In the new Hobbit movie, the warg riding orcs attack in daylight, which according to Tolkien's books should not be possible. Any speculations how this might be explained anyway? In the Lord of the Rings movies there were the Uruk Hai who could travel in daylight (as in the books). But these orcs seemed to be of a different kind.

  • Warg riders also attacked during the flight to Helm's Deep in LotR:TTT. Mar 23, 2013 at 16:10

3 Answers 3


Those were Hunter Orcs:

The fast-moving and fanatical Hunter Orcs serve as the right hand of Azog, a relentless band who will stop at nought to slay his quarry.

 Hunter Orcs

One of the Hunter Orcs ,Yazneg, was killed by Azog after he failed to capture Thorin, so they were clearly under a lot of pressure. Compared to Azog's wrath the Hunter Orcs possibly considerd sunlight to be the lesser evil.

Or maybe this breed, like the Uruk-hai, can indeed withstand the sunlight better

(Because this is 'non-canon' there seems to be very limited information)

  • considering Orcs were cave dwelling, their eyes will have adapted to low light conditions, so it stands to reason that they simply prefer to hunt in darkness, as it will be more advantageous to their eyesight: just as humans would prefer to hunt in daylight, but it is more than possible to hunt in darkness. Jul 17, 2014 at 18:11

You're thinking of Goblins and Trolls. Orcs and Uruk-Hai are able to move in daylight. It's not just one breed either. The whole race is this way. Goblins and Trolls can't survive in daylight hence why they lived underground and rarely venture out into the rest of the world without good reason.

  • Can you cite any sources? Jul 17, 2014 at 17:50
  • In The Hobbit trolls definitely cannot survive to sunshine. As shown in one of the first scene after Bilbo and the dwarves left the Shire, they turn to rock as soon as daylight comes.
    – Taladris
    Jul 19, 2014 at 15:32
  • @DustinDavis In the LOTR, the Orcs of Moria moved along with Uruk-Hai in sunlight while taking Merry and Pippin. The hated it but still they were able to move under sunlight.
    – Kolappan N
    Jan 28, 2020 at 5:27

In fellowship of the ring they twice mention that orcs can't move in sunlight. "Saruman is breeding an army in the caverns of isengaurd. An army that can move in sunlight". "By nightfall this hill will be swarming with orcs" (after the exit the mountain of moria). The new hobbit films don't offer an explanation but most of the movie there appears to be much cloud cover. This could serve as an explanation

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .