Why does anyone in Middle Earth take the Orcs seriously?

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The Orcs are simply not a credible threat. If a small band of people can take on and kill an entire battalion of them, how are they even a threat to an actual army? Even when they outnumber the good guys 10 to one, they still get slaughtered.

I just saw the Hobbit and it suffered from this "stormtrooper syndrome" just as badly as LOTR did.

Probably because they were very successful in zerg-rushing in the books, what with it taking an unkillable army of ghosts to save Gondor during the siege.

When not fighting major characters they have a better success rate. They also would've taken out all of Gondor and Rohan's suicide attack if not for the destroying of the ring... That doesn't need spoliers this long after does it?

The Orcs are just like Zerglings. Small and weak, but when grouped up... yikes.

Well, only the main characters have the "hero's aura", that's why Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin can take on monstrous orcs two times their size.

Everyone who isn't a major character is fucked.

Casual Shinji:
Well, only the main characters have the "hero's aura", that's why Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin can take on monstrous orcs two times their size.

Everyone who isn't a major character is fucked.

This ^ they have "plot armor". In Game of Thrones nobody has plot armor.

Rylot:
When not fighting major characters they have a better success rate. They also would've taken out all of Gondor and Rohan's suicide attack if not for the destroying of the ring... That doesn't need spoliers this long after does it?

Probably not, but it's worth remembering that most people could guess that's how it ends.

It's a more of a case of really effective plot armor for the heroes than lack of battle savagery on the side of the orcs. Plot armor or not, if Gandalf hadn't come to the rescue the battle at Helm's Deep would have ended in a glorious charge into thousands of orcs.

Its not as if the main cast doesn't respect their fighting abilities. Gandalf always elects to flee battle until they get to better ground in the Hobbit.

They're mass produced conscripts, meant to overwhelm with sheer force of numbers rather than be a huge threat on their own. They are also deployed alongside things that really are heavy hitters, such as Uruk Hai and Cave Trolls.

Friendly Lich:

Casual Shinji:
Well, only the main characters have the "hero's aura", that's why Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin can take on monstrous orcs two times their size.

Everyone who isn't a major character is fucked.

This ^ they have "plot armor". In Game of Thrones nobody has plot armor.

okay thats a lie, the only we could call main character in ASOFAI is eddard (and its been almost 20 years + 1 tv series), neither of the others that die where MC, they where well developed support cast

Because they're a bunch of racists. Everyone flat out states that orcs were created from 'corrupted' elves breeding, and there's nothing taboo about committing genocide, which is called hunting several times in the books and films. They're quite obviously a sapient race as they can talk to each other and have social structure, but they've been so downtrodden by everyone that they don't have the technology or organisation to fight anyone with anything except primitive tribal tactics.

Wake up sheeple!

Yet, in The Hobbit movie you see them beat the living crap out of a dwarven army and effectively routing it before Thorin goes hardcore. Thorin also rebukes Filli and Killi (I think) when they joke about an Orc night attack.

Not to mention the fact TH/LOTR they are always running away or facing huge odds when fighting the Orcs.

Amethyst Wind:
Probably because they were very successful in zerg-rushing in the books, what with it taking an unkillable army of ghosts to save Gondor during the siege.

That deus ex machina shit is because of Peter Jackson. In the book it isn't even clear whether the ghosts can physically harm anyone.

Esotera:
Because they're a bunch of racists. Everyone flat out states that orcs were created from 'corrupted' elves breeding, and there's nothing taboo about committing genocide, which is called hunting several times in the books and films. They're quite obviously a sapient race as they can talk to each other and have social structure, but they've been so downtrodden by everyone that they don't have the technology or organisation to fight anyone with anything except primitive tribal tactics.

Wake up sheeple!

lol

If the Orcs had won the war of the ring, Middle Earth would be entering its industrial age. Instead the elves left and the world entered a dark age.

Esotera:
Because they're a bunch of racists. Everyone flat out states that orcs were created from 'corrupted' elves breeding, and there's nothing taboo about committing genocide, which is called hunting several times in the books and films. They're quite obviously a sapient race as they can talk to each other and have social structure, but they've been so downtrodden by everyone that they don't have the technology or organisation to fight anyone with anything except primitive tribal tactics.

Wake up sheeple!

Which reminds me of a Warcraft 3 thread from GameFAQs a long time ago. Both the sheeple and the orcs thing

I just thought it amusing and saved the thread. It's from 2005, so, as I said - along time ago.

You do realize that most movie battles either involved the heroes in a stronger position (i.e. behind big walls) or having champions (i.e. unstoppable baddass main characters who can't die for dynamic reasons). Even then though tons of generic dudes got killed by orcs. I think there ability to kill your dudes is enough reason to be afraid of them.

DoPo:

Esotera:
Because they're a bunch of racists. Everyone flat out states that orcs were created from 'corrupted' elves breeding, and there's nothing taboo about committing genocide, which is called hunting several times in the books and films. They're quite obviously a sapient race as they can talk to each other and have social structure, but they've been so downtrodden by everyone that they don't have the technology or organisation to fight anyone with anything except primitive tribal tactics.

Wake up sheeple!

Which reminds me of a Warcraft 3 thread from GameFAQs a long time ago. Both the sheeple and the orcs thing


I just thought it amusing and saved the thread. It's from 2005, so, as I said - along time ago.

I love you.

OT: Because there are thousands of them ready to swarm any pathetic human village in their way.

Serious threats like Morgoth, Ancalagon, Glaurung and Sauron are effectively dealt with so standards have dropped. And numbers, as mentioned previously. Even heroes tire out before endless hordes.

*shrug*
If you look at the big picture, (the entirety of the history of Middle-earth, not just what's contained in LotR and the Hobbit), Orcs are threatening enough. Remember that, in the Second Age, it took an all-out alliance of Men and Elves marching on Mordor, not to mention a lucky strike by Isildur, to turn aside the threat. Orcs were pretty much the status quo of Sauron's bag of tricks then, so they would have been a big part of the hordes marching across Middle-earth. Even when you're looking at LotR/Hobbit stuff (and, as I recall, so far as the book is concerend, Goblins were more prevalent in the Hobbit than Orcs were), it's usually a case of right place/right time/right circumstance that lets the members of the Fellowship escape fights with Orcs alive, and it's never without pretty huge losses.

Esotera:
Because they're a bunch of racists. Everyone flat out states that orcs were created from 'corrupted' elves breeding, and there's nothing taboo about committing genocide, which is called hunting several times in the books and films. They're quite obviously a sapient race as they can talk to each other and have social structure, but they've been so downtrodden by everyone that they don't have the technology or organisation to fight anyone with anything except primitive tribal tactics.

Wake up sheeple!

>_< Careful!

Anyway, as many people said before, the reason the main people in the story can beat the orcs is because they have "plot armor", and never face a REALLY large number of them by themselves.

Jacco:
The Orcs are simply not a credible threat. If a small band of people can take on and kill an entire battalion of them, how are they even a threat to an actual army? Even when they outnumber the good guys 10 to one, they still get slaughtered.

Well, you have to remember that the protagonists in these movies are all awesome epic heroes. If they couldn't kill a ton of bad guys they wouldn't be terribly memorable, would they?

Well.. in the case of the Hobbit they added a whole bunch of pointless action sequences. In the book, the dwarves are generally pretty damn incompetent and don't ever fight anything with much success at all.

Basically though, yeah.. orcs are weak individually because of their twisted and corrupted origins. They weren't bred to be skilled or noble, they were bred to be disposable peons of evil. The bad guys in lord of the rings don't generally want minions who might theoretically rise up to oppose them.

There's some pretty creepy implications to the whole thing anyway, what with Tolkien basically describing the orcs as embodying all the ugly traits of Asian people, and the whole Nordic racewanking which went on with the elves and human genealogies in middle earth. I'm not saying Tolkien was racist, but he seems to have had some pretty creepy (to our sensibilities, back then it was quite acceptable) ideas about racial purity and the percieved value of "pure" races over "corrupted" ones.

Esotera:
Because they're a bunch of racists. Everyone flat out states that orcs were created from 'corrupted' elves breeding, and there's nothing taboo about committing genocide, which is called hunting several times in the books and films. They're quite obviously a sapient race as they can talk to each other and have social structure, but they've been so downtrodden by everyone that they don't have the technology or organisation to fight anyone with anything except primitive tribal tactics.

Wake up sheeple!

G'damn I hope that's a subtle trolling...

Rylot:
When not fighting major characters they have a better success rate. They also would've taken out all of Gondor and Rohan's suicide attack if not for the destroying of the ring... That doesn't need spoliers this long after does it?

I haven't seen it yet, but it's OK because I've watched the first two and have no idea who Gondor or Rohan are.

Well, most of the fighting i recall from The Hobbit was either against goblins during a tactical withdrawal, or against warg-riding orcs which they had to get help with almost every time they crossed paths.

The only other thing was the flashback when the uprooted Erebor Dwarves tried to retake Moria...

Sorry, i still cant believe that they seriously thought that was a good idea.

... And the Dwarves were being demolished until Thorin relieved thier leader of an arm.

Rylot:
When not fighting major characters they have a better success rate. They also would've taken out all of Gondor and Rohan's suicide attack if not for the destroying of the ring... That doesn't need spoliers this long after does it?

Nearly 7 decades after The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings came out? I should hope not.

Jacco:
Even when they outnumber the good guys 10 to one, they still get slaughtered.

Because they don't out number the good guys ten to one, they out number then a thousand to one.

More to the point, the Orcs often have far worse things either backing them up or in command. Fifty Orcs? No problem.

Fifty Orcs and a cave troll? Problem.

Fifty Orcs, a cave troll and The Witch King of Angmar. Ah...

Jacco:
The Orcs are simply not a credible threat. If a small band of people can take on and kill an entire battalion of them, how are they even a threat to an actual army? Even when they outnumber the good guys 10 to one, they still get slaughtered.

I just saw the Hobbit and it suffered from this "stormtrooper syndrome" just as badly as LOTR did.

There are several scenes where the orcs have the advantage fighting the enemy, Aragorn gets his ass handed to him by a single orc a few times in the first movie, and several times they had to run away because they were outnumbered and would be killed, Gandalf was even nearly killed by orcs outnumbering him, and did you never see the any movie other than the first one? They fight actual armies, and are incredibly effective, the reason the fellowship stand a better chance against the orcs is because they have the more combat experience, and are better fighters, when put up against regular guards, the guards get slaughtered by the orcs numbers, so why wouldn't you see them as a threat?

gigastar:
The only other thing was the flashback when the uprooted Erebor Dwarves tried to retake Moria...

Sorry, i still cant believe that they seriously thought that was a good idea.

Well, they didn't know the Orcs of Moria were as numerous or well organised as they turned out to be, plus they were desperate.

Quite how they planned to deal with the Balrog... although, up to that point, no-one had ever laid eyes on it and survived, so the Dwarves didn't even know what it was.

It's a movie thing where the heroes get to kill mooks in carload lots without consequence which has really gotten out of hand. In the books the orcs are far more dangerous and easily on level with their human opponents.

Jacco:
The Orcs are simply not a credible threat. If a small band of people can take on and kill an entire battalion of them, how are they even a threat to an actual army? Even when they outnumber the good guys 10 to one, they still get slaughtered.

I just saw the Hobbit and it suffered from this "stormtrooper syndrome" just as badly as LOTR did.

well, ever heard of the inverse ninja law?
image
"The difficulty of killing a single ninja is inversely proportional to the total number of ninjas one is trying to kill at the same time, such that one ninja is almost impossible to get rid of, Two ninjas are difficult, but two hundred ninjas are easily batted aside."

or the Principle of Evil Marksmanship:

The Principle of Evil Marksmanship states that, during a fight scene, antagonists in a work of fiction will be as incompetent as the plot demands, despite prior characterization or reputation. For example, marksmen in action films are often very bad shots and almost never harm the main characters. They are generally only capable of hitting a target if the target is either of no value to the plot or if his death will advance the plot. The term first appeared in film critic Roger Ebert's 1980 book "Little Movie Glossary",[1] and had been submitted by Jim Murphy of New York. It was defined as:
The bad guys are always lousy shots in the movies. Three villains with Uzis will go after the hero, spraying thousands of rounds which miss him, after which he picks them off with a handgun.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_Evil_Marksmanship

Friendly Lich:

This ^ they have "plot armor". In Game of Thrones nobody has plot armor.

I dunno, Daenerys quite literally has 100% Fire resistant plot armour. Frankly, after five books, I'm yet to see anything about the way ASOIAF treats its main characters to make it different from any other fantasy story. By the end of the Fellowship of the Ring, more major characters were dead (presumably) than have died in the entire run of Martin's books. Sure, one comes back later, but the Game of Thrones series is hardly above resurrection.

Anywho, on topic, the movies do tend to greatly exaggerate the prowess of the heroes, enough so that it's easy to forget that very nearly every single fight between large numbers of Orcs and the heroes is taking place as the heroes flee to safety. The one time it wasn't, the Orcs weren't concerned with staying for a fight, they just wanted to make off with the Hobbits. In every other situation Orcs are part of a massive battle and, as others have said, prove themselves to be pretty effective when facing regular soldiers as opposed to fighting the Fellowship. You know, a band of the mightiest heroes in the land...

Jacco:
The Orcs are simply not a credible threat. If a small band of people can take on and kill an entire battalion of them, how are they even a threat to an actual army? Even when they outnumber the good guys 10 to one, they still get slaughtered.

I just saw the Hobbit and it suffered from this "stormtrooper syndrome" just as badly as LOTR did.

There are things called "Protagonists" in movies/games/books that usually slash through thousands of enemies by the end of said medium.

Besides, you miss the scenes where Orcs/Urak-Hai Fuck up Normal humans/Elves and burn entire villages?

fix-the-spade:

gigastar:
The only other thing was the flashback when the uprooted Erebor Dwarves tried to retake Moria...

Sorry, i still cant believe that they seriously thought that was a good idea.

Well, they didn't know the Orcs of Moria were as numerous or well organised as they turned out to be, plus they were desperate.

Quite how they planned to deal with the Balrog... although, up to that point, no-one had ever laid eyes on it and survived, so the Dwarves didn't even know what it was.

Well they cant not have known of the Balrog, as its being there was why Moria was abandoned. Considering Gandalf technically died trying to kill it, id say a couple of dwarf legions arent gonna measure up.

Besides, theres plenty of mountains in Middle-Earth. Excepting the Grey Mountains because if i remember correctly theyre full of dragons.

rhizhim:
well, ever heard of the inverse ninja law?
image
"The difficulty of killing a single ninja is inversely proportional to the total number of ninjas one is trying to kill at the same time, such that one ninja is almost impossible to get rid of, Two ninjas are difficult, but two hundred ninjas are easily batted aside."

Just wanted to point out that your graph does not reflect what you wrote, AT ALL. A quick fix might be to start the X axis at 1, not 0, still wouldn't be perfect, but way better.

Amethyst Wind:
Probably because they were very successful in zerg-rushing in the books, what with it taking an unkillable army of ghosts to save Gondor during the siege.

Didn't happen.

Not in the books.

The army of ghosts scared the Corsairs of Umbar away from their ships, Aragorn raised the armies of the southlands and then led them to the battle.

There were no ghosts at the battle of the Pelennor.

evilthecat:
There's some pretty creepy implications to the whole thing anyway, what with Tolkien basically describing the orcs as embodying all the ugly traits of Asian people, and the whole Nordic racewanking which went on with the elves and human genealogies in middle earth.

The fact that the orcs were generally always evil apparently bugged Tolkien enough that he later started trying to either backpedal or justify the impression.

I'm not saying Tolkien was racist, but he seems to have had some pretty creepy (to our sensibilities, back then it was quite acceptable) ideas about racial purity and the percieved value of "pure" races over "corrupted" ones.

Maybe in the books, but...

Tolkien, 1938:
"I must say that the enclosed letter from Rutten & Loening is a bit stiff. Do I suffer this impertinence because of the possession of a German name, or do their lunatic laws require a certificate of [Aryan] origin from all persons of all countries? ... Personally I should be inclined to refuse to give any Bestatigung (although it happens that I can), and let a German translation go hang. In any case I should object strongly to any such declaration appearing in print. I do not regard the (probable) absence of all Jewish blood as necessarily honourable; and I have many Jewish friends, and should regret giving any colour to the notion that I subscribed to the wholly pernicious and unscientific race-doctrine."

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