The Tragedy of Gollum in the Lord Of The Rings


The Tragedy of Gollum in the Lord Of The Rings


Gollum was originally a member of the Riverfolk, a hobbit tribe which lived along the banks of the Anduin River. Unlike “present-day” hobbits, these were fond of water and were masters at building small boats and fishing rods. They are related to the Stoorish hobbits of the Shire.

Gollum’s family was large and wealthy among the Riverfolk. His great-grandmother was the matriarch of the tribe, described as being stern and wise in the old lore. His initial name, Smeagol, translates to “burrowing”, “worming in”, or “apt to creep into a hole”. It is quite possible this was only a nickname since he was always interested in roots and often burrowed under trees and tunneled into mounds.

When he was captured and taken to Mordor, he was tortured by Sauron himself. He told the Dark Lord that the One Ring was in the possession of a “Baggins” in a land called “Shire”. But even though Gollum knew where the Shire was, he never revealed that information. After Frodo and Sam manage to capture Gollum, he willingly obeys and follows Frodo, calling him “Master”.


On the other hand, he never considers himself a servant of Sauron, calling him and Shelob, “good friends”. At one point during their travel in the Dead Marshes, Gollum is on the verge of repenting. His voice turns soft and as he looks at the two hobbits he comes close to truly join Frodo’s mission to Mount Doom. Unfortunately, Sam doesn’t notice the change, and begins insulting him, and the chance for his redemption is gone.