Our Favorite Passages from 'The Lord of the Rings'

A chapter by chapter as well as general discussion of Tolkien's masterpiece
Riv Res
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Our Favorite Passages from 'The Lord of the Rings'

Postby Riv Res » Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:04 am

Our Favorite Passages from 'The Lord of the Rings'



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© Rodney Matthews






We Tolkien geeks have hundreds of favorite passages from all of Tolkien's writings, so let's start with his masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings. I have a sneaky suspicion that this may eventually turn out to be the longest thread at Middle-earth Journeys. :wink:

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Riv Res
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Postby Riv Res » Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:08 am

Éomer to Elessar...

    Since the day when you rose before me out of the green grass of the downs I have loved you, and all that love shall not fail.
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Lindariel
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Postby Lindariel » Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:27 am

I'm sure I will think of many more, but these spring almost instantly to mind.

Gandalf to Frodo in Bag End:
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.

I can put it no plainer than by saying that Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, and not by its maker. In which case you also were meant to have it. And that may be an encouraging thought.

Pity? It was Pity that stayed his [Bilbo's] hand. Pity, and Mercy: not to strike without need . . . . 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 . . . . My heart tells me that he [Gollum] has some part to play yet, for good or ill, before the end; and when that comes, the pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.

Sam to Frodo in Woodhall:
If you don't come back, sir, then I shan't, that's certain. Don't you leave him! they said to me. Leave him! I said. I never mean to. I am going with him, if he climbs to the Moon; and if any of those Black Riders try to stop him, they'll have Sam Gamgee to reckon with, I said. They laughed.

Frodo to The Council of Elrond:
I will take the Ring, though I do not know the way.

Galadriel at her Mirror:
In the place of a 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!

Faramir to Frodo in Henneth Annun:
I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend: the city of the Men of Numenor; and I would have her loved for her memory, her ancientry, her beauty, and her present wisdom. Not feared, save as men may fear the dignity of a man, old and wise.

Sam to Faramir at Henneth Annun:
Beautiful she [Galadriel] is, sir! Lovely! Sometimes like a great tree in flower, sometimes like a white daffadowndilly, small and slender like. Hard as di'monds, soft as moonlight. Warm as sunlight, cold as frost in the stars. Proud and far-off as a snow-mountain, and as merry as any lass I ever saw with daisies in her hair in springtime. But that's a lot o' nonsense, and all wide of my mark.

Eowyn/Dernhelm to the Witchking of Angmar on the Pelennor Fields:
Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace! . . . . But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Eowyn, I am, Eomund's daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.

Theoden to Merry on the Pelennor Fields:
Farewell, Master Holbytla! My body is broken. I go to my fathers. And even in their mighty company I shall not now be ashamed.

Faramir to Aragorn in the Houses of Healing:
My lord, you called me. I come. What does the King command? . . . For who would lie idle when the king has returned?

Aragorn to Eomer in the Houses of Healing:
Few other griefs amid the ill chances of this world have more bitterness and shame for a man's heart than to behold the love of a lady so fair and brave that cannot be returned.

Sam on Mount Doom:
I said I'd carry him, if it broke my back, and I will! Come, Mr. Frodo! I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you and it as well.

Faramir at Aragorn's coronation:
The last Steward of Gondor begs leave to surrender his office . . . . Men of Gondor, hear now the Steward of this Realm! Behold! one has come to claim the kingship again at last. Here is Aragorn son of Arathorn, chieftain of the Dunedain of Arnor, Captain of the Host of the West, bearer of the Star of the North, wielder of the Sword Reforged, victorious in battle, whose hands bring healing, the Elfstone, Elessar of the line of Valandil, Isildur's son, Elendil's son of Numenor. Shall he be king and enter into the City and dwell there? . . . Behold the King!

Gandalf at Aragorn's coronation:
Now come the days of the King, and may they be blessed while the thrones of the Valar endure!

Frodo to Sam at the Grey Havens:
I have been too deeply hurt, Sam. I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them.

Gilraen to Aragorn:
Onen i-Estel Edain, u-chebin estel anim. (I gave Hope to the Dunedain, I have kept no hope for myself.)

Aragorn to Arwen:
Behold! we are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory. Farewell!

From the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen:
Then a great beauty was revealed in him, so that all who after came there looked on him in wonder; for they saw that the grace of his youth, and the valour of his manhood, and the wisdom and majesty of his age were blended together. And long there he lay, an image of the splendour of the Kings of Men in glory undimmed before the breaking of the world.
Last edited by Lindariel on Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

Iolanthe
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Postby Iolanthe » Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:12 am

Phew! I can't take them all in - let's savour them a few (or one) at a time....

One of my favourites is my V-W sig line:

Sam, on waking on the Field of Cormallen and seeing Gandalf again:

Is everything sad going to come untrue?
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Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

marbretherese
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Postby marbretherese » Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:31 pm

My own tag line here at MEJ is one of my favourites. When I was looking for a tag line the book just kind of fell open at that point . . . ! It's Gimli, speaking during his visit to Lothlórien.

"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy."
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"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back.
But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy."


http://www.marbretherese.com
http://marbretherese.blogspot.com/

Elorin
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Postby Elorin » Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:50 pm

I also want to share one of my favorites (next to many of the ones already cited). It is from the Return of the King. Sam sits next to Frodo, who is asleep.

There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for awhile. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach
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Elorin

Merry
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Postby Merry » Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:07 pm

Oh, good one, Elorin!

I am very busy grading papers these days, but I'll be chiming in on this thread soon.
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Riv Res
Manwë
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Postby Riv Res » Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:16 pm

Yes...a gem Elorin. :D

Here's another from me...

'Good-bye!' said Frodo, looking at the dark blank windows. He waved his hand, and then turned and (following Bilbo, if he had known it) hurried after Peregrin down the garden-path. They jumped over the low place in the hedge at the bottom and took to the fields, passing into the darkness like a rustle in the grasses.
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Lindariel
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Postby Lindariel » Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:09 am

Such lovely choices, ladies!

This passage from "The Stairs of Cirith Ungol" has always moved me to tears:

And so Gollum found them hours later, when he returned, crawling and creeping down the path out of the gloom ahead. Sam sat propped against the stone, his head dropping sideways and his breathing heavy. In his lap lay Frodo's head, drowned deep in sleep; upon his white forehead lay one of Sam's brown hands, and the other lay softly upon his master's breast. Peace was in both their faces.

Gollum looked at them. A strange expression passed over his lean hungry face. The gleam faded from his eyes, and they went dim and grey, old and tired. A spasm of pain seemed to twist him, and he turned away, peering back up towards the pass, shaking his head, as if engaged in some interior debate. Then he came back, and slowly putting out a trembling hand, very cautiously he touched Frodo's knee -- but almost the touch was a caress. For a fleeting moment, could one of the sleepers have seen him, they would have thought that they beheld an old weary hobbit, shrunken by the years that had carried him far beyond his time, beyond friends and kin, and the fields and streams of youth, an old starved pitiable thing.
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“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

Merry
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Postby Merry » Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:37 am

I've read that, when asked later on in life, if any of his writing still moved him, Tolkien named that passage, Lindariel.
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Iolanthe
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Location: Washing my hair in the Sundering Sea

Postby Iolanthe » Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:24 am

It's really wonderful to be reminded of all of these! I love Sam seeing the star and Gollum coming across the sleeping Hobbits.

This is a moment I've just been painting - when I get the picture scanned I'll post it in the art thread - because it shows another, almost vulnerable side to Gandalf who has returned to Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli after unimaginable horrors which he hasn't yet told them about. It's also one of those moments in LotR where light plays a sacred, mystical role. Legolas has asked him what the Ents will do and Gandalf confesses he doesn't know:

'I do not think they know themselves. I wonder.' He fell silent, his head bowed in thought.

The others looked at him. A gleam of sun through fleeting clouds fell on his hands, which lay now upturned on his lap: they seemed to be filled with light as a cup is with water. At last he looked up and gazed straight at the sun.
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Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Merry
Varda
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Postby Merry » Sat Dec 06, 2008 4:23 pm

Gosh, I don't even remember ever reading that line. It is really visual--good choice.
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Iolanthe
Uinen
Posts: 2339
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:21 pm
Location: Washing my hair in the Sundering Sea

Postby Iolanthe » Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:41 pm

It really struck me very forcibly this time through (which is why I had to paint it) but it was like I'd never read it before. But that's Tolkien, he always reveals new treasures.

One of my other favourite lines is just before it when Gimli says he thought Fangorn was dangerous:

'Dangerous!' cried Gandalf. 'And so am I, very dangerous: more dangerous than anything you will ever meet, unless you are brought before the seat of the Dark Lord. And Aragorn is dangerous, and Legolas is dangerous. You are beset with dangers, Gimli son of Gloin; for you are dangerous yourself, in your fashion.'


Wonderful, witty and full of truth.
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Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Riv Res
Manwë
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Postby Riv Res » Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:48 pm

Isn't Tolkien wonderful??!!!!! :D
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Iolanthe
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Postby Iolanthe » Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:51 pm

It's a never ending delight!
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Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...


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