Obligatory LotR rambling

Matinee and Manatee are way too close of words, especially since I often mispell the latter as “manitee”. In reading LJs I have been confused one too many times as to why someone would want to go see a manatee show, I mean, they aren’t that exciting.

Anyway, I have a question for you LotR people out there. So, Gollum used to be something that was somewhat related to a hobbit, right? However, his race seemed to be almost instantly overtaken by the ring’s power (hence the initially struggle and murder upon finding the ring), whereas Frodo and Bilbo and all thems hobbits seem to have a decent resistance to it. Explain!

(Brendan’s explanation was that Gollum’s race were fishermen, and thus took on the traits of the fish, and thus were naturally cold-hearted. While it was a decent impromptu explanation, I’m sure *someone* can make up something a big more reasonable)

In other news, I got my room cleaned and organized, and am 90% unpacked. Tomorrow I have plans to do some arting, maybe even drag out my oil paints.

10 thoughts on “Obligatory LotR rambling”

  1. Brendan’s Right

    In a way –

    Hobbits, like all things, vary depending on where they live and what is their history in growing up. Smeagol more than likely lived in a very different setting than the shire (which still hadn’t heard of the word murder until the end of the last book) – if they lived closer to Gondor (which is likely) or nearer men, then more than likely Smeagol had heard stories of the great wars, the fight between good and evil and all sorts of stuff to fill his imagination with.

    The Shire folk on the other hand have a very unique perspective on life, because they grow up not only believing they are the most important thing in the universe and that the universe solely involves smoking and eating.

    But even still, there are certain hobbits that given the ring, would surely turn bad at the drop of the hat – any of the hobbits that joined forces with Sharky in The Return of the King, for example, and many of the direputable folk from Bree. Which goes to show that it is not hobbits that are immune, but certain Hobbits – namely the Bilbo and his lineage (aka Frodo).

    Basically, Bilbo was a nincanpoop who until he came in contact with the ring lacked two very important traits that are normally present in a living being – a need for power and greed. If Bilbo neither wanted anything or had any desire for power, what could the ring do to him, except for over time make him want the ring. Smeagol on the otherhand, most assuredly was already a very greedy person. Frodo though, if you notice, isn’t as strong as his Uncle Bilbo, he succumbs to it’s power and hold much more quickly.

    (This next bit comes from research of the LORT chronology) Most importantly – when Bilbo finds the Ring, Sauron has not yet started his rise to power – he isn’t looking for the ring to return to him yet. At the time Smeagol finds the ring, Sauron has just returned to power and is setting about waging war on man again – meaning he would be looking for the ring and it’s corrupting power would be stronger. (this last bit is probably the right answer)

  2. I have a better question…

    We have the most powerful and dangerous device in the known world and its owner has an entire realm of agents that would not think twice about snapping you in half to get it back…So why out of all the characters in the world, the ring is intrusted to race who has the combat ability of a blind butterfly and force the story to make exceptions and loopholes at every turn not to have them ground in to a fine paste, thus creating the term “hobbit invulnerability”…?

    P.S Yes, I hate LOTR…

    1. The ring wanted to return to its master. It was more important for the bearer to be resistant to the ring’s call than it was for the bearer to be a combatant.

      Lost Dragon

  3. When I read the hobbit, Gandalf said Bilbo’s “Pity” For gollum was something direly important.

    This might have somehow made him a little more resistant to it, and since Frodo is of the family line, it might have passed to him as well, or not as Frodo pitied Gollum as well.

    I can’t remember what exactly Gandalf Said, but I think that’s the reason =P

    1. Bilbo’s pity and later Frodo’s for Gollum has nothing to with ring resistance – it was merely what kept either one of them from simply slaying Gollum, which allowed Gollum to play his final part in the grand master plan – the destruction of the ring.

  4. Gollum was a Stoor and Stoors were a variety of Hobbit (like caucasians are a variety of human I suppose).

    It was Deagol (Gollum’s brother) who found the One Ring in the river. Smeagol (Gollum) killed his own kin to get it! Smeagol was simply bad from the start – the presence of the ring just made him worse.

    Lost Dragon

  5. One may also wish to bare in mind that the Stoors were a sturdier, stronger race of hobbits that went East over the Misty Mountains, whereas I believe the Shire was located safely in the West of the mountains, thus enabling it to remain ‘relatively’ safe from the wars of Men.

    The Stoors, having fled East over the mountains, were more aware of Men and the wars that were raged in the nearby territory of Mirkwood and Rohan.

    It may also be of note that at the time when Deagol discovered the ring in Gladden Fields, he and Smeagol were also not at a mature age of hobbit standard and were in fact, more juvenile then Frodo or Bilbo during their possession of the One Ring.

    The Gladden Stoors, were themselves wiped out during the time of the LOTR and the Hobbit, leaving Gollum/Smeagol as the lone inheritor of that race of hobbits. The mere fact that they were gone at that point may provide an insight into the fact that the race were one, familiar with strife and two, not all that resiliant.


    – Jamie.

  6. Maybe Frodo and Bilbo simply had stronger wills than Smeagol. Took the ring a bit longer to wear ’em down. I mean, let’s face it; Smeagol seemed like a jerk from the start.

    Then there’s that geneaology stuff everyone else mentioned. But I think Frodo and Bilbo just had more pure hearts.

  7. I read in Tom Shepherd’s biography of Tolkien that he feels the ring is like an addiction. In this sense, it seems that one’s first encounter with the ring should set, then, a sort of precedent. Much like drugs, one tends to relate all future experiences to a first encounter. Those who hate to drink often cite a nasty first time that involved uncontrolled vomiting or blackouts. People who enjoy drinking may have had a delightful drunken first time, where they danced the night away, etc.

    Expanding the metaphor we see that Smeagol won the ring through murder; Bilbo bested Smeagol through wits; Frodo simply inherited it. Although in two of our three instances jealously was a factor, it turned violent only once. The violence, in that case, was simply an internal personality glitch, much like some people are “mean drunks.”

    Therefore, I would surmise that, if the ring is considered an addiction, the nature of the first encounter leads one down a proportional and related life path.

    Gollum became intoxicated with desire for the ring; an intoxication worth the killing of his brother. He then grew into a ring-hungry creature decaying from his own lusts.

    Bilbo saw the ring as a fortunate oppurtunity: a prize won. A social ring wearer, Bilbo then used his stretched times to expand his own pretige and become a man of legend. He fell in with the charming nature of hidden power.

    Frodo inherited a burden (like it was inextricably linked to his genes) one that would leaden his heart for the rest of his life in Middle Earth.

    Ring = Addiction. Whatever.

  8. christian interpretation

    Although the ring = addiction theory is interesting, every time I’ve read/seen Tolkien, I wonder about the seemingly inherent Christian interpretation. The ring is not addiction, but temptation. Temptation pulls the Everyman (bilbo/frodo) closer to Satan.

    We’ve also got the disciples, (the band of travelers), led by Jesus (Gandolf) who dies and is resurrected. There’s even a Judas, in the form of … whathisname, the human that tries to take the ring. I’ve made more similarites, but can’t think of them currently.

    As for the Gollum’s race thing, there were shady Hobbits in the Shire too, weren’t there?

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