In honor of The Return of the King, the climactic end of the revered classic and one of the most iconic trilogies of all time, we’re celebrating this literary milestone with a comprehensive list of little known facts on the novel, the king in question, and Tolkien’s writing and publishing process.
Eighty-three years ago today, J.R.R Tolkien’s The Hobbit was published. In celebration of the tale that introduced readers to Middle Earth and started the rise in epic fantasy with The Lord of the Rings, we’ve compiled this list of quotes from The Hobbit to celebrate the thrill of budding adventure.
1. “This is a story of how a Baggins had an adventure, and found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected.”
It’s interesting that Bilbo, a hobbit who is originally dead-set against anything that interrupts his routine, would come to see such a radical growth in character. At the onset of the tale, he proclaims, “I don’t want any adventures, thank you. Not today!” He calls them “nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!” And yet, he soon finds himself launching out of his cozy home and racing over the hills shouting, “I’m going on an adventure!”
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.”
When Bilbo is unexpectedly thrust into the path of adventure, he discovers something alive within himself; something waiting to explore. Yes, he often misses the safety of his hobbit hole, the warmth of his fireplace and a singing kettle, but he realizes that these comforts are not nearly enough for him. There’s a life that calls to him beyond the gardens and glades of The Shire. There’s an adventurer in Bilbo, buried deep in his ancestry and blazing in his heart.
3. “It was at this point that Bilbo stopped. Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did. The tremendous things that happened afterward 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.”
Sometimes the real obstacles are those inside us, rather than before us. The darkness that can be found in the mind is more impenetrable than the darkest cave. And sometimes, taking the first step is the hardest hurdle to overcome.
4. “You are come to the very Edge of the Wild.”
There is nothing more thrilling, and frightening, that standing at the threshold of new terrain. And this delight, mingled with fear, sets your heart pounding, reminding you that you’re alive. Your racing pulse is sparked from stepping outside of your comfort zone, and the transition from what you have experienced so far to what you’ve never encountered. Gandalf describes this intermediate period as “the Edge of the Wild,” though Wild is more than an adjective for Bilbo. It’s a definitive and dangerous place. A spot on the wizard’s aged map where all the untamed and unkempt are kept. At the very Edge of the Wild, an adventure begins in all of its sheer and honest danger.
5. “There are no safe paths in this part of the world. Remember, you are over the Edge of the Wild now, and in for all sorts of fun wherever you go.”
Whether wandering into a terror-filled forest or skulking into a dragon’s cave, there is always the promise of entertainment. Comfort alone may lead to boredom, whereas excitement follows a fearful journey.
6. “Now they rode away amid songs of farewell and good speed, with their hearts ready for more adventure, and with a knowledge of the road they must follow.”
This passage comes as the party departs the safety they find in Rivendell after a perilous beginning. They originally left The Shire with a goal in their hearts and treasure in their mind’s eye, but after meeting a few hungry trolls, they know that the rest of their journey will be much harder. It’s never easy to leave a comfortable dwelling. It’s almost painful to step into uncertain danger, and most certainly aggravating to step into wet shoes. It’s even harder to return to this mode of travel after a nice, warm rest. However, they know that victory is achieved for those willing to put their small treasures aside in search of a greater one, so they continue on.
7. “You must depend on your luck and your courage.”
The party’s shape shifter friend and gracious host, Beorn, leaves them with this pearl of insight at the end of his warnings for their further journeys through the Wild. He means it to say that there isn’t much he can give them to aid the beasts they will meet along their path, but doubtless, encouragement is found inside the admonition. There is hope in their luck and in their courage, even when all other hope to prevail seem dim.
8. “He felt a different person, and much fiercer and bolder in spite of an empty stomach, as he wiped his sword on the grass and put it back into its sheath. ‘I will give you a name,’ he said to it, and I shall call you Sting.'”
When you can defeat a foe on an empty stomach, you know you’re living out an adventure.
It’s one thing to begrudgingly partake in adventure, or even to set off on one and wish you hadn’t, but it’s entirely another to take life by the horns (or, in this case, fangs). After Bilbo’s first use of his sword, when slaying the giant spiders, he doesn’t just name his tool, but also renames himself. He’s not just a whiny hobbit any longer, but a warrior that can stand in his strength to defend his friends. In overcoming this trial, Bilbo has discovered his resolve, his luck and his courage, and he is now someone worthy of a sword with a name.
9. “The road goes ever on and on.”
Whether you’re one for comfort or for the riches of the world, The Hobbit teaches us all one thing for sure: Whichever pathway you decide to take in life, there’s no end to adventure.
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According to Sesame Street Magazine, October 15th is National Grouch Day—a day for all Grouches to celebrate their way of life.
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Since Sesame Street Magazine taught me everything I know, we’re going to celebrate National Grouch Day the only way we here at Bookstr know how—by making lists.
Image Via The Imaginative Conservative
The quintessential grouch, Ebenezer Scrooge is a cheap old miser who brings misery wherever he goes.
The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice
That’s a nice way of saying he’s a grouch. A miserable, old, grouch. Literally A Christmas Carol is about him “warming his cold heart”, a poetic way of saying him becoming less a dick.
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A less talented writer would make A Christmas Carol an anatomy lesson about Scrooge getting that stick out of his butt, but (pun intended) luckily Charles Dickens is a talented writer. He gives us a wonderful story, retold countless times, about this cold-hearted grouch warming up into a bright happy person during one of the coldest nights in winter.
What is it with stories about grouches becoming better people being set on Christmas? Is it because Christmas is so cold and authors can’t resist the irony of a grouch shedding their cold heart on one of the coldest days in the year?
Either way, the Grinch is a Grouch. In fact, he looks like Oscar the Grouch!
Image Via Elise Skidmore
And don’t blame his grouchiness on the face he has a medical condition—his heart is literally “too sizes too small”—and don’t give me that nonsense that the Whos were mean to him. That’s only in the Jim Carrey movie, and we’re talking about Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas here, so you can…
His hatred of a holiday stems from one fact and one fact only: he hates seeing other people happy. Talk about a grouch!
Image Via The Harry Potter Lexicon
For all you Harry Potter fans and all you Hermione fans and all you David Bradley fans.
Image Via PopSugar
When we first meet Filch, he’s quite an unpleasant person. He hates children, students in particular, and it’s quite a strange hatred seeing as he works in a school. I don’t know, maybe the pay is good.
Still, he barks “What are you doing?!” so much you’d think he’d have ground that gravelly voice of his into dust. Be wary, from the students who sneak out at night to the ones who forgot to wipe their feet! Actually, revise that, even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you should still avoid him.
Miserable all the time, he’s rather sadistic, taking this unnerving delight in dishing out punishment to the students of Hogwarts. Look, and re-read, how much he enjoyed punishing young Harry in the first book when Harry was only eleven!
The only thing he seems to love is his cat, Mrs. Norris, but everyone loves cats.
Image Via Odor Klenz
Granted, as we learn more about him, his grouchiness becomes more understandable. He’s harassed by Peeves, the Poltergeist, and he’s a squib, meaning he can’t perform magic. He also evacuated all the students in the Battle of Hogwarts and, despite being unable to perform magic, fought against the Death Eaters. So you know what? Maybe he’s not too bad…
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He’s actually pretty cool, but still a major grouch.
For all you Game of Thrones fans and all you David Bradley fans, Walder Frey.
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Ignoring his part in the Red Wedding, Walder Frey is still a prick.
After farting his way after Ser Edmure Tully’s call to arms because he wants to arrive when the battle is done, Walder Frey is immediately a prick and it only gets worse from there. When Catelyn Stark meets with him, we find that he’s not a nice old man at all. Toothless and wrinkled, he sits in his chair and brags about how he is still sexually active. With 28 kids roaming around, you’d think he’d care about at least one of them.
Image Via A Song of Ice and Fire Wiki
Not a chance. Even at the age of 91, Walder Frey is as self-serving as ever. Being the leader of his house, no one trusts him or his family. Thus, instead of making amends, Walder sees fit to complain about this and continue to deserve the contempt of noble houses throughout Westeros.
He’s a miserable person to be around. A real grouch.
And you know what? I’m not going to ignore the Red Wedding.
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This man orchestrated it because some dude snubbed his ugly daughter and he wanted to get ahead in life. Screw you, you miserable old fart.
Image Via Smithsonian Magazine
Smaug is small. He’s a tiny dragon, but that’s no excuse for being such a grouchy ball of flames.
HE’S ALSO LAZY / Image Via The One Ring.Net
After destroying a kingdom just for the money, he then spends the next 150 years in a mountain. Mass murder for money he doesn’t plan to do anything with? Talk about a miser!
Image Via Pipedia
I think we can all agree that Bilbo is the happiest man in the world, at least in The Hobbit!
Someone drew this! / Image Via PInterest
When Bilbo visits Smaugh, what does Smaug do? Well, he’s amused by him, but ultimately he just wants to be left alone. What a grouch.
And then he burns a town down because he wants to be alone. What a grouch. A mass-murdering grouch.
Image Via The Guardian
A megalomaniac fanatic, Captain Ahab is obsessed with capturing a whale because on a previous voyage the whale bit off his leg.
That’s it. Moby Dick, a book big enough to break someone’s jaw, is about how instead of calling it quits, instead of moving on, Captain Ahab wears a prosthetic leg made out of whalebone and intends to turn the whale who bit him into bones.
Get over it dude.
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And it wouldn’t be so bad if Ahab was the least bit likable. But he isn’t. His only drive in his life to find and kill the Whale. He forces his crew to support his insane mission just so he can kill a whale.
Three hundred pages just looking for a whale while his crew suffers, and he doesn’t stop and think “Maybe I should be considerate to the crew who is risking their lives for my stupid obsession”. That thought doesn’t even pass through his head.
GET OVER IT DUDE / Image Via Consortiumnews
Even when his ship is destroyed and he and what’s left on his crew is on the boat, he’s still chasing after a whale. GET OVER IT DUDE!
You weren’t even nice, Ahab, you were just a real grouch. You’re going to jump for joy when this grouch is dragged to the bottom of the sea by the very thing he’s been trying to kill.
DIE YOU GROUCHY GROUCHY MAN!
…HAPPY GROUCH DAY!