Tolkien Gateway


Tincotéma was one of the four series of the Tengwar writing system. As with all of the series it consisted of six characters in each of six tyeller or 'grades'. This particular series took its name from the first of its signs, tinco (literally meaning 'metal', but here simply representing the character 't').

[edit] Shapes

Half of the symbols in this series had one bow or lúva while the other half had two bows. All bows in this series were open, curving downwards and to the right from a stem, or telco, which was either lowered, raised, or shortened.

[edit] Values

In principle, the characters in this series could represent a variety of different sounds, though in practice their use had become essentially standardised by the Third Age to alveolar and dental consonants.

The first four signs in the series, tinco, ando, thúle and anto, each represented a variant of the basic 't' sound: 't', 'd', 'th' and 'dh', respectively. The fifth sign, númen, represented 'n', and finally óre indicated a weak 'r' sound.[1]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix E, "Writing", "The Fëanorian Letters"