Books

The 20 Best Pieces Of Wisdom From The Hobbit

In late September of 1937, an Oxford academic invited readers into a curious hole in the ground to meet a small creature known as a hobbit. It was a story that would grip the imaginations of children and adults alike, going on to become one of the best selling novels of all time.

As the third and final part of Peter Jackson's grand adaptation of The Hobbit wings its way toward cinemas in the form of The Battle of the Five Armies, we've turned our attention from the glamour of the cinema to the classic work of high fantasy that started it all. Like a talented thief, we've plumbed the depths of J. R. R. Tolkien's tale of adventure in search of nuggets of wisdom and enchanting expressions.

From humorous observations to elegant advice, here's hoping this inspires you to dig out your copy for another read. Let us know if we missed any of your favourite words of wisdom in the comments below. 

READ MARTIN FREEMAN'S INTERVIEW WITH SIR IAN MCKELLEN HERE

  • The 20 Best Pieces Of Wisdom From The Hobbit

    Bilbo Baggins (advice handed down from his father)

    "While there's life there's hope!"

    (Image: Rex)

  • The 20 Best Pieces Of Wisdom From The Hobbit 1

    Thorin II Oakenshield

    "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."

    (Image: Rex)

  • The 20 Best Pieces Of Wisdom From The Hobbit 2

    Bilbo Baggins (and said about him)

    "I should like to know about risks, out-of-pocket expenses, time required and remuneration, and so forth" - by which he meant: "What am I going to get out of it? And am I going to come back alive?"

  • The 20 Best Pieces Of Wisdom From The Hobbit 3

    Tolkien (narrator)

    "It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

     

  • The 20 Best Pieces Of Wisdom From The Hobbit 4

    Thorin II Oakenshield

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

    (Image: Rex)

  • The 20 Best Pieces Of Wisdom From The Hobbit 5

    Bilbo Baggins

    "I am like a burglar that can't get away, but must go on miserably burgling the same house day after day."

  • The 20 Best Pieces Of Wisdom From The Hobbit 6

    Tolkien (narrator)

    "His rage passes description – the sort of rage that is only seen when rich folk that have more than they can enjoy suddenly lose something that they have long had but have never before used or wanted."

     

  • The 20 Best Pieces Of Wisdom From The Hobbit 7

    Bilbo Baggins

    "Every worm has his weak spot."

  • The 20 Best Pieces Of Wisdom From The Hobbit 8

    Gandalf

    "If you sit on the doorstep long enough, I daresay you will think of something."

    (Image: Rex)

  • The 20 Best Pieces Of Wisdom From The Hobbit 9

    Tolkien (narrator)

    "So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings."

  • The 20 Best Pieces Of Wisdom From The Hobbit 10

    Bilbo Baggins

    "Third time pays for all!"

    (Image: Rex)

  • The 20 Best Pieces Of Wisdom From The Hobbit 11

    Bilbo Baggins

    "Go back?... No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!"

  • The 20 Best Pieces Of Wisdom From The Hobbit 12

    Bilbo Bagins

    "Never laugh at live dragons."

    (Image: Rex)

  • The 20 Best Pieces Of Wisdom From The Hobbit 13

    Bilbo Baggins

    "Roads go ever ever on
    Under cloud and under star,
    Yet feet that wandering have gone
    Turn at last to home afar."

  • The 20 Best Pieces Of Wisdom From The Hobbit 14

    Tolkien (narrator)

    "Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway."

  • The 20 Best Pieces Of Wisdom From The Hobbit 15

    Tolkien (narrator)

    "Trolls simply detest the very sight of dwarves (uncooked)."

  • The 20 Best Pieces Of Wisdom From The Hobbit 16

    Tolkien (narrator)

    "No dragon can resist the fascination of riddling talk and of wasting time trying to understand it."

  • The 20 Best Pieces Of Wisdom From The Hobbit 17

    Gandalf

    "May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks."

    (Image: Rex)

  • The 20 Best Pieces Of Wisdom From The Hobbit 18

    Tolkien (narrator)

    "Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars, not if you care for such things."

  • The 20 Best Pieces Of Wisdom From The Hobbit 19

    The Dwarves

    "Don’t tell us about dreams. Dream-dinners aren’t any good, and we can’t share them."