J. R. R. Tolkien quotes

Born
3 January 1892 Bloemfontein, Orange Free State (modern-day South Africa)

Died
2 September 1973.

Occupation
Author, academic, philologist, poet.

J. R. R. Tolkien was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor who is best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

A friend of mine tells that I talk in shorthand and then smudge it.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

Go not to the Elves for counsel, for they will say both no and yes.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

I dislike Allegory – the conscious and intentional allegory – yet any attempt to explain the purport of myth or fairytale must use allegorical language.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

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.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

A safe fairyland is untrue to all worlds.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

Don’t go getting mixed up in the business of your betters, or you’ll land in trouble too big for you.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their ending!
– J. R. R. Tolkien

You have been chosen, and you must therefore use such strength and heart and wits as you have.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

Short cuts make long delays.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

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.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

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.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

I don’t like allegories.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

Courage is found in unlikely places.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

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

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

Not all those who wander are lost.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

A pen is to me as a beak is to a hen.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

I never liked Hans Christian Andersen because I knew he was always getting at me.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

It may be the part of a friend to rebuke a friend’s folly.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

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