Even though we know that Sauron will always be the big bad guy of The Lord of the Rings, we also know that some of the most fearsome creatures JRR Tolkien has ever made are the Orcs. The Orcs as the foot soldiers of Morgoth and Sauron in Tolkien’s works and are ferocious creatures that fight without remorse. But while Orcs are strong and numerous, they aren’t necessarily too fond of the sunlight. So, why do Orcs hate sunlight, and does it hurt them?
Orcs hate sunlight because they were created in Middle-Earth before the sun started shining on it. As such, these creatures were created during a time when all they knew was darkness because they were never created to be able to handle sunlight. That is why sunlight hurts their bodies and blinds them.
While Orcs really aren’t particularly fond of sunlight, that doesn’t mean that they are vampires that die and burn up when sunlight touches them. Light hurts them but isn’t necessarily going to kill them. Think of it as being in a dark room for days and then coming out during the sun is at its peak. So, with that said, let’s take a look at why Orcs have no love for sunlight.
Why Do Orcs Hate Sunlight?
Those who’ve read or watched The Lord of the Rings would know that the biggest enemy in the storyline is the dark lord named Sauron, who became a huge threat to Middle-Earth after the fall of his master, Morgoth. Sauron, as powerful as he is, couldn’t cover the entire world in darkness all by himself. And that’s why he employed the help of Orcs to do his bidding.
Orcs are some of the most ferocious creatures ever created by JRR Tolkien, as they are hideous beings that have a thirst for violence. That makes them fit as the foot soldiers of the dark lord, as his Orcs are always on the frontlines of every battle. And the fact that Orcs are ferocious and violent without any remorse makes them the perfect soldiers to have in any war.
But while Orcs are indeed strong and capable in a fight, the thing about them is that they do have one major weakness—sunlight. It isn’t a secret that Orcs have no love for sunlight because they would rather move around in the dark or, at the very least when the sun isn’t shining bright enough. We’ve seen this during the events of The Lord of the Rings trilogy by Peter Jackson and Amazon Prime’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Gandalf and the riders of Rohan were able to overwhelm the Orcs and the Uruk-hai when they trampled them down while the sunrise blinded them. Meanwhile, in the events of The Return of the King, we saw that the Orcs were using the smoke coming from Mordor to block out the sunlight during their siege on Minas Tirith. Then, in episode 3 of The Rings of Power, Arondir and his Elf companions tried to use the sunlight to blind and hurt the Orcs so that they could make an attempt to escape their captors.
With that said, it is clear that Orcs do not like sunlight at all, as they would rather move around and fight in the dark instead. So, with that said, why do Orcs hate sunlight in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power?
The reason why Orcs hate sunlight goes back thousands of years ago to the time when the world wasn’t what it was during the events of The Rings of Power and Peter Jackson’s LOTR trilogy movies.
Back when the entire world was still on just one continent, Eru Ilúvatar used two lamps to light the entire world. However, Morgoth, the original dark lord, created the fortress of Utumno in the far north, where the light of the lamps could barely reach. It was then and there that he created a lot of evil creatures that were surrounded by darkness.
There came a time when Morgoth, in his war against the Valar, destroyed the two lamps that gave light to the world. This re-shaped the entire world, as the Valar had to imprison Morgoth and retreat to the continent of Aman, where they resided in Valinor. The Valar created the Two Trees of Valinor to give light to the Undying Lands. However, the light of the Two Trees couldn’t reach Middle-Earth, where Morgoth resided.
So, when Morgoth decided to create the Orcs in Middle-Earth, they were created during a time when there was no light on the continent. He ruled Middle-Earth for a very long time while thinking that it would forever be dark. As such, the Orcs lived through thousands of years without ever knowing what light was, as their bodies grew accustomed to living in the dark. Morgoth, of course, created them to be able to only thrive in the dark.
Because of that, when the sun first rose in Middle-Earth, the Orcs could not handle something that they were never accustomed to. Seeing and feeling sunlight was a literal shock to their bodies. As such, the heat from the sun burned their bodies while the sunlight literally blinded them. And that’s because they were never made to be able to walk in the light, considering that Morgoth created them in total darkness.
As such, thousands of years after Morgoth fell, the Orcs still had no love for the sun. As much as possible, they operated in the darkness because they couldn’t handle the light coming from the sun. Their bodies were literally made to thrive in the dark because Morgoth never intended for them to be able to walk around in daylight. That is why, even during the time of Sauron, the Orcs preferred to hide from the sunlight.
Does Sunlight Hurt Orcs?
Due to the fact that Orcs were created in total darkness when there was no sun, getting exposed to sunlight burned their skin and blinded them. But that doesn’t mean that Orcs die whenever they get exposed to sunlight. They aren’t vampires in the sense that they would burn up whenever they get exposed to the sun long enough. Instead, it’s just that they don’t have bodies that are able to handle sunlight as well as the other races of Middle-Earth could.
Think of it as staying in a dark room for days without ever seeing sunlight at all and then coming out during the peak of the sun. The sunlight would be a bit too much for your eyes to handle, and you will instantly feel how warm the sun is. It’s the same case for the Orcs but is taken to the extreme because the sunlight blinds their eyes and hurts their bodies.
Still, it is clear that Orcs are capable of walking in broad daylight as long as the sun isn’t at its peak. We saw this in The Lord of the Rings when Orcs were literally terrorizing villages and walking around Middle-Earth during the day. As long as the sun isn’t shining too bright, they can handle being outside during daytime.