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hi everyone!I really want to know what you think about Smeagol.was it an unlucky creature that was possed by evil and still had a spark of kindness in his soul,or a killer who was never kind in his life?What do you think?
I think that Smeagol was ONCE a good hobbit, but became the slave of the ring, so all the kindness in him was serioulsy threatened. He became an evil being, although a ray of light from his past kept piercing the blackness in his heart. We can see this in LotR (the books, of course), when Smeagol/Gollum sees Frodo and Sam sleeping and he is moved by that image because it reminds him of what he used to be and what he could have been. I think Smeagol/Gollum is a dual being, that's why he has 2 names...
It's a tuff call, and a lot of it has to do with whether you think Deagol was throttled out of pure greed or because of the Rings influence. I'll say this though, Smeagol had friends, or at least one, and Gollum had none. There's clearly a change in his relationship with his, well, relations, after he steals the Ring, and if he already had all the nasty habits it brought out in him I don't think it would have been a change, just more of the same.
There is a thread in the Character forum about Gollum along much the same lines so some people may feel they have already done this subject to death.

However... I pity Gollum. What's not to pity? He has a life full of 'if only's. I recently found a comment from JRRT in Letters about Gollum:-

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Gollum was pitiable, but he ended in persistent wickedness, and the fact that this worked good was no credit to him. His marvellous courage and endurance, as great as Frodo and Sam's or greater, being devoted to evil was portentous, but not honourable. I am afraid, whatever our beliefs, we have to face the fact that there are persons who yield to temptation, reject their chances of nobility or salvation, and appear to be 'damnable' ... The domination of the Ring was much too strong for the mean soul of Smeagol. But he would have never had to endure it if he had not become a mean sort of thief before it crossed his path... he weakened himself for the final chance when dawning love of Frodo was too easily withered by the jealousy of Sam before Shelob's lair. After that he was lost.


Pitiable but lost.

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I think Smeagol/Gollum is a dual being, that's why he has 2 names...


Obvious but interesting. Tolkien shows quite clearly the distinction between Smeagol and Gollum and also the blurring of the two identities. I love the conversations between Gollum and Smeagol and I think PJ portrayed it very well in the films.

Hard to beat the masterful author for insight, and that comment blows my theory out of the water. In light of those words by he who knew Gollum best, the best we can say of Gollum is that he was once a petty thief who graduated to murder once he encountered the Ring. Tragic, but there's a limit to how much I can pity one such, particularly when, whatever other influences there might have been, there were (a few) positive ones, too, and he made his own choice in the end. What it says of Aragorn and Gandalf I'm not sure, though the latter did make SOME attempt to handle with care. But in the main only Frodo seems to have shown Gollum any kind of real kindness in a form he could appreciate, and while final accountability is his alone, he was certainly encouraged to grow into the role everyone assigned him.
Pah, I don't pity that lil bugger one bit. Once a thief, then a liar and murderer. You might as well pity Ma Barker.

He surely deserved that beating at the hands of Faramir's henchmen; although that of course never happened in the books, it was nonetheless one of the few delightful changes.
Gollum also had a distant cousin called Grima Wormtongue who also could not turn from evil when given the chance: once in Rohan after Gandalf unmasked him; and again in the Shire when Frodo offered him protection. Evil is as evil does.

I could never pity Grima, but I did pity 'nice Smeagol' because he had to live alongside the 'evil Gollum' who was the stronger of the two.

yes i believe that he was a good water-hobbit, if it wasn't for the rings evil doing he would be nice, dead... but nice, as it gave him unnatural life he would have died, hmmm the mind boggles, but I definatly prefer nice Smeagol to evil Gollum, and i can always tell when Smeagol is talking or Gollum is talking in the book, there is a great difference in speech
Sméagol wasn't nice. He was a mean thief and trickster. The Ring turned him into Gollum, a mean murderer.

He went from the frying pan into the fire (literally, even).
By the Professors statement (and he should know) he was always the mean sneak Sam named him (though one could argue, if not convincingly given the context, in what sense the Professor meant, "mean.") The Ring did make him a lot more vicious though.
I honestly believe that that which was deep in the heart of Gollum from a very young age simply was personified when he first gazed at The Ring.
And it was not as if the Ring had that much time to pull him under, get into his mind and weaken his will. He was selfish, self serving, disrespectful and cold hearted I think from pretty much the beginning.
could he have changed after being kicked out of the family clan by his maternal grandmother?
I think anything is possible. He did seem to respond a little, and I say a little, nothing more, to Frodo's sweet kindness and pity and compassion toward him.
But does it not mention somewhere that at some point he snuck into windows and killed and consumed babies from their cradles? That is unforgiveable.No, I am with Vir on this .
Anyone trying to do away with their grandmother by teaching her to suck raw Salmonella bacterium bearing eggs, can not be considered one of the good'uns. Elf Winking Smilie
Leelee - are you suggesting then that Gollum is irrideemable?
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But does it not mention somewhere that at some point he snuck into windows and killed and consumed babies from their cradles?


That is low, even for Gollum. Sounds like a story to scare hobbit children with. Gollum lived under ground feeding on slimy fish and the occational orc/goblin child he found in the caves. The goblins didn't know he was there and that's the way Gollum wanted it. Kids getting lost in the caves didn't cause much suspicion. Infants disappearing from their cradles in the heart of "Goblinville" would be a whole other thing.
I think amarie that the craddle thing concerns the wood men and not goblinville.
It does sound unlikely to me, but I haven't read the hobbit in a while. I was under the impression that Gollum didn't leave his cave. Snatching babies from human houses seems very risky, especially knowing how terrified he was to loose this Pressiousss. If someone could provide a quote perhaps?
Okay i'll provide a quote, amrie, from LOTR, Chapter II The Shadow Of the Past.

"The wood-elves tracked him first, an easy task for them, for his trail was still fresh then. Through Mirkwood and back again it led them, though the ynever caught him. The wood was full of the rumour of him, dreadful tales even among beasts and birdds. The woodmen said that there was some new terror abroad, aghost that drank blood. It climbed trees to find nests; it crept into holes to find the young; it slipped through windows to find craddles"
Ahh... so it was after he lost the Ring. Now it makes more sense. Thanks Thorin. Smile Smilie
It's a pleasure to help. Wink Smilie
Yes thanks Thorin, I was just reaching for FotR to look up the quote when I found you had saved me the bother. I knew it wasn't in The Hobbit for it was way too dark for that story, so it had to be in the later book.
I do not say that anyone is irredeemable in the story, rather that by the choices they consistantly made either to become someone whose heart could change or someone who hardened his or her heart until it was a rock, he made that choice. He MADE himself irredeemable. There was that little window of time where he could have stopped blaming everyone but himself for his evil ways, when he was treated well by Frodo.But he ALLOWED that time to come and go and opted for the lower road. So yes, he had BECOME lost, lost , lost.
Salmonella eh Grondy, yuck. Although his grandmother seemed stern and tough, I believe she would have allowed him to stay and be part of the family if he had even tried a little, just a little, but he did not wish to.
And also, Sauron obviously, well to me, believed that Gollum was completely corrupted or he would have just had him tortured and killed or languish in mordor. I say that because by letting him go Sauron was positive that the lust for the Ring had so consumed the creature that he would absolutely not stop until he had found that "tricksie Baggenses" and stolen back h is precious and killed him for it if need be. So it was not even a gamble letting him go. He would just lead whomever, the ringwraiths and the lot right to Frodo thru Smeagol.
I don't think it was a gamble by sauron because once gollluum had killed "tricksie bagginses" he would have sooner or later used the ring and thus revealed himself to the malice of sauron.

Yet gullum is not and must not be held completely guilty. It is true he killed his best and friend and done great evil, but what else could he do? Compare sauron, a mair, with gollum, just a hoobit and you will see the difference between the two in terms of power and stature. If someone as powerful as sauron had put his powers in an artifact how can you expect a lesser creature to resist its corruption?

From the sil
"And much of the strength and will of Sauron passed into the one ring, for the power of the Elven-rings was very great, and that which should govern the mmust be a thing of suppasing potency.."


i think this can answer for itself why gollum was so easily corrupted and i doubt that even aragorn or gandalf could long had resisted the ring had it been openly in their sight for a couple of days or even one day.
Or even on a chain hanging around their neck; maybe a little longer were it carried in a lead-lined, polyethylene-covered, steel-reinforced, concrete box.
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It is true he killed his best and friend and done great evil, but what else could he do? Compare sauron, a mair, with gollum, just a hoobit and you will see the difference between the two in terms of power and stature. If someone as powerful as sauron had put his powers in an artifact how can you expect a lesser creature to resist its corruption?

There was not much difference in power and stature between the River people and the Hobbits. They were very much related.

Sméagol was so easily swayed because there had been mischief in his heart from the very beginning and because he gave in to the temptation from the very beginning.

If he hadn't been already wicked when his brother Déagol had found it, the Ring would have just stayed with Déagol and just have lain around in his pouch for decades... possibly then the Ring would've decided to buzz off again and return to the river by duly leaving Déagol's pocket during a fishing trip and waiting to be found by a more suitable person.
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If he hadn't been already wicked when his brother Déagol had found it

Vir ..I never knew that Déagol was his brother , I thought he was his friend or cousin ..Am I mistaken ?
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There was not much difference in power and stature between the River people and the Hobbits. They were very much related


I agree with you here here i think you're refering to Bilbo but if you re-read the first chapter of FOTR you will see that the ring was starting to get a grip on him. But as i said gollum had done evil and this corrupted him more quickly that bilbo. Yet Gollum have had the ring for about 500 years while Bilbo had it for only 111-51=60 years.
That is the truth Thorin. Still, he only had it about two minutes when he throttled Deagel. So evil and mischief was already in that shrunken little heart of his.
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he only had it about two minutes when he throttled Deagel. So evil and mischief was already in that shrunken little heart of his.


true enough but i don't know if you've noticed but it had a similar effect on Bilbo though to a lesser degree. The only effect it had on him was to make hm lie to his friends.

As for your previous post Gollum got the ring after murdering deagol, else why should he murder him. Yet the evil he shows may either be due to a weak will or simply to , as you say, evil in himself.
you are right, what I meant was it was only in his life ten minutes and already he was a murderer.
"we are wicked precious, wicked" I think should have been on a tshirt he wore.If he only would have worn one.
Well, it was written all over him for anyone who could read it, take faramir for example...
Sam also saw Gollum's wickedness and wanted to protect Frodo from it.

Frodo saw it and also saw his future-self in Gollum; thus he wanted to reverse Gollum's ways, so he himself wouldn't be also bound in wickedness. That he eventually failed in this only added to his disappointment in not directly destroying the Ring.
Yes but i think that frodo came close to his aim from his efforts and also with the help of the uncorrupted part of gollum's mind.

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Gollum looked at them. A strange expression passed over his lean hungry face. The gleam faded from his eyes, and they went dim and grey, old and tired. A spasm of pain seemed to twist him, and he turned away, peering back up towards the pass, shaking his head, as if engaged in some interior debate. Then he came back, and slowly putting out a trembling hand, very cautiously he touched Frodo's knee -- but almost the touch was a caress. For a fleeting moment, could one of the sleepers have seen him, they would have thought that they beheld an old weary hobbit, shrunken by the years that had carried him far beyond his time, beyond friends and kin, and the fields and streams of youth, an old starved pitiable thing.