edited by Ryszard Derdzinski

 

 

Below I present the Elvish inscriptions which can be seen on the walls, tombs, artifacts, etc. found in The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. Some of the inscriptions were made by David Salo, but the author of many of them was Daniel Reeve, Calligraphy Expert in the LotR movie. Daniel Reeve's mode of writing is here described as simplified tengwar and cirth systems.

 

Sindarin

 

1. Onen i-Estel... or Gilraen's Tomb Inscription (by David Salo)

 

Khuzdul

 

2. Mazarb Zigintarg or Mazarbul Inscription (by David Salo)

3. Gabil gund Mazarbul or Collection of Mazarbul Wall Inscriptions (by David Salo)

 

English

 

4. Zirakzigilul or Mazarbul Wall Inscription (by Daniel Reeve)

5. Of Trin Turambar or Imladris Book Inscription (by Daniel Reeve)

6. Fall of Gil-galad or Imladris Inscription (by Daniel Reeve)

7. Imladris Fresco or Sauron's Fall (by Daniel Reeve)

8. We cannot get out... or Mazarbul Book Inscription (by Daniel Reeve)

9. The Balrog Inscription or Saruman's Book (by Daniel Reeve)

10. The Ring of Barahir or Aragorn's Heirloom (by Daniel Reeve)

11. The Book of Arwen or The Paths of the Dead Inscription (by Daniel Reeve)

12. Maps (by Daniel Reeve)

13. Saruman's Book from Isengard (by Daniel Reeve)

14. Herbal from the Houses of Healing (by Daniel Reeve)

15. Collage of the tengwar inscriptions (by Daniel Reeve)

 

 

 

1. Gilraen's Tomb Inscription. 

 

language of inscription on the tomb: Sindarin

writing system: Tengwar (Standard Mode)

author: David Salo

 

Florian "Lothenon" Dombach from Germany sent us this very interesting photo from the extended DVD version of FotR (for details see here). 

 

gilraen.jpg (25101 bytes)

 

 

Gilraen

 

Onen i estel edain

-chebin estel anim

 

It seems to be the tombstone of Gilraen, Aragorn's mother. 

 

It is quite obvious that this Sindarin text comes from the well known linnod from Appendix A in The Return of the King: Onen i-Estel Edain, -chebin estel anim 'I gave Hope to the Dnedain, I have kept no hope for myself.' These were the last words Aragorn heard from his mother. 

 

It is remarkable that the diphthongs are written full with carriers and the variable s-tengwa is used as Christopher Tolkien often did (a in most full-modes).

 

 

 

 

2. Mazarbul Inscription.

 

language of inscription: Khuzdul

writing system: Angerthas Moria [modified by Daniel Reeve]

author: David Salo

 

Photo from the Czech website Film Pn prstenu. Runic inscription deciphered by Patrice Blancho.  

 

 

imb.jpg (2437 bytes) imc.jpg (2828 bytes)

 

Mazarb Zigintarg Khazaddmul 

'Records [of] Long-beards [= Dwarves] of Khazad-dm'

 

mazarb 'records'; cf. mazarbul 'of records' 

Zigintarg n. 'Long-beards'; it should rather be Sigin-targ.  

Khazaddmul  adj. 'of Dwarrowdelf'

 

 

 

 

3. Mazarbul Wall Inscriptions.

 

language of inscriptions: Khuzdul

writing system: Angerthas Moria

author: David Salo

 

David Salo in Elfling message from November 30, 2002 presented background and meaning of the Moria inscriptions prepared by himself: "In May of 1999, I was asked to provide some translations and renditions into a mode of Angerthas for the runic lettering that would appear on the walls of Moria. I worked with John Howe and Grant Major on this; Grant wrote the texts he wanted rendered into Khuzdul (to be accurate: part Khuzdul, and part my own inventions), and I faxed back transcriptions into cirth. It was a few days' work, and then of course the inscriptions had to be turned into actual artifacts that would give the flavor of the Dwarvish civilization in Moria."

 

Here are inscriptions in Khuzdul prepared by David Salo. I have tried to find them in the know photos from Mazarbul. The part of inscription seen on the photo is printed in red. Photos with identified runes come from Eris Caffee (Moriel).

 

3.1.  

  

 

Gabil gund Mazarbul Sigin-turgul Khazaddmul. Durin Uzbad zahra.

 

'Great Chamber of Records of the Longbeards of Khazad-dm. Lord Durin built (it).'

 

All of this is actually attested Khuzdul (though much only in proper names), except for zahra, which is back-formed from -zahar 'building' in Tumunzahar 'Hollowbold', and turgul, which relates to targ 'beards', as khuzdul 'of dwarves, dwarvish' relates to khazd 'dwarves'. Other inscriptions may read (I do not know if all of them were created or not).

 

3.2.

 

 

Lai Khazaddm, zibdn Durin Ulganul

 

'Behold Khazad-dm, realm of Durin the Deathless*'


* It seems that the constructors of the gate have transcribed into Angerthas the English text and not its Khuzdul original (!).

 

Lai 'Behold' is an invention; 

zibdn is also an invention, backformed from uzbad, according to the
pattern of khizdn (in Nulukkhizdn 'Dwarf-dwelling on the Narog', the old Dwarvish name for Nargothrond).
I forget exactly what the thinking was behind ulganul, but it seems to have the adjectival ending -ul, and probably a privative prefix as well.

 

3.3.

Lai Khazad-dm zai Azanulbizar, Zibdn Durinnul

 

'Behold Khazad-dm by Azanulbizar, realm of Durin's sons'

 

zai 'by, at'; an invented preposition; 

Durinnul: from the invented suffix -n "son".

 

3.4.

Durin [certh for 3] Uzbad Khazaddmu

 

'Durin III, lord of Khazad-dm'

 

Straight Khuzdul.

 

3.5.

 

Durin mabazgn au Abzag Durinu & [certh for "and"] Nin 

Durinul Abzag Durinu ya bazghu

 

'Durin slain by Durin's Bane, and Nin Durin's son, 

Durin's Bane also slew him'

 

mabazgn "slain", from an invented root bazaga with a participial prefix ma- (which I imagined to be seen in mazarbul) and a personal suffix -n (cf. the Khuzdul name for Gandalf, Tharkn "staff-man"); 

au 'by (instrumental)': also invented; 

abzag 'bane, slayer': also invented from the same root bazag

Durinu: takes -u as the suffix for an objective genitive; 

ya 'also': invented;  

bazghu: past tense form bazg + 3rd singular masculine object suffix -hu.

 

3.6.

Thrr Rayad Dinu; Rakhs bazghu; Azog wakrish shathrhu

 

'Thrr Heir of Din; Orcs slew him; Azog cut off his head'

 

rayad 'heir' is invented, presumably from a root rayada 'succeed' or the li ke; 

wakrish: from a root karasha 'cut', wa- probably being an adverbial prefix 'off, away';

shathr is attested in Bundushathr 'Cloudyhead'; -hu is a 3rd singular masculine possessive suffix.

 

3.7.

Frerin Thrinul, Mabazgn zai Azgr Azanulbizarul, 

zai shakl Kheled-zramu & Fundin mabazgn

 

'Frerin Thrin's son, slain in the Battle of Azanulbizar, 

on the shores of Kheled-zram, and Fundin slain'

 

azgr: "battle", an invention;
shakl: "shores", invented, according to the plural pattern of khazd.

 

3.8.

Gabil Azgr Gundabadul & Ningulul; Mernak Mabazgn

 

'The great Battle of Gundabad and Gladden; remember the Dead'

 

Ningul 'Gladden'; an invention, supposed to resemble Elvish Ninglor;
mernak 'remember', also an invention; I forget the exact reasoning behind this particular form, perhaps meren "remember" plus an imperative suffix, o r a prefix me- (plural?) plus a root ranaka. I suppose it is ironic that I ha ve forgotten the root for remember!

3.9.

Gand Barazinbarul

 

'(The) mines of Barazinbar'

 

gand, plural of gund (as in Felak-gundu 'cave-hewer'), on the model of the plural khazd.

3.10.

Azgr Azanulbizarul

 

'(The) battle of Azanulbizar'

3.11.

Zahar Durinul

 

'(The) house of Durin'

 

zahar 'building, house', again as in Tumunzahar.

 

David Salo adds: "Again, the wording here is that of Grant Major, the renditions into neo-Khuzdul are mine (as was the transcription into cirth). I should add that my construction of neo-Khuzdul (or pseudo-Khuzdul, if you prefer) changed over time, and that the constructions I used in the soundtrack differed in some particulars; in particular, I elaborated the ve rbal system a good deal more and in some different ways than the examples above suggest."

 

 

 

4. Mazarbul Wall Inscription.

 

language of inscription on the wall: English

writing system: Angerthas Moria [modified by Daniel Reeve]

author: Daniel Reeve or David Salo

 

(see also this website)

Not all Moria inscriptions are in Khuzdul (language of the Dwarves). Some of them are in English transcribed into Dwarvish runes. Their author is probably Daniel Reeve. Below I present a well known Moria wall from Casa Loma exhibition analyzed by Anglin Turcam. It contains a long English text in cirth runes that was deciphered by Andrew Durdin on ELFLING:

2184.jpg (84105 bytes)

 

     

Wall 2 Wall 3 Wall 4

 

lor nogrodul & ....

el watch tower established at highest peak

nta zirakzigilul with star from thirtieth sall

second age five hundred of the of the fol

fathoms gold smelter built built

the estblishment moriaul below below

return for silver & elves trade

[eo tab..shyd???] & the dimril sunk to fourty

kheled Zaramul & thuz great gate

durinul ened luin settle in the five hu

one thousand & twenty news of fall smelt

forses sauronul army gates to moria t mo

service of lorien elves trade .... belegost

being second level shaft sunk to fourt establish

.... seventy two great gate .... with sta

....five hu.n... forty of......... ...

..o..s... gold smelter kheled zara....

..........ment moria. .......

 

It is quite obviously in English; the for silver is what I was able to read to the left of Pippin's head in the scene from the trailer. One weird thing is the use of -ul in moriaul, durinul, sauronul in an English text: -ul means probably 'of'; also strange is the repetition at the end of the second, third, and fourth lines.

 

 

 

 

5. Imladris Book Inscription.

 

language of inscription in the book: English

writing system: Tengwar [modified by Daniel Reeve]

author: Daniel Reeve

 

This photo was presented in the DVD Extended Edition of FotR (Disc 3). It shows an inscription devoted to Trin Turambar (a hero from the First Age). The book with inscription comes from Elrond's library. Compare this text with UT:135. Daniel Reeve, author of this inscription, changed a bit the text by Tolkien, but the general sense is the same.

 

turin_1.jpg (39001 bytes)

 

turin_2.jpg (45834 bytes)

 

 

Trin Turambar

 

Therefore crossed the water once more desiring to recover his

sword and to look upon his foe; and he found him stretched

at his length; and rolled upon one side; and the hilts of

Gurthang stood in his belly. Then Turambar seized the hilts

and set his foot upon the belly, and cried in mockery of the 

dragon and his words at Nargothrond:

 

Hail Worm of Morgoth; well met again;

Die now and the darkness have thee; thus is

Trin son of Hrin avenged.

 

 

 

 

6. Fall of Gil-galad Inscription.

 

language of inscription in the book: English

writing system: Tengwar [modified by Daniel Reeve]

author: Daniel Reeve

 

This photo was presented in the DVD Extended Edition of FotR (Disc 3). It shows an inscription devoted to Gil-galad (an Elvish King from the Second Age). The inscription comes from Elrond's library. This text is probably the extended version of the Fall of Gil-galad in The Fellowship of the Ring book.

 

PDVD_100.jpg (49764 bytes)

 

 

 

 

7. Imladris Fresco Inscription.

 

language of inscription in the book: English

writing system: Tengwar [modified by Daniel Reeve]

author: Daniel Reeve

 

This photo was presented in the DVD Extended Edition of FotR (Disc 3). It shows an inscription on the wall of Imladris devoted to Sauron's fall from the hands of Isildur.

 

PDVD_101.jpg (25255 bytes)

 

... fall of Sauron on the slopes of Orodruin

 

 

 

 

8. Mazarbul Book Inscription.

 

language of inscription in the book: English

writing system: Angerthas Moria and Tengwar [modified by Daniel Reeve]

author: Daniel Reeve

 

A. 

mazarbul_orig.jpg (82063 bytes) Florian "Lothenon" Dombach sent us a collage of screenshots from the FotR movie with a page of the book Mazarbul. It can be seen that it is almost exact copy of J.R.R. Tolkien's picture with the third page  of the Book of Mazarbul (cf. J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator, p. 161).

 

Left Photo from Brian Sibley's The Lord of the Rings - The Making of the Movie Trilogy. Below Photo collage from the movie.

 

 

 

This is what he managed to translate:

 

we cannot get out. we cannot get out.

they have taken the bridge & second hall.

fraar & lni & nli fell dhere

bravely while dhe rest retreated to

mazarbul. we still hold the chamber

but hope [i]z fading now. ins

party went 5 days ago but today

only 4 returned. the pool [i]z up to the wall

at westgate. the watcher in the water tk

in ---- we cannot get out. the end

comes sn. we hear drums drums in

dhe dp.

 

The tengwar below seem to say they are coming using full-vowels mode.

 

B. Adam Cook sent us more screenshots of the Book of Mazarbul. This on the right shows the same page which was analyzed above. Interesting is the left one with quite new inscription in English.

 

133.jpg (44167 bytes)  135.jpg (61346 bytes)

 

The proper transcription of this text was sent by Florian Dombach. It is written in tengwar full mode seen in the Brogan letter:

 

Cirth: 

 

and so we come to our final hope

in [i]z going to the westgate to see

if we can escape dhat wai

 

Tengwar:

 

The orcs have taken all the lower
levels and the upper halls to the
fifth level. Our stores of food
in(?) running low and we have no
water to drink. Unless Oin
can find a way out at the west
gate we are doomed wether the
orcs get us or not.

Moria will not be ours

 

 

 

9. The Balrog Inscription.

 

language of inscription in the book: English

writing system: Tengwar [modified by Daniel Reeve]

author: Daniel Reeve

Drawing of balrog: Allan Lee

 

This photo was presented in the DVD Extended Edition of FotR (Disc 2). It shows an inscription devoted to Moria and cruel Balrog living there. We can see the reproduction of known Tolkien's drawing of Moria Gate with Sindarin inscription with tengwar letters. Compare it with The Fellowship of the Ring book.

 

saruman.jpg (31877 bytes)     PDVD_067.jpg (17790 bytes)

 

PDVD_081.jpg (17624 bytes)     PDVD_072.jpg (21781 bytes)

 

 

 

 

10. The Ring of Barahir Inscription.

 

language of inscription in the book: English

writing system: Tengwar [modified by Daniel Reeve]

author: Daniel Reeve

 

This photo was presented in the DVD Extended Edition of FotR (Disc 3). It shows an inscription devoted to Aragorn's ring (called The Ring of Barahir). The book with inscription comes from Saruman's Isengard. compare the text of the inscription with The Silmarillion, p. 189.

 

 

PDVD_095.jpg (28052 bytes)

 

barahir.jpg (60546 bytes)

 

The Ring of Barahir and Felegnd [?]

 

The ring was like to twin serpents whose

eyes were emeralds, and their heads met beneath

a crown of golden flowers, that

the one upheld and the other devoured. That was

the badge of Finarfin and his house.

 

 

 

 

11. The Arwen's Book.

 

language of inscription in the book: English

writing system: Tengwar [modified by Daniel Reeve]

author: Daniel Reeve

 

This photo comes from the German website Herr der Ringe. It shows the Elvish book about the Paths of the Dead. We could see this book in The Return of the King in the scene with Arwen in Rivendell. Compare the text of the inscription with The Return of the King, p. 53 (Malbeth the Seer's Words). Thanks to Adaneth and Lothenon for deciphering this inscription.

 

 

at the Stone of Erech

they shall stand again and hear

there a horn in the hills ringing
Whose shall the horn be? Who

shall call them from the grey

twilight, the forgotten people?
The heir of him to whom the

oath they swore.
From the North he shall come, need

shall drive him: he shall pass the

 

 

 

 

 

[under the picture]

 

The northern entrance to

the Paths of the Dead.

 

 

 

 

12. Maps.

 

language of inscriptions on the maps: English, Sindarin, Khuzdul, Orkish

writing system: Tengwar [modified by Daniel Reeve]

author: Daniel Reeve

 

The maps come from The Lord of the Rings - The Making of the Movie Trilogy by Brian Sibley and The Lord of the Rings - Weapons and Warfare by Chris Smith and from Daniel Reeve's website. There are more maps in the mantioned book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13. Saruman's Book.

 

language of inscriptions in the book: English

writing system: Tengwar [modified by Daniel Reeve]

author: Daniel Reeve

 

The picture has been provided by Urambo Tauro (thanks!). The book occurs in The Two Towers EE. This two pages read:

 

 

 

Page 1

 

ascension of the red star of sauron
when earedil is already in the heavens
the influence of earendil cannot be
underestimated

the silmaril of earendil is forever
(beyond?) grasp but the remaining two
must be recoverable

feanors writings
themselves be
accessible in rivendell
if a way could be
devised gain time
(among?) elronds
chambers elronds
library is rumoured
to be far more
extensive even
than that of
minas tirith

 

Page 2

 

anduin has been yeilding up more
of its secrets these spiral shapes must
be due to sauron himself i have
heard tell of these shapes
appearing in vast numbers
on the shores of the great sea

alignments of the heavens
may cause greater profusions of
these at various times tilion
appears to have some infuluence
on the waters of the great sea itself

the red star of sauron joins
these alignments at various
times with the possibility
that all effects
are mag
nified

 

Page 3

(days?) to the (?e??e?t?) of both elves
and dwarves each learned much (craft?)
from the other and many of the most
beautiful works were made of mithril

it could be beaten like copper and pol
ished like glass and the dwarves could make
of it a metal light and yet harder
than tempered steel its beauty
was that of common silver but the beauty
of mithril-

hithaeglir the mountains of mist where
the site of the greatest of all
the mansions of the dwarves hathod
rond called by the dwarves khazad
dum but later known as moria
the black pit great were the delvings
of nogrod and beleg
ost in ered luin but hathodrond
was greater and more ancient (????)
in the first age of the the doors of durin
lord of moria (say?) friend and enter
the friendship between elves and the naug
rim is recorded in the smaller inscript
ion below
narvi was among the greatest of the
dwarvish craftsmen  the doors disp
lay the hammer and anvil emblems of
durin the tree of the high elves and the star
of the house of feanor shining brightly in
the center much traffic flowed throw
these doors in those

 

Page 4

 

the gate of moria on the west side
lie seventy leagues north of
isengard as the crow flies but
perhaps eighty - five leagues on foot

three days march from the western
spur of methedras

the uruk hai can cover the distance
in two days if they are offered man
flesh as an extra incentive

when feet must fly
and time is nigh
then all things pass
to stone and grass
the ravens fly
and so must i

 

 

Page 5

 

and more manflesh to satiate the
wargs. horseflesh from rohan
may provide the answer

--infiltrate edoras--

horseflesh may be useful for
the uruk-hai also. the latest crop
are the strongest yet. greater heat
over a longer period seems to
increase the yield also during the
first incbation  the right amount
of decay produces incredible
heat and the
hatching is
thereby
accelerated
several
times.

(a small note difficult to read)

a (winter?) gestation seems to
produce stronger uruk-hai
if these observations prove
to be true another test

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page 6

 

moria
im narvi hain echant.
celebrimbor o eregion
teithant i thiw hin

hithaeglir continues
its march northward
for another thirty
leagues before
an accesbible pass
may be found at the
eagles lair

west-gate

bruinen

eregion

caradhras

celebdil

sirannon

fanuidhol

the mountains of moria

seventy leagues from methedras on
the western flanks of the mountains of mist
the other approach from the east passes too
close to the golden wood where the awful
galadriel has much influence.

rohan steeds will travel
faster than any other. try to steal
one of the mearas. infiltrate med
useld using wormtongue of the
kings household. offer him the
fair eowen for his own.

 

 

Page 7

the west gate of moria has stood
with its doors closed since sauron
made war on the elves of eregion
and celebrimbor was slain. the
ithildin designs on the doors
pispl(ay) the star of the house of
feanor, the hammer and anvil
emblems of durin and the tree
of the high elves

concerning moria
hithaeglir the mountains of
mist where the site of the great(est)
of all the mansions of the
dwarves

--the doors of durin lord of moria--
speak friend and enter

is inscribed on the arch and underneath
are the words of the makers of the doors

--i narvi made them. celebrimbor
of hollin drew these signs--

the inscription needed to open the
doors is not mentioned here at all
 

Page 8

narvi and celebrimbor
seem to have left no clue
as to the secret of opening
the doors

c

n

ennyn durin aran moria pedo mellon a minno
im narvi hain echant celebrimbor o eregion teithant i thiw hin

feanors
star seems to
react to some
invocations

d

the west gate doors
of moria

check minas tirith records
for possible opening
words

 

 

 

 

 

 

14. Herbal.

 

language of inscriptions in the book: English

writing system: Tengwar [modified by Daniel Reeve]

author: Daniel Reeve

 

The picture comes from The Lord of the Rings - The Making of the Movie Trilogy by Brian Sibley. It shows a herbal from the Houses of Healing which will take important part in The Return of the King Extended DVD Edition. Thanks to Lothenon and Adaneth for deciphering this inscription.

 

 

Healing properties of common herbs

Autumn Crocus

a traditional herb for
the treatment of gout [an?]
infusion of the leaves in
boiling water should be
administered daily.


Tanacetum Vulgar

[...] [...] [...]
[...] flowers between
july and september
[...] the pads and [...] [...]
wood(?) [...] cooking to
[...]

 

 

 

 

15. Collage of the tengwar inscriptions.

 

language of inscriptions in the book: English

writing system: Tengwar [modified by Daniel Reeve]

author: Daniel Reeve

 

The picture comes from Daniel Reeve's website. We can see here (from top left to bottom right): Saruman's Book (Isengard), Nmenr Kings' Chart (Rivendell), The Rings Description (Isengard?), Mithrandir Lettering I, Mithrandir Lettering II, Imladris Book Inscription (Rivendell), Akallabth Text, Lthien Tinviel Inscription (Rivendell?), Fall of Gil-galad Inscription (Rivendell), Mithrandir Lettering III and Mithrandir Lettering IV.

 

 

 

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