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J.R.R. Tolkien Quotes

68 of the best book quotes from J.R.R. Tolkien
  1. #1
    “And then her heart changed, or at least she understood it; and the winter passed, and the sun shone upon her.”
  2. #2
    “I was talking aloud to myself. A habit of the old: they choose the wisest person present to speak to.”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Two Towers
    character
    Gandalf
    concept
    Humor
  3. #3
    “His grief he will not forget; but it will not darken his heart, it will teach him wisdom.”
  4. #4
    “All’s well that ends better.”
  5. #5
    It is not our part here to take thought only for a season, or for a few lives of Men, or for a passing age of the world. We should seek a final end of this menace, even if we do not hope to make one.
  6. #6
    “You are wise and powerful. Will you not take the Ring?”
    “No!” cried Gandalf, springing to his feet. “With that power I should have power too great and terrible. And over me the Ring would gain a power still greater and more deadly.” His eyes flashed and his face was lit as by a fire within. “Do not tempt me! For I do not wish to become like the Dark Lord himself. Yet the way of the Ring to my heart is by pity, pity for weakness and the desire of strength to do good. Do not tempt me! I dare not take it, not even to keep it safe, unused. The wish to wield it would be too great for my strength. I shall have such need of it. Great perils lie before me.”
  7. #7
    “What a pity that Bilbo did not stab that vile creature, when he had a chance!”
    “Pity? It was Pity that stayed his hand. Pity, and Mercy: not to strike without need. And he has been well rewarded, Frodo. Be sure that he took so little hurt from the evil, and escaped in the end, because he began his ownership of the Ring so. With Pity.”
  8. #8
    The treacherous are ever distrustful.
  9. #9
    Then darkness took me, and I strayed out of thought and time, and I wandered far on roads that I will not tell. Naked I was sent back – for a brief time, until my task is done.
  10. #10
    “Not all those who wander are lost.”
  11. #11
    It is a comfort not to be mistaken at all points. Do I not know it only too well!
  12. #12
    “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.”
  13. #13
    “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.”
  14. #14
    “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.”
  15. #15
    “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Hobbit
    character
    Thorin
    concepts
    Being HappyFood
  16. #16
    “Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”
  17. #17
    “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.”
  18. #18
    “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.”
  19. #19
    “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.”
  20. #20
    “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.”
  21. #21
    “Courage is found in unlikely places.”
  22. #22
    “It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.”
  23. #23
    To me it would not seem that a Steward who faithfully surrenders his charge is diminished in love or in honour.
  24. #24
    With a terrible cry the Balrog fell forward, and its shadow plunged down and vanished. But even as it fell it swung its whip, and the thongs lashed and curled about the wizard’s knees, dragging him to the brink. He staggered and fell, grasped vainly at the stone, and slid into the abyss. ‘Fly, you fools!’ he cried, and was gone.
  25. #25
    “May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”
  26. #26
    “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.”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Hobbit
    character
    Thorin
    concept
    Life
  27. #27
    Let folly be our cloak, a veil before the eyes of the Enemy! For he is very wise, and weighs all things to a nicety in the scales of his malice. But the only measure that he knows is desire, desire for power; and so he judges all hearts. Into his heart the thought will not enter that any will refuse it, that having the Ring we may seek to destroy it. If we seek this, we shall put him out of reckoning.
  28. #28
    “I am with you at present,” said Gandalf, “but soon I shall not be. I am not coming to the Shire. You must settle its affairs yourselves; that is what you have been trained for. Do you not yet understand? My time is over: it is no longer my task to set things to rights, nor to help folk to do so. And as for you, my dear friends, you will need no help. You are grown up now. Grown indeed very high; among the great you are, and I have no longer any fear at all for any of you.”
  29. #29
    “May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks.”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Hobbit
    character
    Gandalf
    concept
    Life
  30. #30
    “Where there’s life there’s hope.”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Hobbit
    concept
    Life
  31. #31
    “I warn you, if you bore me, I shall take my revenge.”
  32. #32
    “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.”
  33. #33
    “Oft hope is born when all is forlorn.”
  34. #34
    “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”
  35. #35
    “Never laugh at live dragons...”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Hobbit
    character
    Bilbo
    concept
    Humor
  36. #36
    “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.”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Hobbit
    character
    Bilbo
    concept
    Courage
  37. #37
    “Short cuts make long delays.”
  38. #38
    “A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a short cut to meet it.”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Children of Húrin
    character
    Sador
    concept
    Fear
  39. #39
    ″‘The Eagles! The Eagles!’ he shouted. ‘The Eagles are coming!‘”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Hobbit
    character
    Bilbo
    concept
    Birds
  40. #40
    ″‘What have I got in my pocket?’ he said aloud. He was talking to himself, but Gollum thought it was a riddle, and he was frightfully upset.”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Hobbit
    characters
    GollumBilbo
  41. #41
    “Farewell, King under the Mountain! This is a bitter adventure, if it must end so; and not a mountain of gold can amend it. Yet I am glad that I have shared in your perils – that has been more than any Baggins deserves.”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Hobbit
    character
    Bilbo
    concept
    Adventures
  42. #42
    “Deep is the abyss that is spanned by Durin’s Bridge, and none has measured it,” said Gimli.
    “Yet it has a bottom, beyond light and knowledge,” said Gandalf.
  43. #43
    “Sorry! I don’t want any adventures, thank you. Not Today. Good morning! But please come to tea – any time you like! Why not tomorrow? Good bye!”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Hobbit
    character
    Bilbo
    concept
    Adventures
  44. #44
    “In this hour, I do not believe that any darkness will endure.”
  45. #45
    “We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can’t think what anybody sees in them.”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Hobbit
    character
    Bilbo
    concept
    Adventures
  46. #46
    “Victory after all, I suppose! Well, it seems a very gloomy business.”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Hobbit
    character
    Bilbo
    concept
    Success
  47. #47
    “So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their ending!”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Hobbit
    character
    Bilbo
    concept
    Endings
  48. #48
    “All that is gold does not glitter,
    Not all those who wander are lost.”
  49. #49
    “I came from the end of bag, but no bag went over me. I am the friend of bears and the guest of eagles. I am Ring-winner and Luckwearer; and I am Barrel-rider.”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Hobbit
    character
    Bilbo
    concept
    Identity
  50. #50
    ″‘I will give you a name,’ he said to it, ‘and I shall call you Sting.‘”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Hobbit
    character
    Bilbo
    concept
    Names
  51. #51
    ″‘Very well!’ said Bilbo very downcast, and also rather annoyed. ‘Come along back to your nice cells, and I will lock you all in again, and you can sit there comfortably and think of a better plan-but I don’t suppose I shall ever get hold of the keys again, even if I feel inclined to try.‘”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Hobbit
    character
    Bilbo
    concepts
    AnnoyedPlans
  52. #52
    “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?”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Hobbit
    character
    Gandalf
    concept
    Humor
  53. #53
    ″‘If ever you are passing my way,’ said Bilbo, ‘don’t wait to knock! Tea is at four; but any of you are welcome at any time!‘”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Hobbit
    character
    Bilbo
    concept
    Friendship
  54. #54
    “Then Bilbo fled [with the cup]. But the dragon did not wake – not yet – but shifted into other dreams of greed and violence, lying there in his stolen hall while the little hobbit toiled back up the long tunnel. His heart was beating and a more fevered shaking was in his legs than when he was going down, but still he clutched the cup, and his chief thought was: ‘I’ve done it! This will show them. ‘More like a grocer than a burglar’ indeed! Well, we’ll hear no more of that.‘”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Hobbit
    character
    Bilbo
    concepts
    IdentitySuccess
  55. #55
    “The Road goes ever on and on
    Down from the door where it began,
    Now far ahead the Road has gone,
    And I must follow, if I can.”
  56. #56
    He is in great fear, not knowing what mighty one may suddenly appear, wielding the Ring, and assailing him with war, seeking to cast him down and take his place. That we should wish to cast him down and have no one in his place is not a thought that occurs to his mind. That we should try to destroy the Ring itself has not yet entered into his darkest dream.
  57. #57
    “The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out.”
  58. #58
    “Bother burgling and everything to do with it! I wish I was at home in my nice hole by the fire, with the kettle just beginning to sing!”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Hobbit
    character
    Bilbo
    concept
    Home
  59. #59
    “I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.”
  60. #60
    “You cannot pass,” he said. The orcs stood still, and a dead silence fell. “I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass.”
  61. #61
    ″‘It will not be long now,’ thought Bilbo, ‘before the goblins win the Gate, and we are all slaughtered or driven down and captured. Really it is enough to make one weep, after all one has gone through. I would rather old Smaug had been left with all the wretched treasure, than that these vile creatures should get it, and poor old Bombur, and Balin and Fili and Kili and all the rest come to a bad end; and Bard too, and the Lake-men and the merry elves. Misery me! I have heard songs of many battles, and I have always understood that defeat may be glorious. It seems very uncomfortable, not to say distressing. I wish I was well out of it.‘”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Hobbit
    character
    Bilbo
    concepts
    WarSuccess
  62. #62
    “It is useless to meet revenge with revenge; it will heal nothing.”
  63. #63
    ″‘I am old, Gandalf. I don’t look it, but I am beginning to feel it in my heart of hearts. Well-preserved indeed!’ he snorted. ‘Why, I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread. That can’t be right. I need a change, or something.‘”
  64. #64
    “I beg of you,” said Bilbo stammering and standing on one foot, “to accept this gift!” and he brought out a necklace of silver and pearls that Dain had given him at their parting.
    “In what way have I earned such a gift, O hobbit?” said the king.
    “Well, er, I thought, don’t you know,” said Bilbo rather confused, “that, er, some little return should be made for your, er, hospitality. I mean even a burglar has his feelings. I have drunk much of your wine and eaten much of your bread.”
    “I will take your gift, O Bilbo the Magnificent,” said the king gravely.
  65. #65
    “All the same, I should like it all plain and clear,” said [Bilbo] obstinately, putting on his business manner (usually reserved for people who tried to borrow money off him), and doing his best to appear wise and prudent and professional and live up to Gandalf’s recommendation. “Also I should like to know about risks, out-of-pocket expenses, time required and remuneration, and so forth” – by which he meant: “What am I going to get out of it? and am I going to come back alive?”
    author
    Tolkien
    book
    The Hobbit
    character
    Bilbo
    concept
    Business
  66. #66
    “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.”
  67. #67
    “Deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised.”
  68. #68
    “It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.”
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