Ogres are mostly portrayed as large and ugly humanoid like creatures. In various types of fantasies, mythologies, fictionworks and folkores they serve a very important role in making the adventures and trials of the hero more exciting, entertaining and interesting. They are often described by many literary works of fiction as creatures that eat humans. Many artworks will depict the ogre or the ogress (term used for female ogre) as a monster with a very big head, plentiful of hair and beard (sometimes bald) and a very big body (sometimes well-built and sometimes fat). Nevertheless, ogres are always depicted as very strong creatures who have a huge appetite. Many visual artworks will picture ogres/ogresses as big monsters who are eating babies or adults.
Ogres In Europe
In the time of Geoffrey of Monmouth he states in history of the British Kings about ogres. Geoffrey says that the previous inhabitants of the land of Britain were ogres. He previously calls Britain as Logres or the land where the ogres live. Studies have speculated that Geoffrey may have pictured out the ogres as Neanderthals who were cannibalistic in nature and are very savage and primal; living on dark caves and looking like gigantic bloated beasts. The word ogre may also have originated from Greek mythology where there is a depiction of a river god giant known as Oiagros. The words Gog and Magog from other mythologies may also be an indication for the origin of the word ogre. In the lengend of Beowulf, there are certain lines that denote the word orcus or orc, which couldíve been the parental word for ogre.
Italian authors during the 14th and 15th century like Giambattista Basile, Fazio degli Uberti and Luigi Pulci also make use of words that are similar to ogre, in their works, they mention of a word uerco or orco. Many people also view the mythological symbolism of the ogre as being taken from inspiration of the horrifying crimes committed by a criminal known as Gilles de Rais. The word ogre became even more popular in the literary works of Charles Perrault, a French writer from the middle parts of the 16th century to the 17th century. In his own version of the popular story of Sleeping Beauty there happens to be a female ogre or ogresse in the cast. Fairy tales from German origins also associate the ogre in their works. They are mostly depicted in this race as cannibalistic creatures or humans that eat both children and adults.
Ogres On Asia And Ogres Today
Ogres are also present in Asian countries. They are mostly famous in the folklores of Japan. Although in their fiction works they are known not by the word ogre, but by the word oni. The oni share similar characteristics and behavior to the ogre in European culture. Nowadays ogres are becoming more and more popular. Even computer generated cartoon movie films like Shrek has an ogre as the protagonist. The ogre depicted in this particular film is a brave hero who even gets to save a damsel in distress and battle dragons and evil counts for an adventure.
These types of mythical creatures all share the same common trait. They are considered as ugly, brutal, dirty and barbaric. Orcs and trolls are most of the time encountered in many fantasy stories out there. Series coming from the Dungeons and Dragons franchise have these creatures in their world. If not for cannon fodder or enemies to be slain, they always prove a more interesting and exciting role to our heroes. Orcs and trolls all have their own differences in fantasies. So if youíre a big fan of stories with evil monsters in them, then take a few moments of your time to read about the differences these creatures have.
Orcs are probably made most popular by RR. Tolkienís series Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit. Nevertheless, they are always present in Middle Earth (the setting of Tolkienís fantasy). Orcs in his stories are brutal and savage, always portrayed as an enemy. They rally huge armies and raids to fight the heroes on their quest. The orcs in Middle Earth mostly ride a powerful wolf-hyena looking like mount known as a warg.
In Dungeons and Dragons settings like the Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk and others orcs are portrayed differently. They are still a savage species that resemble humans with pig like qualities. They have big tusks in their mouth, and are most of the time very hairy. They mostly come out in groups and large numbers in battling against the heroes in a story set in D&D. Orcs are not present in some D&D novels like Dragonlance and Dark Sun.
Orcs are present in the World of Warcraft franchise. They are portrayed very different from the other two franchises; itís because in the World of Warcraft the orcs are more civilized. They are portrayed as green-skinned creatures that resemble humans and live a nomadic and warrior style of life. Some orcs in this setting are considered as heroes and honorable, doing good deeds and slaying evil creatures along with a human or elven companion.
Trolls are portrayed in Tolkienís Middle Earth series as gigantic monsters usually allied with orc armies. They serve as lumbering soldiers who will charge their way to battle with abandon, crushing any tiny opponents that they come with.
In Dungeons and Dragons series trolls are portrayed very differently. They mostly live in swampy places where people try to stay away from. Itís almost impossible (or very rare) to talk to a troll in the D&D worlds. Most of them are very primal and savage, never bothering to communicate with adventurers, and will just kill or eat anything on sight. Perhaps an interesting fact about orcs in the Dungeons and Dragons setting is their powerful regenerative abilities. It is noted that once you cut down the arm of a troll it will grow one/regenerate itself in a few moments: As for the other part of his body that was separated (the arm), it will also grow to be a new troll. There are even very popular tales in certain D&D worlds that tells the reader if a dog were to eat the remains of a troll, it will soon find its stomach being ripped open as the new troll emerges from its digestive system.