Let us learn Runes!

One day, I was in a bookshop at Orchard Rd, leafing through a picture book about the recent movie “Thor”, and I came across an interesting picture.

If you had watched the movie, then you would know that the device on the pedestal is the icy energy power source of the Frost Giants of Jotunheim, taken by Odin to Asgard as spoils of war ages ago. Not sure whether the device was mentioned by name in the movie. But what more intrigued me was the inscription on the pedestal, which was in Runic, the alphabet of the ancient Scandinavian people.

Curiosity got the better of me, so I searched for info on the Runic alphabet on Wikipedia, in an attempt to find out what was inscribed on the pedestal. Several variants of Runic exist, but I think the version used here is that called the “Elder Futhark”.

The 24 runes of Elder Futhark, with each rune corresponding to the alphabet on its right. Note that multiple equivalent runes exist for “h”, “s”, and “ŋ” (called ‘ing’).

With this knowledge, I was finally able to decipher the inscriptions:
20111028_ankient_wintersas “ankient winters”, or “ancient winters” with the rune for “k” standing in for “c”. A search for the phrase “ancient winters” on the internet led to a reference to “The Casket of Ancient Winters”, which was a icy power source mentioned in Marvel’s “Thor” comics. Obviously, the writers of the movie had used this as a plot device for the story, and somewhere along the way the set designers had inscribed the device name onto the pedestal, in runes!

Now that you know Runic, you can create your own messages in runes, or better still, have fun testing your deciphering skills over here, at a gallery of artifacts from Odin’s vault which you may have missed in “Thor”.


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