Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Lesley Anne's Top Ten Favorite Quotes from The Hobbit By J.R.R. Tolkien

So, this is a pretty exciting week around here for The Pathological Readers! Jenny and I both love us some Tolkien, and you might have heard the third part of Peter Jackson's movie adaptation of The Hobbit will be coming out in theaters tomorrow. While we are super excited about seeing one of our favorite stories come to life on the big screen, our first love has always been and will always be the book itself. Pretty much nothing beats the experience of getting lost in the world of Middle Earth between the pages of a Tolkien novel. And today I am here to show you that the way Tolkien puts words together is what makes me love him so much as an author.

But first things first, a little background: I read The Hobbit for the first time in eighth grade, and it honestly didn't make much of an impression on me then. After I re-read it this past summer, I can see how 13-year-old me would have been bored with it. But now, as an adult with a little more life under my belt, I had a completely different response to it. More often than not, I found myself underlining quote after quote of things that stood out to me while I was reading. Tolkien has such a gift for communicating wisdom in unique and subtle ways. So today, instead of listing our top ten favorite books we read this year (which Jenny has already covered here), I'm going to attempt to whittle down my days-long list of favorite quotes from The Hobbit into my top ten. And maybe, if you haven't picked up a copy of one of his novels yet, these small glimpses at Tolkien's wit and wisdom will convince you to do so!

(1) In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit hole, and that means comfort.

(2) Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking stick.

(3) "Where did you go to, if I may ask?" said Thorin to Gandalf as they rode along. 
"To look ahead," said he. 
"And what brought you back in the nick of time?" 
"Looking behind," said he.

(4) [Elrond's] house was perfect, whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or story-telling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all. Evil things did not come into that valley.

(5) 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. 

(6) He guessed as well as he could, and crawled along for a good way, till suddenly his hand met what felt like a tiny ring of cold metal lying on the floor of the tunnel. It was a turning point in his career, but he did not know it.

(7) Gandalf thought of most things; and though he could not do everything, he could do a great deal for friends in a tight corner.

(8) It was at this point that Bilbo stopped. Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did. The tremendous things that happened afterwards were as nothing compared to it. He fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait. 

(9) If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.

(10) "Surely you don't disbelieve the prophecies, because you had a hand in bringing them about yourself? You don't really suppose, do you, that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit? You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!"


The presence (even if only on the borders) of the terrible is, I believe, what gives this world its imagined verisimilitude. A safe fairyland is untrue to all worlds. 
-Preface of the 75th Anniversary Edition

Just writing this post makes me want to re-read The Hobbit all over again! Anyone going to see one of the special screenings of the movie tonight? We've already bought our tickets and I am SO excited. Jenny and I are hoping to share our thoughts on the film sometime next week if we can take some time away from the craziness of this Christmas season!    

1 comment:

  1. I love those quotes! Tolkien was truly a witty writer. :)
    I don't have high expectations for the newest Hobbit movie as I didn't care much for the second (the first was good). However, I'll still probably go see it. :)