This is a story of long ago. At that time the languages and letters
at all with our orc, ork, applied to sea-animals of dolphin-kind.
Runes were old letters originally used for cutting or scratching
on wood, stone, or metal, and so were thin and angular. At the
time of this tale only the Dwarves made regular use of them,
especially for private or secret records. Their runes are in this book
represented by English runes, which are known now to few people.
If the runes on Thror's Map are compared with the transcrip-
tions into modern letters (on pp. 29 and 63), the alphabet,
adapted to modern English, can be discovered and the above
runic title also read. On the Map all the normal runes are found,
except for X. I and U are used for J and V. There was no
rune for Q(use CW); nor for Z (the dwarf-rune may be used if
required). It will be found, however, that some single runes stand
for two modern letters: th, ng, ee; other runes of the same kind
( ea and st) were also sometimes used. The secret door was
markded D . From the side a hand pointed to this, and under it
. The last two runes are the initials of Thror and
Thrain. The moon-runes read by Elrond were:
On the Map the compass points are marked in runes, with East
at the top, as usual in dwarf-maps, and so read clockwise: E(ast),
S(outh), W(est), N(orth).
* The reason for this use is given in The Lord of the Rings III, p.415.
Click on map for enlarged view.
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