Today is Tolkien Reading Day, and as promised, we’re sharing quotes from the author and his work.
Being the prolific writer that he was, Tolkien wrote so many “quotable quotes”, so we tracked down some of the best and most inspiring ones. Life lessons from Tolkien, I guess you can say that, via quotes.
Some of these quotes are from the author himself, others are from his characters. (Although if you think about it, they all are Tolkien’s.)
This first bunch is courtesy of @TolkienQuote on Twitter.
1. When you’re groping in the dark…
— J. R. R. Tolkien (@TolkienQuote) January 1, 2015
2. Fantasy is necessary for life. Period.
“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape?” #Tolkien
— J. R. R. Tolkien (@TolkienQuote) November 30, 2013
“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?”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
3. Perhaps his most popular quote:
Not all those who wander are lost – Tolkien pic.twitter.com/CbgygGOOTT
— J. R. R. Tolkien (@TolkienQuote) February 26, 2013
Here’s the more complete version. “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.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
4. On facing our fears
“A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a short cut to meet it.” #Tolkien
— J. R. R. Tolkien (@TolkienQuote) February 12, 2013
5. Thorin Oakenshield on what we ought to value
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” – Thorin Oakenshield
6. “Fear both the heat and the cold of your heart, and try to have patience, if you can.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth
Whatever the context, this quote can be applied. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it all boils down to moderation?
7. On cynicism and understanding others
“For myself, I find I become less cynical rather than more – remembering my own sins and follies; and realize that men’s hearts are not often as bad as their acts, and very seldom as bad as their words.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
8. On kindness
9. On dreams and reality
10. All we have to decide
So these are the best Tolkien quotes in our book, quotes which everyone will be better off if they were to be followed.
What Tolkien quotes inspire you the most?