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Old 07-23-2009, 05:00 PM   #1
The Mouth of Sauron
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How did Gollum escape from Moria ?

Gollum started following the Fellowship after they entered Moria at the West Gate. And throughout the journey through Moria, both Frodo and Aragorn (and almost certainly Gandalf too) were aware of his presence.

But considering Gollum was FOLLOWING, how did he cross the chasm which the Bridge of Khazad-Dum had spanned ? The Fellowship were the last to cross the bridge before Gandalf destroyed it. And yet Gollum was right behind the Fellowship, on the borders of Lorien, only hours later.
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:31 AM   #2
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I think Gollum climbed out of a light-shaft/window. He was a small, very agile creature and could climb like a spider.
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:33 AM   #3
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Gollum started following the Fellowship after they entered Moria at the West Gate. And throughout the journey through Moria, both Frodo and Aragorn (and almost certainly Gandalf too) were aware of his presence.

But considering Gollum was FOLLOWING, how did he cross the chasm which the Bridge of Khazad-Dum had spanned ? The Fellowship were the last to cross the bridge before Gandalf destroyed it. And yet Gollum was right behind the Fellowship, on the borders of Lorien, only hours later.
Is there anything on this matter by Tolkien? (Letters, something... I would think that somebody might have asked him about that.) Anyway, if I were to state my opinion, what comes on my mind right now is that Gollum actually managed to cross the Bridge BEFORE the Fellowship - when the matters got nasty, perhaps he was forced to move eastwards (because the Orcs were approaching from the West) and then crossed the bridge and went outside, or something like that. Though, there were still the guards... I guess Gollum must have (in any case) used the chaos created by the Fellowship's coming to sneak out.

Also, didn't the Orcs cross the pit after the destruction of the Bridge, too? Wasn't there some other way (apart from the one Gandalf and Balrog took, that is)? Perhaps Gollum could cross that way. Though he certainly had to be quick, as he was seen by Frodo almost that very night.
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:35 AM   #4
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I think Gollum climbed out of a light-shaft/window. He was a small, very agile creature and could climb like a spider.
If he could do that, he would have done that ages ago. But we are told that he was actually stuck in Moria and couldn't get out - he couldn't open the Western gate, because the doors were too heavy for him, and in the East, there were the Orcs. So if he could have used any of the shafts, he would have done so before. No, this won't hold.
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:55 AM   #5
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I don't think that there was an other way around or over the chasm. What proteting would the bridge have been if there was an other way?

But the Orcs were seen greatte numbers at the border of Lorien the same night as Gollum. We can assume that they bridge the chasm sone after the fellowship left Moria. Probably the Orcs waited for the night, before they came out of Moria but Gollum could have moved earlier.

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Old 07-24-2009, 06:00 AM   #6
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I would agree with Legate in that Gollum made his way out just before the Fellowship. He knew his way about, and did not need to follow them to be led to the exit. The last sighting of him by anyone in the group came while they camped in the large hall on the last night. From that point, he likely slipped ahead of them and went out through the East-gate, hiding where he could watch for them and resume stalking.
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:41 AM   #7
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I also tend to think Gollum got out before them. I think it was rather obvious that they were passing through Moria, and thus there would be only one place for them to exit. As I recall, Gollum did not follow them into Moria; he was already there, and drawn by the Ring, picked up their trail. My suspicion is that once they got closer to the east door, possibly during the night they slept in one of the upper chambers, he scooted ahead and out to a place where he could watch for them, safely away from the interference of Orcs and any other servant or ally of Sauron who would either take the Ring to him or want it for him/her/itself.
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Old 07-24-2009, 12:17 PM   #8
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I don't think that there was an other way around or over the chasm. What proteting would the bridge have been if there was an other way?

But the Orcs were seen greatte numbers at the border of Lorien the same night as Gollum. We can assume that they bridge the chasm sone after the fellowship left Moria. Probably the Orcs waited for the night, before they came out of Moria but Gollum could have moved earlier.
Certainly the Orcs waited for the night, and as for crossing the chasm, I just recalled that they had these cave-trolls who brought gangways over the fire. The pit itself was probably rather wide, but the bridge didn't collapse completely, I belive, so the trolls could have brought some large stone blocks to put them over the crack, so that the Orcs could pass.

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I also tend to think Gollum got out before them. I think it was rather obvious that they were passing through Moria, and thus there would be only one place for them to exit. As I recall, Gollum did not follow them into Moria; he was already there, and drawn by the Ring, picked up their trail. My suspicion is that once they got closer to the east door, possibly during the night they slept in one of the upper chambers, he scooted ahead and out to a place where he could watch for them, safely away from the interference of Orcs and any other servant or ally of Sauron who would either take the Ring to him or want it for him/her/itself.
The only thing, like I already said, is that Gollum was seemingly blocked in Moria before. There were Orcs in the East Gate! How could he pass them unnoticed, WHY would he pass them? Even if he could sneak past them, why would he take the awful risk of confronting them in the first place? And the risk that for example the Fellowship saw the Orcs by the eastern gate or was confronted with them and decided to retreat back to the West again? That way, Gollum would lose the Ring again! Why would he run away from the Fellowship? THEY had the Ring, and it was not 100% sure that they'd pass through. What if they died and the Ring was left to rot somewhere in the dark corridors (or be picked up by Orcs, more likely)?
No, now thinking of it, I believe Gollum actually slipped out either just shortly before the Fellowship (with Orcs in his - and their - heels, not much time to think, their destination was to run, to escape to the east), or after them - which would be rather complicated, I think, as it would need to include the Orcs making a new "bridge" right after the Fellowship left (possibly in order to pursue them rightaway, which sounds a bit overstretched if you try to imagine it) and Gollum somehow managing to sneak past it... and then past the Orcs who have already crossed... okay, really, that won't do... (that's like that riddle where you have to find out how to make a cabbage, a goat and a wolf to cross the river using a boat for two, if you know it, or whatever modification in which you may know it...)

I guess we really have to put Gollum's crossing BEFORE the Fellowship, but sometime AFTER the Orc attack, I guess really after the visit of the Chamber of Mazarbul, imagining Gollum being basically pushed by a horde of Orcs to the East with no other choice but to go to the Bridge and across it, owing the luck and confusion of the Orc guards by the sudden disruption of the quiet routine for safe escape.
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Old 07-24-2009, 12:41 PM   #9
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I guess we really have to put Gollum's crossing BEFORE the Fellowship, but sometime AFTER the Orc attack, I guess really after the visit of the Chamber of Mazarbul, imagining Gollum being basically pushed by a horde of Orcs to the East with no other choice but to go to the Bridge and across it, owing the luck and confusion of the Orc guards by the sudden disruption of the quiet routine for safe escape.
Gollum certainly knew Orcs guarded the East-gate: indeed they were inhabiting the eastern side of Moria, and had been when he first entered Moria. He knew they would attempt to stop the Fellowship, and was probably tormented with the thought the Fellowship might be killed, and the Ring lost. If that was to be their fate though, what could he reasonably have done to prevent it, had he stayed behind the Company? He had no weapons, no armour, and most importantly, no Ring to give him invisibility.
I think he took a gamble that at least some of the Company would escape, and that one of them would save the Ring if at all possible. If the likes of Aragorn or Gandalf could not do so, what chance had he? So, as they lay in the large hall before finding Balin's tomb, he knew they were very near the East-gate and made his move to get there ahead of them. Certainly passing the guards was risky, but he had done it before when he had entered, and this was Gollum, after all, the creature who escaped from wood-crafty Silvan Elves of Mirkwood and a band of Orcs who were hunting him simultaneously.
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:49 PM   #10
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Well, it's just, the way I see him, that I believe he would try to remain as close to the Ring as possible until the very last moment, until there was really no chance that he could hide from the Orcs or whatever. Imagine all the crazy stuff he did and what he risked for the Ring.
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Old 07-24-2009, 07:14 PM   #11
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And Gollum existed and escaped from within the Misty Mountains without his Ring.
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:02 PM   #12
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This issue has bothered me for some time.

Gollum is last seen peaking in on the Fellowship as they sleep outside the Chamber of Mazarbul in Moria. We next find him in a tree in the woods outside of Lothlorien. Much happens between points A and B.

As we all know, the Fellowship awakens, go into the Chamber, gets attacked, Gandalf brings the house down, the Fellowship flees, flies (you fools!) across the Bridge, which is destroyed behind them. Aragorn assumes command and keeps the company clipping along towards Celeborn's quarters. The Fellowship stops a few times, to look at a mere, to bandage the wounded, to wade and to sing. Despite all of this, they hope to make it to some place of safety before the orcs emerge from Moria to hunt them down.

So let's look at Gollum's possible route. We have to assume that he parts from the Company outside of the Chamber of Mazarbul, goes all the way back to where there is another passage, and starts his shadowing of the Fellowship anew.

Or did Gollum sneak past all Nine Walkers (including Aragorn) so to get ahead of them? Gollum obviously did not follow after the Ringbearer after Gandalf buries the Chamber, and so had to follow the Fellowship via another route. He could not have gone the 'main way,' out, as Gandalf remarks that, had the Fellowship done so, their exit from Moria would have been cut off via fire. Later, trolls bridge this fire/gap using slabs of stone. Was Gollum so extraordinary that he was able to make it past this trap that Gandalf and the orcs found so perplexing?

Or did he sneak past the Fellowship, and get on the other side of the Chamber, and so somehow stays in front of the Fellowship (on alert since the attack) as the Fellowship makes their way to the Bridge?

But let's say he is somewhere near the Fellowship as they make for the Bridge. He then must find another exit from Moria, as the Bridge is destroyed before he can use that way.

But let's assume that the Dwarves had built other ways out of Moria (though the Bridge was the main way), and that Gollum found and used one of these, which I assume were not guarded or were poorly guarded.

So assume Gollum escapes Moria somehow. He then actively pursues the Fellowship. Now, I'll concede that Aragorn is looking more forward than backward at this time, trying to get those thrust into his care to safety as quickly as possible. So let's say he doesn't see Gollum, who though trapped inside a mine for some time, is able to keep up with the Fellowship, moving as fast as possible to avoid orcs.

In daylight.

So, to recap: Gollum somehow gets past the greatest hunter of all time or finds an alternate route through a maze that almost stumps Gandalf, gets past a trap that would inhibit both Free People and orcs, gets across a chasm that, without a Bridge, keeps enemies from entering (or he finds an unguarded alternate passage), pursues the Fellowship unseen and travels rapidly despite suffering from deprivation and Yellow Face being in the sky.

Uh-huh.

My theory, based on what we read in the Books, is that the eagle Deus ex machina flies Gollum out of Moria, setting him down later across the Nimrodel.

These are the 'wings' that we see behind the Balrog...
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:52 PM   #13
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Or did he sneak past the Fellowship, and get on the other side of the Chamber, and so somehow stays in front of the Fellowship (on alert since the attack) as the Fellowship makes their way to the Bridge?

But let's say he is somewhere near the Fellowship as they make for the Bridge. He then must find another exit from Moria, as the Bridge is destroyed before he can use that way.

But let's assume that the Dwarves had built other ways out of Moria (though the Bridge was the main way), and that Gollum found and used one of these, which I assume were not guarded or were poorly guarded.
That seems possible to me. Gollum had entered Moria from the east and had been there a while. He would have been much more likely to have known other routes around the road the Fellowship was forced to take. Aragorn and Gandalf had both once passed through Moria, but they presumably had been looking for the shortest and straightest ways through, so they wouldn't have known all ways leading to the Doors. And any Orcs would have been on the lookout for the Fellowship, not one little withered hobbit, so I don't think it's out of the question he could have got past them.

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So assume Gollum escapes Moria somehow. He then actively pursues the Fellowship. Now, I'll concede that Aragorn is looking more forward than backward at this time, trying to get those thrust into his care to safety as quickly as possible. So let's say he doesn't see Gollum, who though trapped inside a mine for some time, is able to keep up with the Fellowship, moving as fast as possible to avoid orcs.
Aragorn knew all about Gollum, or at least that's what he told Frodo.

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'Ah!' said Aragorn. 'So you know about our little footpad, do you? He padded after us all through Moria and right down to Nimrodel.'
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So, to recap: Gollum somehow gets past the greatest hunter of all time or finds an alternate route through a maze that almost stumps Gandalf, gets past a trap that would inhibit both Free People and orcs, gets across a chasm that, without a Bridge, keeps enemies from entering (or he finds an unguarded alternate passage), pursues the Fellowship unseen and travels rapidly despite suffering from deprivation and Yellow Face being in the sky.
Amazing what lust for the One Ring and a natual 'sneaking' tendancy could enable one to accomplish....
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:00 AM   #14
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That seems possible to me. Gollum had entered Moria from the east and had been there a while. He would have been much more likely to have known other routes around the road the Fellowship was forced to take. Aragorn and Gandalf had both once passed through Moria, but they presumably had been looking for the shortest and straightest ways through, so they wouldn't have known all ways leading to the Doors.
That's fine; however, would Gollum have time to get 'round? He needed to keep the Fellowship in sight to see where they were going. Did he know for sure that they were going to the East Gate?

Note that, after the collapse of the Chamber of Mazarbul, even the orcs couldn't find a path to the Fellowship.

Quote:
And any Orcs would have been on the lookout for the Fellowship, not one little withered hobbit, so I don't think it's out of the question he could have got past them.
Do we know if the orcs gave Gollum free reign?

Quote:
Aragorn knew all about Gollum, or at least that's what he told Frodo.
Either Aragorn didn't think it important, or he really didn't know, but you'd think that if Aragorn knew that Gollum was close behind that he would have told the Elves. Their surprise and lack of knowledge about this strange creature means, to me, that Aragorn said nothing.

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Amazing what lust for the One Ring and a natual 'sneaking' tendancy could enable one to accomplish....
Truly.
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:03 PM   #15
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Would Gollum have been trapped? I mean there are no waters (That I know of) in Moria that house fish. So he probably would have eaten Goblins as he did time to time in his old abode. He would have had to learn secret hidden ways. I understand the East Gate was protected by the bridge but at the same time it creates a tough point of advance for an outgoing army as well. They probably had special Outswinging doors hidden along the exit way. Which he found and frequented in his hunt.
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:33 PM   #16
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Would Gollum have been trapped? I mean there are no waters (That I know of) in Moria that house fish. So he probably would have eaten Goblins as he did time to time in his old abode. He would have had to learn secret hidden ways. I understand the East Gate was protected by the bridge but at the same time it creates a tough point of advance for an outgoing army as well. They probably had special Outswinging doors hidden along the exit way. Which he found and frequented in his hunt.
Good idea, but would the secret exiting doors password-protected as well?

I've just been wondering about this myself. Good thread.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:39 PM   #17
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It is so simple, really. Gollum had wings.

Hmmm...or was it that the Balrog had wings?

Never mind. I'll get back to you on this.
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Old 05-28-2010, 03:44 AM   #18
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Would Gollum have been trapped? I mean there are no waters (That I know of) in Moria that house fish. So he probably would have eaten Goblins as he did time to time in his old abode. He would have had to learn secret hidden ways. I understand the East Gate was protected by the bridge but at the same time it creates a tough point of advance for an outgoing army as well. They probably had special Outswinging doors hidden along the exit way. Which he found and frequented in his hunt.
There had to be food. The Orcs ate something, so Gollum probably just stole some of that. He may have also snacked on the occasional unwary Orc. Actually he did steal food from the Orcs - Tolkien says so. I will provide the quote later in this post.

Gollum may have been more familiar with Moria than Aragorn or Gandalf since he'd actually spent more time in there. He was also more accustomed to padding around in dark places than they were. I daresay he preferred places like that. The only problem about being in Moria for Gollum was that it was stopping him from getting the Ring, at least until the Fellowship showed up.

What a welcome surprise that must have been for Gollum!

I imagine that after the destruction of the Chamber of Mazarbul he must have reasoned that heading for the exit was a sound idea. He should have realised that the Fellowship were fairly close to escaping and so hoped that they were aware of this fact too.

Could Gollum have escaped via the East Gate? Well, why not - if that's how he got into Moria! He was originally using Moria to travel from East to West - he tried to get out via the West Gate, but could not push the doors open. Tolkien says that it generally took two people to push the doors open and that Gollum was weak at that time from lack of food. Gollum got into Moria from the East. Either via the East Gate itself or some other less obvious entrance. So if Gollum could get into Moria from the East side, without being detected by the Orcs, which he did - then he could get out that way. There's no real problem or inconsistency here. If he got in that way, then he can get out that way.

The reason why Gollum didn't simply try to escape via this eastern route before is because he was heading for the Shire, which is in the west.

Let's read what the Good Professor says in Unfinished Tales, The Hunt for the Ring:

"...He was peculiarly fitted to survive in such straits, though at cost of great misery; but he was in great peril of discovery by the servants of Sauron that lurked in Moria, especially since such bare necessity of food as he must have he could only get by thieving dangerously. No doubt he had intended to use Moria simply as a secret passage westward, his purpose being to find "Shire" himself as quickly as he could; but he became lost, and it was a very long time before he found his way about.

It thus seems probable that he had not long made his way towards the West-gate when the Nine Walkers arrived. He knew nothing, of course, about the action of the doors. To him they would seem huge and immovable; and though they had no lock or bar and opened outwards to a thrust, he did not discover that. In any case he was now far away from any source of food, for the Orcs were mostly in the East-end of Moria, and was become weak and desperate, so that even if he had known all about the doors he still could not have thrust them open. It was thus a piece of singular good fortune for Gollum that the Nine Walkers arrived when they did."

If we think that the East Gate was too well guarded for Gollum to escape, then we can also assume that it was too well guarded for him to have entered that way in the first place - about five months earlier in August 3018. There must have been another way that didn't involve crossing the bridge - otherwise how could he have ever gotten into Moria?
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Old 05-28-2010, 04:41 AM   #19
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I doubt that there was another entrance to Moria from the East beside the main doors that the fellowship used. The bridge of Moria would also be useless as a protection if there had been a second way around it.

But the destroyed bridge did not stop the orks from coming after the fellowship once the sun was down. I assume that they bridge the chasam as they had done before with the firefill trenches in the hall: Trolls bringing large stone plates.
And by the same way Gollum can have passed. There was no orc-guard on the brige when the fellowship arrived, so why should there be a guard on the new 'brige' after they escaped?

The doors seemed not to be guarded very well either. As already mentioned Gollum sliped in unseen once before and the Fellowship had no big problem fighting their way out.

We also have to consider that there passed about 6 hours between the escape of the Fellowship and the time when the orc pursuer followed them. That is certainly enough time to find some lazy moment of an Orc-guard to slip by unseen for Gollum.

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Old 05-28-2010, 10:20 AM   #20
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In any case he was now far away from any source of food, for the Orcs were mostly in the East-end of Moria, and was become weak and desperate, so that even if he had known all about the doors he still could not have thrust them open.
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We also have to consider that there passed about 6 hours between the escape of the Fellowship and the time when the orc pursuer followed them. That is certainly enough time to find some lazy moment of an Orc-guard to slip by unseen for Gollum.
Even if we concede that Gollum arrives at the East Gate, he still must pursue a highly motivated Fellowship, who is not only running away from Moria as fast as possible, but also are continually looking back to check for pursuit. Gollum not only maintains a tail on the Fellowship, but arrives at the outskirts of Lorien shortly after the Fellowship does, meaning that Yellow Face nor Gollum's physical condition wasn't much of a deterrent.
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Old 05-28-2010, 12:49 PM   #21
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Evening all,

another factor to throw into the mix is Gollum's climbing ability.

When caught by Frodo and Sam he was climbing down a rockface headfirst and described somewhere as 'like a spider' so he was evidently really good at rock climbing. Probably a mix of low body weight plus a very strong grip, and long fingers.

If he had to follow the Fellowship after the bridge was destroyed perhaps he climbed around the edge of the room to cross the chasm?
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Old 05-28-2010, 12:58 PM   #22
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Evening all,

another factor to throw into the mix is Gollum's climbing ability.

When caught by Frodo and Sam he was climbing down a rockface headfirst and described somewhere as 'like a spider' so he was evidently really good at rock climbing. Probably a mix of low body weight plus a very strong grip, and long fingers.

If he had to follow the Fellowship after the bridge was destroyed perhaps he climbed around the edge of the room to cross the chasm?
That's an idea. It doesn't seem likely that the Dwarves would try to smooth stone walls they couldn't reach, so Gollum likely found plenty of hand-holds. My question is: was the Ring enough of a lure for Gollum to try climbing on a (presumably) sheer rockface over a nearly infinite chasm? Wouldn't he try some other way first?
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:36 AM   #23
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That's an idea. It doesn't seem likely that the Dwarves would try to smooth stone walls they couldn't reach, so Gollum likely found plenty of hand-holds. My question is: was the Ring enough of a lure for Gollum to try climbing on a (presumably) sheer rockface over a nearly infinite chasm? Wouldn't he try some other way first?
The orcs leave Moria, so there must be alternate ways to cross the chasm. And though Gollum can climb like a spider, he still would need a path between the two sides of the chasm (i.e. he cannot jump across).
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Old 06-06-2010, 10:22 AM   #24
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Even so, I don't believe that was his way, there was water at the bottom of the chasam and we know the Gollum could swim.

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Old 06-07-2010, 12:41 PM   #25
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So Gollum climbed down the side of the chasm at the Bridge of Khazad-dum, swam across the water at the bottom, and climbed up the other side?
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Old 06-07-2010, 12:52 PM   #26
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So Gollum climbed down the side of the chasm at the Bridge of Khazad-dum, swam across the water at the bottom, and climbed up the other side?
I would hope that that was not what was intended, as, even if possible, it would take Gollum time that he did not have. Better would have been to climb across the ceiling, if one contiguous pathway existed.
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Old 04-18-2021, 08:33 AM   #27
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Would Gollum have been trapped? I mean there are no waters (That I know of) in Moria that house fish. So he probably would have eaten Goblins as he did time to time in his old abode. He would have had to learn secret hidden ways. I understand the East Gate was protected by the bridge but at the same time it creates a tough point of advance for an outgoing army as well. They probably had special Outswinging doors hidden along the exit way. Which he found and frequented in his hunt.
Ha I googled a question about Gollum’s lake vs the lake Gandalf and the Balrog fell, I had secretly hoped but doubted, they were one and the same, alas they are not. And this thread came up. Amazing so much discussion has been forgotten.

Anywho, I’ve been thinking about Gollum in Moria. The generally accepted version is he went there in an attempt to cut straight across. But looking at the map he was a prisoner in Mirkwood then escaped and headed towards the Shire. Moria is a far way south why wouldn’t he have gone due west and found his old hunting grounds? Granted the orca used their “front porch” to capture the dwarves but I have to believe those tunnels also held an exit to the west.

Gollum being in Moria is so strange to me.
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Old 04-18-2021, 08:53 AM   #28
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If the mystery/adventure genre taught me anything, the answer is the ventilation shafts.


Seriously though, it would explain why the small and lithe Gollum could pass through while the Orcs wouldn't even consider the possibility of an exit there.


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Anywho, I’ve been thinking about Gollum in Moria. The generally accepted version is he went there in an attempt to cut straight across. But looking at the map he was a prisoner in Mirkwood then escaped and headed towards the Shire. Moria is a far way south why wouldn’t he have gone due west and found his old hunting grounds? Granted the orca used their “front porch” to capture the dwarves but I have to believe those tunnels also held an exit to the west.

Gollum being in Moria is so strange to me.
It's not that strange if you look at the map. We know that after escaping the Elves he went south in the direction of Dol Guldur, and Dol Guldur is level with Lorien on the map. I often forget that Mirkwood reaches pretty far south, it just is not inhabited by Elves in those regions.
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Old 04-18-2021, 01:39 PM   #29
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If the mystery/adventure genre taught me anything, the answer is the ventilation shafts.


Seriously though, it would explain why the small and lithe Gollum could pass through while the Orcs wouldn't even consider the possibility of an exit there.
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I think Gollum climbed out of a light-shaft/window. He was a small, very agile creature and could climb like a spider.
While I think Gollum might have been able to pull something like that off in another place, Moria just seems to vast and the craftsmanship too superior (I Imagine something akin to the masonry of the Incas) for this to be an actual possibility.

Even if he could, the odds of falling to his death was probably to great for him to try the venture.

Also Legate has a fair point.

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If he could do that, he would have done that ages ago. But we are told that he was actually stuck in Moria and couldn't get out - he couldn't open the Western gate, because the doors were too heavy for him, and in the East, there were the Orcs. So if he could have used any of the shafts, he would have done so before. No, this won't hold.
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Old 04-19-2021, 01:56 AM   #30
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On glancing over the thread, I think several people have struck on the correct answer but not realised why. In my view, Gollum knew where the exits to Moria were, but (as has been cited) couldn't use them: one he couldn't open, the other was guarded by Orcs. When the Fellowship came through, Gollum knew where they were headed - it's pretty obvious, there's only two doors and they're moving east! After checking that they weren't up to anything sneaky in the night, he simply went through the eastward arch and waited for them in sight of the Great Gate. I doubt he expected them to show up with a Balrog in tow, but the plan worked.

Why is this the correct answer? Because it's exactly what he did to Bilbo!

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“It said so, yes; but it’s tricksy. It doesn’t say what it means. It won’t say what it’s got in its pocketses. It knows. It knows a way in, it must know a way out, yes. It’s off to the back-door. To the back-door, that’s it.”

[...]

“Then let’s stop talking, precious, and make haste. If the Baggins has gone that way, we must go quick and see. Go! Not far now. Make haste!”
Having lost track of the person with the Ring - or, in the LotR case, having seen them enter the larger halls where he couldn't guarantee he'd stay hidden behind them - Gollum simply went on ahead to the exit and waited to catch them there.

Come to think of it...

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Sam gasped and gathered all his remaining breath to shout. 'Look out behind! ' he yelled. 'Look out master! I'm' - but suddenly his cry was stifled.

A long clammy hand went over his mouth and another caught him by the neck, while something wrapped itself about his leg. Taken off his guard he toppled backwards into the arms of his attacker.

`Got him! ' hissed Gollum in his ear.
... he did it a third time!

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Old 04-30-2021, 01:26 PM   #31
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On glancing over the thread, I think several people have struck on the correct answer but not realised why. In my view, Gollum knew where the exits to Moria were, but (as has been cited) couldn't use them: one he couldn't open, the other was guarded by Orcs. When the Fellowship came through, Gollum knew where they were headed - it's pretty obvious, there's only two doors and they're moving east! After checking that they weren't up to anything sneaky in the night, he simply went through the eastward arch and waited for them in sight of the Great Gate. I doubt he expected them to show up with a Balrog in tow, but the plan worked.

Why is this the correct answer? Because it's exactly what he did to Bilbo!



Having lost track of the person with the Ring - or, in the LotR case, having seen them enter the larger halls where he couldn't guarantee he'd stay hidden behind them - Gollum simply went on ahead to the exit and waited to catch them there.

Come to think of it...



... he did it a third time!

hS
Excellent catches! In the trade we would call this "pattern and practice."
To quote Blofeld, "One time is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action."
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