Tolkien’s Alphabets: Tengwar

My favorite part of Tolkien’s massive creation (Arda) has got to be the scripts he created for the inhabitants of Arda.  He created not one but two alphabets that elves, men, dwarves, and other creatures use in his high fantasy realm.


The Tengwar as it appears in the Return of the King.

One alphabet is the Tengwar or the Fëanorian Letters.  This alphabet was commonly used in the West-lands in the Third Age.  The script was not in origin an ‘alphabet,’ but a system of consonantal signs, of similar shape and style, which could be adapted at choice or convenience to represent the consonants of languages observed (or devised) by the Eldar.  The system contains 24 primary letters arranged in four témar (series), each of which have 6 tyeller (grades).  Numbers 25-36 are additional letters.  Numbers 27 and 29 can only be used independently.

Each language has slightly different values for the letters, but the typical values are given in the Return of the King:

  1. t
  2. p
  3. ch or k
  4. k or kw
  5. d
  6. b
  7. j or g
  8. g or gw
  9. th
  10. f
  11. sh or kh
  12. ch or khw/hw
  13. dh
  14. v
  15. zh or gh
  16. gh or ghw/w
  17. n
  18. m
  19. ñ
  20. ŋ (ng)
  21. r (untrilled)
  22. w
  23. y (consonantal only)
  24. used in Quenya only
  25. r (trilled)
  26. r (voiceless: rh)
  27. l
  28. l (voiceless: lh)
  29. s
  30. y (vowel)
  31. used in Quenya only
  32. used in Quenya only
  33. h
  34. w (voiceless: hw)
  35. y (alternative to 23)
  36. w (alternative to 22)

This list is for Sindarin or Westron users, not Quenya.  Quenya uses different values.


I was too lazy to number the Fëanorian Letters for Quenya, so here are the changes made as seen in the Return of the King


So where are the vowels?  They are not included in the Fëanorian letters.  They do exist, however.  They are described in the Return of the King and are shown here:


The vowels


The Tengwar really isn’t suitable for English, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t modify it to write in an alternative alphabet.  The Fëanorian Letters are more difficult to write than the latin alphabet, but it looks really cool on paper.


My #1 Obsession

Tomatoes, Tea, and Tolkien

My #1 obsession is definitely Tolkien lit.  I love the little intricacies that Tolkien adds to the story. The allegories, prose, poetry, I could go on and on…

If you haven’t read Strider’s riddle, then you’d better read it right now.

All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king.

This poem describes Aragorn.  He may not look fancy, he may be old, but he his strong and will stay that way.  The second stanza is referring to the future.  He will rise up in power and be king.  This was said about Strider in the Fellowship of the Ring.

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A new hobby

Hello there! I started a blog about a month ago… but I didn’t write down my password (not to mention I used 10 minute mail). So here I am starting anew (with my password safely in my password collection). I only had written 3 posts anyways. So I’m just reblogging them.  Here’s my introduction:

Tomatoes, Tea, and Tolkien

I recently ran into this blog while looking at political stuff.  I found this blog very intriguing, and I thought I should start a blog of my own.  Tomatoes, tea, and tolkien. Those are three favorites of mine.  This blog will primarily consist of those three things.  I will also blog about politics, religion, miscellaneous topics, and random hobbies of mine.  I also plan to make a bucket list.

          Tomatoes are my favorite vegetable and fruit.  The wonderful taste, glorious texture- did I mention my love for gardening.  Yep, I will be blogging about gardening for sure.  Especially tomatoes.

          Tea is the best drink in the world (next to water of course).  Drinking a cup of earl grey in the morning helps me a lot.  My addiction can be compared to the addictions to coffee people seem to have.

I will…

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