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1%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1438631157029622700˛%% Please see thread to discuss a new image.˛%%˛[[quoteright:350:[[Literature/TheTimeMachine https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/morlock.jpg]]]]˛˛Sometimes, the course of human evolution can lead to a sub-division. Those in the position of power become a higher caste of human beings, and those in the working class are albinos with leech-like mouths who have a taste for human flesh. The latter is due to adapting to living underground by becoming a troglofaunal species. Darwin didn't really think about this possibility, but H.G. Wells certainly did.˛˛In ''Literature/TheTimeMachine'', Wells introduced the Morlocks, hideous troll-like beings that haunt the night while the innocent Eloi culture sleeps. The book implies that it is kind of a BlueAndOrangeMorality: the Eloi have no conception of altruism, art, love or even the future tense. They don't actually have a culture. The Morlocks, on the other hand, are actually productive society members: they just breed the Eloi like cattle, [[ToServeMan and for the same purpose]]. The narrator speculates that, as the upper class constantly pushed the lower class below ground, the upper class lost the ability to think and work for itself, leaving the lower class adapted to operating heavy machinery and thinking logically. The entire thing is commonly interpreted as a critique on Victorian society, including the notion of EvolutionaryLevels that later versions of the trope [[UnbuiltTrope tacitly play straight]]. ˛˛This concept has since ''[[{{Pun}} evolved]]'' into a monster archetype much like [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampires]] and [[OurZombiesAreDifferent zombies]] but hasn't been overused like those tropes. In contemporary versions, the "Morlocks" (aka [[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons grimlocks]], [[Film/TheDescent crawlers]], [[Film/{{Pandorum}} hunters]], [[Literature/TheDescent hadals]], etc) are usually descended from humans who became trapped underground by mischance or were driven into hiding there by their enemies. [[BizarreAlienSenses Echolocation]] is a common ability for such creatures, and Wells's class-conflict subtext has largely gone by the wayside in them.˛˛Common in science fiction and fantasy, the Morlocks usually represent everything that science and art cannot redeem in the working class. This is a somewhat insidious remnant of Victorian phrenology and its ideas of EvolutionaryLevels, and has left a huge impact in genre fiction.˛˛The Morlocks as a trope are almost AlwaysChaoticEvil. They are often the byproduct of a SufficientlyAdvanced Society.˛˛Compare their cousins the MoleMen, as well as FuturePrimitive.˛˛-----˛!!Examples:˛˛[[foldercontrol]]˛˛[[folder:Anime and Manga]]˛%%* ''Anime/{{Metropolis}}''˛* ''Anime/TheBigO'' features the wealthy living in domes and the poor struggling to survive outside them.˛* In the anime of ''Literature/FromTheNewWorld'' the Bakenezumi are anthropomorphic rodent beings which live in servitude to the psychically powered humans, [[spoiler: then it is revealed that they've been aiming to overthrow humans all along, and furthermore it's revealed that they are the mutated descendants of the percentage of humans who didn't have psychic abilities.]] ˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Comic Books]]˛* ''ComicBook/XMen'':˛** The Morlocks are supporting characters, being mutants whose mutations are physically disfiguring and who live underground with others of their kind. Of course, even among the Morlocks, there are hierarchies, and the Tunnellers look down on the Drain Dwellers (and vice versa). Only two Morlocks, Marrow and [[DumbMuscle Sunder]], have ever been members of the X-Men proper (and Sunder was a member for only about 1 or so issues), reflecting the bad blood between the two groups.˛** There's another group of mutants roaming in London's sewers that make the Morlocks look like supermodels.˛* ''Comicbook/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen '': An issue of ''Allan and the Sundered Veil'' deals with Morlocks [[spoiler: where they are revealed to be aliens]].˛* ''ComicBook/LegendsOfTheDeadEarth'': {{Subverted|Trope}} in ''Franchise/WonderWoman'' Annual #5. The Ratbats are a seemingly savage and barbarous race of creatures who evolved from one of the two groups of human survivors on a GenerationShip. They have been in constant conflict with the Unremembered for resources aboard the worldship for generations. [=AlyXa=], a rebellious 18-year-old member of the Unremembered, managed to sneak into the Ratbats' territory without being seen. While there, she receives recorded memories of Wonder Woman and her exploits on Earth when in the proximity of a [[TransferableMemory memory transfer device]] being used by a female Ratbat. When she uses it herself, [=AlyXa=] experiences residual memories drawn from the female Ratbat's mind and she discovers that the Unremembered have badly misjudged them. They are not savage, animalistic brutes but intelligent beings with a sophisticated society, which is more advanced than that of the Unremembered in some respects. For instance, female Ratbats are considered equal to the males while the women of the Unremembered are considered to be the males' property.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder: Film]]˛* ''Film/{{Metropolis}}'', both the anime and the 1920s silent film, have an under-caste of workers who serve the upper classes. In the silent film, the workers are almost more robotic than the robots, though still undeniably human, and the film's relatively positive ending definitely reflects this.˛%%* [[Film/TheTimeMachine1960 1960]] and [[Film/TheTimeMachine2002 2002]] adaptation of ''The Time Machine'' of course.˛%%* The 1992 adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft's ''Lurking Fear'' of course.˛* ''Film/TheDescent'' has the Crawlers, pale carnivorous hominids who have adapted to living underground but have become mindless predatory animals. H.G. Wells also happens to be one of Neil Marshall's favorite writers.˛* The Hunters in ''Film/{{Pandorum}}'' are very similar to the Morlocks [[spoiler:but their evolution was manipulated and their ancestors were trapped on a ''spaceship'' rather than underground. [[http://www.icollector.com/Three-Morlock-articulated-heads-created-for-The-Time-Machine-and-Pandorum_i10031270 They even used the heads of the Morlock costumes from the 2002 adaptation.]]]]˛* The creatures in ''Film/{{CHUD}}'' are morlock-like to some degree.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Literature]]˛* ''Literature/TheTimeMachine'':˛** The Morlocks in the original novel, the {{Trope Namer}}s, were actually the more advanced race, providing all the food and luxuries the mentally deficient Eloi depended on, essentially farming the child-like Eloi like cattle. They were supposed to be descended from the working classes of modern-day societies, who, as class divides grew sharper, spent more and more time underground tending to industry and machinery. Over time, they evolved into a race of pallid troglodytes who kept the machines running out of instinct as much as anything, still tending to the descendants of the indolent upper classes (who they over time adapted to feed on).˛** Subverted in ''Literature/TheTimeShips'' by Creator/StephenBaxter. After the time traveler accidentally changes history, advanced Morlocks live on the outside surface of a Dyson sphere, living in darkness because it allows a better view of the universe. Meanwhile the "new Eloi", basically standard humans, are busy blowing themselves to bits in pointless wars on the interior of the sphere (where they can see the sun). At the end of the book, the time traveler [[spoiler: vows to try and view the original Morlocks as potential sapient allies and goes to try and deal with them]].˛* Creator/HPLovecraft:˛** The creatures in "The Lurking Fear" are somewhat like Morlocks as they are carnivorous de-evolved apelike humans. However, [[spoiler:it's not social class and evolution that turned them into this, but [[CannibalClan generations of inbreeding]]]].˛** One of HPL's earliest stories, "The Beast in the Cave", tells of an encounter between a lost cave-explorer and an ape-like subterranean creature he ''thinks'' is this trope. [[spoiler:At least, until the dying creature utters a few final sounds, revealing itself to be an ordinary man who'd been lost in the vast, pitch-black caverns so long that he'd reverted to animal-like behavior.]]˛* The "Children of the Night" from Creator/RobertEHoward's stories are the degenerate subterranean descendants of a primitive people driven underground by the arrival of the Picts in the British Isles. Many of Howard's period stories from Celtic times features these dwarfish, hissing mini-Morlocks as a menace, and by the 20th century [[spoiler: they've diminished and inbred until only one remains, which looks more like a ''snake'' than a human.]]˛* ''[[Literature/NineteenEightyFour 1984]]'' by Creator/GeorgeOrwell gives us the Proles, the underclass of apolitical nobodies who dwell in squalor and ignorance beneath the Party who run Oceania.˛-->''If there is hope, it lies in the proles.''˛* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'':˛** Orcs are [[FlipFlopOfGod sometimes identified]] as originally Elves who were subverted by the will of Morgoth, Sauron's master from ''Literature/TheSilmarillion''. Other times they're the result of Morgoth trying to create his own version of the children of Ilúvatar (elves and men). Tolkien went back and forth on the matter repeatedly, and hadn't settled on a definitive version even when he died, mainly due to trying to reconcile his dislike of AlwaysChaoticEvil with his belief in Evil as inherently incapable of creativity.˛** Gollum was born a perfectly normal proto-[[{{hobbits}} hobbit]], but centuries of living under the Misty Mountains under the corrupting influence of the One Ring gradually turned him into a degenerate nocturnal creeper.˛* Jeff Long's ''[[Literature/TheDescent The Descent]]'' and ''Deeper'', with their pale cave-dwelling cannibal hadals who have evolved to adapted to their conditions, owe a ''lot'' to this trope.˛* ''Literature/TheNightLand'' and ''Literature/AwakeInTheNightLand'' have the Abhumans, which are prophesied to eventually replace the regular humans.˛* Not subterranean, but the Ab-locks of ''[[Literature/JackelianSeries Secrets of the Fire Sea]]'' owe their name to this trope. They are aggressive, feral pack-dwelling hominids [[spoiler: descended from an ancient Jagonese civilization that destroyed itself]] which are bitter enemies of the much larger, more solitary ursks [[spoiler: which are ''also'' TheMorlocks, but derived from UrsineAliens from the same long-ago civilization, rather than humans]].˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Live-Action Television]]˛* ''Series/DoctorWho'' has occasionally portrayed the future of humanity this way. "Utopia," set at nearly the end of the universe, has ordinary humans plagued by the "futurekind," tattooed cannibals (or maybe technically not) with sharpened teeth, who seem barely capable of speech.˛* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode "The Cloud Minders", the world of Ardana seems to be headed this way. The Troglodites are still recognizably the same species as the inhabitants of Stratos, but constant exposure to Zenite gas is gradually destroying their higher mental functions.˛* ''Series/BlakesSeven''. The artificial planet Terminal is created to [[EvolutionPowerUp study the future evolution of Mankind]]. Turns out it's a [[FuturePrimitive vicious ape-like creature]]. In an inversion of this trope, the scientists who study them live in an underground base, while the Links roam the surface.˛* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries''. The much-maligned episode "Spock's Brain" also inverts the TropeNamer. The Eymorg, a LadyLand of [[BrainlessBeauty beautiful but childlike women]] who live in an automated UndergroundCity, abduct the Morg -- the male {{Future Primitive}}s who live on the desolate surface of the planet (though it appears they use them for servants and procreation rather than food). The women aren't simple because they're women, but because thousands of years in a physical LotusEaterMachine has atrophied their intelligence; otherwise it takes MenAreStrongWomenArePretty to an extreme.˛* In merchandise, the villains of ''Series/PowerRangersMysticForce'' are explicitly called Morlocks. However, despite them being humanoid evil creatures living underground, these Morlocks have no further similarity to this trope, as they are a collection of supernatural beings based on creatures from mythology or fantasy. In the show itself, they aren't even referred to as Morlocks, but rather "The Forces of Darkness".˛* ''Series/TheGifted'', being set in the Marvel-verse, prominently features the Morlocks in the second season.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Radio]]˛* ''Radio/JourneyIntoSpace'': {{Subverted|Trope}} in ''The Return from Mars''. The Talians tell Jet, Lemmy, Doc and Mitch that the Sotteers are primitive and aggressive genetic rejects who detract from their perfection. While the Sotteers lack the Talians' so-called physical perfection, it turns out that they are every bit as intelligent and civilised as the Talians.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Tabletop Games]]˛* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':˛** In the supplement ''Races of Destiny'', there are the Sharakim, who look like orcs and are seen as sub-human because of it, but are a subversion. They actually are "tainted" humans and are generally LawfulGood, while having a thriving arts and culture to show their difference from ''normal'' orcs.˛** Grimlocks, originally from the 1E ''Fiend Folio'', are a more straightforward version of this trope, though it's not entirely clear if they were originally human. They have stone-gray skin, sharp teeth, and [[EyelessFace no eyes whatsoever]]; they rely on SuperSenses of touch, scent and hearing to get around in the darkness.˛** The Cynidiceans, from Basic D&D module "The Lost City", could be considered the ''precursors'' to this trope: formerly surface-dwelling humans who have adapted to life underground by developing infravision and the loss of pigmentation, but haven't (yet) degenerated so far as to turn cannibal. They ''do'' spend most of their lives drugged out of their minds on fungal narcotics and are dominated by the cult of an EldritchAbomination that's urging on their decline, so barring intervention from outside, they'll probably sink that low eventually.˛** In the TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms, the race of skulks arose in much the same fashion as Morlocks, being descended from humans who escaped slavery at the hands of various evil Underdark creatures but couldn't find their way back to the surface. An enigmatic Neutral deity of caverns and darkness taught them a spell granting superior stealth and senses, the better to endure their incredibly-hostile new environment, but overuse turned its recipients permanently into skulks.˛* ''TabletopGame/VampireTheRequiem'' has a Nosferatu bloodline named the Baddacelli, nicknamed "The Morlocks". They are blind and live in the sewers.˛* In ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'', these ''were'' the Nosferatu. While ''Requiem'' makes the Nosferatu creep [[UncannyValley more subtle]], ''Masquerade'' made it [[LooksLikeOrlok a lot more obvious]], making them all deformed in some highly visible. As a result, most of them lived in "warrens" under the city.˛* ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' features morlocks, using the name from ''The Time Machine'', as degenerate, cannibalistic and demon-worshipping underground-dwelling creatures that were once human. In a subversion, though, they were actually descended from the ''upper'' class of an ancient empire who fled deep underground, only to devolve into flesh-eating subhumans due to millennia of inbreeding and exposure to magical radiation. (Early ''Pathfinder'' sourcebooks also mention ''D&D'''s grimlocks, but due to the two races being almost identical, they've quietly dropped the grimlocks.)˛* ''Atomic Highway'' has morlocks as a title for degenerate, subterranean radiation mutants, serving as an EvilCounterpart to the playable "Trogs" (humans who, after the apocalypse, settled in caves and subway systems).˛* Deep below the Martian city of Y'therthl in ''TabletopGame/RocketAge'' is a network of tunnels full of the mutants occasionally created by the ritual use of genetic engineering technology. Generally hideous and broken parodies of those above, they can still run the whole gamut of morality.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Theatre]]˛* The thematic play ''Theatre/{{Brand}}'' by Creator/HenrikIbsen has a vision how of regular humans will evolve. It starts out with an idea of "eartbound thralls", gradually devolving into something similar to Morlocks (Brand actually uses the term Dwarfs, but the description fits), all in the mind of the titular character, who has a really grim view of where history is leading mankind.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Video Games]]˛* In ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'', the Falmer of ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' are an almost perfect example of Morlocks. Thousands of years ago, they were [[OurElvesAreDifferent a race of Mer (Elves)]] with a territory covering Skyrim and Solstheim, and who had a civilization that rivaled even the Altmer (High Elves). However, they would clash with the ancestors of the [[HornyVikings Nords]] who were coming over to Skyrim in droves from the [[GrimUpNorth freezing-over continent of Atmora]]. Ysgramor, an Atmoran leader, would rally 500 of Atmora's greatest warriors and lead them on a crusade to [[FinalSolution exterminate the Falmer]]. He almost succeeded, driving the survivors to beg for help from their [[OurDwarvesAreDifferent Dwemer]] cousins. The Dwemer agreed to take them in, but forced them to eat toxic fungi that rendered them blind and decayed their minds, and which their physiology became dependent upon to survive. The Dwemer used them as [[EnslavedElves slave labor]] and [[ForScience test subjects]] in their experiments. (For this reason, [[spoiler:Knight-Paladin Gelebor, [[TheLastOfHisKind the last uncorrupted Snow Elf]],]] refers to them as "The Betrayed.") Later, the Dwemer did ''[[RiddleForTheAges something]]'' which caused their entire race to vanish from any known plane of existence in a single instance, leaving their Falmer slaves without masters in their [[UndergroundCity underground]] [[AdvancedAncientAcropolis advanced cities]] throughout Skyrim. Ever since, the Falmer dwelt in these underground places. If they run across any surface dwellers (either people venturing into their lairs or one of their rare excursions aboveground) they will kill or capture and enslave them. They also are known to torture their captives, and feed them to their pet [[BigCreepyCrawlies Chaurus]], judging by the number of human remains in Chaurus pens. If Alftand is anything to go by, they also skin surface dwellers and make leather from them. About the only Morlock trait they don't have confirmed is [[ImAHumanitarian eating the surface dwellers]]...but sometimes, when you kill one, you find 'Human Flesh' in its inventory... and human remains in their refuse heaps... Perhaps the most disturbing sign of their degradation is the fact that their [[YourSoulIsmine souls can be captured]] in white soul gems. A black soul gem is needed to capture the soul of a sentient being, while white soul gems can capture the (lesser) souls of beasts. The Falmer have fallen so far that their very ''souls'' have been affected. (And given the Dwemer's status as [[{{Magitek}} masterful enchanters]], this was very likely intended as part of their corruption of the Falmer. It would basically give the Dwemer an ample source of ''[[PoweredByAForsakenChild batteries]]''.)˛* Parodied in ''VideoGame/BarkleyShutUpAndJamGaiden'' with the furries of Cesspool X. They're not actually mutants, simply people who have undergone MagicPlasticSurgery to look like the creatures of their fantasy. Unlike most examples, they're not AlwaysChaoticEvil despite being the subject of derision for the "norms" (including Barkley) and are portrayed as people who simply want to live out their relatively harmless fantasies.˛* In ''VideoGame/SteamWorldDig'', all of humanity has degenerated into this. They're known as Shiners by the Steambots and treated as savages, and they don't do much to disprove that fact. A more intelligent, friendly Shiner colony does show up in the sequel, [[spoiler:but they turn out to be the real villains of the story]].˛* In ''VideoGame/GrimDawn'' Trogs are pale-skinned humanoids inhabiting the deepest caves. They're considered to be Beastkin rather than humans, suggesting that they're an offshoot of trolls or grobles. While they're not explicitly man-eaters they make heavy use of BloodMagic and bone weapons and shields.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Western Animation]]˛* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'': Spoofed through the Dumblocks is the episode "[[Recap/FuturamaS6E7TheLatePhillipJFry The Late Philip J. Fry]]". The gang is on a forward-only time machine looking for a backwards time machine, and comes to the year 5,000,000, when humanity has split into two races: a foot-tall, bright pink and highly advanced species and the Dumblocks, “stupid, vicious brutes, who live underground.” The Eloi-like race says they could have a backward-going time machine ready in five years. The gang returns five years later to find that the Dumblocks have taken over and killed all the other humanoids.˛* In one episode of the {{WesternAnimation/Superfriends}}, "The Conquerors of the Future" they meet expys of Morlocks, called Barlocks. They are otherwise identical and trying to break in and attack the [[DomedHometown domed cities]] of the normal-looking people of the year 3000.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Real Life]]˛* In UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity there are many UrbanLegends of "Mole People" living BeneathTheEarth in [[SinisterSubway abandoned tunnels]]. These legends have some basis in fact, due to the many railroad tunnels under Midtown Manhattan (not the UsefulNotes/NewYorkCitySubway, however) which were poorly patrolled prior to the TurnOfTheMillennium. This allowed a [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits variety of eccentrics]] to dwell there, some of whom never left.˛* While it's never been documented in mammals, the adaptation of invertebrates, fishes, and salamanders to life in caves is well known. Pigmentation is lost due to the metabolic expense of producing it in a nutrient-starved, lightless habitat where color doesn't matter, and eyes often degenerate or disappear because they're even more costly to grow and provide a potential avenue for infection.˛[[/folder]]˛----

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