An orc (sometimes spelt ork; ), in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth fantasy fiction, is a race of humanoid monsters, which he also calls "goblin".
Especially in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, orcs appear as a brutish, aggressive, ugly, and malevolent race of monsters, contrasting with the benevolent Elves. They are a corrupted race of elves, either bred that way by the Dark Lord Morgoth, or turned savage in that manner, according to the Silmarillion.The orc was a sort of "hell-devil" in Old English literature, and the orc-né (pl. orc-néas, "demon-corpses") was a race of corrupted beings and descendants of Cain, alongside the elf, according to the poem Beowulf. Tolkien adopted the term orc from these old attestations, which he professed was a choice made purely for "phonetic suitability" reasons.Tolkien's concept of orcs has been adapted into the fantasy fiction of other authors, and into games of many different genres such as Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, and Warcraft.

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