The books written by Author J.R.R.Tolkien may all be considered fiction, but there are plenty of life lessons and quotes immersed in its thousands of pages that can be used in today’s world. Even with fantasy books such as The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion, we have plenty to use and apply in our lives. True life lessons…
Also See: 8 Most Expensive Tolkien Books Ever
Here’s a tribute to one of the greatest authors ever, 10 Great Tolkien Quotes About Life:
1. “Not all those who wander are lost”
This widely quoted line is part of the poem that starts with “All that is gold does not glitter” in the Fellowship of the Ring. To wander is to travel aimlessly or without purpose and expectation. There are people who see this as a useless and senseless way to occupy one’s time, but some people embark on a journey without a purpose to discover things. Without bias or prejudice, they hope to learn new things and even astound themselves with a new discovery.
This does not only apply to journeys or travels, but also to circumstances in life that allows one to reflect on wisdom gained by having open eyes. Sometimes, in life, a person might find themselves adrift without needing rescue. Sometimes, there doesn’t need to be rhyme or reason to your actions; sometimes you just need to be
2. “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above gold, it would be a merrier world”
Spoken by Thorin, delivered at a key moment towards the end of the story, speaks not only about Thorin and the dwarves’ own supposed greed, but also about the general state of the world. Even more today than in Tolkien’s time.
So let us remember Thorin’s words, and learn to live a little bit more like hobbits: enjoying each other’s company rather than focusing on materialistic pleasures.
3. “It is useless to meet revenge with revenge: it will heal nothing.”
This one is pretty self-explanatory, and you will find it used but worded differently in many other contexts. Don’t fight fire with fire; an eye for an eye; be the bigger person.
So if you ever need help remembering that revenge is not the answer, look to Frodo Baggins, who even after all the horrible things that had happened to him did not seek to harm those who had harmed him.
4. “Even the smallest person can change the course of history”
While spoken specifically about hobbits, this is one of the most important quotes in the entire The Lord of the Rings saga. Because we are all hobbits; all average, normal, comfy people who prefer the safety of our own homes but are secretly itching for some kind of adventure (okay, maybe not all hobbits are like this).
But what Galadriel says – what Tolkien’s entire trilogy proves – is that anyone can do anything if they set their mind to it. If their courage holds and their spirit does not fail, then they are strong, and they can succeed. And so can you. Good luck.
5. “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
This is from a conversation between Gandalf and Frodo, who regretted having to live at a crucial time in Middle-earth’s history. When time becomes a matter of importance, it means you face a circumstance to overcome. You need to make a decision that upholds your principles and puts meaning to your struggle rather than live in fear trying to ignore it.
You can also interpret this line as having courage when faced with danger, but I’d like to emphasize the importance of making a decision that positively impacts the lives of many – a characteristic we rarely see nowadays.
6. “Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”
To have a strong heart is to be unyielding in times of trouble. When you believe in one thing, you understand its every facet and your actions and thoughts embody this principle. You try to influence others to see your cause and adopt it, especially if you know it’s also good for them.
Even if your principle is met with indifference, you do not abandon it because you have a steadfast belief in it. Another way to put it is if something is important to you, it will stay with you forever.
7. “A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a short cut to meet it.”
When the council entrusted the task to Frodo, he humbly took it, “though I do not know the way.” In his journey, he faced harrowing challenges, but he never turned back. Can you imagine if he quit or worse, succumbed to its evil powers? There would be two gollums fighting for my precious on book 3.
Frodo’s adventures and nightmares could well be yours – when faced with a responsibility you must carry till the end, when you need to make a choice from the good and the bad, or when you need a friend to help you make the right decision. It’s only when you decide to face them that you start making a difference. Your reward? It will take something bigger than Sauron or Mordor to scare you again.
8. “Death is just another path, one that we all must take.”
If you acknowledge death as part of life like an adventure the fellowship of the ring had to go through rather than the “end of life,” you create for yourself an advantage to live it fully and meaningfully. You value every second, make sense of it, and try to share it with other people.
9. “One who cannot cast away a treasure at need is in fetters. You did rightly.”
The moment you let go of your “treasure” for something important is a crucial moment. It means, similar to facing your fears, you become free from many things in this world. If you were the ring bearer, would you let go of the ring? Not sure? Start with your definition of “success.” If immediately, images of car, designer clothes, power over other people pop into your head at the mention of the word, then you clearly need to rethink the kind of life you want to live.
10. “Deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised”
One of the biggest worries of young people in today’s society is that their lives might go by unnoticed. In a world over-saturated with child stars and reality TV celebrities, it’s tempting to think that success is measured by fame or popularity, but of course this is far from the truth.
Does someone need recognition for a good deed in order to be a good person? Of course not. If our lives are measured by how much good we bring to the world, surely it is irrelevant whether or not we ever make it to the front page of Hypable.com (or, er, insert your own favourite news source here).
Unsung heroes are still just that: heroes. Ultimately, what matters most is that you yourself can take pride in the fact that you are doing the best you can with what you have.