In the movie version of TTT of LOTR Pippin says "The closer we are to danger, the farther we are from harm."

Was there a similar quote in the book? For some reason my brain attributes a similar quote in TTT or ROTK to Sam or Frodo as they debate the logic of going through Mordor to throw the ring away.

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    Searching through The Two Towers and Return of the King for "danger", "harm", and the related "peril" yields nothing. Not discounting that there may be some phrasing I'm not thinking of Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 0:26
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    I think that was another movie only "invention"; IMO the whole treebeard sequences were poorly adapted to the movies.
    – Max
    Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 0:40
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    This seems to be an invention of the film. In the book, TreeBeard was already aware of Saruman's ill-advised actions.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 0:40
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    Short answer: No. Treebeard is eager to fight from the very beginning, and the hobbits had no reason, or need, to persuade him
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented May 17, 2015 at 0:59

3 Answers 3


In the books Treebeard is fully aware of the deeds Saruman is committing on the borders of Fangorn. The movies portray this badly. In the movies it is seen that Merry & Pippin force Treebeard's hand by walking him to the edge of the forest which has been cut down. However in the books Treebeard does not need such encouragement.

'But Saruman now! Saruman is a neighbour: I cannot overlook him. I must do something. I suppose. I have often wondered lately what I should do about Saruman.' - Chapter 4(Treebeard): The Two Towers

EDIT: (@Mark Edward) pointed out this didn't properly answer the question, let me clarify. So in the context of the conversation with Treebeard there is no quote like the one in the movie. As for elsewhere in the book, I cannot find anything similar.


I think I've come across a good answer. While I don't seen anything like this in the LOTR trilogy, it is an idea present in Tolkien's work. I was reading The Hobbit when a quote struck me. Having escaped the goblins of the Misty Mountains, the party meets up with Beorn. After breakfast they discuss their route to Mirkwood. Beorn says the following:

"Still you are safer going north, even though you seem to be going back nearer to their strongholds; for that is what they will least expect, and they will have the longer ride to catch you."

To me, with the wording so similar this is pretty clearly Jackson's source material for Pippin's stroke of genius. I may be wrong, but it feels like the right fit. Given Bilbo's love of telling stories to the younger Hobbits, he may have even passed this along to Pippin, planting the seed.


The closest I can find (and it's not very close, I admit) is this statement by Sam to Frodo near the end of their stay in Lothlorien:

Fellowship of the Ring, Book II, Ch. 7 The Mirror of Galadriel:

‘It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish, as my old gaffer used to say. And I don’t reckon that these folk can do much more to help us, magic or no. It’s when we leave this land that we shall miss Gandalf worse, I’m thinking.’

It's a stretch, but the cadence is similar.

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