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Gollum's Story

Gollum's Song

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created December 31st, 2001

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Gollum's story
People often misunderstand Gollum. You may think Gollum is an ugly little wretched creature, but there's more to him than meets the eye. Gollum's life is a sad story, but in order to understand why he is the way he is, you should know his story. Most of it is out of the book, The Fellowship of the Ring, chapter 2.
Long ago, on the banks of the Great River, lived little Hobbit-like people. They loved the river, and often swam in it, or made little boats of reeds. Smeagol(aka gollum)'s family was large and wealthy, and it was ruled by a grandmother of the folk, stern and wise in old folk lore, such as they had. Smeagol was the most inquisitive and curious-minded of the family. He was interested in roots and beginnings; he dived deep into pools; he burrowed under trees and growing plants; he tunnelled into green mounds; and he ceased to look up at the hill-tops, or the leaves on trees, or the flowers opening in the air: his head and eyes were downward. He had a friend called Deagol, sharper-eyed but not so quick and strong. Once they took a boat and went down to the Gladden Fields, where there were great beds of iris and flowering reeds. There Smeagol got out and went nosing about the banks, but Deagol stayed in the boat and fished. Suddenly a great fish took his hook and he was dragged out and down into the water, to the bottom. Then he let go of his line, for he saw something shining in the river-bed, and holding his breath he grabbed at it. Then he came up spluttering, with weeds in his hair and a handful of mud, and he swam to the bank. Then when he washed the mud away, there in his hand lay a beautiful golden ring. Smeagol had been watching him from behind a tree, and as Deagol gloated over the ring, Smeagol came softly up behind.
"Give us that, Deagol, my love," said Smeagol, over his friend's shoulder.
"Why?" said Deagol.
"Because it's my birthday, my love, and I wants it," said Smeagol.
"I don't care," said Deagol. "I have given you a present already, more than I could afford. I found this, and I'm going to keep it."
"Oh, are you indeed, my love," said Smeagol, and he caught Deagol by the throat and strangled him, because the gold looked so bright and beautiful. Then he put the ring on his finger.
No one ever found out what had become of Deagol. He was murdered far from home, and his body was cunningly hidden. Smeagol returned home, and he found that none of his family could see him, when he was wearing the ring. He was very pleased with his discovery and he concealed it, and he used it to find out secrets, and he put his knowledge to crooked and malicious uses. He became sharp-eyed and keen-eared for all that was hurtful. The ring had given him power according to his stature. It is not to be wondered at that he became very unpopular and was shunned (when visible) by all his relations. They kicked him, and he bit their feet. He took to thieving, and going about muttering to himself, and gurgling in his throat. So they called him Gollum, and cursed him, and told him to go far away. His grandmother, desiring peace, expelled him from the family and turned him out of her hole.
He wandered in loneliness, weeping a little for the hardness of the world, and he journeyed up the River, till he came to a stream that flowed out of the mountains, and he went that way. He caught fish in deep pools with invisible fingers and ate them raw. One day it was very hot, and as he was bending over a pool, he felt a burning on the back of his head, and a dazzling light from the water pained his wet eyes. He wondered at it, for he had almost forgotten about the Sun. Then for the last time he looked up and shook his fist at her.
But as he lowered his eyes, he saw far ahead the tops of the Misty Mountains, out of which the stream came, and he thought suddenly: "It would be cool and shady under those mountains. The Sun could not watch me there. The roots of those mountains must be roots indeed, there must be great secrets buried there which have not been discovered since the beggining."
So he journeyed by night up into the highlands, and he found a little cave out of which the dark stream ran, and he wormed his way like a maggot into the heart of the hills, and vanished out of all knoledge. The Ring went into the shadows with him, and there it stayed with him for thousands of years, and there it consumed him.
When chance came, the ring left him, and was picked up by Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit of the Shire. Bilbo put it in his pocket, thinking nothing of it. Then he found Gollum at an underground lake, and they made a deal. They would exchange riddles, and if Gollum lost, he would have to lead Bilbo out of the Misty Mountains. If Bilbo lost, Gollum would eat Bilbo. After many riddles, Bilbo ran out of ideas. He put his hand in his pocket and felt something, and he asked himself outloud: "what's this in my pocket?" Gollum thought that was his riddle, and demanded three guesses, for he thought it was an unfair question. He never guessed correctly, so he lost. Gollum left for a moment back to his island in the middle of the lake to get his ring, but he couldn't find it. He became suspicious of Bilbo, and demanded to know what he had in his pocket. Bilbo put his hand in his pocket, and the ring slipped on his finger. Gollum realized what was in Bilbo's pocket and ran at him. He passed Bilbo without knowing it, and ran to the backdoor of the Misty Mountains, thinking Bilbo would escape with his precious ring. Bilbo followed Gollum to the way out of the Misty Mountains and escaped. When Gollum realized this, he was devastated. He had lost his prey, but also lost the only thing that he cared for, his ring.

This isn't the whole story, and I'll be adding more later. A lot of this is straight out of the book, but some of it I put in my own words. I hope you get something out of this story, like how Gollum wasn't always mean and bad. The ring drove him mad and took over his mind, like it did to Isuldir, Bilbo, Boromir, and many other people. There's two sides to Gollum. Smeagol is the good side, and Gollum is the bad side. He often argues with himself, like you saw in The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers movie.

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Gollum's Song

Music by Howard Shore
Lyrics by Fran Walsh
Performed by Emiliana Torrini


Where once was light
Now darkness falls
Where once was love
Love is no more

Don't say - goodbye
Don't say - I didn't try...

These tears we cry
Are falling rain
For all the lies
You told us
The hurt, the blame

And we will weep
To be so alone
We are lost!
We can never go home

So in the end
I will be - what I will be
No loyal friend
Was ever there for me

Now we say - goodbye
We say - you didn't try...

These tears you cry
Have come to late
Take back the lies
The hurt, the blame

And you will weep
When you face the end alone
You are lost
You can never go home

<bgsound src="http://www.angelfire.com/freak2/gollum/gollum.wav">

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