Strider’s Riddle

white treeStrider is named for the character in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. Despite being heir to the throne of Gondor, he is unassuming in appearance, wearing a drab gray cloak (like our boat) that hides his true nature. He is described in the following “riddle”, which is ascribed to Bilbo Baggins:

All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king.

For us, the critical line of the poem is “Not all who wander are lost“, which we have taken as our motto.

And for true Lord of the Rings fans who want to know more:

According to the website Tolkien Gateway, “the poem is first given in a letter left for Frodo by Gandalf in Bree. In that letter, it appears as part of a postscript reminding Frodo to make sure that the “Strider” he meets is “the real Strider”. The poem thus appears in that context as a means of identifying Aragorn. Aragorn indeed later quotes the first two lines, not knowing the poem is in the letter, and this does help to confirm his identity. Bilbo himself recites the poem at the Council of Elrond when Boromir expresses doubts about Aragorn’s claim to be the heir of Isildur.”