Monday, October 12, 2015
Orcs and Goblins
I just noticed in the Author’s Note in The Hobbit the distinction between orc and goblin is discussed:
“orc is not an English word. It occurs in one or two places but is usually translated goblin (or hobgoblin for the larger kinds). Orc is the hobbits’ form of the name given at that time to these creatures, and it is not at all connected at all with our orc, or ork, applied to sea-animals of the dolphin kind.”
This made me think of the discussion we had in class about them and whether they were separate races or not. I have no idea what the sea creature reference is about but it is interesting how the distinction is made between goblin and orc. It seems to be saying that the name goblin was used in the time of The Hobbit more than in, say, LOTR. This is the latest edition of the Hobbit which has been edited slightly to fit better to the LOTR (there in an editor’s note that says so). I think that probably Tolkien had not developed his concept of orcs until after writing The Hobbit, so he went back and made this edit to make the entire story flow better.