The Wonderfully Hideous Orcs Of Shadow Of Mordor

It's so easy to resort to lazy and hurtful stereotypes whenever we talk about orcs. If nothing else, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor shows us how disrespectful this is. These monsters may be hideous, but they're also individuals with hopes and dreams—unique and precious like snowflakes. Let's celebrate them as such.


What follows is a (heavily curated) selection of the best orcs that Kotaku has encountered in its adventures throughout Mordor so far. Enjoy.

Tumhorn Beastmaster

I've certainly had a hard time killing caragors. But I guess some of us haven't. Rub it in, why don't you?

Tugog Man-Breaker

With a name like "Man-Breaker," I guess you've already got your career picked out for you...

Malmug Flesh-Render


Ditto for "Flesh-Render." Imagine trying to apply for an IT job with that on your resume.

Latbag the Reckless


Latbag, you keep trying to kill me and it never seems to work out. When will you ever learn? Just look at your face, man!

Tugog Grog-Burner


I get that Mordor can be chilly sometimes, but is a flaming headpiece really necessary Tugog?

Thakrak the Hell-Hawk


Dude, seriously? You're coming at me in a big bird costume and you expect me to be scared of you? Do you know how many of your orc friends I've killed at this point?


Welp, down I go! I'm sorry for insulting your feathers, Hell-Hawk. They're very nice and fluffy and totally don't make you look like a low-level drag queen, professional wrestler or...both at the same time? Now there's an idea.

Bolg Plague-Bringer


You know, Bolg, I have a great dermatologist I can put you in touch with.

Ghura Prison Master


I know you're the "Prison Master" and all, but do you always have to look so grumpy?

Kuga the Gorger


Pssst. Hey, Kuga. You got a little something on your face. Up a little bit. No, not there. Here, just let me get it for you—


Ok, ok, fine! Sorry. God, I was just trying to be helpful.

Otha the Pathetic


Otha, hasn't Latbag taught you anything about trying to challenge me? No wonder your last name is pathetic! Go take a long look at those scars in the mirror and think about what you've done.

Ushak the Proud


I'd make fun of you for being an old coot, Ushak. But then I'd have to admit that I still haven't managed to kill you yet. I'll be back soon—don't worry.

Illustration for article titled The Wonderfully Hideous Orcs Of Shadow Of Mordor

Ok, that's enough orcs for one day I think. Actually, what am I saying—you can never have too many orcs. Please share some of your favorite bad guys from Shadow of Mordor below, and I'll keep the list going!

To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter at @YannickLeJacq.



Have you not encountered the bat-shit crazy one yet? That's been the best one in the game for me. Looks ape-like, and it doesn't talk, it just kind of roars and shrieks and it's absolutely fucking terrifying.

One of them has been plaguing me for the entire game so far.