The Olog-hai are not mentioned by name in The Lord of the Rings; the term appears only in the appendices. They were bred by Sauron in the late Third Age, possibly for the same reason Saruman bred the Uruk-hai, for improvement and less vulnerability to sunlight. They lived primarily in Mordor and in southern Mirkwood. However, they are described as being in the Battle of the Morannon at the Black Gate, where Pippin saves his friend Beregond from one. It is possible that some Olog-hai were also present at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.
The Olog-hai are described as being taller than a man, and covered in spiky scales, carrying war hammers, large swords, or spiked maces, and bucklers, and having claws and, on occasion, tusks. It is mentioned that after the War of the Ring, all of the Olog-hai were killed.
Olog-hai was a Black Speech word that meant 'troll-folk'. They seldom spoke and never in any language other than the Black Tongue of Mordor. 'Olog' meant 'troll' in Black speech and 'hai' meant 'folk. Uruk-hai meant 'orc-folk', and we can recognize the word 'hai' in both names because they both have the same word in English (folk).
They had none of the old troll vulnerabilities: they were very intelligent and able to move under the Sun, unlike their other counterparts. For this reason they were seen by some to be orcs like the Uruk-hai, but they were definitely of troll stock. They were improved trolls, much like the Uruk-hai were improved orcs. The Olog-hai, however, may have actually been corrupted trolls and marred by the Dark Powers like the balrogs, orcs, and werewolves were.
Portrayal in adaptionsEdit
The Lord of the Rings film trilogyEdit
- "You are soldiers of Gondor! Whatever comes through that gate, you will stand your ground!"
- —Gandalf, The White Rider, shortly before several Olog-hai blast through the main gate of Minas Tirith
Olog-hai were shown as the shock troops in the motion picture The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, sporting dark armor and war hammers alluded to in the appendices. They were used in the Siege of Gondor as primary shock troops after the gates of Minas Tirith were broken, and an Olog-hai actually duels Aragorn at the Black Gate, according to the movie.
They differ from the other trolls depicted in the movies in that they have more forward-facing eyes as well as hair on their bodies, suggesting that they are a more advanced form of troll. They are usually grey, dark green, reddish-brown, or black in color. They have twenty-four teeth and have an average height of about nine to eleven feet, compared to regular trolls who were eight to ten feet.
Their eyes are also bright orange, showing their evil connection with Sauron. Attack Olog-hai wear breastplates, vambraces, pauldrons, and helmets, and carry maces or huge swords. Despite their size they were exceptionally fast and were skilled enough to parry and engage in swordplay, as was the case with one that nearly killed Aragorn outside the Black Gate.