The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Devised as part of the Tengwar script in Valinor during the Years of the Trees
Part of a writing system invented by Rúmil, and developed by Fëanor


About this entry:

  • Updated 18 March 2015
  • Updates planned: 1


A stroke in Elven writing

The straight 'stem' line that appears in written tengwar, which can extend above or below the writing line. Combined with the lúva ('bow') stroke, it forms the basis of all the standard Fëanorian characters.



This long straight mark takes its name from the more general Quenya word telco, which is interpreted in The Etymologies (in The History of Middle-earth volume 5) as 'leg', deriving from a root telek-, 'stalk, stem, leg'. As used in writing, Tolkien specifically defines the term as 'stem' in Appendix II to The Lord of the Rings. In the sense of 'leg', the same root is found in Telcontar, the Elvish form of the name 'Strider'

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