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Roose Boltons Pet Leech

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18 minutes ago, Roose Boltons Pet Leech said:

I also suspect Saruman didn't need that many humans for his experiments. Once he had obtained a few half-orcs with sunlight resistance, he could set those to breed with the existing orcs, and discard the original captives.

Saruman (among other things) comes across as Tolkien's commentary on science. The line "he who breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom" could only have been written by a humanities major.

(Which gives me another idea for a write-up. Saruman and Feanor: Tolkien's two great scientists). 

If he kept breeding half-orcs with true orcs, though, the offspring would only be a quarter human.  Some of them would lack the necessary genes that would enable them to resist sunlight.  So, I think he'd want to keep breeding orcs with humans. 

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Discard the ones who aren't resistant, and keep going - orcs are expendable, men less so. The Uruk-hai are objectively much closer to orcs than humans - compare them with the "squint-eyed southerner" at Bree, who seems to have resulted from earlier, more human, prototypes.

(Come to think of it, Tolkien was writing this in the early 1940s, before the horrors of Mengele and his experiments were generally known...)

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17 minutes ago, Roose Boltons Pet Leech said:

Discard the ones who aren't resistant, and keep going - orcs are expendable, men less so. The Uruk-hai are objectively much closer to orcs than humans - compare them with the "squint-eyed southerner" at Bree, who seems to have resulted from earlier, more human, prototypes.

(Come to think of it, Tolkien was writing this in the early 1940s, before the horrors of Mengele and his experiments were generally known...)

When I first read about it (and Morgoth's experiments on elves) I always had Mengele in mind.  It never occurred to me until you explained it that mass rape was likely involved as well (and once you explained it, it was blindingly obvious).

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Wordworth's "We murder to dissect" precedes Tolkien by more than a century, I guess. (And there are similar poems from German romantics)

As for vile cross-breeding or hybrid experiments, there is Frankenstein, The Island of Dr Moreau, as well as some Lovecraft (I think? There are several stories with the shocking revelation that Granny was a fish monster or a "white ape"). So JRRT did not need the horrid human experiments of the 1930s as inspirations.

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I thought Saruman just continued to breed Uruk-hai with Uruk-hai. There is in Tolkien’s world no reason to believe them to be sterile. Half-elves are not sterile, so why would half-orcs?

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14 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

What makes you say that there aren’t many Dunlendings?

There's no major towns or cities on the Middle-Earth map in Dunland, and when some of the Fellowship travel north through Dunland on their way back to the Rivendell, the Dunlendings are few enough that they can all give flight and stay completely out of sight of them. On top of that, northern Dunland is described as being empty of people even though it's a "green and pleasant country" (and the Hobbit mentions that people have been expanding into the north on the eastern side of the Misty Mountains). 

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9 hours ago, Nabarg said:

I thought Saruman just continued to breed Uruk-hai with Uruk-hai. There is in Tolkien’s world no reason to believe them to be sterile. Half-elves are not sterile, so why would half-orcs?

It's been a while since I read that part (it's not a bit I like rereading) but I think they're bred with orcs and goblins. That way, they lack the usual aversion to light.

I think it's meant to be that the corrupting horror of cross-breeding these fallen Elves is what is making Uruk-Hai, rather than it just being a matter of biology.

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It's been a while since I've read Tolkien, but aren't half-elves EXTREMELY rare in Middle-Earth? Elrond, Earendil... who else? And the two of them had to "pick a side" and were considered an elf and a human, respectively, if I remember correctly.

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1 hour ago, baxus said:

It's been a while since I've read Tolkien, but aren't half-elves EXTREMELY rare in Middle-Earth? Elrond, Earendil... who else? And the two of them had to "pick a side" and were considered an elf and a human, respectively, if I remember correctly.

  • Eärendil - 50% Elf, 50% Human
  • Dior - 50% Human, 25% Elf, 25% Maia
  • Elwing - 62.5% Elf, 25% Human, 12.5% Maia
  • Elrond - 56.25% Elf, 37.5% Human, 6.25% Maia
  • Elros - 56.25% Elf, 37.5% Human, 6.25% Maia
  • Arwen - 78.125% Elf, 18.75% Human, 3.125% Maia
  • Elladan - 78.125% Elf, 18.75% Human, 3.125% Maia
  • Elrohir - 78.125% Elf, 18.75% Human, 3.125% Maia
  • Galador - 50% Elf, 50% Human
  • Gilmith - 50% Elf, 50% Human
  • Vardamir Nolimon - 68.75% Human, 28.125% Elf, 3.125% Maia
  • Manwendil - 68.75% Human, 28.125% Elf. 3.125% Maia
  • Atanalcar - 68.75% Human, 28.125% Elf, 3.125% Maia
  • Tindomiel - 68.75% Human, 28.125% Elf, 3.125% Maia
  • Tar-Amandil - 84.375% Human, 14.0625% Elf, 1.5625% Maia
  • Vardilme - 84.375% Human, 14.0625% Elf, 1.5625% Maia
  • Aulendil - 84.375% Human, 14.0625% Elf, 1.5625% Maia
  • Nolondil - 84.375% Human, 14.0625% Elf, 1.5625% Maia
  • Finduilas - <100% Human, >0% Elf
  • Imrahil - <100% Human, >0% Elf
  • Boromir - <100% Human, >0% Elf
  • Faramir - <100% Human, >0% Elf
  • Aragorn - <100% Human, >0% Elf, >0% Maia
  • Eldarion - <59.375% Human, >39.0625% Elf, >1.5625% Maia 

Anyone with family connections to the House of Elros, the House of Dol Amroth, or the House of Elendil has Elven blood, and anyone with family connections to the House of Elros or the House of Elendil has Maia blood. 

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12 minutes ago, Roose Boltons Pet Leech said:
  • Eärendil - 50% Elf, 50% Human
  • Dior - 50% Human, 25% Elf, 25% Maia
  • Elwing - 62.5% Elf, 25% Human, 12.5% Maia
  • Elrond - 56.25% Elf, 37.5% Human, 6.25% Maia
  • Elros - 56.25% Elf, 37.5% Human, 6.25% Maia
  • Arwen - 78.125% Elf, 18.75% Human, 3.125% Maia
  • Elladan - 78.125% Elf, 18.75% Human, 3.125% Maia
  • Elrohir - 78.125% Elf, 18.75% Human, 3.125% Maia
  • Galador - 50% Elf, 50% Human
  • Gilmith - 50% Elf, 50% Human
  • Vardamir Nolimon - 68.75% Human, 28.125% Elf, 3.125% Maia
  • Manwendil - 68.75% Human, 28.125% Elf. 3.125% Maia
  • Atanalcar - 68.75% Human, 28.125% Elf, 3.125% Maia
  • Tindomiel - 68.75% Human, 28.125% Elf, 3.125% Maia
  • Tar-Amandil - 84.375% Human, 14.0625% Elf, 1.5625% Maia
  • Vardilme - 84.375% Human, 14.0625% Elf, 1.5625% Maia
  • Aulendil - 84.375% Human, 14.0625% Elf, 1.5625% Maia
  • Nolondil - 84.375% Human, 14.0625% Elf, 1.5625% Maia
  • Finduilas - <100% Human, >0% Elf
  • Imrahil - <100% Human, >0% Elf
  • Boromir - <100% Human, >0% Elf
  • Faramir - <100% Human, >0% Elf
  • Aragorn - <100% Human, >0% Elf, >0% Maia
  • Eldarion - <59.375% Human, >39.0625% Elf, >1.5625% Maia 

Anyone with family connections to the House of Elros, the House of Dol Amroth, or the House of Elendil has Elven blood, and anyone with family connections to the House of Elros or the House of Elendil has Maia blood. 

Yeah, the math is great, but isn't Elrond considered to be an Elf and Elendil to be human?

If memory serves, Elrond IS called Half-elf but he's immortal the same way Elendil and his descendants have been long-lived but were still mortal men.

Once again, a disclaimer - I haven't read Tolkien in a while so this is a genuine question. I'm not claiming you're wrong or anything like that.

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3 hours ago, baxus said:

It's been a while since I've read Tolkien, but aren't half-elves EXTREMELY rare in Middle-Earth? Elrond, Earendil... who else? And the two of them had to "pick a side" and were considered an elf and a human, respectively, if I remember correctly.

There don't seem to be any hard and fast rules about half-elves and elf-human marriages.

The children of Imrazor and Mithrellas were half-elven, but seem to have been deemed human from the outset, and Mithrellas was not required to give up immortality on marrying Imrazor (I imagine she abandoned her family because it suddenly dawned on her that she was doomed to watch her husband and all her descendants die before her, and couldn't face it).

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I think my point still stands. Once you have some Uruk-hai (of course bred from humans and ordinary orcs, I never meant to deny that as a starting point) you can go on breeding them with each other, since they will probably not be sterile, just as halfelves are not sterile (Elrond and Elros was after all second generation halfelves, being children not to man and elf, but to two halfelves).

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I just finished binge-reading through the Silmarillion and Children of Hurin. They were so good, although the ending of the latter really is a bleak gut punch (whereas Beren and Luthien is a pretty wild adventure love story, complete with a part where they're respectively passing as a werewolf and vampire bat). 

Interestingly enough, it indirectly touches upon how Morgoth might have cross-bred elves into orcish lines. It comes up a few times in the Silmarillion that Morgoth's raids took a bunch of elvish prisoners, and many of them were so thoroughly intimidated and brutalized by his power that they served him even after he let them go on the ruse of them escaping (hence why they were frequently unwelcome among their people after being let loose). It's not hard to imagine him commanding them to cross-breed with orcs as merely one of many degrading tasks in Angband's pits. 

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6 hours ago, Fall Bass said:

I just finished binge-reading through the Silmarillion and Children of Hurin. They were so good, although the ending of the latter really is a bleak gut punch (whereas Beren and Luthien is a pretty wild adventure love story, complete with a part where they're respectively passing as a werewolf and vampire bat). 

Interestingly enough, it indirectly touches upon how Morgoth might have cross-bred elves into orcish lines. It comes up a few times in the Silmarillion that Morgoth's raids took a bunch of elvish prisoners, and many of them were so thoroughly intimidated and brutalized by his power that they served him even after he let them go on the ruse of them escaping (hence why they were frequently unwelcome among their people after being let loose). It's not hard to imagine him commanding them to cross-breed with orcs as merely one of many degrading tasks in Angband's pits. 

Very likely.

Interesting to note that Morgoth likes to let a few of his prisoners escape, so that his enemies can see what he inflicts on them.

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3 hours ago, Calibandar said:

Not sure if I mentioned it before but this book by John Howe that is due in October is one I am really looking forward to.

Glorious cover already.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0008226776/?coliid=IF9ER4LPRCCON&colid=1ZPIZL1L5MH4S&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Nice. I generally prefer Alan Lee*, but that is a lovely cover.

*Ted Nasmith's good so long as he's not drawing people.

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My very first attempt at a Youtube video is a half-an-hour defence of Tolkien against the Far-Right:

(The visual quality isn't great, but then I'm not working with state of the art technology here).

Edited by Roose Boltons Pet Leech

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On 12/1/2017 at 3:40 AM, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

The incredible fatalism.  The strong belief in pre-destination.  The rejection of formal church liturgy. 

Drop the belief in Christ’s divinity and the trinitarian nature of God and Calvinists are right there with Muslims.

Those are some pretty gross generalizations, though.  The existence of the Church of England (which was at least semi-Calvinist at its inception) gives the lie to the idea that formal liturgy was not part of the Calvinist project; indeed, Martin Bucer played an important role in the composition of the Book of Common Prayer, and most Reformed denominations have formal liturgies, even if they may not use them often.

You'll find also that in most mainline Reformed denominations, predestination is a dead letter; nobody really cares much about it except in traditionalist groups like the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. 

As far as fatalism goes, I don't know that even a belief in double predestination necessarily leads to fatalism.  But as a non-Reformed Christian, I'm open to being corrected by those who know more about it.

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On 3/15/2018 at 9:31 AM, Roose Boltons Pet Leech said:

My very first attempt at a Youtube video is a half-an-hour defence of Tolkien against the Far-Right:

(The visual quality isn't great, but then I'm not working with state of the art technology here).

My favourite line in this entire thing was your drily delivered comment that, "And anyway... the dwarves eat pork!" :P

I didn't know half of what you were talking about. I had to pause the video a few times to quickly look some things up.

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1 hour ago, Yukle said:

My favourite line in this entire thing was your drily delivered comment that, "And anyway... the dwarves eat pork!" :P

I didn't know half of what you were talking about. I had to pause the video a few times to quickly look some things up.

For future reference, which bits were the most problematic? 

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