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Orc writing system by Daniel Reeve
(The Hobbit movie)

Daniel Reeve is a freelance artist from Titahi Bay, New Zealand. He is most well known for the calligraphy and cartography in various film and television projects, including The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, Mortal Engines, Tintin, the Narnia movies, King Kong, Van Helsing, The Light Between Oceans, Krampus, Wellington Paranormal, The BFG, Dr Strange and others. Daniel does illustration and lettering work, and creates logos, fonts, tattoo designs, and other graphic art. See his website for more information.

From The Hobbit movie, in The Desolation of Smaug you should remember a scene in Bree when Gandalf shows Thorin a bounty offer for the capture of Thorin. I have asked Daniel, my friend, for explanation of this artifact with a special Orcish alphabet. Daniel wrote to me this:

For the orcs/goblins I invented a new alphabet. It was to look as harsh as possible; nothing pretty about it whatsoever. Like Goblintown itself, many of the goblin letters were borrowed and stolen from other races – Elves, Dwarves and Men (you can identify some of the similarities in the chart shown here). But I made the shapes untidy, and usually quite angular, so that they could be executed in straight(ish) strokes. I would deliberately mismatch the sizes of letters and the thicknesses of strokes, to enhance the crudeness.

I also invented a crude system for recording numbers, partly inspired by the abacus.

There were many set-dressing pieces of orc-writing scattered about the Goblintown sets.

My hero piece of orc writing was a bounty offer for the capture of Thorin: „For the head of the dwarf they call Oakenshield, 30 pieces of silver”.

I did several trials, in English language and in Black Speech (the language of Mordor), using both roman and goblin lettering. The final piece was in Black Speech (the text provided by an outside expert, David Salo), using my goblin lettering and number system.

I wrote it on several skins, using different kinds of acrylic and some props-maker’s „blood”, and in two scales (one for Gandalf, one for Thorin). It appears in the second movie, The Desolation of Smaug, when Gandalf meets Thorin in Bree.

BlackSpeechSkinHeroThe bounty offer for Thorin

Skins1More skins with Orcish letters – try to decipher them!

Orcish_Reeve2It looks like a heavy-metal band logo


If you want, you can prepare your own Orc inscriptions. Send them to us!

Kategorie wpisu: Filmy: Hobbit i WP, G-i-P Report, Lingwistyka

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(The Hobbit movie)"

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