The young and naive hobbit Frodo Baggins running away from the evil army of Orcs created by Saruman. While he is required to destroy the One Ring and prevent it from getting into the hands of the Dark Forces, the Orcs are on a mission to kill him and take it away from him. But are there any female Orcs in The Lord of the Rings, since one can’t really notice any?
Female Orcs exist in Middle Earth. Their existence was confirmed in the Munby letter sold at an auction in 2002. Mr, Tolkiens declared to Mrs. Munby that the female Orcs indeed exist in the The Lord of the Rings universe. They were not very prominent in the whole narrative as they did not travel often or went to wars.
Devoted to the Evil powers, they were destructive and horrible to look at like goblins, but meaner and uglier. Very often, the internet is torn apart over the discussion of their origin, gender, and whether the female Orcs exist or not. So, let’s conclude the debate on female Orcs forever in this article.
Are There Any Female Orcs in The Lord of the Rings?
The writer himself answered this question in a letter by acknowledging their occurrence. Moreover, he also hinted at this idea in The Silmarillion as follows “For the Orcs had life and multiplied after the manner of the Children of Iluvatar.”
Here the author has indirectly referred to the method of their breeding, which requires both female and male counterparts. Later in The Silmarillion, it is implied that they are a modified race of elves mutilated by Saruman. Since elves reproduce sexually, fans like to believe that orcs copulate as well. Hence the confirmation that female orcs are present in Middle Earth.
Additionally, in The Hobbit, the prominent leader of Northern Orcs named Azog had a son Bolg. Bolg led the army of orcs in the Battle of Azanulbizar in the Third Age after his father’s death. This fact further supports the idea that female orcs were indeed present in the saga. However, the writer did not shed enough light on them throughout the whole fiction.
Do Orcs Have a Gender?
The one thing famous about the writing style of Mr. Tolkien is that he kept changing his mind with time. When it comes to the gender or breeding of Orcs, he never fully settled on one definitive answer.
There have been some inconsistencies in this matter in the text. For Example, according to the text, in The Fall of The Gondolin from The Book of Lost Tales, they were created by Morgoth. The passage goes like this, “ For all, that race was Bred by Morgoth from the subterranean heats and the slimes of the earth. Their hearts were of granite, and their bodies deformed.” One can easily infer that they were genderless and did not reproduce sexually.
But later in The Hobbit, he talks about how they had elven blood and were a part of their race. The elves fell into darkness and were mixed with beasts, thus turning them into the race of orcs. As we all know that elves exist as male and female, and the Orcs would continue to be the same as their descendants. As a result of these contradictions, it is difficult to conclude an absolute answer to this question.
How Are Orcs Spawned in The Lord of the Rings?
To answer this question, we will refer to Mr. Tolkien’s notes published by Christopher Tolkien as Morgoth’s Ring. In part 5 of this series Myth’s Reformed, from pages 409-410, he implies that evil is incapable of creating a new species on its own. Therefore, they had to come from something pre-existing. The most common belief is that Saroun contaminated some beings with elven blood and turned them into orcs through his magical powers.
“For they were made in hatred and with hatred they were filled” Morgoth’s Ring, pages 194-195.
Their creation is somewhat a mystery as the writer was not consistent with one idea. He left this as an open question with multiple possible answers. For Example, in The Tale of Tinúviel, he introduces them as “foul broodlings of Melkor who fared abroad doing his evil work.”
There is also some evidence of half Orcs (a hybrid of man and orc) found in the books. such as “They were beasts of the humanized shape.” So once again, we are at a lack of a conclusive answer to their spawning.
Why Are There No Female Orcs in The Shadow Of War?
In the game Shadow of War, there are no females in the entire gameplay. It raises a lot of questions regarding their gender, breeding, and creation. Fans have been contemplating various theories on this subject. The most common being the restriction of female roles to nursing, birth, and house chores.
Orcs were a patriarchal society. Think of them like Handmaids in Gilead.
Some fans think that they are locked up inside harems. This theory holds a lot of weight because their lifespan was very short due to the consumption of Orcish biomass on battles. In addition to this, most of the orcs died in Sauron Orc Academy, where they were preparing to join his army.
Accordingly, it was highly unlikely that they participated in battles and traveled alongside men. The female orcs were most likely working in the kitchens and raising the baby orcs. So, this could be the primary reason they did not receive enough limelight in the LOTR universe, including the Shadow of War video game.
What Happened to Orcs After Sauron Died?
Sauron died in the War of the Ring that took place in the Third Age of Middle-earth. After his death, most of his Orc army was destroyed at the Black Doors as well as in Mordor. However, in some areas of the Middle-earth, such as the Misty Mountains and natural caverns, they survived. Mostly because they were not much dependent on the Dark Lord Sauron.
The Orcs could procreate on their own hence making them self sustaining. They survived until the Fourth Age but lost the direction and purpose of their lives. Mainly because they were deprived of the magic (his Vala and Maia energy) of Sauron. Some believe that they were confined to a piece of land assigned to them by King Aragorn near Lake Nurn in Southern Mordor.
This zone was their homeland and denied them access to Gorgoroth.
The bottom line is that Orcs were not inherently an evil race but rather transformed into one. They did not know any other way of living since their only purpose was to fight for their dark lords. So, it is believed that they improved morally after being away from the evil influence.