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G-i-P Report: Kili’s rune-stone

UPDATE! David Salo on his blog Midgardsmal the inscription has been explained (see here and the comments):

I’ve received an inquiry about the meaning of the runes on Kíli’s talisman stone. The words inscribed on it are innikh dê.

The first is the singular imperative of the verb nanakha “return, come back”, which has a triliteral root √n-n-kh which obviously has been formed from the biliteral root √n-kh “come,” which is in turn clearly related to Adûnaic nakh-. The pattern is iCCiC, as is generally the case with other imperatives. combines a preposition d(u) “to, toward” (whose real-world inspiration is the Gothic preposition du) with the 1st person singular pronominal suffix .

The meaning of the phrase on the stone is therefore “return to me.” Its precise application in Kíli’s case is something I’m not privy to, and I expect that passionate film fans can guess it more easily than I can.

SPOILER ALERT! We have already tried to describe and analyze the runic insctiption on Kili’s rune-stone (see here). Now we have more information about the runes thanks to the the author of a fantastic blog The Dwarrow Scholar. First, what does Kili say about his rune-stone in the movie?

Tauriel: The stone in your hand, what is it?

Kili: It is a talisman…. A powerful spell lies upon it. If any but a dwarf reads the runes on the stone, they will be forever cursed… or not. Depending on whether you believe that kind of thing. It’s just a token… a rune-stone. My mother gave it to me so I’d remember my promise.

Tauriel: What promise?

Kili: That I would come back to her…. She worries. She thinks I’m reckless.

In our opinion the runes on the stone are Angerthas Moria (see Appendix E in The Return of the King book) and they read:

I N I Kh D Ê.

What does *inikhdê mean? From the different versions of the rune-stone presented in the book by Weta™ The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Chronicles: Art & Design (see picture on the left found on The Dwarrow Scholar blog) it means something like ‚Return!’ (imperative; earlier forms of the runes read this word in English). The final version has *inikhdê (or *inikh dê) which – what is quite sure – means the same in Neo-Khuzdûl by David Salo. We know the Dwarvish root √N-Kh ‚come’ from Tolkien (?), and it appears as *tanakhi ‚it comes’ in David Salo’s Neo-Khuzdûl Durin’s Song (from the LotR sountracks as nakha/tanakhi/nakh, v.III: ‚come’ [√NKh]; see here). And if so, maybe -dê means ‚to me’?


G-i-P stands for Gwaith-i-Phethain, ‘The Fellowship of the Word-smiths’€™ or the linguistic website devoted to post-Tolkienian constructions in the ‚reconstructed’€ languages of Middle-earth [link].

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Kategorie wpisu: Filmy: Hobbit i WP, G-i-P Report, In Westron (English), Lingwistyka

8 Komentarzy do wpisu "G-i-P Report: Kili’s rune-stone"

The Dwarrow Scholar, dnia 02.01.2014 o godzinie 14:35

Thanks for the mention. Minor update on this though. It might be „Inik Dê” (replace the „h” with a „space”) – assumed meaning „come back”. It is difficult to tell if it is indeed the „h” or the dot representing the space.

G. Marconi, dnia 02.01.2014 o godzinie 16:00

Hi, Word-Smiths and a greeting to the Dwarrow Scholar.

We’re a new webpage from Italy, we’ve watched with interest and trepidation all of your reports. Gianluca Comastri (Ardalambion Italia) works with us, so we can translate in Italian your result, maybe adding some of our perceptions. Thanks for yout work!
Ours is here, just in Italian: http://meditazionitolkieniane.wordpress.com/le-meditazioni/lingue-tolkien-hobbit/

Unfortunately we cannot tell anything useful about the Runestone so far, but we’d like to point out to you some cues of Un Unexpected Journey. If you could pass by again here…

Galadhorn, dnia 02.01.2014 o godzinie 16:12

Nice to meet you! :-)

And do you know if anybody has a picture or a frame from the movie of the runic inscription above the doors of Erebor? I suppose the runes there are the „Hobbit” runes with English text. Do you have any idea about this matter?

tzigi, dnia 02.01.2014 o godzinie 21:47

Is this any good? http://imgur.com/vhmHDhc

Galadhorn, dnia 02.01.2014 o godzinie 22:00

O super, Tzigi! I can see there Anglo-Saxon runes and English text – something like _(…) if this f… (…)_.

tzigi, dnia 03.01.2014 o godzinie 10:38

An even better and more complete version: http://imgur.com/vRRiWW6

cerebrum, dnia 03.01.2014 o godzinie 19:43

You were right, see DS’s explanation here:


Galadhorn, dnia 03.01.2014 o godzinie 22:17

Wow, it is so nice to read that we partly guessed! Thanks, Cerebrum. Suilaid an David Salo!

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