Character Study: Gollum
Gollum is an interesting character. Like Smaug, the fact that he has been living alone in a cave adds to his wicked personality as the stereotype of cave dwellers go. His magic ring has possessed him to the point that he has lost the trust of everyone, as well as not trusting anyone who comes near him. Although the lack of contact with anyone at all has caused him to talk to himself at all times. Even in the rare cases when he finds himself with someone else, as he does in chapter 5 of The Hobbit, he talks to others in third person, apparently not able to say ‘you’, and he refers himself as “my precious”. Gollum is a unique creature, only because his body has deformed over the years of living in the caves of Moria beneath the Misty Mountains for so long. He is the size of a hobbit, but with pale skin and large eyes. He wears only dark clothes and is extremely thin from eating only fish and goblins over the years. He has only six teeth which are sharpened into points and he has a vicious strength which surprises Bilbo. Gollum owns a magic, which he calls his “precious”.
Gollum has one treasure, a golden ring he calls his “birthday-present” because it came to him on his birthday. This ring makes whoever is wearing it invisible and takes over their lives and personality. Gollum “uses it to creep” around the goblin tunnels to catch young goblins to eat when he gets sick of fish. In The Hobbit, Gollum tries to find his ring so he can become invisible and kill Bilbo. Bilbo, of course, finding the ring before meeting Gollum, just happens to put on the ring right as Gollum comes to attack him. He becomes invisible and follows Gollum out of the tunnels. As Bilbo takes his final look at Gollum, he nearly kills the ugly creature. But Bilbo is filled with a “sudden understanding, a pity mixed with horror.” He sees Gollum’s “endless, unmarked days without light or hope of betterment”, and lets Gollum live. In exchange for this kindness, Gollum...
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