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Old 06-11-2001, 09:32 AM   #81
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Re: Gollum's Purpose/Motives (To Stir Things Up)

What a great thread!

1) Regarding the Ring leaving the hand of Isildur, or having its own will (so to speak):

One could argue that a computer program can make choices/decisions, but that it has no actual will of its own. It must follow its programming, however intricate.

The Ring was certainly &quot;programmed&quot;/enchanted to look out after itself, to gauge its possessor/possessee, and to leave that person at the best opportunity (or in response to the call of Sauron or his surrogates, the Wraiths?).

It was able to slip on or off a finger at certain times. These times seemed to be related to Sauron's conscious desire. His body was slain and Isildur took the Ring. Sometime thereafter (was it months, or a span of a couple of years), Isildur with a small band, passed by Dol Goldur and on up to the Gladden Fields. By that time, he was ambushed.

Was there significance to the proximity of Isildur's journey to this evil fortress?

While Sauron was not yet known to have been re-embodied, because the Ring was not destroyed, is it not possible that (however weak) Sauron had not already regained somewhat of his essence, and was able to inspire (if not direct) the ambush and command the treacherous behavior of the Ring?



2) Regarding Gollum and the Nature of Evil

Gollum was a wicked fellow to start with. While the Ring inspired his initial murder of Deagol (and Bilbo's initial lie to Gandalf and the Dwarves), the subsequent usage of the Ring was according to the nature of the possessors. Bilbo pitied the wretched murderous Gollum (as Gollum had not pitied his only friend, Deagol), helped his friends, repented of his lies, repented of his burglary of Thranduil's Caverns (however necessary), and otherwise used the Ring to escape unwelcome guests and as a Practical Joke at his 111th Birthday Party. He eventually gave the Ring up freely.

Gollum murdered his best (only?) friend and hid the body. He took to thieving from his own relatives and finding out hurtful secrets. He never repented of his crimes. When the Ring left him, he cursed &quot;Baggins!&quot; and indeed carried his hatred forever (or at least until his own timely demise).

Was Gollum utterly Evil? No. Nor even was Sauron at the start. Nor was Morgoth created Evil.

Questions about the Nature of Evil inevitably return to the issue of Free Will. We have to look to Tolkien's understanding of Reality (and the Truths he sought to illustrate with his Fairy Tale/Mythology), to get a grasp of how Free Will functioned in Middle-earth. The parallels to Judeo-Christian theology (especially the Catholic brand) are inescapable. But I'll not digress that far.

Confining the discussion to Arda/Middle-earth, Melkor and the rest of the Valar had the greatest measure of Free Will granted to Illuvatar's creations. They made their choices &quot;in the beginning&quot; so to speak, before Arda/Creation was made.

All of their subsequent &quot;free&quot; choices were constrained thereafter by the songs they had sung of the Destiny of Arda and of the Children of Illuvatar (Elves and Men and &quot;adopted&quot; Dwarves). Illuvatar purposed that even the Evil that Melkor/Morgoth had chosen (and the subsequent evil decisions that he and the other creatures would make in the working of Destiny) would be the source of greater Good than originally created.

Smeagol's choices made him into a Gollum. He could have chosen (at almost any time) a path of goodness and redemption. Indeed, through the Dead Marshes, he made such choices frequently.

His will was surely limited by the consequences of his prior choices and the circumstances of his life. But even before the Ring came into his miserable life, he chose a wicked way. When he had an opportunity through the Pity and Mercy of Frodo to redeem himself, he cast it aside on the flimsiest of pretexts. (And do not blame Sam for his harsh words, of which he immediately repented!) Smeagol might have ended his ruined life in a redemptive sacrifice to save Frodo from the Ring. Instead, he ended it as Gollum, clutching his Precious to himself as he had for hundreds of years of misery and torment.

While the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, it is the love/worship of self that is seed of evil.

From Morgoth to Gollum, we see it starkly. From the grand scale to the subtle hints, Tolkien presents Evil in great contrast to Good.

The sacrificial love of others above self is the fruit of Good.

Tolkien shows us both clearly.

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Old 06-22-2001, 03:21 AM   #82
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Re: Gollum's Purpose/Motives (To Stir Things Up)

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> you haven't read the story well have you?<hr></blockquote>

Actually, I remember quite clearly looking up every single gollum quote in the book just to substantiate what I was saying.

The ring was trying to get back to Mordor, certainly, but it could never control Gollum fully - if you bothered to read some of the earlier posts (admittedly, very long) you'll find we went over this quite a bit.

Great post, gil. A few things I'd like to add:

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> &quot;Was there significance to the proximity of Isildur's journey to this evil fortress?&quot;<hr></blockquote>

Perhaps, although Gandalf and several others do say (as Veasorol pointed out) that the Ring was making it's way back to Mordor (i.e. not Dol Guldor) - it may only have been a coincidence that it chose to wait until then, or it may have slipped off because it saw a chance to avenge it's creator's slain body, by betraying Isildur as he swam from orcs - the proximity (however minimal, if i may say so) probably had very little effect on the Ring's decision.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> &quot;While Sauron was not yet known to have been re-embodied, because the Ring was not destroyed, is it not possible that (however weak) Sauron had not already regained somewhat of his essence, and was able to inspire (if not direct) the ambush and command the treacherous behavior of the Ring?&quot;<hr></blockquote>

While that is plausible, my argument was always that regardless of whether or not Sauron had regained his shape or essence, that the Ring (as an object with a will of it's own, i.e. a container of Sauron essence with it's own mind - it responds to it's master, but it's thought is always with it's creator) as itself saw the chance and dropped off Isildur as he swam. If Sauron had any doing in this, then he did - but it is highly likely that the Ring knew it's creator would return, and knew that it would be going in the wrong direction if it stayed with Isildur, who was also responsible for taking the Ring away from it's creator - the Ring, perhaps out of anger or tact, then slipped off.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> &quot;Gollum was a wicked fellow to start with.<hr></blockquote>

Maybe, although we did give some debate to this before. I for one do not believe Gollum was always evil - his good side, Smeagol, was always hidden from view, only surfacing in a few moments, flashbacks to his past and his touching of Bilbo. Smeagol was, as LoTR quotes, interested in depths and dark places, and was hence probably not destined to become the mother of all good - but I do think it is unfair to call him wicked from the beginning. The Ring took his love for dark places and depths, his love for spying and sneaking, and corrupted it into something filled with hatred for light, life and itself. The Ring was the only thing that made Gollum wicked - it influenced his murder of Deagol, (as you said: &quot;While the Ring inspired his initial murder of Deagol&quot and everything else he did henceforth - gollum was a snitch to start with, but not wicked.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> &quot;He eventually gave the Ring up freely.&quot;<hr></blockquote>

Not true. Gandalf had some trouble getting someone as good-spirited and well-meant as Bilbo to give up his ring, which he at times called his Precious. The Ring had only just begun to set in on him if you like, only just begun to corrupt him - and that was why he felt pity, and confessed to his crimes. What is to say that Smeagol at this point of his ownership of the ring didn't pity as well? Perhaps LoTR never explicitly states this, but that does not mean it is possible. Remember, Smeagol's desires were fed by the hatred his family gave him, and he was outcasted. Bilbo was not.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> &quot;Was Gollum utterly Evil? No. Nor even was Sauron at the start. Nor was Morgoth created Evil.&quot;<hr></blockquote>

Precisely.


<blockquote>Quote:<hr> &quot;Smeagol's choices made him into a Gollum. He could have chosen (at almost any time) a path of goodness and redemption. Indeed, through the Dead Marshes, he made such choices frequently.<hr></blockquote>

Smeagol did choose to steal, and to utilise the newfound power of the Ring - but this was not entirely his own choice. The Ring exerted enough force over him to control him (to a certain extent) for example, he could not live a day in Moria without seeing it and marvelling over it. This control, as we discover, bored the Ring until it eventually slipped off as it saw, even with this power over gollum, it was going nowhere.

Your point on Gollum not redeeming himself when Frodo gave him the chance was again fueled by his desire for the Ring, which was far stronger than Bilbo's when he had to give the Ring up and redeem himself - and his fear of Shelob, who he promised he would feed.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> &quot;While the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, it is the love/worship of self that is seed of evil.&quot;<hr></blockquote>

Gollum hated himself.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> &quot;From Morgoth to Gollum, we see it starkly. From the grand scale to the subtle hints, Tolkien presents Evil in great contrast to Good.

The sacrificial love of others above self is the fruit of Good.

Tolkien shows us both clearly. <hr></blockquote>

Powerful words. Again, gollum hated himself, he despised himself and everything and everyone. However, I agree with you on saying that Evil is presented in great contrast to Good. It is, and it forms a very powerful contrast indeed.

I think I'd better refresh my Gollum knowledge and read the other 80 posts before I ramble on any more <img src=biggrin.gif ALT="">

*edit: Thanks for bringing up the old topic, Veasorol <img src=tongue.gif ALT=":b">



- enep</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000041>enep</A> at: 6/22/01 5:26:14 am
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Old 06-22-2001, 04:09 AM   #83
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Re: Gollum's Purpose/Motives (To Stir Things Up)

Ach! It's been revived! <img src=tongue.gif ALT=":b">

I'd just like to add that even though Gollum may have hated himself, that doesn't mean he didn't (try to) act out of self-interest. Obviously, his sense of self-interest was somewhat warped by the Ring, but you could still hardly call Gollum suicidal or anything.

Or maybe it was the Ring that wanted Gollum kept alive... (Yes, the ol' free will vs. Fate and the power of the Ring debate. Run while you can! <img src=wink.gif ALT=""> )

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Old 06-23-2001, 02:02 AM   #84
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well

it is getting a bit old <img src=tongue.gif ALT=":b">

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Old 08-05-2001, 07:23 PM   #85
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/redeye.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Gollum's Purpose/Motives (To Stir Things Up)

I think Gollum was really one of the Sackville -Bagginses whao dressed up as a little slimy creaturejust to give trouble to the Bagginses while they were off frollicking in the Wild... well maybe not, but, hey i thought it was funny any ways so bye.

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Old 08-05-2001, 07:36 PM   #86
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/redeye.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Gollum's Purpose/Motives (To Stir Things Up)

Welcome to Rohan Lindolir!

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Old 10-28-2001, 07:13 AM   #87
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I'm not gonna read the other replies coz it'd take too long [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] or influence my opinion...I believe that the apparent "inconsistencies" of running to the Misty Mountain are simply because of the differences between him and the One Ring...it could draw him out but certain physical and mental difficulties that he faced could only be overcome at the very extremes...as powerful as the Ring was, Gollum was simply a Hobbit twisted with hatred and the lure of ultimate power.
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Old 11-22-2001, 01:06 AM   #88
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Sauron actually allowed Shelob to remain where she was as she proved useful for guarding the entrance to Mordor through the pass.

"And as for Sauron: he knew where she lurked. It pleased him that she should dwell there hungry but unabated in malice, a more sure watch upon that ancient path into his land than any other that his skill could have devised."
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Old 09-15-2004, 04:54 AM   #89
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I think Gollums motives were simple;
1.Kill Samwise-
In Shelobs lair he attacks Sam and not Frodo, maybe this was because he said he wouldn't harm Frodo but, please correct me if I'm wrong here, but I thought Tolkien described Gollums attack on Sam as "spite", doesn't that mean he intentionally did it?
2.Eat fish-
I think Gollum said once that his main dream was eating lots of fish or something, so when he got the ring don't you think he might go somewhere else to have some fish?
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