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Homo Orcneas by TroytheDinosaur Homo Orcneas by TroytheDinosaur
Recently, I've been inspired by :iconturnermohan: with he views the Orcs in the Lord of the Rings, as regressed, devolved versions of elves (Reverse evolution if you will) as J.R.R. Tolkien himself may have based them off early hominids and living primates, and other various mythical creatures like trolls and gargoyles may have steamed off early man's encounters with previous hominids as well as monkeys and apes.

That's also, generally how I viewed the orcs when I was still a kid. Mind you my first exposure was the movie to be honest, but even then just seeing them in Peter Jackson's film trilogy the analogies are still present. Upon looking at Turner's drawings, his are definitely much more ape-like than what Alan Lee, John Howe, or the entire Weta Workshop worked up, what with the wider torsos, the bunchy necks, the bent and less defined musculature, and the even more stout looking postures.

For me, I tried to go somewhere between human and beastial, which in a sense is what orcs were also meant to represent, so one suitable reference I found for what an orc might look like is the homind, Homo Habilis, one of the early species that's much closer to humans than most, what with having a bit broader shoulders, a torso less wider than most primates, and a more narrow neck, but still retained some morphologies from other early hominids and apes. 

PS: I named it Orcneas after one of the fictional kinds of spiritual beings in Anglo Saxon poems (Beowulf in particular, of course) apply named, the Orcneas.
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Zeonista Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2015
Pretty cool visual meditation on Orcs as hominid beings.
TroytheDinosaur Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I always pictured them that way thanks to the movies. for my own fantasy world, my orcs are practically the same as Tolkien's, descendants of elves gone raw and bent on savage methods of morality; but still more redeemable and not completely evil by nature.
DaBrandonSphere Featured By Owner May 4, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
To cross-post my Facebook comment on this...

I really like this idea that the traditional races represent different species of hominins, like Homo sapiens and Neanderthals.

For that matter, I was just wondering if Hanuman and his Varanas ("monkey people") from Hindu mythology could be depicted as Gigantopithecus blacki in a Hollywood re-imagining of the Ramayana story. The "villainous" Rakshasas on the other hand might be based off Denisovans.
Hopefully the Hindus don't have too many problems with Hollywood adapting their mythology...
TroytheDinosaur Featured By Owner May 4, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I don't know, I'd say they stick pretty close to the source material and depict them as they are: The Monkey People as... well-- Monkey People, and the Rakshasas as Tiger People.
ravenf6 Featured By Owner May 4, 2015
An interesting idea. I could see Orcneas as a bit communal, but  a little more on the strongest being in charge.  They could likely spend a little time foraging, but if there's big game to find, I could see them employing  rudimentary tactics like forcing huge beasts off cliffs with spears and fire to kill them. Assuming they didn't follow herds all the time, I could see picture them living in caves, driving off invaders (or hunting them if they turned out to be predatory beasts).

For a case like this, I could see orcs growing a bit more organzied, maybe something  akin to the sumerians, assuming they don't have Morgoth and Sauron deciding to invent the hostile takeover of thier lifestyles.
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Submitted on
May 4, 2015
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