© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Return of the King

The Return of the King


by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Return of the King The Home Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Book.Chapter.Paragraph).

Quote #1

Even as Pippin gazed in wonder the walls passed from looming grey to white, blushing faintly in the dawn; and suddenly the sun climbed over the eastern shadow and sent forth a shaft that smote the face of the City. Then Pippin cried aloud, for the Tower of Ecthelion, standing high within the topmost wall, shone against the sky, glimmering like a spire of pearl and silver, tall and fair and shapely, and its pinnacle glittered as if it were wrought of crystals; and white banners broke and fluttered from the battlements in the morning breeze, and high and far he heard a clear ringing as of silver trumpets. (5.1.30)

Finally: Gondor. The whole series has been building up to the arrival at Gondor, right? Ever since The Fellowship of the Ring, when we discover that Aragorn is heir to the throne of Gondor, we've been itching for the story to bring Aragorn to his destiny in Minas Tirith. So this description of the City itself is like a fulfilled promise, even though it's Pippin who has arrived, and not the absent king. At long last, we, the readers, have arrived at Gondor, and now we just have to wait for Aragorn to catch up. Come on home, buddy.

Quote #2

"Farewell for this time," said Bergil. "Take my greetings to my father, and thank him for the company that he sent. Come again soon, I beg. Almost I wish now that there was no war, for we might have had some merry times. We might have journeyed to Lossarnach, to my grandsire's house; it is good to be there in Spring, the woods and fields are full of flowers. But maybe we will go thither together yet. They will never overcome our Lord, and my father is very valiant. Farewell and return!" (5.1.190)

What we love about Bergil's farewell to Pippin is that he is young enough to think that it is impossible for Lord Denethor to lose this war. And he's sure his father is too brave to fall in battle. Innocent Bergil seems to believe that, because things have always been (mostly) safe, that they will stay mostly safe, war or no. He doesn't really understand that his grandfather's home in Lossarnach may not still be there by the end of this conflict. Bergil's eagerness to watch the troops and to see all the signs of preparation for war demonstrates that he is unable to imagine any true changes to his home—changes that the older people of Gondor are all experienced enough to fear. The youngster's naiveté won't last for long though, because his hometown is about to be changed forever.

Quote #3

"Good-bye!" said Merry. He could find no more to say. He felt very small, and he was puzzled and depressed by all these gloomy words. More than ever he missed the unquenchable cheerfulness of Pippin. The Riders were ready and their horses were fidgeting; he wished they would start and get it over. (5.2.66)

At the start of Return of the King, both Merry and Pippin, in their different, distant places, miss one another awfully. Merry wishes that Pippin were near, with his "unquenchable cheerfulness," when Aragorn leaves to travel the Paths of the Dead. And Pippin tells Beregond, "I am lonely, to tell you the truth. I left my best friend behind in Rohan, and I have had no one to talk to or jest with" (5.1.154). Merry and Pippin both feel more comfortable and at-home when the other is present; when they are separated, they have a harder time keeping their spirits up in these unfamiliar places. But then again, if they hadn't been forced to leave each other and go it alone, they might not have accomplished all their brave deeds.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...