The Riddle of Strider

Literary Tattoos: The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien Elvish All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter

This tattoo belongs to Patrick Kern.

This tattoo is taken from the first two lines of J.R.R Tolkien’s poem “The Riddle of Strider“. The lines are in Sindarin Tengwar, and they read “All that is gold does not glitter; Not all who wander are lost“. The poem describes the character of Aragorn, and his rise from an unknown Dunedein Ranger of the north, to the High King of Gondor (Thus, the crowned White Tree of Gondor in the center.)

Tengwar

Literary Tattoos: The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien Elvish

This tattoo belongs to Leni from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

This is my dad’s name written in Tengwar, the elvish alphabet. I got it done last year, as it was the 5th anniversary of his passing away. I don’t know whether my dad actually read The Lord of the Rings or not, but to me it represents my passion for literature, as it was one of the first “grown up” books I’ve ever read. And if there’s something I’ll always thank my dad for, it’s that he made me love books since I was a small kid. I miss him a lot, but everytime I look at the bookshelves at home I realise that they’re so full of memories there’s no way to separate us, he’ll always be by my side.

Wandering Feet

Literary Tattoos: The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien Elvish All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter

This is Alicia’s.

I picked this quote because even though I’ll be a senior in college, I still don’t know what I want to do in life and this is a reminder that no matter where I go or what I do, I have a purpose. I may be wandering a while before I find exactly what I need but in the meantime I will enjoy the journey.

Literary Tattoos: The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien Elvish All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter

This is Bree’s.

My favorite part of my tattoo is that it is written in Tengwar. The language is still English, but the script looks like Elvish.

Literary Tattoos: The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien Elvish All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter

This one belongs to Dani Rage.

Literary Tattoos: The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien Elvish All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter

This belongs to Lindis from Scotland.

I had the period added because for me the statement is something final. I got the tattoo to show that even though I do not really know where I want to end up, my Masters is a step in the right direction and I am not lost :) I wanted a typewriter font, because it feels more like an imprint on myself that way.. and it looks kickass :D And of course the location on the foot is pretty self-explanatory.

Literary Tattoos: The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien Elvish All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter

This is Mandie‘s.

My tattoo is a rough Korean translation of “Not all who wander are lost” (J.R.R. Tolkien). I spent a semester studying in South Korea, and I’m actually moving back there for a job in a few weeks. Through that trip, I fell in love with both traveling and the country, and I wanted something to commemorate both. A lot of people don’t understand why I’m moving out of the U.S., to South Korea of all places (because of the political stuff going on there), so this kind of sums it up. The music note symbol underneath is actually the logo of the school I studied at when I was there last time.

Literary Tattoos: The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien Elvish All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter

This is Skyler’s.

I got this, my first tattoo for my 18th birthday. To me, it means being an individual. Everyone in life does not have to go down the same paths or make the same “turns” so to speak. Sometimes, if the path that you are on in life is not taking you where you want to go, it is OK to just wander around until you find a path that fits you. Not fitting in, or being “different” than everyone else does not mean you are lost, it just means that you might not have found your right path in life yet, but you are having fun while you for the one that fits you.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

- All that is gold does not glitter by J.R.R. Tolkien, from the The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Dream in Tengwar

Literary Tattoos: J. R. R. Tolkien Elvish

This is Courtney‘s tattoo, which reads “Dream” in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Tengwar script.

I was raised on all of his books and they were the ones that first taught me out to dream big and dream wildly, but also to never stop dreaming those things. I think that a small part of me was always able to retain some of my childhood because of his writing. It seemed only fitting to write it on me somewhere.

In Memory of Star

Literary Tattoos: The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien Elvish

Jim Genzano explains his tattoo:

The tattoo says “Elendil,” the name of a character from J.R.R. Tolkien‘s Lord of the Rings, written in Tolkien‘s Tengwar script.  In the Elvish language Quenya, the name means “elf friend” or “star lover.” Elendil’s name written in this fashion was often used as his badge and a device on his seals.  I got the tattoo – my first – as a memorial tattoo after the death of my friend Star.  I liked the “star” connection, and also Tolkien‘s Lord of the Rings had a huge effect on me growing up and is still my favorite series of novels.  Star was also a fan.