good orcs ?

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Telchin
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Re: good orcs ?

Post by Telchin » November 4th, 2015, 7:49 pm

I believe it was Tolkien who came up with the name "Orc" - as a linguist he derived the name from the Latin "Orci" - as with Hades, this was the name of both a god of the netherworld and of his realm - unlike with the Greek Hades, Orcus seems to have been beastial and inhuman and his realm seems to reflect that (you can find the whole story or wikipedia or something) - so the Orci -"those of Orcus" were either the spirits of the dead or the fiends who inhabitied the realm Orcus, or they were the children of Orcus - a good contemporary translation would be "hellspawn" - do you get good Orcs?
The Latin "Orcus" is also source for the scientific name of the killer whale (Orcinus orca), not that its English name is flattering either.
Speaking of Tolkien, in The Hobbit he used "goblin", but in The Lord of the Rings he used "orc". He even made in-universe explanation for the word orc, claiming that it's a derivative of "uruk", their name in the Black Speech. The Czech translation of his works translates both "goblin" and "orc" as "skřet" and changes "uruk" to "skurut" to remain the in-universe etymology. Czech translations of works that use goblins and orcs as separate races (e.g Battle for Wesnoth) tend to translate one as "skřet" (in BfW's case orcs) and leave the other untranslated (in BfW's case goblins).

Wesnother
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Re: good orcs ?

Post by Wesnother » November 5th, 2015, 5:31 am

I've heard also that in some languages Orc and Ogre can be translated with the same word.
Both are big and beastly.

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Telchin
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Re: good orcs ?

Post by Telchin » November 5th, 2015, 11:55 am

I've heard also that in some languages Orc and Ogre can be translated with the same word.
Both are big and beastly.
This is getting off topic, but I've seen "ogre" translated to Czech as "zlobr" (Shrek movies, Heroes of Might and Magic 3), "obr" (Battle for Wesnoth) and "ogr" (Warcraft 3). Note that "obr" means "giant" and "zlobr" is abbreviation of "zlý obr", literally "evil giant". AFAIK, "zlobr" originates from Czech translation of Tolkien's works, where it's used for creatures called "trolls" in English. (Czech translation of BfW leaves "troll" as "troll").
Modern fantasy stories tend to keep clear distinction between various fantastic creatures. An elf is different from a dwarf and from an orc etc. However, the real world folklore from which these creatures originate often uses various names interchangeably. Small underground humanoids might be called dwarves, gonmes, kobolds, etc. depending on the version of the same story, while modern fantasy IPs might use each of these terms for a different creature (e.g Dungeons&Dragons, World of Warcraft). Sometimes translations of foreign folklore might use term from domestic legends for a similiar, but different creature from abroad. (Note how many creature designs were called "dragon" at some point.) Wesnoth is also sometimes guilty of this - note how Mermaid Enchantress promotes to Mermaid Siren even though in the ancient Greek mythology Sirens were bird-women and only later folklore conflated them with mermaids. (Even more bizzarely, said unit's description speaks about "naiads", which were yet another sea creatures from Greek myths.)
I should also point this article on Wesnoth's wiki which advices on how to translate some creatures that might not appear in all languages.

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pauxlo
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Re: good orcs ?

Post by pauxlo » May 11th, 2016, 9:07 pm

Zap-Zarap wrote:hi.
sometimes i wonder, if there are any books or movies, where the orcs are the good ones. do you know one ?
a possible plot could be about orcs, that decided not to eat little babies anymore, but live normal and peaceful lifes like the humans, and then they suffer from discrimination by the people..
thx
Not about orcs, but about goblins (and "monsters" in general) is the web comic "Goblins". Including a paladin one.

It starts when a village of goblins is attacked by a group of adventurers, then the few surviving goblins decide to form their own adventuring group.

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Re: good orcs ?

Post by pyndragon » May 12th, 2016, 4:51 am

pauxlo wrote:
Zap-Zarap wrote:hi.
sometimes i wonder, if there are any books or movies, where the orcs are the good ones. do you know one ?
a possible plot could be about orcs, that decided not to eat little babies anymore, but live normal and peaceful lifes like the humans, and then they suffer from discrimination by the people..
thx
Not about orcs, but about goblins (and "monsters" in general) is the web comic "Goblins". Including a paladin one.

It starts when a village of goblins is attacked by a group of adventurers, then the few surviving goblins decide to form their own adventuring group.
This is a great and very sympathetic portrayal. Note also that the key villains are a human and a dwarf.
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Re: good orcs ?

Post by kjn » May 12th, 2016, 12:05 pm

There are at least two books/series where orcs are the protagonists or the good guys.

The first one is Grunts! by Mary Gentle. It's a very subversive look at many of the standard high fantasy tropes, with orcs as the viewpoint characters. Note that the orcs are hardly very nice, but then is hardly anyone else in the books. And you'd better remember that they are Orc Marines.

The other is David Weber's Oath of Swords and sequels. Granted, the orcs aren't named orcs, but Hradani. They are (to me) a decidedly odd mix of examining some high fantasy tropes and just accepting some of them.

I think there have been some other authors who have done similar work, though I believe Mary Gentle was the first one to become known or published.

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Nikita_Sadkov
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Re: good orcs ?

Post by Nikita_Sadkov » May 18th, 2016, 4:18 pm

Zap-Zarap wrote:hi.
sometimes i wonder, if there are any books or movies, where the orcs are the good ones. do you know one ?
a possible plot could be about orcs, that decided not to eat little babies anymore, but live normal and peaceful lifes like the humans, and then they suffer from discrimination by the people..
thx
In the original Tolkien setting, orcs were the evil elves. Therefore elves are the good orcs :eng:

Although in Tolkien's book, being based of WWII, there are two types of orcs: communist orcs of Sauron (Stalin?) and capitalist orcs of Saruman (Hitler?) :lol:

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Re: good orcs ?

Post by Dugi » May 18th, 2016, 6:19 pm

Zap-Zarap wrote:a possible plot could be about orcs, that decided not to eat little babies anymore, but live normal and peaceful lifes like the humans, and then they suffer from discrimination by the people..
If I recall correctly, Terry Pratchett's stories mentioned an orc who was the last of their kin, because all others were slain by humans who hated them because bad stories were told about them. Definitely nicer than elves in that universe (they were so feared that people were afraid to call them elves and preferred some euphemisms).

Generally:
I have noticed that some work of literature was not mentioned here, Eragon tetralogy. Maybe it wasn't mentioned because of the crap tornado that keeps whirling around its resemblance to [acronym=Complete with Luke, Leia, Obi-Wan, Han Solo, Emperor, Darth Vader, Rebels and Stormtroopers. Later, there was also Yoda. Only Chewbacca wasn't there.]Star Wars in a Tolkienesque setting[/acronym] (I have read it before watching Star Wars, so it did not bother me, the logic behind the magic there was really well-thought and I really liked that). Initially, the Stormtroopers orcs urgals were just bad guys, chasing Luke Eragon and Obi-Wan Brom, capturing Leia [acronym=Interestingly, the resemblance with the character George R.R. Martin's works appears to be a mere coincidence]Arya[/acronym] and fighting the Rebels Vardens, but later (maybe because the author was bashed for it), they turned out to be actually good guys, who just loved war and happened to have their leaders enslaved by the Galactic Emperor king Galbatorix. They had an odd habit that a man could prove himself worthy of marriage only by killing two men, but it wasn't a problem as long as there was an actual enemy. Some solution was eventually made up, some non-lethal games where everyone could show how his prowess without killing anyone, but it was not disclosed how it ended up.

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Re: good orcs ?

Post by kjn » May 19th, 2016, 3:38 pm

Nikita_Sadkov wrote:
Zap-Zarap wrote: In the original Tolkien setting, orcs were the evil elves. Therefore elves are the good orcs :eng:

Although in Tolkien's book, being based of WWII, there are two types of orcs: communist orcs of Sauron (Stalin?) and capitalist orcs of Saruman (Hitler?) :lol:
Rather, Tolkien's orcs were elves that had been corrupted and enslaved by Morgoth, but it's unclear if they could interbreed with elves by the time of the TLotR anyway (unlike elves and humans, who were known to still be able to interbreed as late as the Second Age, AFAIK).

Also, Tolkien was adamantly opposed to interpreting TLotR as an allegory, and even more so on about WW2 or the Cold War. If it's an unconscious allegory of anything, one should rather look to Christianity or WW1.

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Nikita_Sadkov
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Re: good orcs ?

Post by Nikita_Sadkov » May 19th, 2016, 5:54 pm

kjn wrote:Also, Tolkien was adamantly opposed to interpreting TLotR as an allegory, and even more so on about WW2 or the Cold War. If it's an unconscious allegory of anything, one should rather look to Christianity or WW1.
LotR was written during WWII, when nazis bombed England, so it was hard to avoid being influenced by that. Other than that, the races in Tolkien's book don't really love each other and were only forced to unite by the common enemy. So it is all friendship against somebody.

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Re: good orcs ?

Post by kjn » May 19th, 2016, 9:24 pm

My last comment here:

Tolkien served as a 2nd lieutenant in the front lines of WW1 for six straight months, including the Battle of the Somme, before being invalided to England. By 1918 he had, in his own words, lost all but one of his close friends.

WW2 tends to loom large today, but in many ways Europe was much more impacted, culturally and psychologically, by WW1. WW1 was also right in Tolkien's most formative years. The relationship between Sam and Frodo eg goes right back to his war experiences as a lieutenant.

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Re: good orcs ?

Post by Pepe » May 20th, 2016, 2:30 pm

Kirill Yuryevich Eskov (Russian: Кирилл Юрьевич Еськов) (born. September 16, 1956 in Moscow, Soviet Union) is a Russian writer, biologist and paleontologist.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirill_Eskov

As a fiction writer he published several books, one of the most famous being The Last Ringbearer (Russian: Последний кольценосец), an alternative retelling of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, as told from the point of view of Sauron's forces, based on the proverb: "History is written by the victors."

http://negativesum.net/Members/hoss/mis ... bearer.pdf

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Nikita_Sadkov
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Re: good orcs ?

Post by Nikita_Sadkov » May 20th, 2016, 3:37 pm

Pepe wrote:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirill_Eskov
As a fiction writer he published several books, one of the most famous being The Last Ringbearer (Russian: Последний кольценосец), an alternative retelling of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, as told from the point of view of Sauron's forces, based on the proverb: "History is written by the victors."
Berne Convention? Communist Convention! Russians are notorious for copyright infringement. On sale there are seemingly countless unauthorized russian sequels to Tolkien's book. Nick Perumov is especially infamous for mass exhausting puke-quality books in LoTR universe. There are also numerous unauthorized harry potter books, even an orthodox christian version, where Harry rejects western dark arts and accepts russian vodka drinking values.

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Midnight_Carnival
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Re: good orcs ?

Post by Midnight_Carnival » May 28th, 2016, 4:39 pm

:lol: A fitting end to the Harry Potter series in my opinion (not a fan).
Kind of spoils my idea though, I wanted to get some totally "unknown" Russian director who´s never read LoTR to make an unhollywood version. Turns out that wouldn´t work since LoTR is big in Russia... :(
Still not giving up on an Anime version of the Tain.

Your post reminds me of what a friend from Romania was telling me about her country. Aparently, there is this genre called "prison literature" which came about when someone decided the prisoners could get a reduced sentence by ´contributing to society´by for example writing and publishing a book. You apparently have people churning out 6-8 novels a year in the hope of seeing daylight again before they turn 70. Her description of the quality of said literature closely resembles what you had to say only with some slightly more colourful language thrown in.
...apparenly we can't go with it or something.

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Nikita_Sadkov
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Re: good orcs ?

Post by Nikita_Sadkov » May 30th, 2016, 3:09 pm

Midnight_Carnival wrote::lol: A fitting end to the Harry Potter series in my opinion (not a fan).
Kind of spoils my idea though, I wanted to get some totally "unknown" Russian director who´s never read LoTR to make an unhollywood version.
Actually, there is a soviet Hobbit version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sl7w2Z0vGpA

it is as unhollywood as you can get.

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