One of my favorite books is The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.  (It was intended to be one volume actually though most readers are used to encountering Tolkien’s masterpiece in three volumes: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King.)  I hadn’t ever heard of LOTR before The Fellowship of the Ring came out in theaters in 2001!  At the time, our Honors English teacher (God rest her soul) invited our class to our local movie theater to watch the movie with her.  And I was hooked.  I even woke my parents up when I got home that night to tell them how amazing it was!

The next day we reflected on the tale in class, and I shared how much the movie touched me.  The scene of the hobbits journeying to Rivendell in particular took my breath away.  My teacher ended up bringing me her copies of The Lord of the Rings before Christmas break to borrow.  That break I holed myself up in the living room and read and read and read.  Transported to Middle Earth and the epic story of good versus evil, an unlikely hero’s quest, the tale of men/women, dwarves, elves, hobbits, wizards, ents, orcs, trolls, and so many other creatures!  Tolkien’s tale moved and inspired me in incredible ways.

Hiking to Hobbit Beach in Florence, Oregon (August 2016)

Ever since, I’ve become a devoted Lord of the Rings fan.  Watching the movies over and again, listening to the movie soundtracks while writing sermons, playing Lord of the Rings Risk with loved ones, even listening to the BBC Radio version on long car rides back home to Ohio.  (It’s incredible by the way and was a Christmas gift from my parents.)  One of my tattoos is of The Tree of Life (Revelation 22) though it’s based off a depiction of The White Tree of Gondor.  My sister drew me a pen and ink drawing of The Fellowship of the Ring movie poster that’s framed in my church office and my brother-in-law gave me a necklace that’s the Two Trees of Valinor (Telperion and Laurelin.)  I could go on but will stop here—huge Lord of the Rings fan suffice it to say and proud of it!

Now there’s always many unread books on my shelf and re-reading books is not something I often do as there’s so many books I want to read for the first time.  And hey, I’ve listened to the BBC Radio version a time or two since reading the book in high school!  Though truth be told, it was long past time for this devoted fan to re-read The Lord of the Rings.  This go-round, I paid closer attention to some of the quotes that move me most.  The quotes that you find yourself pondering to discover a multiplicity of meanings or even how the words sound aloud.  So without further ado, here’s some of my favorite quotes from Tolkien’s masterpiece.  And always remember—not all those who wander are lost!

Quotes from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

  • Frodo began to feel restless, and the old paths seemed too well-trodden.
  • “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.”
  • “He used often to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: its springs were at every doorstep, and every path was its tributary. ‘It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,’ he used to say. ‘You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.’”
  • The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out.
  • 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.
  • There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. 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.
  • But even as hope died in Sam, or seemed to die, it was turned to a new strength. Sam’s plain hobbit-face grew stern, almost grim, as the will hardened in him, and he felt through all his limbs a thrill, as if he was turning into some creature of stone and steel that neither despair nor weariness nor endless barren miles could subdue.
  • “Then must I leave my own people, man of Gondor?” she [Eowyn] said. “And would you have your proud folk say of you: ‘There goes a lord who tamed a wild shieldmaiden of the North! Was there no woman of the race of Númenor to choose?’ “‘I would,” said Faramir. 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. And many indeed saw them and the light that shone about them as they came down from the walls and went hand in hand to the Houses of Healing.
  • “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.”
  • “Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.”