In the movie Snow White and the Huntsman, the magic mirror that the evil queen Rowena uses has inscriptions on the edge whose characters looked the same as the ones used by the dwarves in Tolkien's the Hobbit.

I tried looking for an image to post here but couldn't find any good one :(

Does anyone know if it was indeed the dwarf runes? I recognized the letters 'D' and 'A' in the inscriptions. If it is indeed the dwarf runes, what was the inscription?

enter image description here


3 Answers 3


Tolkien’s Dwarvish runes in the Hobbit are based on Norse & Old English runes—at least in concept; the fictional shapes have their own system and do not correspond to the historical ones.

The runes in the Snow White movie will be the Norse/Old English ones. Depending on how much research went into that detail, the rune text may say something about the (fictional) history of the mirror, or the runes may be randomly chosen for their looks. But they will not have any connection to Tolkien’s creations.

  • 1
    Specifically, The Hobbit uses Anglo-Saxon runes (pic), while The Lord of the Rings uses Cirth, a variant devised by Tolkien.
    – jwodder
    Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 19:53

I believe that in The Huntsman: Winters War Frey reads the inscription around the mirror. The fragments I've seen suggest that the full inscription is what she says just before she summons Ravenna, namely:

"The age can be wicked to those who walk alone. When I look into the Mirror, I see myself as I might become."

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    Do you have a source for this?
    – Adamant
    Commented Nov 5, 2016 at 1:35

Watched for the first time today. These runes are exactly like the the runes written in gold on the green leather-bound edition of Tolkien's The Hobbit. It says "in" not "into" on the mirror. What I can translate is, "I look in the mirror I see myself as I..." You can read that right after Sara shoots the Huntsman with an arrow. I learned those runes in 5th grade, and used them for years to cheat on tests.

  • 2
    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Do you have any evidence that the runes come from Tolkien as opposed to the Old English runes commonly popularized by D&D?
    – DavidW
    Commented Aug 3, 2022 at 23:46

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