Will

I had no desire to have either dreams or adventures like Alice, and the amount of them merely amused me. I had very little desire to look for buried treasure or fight pirates, and Treasure Island left me cool. Red Indians were better: there were bows and arrows (I had and have a wholly unsatisfied desire to shoot well with a bow), and strange languages, and glimpses of an archaic mode of life, and, above all, forests in such stories. But the land of Merlin and Arthur was better than these, and best of all the nameless North of Sigurd of the V”lsungs, and the prince of all dragons. Such lands were pre-eminently desirable.

I knew that danger lay ahead, of course; but I did not expect to meet it in our own Shire. Can't a hobbit walk from the Water to the River in peace? But it is not your own Shire, said Gildor. Others dwelt here before hobbits were; and others will dwell here again when hobbits are no more. The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out.

I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mister Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy. How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened. But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.

I should say that, in addition to my tree-love (it was originally called The Tree), it arose from my own pre-occupation with the Lord of the Rings, the knowledge that it would be finished in great detail or not at all, and the fear (near certainty) that it would be 'not at all'. The war had arisen to darken all horizons. But no such analyses are a complete explanation even of a short story...

I wished to be loved by another,' [owyn] answered. 'But I desire no man's pity.

In account after account of exorcisms the demonic voices will propound nihilism of one variety or another.

In Dwimordene, in Lorien seldom have walked the feet of Men, few mortal eyes have seen the light that lies there ever, long and bright. Galadriel! Galadriel! Clear is the water of your well; white is the star in your white hand; unmarred, unstained is leaf and land in Dwimordene, in Lorien more fair than thoughts of Mortal Men.

In one thing you have not changed, dear friend,' said Aragorn: 'you still speak in riddles.' 'What? In riddles?' said Gandalf. 'No For I was talking aloud to myself. A habit of the old: they choose the wisest person present to speak to; the long explanations needed by the young are wearying.

It is wisdom to recognize necessity when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope.

It will not do to leave a live dragon out of your plans if you live near one.