Strange Bedfellows

Author: Dwimordene

Nominator: Marta

2005 Award Category: Races/Places: Villains: Orcs

Story Type: Vignette  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: PG  ✧  Reason for Rating: adult themes

Summary: An incident between the different armies of Orcs, after the attack on Parth Galen.

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 6

Rarely do orcs get this much characterization. I loved the way that Grishnakh's ambitious nature in canon was expanded here in his conversation with Ugluk, who in turn became something that reminded me of a soldier out of the Light Brigade: he knew his place was not to question why but rather to do and die. Their conversation was surprisingly sophisticated for orcs, but it definitely worked and was a brilliant way to expand upon the dispute between the orcs as to which direction they should go. And kudos to Ugluk for recognizing the value of cannon fodder. He's not entirely unimaginative, as Grishnakh might suppose, and he's willing to allow for maggots if it will keep his own skin around longer. Good vignette.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 6

This was a delicious insight into an orc's mind. I like the fact that Ugluk recognised his place whereas Grishnakh put on airs like he did. Saruman was of course power-hungry, but in the books I always sensed a sort of self-sufficiency in the Isengard orcs. They knew they were good enough, and they did not feel the need to claim more than that. Beyond that, there are several phrases I particularly liked for an orc/uruk. "For where there's an argument, there's blood to be spilled" was probably my favourite. They had a literary quality to them, but somehow they did not sound out-of-character. Ugluk is a bit higher than fodder for the war machine, but he is still in essence a killing machine. That seems fitting somehow. Well done.

Reviewed by: sulriel  ✧  Score: 2

ah yes, fodder for the front lines, - always needed in a war. Good thinking to keep the little guys around. I especially enjoyed your characterizations.

Reviewed by: nerwen_calaelen  ✧  Score: 2

An interesting view of the orcs. You add a lot to to their characters and a little to their culture. An interesting tale to read.

Reviewed by: Llinos  ✧  Score: 2

If I can't have hobbits I will settle for orcs and this vignette has Tolkien's two main orc protaganists Grishnákh and Uglúk trading barbs. Well executed, a gap filler that's both crunchy and satisfying at the same time.