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Quotes About J R R Tolkien

Quotes tagged as "j-r-r-tolkien" (showing 1-30 of 144)
J.R.R. Tolkien
“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 judgement.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

George R.R. Martin
“I admire Tolkien greatly. His books had enormous influence on me. And the trope that he sort of established—the idea of the Dark Lord and his Evil Minions—in the hands of lesser writers over the years and decades has not served the genre well. It has been beaten to death. The battle of good and evil is a great subject for any book and certainly for a fantasy book, but I think ultimately the battle between good and evil is weighed within the individual human heart and not necessarily between an army of people dressed in white and an army of people dressed in black. When I look at the world, I see that most real living breathing human beings are grey.”
George R.R. Martin

China Miéville
“When people dis fantasy—mainstream readers and SF readers alike—they are almost always talking about one sub-genre of fantastic literature. They are talking about Tolkien, and Tolkien's innumerable heirs. Call it 'epic', or 'high', or 'genre' fantasy, this is what fantasy has come to mean. Which is misleading as well as unfortunate.

Tolkien is the wen on the arse of fantasy literature. His oeuvre is massive and contagious—you can't ignore it, so don't even try. The best you can do is consciously try to lance the boil. And there's a lot to dislike—his cod-Wagnerian pomposity, his boys-own-adventure glorying in war, his small-minded and reactionary love for hierarchical status-quos, his belief in absolute morality that blurs moral and political complexity. Tolkien's clichés—elves 'n' dwarfs 'n' magic rings—have spread like viruses. He wrote that the function of fantasy was 'consolation', thereby making it an article of policy that a fantasy writer should mollycoddle the reader.

That is a revolting idea, and one, thankfully, that plenty of fantasists have ignored. From the Surrealists through the pulps—via Mervyn Peake and Mikhael Bulgakov and Stefan Grabiński and Bruno Schulz and Michael Moorcock and M. John Harrison and I could go on—the best writers have used the fantastic aesthetic precisely to challenge, to alienate, to subvert and undermine expectations.

Of course I'm not saying that any fan of Tolkien is no friend of mine—that would cut my social circle considerably. Nor would I claim that it's impossible to write a good fantasy book with elves and dwarfs in it—Michael Swanwick's superb Iron Dragon's Daughter gives the lie to that. But given that the pleasure of fantasy is supposed to be in its limitless creativity, why not try to come up with some different themes, as well as unconventional monsters? Why not use fantasy to challenge social and aesthetic lies?

Thankfully, the alternative tradition of fantasy has never died. And it's getting stronger. Chris Wooding, Michael Swanwick, Mary Gentle, Paul di Filippo, Jeff VanderMeer, and many others, are all producing works based on fantasy's radicalism. Where traditional fantasy has been rural and bucolic, this is often urban, and frequently brutal. Characters are more than cardboard cutouts, and they're not defined by race or sex. Things are gritty and tricky, just as in real life. This is fantasy not as comfort-food, but as challenge.

The critic Gabe Chouinard has said that we're entering a new period, a renaissance in the creative radicalism of fantasy that hasn't been seen since the New Wave of the sixties and seventies, and in echo of which he has christened the Next Wave. I don't know if he's right, but I'm excited. This is a radical literature. It's the literature we most deserve.”
China Miéville

J.R.R. Tolkien
“When evening in the Shire was grey
his footsteps on the Hill were heard;
before the dawn he went away
on journey long without a word.

From Wilderland to Western shore,
from northern waste to southern hill,
through dragon-lair and hidden door
and darkling woods he walked at will.

With Dwarf and Hobbit, Elves and Men,
with mortal and immortal folk,
with bird on bough and beast in den,
in their own secret tongues he spoke.

A deadly sword, a healing hand,
a back that bent beneath its load;
a trumpet-voice, a burning brand,
a weary pilgrim on the road.

A lord of wisdom throned he sat,
swift in anger, quick to laugh;
an old man in a battered hat
who leaned upon a thorny staff.

He stood upon the bridge alone
and Fire and Shadow both defied;
his staff was broken on the stone,
in Khazad-dûm his wisdom died.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

J.R.R. Tolkien
“You must understand, young Hobbit, it takes a long time to say anything in Old Entish. And we never say anything unless it is worth taking a long time to say.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

J.R.R. Tolkien
“Human stories are practically always about one thing, really, aren't they? Death. The inevitability of death. . .
. . . (quoting an obituary) 'There is no such thing as a natural death. Nothing that ever happens to man is natural, since his presence calls the whole world into question. All men must die, but for every man his death is an accident, and even if he knows it he would sense to it an unjustifiable violation.' Well, you may agree with the words or not, but those are the key spring of The Lord Of The Rings”
J.R.R. Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien
“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.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

J.R.R. Tolkien
“Then she fell on her knees, saying: 'I beg thee!'
'Nay, lady,' he said, and taking her by the hand he raised her. The he kissed her hand, and sprang into the saddle, and rode away, and did not look back; and only those who knew him well and were near to him saw the pain that he bore.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

J.R.R. Tolkien
“Then Aragorn stooped and looked in her face, and it was indeed white as a lily, cold as frost, and hard as graven stone. But he bent and kissed her on the brow, and called her softly, saying:
'Éowyn Éomund's daughter, awake! For your enemy has passed away!”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

Alan Lee
“I first read The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit when I was eighteen. It felt as though the author had taken every element I'd ever want in a story and woven them into one huge, seamless narrative; but more important, for me, Tolkien had created a place, a vast, beautiful, awesome landscape, which remained a resource long after the protagonists had finished their battles and gone their separate ways. In illustrating The Lord of the Rings I allowed the landscapes to predominate. In some of the scenes the characters are so small they are barely discernible. This suited my own inclinations and my wish to avoid, as much as possible, interfering with the pictures being built up in the reader's mind, which tends to be more closely focussed on characters and their inter-relationships. I felt my task lay in shadowing the heroes on their epic quest, often at a distance, closing in on them at times of heightened emotion but avoiding trying to re-create the dramatic highpoints of the text. With The Hobbit, however, it didn't seem appropriate to keep such a distance, particularly from the hero himself. I don't think I've ever seen a drawing of a Hobbit which quite convinced me, and I don't know whether I've gotten any closer myself with my depictions of Bilbo. I'm fairly happy with the picture of him standing outside Bag End, before Gandalf arrives and turns his world upside-down, but I've come to the conclusion that one of the reasons Hobbits are so quiet and elusive is to avoid the prying eyes of illustrators.”
Alan Lee

J.R.R. Tolkien
“he was for long my only audience... Only from him did I ever get the idea that my ‘stuff’ could be more than a private hobby. But for his interest and unceasing eagerness for more I should never have brought The L. of the R. to a conclusion.”
J.R.R. Tolkien

Anthony Lane
“There’s no two ways about it, Tolkien fans are a funny bunch. I should know, for I was one of them. Been there, done that, read the book, gone mad. I first took on The Lord of the Rings at the age of eleven or twelve; to be precise, I began it at the age of eleven and finished at the age of twelve. It was, and remains, not a book that you happen to read, like any other, but a book that happens to you: a chunk bitten out of your life.”
Anthony Lane

C.S. Lewis
“[The Fellowship of the Ring] is like lightning from a clear sky. . . To say that in it heroic romance, gorgeous, eloquent, and unashamed, has suddenly returned at a period almost pathological in its anti-romanticism, is inadequate. . . Here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron; here is a book that will break your heart. . . .

It is sane and vigilant invention, revealing at point after point the integration of the author’s mind. . . Anguish is, for me, almost the prevailing note. But not, as in the literature most typical of our age, the anguish of abnormal or contorted souls; rather that anguish of those who were happy before a certain darkness came up and will be happy if they live to see it gone. . . . But with the anguish comes also a strange exaltation. . . when we have finished, we return to our own life not relaxed but fortified….

Even now I have left out almost everything — the silvan leafiness, the passions, the high virtues, the remote horizons. Even if I had space I could hardly convey them. And after all the most obvious appeal of the book is perhaps also its deepest: “there was sorrow then too, and gathering dark, but great valour, and great deeds that were not wholly vain.” Not wholly vain — it is the cool middle point between illusion and disillusionment.”
C.S. Lewis

J.R.R. Tolkien
“You are wise and fearless and fair, Lady Galadriel,' said Frodo. 'I will give you the One Ring, if you ask for it. It is too great a matter for me”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Adam Gopnik
“This is surely the most significant of the elements that Tolkien brought to fantasy.... his arranged marriage between the Elder Edda and "The Wind in the Willows"--big Icelandic romance and small-scale, cozy English children's book. The story told by "The Lord of the Rings" is essentially what would happen if Mole and Ratty got drafted into the Nibelungenlied.”
Adam Gopnik

J.R.R. Tolkien
“I thought all the trees were whispering to each other, passing news and plots along in an unintelligible language; and the branches swayed and groped without any wind. They do say the trees do actually move, and can surround strangers and hem them.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

J.R.R. Tolkien
“on his brow sat wisdom, and in his hand was strength.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

J.R.R. Tolkien
“They seem a bit above my likes and dislikes, so to speak,' answered Sam slowly. 'It don't seem to matter what I think about them. They are quite different from what I expected - so old and young, and so gay and sad, as it were.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

J.R.R. Tolkien
“A few melancholy birds were pipping and wailing, until the round red sun sank slowly into the western shadows; then an empty silence fell”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

J.R.R. Tolkien
“From the ashed a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

J.R.R. Tolkien
“I am Goldberry, daughter of the River.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

J.R.R. Tolkien
“As she ran her gown rustled softly like the wind in the flowering borders of a river.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

J.R.R. Tolkien
“in her hand she held a harp, and she sang. Sad and sweet was the sound of her voice in the cool clear air.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

J.R.R. Tolkien
“The sound of her footsteps was like a stream falling gently downhill over cool stones in the quiet of night.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

J.R.R. Tolkien
“Heed no nightly noises! for nothing passes door and window here save moonlight and starlight and the wind off the hill-top.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

J.R.R. Tolkien
“In the stern sat Aragon son of Arathorn, proud and erect, guiding the boat with skilful strokes; his hood was cast back, and his dark hair was blowing in the wind, a light was in his eyes: a king returning from exile to his own land.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

J.R.R. Tolkien
“Tinuviel, the is Nightingale in the language of old.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

J.R.R. Tolkien
“Far over the Great River, and the Brown Lands, leagues upon grey leagues away, the dawn came, red as flame. Loud rang the hunting horns to greet it. The Riders of Rohan sprang suddenly to life. Horn answered horn again. Merry and Pippin heard, clear in the cold air, the neighing of war-horses, and the sudden singing of many men. The sun's limb was lifted, an arc of fire, above the margin of the world. Then with as great cry the riders charged from the East; the red light gleamed on mail and spear.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

J.R.R. Tolkien
“Far over the Great River, and the Brown Lands, leagues upon grey leagues away, the dawn came, red as flame. Loud rang the hunting horns to greet it. The Riders of Rohan sprang suddenly to life. Horn answered horn again. Merry and Pippin heard, clear in the cold air, the neighing of war-horses, and the sudden singing of many men. The sun's limb was lifted, an arc of fire, above the margin of the world. Then with a great cry the riders charged from the East; the red light gleamed on mail and spear.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

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