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Hello all.
Here's an excerpt from "The Lord of the Rings":

Beyond it was a thicket of dark-leaved bay-trees climbing up a steep bank that was crowned with old cedars. Here they decided to rest and pass the day, which already promised to be bright and warm. A good day for strolling on their way along the groves and glades of Ithilien; but though Orcs may shun the sunlight. there were too many places here where they could lie hid and watch...

I didn't understand why it says "may shun the sunlight". If it's the present tense, how does it fit in the narration?
Thanks in advance, Anton 
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Anton:
It is present tense, but it's not part of the narrative. It is simply a factual statement that is true in the present, past and future.
If Tolkien wrote " orcs shunned the sunlight", then that would be an event that happened at the time of the narrative. He could have used the future: "Orcs will shun the sunlight", but the use of "may" means that sometimes they might come out in sunlight (most of the time they do not).
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Thank you, Alphecca.
I did think of this but abandoned the thought soon, because it implies the existence of orcs even in our days, doesn't it?
EDIT: Well, maybe I am not right. One can say: "The greek gods of old are in many ways alike to ordinary men" 
Ant:
Remember that the entire work is fiction after all. The sentence is present tense because it is a "factual statement" in the context of the story, not in real life..
Thank you, I understand now.
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