The Orcs from the Lord of the Rings trilogy have got to be some of the most terrifying creatures in movie history. It’s just impossible to not appreciate the stellar make-up and practical effects Peter Jackson enforced for his original trilogy. That’s precisely what attached us to this hideous race of monstrous creatures. That worked for the first trilogy, but as we all remember, The Hobbit trilogy changed things up a bit. And as I recall, most Lord of the Rings fans didn’t appreciate the CGI extravaganza that trilogy turned the Orcs into. Honestly, they all felt like cartoons. And let’s not even talk about the animated Legolas. But what the heck, let’s throw it out there. The Hobbit trilogy went overboard with the CGI and it was a total far cry from the work Jackson did in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Unfortunately, that has tarnished the reputation of the whole franchise. It doesn’t take anything away from the first trilogy. However, it makes you wonder how the Orcs will look in the upcoming Rings of Power series for Amazon. Will the series repeat the sins of the Hobbit trilogy and make them too CGI-heavy? Or will it go back to its roots and rely on more practical effects? I think most fans would vote for the latter. And why wouldn’t they?
What made those more practical Orcs so convincing is that they all looked different. Some looked creepy, while others looked just plain horrifying. From their malformed faces, to their bright or dark eyes, and their animalistic growls, everyone was convinced that these creatures could be real. Just the fact that they had a variety of grotesque appearances made this race all the more believable. Sure beats the overly macho race of green hooligans from World of Warcraft, doesn’t it? There was really no need for that excessive CGI to make them look grayer. Or make their eyes look bigger. It was all just too much.
Well, guess what, Lord of the Rings fans? If you’re wondering what the Orcs will look like in the Rings of Power series, look no further. During an interview with IGN, Jamie Wilson, the head of the prosthetics department, and Lindsey Weber, an executive producer of the series, gave an explanation to how they developed the Second Age Orcs. But from their perspective, they prefer to call them the “baby versions” of Orcs. This makes sense given that the series takes place long before Sauron developed them to become his massive army. And just like Saruman said in the Fellowship of the Ring, the Orcs were once Elves that were once tortured to the point of becoming these monsters.
That is a very intriguing fact. I do believe that the Rings of Power could be the chance to maybe see what that process was like. All we need is a quick glimpse of it. What amount of terrible torture could possibly morph the Elves into a savage race such as Orcs? Let’s hope the Rings of Power series touches on that, even if it’s brief. But hold on, we still need to at least see how these Second Age Orcs will look. In fact, Wilson herself emphasized on how she wanted to make them look more wild and raw compared, especially after the end of the First Age. As she put it, they are not yet organized into armies yet and are more scattered and spend their time scavenging.
This will be a very intriguing perspective to view the Orcs. And to better explain how she envisions her version of the Orcs, we got to see a few images of the monsters for the series. And if you ask me, they look nightmarish. Oh yes, that is exactly what we should be expecting for a more updated look on these creatures. We got a good look at six images and each of them gives us a pretty good look at how these Orcs are living. During a time where Sauron wasn’t yet at the height of his power, his minions have spent their time lurking in the deepest, darkest caves in Middle-Earth. Basically, they’re living like the Goblins. And no you casuals, they’re not the same thing.
Almost all of these images show some scary and to be quite frank, some badass-looking Orcs wearing skull helmets and ready to pillage a human town. That’s literally what these creatures were made for. All of them look like things from your nightmares, exactly what they should look like. In fact, they feel like a callback to how the old Orcs looked in the first trilogy. Enough make-up and practical effects to make them look real enough, along with some CGI to fill in the final touches. There’s no excessive reliance on CGI like the Orcs from the Hobbit trilogy. Not in the slightest. That’s exactly what we fans were worried about and now, these images have quelled our fears.
Okay, let’s just get this straight. The fact that these Orcs look fantastic doesn’t mean the Rings of Power series will be good. For all we know, the show can have terrible writing, but still have these awesome-looking Orcs. If that’s the case, then by golly, what a crying shame that would be. However, I’ll stay positive and have faith in how the show can expand the lore. By seeing how these Orcs look, I’m invested in how the series will show us their ascension. And if they want to take it a step further, they should dedicate some time to explaining their origins. Who were the first Elves to endure such horrendous torture that led them to becoming the first Orcs?
I hope the Rings of Power series goes beyond just making the Orcs look scary. If they really want to hit it home with fans, they should expand the lore and dive deeper into the origins of Middle-Earth’s most grotesque race. What are your thoughts, Lord of the Rings fans? If you haven’t seen the images of the new Orcs, I implore you to look them up.