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Do orcs work in gothic horror settings?

D

Deleted member 5759

Guest
Don't know if this will help, but I have always enjoyed playing with the social norms within the species of Orcs, Goblins, etc. Do you remember Gremlins (Gremlins II, maybe), how there was that one articulate one? This strikes me as a creative opp' for orcs in a Gothic setting. Maybe instead of the LOR brutes, the orcs in a Gothic world are civilized descendants of those very LOR types. This would this would allow for some classic Gothic themes to play out with orcan characters. *Picturing an orcan poe, lamenting in his study, his ancestor's spirit wafting up from the crypt.
 

Gurkhal

Auror
That surprised me... I always thought of the Angraks as a cypher for the Chinese/Communism... In itself problematic.

I always get the impression that the Angraks and Torak are pretty much just every personal dislike Eddings have about society and person, all rolled up into one (or two) and then pitted against the heroes. So in that effect I think that in the Belgariad they essentially function as Orcs. There are moments of sympathy extended to them from an intellectual standpoint...but emotionally they can be massacred, butchered and killed on sight with little morale stigma attached to the act.

In the Malloreon Eddings goes to some length to humanize the Angraks. And while I normally put alot of scorn on Eddings I think that this is one of his best and brightest movements as an author. The Angraks are shown to be people and once away from Torak's yoke they are not all that different from their former enemies. Same with the Grolim priests. I totally thought there would be a total massacre of them, but instead they are reformed and shown a better way, and a way which they can and do embrace. A end to hostilities between the good guys and the minions of the bad guys which is in my experience far, far better than the good guys killing all the bad guys and then cheering over their collective mass grave.

This kind of final redemption and reconciliation between the Angraks and, well, everyone else is possible in my eyes because the Angraks are humans. Away from the rule of selfish leaders and out of a cruel system, they have no more will or inclination for evil than Alorns or Tolnedrians. If it had been Trollocks or Orcs with their nature rather than nurture being evil, then I think that this story would be impossible or feel really, really out of place.

And that kind of ties together with selecting minions for the bad guy that fits the story. If these minions are to be redemped and the story ends with mutual coexistance and such, a different kind of minions are needed than if it ends with the good guys essentially killing off all the bad guys at which point the author must really avoid to humanize, unless its the plan that the reader should question the morality of the heroes. And everything in between and outside of this.
 

pmmg

Istar
FTR, the word predates Tolkien. Orc - Wikipedia
But yeah, he pretty much invented the modern version.

I would like this to be true, but I have never found that anyone had Orcs before Tolkien. Tolkien is thought to have borrowed the word from Orcneas, which appear in Beowulf. I am unaware of any other previous author using the term to describe their monsters. Orkus is a pretty close match as well, but he is not orcs.
 
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