Tolkien’s world of men, elves, dwarves, wizards, hobbits, and orcs (to name but a few) has captured the imaginations ever since it was first revealed to the world some 80 years ago.
The sheer scope and scale of the world that Tolkien created – Middle Earth – is quite incredible, which is one of the reasons it has stood the test of time, but there is also great wisdom to be found among the pages of the books and in the recent movie adaptations.
Here are some of our favourite, most inspiring, and most thought-provoking quotes from the various tales.
All have their worth and each contributes to the worth of the others.
For if joyful is the fountain that rises in the sun, its springs are in the wells of sorrow unfathomable at the foundations of the Earth.
Love not too well the work of thy hands and the devices of thy heart. – Ulmo
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. – Thorin
Where there’s life there’s hope. – Bilbo
“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” – Bilbo
The road goes ever on and on. – Bilbo
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. – Thorin
The Fellowship of the Ring:
Not all those who wander are lost.
“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.”
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. – Haldir
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. – Gandalf
The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out. – Gildor
“Despair, or folly?” said Gandalf. “It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not. It is wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope.”
The road must be trod, but it will be very hard. And neither strength nor wisdom will carry us far upon it. This quest may be attempted by the weak with as much hope as the strong. Yet it is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: Small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere. – Elrond
The future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but ceased to have any power over the present. Health and hope grew strong in them, and they were content with each good day as it came, taking pleasure in every meal, and in every word and song.
For you do not yet know the strengths of your hearts, and you cannot foresee what each may meet on the road. – Elrond
It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish. – Sam
Some other great collections of quotes (article continues below):
There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for. – Sam
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. – Sam
Fair speech may hide a foul heart. – Sam
Things will go as they will; and there is no need to hurry to meet them. – Treebeard
The Return of the King:
I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil. – Gandalf
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.
Oft hope is born when all is forlorn. – Legolas
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. – Gandalf
It is useless to meet revenge with revenge; it will heal nothing. – Frodo
His grief he will not forget; but it will not darken his heart, it will teach him wisdom. – Aragorn
End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path. One that we all must take. – Gandalf
Are you a Middle Earth fan? Which is your favorite quote? Leave a comment below and let us know.