Selected Quotes From 'The Hobbit' by J.R.R. Tolkien

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"The Hobbit" is a book by J.R.R. Tolkien, a famous Oxford professor, essayist and writer, published in 1937. The story centers on Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who is caught up in a grand adventure. Here are a few quotes from "The Hobbit." 

Adventure

Baggins' quest takes him from a quiet, rural life to more dangerous territory to try to win a share of a great treasure guarded by Smaug the dragon. Along the way, he meets, confronts and is helped by a cast of characters, both good and bad.

  • "I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it's very difficult to find anyone." - Chapter 1
  • "I should think so -- in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!" - Chapter 1
  • "Also, 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." - Chapter 1
  • "There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something." - Chapter 4

The Golden Treasure

Baggins is trying to help Thorin Oakenshield, the head of a band of dwarves. This group used to inhabit Lonely Mountain until Smaug the dragon pillaged the dwarvish kingdom, then ruled by Thorin's grandfather, and took the treasure.

  • "Far over the misty mountains cold / To dungeons deep and caverns old / We must away ere break of day / To seek the pale enchanted gold." - Chapter 1
  • "Some sang too that Thror and Thrain would come back one day and gold would flow in rivers, through the mountain-gates, and all that land would be filled with new song and new laughter. But this pleasant legend did not much affect their daily business." - Chapter 10

The Ring

Baggins is initially more of a hindrance than help on the quest until he finds a magical ring that allows him to become invisible.

  • "He guessed as well as he could, and crawled along for a good way, till suddenly his hand met what felt like a tiny ring of cold metal lying on the floor of the tunnel. It was a turning point in his career, but he did not know it. He put the ring in his pocket almost without thinking; certainly it did not seem of any particular use at the moment. - Chapter 5

Bilbo Baggins

Baggins lived a life of quiet—though sparse—comfort ​until he was called upon to start his quest.

  • "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort." - Chapter 1​
  • "Chip the glasses and crack the plates! / Blunt the knives and bend the forks! / That's what Bilbo Baggins hates." - Chapter 1

Monstrous Characters

Tolkien based many of the characters Baggins encounters on fairy tales such as Grimm's fairy tales and "Snow White."

  • "Trolls are slow in the uptake, and mighty suspicious about anything new to them." - Chapter 2
  • "It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him. Dragons may not have much real use for all their wealth, but they know it to an ounce as a rule, especially after long possession; and Smaug was no exception." - Chapter 12