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5 Lord Of The Rings Facts That Sound Fake But Are Totally True

In Peter Jackson’s adaptation of “The Lord of the Rings,” the Uruk-hai have a clear genesis. They are a unique creation bred by Saruman in the pits of Orthanc. We even see them emerging from the mud and filth. This draws on some of the earliest Middle-earth Orc origin stories that Tolkien wrote, where he simply has his Orcish villains emerging from subterranean slime and heat.

However, the author abandoned that version of the Orcs’ genesis pretty early on, opting for a more devious evolution — one that at various times included either Men or Elves. And in the case of the Uruk-hai, it’s probably the latter.

The term “Uruk” refers to a particularly nasty form of Orcs. In the appendices to “The Return of the King,” it says that roughly 500 years before “The Lord of the Rings,” “the race of uruks, black orcs of great strength, first appeared out of Mordor.” Half a millennium later, they were commonplace in the Dark Lord’s armies.

In the book “The Two Towers,” Treebeard voices his suspicions about Saruman’s diabolical dabbling in Uruk-inspired racial cross-breeding, saying, “He has been doing something to [the Orcs]; something dangerous. For these Isengarders are more like wicked Men.” He goes on to surmise, “Are they Men he has ruined, or has he blended the races of Orcs and Men? That would be a black evil!”

A bit later, we also get a conversation during the battle of Helm’s Deep where a Rohirric officer says, “But these creatures of Isengard, these half-orcs and goblin-men that the foul craft of Saruman has bred, they will not quail at the sun.” While we never get a definitive answer, Tolkien’s writings strongly hint at the possibility that the Uruk-hai aren’t mud-born monsters. They’re half-bred humans.

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