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#9388735 Apr 16, 2014 at 08:47 AM
Kin Leader
533 Posts
There is a bit of confusion about the differences between Goblins & Orcs in Tolkien mythos. This apparently comes from the fact that J.R.R. Tolkien did not write them as two different species originally. Goblins are what Tolkien called the Orcs that Thorin and Company encountered in the book The Hobbit. They lived deep under the Misty Mountains in many strongholds, ever since the War of Wrath in the First Age. In The Hobbit, Tolkien described them as big, ugly creatures, "cruel, wicked, and bad-hearted." Tolkien explained in a note at the start of The Hobbit that he was using English to represent the languages used by the characters, and that goblin (or hobgoblin for the larger kind) was the English translation he was using for the word Orc, which (he wrote) is the hobbits' form of the name for them. Tolkien used the term goblin extensively in The Hobbit, and also occasionally in The Lord of the Rings. A clear illustration that Tolkien considered goblins and orcs to be the same thing, the former word merely the English translation of the latter, is that in The Hobbit (the only one of Tolkien's works in which he usually refers to orcs as goblins) Gandalf asks Thorin if he remembers Azog the goblin who killed his grandfather Thror, while in all his other writings Tolkien describes Azog as a "great Orc."

In popular parlance, perhaps because the word goblins was used in The Hobbit (which was in many ways essentially a children's book), whereas orcs came across as more fearsome in Tolkien's later works, it has become common for many to distinguish goblins as different from orcs: smaller and less fearsome, or at least a smaller and less fearsome type of orc. This idea has gained currency through its widespread adoption in various adaptations of Tolkien's stories, particularly those written by Christopher Tolkien, as well as in many derivative fantasy worlds, including novels, movies, and games such as Dungeons & Dragons.

In the minds of many, goblins were of smaller build than other orcs, although "The Great Goblin" and "Azog the Goblin" (as they were called in The Hobbit) were massive in size. In the Peter Jackson films, the goblins of Moria are also a very green colour compared to the varied colour of orcs elsewhere, they also had larger pointier ears and huge bulbous eyes, as expected from creatures that live in the dark. Goblins seem to lead a much more tribal life, often having a chief among smaller groups. When compared to orcs recruited by Sauron they tend to be much less organised using a vast range of scavenged items of clothing, armour and weaponry rather than specifically designed armour and weapons made. They also have a fear of light and the sun and will not step out in daylight most of the time, later orcs and uruks don't seem to mind the light as much as goblins. Certainly these differences are also presented in the game we all love so much, so as far as LOTRO is concerned, they are clearly 2 different races not only in appearance, but also in the many deeds & quests we must do to advance our characters!
Leader & Mom of the Oathsworn! :)
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