Rings of Power: “Not all who wander are lost” song is a Tolkien Easter egg

Lucy-Jo Finnighan
Rings of power hobbitsAmazon Prime Video

A song is featured in this week’s episode of The Rings of Power with the lyric, “Not all who wander are lost” – but it turns out, this links to other Tolkien wonders – or “wanders” rather.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has been taking the world by storm, and its fifth episode just came out. You can actually read our review of Episode 5 here.

Now, one bright feature of this new episode is a song that the character Poppy Proudfellow sings, which is delightfully called “This Wandering Day.”

But it turns out that this song is not only iconic in terms of its quotable lyrics, it’s also an Easter Egg for author J.R.R. Tolkien’s other works.

Not all those who write poems are lost

While the hobbits are migrating in this episode of Rings of Power, Poppy begins to sing a song to lift everyone’s spirits. This song is known as “This Wandering Day,” and is very lovely to listen to.

But it turns out that the song actually harkens back to a poem of Tolkien’s, called “The Riddle of Strider,” which was initially written for The Fellowship of the Ring.

One stanza in the song in Rings of Power goes as such:

At last comes their answerThrough cold and through frostThat not all who wonder or wander are lostNo matter the sorrowNo matter the costThat not all who wonder or wander are lost

It’s a lovely sentiment, and the phrase, “That not all who wonder or wander are lost” is a reversal of the Tolkien’s poem, which goes as such:

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.

The poem is in reference to Strider, AKA Aragorn. In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf writes a letter to Frodo that includes a poem to confirm Aragorn’s hidden identity, with the first two lines of the poem, “All that is gold does not glitter/Not all those who wander are lost” referencing how a King may look like a mere Ranger.

Ring’s of Power’s “This Wandering Day” may be how Gandalf knew the poem in Lord of the Rings

Now, the song in Rings of Power may not just be a fun Easter Egg; it may actually bring new meaning to Gandalf’s poem.

See, there is a theory going around the the meteor man is in fact Gandalf himself. He doesn’t appear to know the song when Poppy sings it, so this may be his first time hearing it.

This would mean that thousands of years before he wrote the poem for Frodo, Gandalf initially heard the Hobbit’s ancestors sing it. Meaning that the words that led a hobbit to saving the world, came from his very own people, the people who taught this Gandalf-esque being the value of “small” folk.

Thinking about this implication, imagining Frodo’s wandering journey to Mordor when listening to “This Wandering Day” gives a whole new meaning to the song. Give it a listen for yourself!

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Episode 6 will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on September 30.