Mark-Edmond continues his journey through the Silmarillion. In this section of the book Tolkien talks about the elves, the orcs, and the Captivity of Melkor. Mark-Edmond brings up a good question about what happens to Orcs who die.

Check it out.


“The thing that first struck me about this section is the creation of the Orcs. Tolkien has done something brilliant here. He established with Aule that none of the Ainor or Valar could create beings–things that exist apart from their creator. Illuvatar alone can truly create beings. So in order for Melkor to have a race of followers, he takes elves and breeds them into hideous creatures–the Orcs. For the Orcs to be descended from Elves is really a fascinating concept. If Tokien is the father of the modern Fantasy genre, why haven’t I heard of this before? It’s very cool.

I wonder if when Orcs are slain they go to the halls of Mandos, just like the Elves. After all, they are elves at heart, right?

Something worth remembering, I should think, is that Melkor can’t create something new. He can only pervert and twist something that already exists.

Something absolutely remarkable is the description of the defeat of Melkor. Again, Tulkas is incredible. Tolkien writes that he, “”cast [Melkor] upon his face; and he was bound with the chain…and led captive.”” How undescribably powerful must Tulkas be! And what an image for Melkor to be led across the land bound with a chain and captive of the Valar?! Melkor, immense Power, all darkness and fire, captured and taken prisoner. A breathtaking image.

I’d like to quickly mention that I’m impressed with Tolkien’s realism as the Elves begin their exedos to Valenor–their promised land. I would call it sad realism even. For, so many of the Elves don’t make it. Some aren’t even convinced to go. Many are lost, many give up and turn back. From the very beginning, when some of the Quendi flee from Orome and are lost or captured by Melkor it’s evident that the story of the Elves is not going to be a happy one.

Till next time, keep thinking.