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Old 07-15-2003, 11:58 AM   #1
Imladris
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Question Sam and Smeagol

I don't know if this topic has been done before, but I looked at the search thingy and I didn't think it had, so here goes...

Who thinks that Samwise had a huge part in changing Smeagol back into Gollum in TTT and ROTK?
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Old 07-15-2003, 03:04 PM   #2
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Perhaps Sam had a hand in Smeagol turning back into Gollum. Smeagol could have been provoked into Gollum by Sam's constant mistrust and threats. After all, those were enough to make any one of us mad.
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Old 07-15-2003, 04:52 PM   #3
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For me the pivotal moment is here:
Quote:
Gollum looked at them. A strange expression passed over his lean hungry face. The gleam faded from his eyes, and they went dim and grey, old and tired. A spasm of pain seemed to twist him, and he turned away, peering back up towards the pass, shaking his head, as if engaged in some interior debate. Then he came back, and slowly putting out a trembling hand, very cautiously he touched Frodo's knee - but almost the touch was a caress. For a fleeting moment, could one of the sleepers have seen him, they would have thought that they beheld an old weary hobbit, shrunken by the years that had carried him far beyond his time, beyond friends and kin, and the fields and streams of youth, an old starved pitiable thing.
But at that touch Frodo stirred and cried out softly in his sleep, and immediately Sam was wide awake. The first thing he saw was Gollum - 'pawing at master,' as he thought.
'Hey you!' he said roughly. 'What are you up to?'
'Nothing, nothing,' said Gollum softly. 'Nice Master!'
'I daresay,' said Sam. 'But where have you been to - sneaking off and sneaking back, you old villain?'
Gollum withdrew himself, and a green glint flickered under his heavy lids. Almost spider-like he looked now, crouched back on his bent limbs, with his protruding eyes. The fleeting moment had passed, beyond recall.*
This would appear to be an open-and-shut case. Gollum is on the verge of repenting - his very appearance says so - but Sam wakes up and immediately assumes that he means harm. The moment passes, and the old Gollum returns for good, indicated by the return of the green glow in his eyes: Sam's suspicion has driven him back to evil. However, at this time, on the very stairs of Cirith Ungol, Gollum is already leading his companions to Shelob without a word of warning. Would he have told them of her had Sam not woken thus? Of course this is possible, but it must be remembered that Gollum had many years of wickedness behind him, beginning with the murder of his friend. The side of his personality that Sam calls 'Stinker' is still there, even if it is in abeyance, and in many ways Sam is right not to trust him, even though his mistrust stands between Smagol and possible redemption. Witness J.R.R. Tolkien on the subject:
Quote:
The domination of the Ring was much too strong for the mean soul of Smagol. But he would have never had to endure it if he had not been a mean sort of thief before it crossed his path. Need it ever have crossed his path? Need anything dangerous ever cross any of our paths? A kind of answer cd. be found in trying to imagine Gollum overcoming temptation. The story would have been quite different! By temporizing, not fixing the still not wholly corrupt Smagol-will towards good in the debate in the slag hole, he weakened himself for the final chance when dawning love of Frodo was too easily withered by the jealousy of Sam before Shelob's lair. After that he was lost.*
I think that the fault lies on both sides, but we can hardly affix a great deal of blame to Sam. Everything he knew about Gollum told him that he was not to be trusted, and he acted with his master's best interests at heart. That he was so very set in his opinion and so rough with their companion is regrettable, but there was so much in Gollum to forgive, and the understanding required to offer it was denied the half-wise hobbit. Such is the nature of tragedy.

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*(1) The Stairs of Cirith Ungol
*(2) Letter #181 (draughts) to Michael Straight

[ July 16, 2003: Message edited by: The Squatter of Amon Rdh ]
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Old 07-15-2003, 07:17 PM   #4
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1420!

Sam has every right not to trust Gollum, but it wasn't mistrust that prevented Smeagol from staying. No doubt that first passage is the key struggle, but turning point (for me) is
Quote:
'Hey you!' he said roughly. 'What are you up to?'
'Nothing, nothing,' said Gollum softly. 'Nice Master!'
'I daresay,' said Sam. 'But where have you been to - sneaking off and sneaking back, you old villain?'
Sam doesn't have to trust Gollum, but he doesn't have to be such a bully either. After Sam's first interogating question, Smeagol is still there and is being kind and even understanding to Sam, who asks "roughly." Then Sam chooses to say "sneaking" instead of something like going off. And he just has to throw in an insult ("you old villian"), which is where Smeagol leaves for good.

Because Sam doesn't like Gollum, he constantly picks on him and bullies him. He judges Gollum on what he has done, in another life. Gollum has no doubt suffered enough to make up for his evil deeds that were mainly because of the ring anyways. And biw he's ready to repent and give up the ring in exchange for friends to finally end his loneliness and suffering. You are not to judge a released convict because of what he has done before in another time to someone else. When that convict is out of jail, he has served his time and is willing to start his life over. It's not fair to judge him like that if he has done nothing to him. Sam, however,

Quote:
Would he have told them of her had Sam not woken thus?
Well, to answer that:
Quote:
peering back up towards the pass, shaking his head, as if engaged in some interior debate.
I say yes, he would have. It seems that he was debating whether or not to repent and not lead them to Shelob. And it looked like he wasn't going to lead them to her when he touched Frodo's knee and it looked like he just wanted to give up the ring. But I believe that he chose to lead them to Shelob as a result of Sam's wrong, cruel actions.

Quote:
but there was so much in Gollum to forgive
Yes, but that is not for Sam to forgive. The killing of Deagol was not something harmful in anyway towards Sam, therefore it is not something that is up to Sam to forgive.

Quote:
but we can hardly affix a great deal of blame to Sam
An addict battling temptation and addiction is a fragile thing. Push them just a little and they will fall. Sam pushed Smeagol. I place the (great) majority of fault on Sam, for Sam was a bully to Smeagol.

I hope I made myself clear, if not, I'll try again.
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Old 07-15-2003, 08:59 PM   #5
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Even if Sam did bully him, i dont beleive it is fair to blame him for Gollum's treachery. Yes, Gollum was very fragile. However, Sam's first duty was to protect his master, and that was what he was doing. It's only natural for him to be mistrustful of someone with Gollum's history. Ultimately everyone must be responsible for their own actions, regardless of what others have done to provoke them.
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Old 07-15-2003, 09:57 PM   #6
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I totally agree with Willie. It is because of Sam's assumptions, the way he treated Gollum as if he was less than the dirt they treaded, and the insults that he attributed to Gollum are the reasons I have never liked Sam. I agree that Gollum could not be entirely trusted, thus Sam was right to have watched him closely...but that does not include abusing him, insulting him.

I like the way Frodo treated him much better. The passage before the stairs of Cirith Ungol is what I had particularly in mind when I posted this...it just breaks my heart.

Yet we all have a "Stinker" within us, even Sam did. And Smeagol was hurt by Sam's threats and insults as is seen when he Frodo awakes and Gollum says that he's been off "sneaking." He was a "human" being with a soul.

Yes, I believe that Gollum was responsible for his action, yet I think that Sam and Frodo and Gollum had a cause and effect thing going. Gollum trusted Frodo, and when Faramir threatened to kill Gollum, Frodo saved the miserable creature the only way he knew how: deceiving him and leading him into the waiting arms of Faramir's men. That to Gollum's small, pitifull, trusting mind was, put buntly, horrible betrayal to his thirsting soul. I'm sure he was angry with Frodo and, blinded by his fury, he determined to go to Shelob. Have none of you become angry with someone you love and said and done things you have regretted? I believe this is what happened with Gollum. When he calmed down and saw the two together and saw their love, he, too, yearned for it and began to regret it, maybe even to repent of his wickedness. Then Sam opened his big mouth and pushed Gollum too far. I don't know about you, but sometimes, when I feel sorry for something that I have done or said, and somebody goads me or hurts me verbally, I become angry, stubborn, and defiant, without a shred of the former repentance around me. Same with Gollum, I think.

I think I read somewhere in one of Tolkien's letters that Smeagol/Gollum would have had to die. The first was the way it is written, but the second, I think, is even more tragic: Smeagol, still enslaved to the Ring, is so devoted to Frodo that he would satisfy his obsession for the Ring and his great desire to please and save Frodo by taking the Ring from Frodo and casting himself into the fiery depths of Mount Doom.

Any more thoughts?
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Old 07-16-2003, 03:32 AM   #7
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1420!

Well put Imladris. That passage always gets to me.

questor, I think you missed my point. It is ok for Sam to be mistrustful off Gollum and protect Frodo. But even though you may mistrust someone, you don't have to insult them and put them down because of it. And putting Smeagol down and bullying him, is not protecting Frodo. It is just plain wrong and a way of expressing hatred, not protecting. Sam constantly attacks Smeagol's self-esteem. To me, Sam seems to put Smeagol down to make himself feel higher. Imladris put it perfect- "the way he treated Gollum as if he was less than the dirt they treaded." I don't know what else there is to say.
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Old 07-16-2003, 05:19 AM   #8
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Sting

Squatter calls Sam the 'half-wise Hobbit'. This is very well put. Sam has grown up believing Smeagol/Gollum to be evil, so that when he was put face to face with him, the hatred that had been stored up all his life shone through. Sam was not capable of changing. He was not really capable of seeing the bigger picture.

Frodo was once like this. But then Gandalf stepped in and had a word with him. Frodo's treatment of Gollum is a direct consequence of the wisdom of Gandalf.

I don't blame Sam. I do pity Smeagol.
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Old 07-16-2003, 07:13 AM   #9
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While I do agree with a few of the posters here, I think we overestimate Sam's influence on Gollum/Smeagol. It is true that Sam acted very cruelly and suspiciously towards Gollum and that was a factor in driving Gollum to 'betray' Frodo and Sam. However I believe the main factor is the ring itself. We all know the power Tolkein ascribed to the ring in LOTR and I believe that even if Sam had acted kindly and curteously towards Gollum, he would've ended betraying them at some other point.
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Old 07-16-2003, 09:02 AM   #10
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Remember, the Ring gives power according to the measure of its bearer. Smeagol had always been a bit of a slinker and a thief. The Ring just brought out those traits in him more than they would have been on their own. So he would have betrayed them ultimately, but there is always a "What if..." whenever we read that passage.
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Old 07-16-2003, 10:46 AM   #11
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Sting

Wow, interesting posts. I think it would be a good idea to analize this.

Okay,there are several factors determining Gollum/Smeagol's descisions:

1. The Ring
2. Frodo
3. Sam
4. Sauron and his servants.
5. Memory

The Rings influences all of his evil qualities, such as his slinking and stinking as it were.

Frodo represents the love and understanding that he craved.

Sam was like a weight around Smeagol's neck: He could never change. He will always be evil. He will always hurt Master. He is Sauron's own.

Gollum feared Sauron with a great fear.

Then there was the memory of his former life when he wasn't so wickedly awful.

So the drawing of the Ring brought out all of Gollum's bad side, which Sam did understand, so he was right to distrust him (which did protect Frodo because Frodo wasn't watching Gollum). Frodo, who understood Gollum's predicament, loved him, in a sense. He accepted Gollum for who and what he was and tried to bring him back. Both hobbits knew that Smeagol had been tortured by Sauron, and thus knew that Gollum feared the Dark Lord and thus they knew that he would not bring the Ring to Him for two reasons: 1. Gollum would not willingly return to Sauron. 2. Gollum would not so easily give up the possession which he craved (though he didn't understand that if he took the Ring from Frodo it would only be a matter of time before Sauron regained it). In The Hobbit , it says that Gollum still retained a mind that was not dominated by the Ring and that Bilbo had, in a sense, re-awakened that small portion of his mind. Since the Ring had left after that, don't you think that that small portion would have grown slowly with time? Of course, it didn't help matters that Gollum was drawn to Mordor, so that was many steps backward. And then he still had the fear of Sauron and the effect of the Ring still on him when he joined Frodo and Sam. But then Frodo treated him with kindness and respect (which is a form of love), while Sam hated him with an unreasonable hatred. Sam was like a chisel slowly chipping away at that portion of the mind that was growing under Frodo's love.
Sauron was far away and didn't have that much of a hateful influence of Gollum, I believe. The memories of his former life helped Smeagol rather than tear him down, I think. The Ring's effect was not as strong as Frodo because love is stronger than hate. But Sam, with whom Gollum was in constant contact, was too much. The jibe that he flung at Smeagol on the Stairs of Cirith Ungol, the place before Mordor where Sauron was strong and the Ring powerful, was the turning point...the shift of the balance between the battle between the good and the evil within Smeagol.

Also, Smeagol/Gollum was like a child. He was immature, incapable of thinking things through. He was easily swayed by emotions.

In the end then if it had not been for the added weight of Sam's hate, Gollum would have betrayed them by taking the Ring from Frodo, but he also would have shown his loyalty to Frodo by casting himself into Mount Doom thereby destroying the Ring and himself as well. Thus he would satisfy both sides.
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Old 07-16-2003, 12:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
I think we overestimate Sam's influence on Gollum/Smeagol
I agree. I think, as Imladris said, that there are several different influences on Gollum that can be deduced as causes of his return to his old, violent and lustful ways. I do not believe, as was suggested in the movie, that Gollum every wholly repented of his craving for the ring or his rotten ways, but rather that it was hidden. It was only inevitable, I believe, that as they drew nearer to the stronghold of Mordor and the fastness of Barad-dur that his old ways would come forth more, being influenced by his mistrust of Frodo after the incident at the Forbidden Pool, by the will of the Dark Lord, the growing power of the Ring, and, in part, by the taunting of Sam.
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Old 07-16-2003, 12:40 PM   #13
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As Gandalf said, Sauron was calling all evil things to him in Mordor. As Smeagol (and Sam and Frodo) got closer and closer to Barad-dur, more and more of Gollum came out. It became harder and harder for Smeagol to be "nice" to Frodo and Sam, and not betray them, as his Gollum personality took over more often.
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Old 07-16-2003, 01:26 PM   #14
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Sting

Good point Finwe and Lord of Angmar, however, I do disagree with a statement that Lord of Angmar said:
Quote:
I do not believe, as was suggested in the movie, that Gollum every wholly repented of his craving for the ring or his rotten ways,
It wasn't really suggested that he had repented of his evil ways, just that it "went away." Evil can and will come back, which means he didn't truly repent of it.
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Old 07-16-2003, 02:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Gollum feared Sauron with a great fear.
Yes, Gollum did fear Sauron, but he hated him more, as is clear from the following passage concerning Sauron's torture of Gollum from The Hunt for the Ring in Unfinished Tales:

Quote:
Then he became filled with a hatred of Sauron even greater than his terror, seeing in him truly his greatest enemy and rival.
But I think that the effect was much the same. Gollum's fear and hatred of Sauron meant that he would not willingly surrender the Ring to him or let him gain control of it.

I agree with most of what you say, Imladris, concerning the various factors influencing Gollum's actions at this point in the story. I do, however, disagree with your conclusion that, had Gollum seized the Ring from Frodo:

Quote:
he also would have shown his loyalty to Frodo by casting himself into Mount Doom thereby destroying the Ring and himself as well.
It seems to me that Gollum's preferred option on seizing the Ring would have been to get as far away as possible from Frodo and from Sauron and his minions so that he could keep the Ring for himself. After all, the Ring was his ultimate desire. He had convinced himself that it was rightfully his - his birthday present.

But of course the Ring would have had its part to play as well. Its desire was to get back to its Master and, in Gollum's hands, it would no doubt have found the task much easier than it did in the hands of Frodo. As I have said above, Gollum would not willingly have surrendered the Ring to Sauron, but I have little doubt that it would only have been a matter of time before it betrayed him and he was picked up by Sauron's agents.

Certainly, I do not believe that Gollum would willingly have destroyed the Ring, even by throwing himself into Mount Doom with it. Ultimately, none could willingly destroy the Ring, not even Frodo. And I believe that this would hold true for any attempt by the bearer to destroy himself with it.

It is difficult to say what would have happened had Sam not treated Gollum in the way that he did. Perhaps the outcome would have been similar, with Gollum accompanying Frodo and Sam all the way to Mount Doom and then making a play for the Ring when Frodo claimed it as his own at Sammath Naur. But it is also possible that, as they neared Mount Doom, the lure of the Ring would have become irresistible to him and he would have found an opportunity to seize it. In light of what I have said above, I believe that such an eventuality would have virtually guaranteed victory for Sauron.

So, who knows? Perhaps Sam was "meant" to treat Gollum in the way that he did. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 07-16-2003, 04:56 PM   #16
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Ring

I would not have had the imagination to think that Gollum/Smeagol would have thrown himself into Mount Doom to satisfy both the Ring and Frodo...I think I got that from one of Tolkien's letters. I don't know which one because I haven't read them all and I just happened to come across it when I was flipping through the book...of course, I could be misremembering (I have a terrible memory)...

Yes, Sam was meant to treat Gollum the way he did. It is difficult to say what would have happened if Sam had treated Gollum differently: maybe it would have remained the same. Maybe it would have delayed the inevitable. (The way we are writing, it sounds as if this actually happened. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] )
I guess I have an appeal for Smeagol and I resent the way Sam treated him and I cannot help but wonder if it would have been different. My heart aches for that poor miserable creature. Besides being destroyed by the Ring, I think he was also destroyed by guilt. I love tragedy, but not that sort of tragedy.

Great insight.
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Old 07-16-2003, 07:10 PM   #17
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Sting

I do somewhat agree with what everyone is saying here, but in defence of Sam, I would like to bring up another passage just a paragraph down that everyone seems to be forgetting.
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Sam felt a bit remorseful, though not more trustful."Sorry," he said. 'I's sorry, but you startled me out of my sleep. And I shouldn't have been sleeping, and that made me a bit sharp. ..."
If I can remember correctly, until Gollum betrayed them, that was the meanest Sam had ever been to Gollum. Mostly he just muttered to himself and Frodo about not trusting him, mostly when Gollum was "Sneaking" around.
Therefore, I think Sam was angry at himself, and that made him yell at Gollum. I do this sometimes when I have made a mistake and am angry with myself. I, like Sam, quickly apoligise to whoever I was sharp with.
I also think if Gollum was really good, he might have at least thought about believing Sam.

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Old 07-17-2003, 12:57 AM   #18
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1420!

Yes, maybe Sam was remorseful, but it was still too late:
Quote:
The fleeting moment had passed, beyond recall.
Quote:
If I can remember correctly, until Gollum betrayed them, that was the meanest Sam had ever been to Gollum. Mostly he just muttered to himself and Frodo about not trusting him, mostly when Gollum was "Sneaking" around
Sam has said to Smeagol's face "You nasty treacherous creature," "It's round your neck this rope ought to go, and a tight noose too," "you stink," "old noser," "Smeagol'll get into real true hot water, when this water boils, if he don't do as he's asked...Sam'll put his head in it." And those are just after searching a little. It wasn't just that one time and it wasn't because Sam made a mistake. Yes, I don't think Gollum would have tried to touch Frodo if Sam were awake, but say Sam was awake and Gollum was not aware that Sam was present, Sam would react the same way anyways. Sam bullied Smeagol all the time, and although I don't think the last was the cruelest by itself, I just think it had the worst outcome at the given time and circumstance.
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Old 07-17-2003, 09:37 AM   #19
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[talking about Sam's failure to note the comple change in Gollum's tone at the Stairs of Cirith Ungol] This is due of course to the 'logic of the story.' Sam could hardly have acted differently. (He did reach the point of pity at last (III 221-224) but for the good of Gollum too late.) If he had, what could then have happened? The course of the entry into Mordor and the struggle to reach Mount Doom would ahve been different, and so would the ending. The interest would shift to Gollum, I think, and the battle that would have gone on between his repentance and his new love on one side and the Ring. Though the love would have have been strengthened daily it could not have wrested the mastery from the Ring. I think that in some queer twisted and pitiable way Gollum would have tried (not maybe with conscious design) to satisfy both. Certainly at some pooint not long before the end he would have stolen the Ring or taken it by violence (as he does in the actual Tale). But 'possession' satisfied, I think he would then have sacrificed himself for Frodo's sake and have voluntarily cast himself into the fiery abyss.
Tolkien's letters, letter 246.

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For myself, I was prob. most moved by Sam's disquisition on the seamless web of story, and by the scene when Frodo goes to sleep on his breast, and the tragedy of Gollum who at that moment came within a hair of repentance -- but for one rough word from Sam.
Tolkien's letters, letter 96

Besides, if Sam had such a hatred for Gollum/Smeagol, it would have shone through in his speech and actions, not matter how hard he tried to hide it (and I got the impression he didn't try).
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Old 07-17-2003, 10:00 AM   #20
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Sam was inherently a Hobbit. Hobbits had a natural mistrust of all things strange and unpredictable, and if Gollum wasn't strange and unpredictable, I don't know what else to call him. Frodo, on the other hand, was more accepting, because he had grown up with Bilbo's stories and Bilbo himself. Sam's heart was that of the quintessential Hobbit, so he couldn't help mistrusting and hating Gollum. Frodo pitied him because he knew what he had gone through, and understood the pain that Gollum felt.
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Old 07-17-2003, 11:22 AM   #21
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Sam's heart was that of the quintessential Hobbit
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Hobbits had a natural mistrust of all things strange and unpredictable
This is an excellent point Finwe. Who of us isn't afraid of strange and unpredictable things? And that fear would be greatly magnified by the fact that Sam is a simple hobbit on a quest of utmost importance to the entire free world.

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Frodo, on the other hand, was more accepting, because he had grown up with Bilbo's stories and Bilbo himself.
Frodo was greatly influenced by Bilbo, but I don't believe that this is why he trusted Gollum. After all, his Uncle could not be called "trusting" towards the poor wretch in any sense of the word. I think Frodo's opinion differing from Sam's was a result of the Ring. He pitied Gollum, knowing better than anyone truly what the miserable creature had gone through bearing the awesome burden of the Ruling Ring (and for 500 years, no less!). Sam could not possibly have understood this, having a simple mind that could not grasp such matters, and having had no experience with the Ring himself (as of then). He therefore saw Gollum as just another treacherous creature, at worst as bad as an orc or minion of Sauron and at best an untrustworthy individual.

[ July 17, 2003: Message edited by: Lord of Angmar ]
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Old 07-17-2003, 11:37 AM   #22
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Sam could not possibly have understood this, having a simple mind that could not grasp such matters, and having had no experience with the Ring himself (as of then).
I agree with your point that Sam couldn't understand due to having no experiece with the ring himself. However I will have to disagree with yuor point that it was also due to Sam having a 'simple mind'. While Sam was a hobbit and thus simple in nature, he was not necessarily simple-minded. (this the irony of his name Samwise which means "half-wit")
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He therefore saw Gollum as just another treacherous creature, at worst as bad as an orc or minion of Sauron and at best an untrustworthy individual
This idea is essentially what I would say was the entire basis of Sam's mistrust for Gollum. He knew of Gollum's past treacheries and he knew that Gollum's desire to help them was fueled by his want for the ring. Therefore Sam was actually quite intelligent and right in his mistrust for Gollum.

Also, sam never really saw Gollum's "good side" he woke up from his sleep, and saw a creature he knew was capable of great harm trying to touch the one person that Sam cared most for and he reacted logically.
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Old 07-17-2003, 12:03 PM   #23
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But 'possession' satisfied, I think he would then have sacrificed himself for Frodo's sake and have voluntarily cast himself into the fiery abyss.
Dang! I must read those Letters some time. [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]

Well, I suppose if the Professor himself thought that, then it has to be a pretty likely scenario. But it does not, for me, sit easily with my impression of Gollum's character and motivations. Nor does it seem consistent with the idea that no person could, having possession of it, voluntarily destroy the Ring.
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Old 07-17-2003, 12:13 PM   #24
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Nor does it seem consistent with the idea that no person could, having possession of it, voluntarily destroy the Ring.
Unless, of course, Gollum thinks that by doing this he will be permanently bound to his precious, while at the same time redeeming himself to the master he swore an oath to and ridding himself of fear of the Dark Lord.
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Old 07-17-2003, 12:45 PM   #25
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Unless, of course, Gollum thinks that by doing this he will be permanently bound to his precious, while at the same time redeeming himself to the master he swore an oath to and ridding himself of fear of the Dark Lord.
But it wouldn't really have been about what Gollum thought or what he wanted to happen. It would have been about him succumbing to the power of the Ring, which most certainly did not want itself to be destroyed.

Frodo at Sammath Naur would, in a proper frame of mind, undoubtedly have thought it a good idea to throw the Ring into the fire below. But, although he was able bravely to resist it for so long, even he succumbed to its will in that final moment and was therefore unable willingly to destroy it. I find it very difficult to see how Gollum would not also have succumbed to the Ring in the same way.
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Old 07-17-2003, 02:55 PM   #26
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Another thing we must remember are the bigger forces at work. Gollum's part in LotR was summed up by his destroying the ring when Frodo could not. If Gollum hadnt been knocked back into stinkerage by Sam things could well have been very different. The ring may never have been destroyed, and in a word, that would stink. Maybe the Valar meant for such a thing to happen through sam's natural mistrust.
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Old 07-17-2003, 04:23 PM   #27
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I find it very difficult to see how Gollum would not also have succumbed to the Ring in the same way.
Well, the thing that surprises me is that Tolkiendoes not know what would happen. He says he thinks it would happen a certain way, but until he does write and publish it, it cannot be taken as the truth. So Saucepan Man, it may be hard for you to think of Gollum not giving into the ring, but it doesn't it mean that he would not have. You may be right, that Gollum would have succumbed to its power, but given the possibility that Tolkien presents us with, I think maybe Gollum would have had a great struggle like Tolkien said, but in the end, not being able to satisfy both, or being overwhelmed by the dilemma, he might have tried to escape making the decision by throwing himself in the fire without having the ring. Because the ring would rather try to master Frodo's will since Frodo would be bearing it. Gollum's will would not be tainted by the ring's will as it would be busy with Frodo (who would have succumbed), and so, Gollum would be tormented with a decision to make and might have thrown himself in. Although, that's just a possibility, and I don't like it all that much. I don't think that it would have happened either.

I like Tolkien's possibility better, and it just seems right. I think that Gollum could have actually withheld the power of the ring. The first reason being of his hatred for Sauron, as we all know. Smeagol would have settled the score (he would think so) by throwing Sauron's ring in. The second reason would be his love for Frodo {and in the case the case that Sam let him repent, then they would probably become closer and in that case, his love of Sam too (possibly)}. Smeagol would not have realized that he would die very soon after the ring would be thrown in, but it would not matter anyways since he would have gone in with it. Smeagol, even if he would not be around afterwards to continue the friendship, would still have done it out of love and friendship, as a way of repaying Frodo, and possbily Sam, for their kindness and love that cured Smeagol of over 500 years of lonliness. The last (at least the last I can think of), and probably the most powerful would be his desire to finally win his lifelong battle with the ring. For over 500 years he has been tormented by the ring. He loved it, yes, for he was addicted to it. But he hated it also, and much more I believe. It was because of the ring that he was tricked, forced, or encouraged to kill his best (and probably only) friend Deagol, getting expelled from his home and shunned by his family and nieghbors alike, driven to lonliness, twisted his body and mind, driven to torture, captured and interrogated, driven to hate things he once loved, and living in fear, hate, and remorse and regret. It was his will to escape all that and to overcome it once and for all. He must have been sick of living like that, far beyond his time, and being driven mad by his addiction. And for once in his life he has found something worth giving the ring up for and truly living for. I think he would have realized he no longer needed the ring, and quite possibly that he did not want it, for he had found the better things in life. But that's just my opinion.

I think you are missing my point Finwe, Lord of Angmar, and Cinderella. Tell me, just because you mistrust someone, do you scorn, insult, or bully them? I hope you don't, for you have no right to. Sam was alright to mistrust Gollum, but that is not an excuse for insulting, bullying, or scowling at him.

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so he couldn't help mistrusting and hating Gollum
Hate and mistrust are two very different things. Mistrusting someone does not mean you hve to hate that person. It wasn't Sam's mistrust that led him to hate Gollum. Sam just didn't like him. But if Merry and Pippin were present, I don't think that they would have hated him like Sam. They might not have liked him, and probably wouldn't have trusted him, but they would not use that as a reason to hate him, and bully, scorn, and insult him, the way Sam did.

Yes Frodo did know what Gollum went through but had he not have, I don't think he would have bullied him, insulted him, or scorned him.

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Sam could not possibly have understood this, having a simple mind that could not grasp such matters, and having had no experience with the Ring himself (as of then).
But does that mean he had to hate GOllum and scorn, insult, and bully him? Sam was wrong to do what he did to Gollum, mistrusting is fine, but it is not right to treat him the way he did.

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he reacted logically.
Is insulting Smeagol logical? NO! Mistrust is, but not mean accusations and insults. Sam is a disgusting cruel bully.
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Old 07-17-2003, 07:30 PM   #28
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Thank you Willie!!!!!! At last someone understands that I don't think it was wrong for Sam to distrust Gollum/Smeagol. I myself would have been mistrustful of him. I have a problem with the way Sam treated Gollum (bullying, insulting, etc). And I think that if Sam hadn't been so bigoted he would have seen the Smeagol side growing stronger and stronger.

Just because Sam didn't understand what Gollum/Smeagol had gone through doesn't give him the right to treat him like dirt. Gandalf understood him and had he born the One Ring? No. That kind of wisdom all men possess I think, the wisdom to pity the miserable, the wretched, the criminal. I am not excusing any of the actions of Gollum, not in the least. Sam was right not to trust him: wrong to treat him like dirt. That part of Gollum's mind that was still his own was growing, struggling, being choked by weeds of hate, anger, and the lure of the Ring, but growing under love, pity, and kindness. As far as I'm conscerned, Sam fed the weeds.
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Old 07-17-2003, 07:37 PM   #29
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Is insulting Smeagol logical? NO! Mistrust is, but not mean accusations and insults. Sam is a disgusting cruel bully.
Point taken Willie, but Sam a disgusting cruel bully? C'mon now! Alright so Sam did behave childishly, but you have to take into cosideration that with Gollum's track record he's not exactly the type of person(or personlike creature) that you would naturally trust.
Yes, Sam's actions were rash and unfair but so were Smeagol's! The first time Sam meets Gollum it's due to Gollum attacking him and Frodo in his sleep, I know I would have trouble trusting him after that!
So I don't think blame falls with either of them specifically, but both of them instead. Gollum shouldn't have been so darn untrustworthy and bad natured, and Sam should have been more understanding.
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Old 07-17-2003, 07:38 PM   #30
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Good summary, Imladris. I am also inclined to believe that Sam "fed the weeds" as you put it. He was right in mistrusting him, but his ideas could have been more... eloquently carried out.
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Old 07-17-2003, 09:05 PM   #31
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Sam a disgusting cruel bully? C'mon now!
Well, he is in my eyes. He was cruel to Smeagol and he was a bully to him also, and that just disgusts me, so that's what I called him. But oh well, you may think of Sam another way. Seems I got a little angry myself. [img]smilies/mad.gif[/img]

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The first time Sam meets Gollum it's due to Gollum attacking him and Frodo in his sleep
Actually, Gollum fell and Sam went and attacked Gollum, so naturally, Gollum attacked back, out of self defence. And that's not very nice of Sam, to do that to Smeagol.
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We didn't mean no harm, but they jumps on us like cats on poor mices, they did...
I think that Sam shouldn't have been so mean, then it would have worked out.
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Old 07-17-2003, 09:41 PM   #32
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You know, I had never noticed before that Gollum fell and then Sam jumped...but then, it was probably a precautionary measure on Sam's part, considering what Gollum was hissing underneath his breath...

I was talking about this thread to my mom and we got into a little debate over it. She thinks that Sam did not have a huge part in Smeagol turning back into Gollum because Gollum was so evil all ready. And then she came up with this idea:

What if Smeagol had never entirely disappeared from Gollum? What if Smeagol cut the Ring from Frodo's hand to save him, while Gollum cut it from his hand to regain his what was once his? What if, as Gollum/Smeagol boasted of his prize as they danced upon the Crack's edge, Gollum danced for the sheer delight of regaining his 'Precious' while Smeagol danced upon the edge with sheer joy that he had saved his master, his Frodo from the doom that had come upon him? It would be that same battle between Gollum and Smeagol that Sam had witnessed once before.
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Old 07-17-2003, 09:42 PM   #33
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Of course, everything I've written before still stands.
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Old 07-18-2003, 09:52 AM   #34
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What if Smeagol had never entirely disappeared from Gollum? What if Smeagol cut the Ring from Frodo's hand to save him, while Gollum cut it from his hand to regain his what was once his? What if, as Gollum/Smeagol boasted of his prize as they danced upon the Crack's edge, Gollum danced for the sheer delight of regaining his 'Precious' while Smeagol danced upon the edge with sheer joy that he had saved his master, his Frodo from the doom that had come upon him?
This is an interesting point, Imladris, although I personally think that at this point Gollum had completely taken over, although Smeagol may have remained in some dark crevice of his mind. Why would Gollum have gone up to the Cracks of Doom after Sam had told him to leave if he had wanted to help Frodo? In my mind, Gollum went up to wrest the Ring from Frodo before it was destroyed. I think that this deep in Mordor, after Sam had just come close to slaying him and had sent him off in shame, he would certainly be acting totally out of the "Stinker" side of his brain, although Smeagol may still have been alive and conscious somewhere in there. [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]
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Old 07-18-2003, 10:21 AM   #35
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Why would Gollum have gone up to the Cracks of Doom after Sam had told him to leave if he had wanted to help Frodo? In my mind, Gollum went up to wrest the Ring from Frodo before it was destroyed. I think that this deep in Mordor, after Sam had just come close to slaying him and had sent him off in shame, he would certainly be acting totally out of the "Stinker" side of his brain, although Smeagol may still have been alive and conscious somewhere in there.
Point taken as well...but if Smeagol was alive and conscious somewhere in his brain, don't you think that the Smeagol also would have been acting subconsciously inside that shriveled little mind of his? Don't you think that a tiny tiny part of his brain wanted to save Frodo from the fate that Gollum himself had once suffered? Of course, his actions were probably 99% Gollum, but couldn't he have also been trying to save Frodo as well?

Can any mortal become fully evil in Middle-earth? I know that the Ring wraiths and the Mouth of Sauron did, but isn't that because they became a part of Sauron, as it were? But can any mortal who has not come under the full domination of the Ring become fully evil like Sauron? I think this needs to be answered before we can conclude whether Gollum/Smeagol was acting wholly from the Stinker side of him.
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Old 07-18-2003, 05:11 PM   #36
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OK, I definitely think Sam changed smeagol's mind at the moment and Cirith Ungol. But I think that the movie would have brought up that question. They portrayed it badly. I really don't think Smeagol was ever on top (wehreas in the movie - "we tells him to go away and he goes away")
So, there was never much of a smeagol in the books to be supressed
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Old 07-18-2003, 08:55 PM   #37
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I think if sam wass a little bit nicer to smeagol ,he would not have felt so alone and i think sam made him feel,if possible, more like and outcast in the world.If you remember frodo was much more understanding with gollum and saw him like a person,but sam just treated him like a wretched animal. i think sam did not help gollum's decision in having to turn to shelob and maybe smeagol would have turned good if it werent for sam.
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Old 07-19-2003, 10:29 AM   #38
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I think, that after reading this post, I have to re-state my conclusions.

Gollum was still fighting good and evil within him, and drawn by the Ring, which was evil, that probably influenced him more. However, because of Frodo's love and pity, Smeagol began to grow. Sam was a drawback. Gollum lost trust in Frodo when he was betrayed into the waiting arms of Faramir. That was a terrible set back. Then he repented at the Stairs of Cirith Ungol, until he was pushed back by Sam's insult. That was the end of it. So I guess really that Sam didn't have a huge part in it, but Sam was the determining factor in his turning back. Hope that made sense. It is still to be decided whether Gollum and Smeagol were fighting it out when they bit off Frodo's finger.

Again, I do think it was good and very wise of Sam to distrust Gollum. It was wrong of Sam to abuse him and torment him.

Hope I summed everything up clearly.

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P.S Thank you for rating me whoever did it! You made me pathetically happy last night!!! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 07-20-2003, 03:34 AM   #39
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Gollum lost trust in Frodo when he was betrayed into the waiting arms of Faramir. That was a terrible set back.
In defence of Frodo here, Frodo actually saved Gollum's life. Gollum thought he was betrayed, but really wasn't. It's a minor detail at first glance, but it is actually much bigger. Yes Gollum did think that Frodo betrayed him, but after, Gollum realizes that Frodo has indeed saved his life and protected him. So then Gollum, goes to Frodo and begs Frodo to save him:
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We will promise Master, if he saves us. We'll promise to It, yes.' He crawled to Frodo's feet. 'Save us, nice Master!'
So, I think that this actually strengthened the bond between Frodo and Smeagol, and Smeagol has a lot more trust in Frodo. So, without that, it seems it goes like this:
+ Frodo's pity and love
+ Frodo saving Smeagol from Faramir
- The ring
- Sam, especially at the Stairs of Cirith Ungol

So, I find that Sam had a huge part in Gollum not repenting.
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Old 07-20-2003, 08:31 AM   #40
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Oh, good point, Willie. I scanned through the chapter and I received the impression that he was asking Frodo to save him after Gollum thought that Frodo had betrayed him...but that's just picking at straws probably; that incident may have secured Frodo's and Smeagol's bond. Maybe Smeagol realized that on the Stairs and maybe that's why he debated whether to deliver them over to Shelob or not. I wonder whether Smeagol was intending to get safe passage through that tunnel from Shelob, before the Gollum side became dominant. He is such a deep and intriguing character.
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