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Chosen One of the Day: Captain Guritz from The Return of the King
When it comes to good-looking orcs in The Lord of the Rings, the Uruk-Hai get all the attention. (Did the Uruk-Hai invent Ariana Grande’s ponytail? Maaaaaybe.) But what about when it comes to stylish orcs? And I’m not talking about the White Hand of Saruman. That’s metal, not fashion.
I would have you look no further than Captain Guritz, a film-only orc featured in The Return of the King. His time on-screen is brief but memorable. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli leap off of the Corsairs’ ships at the Battle of Pelennor Fields, ably backed up by the Army of the Dead, and take out the orcs manning the dock—including our dear captain.
You see, Guritz isn’t just your run-of-the-mill orc. First, he’s achieved the rank of captain in the forces of Mordor, which must mean something, even if I’m not exactly clear on the military hierarchy at work here. Second, he has piercing green eyes and most of his nose. But lastly, and most importantly, he has a skull helmet.
Not a skull he wears as a helmet, mind you. It's a skull he wears on top of his helmet. It’s displayed as proudly as any GameBoy collection, with some bespoke welding to ensure that it is always looking whoever Guritz is talking to directly in the eye sockets. It adds height. It adds flair. It adds drama! It’s perfect.
Tragically, Guritz and his skull helmet are quickly disposed of once he’s trampled to death by an army of ghosts (don’t think too hard about the physics at work here). Let us shed one single tear for him, but know that worthy tribute to his memory exists. His skull helmet is immortalized as both a wearable option in The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II and as an actual thing you can buy from Weta Workshop at the time of this writing. Guritz left us too soon, but we’ll always have the skull helmet.