Tuesday, November 26, 2013

MEC Day Twenty Six: What Did You Call Me?

Sméagol: Oh! We knows! We knows safe paths for hobbitses! Safe paths in the dark-
Gollum: Shut up!
Bilbo: I didn't say anything.
Gollum: Wasn't talking to you!
Sméagol: Well, yes, we was, precious. We was.


Gollum, formerly known as Smeagol

I know there are a lot of people who jut plain can't stand Gollum (like my younger sister Butterfly).  And I understand why and certainly don't blame them.

But, personally, I've always felt sorry for him.  Yes, he does turn completely evil in TheTwo Towers and Return of the King.  He leads them to Shelob, tries to take the ring numerous times and causes no end of trouble.

And, yes, he wasn't the nicest creature before the Ring came to him.  Hello, he was a thief.  He stole and murdered just to get the Ring.

But, after he took the Ring, and became bound to it, his life was pitiful.  He was chased from the only home he'd ever known, he buried himself deep in the Misty Mountains and lived there alone with his growing obsession for 500 years.  When Bilbo took the Ring, his life became even more horrible.  Constantly he was haunted by the power of the Ring, the burning need to have it back.  He finally left his beloved cave and crept far and wide, always searching for the one thing that he could never forget – the Ring.

Then he caught up to Sam and Frodo on their way to Mordor, and Frodo, remembering Gandalf's words about Gollum, took pity on him and took him along as guide.  The kindness Frodo showed him made an impression on Gollum and for a while, he became Smeagol again– just a poor pitiful creature who was destined to travel on and on, until he once more had the Ring in his possession. 

But, eventually the power of the Ring became too strong for him.  He betrayed Frodo and Sam, and then dogged their footsteps all the way through Mordor.

And yet, in the end, it was Gollum who helped Frodo complete the Quest.  When Frodo claimed the Ring for himself in the heart of Mount Doom, Gollum caught up to him and fought him for it, eventually falling to his death, and the Ring's. 

Were it not for Gollum, the Quest would have been for nothing.  As Gandalf told Frodo, "Gollum is bound up with the fate of the Ring. My heart tells me that he has some part to play yet."

I pity him, and his lonely, miserable existence.  His slavery to the Ring, his two-fold nature– sometimes Gollum, sometimes Smeagol. 

It seems somehow fitting that he died with his beloved Precious.

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin


  1. Good post! I've always thought that Smeagol was a particularly pitiful character too. As you say, he wasn't the best character to begin with, killing and stealing to get his hands on the Ring. But there is something pitiful even about that: Smeagol never knew, or at least, never *valued* the sort of love and friendship that could have saved him from the Ring.

  2. Character You Pity Most. Yeah as Melody says I don't feel one bit sorry for Gollum. So for the characters that I pity most would have to be, Lotho Sackville-Baggins, Boromir and Frodo. Yes Lotho was selfish and greedy about being a big-wig in the Shire but he never intended for things to get as bad as they did, and his Mother got taken away and locked up and he was murdered. Boromir was, well I can't really think of the words right now to describe how I feel about Bormir and it does annoy me a bit how some people go on about him, but hey, 'different strokes for different folks'. And Frodo, I really feel sorry for him especially when it comes to the conflicts between him and Sam over Gollum. And Melody, as I read more about Gollum the more I start to understand why you pity him and I am starting to think that I might eventually pity him.

  3. Excellent post, Melody!! You beautifully summed up all of my thoughts about Smeagol. Yes, I think Tolkien gave him a fitting death, and yes, he did play a HUGE part in the Quest, particularly there at the end. I know when it comes to Gollum there are usually two types of people: (1) "Ugh! He's disgusting!" or (2) "Oh, the poor thing! He's so cute!" I am neither, being more like... well, actually I don't know if I could put my thoughts into as many words as I am allowed in this comment box. He's a vile character, true, but sometimes it's the vilest characters that the story needs most and you appreciate the most as well.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

If you are commenting as Anonymous or Unknown, please leave your name in your comment.