cunning?' said Borlas, suddenly and
fiercely. The sight of his eyes might be dim, but they blazed now with
'Why, those who have heard the call of the name, of course,'
answered Saelon unperturbed. 'They are not many yet, to set against all the
people of Gondor, but the number is growing. Not all are content since the
Great King died, and fewer now are afraid.'
'So I have guessed,' said
Borlas, 'and it is that thought that chills the warmth of summer in my
heart. For a man may have a garden with strong walls, Saelon, and yet find
no peace or content there. There are some enemies that such walls will
not keep out; for his garden is only part of a guarded realm after all. It
is to the walls of the realm that he must look for his real defence. But
what is the call? What would they do?' he cried, laying his hand on the young
'I will ask you a question first before I answer yours,' said
Saelon; and now he looked searchingly at the old man. 'How have you, who
sit here in the Emyn Arnen and seldom go now even to the City - how have
you heard the whispers of this name?'
Borlas looked down on the ground
and clasped his hands between his knees. For some time he did not answer.
At last he looked up again; his face had hardened and his eyes were more wary.
'I will not answer that, Saelon,' he said. 'Not until I have asked you yet
another question. First tell me,' he said slowly, 'are you one of those who
have listened to the call?'
A strange smile flickered about the young
man's mouth. 'Attack is the best defence,' he answered, 'or so the s tell
us; but when both sides use this counsel there is a clash of battle. So I will
counter you. I will not answer you, Master Borlas, until you tell me: are
you one of those who have listened, or no?'
'How can you think it?' cried Borlas.
'And how can you think it?' asked Saelon.
'As for me,' said Borlas, 'do not all my words give you the answer?'
'But as for me, you would say,' said Saelon, 'my words might make me doubtful? Because I
defended a small boy who threw unripe apples at his playmates from the name
of Orc? Or because I spoke of the suffering of trees at the hands of men?
Master Borlas, it is unwise to judge a man's heart from words spoken in an
argument without respect for your opinions. They may be meant to disturb you.
Pert maybe, but possibly better than a mere echo. I do not doubt that many
of those we spoke of would use words as solemn as yours, and speak
reverently of the Great Theme and such things - in your presence. Well, who
shall answer first?'
'The younger it would have been in the courtesy of old,' said Borlas; 'or between men counted as equals, the one who was first
asked. You are both.'
Saelon smiled. 'Very well,' he said. 'Let me see: the first question that you asked unanswered was: what is the call, what
would they do? Can you find no answer in the past for all your age and
lore? I am young and less learned. Still, if you really wish to know, I
could perhaps make the whispers clearer to you.'
This passage in the argument was expressed rather differently in B (which was
following A almost exactly):
'A man,' said Borlas, 'who tends a tree
and guards it from blights, and eats its fruit - which it produces more
abundantly than its mere life-need; not that eating the fruit need destroy the
seed - does not act like a canker, nor like an Orc.
'But as for the
cankers, I wonder. They live, it might be said, and yet their life is death. I
do not believe that they were part of the Music of the Ainur, unless in the
discords of Melkor. And so with Orcs.'
'And what of Men?' said Arthael.
'Why do you ask?' said Borlas. 'You know, surely, what is
taught? They were not at first in the Great Music, but they did not enter
with the discords of Melkor: they came from Iluvatar himself, and therefore
they are called the Children of God. And all that is in the Music they have a
right to use - rightly: which is with reverence, not with pride or
b. Letters. Letter 183.
In my story I do not deal in
Absolute Evil. I do not think there is such a thing, since that is Zero. I
do not think that at any rate any 'rational being' is wholly evil. Satan fell.
In my myth Morgoth fell before Creation of the physical world. In my story
Sauron represents as near an approach to the wholly evil will as is
possible. He had gone the way of all tyrants: beginning well, at least on
the level that while desiring to order all things according to his own wisdom he
still at first considered the (economic) well-being of other inhabitants of
the Earth. But he went further than human tyrants in pride and the lust for
domination, being in origin an immortal (angelic) spirit. In The Lord of
the Rings the conflict is not basically about 'freedom', though that is
naturally involved. It is about God, and His sole right to divine honour. The
Eldar and the Numenoreans believed in The One, the true God, and held
worship of any other person an abomination.
Sauron desired to be a God-King, and was held to be this by his servants; if he had been victorious
he would have demanded divine honour from all rational creatures and
absolute temporal power over the whole world. So even if in desperation
'the West' had bred or hired hordes of orcs and had cruelly ravaged the
lands of other Men as allies of Sauron, or merely to prevent them from aiding
him, their Cause would have remained indefeasibly right. As does the Cause
of those who oppose now the State-God and Marshal This or That as its High
Priest, even if it is true (as it unfortunately is) that many of their
deeds are wrong, even if it were true (as it is not) that the inhabitants of
'The West', except for a minority of wealthy bosses, live in fear and
squalor, while the worshippers of the State-God live in peace and abundance
and in mutual esteem and trust. So I feel that the fiddle-faddle in
reviews, and correspondence about them, as to whether my 'good people' were
kind and merciful and gave quarter (in fact they do), or not, is quite beside
the point. Some critics seem determined to represent me as a simple-minded
adolescent, inspired with, say, a With-the-flag-to-Pretoria spirit, and
wilfully distort what is said in my tale. I have not that spirit, and it
does not appear in the story. The figure of Denethor alone is enough to show
this; but I have not made any of the peoples on the 'right' side, Hobbits,
Rohirrim, Men of Dale or of Gondor, any better than men have been or are,
or can be. Mine is not an 'imaginary' world, but an imaginary historical
moment on 'Middle-earth' - which is our habitation.
UT/1:1. Of Tuor and his coming to Gondolin.
a. "Alas, lady, it is
known now that Huor fell at the side of Hurin his brother; and he lies, I
deem, in the great hill of slain that the Orcs have raised upon the field
of battle." /Nirnaeth/
/.../ Thus it came to pass that the Elves forsook the caves of Androth, and Tuor went with them.
But their enemies kept watch
upon their dwellings, and were soon aware of their march; and they had not
gone far from the hills into the plain before they were assailed by a great
force of Orcs and Easterlings, and they were scattered far and wide,
fleeing into the gathering night. A company of Orcs was encamped in the
midst of the road, huddled about a large wood-fire.
"Gurth an Glamhoth!" Tuor muttered. "Now the sword shall come from under the cloak. I will risk
death for mastery of that fire, and even the meat of Orcs would be a
"Nay!" said Voronwe. "On this quest only the cloak will serve. You
must forgo the fire, or else forgo Turgon. This band is not alone in the
wild: cannot your mortal sight see the far flame of other posts to the
north and to the south? A tumult will bring a host upon us.
b. None now
dare to use it /the certain way/ save in desperate need, neither Elf nor Man nor
UT/1:2. Narn I Hin Hurin. The Childhood of Turin
"But my father loves them," said Turin, "and he is not happy without them.
He says that we have learned nearly all that we know from them, and have
been made a nobler people; and he says that the Men that have lately come
over the Mountains are hardly better than Orcs."
UT/1:2. Narn I Hin Hurin. Turin among the Outlaws
Some fifty of these
Men had joined in one band, wandering in the woods beyond the western marches
of Doriath; and they were hated scarcely less than Orcs, for there were
among them outcasts hard of heart, bearing a grudge against their own kind.
Not long afterwards, as Beleg had feared, the Orcs came across the
Brithiach, and being resisted with all the force that he could muster by
Handir of Brethil they passed south over the Crossings of Teiglin in search
of plunder. Many of the Woodmen had taken Beleg's counsel and sent their women
and children to ask for refuge in Brethil. These and their escort escaped,
passing over the Crossings in time; but the armed men that came behind
were met by the Orcs, and the men were worsted. A few fought their way
through and came to Brethil, but many were slain or captured; and the Orcs
passed on to the homesteads, and sacked them and burned them. Then at once they
turned back westwards, seeking the Road, for they wished now to return
North as swiftly as they could with their booty and their captives.
But the scouts of the outlaws were soon aware of them; and though they
cared little enough for the captives, the plunder of the Woodmen aroused
their greed. To Turin it seemed perilous to reveal themselves to the Orcs,
until their numbers were known; but the outlaws would not heed him, for
they had need of many things in the wild, and already some began to regret
his leading. Therefore taking one Orleg as his only companion Turin went
forth to spy upon the Orcs; and giving command of the band to Andróg he
charged him to lie close and well hid while they were gone.
Orc-host was far greater than the band of the outlaws, but they were in lands
to which Orcs had seldom dared to come, and they knew also that beyond the
Road lay the Talath Dirnen, the Guarded Plain, upon which the scouts and
spies of Nargothrond kept watch; and fearing danger they were wary, and
their scouts went creeping through the trees on either side of the marching
Thus it was that Turin and Orleg were discovered, for three scouts
stumbled upon them as they lay hid; and though they slew two the third
escaped, crying as he ran Golug! Golug! Now that was a name which they had
for the Noldor. At once the forest was filled with Orcs, scattering silently and
hunting far and wide. Then Turin, seeing that there was small hope of
escape, thought at least to deceive them and to lead them away from the
hiding-place of his men; and perceiving from the cry of Golug! that they
feared the spies of Nargothrond, he fled with Orleg westward. The pursuit came
swiftly after them, until turn and dodge as they would they were driven at
last out of the forest; and then they were espied, and as they sought to
cross the Road Orleg was shot down by many arrows. But Turin was saved by
his elven-mail, and escaped alone into the wilds beyond; and by speed and
craft he eluded his enemies, fleeing far into lands that were strange to
him. Then the Orcs, fearing that the Elves of Nargothrond might be aroused,
slew their captives and made haste away into the North.
UT/1:2. Narn I Hin Hurin. Of Mim the Dwarf.
Then with bitterness he
/Turin/ turned to the men. "You were cruel," he said, "and cruel without
need. Never until now have we tormented a prisoner; but to such Orc-work
such a life as we lead has brought us. Lawless and fruitless all our deeds
have been, serving only ourselves, and feeding hate in our hearts."
/.../ But Turin came up, and rebuked his men. "What have you there?" he
said. "What need to be so fierce? It is old and small. What harm is in it?"
"It bites," said Andróg, showing his hand that bled. "It is an Orc, or of
Orc-kin. Kill it!"
"It deserved no less, for cheating our hope," said
another, who had taken the sack. "There is nothing here but roots and small
"Nay," said Turin, "it is bearded. It is only a Dwarf, I guess.
Let him up, and speak."
So it was that Mim came in to the Tale of the
Children of Hurin. For he stumbled up on his knees before Turin's feet and
begged for his life. "I am old," he said, "and poor. Only a Dwarf, as you
say, and not an Orc. Mim is my name. Do not let them slay me, lord, for no
cause, as would the Orcs."
UT/1:2. Narn I Hin Hurin. The Coming of Turin into Brethil
Then they looked on him with pity, and Dorlas said: "Seek no more. For an Orc-host came up from
Nargothrond towards the Crossings of Teiglin, and we had long warning of
it: it marched very slow, because of the number of captives that were led.
Then we thought to deal our small stroke in the war, and we ambushed the
Orcs with all the bowmen we could muster, and hoped to save some of the
prisoners. But alas! as soon as they were assailed the foul Orcs slew first
the women among their captives; and the daughter of Orodreth they fastened
to a tree with a spear."
UT/1:2. Narn I Hin Hurin. Notes.
Note 3. For the Orcs have piled all the slain together, and search
is vain, even if any dared to go to the Haudh-en-Nirnaeth.
UT/1:2. Narn I Hin Hurin. Appendix
/495-496 y. of F.A/
There is a great gathering of Orcs and evil creatures in those regions, and a
host is mustering about Sauron's Isle
UT/2:4. The History of Galadriel and Celeborn. Appendix C. The boundaries of Lorien.
/During the War of Last Alliance/
despite the desire of the Silvan Elves to meddle as little as might be in
the affairs of the Noldor and Sindar, or of -any other peoples, Dwarves, Men, or
Orcs, Oropher had the wisdom to foresee that peace would not return unless
Sauron was overcome.
UT/3:1. The Disaster of the Gladden Fields.
/.../ Suddenly as the sun plunged into cloud they /Isildur
and his host/ heard the hideous cries of Orcs, and saw them issuing from
the Forest and moving down the slopes, yelling their war-cries.
keen-eyed Orcs marked their flight they took no heed. They halted briefly,
preparing their assault. First they let fly a hail of arrows, and then
suddenly with a great shout they did as Isildur would have done, and hurled
a great mass of their chief warriors down the last slope against the
Dunedain, expecting to break up their shield-wall. But it stood firm. The arrows
had been unavailing against the Numenorean armour. The great Men lowered
above the tallest Orcs, and their swords and spears far outreached the
weapons of their enemies. The onslaught faltered, broke, and retreated,
leaving the defenders little harmed, unshaken, behind piles of fallen Orcs.
It seemed to Isildur that the enemy was withdrawing towards the Forest. He
looked back. The red rim of the sun gleamed out from the clouds as it went
down behind the mountains; night would soon be falling. He gave orders to
resume the march at once, but to bend their course down towards the lower
and flatter ground where the Orcs would have less advantage. Maybe he believed
that after their costly repulse they would give way, though their scouts
might follow him during the night and watch his camp. That was the manner
of Orcs, who were most often dismayed when their prey could turn and bite.
But he was mistaken. There was not only cunning in the attack, but fierce
and relentless hatred.
The Orcs of the Mountains were stiffened and
commanded by grim servants of Barad-dur, sent out long before to watch the
passes (note 20), and though it was unknown to them the Ring, cut from his
black hand two years before, was still laden with Sauron's evil will and
called to all his servants for their aid. The Dunedain had gone scarcely a
mile when the Orcs moved again. This time they did not charge, but used all
their forces. They came down on a wide front, which bent into a crescent
and soon closed into an unbroken ring about the Dunedain. They were silent
now, and kept at a distance out of the range of the dreaded steelbows of
Numenor, though the light was fast failing, and Isildur had all too few
archers for his need. He halted.
There was a pause, though the most keen-eyed among the Dunedain said that the Orcs were moving inwards,
stealthily, step by step. Elendur went to his father, who was standing dark and
alone, as if lost in thought. "Atarinya," he said, "what of the power that
would cow these foul creatures and command them to obey you? Is it then of
"Alas, it is not, senya. I cannot use it. I dread the pain of
touching it. And I have not yet found the strength to bend it to my will.
It needs one greater than I now know myself to be. My pride has fallen. It
should go to the Keepers of the Three".
At that moment there came a sudden blast of horns, and the Orcs closed in on all sides, flinging themselves
against the Dunedain with reckless ferocity. Night had come, and hope faded. Men
were falling; for some of the greater Orcs leaped up, two at a time, and
dead or alive with their weight bore down a Dunedain, so that other strong
claws could drag him out and slay him. The Orcs might pay five to one in
this exchange, but it was too cheap. Ciryon was slain in this way and Aratan
mortally wounded in an attempt to rescue him.
Elendur, not yet harmed, sought Isildur. He was rallying the men on the east side where the assault
was heaviest, for the Orcs still feared the Elendilmir that he bore on his brow
and avoided him. Elendur touched him on the shoulder and he turned
fiercely, thinking an Orc had crept behind.
/.../ There he halted, to make sure that he was not pursued; for Orcs could track a fugitive in the dark
by scent, and needed no eyes. /.../ But to the night-eyed Orcs that lurked there
on the watch he loomed up, a monstrous shadow of fear, with a piercing eye
like a star. They loosed their poisoned arrows at it, and fled. Needlessly,
for Isildur unarmed was pierced through heart and throat, and without a cry
he fell back into the water. /.../
The tale mentions a young man who survived the slaughter: he was Elendur's esquire, named Estelmo, and was
one of the last to fall, but was stunned by a club, and not slain, and was found
alive under Elendur's body. He heard the words of Isildur and Elendur at
their parting. There were rescuers who came on the scene too late, but in
time to disturb the Orcs and prevent their mutilation of the bodies: for
there were certain Woodmen who got news to Thranduil by runners, and also
themselves gathered a force to ambush the Orcs of which they got wind, and
scat-tered, for though victorious their losses had been great, and almost
all of the great Orcs had fallen: they attempted no such attack again for
long years after.
Note 20. There can be no doubt that Sauron, well-informed
of the Alliance, had sent out such Orc-troops of the Red Eye as he could
spare, to do what they could to harry any forces that attempted to shorten
their road by crossing the Mountains. In the event the main might of
Gil-galad, together with Isildur and part of the Men of Arnor, had come
over the Passes of Imladris and Caradhras, and the Orcs were dismayed and
hid themselves. But they remained alert and watchful, determined to attack
any companies of Elves or Men that they outnumbered. Thranduil they had let
pass, for even his diminished army was far too strong for them; but they
bided their time, for the most part hidden in the Forest, while others
lurked along the riverbanks. It is unlikely that any news of Sauron's fall
had reached them, for he had been straitly besieged in Mordor and all his
forces had been destroyed. If any few had escaped, they had fled far to the
East with the Ringwraiths. This small detachment in the North, of no
account, was forgotten. Probably they thought that Sauron had been
victorious, and the war-scarred army of Thranduil was retreating to hide in
fastnesses of the Forest. Thus they would be emboldened and eager to win their
master's praise, though they had not been in the main battles. But it was
not his praise they would have won, if any had lived long enough to see his
revival. No tortures would have satisfied his anger with the bungling fools
who had let slip the greatest prize in Middle-earth; even though they could
know nothing of the One Ring, which save to Sauron himself was known only
to the Nine Ringwraiths, its slaves. Yet many have thought that the
ferocity and determination of their assault on Isildur was in part due to
the Ring. It was little more than two years since it had left his hand, and
though it was swiftly cooling it was still heavy with his evil will, and
seeking all means to return to its lord (as it did again when he recovered
and was re-housed). So, it is thought, although they did not understand it
the Orc-chiefs were filled with a fierce desire to destroy the Dunedain and
capture their leader. Nonetheless it proved in the event that the War of the
Ring was lost at the Disaster of the Gladden Fields. [Author's note.]
UT/3:4. The Hunt for the Ring. (iii) Concerning Gandalf, Saruman and the Shire
Behind them Saruman sent out wolves and Orcs in vain pursuit of Gandalf.
Some while ago one of Saruman's most
trusted servants (yet a ruffianly fellow, an outlaw driven from Dunland,
where many said that he had Orc-blood) had returned from the borders of the
Shire, where he had been negotiating for the purpose of "leaf" and other
Note 21. See The Fellowship of the Ring I, 9. When Strider and
the Hobbits left Bree (ibid. I, 11) Frodo caught a glimpse of the
Dunlending ("a sallow face with sly, slanting eyes") in Bill Ferny's house
on tin outskirts of Bree, and thought: "He looks more than half like a goblin."
UT/3:5. The Battles of the Fords of Isen.
Saruman's eastern force
came down with unexpected speed; it was much smaller than the western force, but
more dangerous. In its van were some Dunlending horse-men and a great pack of
the dreadful Orcish wolfriders, feared by horses (Note 5). Behind them came two
battalions of the fierce Uruks, heavily armed but trained to move at great speed
for many miles. The horsemen and wolfriders fell on the horse-herds and picketed
horses and slew or dispersed them. The garrison of the east bank surprised by
the sudden assault of the massed Uruks, was swept away, and the Riders that had
just crossed from the west were caught still in disarray, and though they fought
desperately they were driven from the Fords along the line of the Isen with the
Uruks in pursuit.
As soon as the enemy had gained possession of the eastern
end of the Fords there appeared a company of men or Orc-men (evidently
dispatched for the purpose), ferocious, mail-clad, and armed with axes. They
hastened to the eyot and assailed it from both sides. At the same time Grimbold
on the west bank was attacked by Saruman's forces on that side of the Isen. As
he looked eastward, dismayed by the sounds of battle and the hideous Orc-cries
of victory, he saw the axe-men driving Theodred's men from the shores of the
eyot towards the low knoll in its centre, and he heard Theodred's great voice
crying To me, Eorlingas! At once Grimbold, taking a few men that stood near him,
ran back to the eyot. So fierce was his onset from the rear of the attackers
that Grimbold, a man of great strength and stature, clove his way through, till
with two others he reached Theodred standing at bay on the knoll. Too late. As
he came to his side Theodred fell, hewn down by a great Orc-man. Grimbold slew
him and stood over the body of Theodred, thinking him dead; and there he would
himself soon have died, but for the coming of Elfhelm.
Elfhelm had been
riding in haste along the horse-road from Edoras, leading four companies in
answer to Theodred's summons; he was expecting battle, but not yet for some
days. But near the junction of the horse-road with the road down from the
Deeping his outriders on the right flank reported that two wolfriders had been
seen abroad on the fields. Sensing that things were amiss, he did not turn aside
to Helm's Deep for the night as he had intended but rode with all speed towards
the Fords. The horse-road turned north-west after its meeting with the
Deeping-road, but again bent sharply west when level with the Fords, which it
approached by a straight path of some two miles long. Elfhelm thus heard and saw
nothing of the fighting between the retreating garrison and the Uruks south of
the Fords. The sun had sunk and light was failing when he drew near the last
bend in the road, and there encountered some horses running wild and a few
fugitives who told him of the disaster. Though his men and horses were now weary
he rode as fast as he could along the straight, and as he came in sight of the
east bank he ordered his companies to charge.
It was the turn of the Isengarders to be surprised. They heard the thunder of hooves, and saw coming
like black shadows against the darkening East a great host (as it seemed) with
Elfhelm at its head, and beside him a white standard borne as a guide to those
that followed. Few stood their ground. Most fled northwards, pursued by two of
Elfhelm's companies. The others he dismounted to guard the east bank, but at
once with the men of his own company rushed to the eyot. The axemen were now
caught between the surviving defenders and the on-slaught of Elfhelm, with both
banks still held by the Rohirrim. They fought on, but before the end were slain
to a man. Elf-helm himself, however, sprang up towards the knoll; and there he
found Grimbold fighting two great axemen for possession of Theodred's body. One
Elfhelm at once slew, and the other fell before Grimbold.
They stooped then to lift the body, and found that Theodred still breathed; but he lived only long
enough to speak his last words: Let me lie here – to keep the Fords till Eomer
comes! Night fell. A harsh horn sounded, and then all was silent. The attack on
the west bank ceased, and the enemy there faded away into the dark. The Rohirrim
held the Fords of Isen; but their losses were heavy, not least in horses; the
King's son was dead, and they were leaderless, and did not know what might yet
When after a cold and sleepless night the grey light returned there
was no sign of the Isengarders, save those many that they left dead upon the
field. Wolves were howling far off, waiting for the living men to depart. Many
men scattered by the sudden assault of the Isengarders began to return, some
still mounted, some leading horses recaptured. Later in the morning most of
Theodred's Riders that had been driven south down the river by a battalion of
black Uruks came back battle-worn but in good order. They had a like tale to
tell. They came to a stand on a low hill and prepared to defend. Though they had
drawn off part of the attacking force of Isengard, retreat south unprovisioned
was in the end hopeless. The Uruks had resisted any attempt to burst eastwards,
and were driving them towards the now hostile country of the Dunlendish
"west-march." But as the Riders prepared to resist their assault, though it was
now full night, a horn was sounded; and soon they discovered that the enemy had
gone. They had too few horses to attempt any pursuit, or even to act as scouts,
so far as that would have availed by night. After some time they began
cautiously to advance north again, but met no opposition. They thought that the
Uruks had gone back to reinforce their hold on the Fords, and expected there to
meet in battle again, and they wondered much to find the Rohirrim in command. It
was not till later that they discovered whither the Uruks had gone.
So ended the First Battle of the Fords of Isen.
Note 5. They were very swift and skilled in avoiding ordered men in close array, being used mostly to destroy
isolated groups or to hunt down fugitives; but at need they would pass with
reckless ferocity through any gaps hi companies of horsemen, slashing at the
bellies of the horses. [Author's note.]
Note 10. This /vanguard of remnants of Saruman’s host/ was the great host that Meriadoc saw leaving Isengard, as he
related afterwards to Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli (The Two Towers III 9): "I saw
the enemy go: endless lines of marching Orcs; and troops of them mounted on
great wolves. And there were battalions of Men, too.
Note 11. They /men of Saruman’s hosts/ were without body-armour, having only among them a few hauberks
gained by theft or in loot. The Rohirrim had the advan-tage in being supplied by
the metal-workers of Gondor. In Isengard as yet only the heavy and clumsy mail
of the Orcs was made, by them for their own uses. [Author's
UT/4:1. The Druedain.
The Folk of Haleth called them
/drughu/ by the name drug, that being a word of their own language. To the eyes
of Elves and other Men they were unlovely in looks: they were stumpy (some four
foot high) but very broad, with heavy buttocks and short thick legs; their wide
faces had deep-set eyes with heavy brows, and flat noses, and grew no hair below
their eyebrows, except in a few men (who were proud of the distinction) a small
tail of black hair in the midst of the chin. Their features were usually
impassive, the most mobile being their wide mouths; and the movement of their
wary eyes could not be observed save from close at hand for they were so black
that the pupils could not be distinguished, but in anger they glowed red. Their
voices were deep and guttural, but their laughter was a surprise: it was rich
and rolling, and set all who heard it. Elves or Men, laughing too for its pure
merriment untainted by scorn or malice (5). In peace they often laughed at work
or play when other Men might sing.
But they could be relentless enemies, and
when once aroused their red wrath was slow to cool, though it showed no sign
save light in their eyes; for they fought in silence and did not exult -victory,
not even over Orcs, the only creatures for whom their hatred was
The Eldar called them Druedain, admitting them to the rank of
Atani (6), for they were much loved while they lasted. Alas! they were not
long-lived, and were ever few in number, their losses were heavy in their feud
with the Orcs, who turned their hatred and delighted to capture them and torture
them. When the victories of Morgoth destroyed all the realms and strongholds of
Elves and Men in Beleriand, it is said that they had dwindled to a few families,
mostly of women and children, some of whom came to the last refuges at the Mouth
In their earlier days they had been of great service to those among
whom they dwelt, and they were much sought after; though few would ever leave
the land of the Folk of Haleth. They had a marvellous skill as trackers of all
living creatures and they taught to their friends what they could of their
craft; but their pupils did not equal them, for the Druedain used their scent,
like hounds save that they were also keen-eyed. They boasted that they could
smell an Orc to windward further away than other Men could see them, and could
follow its scent for weeks except through running water. Their knowledge of all
growing things was almost equal to that of the Elves (though untaught by them);
and it is said that if they removed to a new country they knew within a short
time all things that grew there, great or minute, and gave names to those that
were new to them, discerning those that were poisonous, or useful as
Sometimes these imaes were strange and fantastic, or even fearful:
among the grim jests to which they put their skill was the making of Orc-figures
which they set at the borders of the land, shaped as if fleeing from it,
shrieking in terror. They made also images of themselves and placed them at the
entrances to tracks or at turnings of woodland paths. These they called
"watch-stones;" of which the most notable were set near the Crossings of
Teiglin, each representing a Druadan, larger than the life, squatting heavily
upon a dead Orc. These figures served not merely as insults to their enemies;
for the Orcs feared them and believed them to be filled with the malice of the
Oghor-hai (for so they named the Druedain), and able to hold communication with
/.../ Marauding Orcs carried with them brimstone or some other devilish
stuff that was quickly inflamed and not quenched with water./further its called
Note 4. After the fashion in which in the Third Age the Men and
Hobbits of Bree lived together; though there was no kinship between the
Drug-folk and the Hobbits. [Author's note.]
Note 5. To the unfriendly who,
not knowing them well, declared that Mor-goth must have bred the Orcs from such
a stock the Eldar an-swered: "Doubtless Morgoth, since he can make no living
thing, bred Orcs from various kinds of Men, but the Druedain must have escaped
his Shadow; for their laughter and the laughter of Orcs are as different as is
the light of Aman from the darkness of Angband." But some thought, nonetheless,
that there had been a remote kinship, which accounted for their special enmity.
Orcs and Drugs each regarded the other as renegades. [Author's note.]
Silmarillion the Orcs are said to have been bred by Melkor from captured Elves
in the beginning of their days (p. 50; cf. pp. 93-4); but this was only one of
several diverse speculations on the origin of the Orcs. It may be noted that in
The Return of the King V 5 a laughter of Ghan-buri-Ghan is described: "At that
old Ghan made a curious gurgling noise, and it seemed that he was laughing." He
is described as having a scanty beard that "straggled on his lumpy chin like dry
moss," and dark eyes that showed nothing.
Note 6. It is stated in isolated
notes that their own name for themselves was Drughu (in which the gh represents
a spirantal sound). This name adopted into Sindarin in Beleriand became Dru
(plurals Druin and Druath), but when the Eldar discovered that the Dru-folk were
steadfast enemies of Morgoth, and especially of the Orcs, the "title" adan was
added, and they were called Druedain (singular Druadan), to mark both their
humanity and friendship with the Eldar, and their racial difference from the
people of the Three Houses of the Edain.
Note 9. They had a law against the
use of all poisons for the hurt of any living creatures, even those who had done
them injury, save only Orcs, whose poisoned darts they countered with others
more deadly. [Author's note.] Elfhelm told Meriadoc Brandybuck that the Wild Men
used poisoned arrows (The Return of the King V 5), and the same was believed of
them by the inhabitants of Enedwaith in the Second Age (p. 400).
Once in The Lord of the Rings the term "Woses" is used, when Elfhelm said to
Meriadoc Brandybuck: "You hear the Woses, the Wild Men of the Woods." Wose is a
modernization (in this case, the form that the word would have had now if it
still existed in the language) of an Anglo-Saxon word waesa, which is actually
found only in the compound wudu-waesa "wild man of the woods." (Saeros the Elf
of Doriath called Turin a "woodwose," p. 85 above The word survived long in
English and was eventually corrupted into "wood-house.") The actual word
employed by the Rohirrim (of which "wose" is a translation, according to the
method employed throughout) is once mentioned: rog, plural rogin.
that the term "Pukel-men" (again a translation: it represents Anglo-Saxon pucel
"goblin, demon," a relative of the word puca from which Puck is derived) was
only used in Rohan of the images of Dunharrow.
UT/4:3. The Palantiri.
Note 7. /.../ 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 before 2990 at 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.]
a. The Lord of the Rings.
Appendix A. I. The Numenorean Kings. (iii). Eriador, Arnor and the Heirs of
Isuildur. The North-kingdom and the Dunedain.
‘It was in the beginning of the
reign of Malvegil of Arthedain that evil came to Arnor. For at that time the
realm of Angmar arose in the North beyond the Ettenmoors. Its lands lay on both
sides of the Mountains, and there were gathered many evil men, and Orcs, and
other fell creatures.
b. The Lord of the Rings. Appendix A. I. The Numenorean
Kings. (iv). Gondor and the Heirs of Anarion.
Then /1975TA/ so utterly was
Angmar defeated /by Rivendell Elves and partly Arnor/ that not a man nor an orc
of that realm remained west of the Mountains.
The Lord of the Rings. Appendix A. I. The Numenorean Kings. Gondor and the Heirs of Anarion. The
In the last years of Denethor I the race of uruks, black orcs of
great strength, first appeared out of Mordor, and in 2475 they swept across
Ithilien and took Osgiliath.
The Lord of the Rings. Appendix A. II. The House of Eorl.
At that time /c.2995/ Sauron had arisen again, and the
shadow of Mordor reached out to Rohan. Orcs began to raid in the eastern regions
and slay or steal horses. Others also came down from the Misty Mountains, many
being great uruks in the service of Saruman, though it was long before that was
suspected. Éomund's chief charge lay in the east marches; and he was a great
lover of horses and hater of Orcs. If news came of a raid he would often ride
against them in hot anger, unwarily and with few men. Thus it came about that he
was slain in 3002.
The Lord of the Rings. Appendix A. III.
When Thror came to Moria the Gate was open. Nar begged him to
beware, but he took no heed of him, and walked proudly in as an heir that
returns. But he did not come back. Nar stayed near by for many days in hiding.
One day he heard a loud shout and the blare of a horn, and a body was flung out
on the steps. Fearing that it was Thrór, he began to creep near, but there came
a voice from within the gate:
'Come on, beardling! We can see you. But there
is no need to be afraid today. We need you as a messenger.'
Then Nar came
up, and found that it was indeed the body of Thrór, but the head was severed and
lay face downwards. As he knelt there, he heard orc-laughter in the shadows, and
the voice said:
'If beggars will not wait at the door, but sneak in to try
thieving, that is what we do to them. If any of your people poke their foul
beards in here again, they will fare the same. Go and tell them so! But if his
family wish to know who is now king here, the name is written on his face. I
wrote it! I killed him! I am the master! '
Then Nar turned the head and saw
branded on the brow in Dwarf-runes so that he could read it the name AZOG. That
name was branded in his heart and in the hearts of all the Dwarves afterwards.
Nar stooped to take the head, but the voice of Azog /Father of Bolg/ said:
'Drop it! Be off! Here's your fee, beggar-beard.' A small bag struck him. It
held a few coins of little worth.
Weeping, Nar fled down the Silverlode; but
he looked back once and saw that Orcs had come from the gate and were hacking up
the body and flinging the pieces to the black crows. Such was the tale that Nar
brought back to Thrain; and when he had wept and torn his beard he fell silent.
Seven days he sat and said no word. Then he stood up and said: 'This cannot be
borne!' That was the beginning of the War of the Dwarves and the Orcs, which was
long and deadly, and fought for the most part in deep places beneath the
Thrain at once sent messengers bearing the tale, north, east, and
west; but it was three years before the Dwarves had mustered their strength.
Durin's Folk gathered all their host, and they were joined by great forces sent
from the Houses of other Fathers; for this dishonour to the heir of the Eldest
of their race filled them with wrath. When all was ready they assailed and
sacked one by one all the strongholds of the Orcs that they could from Gundabad
to the Gladden. Both sides were pitiless, and there was death and cruel deeds by
dark and by light. But the Dwarves had the victory through their strength, and
their matchless weapons, and the fire of their anger, as they hunted for Azog in
every den under mountain.
At last all the Orcs that fled before them were
gathered in Moria, and the Dwarf-host in pursuit came to Azanulbizar. That was a
great vale that lay between the arms of the mountains about the lake of
Kheled-zaram and had been of old part of the kingdom of Khazad-dum. When the
Dwarves saw the gate of their ancient mansions upon the hill-side they sent up a
great shout like thunder in the valley. But a great host of foes was arrayed on
the slopes above them, and out of the gates poured a multitude of Orcs that had
been held back by Azog for the last need.
At first fortune was against the Dwarves; for it was a dark day of winter without sun, and the Orcs did not
waver, and they outnumbered their enemies, and had the higher ground. So began
the Battle of Azanulbizar (or Nanduhirion in the Elvish tongue), at the memory
of which the Orcs still shudder and the Dwarves weep. The first assault of the
vanguard led by Thrain was thrown back with loss, and Thrain was driven into a
wood of great trees that then still grew not far from Kheled-zaram. There Frerin
his son fell, and Fundin his kinsman, and many others, and both Thrain and
Thorin were wounded. Elsewhere the battle swayed to and fro with great
slaughter, until at last the people of the Iron Hills turned the day. Coming
late and fresh to the field the mailed warriors of Nain, Grór's son, drove
through the Orcs to the very threshold of Moria, crying 'Azog! Azog! ' as they
hewed down with their mattocks all who stood in their way.
Then Nain stood before the Gate and cried with a great voice: 'Azog! If you are in come out! Or
is the play in the valley too rough?'
Thereupon Azog came forth, and he was a great Orc with a huge iron-clad head, and yet agile and strong. With him came
many like him, the fighters of his guard, and as they engaged Nain's company he
turned to Nain, and said:
'What? Yet another beggar at my doors? Must I brand you too?' With that he rushed at Nain and they fought. But Nain was half
blind with rage, and also very weary with battle, whereas Azog was fresh and
fell and full of guile. Soon Nain made a great stroke with all his strength that
remained, but Azog darted aside and kicked Nain's leg, so that the mattock
splintered on the stone where he had stood, but Nain stumbled forward. Then Azog
with a swift swing hewed his neck. His mail-collar withstood the edge, but so
heavy was the blow that Nain's neck was broken and he fell.
Then Azog laughed, and he lifted up his head to let forth a great yell of triumph; but the
cry died in his throat. For he saw that all his host in the valley was in a
rout, and the Dwarves went this way and that slaying as they would, and those
that could escape from them were flying south, shrieking as they ran. And hard
by all the soldiers of his guard lay dead. He turned and fled back towards the
Up the steps after him leaped a Dwarf with a red axe. It was Dain
Ironfoot, Nain's son. Right before the doors he caught Azog, and there he slew
him, and hewed off his head. That was held a great feat, for Dain was then only
a stripling in the reckoning of the Dwarves. But long life and many battles lay
before him, until old but unbowed he fell at last in the War of the Ring. Yet
hardy and full of wrath as he was, it is said that when he came down from the
Gate he looked grey in the face, as one who has felt great fear.
When at last the battle was won the Dwarves that were left gathered in Azanulbizar. They
took the head of Azog and thrust into its mouth the purse of small money, and
then they set it on a stake. But no feast nor song was there that night; for
their dead were beyond the count of grief. Barely half of their number, it is
said, could still stand or had hope of healing.
Little is known of what happened to him /Thrain/ afterwards. It would now seem that as soon as he
was abroad with few companions he was hunted by the emissaries of Sauron. Wolves
pursued him, Orcs waylaid him, evil birds shadowed his path, and the more he
strove to go north the more misfortunes opposed him.
The Lord of the Rings. Appendix B. The Tale of Years.
Osgiliath is taken by new Orc-breed/
2480 Orcs begin to make secret
strongholds in the Misty Mountains so as to bar all the passes into Eriador.
Sauron begins to people Moria with his creatures.
2509 Celebrian, journeying to Lorien, is waylaid in the Redhorn Pass, and receives a poisoned
2510 Celebrian departs over Sea. -Orcs and Easterlings overrun
Calenardhon. Eorl the Young wins the victory of the Field of Celebrant. The
Rohirrim settle in Calenardhon.
2901 Most of the remaining inhabitants of
Ithilien desert it owing to the attacks of Uruks of Mordor. The secret refuge of
Henneth Annun is built.
The Lord of the Rings. Appendix E II. Writing.
The Orcs, and some Dwarves, are said to have used a back or uvular
r, a sound which the Eldar found distasteful. RH represents a voiceless r
(usually derived from older initial sr-). It was written hr in Quenya. Cf.
/.../ SH, occurring in Dwarvish and Orkish, represents sounds similar to
sh in English.
gh in the Black Speech and Orkish represents a 'back spirant'
(related to g as dh to d); as in ghash and agh.
/.../ The Cirth in their
older and simpler form spread eastward in the Second Age, and became known to
many peoples, to Men and Dwarves, and even to Orcs, all of whom altered them to
suit their purposes and according to their skill or lack of
/The main sketch of facts from Silmarillion-1977/
Silmarillion-1977. Valaquenta. Of the Valar.
Orome is a mighty lord. /.../
Orome loved the lands of Middle-earth, and he left them unwillingly and came
last to Valinor; and often of old he passed back east over the mountains and
returned with his host to the hills and the plains. He is a hunter of monsters
and fell beasts, and he delights in horses and in hounds; and all trees he
loves, for which reason he is called Aldaron, and by the Sindar Tauron, the Lord
of Forests. Nahar is the name of his horse, white in the sun, and shining silver
at night. The Valaroma is the name of his great horn, the sound of which is like
the upgoing of the Sun in scarlet, or the sheer lightning cleaving the clouds.
Above all the horns of his host it was heard in the woods that Yavanna brought
forth in Valinor; for there Orome would train his folk and his beasts for the
pursuit of the evil creatures of Melkor.
b. Silmarillion-1977. Valaquenta. Of
Yet so great was the power of his /Melkor’s/ uprising that in ages
forgotten he contended with Manwe and all the Valar, and through long years in
Arda held dominion over most of the lands of the Earth. But he was not alone.
For of the Maiar many were drawn to his splendour in the days of his greatness,
and remained in that allegiance down into his darkness; and others he corrupted
afterwards to his service with lies and treacherous gifts. Dreadful among these
spirits were the Valaraukar, the scourges of fire that in Middle-earth were
called the Balrogs, demons of terror.
Among those of his servants that have
names the greatest was that spirit whom the Eldar called Sauron, or Gorthaur the
Cruel. In his beginning he was of the Maiar of Aule, and he remained mighty in
the lore of that people. In all the deeds of Melkor the Morgoth upon Arda, in
his vast works and in the deceits of his cunning, Sauron had a part, and was
only less evil than his master in that for long he served another and not
himself. But in after years he rose like a shadow of Morgoth and a ghost of his
malice, and walked behind him on the same ruinous path down into the Void.
Silmarillion-1977. Quenta Silmarillion /Silmarillion/. 1. Of the Beginning of
/After Lamps’ construction, during the «Almaren period»/. And Melkor
knew of an that was done, for even then he had secret friends and spies among
the Maiar whom he had converted to his cause; and far off in the darkness he was
filled with hatred, being jealous of the work of his peers, whom he desired to
make subject to himself. Therefore he gathered to himself spirits out of the
halls of Ea that he had perverted to his service, and he deemed himself strong.
And seeing now his time he drew near again to Arda, and looked down upon it, and
the beauty of the Earth in its Spring filled him the more with hate.
therefore the Valar were gathered upon Almaren, fearing no evil, and because of
the light of Illuin they did not perceive the shadow in the north that was cast
from afar by Melkor; for he was grown dark as the Night of the Void. /.../ and
Melkor deemed that his hour had come. And he passed therefore over the Walls of
the Night with his host, and came to Middle-earth far in the north; and the
Valar were not aware of him.
Now Melkor began the delving and building of a
vast fortress, deep under Earth, beneath dark mountains where the beams of
Illuin were cold and dim. That stronghold was named Utumno. And though the Valar
knew naught of it as yet, nonetheless the evil of Melkor and the blight of his
hatred flowed out thence, and the Spring of Arda was marred.
Silmarillion-1977. Quenta Silmarillion /Silmarillion/. 3. Of the Coming of the
Elves and the Captivity of Melkor.
/Before the Awakening of Elves/
But in the north Melkor built his strength, and he slept not, but watched, and
laboured; and the evil things that he had perverted walked abroad, and the dark
and slumbering woods were haunted by monsters and shapes of dread. And in Utumno
he gathered his demons about him, those spirits who first adhered to him in the
days of his splendour, and became most like him in his corruption: their hearts
were of fire, but they were cloaked in darkness, and terror went before them;
they had whips of flame. Balrogs they were named in Middle-earth in later days.
And in that dark time Melkor bred many other monsters of divers shapes and kinds
that long troubled the world; and his realm spread now ever southward over
And Melkor made also a fortress and armoury not far from the
north-western shores of the sea, to resist any assault that might come from
Aman. That stronghold was commanded by Sauron, lieutenant of Melkor; and it was
e. Silmarillion-1977. Quenta Silmarillion /Silmarillion/. 3.
Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor.
Awakening, before Battle of Powers and elves’ march to the West, long before
Men’ awakening; note that in The Silmarillion Men’ awakening takes part with
first Sunrise, i.e. soon after Feanor’s death /
Yet many of the Quendi were
filled with dread at his /Orome’s/ coming; and this was the doing of Melkor. For
by after-knowledge the wise declare that Melkor, ever watchful, was first aware
of the awakening of the Quendi, and sent shadows and evil spirits to spy upon
them and waylay them. So it came to pass, some years ere the coming of Orome,
that if any of the Elves strayed far abroad, alone or few together, they would
often vanish, and never return; and the Quendi said that the Hunter had caught
them, and they were afraid. And indeed the most ancient songs of the Elves, of
which echoes are remembered still in the West, tell of the shadow-shapes that
walked in the hills above Cuivienen, or would pass suddenly over the stars; and
of the dark Rider upon his wild horse that pursued those that wandered to take
them and devour them. Now Melkor greatly hated and feared the riding of Orome,
and either he sent indeed his dark servants as riders, or he set lying whispers
abroad, for the purpose that the Quendi should shun Orome, if ever they should
Thus it was that when Nahar neighed and Orome indeed came among them,
some of the Quendi hid themselves, and some fled and were lost. But those that
had courage, and stayed, perceived swiftly that the Great Rider was no shape out
of darkness; for the light of Aman was in his face, and all the noblest of the
Elves were drawn towards it.
But of those unhappy ones who were ensnared by
Melkor little is known of a certainty. For who of the living has descended into
the pits of Utumno, or has explored the darkness of the counsels of Melkor? Yet
this is held true by the wise of Eressea /*/, that all those of the Quendi who
came into the hands of Melkor, ere Utumno was broken, were put there in prison,
and by slow arts of cruelty were corrupted and enslaved; and thus did Melkor
breed the hideous race of the Orcs in envy and mockery of the Elves, of whom
they were afterwards the bitterest foes. For the Orcs had life and multiplied
after the manner of the Children of Iluvatar; and naught that had life of its
own, nor the semblance of life, could ever Melkor make since his rebellion in
the Ainulindale before the Beginning: so say the wise. And deep in their dark
hearts the Orcs loathed the Master whom they served in fear, the maker only of
their misery. This it may be was the vilest deed of Melkor, and the most hateful
/*Note that «held true» means not neccesary «they held it, and
it is true», but more like «held to be true», so it’s opinion of the wise of
Eressea, not necessarily of Simarillion’s author himself/.
Silmarillion-1977. Quenta Silmarillion /Silmarillion/. 3. Of the Coming of the
Elves and the Captivity of Melkor.
/Battle of Powers and its aftermath - the
Elves’ march to the West. Elves’ partition/.
Nonetheless the Valar did not
discover all the mighty vaults and caverns hidden with deceit far under the
fortresses of Angband and Utumno. Many evil things still lingered there, and
others were dispersed and fled into the dark and roamed in the waste places of
the world, awaiting a more evil hour; and Sauron they did not find.
Then befell the first sundering of the Elves. For the kindred of Ingwe, and the
most part of the kindreds of Finwe and Elwe, were swayed by the words of their
lords, and were willing to depart and follow Orome; and these were known ever
after as the Eldar, by the name that Orome gave to the Elves in the beginning,
in their own tongue. But many refused the summons, preferring the starlight and
the wide spaces of Middle-earth to the rumour of the Trees; and these are the
Avari, the Unwilling, and they were sundered in that time from the Eldar, and
met never again until many ages were past.
/.../ These were the three
kindreds of the Eldalie, who passing at length into the uttermost West in the
days of the Trees are called the Calaquendi, Elves of the Light. But others of
the Eldar there were who set out indeed upon the westward march, but became lost
upon the long road, or turned aside, or lingered on the shores of Middle-earth;
and these were for the most part of the kindred of the Teleri, as is told
hereafter. They dwelt by the sea or wandered in the woods and mountains of the
world, yet their hearts were turned towards the West. Those Elves the Calaquendi
call the +manyar, since they came never to the land of Aman and the Blessed
Realm; but the +manyar and the Avari alike they call the Moriquendi, Elves of
the Darkness, for they never beheld the Light that was before the Sun and
g. Silmarillion-1977. Quenta Silmarillion /Silmarillion/. 10. Of the
/At the third age of Chaining of Melkor, before its end/. And ere
long the evil creatures came even to Beleriand, over passes in the mountains, or
up from the south through the dark forests. Wolves there were, or creatures that
walked in wolf-shapes, and other fell beings of shadow; and among them were the
Orcs, who afterwards wrought ruin in Beleriand: but they were yet few and wary,
and did but smell out the ways of the land, awaiting the return of their lord.
Whence they came, or what they were, the Elves knew not then, thinking them
perhaps to be Avari who had become evil and savage in the wild; in which they
guessed all too near, it is said.
h. Silmarillion-1977. Quenta Silmarillion
/Silmarillion/. 9. Of the Flight of the Noldor.
/After Melkor’s quarrel with
Ungoliant/. And thus the fear of Yavanna that the Silmarils would be swallowed
up and fall into nothingness did not come to pass; but they remained in the
power of Morgoth. And he being freed gathered again all his servants that he
could find, and came to the ruins of Angband. There he delved anew his vast
vaults and dungeons, and above their gates he reared the threefold peaks of
Thangorodrim, and a great reek of dark smoke was ever wreathed about them. There
countless became the hosts of his beasts and his demons, and the race of the
Orcs, bred long before, grew and multiplied in the bowels of the earth. Dark now
fell the shadow on Beleriand, as is told hereafter, but in Angband Morgoth
forged for himself a great crown of iron, and he called himself King of the
i. Silmarillion-1977. Quenta Silmarillion /Silmarillion/. 10. Of the
/After return of Melkor/. Now the Orcs that multiplied in the
darkness of the earth grew strong and fell, and their dark lord filled them with
a lust of rain and death; and they issued from Angband's gates under the clouds
that Morgoth sent forth, and passed silently into the highlands of the north.
Thence on a sudden a great army came into Beleriand and assailed King
j. Silmarillion-1977. Quenta Silmarillion /Silmarillion/. 24. Of the
Voyage of Earendil and the War of Wrath.
The meeting of the hosts of the West
and of the North is named the Great Battle, and the War of Wrath. There was
marshalled the whole power of the Throne of Morgoth, and it had become great
beyond count, so that Anfauglith could not contain it; and all the North was
aflame with war.
But it availed him not. The Balrogs were destroyed, save
some few that fled and hid themselves in caverns inaccessible at the roots of
the earth; and the uncounted legions of the Orcs perished like straw in a great
fire, or were swept like shrivelled leaves before a burning wind. Few remained
to trouble the world for long years after. And such few as were left of the
three houses of the Elf-friends, Fathers of Men, fought upon the part of the
Valar /.../. But a great part of the sons of Men, whether of the people of Uldor
or others new-come out of the east, marched with the Enemy; and the Elves do not
Then, seeing that his hosts were overthrown and his power
dispersed, Morgoth quailed, and he dared not to come forth himself. But he
loosed upon his foes the last desperate assault that he had prepared, and out of
the pits of Angband there issued the winged dragons, that had not before been
seen; and so sudden and ruinous was the onset of that dreadful fleet that the
host of the Valar was driven back, for the coming of the dragons was with great
thunder, and lightning, and a tempest of fire.
But Earendil came, shining
with white flame, and about Vingilot were gathered all the great birds of heaven
and Thorondor was their captain, and there was battle in the air all the day and
through a dark night of doubt. Before the rising of the sun Earendil slew
Ancalagon the Black, the mightiest of the dragon-host, and cast him from the
sky; and he fell upon the towers of Thangorodrim, and they were broken in his
ruin. Then the sun rose, and the host of the Valar prevailed, and well-nigh all
the dragons were destroyed; and all the pits of Morgoth were broken and
unroofed, and the might of the Valar descended into the deeps of the earth.
There Morgoth stood at last at bay, and yet unvaliant. He fled into the deepest
of his mines, and sued for peace and pardon; but his feet were hewn from under
him, and he was hurled upon his face. Then he was bound with the chain Angainor
which he had worn aforetime, and his iron crown they beat into a collar for his
neck, and his head was bowed upon his knees.
Akallabeth. The Downfall of Numenor.
And after the victory of the Lords of
the West those of the evil Men who were not destroyed fled back into the east,
where many of their race were still wandering in the unharvested lands, wild and
lawless, refusing alike the summons of the Valar and of Morgoth. And the evil
Men came among them, and cast over them a shadow of fear, and they took them for
kings. Then the Valar forsook for a time the Men of Middle-earth who had refused
their summons and had taken the friends of Morgoth to be their masters; and Men
dwelt in darkness and were troubled by many evil things that Morgoth had devised
in the days of his dominion: demons, and dragons, and misshapen beasts, and the
unclean Orcs that are mockeries of the Children of Iluvatar. And the lot of Men
l. Silmarillion-1977. Of the Rings of Power and the Third
/III mill. of SA/.
Now Sauron's lust and pride increased, until he
knew no bounds, and he determined to make himself master of all things in
Middle-earth, and to destroy the Elves, and to compass, if he might, the
downfall of Numenor. He brooked no freedom nor any rivalry, and he named himself
Lord of the Earth. A mask he still could wear so that if he wished he might
deceive the eyes of Men, seeming to them wise and fair. But he ruled rather by
force and fear, if they might avail; and those who perceived his shadow
spreading over the world called him the Dark Lord and named him the Enemy; and
he gathered again under his government all the evil things of the days of
Morgoth that remained on earth or beneath it, and the Orcs were at his command
and multiplied like flies. Thus the Black Years began, which the Elves call the
Days of Flight. In that time many of the Elves of Middle-earth fled to Lindon
and thence over the seas never to return; and many were destroyed by Sauron and
his servants. But in Lindon Gil-galad still maintained his power, and Sauron
dared not as yet to pass the Mountains of Ered Luin nor to assail the Havens;
and Gil-galad was aided by the Numenoreans. Elsewhere Sauron reigned, and those
who would be free took refuge in the fastnesses of wood and mountain, and ever
fear pursued them. In the east and south well nigh all Men were under his
dominion, and they grew strong in those days and built many towns and walls of
stone, and they were numerous and fierce in war and aimed with iron. To them
Sauron was both king and god; and they feared him exceedingly, for he surrounded
his abode with fire.
m. Silmarillion-1977. Of the Rings of Power and the
Many things of beauty and wonder remained on earth in that time
/TA/, and many things also of evil and dread: Orcs there were and trolls and
dragons and fell beasts, and strange creatures old and wise in the woods whose
names are forgotten; Dwarves still laboured in the hills and wrought with
patient craft works of metal and stone that none now can rival. But the Dominion
of Men was preparing and all things were changing, until at last the Dark Lord
arose in Mirkwood again.
Silmarillion /Silmarillion/. 5. Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalie.
For all living things that are or have been in the Kingdom of Arda, save
only the fell and evil creatures of Melkor, lived then in the land of Aman; and
there also were many other creatures that have not been seen upon Middle-earth,
and perhaps never now shall be, since the fashion of the world was
Silmarillion-1977. Quenta Silmarillion /Silmarillion/. 13.
Of the Return of the Noldor.
Then in defiance of the Orcs, who cowered still
in the dark vaults beneath the earth, he /Fingon/ took his harp and
Silmarillion-1977. Quenta Silmarillion /Silmarillion/. 17.
Of the Coming of Men into the West.
/A man, hostile to Elves, says at the
Let the Orcs have the realm that is theirs, and we will have
ours. There is room in the world, if the Eldar will let us
Silmarillion-1977. Quenta Silmarillion /Silmarillion/. 18. Of
the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin.
The valour of the Elves and the Men of the North, which neither Orc nor Balrog could yet overcome.
Silmarillion-1977. Quenta Silmarillion /Silmarillion/. 19. Of
Beren and Luthien.
The Orcs did at times ride upon great wolves.
Silmarillion-1977. Quenta Silmarillion /Silmarillion/.
21. Of Turin Turambar.
and their hands were turned against all who came in
their path Elves and Men and Orcs.
Silmarillion /Silmarillion/. 21. Of Turin Turambar.<
BR>'I ask then for a sword
of worth,' said Beleg; 'for the Orcs come now too thick and close for a bow
only, and such blade as I have is no match for their
Silmarillion-1977. Quenta Silmarillion /Silmarillion/.
21. Of Turin Turambar.
For Mim came of Dwarves that were banished in ancient
days from the great Dwarf-cities of the east, and long before the return of
Morgoth they wandered westward into Beleriand; but they became diminished in
stature and in smith-craft, and they took to lives of stealth, walking with
bowed shoulders and furtive steps. Before the Dwarves of Nogrod and Belegost
came west over the mountains the Elves of Beleriand knew not what these others
were, and they hunted them, and slew them; but afterwards they let them alone,
and they were called Noegyth Nibin, the Petty-Dwarves, in the Sindarin tongue.
They loved none but themselves, and if they feared and hated the Orcs, they
hated the Eldar no less, and the Exiles most of all; for the Noldor, they said,
had stolen their lands and their homes.
Silmarillion /Silmarillion/. 21. Of Turin Turambar.
In the waning of the year
Mim the Dwarf and Ibun his son went out from Bar-en-Danwedh to gather roots in
the wild for their winter store; and they were taken captive by Orcs. Then for a
second time Mim promised to guide his enemies by the secret paths to his home on
Amon Rudh; but yet he sought to delay the fulfilment of his promise, and
demanded that Gorthol should not be slain. Then the Orc-captain laughed, and he
said to Mim: 'Assuredly Turin son of Hurin shall not be
Silmarillion-1977. Quenta Silmarillion /Silmarillion/. 21.
Of Turin Turambar.
A great company of Orcs passing northwards, and wolves
went with them; and among them was a Man, whose hands were chained, and they
drove him onward with whips. /.../ /They came/ on the high slopes that ran down
to the barren dunes of Anfauglith. There within sight of the peaks of
Thangorodrim the Orcs made their encampment in a bare dell as the light of day
was failing, and setting wolf-sentinels all about they fell to
Silmarillion-1977. Quenta Silmarillion
/Silmarillion/. 21. Of Turin Turambar.
/495-496 y. of F.A./ From their far
journeys they brought tidings of a great mustering of Orcs and evil creatures
under the eaves of Ered Wethrin and in the Pass of
Silmarillion-1977. Quenta Silmarillion /Silmarillion/.
23. Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin.
Now when Tuor was sixteen years old the
Elves were minded to leave the caves of Androth where they dwelt, and to make
their way secretly to the Havens of Sirion in the distant south; but they were
assailed by Orcs and Easterlings before they made good their escape, and Tuor
was taken captive and enslaved by Lorgan, chief of the Easterlings of
Silmarillion-1977. Quenta Silmarillion /Silmarillion/.
23. Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin.
At last, in the year when Earendil was
seven years old, Morgoth was ready, and he loosed upon Gondolin his Balrogs, and
his Orcs, and his wolves; and with them came dragons of the brood of Glaurung,
and they were become now many and terrible.
Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age.
/Isildur, due to the Ring, was/
invisible to all eyes; but the Orcs hunted him by scent and slot, until he came
to the River and plunged in. There the Ring betrayed him and avenged its maker,
for it slipped from his finger as he swam, and it was lost in the water. Then
the Orcs saw him as he laboured in the stream, and they shot him with many
arrows, and that was his end.
Silmarillion-1977. Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age.
The remnant of the Numenoreans still defended the
passage of the River against the terrors of Minas Morgul and against all the
enemies of the West, Orcs and monsters and evil Men; and thus the lands behind
them, west of Anduin, were protected from war and
Silmarillion-1977. Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age.
And in Lothlorien, the hidden land between Celebrant and Anduin,
where the trees bore flowers of gold and no Orc or evil thing dared ever
Silmarillion-1977. Of the Rings of Power and the Third
Age. /Note appearing absence of Orcs/.
/On Mirkwood/ After many years, when
well nigh a third of that age of the world had passed, a darkness crept slowly
through the wood from the southward, and fear walked there in shadowy glades;
fell beasts came hunting, and cruel and evil creatures laid there their
Then the name of the forest was changed and Mirkwood it was called,
for the nightshade lay deep there, and few dared to pass through, save only in
the north where Thranduil’s people still held the evil at
Silmarillion-1977. Index of Names.
Balrog -'Demon of Might', Sindarin form (Quenya Valarauko) of the name of the demons of fire that
Silmarillion-1977. Appendix. Elements in Quenya and
rauko - 'demon' in Valaraukar; Sindarin raug, rog in
Letters. Letter 66.
/On the situation of 1944/ But all Big Things planned in a big way feel like that to the toad under the harrow,
though on a general view they do function and do their job. An ultimately evil
job. For we are attempting to conquer Sauron with the Ring /=defeat Hitler by
purely secular Force and in alliance with atheist Soviets/. And we shall (it
seems) succeed. But the penalty is, as you will know, to breed new Saurons, and
slowly turn Men and Elves into Orcs /=to promote further Machinery and
Materialism/. Not that in real life things are as clear cut as in a story, and
we started out with a great many Orcs /=Soviets/ on our side. .... Well, there
you are: a hobbit amongst the Urukhai. Keep up your hobbitry in heart, and think
that all stories feel like that when you are in them.
Yes, I think the orcs as real a creation as anything in
'realistic' fiction: your vigorous words well describe the tribe /on some
example of African tribe/; only in real life they are on both sides /so in
Tolkienns imaginatory world they are on one side only/, of course. For 'romance'
has grown out of 'allegory', and its wars are still derived from the 'inner war'
of allegory in which good is on one side and various modes of badness on the
other. In real (exterior) life men are on both sides: which means a motley
alliance of orcs, beasts, demons, plain naturally honest men, and angels. But it
does make some difference who are your captains and whether they are orc-like
a. Letters. Letter 144.
Orcs (the word is as far
as I am concerned actually derived from Old English orc 'demon', but only
because of its phonetic suitability) are nowhere clearly stated to be of any
particular origin. But since they are servants of the Dark Power, and later of
Sauron, neither of whom could, or would, produce living things, they must be
'corruptions'. They are not based on direct experience of mine; but owe, I
suppose, a good deal to the goblin tradition (goblin is used as a translation in
The Hobbit, where orc only occurs once, I think), especially as it appears in
George MacDonald, except for the soft feet which I never believed in. The name
has the form orch (pl. yrch) in Sindarin and uruk in the Black Speech.
The Black Speech was only used in Mordor; it only occurs in the Ring inscription,
and a sentence uttered by the Orcs of Barad-dur (Vol. II p. 48), and in the word
Nazgul (cf. nazg in the Ring inscription). It was never used willingly by any
other people, and consequently even the names of places in Mordor are in English
(for the C.S.) or Elvish. Morannon is just the Elvish for Black Gate; cf. Mordor
Black Land, Mor-ia Black Chasm, Mor-thond Black-root (river-name). Rohir-rim is
the Elvish (Gondorian) name for the people that called themselves Riders of the
Mark or Eorlings. The formation is not meant to resemble Hebrew. The Eldarin
languages distinguish in forms and use between a 'partitive' or 'particular'
plural, and the general or total plural. Thus yrch 'orcs, some orcs, des orques'
occurs in vol I pp. 359,402; the Orcs, as a race, or the whole of a group
previously mentioned would have been orchoth. In Grey-elven the general plurals
were very frequently made by adding to a name (or a place-name) some word
meaning 'tribe, host, horde, people'. So Haradrim the Southrons: Q. rimbe, S.
rim, host; Onod-rim the Ents. The Rohirrim is derived from roch (Q. rokko)
horse, and the Elvish stem kher- 'possess'; whence Sindarin Rochir 'horse-lord',
and Rochir-rim 'the host of the Horse-lords'. In the pronunciation of Gondor the
ch (as in German, Welsh, etc) had been softened to a sounded h; so in Rochann
'Hippia' to Rohan.
Beorn is dead; see vol. I p. 241. He appeared in The
Hobbit. It was then the year Third Age 2940 (Shire-reckoning 1340). We are now
in the years 3018-19 (1418-19). Though a skin-changer and no doubt a bit of a
magician /NB. To the question of magucs’ existence in Middle-Earth/, Beorn was a
Tom Bombadil is not an important person to the narrative. I suppose he
has some importance as a 'comment'. I mean, I do not really write like that: he
is just an invention (who first appeared in the Oxford Magazine about 1933), and
he represents something that I feel important, though I would not be prepared to
analyze the feeling precisely. I would not, however, have left him in, if he did
not have some kind of function. I might put it this way. The story is cast in
terms of a good side, and a bad side, beauty against ruthless ugliness, tyranny
against kingship, moderated freedom with consent against compulsion that has
long lost any object save mere power, and so on; but both sides in some degree,
conservative or destructive, want a measure of control. but if you have, as it
were taken 'a vow of poverty', renounced control, and take your delight in
things for themselves without reference to yourself, watching, observing, and to
some extent knowing, then the question of the rights and wrongs of power and
control might become utterly meaningless to you, and the means of power quite
valueless. It is a natural pacifist view, which always arises in the mind when
there is a war. But the view of Rivendell seems to be that it is an excellent
thing to have represented, but that there are in fact things with which it
cannot cope; and upon which its existence nonetheless depends. Ultimately only
the victory of the West will allow Bombadil to continue, or even to survive.
Nothing would be left for him in the world of Sauron.
He has no connexion in my mind with the Entwives. What had happened to them is not resolved in this
book. He is in a way the answer to them in the sense that he is almost the
opposite, being say, Botany and Zoology (as sciences) and Poetry as opposed to
Cattle-breeding and Agriculture and practicality.
I think that in fact the Entwives had disappeared for good, being destroyed with their gardens in the War
of the Last Alliance (Second Age 3429-3441) when Sauron pursued a scorched earth
policy and burned their land against the advance of the Allies down the Anduin
(vol. II p. 79 refers to it). They survived only in the 'agriculture'
transmitted to Men (and Hobbits). Some, of course, may have fled east, or even
have become enslaved: tyrants even in such tales must have an economic and
agricultural background to their soldiers and metal-workers. If any survived so,
they would indeed be far estranged from the Ents, and any rapprochement would be
difficult, unless experience of industrialized and militarized agriculture had
made them a little more anarchic. I hope so. I don't know.
...The Balrog is a survivor from the Silmarillion and the legends of the First Age. So is Shelob.
The Balrogs, of whom the whips were the chief weapons, were primeval spirits of
destroying fire, chief servants of the primeval Dark Power of the First Age.
They were supposed to have been all destroyed in the overthrow of Thangorodrim,
his fortress in the North. But it is here found (there is usually a hang-over
especially of evil from one age to another) that one had escaped and taken
refuge under the mountains of Hithaeglin (the Misty Mountains). It is observable
that only the Elf knows what the thing is, and doubtless Gandalf.
Shelob (English representing C.S 'she-lob' = female spider) is a translation of Elvish
Ungol 'spider'. She is represented in vol. II p. 332 as descendant of the giant
spiders of the glens of Nandungorthin, which come into the legends of the First
Age, especially into the chief of them, the tale of Beren and L·thien. This is
constantly referred to, since as Sam points out (vol. II p. 321) this history is
in a sense only a further continuation of it. Both Elrond (and his daughter
Arwen Undomiel, who resembles Luthien closely in looks and fate) are descendants
of Beren and Luthien; and so at very many more removes is Aragorn. The giant
spiders were themselves only the offspring of Ungoliante the primeval devourer
of light, that in spider-form assisted the Dark Power, but ultimately quarrelled
with him. There is thus no alliance between Shelob and Sauron, the Dark Power's
deputy; only a common hatred.
Galadriel is as old, or older than Shelob. She
is the last remaining of the Great among the High Elves, and 'awoke' in Eldamar
beyond the Sea, long before Ungoliante came to Middle-earth and produced her
broods there. ....
b. Letters. Letter 149.
…Orcs – who are fundamentally a
race of 'rational incarnate' creatures, though horribly corrupted, if no more so
than many Men to be met today… ...Suffering and experience (and possibly the
Ring itself) gave Frodo more insight; and you will read in Ch. I of Book VI the
words to Sam. 'The Shadow that bred them can only mock, it cannot make real new
things of its own. I don't think it gave life to the Orcs, it only ruined them
and twisted them.' In the legends of the Elder Days it is suggested that the
Diabolus subjugated and corrupted some of the earliest Elves, before they had
ever heard of the 'gods', let alone of God.
Letters. Letter 151.
Your preference of goblins to orcs involves a
large question and a matter of taste, and perhaps historical pedantry on my pan.
Personally I prefer Orcs (since these creatures are not 'goblins', not even the
goblins of George MacDonald, which they do to some extent resemble). Also I now
deeply regret having used Elves, though this is a word in ancestry and original
meaning suitable enough. But the disastrous debasement of this word, in which
Shakespeare played an unforgiveable pan, has really overloaded it with
regrettable tones, which are too much to overcome. I hope in the Appendices to
Vol. III to be able to include a note 'On translation' in which the matter of
equivalences and my uses may be made clearly. My difficulty has been that, since
I have tried to present a kind of legendary and history of a 'forgotten epoch',
all the specific terms were in a foreign language, and no precise equivalents
exist in English.
Letters. Letter 153.
As for other points.
I think I agree about the 'creation by evil'. But you are more free with the
word 'creation' than I am*. Treebeard does not say that the Dark Lord 'created'
Trolls and Orcs. He says he 'made' them in counterfeit of certain creatures
pre-existing. There is, to me, a wide gulf between the two statements, so wide
that Treebeard's statement could (in my world) have possibly been true. It is
not true actually of the Orcs who are fundamentally a race of 'rational
incarnate' creatures, though horribly corrupted, if no more so than many Men to
be met today. Treebeard is a character in my story, not me; and though he has a
great memory and some earthy wisdom, he is not one of the Wise, and there is
quite a lot he does not know or understand. He does not know what 'wizards' are,
or whence they came (though I do, even if exercising my subcreator's right I
have thought it best in this Tale to leave the question a 'mystery', not without
pointers to the solution).
Suffering and experience (and possibly the Ring
itself) gave Frodo more insight; and you will read in Ch. I of Book VI the words
to Sam. 'The Shadow that bred them can only mock, it cannot make real new things
of its own. I don't think it gave life to the Orcs, it only ruined them and
twisted them.' In the legends of the Elder Days it is suggested that the
Diabolus subjugated and corrupted some of the earliest Elves, before they had
ever heard of the 'gods', let alone of God.
I am not sure about Trolls. I
think they are mere 'counterfeits', and hence (though here I am of course only
using elements of old barbarous mythmaking that had no 'aware' metaphysic) they
return to mere stone images when not in the dark. But there are other sorts of
Trolls beside these rather ridiculous, if brutal, Stone-trolls, for which other
origins are suggested. Of course (since inevitably my world is highly imperfect
even on its own plane nor made wholly coherent our Real World does not appear
to be wholly coherent either; and I am actually not myself convinced that,
though in every world on every plane all must ultimately be under the Will of
God, even in ours there are not some 'tolerated' sub-creational counterfeits!)
when you make Trolls speak you are giving them a power, which in our world
(probably) connotes the possession of a 'soul'. But I do not agree (if you admit
that fairy-story element) that my trolls show any sign of 'good', strictly and
unsentimentally viewed. I do not say William felt pity, a word to me of moral
and imaginative worth: it is the Pity of Bilbo and later Frodo that ultimately
allows the Quest to be achieved, and I do not think he showed Pity. I might not
(if The Hobbit had been more carefully written, and my world so much thought
about 20 years ago) have used the expression 'poor little blighter', just as I
should not have called the troll William. But I discerned no pity even then, and
put in a plain caveat. Pity must restrain one from doing something immediately
desirable and seemingly advantageous. There is no more 'pity' here than in a
beast of prey yawning, or lazily patting a creature it could eat, but does not
want to, since it is not hungry. Or indeed than there is in many of men's
actions, whose real roots are in satiety, sloth, or a purely non-moral natural
softness, though they may dignify them by 'pity's' name.
having mentioned Free Will, I might say that in my myth I have used
'subcreation' in a special way (not the same as 'subcreation' as a term in
criticism of art, though I tried to show allegorically how that might come to be
taken up into Creation in some plane in my 'purgatorial' story Leaf by Niggle
(Dublin Review 1945)) to make visible and physical the effects of Sin or misused
Free Will by men. Free Will is derivative, and is.'. only operative within
provided circumstances; but in order that it may exist, it is necessary that the
Author should guarantee it, whatever betides : sc. when it is 'against His
Will', as we say, at any rate as it appears on a finite view. He does not stop
or make 'unreal' sinful acts and their consequences. So in this myth, it is
'feigned' (legitimately whether that is a feature of the real world or not) that
He gave special 'sub-creative' powers to certain of His highest created beings:
that is a guarantee that what they devised and made should be given the reality
of Creation. Of course within limits, and of course subject to certain commands
or prohibitions. But if they 'fell', as the Diabolus Morgoth did, and started
making things 'for himself, to be their Lord', these would then 'be', even if
Morgoth broke the supreme ban against making other 'rational' creatures like
Elves or Men. They would at least 'be' real physical realities in the physical
world, however evil they might prove, even 'mocking' the Children of God. They
would be Morgoth's greatest Sins, abuses of his highest privilege, and would be
creatures begotten of Sin, and naturally bad. (I nearly wrote 'irredeemably
bad'; but that would be going too far. Because by accepting or tolerating their
making necessary to their actual existence even Orcs would become part of the
World, which is God's and ultimately good.) But whether they could have 'souls'
or 'spirits' seems a different question; and since in my myth at any rate I do
not conceive of the making of souls or spirits, things of an equal order if not
an equal power to the Valar, as a possible 'delegation', I have represented at
least the Orcs as pre-existing real beings on whom the Dark Lord has exerted the
fullness of his power in remodelling and corrupting them, not making them. That
God would 'tolerate' that, seems no worse theology than the toleration of the
calculated dehumanizing of Men by tyrants that goes on today. There might be
other 'makings' all the same which were more like puppets filled (only at a
distance) with their maker's mind and will, or ant-like operating under
direction of a queen-centre.
*Inside this mythical history (as its
metaphysic is, not necessarily as a metaphysic of the real World) Creation, the
act of Will of Eru the One that gives Reality to conceptions, is distinguished
from Making, which is permissive.
Letters. Letter 154.
This /LotR/ is a tale about a war, and if war is allowed (at least as a topic and a
setting) it is not much good complaining that all the people on one side are
against those on the other. Not that I have made even this issue quite so
simple: there are Saruman, and Denethor, and Boromir; and there are treacheries
and strife even among the Orcs.
Letters. Letter 183.
Denethor despised lesser men, and one may be sure did not distinguish
between orcs and the allies of Mordor. If he had survived as victor, even
without use of the Ring, he would have taken a long stride towards becoming
himself a tyrant, and the terms and treatment he accorded to the deluded peoples
of east and south would have been cruel and vengeful. He had become a
'political' leader: sc. Gondor against the rest.
...In my story I do not deal
in Absolute Evil. I do not think there is such a thing, since that is Zero. I do
not think that at any rate any 'rational being' is wholly evil. Satan fell. In
my myth Morgoth fell before Creation of the physical world. In my story Sauron
represents as near an approach to the wholly evil will as is possible. He had
gone the way of all tyrants: beginning well, at least on the level that while
desiring to order all things according to his own wisdom he still at first
considered the (economic) well-being of other inhabitants of the Earth. But he
went further than human tyrants in pride and the lust for domination, being in
origin an immortal (angelic) spirit*. In The Lord of the Rings the conflict is
not basically about ‘freedom’, though that is naturally involved. It is about
God, and His sole right to divine honour. The Eldar and the Numenoreans believed
in The One, the true God, and held worship of any other person an abomination.
Sauron desired to be a God-King, and was held to be this by his servants**; if
he had been victorious he would have demanded divine honour from all rational
creatures and absolute temporal power over the whole world. So even if in
desperation 'the West' had bred or hired hordes of orcs and had cruelly ravaged
the lands of other Men as allies of Sauron, or merely to prevent them from
aiding him, their Cause would have remained indefeasibly right. As does the
Cause of those who oppose now the State-God and Marshal This or That as its High
Priest, even if it is true (as it unfortunately is) that many of their deeds are
wrong, even if it were true (as it is not) that the inhabitants of 'The West',
except for a minority of wealthy bosses, live in fear and squalor, while the
worshippers of the State-God live in peace and abundance and in mutual esteem
So I feel that the fiddle-faddle in reviews, and correspondence
about them, as to whether my 'good people' were kind and merciful and gave
quarter (in fact they do), or not, is quite beside the point.
*Of the same kind as Gandalf and Saruman, but of a far higher order.
**By a triple treachery: 1. Because of his admiration of Strength he had become a follower of
Morgoth and fell with him down into the depths of evil, becoming his chief agent
in Middle Earth. 2. when Morgoth was defeated by the Valar finally he forsook
his allegiance; but out of fear only; he did not present himself to the Valar or
sue for pardon, and remained in Middle Earth. 3. When he found how greatly his
knowledge was admired by all other rational creatures and how easy it was to
influence them, his pride became boundless. By the end of the Second Age he
assumed the position of Morgoth's representative. By the end of the Third Age
(though actually much weaker than before) he claimed to be Morgoth
Letters. Letter 210.
§ 19. Why does Z put beaks and feathers on Orcs!? (Orcs is not a form of Auks). The Orcs are definitely
stated to be corruptions of the 'human' form seen in Elves and Men. They are (or
were) squat, broad, flat-nosed, sallow-skinned, with wide mouths and slant eyes:
in fact degraded and repulsive versions of the (to Europeans) least lovely
Letters. Letter 212.
I suppose a difference between this Myth and what may be perhaps called Christian mythology
is this. In the latter the Fall of Man is subsequent to and a consequence
(though not a necessary consequence) of the 'Fall of the Angels' : a rebellion
of created free-will at a higher level than Man; but it is not clearly held (and
in many versions is not held at all) that this affected the 'World' in its
nature: evil was brought in from outside, by Satan. In this Myth the rebellion
of created free-will precedes creation of the World (Ea); and Ea has in it,
subcreatively introduced, evil, rebellions, discordant elements of its own
nature already when the Let it Be was spoken. The Fall or corruption, therefore,
of all things in it and all inhabitants of it, was a possibility if not
inevitable. Trees may 'go bad' as in the Old Forest; Elves may turn into Orcs,
and if this required the special perversive malice of Morgoth, still Elves
themselves could do evil deeds. Even the 'good' Valar as inhabiting the World
could at least err; as the Great Valar did in their dealings with the Elves; or
as the lesser of their kind (as the Istari or wizards) could in various ways
become self-seeking. Aule, for instance, one of the Great, in a sense 'fell';
for he so desired to see the Children, that he became impatient and tried to
anticipate the will of the Creator. Being the greatest of all craftsmen he tried
to make children according to his imperfect knowledge of their kind. When he had
made thirteen, God spoke to him in anger, but not without pity: for Aule had
done this thing not out of evil desire to have slaves and subjects of his own,
but out of impatient love, desiring children to talk to and teach, sharing with
them the praise of Iluvatar and his great love of the materials of which the
world is made.
The One rebuked Aule, saying that he had tried to usurp the
Creator's power; but he could not give independent life to his makings. He had
only one life, his own derived from the One, and could at most only distribute
it. 'Behold' said the One: 'these creatures of thine have only thy will, and thy
movement. Though you have devised a language for them, they can only report to
thee thine own thought. This is a mockery of me.'
Then Aule in grief and
repentance humbled himself and asked for pardon. And he said: 'I will destroy
these images of my presumption, and wait upon thy will.' And he took a great
hammer, raising it to smite the eldest of his images; but it flinched and
cowered from him. And as he withheld his stroke, astonished, he heard the
laughter of Iluvatar.
'Do you wonder at this?' he said. 'Behold! thy creatures now live, free from thy will! For I have seen thy humility, and taken
pity on your impatience. Thy making I have taken up into my design.'
This is the Elvish legend of the making of the Dwarves ; but the Elves report that
Iluvatar said thus also: 'Nonetheless I will not suffer my design to be
forestalled: thy children shall not awake before mine own.' And he commanded
Aule to lay the fathers of the Dwarves severally in deep places, each with his
mate, save Durin the eldest who had none. There they should sleep long, until
Iluvatar bade them awake. Nonetheless there has been for the most part little
love between the Dwarves and the children of Iluvatar. And of the fate that
Iluvatar has set upon the children of Aule beyond the Circles of the world Elves
and men know nothing, and if Dwarves know they do not speak of
Letters. Letter 244.
Until much had been done by the
restored King, the P. of Ithilien /Faramir/ would be the resident march-warden
of Gondor, in its main eastward outpost and also would have many duties in
rehabilitating the lost territory, and clearing it of outlaws and orc-remnants,
not to speak of the dreadful vale of Minas Ithil (Morgul).
Letters. Letter 256.
[An account of Tolkien's unfinished story 'The New Shadow'. (See also no. 338.)]
I did begin a story placed about 100 years after the Downfall [of Mordor], but it proved both sinister and
depressing. Since we are dealing with Men it is inevitable that we should be
concerned with the most regrettable feature of their nature: their quick satiety
with good. So that the people of Gondor in times of peace, justice and
prosperity, would become discontented and restless, while the dynasts descended
from Aragorn would become just kings and governors like Denethor or worse. I
found that even so early there was an outcrop of revolutionary plots, about a
centre of secret Satanistic religion; while Gondorian boys were playing at being
Orcs and going round doing damage. I could have written a 'thriller' about the
plot and its discovery and overthrow, but it would be just that. Not worth
Letters. Letter 338.
[Answering the question: did the Ents ever find the Entwives?]
As for the Entwives: I do not know. I have
written nothing beyond the first few years of the Fourth Age. (Except the
beginning of a tale supposed to refer to the end of the reign of Eldaron about
100 years after the death of Aragorn. Then I of course discovered that the
King's Peace would contain no tales worth recounting; and his wars would have
little interest after the overthrow of Sauron; but that almost certainly a
restlessness would appear about then, owing to the (it seems) inevitable boredom
of Men with the good: there would be secret societies practising dark cults, and
'orc-cults' among adolescents.) But I think in Vol. II pp. 80-81 it is plain
that there would be for Ents no re-union in 'history', but Ents and their wives
being rational creatures would find some 'earthly paradise' until the end of
this world: beyond which the wisdom neither of Elves nor Ents could see. Though
maybe they shared the hope of Aragorn that they were 'not bound for ever to the
circles of the world and beyond them is more than
Letters. Letter 269.
[Auden had asked Tolkien
if the notion of the Orcs, an entire race that was irredeemably wicked, was not
With regard to The Lord of the Rings, I cannot claim to be a
sufficient theologian to say whether my notion of orcs is heretical or not. I
don't feel under any obligation to make my story fit with formalized Christian
theology, though I actually intended it to be consonant with Christian thought
and belief, which is asserted somewhere, Book Five, page 190, where Frodo
asserts that the orcs are not evil in origin. We believe that, I suppose, of all
human kinds and sons and breeds, though some appear, both as individuals and
groups to be, by us at any rate, unredeemable.....
Prologue:4. Of the finding of the Ring.
The party was assailed by Orcs in a
high pass of the Misty Mountains as they went towards Wilderland; and so it
happened that Bilbo was lost for a while in the black orc-mines deep under the
LotR. 1:1. A Long-expected Party.
The fireworks were
by Gandalf: they were not only brought by him, but designed and made by him
/.../ But there was also a generous distribution of squibs, crackers,
backarappers, sparklers, torches, dwarf-candles, elf-fountains, goblin-barkers
and thunder-claps. They were all superb.
LotR. 2:4. A Journey in the Dark.
/Gandalf says/ `I once knew every spell in all the tongues of
Elves or Men or Orcs that was ever used for such a purpose. I can still remember
ten score of them without searching in my mind.
LotR. 2:5 The Bridge of Khazad-dum.
At length they stirred and looked up, and began to
search for anything that would give them tidings of Balin's fate, or show what
had become of his folk. There was another smaller door on the other side of the
chamber, under the shaft. By both the doors they could now see that many bones
were lying, and among them were broken swords and axe-heads, and cloven shields
and helms. Some of the swords were crooked: orc-scimitars with blackened
LotR. 2:5 The Bridge of Khazad-dum.
'There are Orcs, very many of them,' he said. `And some are large and evil: black Uruks of
Mordor. For the moment they are hanging back, but there is something else there.
A great cave-troll, I think, or more than one. There is no hope of escape that
LotR. 2:6. Lothlorien.
'Not a sound but the wind,' he said. `There are no goblins near, or my ears are made of wood. It is to be hoped
that the Orcs will be content with driving us from Moria. And maybe that was all
their purpose, and they had nothing else to do with us-with the Ring. Though
Orcs will often pursue foes for many leagues into the plain, if they have a
fallen captain to avenge.'
LotR. 2:6. Lothlorien.
Orcs were as keen as hounds on a scent, it was said, but they could also
LotR. 2:6. Lothlorien.
'I did not shoot, for I dared not arouse any cries: we cannot risk battle. A strong company of Orcs has
passed. They crossed the Nimrodel-curse their foul feet in its clean water!-and
went on down the old road beside the river. They seemed to pick up some scent,
and they searched the ground for a while near the place where you
LotR. 3:1. The Departure of Boromir.
Quickly they searched the bodies of the Orcs, gathering their swords and cloven helms and
shields into a heap. 'See!' cried Aragorn. 'Here we find tokens!' He picked out
from the pile of grim weapons two knives, leaf-bladed, damasked in gold and red;
and searching further he found also the sheaths, black, set with small red gems.
'No orc-tools these!' he said. 'They were borne by the hobbits. Doubtless the
Orcs despoiled them, but feared to keep the knives, knowing them for what they
are: work of Westernesse, wound about with spells for the bane of Mordor. Well,
now, if they still live, our friends are weaponless. I will take these things,
hoping against hope, to give them back.'
'And I,' said Legolas, 'will take
all the arrows that I can find, for my quiver is empty.' He searched in the pile
and on the ground about and found not a few that were undamaged and longer in
the shaft than such arrows as the Orcs were accustomed to use. He looked at them
And Aragorn looked on the slain, and he said: 'Here lie many that
are not folk of Mordor. Some are from the North, from the Misty Mountains, if I
know anything of Orcs and their kinds. And here are others strange to me. Their
gear is not after the manner of Orcs at all!'
There were four goblin-soldiers
of greater stature, swart, 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.
Upon their shields they bore a strange device: a small white hand in the centre
of a black field; on the front of their iron helms was set an S-rune, wrought of
some white metal.
'I have not seen these tokens before,' said Aragorn. 'What
do they mean?'
'S is for Sauron,' said Gimli. 'That is easy to
'Nay!' said Legolas. 'Sauron does not use the Elf-runes.'
does he use his right name, nor permit it to be spelt or spoken,' said Aragorn.
'And he does not use white. The Orcs in the service of Barad-dur use the sign of
the Red Eye.' He stood for a moment in thought. 'S is for Saruman, I guess,' he
said at length. 'There is evil afoot in Isengard, and the West is no longer
safe. It is as Gandalf feared: by some means the traitor Saruman has had news of
our journey. It is likely too that he knows of Gandalf's fall. Pursuers from
Moria may have escaped the vigilance of Lorien, or they may have avoided that
land and come to Isengard by other paths. Orcs travel
LotR. 3:2. The Riders of Rohan.
'I think that the
enemy brought his own enemy with him,' answered Aragorn. 'These are Northern
Orcs from far away. Among the slain are none of the great Orcs with the strange
badges. There was a quarrel, I guess: it is no uncommon thing with these foul
folk. Maybe there was some dispute about the road.'
'Light feet may run
swiftly here,' said Aragorn. 'More swiftly, maybe, than iron-shod Orcs. Now we
have a chance to lessen their lead!'
They went in single file, running like
hounds on a strong scent, and an eager light was in their eyes. Nearly due west
the broad swath of the marching Orcs tramped its ugly slot; the sweet grass of
Rohan had been bruised and blackened as they passed.
'Surely even Orcs must
pause on the march?' said Gimli. 'Seldom will Orcs journey in the open under the
sun. yet these have done so,' said Legolas. 'Certainly they will not rest by
LotR. 3:2. The Riders of Rohan.
'Then you do not pay
tribute to Sauron?' said Gimli.
'We do not and we never have.' said Éomer
with a flash of his eyes; 'though it comes to my ears that that lie has been
told. Some years ago the Lord of the Black Land wished to purchase horses of us
at great price, but we refused him, for he puts beasts to evil use. Then he sent
plundering Orcs, and they carry off what they can, choosing always the black
horses: few of these are now left. For that reason our feud with the Orcs is
'But at this time our chief concern is with Saruman. He has claimed
lordship over all this land, and there has been war between us for many months.
He has taken Orcs into his service, and Wolf-riders, and evil Men, and he has
closed the Gap against us, so that we are likely to be beset both east and
'Indeed in this riding north I went without the king's leave, for in my
absence his house is left with little guard. But scouts warned me of the
orc-host coming down out of the East Wall three nights ago, and among them they
reported that some bore the white badges of Saruman. So suspecting what I most
fear, a league between Orthanc and the Dark Tower, I led forth my eored, men of
my own household; and we overtook the Orcs at nightfall two days ago, near to
the borders of the Entwood. There we surrounded them, and gave battle yesterday
at dawn. Fifteen of my men I lost, and twelve horses alas! For the Orcs were
greater in number than we counted on. Others joined them, coming out of the East
across the Great River: their trail is plain to see a little north of this spot.
And others, too, came out of the forest. Great Orcs, who also bore the White
Hand of Isengard: that kind is stronger and more fell than all
LotR. 3:2. The Riders of Rohan.
At last as the
afternoon was waning they came to the eaves of the forest, and in an open glade
among the first trees they found the place of the great burning: the ashes were
still hot and smoking. Beside it was a great pile of helms and mail, cloven
shields, and broken swords, bows and darts and other gear of war. Upon a stake
in the middle was set a great goblin head; upon its shattered helm the white
badge could still be seen. Further away, not far from the river, where it came
streaming out from the edge of the wood, there was a mound. It was newly raised:
the raw earth was covered with fresh-cut turves: about it were planted fifteen
LotR. 3:3. The Uruk-Hai.
They had run a long way
shouting--he could not remember how far or how long; and then suddenly they had
crashed right into a group of Orcs: they were standing listening, and they did
not appear to see Merry and Pippin until they were almost in their arms. Then
they yelled and dozens of other goblins had sprung out of the trees. Merry and
he had drawn their swords, but the Orcs did not wish to fight, and had tried
only to lay hold of them, even when Merry had cut off several of their arms and
hands. Good old Merry!
He struggled a little, quite uselessly. One
of the Orcs sitting near laughed and said something to a companion in their
abominable tongue. 'Rest while you can, little fool!' he said then to Pippin, in
the Common Speech, which he made almost as hideous as his own language. 'Rest
while you can! We'll find a use for your legs before long. You'll wish you had
got none before we get home.'
'If I had my way, you'd wish you were dead
now,' said the other. 'I'd make you squeak, you miserable rat.' He stooped over
Pippin bringing his yellow fangs close to his face. He had a black knife with a
long jagged blade in his hand. 'Lie quiet, or I'll tickle you with this,' he
hissed. 'Don't draw attention to yourself, or I may forget my orders. Curse the
Isengarders! Ugluk u bagronk sha pushdug Saruman-glob bubhosh skai': he passed
into a long angry speech in his own tongue that slowly died away into muttering
Terrified Pippin lay still, though the pain at his wrists and
ankles was growing, and the stones beneath him were boring into his back. To
take his mind off himself he listened intently to all that he could hear. There
were many voices round about, and though orc-speech sounded at all times full of
hate and anger, it seemed plain that something like a quarrel had begun, and was
To Pippin's surprise he found that much of the talk was
intelligible many of the Orcs were using ordinary language. Apparently the
members of two or three quite different tribes were present, and they could not
understand one another's orc-speech. There was an angry debate concerning what
they were to do now: which way they were to take and what should be done with
'There's no time to kill them properly,' said one. 'No time
for play on this trip.'
'That can't be helped,' said another. 'But why not
kill them quick, kill them now? They're a cursed nuisance, and we're in a hurry.
Evening's coming on, and we ought to get a move on.'
'Orders.' said a third
voice in a deep growl. 'Kill all but NOT the Halfings; they are to be brought
back ALIVE as quickly as possible. That's my orders.'
'What are they wanted
for?' asked several voices. 'Why alive? Do they give good sport?'
heard that one of them has got something, something that's wanted for the War,
some elvish plot or other. Anyway they'll both be questioned.'
'Is that all
you know? Why don't we search them and find out? We might find something that we
could use ourselves.'
'That is a very interesting remark,' sneered a voice,
softer than the others but more evil. 'I may have to report that. The prisoners
are NOT to be searched or plundered: those are my orders.'
'And mine too,'
said the deep voice. 'Alive and as captured; no spoiling. That's my
'Not our orders!' said one of the earlier voices. 'We have come all
the way from the Mines to kill, and avenge our folk. I wish to kill, and then go
'Then you can wish again,' said the growling voice. 'I am Ugluk.
I command. I return to Isengard by the shortest road.'
'Is Saruman the master
or the Great Eye?' said the evil voice. 'We should go back at once to
'If we could cross the Great River, we might,' said another voice.
'But there are not enough of us to venture down to the bridges.'
across,' said the evil voice. 'A winged Nazgul awaits us northward on the
'Maybe, maybe! Then you'll fly off with our prisoners, and get
all the pay and praise in Lugburz, and leave us to foot it as best we can
through the Horse-country. No, we must stick together. These lands are
dangerous: full of foul rebels and brigands.'
'Aye, we must stick together,'
growled Ugluk. 'I don't trust you little swine. You've no guts outside your own
sties. But for us you'd all have run away. We are the fighting Uruk-hai! We slew
the great warrior. We took the prisoners. We are the servants of Saruman the
Wise, the White Hand: the Hand that gives us man's-flesh to eat. We came out of
Isengard, and led you here, and we shall lead you back by the way we choose. I
am Ugluk. I have spoken.'
'You have spoken more than enough, Ugluk,' sneered
the evil voice. 'I wonder how they would like it in Lugburz. They might think
that Ugluk's shoulders needed relieving of a swollen head. They might ask where
his strange ideas came from. Did they come from Saruman, perhaps? Who does he
think he is, setting up on his own with his filthy white badges? They might
agree with me, with Grishnakh their trusted messenger; and I Grishnakh say this:
Saruman is a fool. and a dirty treacherous fool. But the Great Eye is on
'Swine is it? How do you folk like being called swine by the muck-rakers
of a dirty little wizard? It's orc-flesh they eat, I'll warrant.'
yells in orc-speech answered him, and the ringing clash of weapons being drawn.
Cautiously Pippin rolled over, hoping to see what would happen. His guards had
gone to join in the fray. In the twilight he saw a large black Orc, probably
Ugluk, standing facing Grishnakh, a short crook-legged creature, very broad and
with long arms that hung almost to the ground. Round them were many smaller
goblins. Pippin supposed that these were the ones from the North. They had drawn
their knives and swords, but hesitated to attack Ugluk.
Ugluk shouted, and a
number of other Orcs of nearly his own size ran up. Then suddenly, without
warning, Ugluk sprang forwards, and with two swift strokes swept the heads off
two of his opponents. Grishnakh stepped aside and vanished into the shadows. The
others gave way, and one stepped backwards and fell over Merry's prostrate form
with a curse. Yet that probably saved his life, for Ugluk's followers leaped
over him and cut down another with their broad-bladed swords. It was the
yellow-fanged guard. His body fell right on top of Pippin, still clutching its
long saw-edged knife.
'Put up your weapons!' shouted Ugluk. 'And let's have
no more nonsense! We go straight west from here, and down the stair. From there
straight to the downs, then along the river to the forest. And we march day and
night. That clear?'
'Now,' thought Pippin, 'if only it takes that ugly fellow
a little while to get his troop under control, I've got a chance.' A gleam of
hope had come to him. The edge of the black knife had snicked his arm, and then
slid down to his wrist. He felt the blood trickling on to his hand, but he also
felt the cold touch of steel against his skin.
The Orcs were getting ready to
march again, but some of the Northerners were still unwilling, and the
Isengarders slew two more before the rest were cowed. There was much cursing and
confusion. For the moment Pippin was unwatched. His legs were securely bound,
but his arms were only tied about the wrists, and his hands were in front of
him. He could move them both together, though the bonds were cruelly tight. He
pushed the dead Orc to one side, then hardly daring to breathe, he drew the knot
of the wrist-cord up and down against the blade of the knife. It was sharp and
the dead hand held it fast. The cord was cut! Quickly Pippin took it in his
fingers and knotted it again into a loose bracelet of two loops and slipped it
over his hands. Then he lay very still.
'Pick up those prisoners!'
shouted Ugluk. 'Don't play any tricks with them! If they are not alive when we
get back, someone else will die too.'
An Orc seized Pippin like a sack. put
its head between his tied hands, grabbed his arms and dragged them down, until
Pippin's face was crushed against its neck; then it jolted off with him. Another
treated Merry in the same way. The Orc's clawlike hand gripped Pippin's arms
like iron; the nails bit into him. He shut his eyes and slipped back into evil
Suddenly he was thrown on to the stony floor again. It was early
night, but the slim moon was already falling westward. They were on the edge of
a cliff that seemed to look out over a sea of pale mist. There was a sound of
water falling nearby.
'The scouts have come back at last,' said an Orc close
'Well, what did you discover?' growled the voice of Ugluk.
a single horseman, and he made off westwards. All's clear now.'
daresay. But how long? You fools! You should have shot him. He'll raise the
alarm. The cursed horsebreeders will hear of us by morning. Now we'll have to
leg it double quick.'
A shadow bent over Pippin. It was Ugluk. 'Sit up!' said
the Orc. 'My lads are tired of lugging you about. We have got to climb down and
you must use your legs. Be helpful now. No crying out, no trying to escape. We
have ways of paying for tricks that you won't like, though they won't spoil your
usefulness for the Master.'
He cut the thongs round Pippin's legs and ankles,
picked him up by his hair and stood him on his feet. Pippin fell down, and Ugluk
dragged him up by his hair again. Several Orcs laughed. Ugluk thrust a flask
between his teeth and poured some burning liquid down his throat: he felt a hot
fierce glow flow through him. The pain in his legs and ankles vanished. He could
'Now for the other!' said Ugluk. Pippin saw him go to Merry, who was
lying close by, and kick him. Merry groaned. Seizing him roughly Ugluk pulled
him into a sitting position, and tore the bandage off his head. Then he smeared
the wound with some dark stuff out of a small wooden box. Merry cried out and
The Orcs clapped and hooted. 'Can't take his medicine,'
they jeered. 'Doesn't know what's good for him. Ai! We shall have some fun
But at the moment Ugluk was not engaged in sport. He needed speed and
had to humour unwilling followers. He was healing Merry in orc-fashion; and his
treatment worked swiftly. When he had forced a drink from his flask down the
hobbit's throat, cut his leg-bonds, and dragged him to his feet, Merry stood up,
looking pale but grim and defiant, and very much alive. The gash in his forehead
gave him no more trouble, but he bore a brown scar to the end of his
'Hullo, Pippin!' he said. 'So you've come on this little expedition,
too? Where do we get bed and breakfast?'
'Now then!' said Ugluk. 'None of
that! Hold your tongues. No talk to one another. Any trouble will be reported at
the other end, and He'll know how to pay you. You'll get bed and breakfast all
right: more than you can stomach.'
The orc-band began to descend a
narrow ravine leading down into the misty plain below. Merry and Pippin,
separated by a dozen Orcs or more, climbed down with them. At the bottom they
stepped on to grass, and the hearts of the hobbits rose.
'Now straight on!'
shouted Ugluk. 'West and a little north. Follow Lugdush.'
'But what are we
going to do at sunrise?' said some of the Northerners.
'Go on running,' said
Ugluk. 'What do you think? Sit on the grass and wait for the Whiteskins to join
'But we can't run in the sunlight.'
'You'll run with me
behind you,' said Ugluk. 'Run! Or you'll never see your beloved holes again. By
the White Hand! What's the use of sending out mountain-maggots on a trip, only
half trained. Run, curse you! Run while night lasts!'
Then the whole company
began to run with the long loping strides of Orcs. They kept no order,
thrusting, jostling, and cursing; yet their speed was very great. Each hobbit
had a guard of three. Pippin was far back in the line. He wondered how long he
would be able to go on at this pace: he had had no food since the morning. One
of his guards had a whip. But at present the orc-liquor was still hot in him.
His wits, too, were wide-awake.
Every now and again there came into his mind
unbidden a vision of the keen face of Strider bending over a dark trail, and
running, running behind. But what could even a Ranger see except a confused
trail of orc-feet? His own little prints and Merry's were overwhelmed by the
trampling of the iron-shod shoes before them and behind them and about
They had gone only a mile or so from the cliff when the land sloped
down into a wide shallow depression, where the ground was soft and wet. Mist lay
there, pale-glimmering in the last rays of the sickle moon. The dark shapes of
the Orcs in front grew dim, and then were swallowed up.
'Ai! Steady now!'
shouted Ugluk from the rear.
A sudden thought leaped into Pippin's mind, and
he acted on it at once. He swerved aside to the right, and dived out of the
reach of his clutching guard, headfirst into the mist; he landed sprawling on
'Halt!' yelled Ugluk.
There was for a moment turmoil and
confusion. Pippin sprang up and ran. But the Orcs were after him. Some suddenly
loomed up right in front of him.
'No hope of escape!' thought Pippin. 'But
there is a hope that I have left some of my own marks unspoilt on the wet
ground.' He groped with his two tied hands at his throat, and unclasped the
brooch of his cloak. Just as long arms and hard claws seized him. he let it
fall. 'There I suppose it will lie until the end of time,' he thought. 'I don't
know why I did it. If the others have escaped, they've probably all gone with
A whip-thong curled round his legs, and he stifled a cry.
'Enough!' shouted Ugluk running up. 'He's still got to run a long way
yet. Make 'em both run! Just use the whip as a reminder.'
'But that's not all,' he snarled, turning to Pippin. 'I shan't forget. Payment is only put off.
Neither Pippin nor Merry remembered much of the later part
of the journey. Evil dreams and evil waking were blended into a long tunnel of
misery, with hope growing ever fainter behind. They ran, and they ran, striving
to keep up the pace set by the Orcs, licked every now and again with a cruel
thong cunningly handled. If they halted or stumbled, they were seized and
dragged for some distance.
The warmth of the orc-draught had gone. Pippin
felt cold and sick again. Suddenly he fell face downward on the turf. Hard hands
with rending nails gripped and lifted him. He was carried like a sack once more,
and darkness grew about him: whether the darkness of another night, or a
blindness of his eyes, he could not tell.
Dimly he became aware of voices
clamouring: it seemed that many of the Orcs were demanding a halt. Ugluk was
shouting. He felt himself flung to the ground, and he lay as he fell, till black
dreams took him. But he did not long escape from pain; soon the iron grip of
merciless hands was on him again. For a long time he was tossed and shaken, and
then slowly the darkness gave way, and he came back to the waking world and
found that it was morning. Orders were shouted and he was thrown roughly on the
There he lay for a while, fighting with despair. His head swam, but
from the heat in his body he guessed that he had been given another draught. An
Orc stooped over him, and flung him some bread and a strip of raw dried flesh.
He ate the stale grey bread hungrily, but not the meat. He was famished but not
yet so famished as to eat flesh flung to him by an Orc, the flesh of he dared
not guess what creature.
He sat up and looked about. Merry was not far away.
They were by the banks of a swift narrow river. Ahead mountains loomed: a tall
peak was catching the first rays of the sun. A dark smudge of forest lay on the
lower slopes before them.
There was much shouting and debating among the
Orcs; a quarrel seemed on the point of breaking out again between the
Northerners and the Isengarders. Some were pointing back away south, and some
were pointing eastward.
'Very well,' said Ugluk. 'Leave them to me then! No
killing, as I've told you before; but if you want to throw away what we've come
all the way to get, throw it away! I'll look after it. Let the fighting Uruk-hai
do the work, as usual. If you're afraid of the Whiteskins, run! Run! There's the
forest,' he shouted, pointing ahead. 'Get to it! It's your best hope. Off you
go! And quick, before I knock a few more heads off, to put some sense into the
There was some cursing and scuffling, and then most of the
Northerners broke away and dashed off, over a hundred of them, running wildly
along the river towards the mountains. The hobbits were left with the
Isengarders: a grim dark band, four score at least of large, swart, slant-eyed
Orcs with great bows and short broad-bladed swords. A few of the larger and
bolder Northerners remained with them.
'Now we'll deal with Grishnakh,' said
Ugluk; but some even of his own followers were looking uneasily
'I know,' growled Ugluk. 'The cursed horse-boys have got wind of
us. But that's all your fault, Snaga. You and the other scouts ought to have
your ears cut off. But we are the fighters. We'll feast on horseflesh yet, or
At that moment Pippin saw why some of the troop had been
pointing eastward. From that direction there now came hoarse cries, and there
was Grishnakh again, and at his back a couple of score of others like him:
long-armed crook-legged Orcs. They had a red eye painted on their shields. Ugluk
stepped forward to meet them. 'So you've come back?' he said. 'Thought better of
'I've returned to see that Orders are carried out and the prisoners
safe,' answered Grishnakh.
'Indeed!' said Ugluk. 'Waste of effort. I'll see
that orders are carried out in my command. And what else did you come back for?
You went in a hurry. Did you leave anything behind?'
'I left a fool,' snarled
Grishnakh. 'But there were some stout fellows with him that are too good to
lose. I knew you'd lead them into a mess. I've come to help
'Splendid!' laughed Ugluk. 'But unless you've got some guts for
fighting, you've taken the wrong way. Lugburz was your road. The Whiteskins are
coming. What's happened to your precious Nazgul? Has he had another mount shot
under him? Now, if you'd brought him along, that might have been useful-if these
Nazgul are all they make out.'
'Nazgul, Nazgul,' said Grishnakh, shivering
and licking his lips, as if the word had a foul taste that he savoured
painfully. 'You speak of what is deep beyond the reach of your muddy dreams,
Ugluk,' he said. 'Nazgul! Ah! All that they make out! One day you'll wish that
you had not said that. Ape!' he snarled fiercely. 'You ought to know that
they're the apple of the Great Eye. But the winged Nazgul: not yet, not yet. He
won't let them show themselves across the Great River yet, not too soon. They're
for the War-and other purposes.'
'You seem to know a lot,' said Ugluk. 'More
than is good for you, I guess. Perhaps those in Lugburz might wonder how, and
why. But in the meantime the Uruk-hai of Isengard can do the dirty work, as
usual. Don't stand slavering there! Get your rabble together! The other swine
are legging it to the forest. You'd better follow. You wouldn't get back to the
Great River alive. Right off the mark! Now! I'll be on your
The Isengarders seized Merry and Pippin again and slung them
on their backs. Then the troop started off. Hour after hour they ran, pausing
now and again only to sling the hobbits to fresh carriers. Either because they
were quicker and hardier, or because of some plan of Grishnakh's, the
Isengarders gradually passed through the Orcs of Mordor, and Grishnakh's folk
closed in behind. Soon they were gaining also on the Northerners ahead. The
forest began to draw nearer.
Pippin was bruised and torn, his aching head was
grated by the filthy jowl and hairy ear of the Orc that held him. Immediately in
front were bowed backs, and tough thick legs going up and down, up and down,
unresting, as if they were made of wire and horn, beating out the nightmare
seconds of an endless time.
In the afternoon Ugluk's troop overtook the
Northerners. They were flagging in the rays of the bright sun, winter sun
shining in a pale cool sky though it was; their heads were down and their
tongues lolling out.
'Maggots!' jeered the Isengarders. 'You're cooked. The
Whiteskins will catch you and eat you. They're coming!'
A cry from Grishnakh
showed that this was not mere jest. Horsemen, riding very swiftly, had indeed
been sighted: still far behind, but gaining on the Orcs, gaining on them like a
tide over the flats on folk straying in a quicksand.
The Isengarders began to
run with a redoubled pace that astonished Pippin, a terrific spurt it seemed for
the end of a race. Then he saw that the sun was sinking, falling behind the
Misty Mountains; shadows reached over the land. The soldiers of Mordor lifted
their heads and also began to put on speed. The forest was dark and close.
Already they had passed a few outlying trees. The land was beginning to slope
upwards. ever more steeply; but the Orcs did not halt. Both Ugluk and Grishnakh
shouted, spurring them on to a last effort.
'They will make it yet.
They will escape,' thought Pippin. And then he managed to twist his neck. so as
to glance back with one eye over his shoulder. He saw that riders away eastward
were already level with the Orcs, galloping over the plain. The sunset gilded
their spears and helmets, and glinted in their pale flowing hair. They were
hemming the Orcs in, preventing them from scattering, and driving them along the
line of the river.
He wondered very much what kind of folk they were. He
wished now that he had learned more in Rivendell, and looked more at maps and
things; but in those days the plans for the journey seemed to be in more
competent hands, and he had never reckoned with being cut off from Gandalf, or
from Strider, and even from Frodo. All that he could remember about Rohan was
that Gandalf's horse, Shadowfax, had come from that land. That sounded hopeful,
as far as it went.
'But how will they know that we are not Orcs?' he thought.
'I don't suppose they've ever heard of hobbits down here. I suppose I ought to
be glad that the beastly Orcs look like being destroyed, but I would rather be
saved myself.' The chances were that he and Merry would be killed together with
their captors, before ever the Men of Rohan were aware of them.
A few of the
riders appeared to be bowmen, skilled at shooting from a running horse. Riding
swiftly into range they shot arrows at the Orcs that straggled behind, and
several of them fell; then the riders wheeled away out of the range of the
answering bows of their enemies, who shot wildly, not daring to halt. This
happened many times, and on one occasion arrows fell among the Isengarders. One
of them, just in front of Pippin, stumbled and did not get up
Night came down without the Riders closing in for battle.
Many Orcs had fallen, but fully two hundred remained. In the early darkness the
Orcs came to a hillock. The eaves of the forest were very near, probably no more
than three furlongs away, but they could go no further. The horsemen had
encircled them. A small band disobeyed Ugluk's command, and ran on towards the
forest: only three returned.
'Well, here we are,' sneered Grishnakh. 'Fine
leadership! I hope the great Ugluk will lead us out again.'
Halflings down!' ordered Ugluk, taking no notice of Grishnakh. 'You, Lugdush,
get two others and stand guard over them! They're not to be killed, unless the
filthy Whiteskins break through. Understand? As long as I'm alive, I want 'em.
But they're not to cry out, and they're not to be rescued. Bind their
The last part of the order was carried out mercilessly. But Pippin
found that for the first time he was close to Merry. The Orcs were making a
great deal of noise, shouting and clashing their weapons, and the hobbits
managed to whisper together for a while.
'I don't think much of this,' said
Merry. 'I feel nearly done in. Don't think I could crawl away far, even if I was
'Lembas!' whispered Pippin. 'Lembas: I've got some. Have you? I don't
think they've taken anything but our swords.'
'Yes, I had a packet in my
pocket,' answered Merry, 'but it must be battered to crumbs. Anyway I can't put
my mouth in my pocket!'
'You won't have to. I've—'; but just then a savage
kick warned Pippin that the noise had died down, and the guards were
The night was cold and still. All round the knoll on which
the Orcs were gathered little watch-fires sprang up, golden-red in the darkness,
a complete ring of them. They were within a long bowshot. but the riders did not
show themselves against the light, and the Orcs wasted many arrows shooting at
the fires, until Ugluk stopped them. The riders made no sound. Later in the
night when the moon came out of the mist, then occasionally they could be seen,
shadowy shapes that glinted now and again in the white light, as they moved in
'They'll wait for the Sun, curse them!' growled one of the
guards. 'Why don't we get together and charge through? What's old Ugluk think
he's doing, I should like to know?'
'I daresay you would,' snarled Ugluk
stepping up from behind. 'Meaning I don't think at all, eh? Curse you! You're as
bad as the other rabble: the maggots and the apes of Lugburz. No good trying to
charge with them. They'd just squeal and bolt, and there are more than enough of
these filthy horse-boys to mop up our lot on the flat.
'There's only one
thing those maggots can do: they can see like gimlets in the dark. But these
Whiteskins have better night-eyes than most Men, from all I've heard; and don't
forget their horses! They can see the night-breeze, or so it's said. Still
there's one thing the fine fellows don't know: Mauhur and his lads are in the
forest, and they should turn up any time now.'
Ugluk's words were enough,
apparently, to satisfy the Isengarders; but the other Orcs were both dispirited
and rebellious. They posted a few watchers, but most of them lay on the ground,
resting in the pleasant darkness. It did indeed become very dark again; for the
moon passed westward into thick cloud, and Pippin could not see anything a few
feet away. The fires brought no light to the hillock. The riders were not,
however, content merely to wait for the dawn and let their enemies rest. A
sudden outcry on the east side of the knoll showed that something was wrong. It
seemed that some of the Men had ridden in close, slipped off their horses,
crawled to the edge of the camp and killed several Orcs, and then had faded away
again. Ugluk dashed off to stop a stampede.
Pippin and Merry sat up. Their
guards, Isengarders, had gone with Ugluk. But if the hobbits had any thought of
escape, it was soon dashed. A long hairy arm took each of them by the neck and
drew them close together. Dimly they were aware of Grishnakh's great head and
hideous face between them; his foul breath was on their cheeks. He began to paw
them and feel them. Pippin shuddered as hard cold fingers groped down his
'Well, my little ones!' said Grishnakh in a soft whisper. 'Enjoying
your nice rest? Or not? A little awkwardly placed, perhaps: swords and whips on
one side, and nasty spears on the other! Little people should not meddle in
affairs that are too big for them.' His fingers continued to grope. There was a
light like a pale but hot fire behind his eyes.
The thought came suddenly
into Pippin's mind, as if caught direct from the urgent thought of his enemy:
'Grishnakh knows about the Ring! He's looking for it, while Ugluk is busy: he
probably wants it for himself.' Cold fear was in Pippin's heart, yet at the same
time he was wondering what use he could make of Grishnakh's desire.
think you will find it that way,' he whispered. 'It isn't easy to
'Find it?' said Grishnakh: his fingers stopped crawling and gripped
Pippin's shoulder. 'Find what? What are you talking about, little one?'. For a
moment Pippin was silent. Then suddenly in the darkness he made a noise in his
throat: gollum, gollum. 'Nothing, my precious,' he added.
The hobbits felt
Grishnakh's fingers twitch. 'O ho!' hissed the goblin softly. 'That's what he
means, is it? O ho! Very ve-ry dangerous, my little ones.'
Merry, now alert and aware of Pippin's guess. 'Perhaps; and not only for us.
Still you know your own business best. Do you want it, or not? And what would
you give for it?'
'Do I want it? Do I want it?' said Grishnakh, as if
puzzled; but his arms were trembling. 'What would I give for it? What do you
'We mean,' said Pippin, choosing his words carefully, 'that it's no
good groping in the dark. We could save you time and trouble. But you must untie
our legs first, or we'll do nothing, and say nothing.'
'My dear tender little
fools,' hissed Grishnakh, 'everything you have, and everything you know, will be
got out of you in due time: everything! You'll wish there was more that you
could tell to satisfy the Questioner, indeed you will: quite soon. We shan't
hurry the enquiry. Oh dear no! What do you think you've been kept alive for? My
dear little fellows, please believe me when I say that it was not out of
kindness: that's not even one of Ugluk's faults.'
'I find it quite easy to
believe,' said Merry. 'But you haven't got your prey home yet. And it doesn't
seem to be going your way, whatever happens. If we come to Isengard, it won't be
the great Grishnakh that benefits: Saruman will take all that he can find. If
you want anything for yourself, now's the time to do a deal.'
to lose his temper. The name of Saruman seemed specially to enrage him. Time was
passing and the disturbance was dying down. Ugluk or the Isengarders might
return at any minute.
'Have you got it – either of you?' he
'Gollum, gollum!' said Pippin.
'Untie our legs!' said
They felt the Orc's arms trembling violently. 'Curse you, you filthy
little vermin!' he hissed. 'Untie your legs? I'll untie every string in your
bodies. Do you think I can't search you to the bones? Search you! I'll cut you
both to quivering shreds. I don't need the help of your legs to get you away-and
have you all to myself!'
Suddenly he seized them. The strength in his long
arms and shoulders was terrifying. He tucked them one under each armpit, and
crushed them fiercely to his sides; a great stifling hand was clapped over each
of their mouths. Then he sprang forward, stooping low. Quickly and silently he
went, until he came to the edge of the knoll. There, choosing a gap between the
watchers, he passed like an evil shadow out into the night, down the slope and
away westward towards the river that flowed out of the forest. In that direction
there was a wide open space with only one fire.
After going a dozen yards he
halted, peering and listening. Nothing could be seen or heard. He crept slowly
on, bent almost double. Then he squatted and listened again. Then he stood up,
as if to risk a sudden dash. At that very moment the dark form of a rider loomed
up right in front of him. A horse snorted and reared. A man called
Grishnakh flung himself on the ground flat, dragging the hobbits under
him; then he drew his sword. No doubt he meant to kill his captives, rather than
allow them to escape or to be rescued; but it was his undoing. The sword rang
faintly, and glinted a little in the light of the fire away to his left. An
arrow came whistling out of the gloom: it was aimed with skill, or guided by
fate, and it pierced his right hand. He dropped the sword and shrieked. There
was a quick beat of hoofs, and even as Grishnakh leaped up and ran, he was
ridden down and a spear passed through him. He gave a hideous shivering cry and
The hobbits remained flat on the ground, as Grishnakh had left
them. Another horseman came riding swiftly to his comrade's aid. Whether because
of some special keenness of sight, or because of some other sense, the horse
lifted and sprang lightly over them; but its rider did not see them, lying
covered in their elven-cloaks, too crushed for the moment, and too afraid to
At last Merry stirred and whispered softly: 'So far so good:
but how are we to avoid being spitted?'
The answer came almost immediately.
The cries of Grishnakh had roused the Orcs. From the yells and screeches that
came from the knoll the hobbits guessed that their disappearance had been
discovered: Ugluk was probably knocking off a few more heads. Then suddenly the
answering cries of orc-voices came from the right, outside the circle of
watch-fires, from the direction of the forest and the mountains. Mauhur had
apparently arrived and was attacking the besiegers. There was the sound of
galloping horses. The Riders were drawing in their ring close round the knoll,
risking the orc-arrows, so as to prevent any sortie, while a company rode off to
deal with the newcomers. Suddenly Merry and Pippin realized that without moving
they were now outside the circle: there was nothing between them and escape.
/.../ Pippin was the first to come back to the present.
'We must be off,' he
said. 'Half a moment!' Grishnakh's sword was lying close at hand, but it was too
heavy and clumsy for him to use; so he crawled forward, and finding the body of
the goblin he drew from its sheath a long sharp knife. With this he quickly cut
'Now for it!' he said. 'When we've warmed up a bit, perhaps we
shall be able to stand again, and walk. But in any case we had better start by
They crawled. The turf was deep and yielding, and that helped
them: but it seemed a long slow business. They gave the watch-fire a wide berth,
and wormed their way forward bit by bit, until they came to the edge of the
river, gurgling away in the black shadows under its deep banks. Then they looked
The sounds had died away. Evidently Mauhur and his 'lads' had been
killed or driven off. The Riders had returned to their silent ominous vigil. It
would not last very much longer. Already the night was old. In the East, which
had remained unclouded, the sky was beginning to grow pale.
'We must get
under cover,' said Pippin, 'or we shall be seen. It will not be any comfort to
us, if these riders discover that we are not Orcs after we are dead.' He got up
and stamped his feet. 'Those cords have cut me like wires; but my feet are
getting warm again. I could stagger on now. What about you, Merry?' /They decide
to escape from Rohirrim to the Forest/.
Far over the Great River,
and the Brown Lands, leagues upon grey leagues away, the Dawn came, red as
flame. Loud rang the hunting-horns to greet it. The Riders of Rohan sprang
suddenly to life. Horn answered horn again.
Merry and Pippin heard, clear in
the cold air, the neighing of war-horses, and the sudden singing of many men.
The Sun's limb was lifted, an arc of fire, above the margin of the world. Then
with a great cry the Riders charged from the East; the red light gleamed on mail
and spear. The Orcs yelled and shot all the arrows that remained to them. The
hobbits saw several horsemen fall; but their line held on up the hill and over
it, and wheeled round and charged again. Most of the raiders that were left
alive then broke and fled, this way and that, pursued one by one to the death.
But one band, holding together in a black wedge, drove forward resolutely in the
direction of the forest. Straight up the slope they charged towards the
watchers. Now they were drawing near, and it seemed certain that they would
escape: they had already hewn down three Riders that barred their way.
have watched too long,' said Merry. 'There's Ugluk! I don't want to meet him
again.' The hobbits turned and fled deep into the shadows of the wood.
was that they did not sec the last stand, when Ugluk was overtaken and brought
to bay at the very edge of Fangorn. There he was slain at last by Éomer, the
Third Marshal of the Mark, who dismounted and fought him sword to sword. And
over the wide fields the keen-eyed Riders hunted down the few Orcs that had
escaped and still had strength to fly.
Then when they had laid their fallen
comrades in a mound and had sung their praises, the Riders made a great fire and
scattered the ashes of their enemies. So ended the raid, and no news of it came
ever back either to Mordor or to Isengard; but the smoke of the burning rose
high to heaven and was seen by many watchful eyes.
LotR. 3:4. Treebeard.
'Hrum, Hoom,' murmured the voice, a deep voice like a very deep
woodwind instrument. 'Very odd indeed! Do not be hasty, that is my motto. But if
I had seen you, before I heard your voices – I liked them: nice little voices;
they reminded me of something I cannot remember – if I had seen you before I
heard you, I should have just trodden on you, taking you for little Orcs, and
found out my mistake afterwards. Very odd you are, indeed. Root and twig, very
LotR. 3:4. Treebeard.
I have told your names to the Entmoot, and
they have seen you, and they have agreed that you are not- Orcs, and that a new
line shall be put in the old lists. We have got no further yet, but that is
quick work for an Entmoot.
LotR. 3:4. Treebeard.
'You do not know, perhaps, how strong we /the Ents/ are. Maybe you have heard of Trolls?
They are mighty strong. But Trolls are only counterfeits, made by the Enemy in
the Great Darkness, in mockery of Ents, as Orcs were of Elves. We are stronger
than Trolls. We are made of the bones of the earth. We can split stone like the
roots of trees, only quicker, far quicker, if our minds are
LotR. 3:5. The White Rider.
'Here at last we find
news!' said Aragorn. He lifted up a broken leaf for them to see, a large pale
leaf of golden hue, now fading and turning brown. 'Here is a mallorn-leaf of
Lórien, and there are small crumbs on it, and a few more crumbs in the grass.
And see! there are some pieces of cut cord lying nearby!'
'And here is the
knife that cut them!' said Gimli. He stooped and drew out of a tussock, into
which some heavy foot had trampled it, a short jagged blade. The haft from which
it had been snapped was beside it. 'It was an orc-weapon,' he said, holding it
gingerly, and looking with disgust at the carved handle: it had been shaped like
a hideous head with squinting eyes and leering mouth.
They did not seek out
the rest of us, nor attack our camp; but instead they went with all speed
towards Isengard. Did they suppose they had captured the Ring-bearer and his
faithful comrade? I think not. Their masters would not dare to give such plain
orders to Orcs, even if they knew so much themselves; they would not speak
openly to them of the Ring: they are not trusty servants. But I think the Orcs
had been commanded to capture hobbits, alive, at all costs. An attempt was made
to slip out with the precious prisoners before the battle. Treachery perhaps,
likely enough with such folk; some large and bold Orc may have been trying to
escape with the prize alone, for his own ends. There, that is my
LotR. 3:7. Helm's Deep.
Behind them orc-archers
crowded, sending a hail of darts against the bowmen on the walls. They gained
the gates. The trees, swung by strong arms, smote the timbers with a rending
boom. If any man fell, crushed by a stone hurtling from above, two others sprang
to take his place. Again and again the great rams swung and
LotR. 3:7. Helm's Deep.
'Yet we cannot stay here
beyond the walls to defend them,' said Eomer. 'Look!' He pointed to the
causeway. Already a great press of Orcs and Men were gathering again beyond the
stream. Arrows whined, and skipped on the stones about
LotR. 3:7. Helm's Deep.
'But the Orcs have brought a
devilry from Orthanc,' said Aragorn. 'They have a blasting fire, and with it
they took the Wall. If they cannot come in the caves, they may seal up those
that are inside. But now we must turn all our thoughts to our own
LotR. 3:7. Helm's Deep.
At last Aragorn stood above
the great gates, heedless of the darts of the enemy. As he looked forth he saw
the eastern sky grow pale. Then he raised his empty hand, palm outward in token
The Orcs yelled and jeered. 'Come down! Come down!' they cried.
'If you wish to speak to us, come down! Bring out your king! We are the fighting
Uruk-hai. We will fetch him from his hole, if he does not come. Bring out your
'The king stays or comes at his own will,' said
'Then what are you doing here?' they answered. 'Why do you look out?
Do you wish to see the greatness of our army? We are the fighting
'I looked out to see the dawn,' said Aragorn.
'What of the
dawn?' they jeered. 'We are the Uruk-hai: we do not stop the fight for night or
day, for fair weather or for storm. We come to kill, by sun or moon. What of the
'None knows what the new day shall bring him,' said Aragorn. 'Get you
gone, ere it turn to your evil.'
'Get down or we will shoot you from the
wall,' they cried. 'This is no parley. You have nothing to say.' /The Orcs have
respect to parley!/
'I have still this to say,' answered Aragorn. 'No enemy
has yet taken the Hornburg. Depart, or not one of you will be spared. Not one
will be left alive to take back tidings to the North. You do not know your
So great a power and royalty was revealed in Aragorn, as he stood
there alone above the ruined gates before the host of his enemies, that many of
the wild men paused, and looked back over their shoulders to the valley, and
some looked up doubtfully at the sky. But the Orcs laughed with loud voices; and
a hail of darts and arrows whistled over the wall, as Aragorn leaped
There was a roar and a blast of fire. The archway of the gate above
which he had stood a moment before crumbled and crashed in smoke and dust. The
barricade was scattered as if by a thunderbolt. Aragorn ran to the king's
LotR. 3:8. The Road to Isengard.
No Orcs remained
alive; their bodies were uncounted. But a great many of the hillmen had given
themselves up; and they were afraid, and cried for mercy. The Men of the Mark
took their weapons from them, and set them to work.
The Road to Isengard.
'This is our way,' said Gandalf. 'Grievous is the fall
of your men; but you shall see that at least the wolves of the mountains do not
devour them. It is with their friends, the Orcs, that they hold their feast:
such indeed is the friendship of their kind.'
Flotsam and Jetsam.
'Less than an eye!' said Gimli. 'But I will not go into
any orc-house nor touch Orcs' meat or anything that they have mauled.'
wouldn't ask you to,' said Merry. 'We have had enough of Orcs ourselves to last
a life-time. But there were many other folk in Isengard. Saruman kept enough
wisdom not to trust his Orcs. He had Men to guard his gates: some of his most
faithful servants, I suppose. Anyway they were favoured and got good
LotR. 4:2. The Passage of the Marshes.
know,' said Frodo in a dreamlike voice. 'But I have seen them too. In the pools
when the candles were lit. They lie in all the pools, pale faces, deep deep
under the dark water. I saw them: grim faces and evil, and noble faces and sad.
Many faces proud and fair, and weeds in their silver hair. But all foul, all
rotting, all dead. A fell light is in them.' Frodo hid his eyes in his hands. 'I
know not who they are; but I thought I saw there Men and Elves, and Orcs beside
`Yes, yes,' said Gollum. `All dead, all rotten. Elves and Men and
Orcs. The Dead Marshes. There was a great battle long ago, yes, so they told him
when Smeagol was young, when I was young before the Precious came. It was a
great battle. Tall Men with long swords, and terrible Elves, and Orcses
shrieking. They fought on the plain for days and months at the Black Gates. But
the Marshes have grown since then, swallowed up the graves; always creeping,
LotR. 4:5. The Window on the West.
Gollum/ 'Yes, the skulking fellow that we saw with his nose in the pool down
yonder. He had an ill-favoured look. Some spying breed of Orc, I guess, or a
creature of theirs.'
LotR. 4:5. The Window on the
/Frodo to Faramir/ ‘Or are you now trying to snare me with a
`I would not snare even an orc with a falsehood,' said
LotR. 4:8. The Stairs of Cirith Ungol.
when we'll find water again? ' said Sam. 'But I suppose even over there they
drink? Orcs drink, don't they? '
'Yes, they drink,' said Frodo. 'But do not
let us speak of that. Such drink is not for us.'
`Then all the more need to
fill our bottles,' said Sam. `But there isn't any water up here: not a sound or
a trickle have I heard. And anyway Faramir said we were not to drink any water
LotR. 4:10. The Choices of Master Samwise.
could not tell how near the voices were, the words seemed almost in his
'Hola! Gorbag! What are you doing up here? Had enough of war already?
'Orders, you lubber. And what are you doing, Shagrat? Tired of lurking up
there? Thinking of coming down to fight? '
'Orders to you. I'm in command of
this pass. So speak civil. What's your report? '
yoi!' A yell broke into the exchanges of the leaders. The Orcs lower down had
suddenly seen something. They began to run. So did the others.
Here's something! Lying right in the road. A spy, a spy! ' There was a hoot of
snarling horns and a babel of baying voices. /.../
There was a wild clamour,
hooting and laughing, as something was lifted from the ground. 'Ya hoi! Ya harri
hoi! Up! Up! '
Then a voice shouted: `Now off! The quick way. Back to the
Undergate! She'll not trouble us tonight by all the signs.' The whole band of
orc-figures began to move. Four in the middle were carrying a body high on their
shoulders. `Ya hoi! ' /../
/Orcs/ gabbled and yammered after the fashion of
their kind. Sam heard the noise of their harsh voices, flat and hard in the dead
air, and he could distinguish two voices from among all the rest: they were
louder, and nearer to him. The captains of the two parties seemed to be bringing
up the rear, debating as they went.
'Can't you stop your rabble making such a
racket, Shagrat? ' grunted the one. `We don't want Shelob on us.'
Gorbag! Yours are making more than half the noise,' said the other. `But let the
lads play! No need to worry about Shelob for a bit, I reckon. She's sat on a
nail, it seems, and we shan't cry about that. Didn't you see: a nasty mess all
the way back to that cursed crack of hers? If we've stopped it once, we've
stopped it a hundred times. So let 'em laugh. And we've struck a bit of luck at
last: got something that Lugburz wants.'
'Lugburz wants it, eh? What is it,
d'you think? Elvish it looked to me, but undersized. What's the danger in a
thing like that? '
'Don't know till we've had a look.'
'Oho! So they
haven't told you what to expect? They don't tell us all they know, do they? Not
by half. But they can make mistakes, even the Top Ones can.'
Shagrat's voice was lowered, so that even with his strangely sharpened hearing
Sam could only just catch what was said. 'They may, but they've got eyes and
ears everywhere; some among my lot, as like as not. But there's no doubt about
it, they're troubled about something. The Nazgul down below are, by your
account; and Lugburz is too. Something nearly slipped.'
`Nearly, you say! '
`All right,' said Shagrat, `but we'll talk of that later: Wait
till we get to the Under-way. There's a place there where we can talk a bit,
while the lads go on.'
Shortly afterwards Sam saw the torches disappear. Then
there was a rumbling noise, and just as he hurried up, a bump. As far as he
could guess the Orcs had turned and gone into the very opening which Frodo and
he had tried and found blocked. It was still blocked.
There seemed to be a
great stone in the way, but the Orcs had got through somehow, for he could hear
their voices on the other side. They were still running along, deeper and deeper
into the mountain, back towards the tower. Sam felt desperate. They were
carrying off his master's body for some foul purpose and he could not follow. He
thrust and pushed at the block, and he threw himself against it, but it did not
yield. Then not far inside, or so he thought, he heard the two captains' voices
talking again. He stood still listening for a little hoping perhaps to learn
something useful. Perhaps Gorbag, who seemed to belong to Minas Morgul, would
come out, and he could then slip in.
`No, I don't know,' said Gorbag's voice.
`The messages go through quicker than anything could fly, as a rule. But I don't
enquire how it's done. Safest not to. Grr! Those Nazgul give me the creeps. And
they skin the body off you as soon as look at you, and leave you all cold in the
dark on the other side. But He likes 'em; they're His favourites nowadays, so
it's no use grumbling. I tell you, it's no game serving down in the
`You should try being up here with Shelob for company,' said
'I'd like to try somewhere where there's none of 'em. But the war's
on now, and when that's over things may be easier.'
`It's going well, they
'They would.' grunted Gorbag. `We'll see. But anyway, if it does go
well, there should be a lot more room. What d'you say? – if we get a chance, you
and me'll slip off and set up somewhere on our own with a few trusty lads,
somewhere where there's good loot nice and handy, and no big bosses.'
said Shagrat. `Like old times.'
`Yes,' said Gorbag. 'But don't count on it.
I'm not easy in my mind. As I said, the Big Bosses, ay,' his voice sank almost
to a whisper, `ay, even the Biggest, can make mistakes. Something nearly slipped
you say. I say, something has slipped. And we've got to look out. Always the
poor Uruks to put slips right, and small thanks. But don't forget: the enemies
don't love us any more than they love Him, and if they get topsides on Him,
we're done too. But see here: when were you ordered out? '
`About an hour
ago, just before you saw us. A message came: Nazgul uneasy. Spies feared on
Stairs. Double vigilance. Patrol to head of Stairs. I came at once.'
business,' said Gorbag. `See here – our Silent Watchers were uneasy more than
two days ago. that I know. But my patrol wasn't ordered out for another day, nor
any message sent to Lugburz either: owing to the Great Signal going up, and the
High Nazgul going off to the war, and all that. And then they couldn't get
Lugburz to pay attention for a good while, I'm told.'
`The Eye was busy
elsewhere, I suppose,' said Shagrat. `Big things going on away west, they
'I daresay,' growled Gorbag. `But in the meantime enemies have got up
the Stairs. And what were you up to? You're supposed to keep watch, aren't you,
special orders or no? What are you for?'
`That's enough! Don't try and teach
me my job. We were awake all right. We knew there were funny things going
`Very funny! '
`Yes, very funny: lights and shouting and all. But
Shelob was on the go. My lads saw her and her Sneak.'
`Her Sneak? What's
`You must have seen him: little thin black fellow; like a spider
himself, or perhaps more like a starved frog. He's been here before. Came out of
Lugburz the first time, years ago, and we had word from High Up to let him pass.
He's been up the Stairs once or twice since then, but we've left him alone:
seems to have some understanding with Her Ladyship. I suppose he's no good to
eat: she wouldn't worry about words from High Up. But a fine guard you keep in
the valley: he was up here a day before all this racket. Early last night we saw
him. Anyway my lads reported that Her Ladyship was having some fun, and that
seemed good enough for me, until the message came. I thought her Sneak had
brought her a toy. or that you'd perhaps sent her a present, a prisoner of war
or something. I don't interfere when she's playing. Nothing gets by Shelob when
she's on the hunt.'
'Nothing, say you! Didn't you use your eyes back there? I
tell you I'm not easy in my mind. Whatever came up the Stairs, did get by. It
cut her web and got clean out of the hole. That's something to think about!
`Ah well, but she got him in the end, didn't she? '
`Got him? Got who?
This little fellow? But if he was the only one then she'd have had him off to
her larder long before, and there he'd be now. And if Lugburz wanted him, you'd
have to go and get him. Nice for you. But there was more than one.'
point Sam began to listen more attentively and pressed his ear against the
'Who cut the cords she'd put round him, Shagrat? Same one as cut the
web. Didn't you see that? And who stuck a pin into Her Ladyship? Same one, I
reckon. And where is he? Where is he, Shagrat? '
Shagrat made no
`You may well put your thinking cap on, if you've got one. It's no
laughing matter. No one, no one has ever stuck a pin in Shelob before, as you
should know well enough. There's no grief in that; but think-there's someone
loose hereabouts as is more dangerous than any other damned rebel that ever
walked since the bad old times, since the Great Siege. Something has
`And what is it then? ' growled Shagrat.
`By all the signs,
Captain Shagrat, I'd say there's a large warrior loose, Elf most likely, with an
elf-sword anyway, and an axe as well maybe: and he's loose in your bounds, too,
and you've never spotted him. Very funny indeed! ' Gorbag spat. Sam smiled
grimly at this description of himself.
'Ah well, you always did take a gloomy
view.' said Shagrat. 'You can read the signs how you like, but there may be
other ways to explain them. Anyhow. I've got watchers at every point, and I'm
going to deal with one thing at a time. When I've had a look at the fellow we
have caught, then I'll begin to worry about something else.'
`It's my guess
you won't find much in that little fellow,' said Gorbag. 'He may have had
nothing to do with the real mischief. The big fellow with the sharp sword
doesn't seem to have thought him worth much anyhow – just left him lying:
regular elvish trick.'
`We'll see. Come on now! We've talked enough. Let's go
and have a look at the prisoner!
`What are you going to do with him? Don't
forget I spotted him first. If there's any game, me and my lads must be in
'Now, now,' growled Shagrat. 'I have my orders. And it's more than my
belly's worth, or yours, to break 'em. Any trespasser found by the guard is to
be held at the tower. Prisoner is to be stripped. Full description of every
article, garment, weapon, letter, ring. or trinket is to be sent to Lugburz at
once, and to Lugburz only. And the prisoner is to be kept safe and intact, under
pain of death for every member of the guard, until He sends or comes Himself.
That's plain enough, and that's what I'm going to do.'
'Stripped, eh? ' said
Gorbag. 'What, teeth, nails, hair, and all? '
`No, none of that. He's for
Lugburz, I tell you. He's wanted safe and whole.'
'You'll find that
difficult,' laughed Gorbag. 'He's nothing but carrion now. What Lugburz will do
with such stuff I can't guess. He might as well go in the pot.'
snarled Shagrat. 'You've been talking very clever, but there's a lot you don't
know, though most other folk do. You'll be for the pot or for Shelob, if you
don't take care. Carrion! Is that all you know of Her Ladyship? When she binds
with cords, she's after meat. She doesn't eat dead meat, nor suck cold blood.
This fellow isn't dead! '/.../
`Garn!' said Shagrat. 'She's got more than one
poison. When she's hunting, she just gives 'em a dab in the neck and they go as
limp as boned fish, and then she has her way with them. D'you remember old
Ufthak? We lost him for days. Then we found him in a corner; hanging up he was,
but he was wide awake and glaring. How we laughed! She'd forgotten him, maybe,
but we didn't touch him-no good interfering with Her. Nar – this little filth,
he'll wake up, in a few hours; and beyond feeling a bit sick for a hit, he'll be
all right. Or would be, if Lugburz would let him alone. And of course, beyond
wondering where he is and what's happened to him.'
'And what's going to
happen to him,' laughed Gorbag. 'We can tell him a few stories at any rate, if
we can't do anything else. I don't suppose he's ever been in lovely Lugburz, so
he may like to know what to expect. This is going to be more funny than I
thought. Let's go!'
`There's going to be no fun, I tell you,' said Shagrat.
'And he's got to be kept safe, or we're all as good as dead.'
`All right! But
if I were you, I'd catch the big one that's loose, before you send in any report
to Lugburz. It won't sound too pretty to say you've caught the kitten and let
the cat escape.'
The voices began to move away. /.../
He was catching
the two Orcs up: their voices were growing nearer again. Now they seemed quite
`That's what I'm going to do,' said Shagrat in angry tones. 'Put him
right up in the top chamber.'
`What for? ' growled Gorbag. `Haven't you any
lock-ups down below? '
`He's going out of harm's way, I tell you,' answered
Shagrat. 'See? He's precious. I don't trust all my lads, and none of yours; nor
you neither, when you're mad for fun. He's going where I want him, and where you
won't come, if you don't keep civil. Up to the top, I say. He'll be safe
Gorbag and Shagrat were drawing near the gate.
Sam heard a
burst of hoarse singing, blaring of horns and banging of gongs, a hideous
clamour. Gorbag and Shagrat were already on the
LotR. 5:4. The Siege of Gondor.
there was a tumult of fierce cries. Horsemen of the enemy swept up. The lines of
fire became flowing torrents, file upon file of Orcs bearing flames, and wild
Southron men with red banners, shouting with harsh tongues, surging up,
overtaking the retreat. And with a piercing cry out of the dim sky fell the
winged shadows, the Nazgul stooping to the kill.
LotR. 5:4. The Siege of Gondor.
‘There is no news of the Rohirrim,’ he said. ‘Rohan will not
come now. Or if they come, it will not avail us. The new host that we had
tidings of has come first, from over the River by way of Andros, it is said.
They are strong: battalions of Orcs of the Eye, and countless companies of Men
of a new sort that we have not met before. Not tall, but broad and grim, bearded
like dwarves, wielding great axes. Out of some savage land in the wide East they
come, we deem’.
LotR. 5:4. The Siege of Gondor.
Busy as ants
hurrying orcs were digging, digging lines of deep trenches in a huge ring, just
out of bowshot from the walls; and as the trenches were made each was filled
with fire, though how it was kindled or fed, by art or devilry, none could see.
All day the labour went forward, while the men of Minas Tirith looked on, unable
to hinder it. And as each length of trench was completed, they could see great
wains approaching; and soon yet more companies of the enemy were swiftly setting
up, each behind the cover of a trench, great engines for the casting of
missiles. There were none upon the City walls large enough to reach so far or to
stay the work.
LotR. 5:5. The Ride of the Rohirrim.
‘No, father of Horse-men,’ he said, ‘we fight not. Hunt only. Kill gorgun in woods,
hate orc-folk. You hate gorgun too. We help as we can. Wild Men have long ears
and long eyes; know all paths. Wild Men live here before Stone-houses; before
Tall Men come up out of Water.’
‘But our need is for aid in battle,’ said
Eomer. ‘How will you and your folk help us?’
‘Bring news,’ said the Wild Man.
‘We look out from hills. We climb big mountain and look down. Stone-city is
shut. Fire burns there outside; now inside too. You wish to come there? Then you
must be quick. But gorgun and men out of far-away,’ he waved a short gnarled arm
eastward, ‘sit on horse-road. Very many, more than Horse-men.’
‘How do you
know that?’ said Eomer.
The old man’s flat face and dark eyes showed nothing,
but his voice was sullen with displeasure. ‘Wild men are wild, free, but not
children,’ he answered. ‘I am great headman, Ghan-buri-Ghan. I count many
things: stars in sky, leaves on trees, men in the dark. You have a score of
scores counted ten times and five. They have more. Big fight, and who will win?
And many more walk round walls of Stone-houses.’
‘Alas! he speaks all too
shrewdly,’ said Theoden. ‘And our scouts say that they have cast trenches and
stakes across the road. We cannot sweep them away in sudden onset.’
we need great haste,’ said Eomer. ‘Mundburg is on fire!’
finish!’ said the Wild Man. ‘More than one road he knows. He will lead you by
road where no pits are, no gorgun walk, only Wild Men and beasts. Many paths
were made when Stonehouse-folk were stronger. They carved hills as hunters carve
beast-flesh. Wild Men think they ate stone for food. They went through Druadan
to Rimmon with great wains. They go no longer. Road is forgotten, but not by
Wild Men. Over hill and behind hill it lies still under grass and tree, there
behind Rimmon and down to Dîn, and back at the end to Horse-men’s road. Wild Men
will show you that road. Then you will kill gorgun and drive away bad dark with
bright iron, and Wild Men can go back to sleep in the wild woods.’
the king spoke together in their own tongue. At length Theoden turned to the
Wild Man. ‘We will receive your offer,’ he said. ‘For though we leave a host of
foes behind, what matter? If the Stone-city falls, then we shall have no
returning. If it is saved, then the orc-host itself will be cut off. If you are
faithful, Ghan-buri-Ghan, then we will give you rich reward, and you shall have
the friendship of the Mark for ever.’
‘Dead men are not friends to living
men, and give them no gifts,’ said the Wild Man. ‘But if you live after the
Darkness, then leave Wild Men alone in the woods and do not hunt them like
beasts any more. Ghan-buri-Ghan will not lead you into trap. He will go himself
with father of Horse-men, and if he leads you wrong, you will kill him.’
be it!’ said Theoden.
LotR. 5:6. The Battle of the Pelennor
East rode the knights of Dol Amroth driving the enemy before them:
troll-men and Variags and orcs that hated the sunlight.
LotR. 5:10. The Black Gate Opens.
It was dark and
lifeless; for the Orcs and lesser creatures of Mordor that had dwelt there had
been destroyed in battle, and the Nazgul were abroad.
The Black Gate Opens.
For a strong force of Orcs and Easterlings attempted to
take their leading companies in an ambush; and that was in the very place where
Faramir had waylaid the men of Harad, and the road went in a deep cutting
through an out-thrust of the eastward hills.
LotR. 6:1. The
Tower of Cirith Ungol.
He /Sam/ could not go far on the guarded road beyond:
not even the black shadows, lying deep where the red glow could not reach, would
shield him long from the night-eyed orcs.
LotR. 6:1. The Tower
of Cirith Ungol.
At first Sam did not listen; he took a pace out of the
eastward door and looked about. At once he saw that up here the fighting had
been fiercest. All the court was choked with dead orcs or their severed and
scattered heads and limbs. The place stank of death. A snarl followed by a blow
and a cry sent him darting back into hiding. An orc-voice rose in anger, and he
knew it again at once, harsh, brutal, cold. It was Shagrat speaking, Captain of
`You won’t go again, you say? Curse you, Snaga, you little maggot!
If you think I’m so damaged that it’s safe to flout me, you’re mistaken Come
here, and I’ll squeeze your eyes out, like I did to Radbug just now. And when
some new lads come, I’ll deal with you: I’ll send you to Shelob.’
come, not before you’re dead anyway,’ answered Snaga surlily. ‘I’ve told you
twice that Gorbag’s swine got to the gate first, and none of ours got out.
Lagduf and Muzgash ran through, but they were shot. I saw it from a window, I
tell you. And they were the last.’
‘Then you must go. I must stay here
anyway. But I’m hurt. The Black Pits take that filthy rebel Gorbag!’ Shagrat’s
voice trailed off into a string of foul names and curses. `I gave him better
than I got, but he knifed me, the dung, before I throttled him. You must go, or
I’ll eat you. News must get through to Lugburz, or we’ll both be for the Black
Pits. Yes, you too. You won’t escape by skulking here.’
`I’m not going down
those stairs again,’ growled Snaga, `be you captain or no. Nar! Keep your hands
off your knife, or I’ll put an arrow in your guts. You won’t be a captain long
when They hear about all these goings-on. I’ve fought for the Tower against
those stinking Morgul-rats, but a nice mess you two precious captains have made
of things, fighting over the swag.’
‘That’s enough from you,’ snarled
Shagrat. `I had my orders. It was Gorbag started it, trying to pinch that pretty
`Well, you put his back up, being so high and mighty. And he had more
sense than you anyway. He told you more than once that the most dangerous of
these spies was still loose, and you wouldn’t listen. And you won’t listen now.
Gorbag was right, I tell you. There’s a great fighter about, one of those
bloody-handed Elves, or one of the filthy tarks /«The Men of Gondor» in Orkish,
from elv.-adun ‘tarkil’/. He’s coming here, I tell you. You heard the bell. He’s
got past the Watchers, and that’s tark’s work. He’s on the stairs. And until
he’s off them, I’m not going down. Not if you were a Nazgul, I wouldn’t.’
that’s it, is it?’ yelled Shagrat. ‘You’ll do this, and you’ll not do that? And
when he does come, you’ll bolt and leave me? No, you won’t! I’ll put red
maggot-holes in your belly first.’
Out of the turret-door the smaller orc
came flying. Behind him came Shagrat, a large orc with long arms that, as he ran
crouching, reached to the ground. But one arm hung limp and seemed to be
bleeding; the other hugged a large black bundle. In the red glare Sam, cowering
behind the stair-door, caught a glimpse of his evil face as it passed: it was
scored as if by rending claws and smeared with blood; slaver dripped from its
protruding fangs; the mouth snarled like an animal.
As far as Sam could see,
Shagrat hunted Snaga round the roof, until ducking and eluding him the smaller
orc with a yelp darted back into the turret and disappeared. Then Shagrat
halted. Out of the eastward door Sam could see him now by the parapet, panting,
his left claw clenching and unclenching feebly. He put the bundle on the floor
and with his right claw drew out a long red knife and spat on it. Going to the
parapet he leaned over, looking down into the outer court far below. Twice he
shouted but no answer came.
Suddenly, as Shagrat was stooped over the
battlement, his back to the roof-top, Sam to his amazement saw that one of the
sprawling bodies was moving. It was crawling. It put out a claw and clutched the
bundle. It staggered up. In its other hand it held a broad-headed spear with a
short broken haft. It was poised for a stabbing thrust. But at that very moment
a hiss escaped its teeth, a gasp of pain or hate. Quick as a snake Shagrat
slipped aside, twisted round, and drove his knife into his enemy’s
`Got you, Gorbag!’ he cried. ‘Not quite dead, eh? Well, I’ll finish
my job now.’ He sprang on to the fallen body, and stamped and trampled it in his
fury, stooping now and again to stab and slash it with his knife. Satisfied at
last, he threw back his head and let out a horrible gurgling yell of triumph.
Then he licked his knife, and put it between his teeth, and catching up the
bundle he came loping towards the near door of the stairs.
Sam had no time to
think. He might have slipped out of the other door, but hardly without being
seen; and he could not have played hide-and-seek with this hideous orc for long.
He did what was probably the best thing he could have done. He sprang out to
meet Shagrat with a shout. He was no longer holding the Ring, but it was there,
a hidden power, a cowing menace to the slaves of Mordor; and in his hand was
Sting, and its light smote the eyes of the orc like the glitter of cruel stars
in the terrible elf-countries, the dream of which was a cold fear to all his
kind. And Shagrat could not both fight and keep hold of his treasure. He
stopped, growling, baring his fangs. Then once more, orc-fashion, he leapt
aside, and as Sam sprang at him, using the heavy bundle as both shield and
weapon, he thrust it hard into his enemy’s face. Sam staggered, and before he
could recover, Shagrat darted past and down the stairs.
Sam ran after him,
cursing, but he did not go far. Soon the thought of Frodo returned to him, and
he remembered that the other orc had gone back into the turret. Here was another
dreadful choice, and he had no time to ponder it. If Shagrat got away, he would
soon get help and come back. But if Sam pursued him, the other orc might do some
horrible deed up there. And anyway Sam might miss Shagrat or be killed by him.
He turned quickly and ran back up the stairs. `Wrong again, I expect,’ he
sighed. `But it’s my job to go right up to the top first, whatever happens
Away below Shagrat went leaping down the stairs and out over the
court and through the gate, bearing his precious burden.
LotR. 6:1. The Tower of Cirith Ungol.
The door closed with a dull thud; and then a
snarling orc-voice rang out.
‘Ho la! You up there, you dunghill rat! Stop
your squeaking, or I’ll come and deal with you. D’you hear?’
There was no
‘All right,’ growled Snaga. `But I’ll come and have a look at you all
the same, and see what you’re up to.’
The hinges creaked again, and Sam, now
peering over the corner of the passage-threshold, saw a flicker of light in an
open doorway, and the dim shape of an orc coming out. He seemed to be carrying a
ladder. Suddenly the answer dawned on Sam: the topmost chamber was reached by a
trap-door in the roof of the passage. Snaga thrust the ladder upwards, steadied
it, and then clambered out of sight. Sam heard a bolt drawn back. Then he heard
the hideous voice speaking again.
`You lie quiet, or you’ll pay for it!
You’ve not got long to live in peace, I guess; but if you don’t want the fun to
begin right now, keep your trap shut, see? There’s a reminder for you!’ There
was a sound like the crack of a whip.
At that rage blazed in Sam’s heart to a
sudden fury. He sprang up, ran, and went up the ladder like a cat. His head came
out in the middle of the floor of a large round chamber. A red lamp hung from
its roof; the westward window-slit was high and dark. Something was lying on the
floor by the wall under the window, but over it a black orc-shape was straddled.
It raised a whip a second time, but the blow never fell.
With a cry Sam leapt
across the floor, Sting in hand. The orc wheeled round, but before it could make
a move Sam slashed its whip-hand from its arm. Howling with pain and fear but
desperate the orc charged head-down at him. Sam’s next blow went wide, and
thrown off his balance he fell backwards, clutching at the orc as it stumbled
over him. Before he could scramble up he heard a cry and a thud. The orc in its
wild haste had tripped on the ladder-head and fallen through the open
LotR. 6:1. The Tower of Cirith Ungol.
He opened the bundle. Frodo
looked in disgust at the contents, but there was nothing for it: he had to put
the things on, or go naked. There were long hairy breeches of some unclean
beast-fell, and a tunic of dirty leather. He drew them on. Over the tunic went a
coat of stout ring-mail, short for a full-sized orc, too long for Frodo and
heavy. About it he clasped a belt, at which there hung a short sheath holding a
broad-bladed stabbing-sword. Sam had brought several orc-helmets. One of them
fitted Frodo well enough, a black cap with iron rim, and iron hoops covered with
leather upon which the evil Eye was painted in red above the beaklike
`The Morgul-stuff, Gorbag’s gear, was a better fit and better
made,’ said Sam; `but it wouldn’t do, I guess, to go carrying his tokens into
Mordor, not after this business here. Well, there you are, Mr. Frodo. A perfect
little orc, if I may make so bold-at least you would be, if we could cover your
face with a mask, give you longer arms, and make you bow-legged. This will hide
some of the tell-tales.’ He put a large black cloak round Frodo’s shoulders.
`Now you’re ready! You can pick up a shield as we go.’
LotR. 6:1. The Tower of Cirith Ungol.
Don’t orcs eat, and don’t they drink? Or do
they just live on foul air and poison?’
`No, they eat and drink, Sam. The
Shadow that bred them can only mock, it cannot make: not real new things of its
own. I don’t think it gave life to the orcs, it only ruined them and twisted
them; and if they are to live at all, they have to live like other living
creatures. Foul waters and foul meats they’ll take, if they can get no better,
but not poison. They’ve fed me, and so I’m better off than you. There must be
food and water somewhere in this place.’
LotR. 6:2. The Land of Shadow
When the sound of hoof and foot had passed he ventured a whisper.
‘Bless me, Mr. Frodo, but I didn’t know as anything grew in Mordor! But if I had
a’known, this is just what I’d have looked for. These thorns must be a foot long
by the feel of them; they’ve stuck through everything I’ve got on. Wish I’d
a’put that mail-shirt on!’
‘Orc-mail doesn’t keep these thorns out,’ said
Frodo. ‘Not even a leather jerkin is any good.’
LotR. 6:2. The Land of Shadow
Hardly twenty paces from where the hobbits lurked the small
orc stopped. ‘Nar!’ it snarled. ‘I’m going home.’ It pointed across the valley
to the orc-hold. ‘No good wearing my nose out on stones any more. There’s not a
trace left, I say. I’ve lost the scent through giving way to you. It went up
into the hills, not along the valley, I tell you.’
‘Not much use are you, you
little snufflers?’ said the big orc. ‘I reckon eyes are better than your snotty
‘Then what have you seen with them?’ snarled the other. ‘Garn! You
don’t even know what you’re looking for.’
‘Whose blame’s that?’ said the
soldier. ‘Not mine. That comes from Higher Up. First they say it’s a great Elf
in bright armour, then it’s a sort of small dwarf-man, then it must be a pack of
rebel Uruk-hai; or maybe it’s all the lot together.’
‘Ar!’ said the tracker.
‘They’ve lost their heads, that’s what it is. And some of the bosses are going
to lose their skins too, I guess, if what I hear is true: Tower raided and all,
and hundreds of your lads done in, and prisoner got away. If that’s the way you
fighters go on, small wonder there’s bad news from the battles.’
there’s bad news?’ shouted the soldier.
‘Ar! Who says there
‘That’s cursed rebel-talk, and I’ll stick you, if you don’t shut it
‘All right, all right!’ said the tracker. ‘I’ll say no more and
go on thinking. But what’s the black sneak got to do with it all? That gobbler
with the flapping hands?’
‘I don’t know. Nothing, maybe. But he’s up to no
good, nosing around, I’ll wager. Curse him! No sooner had he slipped us and run
off than word came he’s wanted alive, wanted quick.’
‘Well, I hope they get
him and put him through it,’ growled the tracker. ‘He messed up the scent back
there, pinching that cast-off mail-shirt that he found, and paddling all round
the place before I could get there.’
‘It saved his life anyhow,’ said the
soldier. ‘Why, before I knew he was wanted I shot him, as neat as neat, at fifty
paces right in the back; but he ran on.’
‘Garn! You missed him,’ said the
tracker. ‘First you shoot wild, then you run too slow, and then you send for the
poor trackers. I’ve had enough of you.’ He loped off.
‘You come back,’
shouted the soldier, ‘or I’ll report you!’
‘Who to? Not to your precious
Shagrat. He won’t be captain any more.’
‘I’ll give your name and number to
the Nazgul,’ said the soldier lowering his voice to a hiss. ‘One of them’s in
charge at the Tower now.’
The other halted, and his voice was full of fear
and rage. ‘You cursed peaching sneakthief!’ he yelled. ‘You can’t do your job,
and you can’t even stick by your own folk. Go to your filthy Shriekers, and may
they freeze the flesh off you! If the enemy doesn’t get them first. They’ve done
in Number One, I’ve heard, and I hope it’s true!’
The big orc, spear in hand,
leapt after him. But the tracker, springing behind a stone, put an arrow in his
eye as he ran up, and he fell with a crash. The other ran off across the valley
For a while the hobbits sat in silence. At length Sam
stirred. ‘Well I call that neat as neat,’ he said. ‘If this nice friendliness
would spread about in Mordor, half our trouble would be over.’
Sam,’ Frodo whispered. ‘There may be others about. We have evidently had a very
narrow escape, and the hunt was hotter on our tracks than we guessed. But that
is the spirit of Mordor, Sam; and it has spread to every corner of it. Orcs have
always behaved like that, or so all tales say, when they are on their own. But
you can’t get much hope out of it. They hate us far more, altogether and all the
time. If those two had seen us, they would have dropped all their quarrel until
we were dead.’
LotR. 6:2. The Land of Shadow
They /Sam and
Frodo/ did not have to wait long. The orcs were going at a great pace. Those in
the foremost files bore torches. On they came, red flames in the dark, swiftly
growing. Now Sam too bowed his head, hoping that it would hide his face when the
torches reached them; and he set their shields before their knees to hide their
‘If only they are in a hurry and will let a couple of tired soldiers
alone and pass on!’ he thought.
And so it seemed that they would. The leading
orcs came loping along, panting, holding their heads down. They were a gang of
the smaller breeds being driven unwilling to their Dark Lord’s wars; all they
cared for was to get the march over and escape the whip. Beside them, running up
and down the line, went two of the large fierce uruks, cracking lashes and
shouting. File after file passed, and the tell-tale torchlight was already some
way ahead. Sam held his breath. Now more than half the line had gone by. Then
suddenly one of the slave-drivers spied the two figures by the road-side. He
flicked a whip at them and yelled: ‘Hi, you! Get up!’ They did not answer, and
with a shout he halted the whole company.
‘Come on, you slugs!’ he cried.
‘This is no time for slouching.’ He took a step towards them, and even in the
gloom he recognized the devices on their shields. ‘Deserting, eh?’ he snarled.
‘Or thinking of it? All your folk should have been inside Udun before yesterday
evening. You know that. Up you get and fall in, or I’ll have your numbers and
They struggled to their feet, and keeping bent, limping like
footsore soldiers, they shuffled back towards the rear of the line. ‘No, not at
the rear!’ the slave-driver shouted. ‘Three files up. And stay there, or you’ll
know it, when I come down the line!’ He sent his long whip-lash cracking over
their heads; then with another crack and a yell he started the company off again
at a brisk trot.
It was hard enough for poor Sam, tired as he was; but for
Frodo it was a torment, and soon a nightmare. He set his teeth and tried to stop
his mind from thinking, and he struggled on. The stench of the sweating orcs
about him was stifling, and he began to gasp with thirst. On, on they went, and
he bent all his will to draw his breath and to make his legs keep going; and yet
to what evil end he toiled and endured he did not dare to think. There was no
hope of falling out unseen: Now and again the orc-driver fell back and jeered at
‘There now!’ he laughed, flicking at their legs. ‘Where there’s a whip
there’s a will, my slugs. Hold up! I’d give you a nice freshener now, only
you’ll get as much lash as your skins will carry when you come in late to your
camp. Do you good. Don’t you know we’re at war?’
They had gone some miles,
and the road was at last running down a long slope into the plain, when Frodo’s
strength began to give out and his will wavered. He lurched and stumbled.
Desperately Sam tried to help him and hold him up, though he felt that he could
himself hardly stay the pace much longer. At any moment now he knew that the end
would come: his master would faint or fall, and all would be discovered, and
their bitter efforts be in vain. ‘I’ll have that big slave-driving devil
anyway,’ he thought.
Then just as he was putting his hand to the hilt of his
sword, there came an unexpected relief. They were out on the plain now and
drawing near the entrance to Udun. Some way in front of it, before the gate at
the bridge-end, the road from the west converged with others coming from the
south, and from Barad-dur. Along all the roads troops were moving; for the
Captains of the West were advancing and the Dark Lord was speeding his forces
north. So it chanced that several companies came together at the road-meeting,
in the dark beyond the light of the watch-fires on the wall. At once there was
great jostling and cursing as each troop tried to get first to the gate and the
ending of their march. Though the drivers yelled and plied their whips, scuffles
broke out and some blades were drawn. A troop of heavy-armed uruks from
Barad-dur charged into the Durthang line and threw them into confusion.
as he was with pain and weariness, Sam woke up, grasped quickly at his chance,
and threw himself to the ground, dragging Frodo down with him. Orcs fell over
them, snarling and cursing. Slowly on hand and knee the hobbits crawled away out
of the turmoil, until at last unnoticed they dropped over the further edge of
the road. It had a high kerb by which troop-leaders could guide themselves in
black night or fog, and it was banked up some feet above the level of the open
LotR. 6:3. Mount Doom.
Frodo looked again towards the
Mountain. ‘No,’ he said, ‘we shan’t need much on that road. And at its end
nothing.’ Picking up his orc-shield he flung it away and threw his helmet after
it. Then pulling off the grey cloak he undid the heavy belt and let it fall to
the ground, and the sheathed sword with it. The shreds of the black cloak he
tore off and scattered.
‘There, I’ll be an orc no more,’ he cried, ‘and I’ll
bear no weapon fair or foul. Let them take me, if they will!’
LotR. 6:4. The Field of Cormallen
...the power of Mordor was
scattering like dust in the wind. As when death smites the swollen brooding
thing that inhabits their crawling hill and holds them all in sway, ants will
wander witless and purposeless and then feebly die, so the creatures of Sauron,
orc or troll or beast spell-enslaved, ran hither and thither mindless; and some
slew themselves, or cast themselves in pits, or fled wailing back to hide in
holes and dark lightless places far from hope. But the Men of Rhun and of Harad,
Easterling and Southron, saw the ruin of their war and the great majesty and
glory of the Captains of the West. And those that were deepest and longest in
evil servitude, hating the West, and yet were men proud and bold, in their turn
now gathered themselves for a last stand of desperate battle. But the most part
fled eastward as they could; and some cast their weapons down and sued for
Hobbit 1. An Unexpected Party
The four dwarves sat
around the table, and talked about mines and gold and troubles with the goblins,
and the depredations of dragons.
Hobbit 1. An Unexpected
...Old Took's great-granduncle Bullroarer, who was so huge (for a
hobbit) that he could ride a horse. He charged the ranks of the goblins of Mount
Gram in the Battle of the Green Fields, and knocked their king Golfimbul's head
clean off with a wooden club. It sailed a hundred yards through the air and went
down a rabbit hole, and in this way the battle was won and the game of Golf
invented at the same moment.
Hobbit 3. A Short Rest
The master of the house /Elrond/ was an elf-friend-one of those people whose
fathers came into the strange stories before the beginning of History, the wars
of the evil goblins and the elves and the first men in the North.
are old swords, very old swords of the High Elves of the West, my kin. They were
made in Gondolin for the Goblin-wars. They must have come from a dragon's hoard
or goblin plunder, for dragons and goblins destroyed that city many ages ago.
This, Thorin, the runes name Orcrist, the Goblin-cleaver in the ancient tongue
of Gondolin; it was a famous blade».
c. /TA 3300e/ Evil and danger had grown
and thriven in the Wild, since the dragons had driven men from the lands, and
the goblins had spread in secret after the battle of the Mines of
Hobbit 4. Over Hill and Under Hill
Out jumped the
goblins, big goblins, great ugly-looking goblins, lots of goblins, before you
could say rocks and blocks. There were six to each dwarf, at least, and two even
for Bilbo; and they were all grabbed and carried through the crack, before you
could say tinder and flint ....Where was Gandalf? Of that neither they nor the
goblins had any idea, and the goblins did not wait to find out. It was deep,
deep, dark, such as only goblins that have taken to living in the heart of the
mountains can see through. The passages there were crossed and tangled in all
directions, but the goblins knew their way, as well as you do to the nearest
post-office; and the way went down and down, and it was most horribly stuffy.
The goblins were very rough, and pinched unmercifully, and chuckled and laughed
in their horrible stony voices; and Bilbo was more unhappy even than when the
troll had picked him up by his toes. He wished again and again for his nice
bright hobbit-hole. Not for the last time.
Now there came a glimmer of a red
light before them. The goblins began to sing, or croak, keeping time with the
flap of their flat feet on the stone, and shaking their prisoners as
Clap! Snap! the black crack!
Grip, grab! Pinch, nab!
And down down to Goblin-town
You go, my lad!
Clash, crash! Crush, smash!
Hammer and tongs! Knocker and gongs!
Pound, pound, far
Ho, ho! my lad!
Swish, smack! Whip crack!
Batter and beat! Yammer and bleat!
Work, work! Nor dare to shirk,
While Goblins quaff, and Goblins laugh,
Round and round far underground
Below, my lad!
It sounded truly terrifying. The walls echoed to the clap, snap! and
the crush, smash! and to the ugly laughter of their ho, ho! my lad! The general
meaning of the song was only too plain; for now the goblins took out whips and
whipped them with a swish, smack!, and set them running as fast as they could in
front of them; and more than one of the dwarves were already yammering and
bleating like anything, when they stumbled into a big cavern.
It was lit by a
great red fire in the middle, and by torches along the walls, and it was full of
goblins. They all laughed and stamped and clapped their hands, when the dwarves
(with poor little Bilbo at the back and nearest to the whips) came running in,
while the goblin-drivers whooped and cracked their whips behind. The ponies were
already there huddled in a corner; and there were all the baggages and packages
lying broken open, and being rummaged by goblins, and smelt by goblins, and
fingered by goblins, and quarreled over by goblins.
I am afraid that was the
last they ever saw of those excellent little ponies, including a jolly sturdy
little white fellow that Elrond had lent to Gandalf, since his horse was not
suitable for the mountain-paths. For goblins eat horses and ponies and donkeys
(and other much more dreadful things), and they are always hungry. Just now
however the prisoners were thinking only of themselves. The goblins chained
their hands behind their backs and linked them all together in a line and
dragged them to the far end of the cavern with little Bilbo tugging at the end
of the row.
There in the shadows on a large flat stone sat a tremendous
goblin with a huge head, and armed goblins were standing round him carrying the
axes and the bent swords that they use. Now goblins are cruel, wicked, and
bad-hearted. They make no beautiful things, but they make many clever ones. They
can tunnel and mine as well as any but the most skilled dwarves, when they take
the trouble, though they are usually untidy and dirty. Hammers, axes, swords,
daggers, pickaxes, tongs, and also instruments of torture, they make very well,
or get other people to make to their design, prisoners and slaves that have to
work till they die for want of air and light. It is not unlikely that they
invented some of the machines that have since troubled the world, especially the
ingenious devices for killing large numbers of people at once, for wheels and
engines and explosions always delighted them, and also not working with their
own hands more than they could help; but in those days and those wild parts they
had not advanced (as it is called) so far. They did not hate dwarves especially,
no more than they hated everybody and everything, and particularly the orderly
and prosperous; in some parts wicked dwarves had even made alliances with them.
But they had a special grudge against Thorin's people, because of the war which
you have heard mentioned, but which does not come into this tale; and anyway
goblins don't care who they catch, as long as it is done smart and secret, and
the prisoners are not able to defend themselves.
"Who are these miserable
persons?" said the Great Goblin.
"Dwarves, and this!" said one of the
drivers, pulling at Bilbo's chain so that he fell forward onto his knees.
found them sheltering in our Front Porch."
"What do you mean by it?" said the
Great Goblin turning to Thorin. "Up to no good, I'll warrant! Spying on the
private business of my people, I guess! Thieves, I shouldn't be surprised to
learn! Murderers and friends of Elves, not unlikely! Come! What have you got to
"Thorin the dwarf at your service!" he replied-it was merely a polite
nothing. "Of the things which you suspect and imagine we had no idea at all. We
sheltered from a storm in what seemed a convenient cave and unused; nothing was
further from our thoughts than inconveniencing goblins in any way whatever."
That was true enough!
"Urn!" said the Great Goblin. "So you say! Might I ask
what you were doing up in the mountains at all, and where you were coming from,
and where you were going to? In fact I should like to know all about you. Not
that it will do you much good, Thorin Oakenshield, I know too much about your
folk already; but let's have the truth, or I will prepare something particularly
uncomfortable for you!"
"We were on a journey to visit our relatives, our
nephews and nieces, and first, second, and third cousins, and the other
descendants of our grandfathers, who live on the East side of these truly
hospitable mountains," said Thorin, not quite knowing what to say all at once in
a moment, when obviously the exact truth would not do at all.
"He is a liar,
O truly tremendous one!" said one of the drivers. "Several of our people were
struck by lightning in the cave, when we invited these creatures to come below;
and they are as dead as stones. Also he has not explained this!" He held out the
sword which Thorin had worn, the sword which came from the Trolls' lair.
Great Goblin gave a truly awful howl of rage when he looked at it, and all his
soldiers gnashed their teeth, clashed their shields, and stamped. They knew the
sword at once. It had killed hundreds of goblins in its time, when the fair
elves of Gondolin hunted them in the hills or did battle before their walls.
They had called it Orcrist, Goblin-cleaver, but the goblins called it simply
Biter. They hated it and hated worse any one that carried it.
elf-friends!" the Great Goblin shouted. "Slash them! Beat them! Bite them! Gnash
them! Take them away to dark holes full of snakes, and never let them see the
light again!" He was in such a rage that he jumped off his seat and himself
rushed at Thorin with his mouth open.
Just at that moment all the lights in
the cavern went out, and the great fire went off poof! into a tower of blue
glowing smoke, right up to the roof, that scattered piercing white sparks all
among the goblins.
The yells and yammering, croaking, jibbering and
jabbering; howls, growls and curses; shrieking and skriking, that followed were
beyond description. Several hundred wild cats and wolves being roasted slowly
alive together would not have compared with it. The sparks were burning holes in
the goblins, and the smoke that now fell from the roof made the air too thick
for even their eyes to see through. Soon they were falling over one another and
rolling in heaps on the floor, biting and kicking and fighting as if they had
all gone mad.
Suddenly a sword flashed in its own light. Bilbo saw it go
right through the Great Goblin as he stood dumbfounded in the middle of his
rage. He fell dead, and the goblin soldiers fled before the sword shrieking into
This sword's name was Glamdring the Foe-hammer, if you
remember. The goblins just called it Beater, and hated it worse than Biter if
On they went. Gandalf was quite right: they began to hear
goblin noises and horrible cries far behind in the passages they had come
through. /.../ Still goblins go faster than dwarves, and these goblins knew the
way better (they had made the paths themselves), and were madly angry; so that
do what they could the dwarves heard the cries and howls getting closer and
closer. Soon they could hear even the flap of the goblin feet, many many feet
which seemed only just round the last corner. The blink of red torches could be
seen behind them in the tunnel they were following; and they were getting deadly
At this point Gandalf fell behind, and Thorin with him. They
turned a sharp corner. "About turn!" he shouted. "Draw your sword,
There was nothing else to be done; and the goblins did not like it.
They came scurrying round the corner in full cry, and found Goblin-cleaver and
Foe-hammer shining cold and bright right in their astonished eyes. The ones in
front dropped their torches and gave one yell before they were killed. The ones
behind yelled still more, and leaped back knocking over those that were running
after them. "Biter and Beater!" they shrieked; and soon they were all in
confusion, and most of them were hustling back the way they had come.
quite a long while before any of them dared to turn that comer. By that time the
dwarves had gone on again, a long, long, way on into the dark tunnels of the
goblins' realm. When the goblins discovered that, they put out their torches and
they slipped on soft shoes, and they chose out their very quickest runners with
the sharpest ears and eyes. These ran forward, as swift as weasels in the dark,
and with hardly any more noise than bats.
That is why neither Bilbo, nor the
dwarves, nor even Gandalf heard them coming. Nor did they see them. But they
were seen by the goblins that ran silently up behind.
5. Riddles in the Dark.
a. But somehow /Bilbo/ he was comforted. It was
rather splendid to be wearing a blade made in Gondolin for the goblin-wars of
which so many songs had sung; and also he had noticed that such weapons made a
great impression on goblins that came upon them suddenly.
b. He /Gollum/
liked meat too. Goblin he thought good, when he could get it; but he took care
they never found him out. He just throttled them from behind, if they ever came
down alone anywhere near the edge of the water, while he was prowling about.
They very seldom did, for they had a feeling that something unpleasant was
lurking down there, down at the very roots of the mountain. They had come on the
lake, when they were tunnelling down long ago, and they found they could go no
further; so there their road ended in that direction, and there was no reason to
go that way – unless the Great Goblin sent them. Sometimes he took a fancy for
fish from the lake, and sometimes neither goblin nor fish came back.
one would see him /Gollum/, no one would notice him, till he had his fingers on
their throat. Only a few hours ago he had worn it, and caught a small
goblin-imp. How it squeaked! He still had a bone or two left to gnaw, but he
wanted something softer.
ñ-1. Ëþáåçíî óêàçàíî Äì. Âèíîõîäîâûì:
words mentioning that 'imp' of Fr.311c/ "My birhtday-present! Curse it! How did
we lose it, my precious! Yes, that's it. When we came this way last, when we
twisted that nassty _young_ squeaker. That's it."
d. The passage was low and
roughly made... "A bit low for goblins, at least for the big ones," thought
Bilbo, not knowing that even the big ones, the orcs of the mountains, go along
at a great speed stooping low with their hands almost on the ground.
blinked, and then suddenly he saw the goblins: goblins in full armour with drawn
swords sitting just inside the door, and watching it with wide eyes, and
watching the passage that led to it. They were aroused, alert, ready for
They saw him sooner than he saw them. Yes, they saw him. Whether it
was an accident, or a last trick of the ring before it took a new master, it
was not on his finger. With yells of delight the goblins rushed upon him.
pang of fear and loss, like an echo of Gollum's misery, smote Bilbo, and
forgetting even to draw his sword he struck his hands into his pockets. And-
there was the ring still, in his left pocket, and it slipped on his finger. The
goblins stopped short. They could not see a sign of him. He had vanished. They
yelled twice as loud as before, but not so delightedly.
"Where is it?" they cried.
"Go back up the passage!" some shouted.
"This way!" some yelled. "That way!" others yelled.
"Look out for the door," bellowed the
Whistles blew, armour clashed, swords rattled, goblins cursed and
swore and ran hither and thither, falling over one another and getting very
angry. There was a terrible outcry, to-do, and disturbance.
dreadfully frightened, but he had the sense to understand what had happened and
to sneak behind a big barrel which held drink for the goblin-guards, and so get
out of the way and avoid being bumped into, trampled to death, or caught by
"I must get to the door, I must get to the door!" he kept on saying to
himself, but it was a long time before he ventured to try. Then it was like a
horrible game of blind-man's buff. The place was full of goblins running about,
and the poor little hobbit dodged this way and that, was knocked over by a
goblin who could not make out what he had bumped into, scrambled away on all
fours, slipped between the legs of the captain just in time, got up, and ran for
It was still ajar, but a goblin had pushed it nearly to. Bilbo
struggled but he could not move it. He tried to squeeze through the crack. He
squeezed and squeezed, and he stuck! It was awful. His buttons had got wedged on
the edge of the door and the door-post. He could see outside into the open air:
there were a few steps running down into a narrow valley between tall mountains;
the sun came out from behind a cloud and shone bright on the outside of the
door-but he could not get through.
Suddenly one of the goblins inside
shouted: "There is a shadow by the door. Something is outside!"
jumped into his mouth. He gave a terrific squirm. Buttons burst off in all
directions. He was through, with a torn coat and waistcoat, leaping down the
steps like a goat, while bewildered goblins were still picking up his nice brass
buttons on the doorstep.
Of course they soon came down after him, hooting and
hallooing, and hunting among the trees. But they don't like the sun: it makes
their legs wobble and their heads giddy. They could not find Bilbo with the ring
on, slipping in and out of the shadow of the trees, running quick and quiet, and
keeping out of the sun; so soon they went back grumbling and cursing to guard
Hobbit 6. Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire
a. "Good heavens! Can you ask! Goblins fighting and biting in the dark,
everybody falling over bodies and hitting one another! You nearly chopped off my
head with Glamdring, and Thorin Was stabbing here there and everywhere with
Orcrist... All of a sudden you gave one of your blinding flashes, and we saw the
goblins running back yelping.
b. "What shall we do, what shall we do!" he
cried. "Escaping goblins to be caught by wolves!" he said, and it became a
proverb, though we now say 'out of the frying-pan into the fire' in the same
sort of uncomfortable situations.
c. The Wargs and the goblins often helped
one another in wicked deeds. Goblins do not usually venture very far from their
mountains, unless they are driven out and are looking for new homes, or are
marching to war (which I am glad to say has not happened for a long while). But
in those days they sometimes used to go on raids, especially to get food or
slaves to work for them. Then they often got the Wargs to help and shared the
plunder with them. Sometimes they rode on wolves like men do on horses. Now it
seemed that a great goblin-raid had been planned for that very night. The Wargs
had come to meet the goblins and the goblins were late. The reason, no doubt,
was the death of the Great Goblin, and all the excitement caused by the dwarves
and Bilbo and the wizard, for whom they were probably still hunting.
The Wargs dared not attack them /men of local/ if there were many together, or
in the bright day. But now they had planned with the goblins' help to come by
night upon some of the villages nearest the mountains. If their plan had been
carried out, there would have been none left there next day; all would have been
killed except the few the goblins kept from the wolves and carried back as
prisoners to their caves. /.../ The Wargs were angry and puzzled at finding them
here in their very meeting-place. They thought they were friends of the woodmen,
and were come to spy on them, and would take news of their plans down into the
valleys, and then the goblins and the wolves would have to fight a terrible
battle instead of capturing prisoners and devouring people waked suddenly from
their sleep. So the Wargs had no intention of going away and letting the people
up the trees escape, at any rate not until morning. And long before that, they
said, goblin soldiers would be coming down from the mountains; and goblins can
climb trees, or cut them down.
d. So though he could not see the people in
the trees, he could make out the commotion among the wolves and see the tiny
flashes of fire, and hear the howling and yelping come up faint from far beneath
him. Also he could see the glint of the moon on goblin spears and helmets, as
long lines of the wicked folk crept down the hillsides from their gate and wound
into the wood.
Eagles are not kindly birds. Some are cowardly and cruel. But
the ancient race of the northern mountains were the greatest of all birds; they
were proud and strong and noble-hearted. They did not love goblins, or fear
them. When they took any notice of them at all (which was seldom, for they did
not eat such creatures ), they swooped on them and drove them shrieking back to
their caves, and stopped whatever wickedness they were doing. The goblins hated
the eagles and feared them, but could not reach their lofty seats, or drive them
from the mountains.
e. Then suddenly goblins came running up yelling. They
thought a battle with the woodmen was going on; but they goon learned what had
really happened. Some of them actually sat down and laughed. Others waved their
spears and clashed the shafts against their shields. Goblins are not afraid of
fire, and they soon had a plan which seemed to them most amusing.
all the wolves together in a pack. Some stacked fern and brushwood round the
tree-trunks. Others rushed round and stamped and beat, and beat and stamped,
until nearly all the flames were put out-but they did not put out the fire
nearest to the trees where the dwarves were. That fire they fed with leaves and
dead branches and bracken. Soon they had a ring of smoke and flame all round the
dwarves, a ring which they kept from spreading outwards; but it closed slowly
in, till the running fire was licking the fuel piled under the trees. Smoke was
in Bilbo's eyes, he could feel the heat of the flames; and through the reek he
could see the goblins dancing round and round in a circle like people round a
midsummer bonfire. Outside the ring of dancing warriors with spears and axes
stood the wolves at a respectful distance, watching and waiting.
He could hear the goblins beginning a horrible song:
Fifteen birds in five firtrees,
their feathers were fanned in a fiery breeze!
But, funny little birds, they had no wings!
O what shall we do with the funny little things?
Roast 'em alive, or stew them in a pot;
fry them, boil them and eat them hot?
Then they stopped and shouted out: "Fly away little birds!
Fly away if you can! Come down little birds, or you will get roasted in your
nests! Sing, sing little birds! Why don't you sing?"
"Go away! little boys!"
shouted Gandalf in answer. "It isn't bird-nesting time. Also naughty little boys
that play with fire get punished." He said it to make them angry, and to show
them he was not frightened of them-though of course he was, wizard though he
was. But they took no notice, and they went on singing.
Burn, burn tree and fern!
Shrivel and scorch! A fizzling torch
To light the night for our delight,
Bake and toast 'em, fry and roast 'em
till beards blaze, and eyes glaze;
till hair smells and skins crack,
fat melts, and bones black
in cinders lie
beneath the sky!
So dwarves shall die,
and light the night for our delight,
And with that Ya hoy! the flames were under Gandalf’s tree. In a
moment it spread to the others. The bark caught fire, the lower branches
Then Gandalf climbed to the top of his tree. The sudden splendour
flashed from his wand like lightning, as he got ready to spring down from on
high right among the spears of the goblins. That would have been the end of him,
though he would probably have killed many of them as he came hurtling down like
a thunderbolt. But he never leaped.
Just at that moment the Lord of the
Eagles swept down from above, seized him in his talons, and was gone.
was a howl of anger and surprise from the goblins. Loud cried the Lord of the
Eagles, to whom Gandalf had now spoken. Back swept the great birds that were
with him, and down they came like huge black shadows. The wolves yammered and
gnashed their teeth; the goblins yelled and stamped with rage, and flung their
heavy spears in the air in vain. Over them swooped the eagles; the dark rush of
their beating wings smote them to the floor or drove them far away; their talons
tore at goblin faces. Other birds flew to the tree-tops and seized the dwarves,
who were scrambling up now as far as ever they dared to go.
Poor little Bilbo was very nearly left behind again! He just managed to catch hold of Dori's legs,
as Dori was borne off last of all; and they went together above the tumult and
the burning, Bilbo swinging in the air with his arms nearly breaking.
Now far below the goblins and the wolves were scattering far and wide in the woods. A
few eagles were still circling and sweeping above the battle-ground. The flames
about the trees sprang suddenly up above the highest
Hobbit 7. Queer Lodgings.
a. /Ganfalf says to Beorn/ I followed down into the main hall, which was crowded with goblins. The
Great Goblin was there with thirty or forty armed guards. I thought to myself
'even if they were not all chained together, what can a dozen do against so
b. He /Beorn/ picked up the hobbit and laughed: "Not eaten up by Wargs
or goblins or wicked bears yet I see".
c. He /Beorn/ had found more than
that: he had caught a Warg and a goblin wandering in the woods. From these he
had got news: the goblin patrols were still hunting with Wargs for the dwarves,
and they were fiercely angry because of the death of the Great Goblin, and also
because of the burning of the chief wolf's nose and the death from the wizard's
fire of many of his chief servants. So much they told him when he forced them,
but he guessed there was more wickedness than this afoot, and that a great raid
of the whole goblin army with their wolf-allies into the lands shadowed by the
mountains might soon be made to find the dwarves, or to take vengeance on the
men and creatures that lived there, and who they thought must be sheltering
"It was a good story, that of yours," said Beorn, "but I like it still
better now I am sure it is true. You must forgive my not taking your word. If
you lived near the edge of Mirkwood, you would take the word of no one that you
did not know as well as your brother or better. As it is, I can only say that I
have hurried home as fast as I could to see that you were safe, and to offer you
any help that I can. I shall think more kindly of dwarves after this. Killed the
Great Goblin, killed the Great Goblin!" he chuckled fiercely to
"What did you do with the goblin and the Warg?" asked Bilbo
"Come and see!" said Beorn, and they followed round the house. A
goblin's head was stuck outside the gate and a warg-skin was nailed to a tree
just beyond. Beorn was a fierce enemy.
d. /Gandalf to Bilbo/ Before you could
get round Mirkwood in the North you would be right among the slopes of the Grey
Mountains, and they are simply stiff with goblins, hobgoblins, and rest of the
Hobbit 8. Flies and Spiders
were not goblins, and were reasonably well-behaved even to their worst enemies,
when they captured them. The giant spiders were the only living things that they
had no mercy upon
Hobbit 14. Fire and Water.
And the goblins were at council in their caves
/Five Hosts’ Battle/
Hobbit 17. The Clouds Burst
"Halt!" cried Gandalf, who appeared suddenly, and
stood alone, with arms uplifted, between the advancing dwarves and the ranks
awaiting them. "Halt!" he called in a voice like thunder, and his staff blazed
forth with a flash like the lightning. "Dread has come upon you all! Alas! it
has come more swiftly than I guessed. The Goblins are upon you! Bolg /Son of
Azog/ of the North is coming. O Dain! whose father you slew in Moria. Behold!
the bats are above his army like a sea of locusts. They ride upon wolves and
Wargs are in their train!"
...So began a battle that none had expected; and
it was called the Battle of Five Armies, and it was very terrible. Upon one side
were the Goblins and the wild Wolves, and upon the other were Elves and Men and
Dwarves. This is how it fell out. Ever since the fall of the Great Goblin of the
Misty Mountains the hatred of their race for the dwarves had been rekindled to
fury. Messengers had passed to and fro between all their cities, colonies and
strongholds; for they resolved now to win the dominion of the North. Tidings
they had gathered in secret ways; and in all the mountains there was a forging
and an arming. Then they marched and gathered by hill and valley, going ever by
tunnel or under dark, until around and beneath the great mountain Gundabad of
the North, where was their capital, a vast host was assembled ready to sweep
down in time of storm unawares upon the South. Then they learned of the death of
Smaug, and joy was in their hearts: and they hastened night after night through
the mountains, and came thus at last on a sudden from the North hard on the
heels of Dain. Not even the ravens knew of their coming until they came out in
the broken lands which divided the Lonely Mountain from the hills behind. How
much Gandalf knew cannot be said, but it is plain that he had not expected this
This is the plan that he made in council with the Elvenking
and with Bard; and with Dain, for the dwarf-lord now joined them: the Goblins
were the foes of all, and at their coming all other quarrels were forgotten.
Their only hope was to lure the goblins into the valley between the arms of the
Mountain; and themselves to man the great spurs that struck south and east. Yet
this would be perilous, if the goblins were in sufficient numbers to overrun the
Mountain itself, and so attack them also from behind and above; but there was no
time for make any other plan, or to summon any help.
Soon the thunder passed,
rolling away to the South-East; but the bat-cloud came, flying lower, over the
shoulder of the Mountain, and whirled above them shutting out the light and
filling them with dread.
"To the Mountain!" called Bard. "To the Mountain!
Let us take our places while there is yet time!"
On the Southern spur, in its
lower slopes and in the rocks at its feet, the Elves were set; on the Eastern
spur were men and dwarves. But Bard and some of the nimblest of men and elves
climbed to the height of the Eastern shoulder to gain a view to the North. Soon
they could see the lands before the Mountain's feet black with a hurrying
multitude. Ere long the vanguard swirled round the spur's end and came rushing
into Dale. These were the swiftest wolf-riders, and already their cries and
howls rent the air afar. A few brave men were strung before them to make a feint
of resistance, and many there fell before the rest drew back and fled to either
side. As Gandalf had hoped, the goblin army had gathered behind the resisted
vanguard, and poured now in rage into the valley, driving wildly up between the
arms of the Mountain, seeking for the foe. Their banners were countless, black
and red, and they came on like a tide in fury and disorder.
It was a terrible battle. The most dreadful of all Bilbo's experiences, and the one which at the
time he hated most – which is to say it was the one he was most proud of, and
most fond of recalling long afterwards, although he was quite unimportant in it.
Actually I must say he put on his ring early in the business, and vanished from
sight, if not from all danger. A magic ring of that sort is not a complete
protection in a goblin charge, nor does it stop flying arrows and wild spears;
but it does help in getting out of the way, and it prevents your head from being
specially chosen for a sweeping stroke by a goblin swordsman.
The elves were the first to charge. Their hatred for the goblins is cold and bitter. Their
spears and swords shone in the gloom with a gleam of chill flame, so deadly was
the wrath of the hands that held them. As soon as the host of their enemies was
dense in the valley, they sent against it a shower of arrows, and each flickered
as it fled as if with stinging fire. Behind the arrows a thousand of their
spearmen leapt down and charged. The yells were deafening. The rocks were
stained black with goblin blood. Just as the goblins were recovering from the
onslaught and the elf-charge was halted, there rose from across the valley a
deep-throated roar. With cries of "Moria!" and "Dain, Dain!" the dwarves of the
Iron Hills plunged in, wielding their mattocks, upon the other side; and beside
them came the men of the Lake with long swords. Panic came upon the Goblins; and
even as they turned to meet this new attack, the elves charged again with
renewed numbers. Already many of the goblins were flying back down the river to
escape from the trap: and many of their own wolves were turning upon them and
rending the dead and the wounded. Victory seemed at hand, when a cry rang out on
the heights above.
Goblins had scaled the Mountain from the other side and
already many were on the slopes above the Gate, and others were streaming down
recklessly, heedless of those that fell screaming from cliff and precipice, to
attack the spurs from above. Each of these could be reached by paths that ran
down from the main mass of the Mountain in the centre; and the defenders had too
few to bar the way for long. Victory now vanished from hope. They had only
stemmed the first onslaught of the black tide.
Day drew on. The goblins
gathered again in the valley. There a host of Wargs came ravening and with them
came the bodyguard of Bolg, goblins of huge size with scimitars of steel. Soon
actual darkness was coming into a stormy sky; while still the great bats swirled
about the heads and ears of elves and men, or fastened vampire-like on the
stricken. Now Bard was fighting to defend the Eastern spur, and yet giving
slowly back; and the elf-lords were at bay about their king upon the southern
arm, near to the watch-post on Ravenhill.
Suddenly there was a great shout,
and from the Gate came a trumpet call. They had forgotten Thorin! Part of the
wall, moved by levers, fell outward with a crash into the pool. Out leapt the
King under the Mountain, and his companions followed him. Hood and cloak were
gone; they were in shining armour, and red light leapt from their eyes. In the
gloom the great dwarf gleamed like gold in a dying fire.
Rocks were buried down from on high by the goblins above; but they held on. leapt down to the
falls' foot, and rushed forward to battle. Wolf and rider fell or fled before
them. Thorin wielded his axe with mighty strokes, and nothing seemed to harm
"To me! To me! Elves and Men! To me! O my kinsfolk!" he cried, and his
voice shook like a horn in the valley.
Down, heedless of order, rushed all the dwarves of Dain to his help. Down too came many of the Lake-men, for Bard
could not restrain them; and out upon the other side came many of the spearmen
of the elves. Once again the goblins were stricken in the valley; and they were
piled in heaps till Dale was dark and hideous with their corpses. The Wargs were
scattered and Thorin drove right against the bodyguards of Bolg. But he could
not pierce their ranks. Already behind him among the goblin dead lay many men
and many dwarves, and many a fair elf that should have lived yet long ages
merrily in the wood. And as the valley widened his onset grew ever slower. His
numbers were too few. His flanks were unguarded. Soon the attackers were
attacked, and they were forced into a great ring, facing every way, hemmed all
about with goblins and wolves returning to the assault. The bodyguard of Bolg
came howling against them, and drove in upon their ranks like waves upon cliffs
of sand. Their friends could not help them, for the assault from the Mountain
was renewed with redoubled force, and upon either side men and elves were being
slowly beaten down.
On all this Bilbo looked with misery. He had taken his stand on Ravenhill among the Elves-partly because there was more chance of
escape from that point, and partly (with the more Tookish part of his mind)
because if he was going to be in a last desperate stand, he preferred on the
whole to defend the Elvenking. Gandalf, too, I may say, was there, sitting on
the ground as if in deep thought, preparing, I suppose, some last blast of magic
before the end. That did not seem far off. "It will not be long now," thought
Bilbo, "before the goblins win the Gate, and we are all slaughtered or driven
down and captured. Really it is enough to make one weep, after all one has gone
through. I would rather old Smaug had been left with all the wretched treasure,
than that these vile creatures should get it, and poor old Bombur, and Balin and
Fili and Kili and all the rest come to a bad end; and Bard too, and the Lake-men
and the merry elves. Misery me! I have heard songs of many battles, and I have
always understood that defeat may be glorious. It seems very uncomfortable, not
to say distressing. I wish I was well out of it."
The clouds were torn by the wind, and a red sunset slashed the West. Seeing the sudden gleam in the gloom
Bilbo looked round. He gave a great cry: he had seen a sight that made his heart
leap, dark shapes small yet majestic against the distant glow.
The Eagles!" he shouted. "The Eagles are coming!"
b. Hobbit 18. The Return Journey
The Eagles had long had suspicion of the goblins' mustering; from
their watchfulness the movements in the mountains could not be altogether hid.
So they too had gathered in great numbers, under the great Eagle of the Misty
Mountains; and at length smelling battle from afar they had come speeding down
the gale in the nick of time. They it was who dislodged the goblins from the
mountain-slopes, casting them over precipices, or driving them down shrieking
and bewildered among their foes. It was not long before they had freed the
Lonely Mountain, and elves and men on either side of the valley could come at
last to the help of the battle below.
But even with the Eagles they were still outnumbered.
In that last hour Beorn himself had appeared – no one knew
how or from where. He came alone, and in bear's shape; and he seemed to have
grown almost to giant-size in his wrath. The roar of his voice was like drums
and guns; and he tossed wolves and goblins from his path like straws and
feathers. He fell upon their rear, and broke like a clap of thunder through the
ring. The dwarves were making a stand still about their lords upon a low rounded
hill. Then Beorn stooped and lifted Thorin, who had fallen pierced with spears,
and bore him out of the fray. Swiftly he returned and his wrath was redoubled,
so that nothing could withstand him, and no weapon seemed to bite upon him. He
scattered the bodyguard, and pulled down Bolg himself and crushed him. Then
dismay fell on the Goblins and they fled in all directions. But weariness left
their enemies with the coming of new hope, and they pursued them closely, and
prevented most of them from escaping where they could. They drove many of them
into the Running River, and such as fled south or west they hunted into the
marshes about the Forest River; and there the greater part of the last fugitives
perished, while those that came hardly to the Wood-elves' realm were there
slain, or drawn in to die in the trackless dark of Mirkwood. Songs have said
that three parts of the goblin warriors of the North perished on that day, and
the mountains had peace for many a year.
Victory had been assured before the fall of night, but the pursuit was still on foot, when Bilbo returned to the
camp; and not many were in the valley save the more grievously wounded.
The goblins of the Misty Mountains were now few and terrified, and hidden in the
deepest holes they could find; and the Wargs had vanished from the woods, so
that men went abroad without fear. Beorn indeed became a great chief afterwards
in those regions and ruled a wide land between the mountains and the wood; and
it is said that for many generations the men of his line had the power of taking
bear's shape, and some were grim men and bad, but most were in heart like Beorn,
if less in size and strength. In their day the last goblins were hunted from the
Misty Mountains and a new peace came over the edge of the
Hobbit 19. The Last Stage.
"Well, Merry People!" said
Bilbo looking out. "What time by the moon is this? Your lullaby would waken a
ATB. THE MEWLIPS.
íàïèñàííîå Øèðñêèì õîááèòîì. Õîòÿ, âîçìîæíî, îíî ÿâëÿåòñÿ ÷èñòûì âûìûñëîì, â
ñòèõîòâîðåíèè ìîæíî óâèäåòü îòãîëîñêè ñâåäåíèé î Ìãëèñòûõ («Ìåðëîêñêèõ») ãîðàõ,
Ëèõîëåñüå («spider-shadows» è «wood of hanging trees and the gallows-weed») è
Äîëãèõ Áîëîò. Îáðàç ñàìèõ ìüþëèïîâ, âîçìîæíî, îòðàæàåò ñìóòíûå ñëóõè îá îðêàõ» -
RFCG, s.v. Mewlips, the/.
The shadows where the Mewlips dwell
Are dark and wet as ink,
And slow and softly rings their bell,
As in the slime you sink.
You sink into the slime, who dare
To knock upon their door,
While down the grinning gargoyles stare
And noisome waters pour.
Beside the rotting river-strand
The drooping willows weep,
And gloomily the gorcrows stand
Croaking in their sleep.
the Merlock Mountains a long and weary way,
In a mouldy valley where the trees are grey,
By a dark pool's borders without wind or tide,
Moonless and sunless, the Mewlips hide.
The cellars where the Mewlips sit
Are deep and dank and cold
With single sickly candle lit;
And there they count their gold.
Their walls are wet, their ceilings drip;
Their feet upon the floor
Go softly with a squish-flap-flip,
As they sidle to the door.
They peep out slyly; through a crack
Their feeling fingers creep,
And when they've finished, in a sack
Your bones they lake to keep.
Beyond the Merlock Mountains, a long and lonely road.
Through the spider-shadows and the marsh of Tode,
And through the wood of hanging trees and the gallows-weed,
You go to find the Mewlips — and the Mewlips feed.
/Ôðàãìåíò ëþáåçíî ñîîáùåí Äìèòðèåì Âèíîõîäîâûì, Íàòàëèåé Ñåìåíîâîé è
Àëëîé Õàíàíàøâèëè, êîòîðûì ñîñòàâèòåëü ïðèíîñèò áëàãîäàðíîñòü/
1st edition. /Aragorn's words to Gimli/
What do you fear that I should say to him: that I had a rascal of a rebel dwarf here that I would gladly exchange for
a serviceable orc?
*** THE END ***