To Catch an Orc

Author: Malinornë

Nominator: Russandol

2011 Award Category: Cross-Cultural: General

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: Mature  ✧  Reason for Rating: Sexual Content

Summary: Orcs in the early 4th Age - how do they cope without a master? And where are the women? This story describes the troubles an orc girl goes through to attract a healthy mate of her own kind. Rumil of Lórien lends a helping hand without ever finding out how. Drama with clashing cultures and a bit of humorous romance.

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Reviewed by: Russandol  ✧  Score: 9

As well as the humour, I really enjoyed the unusual "pairing" of this tale - we see enough romances in this fandom involving men and/or elves, but what does it take for a determined she-orc to net her perfect match, the sire of her children, in the peace that follows the destruction of the Ring and the end of the War? Despite not having a behind large enough to appeal to the mate of her dreams, our heroine applies herself to the task with perseverance and creativity. Obtaining a bit of alluring perfume sounds like a worthwhile strategy to guarantee success with the male of her dreams, making an appeal straight to his libido, but unfortunately this is easier said than done. To Rúmil, the unsuspecting "victim", the she-orc attempts to lure him make no sense whatsoever, but they are funny to watch after we know her objective. The cultural clash, including the bits of Black-speech and the little details about the Uruk-hai way of live (including the fact that they reproduce in the conventional way and don't grow out of mudpits - I never agreed with the movie version) make for a very entertaining read.

Reviewed by: elfscribe  ✧  Score: 9

In this inventive and charming story, a female orc must smell like an elf to lure a mate. Our heroine named Ogra sets out to get herself some elvish perfume to court the male orc she lusts after. Rúmil, who is standing watch on the borders of Lothlórien, becomes her unwitting pawn in the scheme. The situation was plausibly written and the language and culture of the Uruk-hai clever and well done,["To catch an elf? To kill it? That is for the weak-sha! We are Uruk-hai!"] Mal is a marvelous linguist (she's been my Middle-earth language guru for years) and it shows in her use of orkish. Changing the point of view back and forth between Ogra and Rúmil was the right literary choice enabling the reader to understand the characters' motivations and their resulting befuddlement about each others' actions, with good comedic effect. Ogra's attempt to lure Rúmil from the tree with the fish placed on the stone and the elf's complete puzzlement about what in Arda the female orc was up to was hilarious. At the same time that I was laughing at what was happening, the author made me feel sympathetic towards our heroine, which is no mean feat when the heroine is an orc. An enjoyable read.

Reviewed by: The Lauderdale  ✧  Score: 4

Amusing little story about [The troubles an orc girl has to go through to attract a healthy mate.] While Malinornë's Orcs reproduce in the traditional way (no mud-sacks here), they still feel more movie-verse to me, probably because of their economical speech patterns. Rúmil's limited understanding of the situation is priceless, and I was charmed by the small measure of affinity he evinces toward the end.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 3

An amusing tale of the mating rituals of Uruk-hai in Fourth Age Middle-earth. I really enjoyed the hopeful young she-orc and her hunt to acquire elf-smell with which to attract the orc stud of her desire. Rumil's viewpoint is wry, curious and well-written as well. Unusual and quite funny. I am glad that the heroine survived and fulfilled her quest.