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Minas Tirith Forums » Library Council of Minas Tirith » What was the burgler symbol Gandalf scratched on Bilbo's door? (Page 2)
Author Topic: What was the burgler symbol Gandalf scratched on Bilbo's door?
White Gold Wielder
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I knew someone would come through eventually!
[] Fingolfin is on FIRE today! []

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Earendilyon
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It took him more than a year to get fired up, though! []

Great pic, Fingy!

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Roll of Honor Thorin
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Thank you, Fingy! I knew you were good for something. [] But that's really hard to see - is that it just to the left of the rightmost tree?
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Quel
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That's really neat, Fingolfin. Now, did Tolkien himself draw that?
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Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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There's a "B" and a "D" rune - what is the 3d, diamond shaped one? "EE"?
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Earendilyon
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WT, that is what it looks like: a diamond. (Stands for: "reward".) (See first page of this thread.)

Quel, posted by March on the first page:
quote:
The Annotated Hobbit informs us that if we look at the book J.R.R. Tolkien, Artist and Illustrator , that there is an unfinished sketch of Gandalf at Bilbo's door and the runes for B and D are scratched into the door, followed by a diamond.
Thorin, I think it's indeed on the left side of the right tree.


Hehe, nowadays youth doesn't want to read whole pages of text [] (referring to WT and Q)

[ 10-24-2003, 03:51 PM: Message edited by: Earendilyon ]

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Kjartan Fløgelfrikk
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Tolkien mostly used Anglo-Saxon runes, but the diamond may be a nordic rune.


The rune's name: Ingwaz
The Meaning: Phallus, name of a God
The sound: NG
The Norse name: Ing, Ingvarr
The Germanic name: Enguz (Ingwaz)
The Anglo Saxon name: Ing
The Icelandic name: Ing
The Norwegian name: Ing

Ing, or Yngvi (an "other name of Frey") is a god of fertility and conquering. Ironically, in the Norse tradition it was often the women who conducted rites involving sexuality. Ing is related to the old Nerthus-cult which dealt with the mystery of fecundity and birth.



http://www.arild-hauge.com/


(that site may be interpreting a bit too much into runes, but the explanations about the runes as letters is right.)

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Quel
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Earendilyon, were you referring to me as a young person? Hmm, indeed amusing. Yes, I thought Tolkien had drawn it, but I didn't want to insult his work by saying it looked like it was drawn by a child, with all due respect it looks a bit sloppy, but not too complain.
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Earendilyon
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Kjar, JRRT did not use Anglo-Saxon runes. He used (some) runes which look like them, but have a different meaning, letter-wise and symbol-wise. IIRC, the runes JRRT used, have no symbolic value at all. To stay into JRRT's mythology: the Anglo-Saxon runes were probably derived form the Elvish Cirth.

Quell, indeed I did [] But I did use the word 'youth' more as a derogatory remark than a age indication.

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The Laurenendôrian
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Earendilyon: from the introduction to The Hobbit -
quote:
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.

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Earendilyon
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OK, my fault [] I was thinking about the Cirth; didn't consider the fact that The Hobbit is very different from the rest of JRRT's works.
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Fabian
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quote:
Ironically, in the Norse tradition it was often the women who conducted rites involving sexuality.
I don't know if I'd call that ironic.
The god of fertility was male, rites concerning sexuality aimed at a male deity would logically be performed by females.

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Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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Does anyone know what the runes on Gloín the Dark's avatar say, and/or where they're from ?
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The Laurenendôrian
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They're from Tolkien's picture of the Book of Mazarbul - it can be read about as well as Gandalf reads it.
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Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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Ah! Thanks. I'm going to try to find a bigger version of that somewhere.
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Roll of Honor Thorin
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I just noticed that the "D" rune used on the door was also used to mark the secret door into the Lonely Mountain on Thror's map.

[ 06-02-2004, 02:35 PM: Message edited by: Thorin ]

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The Laurenendôrian
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Do you think that 'D' might stand for 'door', then?

'B' for 'burglar' certainly seems plausible.

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Roll of Honor Thorin
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Possibly, but the problem with that is Gloin's translation of the runes:
quote:
Burglar wants a good job, plenty of Excitement and reasonable Reward.
The word "door" isn't in there at all.
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Pallando
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If one could make a long sentance out of those 3 symbols, perhaps it could basically be read as this (and yes, I know it was longer, but let's suppose that these are what that part of the code represents):

Burgler Decent Reward

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Thalion
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"'And I assure you there is a mark on the door—the usual on in the trade, or used to be. Burglar wants a good job, plenty of Excitement and reasonable Reward, that's how it is usually read .'" (p 18)
Now I have a hard time believing that a skilled dwarf would have any difficulty in reading these Runes. So, I think it likely as had been said in this thread(well, I am really providing a bit of textual evidence for them) that these Runes were an abrieviation, or a straight up code, due to Gloins remark "that's how it is usually read."

[ 11-04-2004, 10:10 PM: Message edited by: Thalion ]

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Roll of Honor Thorin
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Agreed. The Professor knew what he was doing when it comes to language. In English, a specific letter may have multiple sounds: "c" for instance. A rune or symbol could have multiple meanings - maybe with the same basic message, but it could perhaps have different nuances.

The thing that comes to my mind is the symbols used in the days of the Great Depression in America - hobos wandered the countryside and made marks on fences to tell other hobos the kind of families that lived there: were they kindly to wanderers, or would they chase off beggars?

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Pippin Toker
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Hi

I think there is some meaningful tranlation of the runes. The more i read The Hobbit, i see that Tolkien wanted to make the children learn about runes and so on. That i why he used anglo-saxon runes and not some of hus own. He wanted the chrildren to take a school-book or dictionery, and read the words. The same must be the case with the runes on the door.

Pippin

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Sven, Ruler of All
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Yes Thorin! Hobo code! They actually have an exhibit about that at the Museum of Science in Boston. [] I think that it is very likely that this symbol served much the same purpose. This would of course mean that there is no exact translation; instead, it is partially up to the imagination of the interpreter.

I think that it is unlikely for there to be too many burglars among the dwarves - meaning that this "burglar symbol" probably did not originate from them. Much like the hobo code, this would have been developed by the people using it (probably burglars, wanderers, and other such sorts - maybe even rangers?) and the dwarves simply have deciphered it.

For the record, I'm only speculating and don't entirely know what I'm talking about. If I'm completely off point, tell me and I'll bow out.

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Roll of Honor Thorin
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Okay, we have a problem. Fingy's old website is gone, I think. I thought the image of the burglar symbol was hosted on his little section of WGW's Middle-earth conglomerate, but apparently not. The image he posted of the burglar mark in this post is gone. Does anyone else know where to find this?
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Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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I have JRRT: Artist & illustrator, and a scanner. I'll do it when I get home tonight.
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