Priscilla Tolkien, the youngest of J.R.R. Tolkien’s four children, died on February 28 2022. She was 92 years old.

Born June 18 1929, Priscilla was the only daughter of the Professor and his wife Edith. They were already living in Oxford when she was born. At the age of fourteen, Priscilla typed up some of the early chapters of The Lord of the Rings for her father. She studied English at Lady Margaret Hall college in Oxford, who yesterday announced her passing.

Priscilla, like her older brother Christopher, was a champion of her father’s work. She was Vice-President of the Tolkien Society, and together with the oldest of the four children, her brother John, she published in 1992 The Tolkien Family Album. Frodo’s name in early drafts of The Lord of the Rings, Bingo Bolger-Baggins, apparently came from her names for a family of toy bears she had as a child.

Partially hidden behind the show title on one of the new Amazon Prime The Lord of the Rings–The Rings of Power posters is a hammer handle bearing Cirth runes. They appear to say “AWAKE SLEEPING STONE”, which is appropriate since the poster seems clearly to portray a Dwarf, hands permeated with gold dust.

The words on the sword seem to translate as “Awake Sleeping Stone”

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.

Illustration from Tolkien's Letters from Father Christmas, from 1932. The images show Santa Claus flying over Oxford; the North Pole; Father Christmas and the North Polar Bear in the caves at the North Pole; a party at Father Christmas' home; and colourful lettering reading, 'A Merry Christmas'.

It’s the most wonderful time of year, when TheOneRing.net staff pick some of our favorite Tolkien inspired gifts for our 2021 Holiday Gift guide. From all of us, we wish you a safe and joyous holiday season.

Please note that all prices are in US currency and subject to change.

At the start of August, we told you about NZ Post’s beautiful stamps which were being issued to celebrate 20 years since the release of Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring movie. Now NZ Post have shared with us EXCLUSIVE news about their next new release – a set of commemorative coins. Here’s what they tell us:

Presentation case for the 'Fellowship' coins, featuring Sacha Lees' artwork of Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf, and holding three NZ Post coins: Frodo, Gandalf and Boromir.
Continue reading “20th Anniversary celebrations continue with NZ Post – EXCLUSIVE”
Bilbo’s Birthday Speech

Come join the Southern California TORn staff and Tolkien fans on Saturday, September 18, 2021, as we celebrate Bilbo and Frodo Baggins’ shared birthday in Griffith Park. The party will kick off at Noon, and run until about 6 pm. The biggest difference this year will be NO POTLUCK. Please bring enough food and drink for yourself and the group you will be attending with. As always, sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses, and maybe a popup for shade are all good things to bring in order to stay comfortable. We are returning to the Mineral Wells section of Griffith Park, which is near the Harding Golf Course. Please head to the Baggins Birthday Bash Facebook event page for directions and a map. https://www.facebook.com/events/193623342558178/

While this event is scheduled for Saturday, September 18, the dual issues of COVID restrictions and/or Wildfires could become an issue this coming week. Should LA County trigger a restriction of large gatherings or a Wildfire trigger evacuations in the region of Griffith Park, we will post a Cancelation notice to the FB page first, and if there is time, post here on the main website as well.

As for COVID restrictions, the LA County guidelines recommend masking outdoors only in the case of a Mega Event, and that has only happened once. We are recommending everyone have a MASK with them, ready to wear near groups of people and remove when eating and drinking. The outdoor setting should afford us more than enough space to social distance if it makes you feel comfortable. We would PREFER if everyone attending was fully vaccinated, but none of us are qualified to verify the CDC card, so we won’t be asking.

Come and join fellow Tolkien fans from around Australia for a Zoom get together of the 'Hern Ennorath' Tolkien group.

Tolkien fans from Australia are building an online community for Australians to discuss Tolkien and Middle-earth topics.

‘Hern Ennorath’ means South Lands of Middle-earth. The name was chosen to reflect where we Aussies live, in the great southern land, in the southern hemisphere and, so far, is made up of three sub-groups

* Brisbane Tolkien Fellowship;
* Canberra Tolkien Fellowship; and
* Melbourne Tolkien Fellowship.

Each of these sub-groups also have their own individual Facebook pages.

The next online meeting is on 23rd September and the topic will be “Music of Middle-earth”. It will start with a quick ‘getting to know you’, before discussing all things music in Middle-earth. From Tolkien’s lyrical poetry to music that has been inspired by Tolkien. The meeting will run for 1 1/2 hours, but everyone is welcome to come and go as they please.

Just follow these instructions to join

Times: 8pm, ACT, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania
7:30pm NT and SA
6pm WA

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88523894355?pwd=TDdIanRpWE1UUEpjU0JucDFYeFVHdz09

Meeting ID: 885 2389 4355
Passcode: 556704

Alternate link
https://us04web.zoom.us/join

Meeting ID: 885 2389 4355
Passcode: 556706

All are welcome, so mark the 23rd of September in your diaries, grab your favourite snacks and settle in for some “Music in Middle-earth”.


There are also plans afoot to hold an online Middle-earth Trivia Night in November, and a national face-to-face dinner and conference in 2022, so stay tuned for further details.