The Fellowship of the Ring

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We cannot use the Ruling Ring. That we now know too well. It belongs to Sauron and was made by him alone, and is altogether evil.
For quotes from the movie adaptations, see The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.

The Fellowship of the Ring (1954); first of three volumes in The Lord of the Rings books by J. R. R. Tolkien. It contains Book I: The Ring Sets Out and Book II: The Ring Goes South.

Book I

A Long-expected Party

  • 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.
  • 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 path and errands meet.
    And whither then? I cannot say

The Shadow of the Past

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
  • Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
    Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
    Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
    One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
    In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
    One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

    In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
    • In the story this is a translation of a verse in the Black Speech.
  • '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.'
  • What a pity that Bilbo did not stab that vile creature, when he had a chance!'
    'Pity? It was Pity that stayed his hand. Pity, and Mercy: not to strike without need. And he has been well rewarded, Frodo. Be sure that he took so little hurt from the evil, and escaped in the end, because he began his ownership of the Ring so. With Pity.'
  • 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.
  • You say the ring is dangerous, far more dangerous than I guess. In what way?
    In many ways. It is far more powerful than I ever dared to think at first, so powerful that in the end it would utterly overcome anyone of mortal race who possessed it. It would possess him.

Three is Company

  • He often used to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: it's springs were at every doorstep and every path was it's 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 telling where you might be swept off to."
  • Still round the corner there may wait
    A new road or a secret gate,
    And though we pass them by today,
    Tomorrow we may come this way
    And take the hidden paths that run
    Towards the Moon or to the Sun.
  • Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.

A Short Cut to Mushrooms

  • 'They seem a bit above my likes and dislikes, so to speak,' answered Sam slowly. 'It don't seem to matter what I think about them. They are quite different from what I expected — so old and young, and so gay and sad, as it were.'
    • Sam speaking of the Elves.

In the House of Tom Bombadil

  • 'Eldest, that's what I am. Mark my words, my friends: Tom was here before the river and the trees; Tom remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn. He made paths before the Big People, and saw the Little People arriving. He was here before the Kings and the graves and the Barrow-wights. When the Elves passed westward, Tom was here already, before the seas were bent. He knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless - before the Dark Lord came from Outside.'

Fog on the Barrow-Downs

  • There is a seed of courage hidden (often deeply, it is true) in the heart of the fattest and most timid hobbit, waiting for some final and desperate danger to make it grow.
  • Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow,
    Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow.
    None has ever caught him yet, for Tom, he is the master:
    His songs are stronger songs, and his feet are faster.

Strider

  • 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.

A Knife in the Dark

  • Gil-galad was an Elven-king.
    Of him the harpers sadly sing:
    the last whose realm was fair and free
    between the Mountains and the Sea.


Book II

Many Meetings

  • He is not half through yet, and to what he will come in the end not even Elrond can foretell. Not to evil, I think. He may become like a glass filled with a clear light for eyes to see that can.
  • I am sorry: sorry you have come in for this burden: sorry about everything. Don't adventures ever have an end? I suppose not. Someone else always has to carry on the story.

The Council of Elrond

  • Seek for the Sword that was broken:
    In Imladris it dwells;
    There shall be counsels taken
    Stronger than Morgul-spells.
    There shall be shown a token
    That Doom is near at hand,
    For Isildur's Bane shall waken,
    And the Halfling forth shall stand.
  • Many evil things there are that your strong walls and bright swords do not stay. You know little of the lands beyond your bounds. Peace and freedom, do you say? The North would have known them little but for us.
  • And yet less thanks have we than you. Travellers scowl at us, and countrymen give us scornful names. 'Strider' I am to one fat man who lives within a day's march of foes that would freeze his heart or lay his little town in ruin, if he were not guarded ceaselessly. Yet we would not have it otherwise. If simple folk are free from care and fear, simple they will be, and we must be kept secret to keep them so.
  • He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.
  • It is perilous to study too deeply the arts of the Enemy, for good or for ill. But such falls and betrayals, alas, have happened before.
  • I think that in the end, if all else is conquered, Bombadil will fall, Last as he was First; and then Night will come.
  • It is not our part here to take thought only for a season, or for a few lives of Men, or for a passing age of the world. We should seek a final end of this menace, even if we do not hope to make one.
  • We must take a hard road, a road unforeseen. There lies our hope, if hope it be. To walk into peril — to Mordor. We must send the Ring to the Fire.
  • We cannot use the Ruling Ring. That we now know too well. It belongs to Sauron and was made by him alone, and is altogether evil. Its strength, Boromir, is too great for anyone to wield at will, save only those who have already a great power of their own. But for them it holds an even deadlier peril. The very desire of it corrupts the heart.
If any of the Wise should with this Ring overthrow the Lord of Mordor, using his own arts, he would then set himself on Sauron's throne, and yet another Dark Lord would appear...
  • If any of the Wise should with this Ring overthrow the Lord of Mordor, using his own arts, he would then set himself on Sauron's throne, and yet another Dark Lord would appear. And that is another reason why the Ring should be destroyed: as long as it is in the world it will be a danger even to the Wise. For nothing is evil in the beginning. Even Sauron was not so. I fear to take the Ring to hide it. I will not take the Ring to wield it.
  • Despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.
  • Let folly be our cloak, a veil before the eyes of the Enemy! For he is very wise, and weighs all things to a nicety in the scales of his malice. But the only measure that he knows is desire, desire for power; and so he judges all hearts. Into his heart the thought will not enter that any will refuse it, that having the Ring we may seek to destroy it. If we seek this, we shall put him out of reckoning.
  • Such 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.
  • I had thought of putting: and he lived happily ever afterwards to the end of his days. It is a good ending, and none the worse for having been used before. Now I shall have to alter that: it does not look like coming true.
  • 'I will take the Ring,' [Frodo] said, 'though I do not know the way.'
  • This is the hour of the Shire-folk, when they arise from their quiet fields to shake the towers and counsels of the Great. Who of all the Wise could have foreseen it? Or, if they are wise, why should they expect to know it, until the hour has struck?

The Ring Goes South

  • 'Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens,' said Gimli.
    'Maybe,' said Elrond, 'but let him not vow to walk in the dark, who has not seen the nightfall.'
    'Yet sworn word may strengthen quaking heart,' said Gimli.
    'Or break it,' said Elrond.

The Bridge of Khazad-dûm

  • But even as [the Balrog] fell it swung its whip, and the thongs lashed and curled about the wizard's knees, gragging him to the brink. He staggered and fell, grasped vainly at the stone, and slid into the abyss. 'Fly, you fools!' he cried, and was gone.

Lothlórien

  • In nothing is the power of the Dark Lord more clearly shown than in the estrangement that divides all those who still oppose him.
  • 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.
  • I thought that Elves were all for moon and stars: but this is more elvish than anything I ever heard tell of. I feel as if I was inside a song, if you take my meaning.

The Mirror of Galadriel

  • 'Speak no evil of the Lady Galadriel! ' said Aragorn sternly. 'You know not what you say. There is in her and in this land no evil, unless a man bring it hither himself.'
  • It's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish.
  • And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!
    • Galadriel
  • 'I pass the test,' Galadriel said. 'I will diminish, and go into the West and remain Galadriel.'

Farewell to Lórien

  • Do not despise the lore that has come down from distant years; for oft it may chance that old wives keep in memory word of things that once were needful for the wise to know.
  • I do not foretell, for all foretelling is now vain: on the one hand lies darkness, and on the other only hope. But if hope should not fail, then I say to you, Gimli son of Glóin, that your hands shall flow with gold, and yet over you gold shall have no dominion.
  • 'Tell me, Legolas, why did I come on this Quest? Little did I know where the chief peril lay! Truly Elrond spoke, saying that we could not foresee what we might meet upon our road. Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would have never come, had I known the danger of light and joy.'
  • 'Memory is not what the heart desires. That is only a mirror, be it clear as Kheled-zâram. Or so says the heart of Gimli the Dwarf. Elves may see things otherwise. Indeed I have heard that for them memory is more like to the waking world than to a dream. Not so for Dwarves.'

The Great River

  • 'Time does not tarry ever,' he said; 'but change and growth is not in all things and places alike. For the Elves the world moves, and it moves both very swift and very slow. Swift, because they themselves change little, and all else fleets by: it is a grief to them. Slow, because they do not count the running years, not for themselves.

The Breaking of the Fellowship

  • It is no good trying to escape you. But I'm glad, Sam. I cannot tell you how glad. Come along! It is plain that we were meant to go together. We will go, and may the others find a safe road!

See also

External links

The first volume of Tolkien's greatly acclaimed epic was first published July 29, 1954, the second on November 11 of the same year, and the final volume on October 20, 1955. They have inspired generations of readers ever since, and millions of new admirers are growing acquainted with the story because of the very popular motion picture adaptations directed by Peter Jackson.
These selections of quotations are designed to give but a taste of the what many hail as the magnificence of the tale, and some of the striking language employed within it.
Like many great books it is a work that many read many times for the beauty of its language and its themes, and these quotations are intended to provide a rich sampling as to why, without providing too extensive an indication of the plot of the story itself — and also to provide those who have read it with a collection of small reminders of what makes it so memorable. Like all the greatest literature it is full of both triumphs and tragedies, with complex connections and associations that do not always become apparent on the first reading, nor even with many readings thereafter. To emphasize the fair use nature of these quotations this footnote and links to the official publishers of the books occur on all the pages for quotations from The Lord of the Rings.

External links

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