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Old November 23, 2011, 11:11   #1
Nick
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Tolkien Quotes

I have been a fan of Tolkien from a young age. At first it was just the ripping yarns, but over time it has become more and more about his beautiful use of language. And yet I don't have a Tolkien quote as my forum signature, and that is because I find the best passages are too long for a sig.

So here is a place for people (or if I'm the only one interested, just me ) to post passages that seem notable for any reason, be it narrative importance, or significance to *bands, or just favourites.

I'll start with an obscure one from The Lay of the Children of Hurin; it is about Beleg casting a sharpening spell on his knife in preparation for his ill-fated freeing of Turin (the knife pricked Turin's foot, and he woke and killed Beleg, mistaking him for an orc):
Quote:
There wondrous wove he words of sharpness,
and the names of knives and Gnomish blades
he uttered o'er it: even Ogbar's spear
and the Glaive of Gaurin whose gleaming stroke
did rive the rocks of Rodrim's hall;
the sword of Sathnar, and the silver blades
of the enchanted children of chains forged
in their deep dungeon; the dirk of Nargil,
the knife of the North in Nogrod smithied;
the sweeping sickle of the slashing tempest,
the lambent lightning's leaping falchion
even Celeg Aithorn that shall cleave the world.
A few weapon ideas in that
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Old November 23, 2011, 13:08   #2
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Let me hi-jack your thread while it is still young, with an obituary.

Dragonriders of Pern author Anne McCaffrey dies
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/23/anne_mccaffrey/
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Old November 23, 2011, 13:54   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pav View Post
Let me hi-jack your thread while it is still young, with an obituary.

Dragonriders of Pern author Anne McCaffrey dies
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/23/anne_mccaffrey/
Only 70 more years until Pernband can be legally released...
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Old November 23, 2011, 17:38   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewdoull View Post
Only 70 more years until Pernband can be legally released...
Or 90 or more if the IP lobby gets its way ...
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Old November 23, 2011, 18:33   #5
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Hijacked back

My favorite quotes are usually in the voices of the characters themselves:

Morgoth's curse:
Quote:
"Sit now there; and look out upon the lands where evil and despair shall come upon those whom thou lovest. Thou hast dared to mock me, and to question the power of Melkor, Master of the fates of Arda. Therefore with my eyes thou shalt see, and with my ears thou shalt hear; and never shalt thou move from this place until all is fulfilled unto its bitter end."
The Prophecy of the North:
Quote:
"Tears unnumbered ye shall shed; and the Valar will fence Valinor against you, and shut you out, so that not even the echo of your lamentation shall pass over the mountains. On the House of FŽanor the wrath of the Valar lieth from the West unto the uttermost East, and upon all that will follow them it shall be laid also. Their Oath shall drive them, and yet betray them, and ever snatch away the very treasures that they have sworn to pursue. To evil end shall all things turn that they begin well; and by treason of kin unto kin, and the fear of treason, shall this come to pass. The Dispossessed shall they be for ever."
Caranthir clears up a couple of small technicalities:
Quote:
"Be he friend or foe, whether demon of Morgoth, of Elf, or child of Men, or any other living thing in Arda, neither law, nor love, nor league of hell, nor might of the Valar, nor any power of wizardry, shall defend him from the pursuing hate of Feanor's sons, if he take or find a Silmaril and keep it. For the Silmarils we alone claim, until the world ends."
For me the most powerful part of the Silmarillion is when Fingolfin resolves to fight Morgoth alone...
Quote:
Then Fingolfin beheld (as it seemed to him) the utter ruin of the Noldor, and the defeat beyond redress of all their houses; and filled with wrath and despair he mounted upon Rochallor his great horse and rode forth alone, and none might restrain him. He passed over Dor-nu-Fauglith like a wind amid the dust, and all that beheld his onset fled in amaze, thinking that Orome himself was come...
I'll stop here since I don't have any of the books handy. To those who are fond of Tolkien's works I'll also recommend "Smith of Wootton Major & Farmer Giles of Ham." The second is especially charming and full of witty quotes that I can't search up on the web.

PS: Sorry that all my quotes are bleak and grim --- half of why Tolkien is so great is his sense of humor! But I just quoted the parts where I could remember enough of the phrasing to text search them...
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Old November 24, 2011, 06:20   #6
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This one is from Of Tuor and his coming to Gondolin in Unfinished Tales, which in my opinion is one of Tolkien's finest pieces of writing:

Quote:
For a while Ecthelion stood silent, looking at Tuor, and slowly awe filled his face, as if in the grey shadow of Tuor's cloak he saw visions from far away. Then he bowed, and went to the fence and laid hands upon it, and gates opened inward on either side of the pillar of the Crown. Then Tuor passed through, and coming to a high sward that looked out over the valley beyond, he beheld a vision of Gondolin amid the white snow. And so entranced was he that for long he could look at nothing else; for he saw before him at last the vision of his desire out of dreams of longing.

Thus he stood and spoke no word. Silent upon either hand stood a host of the army of Gondolin; all of the seven kinds of the Seven Gates were there represented; but their captains and chieftains were upon horses, white and grey. Then even as they gazed on Tuor in wonder, his cloak fell down, and he stood there before them in the mighty livery of Nevrast. And many were there who had seen Turgon himself set these things upon the wall behind the High Seat of Vinyamar.

Then Ecthelion said at last: "Now no further proof is needed; and even the name he claims as son of Huor matters less than this clear truth, that he comes from Ulmo himself."
Sadly the piece ends there, and we never see a detailed update of Tuor's entry into Gondolin, his marriage with Idril, and the betrayal (by Maeglin) and fall of Gondolin.

I can see I'm going to have to limit myself
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Old November 24, 2011, 07:18   #7
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I have this thing, where I can't accept anything as Tolkien except Hobbit, LoTR and Silmarillion; Unfinished Tales is not canon for me. Anyone else have this?

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Old November 24, 2011, 07:51   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antoine View Post
I have this thing, where I can't accept anything as Tolkien except Hobbit, LoTR and Silmarillion; Unfinished Tales is not canon for me. Anyone else have this?
I think to be really strict, one would need to exclude the Silmarillion, as that was edited by Christopher Tolkien without JRRT's input (and Christopher after regretted some of his editorial decisions).

My personal approach is to accept everything actually written by JRRT as valid to some extent. The Hobbit and LoTR are clearly canon (which is not a term I'm very fond of, but whatever). Everything else I think of as unfinished to varying degrees.

So, for example, the story of Morgoth and Ungoliant killing the trees of Valinor was stable enough over a long period that IMO the Silmarillion version of it can be regarded as definitive. But there are other things about which Tolkien himself was clearly undecided, such as Celeborn's lineage, and the origin of orcs (and whether balrogs had wings...). There were also cases where he had made up his mind to change something, but had not actually written a decent version of it down; an example here is that either Amrod or Amras was accidentally burned to death with the Telerin ships at Losgar.

Certainly I get a great deal of pleasure from reading all the fragments, and getting a feel for what was the right story - Tolkien used to say he learned the truth about things, rather than that he invented them - but I think anyone can take from it what they want. I mean, some people even regard the movies as canon
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Old November 24, 2011, 11:40   #9
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I take Angband itself as canon and maintain that Tolkien was too scatterbrained to remember to include Omarax, Cantoras, Kaxlax, and Tselakus, not to mention the shady trading outpost full of thuggish Edain on the peak of Thangorodrim. Also, Yeeks, kobolds, and icky-things figured prominently in the early battles against the Noldor, and several major engagements were won by Morgoth by sheer power of breeding lice. Christopher Tolkien edited that stuff out of the Silmarillion though.
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Old November 24, 2011, 11:45   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
I'll start with an obscure one from The Lay of the Children of Hurin;
That is indeed a good starting point! It is an obscure source, but it is the passage I know best in it, and this is probably not unusual among people writing Tolkien themed games...

Quote:
There wondrous wove he words of sharpness,
and the names of knives and Gnomish blades
he uttered o'er it: even Ogbar's spear
and the Glaive of Gaurin whose gleaming stroke
did rive the rocks of Rodrim's hall;
the sword of Sathnar, and the silver blades
of the enchanted children of chains forged
in their deep dungeon; the dirk of Nargil,
the knife of the North in Nogrod smithied;
the sweeping sickle of the slashing tempest,
the lambent lightning's leaping falchion
even Celeg Aithorn that shall cleave the world.

A few weapon ideas in that
Indeed, I have implemented all of these in Sil, and am surprised they are not in V considering the number of made up artifacts. In fact my familiarity with these during play-testing enabled me to tell that you had accidentally spelled 'Saithnar' wrong, which itself suggests you heroically typed it all out from your copy of the Lays instead of finding it on the net!

I should note that the lengthening song of Luthien is also a useful source.
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