The Fellowship of the Ring: Wikis


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The Fellowship of the Ring  
1st edition
Author J. R. R. Tolkien
Country England
Language English
Genre(s) Fantasy
Publisher George Allen & Unwin[1]
Publication date July 24, 1954
Media type Print (Hardback and Paperback)
The Lord of the Rings
Volume I · Volume II · Volume III

The Fellowship of the Ring is the first of three volumes of the epic novel The Lord of the Rings by the English author J. R. R. Tolkien. It takes place in the fictional universe Middle-earth. It was originally published on July 29, 1954 in the United Kingdom. The volume consists of a Prologue "Concerning Hobbits, and other matters" followed by Book I and Book II.


Title and publication note

Tolkien conceived of The Lord of the Rings as a single volume with six sections he called "books" along with extensive appendices. The original publisher made the decision to split the work into three parts. It was also the publisher's decision to place the fifth and sixth books and the appendices into one volume under the title The Return of the King, in reference to Aragorn's assumption of the throne of Gondor. Tolkien indicated he would have preferred The War of the Ring as a title, as it gave away less of the story.

Before the decision to publish The Lord of the Rings in three volumes was made, Tolkien had hoped to publish the novel in one volume, or combined with The Silmarillion. At this stage he planned to title the individual books. The proposed title for Book I was The First Journey or The Ring Sets Out. Book II was titled The Journey of the Nine Companions or The Ring Goes South. The titles The Ring Sets Out and The Ring Goes South were used in the Millenium edition.

Plot summary

The Prologue is meant primarily to help people who have not read The Hobbit understand the events of that book, along with some other information that the author felt is relevant to set the stage for the novel.


Book I

The first chapter in the book begins quite lightly, following the tone of The Hobbit. Bilbo is celebrating his 111th (or eleventy-first, as it is called in Hobbiton) birthday on the same day that Frodo Baggins, his heir, is celebrating his 33rd birthday (his 'coming of age'). At the birthday party, Bilbo disappears after his speech, to the surprise of all. Bilbo departs from the Shire, the land of the Hobbits, for what he calls a permanent holiday. He leaves his remaining belongings including his home, Bag End and, after some persuasion by the wizard Gandalf, the Ring he had found on his adventures (with which he used to make himself invisible), to Frodo. Gandalf warns Frodo to keep the Ring secret and safe from others, and leaves on his own business.

Over the next seventeen years Gandalf visits Frodo; staying briefly before going off again. Then one spring night Gandalf arrives to alert Frodo to the darker aspects of the Ring which Bilbo had previously only used to make himself invisible: it is the One Ring of Sauron, the Dark Lord. Forged by Sauron himself, the Ring was used by him to subdue and rule Middle-earth. In the War of the Last Alliance, Sauron was defeated by the Elven King Gil-galad and Elendil, High King of Gondor and Arnor, though they themselves perished in the deed. The Ring was cut off from Sauron by Isildur, son of Elendil. Sauron was thus overthrown and he fled, and so, for many years, peace returned to Middle-earth. But the Ring itself was not destroyed: Isildur kept the Ring for himself after cutting it from Sauron. However, Isildur was slain in the Battle of the Gladden Fields and the Ring was lost in the Great River, Anduin; whereupon it came into the hands of the creature Gollum, who possessed the Ring for many years. The Ring then passed to Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit, and so passes into the hands of Frodo. Sauron had now arisen once again, and had returned to his stronghold in the land of Mordor, and was exerting all his power to find the Ring. Gandalf details the evil powers of the Ring, and its ability to influence the bearer and those near him, if it is borne for too long a time. Gandalf warns that the Ring is no longer safe in the Shire because, after some investigation of his own, Gandalf has learned from Gollum himself that Gollum had gone to Mordor, where he was captured and was tortured into revealing to Sauron that a Hobbit named Baggins from the Shire possesses the Ring. Heeding Gandalf's advice, Frodo decides that it is best to remove the Ring from the Shire. Gandalf hopes Frodo can reach the elf-haven of Rivendell, where he believes Frodo and the Ring will be safe from Sauron, at least for a while, and where those of most concern of Middle-Earth can decide the fate of the Ring. Samwise Gamgee, Frodo's gardener, is discovered listening in on the conversation. Out of loyalty to his master, Sam decides to accompany Frodo on his journey.

Over the summer Frodo makes plans to leave his home at Bag End, under the guise that he is moving to a remote region of the Shire to retire. He makes plans to "move" in the Autumn after Bilbo's and his birthday. Helping with the plans are Frodo's friends Peregrin Took (or Pippin for short), Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry), Samwise Gamgee (Sam), and Fredegar Bolger (Fatty). However, Frodo does not tell them of his true intentions to leave the Shire, nor does he tell them about the Ring.

At midsummer, Gandalf informs Frodo that he must leave on pressing business, but will return before Frodo leaves. Frodo enjoys his last few weeks at home awaiting the return of Gandalf. But as his birthday and departure approach, Gandalf is not seen or heard from. Regretfully, Frodo decides to leave without Gandalf. Merry and Fatty take the last of Frodo's possessions by cart to his new home in Crickhollow. Frodo, Sam, and Pippin go by foot using the less used roads to travel unnoticed.

On their journey the three hobbits encounter the Black Riders; Ringwraiths or the Nazgûl who serve Sauron. There are nine such Ringwraiths and are "the most terrible servants of the Dark Lord." The hobbits discover that the Nazgûl are looking for Frodo and the Ring. But with help of some Elves and Farmer Maggot they eventually reach Crickhollow on the eastern borders of the Shire. There Merry, Pippin, Sam, and Fatty reveal that they know of Frodo's plan to leave the Shire and of the existence of the Ring. Sam, Merry, and Pippin decide to leave with Frodo, while Fatty stays behind as a decoy.

The Hobbits, in hopes of eluding the Nazgûl, travel through the Old Forest and Barrow-downs, and with the assistance of Tom Bombadil, are able to reach the village of Bree, where they meet Strider, a friend of Gandalf who becomes their guide to Rivendell.

Even with Strider's help, this portion of the journey is not without further hardships. The worst of these occurs when, while at the hill of Weathertop, five of the Nazgûl attack the travellers. Frodo is stabbed by the chief of the Nazgûl (the Witch-king of Angmar), with a cursed blade. The Nazgûl are driven off for a while by Strider. Part of the knife remains inside Frodo, causing him to become increasingly ill as the journey to Rivendell continues. Strider leads the hobbits on old paths avoiding the main road. As the travellers near their destination they meet Glorfindel, a mighty Elf-Lord from Rivendell, who helps them reach the River Bruinen on the border of Rivendell. But the Nazgûl, now at their full strength of nine, spring a trap at the Ford of Bruinen. Glorfindel's horse outruns the pursuers and carries Frodo across the Ford. As the Nazgûl attempt to follow, a giant wave in the shape of charging horses appears bearing down on the Nazgûl. The flood was commanded by Elrond, the mighty Lord of Rivendell, but the shape of galloping horses was an addition of Gandalf. The Nazgûl, trapped between the rushing water and seeing Glorfindel, an Elf-Lord revealed in his wrath, are swept away by the river, as Frodo finally collapses into unconsciousness on the riverbank.

Book II

Book II opens at Rivendell in the house of Elrond. Frodo is healed by Elrond and discovers that Bilbo has been residing in Rivendell. A Council is held by Elrond and is attended by Gandalf and many others, including Frodo and Bilbo. Elrond tells the history of the One Ring of Sauron, and about the War of the Last Alliance, and how the Ring was lost to Middle-Earth for a time after the Battle of the Gladden Fields. Gandalf continues the tale, and narrates how the Ring was found by Gollum. Bilbo and Frodo narrate their own adventures about the finding of the Ring and Frodo's journey to Rivendell. Gandalf also explains why he could not accompany Frodo from the Shire. He had gone to Isengard, where the powerful wizard Saruman dwells, to seek help and counsel. Saruman was head of the White Council and the greatest of the Istari. He had long studied Sauron's arts, and the lore of the One Ring. However, Saruman has turned against them, as Gandalf finds out much to his dismay; Saruman now desires the Ring for himself. Saruman imprisons Gandalf in his tower, Orthanc, rightly suspecting that Gandalf knew where the Ring was. Gandalf, however, does not yield and manages to escape from Orthanc. He learns that Saruman is not yet in Sauron's service, and was mustering his own force of Orcs. Gandalf spreads the tidings that Saruman was now a foe, and heads towards Rivendell, knowing that he could not reach the Shire in time to accompany Frodo. In the Council of Elrond, a plan is hatched to cast the One Ring into the fires of Mount Doom in Mordor, which will destroy the Ring and end Sauron's power once and for all. Frodo is chosen to be the Ring-Bearer, and sets forth from Rivendell with eight companions: two Men, Strider (revealed to be Aragorn, Isildur's heir) and Boromir, son of the Steward of the land of Gondor; the Prince of the Silvan Elves of Mirkwood, Legolas; Frodo's old friend and powerful wizard, Gandalf; Gimli the Dwarf; and Frodo's three Hobbit companions. These Nine Walkers (called the Fellowship of the Ring) were chosen to represent all the free races of Middle-Earth and as a balance to the Nazgûl. They are also accompanied by Bill the Pony, whom Strider and the Hobbits acquired in Bree as a pack horse. Their attempt to cross the Misty Mountains is foiled by heavy snow, and they are forced to take a path under the mountains, the mines of Moria, an ancient dwarf kingdom, now full of orcs and other evil creatures. During the battle that ensues, Gandalf battles a Balrog of Morgoth, and both fall into an abyss.

The remaining eight members of the Fellowship escape from Moria and head toward the elf-haven of Lothlórien, where they are given gifts from the rulers Celeborn and Galadriel that in many cases prove useful later during the Quest. After leaving Lórien, the Ring's evil and corrupting powers begin to show. When Frodo is alone for a while to decide the future course of the Fellowship, Boromir tries to take the Ring from him. Frodo, to escape from Boromir, ends up putting on the Ring. While the rest of the Fellowship scatter to hunt for Frodo, Frodo decides that the Fellowship has to be parted, for the Ring was too evil and was setting to work within the Fellowship itself. Frodo decides to depart secretly for Mordor, but is joined by Sam and they set off together to Mordor. The Fellowship was broken.

Chapter summaries

Book I

  • I - A Long-expected Party - details Bilbo and Frodo's birthday party, ending with Bilbo leaving the Shire. The name is a reference to "An Unexpected Party," the first chapter of The Hobbit.
  • II - The Shadow of the Past - Gandalf reveals to Frodo the true nature of the Ring and that it must be taken to Mordor and destroyed. Sam, who has been listening at the window, agrees to accompany Frodo.
  • III - Three is Company - Gandalf leaves the Shire for a short trip, but promises to return. Frodo sells Bag End to further the ruse that he is broke and thus retiring to a small house at Crickhollow in the area beyond Bucklebury in Buckland. In reality, Frodo plans to leave the Shire from Buckland without it being noticed. Mysteriously, Gandalf does not return, and so Frodo, Sam and Pippin set out walking through the East Farthing of the Shire towards Buckland and encounter a Black Rider. They also meet Gildor Inglorion an elf, with other elves, who warn them to fear the Black Riders.
  • IV - A Short Cut to Mushrooms - The walking party meets Farmer Maggot, a fierce old hobbit from Frodo's childhood. Frodo finds that Maggot actually has a kind nature and also learns that the Black Riders are searching other parts of the Shire for 'Baggins.' Maggot sneaks the party to the Buckland Ferry in his waggon, where they meet up with Merry.
  • V - A Conspiracy Unmasked - At Frodo's new house at Crickhollow, Frodo wrestles with how to tell Sam, Merry, Pippin, and Fredegar 'Fatty' Bolger, about his quest, only to learn that they have known much of it all along, All the hobbits except Fredegar decide to leave the next day through the Old Forest, while Fredegar remains behind to act as a decoy and inform Gandalf of Frodo's plans. The Old Forest is rumoured to be a dangerous place, but Frodo wants to avoid the main roads at all costs in order to evade the Black Riders.
  • VI - The Old Forest - Although trying to avoid it, the hobbits are 'herded' by the trees to the River Withywindle, the "queerest part of the whole wood." The hobbits all suddenly fall asleep, lulled by the spells of Old Man Willow. Merry and Pippin are trapped inside the evil tree, but are freed by Tom Bombadil.
  • VII - In the House of Tom Bombadil - The hobbits are invited to Tom's house and meet his "pretty lady," Goldberry. Tom gives them food and lodging and tells them stories about nature and history. Interestingly, Tom is not affected by the One Ring; it can neither make him invisible, nor hide Frodo from him. Tom tells the hobbits how to safely travel the Barrow-downs without running afoul of the evil wights who haunt them.
  • VIII - Fog on the Barrow-downs - Travelling through the Barrow-downs, the hobbits are captured by a Barrow-wight, then rescued (again) by Tom Bombadil. The hobbits are given special weapons from the barrow: enchanted daggers of the Men of Westernesse that were forged to fight Sauron and his minions, including the Witch-king of Angmar.
  • IX - At the Sign of the Prancing Pony - The hobbits reach the Inn of the Prancing Pony at Bree, where Frodo uses a false name, Underhill, rather than Baggins. Still, all the hobbits behave in a naïve fashion: after supper, Merry decides to go for a stroll while the other three go to the Common Room for a drink. There Frodo meets Strider, a menacing man who seems to know much about Frodo. Then Pippin, forgetting the need for secrecy, begins a tale of Bilbo. Frodo sings a song in order to stop Pippin from talking too much. In the middle of Frodo's song, he slips and falls, and his finger 'accidentally' slips through the Ring (the Ring may be trying to reveal Frodo), causing Frodo to vanish and starting a bigger commotion among the guests than Pippin's tale would have done. Frodo escapes into a corner, where Strider tells him that several people in the Inn saw what happened. Strider uses this to persuade Frodo to agree to meet with him in Frodo's rooms. Soon after, the innkeeper, Barliman Butterbur, also requests a private audience with Frodo.
  • X - Strider - Strider, after convincing Frodo he means no harm, pledges to save the hobbits from peril if he can. Butterbur gives Frodo a letter from Gandalf, which Butterbur had failed to deliver to him at the Shire as he was asked to by Gandalf. It tells Frodo that Strider is actually Aragorn, a friend of Gandalf's and confirms that Frodo may trust Strider. Shortly afterwards Merry runs into the room, frightened, having seen people from Bree talking to some Black Riders. Strider decides that their chambers aren't safe and, after setting up decoys, has Butterbur move the hobbits to another room.
  • XI - A Knife in the Dark - In Buckland, Fredegar Bolger flees the house before the Black Riders can enter and rouses Buckland. Some Bree folk, agents of the Black Riders, attack the Inn at night, destroying the room the hobbits were supposed to stay in and scaring away all the horses in Bree, including the hobbit's ponies. The hobbits are forced to buy a scrawny pony from Bill Ferny (a spy for the Riders). With Strider, they quickly leave the town, passing through the Midgewater Marshes to reach a famous hill called Weathertop. Disaster follows when the party is attacked by five Black Riders. Frodo, succumbing to the Riders' command, puts on the Ring. He then tries to fight them off but to no avail. The Nazgûl's leader (the Witch-king of Angmar - Frodo now notices that he wears a crown), stabs Frodo with a Morgul-blade, poisoning him. Then the Riders seem to be driven off with fire by Strider. They believe, however, that they have only to wait until Frodo's wound overcomes him.
  • XII - Flight to the Ford - Strider attempts to heal Frodo with a plant called athelas which relieves Frodo's pain, but Strider knows that only Elrond, Master of Rivendell, can heal this wound. On the way, the party passes the trolls that were turned to stone in The Hobbit. They get closer to Rivendell with no sign of the Riders. Eventually, they meet the Elf-lord Glorfindel from Rivendell, who has fought the Riders before and, as a High Elf, is feared by them. Glorfindel then accompanies them to the Ford of Rivendell. When they are within sight of the Ford, the Riders close in upon the party. Frodo is forced to flee on Glorfindel's horse. Frodo tries to make a last stand at the River, but is overcome by his wound and the power of the King of the Black Riders. The Riders are almost upon him when the River rises up in a flood caused by Elrond and Gandalf and washes the Black Riders away as Frodo falls unconscious.

Book II

  • I - Many Meetings - After awakening from a sleep of four days, Frodo meets Gandalf and Bilbo again, as well as Glóin (one of the dwarves from The Hobbit), Elrond and others.
  • II - The Council of Elrond - A council is attended by many emissaries of the Free Peoples; Gandalf tells the story of his escape from Saruman; they decide that the Ring must be destroyed and Frodo offers to take it to Mordor, and Gandalf and several others agree to accompany him. During the meeting Elrond proclaims the formation of the Fellowship of the Ring.
  • III - The Ring goes South - The nine members of the Fellowship travel south through Hollin; they try to take the road over the mountain Caradhras but are forced to turn back.
  • IV - A Journey in the Dark - They travel to the gates of Moria, where they have to deal with the Watcher in the Water, an aquatic monster in the lake in front of it. Gandalf eventually opens the doors. Throughout their journey in Moria, Frodo hears strange footsteps and spots glowing eyes in the darkness. After passing through the city of Dwarrowdelf, the Fellowship reaches the tomb of Balin.
  • V - The Bridge of Khazad-dûm - Attacked by orcs in Balin's tomb, they make their way to the narrow bridge of Khazad-dûm, pursued by orcs and trolls. Before crossing the bridge, they encounter a Balrog. Gandalf holds the Balrog off, and both fall into the abyss, much to the dismay of the company.
  • VI - Lothlórien - The company meets the elves of Lórien. The elves reluctantly agree to let Gimli the dwarf pass. Aragorn takes Frodo to the hill of Cerin Amroth.
  • VII - The Mirror of Galadriel - The company meets Celeborn and Galadriel. Frodo and Sam are shown the mirror of Galadriel, in which they see several strange visions including the destruction of the Shire and the Eye of Sauron. Galadriel gives encouraging advice to Frodo and Sam.
  • VIII - Farewell to Lórien - The elves give the company cloaks, waybread and other gifts; they leave Lórien in boats, travelling down the Great River Anduin.
  • IX - The Great River - While travelling, the Fellowship notices Gollum following them along the river on a log; as the group travels, they must come to grips with several choices: they can either cross the east bank of the river and continue on the road towards Mordor, or they can go towards Gondor, and help fight off Mordor's forces. The third choice is the breaking of the Fellowship.
  • X - The Breaking of the Fellowship - The company arrives at Parth Galen; they still face the various paths before them. The choice is given to Frodo, who thinks it over alone. Alone, that is until Boromir arrives, and attempts to convince Frodo to go towards Gondor. When that fails, he tries to take the Ring from Frodo, who puts it on to escape him. When Frodo does not arrive back at camp, and Boromir reveals what has happened, other members of the company scatter in an attempt to find the Ringbearer. Frodo and Sam go across the river and head towards Mordor alone. they both take off together in the land of shadows.

Members of the Fellowship of the Ring

Member Race
Frodo Baggins Hobbit Heir of Bilbo and Ring-Bearer. He is 50 years old as he leaves on his quest to Rivendell.
Samwise Gamgee (Sam) Hobbit Frodo's gardener, he was a loyal companion throughout the journey.
Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry) Hobbit The son of the Master of Buckland, he is cousin to both Pippin and Frodo.
Peregrin Took (Pippin) Hobbit The son of the Thain in Tookland, he is the youngest member of the group and cousin to both Merry and Frodo.
Gandalf the Grey Maia Mysterious Wizard that leads the Fellowship until Moria.
Aragorn (Strider) Man Ranger of the North, who accompanies the hobbits from Bree to Rivendell, and then becomes a member of the Fellowship. It is revealed that he is the Heir of Isildur and of Elendil.
Legolas Elf Elven archer. His weapon is the bow. His father is Thranduil, king of the Silvan Elves of Mirkwood, and he came to inform the council of the escape of Gollum.
Gimli Dwarf Son of Glóin. His weapon is the axe. He came to Rivendell from the Lonely Mountain with his father about trouble in the east.
Boromir Man Son of Denethor, Steward of Gondor. He came to Rivendell seeking answers to a strange dream.

In The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien mostly refers to the group as the "Company of the Ring", or "the Company" for short, rather than "Fellowship of the Ring" or "Fellowship". This is demonstrated by Robert Foster's The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, which lists more page references for "Company..." than "Fellowship..." (and in fact the group appears under the entry "Company of the Ring".) However, since "Fellowship of the Ring" was used as the title of the first volume of the book, it has become the familiar term.

See also


  1. ^

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

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

  • When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton.
    • First sentence.
  • 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: 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 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.
  • The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out.
  • 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.
  • 'Short cuts make delays, but inns make longer ones.'

In the House of Tom Bombadil

  • 'Tell me, who are you, alone, yourself and nameless?'
  • '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.


  • 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.

    His sword was long, his lance was keen,
    his shining helm afar was seen;
    the countless stars of heaven's field
    were mirrored on his silver shield.

    But long ago he passed away,
    and where he dwelleth none can say;
    for into darkness fell his star
    in Mordor where the shadows are.

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,' he [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, dragging 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.


  • 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

  • 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. Yet beneath the Sun all things must wear to an end at last.'

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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