John Gardner

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Ork is an old priest, who encounters Grendel at a sacred religious site one night. He cannot see who Grendel is and so believes him when he says he is The Destroyer, the king of Ork’s gods. Pretending to be a god, Grendel teases Ork but is put off by his intense, earnest faith. The ease with which Ork is tricked demonstrates the fallacy of the Danes’ religious practices, which Grendel sees as particularly foolish.

Ork Quotes in Grendel

The Grendel quotes below are all either spoken by Ork or refer to Ork. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Monsters and Humans Theme Icon
Chapter 9 Quotes

The ultimate evil is that Time is perpetual perishing, and being actual involves elimination. The nature of evil may be epitomized, therefore, in two simple but horrible and holy propositions: ‘Things fade’ and ‘Alternatives exclude.’

Related Characters: Ork (speaker)
Page Number: 132-133
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Grendel LitChart as a printable PDF.
Grendel PDF

Ork Character Timeline in Grendel

The timeline below shows where the character Ork appears in Grendel. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9
Philosophy, Theory, and Belief Theme Icon
...the priest’s god. The priest is terrified and bows down to pray, introducing himself as Ork. Grendel asks him what he knows about the king of the gods. The priest offers... (full context)
Philosophy, Theory, and Belief Theme Icon
Ork moans, shaking violently, and presents two axioms: “things fade” and “alternatives exclude.” He continues to... (full context)
Philosophy, Theory, and Belief Theme Icon
...other priests arrive. Grendel narrates a dramatic dialogue of what follows. The priests ask what Ork is doing. Ork tells them that he has talked with the king of the gods.... (full context)
Chapter 11
Monsters and Humans Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Philosophy, Theory, and Belief Theme Icon
...and frustrated that foreigners have come to save them. It offends their sense of honor. Ork in particular looks frustrated, as the Geats, and not the gods, have come to their... (full context)