J.R.R. Tolkien: Risk, Expense, Remuneration

Posted by admin on Tuesday, June 2, 2015

J.R.R. Tolkien Money Quotation in “The Hobbit” – recruiting participants in an adventure requires outlining return on investment (ROI) to participants. J.R.R. Tolkien said:

Risks, Expenses, Time, Remuneration Quote

‘I should like to know about risks, out-of-pocket expenses, time required and remuneration, and so forth’— by which he meant: ‘What am I going to get out of it? and am I going to come back alive?'” — J.R.R. Tolkien


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In this quote, Tolkien is describing someone asking another character practical questions about the risks, costs and payment involved in an upcoming journey or task, but doing so indirectly.

By asking about “risks, out-of-pocket expenses, time required and remuneration”, this character is essentially trying to understand what dangers and hardships they may face, how much money and time it will require of them, and what reward they stand to gain.

Tolkien notes that by “remuneration”, the character really means “what am I going to get out of it?”, and by the other questions, their underlying concern is “am I going to come back alive?”.

So the best interpretation is that the quote comments on someone circumspectly trying to evaluate the risks versus rewards of a perilous undertaking before committing to it.

National Tolkien Reading Day is celebrated annually on March 25th. It is a day set aside to honor J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of classic fantasy works like The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

On this day, fans of Tolkien’s books often reread or discuss their favorite passages. Some libraries and bookstores will host events like readings from Tolkien’s works or discussions about the themes and characters in his stories.

The goal is to celebrate Tolkien’s work and legacy as one of the most influential fantasy authors and to encourage others to discover his books if they have not already done so.

Birthday January 3, 1892 – Died September 2, 1973


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