15 Best Quotes From ‘The Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy, Ranked

Fans continue to wait for details about a second season of The Rings of Power, which has no confirmed release date yet. The TV series, while flawed, still managed to depict aspects of J. R. R. Tolkien’s legendary work, and renewed interest in the award-winning movie adaptation directed by Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

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As both new and long-time fans discover or revisit Frodo Baggins’ epic journey to Mordor, it’s the perfect time to look back at some of the most iconic LotR quotes. The best quotes from The Lord of the Rings trilogy often capture major events, reflect characters’ personalities, or even represent the witty humor from the beloved movies. Of course, these have also earned lasting spots in pop culture, with fans still quoting or referencing these iconic lines today.

15 “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.”

Frodo Baggins (Quoting Bilbo Baggins), ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ (2001)

Sam and Frodo leaving the Shire in The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring
Image via New Line Cinema

For a long time, the unusually curious Frodo relied on his Uncle Bilbo’s stories about his adventures to get a sense of what was out there, way beyond the safe and comfortable Shire. This is why it makes sense that Frodo would quote him to encourage Sam, who hesitates to continue on with their journey just as they reach the border of the Shire.

Frodo tells Sam to “remember what Bilbo used to say” about how dangerous it is to go out the door, ending with a hopeful comment about how “there’s no knowing where” they “might be swept off to.” It’s a quote that underscores how much the Hobbits have to overcome to complete the arduous journey, and also a nostalgic line that makes viewers wonder if the two would have made the same choice knowing what they’d have to go through to reach the end.

14 “What about side by side with a friend?”

Legolas Greenleaf, ‘Return of the King’ (2003)

Orlando Bloom as Legolas looking down in The Lord of the Rings Return of the King
Image via New Line Cinema

While Legolas and Gimli start out as enemies who want nothing to do with each other, the iconic LotR duo develop an unexpected friendly rivalry that soon turns into a genuine friendship over the course of the trilogy. The precise and majestic Legolas and the chaotic and strong Gimli make an unlikely duo, but it just works.

The moment that cements their bond happens right before the Battle of the Black Gate, when Gimli remarks how he “never thought” he’d “die fighting side by side with an Elf.” Legolas’ touching response shows just how much their relationship has transformed, as neither of them likely ever expected to befriend each other. The moving line points out the way they draw strength and comfort from one another, knowing they may die in the battle.

13 “A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. Nor is he early.”

Gandalf the Grey, ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ (2001)

gandalf the grey
Image via New Line Cinema

The first movie introduces one of the most powerful characters in LotR in a funny way. Gandalf is shown as a mysterious figure entering the Shire before he’s confronted by the eager Frodo for being late. Gandalf seemingly chides the Hobbit by reminding him that “a wizard is never late” nor “early,” as he “arrives precisely when he means to.”What follows is raucous laughter that signals to viewers that it’s okay to relax, as it’s just playful banter between friends.

The line hints at Gandalf’s sense of humor while also establishing the friendly relationship between the two characters. For those who read the book and knew everything that led up to this point, it makes perfect sense. For everyone else, they’d have to wait until a few points of exposition to understand Gandalf’s relationship with the Hobbits of the Shire.

12 “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

Gandalf the Grey, ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ (2001)

Gandalf and Frodo in The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

As the Fellowship go on their tough quest, Frodo is undeniably under the most pressure, with the increasing power of the Ring influencing his decisions. Frodo’s burden is a heavy one, and something he decides to carry alone once he separates from the Fellowship. He recalls a conversation with Gandalf during this difficult time, as he complained to the Wizard about how he wished “none of this had happened.”

Gandalf’s wise reply reminds Frodo that everyone wishes that in “such times,” but, much like the Hobbit, they have no choice. The only decision to make is “what to do with the time” Frodo does get, which is precisely what he does when he tries to be brave by going at it alone. Gandalf delivers a profound and beautiful line int that flashback that serves as a useful life lesson for viewers as well.

11 “There is courage also, and honor to be found in Men.”

Boromir, ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ (2001)

Boromir by the River in The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

Aragorn and Boromir have had a rough relationship from the start, with the tension between the two being obvious during their first meeting. Later on in their journey, when Aragorn doesn’t even consider Boromir’s suggestion to pass through Minas Tirith, the warrior from Gondor is enraged and confused by the “so little faith” Aragorn has in his “own people.” He goes on to admit that “there is frailty” and “weakness,” but sternly tells Aragorn not to discount the “courage” and “honor to be found in Men.”

The heated moment highlights the stark contrast between Gondor’s belief in the strength of Men and Aragorn’s certainty in their failure. It’s an important difference that shows how disillusioned Aragorn is, as the LotR character has a tragic backstory that led to his knowing how easily Men succumb to darkness, just as Isildur did.

10 “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”

Galadriel, ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ (2001)

Cate Blanchett as Galadriel in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

When Frodo confesses to Galadriel how terrified he is of being the Ring-bearer, she reminds him that “to bear a Ring of Power” is a big responsibility that usually means being alone. This helps Frodo realize what he must do, but he admits that he’s “afraid to do it.” This is when Galadriel says an inspirational LotR line about how “even the smallest” people can change the future.

Frodo may be a Hobbit, an individual not exactly known for his bravery or adventurous spirit, but his interaction with Galadriel reminds him that he can play an important part in the way things turn out for him, his friends, and Middle-earth. Any moment with Galadriel is a particularly magical one, and that short exchange she has with Frodo has gone on to become a fan-favorite scene in the franchise, especially as her backstory is further explored in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

9 “I would have followed you, my brother, my captain, my king.”

Boromir, ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ (2001)

Boromir's Death

Boromir has one of the most astounding and transformative arcs in the trilogy, which is especially impressive considering he mostly appears in just one movie. He may have started out as an arrogant, manipulative, and annoying character, but that all changed towards the tragic and dramatic end of his life. After regretting trying to take the Ring from Frodo, Boromir showed his bravery by defending Merry and Pippin from a horde of Orcs who eventually killed him.

Boromir’s death completely changed fans’ perspectives, not to mention Aragorn’s, who stayed with his dying friend as he said his last words. Aragorn also promised to protect their people as Boromir, with his last-minute change of heart, declared how he “would have followed” his “king” to the very end. It’s a tear-jerking moment that redeems Boromir and cements his place as a beloved member of the Fellowship.

8 “One does not simply walk into Mordor.”

Boromir, ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ (2001)

Boromir in The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

When Boromir learns the group’s plan to bring the One Ring to Mordor in order to be “cast back into the fiery chasm from whence it came,” he’s quick to voice his disapproval. He describes the harsh conditions in the “barren wasteland” and reminds everyone of the legions of Orcs, the unbreathable air, and, of course, the watchful Great Eye.

The quote is instantly recognizable even for those who have never seen the Lord of the Rings movies, as it’s a meme-worthy moment that has become an immovable part of pop culture. It also happens to highlight Boromir’s doubts about the plan, which influence his actions later on. It’s possible that at the point of this legendary quote being said, Boromir already had plans of taking the Ring for himself, knowing how useful it could be for his fight back at home.

7 “Death is just another path, one that we all must take.”

Gandalf the White, ‘Return of the King’ (2003)

Gandalf and Pippin in The Lord of the Rings Return of the King

When the enemies are closing in on Gondor’s inadequate forces and Pippin is terrified, he tells Gandalf he “didn’t think it would end this way.” The Wizard wisely says that “the journey doesn’t end here” despite the number of enemies pouring through soon because “death is just another path.” He describes how when “the grey rain curtain of this world rolls back” there will be “white shores” and “a far green country under a swift sunrise.”

It’s a somber and philosophical exchange that once again highlights Gandalf’s intelligence in LotR. His words are unsurprisingly more than enough to comfort the Hobbit, who has made some truly questionable decisions up to this point. While Gandalf is likely describing Valinor, the home of the immortal Valar, his advice about death is open to interpretation and useful in real life.

6 “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you.”

Samwise Gamgee, ‘Return of the King’ (2003)

Sam carrying Frodo in The Lord of the Rings Return of the King

It all ends in Mount Doom, the final destination of Frodo and Sam’s grueling quest. It’s here that in an awe-inspiring scene so close to the fires of Mount Doom, the iconic movie duo Sam and Frodo almost give up when the Ring becomes too much to bear for the protagonist. Sam is clearly distressed and concerned for Frodo, but instead of stopping, he declares that he “can carry” his best friend and help him finish his quest.

It’s a spine-chilling quote and moment that show how invaluable Sam’s part is in the mission to save Middle-earth. Frodo almost certainly would have never made it without the lovable Hobbit, who repeatedly refused to abandon him despite being pushed away, doubted, and hurt. It’s through lines and scenes like these that it becomes apparent why Sam is such a fan favorite.

5 “I am no man.”

Éowyn, ‘Return of the King’ (2003)

Eowyn and the Witch King from Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

A badass moment from the shieldmaiden of Rohan, Éowyn, is rightly accompanied by an epic line. She sneaks her way to the frontlines during the climactic battle of Pelennor Fields, cloaking her true identity. Éowyn eventually comes face to face with Sauron’s second-in-command, the terrifying Witch-king of Angmar, who calls her a fool and boldly declares that “no man can kill” him.

Éowyn seizes the moment and declares she is “no man” before killing the villain with her sword. It’s an incredible scene that highlights Éowyn’s courage and skill, which help end the terror of the Witch-king on the battlefield. Like many other quotes from the LotR movies, this has been endlessly referenced in memes and pop culture, underscoring its impact on fans.

4 “What about second breakfast?”

Pippin, ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ (2001)

Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd) in The Fellowship of the Ring
Image via New Line Cinema

Hobbits are creatures of comfort, enjoying the same delicious food, music, and hobbies that everyone loves in the Shire. Unsurprisingly, most Hobbits are hesitant to involve themselves or even learn about anything that goes on outside the Shire. Merry and Pippin are no different, so they’re shocked by how hard their journey is when they ask Aragorn about “second breakfast” and receive a disappointing response.

The hilarious meme-worthy line is iconic and is even followed up by complaints from the Hobbits about “elevenses,” “luncheon,” “afternoon tea,” “dinner,” and “supper” – all normal eating periods back at home, but not out in the real world. Pippin will soon learn that this isn’t even the most difficult part of their mission, as the outside world doesn’t enjoy food and warmth as Hobbits do.

3 “My precious.”

Gollum, ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ (2001)

Gollum smiling deviously in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

Just two words are all it takes to become legendary, at least in the case of Gollum, the complex antagonist and unforgettable character from the trilogy. The corrupted Hobbit once known as Sméagol became obsessed with the One Ring and dedicated his life to obtaining it, since it’s his “precious.” Gollum’s particular way of talking and addiction to the power of the Ring are perfectly captured with that phrase, which is repeated throughout the trilogy.

Of course, “my precious” is endlessly quoted by fans and is likely familiar to those who have never even seen the Lord of the Rings movies. The phrase is mentioned for the first time after the Ring “ensnared a new bearer” in the 2001 movie, and “precious” is heard as Gollum’s final word as he falls to his death in The Return of the King, a tragic yet apt death for the tortured LotR villain.

2 “You shall not pass!”

Gandalf the Grey, ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ (2001)

Gandalf shouting
Image via New Line Cinema

Among the most (if not the most) famous Lord of the Rings quotes is said when Gandalf seemingly gives up his life so that the rest of the Fellowship can escape from Moria. In the dark, scary mines, it seems like they might have gone through the worst parts after facing hundreds of goblins, but a bigger enemy was waiting. When the terrifying Balrog, Durin’s Bane, rises from the flames and chases the group towards the bridge near the exit, Gandalf boldly declares: “You shall not pass!” – while this stops the creature, it drags Gandalf down the chasm with it.

Fans likely know this memorable scene for one other iconic LotR quote that Gandalf says during the emotional moment – “Fly, you fools!” – as he implores Frodo and the rest of the group to leave. Both lines are a testament to Gandalf’s strength, courage, and dedication to the Fellowship, with his quotes now endlessly referenced and continue to be subjects of memes and discussions today.

1 “There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”

Samwise Gamgee, ‘The Two Towers’ (2002)

Sam's Speech, Two Towers

Sam is responsible for some of the most epic scenes in LotR thanks to his well-written monologues. In his best one, Sam reminds a tired and drained Frodo that those people in “great stories” always go through impossible situations. With no more spark in Frodo’s eyes, Sam keeps going as he explains that “this shadow” is “only a passing thing,” and they should carry on because the “good in this world” is “worth fighting for.”

The hair-raising speech features some of the best LotR quotes and is unbelievably well-written and inspiring. It also captures Sam’s enduring optimism and immense strength, both of which were necessary for them to complete their seemingly impossible task together. No matter what evil they face, Sam always manages to find “some good” that helps him and Frodo push forward.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Release Date
December 18, 2002

Runtime
179 minutes

NEXT: Here’s How to Watch ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of The Rings’ Movies in Order


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