HASA Resources

Things of Middle-earth

Scroll of Isildur

Type: Books & Scrolls

Description:

A document found in the archives of Minas Tirith, written by Isildur and describing the One Ring:
'[There] lies in Minas Tirith still, unread, I guess, by any save Saruman and myself since the kings failed, a scroll that Isildur made himself....

'[This] scroll concerns the Ring, and thus wrote Isildur therein:

The Great Ring shall go now to be an heirloom of the North Kingdom; but records of it shall be left in Gondor, where also dwell the heirs of Elendil, lest a time come when the memory of these great matters shall grow dim.

'And after these words Isildur described the Ring, such as he found it.

It was hot when I first took it, hot as a glede,1 and my hand was scorched, so that I doubt if ever again I shall be free of the pain of it. Yet even as I write it is cooled, and it seemeth to shrink, though it loseth neither its beauty nor its shape. Already the writing upon it, which at first was as clear as red flame, fadeth and is now only barely to be read. It is fashioned in an elven-script of Eregion, for they have no letters in Mordor for such subtle work; but the language is unknown to me. I deem it to be a tongue of the Black Land, since it is foul and uncouth. What evil it saith I do not know; but I trace here a copy of it, lest it fade beyond recall.

Ring Inscription.

The Ring misseth, maybe, the heat of Sauron's hand, which was black and yet burned like fire, and so Gil-galad was destroyed; and maybe were the gold made hot again, the writing would be refreshed. But for my part I will risk no hurt to this thing: of all the works of Sauron the only fair. It is precious to me, though I buy it with great pain.

'When I read these words, my quest was ended. For the traced writing was indeed as Isildur guessed, in the tongue of Mordor.... And what was said therein was already known. For in the day that Sauron first put on the One, Celebrimbor, maker of the Three, was aware of him, and from afar he heard him speak these words, and so his evil purposes were revealed.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 2, The Council of Elrond


Notes
1glede — An archaic word meaning 'live coal', commonly spelt gleed.

The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, by Wayne G Hammond and Christina Scull, Book 2, Ch 2, The Council of Elrond

Contributors:
Still Anonymous, 13Mar04
Elena Tiriel 11Jan11

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