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July 4, 2011
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Orc breeds by Mara999 Orc breeds by Mara999
This is my take on Tolkien's orcs, judging by what little detail is described in the books. Tolkien describes orcs as having many different breeds, bred for different purposes by their masters. He doesn't really differentiate between orcs and goblins like later fantasy fiction does, but "goblin" is mostly used about those in the north of Middle-Earth. These orcs are also a bit like mongrel dogs, as they've lived on their own literally for ages, which is why they're smaller than most of Sauron's orcs from Mordor.

The most prominent of all breeds are the Uruks of Mordor, as well as Saruman's own Uruk-Hai. Saruman's creatures are described as larger than most orcs and even taller than the older "model" of Uruk. I've tried to make the Mordor Uruks look more primitive and ugly than the Isengarders on purpose, to make both more distinct from each other. The same goes for their gear, which for the Uruk-Hais is described as being more like that of humans.

It is implied that there is a breed meant exclusively for labour, except when Sauron gets desperate enough to send them out to war as well. These "snaga" are the troops that Frodo and Sam travel with briefly.

There is also a small tracker-breed, called a "snuffler" in its sole appearance in Return of the King. They're described as having over-developed sensory organs, especially their noses.

The "common" orcs aren't described very well, but I reckon they'd look like a very mixed bunch, with a wide variety of skintones and features shared with the more distinct breeds.
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:iconalam033:
alam033 Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2013
Very charming illustrations :-)
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:iconzeonista:
Zeonista Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2013
Really great version of all the orc-folk! Pretty much a RPG ID sheet in itself. They really are an unlovely but fierce bunch, aren't they? :) (Smile) 
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:iconbagasuit091:
bagasuit091 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Very interesting interpretations!
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:iconthe-lone-carbineer:
The-Lone-Carbineer Featured By Owner May 16, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's some cool stuff, always wondered about the distance between the Mordor orcs and the Uruks!
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:iconsamtron75v1:
Samtron75v1 Featured By Owner May 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
[link]
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This'll explain all the differences among other stuff if you want to take a peek.
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:iconthe-lone-carbineer:
The-Lone-Carbineer Featured By Owner May 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Neat, thanks!
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:iconnordiclynx:
NordicLynx Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Interesting :)
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