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Old 12-06-2002, 02:56 PM   #1
Moraine
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Sting ***does anyone think that Gollum might not be really evil?***

I wonder if Gollum was really evil or was he simply misunderstood. OK, stupid question, but he did help Frodo...but was that only to get his "Precious back?
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Old 12-06-2002, 03:34 PM   #2
Lily Ahern
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I beleive that Gollum was nether good nor evil because if you think about it he was plying both sides! He helped Frodo and Sauramon
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Old 12-06-2002, 03:42 PM   #3
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Well, there were times when Sam noticed that Gollum really seemed like an old, weary hobbit, right?

My belief is that Gollum had both good and evil in him like the rest of us, it just depended on his environment to see which one would come out stronger. The only reason he was willing to help Sauron (I think) was because the ring had taken hold of him. If Frodo and Bilbo had both had the ring as long as Gollum did, they might be the same way.

So, I don't think Gollum was truly evil- he was a hobbit at heart, after all- it was just that the Ring had almost completely gained control of him/

[ December 06, 2002: Message edited by: Merri ]
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Old 12-06-2002, 04:05 PM   #4
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Sting

I wouldn't say that Gollum was evil. I think he was blinded by his insane love for the Ring, and that that love clouded his sense and sanity.

Just imagine how tormented he was and how much he must have suffered! To love an object so much that it invades your every, waking thought and steers your mind must be a terrible burden. I think of Gollum's obsession with the Ring as the relationship between an avid smoker and a cigarette. Craving the cigarette every moment, desiring it, seeking it, dreaming of it. Except Gollum's obsession was far more serious than that. It drove him to do horrible things to other people.

So, no, I don't think Gollum was evil. Solely influenced to often do unsavory things, yes. But not evil. Like Merri said - Gollum was a hobbit at heart, after all.

[ December 06, 2002: Message edited by: DarkRose ]
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Old 12-06-2002, 07:40 PM   #5
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I believe that Gollum was on the verge of evil when Frodo and Sam first met him. (He was planning to kill them and take the ring in the beginning or the series.) But some of Smeagol was still in him. Then somehow, Sam and Frodo brought the old hobbit back into the shriveled gnome. (Sam had heard him talking to himself as though were skitzo, debating on whether he should murder the two hobbits.) But unfortunately Gollum chose to honor Shelob and hand over The Duo, in doing so continuing his quest to evil. I believe Gollum deserved his fate.
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Old 12-06-2002, 07:53 PM   #6
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Gollum Wasn't evil he was greedy even as smeagol he killed to get the ring but it was the ring controling him making do this i belive [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]
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Old 12-06-2002, 10:46 PM   #7
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Yes I don't believe that he was evil, his mind was clearly poisoned by the ring and his lust for it made him do what he did. It is hard to pinpoint his intentions, he does help Sam and Frodo for a while but then ends up 'leading them to their doom' kind of thing. So in short, it is all the ring's fault. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 12-06-2002, 11:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
So in short, it is all the ring's fault
I agree. Gollum isn't totally evil but he's just corrupted by the ring. In the Two Towers I read something about how he looked like a tired, old hobbit sometimes. This shows there was something other than evil in him and he was just normal deep down somewhere.
I wonder what gollum/smeagol would be like if he hadn't found the ring??
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Old 12-07-2002, 12:29 AM   #9
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Hmmm, I'll venture to disagree here somewhat. I doubt anybody would say that Gollum was *wholly* evil (what living being can be said to be 100% evil, no redeeming features whatsoever, not even the slightest?). On the other hand, evil has clearly gained the upper hand in his soul and he has allowed it to do so and has served evil for almost half a millennium; on that balance I'd say he is evil, because he has nursed and fostered it and allowed to it to grow, and has pretty much strangled whatever good impulses he may have had.

Consider, even before the Ring came along Smeagol was not the nicest of characters; he had a reputation as a sneak and his love of "roots and beginnings" is ominous symbolism for his fondness of darkness and dark deeds. He murders Deagol almost instantly upon finding the Ring, and while we are told the murder "haunts him" he doesn't have the courage to attempt to make any kind of restitution for it or straighten himself out in any way - instead he gives in to the bad impulses which he has had before and which the Ring encourages, eventually becoming a complete pariah and going off to the Misty Mountains to become a living wraith and very much the creature of the Precious. When he meets Sam and Frodo, he has been choosing the evil path at every turn in his life, and while the good spark in him hasn't been wholly extinguished (as we can see in the Slinker/Stinker dialogue) it certainly isn't for lack of effort on his part.

Obviously most of this was due to the Ring, and the fact that all owners of the Ring are going to fall under its evil power eventually. Gollum was exceptional even among them, however, in the sense that he didn't even make a fleeting attempt to use the Ring for good (or tell himself he was doing so) or to resist its influence. Instead, his nature was such that he was almost eager to give himself over the Ring instantly; its influence was congenial to him in a way that it wasn't to Bilbo, Frodo, or Isildur. This isn't to say that the pre-Ring Gollum was an evil creature, just that he was more disposed towards evil than many other people, and when temptation came along he chose to give in to it by murdering Deagol instead of resisting even for a second. So yes, the Ring made Gollum evil, but I'd say that it had enough encouragement from Gollum himself that you couldn't exactly call him an innocent victim.

Gollum isn't wholly evil. But he is evil. And while he's a victim of the Ring, he's also a victim of his own choices. Not to say that he wouldn't have fallen to the Ring eventually - better men than he had certainly done so - but he did have some choice in how and when he fell.
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Old 12-07-2002, 02:09 AM   #10
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Once again, Kalimac, the words have been taken from my mouth. I agree with you.

Gollum was never as true-hearted as Frodo or Sam. He was driven to murder at first sight of the ring. Therefore, since there was more evil in his soul than other hobbits, he was affected much quicker by the ring's influence.
I am not saying that there was no good at all, though. I think that he truely saw Frodo as a nice hobbit, and deep down in his heart he didn't really want to hurt him... but the darkness in his soul eventually won and took the upperhand (as in many many cases).
I must say that his inner conflict is played out very well in the movie (please, no throwing stones). I think that it helped shed some light on Gollum for me & I am now re-reading TTT with a new light on his character. I think I understand him much better now.
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Old 12-07-2002, 02:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
what gollum/smeagol would be like if he hadn't found the ring??
Dead.

[ December 07, 2002: Message edited by: dragoneyes ]
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Old 12-07-2002, 03:28 AM   #12
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1420!

I kind of skimmed through this thread, but for more relate d discussion topics, go to the book section.
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Old 12-07-2002, 06:13 AM   #13
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Sting

I think, although the evil things he did later in life (if that's the term) were caused by love for the ring, he must have had some evil in him originally. As "Tower of Moon and Shadow" said he killed to get the ring, so it couldn't have been controlling him.
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Old 12-07-2002, 06:15 AM   #14
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I have just thought about what I posted and realised that the ring can control people before they have it (look at Boromir) so what I said about him killing to get it was kinda irrelevant.
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Old 12-07-2002, 07:43 AM   #15
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Sting

he wasnt evil, just insanely jealous and misguided.
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Old 12-07-2002, 07:53 AM   #16
Cherie Centaur
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Kalimac and Tigerlily, that's basically what I said, but I did it in fewer words. I guess I didn't specify what I was saying.

I do believe Gollum(or do I mean Smeagol) had to have some evil/coruption in him, at first, to be able to be entrolled with the Ring. Then the ring helped turn him into Gollum, but it was his choice to go down that path. Not completely the Ring's. We must remember that many people, including Gandalf, resisted the urge for the Ring. Smeagol/Gollum didn't originally have that will power. So in the beginning, he was at least a little evil.
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Old 12-10-2002, 03:43 PM   #17
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I don't think Gollum was really evil, like Sauron, for example. And yet it seems to me that he is the only one of Ringbearers who got the Ring by murder (Sauron made it, Isildur cut his finger, Bilbo found it, Frodo inherited it, Sam took it from Frodo and only Gollum killed his friend to take the Ring). Is he not evil after that? But I think his evil is somewhat minor compared to Sauron and Saruman and other bad guys whom we know from Silmarillion.
I think Gollum just forgot how it was to be good. He has never seen much mercy, has he? I think lots of love (and fish) would have been the best cure for him, but everybody in the book was either unwilling or too busy to give him love and sympathy
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