Reply To: Do Orcs love their children Too?


Yes, Tolkien’s orcs are one-dimensional and unredeemable. I’ve always thought of it, though, more as a convention that allows the reader to passionately root for good and wish to conquer evil, because they are portrayed more clearly. Discerning which things are good is much more difficult in real life, and other literature is adept at helping us explore that. But I think Tolkien’s story is meant to serve other purposes—not so much exploring the defining contours of evil, so much as encouraging us to be willing to fight it. I think it’s the same reason behind the appeal of video games where you fight aliens, such as Halo.