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Top 50 Best Inspiring J.R.R. Tolkien Quotes

J.R.R. Tolkien Quotes: John Ronald Reuel Tolkien CBE FRSL was an English writer, poet, philologist, and academic, best known as the author of the high fantasy works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. We hope you enjoy our list of J.R.R Tolkien Quotes.

Common Questions About J.R.R. Tolkien

How long did it take Tolkien to write Lord of the Rings?

12 years

Why did Tolkien create Middle Earth?

His goal was to populate his mythology with stories that would explain many old words that had come down to modern use without explanation.

Our Favorite J.R.R. Tolkien Quotes

“Not all those who wander are lost.”

“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.”

“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.”

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

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

“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.”

“Never laugh at live dragons.”

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

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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, Pursuing it with eager feet, Until it joins some larger way Where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say”

“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?”

“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.”

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“Still round the corner there may wait A new road or a secret gate And though I oft have passed them by A day will come at last when I Shall take the hidden paths that run West of the Moon, East of the Sun.”

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

“Courage is found in unlikely places.”

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

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

“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.”

“What do you fear, lady?" [Aragorn] asked. "A cage," [Éowyn] said. "To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.”

“Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Where there's life there's hope.”

“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.”

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

“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.”

“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?”

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

“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.”

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

“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.”

“Short cuts make long delays.”

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

“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.”

“Oft hope is born when all is forlorn.”

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

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

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

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

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

“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.”

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

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

“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.”

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