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Welcome to our collection of quotes by J. R. R. Tolkien.

Wikipedia Summary for J. R. R. Tolkien

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) 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.

He served as the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford from 1925 to 1945 and the Merton Professor of English Language and Literature and Fellow of Merton College, Oxford from 1945 to 1959. He was a close friend of C. S. Lewis, a co-member of the informal literary discussion group The Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972.

After Tolkien's death, his son Christopher published a series of works based on his father's extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essays about a fantasy world called Arda and, within it, Middle-earth. Between 1951 and 1955, Tolkien applied the term legendarium to the larger part of these writings.

While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre. This has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the "father" of modern fantasy literature—or, more precisely, of high fantasy.

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Out of the frying pan and into the fire.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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Handsome is as handsome does.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
photo of author J. R. R. Tolkien with quote

A new day will come and when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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What punishments of God are not gifts?

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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'I wish life was not so short,' he thought. 'Languages take such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about.'

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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He Bilbo fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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Slight changes simply make a blur.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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Ultimately we've only got humanity to work with.  It's only clay we've got.

--J.R.R. Tolkien

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On their deathbed men will speak true, they say.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
man holding stick statue during daytime

Wars are not favourable to delicate pleasures.

--J.R.R. Tolkien

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Speak politely to an enraged dragon.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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You ought not to be rude to an eagle, when you are only the size of a hobbit, and are up in hid eyrie at night!

--J.R.R. Tolkien

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Fire, fear, foes! Awake!

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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Please don't cook me, kind sirs! I am a good cook myself, and cook better than I cook, if you see what I mean.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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Chip the glasses and crack the plates! Blunt the knives and bend the forks! That's what Bilbo Baggins hates.

--J.R.R. Tolkien

Longer Version:

I should like to save the Shire, if I could -- though there have been times when I thought the inhabitants too stupid and dull for words, and have felt that an earthquake or an invasion of dragons might be good for them. But I don't feel like that now. I feel that as long as the Shire lies behind, safe and comfortable, I shall find wandering more bearable: I shall know that somewhere there is a firm foothold, even if my feet cannot stand there again.


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Hobbits love peace and quiet and a good tilled earth.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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We are never late. We arrive precisely when we mean to.

--J.R.R. Tolkien

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If you're going to have a complicated story, he once explained, you must work to a map; otherwise you'll never make a of it afterwards.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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Better mistrust undeserved than rash words.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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How do you move on? You move on when your heart finally understands that there is no turning back.

--J.R.R. Tolkien



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The greater part of the truth is always hidden, in regions out of the reach of cynicism.

--J.R.R. Tolkien


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The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision.

--J.R.R. Tolkien

Longer Version:

The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like 'religion', to cults or practices, in the imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism.



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I'm a Roman Catholic! A devout Roman Catholic.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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Tears unnumbered ye shall shed.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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Though thereafter we may walk in the shadows, I will not go forth as a thief in the night.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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Faithful heart may have forward tongue.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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Without the high and noble the simple and vulgar is utterly mean; and without the simple and ordinary the noble and heroic is meaningless.

--J.R.R. Tolkien





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It never does to leave a live Dragon out of the equation.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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It gives me great pleasure, a good name. I always in writing start with a name. Give me a name and it produces a story, not the other way about normally.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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The war made me poignantly aware of the beauty of the world.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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The washing-up was so dismally real that Bilbo was forced to believe the party of the night before had not been part of his bad dreams, as he had rather hoped.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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Touching your cap to the Squire may be damn bad for the Squire, but it's damn good for you.

--J.R.R. Tolkien



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He was as noble and fair in face as an elf-lord, as strong as a warrior, as wise as a wizard, as venerable as a king of dwarves, and as kind as summer.

--J.R.R. Tolkien


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Then Aragorn was abashed, for he saw the elven-light in her eyes and the wisdom of many days; yet from that hour he loved Arwen Undómiel daughter of Elrond.

--J.R.R. Tolkien

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Together we will take the road that leads into the West, And far away will find a land where both our hearts may rest.

--J.R.R. Tolkien

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'What do you fear, lady?' he asked. 'A cage,' she said.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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Where there are so many, all speech becomes a debate without end. But two together may perhaps find wisdom.

--J.R.R. Tolkien

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Above all shadows rides the sun.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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False hopes are more dangerous than fears.

--J.R.R. Tolkien






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Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else ... may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds.

--J.R.R. Tolkien



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I'll get there, if I leave everything but my bones behind, said Sam. And I'll carry Mr. Frodo up myself, if it breaks my back and heart.

--J.R.R. Tolkien

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'And what do you wish?' he said at last. 'That what should be shall be,' she answered.

--J.R.R. Tolkien

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Venice seemed incredibly lovely, elvishly lovely -- to me like a dream of Old Gondor, or Pelargir of the Numenorean Ships, before the return of the Shadow.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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But if all the fair folk take to the Havens, it will be a duller world for those who are doomed to stay.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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It is ever so with the things that Men begin: there is a frost in Spring, or a blight in Summer, and they fail of their promise.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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Where there's life there's hope, and need of vittles.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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Memory is not what the heart desires. That is only a mirror, be it clear as Kheled-zaram. Or so says the heart of Gimli the Dwarf.

--J.R.R. Tolkien

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It was a hobbit hole, and that means comfort.

--J.R.R. Tolkien




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No half-heartedness and no worldly fear must turn us aside from following the light unflinchingly.

--J.R.R. Tolkien






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I am rather tired, and no longer young enough to pillage the night to make up for the deficit of hours in the day... JRR Tolkien, Letter # 174.

--J.R.R. Tolkien
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I've always been impressed that we are here, surviving, because of the indomitable courage of quite small people against impossible odds.

--J.R.R. Tolkien

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How could such a large door be kept secret from everybody outside, apart from the dragon? Bilbo asked. He was only a little hobbit you must remember.

--J.R.R. Tolkien

We wish you a perfect day!