22

The symbol of Gondor at times comes with writing around it and I couldn't find a definitive answer about what exactly it means and whether it's "canon" or just something fans do.

enter image description here

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    This is most likely a fan image, I can't recall an official image looking like this. I am trying to find a translation, but I don't know Tengwar myself. – Edlothiad Jan 15 '18 at 9:39
  • The issue is I don't know whether this has been written in Quenya, Sindarin or is merely a transliterated version of English. – Edlothiad Jan 15 '18 at 9:45
  • Related: How to read One Ring inscription? – kenorb Jun 13 '18 at 15:12
43

It's the Ring Verse.

This is almost certainly a fan image as MPF points out in the comments below. The Gondorians had no reason to display the Ring Verse on a banner, and almost certainly were unaware of its existence in the end of the Third Age, with only Gandalf having read it while hunting for evidence of the One Ring.

Black Speech:

Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulûk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul

English:

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.

This is clear from the bottom right "quarter", bottom left "quarter" and top left "quarter" all beginning with the same words, "ash nazg".

It can be a bit difficult to read because the bottom half is actually upside down. I've attempted to provide a visual guide below:

Image of the white tree of Gondor with the Ring Verse in Tengwar

You can compare the above with the Ring Verse from the books, you'll notice that stylistically they are identical.

Ring Verse from Tolkien Gateway

For interested parties, I used this resource to reverse transliterate the Tengwar characters into English, and this resource to check that my conversion was accurate by transliterating it from English back into Tengwar. Thankfully I did "Ash nazg" first and the rest fell into place rather easily.

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    The Ring Verse would be a very strange thing for the Gondorians to put on their banner, to say the least, so yeah this is probably a fan image. – MPF Jan 15 '18 at 13:23
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    @MPF if you reverse image search the tree you'll find that almost 90% of results are from pinterest, for whatever reason. However, a good point and one I should add to my answer. – Edlothiad Jan 15 '18 at 13:30
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    @Edlothiad: these days, 90% of all image search results (reverse or otherwise) are from Pinterest. You pretty much have to put -pinterest into your search terms, otherwise your results will be useless. – Martha Jan 15 '18 at 15:58
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    @MPF ...it would be even more strange to put it on the language of Mordor, which I will not utter here. – xDaizu Jan 15 '18 at 16:30
  • Good analysis. I knew it looked familiar (the two different parts) but I wouldn't have gone through the effort you did, I don't think. Nice job. – Pryftan Jan 16 '18 at 2:42

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