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Lord of the Rings: are there female orcs?

Lord of the Rings: we know so little about the life cycle of Sauron's foot soldiers that people want to know if there even are female orcs

Lord of the Rings: An ord

Are there female orcs? Using dark sorcery and torture, the dark lord Morgoth twisted and perverted the first children of Eru Ilúvatar, the elves, and created the orcs. This race of brutish warriors then became Morgoth’s foot soldiers serving him through the First Age before following Sauron in the Second and Third Ages.

But where do orcs come from? We know so little about orcish society it’s honestly difficult to say, and it’s not like the Lord of the Rings movies or the fantasy series Rings of Power ever took a break to show us what the homelife of Gorbag or Shagrat (yes, these are real orcs) However, Tolkien did briefly touch on orcish sexuality and gender when one curious fan wrote to him asking are there female orcs?

Are there female orcs?

Yes, female orcs do exist in Middle-earth. In a letter to one, Mrs Munby,  JRR Tolkien wrote that female orcs do exist but that we’ve not seen them because they don’t fight in Sauron’s armies.

“There must have been orc-women,” Tolkien wrote. “But in stories that seldom, if ever, see the Orcs except as soldiers of armies in the service of the evil lords, we naturally would not learn much about their lives. Not much was known.”

The Rings of Power showrunners did include some female orcs (to the outrage of people with too much time on their hands), but to be honest, they look so much like their male counterparts that it’s difficult to tell them apart, not that that stopped some faux outrage online.

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This anger from “fans” presumably came from the mistaken belief that all orcs are born asexually because, in The Fellowship of the Ring, we see Saruman pulling Uruk-Hai out of the mud. Fun fact, though, that’s not canon either.

If you love the Lord of the Rings TV series check out our guide to Rings of Power season 2, or you should check out our guide to the best Rings of Power characters which covers all the heavy hitters, including Elrond, Galadriel, and Durin.