The larger than life tale of good triumphing over evil against all odds in The Lord of the Rings is uplifting in and of itself. Hobbits defy the oldest power in Middle-earth. Men fight alongside Elves and Dwarves. The Lord of the Rings is full of characters who find their inner strength even in the most challenging circumstances.
Frodo Baggins, like Bilbo before him, is inspired by words of wisdom from friends throughout the course of the story. On Frodo and Bilbo’s birthday, let’s look back at those lessons in the hope that we can all find the strength to keep traveling the road that goes on and on. Here are our five favorite inspiring quotes from the movie trilogy!
5. “Become who you were born to be.” – Elrond
Sleeping in the encampment at Dunharrow, Aragorn wakes from a nightmare featuring a dying Arwen to find a Rohirrim soldier summoning him to Théoden’s tent. Upon entering, Aragorn finds King Théoden speaking to a figure shrouded in a black cloak. As Théoden takes his leave, the mysterious visitor reveals himself to be Lord Elrond of Rivendell. He tells Aragorn that he is there on behalf of Arwen, and bestows upon Aragorn his ancestral sword, reforged as Andúril from the shards of Narsil.
Aragorn beholds his new blade and recognizes it as a symbol of his legacy and destiny. Elrond then tells Aragorn, “Put aside the ranger. Become who you were born to be.” Aragorn spent his childhood hidden away in Rivendell and the ensuing years eluding Sauron and his forces. In spite of being a skilled ranger, Aragorn’s years in the wild had also been its own form of avoidance. Aragorn saw what power did to his family line, and feared that the same weakness existed in him as well. Elrond recognizes that it is time for Aragorn to set aside the safety and comfort that he had known for years as a ranger. It is time for him to take the courageous choice of boldly stepping into his role as King.
4. “There is always hope.” – Aragorn
As night falls on Helm’s Deep, the men of Rohan prepare to face the impossible odds that await them. Marching from Isengard, ten thousand Uruk-hai are on their way. Aragorn sits outside of the keep, surveying the farmers and stable boys that had suddenly become soldiers. Aragorn catches sight of a young man who, in spite of being armed and appearing ready for battle, seems unsure and frightened. The young man tells Aragorn, “The men are saying that we will not live out the night. They say that it is hopeless.” Aragorn tells him, with unshakeable assurance, “There is always hope.”
In spite of the odds woefully against them, Aragorn believes that as long as the people of Rohan are willing to fight, there is a reason to hope. Having faced daunting trials in his own life, Aragorn knows the hope of victory can be enough to keep people going and see them through the darkest of times. Aragorn doesn’t say this to offer false comfort to a fearful young man; these are words that Aragorn lives his life by.
3. “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” – Galadriel
With Gandalf fallen and tension beginning to take hold amongst its members, the Fellowship seeks refuge in the elvish realm of Lothlórien. As the others rest, Frodo awakens and follows Galadriel to her mirror. He sees a harrowing vision of the Shire falling. In fear, he offers Galadriel the Ring and she resists the temptation to take it as her own. Frightened, overwhelmed, and grieving the loss of Gandalf, Frodo despairs. Galadriel assures the small Hobbit, “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”
Frodo had gone from living with his beloved uncle in the idyllic Shire to a life full of terror. He is stabbed by one of the Nazgûl, snatched up by the Watcher in the water outside of Moria, nearly impaled by a cave troll, and loses his beloved mentor and friend to a Balrog. Not to mention he must watch as the Fellowship begins to unravel at the seams. With doubt overwhelming him, Galadriel offers the Hobbit these much-needed words of encouragement to remind him that in spite of his size and modest place in the world, he is up to the task at hand.
2. “There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo … and it’s worth fighting for.” – Samwise Gamgee
He continues, delivering perhaps one of the most beautiful monologues in cinematic history. Sam empathizes with Frodo’s feelings and encourages him by referring to the “great stories” they had heard growing up. He tells Frodo that the people in those stories kept going because they were holding onto something. Frodo asks what they are holding onto, and Sam says, with all of the conviction in the world, “That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.” Sam provides silver linings and hopeful perspectives throughout their journey, but these words spoken in the ruins of Osgiliath are perhaps his most inspiring.
1. “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” – Gandalf
In the caverns of Moria, the Fellowship waits as Gandalf attempts to recall the way out of the dwarvish mines. As Frodo and Gandalf discuss Gollum and their journey, Frodo reflects on everything that had led them to that point. He tells the wizard, “I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.” Gandalf responds, “So do all who live to see such times but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
On the edge of the River Anduin, Frodo watches as his companions are overrun by the Uruk-hai. He stares with tearful eyes toward Mordor, the One Ring in hand. But then Frodo recall’s Gandalf’s wisdom. His expression softens at the memory, then turns to one of determination as he places the Ring in his pocket. In that moment, Frodo makes the decision to use the time he has been given to see his journey through.
Whenever darkness shrouds your journey, or a task seems too daunting, look to the wisdom of Middle-earth for guidance. From the words of Hobbits and wizards, you’ll find something to keep you going. For even more inspiration from these admirable heroes, check out these The Lord of the Rings art prints.
Which inspirational quote from The Lord of the Rings is your favorite? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!