With the exception of dragons, one of the most recognizable monsters of genre fantasy is the humble orc. Orcs, commonly found in hordes (which I believe is the ™ term), are the readily identifiable, disposable foot soldiers of every evil wizard’s or Dark Lord’s army, and they are the ever-useful opponents for would-be heroes in training. But given the trend of modern genre fantasy to move away from moral polarities to more complicated relativistic positions, can we still treat and react to orcs in the same way? Is it time to reevaluate orcs and as a result the texts in which they appear? Can we now view orcs as the victims of the self-proclaimed heroes? With some notable exceptions, such as Mary Gentle’s Grunts (1992) and Stan Nicholls’s Orcs novels (1999–present), the treatment of orcs has remained fairly consistent ever since Tolkien popularized them as the enemies of the hero.