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Thread: My new perspective of Gollum after watching the movie.

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MadWannabe began this thread with the following post

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Gollum...aahhh....one of the major character in LOTR....was the one character that I didn't spend much time thinking about when I read the book...but after watching the movie, I was totally surprised to come out of the theater to learn something new about Gollum....
Firstly, when I read the book I did not pity Gollum at all. It was upon watching the movie that let me see Gollum in a different light. At first I thought Gollum was just a misunderstood bad guy and just shelved him at the back of my mind. After the movie, though, I realised that I missed out a lot of the subplots in Gollum's behavior....I can tell you the history of Gollum and how he became what he was, but the fact was that I didn't really treated him as a character.
The movie got me thinking about Gollum, no only his past and behavior but his psych and the way he thinks too...I started to realised how similar and different he was to all the characters in LOTR. Here is what I thought of him...pls comment after reading
1) Gollum was the result of any character who will be consumed by the ring. None of the characters will do any better than Gollum in possesion of the ring....they will end up serving the ring and their own selfish purposes.
2) Gollum was meant to be a sort of template as to how Frodo is behaving after holding the ring for a long period of time. It is to show the ring's power and that no one, not even a mortal with the greatest willpower could resist. In other words to show the degeneration of Frodo.
3) Gollum or should I call Smeagol has strong willpower by himself too...he was able to fight the temptation (even if for a while) to get the ring from Frodo. And when he killed his best friend for the ring is to signify that he made a major mistake and he felt there is no turning back...just like all normal humans feel.
4) Gollum is also meant to show there is good in everybody, and even if they are evil, it will serve the purpose of good well, like King Theoden so eloquently put it "oft evil will shall evil mar".
5) Gollum is also to show that the trust of people should not be betrayed. As illustrated in the incident of the forbidden pool, Frodo in Smeagol's eyes has "betrayed" him, and it was the catalyst in the diminishing of Smeagol and the eventual rise of Gollum to get Frodo back by betraying him to Frodo.
This is not all, but it should be enough to chew on for now now.



Bain II replied

I agree with you new assesment of Gollum, who I always found a bit tragic and pityable, and thought the film did a good job with that side of him.

I disagree only when you say:

Quote:
Gollum was the result of any character who will be consumed by the ring. None of the characters will do any better than Gollum in possesion of the ring....they will end up serving the ring and their own selfish purposes.


I think it's important that Gollum gained the ring through jealousy and murder, not through chance or as a real gift, as he began in evil and was doomed to corrupt quickly. Also, if a more powerful character like Aragorn, Isildur or even Boromir got the ring, they would not turn into a wretched Gollum-creature, but a powerful, evil being (as Galadriel in the film shows), and though they would be overcome by the ring, it would not be in the same manner. I'm not sure if anyone could actually rival Sauron with his own ring, though Gandalf seems to say it...the ring is Sauron's, so wouldn't it betray even a powerful new master (as it did Isildur) to get back to Sauron?

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I think it's important that Gollum gained the ring through jealousy and murder, not through chance or as a real gift, as he began in evil and was doomed to corrupt quickly.


This is debatable. Some have suggested that, like Boromir, Gollum was instantly seduced by the Ring without ever having laid hands on it. Because he was likely weaker in many ways than Boromir, he succumbed much more quickly. In other words, as someone else (?) has said elsewhere, Smeagol probably would not have murdered Deagol for any other ring.
MadWannabe: If you haven't already, you also might want to read Am i the only one who pities Gollum? to see what some of the others have recently thought about Smeagol.
i think he was not evil,though he did not have a great moral.....maybe that is why he was so easily seduced by the ring..... Cyclops Smilie
I have read it already, Grondmaster but I was looking for a more thorough examination of Gollum...Is it ok? Smile Smilie
Anyways, I disagree with you, Dain_II, I find that the ring will have the same effect on all the characters no matter who or how powerful they are. They will turn into a "wretched Gollum-like thing" after a brief period of power. It is like "the candle that burns the hottest burns the shortest"...they too will deteriote into something like Gollum...having the ring as a crutch, depending on it...
About Gollum not having morals, it can be debated using ProgHead777's about how fast the individual succumbs to the ring. In Boromir, when he was tempted by the ring he was almost willing to hurt Frodo for it. So I will just say that Gollum just sucumbed to the ring.
I must say that one of my favourite charachters in the MOVIE was Gollum, although I hated him in the books....But he is extremely COOL AND STRONG!!!
Good and Evil Smilie Sméagol is a nice charachter with a funny remark about Sams“ tummyBig Smile Smilie But Gollum is pure EVIL!!!!
hahahahhahaa Bad! Smilie


[Edited on 15/3/2003 by Aulė]
When I read The Two Towers I had extreme compassion for Gollum,Even before I watched the movie(2 towers).
Its like He wants to be good,but He cant Sad Smilie
Thats why I like Him...
~~ LadyFeawen~~
HEy Dain....Long time no see! What have you been up to? Oh well about the Gollum thing....I LOVED GOLLUM!!! I mean he is one of my favourite characters in the movie.....He is soooooo cooolll my preciousssss!
I think that when I read the books I pitied Gollum, not sure yet because I am re-reading them and I am not sure what I think of him. Well I do know that I pity him but I think that I agree with Sam that he cannot be trusted becuase he had the ring for too long and is totally corrupted by it. I think that he wants to do what is right but he is too consumed with the ring. In the end I think that everyone knew that Gollum/Smegol's desire for the ring would win out over his desire to be "good"

I think that I will finish the books again, and then repost with a fuller opinion.

Ashley276
I always found Gollum in the books to be pitiable and pitiful and I didn't change my opinion of him at all after watching the films. Despite any changes made I thought the character of Gollum remained true to the book and well done Andy Serkis!

Gollum had his reasons for doing what he did but reasons aren't excuses and whether or not it was the fault of the ring he was what he became and it was sad. He was a villain, as Sam said, but a wretched one and I agree with Gandalf that he is to be pitied.
Pfft, i am already glad Gollum was in the movies. But he will forever remain a Siamese twin of E.T. and the baby from "It's Alive" of course. Nice work.

He had the same puppy eyes as E.T. Really cute. "Gollum want Ring".
What about his character though?
Not much like E.T., eh? Deffinately the baby, i'd say.
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When I read The Two Towers I had extreme compassion for Gollum,Even before I watched the movie(2 towers).
Its like He wants to be good,but He cant

same here
Gollum is probably in Lotr on of the most developed character.
You know Vee I was thinking that same thing about Gollum as well. I think that he had reasons for his behavior but like you said reasons are not excuses. I do think that Gollum is a pitiful character. But you know the more I think about it Gollum may have been a little corrupted before The Ring ever came into his possesion. I know that Gollum killed Deagol for The Ring but he was too quick to do it and that to me is an indication that he was already corrupted. I am not sure that Gollum was ever going to really help Frodo and Sam get to their destination. I think that the incident at the Forbidden Pool put him over the edge and his desire for revenge against Frodo for being "Tricksy" and I think that his need for The Ring took him over. Like Gandalf said "He Loves and Hates The Ring as he loves and hates himself" only I am not sure that Gollum even loved himself anymore. I think that in the end he got what was the only thing that could save him Death he got his Precious and then his suffering ended that is what was best for him. I think that PJ did a great job with Gollum in the movie I think that he was developed correctly, and I really liked that he was in the 1st movie but not in the 1st movie if you get what I mean.

Ashley276
It didn't take Smeagol long to kill Deagol and take the ring........ he was ensnared by it as soon as he set his eyes on it. Was he corrupted already though? Was his character such that he could fall so far so quickly?

In the book Gandalf tells us of Smeagol and his family.
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The most inquisitive and curious-minded of that family was called Smeagol. He ws interested in roots and beginnings; he dived into deep pools; he burrowed under trees and growing plants; he tunnelled into green mounds; and he ceased to look up the hill-tops, or the leaves on trees, or the flowers opening in the air; his head and his eyes were downward.


Nothing apparently nasty or corrupt yet maybe it is because Smeagol had already started to shun the light and trees and living things that he was such an easy target for the ring.
I do wonder if maybe he was not already a little corrupted before The Ring "came" to him?? I do not know if he ever really wanted to be good at all. I mean look how long Bilbo had The Ring and it really did not corrupt him. Is there something stronger about Hobbits (but wasn't Gollum a Hobbit of some sort??) I have just finished The Two Towers and I really think that Gollum was already corrupted (before he got The Ring) and The Ring just made it worse. Frankly, IMO Gollum was weak. I am not sure why I pity Gollum if it is his weakness or his need for The Ring, or maybe his desire to be decent even if he has some kind of underlying plot. I think that Gollum is really an interesting character and one could have an in depth discussion on him alone.

Ashley276
I agree with Vee that Gollum may have had reasons but reasons are not excuses. I think this is what he demonstrates best-that people often have very good reasons for the things they do, but in the end their crimes are still crimes. You can pity their broken characters, but you cannot lay aside their actions if it impedes doing right. I think Gandalf knew this but Frodo was only able to grasp it after the Ring was destroyed and he was safely in Hobbiton and ready to reflect on the whole thing.
I do not think Gollum was any more "corrupted" to begin with than any other being. He had a more cunning, more crafty mind than some, but he did not bend his wits to evil until he beheld the Ring, which to me is a sign that he may be an easier target, but he is not yet corrupted.
Well I am going to have to say that after much consideration I think that my opinion of Gollum is that his mind as the pp said was already cunning and maybe not yet bent to evil. I do find Gollum (or as Sam refers to him slinker/stinker) to a pitiful character. I really think that he was torn and not sure what he wanted to do to Frodo all he knew was that he needed to get The Precious and would do whatever it took to get it. I did notice that he was already planning to take them to Shelob even before he was "tricked" by Frodo when they met up with Faramir and the others. (If only I had my copy of TTT here with me I could find the exact part where that is at. I really only feel pity and even a little bit of scorn for him because in the end Gollum was bent to The Rings will and was defeated as a result of it.

Ashley276
From The Passage of The Marshes, The Two Towers....

Gollum is having a conversation with Smeagol (which appears in the film but in a different place)

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'We wants it! But ' - and here there was a long pause, as if a new thought had wakened. 'Not yet, eh? Perhaps not. She might help. She might, yes.'


She is, of course, Shelob.


Also, during the conversation that Gollum has with Smeagol...

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'He sees. He knows. Hea heard us make silly promises - against His orders, yes. ..'


He, is Sauron, which makes me wonder about Gollums' 'escape' from Mordor and how much in Sauron's service he was, or were these just threats used by Sauron to control Gollum. Gandalf suspected he had been allowed to escape and I took that to mean that Gollum thought he had escaped. So, what orders? Are these threats from Sauron or was Gollum ordered to find the ring and bring it to him?

Gollum was released by Sauron because Sauron -like Gandalf- thought Gollum would be useful to him... Gollum would go after the Ring, if Gollum would have the Ring in his possession again, Sauron would know and it would be easy for Sauron to get the Ring back that way.

Of course, this is only true for book Gollum. You were talking about book Gollum right? After all, this is not a movie thread. Because there are kinda big difference with the movies again.
Yes, it is implied several times that Gollum was allowed to escape although Gollum insisted that he had escaped himself. My point was did Gollum really think he had escaped by himself or was that a lie to himself and he had been allowed to go after promising to obey orders from Sauron - hence the quote about 'against His orders'.

And yes, I was talking about the books which is why I was quoting from the books.
I don't believe Gollum works on Sauron's orders, whether or not Sauron ever gave Gollum any orders, as he doesn't want the Ring to return into Sauron's hands, and as such lose the Precious forever.

Who knows what Gollum's silly promises and Sauron's orders were. Who says Sauron ordered "find and bring me the Ring, cantankerous worm" instead of "never come here again, and leave my Ring alone". Perhaps Gollum's promises were "spare my life please, and i will bring you the Ring".

Well, you didn't say you quoted from the book TTT, right? For the same, you could've quoted from the movie TTT (heh, what a thought).

Perhaps Sauron ordered "Bring me the Ring" and Gollum said "Yes, i will" but in fact lied, then, because if he'd have the Ring, he'd keep it.
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Well, you didn't say you quoted from the book TTT, right? For the same, you could've quoted from the movie TTT (heh, what a thought).



Quote:
From The Passage of The Marshes, The Two Towers....

Gollum is having a conversation with Smeagol (which appears in the film but in a different place)


Well, if that isn't a clue I don't know what is.
So? There was a Passing of the Marches in the movie TTT too. And by the way : who cares. Let's get back to topic shall we?
PJ's Gollum only worked due to the acting ability of Andy Serkis, which fleshed out the part to fulfill Tolkien's writen description of him. I am completely satisfied with the movie Golum as he met my every expectation of being Tolkien's Gollum.

Moderator Smilie I considered deleting all comments about the movie vs the book in the last bunch of posts in this thread, but after looking at the thread's title I decided to leave them be.