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Orc by Akril15 Orc by Akril15
No, this isnít a mutant killer whale. Itís an orc.

Yeah, yeah, I can hear you all saying ďThatís not a Dark Elf! Thatís not one of Mordorís soldiers!Ē Well, believe it or not, before Tolkien came along, orcs existed, but they were nothing like the misshapen creatures he created.

The orc was probably one of the many fantastic creatures that was fabricated out of a real one, like the mythical ďsea lionĒ, with its lionís body, fishís tail, and webbed forefeet, a misinterpretation of the real thing. Orcs were fierce, bloodthirsty creatures of the sea, and their name shared the same Latin root as ďorca,Ē which, of course, is the name of the large, black and white whales that prowl our oceans today.

Here is one of the more famous appearances of the pre-Tolkien orc - [link] .

Since there donít seem to be any pictures of pre-Tolkien orcs online (believe me, Iíve looked), I got some ideas for this oneís appearance from Blue Moon Mountain, by Geraldine McCaughrean.

Okay, so maybe the text in the picture is superfluous. It still looks good. Hah.
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:iconkirel-kemmetmau:
Kirel-Kemmetmau Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Cool.
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:icongokou-sama:
gokou-sama Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank the gods someone on here besides me know of the original sea serpent versions that even Wikipedia seems to have nothing on (then again, I haven't checked in a year or two maybe).

Don't get me wrong...I like new-age Orcs, too, of course - most of all the now seemingly-typical greenskinned varieties, but you can't beat the original. In my personal fantasy mythos, the modern-day style Orcs evolved from the sea serpent versions (generally believed to be due to magic or alchemical tampering). The sea serpent versions still haunt the seas, as well, furthering the theory of a quick and sudden evolution to a humanoid form, with at least one rumor stating their creation as the use of "lower-witted slave laborers".
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:iconakril15:
Akril15 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2008
Thanks! It's glad to hear from someone else who's heard of the original orcs. Interesting theory, too.
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:icondark-orka:
Dark-Orka Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2007   Photographer
Tolkien referred to the orcas (orcinus orca) for the name of the terrifying creatures of its novel. Because as it is known that his novel was written in the years 1950, the orca (animal) was still regarded as a sanguinary killer attacking in bands, a demon of the seas, an assassin without pity which kills all on its passage. The orca had a reputation of the killer as worse as the sharks. But very with changed in the years 1960 thanks to the capture of a wild orca. The glance of people changed on the orcas, in particular thanks to the film "Namu, the wild orca" appeared in 1967. In any case, before this key date (1960), the orca was perceived like worst sanguinary killers attacking in band. Therefore, I think that Tolkien has refers to the orcas. If Tolkien saw the orcas today, he would surely say: " I was mistaken, they are not sanguinary killers ". Lastly, towards the man not, but in nature, the orcas attack all, even the white sharks. The orcas are the kings of the oceans. :D
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:iconakril15:
Akril15 Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2007
So Tolkien's orcs having the same name as Bulfinch's orc was just a coincidence, then?
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:icond4rksqu1rr3l:
d4rksqu1rr3l Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2006
So it makes orc-a. That's cool!

Tolkien was pretty cool 'n' all, it's just important to remember where he got his races. Like the norse.

And by no means is the text superfluous. It's the only reason I fullviewed ^-^
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