The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Emerged in the ancient Elder Days, while Melkor still ruled from Utumno; at least some survived into the Fourth Age
Location
Found across Middle-earth, especially in lands under the power of Melkor or Sauron
Origins
Obscure, but apparently bred from Elves or Men
Race
Divisions
Numerous, but notably included the larger Uruk-hai and lesser forms known as Snaga
Cultures
Numerous, but notably Mordor-orcs, Isengarders and Northerners
Pronunciation
go'rgoon
Meaning
A word of unknown derivation from the language of the Drúedain1
Other names

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About this entry:

  • Updated 15 October 2021
  • This entry is complete

Gorgûn

A name for Orcs

"'...we fight not. Hunt only. Kill gorgûn in woods, hate orc-folk. You hate gorgûn too. We help as we can.'"
Ghân-buri-Ghân's words to Théoden
The Return of the King V 5
The Ride of the Rohirrim

The name used by the Drúedain to refer to the race of Orcs, creatures that they had held as mortal enemies since the First Age. Indeed, the only detailed story we have of the Drúedain from those ancient times, The Faithful Stone, tells of a Drûg using his strange powers to destroy invading Orcs. This enmity was an aid to the people of the Rohirrim in the War of the Ring, because the normally unfriendly Drúedain helped guide them to Minas Tirith in the hope of seeing their hated gorgûn defeated - a hope that was amply fulfilled.


Notes

1

With the exception of a handful of personal names, gorgûn is our only recorded word from the otherwise unknown language of the Drúedain. The details of its derivation is unclear, and indeed Tolkien himself seemed undecided on the matter, though he does suggest that it might be distantly related to the Elvish words for Orc (Quenya urko or Sindarin orch).

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 15 October 2021
  • This entry is complete

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