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JRR Tolkein Quotes from the Father of Modern Fantasy Literature

If you enjoy fantasy literature you’ll enjoy these JRR Tolkein quotes. 

Even those that don’t enjoy fantasy literature have come to know the name JRR Tolkein. He is the author of popular works such as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Even if you didn’t read the books, there’s a good chance that you saw the movie trilogies that came out. 

JRR Tolkein has many inspirational and interesting quotes, both from the books that he wrote and directly from himself. He was a wildly creative soul that was able to create something that most people couldn’t have even begun to dream of. 

Don’t forget to also read these literature quotes to share with your favorite bookworm.

40 JRR Tolkein Quotes from the Father of Modern Fantasy Literature

Inspirational JRR Tolkein quotes

1. “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.” – JRR Tolkein

2. “It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.” – JRR Tolkein 

3. “A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.”- JRR Tolkein

4. “Courage is found in unlikely places.”- JRR Tolkein

5. “No half-heartedness and no worldly fear must turn us aside from following the light unflinchingly.”- JRR Tolkein

6. “Darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer.”- JRR Tolkein

7. “You have been chosen, and you must, therefore, use such strength and heart and wits as you have.”- JRR Tolkein

8. “There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”- JRR Tolkein

JRR Tolkein quotes about life

9. “The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out.”- JRR Tolkein 

10. “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”- JRR Tolkein

11. “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”- JRR Tolkein 

12. “Faithless is he that says fareweel when the road darkens.”- JRR Tolkein

13. “Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate.”- JRR Tolkein 

14. “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”- JRR Tolkein 

15. “The biggest adventure is what lies ahead.”- JRR Tolkein

Also check out these Michaelangelo quotes and sayings to rekindle your love for art and poetry.

JRR Tolkein quotes about writing, the arts, and his work

16. “Myth and fairy-story must, as all art, reflect and contain in solution elements of moral and religious truth (or error), but not explicit, not in the known form of the primary ‘real’ world.”- JRR Tolkein 

17. “I dislike Allegory – the conscious and intentional allegory – yet any attempt to explain the purport of myth or fairytale must use allegorical language.”- JRR Tolkein

18. “If you really want to know what Middle-earth is based on, it’s my wonder and delight in the earth as it is, particularly the natural earth.”- JRR Tolkein

19. “The original ‘Hobbit’ was never intended to have a sequel – Bilbo ‘remained very happy to the end of his days and those were extraordinarily long.’ a sentence I find an almost insuperable obstacle to a satisfactory link.”- JRR Tolkein 

Wise JRR Tolkein quotes

20. “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 judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”- JRR Tolkein

21. “Yet in doubt, a man of worth will trust to his own wisdom.”- JRR Tolkein

22. “Don’t go getting mixed up in the business of your betters, or you’ll land in trouble too big for you.”- JRR Tolkein

23. “I will not say, do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.”- JRR Tolkein 

24. “Short cuts make long delays.”- JRR Tolkein

25. “The wise speak only of what they know.”- JRR Tolkein

26. “There is nothing like looking if you want to find something.”- JRR Tolkein

27. “They say it is the first step that costs the effort. I do not find it so. I am sure I could write unlimited ‘first chapters’. I have indeed written many.”- JRR Tolkein 

28. “Little by little, one travels far.”- JRR Tolkein

29. “False hopes are more dangerous than fears.”- JRR Tolkein

30. “If we all get angry together, something might be done.”- JRR Tolkein

31. “A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a short cut to meet it.”- JRR Tolkein

32. “It may be the part of a friend to rebuke a friend’s folly.”- JRR Tolkein

More JRR Tolkein quotes

33. “Many children make up or begin to make up imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.”- JRR Tolkein

34. “Time does not tarry ever … but change and growth is not in all things and places alike.”- JRR Tolkein

35. “He that breaks a thing to find out what it is, has left the path of wisdom.”- JRR Tolkein

36. “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.”- JRR Tolkein 

37. “The proper study of man is anything but man; and the most improper job of any man, even saints (who at any rate were at least unwilling to take it on), is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.”- JRR Tolkein

38. “Deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised.”- JRR Tolkein

39. “I will not walk backward in life.”- JRR Tolkein 

40. “A pen is to me as a beak is to a hen.”- JRR Tolkein 

You might also like these Margaret Atwood quotes that prove words are powerful.

Did these JRR Tolkein quotes inspire you to go all-in on your skills?

Look what JRR Tolkein was able to accomplish by going all-in on his skills. Imagine for a minute what you’d be able to accomplish if you did the same thing. 

Tolkien created an entire world with a new language to build out the details of his story. Fans have read the book and watched the movies which came out long after his death.

His son played a role in helping to publish some of his work after his death but the real story is all that he was able to accomplish in his life.

Read the books, enjoy the movies, and then set out to see what you can do yourself. Did you enjoy these JRR Tolkein quotes and sayings? Which of the quotes resonated with you best? Let us know in the comment section below.

Stephanie Kirby
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  1. Rhonda L.

    January 17, 2021 at 1:54 AM

    Amazing author. Great family memories watching the movies together. My daughter has the expanded version of the first quote on her bedroom wall and the shortened version on her truck.

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