This week we continue in our lore series of villains in Middle Earth. We are taking a look at a very mysterious creature. I hope you enjoy the story!
Once a predecessor of the Stoorish Hobbits, Smeagol spent the early years of his life living with his family under the Matriarch, which was his grandmother. Around the year 2463 in the third age, Smagol became the fourth Bearer of the One Ring, after Sauron, Isildur, and Deagol, who was his cousin. On Smeagol’s birthday, his cousin and him went fishing in the Gladden Fields north of the mountains. It was there that Deagol found a gold ring, after being pulled into the water by a large fish. Almost immediately, Smeagol fell to the power of the ring and demanded it as a birthday present. When Deagol refused, Smeagol promptly went into a panicked rage and began fighting with Deagol over the ring. Smeagol was so engulfed with rage he strangled his cousin to death and finally took the One Ring. For seven years Smeagol was corrupted by the ring and finally banished by his people…he was forced to find a home in the nearby Misty Mountains. The Ring’s malignant influence twisted his body, as well as his mind, and prolonged his life far beyond its natural limits. He called the ring his “Precious” or his “Birthday Present,” the latter as a justification for killing his cousin.
He lived in the Misty Mountains for over four hundred years, living on raw blind fish (which he caught from his small row boat), bats and Goblins when he could get them as Goblin City was very close to his home. In later years, he found Hobbit and Elven food completely repulsive.
During his centuries under the Ring’s influence, he developed a sort of dissociative identity disorder: Smeagol, being his former hobbit personality, still vaguely remembered things like friendship and love, while Gollum, his now corrupted personality, was a slave to the Ring and would kill anyone who tried to take it. Years later, Samwise Gamgee gave him the nicknames, “Slinker” (for his eager-to-please demeanor), and “Stinker” for his corrupted personality. His two personalities often argued when he talked to himself and he had a love/hate relationship, which mirrored Gollum’s love and hatred for the Ring and for himself.
In the year 2941, during the Quest of Erebor, Bilbo Baggins stumbled upon the lake on which Gollum lived and found the One Ring. Gollum had lost the Ring while squabbling with an imp goblin in the caves leading to the lake, though in some fact it is thought that the ring abandoned Gollum, as it was known to have a will of its own. As Gandalf says later, it looks after itself, trying to get back to Sauron. After the infamous Riddle Game that Bilbo played with Gollum and in beating him, Gollum refused to show Bilbo the promised way out and had plotted to murder him. When he went to get his “Precious,” he found that it was gone. He suddenly realized the true answer to Bilbo’s last riddle—”What have I got in my pocket?” – breaking into a rage he began to chase Bilbo into the tunnels. Bilbo stumbled across the Ring’s power of invisibility as he ran, allowing him to follow Gollum to the back entrance of the cave and make his way out safely.
We shall pick up next week and continue our episode to find out what happens with Gollum and the Ring!
Until then, I’m your host Iogro Merrybelly and I bid you a fine farewell!
#lotr #ahobbitsjourney #lore #blogging