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:
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?