In The Fellowship of the Ring live action movie, Aragorn says after Moria:

By nightfall, these hills will be swarming with orcs.

And indeed, the creation of the Uruk-hai appears to be to allow for orcs to be able to be out in the daylight (as it was in the book).

In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Azog and his band of Orcs have a chase scene in broad daylight.

And they also fight during daylight in the Battle of Five Armies.

How is this possible (in the Jacksonverse)? Are Orcs able to run around in daylight? Are Azog's forces somehow imbued with the ability to walk around in daylight as the Uruk-hai later were?

  • 3
    I thought that Orcs just didn't like daylight, not that they were incapable of going out in the day if they really needed to? – Harry Johnston May 16 '18 at 4:12
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    How is this possible? anything is possible when you’re peter Jackson. But in seriousness, if you want a Jackson verse answer, it’s because the Orcs weren’t restricted to the night. – Edlothiad May 16 '18 at 5:10

While this scene is non-canonical, the orcs' ability to overcome sunlight is.

The above scene never occurs in the books, the closest we get to something like that is the Goblins of the Mountains chasing Bilbo out of the hills, into the trees, in daylight.

Of course they soon came down after him, hooting and hallooing, and hunting among the trees. But they don't like the sun: it makes their legs wobble and their heads giddy. They could not find Bilbo with the ring on, slipping in and out of the shadow of the trees, running quick and quiet, and keeping out of the sun; so soon they went back grumbling and cursing to guard the door. Bilbo had escaped.
The Hobbit - Chapter V: Riddles in the Dark

While it clearly states the Goblins didn't like the sun, they were able to overcome their dislike to hunt Bilbo for whatever reason drove them on. This "ability" of the Goblins of the Mountains is reconfirmed in the Lord of the Rings, when the Uruk-hai of Orthanc drive the hobbits through the day and night.

‘Now straight on!’ shouted Uglúk. ‘West and a little north. Follow Lugdush.’

‘But what are we going to do at sunrise?’ said some of the Northerners.

‘Go on running,’ said Uglúk. ‘What do you think? Sit on the grass and wait for the Whiteskins to join the picnic?’

‘But we can’t run in the sunlight.

‘You’ll run with me behind you,’ said Uglúk. ‘Run! Or you’ll never see your beloved holes again. By the White Hand! What’s the use of sending out mountain-maggots on a trip, only half trained. Run, curse you! Run while night lasts!’

This phenomena seems to be repeated throughout the legendarium with orcs repeatedly fighting, running, moving in sunlight. It appears to be more of a psychological battle for the Orcs, similar to the gloom the darkness of Mordor brings on the people of Gondor before Sauron's attack.

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