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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Inscriptions on the pillars in Erebor

Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 21 2013, 3:29pm

Post #1 of 25 (1034 views)
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Inscriptions on the pillars in Erebor Can't Post

So after watching that hi-res video of Joe Letteri talking about the VFX in The Hobbit, I could finally make out the inscriptions on the pillars in Erebor.

See this screengrab.

On the "top row" of the "left face" can be seen the writing "the founda", and I can only assume the sentence continues on the same face of the pillar at its bottom (to read "foundation" or "foundations" I suppose) as it's obvious there's writing along the "bottom row" of the "left face" of that same pillar, the last few that seem to read "ereb" (meaning "Erebor" perhaps).

On the "top row" of the "right face" of the same pillar the inscription reads "hammer".

It looks like there's more writing on the further pillars/walls (at the top of the flight of stairs near the statues), but even at 1080 I think it's impossible to read them.


Rostron2
Gondor


Feb 21 2013, 4:07pm

Post #2 of 25 (553 views)
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Darn... [In reply to] Can't Post

I was hoping it would read 'Eat at Bombur's' but that's a nice bit of work you did! *applause*


Brethil
Half-elven


Feb 21 2013, 4:25pm

Post #3 of 25 (521 views)
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Fantastic [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the translations!
Looked at it on my sons huge montitor with magnifier. Cannot make out the letters on the distant columns at all.

...she took the point at once, but she also took the spoons.


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Feb 21 2013, 9:24pm

Post #4 of 25 (433 views)
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Cool beans! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd really been wanting to figure those inscriptions out. I tried at my last viewing to fix firmly in my head what the first six runes were on the top inscription, left face (the easy-to-see one), but of course once I was home I'd completely forgotten them. Thanks so much for this!!! Can't wait for the DVD, and more scenes inside Erebor in DOS and TABA.


Xanaseb
Tol Eressea


Feb 22 2013, 1:23am

Post #5 of 25 (417 views)
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as awesomely geeky as this all is, I'm once again going to state why I'm hugely dissapointed in the use of runes in the Hobbit so far: [In reply to] Can't Post

they're in Old English Futhark. I wanted Cirth Erebor.

EREBOR darn it... big clue there eh? no?...... as a self-professed lover of Cirth runes and Tengwar script, it really stabs me deep inside my Tolkien-conciousness. Really really deeply.

It rips me straight out of middle-earth.
I can't help but being massively dissapointed.

The worst thing is is that in LOTR all runes were in Cirth!!!! But The Hobbit?... noooo ... someone in production design must have misguidedly thought: hey Tolkien used Futhark in the original Hobbit, so let's stick to the 1936 production eh? ... no need to be within the parameters of Middle-Earth history.. yes, no reason at all apparently Crazy >___>

There's ALL the reason to keep within realistic historical-cultural boundaries. There's SO much reference and imagery from Dwarven culture... you should have that -right- by historical standards!! The 'Hobbit was written with futhark, so let's have it like that' argument means -nothing- to me, nothing whatsoever. Futhark is NOT special for the likes of Middle-Earth.
It's so so saddening for me, it really is.

Worst of all is that I know very very very few people will a.) agree with my mourning, and/or b.) care..........

Pirate

RANT over. Geek-soft-vulnerable-belly-torn apart.

--I'm a victim of Bifurcation--
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Join us over at Barliman's chat all day, any day!
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(This post was edited by Xanaseb on Feb 22 2013, 1:29am)


Xanaseb
Tol Eressea


Feb 22 2013, 1:26am

Post #6 of 25 (362 views)
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For me, this is possibly on a par with the design and role of Azog in the film... actually scratch that, it is worse. Yes, you now think I'm bonkers :P // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

--I'm a victim of Bifurcation--
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Join us over at Barliman's chat all day, any day!
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Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 22 2013, 6:44am

Post #7 of 25 (333 views)
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Well, we've only seen but one chamber... [In reply to] Can't Post

... there's hope yet in the darkness Evil


Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 22 2013, 6:46am

Post #8 of 25 (330 views)
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Yeah those are hard to read. I wouldn't recommend straining your eyes :) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 22 2013, 6:47am

Post #9 of 25 (327 views)
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I too noticed them immediately in the theatre :) [In reply to] Can't Post

I was actually on the lookout for wall inscriptions since I was aware of the ones in Moria. When I found this proper hi-res video, I couldn't resist Cool


Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 22 2013, 6:50am

Post #10 of 25 (338 views)
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Oh, I did not know the difference [In reply to] Can't Post

Honestly, I just did a Google image search for "tolkien dwarf runes" and deciphered the inscriptions using one of the tables that actually had the characters in the inscription.

I'm sure that's terribly disappointing. I do have it on my list to learn a bit more about Tolkien's languages though...


Xanaseb
Tol Eressea


Feb 22 2013, 8:47am

Post #11 of 25 (398 views)
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haha, yep, there's a difference alright! Here's what those runes say in Cirth Erebor: [In reply to] Can't Post

Top left bit:

::P s oo - G a l n d ou/ow d -

Next bit going right on the same level but shadowy:

::E i ow ow ..........

ok I can't be bothered to do the rest as this is literally killing me... gaaargggh..

Next week, I'll return on to this thread and post a drawing that I'll do myself with the -proper- Cirth Erebor runes on this time!!
Still reeling from it... Ever since that leak photo came out of some of the Erebor set about half a year ago and a bit .. that's how long I've known that they've been using Old English rather than Cirth Erebor.......

Cirth -can- be used for english darn it!.... it's not as if it has to be in Dwarvish!! Frown

--I'm a victim of Bifurcation--
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Bombadil
Half-elven


Feb 22 2013, 8:53am

Post #12 of 25 (327 views)
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Bomby has his Key in his hands... [In reply to] Can't Post

There are runes
on both sides of the shaft
But are mirrored images of each other?

Sorta reads like this..X N R I X. ...N M I R
On the other side of the shaft
it's actually backwards?

Someone here Must a Replica Too?

Bomby will get back to you
I'm going to look inside the book...


DanielLB
Immortal


Feb 22 2013, 8:56am

Post #13 of 25 (324 views)
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I think they spell out Durin's Heir. / [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 22 2013, 9:06am

Post #14 of 25 (304 views)
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The inscription reads "DURIN HEIR" :) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Bombadil
Half-elven


Feb 22 2013, 9:10am

Post #15 of 25 (317 views)
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Bomby's Key to Erebor... [In reply to] Can't Post

Was made by Weta!

So they would have
The answer to this question?


Bombadil
Half-elven


Feb 22 2013, 9:17am

Post #16 of 25 (300 views)
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Sorry Earl..Bomby was Busy looking in the appendix?// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 22 2013, 9:21am

Post #17 of 25 (305 views)
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Well, don't get too worked up over it yet... [In reply to] Can't Post

... I suppose there's probably *some* explanation for why they've used those runes. The reasons might surface on the Appendix DVDs or later tie-in books.

By the way, I can understand why something like this would bother someone like you who actually knows the difference Smile


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Feb 22 2013, 11:13am

Post #18 of 25 (322 views)
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Interesting. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Worst of all is that I know very very very few people will a.) agree with my mourning, and/or b.) care..........



I just asked NZ Strider about this, and he disappeared and reappeared moments later with a German book open to the Futhark alphabet, then unprompted also brought me LOTR opened to the Cirth alphabet. He does care, if it makes you feel any better!

We've both just had a good look at the runes with both books open, and Earl's translation seems good using the Futhark. However, there are a couple of runes in there that look like Cirth not Futhark -- the first one around the corner on the top row looks like the long e, #47 in Appendix E's Cirth alphabet. There's no rune like that in the Futhark, at least not in the alphabet that NZS gave me to look at, which he says is complete. And the fourth one in the top row, which Earl's given as "o" (which of course makes sense in the word) doesn't look like anything in Futhark; it looks like #24 in the Cirth, gw. That doesn't make sense there, but that's what it looks like to me!

So is it possible they've used a mix of Cirth and Futhark? I wonder why.


(This post was edited by Roheryn on Feb 22 2013, 11:15am)


arithmancer
Grey Havens

Feb 22 2013, 12:26pm

Post #19 of 25 (293 views)
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The answer is likely simple. [In reply to] Can't Post

In "The Hobbit" (the book) the map of the Lonely Mountain uses the English runes and the English language. It can be argued that Tolkien did this back in '37 but would later have chosen to do something different (were his Dwarf language and forms of writing even developed in '37?). The most logical "something different" to do would be to use the Cirth Erebor, the runes that were used by the Dwarves of Erebor, AND the language of the Dwarves.This is something the filmmakers could have done to make "The Hobbit" (movies) fit better into LotR history.

On the other hand, it is a revision Tolkien did not make. It is also possible that Tolkien would not have changed this in his classic "children's book" because (for those children so inclined) they could have the fun of deciphering for themselves the secret inscription of the map. (I actually was so inclined, but for some reason never grasped that the text was in English...an opportunity lost!) Which could be a reason to leave this in the film, as it was in the book.


Angharad73
Rohan


Feb 22 2013, 12:54pm

Post #20 of 25 (291 views)
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I'm a bit disappointed, too [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I can understand that they felt it easier to write in Old English runes - and after all, the book uses those, so there is an explanation for using them (or an excuse, at least). And they are still quite nice to look at. But as a linguist I am saddened by the lack of real Khuzdul inscriptions. I'd have liked to see those and try to puzzle out their meaning.


Xanaseb
Tol Eressea


Feb 24 2013, 1:40pm

Post #21 of 25 (230 views)
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Yes! I did notice this, but I thought nothing of it. I simply assumed they had made an error! [In reply to] Can't Post

If this is the case, this does mean that it is EVEN worse than I had imagined.
Truly abominable!
Mad
What a mash up!...Unsure

--I'm a victim of Bifurcation--
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Join us over at Barliman's chat all day, any day!
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dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 24 2013, 7:25pm

Post #22 of 25 (230 views)
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I love that they've used the Runes which Tolkien used in The Hobbit. [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien's alphabets are not "set in stone". There are variations in the runes; there are variations for Tengwar. These are "living" alphabets, modified as needed by the peoples who used them, within his legendarium.

Tolkien's description of the cirth of Erebor from Appendix E does not match the cirth he used in The Hobbit. I fault Tolkien in this, for not maintaining consistency within his works - very surprising, considering how picky he was in other matters!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"






Elizabeth
Valinor


Feb 24 2013, 7:34pm

Post #23 of 25 (227 views)
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Great sleuthing, NZS! (and thanks, Ro!)// [In reply to] Can't Post

 








Roheryn
Grey Havens

Feb 24 2013, 11:48pm

Post #24 of 25 (227 views)
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Actually, no, I was wrong... [In reply to] Can't Post

The first Futhark alphabet that NZS showed me turned out to be an older one. Buried deeper in that German book was a newer Futhark alphabet, which had those two "missing" runes. So the moviemakers were consistent, at least, if that makes you feel any better! Though I do have to say that, given that Tolkien used the Futhark in The Hobbit, it doesn't seem unreasonable to me to use those runes in the movie. Not that that helps you at all!


Xanaseb
Tol Eressea


Feb 25 2013, 12:15pm

Post #25 of 25 (242 views)
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ok, well that is more comfortable. . . but yeah, I just simply don't find it reasonable though ;) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

--I'm a victim of Bifurcation--
__________________________________________

Join us over at Barliman's chat all day, any day!
__________________________________________

 
 

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