“But my lad Sam will know more about that. He’s in and out of Bag End. Crazy about stories of the old days he is, and he listens to all of Mr. Bilbo’s tales.”

This line is spoken by Sam’s father in the novel’s opening chapter. It is important for two reasons. One, it establishes that history and lore is passed down to new generations through myths in Middle-earth, something that will occur throughout the novel and the trilogy as a whole. And two, it reveals the transformative power of myth because Sam likely decided to set out on an adventure himself because he was inspired by the stories that he heard from Bilbo about people who did the same thing throughout history.

“It became a fireside story for young Hobbits; and eventually Mad Baggins, who used to vanish with a bang and reappear with bags of jewels and gold, became a favorite character of legend and lived on long after all the true events have been forgotten.”

This passage is an example of one of the times that the narrator of the novel addresses the reader and gives them information that the protagonists do not have. Here, the narrator says that Bilbo’s disappearing act at his birthday party was passed down until it was eventually transformed into a legend. This deceptively small moment is crucial to the theme of the enduring power of myth because the myth of Bilbo Baggins outlasted the actual event and person that inspired it.

“Gil-galad was an Elven-king.
    Of him the harpers sadly sing:
    The last whose realm was fair and free
    Between the mountains and the sea…”

Here, Sam surprises Aragorn, Frodo, Pippin, and Merry by reciting the history of Gil-galad after Merry asked Aragorn who Gil-galad was. It is important to note that Sam learned the story of Gil-galad in the form of an epic poem, which indicates that people in Middle-earth recorded their history through songs and poems so that they could be easily passed down to future generations. This is a significant moment in the text because it is the first time that the reader is introduced to Middle-earth’s powerful mythic tradition.

"...One moment stood she, and a spell
      His voice laid on her: Beren came,
      And doom fell on Tinúviel
      That in his arms lay glistening…"

These lines are a piece of the tale that Aragorn tells the Hobbits about Lúthien Tinúviel, an Elf who gave up her immortality because she fell in love with the mortal Beren. This quote shows the cyclical power of myth. Aragorn is telling them about a legend, but he is likely thinking of Arwen, the Elf that he is in love with, who, like Lúthien, is willing to give up her immortality out of love for him. Through Aragorn and Arwen, Tolkien shows the reader the power of myths, and the fact that they are often reflected in our own lives.

“Don’t adventures ever have an end? I suppose not. Someone else always has to carry on the story.”

Bilbo delivers this line to Frodo during the Fellowship’s stay at Rivendell, and it is a quote that encapsulates the enduring power of myth. Bilbo was the Ring-bearer in his youth during the events of The Hobbit. In The Fellowship of the Ring, Bilbo is old and he bequeaths the Ring to Frodo. The passing of the Ring symbolizes that Bilbo’s part in the Ring’s myth has come to an end; now it is Frodo’s job to continue the story.