One of the things that we learned from The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is that Adar isn’t someone who is normal by any means because he looks like an Elf but is also an Orc-like creature that is far from the fair appearance that the Elves have. It was during the events of episode 6 of The Rings of Power that we got to learn more about what Adar is, as he was described as one of the first Orcs by Galadriel but preferred to be called Uruk. So, is Adar the first Uruk-hai?
Adar is not an Uruk-hai but is actually a Moriondor or the “sons of the dark,” which became the first Orcs. The Uruk-hai are the same yet different from the Uruks because Uruk-hai are merely a breed of Orcs that are stronger. Meanwhile, the words “Orc” and “Uruk” mean the same because Uruk is Black Speech for Orc.
We finally know who and what Adar is as it is now clear that he is not Sauron but was merely one of the servants of the dark lord and the previous dark lord. In that regard, things are now becoming clearer in The Rings of Power, as the series has been unveiling the identities of the different characters involved in the storyline. That said, let’s talk more about Adar and his identity as an Uruk.
Is Adar The First Uruk-Hai?
The Lord of the Rings introduced the Orc to a lot of people, as this race became a foundational creature in a lot of different fantasy storylines, novels, and games. Of course, we also met a different kind of Orc in the form of the Uruk-hai, which was bred and created by Saruman during the events of the War of the Ring when he fell into darkness and started using the dark arts to create his own army for Sauron.
But while the Uruk-hai became an important part of the Third Age because of how it was used for war by Saruman and Sauron in his quest for supremacy over Middle-Earth, we got to learn more about the Orcs during the events of episode 6 of The Rings of Power. Of course, Adar is at the center of it all.
During one of the conversations that Adar had with Galadriel after he got captured by the Elven commander, he told her that he preferred to be called an Uruk, which is a word that we hardly ever hear in The Lord of the Rings except when it was used in conjunction with “hai,” as we know that the Uruk-hai is the strongest breed of Orc and is strong enough to match some of the strongest fighters that the Elves and the Men could offer. So, does that mean that Adar is the first Uruk-hai?
It is worth mentioning that, according to Tolkien’s writings, the Uruk-hai first appeared only during the Third Age as this is the newest breed of Orc. In fact, as mentioned, they are also the strongest types of Orcs as opposed to the Goblins, which are the weaker relatives of the Orcs. In that regard, considering that Adar has been around for a very long time, he isn’t an Uruk-hai.
This is also where we make a distinction between what an Uruk is and what an Uruk-hai is. As mentioned, Adar preferred that Galadriel use the term “Uruk” to describe him and the people that he led because the word “Uruk” and Orc are actually one and the same.
In the Black Speech, which is the language that Morgoth, Sauron, and the Orcs use, the word “Uruk” refers to Orcs. As such, when Adar wanted to be called an Uruk, he simply wanted to be called an Orc in the native language of the Orcs because he wanted his Orcs to have an identity of their own as they are not slaves that were merely bred for the purpose of war.
As such, Uruk is the blanket term for Orc, as it includes all of the different types of Orcs in the world of Tolkien’s writings. This includes the Uruk-hai, which were only bred and created during the Third Age.
Why Does Adar Look Different From Orcs?
While Adar did say that he was an Uruk, we all know that he isn’t an ordinary Orc because of how different he looks compared to the other Orcs that we’ve seen in The Lord of the Rings. And that’s because he really isn’t the same as the rest of the other Orcs, as he is an entirely different breed.
During the time when Galadriel was questioning Adar, she told him a story of the tales that she heard when she was still younger. She said that Morgoth used to abduct Elves and torture them until they became dark and twisted. Eventually, they became a new and ruined form of life that was neither an Elf nor the same kind of Orc that we’ve seen in The Lord of the Rings. She said that they were called Moriondor.
The word “Moriondor” refers to the “sons of the dark,” which are Elves that were basically transformed by Morgoth by corrupting and torturing them long ago. Eventually, the Moriondor became the first Orcs. In that regard, Adar is one of the first Uruks that existed as he was an Elf that was taken long ago and was turned into an entirely new being that is both an Elf and an Orc. This also explains why he was quite familiar with the birthplace of Arondir, as he probably lived there long ago before Morgoth abducted him and turned him into what he is today.
As such, the fact that Adar is one of the first Orcs explains why he doesn’t look like any other Orc. He is one of the Orcs that led to the creation and birth of all of the other Orcs, as the Orcs that became his “children” no longer resembled the Elves, considering that they were never Elves from the very start.
However, because he used to be an Elf, Adar still resembles one but lacks the fair appearance that Elves are known for. Instead, his face bears the marks of the different things that Morgoth did to him, as it is quite clear that he did become a dark and twisted form that is too deformed to still be called an Elf. And it is probably the things that he experienced under Morgoth that made him want to create a home exclusively for the Orcs.