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Topic: Orcs numbers

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Orcs numbers

Why did not Sauron have as many Orcs and troops on a whole available to him as Morgoth? Considering Sauron reigned for a large part of the very long Second Age, and a long time during the Third Age I would have thought he could have built up much bigger armies than Morgoth considering Melkor's reign was much shorter...

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Well, he didn't really have so much time.
I mean, after the end of the First Age he was hidden for about 1000 years in the east of the world.
Then he came back, and for 600 years he did indeed gather many forces under his command. And he also sent them to do ravage in Eriador, and to destroy Hollin. But these Orcs were mostly destroyed by the army of Tar-Minastir.
After this, Sauron didn't have much time to gather more Orcs, as soon Ar-Pharazon came and took him as a prisoner to Numenor, and also we are told that all his forces fled as the Numenoreans came.
After the Downfall of Numenor, he again made Orcs, from 3320 to 3441 SA, bu again he didn't have so much time, as the Last Alliance attacked Mordor.
Then, from 1000 to 2941 TA, Sauron didn't gather any troops, as after his return he went to dwell at Dol-Guldur, and even though he brought a shadow upon the Greenwood, he didn't make any army yet.
So considering the fact that the Orcs of the Second Age were already dead, all the Orcs that Sauron had at the time of the War of the Ring were those that he had made between 2941 and 3019 TA.
Indeed, almost 80 years is a lage period of time, but still, Sauron didn't have the power of Melkor...
And anyway, Sauron still had many Orcs in his army. We are actually told by Gandalf in the Unfinished Tales, that is Sauron had concentrated all his troops on Lorien from the beginning, the Fellowship of the Ring would have had no chance.
However, far too confident, Sauron split his forces into 3, one to attack Minas Tirith, one to attack Lorien, and one to attack Dale and Erebor, and he still had many more troops in Mordor. (actually 4 if we also count the Orcs that invaded the Wold during the War of the Ring and were destoryed by the Ents) He had more then enough troops to destroy all his enemies...the only problem was he made several small mistakes, that eventually led to his downfall.


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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Still I beleive Melkor only had half a mellenium to build up his immeasurable forces, as the First Age was extremely short.

-- Edited by The One at 18:35, 2006-08-01

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Indeed, but you still can't compare 80 years to 450 years.
Still, we must not forget that Sauron also improved the Orcs and Trolls created by Melkor, creating Uruk-hai or Olog-hai. However, he never had the power to create for example Dragons...that is why he was hoping for an alliance with Smaug.
And as I said, Sauron didn't create so many Orcs because he didn't really need so many. He already had enough Orcs to win the war, it always only his overconfidence and his small mistakes that defeated him.

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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TM - OK maybe Sauron's 'open' forces (the ones in Mordor) may have been destroyed in the Second Age, but he still had thousands at his disposal hiding in the Grey, Misty and Iron mountains which were mostly to his allegience.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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do you have quotes for that?
I doubt it.
Why? Because there were no thousands of Orcs.
Ok, so lets take it step by step.

Firstly, the Misty Mountains.
The Orcs living there had been decimated by the Dwarves during the war of the Dwarves and the Orcs, and those that remained dwelled in Moria, and as we saw, all they did was to remain in Moria, they were too few too for example make raids.
And how do we know that? Because we are told that most of the Orcs were destroyed during the Battle of the 5 Armies. We are told that they didnt raid anymore, and also that the Beornings were able to keep the mountain pass free and safe. Not really what would happen if thousands of Orcs were lurking around.

And the same thing goes for the Orcs from the Grey Mountains, which also were mostly destroyed during the Battle of the 5 Armies.

And about the Iron Hills...that really is unlikely. Firstly, no Orcs are mentioned to have dwelled there, and the Dwarves had anyway probably driven them away after they settled there.


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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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After the Dwarves awoke Durins' Bane they fled leaving the enitre of Khazad-dum to the Orcs to breed and multiply into countless numbers, that is why its called Moria - the Black Pit.

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I doubt they were countless. Keep in mind, many of them also took part at the battle of the 5 armies, as all were angry because of the slaying of the Great Goblin. ANd also, many of them were slain. If these Orcs had been so strong, they would have raided the Woodmen more often, but that is not mentioned.

And anyway, even if, these Orcs were many, they didnt really obey Sauron.
HOw do we know that ?
Well, we know he was the one to send them there in order to block all passages into Eriador.
But, these Orcs soon forgot their master.
Let me give you an example. When Sauron attacked Lorien, he did it from Dol Guldur, and with forces coming from the east. IN the attack on Lorien, the forces of Dol Guldur received no reinforcements from Moria.
Now, if the Orcs were, as you speculate, countless and serving Sauron, they would have clearly had no reason to stay hidden in Moria and not come help their master.
Sauron only sent them there to make sure anyone wishing to go in Eriador would be forced to use the Gap of Rohan, and thus he could find out who was going where (as he did in the case of Boromir).

So as I said, these Orcs were firstly, not so many, secondly, didnt very much obey Sauron and thirdly and finally, he didnt really need them, as he anyway had enough Orcs to destroy anything. If Frodo had not brough the Ring in time to Mount Doom, the Host of the West would have been totally destroyed, Gondor and Rohan would have also been quickly overrun, and it would be only a matter of time until the woodland realms of the Elves or Rivendell would also fall.

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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What bout the seamlessly endless amount of troops he had from the South and East? By the end of the Third Age Rhun and Harad had long since recovered from any depletion of forces from Gondor and were untreatened realms. Sauron had full allegience from both of these lands.

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as the topic of the thread is ORC NUMBERS, I doubt that people from the South or East are counted.
but indeed, another reason why he had perhaps not so many Orcs, is that he had many Easterlings or Haradrim willing to fight for him, and so he didn't need so many Orcs

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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mouth of sauron wrote:


Why did not Sauron have as many Orcs and troops on a whole available to him as Morgoth?


I suppose they could be included. Any Idears why, including the men, was Sauron only able to build up relatively small armies compared to Morgoth?

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ok, I am only going to repeat this one last time.

it was because he had enough.
he had enough to destroy Gondor, Rohan, Lorien, the ENts, everything, and conquer all of Middle-earth.
he did however 2 things:
- he underestimated his adversaries
- he forgot about the danger the ring could become
he didn't need to have more troops, because he had enough.

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Admittedly had the Army of the Dead not come it was unlikely Gondor could have defeated the Orcs army of the Pellenor. However when Theoden came with 6000 there was a fair chance they could have defeated the Orcs. In other words Sauron's army was only large enough to wipe out Gondor completely if Rohan did not come.


Why did not Sauron bring a bigger army in which he could have utterly destroyed Gondor with or Without the help of Rohan?



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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if you would gave read the book with more attention, you would have seen that the force that besieged Minas Tirith was not Sauron's main army. His main army was the one that fought against the Host of the West. As we are told in LOTR, when Sauron attacked Osgiliath and Minas Tirith he was expecting to win even with his smaller army, but he underestimated Gondor, and he also did not expect Rohan.
Indeed, you ask a good question. If Sauron had sent all his army to besiege MInas Tirith, the war would have been as good as won.

No victory for Aragorn at Minas Tirith = NO diversion at the Black Gate = no chance for Frodo

but Sauron didn't send all his Orcs, but kept most in Gorgoroth.
it was indeed simply his arrogance.
he thought, ahh...why send all the Orcs, the Orcs I sent are enough anyway.
but they were not enough, that was one of his many small mistakes.

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Admittedly had the Army of the Dead not come it was unlikely Gondor could have defeated the Orcs army of the Pellenor.~Glorfindel


It was not the Army of the Dead that arrived on Pelennor with Aragorn.  Without the Army of the Dead Aragorn would not have taken the Corsair ships, but that is all they did.  They scared off the corsairs and their service was done.  Aragorn took the ships, and the 2,000 men that were stationed in Lebennin, awaiting for the Corsairs, followed Aragorn to the Pelennor.


No victory for Aragorn at Minas Tirith = NO diversion at the Black Gate = no chance for Frodo~TM


A very good sum up.  Now had Sauron sent all his forces to Siege Minas Tirith, Frodo wouldn't have needed a diversion to get across the plain, but Sauron still would have won end of story.  He would have defeated Gondor (even with his 'secondary army' he broke through the first level by the time Rohan arrived) just imagine the power of his full force? 


With that victory, as you say starts an avalanche effect, the biggest key would probably have been the loss of Aragorn.  Sauron's arrogance contributed to his downfall, but so did the mindset of the ring:


'But even if he did not wear it, that power existed and was in 'rapport' with himself: he was not 'diminished'.  Unless some other seized it and became possessed of it.  If that happened, the new possessor could (if sufficiently strong and heroic by nature) challenge Sauron, become master of all that he had learned or done since the making of the One Ring, and so overthrow him and usurp his place.  This was the essential weakness he had introduced into his situation in his effort (largely unsuccessful) to enslave the Elves, and in his desire to establish a control over the minds and the will of his servants.  There was another weakness: if the One Ring was actually unmade, annhilated, then its power would be dissolved, Sauron's own being would be reduced to a shadow, a mere memory of malicious will.  But that he never contemplated nor feared.


Sauron had no thought, nor fear, that someone would want to destroy the Ring.  He constantly feared that it would be found and someone would try to use it against him, because that's what he would have done if he was in their situation.  Aragorn provides this perfect diversion to Sauron's mindset.  Here we have Isildur's heir, soon to be King of Gondor, marching to the black gate to challenge him...I mean he's got to have the Ring, so here's Sauron's chance to put an end to it...at least that's what he thinks, he has no clue that the Ring is going to be destroyed.


So, eventhough if Frodo would not have had to of contend with the army blocking the Gorgoroth, he probably could have made it safely across, the big problem now is there is no diversion FOR Sauron.  He believed Aragorn had the Ring and he was coming to challenge his army and overthrow him.  Without this diversion Sauron would not be distracted and focused on Aragorn.  Also, there would be no eagles to slow the Ringwraiths down in their pursuit to Mount Doom after Frodo claims the Ring.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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still I doubt the Nazgul would have made it back in time. the whole Frodo-Gollum episode took place quite fast, so I don't think the Nazgul could have changed anything.

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Still I think he basic idear of Mos post was to ask why Sauron did not have as many troops under his control as Morgoth.


TM you say -'Becuase he did not need them', well I doubt Morgoth needed his huge forces to defeat the relatively easy victory over Beleriand.


"There came afresh a hundred thousand Orcs and a thousand Balrogs, and in the forefront came Glomund the Dragon, and Elves and Men withered before him."
SoME, The Earliest Annals of Beleriand - Year 172


Notice that in this force alone - no doubt one of Melkor's lessar hosts, there are twice the amount of Orcs used to besiege Minas Tirith - Imagine Melkor's host that took place in the War of Wrath!


Please don't say that this quote is void becuase of the Balrogs part. We know that Balrogs were not around in hundreds but there is no need to dispute the rest of the quote.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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do not compare the First Age, with the Third Age. the situation was different, and the power opposing Melkor was much greater then that opposing Sauron.
We are actually told, that if the Men from the East had not betrayed the Elves, and joined Melkor, then Melkor would have been defeated.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Can you quote that???



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hehehe, yes I can

"Yet neither by wolf, nor by Balrog, nor by Dragon, would Morgoth have achieved his end, but for the treachery of Men. In this hour the plots of Ulfang were revealed. Many of the Easterlings turned and fled, their hearts being filled with lies and fear; but the sons of Ulfang went over suddenly to Morgoth and drove in upon the rear of the sons of Fëanor, and in the confusion that they wrought they came near to the standard of Maedhros."

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Hmm that quote is not conclusive. For a start Morgoth did not achieve his end with or without the aid of Men. Secondly I believe that comes from The Silmarillion so there is a chance it could be a part Christopher edited. Thirdly to the people of Beleriand Morgoth was a insurpassable enemy. It took all of the combined efforts of the peoples of Beleriand to simply drive Morgoth's offencive armies back. I beleive out of the Five battles of Beleriand only one was complete victory - the 'Glorious battle'. Two battles neither side one, Morgoth one won and then the final one ended with Morgoth flattening Beleriand.
I think that only 1 of those 5 battles were Beleriand offencive (and they lost), whereas all the others were simply defending Beleriand.


 



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I don't understand what you say by unconclusive
the quote clearly shows that even with Glaurung and the Balrogs, Melkor would not have managed to win, had it not been for the treachery of Men.
it's quite conclusive to show that Melkor did not have so many Orcs, as if that would have been the case he wouldn't have needed the treachery of Men to achieve his end, he could have simply sent forth all the Orcs.

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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I don't think it means it like that TM.


It doesn't seem to be talking in terms of numbers. Its saying that Melkor could not have achieved his goal had he not ensanred Men - there would be too much opposition to him if all men were against him. Its not saying he would not have had enough Orcs.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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I really dunno how you understand this quote that way...

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I don't get how anyone could take the quote like that. It oviosly states that Morgoth could not have managed to win. Glorfindel1235 also wrote that Chistopher might have edited that part. If you believe that then no quote can be taken from the Silmarillion.

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I could be wrong, but it appears that this thread is discussing the difference in the amount of Orcs that were available to Morgoth vs Sauron.

I'm not sure I understand. Sauron had roughly an half of the Second Age and most of the Third Age to build an army of orcs.

Morgoth had a ridiculously longer time for his hosts to multiply. He was chained in Valinor for 3 Ages while Sauron was free to roam Middle-Earth. I am not sure of the exact amount of time between the unchaining of Melkor and the beginning of the First Age, but I know it was considered long by the Elves.

I would have to do some research, but I read somewhere that a Valian Age is 10,000 years.

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