If Ideas Had Shapes

A quoteblog ranging from philosophers in bathrobes to galaxy-rises

Tag: two towers

J.R.R. Tolkien – The Lord of the Rings (1954)

‘Where did you come by that, Sam?’ asked Pippin. ‘I’ve never heard those words before.’

Sam muttered something inaudible. ‘It’s out of his own head, of course,’ said Frodo. ‘I am learning a lot about Sam Gamgee on this journey. First he was a conspirator, now he’s a jester. He’ll end up by becoming a wizard—or a warrior!’

(The Fellowship of the Ring)

‘By all the signs, Captain Shagrat, I’d say there’s a large warrior loose, Elf most likely, with an elf-sword anyway, and an axe as well maybe; and he’s loose in your bounds, too, and you’ve never spotted him. Very funny indeed!’ Gorbag spat. Sam smiled grimly at this description of himself.

(The Two Towers)

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J.R.R. Tolkien – The Two Towers (1954)

‘…All the big important plans are not for my sort. Still, I wonder if we shall ever be put into songs or tales. We’re in one, of course; but I mean: put into words, you know, told by the fireside, or read out of a great big book with red and black letters, years and years afterwards. And people will say: “Let’s hear about Frodo and the Ring!” And they’ll say: “Yes, that’s one of my favourite stories. Frodo was very brave, wasn’t he, dad?” “Yes, my boy, the famousest of hobbits, and that’s saying a lot.”’

J.R.R. Tolkien – The Two Towers (1954)

…But I suppose it’s often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually—their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten.

J.R.R. Tolkien – The Two Towers (1954)

‘Then she must be lovely indeed,’ said Faramir. ‘Perilously fair.’

‘I don’t know about perilous,’ said Sam. ‘It strikes me that folk takes their peril with them into Lórien, and finds it there because they’ve brought it. But perhaps you could call her perilous, because she’s so strong in herself. You, you could dash yourself to pieces on her, like a ship on a rock; or drownd yourself, like a hobbit in a river. But neither rock nor river would be to blame.’

J.R.R. Tolkien – The Two Towers (1954)

…I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend: the city of the Men of Númenor; and I would have her loved for her memory, her ancientry, her beauty, and her present wisdom. Not feared, save as men may fear the dignity of a man, old and wise.

Faramir, to Frodo

J.R.R. Tolkien – The Two Towers (1954)

It was Sam’s first view of a battle of Men against Men, and he did not like it much. He was glad that he could not see the dead face. He wondered what the man’s name was and where he came from; and if he was really evil of heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from his home; and if he would not really rather have stayed there in peace—all in a flash of thought which was quickly driven from his mind.

J.R.R. Tolkien – The Two Towers (1954)

‘Sméagol won’t go, O no precious, not this time,’ hissed Gollum. ‘He’s frightened, and he’s very tired, and this hobbit’s not nice, not nice at all. Sméagol won’t grub for roots and carrotses and—taters. What’s taters, precious, eh, what’s taters?’

‘Po-ta-toes,’ said Sam. ‘The Gaffer’s delight, and rare good ballast for an empty belly. But you won’t find any, so you needn’t look. But be good Sméagol and fetch me the herbs, and I’ll think better of you. What’s more, if you turn over a new leaf, and keep it turned, I’ll cook you some taters one of these days. I will: fried fish and chips served by S. Gamgee. You couldn’t say no to that.’

‘Yes, yes we could. Spoiling nice fish, scorching it. Give me fish now, and keep nassty chips!’

J.R.R. Tolkien – The Two Towers (1954)

‘Perilous to us all are the devices of an art deeper than we possess ourselves.’

J.R.R. Tolkien – The Two Towers (1954)

‘“But Gandalf,” I cried, “where have you been? And have you seen the others?”

‘“Wherever I have been, I am back,” he answered in the genuine Gandalf manner.’

J.R.R. Tolkien – The Two Towers (1954)

‘“When night falls do not linger near this gate or in the old tunnel! Water may come through—and it will be foul water for a while, until all the filth of Saruman is washed away. Then Isen can run clean again.” He began to pull down a bit more of the walls, in a leisurely sort of way, just to amuse himself.’