Perhaps the meaning behind these words can be discovered in The Silmarillion. When Aulë, one of the Valar, created the Dwarves in secret “in a hall under the mountains in Middle-earth”, he preempted Eru Ilúvatar’s desire that the Elves, the Firstborn of his design, be the first sentient beings in Middle-earth. Instead of destroying Aulë’s creations, Ilúvatar granted them life, but not until after the Elves were awakened. Ilúvatar tells Aulë:
“They shall sleep now in the darkness under stone, and shall not come forth until the Firstborn have awakened upon Earth; and until that time thou and they shall wait, though long it may seem. But when the time comes, I will awaken them…”
J.R.R Tolkien, The Silmarillion, Of Aulë and Yavanna
Or it could be that the inscription on the hammer refers to the Dwarves’ love of delving deep under the earth, awakening the stone to its potential to become vast and glorious halls, such as Menegroth, the realm of King Thingol and Queen Melian, and Moria, or as it is called in the Dwarven tongue, Khazad-dûm.
In regards to the runes that appear on the hammer, they are a system of writing called the Cirth, or the Angerthas. They were created by Tolkien and appear in a chart in the Lord of the Rings in ‘Appendix E: Writing and Spelling’. Historically, runes were used across Northern Europe during the Middle Ages by the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. Tolkien borrowed from these sources and others to create his own unique set of runes. In Tolkien’s legendarium, the origins of the Dwarven runes as we know them date back to the Sindar and Noldor Elves, and the Dwarves did not come to learn them until the beginning of the Second Age, which fits in with the show’s timeline. The Elves later abandoned Cirth for Tengwar, used commonly to write Quenya and Sindarin. Cirth only represented the sounds of Sindarin, and were primarily used for engraving into stone, metal, or wood, the reason for the straight edges and angles of the letters. The Dwarves of Moria added to and expanded the Angerthas to serve their own language and purposes.
In translating the poster, there were two runes that confused the meaning at first. The first was the rune used for “ng” in “Sleeping”. The poster uses the rune for “nj” instead of “ng”. According to the LotR appendices, the “ng” rune was one of the newer cirth introduced by the Dwarves of Moria, though it does not say at what date. It does say “This Angerthas Moria is represented in the tomb-inscription.” Assuming this references Balin’s Tomb, the “ng” rune might not have been in popular usage until later than the series may portray. The second thing that tripped me up was the rune used for the silent “e” in “Awake” and “Stone”. The symbol for the silent “e” is given a value of “*” on the chart in the appendices, and it was only through further research that I was able to confirm the corresponding letter and sound.
It’s really wonderful to return to Arda! There is so much to look forward to when The Rings of Power airs this fall – and even sooner if these posters are any indication.
EXCLUSIVE: This morning Amazon announced that we will see the first TRAILER for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power TV series this coming Sunday, February 13th – Super Bowl Sunday in the United States. We’re very excited to announce that TORn is partnering with Prime Video, to host the OFFICIAL Trailer Watch Party live stream!
Join us – and a host of guests – on Sunday 13th February to watch the trailer together, and then dissect it frame by frame! An epic analysis befitting of the Second Age of Arda. You’ll be able to find us streaming on all the socials… Stay tuned for more announcements – including specifics of timing – later this week. In the meantime jump into the new TORn Discord at https://discord.gg/theonering to chat with hundreds of other fans leading up to the big trailer… quest… thing.
What must I do?
Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel and have notifications turned on! We want to see all your comments, reactions and thoughts when the trailer drops. #LOTRTrailer
Yesterday, Prime Video shared 23 character posters – beautiful images from the upcoming The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power television series. Some of TORn’s staffers have spent the past 24 hours pondering these images, to consider who and what they may reveal to us. Here are all 23 images, together with some of our preliminary thoughts. (You can expect more speculation in the weeks ahead!)
greendragon: obviously a dwarf. Those rings are very reminiscent of the dwarvish rings we see in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy. I love the gold burnishing on the hands. There’s clearly a beard there – but does that mean this is a male or female dwarf…?! What do the runes on the hammer say? I get ‘AWAK…’ and at the end ‘STON(E)’? but can’t make them all out.
Saystine: I for one am just floored by the amount of images. 23 at once! wow! And well played Amazon, giving us so much too look at, while not really giving us much at all. For most of the images, I don’t know what to think, except that I do love the details on the costumes. I see some fun cosplays in our future! This is definitely a dwarf. Love the gold dust on the hands.
Garfeimao: The Dwarf hammer has some writing on it for someone with better linguistic skills than me. This is another dwarf, wearing three rings, and gold dust on his hands, so this must indicate the wealth of this group of Dwarves. The fact that gold is so prevalent that mining it leaves it all over you, not as dirt, but actual gold dust is intriguing. This Dwarf is more of a warrior, what with that big hammer. But he’s also wearing armor that looks like it’s made of leather and gold, possibly. He has plain leather vambraces, and a lovely red beard braided down his chest.
greendragon: More burnishing on the hands, but this time more white/silvery. If the first is gold dust, could this be mithril dust? These looks like female hands; so perhaps our first two images are a dwarf man and a dwarf woman?
Saystine: because of the gold dust, I say dwarf again, but the clothes are very noble, so noble dwarf, or female dwarf?
Garfeimao: Then there is this guy with the gold-dusted fingers, this looks like a Dwarf King who has been handling gold for so long it covers his fingers permanently. The grey pleated robe has small gems sewn into it, and on his arms, he is wearing thick golden bracelets with more gemstones, plus there seem to be chains of golden triangles draped from his shoulders. So very cool.
greendragon: Clearly a warrior here – but that looks like a female hand to me. Could this be Galadriel? Love that Laurelin and Telperion sword hilt.
Saystine: This dragger of the two trees is just phenomenal. This reads elvish and female to me, so Galadriel?
Garfeimao: This one could only be Elven armor, with an amazing silver and gold sword with a rounded hilt-top formed from what looks like Two Trees. And check out the tiny, delicate chainmaille, stunning to look at, but that would irritate the heck out of me. The maille looks long enough that if the arm is hanging down the maille would cover the top of the hand which would make for a protective cover, but it could also make handling the sword or dagger complicated. But it’s the metal chest plate armor that gives the best clue here, it’s a female Elf, could this be Galadriel in armor???? I think so, and I love it soooo much. Oh, and in the design below the hand, there are three gems, possibly pearls, but could they represent the Three Silmarils?
Saystine: All gold, so Ar-Pharazon the Golden.
Garfeimao: This all-gold person is spectacular, such sumptuous golden fabric. This definitely looks like an Elf with the way the fabric wraps the chest and hangs. There are two starburst pendants that look to be holding up folds of the robe and golden chains. There are 5 golden rings visible. Just wow. And the embroidery on the sleeves looks like letters.
Earl: The object here is not a weapon – the description (on Amazon’s twitter) states it is a “golden rod” but that the character is wearing “simple clothes”. So someone in a position of authority but likely not nobility.
Saystine: this is very kingly looking scepter. King of Numenor?
Garfeimao: There is a golden-rod and a person in rather plain golden-hued clothing, but I was immediately drawn to the top of the hilt, what looks like a Golden Citadel or building on the top, suggesting the holder of this rod rules in that building. The ring he’s wearing is not very extravagant, so it’s an interesting duality here.
greendragon: Text ‘King’s Square – View from South’ (thanks online sources!) – but in English, transliterated into Tengwar. I guess they wanted us to be able to read it… This costume makes me think of Elrond in PJ’s movies.
Earl: Above the text (if you invert the image) is a picture of a stepped gateway/entrance flanked by trees. You can even see a bridge to the right of the gate.
Saystine: Very fine clothing here. Who dresses this nice? This feels so Elrond to me.
Garfeimao: The man holding the goldenrod with a scroll is so elaborately dressed. This is either a Royal or maybe a Herald for a Court. Rich, velvet crimson tunic with a velvet green robe and gold piping and trim, and what looks like a massive gold rectangular belt buckle. Oooh, and the inner sleeves of the crimson tunic have a design of their own, this costume is going to be soooo fabulous.
greendragon: I LOVE this Green Man breastplate. The pagan feel of this is exciting to me; also love that thumb ring. I think this is a Silvan elf – as also suggested by the arrow.
Garfeimao: I love the image of the person with the arrow. There is an image of a bearded man on the shirt and I can’t tell if it is the design of an armored chest plate, made of wood, or if it’s just a design on the shirt, can’t wait to see this thing close up and in motion, just fascinated by it. Since there are leaves incorporated into the image of the bearded man, this would seem to indicate someone close to nature, almost like a Green Man image. The grey cloak and greyness of the shirt/armor/whatever seems to indicate this person could be a pre-cursor to what we know as Rangers, someone who works within the woods and blends into the coloring of a forest. Perhaps a hunter, but the elaborate design of the shirt would indicate more than that.
Saystine: sickle suggests a farmer?
Garfeimao: The image with the scythe is interesting. The blue robe and golden belt would indicate some level of status, but the grungy robe and the scythe itself indicate a worker, possibly a farmer. So, this image is someone confusing right now. Then again, it could be a landowner where farming is done, and he had need of a weapon and grabbed whatever was closest.
greendragon: What’s the broken sword? Narsil doesn’t get broken until the end of the Second Age… The marking on the blade looks like a ‘dark mark’ – reminds me of things we saw in Dol Guldur in PJ’s Hobbit movies. In which case, this blade would have something to do with the Necromancer aka Sauron; but obviously in his Second Age appearances, before the Last Alliance. Certainly looks sinister to me.
Demosthenes: It’s a black sword, but the broken Gurthang was buried with Turin at Cabed en Amras. The Anglachel version merely became dulled after Beleg died. Turin had it reforged in Nargothrond, but it wasn’t broken. That’s a puzzle. Or could it be Angrist?
Earl: The swords in PJ’s LOTR looked like real historical artifacts. Some of these swords look a bit too fantastical – the hilt of this broken sword, for example, looks very unwieldy and how on earth would you sheathe it and carry it by your side with those odd spikes all over? This sword has some sort of rune on it. Looks very much like one of the Mordor / Morgul motifs from PJ’s LOTR. If it were Angrist – Angrist was left behind in Angband when Beren and Luthien fled with the Silmaril, and perhaps the broken sword was afterward used by some high-ranking person in Morgoth’s service, who “corrupted” the sword. Sort of like how Minas Morgul and Cirith Ungol in PJ’s LOTR (correctly) depicted original Gondorian architecture later corrupted by Orcs.
Saystine: broken sword, but it doesn’t seem like Narsil. Looks Evil. it looks like dark speech is carved on it to me.
Garfeimao: The broken sword, oh my, what a look. The sword looks ancient and formerly very elaborate. The holder seems to be wearing a fur pelt coat with a fur lining neck, and I’m guessing this person is holding an ancestral weapon with a vast history to the sword.
greendragon: Horse lords! But Rohan wasn’t founded until the Third Age – so who are the horse lords in the Second Age?
Garfeimao: The one with the Horse Hilt sword has deep burgundy colored scale maille, a gambeson under the armor, and vambraces. The fact that the sword has a horse head makes me think this comes from a cavalry-based culture, could this be the precursors to the Rohirrim? Or will we get a new culture not explored before that values horses?
greendragon: the scale of those acorns in those hands suggests hobbit – so Harfoots, in this Second Age period.
Earl: Looks to be a female hobbit?
Garfeimao: The image with the three acorns, that must be a Hobbit, acorns have been used before as a symbol for Hobbits, and this outfit is perfectly plain fabric and somewhat grungy and very much someone who works on the land. Could we have another gardener?
Saystine: Wizard. Is this a wizards staff with a dragon claw; blue wizards?
Garfeimao: The image of the man holding what looks like a twisted stick with a black claw tied on with red string is rather interesting. The hands are grimy, as is his tunic and a rough cloak. This strikes me as a working Dwarf from the mines, and the tooth or claw is a trophy of some sort. Or maybe a wizard, one we’ve met or one we have not met, but that claw or tooth confuses the issue somewhat.
Earl: The “descriptive text” by Amazon has some interesting descriptions for some characters. This one is ‘Close up of someone’s small, child-like hands. We do not see this person’s face. In their left hand they are holding what looks like blackberries…‘ So this isn’t a child (and those aren’t really blackberries)? Perhaps a Hobbit then with some sort of berry-like fruit.
Saystine: Food makes me think hobbit!
Garfeimao: This image of the person holding the red berries is really interesting. There is what looks like long, loosely braided grey hair that appears to be used to hold the rough brown bag. No indication of male or female here, because while dirty, the hands are rather gentle.
greendragon: the text on this scroll looks like a blend of a type of rune with pictograms. Imagined Harfoot writing, perhaps? Last October, Lenny Henry confirmed that he plays a Harfoot in the show; could these be his hands? They look kind of small but it’s hard to tell scale in this image, especially if the hands are supposed to look small, as Harfoot hands…
Saystine: this scroll looks like a map to me, and again it feels hobbit like to me.
Garfeimao: This shows someone holding a scroll tied with a simple string. The images on the scroll appear to be pictoral rather than an alphabet, indicating a proto-written language. The clothing is very plain, with a somewhat dirty shirt and a patterned robe of some sort. Might this be one of our Hobbits.
greendragon: for some reason this seems like a human character to me. The image isn’t set up to make the hands look small, as it seems to be in the images I think are Harfoots (HarFEET!). So, citizen of Numenor?
Earl: this pose suggests maybe this character is pregnant?
Saystine: everyone think this is a pregnant lady, but I’m not so sure about that. I just feel like it is a citizen of Numenor.
Garfemao: This lady with the full green skirt, red shirt, and the black and grey shawl hanging diagonally from her right shoulder to her left hip looks like maybe she would be a village elder, medicine woman, or at least a main player in her village. The dirty hands would indicate she works, either on the land or with cooking.
greendragon: hmm ropes – perhaps a sailor – so again, Numenorean?
Saystine: again, I think citizen of Numenor.
Garfeimao: a guy with a rope, clearly a laborer of some sort, but with enough status to have a ring. Not a grand ring, but in a simple village this could indicate a small level of status. Although maybe the rope indicates a sailor, the outfit does not suggest a uniform, so perhaps a fisherman.
greendragon: beautiful armour and jewellry in this image. This is one powerful character – looks female to me. And holding a white flower – from Nimloth, the White Tree of Numenor? OR from some other seedling of Celeborn?
Saystine: white flower from the tree of Gondor. Rumors I am hearing is it is Tar Miriel. That name sounds like an inspiration for another character that was added to a certain movie…
Garfeimao: looks to be a woman, with a light fish-scale type top and what looks like a flowing skirt, maybe someone who is a priestess, or better yet might we are seeing Yavanna?
greendragon: the decoration on the book looks like waves and a fish at the top – so sea going nation? Hence, Numenor?
Saystine: This seems like a Numenor-ian book to me.
Garfeimao: a woman in an orange dress with a book, also feels like maybe a priestess because the book would indicate an educated person. Also, the imagery on the book cover looks like waves, with a fish on the top possibly. And this design looks like it’s related to the second image down below, of the simple green and white robe with the bright orange undersleeves because the image on the belt is very similar, and the bright orange would indicate may be a uniform color scheme. Suggesting that maybe she is a Priestess of a temple, while the man in the belt could be a servant.
greendragon: the buckle on this belt seems to match the sun image on the sword hilt (image 21, below). Who are these men (I think men) with sun motifs?
Saystine: This also screams Numenor to me. it just feels regal.
Garfeimao: We see a person in a dark blue tunic and robe with gold trim on it, two bejeweled rings on just the right hand. There is a big belt buckle that looks like a sunburst and a really interesting belt. There are several other golden emblems on the tunic too. This definitely looks like a Dwarf to me. BTW, this is my choice so far for a cosplay.
greendragon: the belt decoration looks a bit like leaping dolphins – or am I seeing things? I’m assuming Numenor for all images suggesting the sea
Saystine: this one confuses me to most. It’s kind of human and kind of elvish, so could it be Elrond’s brother, Elros. maybe in a flashback?
Garfeimao: This simple, green and white tunic over a bright orange longer-sleeved shirt and a simple belt – but with the gold trim on the sleeves, could this be a servant or maybe merchant, or the employee of a rich merchant? It could be someone who works for the lady in orange two images above.
greendragon: see my comment on the sun belt buckle, above!
Elessar: I think the clothing and swords definitely look like things Weta has been involved with. We haven’t seen Narsil yet but based on the above image I have a bad feeling. That feeling? That it won’t look a thing like what was in the LOTR movies, which I won’t lie for me will create a disconnect.
Saystine: sun motifs. The rumor I hear is Anarion. Son of the Sun, but I don’t know; could be Glorfindel.
Garfeimao: This armored man is stunning. The sword has a sunburst on the top of the hilt and a sunburst just below the crossguard on the actual sword blade. Then the metal chest armor has a sunburst, but it has a Triskele inside of it, with what looks like scale patterns between the curls of the triskele. He also has vambraces on with a pattern we can’t get too much detail on yet, but I do love the green and gold gambeson he is wearing under those vambraces. I think I have just switched to wanting to do this cosplay. Not sure if this is a Numenorian or an Elf, but I think I’m leaning towards Elf.
greendragon: That knitted attire and those grubby hands make me think of Radagast. So is this a wizard of some kind? But the apple makes me think of the Evil Queen in Snow White – is this some kind of evil tempter character? Annatar? But surely he would never let his manicure get so filthy…
Saystine: this one, in spite of the food, screamed Radagast to me, even though I doubt it is him; but maybe still a wizard.
Garfeimao: This pair of dirty hands, with an apple in the left hand, tip of a grey beard and a thick knitted grey robe, perhaps a wayward traveler, wizard (Gandalf or Radagast anyone) or a farmer. Although this could also be our trickster, Sauron in one of his many forms. This screams of the Hag that tempts Snow White with an apple but is actually the Evil Queen. Hence, this could be a disguise.
greendragon: of course very reminiscent of Sauron in PJ’s movies. BUT I don’t think we’ll see Sauron as Dark Lord until WAY at the end of the Second Age. So, who could this be? Some more ancient evil? Morgoth himself?
Demosthenes: Crazy thought – could this be Gurthang, the sword of Turin Turambar? Folks are suggesting Sauron, Witch-king or other Nazgul… Note that, in PJ-verse, Sauron carries a giant mace during the final confrontation with Elendil and Gil-galad at the end of the War of the Last Alliance. And the gauntlet doesn’t quite match up. Witch-king has a mace on the Pelennor as well, though I think that the Nazgul all have great swords at Bree (and the ford of Bruinen) – but the hilts are not as ornate.
Saystine: Of course, at first glance is Sauron, but maybe it is the witch king? We don’t know how many time periods or even flashbacks there may be in the series, but these images do a great job at getting interest up and starting the conversation. I love it!!
Garfeimao: That certainly does look like Sauron’s armor in PJ’s films, but it could also be the Witch-King of Angmar, a living version of him since there is no Ring yet on his finger.
Prime Video have just dropped a whole load of character posters, and we are very excited to have the above one to share as an exclusive! You can find the images on Prime’s Instagram, here.
Who could this be? There’s a distinctly Sauron-like feel to this armoured gauntlet… All of the character posters show hands and arms – and suggest different races and peoples of Middle-earth. We’ll bring you a closer look at all the posters later; let the speculation begin! #LOTRonPrime
Numenor is a central location in Amazon’s billion dollar Lord of the Rings series, and now we have the first description of the peoples of the island, thanks to the intrepid Fellowship of Fans.
Guilds as Tolkien wrote
According to leaked set reports, Numenorians have trade guilds and wear patches marking their trade allegiance according the extras on the set. This is actually true to the books and maintains #FidelityToTolkien.
This seems to confirm that Amazon has licensed stories from UNFINISHED TALES by J.R.R. Tolkien, a book posthumously edited & published by Christopher Tolkien. If we look at page 170:
Among the wrights of the Edain were weaponsmiths, and they had with the teaching of the Noldor acquired great skill in the forging of swords, of axe-blades, and of spearheads and knives. Swords the Guild of Weaponsmiths still made, for the preservation of the craft, though most of their labour was spent on the fashioning of tools for the uses of peace.
Numenor is like Themyscira?
Further in Unfinished Tales it describes a horse & bow culture similar to what movie audiences have recently seen in Wonder Woman. With lead WW stuntwoman Dayna Grant recently in the news, it’s not too much of a stretch to consider her skillset is perfect for how Tolkien describes Numenorians:
The King and most of the great chieftains possessed swords as heirlooms of their fathers; and at times they would still give a sword as a gift to their heirs. A new sword was made for the King’s Heir to be given to him on the day on which this title was conferred. But no man wore a sword in Numenor, and for long years few indeed were the weapons of warlike intent that were made in the land. Axes and spears and bows they had, and shooting with bows on foot and on horseback was a chief sport and pastime of the Numenoreans.
Hobbits are now owned by Amazon, joining all-encompassing TV rights to The Lord of the Rings book and appendices rights.
It’s official: Amazon has acquired MGM Studios, including the longtime film and TV rights to The Hobbit and characters related. Within hours, CEO Jeff Bezos announced he is stepping down in July and moving to Hollywood to play with his major studio, of which the crown jewel is The Lord of the Rings.
What this means is that @LOTRonPrime can put Hobbits in their Second Age show, since rights to that class of characters were held by MGM. ‘But timelines,’ you say! Time is just a construct. Amazon needs an Everyman entry point for casual viewers: Hobbits are that. There have been rumors that Harfoots are in the show, a book-sourced compromise from the troublesome Hobbit rights. Amazon can now change all the dialogue in reshoots to call them Hobbits; casual fans will want that familiarity.
Remember the crushing drama of rights issues with MGM on The Hobbit, which caused Guillermo del Toro perhaps the greatest professional loss of his career? Amazon has just resolved all that for the future.
Amazon has full TV rights to The Lord of the Rings full stop – anything mentioned in the books and appendices. Now they have all the rights MGM previously held, from its 45 year old Saul Zaentz deal. Amazon chose not to remake The Lord of the Rings, instead exploring many different options, before settling on Numenor and the Second Age.
Owning MGM means, of course, that Amazon COULD remake The Hobbit into a limited series or a cartoon; many things are possible. All kinds of round doors are now open…