LOTR Proverbs

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Postby Unwin » Mon Aug 11, 2003 1:40 am

I'm trying to compile some one-liners (<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>) from LOTR that can be used as proverbs. I'm referring to short statements that can stand alone as proverbs, even independently of any LOTR context.<BR><BR>For example:<BR><BR><b>"One who cannot cast away a treasure at need is in fetters."</b><BR><BR><b>"He that flies counts every foeman twice".</b><BR><BR><BR>Wonder if any of you know of a list somewhere? If not, let's compile a list shall we?<BR><BR>
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Postby Trahald1973 » Mon Aug 11, 2003 1:43 am

'He who breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.'
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Postby scirocco » Mon Aug 11, 2003 2:51 am

'Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens,' said Gimli.<BR>'Maybe,' said Elrond, 'but let him not vow to walk in the dark, who has not seen the nightfall.'<BR>'Yet sworn word may strengthen quaking heart,' said Gimli.<BR>'Or break it,' said Elrond...<BR><BR>'It's an ill wind as blows nobody no good, as I always say. And All's well as ends Better!' (the Gaffer)<BR><BR>'Oft hope is born, when all is forlorn...'(Legolas)<BR><BR>'Need brooks no delay, yet late is better than never...' (Eomer)<BR><BR>'Rede oft is found at the rising of the Sun...' (Legolas)<BR><BR>'There are some things that it is better to begin than to refuse, even though the end may be dark...' (Aragorn)<BR><BR>'Often does hatred hurt itself...' (Gandalf)<BR><BR>'But it has long been said: oft evil will shall evil mar.' (Theoden)<BR><BR>'But "handsome is as handsome does" we say...' (Sam)<BR><BR>'Where there's life there's hope, as my Gaffer used to say; and need of vittles, as he mostways used to add...' (Sam)
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Postby pippinsqueak » Mon Aug 11, 2003 7:45 am

One of my favourites:<BR><BR><b> Don't take names to yourself . . . it is unwise, whether they are true or false" </b> <BR><BR>From <i>The Stairs of Cirith Ungol</i>, Frodo to Gollum after he has called himself a "sneak" and blamed Sam for giving him the name.
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Postby Giliath » Mon Aug 11, 2003 9:46 am

One of my favourites:<BR>"Few can forsee whither their road will lead them till they come to its end." Legolas.
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Postby Morinehtar » Mon Aug 11, 2003 9:46 am

A couple more...<UL>Saruman: "One thief deserves another" <BR>or [...] "One ill turn deserves another."<BR><BR>Bilbo: [...] "Don't let your heads get too big for your hats!"</UL><BR>Of course <i>The Hobbit</i> also has some that would qualify...<UL><BR>"Escaping goblins to be caught by wolves!"<BR><BR>"Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!" he said to himself, and it became a favourite saying of his later, and passed into a proverb. </UL><BR>
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Postby Giliath » Mon Aug 11, 2003 10:04 am

A couple more again (I suppose): <BR><BR>"But do not despise the lore that has come down from distant years; for oft it may chance that old wives keep in memory word of things that once were needful for the wise to know." -Celeborn<BR><BR>"Council is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise, and all courses may run ill" -Gildor<BR><BR>
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Postby Eluchil » Mon Aug 11, 2003 10:08 am

"Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards for they are subtle and quick to anger."<BR><BR>and<BR><BR>"Go not to the Elves for counsel, for they say both no and yes."
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Postby Beren02 » Mon Aug 11, 2003 11:53 am

I don't know if this qualifies as a proverb per se, but it is one of my favorite quotes from LOTR. Also, I'm not sure if this is the exact wording since I don't have my copy with me:<BR><BR>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. - Faramir I believe
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Postby Luthien_elentari » Mon Aug 11, 2003 12:44 pm

Just a side thought, speaking of quotes. I read this in the Globe and Mail this morning:<BR><BR><i>Misquotation, is in fact, the pride and privilege of the learned. A widely read man never quotes accurately, for the rather obvious reason that he has read too widely.</i><BR><BR>-Hesketh Pearson (1887-1964)<BR><BR>Forgot my "proverb": "Help shall oft come from the hands of the weak when he wise falter." -Mithrandir<BR><BR>Note: This isn't actually LOTR, but the Silmarillion<BR>2nd Note: For the purpose of making it an all-purpose proverb, I didn't put a capital on the "wise", but it's written "Wise" in the book.
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Postby Elfstone » Mon Aug 11, 2003 2:57 pm

"There are some perils from which a man must flee." Faramir, near the end of 'The Window on the West'.
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Postby Unwin » Mon Aug 11, 2003 4:27 pm

Wonderful list! Thing is... you've all almost cleaned out my own list. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Here's some orc wisdom from Gorbag(!):<BR><BR><b>...you've caught the kitten and let the cat escape.</b>
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Postby Uialiel » Mon Aug 11, 2003 4:38 pm

All of these quotes are found in the Return of the King. I'm sorry if any repeat those previously posted. <BR>"The hasty stroke goes oft astray" Aragorn, THE PASSING OF THE GREY COMPANY<BR>"In the morning counsels are best, and night changes many thoughts" Theoden, THE MUSTER OF ROHAN <BR>"Where will wants not, a way opens" - Eowyn, as Dernhelm, THE MUSTER OF ROHAN<BR>"...A traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend" - Gandalf, THE SIEGE OF GONDOR<BR>"Much must be risked in war" - Denethor, THE SIEGE OF GONDOR<BR>"Need brooks no delay, yet late is better than never" - Eomer, THE RIDE OF THE ROHIRRIM<BR>"...Hope oft decieves...Yet twice blessed is help unlooked for" - Eomer, THE BATTLE OF THE PELENNOR FIELDS<BR>"Oft hope is born, when all is forlorn" Gimli, recalling words of Legolas, THE LAST DEBATE<BR>"To waver is to fall" - Aragorn, THE LAST DEBATE<BR>"Talking won't mend nothing" - Sam, MOUNT DOOM<BR>"A snake without fangs may crawl where he will" - Treebeard, MANY PARTINGS<BR>"It is usless to meet revenge with revenge; it will heal nothing" - Frodo, THE SCOURING OF THE SHIRE<BR>"It must be so if things are in danger; someone has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them" - Frodo, THE GREY HAVENS<BR>"...Not all tears are evil" - Gandalf, THE GREY HAVENS
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Postby Unwin » Mon Aug 11, 2003 9:24 pm

Here's one more from the Gaffer as quoted by Sam. (Come to think of it, we can probably come up with a whole pile of Gaffer proverbs.)<BR><BR><b>It's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish.</b>
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Postby Cirion_12thRulingSteward » Tue Aug 12, 2003 11:35 am

How about this one...<BR><BR>"All that is gold does not glitter"...etc.etc.
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Postby Cirion_12thRulingSteward » Tue Aug 12, 2003 11:49 am

"Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement."
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Postby Luthien_elentari » Tue Aug 12, 2003 3:44 pm

Hmm, Unwin, maybe you should define the word "proverb".<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>I think some are confusing proverbs with philosophical quotes.<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Unwin » Tue Aug 12, 2003 4:18 pm

<i>Hmm, Unwin, maybe you should define the word "proverb".</i><BR><BR>Ulppp.... I honestly have not given much thought to a definition... I have always thought of a proverb as... well... a metaphor meant to explain some common wisdom in a simple way. Something the Gaffer would say just to bring a point across. And half of his lines seem to be...<BR><BR>I wonder which ones in this list are original Tolkien and which ones are really part of English folklore. For example, "All that is gold does not glitter..." seems to be a paraphrase of Shakespeare.<BR><BR><BR>Here's one more... From Gandalf to Pippin<BR> <BR><b>...the burned hand teaches best. After that, advice about fire goes to the heart.</b>
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Postby Dad-human » Tue Aug 12, 2003 4:30 pm

"Make it short, then you will not have to cut it short to use it." -the Gaffer (might not be exact words)
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Postby Morinehtar » Tue Aug 12, 2003 5:52 pm

One of my favourites:<UL>Orc slave-driver: 'Where there's a whip there's a will, my slugs [...]'</UL>
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Postby Novice » Tue Aug 12, 2003 6:46 pm

Frodo: "Go not to the Elves for counsel, for they will say both no and yes."<BR><BR>Gildor: "Advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise, and all courses may run ill."<BR><BR>Gildor: "Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger. "<BR><BR>Pippin: "Short cuts make long delays."<BR><BR>Sam: (on the importance of listening to your heart and intuition) "Don't trust your head, it is not the best part of you. "<BR><BR>...and my particular favourite: "Do not meddle in the beards of Wizards, for they are tangled and full of crumbs." <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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Postby Scarlet » Wed Aug 13, 2003 6:40 pm

Courage is found in unlikely places. - Gildor.<BR><BR>(By the way, according to my dictionary a proverb is a 'short pithy saying in general use'.)<BR><BR>As fierce as a dragon in a pinch. - from <i>The Hobbit</i><BR><BR>Oft the unbidden guest proves the best company. - Eomer<BR><BR>Generous deed should not be checked by cold counsel. - Gandalf
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Postby Dad-human » Wed Aug 13, 2003 8:50 pm

Even the very wise can not see all ends -Gandalf
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Postby misabella » Thu Aug 14, 2003 11:42 am

While Scarlet beat me to the punch with the dictionary definition, I'd still like to quote my dictionary's version: "A short pithy saying in frequent or widespread use that expresses a basic truth or practical precept."<BR><BR>In this light, some of my faves<BR>"Ah, the green smell! It is better than much sleep"-Legolas (what? you don't think that's practical?), "The Riders of Rohan"<BR><BR>"...if you're short of sleep cold water on the neck's like rain on wilted lettuce"--Sam, "The Window on the West"<BR><BR>"Ill news is an ill guest"--that definitive ill guest, Gríma Wormtongue "The King of the Golden Hall"<BR><BR>"Yet even the most subtle spiders may leave a weak thread"--Gandalf, "The Council of Elrond"<BR><BR>"I don't hold with wearing ironmongery, whether it wears well or no"--the irrepressible Gaffer, "The Scouring of the Shire"<BR><BR>By the way, Luthie, interesting quote about quoiting. Did you quote it accurately? <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR>Edit: to note that 'quoiting' is a very different proposition from 'quoting', which is what I menat to type above...
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Postby Luthien_elentari » Thu Aug 14, 2003 3:54 pm

Hey there mizzie!!<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Yes, I did quote it accurately, but I have no idea what a quoiting means so I can't answer for that.<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Some very deep insights in this thread!<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-shocked.gif"border=0>!<BR><BR>Tolkien was a wise, wise man.<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Unwin » Fri Aug 15, 2003 12:45 am

Here's another... Newly delved (or is it dolven? <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> )<BR><BR><b>... the tree grows best in the land of its sires</b><BR><BR>Hmmm... This is a nice one to put in the one-liners thread. Next opportunity... if ever. By the way, the speaker wasn't referring to the White Tree here.
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Postby Unwin » Sun Aug 17, 2003 6:30 pm

And another... Very relevant in these times. Not that I agre with it.<BR><BR><b>... in desperate hours gentleness may be repaid with death. </b><BR><BR>Denethor to Faramir
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Postby ShanndrahEartheart » Sun Aug 17, 2003 7:36 pm

i cannot resist. 'Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for we are crunchy and go great with catsup.'<BR><BR>i know it isn't lotr but I couldn't resist. by the way, is it ketchup or catsup? what is the difference?<BR><BR>also by the way, wonderful job on finding all of these proverbs.
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Postby Dad-human » Sun Aug 17, 2003 8:14 pm

I've heard that catsup and ketchup taste the same.<BR><BR>"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Qpps wrong author.
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Postby Scarlet » Mon Aug 18, 2003 4:36 pm

Not from LotR but a good one:<BR><BR><b>Never laugh at live dragons.</b><BR><BR><i>'Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!' he said to himself, and it became a favourite saying of his later, and passed into a proverb.</i> - The Hobbit.
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