The Brain Structure of The Pale Orc

(This is a little late because of technical difficulties, but better now than never, right?)

For those of you that are familiar with the Lord of the Rings movies, you probably remember those ugly creatures called “Orcs.” And for anyone who’s seen The Hobbit, you’ll remember the giant orc leader named Azog, the “Pale Orc.” In general, orcs are roughly the size of humans, but Azog is a good three feet taller and much bulkier. Azog, like all orcs, is trained to be a predator. He has little to no empathy, a small range of emotions, and great fighting capability.

To jump right in, I’ll first talk about the size of Azog’s brain. Since he stands upright and shares a majority of physical human qualities, I believe that his brain would be the same shape as humans’, only much larger, due to his height and large skull.

While orcs do not have their own language, they speak a mixture of phrases and commands from different regions of Middle Earth. Thus, I believe that regions of the forebrain that ivolve language, along with his cerebral cortex, would be smaller in Azog than that of humans. Because while Azog can still communicate with other orcs, their communication is less developed than the average human.

Azog can kill without remorse, and never shows a shred of empathy in any scene. The only emotion one senses from him is anger and hatred. He has no motivation to be angry other than the fact that he was born to be a cold-blooded predator. Because of his very undeveloped emotional response, I believe that Azog’s prefrontal cortex would be very small, as it controls things like empathy, emotional control, and insight. Along with this, his frontal lobe as a whole would also be slightly smaller than humans’, because of his lack of emotions, reasoning, and problem solving (he needs some problem solving skills to be a leader of orcs, but nowhere near as much as humans develop problem solving.)

What traits does any predator need? Good sight, hearing, and smelling, of course. This leads me to believe that Azog has large olfactory bulbs for smelling, a large inferior colliculus for hearing, and a large occipital lobe for sight. With these three senses, Azog is able to track other species of Middle Earth when in battle.

Finally, Azog is trained to fight and kill, and he does it well. This leads me to believe that he would have a cerebellum larger than humans’, because he needs more motor control when in battle, which he is constantly involved in.


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