The 15 Best Lord of the Rings Quotes of All Time

You shall not pass until you've committed all these quotes to memory.

by Chris Norris
A scene from lord of the rings with illustrated quotation bubbles
New Line Cinema

Can you quote Gandalf at the drop of a wizard hat?

In the course of three thick books and as many feature films, J.R.R. Tolkien’s dwarves, elves, and hobbits speak to almost the full range of human experience. Within Lord of the Rings, you’ll find sage wisdom from wizards, simple truths from humble hobbits, cryptic insights from spacey elves, and kickass battle cries from all of the above. A language professor raised on adventure tales and seasoned by trench warfare in World War I, Tolkien had a wealth of real-life material to pour into an epic of small-town folk called to battle in foreign lands.

Below we offer the 15 wisest, truest, or most killer Lord of the Rings quotes to use on various occasions—with or without citing their source.

  • “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep our feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” –Bilbo Baggins
  • All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” –Gandalf
  • “It’s the job that’s never started that takes longest to finish.” –Samwise Gamgee.
  • “All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost.”
  • –from “The Riddle of Strider”
  • “It is useless to meet revenge with revenge.” –Frodo Baggins
  • “This quest may be attempted by the weak with as much hope as the strong. Yet such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere.” –Elrond
  • “Deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised. “ –Aragorn
  • “The burned hand teaches best. After that advice about fire goes to the heart.”–Gandalf
  • “The treacherous are ever distrustful.” –Gandalf
  • “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.” –Bilbo Baggins.
  • “He that breaks a thing to find out what it is, has left the path of wisdom.” –Gandalf
  • “Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.” — Gandalf
  • “I would rather spend one lifetime with you, than face all the ages of this world alone.” Arwen
  • “That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.” – Samwise Gamgee
  • “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” – Galadriel
  • “A day may come when the courage of men fails when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day.” An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down. But it is not this day. This day we fight.” – Aragorn (with an assist from screenwriter Fran Walsh)
  • “I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Undûn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass.” — Gandalf