Rings of Power: What is the difference between Uruks and Orcs?

Rings of Power episode 6 made it very clear that Adar hates the term 'Orc', preferring 'Uruk'. But what is the difference between Uruks and orcs?

Rings of Power: What is the difference between Uruks and Orcs? An Orc in Rings of Power

What is the difference between Uruks and Orcs? Rings of Power episode 6 was the bloodiest and boldest yet. Audiences were treated to a big battle, hand-to-hand combat, a half-troll (maybe), and some big reveals. It even brought audiences the creation of Mount Doom.

Another one of those reveals was that we got to learn a lot more about the evil Elf Adar. Initially, when Adar was introduced, plenty suspected that he might be the baddest Lord of the Rings character of all, the Dark Lord Sauron, in disguise. This episode poured cold water on that theory, though.

One of the things we did learn about Adar is that he hates it when his Orcs, or Sons of the Dark, are called ‘Orcs’. Instead, he insists that people call them Uruks. So what is the difference between Uruks and Orcs?

What is the difference between Uruks and Orcs

The answer to this one is pretty simple: there is no difference between Uruks and Orcs. They are just different words that mean the same thing. In the languages that Tolkien created for Middle-earth, ‘Uruk’ is simply Black Speech for ‘Orc’, which is the word used by Men for the evil race.

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Any confusion is more than understandable, though, as there seem to be so many types of Orcs with so many different names. However, whether its the Goblins in Goblin-town, or the Uruk-Hai of Isengard, these are all Orcs, just from different areas and given different names.

So why does Adar prefer his Orcs to be called Uruks, or Sons of the Dark? The natural tongue of the Orcs is Black Speech, so it makes sense that they would prefer to be referred to by the word in their own language. It also seems like there might be some kind of offensive connotation to the word ‘Orc’, at least to Adar anyway. We must admit, though, that not offending the Orcs or Adar probably isn’t very high on our heroes’ priorities.

The portrayal of the Orcs is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the fantasy series. So whether you call them Orcs or Uruks, here’s hoping that we get to see a lot more of them in the future.