John Ronald Reul Tolkien (1892–1973) was an English writer, poet and professor. He is best known for his highly successful fantasy books, most notably “The Lord of the Rings”.


Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, an area that is now part of South Africa, in 1892. His family’s stay in Bloemfontein was short-lived however, as Tolkien was four years old when he moved with his mother and younger brother to Birmingham, England. Initially planned as a lengthy visit, they shortly after received the news that his father had passed in rheumatic fever in South Africa, which them led them to stay in England due to financial reasons.

Tolkien’s mother supported the family by working as a teacher, until she died in 1904 in acute diabetes. Tolkien was 12 years old. After their mothers death he and his brother were then cared for by the Catholic priest, Francis Xavier Morgan, which was a close friend of their mother.

Tolkien showed a great aptitude towards languages and learning early, as he learned how to read at the age of 4. In his youth he showed great academic talent where he received a scholarship to Oxford. After graduating, he married Edith Bratt and shortly after took part in the battles of the First World War in the French trenches. Here he was wounded and returned after a period of convalescence to Oxford. Eventually he was appointed professor, first at the University of Leeds and then at Pembroke College in Oxford.

With his books, mainly the trilogy Lord of the Rings (“The Lord of the Rings”), he gave rise to a world that is today widely regarded as the most influential foundation of the fantasy genre. In Tolkien’s books there is a whole world to explore, mainly due to the richness of the details Tolkien put into each area of his created world. Ranging from the mythology, the different species and groups of peoples to the numerous languages (which he created himself) ​​and cultures, gave the world of Middle Earth a distinct and complete life of its own.

In this article, I’ve decided to honour the vast imagination and wisdom of J. R. R. Tolkien by sharing some of the most insightful and beautiful quotes from his books:

Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Two Towers, 1954)

Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Two Towers, 1954)

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954)

The wise speak only of what they know.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Two Towers, 1954)

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954)

Deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Return of the King, 1955)

Advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954)

J. R. R. Tolkien Quote: Courage is found in unlikely places...

Courage is found in unlikely places.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954)

Few can foresee whither their road will lead them, till they come to its end.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Two Towers, 1954)

He should not vow to walk in the dark, who has not seen the nightfall.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954)

The world changes, and all that once was strong now proves unsure.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Two Towers, 1954)

The burned hand teaches best.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Two Towers, 1954)

The wide world is all about you; you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954)


Be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Two Towers, 1954)

Still round the corner there may wait,
A new road or a secret gate.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Return of the King, 1955)

All that is gold does not glitter;
Not all those that wander are lost.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954)

There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Hobbit, 1937)

Above all shadows rides the sun.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Two Towers, 1954)

The world is full enough of hurts and mischance without wars to multiply them.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Return of the King, 1955)

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.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954)

May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954)

My name is growing all the time, and I’ve lived a very long, long time; so my name is like a story.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Two Towers, 1954)

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Hobbit, 1937)

A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.
J. R. R. Tolkien

It’s a job that’s never started that takes the longest to finish.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954)

“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 (The Lost Road and Other Writings, 1987)

Fair speech may hide a foul heart.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Return of the King, 1955)

I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Return of the King, 1955)

You can only come to the morning through the shadows.
J. R. R. Tolkien

A box without hinges, key, or lid, yet golden treasure inside is hid.
J. R. R. Tolkien

He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954)

Little by little, one travels far.
J. R. R. Tolkien

There is no real going back. Though I may come to the Shire, it will not seem the same; for I shall not be the same.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Return of the King, 1955)

One Ring to rule them all,
One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all
and in the darkness bind them.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954)

It’s a dangerous business going out your front door.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954)

She should not die, so young and beautiful. At least, she should not die alone.
J. R. R. Tolkien

What do you mean? Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good on this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?
J. R. R. Tolkien

Often does hatred hurt itself!
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Two Towers, 1954)

I have no help to send, therefore I must go myself.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Return of the King, 1955)

A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a short cut to meet it.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Children of Húrin, 2007)

There are some things that it is better to begin than to refuse, even though the end may be dark.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Two Towers, 1954)

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.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954)

Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954)


War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for it’s sharpness, nor the arrow for it’s swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Two Towers, 1954)

There I lay staring upward, while the stars wheeled over… Faint to my ears came the gathered rumour of all lands: the springing and the dying, the song and the weeping, and the slow everlasting groan of overburdened stone.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Two Towers, 1954)

The world has changed.
I see it in the water.
I feel it in the Earth.
I smell it in the air.
Much that once was is lost,
For none now live who remember it.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Return of the King, 1955)

Wars are not favourable to delicate pleasures.
J. R. R. Tolkien (Quoted in The Monsters And The Critics And Other Essays, 1983)

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 paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954)

It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Return of the King, 1955)

Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might be found more suitable mates. But the real soul-mate is the one you are actually married to.
J. R. R. Tolkien (Letter to Michael Tolkien, 1941)

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;
renenwed shall be blade that was broken,
the crownless again shall be king.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954)

Ho! Ho! Ho! To the bottle I go
To heal my heart and drown my woe
Rain may fall, and wind may blow
And many miles be still to go
But under a tall tree will I lie
And let the clouds go sailing by
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954)

I sit beside the fire and think
Of all that I have seen
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been
Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair
I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring
That I shall ever see
For still there are so many things
That I have never seen
In every wood in every spring
There is a different green
I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people that will see a world
That I shall never know
But all the while I sit and think
Of times there were before
I listen for returning feet
And voices at the door.
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings, 2004)

You may also like...




Liberated: Enroll in Nirvanic's Spiritual Course



Nirvanic Insights

Subscribe for Access to Insightful e-Book on Spirituality

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest