Military Organization of Mordor

This is an interesting military analysis of Mordor in LotR.

Military Fantasy

Armies of Mordor

Issue of free will and discipline

Orcs are sometimes believed to not have free will, but this appears to be incorrect. Witch-King commands with fear, which would be unnecessary if orcs had no free will at all: “His own folk quail at him, and they would slay themselves at his bidding.”. Even below Witch King, command appears to be based at least in part on physical strength and terror factor – Ugluk occasionally chops off heads to enforce his authority, and Shagrat also threatens – and tries – to kill a smaller orc that had refused his commands. Orcs even have a saying that “where there’s a whip there’s a will”, and text notes that smaller orcs are driven unwillingly to Dark Lord’s wars.

Instead, orcs are driven by hatred. Their own misery and enslavement likely helps breed hatred towards people who are better-off than they…

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