From Tolkien Gateway

formen is a noun meaning "north" in Quenya.[1]


Formen is also the name in Quenya of the tenth letter of the Tengwar alphabet.[1] It is the second letter of the third grade or Tyellë, which contains "voiceless spirants" and it is the third letter in the labial or p-series of consonants, the Parmatéma. In all modes Formen represents F.[2] It was one of the most widely known and used of all the Tengwar since it indicated "north" even in languages that used a very different term.[1] The Westron name for this letter is .[3]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

In the West-lands of Middle-earth the four cardinal directions were Númen, Hyarmen, Rómen, and Formen, and they were named in this order, beginning with (and facing) west. Hyarmen meant a left-hand region and Formen meant a right-hand region.[1] Thus the word for "north" derives from the Primitive Quendian root PHOR, meaning "right hand", plus MEN indicating direction.[4]

Examples[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix E, "Writing", "The Fëanorian Letters", Note, The names of the letters
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix E, "Writing", "The Fëanorian Letters"
  3. See Westron Tengwar
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies", PHOR-