From Tolkien Gateway
"A 'Jorthkyn' in LOTRO
General Information
PeopleHongwir, Sarqindi
Physical Description
Average heightLarge
GalleryImages of Ogres

Ogres were monstrous and destructive creatures of legend and folklore of Middle-earth.

During the Riddle-game with Gollum, Bilbo Baggins, in his attempt to solve Gollum's fifth riddle, sat thinking of all the horrible names of all the giants and ogres he had ever heard told of in tales.[1]

No ogre is ever mentioned in the annals of the Elder Days and none are known to have played any role in the wars and battles. It is entirely possible that they were simply a mythical race.

It is also possible that Ogre was just another name for the Trolls.[2]


Ogre derives, through French, from the Greco-Latin name Orcus. It is interesting to note that Orcus is supposedly the origin also for the Old English word Orc, although Tolkien doubted that etymology.[3]

Other versions of the legendarium

Ogres were used by J.R.R. Tolkien in early drafts of the legendarium as a name for one of the monsters bred by Melkor along with Gongs and the other Úvanimor.[4]

They are mentioned as cannibal giants. Those of the north were known as Hongwir while the southern ones were named Sarqindi.[5] Sarqindi is glossed as "Cannibal-ogres",[6] and Patrick H. Wynne and Christopher Gilson have suggested that hongwir might be related to the Qenya word ongwe (meaning "pain").[7]

Tolkien mentioned again ogres out of context in analyses of the name Orc: "...the gloss Þyrs 'ogre'..." , and of the name Ettendales: "This is meant to be a Common Speech (not Elvish) name, though it contains an obsolete element eten 'troll, ogre'."[2]


In his childhood, Tolkien and his brother Hilary gave a miller and a farmer, who frightened the boys and lived near the Sarehole Mill in the Moseley area of Birmingham, the nicknames "White Ogre" and "Black Ogre", respectively.[8] These characters also appear in stories written by Hilary Tolkien.[9]

Tolkien enjoyed reading E.A. Wyke-Smith's The Marvellous Land of Snergs (1927) to his children. The book recounts the adventures of two children and a Snerg ("a race of people only slightly taller than the average table"), and their tale include meeting the vegetarian ogre Golithos.[10]

Portrayal in adaptations

2007-: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Ogres, also known as the Jorthkyn, are unfriendly Earth-kin, related to Giants. They are predominantly found in Nan Amlug East in the North Downs.[11]
An Ogre in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

2014: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies:

Ogres served in Azog's Army as both shock troops and Troll commanders. One commanded a team of catapult Trolls. Several Ogres fought in Dale, and two are killed by Bard.[12]

External links


Legendary races of Arda
 Animals:  Dumbledors · Gorcrows · Hummerhorns · Pards · Swans of Gorbelgod · Turtle-fish
Dragon-kind:  Sea-serpents · Spark-dragons · Were-worms
Evil Races:  Ettens · Giants · Half-trolls · Hobgoblins · Ogres · Snow-trolls · Two-headed Trolls
Other:  Badger-folk · Great beasts · Lintips · Mewlips · Nameless things · Otter-folk · Spectres
Individuals:  Badger-brock · Fastitocalon · Fisher Blue · Lady of the Sun · Lonely Troll · Man in the Moon · Old Swan · Talking Gurthang · Talking purse · The Hunter · The Rider · River-woman · Tarlang · Tim · Tom · Whisker-lad · White cow · Willow-wren