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." 


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
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Lombardi, Esther. "Selected Quotes From 'The Hobbit' by J.R.R. Tolkien." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Lombardi, Esther. (2020, August 27). Selected Quotes From 'The Hobbit' by J.R.R. Tolkien. Retrieved from Lombardi, Esther. "Selected Quotes From 'The Hobbit' by J.R.R. Tolkien." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 8, 2023).