The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Devised in Valinor during the Years of the Trees1
Invented by Rúmil, and developed by Fëanor
te'ngwarr (the final r should be pronounced - 'rr' is used here to emphasise this)
Apparently just 'lines'2
Other names
Tengwar is a plural term; an individual letter of this script is known as a tengwa


About this entry:

  • Updated 16 October 2007
  • Updates planned: 2


The Fëanorian script

Tengwar of Rúmil
Fëanorian Tengwar

Rúmil of Tirion was the first to invent letters, or Tengwar, that could be written with a pen, but the later Fëanorian system became much more widespread. Fëanor's Tengwar were largely of his own invention, but were inspired, at least to some extent, by Rúmil's work.

The characters devised by Fëanor, originally to represent the sounds of the Quenya language, but later widely adopted for writing most of the languages of Middle-earth.



The Annals of Aman (in Morgoth's Ring, volume X of The History of Middle-earth) even gives us precise datings for the invention of the tengwar. Rúmil originally devised them in 1179 YT, and Fëanor devised his improved system in 1250 YT. In our terms, then, they were invented about 3,075 years before the first rising of the Sun, and the Fëanorian version appeared some 680 years later.


The name seems to have developed from the root teñ-, meaning a line or row.


About this entry:

  • Updated 16 October 2007
  • Updates planned: 2

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