Top 50+ Tolkien Quotes

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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, known as JRR Tolkien, the English writer and academic was born on the 3rd January 1892 in modern day South Africa. His childhood inspired many of his books, with a passion for language, exploring the places he lived and many of these locations featured in his books.

When the war broke out in 1914, Tolkien completed his degree and then on the 2nd June 1916, he was summoned to his posting in France, boarding a transport ship on the 5th June, headed for Calais. It was during these tedious and boring times of waiting that he began to write poetry and stories. On 27th October 1916, during the battle of the Somme, he contracted trench fever and was sent back to England in November of that year, effectively ending his involvement in the war due to continued ill health and during his recovery, he began to attempt writing his fantasy novels.

Tolkien is often viewed as the father of modern fantasy due to the popularity of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, as well as his other works of poetry, essays and stories, which were all interconnected. Tolkien was a professor at Oxford and appointed the CBA in 1972.

His stories have inspired generations and this selection of quotes will trigger the imagination of anyone who reads them.

1. “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

2. “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”

3. “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

4. “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

5. “Never laugh at live dragons.”

6. “Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”

7. “The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”

8. “Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”

9. “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

10. “I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.”

11. “Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”

12. “Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”

13. “War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”

14. “And he took her in his arms and kissed her under the sunlit sky, and he cared not that they stood high upon the walls in the sight of many.”

15. “I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.”

16. “Courage is found in unlikely places.”

17. “May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”

18. “It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.”

19. “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”

20. “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

21. “Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.”

22. “A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a short cut to meet it.”

23. “It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”

24. “So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings.”

25. “May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks.

26. “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.”

27. “Where there’s life there’s hope.”

28. “For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”

29. “I warn you, if you bore me, I shall take my revenge.”

30. “You can only come to the morning through the shadows.”

31. “We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming ‘sub-creator’ and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic ‘progress’ leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.”

32. “Roads Go Ever On

33. “I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which ‘Escape’ is now so often used. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?”

34. “Short cuts make long delays.”

35. “It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass.”

36. “All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost.”

37. “But I have been too deeply hurt, Sam. I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them.”

38. “In this hour, I do not believe that any darkness will endure.”

39. “The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out.”

40. “In sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold! we are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory.”

41. “Oft hope is born when all is forlorn.”

42. “It is not the strength of the body that counts, but the strength of the spirit.”

43. “PIPPIN: I didn’t think it would end this way.

44. “He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.”

45. “If by my life or death I can protect you, I will. ”

46. “The world is full enough of hurts and mischances without wars to multiply them.”

47. “It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.”

48. “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”

49. “There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

50. “I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone.’

51. I should think so — in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!”

52. “Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.”

53. “You have nice manners for a thief and a liar,” said the dragon.”

54. “Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”

55. “Don’t go where I can’t follow!”

56. “It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.”

57. “Fairy tale does not deny the existence of sorrow and failure: the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance. It denies (in the face of much evidence, if you will) universal final defeat…giving a fleeting glimpse of Joy; Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief.”

58. “In one thing you have not changed, dear friend,” said Aragorn: “you still speak in riddles.”

59. “What? In riddles?” said Gandalf. “No! For I was talking aloud to myself. A habit of the old: they choose the wisest person present to speak to; the long explanations needed by the young are wearying.”

60. “But it does not seem that I can trust anyone,’ said Frodo.

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