All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
The Lord of the Rings is finally starting to get really good… I am past the Shire, the background, the conjecture, and Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin have finally met Strider, the crownless heir to the throne, who is now just a shifty ranger in Bree-land.
There is a part in “The Fellowship of the Rings” while at The Prancing Pony that the hobbits are getting ready to set off for Rivendell, and you can feel the rising danger that is coming their way. You can feel the weight of uncertainty hanging over them as they get ready to set out beyond what they’ve known and seek the unknown.
I have never read The Lord of the Rings trilogy before. I just finished “The Hobbit” earlier this year. I have seen the movies many times in the past, but reading the books is a completely different experience. I am trying as well as I can to detach my mind from the images of the movie and the plot, which is similar but not the same. Instead I am trying to engage myself in the book, the story, what is going on inside each character as they face the journey ahead of them.
I am also relishing the Christian imagery and the parallels of the Christian experience with biblical prophecies of end times and the enemy that is preparing for the last battle.
This quote seems almost out of place in the book. There is so much it eludes to. What is coming, what the fellowship will face, the wisdom of those who have gone before, and what they must learn. When I look at this quote with what I know of the story, it is almost signaling the beginning of the journey. The first 100+ pages were an introduction, a prologue of sorts to the real story. There has been some struggle to get to where they are, but now they are on the precipice of something new. They will leave their world behind to venture out into the world beyond.
They have a rogue as guide and after that it is just them, four hobbits setting out on a journey like no other that has ever been attempted by any of their kind.
The wisdom in these two quatrains is to be heeded by men and hobbits alike on the journey we call life.