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«Deciphering Runes in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Michelle Nevins This essay is an introduction to the many runes used in The Hobbit: An ...»

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(Note: The ring in the photo is upside down.) The symbols flanking the R (“R” if it is an Angerthas certh or “T” if it is Futhark) have repetitive use that recalls a rather curious symbol seen briefly seen in Thorin‟s beard during the Sack of Erebor early in An Unexpected Journey. In the scene, Thorin‟s beard is much longer, with a central braid and a silver hair finding with a curious rune-like symbol mirror imaged like that of the g rune in Gandalf‟s staff. I searched many an image to find a photographic example at publication, but with no success. The hair finding can best be seen when Thorin is flagging Thrandruil and the elves for help. When the elves turn their backs, look closely at Thorin‟s beard. Is it coincidence that the repetitive symbol on Thorin‟s ring is similar in appearance to Thorin‟s silver hair finding? Or did the author discover a new rune (highly unlikely!) or just „grasping‟ for content? Perhaps time will reveal the answers to this curious symbol.

Finally, our Journey takes us to the Halls of Erebor and the slumbering Smaug. As the scene pans over the vast hoards of gold and jewels, there can be seen on the many pillared columns and the landing of the stairs runes inlaid in gold. Some runes are illegible, but using Futhark, words like =\.gdal]d. (?) \ “The Founda hammer(?)” and also “Erebor” can be deciphered.

It is hoped that the Hall of Erebor might reveal in the future evidence of the Angerthas Erebor, the High Classic language of the Dwarves. Recall that the Dwarves of Erebor slightly modified Angerthas Moria and created a few new cirth of their own. Again time will reveal this speculative theory, but we will have to get past Smaug first!


The following works of Professor J.R.R.Tolkien:

The Annotated Hobbit. Annotated by Douglas A. Anderson. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002.

The Lord of the Rings. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1994.

The Silmarillion. Edited by Christopher Tolkien. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Chronicles Art and Design. Daniel Falconer. New York: Harper Design, 2012.

The Complete Tolkien Companion. J.E.A. Tyler. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 1976.

Additional literary research: elendilion.pl, lotr.wikia.com, midgardsmal.com, theonering.net, thorinoakenshield.net, tolkiengateway.net Additional research (and many thanks): Dark Jackal at thorinoakenshield.net Illustrations and photos: empireonline.com, filmoria.com, gallery.metro.com, screenrant.com, theonering.net, thorinoakenshield.net, tumblr.com, wetanz.com Illustrations of rune tables: A. Daeron and A. Moria-theonering.net A.Erebor-quenya-mvt.blogspot.com Sword translations: Javier Lorenzo and Ryszar Derzinski at elvish.org Orcrist scabbard translations: wetanz.com Grasper and Keeper translation: David Salo at midgardsmal.com Erebor translation (again, many thanks): Dark Jackal at thorinoakenshield.net Thror‟s map: The Annotated Hobbit. See above Angerthas cirth translations: elendilion.pl David Salo quote: screenslam.com Graham McTavish quotes: empireonline.com, thefirstreel.com Sir Peter Jackson quote: thefirstreel.com

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