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  1. #1

    Post Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    There are several occasions throughout Middle-Earth where you come across runes written on items. Tolkien created a system of runes based upon the Elder Futhark language first appearing in Sweden around 200 AD, although altered them for his works for the dwarvish language.

    Elder Futhark was the first written language of the Scandinavia area, in which each symbol represented an idea rather than a sound in itself. Putting the runes together offers an expression of a particular communication.

    What runic symbols have you found throughout the Lotro Middle-Earth? Any in particular that were suggestive and meaningful? I'll start this thread with the following image of the rez circle. The first and final runes are Tolkien, but the center two certainly are appropriate based upon the Elder Futhark alphabet:

    1. Tolkien
    2. Uruz (strength/determination)
    3. Hagalaz (pain/suffering)
    4. Tolkien

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    Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by Magnarr View Post
    The first and final runes are Tolkien, but the center two certainly are appropriate based upon the Elder Futhark alphabet:

    1. Tolkien
    2. Uruz (strength/determination)
    3. Hagalaz (pain/suffering)
    4. Tolkien
    Actually, all 4 runes are part of Tolkien's Cirth. These runes belong to the alphabet known as Angerthas Daeron and are the runes used to represent Sindarin. The runes in the picture translate as "kaew":



    The runic 'k' is actually meant to represent a Sindarin 'c', however the elvish 'c' is almost always pronounced as a 'k'. With this in mind, the letters "kaew" would actually appear in Sindarin as "caew". So, what does this mean?

    Well, "caew" can be used to refer to a resting-place, which seems particularly apt given that the stone circle is where you go to rest after retreating from battle.

    Although it is likely just a coincidence, I have also noticed that if you take the phonetic representation of this word ("kaew") and read it backwards, you get "weak", which is exactly what you are after retreating.
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  3. #3

    Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    Interesting, I was hoping someone would post something like this. I always wondered what the Tolkien-based intention of those runes were.
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    Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    In Moria, above the 21st Hall, in the Chamber of Mazarbul, theres a nice coffin/table, with an inscription on its cover.

    Now you got me curious to see what it says. I've gone through the session play so I know the story of that particular area But the runes themselves might even add an extra "touch" to things.

    I'll see if I can get a screenshot later.
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    Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by Mykkul View Post
    In Moria, above the 21st Hall, in the Chamber of Mazarbul, theres a nice coffin/table, with an inscription on its cover.

    Now you got me curious to see what it says. I've gone through the session play so I know the story of that particular area But the runes themselves might even add an extra "touch" to things.

    I'll see if I can get a screenshot later.
    According to the book, they read,
    "Balin son of Fundin
    Lord of Moria"

    Whether or not the game has the same translation, I'm not sure. However, I think that it is most likely the same.
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    Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by Mykkul View Post
    In Moria, above the 21st Hall, in the Chamber of Mazarbul, theres a nice coffin/table, with an inscription on its cover.

    Now you got me curious to see what it says. I've gone through the session play so I know the story of that particular area But the runes themselves might even add an extra "touch" to things.

    I'll see if I can get a screenshot later.
    You're referring to Balin's Tomb, whose inscription is taken directly from the books.

    Here I am standing before it:



    And here is how it appears in the books, along with my translation:



    The runes above the red letters represent Khuzdul and are written in Angerthas Moria, while the runes above the blue letters represent English (Westron/Common Speech) and are written in Angerthas Erebor. The bottom runes are a common translation of the upper runes. As you can see, the uppers runes translate as:

    "BALIN
    FUNDINUL
    UZBADKHAZADDÛMU"

    The lower runes represent the common translation of this:

    "BALIN SON OF FUNDIN LORD OF MORIA"


    Keep in mind that the runes represent sounds. That is why you see "SUN" in place of "SON" and "OV" in place of "OF".
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    Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    * SPOILER WARNING *


    This post describes in great detail an artifact located in Moria. This item sits openly exposed in the Great Delving and doesn't play any significant role in the story, but if you'd rather search for it on your own, you'll want to avoid reading this. I will warn you, however, that it is very easy to pass by this item without realizing what it really is. Still, if you'd prefer to discover this artifact on your own, click the link below to skip the following 4 posts (including this one), which all describe the item:

    http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.php?p=3417437










































    Here's another batch of runes I've translated. First and foremost, this discovery belongs to Hitorichan of Landroval. I was merely asked to help translate the runes as described in Hitorichan's story, "Sharliana's Geode". You've likely seen this amazing find in The Great Delving (at 8.4S, 112.9W), but may never have realized what it was. Well, after examining it for quite sometime, both Sharliana (Hitorichan) and I concluded that it was, in fact, a globe of Arda.





    This began to become apparent after I translated the following runes:





    Realizing that these cirth spelled out the name of the ocean Belegaer, we realized that we were looking at something quite incredible. Soon, we found several other runes as we examined the geode from other angles. All in all, we uncovered the names of several lands and kingdoms. There was even a large blue symbol that Sharliana realized was a marker indicating the location of Moria.





    We also realized that the backside of the geode contained a compass rose. Additionally, the base contained a similar compass that was aligned with the minimap.

    Last edited by Reddhawk; Feb 23 2009 at 07:52 PM.
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    Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    Translating the globe proved to be both difficult and time consuming. Many of the runes were poorly written and hard to make out with any certainty. As a result, I produced cleaner versions of each of the runes so that others could clearly see and understand the markings on the globe. As you might expect from a discovery in Moria, these runes are written in Angerthas Moria.

    We first translated the name of the ocean:



    In addition, we found the name of a mountain range well known to the dwarves:



    Then, we began uncovering the names of several well known kingdoms:


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    Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    Nearly all the major realms and kingdoms were represented:






    Interestingly enough, Rohan was represented by its original name (Calenardhon), before it was inhabited by Eorl and his people:




    Curiously, the Dark Lands of Mordor were spelled out with an extra letter, likely for the sake of pronunciation:
    Last edited by Reddhawk; Feb 21 2009 at 06:29 PM.
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    Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    In small, jumbled runes beneath the name of "Mordorh", very hard to read, we found the name of "Khand":




    And finally, at the very top and bottom of the globe, we identified the names of the far northern and southern lands:



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  11. Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    Reddhawk, you deserve....something. Like a pie, or something. I never ever knew the significance of that globe and seeing your translations and diagrams today just opened my mind. Amazing.
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    Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by Arasilion View Post
    Reddhawk, you deserve....something. Like a pie, or something. I never ever knew the significance of that globe and seeing your translations and diagrams today just opened my mind. Amazing.
    Thank you, but, as stated, it wasn't really my discovery--only my translations.
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    Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    That thing's a globe?! Wow! Good job!
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    Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    wow, this stuffs awsome
    i love these little tidbits
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  15. #15

    Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    This is fascinating, very nice translation work ReddHawk. Congratulations to Hitorichan as well. That work on the globe sounds incredibly tedious.

    I've begun reading through the Atlas of Middle-Earth (K.Fonstad) some time ago, and it will be interesting to revisit that globe after reading through the First Age section of that book.
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    Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    That is awesome. Things like this make the game so great, the little details and whatnot.

    Great job!
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    Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    lol You Devs had too much fun with this Thanks for the massive lore nugget. I betcha tour groups ran past that all the time in Moria's heydays.
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    Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    Gah! That globe thingy needed a spoiler alert!!

    *catches breath*

    I know there are lots of them but can we recommend some books about Tolkien's languages? Those he invented and used, of course, not the dozens he studied and spoke.
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    Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by shipwreck View Post
    Gah! That globe thingy needed a spoiler alert!!

    *catches breath*

    I know there are lots of them but can we recommend some books about Tolkien's languages? Those he invented and used, of course, not the dozens he studied and spoke.
    Lots of good info, including book recommendations, at this web site:
    Resources for Tolkien Linguistics
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    Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    Oooh, nice Easter egg!

    ...

    Pun intended.

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    Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    Here's another set of runes for all of you to marvel at. But first, let me put up the:

    * SPOILER WARNING *



    Someone mentioned that I should have done this for the globe, and I'll proabably go back and add one, but this definitely needs a spoiler warning. This item is featured in one of the epic quests and plays a minor role in the lore, even in the books. If you'd rather not see this, then just scroll quickly on down to the next post.



























    Okay, here goes....











    The Book of Mazarbul:





    Closeup of the runes:





    As you can see, the runes were rather difficult to make out. The first word was especially hard to read. Fortunately, by enlarging the photos I was able to decipher them. As with most of the runes in Moria, these are Angerthas Moria. As you can see the runes spell out "Kat
    ûb Mazarbulu". The second word is instantly recognizable and means, "of Mazarbul". Just as with the inscription on Balin's tomb (uzbad khazaddûmu ~ lord of Moria), the -u ending means "of". Although it does not seem to appear in any Khuzdul word list that I know of, the first word, "Katûb", must clearly mean "Book". I can only conclude that this is a Neo-Khuzdul word construced by Turbine for their use in Moria.

    Aside from this obvious example, the translation of "Kat
    ûb" as book is further attested to by its use throughout Moria. There are several place names containing this word, such as "Mezel-katub" and "Katub-zahar". Each of these are the names of places that appear to be libraries or archives. Indeed, I believe the name "Katub-zahar" very nearly means "library". We know from the Dwarvish name of Nogrod, Tumunzahar (or "Hollowbold"), that "zahar" means "bold" or "building". Thus, "Katub-zahar" would appear to mean literally "Book-building" or more figuratively, "library".

    It would really be nice if Turbine would supply us with their invented lexicons. This sort of translation work would certainly be much easier and less conjectural.

    At any rate, I've created a diagram of the runes above for those of you who'd like to see them more clearly:


























    I now return you to your regularly scheduled, safe, spoiler-free browsing.
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  22. Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    Spoiler warning, really? What's being spoiled?

    Anyways, great job as usual, Redd. I'm glad that Turbine pays attention to the little details.
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    Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by Arasilion View Post
    Spoiler warning, really? What's being spoiled?
    Beats me, but I don't want to risk upsetting anyone. I've always considered spoiler warnings to apply to story details or plot lines, but some folks feel that anything they haven't already seen for themselves needs a warning. For stuff like this, I usually forgo the warnings until someone says something. Otherwise, I'd be tacking spoiler warnings on every other post.
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    Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    Since Khuzdul is sort of a pseudo-Semitic language, the use of "katûb" for 'book' makes sense. The triconsonantal root K-T-B means 'writing' in a lot of Semitic languages.

    Turbine's done this sort of borrowing before--the place names of the Lossoth are pretty straight Finnish. In fact, funny story. There's a crafted bow in the game called Keriä-laulu. Translated literally, that's Finnish (or at least pseudo-Finnish, they might have the inflection wrong) "wind-song". Pretty cool name for a bow, right? Except it's not the noun "wind" (like blowing in the wind), it's the verb "wind" (like winding a watch). DOH! Somebody at Turbine needs to be a little more careful with their Finnish-English dictionary.

  25. #25

    Re: Runes thoughout Middle-Earth

    Fantastic work, Reddhawk!

    Little details like this make me love Turbine even more.
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