Gandalf’s most iconic quotes from ‘Lord of the Rings’


With the recent announcement of Amazon’s new show The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, fans around the world cannot wait to journey back to Middle-earth this September. Take a look at the beautifully ominous title trailer here

J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy is as powerful today as it ever has been, and after over an eight-year hiatus since the release of the last Hobbit film, it’s finally time for a new cinematic adventure. But there’s a catch. Taking place thousands of years before The Fellowship of the Ring, The Rings of Power will exclude some of The Lord of the Rings’ most beloved characters, specifically a certain wizard. This wizard is never late, nor early, but arrives precisely when he means to. Yes, it seems that Gandalf will not be making an appearance in the upcoming series. 

Gandalf isn’t just celebrated for his magical powers. He’s equally revered for his ability to always provide a key piece of wisdom whenever his friends need it most. Other times he’ll just say stuff that sounds badass, and that’s equally important. Make no mistake: Gandalf’s insights have woven their way into pop culture for decades, and we’re all better off for it. 

With that in mind, here are some of Gandalf’s most spellbinding quotes from the Lord of the Rings books and films ⏤ ones that have helped cement him as one of the most memorable characters of all time.

“I will draw you, Saruman, as poison is drawn from a wound.”

Gandalf’s first encounter with his former mentor Saruman comes in the great halls of Rohan, where King Théoden has been possessed by the White Wizard turned evil. Using all his magical ability, Gandalf manages to exorcize Théoden and save the day. Gandalf proves that if you want to avoid trouble, always take the wizard’s staff. 

“So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

Ever the optimist, Gandalf takes the time to reassure Frodo that hope still exists even in the darkest of hours. This quote reminds us all that we may not be able to choose our situation, but we certainly can choose how we handle our mindset. Perspective, dear reader, perspective.  

“Run, Shadowfax, show us the meaning of haste!”

When your back is against the wall and you need to get somewhere quickly, look no further than Shadowfax, “The Lord of All Horses.” As Gandalf and Pippin prepare to leave Rohan, the new White Wizard issues a striking challenge to the horse, and Shadowfax answers it brilliantly. 

“You shall not pass!”

As if the Fellowship’s trip through the Mines of Moria could get any worse, Gandalf is stuck battling the Balrog on the only bridge out of the dungeon. His heroic attempt to save his friends worked out in the long run, but Gandalf paid the ultimate price. Speaking of…

“Fly, you fools!”

While holding back the Balrog, Gandalf is caught by the demon’s whip and dragged to the ledge of the collapsed bridge out of Moria. Knowing that the longer the Fellowship stayed, the more danger they were in, Gandalf orders them to leave with these parting words.

“I will not say: do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.”

When this epic tale came to a close, some stayed in Middle-earth and some decided to leave. Those that stuck around had an incredibly hard time accepting the fact that their friends were going away for good, and Gandalf provides the ultimate piece of wisdom: it’s okay to cry, and cry we shall. 

“Keep it secret. Keep it safe.”

Once Gandalf suspects that Frodo’s newly-inherited piece of jewelry may actually be The One Ring, he knows that his hobbit friend is in a world of trouble. In an effort to protect Frodo, Gandalf ominously tells him to hide it from everyone and everything. It wasn’t enough. 

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

If you ever need help fighting human nature, this piece of knowledge may be the answer. Death is a scary thing. It’s a part of life, but that doesn’t make it any easier, and no matter what, it eventually catches up to all of us. Gandalf tries to calm those fears and help Pippin understand that death can be made into yet another grand adventure. 

“One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.”

Arguably the most notable quote of the franchise, Gandalf translates the writing on The One Ring to Frodo so the young hobbit can truly understand the world-shifting nature of his predicament. It is no ordinary ring, but a ring to end all rings and command all beings.

“Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”

Showcasing his whimsical side, Gandalf’s first introduction to Bilbo Baggins is a memorable one. He explores all the types of “good mornings” anyone could possibly have, and if you can keep up with the logic it makes perfect sense. The question is, what type of morning will you have tomorrow?

Bonus: “From the lowest dungeon to the highest peak, I fought with the Balrog of Morgoth… Until at last I threw down my enemy and smote his ruin upon the mountainside.”

To round things out we’ll end with this bonus quote, solely because it’s badass. “From the lowest dungeon to the highest peak…?” It’s hard to know what that even means, but it sure does sound cool. In perhaps the most harrowing fight scene of the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, we get to watch Gandalf fall thousands of feet and beat the Balrog in the process. 

There you have it, some of Gandalf’s most memorable quotes. Keep these words of wisdom by your side, and nothing will stand your way. Except maybe a Balrog.