This article is largely concerned with J.R.R. Tolkien, and from its lines a reader may discover his insightfulness and his fantastical view of the world (and of hobbits).
Sixty-six years ago today, J.R.R. Tolkien's second installment of his The Lord of the Rings epic fantasy series, The Two Towers, was published. And, not only do the events of this novel spur such passion and intrigue; the characters words are just as powerful as their actions. To celebrate the anniversary of its publication, we've prepared for you a list of the top ten quotes from The Two Towers.
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.
Images via Pinterest
Who doesn't need an absolute ton of Lord of the Rings memes right now?
Wizards are a classic staple of fantasy literature and it’s easy to see why these characters have been fascinating readers forever. From the classic image of the wizard as an old man in a pointy hat to more modern interpretations, wizards endure thanks to their varied abilities, cool characterizations, and usage to explore the fantasy realms they inhabit. But who are some of the best?
Here are top five of the coolest and best wizards (in our opinion) of fantasy literature.
5. The Crimson King from The Dark Tower
Not all wizards are good. Many throughout literature have been downright evil, with the classic image of an evil sorcerer becoming a well known fixture of various novels. No villains of this caliber have become as far reaching as The Crimson King, the main villain of The Dark Tower and indeed, Stephen King’s literary universe. Introduced as a powerful and mysterious embodiment of evil, the Crimson King’s influence is felt across multiple universes, where he controls others to do his bidding. He appears as the dark force setting in motion the novels Insomnia and Black House, before he is properly revealed to behind the destruction of the Beams in The Dark Tower universe which holds reality together, plotting to rule the chaos that will follow.
The Crimson King takes many forms throughout Stephen King’s novels, appearing as Satan, a handsome young man, and withered old man with crimson eyes. He is the ultimate evil and although his powers are not explicit, it is known that he uses mind control to keep his men in line, as well as probably being a shapeshifter.
4. Rastilin Majere from Dragonlance
Dragonlance by Tracey and Margaret Hickman is basically a Dungeons and Dragons campaign chronicled in novel form. Rastilin Majere fulfills the common characteristics of a classic wizard but he’s much more dark and ambiguous in his loyalties than his fellow party members. Although physically extremely weak owing to a traumatic upbringing and his magical usage, Rastilin is extremely intelligent and adept with his extensive knowledge of sorcery.
He’s ruthless in his pursuit of power, viewing others as mere tools and is characterized as arrogant, egoistical, yet possessing his own strange code of honor. He’s a fascinating character, instantly hatable yet strangely complex. This status as a fan favorite earned him the starring role of Dragonlance Legends, following him from his own twisted point of view.
3. Harry Potter from The Harry Potter Series
Image Via Harry Potter wiki
Harry Potter is one of the most enduring protagonists of young adult literature, made famous by the books and the movies to become a pop culture icon. Harry Potter himself is a great character, at once being a relatable POV character while also giving way to more nuanced characterization as the series goes on. We get to grow up with Harry, showcasing his uneasy steps into adulthood as he deals with mundane terrors such as schoolwork, girls, and bullies while the looming threat of Voldemort, who he is destined to destroy, looms ever on the horizon.
Harry Potter has flaws despite his Chosen One status, such as his temper and impulsive behavior, not helped by the pressure he’s under almost constantly. It makes him a hero for a generation, being just a regular kid thrust into the wizarding world to destroy the Dark Lord.
2. Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings set the standard for fantasy literature in many ways and it provided the classic image of a wizard whom many draw inspiration from: Gandalf. Gandalf himself was inspired by Merlin, the iconic wizard of King Arthur’s round table. Gandalf is in truth (secretly) more akin to an angel than a wizard, he is a Maiar, servants of the universe’s counterpart to God, sent to Middle-earth in human form to aid the mortal races. Gandalf is forbidden to use his true power, so he nudges everyone forward in more subtle ways, getting them to work together and using his wisdom as their guide. Gandalf perishes in the first book of the The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but returns to life and is sent back to help the heroes as Gandalf the White, reborn with greater power and given permission to use (some) of his magic more explicitly. Gandalf, despite his wisdom, is often short tempered, mischievous, and sarcastic but considering all the Hobbits he has to put off, it makes sense that he’s a little stressed.
1. Harry Dresden from The Dresden Files
The Dresden Files chronicles the adventures of Harry Dresden, a modern day detective based out of Chicago, only he’s both a wizard and tackles supernatural cases. Working as a consultant for the Chicago PD, Harry tackles everything from werewolves to vampires to evil fairies to skin walkers. Harry’s life is a bit of a mess, as he’s generally anti-social, has bad luck with women, and suffers more and more with each book. Yet, he’s a hilarious protagonist, commenting on everything from a very meta point of view and making references to comic books to movies throughout his intense fights. Wielding all sorts of spells that he conjures with Latin words, not to mention magical items and allies, Harry builds up an impressive resume as he solves case after case, each one tougher than the last.
Who are some of your favorite wizards? Let us know in the comments!
Featured Image Via Lord of the Rings Wiki
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