Smeagol/Gollum: The Psychology

Archive Home > Advanced Lore
Aeleron 20/Feb/2006 at 07:46 PM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 645 Posts: 148 Joined: 31/Aug/2002

I have long been interested in psychology, but I’ve never been able to find the time to do a proper course in it. The few theories I have about Smeagol/Gollum have very little basis in fact, so I was wondering if there was anyone out there who would mind clearing me up on this? Is S/G a representation of a schitzophrenic or a sufferer of MPS? Obsessive compulsive? Additionally, although not directly relating to psychology, is Gollum a dark side, a product of the Ring inside Smeagol (did the Ring seep into him osmotically to provide it with a more powerful voice?) or is Smeagol/Gollum as a whole a representation of Freud’s id, ego and superego?

I am absolutely fascinated with the whole concept and I’d love to fit it together in my head... are there any ideas or opinions?

Aeleron 20/Feb/2006 at 07:46 PM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 645 Posts: 148 Joined: 31/Aug/2002

I have long been interested in psychology, but I’ve never been able to find the time to do a proper course in it. The few theories I have about Smeagol/Gollum have very little basis in fact, so I was wondering if there was anyone out there who would mind clearing me up on this? Is S/G a representation of a schitzophrenic or a sufferer of MPS? Obsessive compulsive? Additionally, although not directly relating to psychology, is Gollum a dark side, a product of the Ring inside Smeagol (did the Ring seep into him osmotically to provide it with a more powerful voice?) or is Smeagol/Gollum as a whole a representation of Freud’s id, ego and superego?

I am absolutely fascinated with the whole concept and I’d love to fit it together in my head... are there any ideas or opinions?

Sulrin 21/Feb/2006 at 12:22 AM
Historian of Lothlorien Points: 4490 Posts: 4475 Joined: 16/Feb/2004

  I’m not sure that the Ring....seeped into him...only that the Ring was made to dominate all those who would use it except Sauron as he is the who made it. S/G was not a nice person. He did supposedly kill his best friend for the RIng. This seemed to make it easier for the Ring to over come him.  But sooner or later, no matter how good one was, it would have possed him anyway, just as the Rings of Power overcame the Nine Men.

    Gollum did seem to be the dark side of Smeagol. The slinking stinker as Sam called him. And his eye color did change...they would be blue when Smeagol was closest to control, and a  green fire  when he became angry. He was a being who had lived alone for 500 years in almost total darkness. He had eaten only raw meat in all that time...and he wasn’t fussy about it either. Fish, young orch, birds and babies out of the cradle.  I suppose even if he hadn’t been taken by the Ring, he would have had some serious mental and emotional issues.

Sulrin 21/Feb/2006 at 12:22 AM
Historian of Lothlorien Points: 4490 Posts: 4475 Joined: 16/Feb/2004

  I’m not sure that the Ring....seeped into him...only that the Ring was made to dominate all those who would use it except Sauron as he is the who made it. S/G was not a nice person. He did supposedly kill his best friend for the RIng. This seemed to make it easier for the Ring to over come him.  But sooner or later, no matter how good one was, it would have possed him anyway, just as the Rings of Power overcame the Nine Men.

    Gollum did seem to be the dark side of Smeagol. The slinking stinker as Sam called him. And his eye color did change...they would be blue when Smeagol was closest to control, and a  green fire  when he became angry. He was a being who had lived alone for 500 years in almost total darkness. He had eaten only raw meat in all that time...and he wasn’t fussy about it either. Fish, young orch, birds and babies out of the cradle.  I suppose even if he hadn’t been taken by the Ring, he would have had some serious mental and emotional issues.

stevem1 21/Feb/2006 at 12:55 AM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1464 Posts: 756 Joined: 26/Feb/2008
I don’t think Gollum/Smeagol was schizophrenic in the classic sense. I think his soul is being torn apart by the power of the Ring and he has taken on 2 opposing characters as a means of retaining his sanity. I think if you asked him if he knew he talked in 2 voices, he would know - he is conscious of it. As for OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - no definately not. He doesn’t worry about hygene or do anything repetitively.

I think he is a very interesting psychological case-study but I would guess that you would have to find a new name for his state of mind and I don’t think it is a disorder. Even Frodo’s moods swung violently during episodes with the Ring - Sam giving it back to him etc).
stevem1 21/Feb/2006 at 12:55 AM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1464 Posts: 756 Joined: 26/Feb/2008
I don’t think Gollum/Smeagol was schizophrenic in the classic sense. I think his soul is being torn apart by the power of the Ring and he has taken on 2 opposing characters as a means of retaining his sanity. I think if you asked him if he knew he talked in 2 voices, he would know - he is conscious of it. As for OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - no definately not. He doesn’t worry about hygene or do anything repetitively.

I think he is a very interesting psychological case-study but I would guess that you would have to find a new name for his state of mind and I don’t think it is a disorder. Even Frodo’s moods swung violently during episodes with the Ring - Sam giving it back to him etc).
Goblin 21/Feb/2006 at 01:27 AM
Wolf-Friend of Goblin-Town Points: 25 Posts: 5344 Joined: 02/Dec/2005
No no, there is no need to mention such a word: schitzophrenic. I doubt Smeagol has anything to do with this.
Gollum is a product like you said already of the ring. But this other personality of Smeagol could never been brought to the surface without his help. Smeagol was already a troubled mind, always looking for something. Tolkien somehow wants to let us know Smeagol was about to make a great discovery that will change his life forever. Smeagol is a victim, Gollum is a slave.Under the influence of the One the hobbit splitted in two.The first ’person’ seems to conserve something from the old Smeagol while the second is completely new, even for Smeagol.Don’t you never said to yourself:’Oh my God, I didn’t know I was ever capable to do this!!’, and I don’t mean it in a good way.
Goblin 21/Feb/2006 at 01:27 AM
Wolf-Friend of Goblin-Town Points: 25 Posts: 5344 Joined: 02/Dec/2005
No no, there is no need to mention such a word: schitzophrenic. I doubt Smeagol has anything to do with this.
Gollum is a product like you said already of the ring. But this other personality of Smeagol could never been brought to the surface without his help. Smeagol was already a troubled mind, always looking for something. Tolkien somehow wants to let us know Smeagol was about to make a great discovery that will change his life forever. Smeagol is a victim, Gollum is a slave.Under the influence of the One the hobbit splitted in two.The first ’person’ seems to conserve something from the old Smeagol while the second is completely new, even for Smeagol.Don’t you never said to yourself:’Oh my God, I didn’t know I was ever capable to do this!!’, and I don’t mean it in a good way.
stevem1 21/Feb/2006 at 04:33 AM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1464 Posts: 756 Joined: 26/Feb/2008
That’s interesting Gwind Eryn what you say about Smeagol already having a troubled mind before he found the Ring. I have never thought so before - what I thought was that he was just ambitious and greedy. But your idea is interesting. Could you elaborate please?
stevem1 21/Feb/2006 at 04:33 AM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1464 Posts: 756 Joined: 26/Feb/2008
That’s interesting Gwind Eryn what you say about Smeagol already having a troubled mind before he found the Ring. I have never thought so before - what I thought was that he was just ambitious and greedy. But your idea is interesting. Could you elaborate please?
Goblin 21/Feb/2006 at 12:06 PM
Wolf-Friend of Goblin-Town Points: 25 Posts: 5344 Joined: 02/Dec/2005
Well stevem1 my idea is based on a completely personal point of view regarding Smeagol’s personality. And I will try to explaine myself as best as possible to see what i meant with ’troubled mind’.
The concept is actualy taken from LOTR itself and it’s not something completely new. I don’t remember exactly where is Smeagol’s description made by Tolkien but if my memory doesn’t fail me (as usual) it’s right in the beginning of FOTR after a couple of chapters.
From what Tolkien is saying about Smeagol I draw the conclusion that Smeagol’s personality was already a little ’deviated’ and took a wrong path before the appearence of the preciouss. However,I am not saying he was not normal.
That outstanding remark ’always looking for something’ (which in my opinion says many things) made me thing he was more then ’persuasive’; he was actualy obsessed. He was looking always for something, NEW things. But once he finds the ONE he gets stuck with it forever. And the surching for new stuff ends dramaticly and Smeagol starts to degenerate and evolve to his new personality. The changing was too fast for him to bare and accept.The ONE consumed him piece by piece until he finaly ’colapses’.
From my point of view, Smeagol didn’t change too much immediately after he found the preciouss. He seemed to be the same. The One didn’t have to work too much on him.He gave up easily.And this could be a consequence of an already ’troubled mind’.
Goblin 21/Feb/2006 at 12:06 PM
Wolf-Friend of Goblin-Town Points: 25 Posts: 5344 Joined: 02/Dec/2005
Well stevem1 my idea is based on a completely personal point of view regarding Smeagol’s personality. And I will try to explaine myself as best as possible to see what i meant with ’troubled mind’.
The concept is actualy taken from LOTR itself and it’s not something completely new. I don’t remember exactly where is Smeagol’s description made by Tolkien but if my memory doesn’t fail me (as usual) it’s right in the beginning of FOTR after a couple of chapters.
From what Tolkien is saying about Smeagol I draw the conclusion that Smeagol’s personality was already a little ’deviated’ and took a wrong path before the appearence of the preciouss. However,I am not saying he was not normal.
That outstanding remark ’always looking for something’ (which in my opinion says many things) made me thing he was more then ’persuasive’; he was actualy obsessed. He was looking always for something, NEW things. But once he finds the ONE he gets stuck with it forever. And the surching for new stuff ends dramaticly and Smeagol starts to degenerate and evolve to his new personality. The changing was too fast for him to bare and accept.The ONE consumed him piece by piece until he finaly ’colapses’.
From my point of view, Smeagol didn’t change too much immediately after he found the preciouss. He seemed to be the same. The One didn’t have to work too much on him.He gave up easily.And this could be a consequence of an already ’troubled mind’.
Bearamir 21/Feb/2006 at 12:09 PM
Emeritus Points: 16276 Posts: 16742 Joined: 21/Sep/2008

Ladies & Gentlemen:  This discussion has some strong potential for an interesting and spirited discussion.  With your permission, I’d like to move it to Ad Lore where some of the more "creative" of our Lore Masters can take a crack and Aeleron’s hypothesis...

Bearamir 21/Feb/2006 at 12:09 PM
Emeritus Points: 16276 Posts: 16742 Joined: 21/Sep/2008

Ladies & Gentlemen:  This discussion has some strong potential for an interesting and spirited discussion.  With your permission, I’d like to move it to Ad Lore where some of the more "creative" of our Lore Masters can take a crack and Aeleron’s hypothesis...

CirthErebor 21/Feb/2006 at 01:34 PM
Defender of Imladris Points: 715 Posts: 268 Joined: 05/Jan/2006
I think that Gollum, (in a sense) was Sauron. Sauron had poured all his power into the ring, and that makes the ring, in a sense, Sauron. So Gollum, in my opinion, is a mixture of Smeagol and Sauron. So rather than Smeagol and Gollum, I think it’s Smeagol/Sauron and Smeagol. Smeagol’s soul wasn’t divided, but something was added---Gollum. A case of Split Personality, but an extremely rare one at that.
CirthErebor 21/Feb/2006 at 01:34 PM
Defender of Imladris Points: 715 Posts: 268 Joined: 05/Jan/2006
I think that Gollum, (in a sense) was Sauron. Sauron had poured all his power into the ring, and that makes the ring, in a sense, Sauron. So Gollum, in my opinion, is a mixture of Smeagol and Sauron. So rather than Smeagol and Gollum, I think it’s Smeagol/Sauron and Smeagol. Smeagol’s soul wasn’t divided, but something was added---Gollum. A case of Split Personality, but an extremely rare one at that.
Aeleron 21/Feb/2006 at 07:17 PM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 645 Posts: 148 Joined: 31/Aug/2002

I really love your idea CirthErebor, and I am incredibly grateful for all the help that has been given. I understand just about everything except for one point  Gwind Eryn made: "Smeagol is a victim, Gollum is a slave." I had never considered Gollum as a slave, since I think he really dominates Smeagol throughout the books at least. Although there is alot of evidence of a struggle (which is evidence enough for me to disagree with the perfectly logical conclusion that Smeagol was perhaps unbalanced BEFORE he found the Ring. Further evidence... Deagol didn’t just hand it over, therefore, perhaps its power was stronger earlier on, or later hobbits had a better way of dealing with it... etc). As for the OCD, I didn’t mean it in the repetitive sense (hard to explain, maybe I just used a word that I thought sort of fit the description). I meant more along the lines of, addiction, I guess. But what really fascinates me is the two sides of Smeagol. Is there anything in any of Tolkien’s letters (which I haven’t read in the last four years at least) that would explain this further?

CirthErebor : I think your idea fits really well. That always bothered me, the fact that the Ring seemed to polarise good and evil in S/G’s character. I guess it seemed that Tolkien was explaining why human nature was doomed - if split, evil outweighs good. But it makes sense, if some small essence of Sauron became Gollum, particularly as it drives him to do all sorts of particularly evil things.

Here’s a thought (though half developed) what if the Ring exerted its powers slowly and carefully, knowing that Bilbo or Frodo may have thrown it away instantly if it had frightened them. Whereas, with Smeagol and Deagol, it wanted to see which was the stronger and less moral of the two, thereby goading them into the fight? What if that episode had less to do with Smeagol and more to do with the Ring itself?

Aeleron 21/Feb/2006 at 07:17 PM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 645 Posts: 148 Joined: 31/Aug/2002

I really love your idea CirthErebor, and I am incredibly grateful for all the help that has been given. I understand just about everything except for one point  Gwind Eryn made: "Smeagol is a victim, Gollum is a slave." I had never considered Gollum as a slave, since I think he really dominates Smeagol throughout the books at least. Although there is alot of evidence of a struggle (which is evidence enough for me to disagree with the perfectly logical conclusion that Smeagol was perhaps unbalanced BEFORE he found the Ring. Further evidence... Deagol didn’t just hand it over, therefore, perhaps its power was stronger earlier on, or later hobbits had a better way of dealing with it... etc). As for the OCD, I didn’t mean it in the repetitive sense (hard to explain, maybe I just used a word that I thought sort of fit the description). I meant more along the lines of, addiction, I guess. But what really fascinates me is the two sides of Smeagol. Is there anything in any of Tolkien’s letters (which I haven’t read in the last four years at least) that would explain this further?

CirthErebor : I think your idea fits really well. That always bothered me, the fact that the Ring seemed to polarise good and evil in S/G’s character. I guess it seemed that Tolkien was explaining why human nature was doomed - if split, evil outweighs good. But it makes sense, if some small essence of Sauron became Gollum, particularly as it drives him to do all sorts of particularly evil things.

Here’s a thought (though half developed) what if the Ring exerted its powers slowly and carefully, knowing that Bilbo or Frodo may have thrown it away instantly if it had frightened them. Whereas, with Smeagol and Deagol, it wanted to see which was the stronger and less moral of the two, thereby goading them into the fight? What if that episode had less to do with Smeagol and more to do with the Ring itself?

Daithi Mac 22/Feb/2006 at 01:29 AM
Apprentice of the Shire Points: 145 Posts: 95 Joined: 21/Feb/2006

In my opinion,Gollums  schitzophrenic mind is a result of all the evil he has done.He cannot face up to the murdering he has done and as a result,he splits himself into moral and immoral,giving the responsibility to the latter.However he also needs his evil part,because all creatures must be part bad as he is the one who will get him back the ring.

Daithi Mac 22/Feb/2006 at 01:29 AM
Apprentice of the Shire Points: 145 Posts: 95 Joined: 21/Feb/2006

In my opinion,Gollums  schitzophrenic mind is a result of all the evil he has done.He cannot face up to the murdering he has done and as a result,he splits himself into moral and immoral,giving the responsibility to the latter.However he also needs his evil part,because all creatures must be part bad as he is the one who will get him back the ring.

mighty ent man 22/Feb/2006 at 02:19 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Smeagol was already turning bad before he ever came into contact with the Ring. He did not solely turn bad because of the Ring. Although this was a major factor in making him kill Deagol and starting this split in personality that we see. Now I think it important to add that I think the movies did slightly exaggerate the personlaity split. In the books it was more clear that they were the same person, just with conflicting ideas and thoughts.

I do not think the Ring seeped into him as you put it. The Ring was always affecting him and on his mind. I think with Gollum we have two thoughts running in him. One is the hobbit in him, Smeagol that is not dominant, this part is in the back of his mind. Gollum is the evil part which is the dominant part and connected most deeply to the Ring.

stevem1 - Smeagol was troubled before he found the Ring. There is quote in one of Tolkiens letters that shows this to be true. He was always snuffling around for things. The Ring tipped the balance basically. I mean why would an ordinary person kill for the Ring straight away? It doesnt make sense.

http://www.lotrplaza.com/forum/display_topic_threads.asp?ForumID=24&TopicID=189651&PagePosition=1 - Here is a link to the thread I was in which has close links to this subject and will be of use to anyone wishing to learn more on this topic.

The domination of the Ring was much too strong for the mean soul of Sméagol. But he would have never had to endure it if he had not become a mean son of thief before it crossed his path.  - Letter 181

There is the quote that I speak of.

Cirth - Gollum was NOT Sauron. Thats not at all possible. Sauron did pour his malice into the Ring but this does not in any way make people who have the Ring Sauron.

Aeleron - Here’s a thought (though half developed) what if the Ring exerted its powers slowly and carefully, knowing that Bilbo or Frodo may have thrown it away instantly if it had frightened them. Whereas, with Smeagol and Deagol, it wanted to see which was the stronger and less moral of the two, thereby goading them into the fight? What if that episode had less to do with Smeagol and more to do with the Ring itself? - This is an excellent theory and one which I think I may tend to agree with. The Ring did not affect Bilbo as much as it did Gollum. Now this is to do with many things. Bilbo used it less. He also aquired the Ring through an act of pity. Which was important to this lasting resistance.

 

mighty ent man 22/Feb/2006 at 02:19 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Smeagol was already turning bad before he ever came into contact with the Ring. He did not solely turn bad because of the Ring. Although this was a major factor in making him kill Deagol and starting this split in personality that we see. Now I think it important to add that I think the movies did slightly exaggerate the personlaity split. In the books it was more clear that they were the same person, just with conflicting ideas and thoughts.

I do not think the Ring seeped into him as you put it. The Ring was always affecting him and on his mind. I think with Gollum we have two thoughts running in him. One is the hobbit in him, Smeagol that is not dominant, this part is in the back of his mind. Gollum is the evil part which is the dominant part and connected most deeply to the Ring.

stevem1 - Smeagol was troubled before he found the Ring. There is quote in one of Tolkiens letters that shows this to be true. He was always snuffling around for things. The Ring tipped the balance basically. I mean why would an ordinary person kill for the Ring straight away? It doesnt make sense.

http://www.lotrplaza.com/forum/display_topic_threads.asp?ForumID=24&TopicID=189651&PagePosition=1 - Here is a link to the thread I was in which has close links to this subject and will be of use to anyone wishing to learn more on this topic.

The domination of the Ring was much too strong for the mean soul of Sméagol. But he would have never had to endure it if he had not become a mean son of thief before it crossed his path.  - Letter 181

There is the quote that I speak of.

Cirth - Gollum was NOT Sauron. Thats not at all possible. Sauron did pour his malice into the Ring but this does not in any way make people who have the Ring Sauron.

Aeleron - Here’s a thought (though half developed) what if the Ring exerted its powers slowly and carefully, knowing that Bilbo or Frodo may have thrown it away instantly if it had frightened them. Whereas, with Smeagol and Deagol, it wanted to see which was the stronger and less moral of the two, thereby goading them into the fight? What if that episode had less to do with Smeagol and more to do with the Ring itself? - This is an excellent theory and one which I think I may tend to agree with. The Ring did not affect Bilbo as much as it did Gollum. Now this is to do with many things. Bilbo used it less. He also aquired the Ring through an act of pity. Which was important to this lasting resistance.

 

Daithi Mac 22/Feb/2006 at 04:55 AM
Apprentice of the Shire Points: 145 Posts: 95 Joined: 21/Feb/2006
how was he bad before the ring?When he’s described in the book by Gandalf to Frodo they say that he was vey simple and kept to himself,it wasn’t until after he had the ring he started playing pranks and eventually his family disowned him.
Daithi Mac 22/Feb/2006 at 04:55 AM
Apprentice of the Shire Points: 145 Posts: 95 Joined: 21/Feb/2006
how was he bad before the ring?When he’s described in the book by Gandalf to Frodo they say that he was vey simple and kept to himself,it wasn’t until after he had the ring he started playing pranks and eventually his family disowned him.
mighty ent man 22/Feb/2006 at 09:40 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003
Daithi - Did you read my post?? If you did you will see that Tolkien says that Smeagol had a mean soul. It also says that Smeagol was a mean son of a thief before he came accross the Ring. I think that shows how he was bad before he came into contact with the Ring.
mighty ent man 22/Feb/2006 at 09:40 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003
Daithi - Did you read my post?? If you did you will see that Tolkien says that Smeagol had a mean soul. It also says that Smeagol was a mean son of a thief before he came accross the Ring. I think that shows how he was bad before he came into contact with the Ring.
Wídfara 22/Feb/2006 at 12:44 PM
High Counsellor of the Mark Points: 16076 Posts: 10516 Joined: 12/Aug/2005

Good post mighty ent man. Thanks for providing the information from the Letters. In addition to the other theories posted here I have always wondered about the sounds that Gollum/Smeagol makes. I propose the following as one psychological explanation.

Admitted speculation here.... I always thought that the sound he was making was a sort of retching swallowing sound that originated with his crime of strangling his friend and cousin Deagol. His guilt and obsession over the murder festered and manifested itself in this irritating, unconscious physical tick of sorts. I posted this in another thread about Gollum and was interested in what others think about this idea.

Wídfara 22/Feb/2006 at 12:44 PM
High Counsellor of the Mark Points: 16076 Posts: 10516 Joined: 12/Aug/2005

Good post mighty ent man. Thanks for providing the information from the Letters. In addition to the other theories posted here I have always wondered about the sounds that Gollum/Smeagol makes. I propose the following as one psychological explanation.

Admitted speculation here.... I always thought that the sound he was making was a sort of retching swallowing sound that originated with his crime of strangling his friend and cousin Deagol. His guilt and obsession over the murder festered and manifested itself in this irritating, unconscious physical tick of sorts. I posted this in another thread about Gollum and was interested in what others think about this idea.

Meril Green 22/Feb/2006 at 01:52 PM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2632 Posts: 5001 Joined: 31/Jul/2005

Azulutar- that’s really an interesting theory! That could be a reason for it, though I’m pretty sure that the sound he was making was from sickness, or malnutrition... but totally, yeah, that would be a great reason for it, sort of an OCD/ extreme guilt thing... 
Some people think that Gollum isn’t scitzophrenic, but when researching deeper into it, I found the definition of schitzophrenic to be this :
"a severe psychiatric disorder with symptoms of emotional instability, detachment from reality, and withdrawal into the self" - MSN Encarta
Gollum certaintly shows these symptoms- emotional instability (guiltiness, lust for ring...), detatchment from reality (talking to himself), and withdrawl into oneself (again, talking to himself)
Gollum is most definetly an almost pure case of schizophrinea- This is really  a great connection, I made it myself once or twice, but never fully to this extent...

Meril Green 22/Feb/2006 at 01:52 PM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2632 Posts: 5001 Joined: 31/Jul/2005

Azulutar- that’s really an interesting theory! That could be a reason for it, though I’m pretty sure that the sound he was making was from sickness, or malnutrition... but totally, yeah, that would be a great reason for it, sort of an OCD/ extreme guilt thing... 
Some people think that Gollum isn’t scitzophrenic, but when researching deeper into it, I found the definition of schitzophrenic to be this :
"a severe psychiatric disorder with symptoms of emotional instability, detachment from reality, and withdrawal into the self" - MSN Encarta
Gollum certaintly shows these symptoms- emotional instability (guiltiness, lust for ring...), detatchment from reality (talking to himself), and withdrawl into oneself (again, talking to himself)
Gollum is most definetly an almost pure case of schizophrinea- This is really  a great connection, I made it myself once or twice, but never fully to this extent...

greypigeon 22/Feb/2006 at 02:50 PM
Huorn of Fangorn Points: 632 Posts: 161 Joined: 04/Jan/2006

I am not like to apply modern Psychology to ancient beings because times were different and simpler. Gollum is a pitiful thing and it is easy to try to overanalyze him because I think in the back of most of our hearts we wish he could have been saved. At least I do, but then the story wouldn’t be what it was had Tolkien not been the master of words and created this character that seems so real we want to save even a creature as malevolent as Gollum.

I take a much simpler view of Sméagol/Gollum; he appears to me to have been an already mean spirited hobbitish individual to start with. The ring enhanced the negative aspects of his spirit and personality. The ring made him into a spiteful, angry, possessed creature called Gollum. Left alone I hesitate to believe that Sméagol would have committed murder he would have just remained a prankster and an ornery Hobbitish person and never have turned into that creature called Gollum.

greypigeon 22/Feb/2006 at 02:50 PM
Huorn of Fangorn Points: 632 Posts: 161 Joined: 04/Jan/2006

I am not like to apply modern Psychology to ancient beings because times were different and simpler. Gollum is a pitiful thing and it is easy to try to overanalyze him because I think in the back of most of our hearts we wish he could have been saved. At least I do, but then the story wouldn’t be what it was had Tolkien not been the master of words and created this character that seems so real we want to save even a creature as malevolent as Gollum.

I take a much simpler view of Sméagol/Gollum; he appears to me to have been an already mean spirited hobbitish individual to start with. The ring enhanced the negative aspects of his spirit and personality. The ring made him into a spiteful, angry, possessed creature called Gollum. Left alone I hesitate to believe that Sméagol would have committed murder he would have just remained a prankster and an ornery Hobbitish person and never have turned into that creature called Gollum.

Lil Sidhe 22/Feb/2006 at 04:04 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005

I sure wish that Gollum had been saved. it was sad seeing him die at the end, but atleast he died happy with the ring. and if it werent for Gullom (or Smeagol, wutever) frodo would have gotten away, and the ring would not have been destoyed it would have been found and used for evil, so everything happened for a reason, and yes it is a good thing that Bilbo didnt kill him when he had the chance!

But i think that the ring had poisoned Gollum for far too long and far too much for Smeagol to ever come back. but we can see that he wants to, and he hates his "other side." Poor ol’ Gollum..

Lil Sidhe 22/Feb/2006 at 04:04 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005

I sure wish that Gollum had been saved. it was sad seeing him die at the end, but atleast he died happy with the ring. and if it werent for Gullom (or Smeagol, wutever) frodo would have gotten away, and the ring would not have been destoyed it would have been found and used for evil, so everything happened for a reason, and yes it is a good thing that Bilbo didnt kill him when he had the chance!

But i think that the ring had poisoned Gollum for far too long and far too much for Smeagol to ever come back. but we can see that he wants to, and he hates his "other side." Poor ol’ Gollum..

Aeleron 22/Feb/2006 at 04:27 PM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 645 Posts: 148 Joined: 31/Aug/2002
I hardly think that drowning in boiling lava and volcanic ash was ’dying happy’ even with the Ring, but I can see where you are coming from. The end had a sort of poetic justice to it, but I too wanted Gollum to be saved.
I think that the deciding moment was when he saw Frodo with Faramir. Up to that point (although the movie makes it overt, I have to say that I’ve thought this since I first read the book)Frodo had really done nothing to betray the trust Smeagol had. There is a marked change as Smeagol becomes slightly more dominant in those parts of the book. But the second that Smeagol’s frail trust is gone, he allows Gollum to take over. That is the really sad part for me - had Faramir been just a little gentler, or if things had been just a bit different, maybe Smeagol would have overcome Gollum and surprised us all?
Aeleron 22/Feb/2006 at 04:27 PM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 645 Posts: 148 Joined: 31/Aug/2002
I hardly think that drowning in boiling lava and volcanic ash was ’dying happy’ even with the Ring, but I can see where you are coming from. The end had a sort of poetic justice to it, but I too wanted Gollum to be saved.
I think that the deciding moment was when he saw Frodo with Faramir. Up to that point (although the movie makes it overt, I have to say that I’ve thought this since I first read the book)Frodo had really done nothing to betray the trust Smeagol had. There is a marked change as Smeagol becomes slightly more dominant in those parts of the book. But the second that Smeagol’s frail trust is gone, he allows Gollum to take over. That is the really sad part for me - had Faramir been just a little gentler, or if things had been just a bit different, maybe Smeagol would have overcome Gollum and surprised us all?
Lil Sidhe 22/Feb/2006 at 05:31 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005
Yes i see what you mean, and i think maybe if he hadn’t seen Frodo with Faramir, and hadnt thought that Frodo had tricked or betrayed him, then yes maybe he might have over come Gollum and let the Smeagol part of him through. but i think that would have been a slim chance because the ring had poisoned and made him Gollum for so soo long that the Gollum part could never really be gone.
Lil Sidhe 22/Feb/2006 at 05:31 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005
Yes i see what you mean, and i think maybe if he hadn’t seen Frodo with Faramir, and hadnt thought that Frodo had tricked or betrayed him, then yes maybe he might have over come Gollum and let the Smeagol part of him through. but i think that would have been a slim chance because the ring had poisoned and made him Gollum for so soo long that the Gollum part could never really be gone.
Lil Sidhe 22/Feb/2006 at 05:38 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005
Also what very much started to help Gollum go back to Smeagol, was the fact that Frodo had reminded him of his life before the ring and his friend Deagol, and how he used to live, and used to be a hobbit. Also wut definatley helped him a lot with leaving Gollum behind, was the fact the Frodo reminded him that his name used Smeagol, started to refer to him as Smeagol instead of Gollum. that made him feel like Smeagol instead of Gollum, and even start to think and act more like Smeagol. The scariest part after that was when he starts to agree with Gollum about bringing the hobbits to her to be killed. when that turn happened, my heart just sank, and i was soooo worried.
Lil Sidhe 22/Feb/2006 at 05:38 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005
Also what very much started to help Gollum go back to Smeagol, was the fact that Frodo had reminded him of his life before the ring and his friend Deagol, and how he used to live, and used to be a hobbit. Also wut definatley helped him a lot with leaving Gollum behind, was the fact the Frodo reminded him that his name used Smeagol, started to refer to him as Smeagol instead of Gollum. that made him feel like Smeagol instead of Gollum, and even start to think and act more like Smeagol. The scariest part after that was when he starts to agree with Gollum about bringing the hobbits to her to be killed. when that turn happened, my heart just sank, and i was soooo worried.
Aeleron 22/Feb/2006 at 08:46 PM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 645 Posts: 148 Joined: 31/Aug/2002
Even though Tolkien himself wrote that Smeagol was a nasty creature to begin with, i get the idea that he was judging Smeagol on what he became. Who knows why authors begin to loathe their characters? (I loathe some of mine...) But is LOTR discussed from the perspective of the way Tolkien intended the work, or through the eyes of someone looking into ME as an actual place (strange, but I can’t think of a better way to put it). I really do feel sorry for him from the beginning, and, although I’m probably biased, I think that the Ring certainly had alot more to do with his downfall than most people do.
Aeleron 22/Feb/2006 at 08:46 PM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 645 Posts: 148 Joined: 31/Aug/2002
Even though Tolkien himself wrote that Smeagol was a nasty creature to begin with, i get the idea that he was judging Smeagol on what he became. Who knows why authors begin to loathe their characters? (I loathe some of mine...) But is LOTR discussed from the perspective of the way Tolkien intended the work, or through the eyes of someone looking into ME as an actual place (strange, but I can’t think of a better way to put it). I really do feel sorry for him from the beginning, and, although I’m probably biased, I think that the Ring certainly had alot more to do with his downfall than most people do.
Goblin 22/Feb/2006 at 10:58 PM
Wolf-Friend of Goblin-Town Points: 25 Posts: 5344 Joined: 02/Dec/2005
Sure he is Aelereon.
The prsciouss speakes through Smeagol or maybe should I say the ring orders and Smeagol fallows.It’s like servant and master.While hiding in the mountains Gollum don’t show any sign of resistence anymore.He is completely at the preciouss’s will.
And I trully don’t find anything inapropriate when saying slave-master and I will try to explaine myself.
Let’s first emaxine a little bit this relation between master and slave anbd see if we can find any similarities with Smeagol and the One.
First of all a slave was once a free person and brutaly enchained by another either by force or manipulation (sometimes the force of the mind or word is stronger then the force of the sword). After a perrioud of time he is being kept in a sort of middle way situation because he’s destiny is being estanblish by his new owner (now he is neither a free man nor a slave).It’s a perioud of waiting, cruel and without any chane of escaping, the prisoner seems to starting accepting the situation or on the contrary to come up with an escaping plan.After a long perioud of slavery the prisoner has the chance of freedom again (because either the master just died or the system changed).But the prisoner (already used with the captivity conditions)doesn’t know what to do with his freedom and therefore remains in the cell. For some this may be the end, for others a new beginning.
All this being said, then let’s move on to our subjects.
First of all Smeagol is a free person enjoying his freedom in his own way.Then, in just 5 minutes, his life changes dramaticly:he finds the preciouss.Withiut his will, or maybe unconscious, he falls under the influence of the One and in short time he becames a servant of the ring making its will. There is that time then (the middle way I was talking abobe), when Smeagol’s future is being decided but Smeagol doeasn’t show any sign of resistence though and therefore the ring doesn’t have to work hard on him. This time is represented by his life between the finding of the ring and the journey to the mountains.His grandmother however finaly decided what to do with mseagol and he is being baned from the finaly.He refugees far away from home in the mounatins. The cell are the caves he had chosen for himself and I don’t find anything more dramaticly then to chosse for yourself your own prison without being conscious that you are ruining your own life. And this is how Smeagol gets into the prison, his own prison and stays there untill the change of escpaing occurs unexpectedly.But Smeagol (look above again) doesn’t know what to do with his freedom.He doesn’t come bac to his previous life but keep tracking the precious hoping he will get it back.
Well folks, Smeagols in my opinion is the slave of the ring.But if you don’t see it my way then please see the problem from another angle.
Imagine that Smeagol is the slave of the ring, metaphoricly speaking.

**
Goblin 22/Feb/2006 at 10:58 PM
Wolf-Friend of Goblin-Town Points: 25 Posts: 5344 Joined: 02/Dec/2005
Sure he is Aelereon.
The prsciouss speakes through Smeagol or maybe should I say the ring orders and Smeagol fallows.It’s like servant and master.While hiding in the mountains Gollum don’t show any sign of resistence anymore.He is completely at the preciouss’s will.
And I trully don’t find anything inapropriate when saying slave-master and I will try to explaine myself.
Let’s first emaxine a little bit this relation between master and slave anbd see if we can find any similarities with Smeagol and the One.
First of all a slave was once a free person and brutaly enchained by another either by force or manipulation (sometimes the force of the mind or word is stronger then the force of the sword). After a perrioud of time he is being kept in a sort of middle way situation because he’s destiny is being estanblish by his new owner (now he is neither a free man nor a slave).It’s a perioud of waiting, cruel and without any chane of escaping, the prisoner seems to starting accepting the situation or on the contrary to come up with an escaping plan.After a long perioud of slavery the prisoner has the chance of freedom again (because either the master just died or the system changed).But the prisoner (already used with the captivity conditions)doesn’t know what to do with his freedom and therefore remains in the cell. For some this may be the end, for others a new beginning.
All this being said, then let’s move on to our subjects.
First of all Smeagol is a free person enjoying his freedom in his own way.Then, in just 5 minutes, his life changes dramaticly:he finds the preciouss.Withiut his will, or maybe unconscious, he falls under the influence of the One and in short time he becames a servant of the ring making its will. There is that time then (the middle way I was talking abobe), when Smeagol’s future is being decided but Smeagol doeasn’t show any sign of resistence though and therefore the ring doesn’t have to work hard on him. This time is represented by his life between the finding of the ring and the journey to the mountains.His grandmother however finaly decided what to do with mseagol and he is being baned from the finaly.He refugees far away from home in the mounatins. The cell are the caves he had chosen for himself and I don’t find anything more dramaticly then to chosse for yourself your own prison without being conscious that you are ruining your own life. And this is how Smeagol gets into the prison, his own prison and stays there untill the change of escpaing occurs unexpectedly.But Smeagol (look above again) doesn’t know what to do with his freedom.He doesn’t come bac to his previous life but keep tracking the precious hoping he will get it back.
Well folks, Smeagols in my opinion is the slave of the ring.But if you don’t see it my way then please see the problem from another angle.
Imagine that Smeagol is the slave of the ring, metaphoricly speaking.

**
Darkrider01 22/Feb/2006 at 11:21 PM
Thief of Mordor Points: 197 Posts: 219 Joined: 07/Dec/2004
im a smeagol expert...trust me, if ya knew me you would understand. smeagold was the care free hobbit like creature. then he found the ring and became all currupt and all that good stuff. eventually people started calling him gollum, im guessing cause he coughed the words "gollum" quite often. but notice that when smeagol told gollum to "go away and never came back, frodo called him smeagol and not gollum, but then gollum came back and we know the rest.
Darkrider01 22/Feb/2006 at 11:21 PM
Thief of Mordor Points: 197 Posts: 219 Joined: 07/Dec/2004
im a smeagol expert...trust me, if ya knew me you would understand. smeagold was the care free hobbit like creature. then he found the ring and became all currupt and all that good stuff. eventually people started calling him gollum, im guessing cause he coughed the words "gollum" quite often. but notice that when smeagol told gollum to "go away and never came back, frodo called him smeagol and not gollum, but then gollum came back and we know the rest.
mighty ent man 23/Feb/2006 at 09:30 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Azultur - I think that is a good theory and one that is likely to be true. I also think that the gutteral sound that Gollum makes originates from when he started muttering to himself. It evolved from that.

greypigeon -

Aeleron - - had Faramir been just a little gentler, - This harsh Faramir was a movie invention. Just thought that I would tell you that. In the books no such violence against Gollum occured, but Gollums trust was still lost.

Gwind - A good post there. Very logical thinking shown.

Darkrider - You are not a Smeagol expert. The part you take is mainly from the films. Gollum never goes away, he is always lurking in the depths of Smeagols mind. Also he was not a carefree hobbit as I have shown before.

mighty ent man 23/Feb/2006 at 09:30 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Azultur - I think that is a good theory and one that is likely to be true. I also think that the gutteral sound that Gollum makes originates from when he started muttering to himself. It evolved from that.

greypigeon -

Aeleron - - had Faramir been just a little gentler, - This harsh Faramir was a movie invention. Just thought that I would tell you that. In the books no such violence against Gollum occured, but Gollums trust was still lost.

Gwind - A good post there. Very logical thinking shown.

Darkrider - You are not a Smeagol expert. The part you take is mainly from the films. Gollum never goes away, he is always lurking in the depths of Smeagols mind. Also he was not a carefree hobbit as I have shown before.

Lil Sidhe 23/Feb/2006 at 01:25 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005
Darkrider- you are certainly not an expert on Gollum/Smeagol. that is the basis of Gollum, and if you knew, you wouldnt be "Guessing" the hes called golum because of the noise he makes. ur not telling us anything that we dont already know. anyone who has seen the movies can tell u that.
Lil Sidhe 23/Feb/2006 at 01:25 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005
Darkrider- you are certainly not an expert on Gollum/Smeagol. that is the basis of Gollum, and if you knew, you wouldnt be "Guessing" the hes called golum because of the noise he makes. ur not telling us anything that we dont already know. anyone who has seen the movies can tell u that.
Aeleron 23/Feb/2006 at 02:42 PM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 645 Posts: 148 Joined: 31/Aug/2002

Gwind Eryn : Thanks for explaining, now that you’ve expressed your logic, I understand things much better.

mighty ent man : I think that I may be the victim of a misunderstanding here. Yes, the films quite obviously show maltreatment of Smeagol, but that was not what I was referring to. What I meant was in his capture and questioning. Faramir is, by nature, aloof and even commanding to some extent. I don’t think he showed the right sort of delicacy when questioning Smeagol, nor did he make clear Frodo’s loyalty (not that the latter was his responsibility so I don’t blame him for this part). My point was, the distaste and distrust presented by Faramir really destroyed what Frodo had tried to build in Smeagol and I think that if he had been just a little ’nicer’ really, all the trouble may have been avoided. But we would have lost some of the great workings of the mastermind plot then!

Aeleron 23/Feb/2006 at 02:42 PM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 645 Posts: 148 Joined: 31/Aug/2002

Gwind Eryn : Thanks for explaining, now that you’ve expressed your logic, I understand things much better.

mighty ent man : I think that I may be the victim of a misunderstanding here. Yes, the films quite obviously show maltreatment of Smeagol, but that was not what I was referring to. What I meant was in his capture and questioning. Faramir is, by nature, aloof and even commanding to some extent. I don’t think he showed the right sort of delicacy when questioning Smeagol, nor did he make clear Frodo’s loyalty (not that the latter was his responsibility so I don’t blame him for this part). My point was, the distaste and distrust presented by Faramir really destroyed what Frodo had tried to build in Smeagol and I think that if he had been just a little ’nicer’ really, all the trouble may have been avoided. But we would have lost some of the great workings of the mastermind plot then!

mighty ent man 23/Feb/2006 at 03:30 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003
Aeleron - I do not think that the trouble would have been avoided. You see Gollum would always feel betrayed by Frodo because Frodo did betray him. He did it to save his life but Gollum did not know this. I think Faramir handled the matter very well. He was wise and just and fair in dealing with Gollum. In theory he was kind in letting him go and in letting him take them to the Morgul Vale. Gollum was always going to feel anger against Frodo for what happened, no matter what Faramir did. I do not think that Faramir could have handled the matter any better.
mighty ent man 23/Feb/2006 at 03:30 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003
Aeleron - I do not think that the trouble would have been avoided. You see Gollum would always feel betrayed by Frodo because Frodo did betray him. He did it to save his life but Gollum did not know this. I think Faramir handled the matter very well. He was wise and just and fair in dealing with Gollum. In theory he was kind in letting him go and in letting him take them to the Morgul Vale. Gollum was always going to feel anger against Frodo for what happened, no matter what Faramir did. I do not think that Faramir could have handled the matter any better.
Aeleron 23/Feb/2006 at 06:51 PM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 645 Posts: 148 Joined: 31/Aug/2002

Alright, that’s well argued, mighty ent man. I really do have to agree to some point. But even in the books, although he was fair, it was also quite clear that they were still prisoners. A necessary plot point, but I still think that it is a shame.

So if this is true, why is it that Smeagol can’t reconcile with Frodo after this? A normal person would recognise that the hobbit really had no choice at all in the matter. How does this link with the psychology of the individual? I’ve got a tendency towards thinking of Smeagol as being so mistreated by his family that he actually can’t forgive and forget. Do you think it is possible that, to put it in modern psych terms he is somehow paranoid or agrophobic?

Aeleron 23/Feb/2006 at 06:51 PM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 645 Posts: 148 Joined: 31/Aug/2002

Alright, that’s well argued, mighty ent man. I really do have to agree to some point. But even in the books, although he was fair, it was also quite clear that they were still prisoners. A necessary plot point, but I still think that it is a shame.

So if this is true, why is it that Smeagol can’t reconcile with Frodo after this? A normal person would recognise that the hobbit really had no choice at all in the matter. How does this link with the psychology of the individual? I’ve got a tendency towards thinking of Smeagol as being so mistreated by his family that he actually can’t forgive and forget. Do you think it is possible that, to put it in modern psych terms he is somehow paranoid or agrophobic?

Darkrider01 23/Feb/2006 at 11:29 PM
Thief of Mordor Points: 197 Posts: 219 Joined: 07/Dec/2004
yes i know he’s still there, lurking in th shadows of smeagols mind. smeagol is just to stupid to relize that. i get all my info from a friend who reads these books numerous times. him and this guy at luch will argue over every last detail....its kinda retarded. and the care free hobbit part was to show that he wasnt a demented little gray ....thing.
Darkrider01 23/Feb/2006 at 11:29 PM
Thief of Mordor Points: 197 Posts: 219 Joined: 07/Dec/2004
yes i know he’s still there, lurking in th shadows of smeagols mind. smeagol is just to stupid to relize that. i get all my info from a friend who reads these books numerous times. him and this guy at luch will argue over every last detail....its kinda retarded. and the care free hobbit part was to show that he wasnt a demented little gray ....thing.
mighty ent man 24/Feb/2006 at 03:11 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Aeleron - Well they were prisoners! Faramir did take Frodo and Sam as prisoner and afterwards he treated them as guests. Gollum he treated better than he should, and this was under the word and will of Frodo. So Faramir did treat them all well I think.

Well you also have to remember that Smeagol/Gollum has allready decided to lead them to Shelob. So he was allready set on trapping them even before the whole Faramir incident. Therefore it is unlikely that he would decide to make up with Frodo.

darkrider - Well in truth you dont know much, it is your friends who know much!

mighty ent man 24/Feb/2006 at 03:11 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Aeleron - Well they were prisoners! Faramir did take Frodo and Sam as prisoner and afterwards he treated them as guests. Gollum he treated better than he should, and this was under the word and will of Frodo. So Faramir did treat them all well I think.

Well you also have to remember that Smeagol/Gollum has allready decided to lead them to Shelob. So he was allready set on trapping them even before the whole Faramir incident. Therefore it is unlikely that he would decide to make up with Frodo.

darkrider - Well in truth you dont know much, it is your friends who know much!

Hasufel 27/Feb/2006 at 07:44 AM
Esquire of the Mark Points: 4360 Posts: 3308 Joined: 13/Apr/2002
Hmm...I was reading through this thread, and found it quite interesting. And for once, I actually have a comment to make.

I don’t know that we can consider Gollum to be schizophrenic in the conventional sense. According to dictionary.com, Schizophrenia is associated with dopamine imbalances in the brain and defects of the frontal lobe and is caused by genetic, other biological, and psychosocial factors.

Thus it seems that in general, schizophrenia is the result of some internal cause--brain imbalance, genetics, etc. However, in Gollum’s case, his schizophrenia is the result of an external factor (i.e. the Ring). His schizophrenia is entirely Ring-induced, and without the Ring he would have been fine. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say that he would have been a nice, innocent, happy character without the influence of the Ring. Evidence already given in this thread has shown that he was not a nice creature even before the finding of the Ring. However, without the Ring, ’Gollum’ would not have come into existence, and even though ’Smeagol’ would not necessarily be a nice person, the schizophrenia would not exist.
Since the schizophrenia is induced by an outside factor, can Gollum’s condition really be called schizophrenia? I’m no expert, I really don’t know much about the disease--but, just to play Devil’s Advocate, I wanted to put that out there.
Hasufel 27/Feb/2006 at 07:44 AM
Esquire of the Mark Points: 4360 Posts: 3308 Joined: 13/Apr/2002
Hmm...I was reading through this thread, and found it quite interesting. And for once, I actually have a comment to make.

I don’t know that we can consider Gollum to be schizophrenic in the conventional sense. According to dictionary.com, Schizophrenia is associated with dopamine imbalances in the brain and defects of the frontal lobe and is caused by genetic, other biological, and psychosocial factors.

Thus it seems that in general, schizophrenia is the result of some internal cause--brain imbalance, genetics, etc. However, in Gollum’s case, his schizophrenia is the result of an external factor (i.e. the Ring). His schizophrenia is entirely Ring-induced, and without the Ring he would have been fine. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say that he would have been a nice, innocent, happy character without the influence of the Ring. Evidence already given in this thread has shown that he was not a nice creature even before the finding of the Ring. However, without the Ring, ’Gollum’ would not have come into existence, and even though ’Smeagol’ would not necessarily be a nice person, the schizophrenia would not exist.
Since the schizophrenia is induced by an outside factor, can Gollum’s condition really be called schizophrenia? I’m no expert, I really don’t know much about the disease--but, just to play Devil’s Advocate, I wanted to put that out there.
Goblin 27/Feb/2006 at 01:09 PM
Wolf-Friend of Goblin-Town Points: 25 Posts: 5344 Joined: 02/Dec/2005

Good point Hasufel
The term of schizophrenic is given to those who have mental problems which cannot be aplied to Smeagol since his troubles seems to be rather external (coming from the exterior)

However it cannot be denied that there is still a strugle inside Gollum. Splitting one person into two different personalities comes usualy from what’s happening inside your brain weather determined by outside or inside factors.



Goblin 27/Feb/2006 at 01:09 PM
Wolf-Friend of Goblin-Town Points: 25 Posts: 5344 Joined: 02/Dec/2005

Good point Hasufel
The term of schizophrenic is given to those who have mental problems which cannot be aplied to Smeagol since his troubles seems to be rather external (coming from the exterior)

However it cannot be denied that there is still a strugle inside Gollum. Splitting one person into two different personalities comes usualy from what’s happening inside your brain weather determined by outside or inside factors.



Lil Sidhe 27/Feb/2006 at 02:45 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005
i agree with both of you, but i have to bring up the point that the ring is magical, and anything that could make someone, ie gollum, have a split personality must be incredibly strong, even though it is a ring, and external, the one ring is so powerful, that for all be know, it could have effected his brain internaly, like a brain imbalance of some sort
Lil Sidhe 27/Feb/2006 at 02:45 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005
i agree with both of you, but i have to bring up the point that the ring is magical, and anything that could make someone, ie gollum, have a split personality must be incredibly strong, even though it is a ring, and external, the one ring is so powerful, that for all be know, it could have effected his brain internaly, like a brain imbalance of some sort
Miriame Sárince 27/Feb/2006 at 08:12 PM
Brewer of the Shire Points: 1310 Posts: 569 Joined: 19/Feb/2005

Unfortunately schizophrenia has commonly been confused with multiple personality disorder (MPD), a much more rare disease. Schizophrenia is generally bio-chemical and evidenced by hallucinations and paranoia. MPD, if it really exists at all (about which there is some debate), seems to be the result of repeated and severe trauma. In response to that trauma, the personality "splits" and becomes different identities. One of these identities may be dominant or the protector of the others.

So how does this apply to Smeagol?

Certainly he suffered repeated trauma. The killing of his best friend, the rejection by his family and community, the long domination of the ring, it’s loss, the torture by Sauron, all were more than enough to create horrible and repeated trauma response. Gollum was stronger and more cunning than Smeagol and much more willing to do things like kill and eat infants. It’s reasonable to see Gollum as the more able to survive (at least when fighting for his life against both Sauron and the elves and men who opposed Sauron). If he was the stronger, in that environment, Gollum would certainly have been the dominant of the two personalities.

It seems to me reasonable to think that Smeagol’s response to his traumatization was to develop MPD and, thanks to the loss of the ring and his torture by Sauron, to suffer even further entrenchment of the multiple personalities. His behaviors (even in the books) seem to support the presence of more than one personality.

Does this mean that, if he had been a "better person" in the first place that he wouldn’t have become so damaged? I would think so. His internal strength and character might have protected him from the first trauma (the temptation of the ring and the resulting killing). And, if he hadn’t suffered that first trauma, he might have been psychologically healthier. (And, of course, might not have taken the ring, for good or ill). But Gollum was who he was and was probably already susceptible to both evil and the trauma the results from evil.

Given the understanding of this condition at the time LOTR was written, it’s doubtful that Tolkien knew much about the "psychology" of Gollum. But he probably did know enough about the behavior of the psychotic to be able to model Gollum after people with multiple personalities. Jackson, of course, had access to a lot more current understanding of psychology and his version of Gollum/Smeagol is pretty classic MPD.

**

Miriame Sárince 27/Feb/2006 at 08:12 PM
Brewer of the Shire Points: 1310 Posts: 569 Joined: 19/Feb/2005

Unfortunately schizophrenia has commonly been confused with multiple personality disorder (MPD), a much more rare disease. Schizophrenia is generally bio-chemical and evidenced by hallucinations and paranoia. MPD, if it really exists at all (about which there is some debate), seems to be the result of repeated and severe trauma. In response to that trauma, the personality "splits" and becomes different identities. One of these identities may be dominant or the protector of the others.

So how does this apply to Smeagol?

Certainly he suffered repeated trauma. The killing of his best friend, the rejection by his family and community, the long domination of the ring, it’s loss, the torture by Sauron, all were more than enough to create horrible and repeated trauma response. Gollum was stronger and more cunning than Smeagol and much more willing to do things like kill and eat infants. It’s reasonable to see Gollum as the more able to survive (at least when fighting for his life against both Sauron and the elves and men who opposed Sauron). If he was the stronger, in that environment, Gollum would certainly have been the dominant of the two personalities.

It seems to me reasonable to think that Smeagol’s response to his traumatization was to develop MPD and, thanks to the loss of the ring and his torture by Sauron, to suffer even further entrenchment of the multiple personalities. His behaviors (even in the books) seem to support the presence of more than one personality.

Does this mean that, if he had been a "better person" in the first place that he wouldn’t have become so damaged? I would think so. His internal strength and character might have protected him from the first trauma (the temptation of the ring and the resulting killing). And, if he hadn’t suffered that first trauma, he might have been psychologically healthier. (And, of course, might not have taken the ring, for good or ill). But Gollum was who he was and was probably already susceptible to both evil and the trauma the results from evil.

Given the understanding of this condition at the time LOTR was written, it’s doubtful that Tolkien knew much about the "psychology" of Gollum. But he probably did know enough about the behavior of the psychotic to be able to model Gollum after people with multiple personalities. Jackson, of course, had access to a lot more current understanding of psychology and his version of Gollum/Smeagol is pretty classic MPD.

**

Aeleron 28/Feb/2006 at 12:30 AM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 645 Posts: 148 Joined: 31/Aug/2002
Well I think it is interesting as to how we define scitzophrenia. I always thought of it in the way of a person hearing a foreign voice in their head, although I knew it was caused by chemical imbalances. And MPD, well, that really covers it as well... but in terms of the clinical aspect, we don’t really have a reason at all, excepting the Ring’s influence. But what if the Ring caused the chemical imbalance.
Aeleron 28/Feb/2006 at 12:30 AM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 645 Posts: 148 Joined: 31/Aug/2002
Well I think it is interesting as to how we define scitzophrenia. I always thought of it in the way of a person hearing a foreign voice in their head, although I knew it was caused by chemical imbalances. And MPD, well, that really covers it as well... but in terms of the clinical aspect, we don’t really have a reason at all, excepting the Ring’s influence. But what if the Ring caused the chemical imbalance.
Goblin 28/Feb/2006 at 01:15 AM
Wolf-Friend of Goblin-Town Points: 25 Posts: 5344 Joined: 02/Dec/2005

 Eventhough it could be true Tolkien doesn’t focus his atention on Smeagol’s pain which makes me think that this fight within Smeagol’s brain is weather not that dramatic as we already made it or not important.
I can see a good point of view above on Miriame and eventhough I agree the main lines there is still something among your words that bothers me.

There is no doubt that Smeagol sufferes repeated trauma but being uncounscious all this time make me believe that this changings in his behavior happens ’without’ him. Smeagol doesn’t show any sign of regreting anything from tha whole harm he caused with the exeption of some times and laos that he wants to change anything or get rid of this ring obsesion. Smeagol fallows the path from its beginning to its end without questioning if is weather good or bad for him.

In our wolrd Smeagol wouldn habe been brought to a sanatorium, therefore persons with double personality are considered dangerous for the society and they are being isolated. However in LOTR Smeagol is not being isolated by anyone prefering to isolate himself after he notices that there is no place in the hobbitish society for him. Or we could say also that he was pushed to do this after being baned by his grandmother.
The isolation is another factor of his madness. We all know that staying isolated from the group and living only within ourselves is a certain path to mental problems. We start talk to ourselves or to something from around us (a rock, a tree or maybe just to the wind etc), we hear strange noises or we see things that are not real, we starting being paranoic etc

Smeagol is not different from other common man and foloows the same route. Isolating himself from the wolrd makes him feel lonely and starts talking to the ring but he also don’t accept anyone around him, afarid that he might still the preciouss.
What I am trying to say here is that the ring had a great impact on Smeagol’s mind (which is very true) but not the ring was the one that made Smeagol what he became later but the consequences that fallowed after the finding of the ring.

Everyone is keep talking about the Ring being directly responsable to Smeagol’s splittinmg in two personality. That is wrong in my opinion. A ring doesn’t has this ability but the social conditions have. It was enough for a sparkle so that the conflagration to start.

Goblin 28/Feb/2006 at 01:15 AM
Wolf-Friend of Goblin-Town Points: 25 Posts: 5344 Joined: 02/Dec/2005

 Eventhough it could be true Tolkien doesn’t focus his atention on Smeagol’s pain which makes me think that this fight within Smeagol’s brain is weather not that dramatic as we already made it or not important.
I can see a good point of view above on Miriame and eventhough I agree the main lines there is still something among your words that bothers me.

There is no doubt that Smeagol sufferes repeated trauma but being uncounscious all this time make me believe that this changings in his behavior happens ’without’ him. Smeagol doesn’t show any sign of regreting anything from tha whole harm he caused with the exeption of some times and laos that he wants to change anything or get rid of this ring obsesion. Smeagol fallows the path from its beginning to its end without questioning if is weather good or bad for him.

In our wolrd Smeagol wouldn habe been brought to a sanatorium, therefore persons with double personality are considered dangerous for the society and they are being isolated. However in LOTR Smeagol is not being isolated by anyone prefering to isolate himself after he notices that there is no place in the hobbitish society for him. Or we could say also that he was pushed to do this after being baned by his grandmother.
The isolation is another factor of his madness. We all know that staying isolated from the group and living only within ourselves is a certain path to mental problems. We start talk to ourselves or to something from around us (a rock, a tree or maybe just to the wind etc), we hear strange noises or we see things that are not real, we starting being paranoic etc

Smeagol is not different from other common man and foloows the same route. Isolating himself from the wolrd makes him feel lonely and starts talking to the ring but he also don’t accept anyone around him, afarid that he might still the preciouss.
What I am trying to say here is that the ring had a great impact on Smeagol’s mind (which is very true) but not the ring was the one that made Smeagol what he became later but the consequences that fallowed after the finding of the ring.

Everyone is keep talking about the Ring being directly responsable to Smeagol’s splittinmg in two personality. That is wrong in my opinion. A ring doesn’t has this ability but the social conditions have. It was enough for a sparkle so that the conflagration to start.

mighty ent man 28/Feb/2006 at 04:19 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Gwind - Smeagol fallows the path from its beginning to its end without questioning if is weather good or bad for him. - Well I think that Smeagol does not like the way he is. He wants to be good, there is good inside him and at times I think he becomes sick of his addiction to the Ring. He is under constant torment and pressure and I think makes him angry and enhances his bad side. His moods switch a lot. Sometimes he is happy and other times he is not. He is such a curious creature. To me he is remarkable.

I think you do raise a good point about the Ring either directly or indirectly splitting Smeagol. Smeagol is slightly mean before he comes accross the Ring, he has a weak personality. One which is succeptable to being tricked and tempted. When he comes accross the Ring the Ring exploits this. After Smeagol aquires the Ring he himself begins to use it for mischevious purposes. Spying on people, this cause him to be made an outcast. So he goes off into his own world of isolation and begins to enter the slow spiral of madness.

This is a great thread by the way! And Gwind you have some really good ideas!

mighty ent man 28/Feb/2006 at 04:19 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Gwind - Smeagol fallows the path from its beginning to its end without questioning if is weather good or bad for him. - Well I think that Smeagol does not like the way he is. He wants to be good, there is good inside him and at times I think he becomes sick of his addiction to the Ring. He is under constant torment and pressure and I think makes him angry and enhances his bad side. His moods switch a lot. Sometimes he is happy and other times he is not. He is such a curious creature. To me he is remarkable.

I think you do raise a good point about the Ring either directly or indirectly splitting Smeagol. Smeagol is slightly mean before he comes accross the Ring, he has a weak personality. One which is succeptable to being tricked and tempted. When he comes accross the Ring the Ring exploits this. After Smeagol aquires the Ring he himself begins to use it for mischevious purposes. Spying on people, this cause him to be made an outcast. So he goes off into his own world of isolation and begins to enter the slow spiral of madness.

This is a great thread by the way! And Gwind you have some really good ideas!

Goblin 28/Feb/2006 at 08:22 AM
Wolf-Friend of Goblin-Town Points: 25 Posts: 5344 Joined: 02/Dec/2005
MEN thank you. Just like you. I am enjoing this thread as much as you do, but it was not opened by me

Returning to Smeagol please allow me to comment upon one of your statements:
’To me he is remarkable’. You can say that again !! Only a very complex situation could  generate debates worth for the Advance Fora.

However,the duality  Smeagol/Gollum interests me more then I expected. A person like Smeagol can see the wolrd only in two colors:black and white. Which mean, to explaine myself, is either his was or no way. To go further on with the investigations please fallow my lines. Once Deagol finds the ring on the bottom of the lake Smeagol shows interest from the beginning. Smeagol refuses handeling the ring to his friend pretending that he gave him already a prersent, and not just an ordinary one but a very expensive gift. And this is for Smeagol a black and white view, his was or no way. One way or another he must get the ring. The impulse is too strong for some judgement to be left in Smeagol’s mind. And think that he didn’t even touch the ring. Gandalf can resist but without touching it, Smeagol can’t. Its influence in not only a few inches around it but a few meters maybe even more. And this sfera of influence makes Smeagol think in balck and white: the ring belong to  him or to nobody. And the murder becomes just a formality. And who is still in shock to hear that after so many years of peace hobbits aren’t capable of killing with cold blood.
Goblin 28/Feb/2006 at 08:22 AM
Wolf-Friend of Goblin-Town Points: 25 Posts: 5344 Joined: 02/Dec/2005
MEN thank you. Just like you. I am enjoing this thread as much as you do, but it was not opened by me

Returning to Smeagol please allow me to comment upon one of your statements:
’To me he is remarkable’. You can say that again !! Only a very complex situation could  generate debates worth for the Advance Fora.

However,the duality  Smeagol/Gollum interests me more then I expected. A person like Smeagol can see the wolrd only in two colors:black and white. Which mean, to explaine myself, is either his was or no way. To go further on with the investigations please fallow my lines. Once Deagol finds the ring on the bottom of the lake Smeagol shows interest from the beginning. Smeagol refuses handeling the ring to his friend pretending that he gave him already a prersent, and not just an ordinary one but a very expensive gift. And this is for Smeagol a black and white view, his was or no way. One way or another he must get the ring. The impulse is too strong for some judgement to be left in Smeagol’s mind. And think that he didn’t even touch the ring. Gandalf can resist but without touching it, Smeagol can’t. Its influence in not only a few inches around it but a few meters maybe even more. And this sfera of influence makes Smeagol think in balck and white: the ring belong to  him or to nobody. And the murder becomes just a formality. And who is still in shock to hear that after so many years of peace hobbits aren’t capable of killing with cold blood.
mighty ent man 28/Feb/2006 at 08:43 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Gwind - I know it was not started by you. I meant that as a general comment on the whole thread! Also I must ask - why do you keep changing the colour of you writing? Just wondering really!

Yes Smeagol is such a remarkable creature. I had a thread on it a while ago entitled that. That however focused more on his physical abilities. He is a master of so many things. But anyway thats aside from the topic in hand which is his mental side!

Well I am not sure on your point about hobbits. We do get mean hobbits - we see an example of Ted Sandyman. Smeagol was not a typical example of a hobbit as we have shown above. I am not sure as to whether he saw things as black and white though. I mean at that time he wanted the Ring and I dont think he knew why. He saw Deagol as holding back something from his that was rightfully his. He felt like it was his right to have the Ring. He convinced himself it was right by making up that it was a birthday present. And I think most of this was due to the Ring.

mighty ent man 28/Feb/2006 at 08:43 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Gwind - I know it was not started by you. I meant that as a general comment on the whole thread! Also I must ask - why do you keep changing the colour of you writing? Just wondering really!

Yes Smeagol is such a remarkable creature. I had a thread on it a while ago entitled that. That however focused more on his physical abilities. He is a master of so many things. But anyway thats aside from the topic in hand which is his mental side!

Well I am not sure on your point about hobbits. We do get mean hobbits - we see an example of Ted Sandyman. Smeagol was not a typical example of a hobbit as we have shown above. I am not sure as to whether he saw things as black and white though. I mean at that time he wanted the Ring and I dont think he knew why. He saw Deagol as holding back something from his that was rightfully his. He felt like it was his right to have the Ring. He convinced himself it was right by making up that it was a birthday present. And I think most of this was due to the Ring.

Goblin 28/Feb/2006 at 09:29 AM
Wolf-Friend of Goblin-Town Points: 25 Posts: 5344 Joined: 02/Dec/2005
Quote: Originally posted by mighty ent man on Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Gwind - I know it was not started by you. I thought so since your entire post semmed apointed to me. Sorry for missunderstanding
I meant that as a general comment on the whole thread! Also I must ask - why do you keep changing the colour of you writing? Just wondering really! Keep questioning until you reach that ’a-ha’ level of knowledge

Yes Smeagol is such a remarkable creature. I had a thread on it a while ago entitled that. That however focused more on his physical abilities. He is a master of so many things. But anyway thats aside from the topic in hand which is his mental side! I had also one. You know very good what I am talking about since only you and Master of Doom posted in it  However I loved your posts, I learned many things from your quotes and comments

Well I am not sure on your point about hobbits. We do get mean hobbits - we see an example of Ted Sandyman.  I assumed this from the beginning of FOTR after a few chapters Tolkien gave me the impression that the hobbits were a very peacefull nation, in love with their land, ale and food. I extended this atribute to all hobbits since I didn’t find any particular case to make change my mind. And examples like Ted Sendyman are isolated, just simple cases that make the rule even harder to bit.

Smeagol was not a typical example of a hobbit as we have shown above. I am not sure as to whether he saw things as black and white though.  Sure he wasn’t. Smeagol is a weak link in his family but an interesting subject whatsoever.


I will give you a small hint related to the colours. Take an eye on the linky down there and maybe you’ll understand

<Nessa Edit:  Even in an apparently "good cause", please do not quote  large portions of another person’s posts unless you intend to discuss them at length (or point by point) *outside* the parameters of the quote itself.  Otherwise, it does rather look like you are SPAMMING. And as for the colors, please restrain yourself to one contrasting color in the Ad Lore forum...this is suppose to be a "showcase" forum, and the "rainbow technique" really isn’t conducive to that impression.>

Goblin 28/Feb/2006 at 09:29 AM
Wolf-Friend of Goblin-Town Points: 25 Posts: 5344 Joined: 02/Dec/2005
Quote: Originally posted by mighty ent man on Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Gwind - I know it was not started by you. I thought so since your entire post semmed apointed to me. Sorry for missunderstanding
I meant that as a general comment on the whole thread! Also I must ask - why do you keep changing the colour of you writing? Just wondering really! Keep questioning until you reach that ’a-ha’ level of knowledge

Yes Smeagol is such a remarkable creature. I had a thread on it a while ago entitled that. That however focused more on his physical abilities. He is a master of so many things. But anyway thats aside from the topic in hand which is his mental side! I had also one. You know very good what I am talking about since only you and Master of Doom posted in it  However I loved your posts, I learned many things from your quotes and comments

Well I am not sure on your point about hobbits. We do get mean hobbits - we see an example of Ted Sandyman.  I assumed this from the beginning of FOTR after a few chapters Tolkien gave me the impression that the hobbits were a very peacefull nation, in love with their land, ale and food. I extended this atribute to all hobbits since I didn’t find any particular case to make change my mind. And examples like Ted Sendyman are isolated, just simple cases that make the rule even harder to bit.

Smeagol was not a typical example of a hobbit as we have shown above. I am not sure as to whether he saw things as black and white though.  Sure he wasn’t. Smeagol is a weak link in his family but an interesting subject whatsoever.


I will give you a small hint related to the colours. Take an eye on the linky down there and maybe you’ll understand

<Nessa Edit:  Even in an apparently "good cause", please do not quote  large portions of another person’s posts unless you intend to discuss them at length (or point by point) *outside* the parameters of the quote itself.  Otherwise, it does rather look like you are SPAMMING. And as for the colors, please restrain yourself to one contrasting color in the Ad Lore forum...this is suppose to be a "showcase" forum, and the "rainbow technique" really isn’t conducive to that impression.>

stevem1 01/Mar/2006 at 01:58 AM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1464 Posts: 756 Joined: 26/Feb/2008

I must say this is a really interesting thread. I have to say I agree with Hasufel: I don’t think we can truly say that Gollum/Smeagol is schizophrenic. I am fairly strongly of this opinion although it could be changed. There are several reasons for my thinking:

1. The reason for his ’split personality’ is the Ring itself - something external, and when it is absent, he does show signs of great rationality and even recovery. For instance when Bilbo takes the Ring to the shire, Gollum actually manages to track him down - managing to hide and outwit all kinds of intelligent folk - not something an irrational person (are schizophrenics irrational - I am not sure) would manage. I have known at least one schizophrenic quite well, and he had problems holding down a very simple job and doing very simple things like ordering lunch.

2. I think he was aware of his different sides, and, as somebody else has said about his situation, I don’t think he was very happy about it. At the rink of sounding slightly insane myself, I often hear different voices in my head but I am aware of them. I also sometimes allow myself to switch into different ’moods’ which are almost like personalities (but really different parts of me with different strengths - I call them gears) when in stressful situations. I think this is what Gollum is doing a lot of the time. He chooses to be Smeagol, when he can, but then he is Gollum when he must be. What evidence do I have for this? Partly because he remembers what he did, while in the different personalies. For instance he is definately Smeagol when he is crossing the Marshes - he even reaches out and pulls Frodo out of the water. And yet later when he is angry and Gollum (I can’t remember the exact passage and I don’t have the books with me), he refers to ’helping the Hobbits through the Marshes - so he does remember these things.
I am not an expert on schizophrenic but I remember the Film ’The Boston Strangler’ about a schizophrenic and in this, the detective could not get him to admit his act until he played a tape of an interview with one of his personalities to the other - which was a great shock as the man was not aware of his different personalities and had no memory of the murders. Also from programmes I have watched on the subject, schizophrenic do not remember what they do in their ’other’ personalities. They are completely unaware of them.

Finally, I would like to add this: In the past I have thought of Gollum/Smeagol as quite a weak person, but perhaps we should look at him as a strong personality but with a weakness, which the Ring exploited. The weakness could have been greed, or simple lust for pretty things - a sort of vanity. For he surely is a strong personality - both weirdly charismatic (he often pursuades people - even elves to do things they shouldn’t) and also a truly tough survivor.

Whichever way you look at him, he is a remarkable character.

**

stevem1 01/Mar/2006 at 01:58 AM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1464 Posts: 756 Joined: 26/Feb/2008

I must say this is a really interesting thread. I have to say I agree with Hasufel: I don’t think we can truly say that Gollum/Smeagol is schizophrenic. I am fairly strongly of this opinion although it could be changed. There are several reasons for my thinking:

1. The reason for his ’split personality’ is the Ring itself - something external, and when it is absent, he does show signs of great rationality and even recovery. For instance when Bilbo takes the Ring to the shire, Gollum actually manages to track him down - managing to hide and outwit all kinds of intelligent folk - not something an irrational person (are schizophrenics irrational - I am not sure) would manage. I have known at least one schizophrenic quite well, and he had problems holding down a very simple job and doing very simple things like ordering lunch.

2. I think he was aware of his different sides, and, as somebody else has said about his situation, I don’t think he was very happy about it. At the rink of sounding slightly insane myself, I often hear different voices in my head but I am aware of them. I also sometimes allow myself to switch into different ’moods’ which are almost like personalities (but really different parts of me with different strengths - I call them gears) when in stressful situations. I think this is what Gollum is doing a lot of the time. He chooses to be Smeagol, when he can, but then he is Gollum when he must be. What evidence do I have for this? Partly because he remembers what he did, while in the different personalies. For instance he is definately Smeagol when he is crossing the Marshes - he even reaches out and pulls Frodo out of the water. And yet later when he is angry and Gollum (I can’t remember the exact passage and I don’t have the books with me), he refers to ’helping the Hobbits through the Marshes - so he does remember these things.
I am not an expert on schizophrenic but I remember the Film ’The Boston Strangler’ about a schizophrenic and in this, the detective could not get him to admit his act until he played a tape of an interview with one of his personalities to the other - which was a great shock as the man was not aware of his different personalities and had no memory of the murders. Also from programmes I have watched on the subject, schizophrenic do not remember what they do in their ’other’ personalities. They are completely unaware of them.

Finally, I would like to add this: In the past I have thought of Gollum/Smeagol as quite a weak person, but perhaps we should look at him as a strong personality but with a weakness, which the Ring exploited. The weakness could have been greed, or simple lust for pretty things - a sort of vanity. For he surely is a strong personality - both weirdly charismatic (he often pursuades people - even elves to do things they shouldn’t) and also a truly tough survivor.

Whichever way you look at him, he is a remarkable character.

**

Goblin 01/Mar/2006 at 03:47 AM
Wolf-Friend of Goblin-Town Points: 25 Posts: 5344 Joined: 02/Dec/2005
Stevem1 The reason for his ’split personality’ is the Ring itself -I will have to disagree with this one.
The ring has caused serious damages on Smeagol’s mind but the reason of this personality splitting is not only due to the ring’s influence. As I stated already above the whole social condition determined Smeagol’s splitting.

First of all Smeagol has suffered several trauma after being baned from his family, loosing all his friends, isolating himself from the comunity where he spend his whole life. He’s life is changing in such a short time; it’s hard to bare such dramatic changings. Just like a kid who’s going with his family from one state to another because of the father’s job, there are some kids who have problems with re-integration in a social group.Smeagol seems to live the same changings (only adapted to the age) which makes his hard to recognize (even by his own family). the thing is that Smeagol can’t reintegrate even after the ring left him.

Second of all, the ring seems to have its own will (even it talks to its master).Do you really think that the ring ’wanted’ Smeagol’s splitted in two different personalities? Smeagol fallowed a normal way to ’desintegration’ (which it was expected) and one of his sides evolves to this rather instinctual being called Gollum.
Goblin 01/Mar/2006 at 03:47 AM
Wolf-Friend of Goblin-Town Points: 25 Posts: 5344 Joined: 02/Dec/2005
Stevem1 The reason for his ’split personality’ is the Ring itself -I will have to disagree with this one.
The ring has caused serious damages on Smeagol’s mind but the reason of this personality splitting is not only due to the ring’s influence. As I stated already above the whole social condition determined Smeagol’s splitting.

First of all Smeagol has suffered several trauma after being baned from his family, loosing all his friends, isolating himself from the comunity where he spend his whole life. He’s life is changing in such a short time; it’s hard to bare such dramatic changings. Just like a kid who’s going with his family from one state to another because of the father’s job, there are some kids who have problems with re-integration in a social group.Smeagol seems to live the same changings (only adapted to the age) which makes his hard to recognize (even by his own family). the thing is that Smeagol can’t reintegrate even after the ring left him.

Second of all, the ring seems to have its own will (even it talks to its master).Do you really think that the ring ’wanted’ Smeagol’s splitted in two different personalities? Smeagol fallowed a normal way to ’desintegration’ (which it was expected) and one of his sides evolves to this rather instinctual being called Gollum.
stevem1 01/Mar/2006 at 05:28 AM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1464 Posts: 756 Joined: 26/Feb/2008
Hi Gwind.
I am not clear in my own mind that Smeagol had been cast out ’ after being baned from his family, loosing all his friends’ as you say, before he found the Ring.
The fact that he was with Deagol, suggests to me that he was cast out later, and that when the Ring was found, he was still a part of the community. Can you tell me where you get the references, that lead you to think this, please?

By the way, I certainly agree with you that those sort of dislocation do call trauma, which by its nature, is hard to recover from.

Also, I know that the Ring has its own will (or at least a will. However, I don’t think the Ring really cared if Smeagol’s personality split, provided he could still carry out its will. I think even if Smeagol only had one leg, one arm and one eye, the Ring would not care, provided Smeagol was in some sort of position to help it
stevem1 01/Mar/2006 at 05:28 AM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1464 Posts: 756 Joined: 26/Feb/2008
Hi Gwind.
I am not clear in my own mind that Smeagol had been cast out ’ after being baned from his family, loosing all his friends’ as you say, before he found the Ring.
The fact that he was with Deagol, suggests to me that he was cast out later, and that when the Ring was found, he was still a part of the community. Can you tell me where you get the references, that lead you to think this, please?

By the way, I certainly agree with you that those sort of dislocation do call trauma, which by its nature, is hard to recover from.

Also, I know that the Ring has its own will (or at least a will. However, I don’t think the Ring really cared if Smeagol’s personality split, provided he could still carry out its will. I think even if Smeagol only had one leg, one arm and one eye, the Ring would not care, provided Smeagol was in some sort of position to help it
Goblin 01/Mar/2006 at 06:41 AM
Wolf-Friend of Goblin-Town Points: 25 Posts: 5344 Joined: 02/Dec/2005
Steve
Maybe I express myself wrong but I feel it’s a missunderstanding at the middle. I didn’t say he was baned before finding the ring nor that he wasn’t part of his comunity anymore.
However I think Smeagol’s problems don’t bein with the ring but with his vey first day of his life. I have said in one post above that he was already a troubled mind. This means that the ring didn’t start to work on Smeagol but in fact continued the work. I don’t know if this makes sense to you but Smeagol in my opinion was not really the tipe of hobbit who wants to get married and settle down with his family (but don’t throw with anything in me if you disagree )

"I don’t think the Ring really cared if Smeagol’s personality split" I can’t agree more with you.I always wondered why Tokien wanted Smeagol to evolve this way with the splitting stuff and everything. Then I say to myself that maybe he wanted to let us know what would happen with anyone who would keep the ring for that long. But what if Smeagol is a particular case?

We don’t have many informations about Smeagol’s private life and therefore I can’t analyze how profund he changed.It’s hard to give an verdict on him.
Goblin 01/Mar/2006 at 06:41 AM
Wolf-Friend of Goblin-Town Points: 25 Posts: 5344 Joined: 02/Dec/2005
Steve
Maybe I express myself wrong but I feel it’s a missunderstanding at the middle. I didn’t say he was baned before finding the ring nor that he wasn’t part of his comunity anymore.
However I think Smeagol’s problems don’t bein with the ring but with his vey first day of his life. I have said in one post above that he was already a troubled mind. This means that the ring didn’t start to work on Smeagol but in fact continued the work. I don’t know if this makes sense to you but Smeagol in my opinion was not really the tipe of hobbit who wants to get married and settle down with his family (but don’t throw with anything in me if you disagree )

"I don’t think the Ring really cared if Smeagol’s personality split" I can’t agree more with you.I always wondered why Tokien wanted Smeagol to evolve this way with the splitting stuff and everything. Then I say to myself that maybe he wanted to let us know what would happen with anyone who would keep the ring for that long. But what if Smeagol is a particular case?

We don’t have many informations about Smeagol’s private life and therefore I can’t analyze how profund he changed.It’s hard to give an verdict on him.
mighty ent man 01/Mar/2006 at 07:12 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Gwind - Hmm I do not seem to remember your past specific thread on Gollum although I do remember posting with Master of Doom on this subject. I am glad that you learnt a lot from me! Also please take a note of the warning from Bael the admin. Try to keep your posts to one color. This is Ad Lore and it makes things a lot easier if they are one color. On the topic of color I looked at your house and saw nothing to aid me! You do have a lot of color there but I do not know why!

stevem - Yes Gollum is by far an intelligent and very quick witted and cunning creature. He knows what he is doing. We see this in LOTR when he manages to out wit some of Faramirs best trackers and he manages toe vade Aragorn and Gandalf for a long time.

mighty ent man 01/Mar/2006 at 07:12 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Gwind - Hmm I do not seem to remember your past specific thread on Gollum although I do remember posting with Master of Doom on this subject. I am glad that you learnt a lot from me! Also please take a note of the warning from Bael the admin. Try to keep your posts to one color. This is Ad Lore and it makes things a lot easier if they are one color. On the topic of color I looked at your house and saw nothing to aid me! You do have a lot of color there but I do not know why!

stevem - Yes Gollum is by far an intelligent and very quick witted and cunning creature. He knows what he is doing. We see this in LOTR when he manages to out wit some of Faramirs best trackers and he manages toe vade Aragorn and Gandalf for a long time.

Jedi Ranger 01/Mar/2006 at 08:14 AM
New Soul Points: 460 Posts: 222 Joined: 28/Feb/2006
Now this is what i call a good forum.  I think that Smeagol is ghe true form of gollem and that gollem is just a representation of the ring.  The ring created gollum from smeagol.  And when the ring starts to lose its power smeagol comes back to life.  As he is coming back the ring is seeing this and tries to retake control.  So it is the battle between smeagol and gollum is merely a creation of the ring.  If it were not for the ring Smeagol would stil be the same. 
Jedi Ranger 01/Mar/2006 at 08:14 AM
New Soul Points: 460 Posts: 222 Joined: 28/Feb/2006
Now this is what i call a good forum.  I think that Smeagol is ghe true form of gollem and that gollem is just a representation of the ring.  The ring created gollum from smeagol.  And when the ring starts to lose its power smeagol comes back to life.  As he is coming back the ring is seeing this and tries to retake control.  So it is the battle between smeagol and gollum is merely a creation of the ring.  If it were not for the ring Smeagol would stil be the same. 
Lil Sidhe 01/Mar/2006 at 04:59 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005

Yes, Gollum is the ring talking and acting through Smeagol. in many ways it uses Smeagol to do its bidding as Gollum. Durring the war of the ring, i think it starts to take mpre power over gollum, telling him what to do. he tries to fight it, but he can’t help it.

Also, i dont think it is considered Split personality, because what split personality means is that you act as 2 people. sometimes you will have blank spaces in your memory when you dont know wut you were doing because you were your other self.  Smeagol knows when he is talking as Gollum, but he thinks Gollum is someone ele, not him. but he doesnt have blank spaces in his memory. so in my opion, it is not split personality.

Lil Sidhe 01/Mar/2006 at 04:59 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005

Yes, Gollum is the ring talking and acting through Smeagol. in many ways it uses Smeagol to do its bidding as Gollum. Durring the war of the ring, i think it starts to take mpre power over gollum, telling him what to do. he tries to fight it, but he can’t help it.

Also, i dont think it is considered Split personality, because what split personality means is that you act as 2 people. sometimes you will have blank spaces in your memory when you dont know wut you were doing because you were your other self.  Smeagol knows when he is talking as Gollum, but he thinks Gollum is someone ele, not him. but he doesnt have blank spaces in his memory. so in my opion, it is not split personality.

Meril Green 02/Mar/2006 at 11:00 AM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2632 Posts: 5001 Joined: 31/Jul/2005
In my opinion, everyone has a weakness that the ring could work on. Even Frodo- who (at least in my eyes) was one of the most innocent things in Middle Earth! Smeagol, like Eryn said most likely already had a troubled mind. The ring could’ve gotten a jump start to say on eating away at his concience. What’dyou think about this?
MeM- Do you think that Smeagol had it in him to be that smart and cunning, but just never figured out how to use it? Do you think that Gollum just brought out more of the things Smeagol never knew he had such as these traits?
lil_hobbit- Yeah, I agree with you that it probably not the right word to say how Smeagol is. that’s why I think the correct word would be schizophrenic.
Meril Green 02/Mar/2006 at 11:00 AM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2632 Posts: 5001 Joined: 31/Jul/2005
In my opinion, everyone has a weakness that the ring could work on. Even Frodo- who (at least in my eyes) was one of the most innocent things in Middle Earth! Smeagol, like Eryn said most likely already had a troubled mind. The ring could’ve gotten a jump start to say on eating away at his concience. What’dyou think about this?
MeM- Do you think that Smeagol had it in him to be that smart and cunning, but just never figured out how to use it? Do you think that Gollum just brought out more of the things Smeagol never knew he had such as these traits?
lil_hobbit- Yeah, I agree with you that it probably not the right word to say how Smeagol is. that’s why I think the correct word would be schizophrenic.
mighty ent man 03/Mar/2006 at 06:06 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Merilruin - What is Frodos weakness? I know the Ring did work on him but to me it worked on him in general. I believe that the Ring could work on anyone, even if they had not weaknesses. It could cause weaknesses in them in a way. The reason it worked on Gollum so fast was because he had a weakness to exploit, resulting in a faster rate of corruption.

I am not sure about your question to me. Basically we see so many things which are amazing about Gollum in LOTR. He is a cunning hunter, he has a remarkable skill at diving, he can avoid being caught well. He has good eyesight (developed in Moria), he is a good swimmer, he knows a lot. He is strong and can go for long periods without food. I dont think Smeagol had these talents.

mighty ent man 03/Mar/2006 at 06:06 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Merilruin - What is Frodos weakness? I know the Ring did work on him but to me it worked on him in general. I believe that the Ring could work on anyone, even if they had not weaknesses. It could cause weaknesses in them in a way. The reason it worked on Gollum so fast was because he had a weakness to exploit, resulting in a faster rate of corruption.

I am not sure about your question to me. Basically we see so many things which are amazing about Gollum in LOTR. He is a cunning hunter, he has a remarkable skill at diving, he can avoid being caught well. He has good eyesight (developed in Moria), he is a good swimmer, he knows a lot. He is strong and can go for long periods without food. I dont think Smeagol had these talents.

Lil Sidhe 03/Mar/2006 at 01:02 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005

Frodo was strong, stronger than Gollum was, and he knew that it was trying to corrupt him, so he was able to resist sumwhat, but Gollum didnt know what the ring was trying to do to him, so he let his guard down. its not that it didnt effect Frodo, its just he is strong and it didnt effect him as much or as fast. but obviously it did, or he wouldnt have any trouble throughing it into mount doom.

Lil Sidhe 03/Mar/2006 at 01:03 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005

Frodo was strong, stronger than Gollum was, and he knew that it was trying to corrupt him, so he was able to resist sumwhat, but Gollum didnt know what the ring was trying to do to him, so he let his guard down. its not that it didnt effect Frodo, its just he is strong and it didnt effect him as much or as fast. but obviously it did, or he wouldnt have any trouble throughing it into mount doom.

Meril Green 03/Mar/2006 at 06:41 PM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2632 Posts: 5001 Joined: 31/Jul/2005
Mem- Well, you didn’t understand my question (Sorry bout that...) but you did answer it for me!
Lil_hobbit- That’s a good point. Never thoguht about that- Gollum was more effected because he didn’t know what hit him... but does that mean that when he found out, he started recoiling? That could be why Smeagol started to show a little more. But then again, it seems he was in it so deep that he couldn’t get out fast enough...
Meril Green 03/Mar/2006 at 06:41 PM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2632 Posts: 5001 Joined: 31/Jul/2005
Mem- Well, you didn’t understand my question (Sorry bout that...) but you did answer it for me!
Lil_hobbit- That’s a good point. Never thoguht about that- Gollum was more effected because he didn’t know what hit him... but does that mean that when he found out, he started recoiling? That could be why Smeagol started to show a little more. But then again, it seems he was in it so deep that he couldn’t get out fast enough...
Lil Sidhe 03/Mar/2006 at 08:13 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005
I think that Smeagol never knew much about the ring or that it was the ring that made Gollum, he probably cant remeber what life was like without Gollum. I dont think that him knowing that it was the ring that created Gollum had or would have had anything to do with Smeagol trying to make Gollum leave. i just think that after so long he got tired of being bullied by Gollum, and wanted to just be Smeagol, and was very happy when he thought Gollum was gone, which was helped to be brought on when Frodo started refering to him as Smeagol. (alot of "Gollum"s and "Smeagol"s there) but i think that he thought it was natural for Gollum to be there with him, and that it had nothing to do with the ring, but he still hated both of them.
Lil Sidhe 03/Mar/2006 at 08:13 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005
I think that Smeagol never knew much about the ring or that it was the ring that made Gollum, he probably cant remeber what life was like without Gollum. I dont think that him knowing that it was the ring that created Gollum had or would have had anything to do with Smeagol trying to make Gollum leave. i just think that after so long he got tired of being bullied by Gollum, and wanted to just be Smeagol, and was very happy when he thought Gollum was gone, which was helped to be brought on when Frodo started refering to him as Smeagol. (alot of "Gollum"s and "Smeagol"s there) but i think that he thought it was natural for Gollum to be there with him, and that it had nothing to do with the ring, but he still hated both of them.
Aeleron 04/Mar/2006 at 04:36 PM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 645 Posts: 148 Joined: 31/Aug/2002

An interesting thought, lil hobbit... I hadn’t considered that...

So Smeagol is in some way reliant on Gollum because of the time that he has been there. So Gollum is almost an evil imaginary friend type thing. That makes it interesting... the codependence of the two characters seems to be absent from Frodo (even though I don’t think it is revealled at which point Gollum came to exist inside Smeagol - maybe it was a really long time after?). I’ve thought about this, though. What if Smeagol hadn’t killed Deagol? Then, what happened between Frodo and Sam would have occured years before they were even born. So when Gandalf muses about the forces beyond good and evil (in the book) I think he is implying some sort of destiny. Which means that Smeagol was really mucked up because of the greater plan of the Universe... which is sad. But maybe because Frodo had Sam, he didn’t ’have room’ for a Gollum? Maybe Gollum came to exist because Smeagol was shunned by his family, while Frodo was supported by the Fellowship?

Aeleron 04/Mar/2006 at 04:36 PM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 645 Posts: 148 Joined: 31/Aug/2002

An interesting thought, lil hobbit... I hadn’t considered that...

So Smeagol is in some way reliant on Gollum because of the time that he has been there. So Gollum is almost an evil imaginary friend type thing. That makes it interesting... the codependence of the two characters seems to be absent from Frodo (even though I don’t think it is revealled at which point Gollum came to exist inside Smeagol - maybe it was a really long time after?). I’ve thought about this, though. What if Smeagol hadn’t killed Deagol? Then, what happened between Frodo and Sam would have occured years before they were even born. So when Gandalf muses about the forces beyond good and evil (in the book) I think he is implying some sort of destiny. Which means that Smeagol was really mucked up because of the greater plan of the Universe... which is sad. But maybe because Frodo had Sam, he didn’t ’have room’ for a Gollum? Maybe Gollum came to exist because Smeagol was shunned by his family, while Frodo was supported by the Fellowship?

Lil Sidhe 05/Mar/2006 at 08:19 AM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005

interesting Aeleron

 Gollum could have been brought on more because of Smeagol being alone for so long. he could have developed another person to be his friend, but that could have been taken over by the ring, and turned evil, and become more of a Bully than a friend to Smeagol. and we all no that a bully needs people to bully, or else they aren’t much of a bully. just like Gollum needs Smeagol to be evil, if Smeagol doesn’t listen then Gollum fades away.

 

 

Lil Sidhe 05/Mar/2006 at 08:19 AM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005

interesting Aeleron

 Gollum could have been brought on more because of Smeagol being alone for so long. he could have developed another person to be his friend, but that could have been taken over by the ring, and turned evil, and become more of a Bully than a friend to Smeagol. and we all no that a bully needs people to bully, or else they aren’t much of a bully. just like Gollum needs Smeagol to be evil, if Smeagol doesn’t listen then Gollum fades away.

 

 

Meril Green 05/Mar/2006 at 12:38 PM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2632 Posts: 5001 Joined: 31/Jul/2005

Interesting- both of you!
So, everything we’re talking about really revolves around two things- The Rings influence, and Gollums ’condition’. Correct me if I’m wrong, but do you consider Gollum Smeagol’s ’imaginary friend’ gone bad? Like people have said before- maybe Gollum was someone that Smeagol made up (in his head). Comparing to a young child- this would be considered an imaginary friend. Like lil_hobbit said, Gollum, being the rings influence on Gollum’s character, would be a bully, and a bullier needs someone to bully.
I think there is a quote somewhere comparing Gollum to a child (if not, then I am totally sorry, I must be making things up- I’m delirious!!) and if you think about it, that’s what he really is! When he was taken over ny the ring and shunned from  his family, he wasn’t of age- he was still considered a tween. Not being around civilization or being without guidelines, Smeagol would have kept the childish part of his personality, while most of us who are raised with rules and such would come out of that ’phase’. (Most of us....) So, essentially, Smeagol/Gollum is just a kid. That could be why he developed his imaginary friend, and why he feels bullied by it- because his nature is that of a childs- confused, and not ready to experience certain things...

Chew on that, for a minute, then reply....

Meril Green 05/Mar/2006 at 12:38 PM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2632 Posts: 5001 Joined: 31/Jul/2005

Interesting- both of you!
So, everything we’re talking about really revolves around two things- The Rings influence, and Gollums ’condition’. Correct me if I’m wrong, but do you consider Gollum Smeagol’s ’imaginary friend’ gone bad? Like people have said before- maybe Gollum was someone that Smeagol made up (in his head). Comparing to a young child- this would be considered an imaginary friend. Like lil_hobbit said, Gollum, being the rings influence on Gollum’s character, would be a bully, and a bullier needs someone to bully.
I think there is a quote somewhere comparing Gollum to a child (if not, then I am totally sorry, I must be making things up- I’m delirious!!) and if you think about it, that’s what he really is! When he was taken over ny the ring and shunned from  his family, he wasn’t of age- he was still considered a tween. Not being around civilization or being without guidelines, Smeagol would have kept the childish part of his personality, while most of us who are raised with rules and such would come out of that ’phase’. (Most of us....) So, essentially, Smeagol/Gollum is just a kid. That could be why he developed his imaginary friend, and why he feels bullied by it- because his nature is that of a childs- confused, and not ready to experience certain things...

Chew on that, for a minute, then reply....

mighty ent man 05/Mar/2006 at 02:10 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

I dont think you can separate Gollum and Smeagol into two separate entities. You see first we had Smeagol, a hobbit who lived by the banks of the River Anduin. He was slightly strange before he ever came into contact with the Ring. Tolkien tells us that Smeagol was a ’mean son of a theif’. Now whilst I think this is extreme language to use to describe him we have to accept that Smeagol was mean before coming into contact with the Ring.

So when he sees this Ring he wants it. He just plainly wants the Ring. He is jealous that he doesnt have it. But then something happens which does not fit in with these logical assumptions. He kills for the Ring. This for me is explained by the external power and influence of the Ring. But I do not think two wholly separate, Gollum and Smeagol are part of the same thing. The Ring expanded on this mean side of Smeagol, in reality I do not think there is a Gollum. Gollum is just the word used to assign a name to the mean side of Smeagol personality. Gollum is what people call him. There is a mean and good side to his personality. The mean side is linked directly to the Ring, and as now the good side is in some ways linked to the Ring.

mighty ent man 05/Mar/2006 at 02:10 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

I dont think you can separate Gollum and Smeagol into two separate entities. You see first we had Smeagol, a hobbit who lived by the banks of the River Anduin. He was slightly strange before he ever came into contact with the Ring. Tolkien tells us that Smeagol was a ’mean son of a theif’. Now whilst I think this is extreme language to use to describe him we have to accept that Smeagol was mean before coming into contact with the Ring.

So when he sees this Ring he wants it. He just plainly wants the Ring. He is jealous that he doesnt have it. But then something happens which does not fit in with these logical assumptions. He kills for the Ring. This for me is explained by the external power and influence of the Ring. But I do not think two wholly separate, Gollum and Smeagol are part of the same thing. The Ring expanded on this mean side of Smeagol, in reality I do not think there is a Gollum. Gollum is just the word used to assign a name to the mean side of Smeagol personality. Gollum is what people call him. There is a mean and good side to his personality. The mean side is linked directly to the Ring, and as now the good side is in some ways linked to the Ring.

Lil Sidhe 05/Mar/2006 at 05:48 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005

Mighty Ent Man- I dont think that you could look at Gollum and Smeagol as anything other two seperates entities. Gollum was made by the ring and because Smeagol was lonely. we can see that Smeagol is still nice in alot of ways, and he trusts Frodo (for the first part) and he is still a hobbit inside, but them Gollum comes through and twists and turns him into thinking something else, something mean and cunning. Smeagol and Gollum are clearly two seperate, dare i say, minds in most ways.

Smeagol was never so much a mean hobbit, more of a strict hobbit. he didnt want the ring just because he wanted it, he wanted it and was willing to kill for it, because the ring made him do it, its magic, duh, and it can make someone kill for it, if it wants to, especially a hobbit like Smeagol who was able to be so easily corrupted, and the fact that its Smeagol’s birthday it doesnt help the fact that he thinks he should have

And mighty ent man you said your self, There is a mean and good side to his personality. The mean side is linked directly to the Ring. which shows two different sides, one linked to the ring.
Smeagol isnt linked to the ring at all, hes still Smeagol. very seperate from Gollum who is just an unwated addition.

Lil Sidhe 05/Mar/2006 at 05:48 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005

Mighty Ent Man- I dont think that you could look at Gollum and Smeagol as anything other two seperates entities. Gollum was made by the ring and because Smeagol was lonely. we can see that Smeagol is still nice in alot of ways, and he trusts Frodo (for the first part) and he is still a hobbit inside, but them Gollum comes through and twists and turns him into thinking something else, something mean and cunning. Smeagol and Gollum are clearly two seperate, dare i say, minds in most ways.

Smeagol was never so much a mean hobbit, more of a strict hobbit. he didnt want the ring just because he wanted it, he wanted it and was willing to kill for it, because the ring made him do it, its magic, duh, and it can make someone kill for it, if it wants to, especially a hobbit like Smeagol who was able to be so easily corrupted, and the fact that its Smeagol’s birthday it doesnt help the fact that he thinks he should have

And mighty ent man you said your self, There is a mean and good side to his personality. The mean side is linked directly to the Ring. which shows two different sides, one linked to the ring.
Smeagol isnt linked to the ring at all, hes still Smeagol. very seperate from Gollum who is just an unwated addition.

Wídfara 06/Mar/2006 at 10:49 AM
High Counsellor of the Mark Points: 16076 Posts: 10516 Joined: 12/Aug/2005

There is certainly an interesting discussion going on in this thread. I have to agree with mighty ent man in his observations in the last post.  Smeagol/Gollum is the same entity. Just as all of us have different aspects to our personality so does Smeagol.  Some of the contributors to this thread I think have been influenced by the films presentation of Smeagol where this difference was exaggerated to portray a split personality.  The books did not present the character like this. Gollum is a nickname not a different entity within Smeagol.

In the book, when Frodo first uses the name Smeagol with Gollum there is no noticeable difference in Gollum’s demeanor. He accepts the usage of his old name with out shock or surprise.

  “Frodo looked straight into Gollum’s eyes which flinched and twisted away. ‘You know that, or you guess well enough Smeagol,’ he said, quietly and sternly. ‘We are going to Mordor, of course. And you know the way there, I believe.’

  ‘Ach! Sss!’ said Gollum, covering his ears with his hands, as if such frankness and open speaking of the names hurt him.  ‘We guessed, yes we guessed,’ he whispered; ‘and we didn’t want them to go, did we?’ TTT, The Taming of Smeagol.

 

  This is the first instance of Frodo using the name Smeagol with Gollum. Smeagol/Gollum hardly takes notice. He is more upset about the use of the word Mordor and the idea of them going to there. In the films this awakened a sleeping personality within Gollum and I think that is being brought into this discussion.

  Gollum/Smeagol talks about himself in the first person which is an interesting affectation used by the writer, but does not signify a split personality. It could show extreme narcissism which I think it could be argued that Smeagol/Gollum did suffer from.  Narcissism is defined as…


  1. Excessive love or admiration of oneself. See Synonyms at conceit.

 2. A psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem. The American Heritage Dictionary

 

Smeagol/Gollum of the books is at war with himself as his first real contact and connection with others awakens the aspects of his personality that have been dormant. He is not suffering from the classic personality disorder of multiple personalities. In that condition, one personality takes over for a time, and the other entities with in the person are unaware of actions taken by the different personalities. This is not demonstrated by Smeagol/Gollum.  I think of course the ring has influenced and contributed to the deteriorating state of Smeagol/Gollum’s humanity. I think the murder and subsequent banishment from his contact with others plays an important part as well.

 

Wídfara 06/Mar/2006 at 10:49 AM
High Counsellor of the Mark Points: 16076 Posts: 10516 Joined: 12/Aug/2005

There is certainly an interesting discussion going on in this thread. I have to agree with mighty ent man in his observations in the last post.  Smeagol/Gollum is the same entity. Just as all of us have different aspects to our personality so does Smeagol.  Some of the contributors to this thread I think have been influenced by the films presentation of Smeagol where this difference was exaggerated to portray a split personality.  The books did not present the character like this. Gollum is a nickname not a different entity within Smeagol.

In the book, when Frodo first uses the name Smeagol with Gollum there is no noticeable difference in Gollum’s demeanor. He accepts the usage of his old name with out shock or surprise.

  “Frodo looked straight into Gollum’s eyes which flinched and twisted away. ‘You know that, or you guess well enough Smeagol,’ he said, quietly and sternly. ‘We are going to Mordor, of course. And you know the way there, I believe.’

  ‘Ach! Sss!’ said Gollum, covering his ears with his hands, as if such frankness and open speaking of the names hurt him.  ‘We guessed, yes we guessed,’ he whispered; ‘and we didn’t want them to go, did we?’ TTT, The Taming of Smeagol.

 

  This is the first instance of Frodo using the name Smeagol with Gollum. Smeagol/Gollum hardly takes notice. He is more upset about the use of the word Mordor and the idea of them going to there. In the films this awakened a sleeping personality within Gollum and I think that is being brought into this discussion.

  Gollum/Smeagol talks about himself in the first person which is an interesting affectation used by the writer, but does not signify a split personality. It could show extreme narcissism which I think it could be argued that Smeagol/Gollum did suffer from.  Narcissism is defined as…


  1. Excessive love or admiration of oneself. See Synonyms at conceit.

 2. A psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem. The American Heritage Dictionary

 

Smeagol/Gollum of the books is at war with himself as his first real contact and connection with others awakens the aspects of his personality that have been dormant. He is not suffering from the classic personality disorder of multiple personalities. In that condition, one personality takes over for a time, and the other entities with in the person are unaware of actions taken by the different personalities. This is not demonstrated by Smeagol/Gollum.  I think of course the ring has influenced and contributed to the deteriorating state of Smeagol/Gollum’s humanity. I think the murder and subsequent banishment from his contact with others plays an important part as well.

 

Lil Sidhe 06/Mar/2006 at 05:20 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005
Yes, Gollum is only a nickname, but it is kind of a way of defining the ring separate personality in Gollum. i think that Tolkien gave Smeagol another name for it to be easier to think of them as two separate parts in one. Smeagol the good hobbit, and Gollum the bad influence of the ring. it would be easier to talk and think about two different parts, if it has two different names.
Lil Sidhe 06/Mar/2006 at 05:20 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005
Yes, Gollum is only a nickname, but it is kind of a way of defining the ring separate personality in Gollum. i think that Tolkien gave Smeagol another name for it to be easier to think of them as two separate parts in one. Smeagol the good hobbit, and Gollum the bad influence of the ring. it would be easier to talk and think about two different parts, if it has two different names.
Lil Sidhe 06/Mar/2006 at 05:22 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005
Also the fact that Gollum/ Smeagol refers to himself as "we" shows that even e thinks of himself of two separate minds. himself, and the ring’s evil in him
Lil Sidhe 06/Mar/2006 at 05:22 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005
Also the fact that Gollum/ Smeagol refers to himself as "we" shows that even e thinks of himself of two separate minds. himself, and the ring’s evil in him
mighty ent man 07/Mar/2006 at 03:17 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

lil hobbit - Gollum was made by the ring  -But was he though? We have that all important quote from Tolkien that shows us that Smeagol as a person was already mean before hand. To me the Ring expanded on this mean side, thus creating a divide in Smeagols personality, but this divide does not make them separate things. It is not two separate people in one body. The Ring did not create Gollum, there was already a trace of him there for the Ring to expand upon.

I have to disagree. They are not separate minds, thats the wrong way to look at this. This is a very complex matter and it is very hard to properly express what I am sayign but I will try to! The two sides to Smeagols personality could be given the names Gollum and Smeagol. But they are linked by sharing the same mind. Many times we see a neutral side, neither Gollum nor Smeagol are talking. Both are there and they are expressed in times of extremes. When he is angry it is Gollum who can prevail but when he is in a good mood Smeagol shines through.

because the ring made him do it, its magic, duh, - It is in no way as simple as that. If you study the Ring you will find out how complex a thing it really it is. If it could make people kill for it why did it not do this to everyone? Smeagol we are told by Tolkien is a ’mean son of a thief’ (Tolkiens own words not mine). So you see there was a lot for the Ring to exploit there. Smeagol did not know if this desire, the Ring used his bad side and made him kill.

the ring separate personality in Gollum - There is no Ring separation! Its not like the Ring is talking through Gollum directly. This really is not the case. There not two modes within his brain where he switches back and forth between Smeagol and Gollum. His brain and mind works on a kind of scale. With Gollum at one end and Smeagol at the other, but they are on the same scale!

Azultur - Some of the contributors to this thread I think have been influenced by the films presentation of Smeagol where this difference was exaggerated to portray a split personality.  - Yes I agree! The films annoy me concerning their pootrayal of Gollum, they show it wrong.

 

mighty ent man 07/Mar/2006 at 03:17 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

lil hobbit - Gollum was made by the ring  -But was he though? We have that all important quote from Tolkien that shows us that Smeagol as a person was already mean before hand. To me the Ring expanded on this mean side, thus creating a divide in Smeagols personality, but this divide does not make them separate things. It is not two separate people in one body. The Ring did not create Gollum, there was already a trace of him there for the Ring to expand upon.

I have to disagree. They are not separate minds, thats the wrong way to look at this. This is a very complex matter and it is very hard to properly express what I am sayign but I will try to! The two sides to Smeagols personality could be given the names Gollum and Smeagol. But they are linked by sharing the same mind. Many times we see a neutral side, neither Gollum nor Smeagol are talking. Both are there and they are expressed in times of extremes. When he is angry it is Gollum who can prevail but when he is in a good mood Smeagol shines through.

because the ring made him do it, its magic, duh, - It is in no way as simple as that. If you study the Ring you will find out how complex a thing it really it is. If it could make people kill for it why did it not do this to everyone? Smeagol we are told by Tolkien is a ’mean son of a thief’ (Tolkiens own words not mine). So you see there was a lot for the Ring to exploit there. Smeagol did not know if this desire, the Ring used his bad side and made him kill.

the ring separate personality in Gollum - There is no Ring separation! Its not like the Ring is talking through Gollum directly. This really is not the case. There not two modes within his brain where he switches back and forth between Smeagol and Gollum. His brain and mind works on a kind of scale. With Gollum at one end and Smeagol at the other, but they are on the same scale!

Azultur - Some of the contributors to this thread I think have been influenced by the films presentation of Smeagol where this difference was exaggerated to portray a split personality.  - Yes I agree! The films annoy me concerning their pootrayal of Gollum, they show it wrong.

 

Lil Sidhe 07/Mar/2006 at 04:25 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005
Yes the movies do seem to show Gollum Differently in the books, it shows Gollum and Smeagol a little too separate, but you have to admit, it would be pretty hard to do it another way, and still have people recognize that he has different sides.
Lil Sidhe 07/Mar/2006 at 04:25 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005
Yes the movies do seem to show Gollum Differently in the books, it shows Gollum and Smeagol a little too separate, but you have to admit, it would be pretty hard to do it another way, and still have people recognize that he has different sides.
Lil Sidhe 07/Mar/2006 at 04:30 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005

Mighty Ent Man- There is no Ring separation! Its not like the Ring is talking through Gollum directly. This really is not the case. There not two modes within his brain where he switches back and forth between Smeagol and Gollum. His brain and mind works on a kind of scale. With Gollum at one end and Smeagol at the other, but they are on the same scale!

Yes, i have said before that i know he doesnt just change, he still there, but like...urgh its hard to explain! its like two minds have meshed and become mostly together, but still different. there is still soe Smeagol when Gollum is talking, but the madder he gets, the more there is of Gollum is talking.

 

Lil Sidhe 07/Mar/2006 at 04:30 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005

Mighty Ent Man- There is no Ring separation! Its not like the Ring is talking through Gollum directly. This really is not the case. There not two modes within his brain where he switches back and forth between Smeagol and Gollum. His brain and mind works on a kind of scale. With Gollum at one end and Smeagol at the other, but they are on the same scale!

Yes, i have said before that i know he doesnt just change, he still there, but like...urgh its hard to explain! its like two minds have meshed and become mostly together, but still different. there is still soe Smeagol when Gollum is talking, but the madder he gets, the more there is of Gollum is talking.

 

mighty ent man 08/Mar/2006 at 04:55 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

lil hobbit - Basically you are agreeing with my theory and changing you mind! I said that there is a scale in his mind essentially. Smeagols mind can be viewed as a scale. I will try and show it below:

Smeagol (good) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Gollum (bad)

So if you look at this rough scale this is how I think I would view his mind. Now that scale is his whole mind. So there is only one. But there are two extremes in this. And they can be named Gollum and Smeagol. When he is really angry we have Gollum becoming more dominant. And vice versa.

 

mighty ent man 08/Mar/2006 at 04:55 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

lil hobbit - Basically you are agreeing with my theory and changing you mind! I said that there is a scale in his mind essentially. Smeagols mind can be viewed as a scale. I will try and show it below:

Smeagol (good) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Gollum (bad)

So if you look at this rough scale this is how I think I would view his mind. Now that scale is his whole mind. So there is only one. But there are two extremes in this. And they can be named Gollum and Smeagol. When he is really angry we have Gollum becoming more dominant. And vice versa.

 

Lil Sidhe 08/Mar/2006 at 12:38 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005
Yes i do agree with you for the scale thing, but it shows to separate streams of thought, Gollum and Smeagol. for normal people (or hobbits) it would be the same stream of thought, just good and bad. but with him, there seems to be one, good, and the other evil, that has a will of its own.
Lil Sidhe 08/Mar/2006 at 12:38 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005
Yes i do agree with you for the scale thing, but it shows to separate streams of thought, Gollum and Smeagol. for normal people (or hobbits) it would be the same stream of thought, just good and bad. but with him, there seems to be one, good, and the other evil, that has a will of its own.
Meril Green 08/Mar/2006 at 12:53 PM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2632 Posts: 5001 Joined: 31/Jul/2005
lil_hobbit- "that even he thinks of himself of two separate minds. himself, and the ring’s evil in him"--  Do you think that Gllum could have possibly called himself ’we’ for no reson? Just as an instinctive thing? It might be because he thinks that he really is two people, but it also could be almost unconciously, just without thinking about it.
Magic? In mE? No, I don’t think that that is what the profeser wanted. I think the ring has more of a quality, more like possesion that makes people want it so bad- possesion along with greed.
Mem- I don’ agree with only one part of your post.  "When he is angry it is Gollum who can prevail but when he is in a good mood Smeagol shines through." I don’t neccisarily think that’s the case. Mood has nothing to do with it, though when Smeagol is showing, it night seem that he is in a good mood.
Meril Green 08/Mar/2006 at 12:53 PM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2632 Posts: 5001 Joined: 31/Jul/2005
lil_hobbit- "that even he thinks of himself of two separate minds. himself, and the ring’s evil in him"--  Do you think that Gllum could have possibly called himself ’we’ for no reson? Just as an instinctive thing? It might be because he thinks that he really is two people, but it also could be almost unconciously, just without thinking about it.
Magic? In mE? No, I don’t think that that is what the profeser wanted. I think the ring has more of a quality, more like possesion that makes people want it so bad- possesion along with greed.
Mem- I don’ agree with only one part of your post.  "When he is angry it is Gollum who can prevail but when he is in a good mood Smeagol shines through." I don’t neccisarily think that’s the case. Mood has nothing to do with it, though when Smeagol is showing, it night seem that he is in a good mood.
Lil Sidhe 08/Mar/2006 at 03:19 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005
Merilruin: thats what im saying, hes calling himself "we" subconciously because he thinks of himself as more than one mind. people just dont refer to themselves as "we" for no reason. gollum was alone for too long, so he kind of created another mind in his that the ring took over. of course it was subconsious!
Lil Sidhe 08/Mar/2006 at 03:19 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005
Merilruin: thats what im saying, hes calling himself "we" subconciously because he thinks of himself as more than one mind. people just dont refer to themselves as "we" for no reason. gollum was alone for too long, so he kind of created another mind in his that the ring took over. of course it was subconsious!
mighty ent man 10/Mar/2006 at 02:15 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

lil hobbit - but it shows to separate streams of thought, Gollum and Smeagol - No the scale does not at all show this. It shows one mind, one brain, one stream of thought - this one stream of thought is the scale line or bar. The two extreme points of this scales can be termed Gollum and Smeagol. There are not two separate things in his mind, only one. Not two separate wills. The Ring does affect Smeagols mind, that is true. It pulls him and leads him towards his Gollum side. But I dont think that part of his mind has a will of its own separate from his own will.

he kind of created another mind in his that the ring took over. - What do you mean by this? How could someone create another mind?

Meriluin - Hmm yes maybe I was a little hasty in making that comment. It could be the other way round. That Gollum causes him to become angry and vice versa for Smeagol.

 

mighty ent man 10/Mar/2006 at 02:15 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

lil hobbit - but it shows to separate streams of thought, Gollum and Smeagol - No the scale does not at all show this. It shows one mind, one brain, one stream of thought - this one stream of thought is the scale line or bar. The two extreme points of this scales can be termed Gollum and Smeagol. There are not two separate things in his mind, only one. Not two separate wills. The Ring does affect Smeagols mind, that is true. It pulls him and leads him towards his Gollum side. But I dont think that part of his mind has a will of its own separate from his own will.

he kind of created another mind in his that the ring took over. - What do you mean by this? How could someone create another mind?

Meriluin - Hmm yes maybe I was a little hasty in making that comment. It could be the other way round. That Gollum causes him to become angry and vice versa for Smeagol.

 

mighty ent man 11/Mar/2006 at 07:31 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

lil hobbit - You dont understand what I mean. Let me try and break this down further so you see that you cannot create another separate mind.

Ok I will start from the beginning of all this. We have Smeagol, a hobbit. He already has a mean side to him. He has one mind, one brain, whatever you want to call it. And within this one mind, this could also be called his personality. His personality has a mean side and a nice side.

He comes into contact with the Ring and kills for it and flees to the mountains and lives in Moria. Here he does live alone for a long long time as you say. He turns to eating fish and orcs. He uses the Ring more and more. He lives without daylight. He start muttering to himself the sound or word Gollum. This is where this name derives from. But he still has one mind. One brain. His personlaity changes, he is no longer the nice hobbit he once was. He is now a different creature in many ways. But he has not made another mind. It is just that the mean side to his personality has become to dominate over his good side and his good side is rarely used. It is still there though.

The what happens on the journey with Frodo is that Smeagol begins to use his good side more. For many many reasons. He has one mind, the personality within it has two sides to it. But he has not created another mind.

mighty ent man 11/Mar/2006 at 07:31 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

lil hobbit - You dont understand what I mean. Let me try and break this down further so you see that you cannot create another separate mind.

Ok I will start from the beginning of all this. We have Smeagol, a hobbit. He already has a mean side to him. He has one mind, one brain, whatever you want to call it. And within this one mind, this could also be called his personality. His personality has a mean side and a nice side.

He comes into contact with the Ring and kills for it and flees to the mountains and lives in Moria. Here he does live alone for a long long time as you say. He turns to eating fish and orcs. He uses the Ring more and more. He lives without daylight. He start muttering to himself the sound or word Gollum. This is where this name derives from. But he still has one mind. One brain. His personlaity changes, he is no longer the nice hobbit he once was. He is now a different creature in many ways. But he has not made another mind. It is just that the mean side to his personality has become to dominate over his good side and his good side is rarely used. It is still there though.

The what happens on the journey with Frodo is that Smeagol begins to use his good side more. For many many reasons. He has one mind, the personality within it has two sides to it. But he has not created another mind.

Meril Green 12/Mar/2006 at 12:08 PM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2632 Posts: 5001 Joined: 31/Jul/2005
lil_ hobbit- Another mind? I agree with Mighty Ent on this one. A mind is like a brain- a similie for it infact. He certaintly could not just simply develop another one! Perhaps you were thinking a duel personality?
Mighty ent man- Well, going back to your comment. It could be like I said that when Smeagol comes out, he is happy- possibly because he dominated his mean side for a time. When Gollum comes out, he seems mad, because of lust. But your next comment seems to make sense, but this is what I read into it- Gollum is mean and gloomy because of Smeagol. But then, you say that it’s vice versa. Does this mean that Smeagol is happy because Gollum is mad? That seems much more villianous than Smeagol himself seems....
Meril Green 12/Mar/2006 at 12:08 PM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2632 Posts: 5001 Joined: 31/Jul/2005
lil_ hobbit- Another mind? I agree with Mighty Ent on this one. A mind is like a brain- a similie for it infact. He certaintly could not just simply develop another one! Perhaps you were thinking a duel personality?
Mighty ent man- Well, going back to your comment. It could be like I said that when Smeagol comes out, he is happy- possibly because he dominated his mean side for a time. When Gollum comes out, he seems mad, because of lust. But your next comment seems to make sense, but this is what I read into it- Gollum is mean and gloomy because of Smeagol. But then, you say that it’s vice versa. Does this mean that Smeagol is happy because Gollum is mad? That seems much more villianous than Smeagol himself seems....
Disturbed 1 12/Mar/2006 at 01:20 PM
Youth of the Mark Points: 59 Posts: 1 Joined: 12/Mar/2006
smeagal and gollum are the same person, but without one the other would not live right?.....smeagal was the "original" or was he? i believe that both lived together for his entire existence and the ring just pulled it out of him, now about "changing" from one to the other he can do that at will  (sry for the random ness but thats a great smiley thing) my question is if what i say is true why would he go through life with 2 personalities that he can control seperatley(spelling?)
Disturbed 1 12/Mar/2006 at 01:20 PM
Youth of the Mark Points: 59 Posts: 1 Joined: 12/Mar/2006
smeagal and gollum are the same person, but without one the other would not live right?.....smeagal was the "original" or was he? i believe that both lived together for his entire existence and the ring just pulled it out of him, now about "changing" from one to the other he can do that at will  (sry for the random ness but thats a great smiley thing) my question is if what i say is true why would he go through life with 2 personalities that he can control seperatley(spelling?)
Meril Green 12/Mar/2006 at 02:35 PM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2632 Posts: 5001 Joined: 31/Jul/2005

Ok, yes, they are the same person. In my opinion, Smeagol would live fine withut Gollum. I do not think that Gollum was created by the ring, but merely brought forth by it. Everyone has an evil side, but it really might not be tempted to be brought out, except for by artificial reasons (in this case, the ring, RL could be certain disorders) But, no, Smeagol couldn’t really change back and forth at will. His life was not like an RPG game or something... he could possibly talk with both ’personalities’ at will. Still, I think that Gollum dominated Smeagol about being forthright and stuff like that. Everyone has the possibility of having two or more personalities, but a reason needs to be present to have them, so technically, everyone goes through life with two personalities.
Oh, and welcome to the plaza!

Meril Green 12/Mar/2006 at 02:35 PM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2632 Posts: 5001 Joined: 31/Jul/2005

Ok, yes, they are the same person. In my opinion, Smeagol would live fine withut Gollum. I do not think that Gollum was created by the ring, but merely brought forth by it. Everyone has an evil side, but it really might not be tempted to be brought out, except for by artificial reasons (in this case, the ring, RL could be certain disorders) But, no, Smeagol couldn’t really change back and forth at will. His life was not like an RPG game or something... he could possibly talk with both ’personalities’ at will. Still, I think that Gollum dominated Smeagol about being forthright and stuff like that. Everyone has the possibility of having two or more personalities, but a reason needs to be present to have them, so technically, everyone goes through life with two personalities.
Oh, and welcome to the plaza!

mighty ent man 13/Mar/2006 at 02:47 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Merilruin - I am sorry but I do not understand what you are asking me? I do not really know what your point is int that last part of your post to me, about Gollum and Smeagol affecting his behaviour.

 I do not think that Gollum was created by the ring, but merely brought forth by it.  - I agree with that comment. An excellent way to distinguish between the two there.

Disturbed - Basically we had a person who was called Smeagol. When he found the Ring he took to muttering to himself and people called him Gollum. This is where his new kind of personality stems from. We have a being called Smeagol, but with almost two personalities - Gollum and Smeagol. Throughout LOTR he is mainly known as Gollum because people call him this.

 

mighty ent man 13/Mar/2006 at 02:47 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Merilruin - I am sorry but I do not understand what you are asking me? I do not really know what your point is int that last part of your post to me, about Gollum and Smeagol affecting his behaviour.

 I do not think that Gollum was created by the ring, but merely brought forth by it.  - I agree with that comment. An excellent way to distinguish between the two there.

Disturbed - Basically we had a person who was called Smeagol. When he found the Ring he took to muttering to himself and people called him Gollum. This is where his new kind of personality stems from. We have a being called Smeagol, but with almost two personalities - Gollum and Smeagol. Throughout LOTR he is mainly known as Gollum because people call him this.

 

Gwilwileth 13/Mar/2006 at 03:38 AM
Defender of Imladris Points: 683 Posts: 137 Joined: 04/May/2003
I tend to think of Gollum as a development from Smeagol. People change in reality due to experiences and stimuli. I believe that the Ring, as such a stimuli, changed him for the worse. After the years spent in isolation as the ’personality’ of Gollum, it became more or less the dominant one. When Frodo shows up (a familiar kind of character being nearly what Gollum once was) shows up, the past ’personality’ leaks out.
Gwilwileth 13/Mar/2006 at 03:38 AM
Defender of Imladris Points: 683 Posts: 137 Joined: 04/May/2003
I tend to think of Gollum as a development from Smeagol. People change in reality due to experiences and stimuli. I believe that the Ring, as such a stimuli, changed him for the worse. After the years spent in isolation as the ’personality’ of Gollum, it became more or less the dominant one. When Frodo shows up (a familiar kind of character being nearly what Gollum once was) shows up, the past ’personality’ leaks out.
Aeleron 14/Mar/2006 at 02:10 AM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 645 Posts: 148 Joined: 31/Aug/2002

Smeagol and Gollum are indeed the one entity, but it is interesting that the ’Gollum’ side really only comes out after he takes the Ring. He starts talking in first person plural at that point then also. There is also one page, one scene in Tolkien (which I will look up as soon as the person I leant my LOTR copy to gives it back) where Smeagol and Gollum have a conversation.

"Some of the contributors to this thread I think have been influenced by the films presentation of Smeagol where this difference was exaggerated to portray a split personality.  - Yes I agree! The films annoy me concerning their pootrayal of Gollum, they show it wrong. "

Azultur and MeM, I understand where you are coming from, and I agree, Tolkien was much more subtle with it. But I don’t think you can deny that there is evidence in the original texts for some degree of separation between the Smeagol and the Gollum, not just as different aspects of the one personality, but as almost polar characters with conflicting behaviours. it is subtle, but I guarantee you, it is there.

Aeleron 14/Mar/2006 at 02:10 AM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 645 Posts: 148 Joined: 31/Aug/2002

Smeagol and Gollum are indeed the one entity, but it is interesting that the ’Gollum’ side really only comes out after he takes the Ring. He starts talking in first person plural at that point then also. There is also one page, one scene in Tolkien (which I will look up as soon as the person I leant my LOTR copy to gives it back) where Smeagol and Gollum have a conversation.

"Some of the contributors to this thread I think have been influenced by the films presentation of Smeagol where this difference was exaggerated to portray a split personality.  - Yes I agree! The films annoy me concerning their pootrayal of Gollum, they show it wrong. "

Azultur and MeM, I understand where you are coming from, and I agree, Tolkien was much more subtle with it. But I don’t think you can deny that there is evidence in the original texts for some degree of separation between the Smeagol and the Gollum, not just as different aspects of the one personality, but as almost polar characters with conflicting behaviours. it is subtle, but I guarantee you, it is there.

mighty ent man 14/Mar/2006 at 02:19 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003
Aeleron - Oh yes there is evidence of some sepraration in the books. There is textual basis for it but not for how PJ showed it really. I think he went a little too far. He showed it in an almost comedic way, the conversation between them. He showed the Smeagol side as silly and funny. He is not meant to be like that. That to me is where this confusion could be arising from. The movies are often a source of confusion even when people dont mean for them to be. I agree with you completely that it is there, and yes it is subtle and much more well done than PJ’s version.
mighty ent man 14/Mar/2006 at 02:19 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003
Aeleron - Oh yes there is evidence of some sepraration in the books. There is textual basis for it but not for how PJ showed it really. I think he went a little too far. He showed it in an almost comedic way, the conversation between them. He showed the Smeagol side as silly and funny. He is not meant to be like that. That to me is where this confusion could be arising from. The movies are often a source of confusion even when people dont mean for them to be. I agree with you completely that it is there, and yes it is subtle and much more well done than PJ’s version.
Meril Green 15/Mar/2006 at 02:48 PM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2632 Posts: 5001 Joined: 31/Jul/2005
Mem- Yeah, I’m sorry- it was even kind of confusing for me to word... here, try this.
That Gollum causes him to become angry and vice versa for Smeagol. - Mighty Ent man, March 10
You said that maybe Gollum is sad because Smeagol is happy and free (besides the point that he is being influenced by the ring) but then you said vice-versa. By this, do you mean that Smeagol is happy because Gollum is sad, and depressed?
Meril Green 15/Mar/2006 at 02:48 PM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2632 Posts: 5001 Joined: 31/Jul/2005
Mem- Yeah, I’m sorry- it was even kind of confusing for me to word... here, try this.
That Gollum causes him to become angry and vice versa for Smeagol. - Mighty Ent man, March 10
You said that maybe Gollum is sad because Smeagol is happy and free (besides the point that he is being influenced by the ring) but then you said vice-versa. By this, do you mean that Smeagol is happy because Gollum is sad, and depressed?
Bearamir 15/Mar/2006 at 03:55 PM
Emeritus Points: 16276 Posts: 16742 Joined: 21/Sep/2008

Ladies & Gentlemen:  The purpose of Ad Lore is the in depth discussion of a topic...it is not intended to be simply the opportunity to garner 2 points by posting a few lines of barely germane commentary.  For the most part, contributors to this thread *have* shown great expertise in their posts....but I will say that there were a few overly "fluffly" posts, however...so I have edited this thread to remove those posts that were not consistent with the spirit of this forum. 

Moving forward, for those new contributors who wish to participate in this discussion, *please* consider well what you contribute....I truly do not want to have to delete any more posts in this thread. 

Bearamir 15/Mar/2006 at 03:55 PM
Emeritus Points: 16276 Posts: 16742 Joined: 21/Sep/2008

Ladies & Gentlemen:  The purpose of Ad Lore is the in depth discussion of a topic...it is not intended to be simply the opportunity to garner 2 points by posting a few lines of barely germane commentary.  For the most part, contributors to this thread *have* shown great expertise in their posts....but I will say that there were a few overly "fluffly" posts, however...so I have edited this thread to remove those posts that were not consistent with the spirit of this forum. 

Moving forward, for those new contributors who wish to participate in this discussion, *please* consider well what you contribute....I truly do not want to have to delete any more posts in this thread. 

Elf of Light 16/Mar/2006 at 08:47 AM
Herald of Imladris Points: 160 Posts: 20 Joined: 16/Mar/2006
Yes the entire thing over the years of what happened to Gollum fascinates me as well. Over the years Gollum kept the ring out of the wherabouts of people.The ring transforemd him in a maliant evil bad way. Smeagol had turned into this evil creature by the name of Gollum. The appearance of Gollum also changed. He turned semi bald and not even close to hobbits or their cousins. except of course his stature. Gollum was an example of the power of the ring by not using it alone.
Elf of Light 16/Mar/2006 at 08:47 AM
Herald of Imladris Points: 160 Posts: 20 Joined: 16/Mar/2006
Yes the entire thing over the years of what happened to Gollum fascinates me as well. Over the years Gollum kept the ring out of the wherabouts of people.The ring transforemd him in a maliant evil bad way. Smeagol had turned into this evil creature by the name of Gollum. The appearance of Gollum also changed. He turned semi bald and not even close to hobbits or their cousins. except of course his stature. Gollum was an example of the power of the ring by not using it alone.
mighty ent man 17/Mar/2006 at 08:12 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Merilruin - That Gollum causes him to become angry and vice versa for Smeagol.

I wrote. Basically this is what I mean. It is not really of much importance here but seeing as you seem to find what I said interesting I will explain it for you! Well I have to now re consider what I mean concerning this part of what I said.I previously meant that when the Gollum frame of mind is dominant within Smeagol he becomes more and angry. Then when the Smeagol frame of mind is dominant he becomes more tolerant and happy.

However you may have read the post in here where I presented the theory that Smeagols mind works on a type of scale. Well if this is the case then we have to re think what I said above. For that would mean it works the reverse way around. When Smeagol becomes more angry he turns more towards his Gollum mind set and his Gollum thoughts fly through his mind. And exactly the opposite for Smeagol. The key difference between these two theories is that in one the mind set comes first then the mood, but in the second the mood comes first then the following mind set. Hope that makes sense!!

 

mighty ent man 17/Mar/2006 at 08:12 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Merilruin - That Gollum causes him to become angry and vice versa for Smeagol.

I wrote. Basically this is what I mean. It is not really of much importance here but seeing as you seem to find what I said interesting I will explain it for you! Well I have to now re consider what I mean concerning this part of what I said.I previously meant that when the Gollum frame of mind is dominant within Smeagol he becomes more and angry. Then when the Smeagol frame of mind is dominant he becomes more tolerant and happy.

However you may have read the post in here where I presented the theory that Smeagols mind works on a type of scale. Well if this is the case then we have to re think what I said above. For that would mean it works the reverse way around. When Smeagol becomes more angry he turns more towards his Gollum mind set and his Gollum thoughts fly through his mind. And exactly the opposite for Smeagol. The key difference between these two theories is that in one the mind set comes first then the mood, but in the second the mood comes first then the following mind set. Hope that makes sense!!

 

Meril Green 19/Mar/2006 at 05:21 PM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2632 Posts: 5001 Joined: 31/Jul/2005
Oh, ok *slaps forehead* I’m glad that you made this clearer to me! I suddenly get it now!
Meril Green 19/Mar/2006 at 05:21 PM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2632 Posts: 5001 Joined: 31/Jul/2005
Oh, ok *slaps forehead* I’m glad that you made this clearer to me! I suddenly get it now!
IdrilLorelinde 20/Mar/2006 at 10:57 AM
Herald of Imladris Points: 203 Posts: 21 Joined: 15/Mar/2006

Some have said that the difference between the two was more of a moral/immoral difference, with Smeagol being the moral and Gollum the immoral.  While I definitely have to agree that Smeagol is the less corrupted nature, both still have the capacity for evil. 

Mighty Ent Man, I would add to your analysis of the moods that Gollum also seems to make more appearances when Smeagol is wallowing in self-pity.  Smeagol seems to feel some twinges of conscience and guilt, and gets very uncomfortable, at which point Gollum appears and begins to spout logical comfort, effectively easing Smeagol’s guilt.

IdrilLorelinde 20/Mar/2006 at 10:57 AM
Herald of Imladris Points: 203 Posts: 21 Joined: 15/Mar/2006

Some have said that the difference between the two was more of a moral/immoral difference, with Smeagol being the moral and Gollum the immoral.  While I definitely have to agree that Smeagol is the less corrupted nature, both still have the capacity for evil. 

Mighty Ent Man, I would add to your analysis of the moods that Gollum also seems to make more appearances when Smeagol is wallowing in self-pity.  Smeagol seems to feel some twinges of conscience and guilt, and gets very uncomfortable, at which point Gollum appears and begins to spout logical comfort, effectively easing Smeagol’s guilt.

Aeleron 20/Mar/2006 at 09:59 PM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 645 Posts: 148 Joined: 31/Aug/2002
I think that, since you bring up the fact that Gollum appears when Smeagol is feeling guilty (something that is valid which I never thought about), perhaps it would be interesting to see the complexity of the SG character within Tolkien’s original framework. The ease of deception and the way evil can sometimes be made to seem logical. I think this feeds in with Saruman as well... (that could be an interesting discussion actually, on the Logic of Evil). It seems that evil in Middle Earth can be very overt, but also very persuasive and covert, hiding behind a mask of logic. Smeagol/Gollum as a plot device? I’m not sure, but I hope this post makes sense (a long day...)
Aeleron 20/Mar/2006 at 09:59 PM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 645 Posts: 148 Joined: 31/Aug/2002
I think that, since you bring up the fact that Gollum appears when Smeagol is feeling guilty (something that is valid which I never thought about), perhaps it would be interesting to see the complexity of the SG character within Tolkien’s original framework. The ease of deception and the way evil can sometimes be made to seem logical. I think this feeds in with Saruman as well... (that could be an interesting discussion actually, on the Logic of Evil). It seems that evil in Middle Earth can be very overt, but also very persuasive and covert, hiding behind a mask of logic. Smeagol/Gollum as a plot device? I’m not sure, but I hope this post makes sense (a long day...)
stevem1 21/Mar/2006 at 02:02 AM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1464 Posts: 756 Joined: 26/Feb/2008
Aeleron: A discussion about the logic of evil (with relation to Gollum/Smeagol) would probably be of use here and I offer my own thoughts (as a precurser to this discussion):

Evil usually seems to be driven by bad emotions (anger, envy, etc) and although there is probably a logic to it, the emotional content makes it very difficult to subvert. It often seems as if even the slightest ’good thought’ is immediately smothered by the ’bad thoughts’ and they (the bad thoughts) seem more energetic than the good thoughts. This can be seen in any scenes where Smeagol seems to have a good ’direction’. As soon as this happens, Gollum seems to ’pounce’ on Smeagol, with a great deal of energy, and beats down Smeagol.

From now on in my post I will refer to Gollum as the angry state of mind, and Smeagol as the less angry:

However, it is difficult to see the ’gestalt’ or state of mind of Gollum behind all this. How does he see the world? It does not seem to be simply a case of him being cynical and thinking that everybody is against him (although this is certainly part of it and he does say things like this).

It seems more to me to be driven by the fear of losing something. He does not seem to be a typical cynic in that I cannot think of any occasions where he counters Frodo or Sam’s fortitude and basic optimism with any cynical arguments (although he may think them). He doesnt’ seem confident enough in his negative thoughts to argue philosophy with people.

I am speculating here, but I think the Ring came to him before he was capable of adult philosophy and that, for him, the acquisitive (need to obtain objects of beauty) which is accentuated in childhood) seemed to have been uniquely fulfilled by the Ring, leading him to feel ’complete’ in some bizarre childish way. He now (in LOTR) feels great fear that he will lose it.

I think that is far as my thinking will take me, but what I was trying to do was suggest a world-view, around which, a logic could be built for Gollum’s behaviour. I’ll let you guys counter my argument, or take it away if you feel you want to pursue the logic.
stevem1 21/Mar/2006 at 02:02 AM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1464 Posts: 756 Joined: 26/Feb/2008
Aeleron: A discussion about the logic of evil (with relation to Gollum/Smeagol) would probably be of use here and I offer my own thoughts (as a precurser to this discussion):

Evil usually seems to be driven by bad emotions (anger, envy, etc) and although there is probably a logic to it, the emotional content makes it very difficult to subvert. It often seems as if even the slightest ’good thought’ is immediately smothered by the ’bad thoughts’ and they (the bad thoughts) seem more energetic than the good thoughts. This can be seen in any scenes where Smeagol seems to have a good ’direction’. As soon as this happens, Gollum seems to ’pounce’ on Smeagol, with a great deal of energy, and beats down Smeagol.

From now on in my post I will refer to Gollum as the angry state of mind, and Smeagol as the less angry:

However, it is difficult to see the ’gestalt’ or state of mind of Gollum behind all this. How does he see the world? It does not seem to be simply a case of him being cynical and thinking that everybody is against him (although this is certainly part of it and he does say things like this).

It seems more to me to be driven by the fear of losing something. He does not seem to be a typical cynic in that I cannot think of any occasions where he counters Frodo or Sam’s fortitude and basic optimism with any cynical arguments (although he may think them). He doesnt’ seem confident enough in his negative thoughts to argue philosophy with people.

I am speculating here, but I think the Ring came to him before he was capable of adult philosophy and that, for him, the acquisitive (need to obtain objects of beauty) which is accentuated in childhood) seemed to have been uniquely fulfilled by the Ring, leading him to feel ’complete’ in some bizarre childish way. He now (in LOTR) feels great fear that he will lose it.

I think that is far as my thinking will take me, but what I was trying to do was suggest a world-view, around which, a logic could be built for Gollum’s behaviour. I’ll let you guys counter my argument, or take it away if you feel you want to pursue the logic.
mighty ent man 22/Mar/2006 at 03:16 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

stevem - Hmm what an interesting post there. Some quite compelx things going on there and I am glad that you decided to post your thoughts. The one point that I am going to chose to expand on is this one:

 am speculating here, but I think the Ring came to him before he was capable of adult philosophy and that, for him, the acquisitive (need to obtain objects of beauty) which is accentuated in childhood) seemed to have been uniquely fulfilled by the Ring, leading him to feel ’complete’ in some bizarre childish way.  - Here I think is a very unique and interesting point to examine. Smeagol was young when he came accross the Ring. I also think it is significant that it was his birthday when he got it. This allowed him to use it as justification in his mind for murdering to get at the Ring. But I like your point. Because Smeagol gained the Ring in relative childhood he could not develop into an adult hobbit with an adult outlook on the world. Thus he was forever acting in somewhat of a childish manner so to speak. All due to the timing of when he got the Ring.

mighty ent man 22/Mar/2006 at 03:16 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

stevem - Hmm what an interesting post there. Some quite compelx things going on there and I am glad that you decided to post your thoughts. The one point that I am going to chose to expand on is this one:

 am speculating here, but I think the Ring came to him before he was capable of adult philosophy and that, for him, the acquisitive (need to obtain objects of beauty) which is accentuated in childhood) seemed to have been uniquely fulfilled by the Ring, leading him to feel ’complete’ in some bizarre childish way.  - Here I think is a very unique and interesting point to examine. Smeagol was young when he came accross the Ring. I also think it is significant that it was his birthday when he got it. This allowed him to use it as justification in his mind for murdering to get at the Ring. But I like your point. Because Smeagol gained the Ring in relative childhood he could not develop into an adult hobbit with an adult outlook on the world. Thus he was forever acting in somewhat of a childish manner so to speak. All due to the timing of when he got the Ring.

Aeleron 22/Mar/2006 at 03:42 AM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 645 Posts: 148 Joined: 31/Aug/2002

I also love that point (above in MeM’s comment) and the rest of your post. Excellent stevem!!! That got alot of things sorted in my mind. One issue I had (VERY small) is your comment about Smeagol’s cynicism. I don’t think that the word ’cynical’ is appropriate when discussing Smeagol. He is not, to my mind, capable of this more complex notion, instead, he feels the world is against him, and is anguished by the thought. A cynic would say ’that is the way the world works, and therefore the world can go...’ In fact, to further my point, I would say it is pretty safe to say that, while he believes that the world is against him, he also believes that the world has a good reason for being against him (basically, Smeagol is a victim of intense self-loathing).

As for your thoughts on evil, that is excellent. Maybe we should ask the Ad Lore people if we could post it up???

Aeleron 22/Mar/2006 at 03:42 AM
Stablemaster of the Mark Points: 645 Posts: 148 Joined: 31/Aug/2002

I also love that point (above in MeM’s comment) and the rest of your post. Excellent stevem!!! That got alot of things sorted in my mind. One issue I had (VERY small) is your comment about Smeagol’s cynicism. I don’t think that the word ’cynical’ is appropriate when discussing Smeagol. He is not, to my mind, capable of this more complex notion, instead, he feels the world is against him, and is anguished by the thought. A cynic would say ’that is the way the world works, and therefore the world can go...’ In fact, to further my point, I would say it is pretty safe to say that, while he believes that the world is against him, he also believes that the world has a good reason for being against him (basically, Smeagol is a victim of intense self-loathing).

As for your thoughts on evil, that is excellent. Maybe we should ask the Ad Lore people if we could post it up???

stevem1 22/Mar/2006 at 05:06 AM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1464 Posts: 756 Joined: 26/Feb/2008
Hi Aeleron: I tend to agree with you about ’cynism’ I was having trouble finding the right way to say it but yes, I think I agree - Gollum/Smeagol was simply to ’young’ to be cynical yet. However, I still hold to my view that there is more to him than ’the world is against me’, although I think there is a strong element of this in there.

As for posting to Ad Lore - I meant my post to be a contribution to this discussion so lets just carry on.
stevem1 22/Mar/2006 at 05:06 AM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1464 Posts: 756 Joined: 26/Feb/2008
Hi Aeleron: I tend to agree with you about ’cynism’ I was having trouble finding the right way to say it but yes, I think I agree - Gollum/Smeagol was simply to ’young’ to be cynical yet. However, I still hold to my view that there is more to him than ’the world is against me’, although I think there is a strong element of this in there.

As for posting to Ad Lore - I meant my post to be a contribution to this discussion so lets just carry on.
Gerontian 23/Mar/2006 at 10:17 PM
March Warden of the Shire Points: 5533 Posts: 3986 Joined: 27/Aug/2002

I do not think that Tolkien envisioned his readers attempting psychiatric diagnosis on his characters. 

That said, do think that it is kind of interesting to look at the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition,  published by the American Psychiatric Association, in reference to Gollum’s behavior in the story.  In the DSM-IV, the diagnostic criteria for Dissocialtive Identity Disorder (formally known as Multiple Personality Disorder) are as follows:

"A: The presence of two or more distinct identities or personality states ( each with its own relatively enduring pattern of percieving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and the self).
 B: At least two of these identities or personality states recurrently take control of the person’s behavior.
 C: Inability to recall important personal information that is too extensive to be explained by ordinary forgetfullness. 
 D: The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance or a general medical condition."

One could easily argue that Gollum had some form of Dissociative Disorder based on these DSM-IV criteria, especially as there is also a diagnosis in the same section of the DSM-IV called Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified where certain of these criteria for Dissociative Identity Disorder, such as amnesia, need not occur.  Interesting, but not really helpful, I think, when it comes to enjoying the story.

Another diagnotic group in the DSM-IV is formed by the Personality Disorders. In my book, Gollum certainly qualifies for one of these unfortunate diagnoses.  In a nutshell, "A Personality Disorder is an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over time, and leads to distress or impairment."  

Smeagol was already an unsavory character before he murdered Deagol, by our few accounts of him. He displays a smattering of some of the nastiest symptoms of several of these personality disorders, (Paranoid Personality Disorder, Schizotypal Personality Disorder, Anti-Social Personality Disorder, and so on) both as Stinker and as Slinker, to use Sam’s labels. Many folks in literature (as in life) carry around or display elements of these disorders. A writer as astute as Tolkien in observing and detailing human behavior would be sure to use them.  Also, a (excuse the jargon) pre-morbid personality disorder would make Gollum much more suseptible to any other emotional and psychological damage inflicted by the Ring, just as folks in RL with personality disorders are more apt to have a whole range of other mental disorders as compared to other folks.

The DSM-IV does not deal with the causes of mental conditions, only their classifications, diagnostic features, course, prevalence in the population, and quantifiable facts. I think Tolkien was brilliant in detailing these kinds of symptoms in Gollum, so easily found in the manual; but, he too, refrained from making theories about their causation and etiology, beyond writing Gollum’s history.  It is storytelling, after all, not Psych 101.  I appreciate how much psychoanalysis and analytic psychology pervades popular culture, but I would not attempt going too far applying them and psychiatric diagnosis to a literary character in a fantasy novel, such as Gollum. 

Good theater and literature work because of their verisimilitude, and in this, mental illness is most certainly included. However the reality of the conditions I outlined out of the DSM can be heartbreaking and indescribably painful.  Common sense, I think, functions just as well as my quotes from the DSM in understanding and loving Tolien’s story, even poor old Gollum. 

Gerontian 23/Mar/2006 at 10:17 PM
March Warden of the Shire Points: 5533 Posts: 3986 Joined: 27/Aug/2002

I do not think that Tolkien envisioned his readers attempting psychiatric diagnosis on his characters. 

That said, do think that it is kind of interesting to look at the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition,  published by the American Psychiatric Association, in reference to Gollum’s behavior in the story.  In the DSM-IV, the diagnostic criteria for Dissocialtive Identity Disorder (formally known as Multiple Personality Disorder) are as follows:

"A: The presence of two or more distinct identities or personality states ( each with its own relatively enduring pattern of percieving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and the self).
 B: At least two of these identities or personality states recurrently take control of the person’s behavior.
 C: Inability to recall important personal information that is too extensive to be explained by ordinary forgetfullness. 
 D: The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance or a general medical condition."

One could easily argue that Gollum had some form of Dissociative Disorder based on these DSM-IV criteria, especially as there is also a diagnosis in the same section of the DSM-IV called Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified where certain of these criteria for Dissociative Identity Disorder, such as amnesia, need not occur.  Interesting, but not really helpful, I think, when it comes to enjoying the story.

Another diagnotic group in the DSM-IV is formed by the Personality Disorders. In my book, Gollum certainly qualifies for one of these unfortunate diagnoses.  In a nutshell, "A Personality Disorder is an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over time, and leads to distress or impairment."  

Smeagol was already an unsavory character before he murdered Deagol, by our few accounts of him. He displays a smattering of some of the nastiest symptoms of several of these personality disorders, (Paranoid Personality Disorder, Schizotypal Personality Disorder, Anti-Social Personality Disorder, and so on) both as Stinker and as Slinker, to use Sam’s labels. Many folks in literature (as in life) carry around or display elements of these disorders. A writer as astute as Tolkien in observing and detailing human behavior would be sure to use them.  Also, a (excuse the jargon) pre-morbid personality disorder would make Gollum much more suseptible to any other emotional and psychological damage inflicted by the Ring, just as folks in RL with personality disorders are more apt to have a whole range of other mental disorders as compared to other folks.

The DSM-IV does not deal with the causes of mental conditions, only their classifications, diagnostic features, course, prevalence in the population, and quantifiable facts. I think Tolkien was brilliant in detailing these kinds of symptoms in Gollum, so easily found in the manual; but, he too, refrained from making theories about their causation and etiology, beyond writing Gollum’s history.  It is storytelling, after all, not Psych 101.  I appreciate how much psychoanalysis and analytic psychology pervades popular culture, but I would not attempt going too far applying them and psychiatric diagnosis to a literary character in a fantasy novel, such as Gollum. 

Good theater and literature work because of their verisimilitude, and in this, mental illness is most certainly included. However the reality of the conditions I outlined out of the DSM can be heartbreaking and indescribably painful.  Common sense, I think, functions just as well as my quotes from the DSM in understanding and loving Tolien’s story, even poor old Gollum. 

mighty ent man 24/Mar/2006 at 05:23 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Gerontian - Excellent post there. I will now examine what you have written. Some interesting things here.

The presence of two or more distinct identities or personality states ( each with its own relatively enduring pattern of percieving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and the self). - I think we could say that this sums up Smeagol well. He does have two quite distinct personality states and they are quite different.

At least two of these identities or personality states recurrently take control of the person’s behavior. - Again yes we can see this in the story. The Gollum personality causes Smeagol to act in an angry and violent way. We see this clearly concerning Shelob.

Inability to recall important personal information that is too extensive to be explained by ordinary forgetfullness.  - Yes again we know Smeagol finds it difficult to recall the true events of his past. However this is partly due to his own lies to himself and the Ring. But still he also fits into this catagory well.

The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance or a general medical condition." - Ah but here we find our snag! Here is the one which doesnt fit and in many ways throws out all I just said. Because could it not be argued that the Ring is a substance? It is in my opinion.

 Great post!


 

mighty ent man 24/Mar/2006 at 05:23 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Gerontian - Excellent post there. I will now examine what you have written. Some interesting things here.

The presence of two or more distinct identities or personality states ( each with its own relatively enduring pattern of percieving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and the self). - I think we could say that this sums up Smeagol well. He does have two quite distinct personality states and they are quite different.

At least two of these identities or personality states recurrently take control of the person’s behavior. - Again yes we can see this in the story. The Gollum personality causes Smeagol to act in an angry and violent way. We see this clearly concerning Shelob.

Inability to recall important personal information that is too extensive to be explained by ordinary forgetfullness.  - Yes again we know Smeagol finds it difficult to recall the true events of his past. However this is partly due to his own lies to himself and the Ring. But still he also fits into this catagory well.

The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance or a general medical condition." - Ah but here we find our snag! Here is the one which doesnt fit and in many ways throws out all I just said. Because could it not be argued that the Ring is a substance? It is in my opinion.

 Great post!


 

Gerontian 24/Mar/2006 at 11:04 AM
March Warden of the Shire Points: 5533 Posts: 3986 Joined: 27/Aug/2002
Mighty Ent Man, I have to admit, I had never considered the Ring to be akin to a mood altering substance before your suggesting it.  I have always looked at substances, at least in terms of psychiatric diagnosis, to be comprised of things like alcohol and drugs, the culprits in "substance abuse," so to speak.  The suggestion that the Ring acts similarly to an intoxicant is an interesting point of view.  Of course, the intoxicants usually cause blackouts and amnesia, but who is to say that Gollum is not undergoing some kind of extended blackout? Of course, during the whole of LOTR he is "off the bottle," so to speak.  But perhaps the effects of the Ring’s substance are permanent or long lasting?  I need to thing about this perpective, but I enjoy its challenge! 
Gerontian 24/Mar/2006 at 11:04 AM
March Warden of the Shire Points: 5533 Posts: 3986 Joined: 27/Aug/2002
Mighty Ent Man, I have to admit, I had never considered the Ring to be akin to a mood altering substance before your suggesting it.  I have always looked at substances, at least in terms of psychiatric diagnosis, to be comprised of things like alcohol and drugs, the culprits in "substance abuse," so to speak.  The suggestion that the Ring acts similarly to an intoxicant is an interesting point of view.  Of course, the intoxicants usually cause blackouts and amnesia, but who is to say that Gollum is not undergoing some kind of extended blackout? Of course, during the whole of LOTR he is "off the bottle," so to speak.  But perhaps the effects of the Ring’s substance are permanent or long lasting?  I need to thing about this perpective, but I enjoy its challenge! 
KitsuneInuYasha 25/Mar/2006 at 11:46 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 655 Posts: 417 Joined: 22/Oct/2005
Gerontian, a persons mood can be altered by something as simple as giving them a bit of power over those they used to be under.

Think about it- take someone who is a real nerd- teased most of their school days, picked on, bullied, ect.

Now, make them a hall monitor with the ability to give out, and enforce, punishment and rules thru the school.


Chances are, there will be a VERY big change in

A) how they present/carry themselves
B) how they treat those that used to bully them

they will, most likely, wind up becoming a bully themselves.
KitsuneInuYasha 25/Mar/2006 at 11:46 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 655 Posts: 417 Joined: 22/Oct/2005
Gerontian, a persons mood can be altered by something as simple as giving them a bit of power over those they used to be under.

Think about it- take someone who is a real nerd- teased most of their school days, picked on, bullied, ect.

Now, make them a hall monitor with the ability to give out, and enforce, punishment and rules thru the school.


Chances are, there will be a VERY big change in

A) how they present/carry themselves
B) how they treat those that used to bully them

they will, most likely, wind up becoming a bully themselves.
Gerontian 26/Mar/2006 at 12:42 AM
March Warden of the Shire Points: 5533 Posts: 3986 Joined: 27/Aug/2002

KitsunelnuYasha, Of course people’s moods alter in response to events in their lives. Whatever did I say to the contrary?   In my post I was referring to the effects produced by a  mood altering substance which is an entirely different situation. If one takes a psychoactive substance, their mood is altered whether they wish it to be altered or not,  because of the chemical effects induced by the ingested chemical such as alcohol, LSD, cocaine, you name it.  Intoxication induced by a chemical is a matter of of biology, not volition.  Unlike seriously intoxicated individuals, bullies and hall monitors still have the choice to alter thier own moods and behavior. 

As a matter of fact, most victims of perpetrators do not become perpetrators themselves. I cannot quote the exact research and science on this off the top of my head, but I assure you that most victims of rape and molest do not become rapists and molestors, themselves.  The desire for revenge is understandable, but then, so are altuism and the ability to identify with other victims and their pain. 

 I found the notion that the Ring is something akin to a psychoactive substance rather interesting.  The term "mood altering substance" is a bit of psychobabble, I grant you, and I apologize for not clarifying the way I was using it, which is not the same as the common sense usage, namely that moods change because of bullies and other external influences.

Gerontian 26/Mar/2006 at 12:42 AM
March Warden of the Shire Points: 5533 Posts: 3986 Joined: 27/Aug/2002

KitsunelnuYasha, Of course people’s moods alter in response to events in their lives. Whatever did I say to the contrary?   In my post I was referring to the effects produced by a  mood altering substance which is an entirely different situation. If one takes a psychoactive substance, their mood is altered whether they wish it to be altered or not,  because of the chemical effects induced by the ingested chemical such as alcohol, LSD, cocaine, you name it.  Intoxication induced by a chemical is a matter of of biology, not volition.  Unlike seriously intoxicated individuals, bullies and hall monitors still have the choice to alter thier own moods and behavior. 

As a matter of fact, most victims of perpetrators do not become perpetrators themselves. I cannot quote the exact research and science on this off the top of my head, but I assure you that most victims of rape and molest do not become rapists and molestors, themselves.  The desire for revenge is understandable, but then, so are altuism and the ability to identify with other victims and their pain. 

 I found the notion that the Ring is something akin to a psychoactive substance rather interesting.  The term "mood altering substance" is a bit of psychobabble, I grant you, and I apologize for not clarifying the way I was using it, which is not the same as the common sense usage, namely that moods change because of bullies and other external influences.

KitsuneInuYasha 26/Mar/2006 at 07:09 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 655 Posts: 417 Joined: 22/Oct/2005
No, they won’t become rapists or molest kids on the street.

But if they were to meet the person that inflicted that horrible terror upon them, they would, if they had the ability, more than likely beat the snot out of them. Human revenge is a powerful powerful drive... and it’s one that is not easily overriden by logic or compassion.

They wouldn’t become what was inflicted upon them... but they could quiet easily fall to that same level.
KitsuneInuYasha 26/Mar/2006 at 07:09 PM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 655 Posts: 417 Joined: 22/Oct/2005
No, they won’t become rapists or molest kids on the street.

But if they were to meet the person that inflicted that horrible terror upon them, they would, if they had the ability, more than likely beat the snot out of them. Human revenge is a powerful powerful drive... and it’s one that is not easily overriden by logic or compassion.

They wouldn’t become what was inflicted upon them... but they could quiet easily fall to that same level.
stevem1 26/Mar/2006 at 11:57 PM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1464 Posts: 756 Joined: 26/Feb/2008
I must admit, there are circumstances in which the Ring can be seen as an intoxicant. I think the best examples of this are when Galadrial talks to Frodo about him giving her the Ring. Her mood is definately altered and she seems barely to be able to control herself - indeed she herself says ’I pass the test’. A similar thing happens earlier when Frodo offers Gandalf the Ring. I cannot remember exactly what Gandalf says, but he seems quite upset by his own emotions. He almost seems angry and I think he says something like ’Do not tempt me.’ Both these are like a serious substance abuser (say Heroine) who has given up for one year and a friend offers them some for free.
stevem1 26/Mar/2006 at 11:57 PM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1464 Posts: 756 Joined: 26/Feb/2008
I must admit, there are circumstances in which the Ring can be seen as an intoxicant. I think the best examples of this are when Galadrial talks to Frodo about him giving her the Ring. Her mood is definately altered and she seems barely to be able to control herself - indeed she herself says ’I pass the test’. A similar thing happens earlier when Frodo offers Gandalf the Ring. I cannot remember exactly what Gandalf says, but he seems quite upset by his own emotions. He almost seems angry and I think he says something like ’Do not tempt me.’ Both these are like a serious substance abuser (say Heroine) who has given up for one year and a friend offers them some for free.
KitsuneInuYasha 28/Mar/2006 at 10:19 AM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 655 Posts: 417 Joined: 22/Oct/2005
Indeed.

Even in myself there is a big change.

This time 2 years ago I was constantly tormentd by my peers- I was tall (about 5 foot 10) and weighed, at MOST, a full 100 pounds! Yeah, BEANPOLE!

Over the summer break that year I was taken off my ADHD medication, which had the nasty side effect of reducing appetite.

I put on almost 75 pounds and grew another INCH that summer break! I also filled out in the shoulders and biceps, and my legs became powerful and muscular.

Yeah. BIG difference in the way people treated me when I came back the next school year.

And when I was teased by someone who didn’t know when to shut up, I turned, cracked my knuckles, and stared em down!

THAT is NOT like me at all. But I was encouraged by the fact that THEY feared ME! ME! Who was so used to being a scrawny lil thing!

It took me the better part of last year to sort out my own emotions and bring myself back under control.

So yeah, raw power gained = VERY high probability of a mood change!
KitsuneInuYasha 28/Mar/2006 at 10:19 AM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 655 Posts: 417 Joined: 22/Oct/2005
Indeed.

Even in myself there is a big change.

This time 2 years ago I was constantly tormentd by my peers- I was tall (about 5 foot 10) and weighed, at MOST, a full 100 pounds! Yeah, BEANPOLE!

Over the summer break that year I was taken off my ADHD medication, which had the nasty side effect of reducing appetite.

I put on almost 75 pounds and grew another INCH that summer break! I also filled out in the shoulders and biceps, and my legs became powerful and muscular.

Yeah. BIG difference in the way people treated me when I came back the next school year.

And when I was teased by someone who didn’t know when to shut up, I turned, cracked my knuckles, and stared em down!

THAT is NOT like me at all. But I was encouraged by the fact that THEY feared ME! ME! Who was so used to being a scrawny lil thing!

It took me the better part of last year to sort out my own emotions and bring myself back under control.

So yeah, raw power gained = VERY high probability of a mood change!
stevem1 29/Mar/2006 at 05:52 AM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1464 Posts: 756 Joined: 26/Feb/2008
Hmmm KitsuneInuYasha: That’s very interesting. So it seems that it doesn’t need to be consumption of a substance that causes intoxication but can be some occurance or even a solid object like a Ring.

So possibly Gollum was intoxicated? The only problem with this theory is that the effects dont’ seem to wear off for Gollum even when he is separated from the Ring for years, which should be long enough for cold-turkey.
stevem1 29/Mar/2006 at 05:52 AM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1464 Posts: 756 Joined: 26/Feb/2008
Hmmm KitsuneInuYasha: That’s very interesting. So it seems that it doesn’t need to be consumption of a substance that causes intoxication but can be some occurance or even a solid object like a Ring.

So possibly Gollum was intoxicated? The only problem with this theory is that the effects dont’ seem to wear off for Gollum even when he is separated from the Ring for years, which should be long enough for cold-turkey.
KitsuneInuYasha 29/Mar/2006 at 05:59 AM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 655 Posts: 417 Joined: 22/Oct/2005
Not necessarily. My father quit smoking 6 years ago. He still sometimes has the urge to smoke... nowadays he just grabs a pretzle stick and munches on it instead.

It could be like Alcoholism- even after years of not having a single drink, it only takes one drink to put you back under it’s spell. Once you’ve had a taste of the Ring’s power... you can never fully remove yourself from it’s grasp. All you can do is lay it aside and move on.
KitsuneInuYasha 29/Mar/2006 at 05:59 AM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 655 Posts: 417 Joined: 22/Oct/2005
Not necessarily. My father quit smoking 6 years ago. He still sometimes has the urge to smoke... nowadays he just grabs a pretzle stick and munches on it instead.

It could be like Alcoholism- even after years of not having a single drink, it only takes one drink to put you back under it’s spell. Once you’ve had a taste of the Ring’s power... you can never fully remove yourself from it’s grasp. All you can do is lay it aside and move on.
Meril Green 31/Mar/2006 at 06:44 PM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2632 Posts: 5001 Joined: 31/Jul/2005

Kitsunelnu Yasha- But, see?! There still is an urge to take up the old habit! And if one gives into the habit, it will once again consume them. My father smokes as well, and when he was hospitalized, he quit. Then at work, he had just one cigarette, and now it’s like there was never that good period- he just got hooked again. So, really, it’s just like alcoholism- just takes one or two to get you hooked once again.
But, maybe, if someone was drinking/smoking long enough, that craving, crazy craving will always be there, more so than other smokers or alcoholics. That could be Gollum, having more addiction than others, since he possesed the ring for such an extensive period.

Meril Green 31/Mar/2006 at 06:44 PM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2632 Posts: 5001 Joined: 31/Jul/2005

Kitsunelnu Yasha- But, see?! There still is an urge to take up the old habit! And if one gives into the habit, it will once again consume them. My father smokes as well, and when he was hospitalized, he quit. Then at work, he had just one cigarette, and now it’s like there was never that good period- he just got hooked again. So, really, it’s just like alcoholism- just takes one or two to get you hooked once again.
But, maybe, if someone was drinking/smoking long enough, that craving, crazy craving will always be there, more so than other smokers or alcoholics. That could be Gollum, having more addiction than others, since he possesed the ring for such an extensive period.

mighty ent man 01/Apr/2006 at 05:12 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

I would have to agree with Stevem that the Ring is a mood altering substance or object. It does seem to intoxicate the person. The thoughts that it arouses in ones mind do this. You could to a certain extent compare the Ring to a Cigrarette. Once people become addicated to the it is very diffciult to stop. Also once somone has given up they are always tempted to pick up another pack and smoke one.

And I think that is in many ways the point of the Ring. Once you have born it you are forever changed. Something of the Ring will always leave its mark upon you.

mighty ent man 01/Apr/2006 at 05:12 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

I would have to agree with Stevem that the Ring is a mood altering substance or object. It does seem to intoxicate the person. The thoughts that it arouses in ones mind do this. You could to a certain extent compare the Ring to a Cigrarette. Once people become addicated to the it is very diffciult to stop. Also once somone has given up they are always tempted to pick up another pack and smoke one.

And I think that is in many ways the point of the Ring. Once you have born it you are forever changed. Something of the Ring will always leave its mark upon you.

stevem1 03/Apr/2006 at 01:10 AM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1464 Posts: 756 Joined: 26/Feb/2008
OK so the general consensus seems to be that the Ring has an intoxicating effect on Smeagol/Gollum so does this in any way explain his mood changes/sub-personalities? Or are we back to the beginning and wondering if he is schizophrenic or not?
stevem1 03/Apr/2006 at 01:10 AM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1464 Posts: 756 Joined: 26/Feb/2008
OK so the general consensus seems to be that the Ring has an intoxicating effect on Smeagol/Gollum so does this in any way explain his mood changes/sub-personalities? Or are we back to the beginning and wondering if he is schizophrenic or not?
Agarthoron 03/Apr/2006 at 02:54 AM
Torturer of Mordor Points: 2640 Posts: 4017 Joined: 01/Nov/2002

Fact: Smeagol/Gollum is a multifascited character. The balance, (since I prefer the term over a scale and plus the fact that I am making a reference to a science lab), has the two differing personalities at either end; each taking control at various times in the books (also known as the seesaw effect which I am coining this term in order to simplify things).
Fact: the Ring, is an object of corruption and addiction for various reasons. Why? Bilbo liked the ring at first because of the ability to make one’s self invisible. Borimir saught to use it as a weapon and perhaps earn higher favor with his father in the process. S/G sought the ring, (in the beginning), for the simple reason that it looked apealing to him; however, he soon discovered the invisibility effect of wearing the ring, and this only bulstered his thieving ways which he more than probably picked up from his father before him. Add to that, he had a sense of power; the power to be unseen and yet influence events around him by stealing or gathering information or killing for food.
Fact: To properly classify Smeagol in the psychological sense, we would need to conduct an experiment; having an independant variable, a dependant variable, and a couple other factors which alude me at this early hour. Nevertheless, this thread is here to shocase the traits that make Smeagol who he is and why he is this way. So, to perform a psychological experiment upon him is quite teedious and would get frustrating considering the amount of material we would have to cover. Not only that, watchers of the films would interject their views instead of unbiased oppinions and the same would go for book fans as well.

My above statements are only meant to clarify things in a brief manner for readers of this thread, which is getting better with each well thought post of a certain few. If we were to go back to the beginning instead of moving forward, then we would lose sight of the main objective.

Agarthoron 03/Apr/2006 at 02:54 AM
Torturer of Mordor Points: 2640 Posts: 4017 Joined: 01/Nov/2002

Fact: Smeagol/Gollum is a multifascited character. The balance, (since I prefer the term over a scale and plus the fact that I am making a reference to a science lab), has the two differing personalities at either end; each taking control at various times in the books (also known as the seesaw effect which I am coining this term in order to simplify things).
Fact: the Ring, is an object of corruption and addiction for various reasons. Why? Bilbo liked the ring at first because of the ability to make one’s self invisible. Borimir saught to use it as a weapon and perhaps earn higher favor with his father in the process. S/G sought the ring, (in the beginning), for the simple reason that it looked apealing to him; however, he soon discovered the invisibility effect of wearing the ring, and this only bulstered his thieving ways which he more than probably picked up from his father before him. Add to that, he had a sense of power; the power to be unseen and yet influence events around him by stealing or gathering information or killing for food.
Fact: To properly classify Smeagol in the psychological sense, we would need to conduct an experiment; having an independant variable, a dependant variable, and a couple other factors which alude me at this early hour. Nevertheless, this thread is here to shocase the traits that make Smeagol who he is and why he is this way. So, to perform a psychological experiment upon him is quite teedious and would get frustrating considering the amount of material we would have to cover. Not only that, watchers of the films would interject their views instead of unbiased oppinions and the same would go for book fans as well.

My above statements are only meant to clarify things in a brief manner for readers of this thread, which is getting better with each well thought post of a certain few. If we were to go back to the beginning instead of moving forward, then we would lose sight of the main objective.

KitsuneInuYasha 03/Apr/2006 at 06:13 AM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 655 Posts: 417 Joined: 22/Oct/2005
Quote: Originally posted by Aeleron on Monday, February 20, 2006

I have long been interested in psychology, but I’ve never been able to find the time to do a proper course in it. The few theories I have about Smeagol/Gollum have very little basis in fact, so I was wondering if there was anyone out there who would mind clearing me up on this? Is S/G a representation of a schitzophrenic or a sufferer of MPS? Obsessive compulsive? Additionally, although not directly relating to psychology, is Gollum a dark side, a product of the Ring inside Smeagol (did the Ring seep into him osmotically to provide it with a more powerful voice?) or is Smeagol/Gollum as a whole a representation of Freud’s id, ego and superego?

I am absolutely fascinated with the whole concept and I’d love to fit it together in my head... are there any ideas or opinions?




Quoted the OP to try and help us keep on track- it almost seems now as if we are debating each other instead of Gollum / Smeagol.

Addictive or not, the option is still there to not use it’s power. It comes down to how powerful a person’s conviction is and how much they truely wish to stop whatever it is. If someone really wants to quit smoking, they will manage it. It will be hard, yes, but they will manage. If someone needs to quit drinking, they can do that. it’ll cause them physical pain for a while as their body adjusts, but there are ways to deal with that.
KitsuneInuYasha 03/Apr/2006 at 06:13 AM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 655 Posts: 417 Joined: 22/Oct/2005
Quote: Originally posted by Aeleron on Monday, February 20, 2006

I have long been interested in psychology, but I’ve never been able to find the time to do a proper course in it. The few theories I have about Smeagol/Gollum have very little basis in fact, so I was wondering if there was anyone out there who would mind clearing me up on this? Is S/G a representation of a schitzophrenic or a sufferer of MPS? Obsessive compulsive? Additionally, although not directly relating to psychology, is Gollum a dark side, a product of the Ring inside Smeagol (did the Ring seep into him osmotically to provide it with a more powerful voice?) or is Smeagol/Gollum as a whole a representation of Freud’s id, ego and superego?

I am absolutely fascinated with the whole concept and I’d love to fit it together in my head... are there any ideas or opinions?




Quoted the OP to try and help us keep on track- it almost seems now as if we are debating each other instead of Gollum / Smeagol.

Addictive or not, the option is still there to not use it’s power. It comes down to how powerful a person’s conviction is and how much they truely wish to stop whatever it is. If someone really wants to quit smoking, they will manage it. It will be hard, yes, but they will manage. If someone needs to quit drinking, they can do that. it’ll cause them physical pain for a while as their body adjusts, but there are ways to deal with that.
Rylen 03/Apr/2006 at 07:41 PM
Adept of Isengard Points: 184 Posts: 7 Joined: 03/Apr/2006
In my opinion, I don’t think Smeagol’s alter ego is a product of madness. Rather, I believe his "other self" is in fact another person. The fact that he truly has no control over his body proves this. I believe the "spirit" of the Ring causes this other being to dwell within him. Perhaps even the Ring itself?
Rylen 03/Apr/2006 at 07:41 PM
Adept of Isengard Points: 184 Posts: 7 Joined: 03/Apr/2006
In my opinion, I don’t think Smeagol’s alter ego is a product of madness. Rather, I believe his "other self" is in fact another person. The fact that he truly has no control over his body proves this. I believe the "spirit" of the Ring causes this other being to dwell within him. Perhaps even the Ring itself?
stevem1 04/Apr/2006 at 12:26 AM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1464 Posts: 756 Joined: 26/Feb/2008
Rylen: Others have speculated in the past that the ’other’ person you refer to is actually Sauron. Although this is a very attractive theory, I find it difficult to believe unless it is a ’modified’ Sauron.

For instance, if it was Sauron as he was at the end of the 3rd age, he would surely be quite a commanding character and would try to intimidate and order people around (although there are no recorded words that Sauron ever spoke or conversations that he had as far as I know so its hard to tell). But Gollum simply tries to intimidate Smeagol and doesnt’ seem a very sophisticated personality.

But I could believe possibly that Gollum represents a child-like Sauron. The only problem with that is that Sauron was never a child.


So I can’t see any evidence, circumstantial or otherwise for the ’other’ person being Sauron. Could be somebody else? But who?
stevem1 04/Apr/2006 at 12:26 AM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1464 Posts: 756 Joined: 26/Feb/2008
Rylen: Others have speculated in the past that the ’other’ person you refer to is actually Sauron. Although this is a very attractive theory, I find it difficult to believe unless it is a ’modified’ Sauron.

For instance, if it was Sauron as he was at the end of the 3rd age, he would surely be quite a commanding character and would try to intimidate and order people around (although there are no recorded words that Sauron ever spoke or conversations that he had as far as I know so its hard to tell). But Gollum simply tries to intimidate Smeagol and doesnt’ seem a very sophisticated personality.

But I could believe possibly that Gollum represents a child-like Sauron. The only problem with that is that Sauron was never a child.


So I can’t see any evidence, circumstantial or otherwise for the ’other’ person being Sauron. Could be somebody else? But who?
Agarthoron 04/Apr/2006 at 05:21 AM
Torturer of Mordor Points: 2640 Posts: 4017 Joined: 01/Nov/2002
Simply put, Gollum is the product of the ring feeding off the inbred tendencies that Smeagol already had. And as for him not having control of his body? I personally do not recall where he didn’t have control; for if one doesn’t have control, then one would think that he would move spasticly. Nevertheless, he always has control of his actions; all be it, some of those actions are being willed by the other personality. Picture a balance, perfectly alined and straight; then picture one leaning to the right or to the left. To use MM’s scale from earlier as our visual reference, we can say that when Gollum showed through in his words and actions, the balance would be tipped in his favor; likewise, this would hold true for Smeagol.
Agarthoron 04/Apr/2006 at 05:21 AM
Torturer of Mordor Points: 2640 Posts: 4017 Joined: 01/Nov/2002
Simply put, Gollum is the product of the ring feeding off the inbred tendencies that Smeagol already had. And as for him not having control of his body? I personally do not recall where he didn’t have control; for if one doesn’t have control, then one would think that he would move spasticly. Nevertheless, he always has control of his actions; all be it, some of those actions are being willed by the other personality. Picture a balance, perfectly alined and straight; then picture one leaning to the right or to the left. To use MM’s scale from earlier as our visual reference, we can say that when Gollum showed through in his words and actions, the balance would be tipped in his favor; likewise, this would hold true for Smeagol.
Gerontian 04/Apr/2006 at 06:02 PM
March Warden of the Shire Points: 5533 Posts: 3986 Joined: 27/Aug/2002

"Alas, no," said Elrond. "We cannot use the Ruling Ring.  That we now know too well.  It belongs to Sauron as was made by him alone, and is altogether evil.  Its strength, Boromir, is too great for anyone to wield at will, saave only those who have already a great power of their own.  But for them it holds and even deadier peril."  (FOTR, The Council of Elrond, p. 281)

The Ring is altogether evil. This point is interesting if we wish to look at the individual psychological effects the Ring had on its several bearers.  If we look at these individuals in the story, Isildor, Smeagol/Gollum, Bilbo, Frodo, and Sam, the evil effects of the Ring seem to be somewhat mitigated by the "pre-morbid" state of its several bearers. 

Long life, obsessions about the Ring, and invisibility are common symptoms precipitated by the Ring. Isildur began his ownership with grief and a feeling of entitlement.  Smeagol began his ownership with an even stronger feeling of entitlement, avarice, and homocide.  Bilbo began his ownership with a feeling of pity and compassion.  Frodo began his with a sense of fear, duty and love of the Shire and all of his friends.  Sam bore the Ring only in the interests of saving Frodo, not himself. 

The psychological make up of the idividual Ringbearers prior to their ownership of the Ring is critical to how seriously the Ring’s evil affects them. 

Gollum, who was a venal, selfish, envious and avaricious creature beforehand, was nearly consumed by the Ring.
 
Isildur, who was angry at the death’s of those closest to him as well at the deaths of countless men and elves, lost his sense of judgement and insight during his possession of the Ring.
 
Bilbo gained long life from the Ring, took advantage of the invisibility it bestowed, but ultimately became obsessed with the Ring, too.  With Gandalf’s support, he was able to let it go, barely.
 
Sam suffered one delusional episode, but otherwise was not negatively affected by the Ring.

Frodo’s relationship with the Ring was the most complex of all the Ringbearers, psychologically speaking. 
Frodo’s empathy with Smeagol, included a sense of compassion.  He can understand Smeagol/Gollum like no one else, at a deep, emotional level.  He also, like Isildor, cannot give up the Ring.  Notice, however, that Frodo never suffered from the full range of symptoms that might be brought on by the Ring, which in Gollum included megalomania, sociopathy and disassociative disorder (what is often commonly referred to as split personality).

The Ring was altogether evil.  The characterlogical weaknesses of each of its bearers made them more vulnerable to its effects.  Gollum’s individual psychological and emotional predispositions greatly excaserbated the evil of the Ring. The one mitigating factor in Gollum’s case was that he was of hobbit kind. Hobbits, in general, appear to have some inborn resiliance when it comes to the Ring. 

In plain speech, the Ring is going to get you, one way or the other.  With Gollum, it got him pretty badly, but he survived, as only a hobbit might. Tolkien could have made many psychological nasties occur in Gollum as a result of his ownership of the Ring.  In fact, he chose those those I already mentioned. He could have made Gollum any kind of fiend he wished. I do not think a precise "diagnosis" of Gollum means very much. He is a literary character, after all. 

<Nessa Edit:  Superb post, as always!>

Gerontian 04/Apr/2006 at 06:02 PM
March Warden of the Shire Points: 5533 Posts: 3986 Joined: 27/Aug/2002

"Alas, no," said Elrond. "We cannot use the Ruling Ring.  That we now know too well.  It belongs to Sauron as was made by him alone, and is altogether evil.  Its strength, Boromir, is too great for anyone to wield at will, saave only those who have already a great power of their own.  But for them it holds and even deadier peril."  (FOTR, The Council of Elrond, p. 281)

The Ring is altogether evil. This point is interesting if we wish to look at the individual psychological effects the Ring had on its several bearers.  If we look at these individuals in the story, Isildor, Smeagol/Gollum, Bilbo, Frodo, and Sam, the evil effects of the Ring seem to be somewhat mitigated by the "pre-morbid" state of its several bearers. 

Long life, obsessions about the Ring, and invisibility are common symptoms precipitated by the Ring. Isildur began his ownership with grief and a feeling of entitlement.  Smeagol began his ownership with an even stronger feeling of entitlement, avarice, and homocide.  Bilbo began his ownership with a feeling of pity and compassion.  Frodo began his with a sense of fear, duty and love of the Shire and all of his friends.  Sam bore the Ring only in the interests of saving Frodo, not himself. 

The psychological make up of the idividual Ringbearers prior to their ownership of the Ring is critical to how seriously the Ring’s evil affects them. 

Gollum, who was a venal, selfish, envious and avaricious creature beforehand, was nearly consumed by the Ring.
 
Isildur, who was angry at the death’s of those closest to him as well at the deaths of countless men and elves, lost his sense of judgement and insight during his possession of the Ring.
 
Bilbo gained long life from the Ring, took advantage of the invisibility it bestowed, but ultimately became obsessed with the Ring, too.  With Gandalf’s support, he was able to let it go, barely.
 
Sam suffered one delusional episode, but otherwise was not negatively affected by the Ring.

Frodo’s relationship with the Ring was the most complex of all the Ringbearers, psychologically speaking. 
Frodo’s empathy with Smeagol, included a sense of compassion.  He can understand Smeagol/Gollum like no one else, at a deep, emotional level.  He also, like Isildor, cannot give up the Ring.  Notice, however, that Frodo never suffered from the full range of symptoms that might be brought on by the Ring, which in Gollum included megalomania, sociopathy and disassociative disorder (what is often commonly referred to as split personality).

The Ring was altogether evil.  The characterlogical weaknesses of each of its bearers made them more vulnerable to its effects.  Gollum’s individual psychological and emotional predispositions greatly excaserbated the evil of the Ring. The one mitigating factor in Gollum’s case was that he was of hobbit kind. Hobbits, in general, appear to have some inborn resiliance when it comes to the Ring. 

In plain speech, the Ring is going to get you, one way or the other.  With Gollum, it got him pretty badly, but he survived, as only a hobbit might. Tolkien could have made many psychological nasties occur in Gollum as a result of his ownership of the Ring.  In fact, he chose those those I already mentioned. He could have made Gollum any kind of fiend he wished. I do not think a precise "diagnosis" of Gollum means very much. He is a literary character, after all. 

<Nessa Edit:  Superb post, as always!>

KitsuneInuYasha 06/Apr/2006 at 10:24 AM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 655 Posts: 417 Joined: 22/Oct/2005
So then you are saying one who is pure at heart and of righteous intent COULD bear the ring without suffering it’s consequences?

Then why couldn’t someone like Gandalf, who as far as I could tell, was set upon stopping this evil at any cost to himself whilst trying not to endanger others? If that’s not an honorable intention, I don’t really know what is!
KitsuneInuYasha 06/Apr/2006 at 10:24 AM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 655 Posts: 417 Joined: 22/Oct/2005
So then you are saying one who is pure at heart and of righteous intent COULD bear the ring without suffering it’s consequences?

Then why couldn’t someone like Gandalf, who as far as I could tell, was set upon stopping this evil at any cost to himself whilst trying not to endanger others? If that’s not an honorable intention, I don’t really know what is!
Gerontian 06/Apr/2006 at 10:45 AM
March Warden of the Shire Points: 5533 Posts: 3986 Joined: 27/Aug/2002

No, KitsunelnuYasha, I am not saying that one who is pure and good could bear the Ring without suffering its consequences.  Elrond makes it clear that no one can bear the Ring safely. I am merely saying that Gollum’s psychological state before he became a Ringbearer had a direct bearing on how the Ring affected him, the same as it did with the other Ringbearers. 

Gandalf would not touch the Ring, knowing that he would eventually succumb to it despite his best intentions, and Galadriel came to the same conclusion.  The Ring is altogether evil.  I think that the intentions and psychology of an individual Ringbearer mitigate the effects of the Ring, based on what I read and observe in them. Gollum’s psychology has its roots as much in his own native personality, which then becomes more twisted due to the evil of the Ring. But based on what I read in Tolkien, no one could hope to overcome the evil of the Ring. It had to be destroyed, which is the driving force of the entire story. 

Gerontian 06/Apr/2006 at 10:45 AM
March Warden of the Shire Points: 5533 Posts: 3986 Joined: 27/Aug/2002

No, KitsunelnuYasha, I am not saying that one who is pure and good could bear the Ring without suffering its consequences.  Elrond makes it clear that no one can bear the Ring safely. I am merely saying that Gollum’s psychological state before he became a Ringbearer had a direct bearing on how the Ring affected him, the same as it did with the other Ringbearers. 

Gandalf would not touch the Ring, knowing that he would eventually succumb to it despite his best intentions, and Galadriel came to the same conclusion.  The Ring is altogether evil.  I think that the intentions and psychology of an individual Ringbearer mitigate the effects of the Ring, based on what I read and observe in them. Gollum’s psychology has its roots as much in his own native personality, which then becomes more twisted due to the evil of the Ring. But based on what I read in Tolkien, no one could hope to overcome the evil of the Ring. It had to be destroyed, which is the driving force of the entire story. 

Pipeweed Hobbit 09/Apr/2006 at 04:06 PM
Banned Points: 80 Posts: 4 Joined: 09/Apr/2006
I think that’s a very interesting topic. Firstly, I recall from on of the speacial features that Andy Serkis, played Gollum in the movies as though he had a drug addicition and the Ring was his drug of choice. I know some people who have done certain drugs, and I would argue to an extent that that would be a pretty accurate portrayal of how Gollum might act. When you have an addiction and you’re trying to get over it, or you’re actually on it, there are times when you slip in and out of it. For example: either you have period s time when you think you’re fine and sober, and then you can have intense mood swings and need it more than ever just a second later. The Ring consumed Gollum’s mind, much like any other addiction. It’s pretty safe to say, one way of interpreting Gollum’s psyche would be an approach from the drug addiction point of view, that’s is if any of this makes sense.
Pipeweed Hobbit 09/Apr/2006 at 04:06 PM
Banned Points: 80 Posts: 4 Joined: 09/Apr/2006
I think that’s a very interesting topic. Firstly, I recall from on of the speacial features that Andy Serkis, played Gollum in the movies as though he had a drug addicition and the Ring was his drug of choice. I know some people who have done certain drugs, and I would argue to an extent that that would be a pretty accurate portrayal of how Gollum might act. When you have an addiction and you’re trying to get over it, or you’re actually on it, there are times when you slip in and out of it. For example: either you have period s time when you think you’re fine and sober, and then you can have intense mood swings and need it more than ever just a second later. The Ring consumed Gollum’s mind, much like any other addiction. It’s pretty safe to say, one way of interpreting Gollum’s psyche would be an approach from the drug addiction point of view, that’s is if any of this makes sense.
mighty ent man 10/Apr/2006 at 04:15 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Well I do not think there is another person inside Smeagol. It is not another mind or another person. It is a separate exaggerated sub branch of Smeagols personality. Not some external person who is controlling a section of Smeagols mind.

Akallabeth - I agree with all that you say. You really do express this complex issue very well.

Gerontian - Yes I have expressed the theory of how you come to aquire the Ring in many other threads before this one. Tolkien I think himself mentions somewhere that because Bilbo aquired the Ring with an act of Pity this mean that he was exempt from its hugely corrupting force. I think that the Ring needs something to feed off and build upon in order to corrupt people easily.

 A truly excellent and well thought out post there Gerontian. Well done. A great read.

Yes concerning Gandalf he knew what the Ring would eventually do to him. I think had he taken it he would have used it to overthrow Sauron and none would be able to stand in his way. He would have been too powerful. However after all this good the Ring would begin to effect him in a negative way. It would start to make him dominate men. This was in many ways Tolkiens point when he chose Frodo to be the one to carry the Ring. The only person who could do this task was someone of relative innocence to it and of a natural resilience.

mighty ent man 10/Apr/2006 at 04:15 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Well I do not think there is another person inside Smeagol. It is not another mind or another person. It is a separate exaggerated sub branch of Smeagols personality. Not some external person who is controlling a section of Smeagols mind.

Akallabeth - I agree with all that you say. You really do express this complex issue very well.

Gerontian - Yes I have expressed the theory of how you come to aquire the Ring in many other threads before this one. Tolkien I think himself mentions somewhere that because Bilbo aquired the Ring with an act of Pity this mean that he was exempt from its hugely corrupting force. I think that the Ring needs something to feed off and build upon in order to corrupt people easily.

 A truly excellent and well thought out post there Gerontian. Well done. A great read.

Yes concerning Gandalf he knew what the Ring would eventually do to him. I think had he taken it he would have used it to overthrow Sauron and none would be able to stand in his way. He would have been too powerful. However after all this good the Ring would begin to effect him in a negative way. It would start to make him dominate men. This was in many ways Tolkiens point when he chose Frodo to be the one to carry the Ring. The only person who could do this task was someone of relative innocence to it and of a natural resilience.

Agarthoron 10/Apr/2006 at 08:50 PM
Torturer of Mordor Points: 2640 Posts: 4017 Joined: 01/Nov/2002

Gerontian: All I can say is, "Superb!"

Mighty Ent Man: Ok. High praise for my shot in the dark post just caught me way off guard. But hey, if I deserve it, then I shall humblely accept; keeping in mind that I just merely presented facts for the most part. Btw, call me NA; stems from my more familiar name of Nazgûl Avenger.

Agarthoron 10/Apr/2006 at 08:50 PM
Torturer of Mordor Points: 2640 Posts: 4017 Joined: 01/Nov/2002

Gerontian: All I can say is, "Superb!"

Mighty Ent Man: Ok. High praise for my shot in the dark post just caught me way off guard. But hey, if I deserve it, then I shall humblely accept; keeping in mind that I just merely presented facts for the most part. Btw, call me NA; stems from my more familiar name of Nazgûl Avenger.

stevem1 11/Apr/2006 at 02:24 AM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1464 Posts: 756 Joined: 26/Feb/2008
So are we moving to a concensus that Gollum/Smeagol is merely addicted to the Ring and not actually schizophrenic, as I believe the original posting asked? We don’t want to wonder to much into the territory of considering the nature of the Ring although I do appreciate that we have to understand this in order to arrive at an answer to Smeagol’s psychology.
stevem1 11/Apr/2006 at 02:24 AM
Pilgrim of Isengard Points: 1464 Posts: 756 Joined: 26/Feb/2008
So are we moving to a concensus that Gollum/Smeagol is merely addicted to the Ring and not actually schizophrenic, as I believe the original posting asked? We don’t want to wonder to much into the territory of considering the nature of the Ring although I do appreciate that we have to understand this in order to arrive at an answer to Smeagol’s psychology.
mighty ent man 11/Apr/2006 at 03:23 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Ok NA! You do deserve it! It was a good post to read and helped to clarify things said in this long thread. It has been a great debate so far and a very complex one. With lots of ideas flying around and your post was needed.

stevem - Smeagol is addicted to the Ring. I think he is. His whole life is revolving around it even when he does not have it and would class this is an addiction. And I dont think I could fully class him as being scizophrenic, because he does not have two separate minds. More so one mind with two exaggerated extremes.

mighty ent man 11/Apr/2006 at 03:23 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Ok NA! You do deserve it! It was a good post to read and helped to clarify things said in this long thread. It has been a great debate so far and a very complex one. With lots of ideas flying around and your post was needed.

stevem - Smeagol is addicted to the Ring. I think he is. His whole life is revolving around it even when he does not have it and would class this is an addiction. And I dont think I could fully class him as being scizophrenic, because he does not have two separate minds. More so one mind with two exaggerated extremes.

Agarthoron 11/Apr/2006 at 04:41 AM
Torturer of Mordor Points: 2640 Posts: 4017 Joined: 01/Nov/2002

MM: (Just remembered you were once with Mordor I think but the name escapes me if my brain is actually working right this early.) I like to think of my post as cooked spaghetti thrown against the wall of ideas and such. Am glad to see that someone believes that it stuck.

stevem1: We can not classify Smeagol into any sort of group without first doing an experiment as I mentioned in an above post; therefore, it is best to stray from whether or not he is in one classification verses another. Rather, we need to continue our focus elsewhere. It would be better to have a college course based on the historical, political, and geographical elements instead of the psychological because of the complexities that come along with that branch of behavioral science.

Agarthoron 11/Apr/2006 at 04:41 AM
Torturer of Mordor Points: 2640 Posts: 4017 Joined: 01/Nov/2002

MM: (Just remembered you were once with Mordor I think but the name escapes me if my brain is actually working right this early.) I like to think of my post as cooked spaghetti thrown against the wall of ideas and such. Am glad to see that someone believes that it stuck.

stevem1: We can not classify Smeagol into any sort of group without first doing an experiment as I mentioned in an above post; therefore, it is best to stray from whether or not he is in one classification verses another. Rather, we need to continue our focus elsewhere. It would be better to have a college course based on the historical, political, and geographical elements instead of the psychological because of the complexities that come along with that branch of behavioral science.

Gerontian 11/Apr/2006 at 11:46 AM
March Warden of the Shire Points: 5533 Posts: 3986 Joined: 27/Aug/2002

NA, thank you. I agree with your observation about the difficulty of applying the behavioral sciences to an analysis of LOTR, or in this case, one of its characters. First, there are many schools of thought under this broad category, the behavioral sciences. One could apply theories of all sorts, Behaviorism, social learning theories, Freudian theory, Jungian depth psychology, and so on. Any one of these theoretical models might provide some interesting insights into LOTR, but to try to use all of them would be a Herculean task, and I doubt that the results would be that edifying. Tolkien’s understanding of psychology is like that of many great storytellers, it does not require that the reader name or diagnose what it portrays; but rather, embody a feeling and recognition of verisimilitude. We could attempt a Jungian interpretation of Gollum’s character, for example, and it might be rather interesting to do so, particularly using Jungian archetypes. But Gollum lives quite vividly in story, and really does not need a psychological analysis for one to understand him. This is my own bias.  I confess the idea of taking a clinical knife to LOTR defeats the reason I love to read a fantasy tale, in the first place.

 

Diagnostic labels as currently used by practitioners are supposed to be independent of any one psychological theory of personality development. In Gollum’s case, I have tried to point out a few of the diagnostic possibilities that might account for his behavior using the standard manual used by psychiatrists and psychologists. I would add that in RL, one diagnosis does not always rule out the other: one can be both addicted and suffer from Disassociative Identity Disorder. I do not think the discussion needs to conclude with an either/or judgment, on this basis, alone. In terms of textual evidence, Tolkien never diagnosed anyone, so ultimately, that leaves matters up to pure speculation.

Gerontian 11/Apr/2006 at 11:46 AM
March Warden of the Shire Points: 5533 Posts: 3986 Joined: 27/Aug/2002

NA, thank you. I agree with your observation about the difficulty of applying the behavioral sciences to an analysis of LOTR, or in this case, one of its characters. First, there are many schools of thought under this broad category, the behavioral sciences. One could apply theories of all sorts, Behaviorism, social learning theories, Freudian theory, Jungian depth psychology, and so on. Any one of these theoretical models might provide some interesting insights into LOTR, but to try to use all of them would be a Herculean task, and I doubt that the results would be that edifying. Tolkien’s understanding of psychology is like that of many great storytellers, it does not require that the reader name or diagnose what it portrays; but rather, embody a feeling and recognition of verisimilitude. We could attempt a Jungian interpretation of Gollum’s character, for example, and it might be rather interesting to do so, particularly using Jungian archetypes. But Gollum lives quite vividly in story, and really does not need a psychological analysis for one to understand him. This is my own bias.  I confess the idea of taking a clinical knife to LOTR defeats the reason I love to read a fantasy tale, in the first place.

 

Diagnostic labels as currently used by practitioners are supposed to be independent of any one psychological theory of personality development. In Gollum’s case, I have tried to point out a few of the diagnostic possibilities that might account for his behavior using the standard manual used by psychiatrists and psychologists. I would add that in RL, one diagnosis does not always rule out the other: one can be both addicted and suffer from Disassociative Identity Disorder. I do not think the discussion needs to conclude with an either/or judgment, on this basis, alone. In terms of textual evidence, Tolkien never diagnosed anyone, so ultimately, that leaves matters up to pure speculation.

mighty ent man 11/Apr/2006 at 01:12 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

NA - Hmm well a case of mistaken identity here! I have never been with Mordor! Been in Fangorn my whole time here on the plaza! So I am not sure who you are thinking of!

I always think that discussions like this make us question our own modern day thinking as we try to apply our own definitions to Tolkiens world. However I do understand the frequent difficulty of trying to use our own classifications. We often cannot make ours fit and it is wrong to set out with that goal in mind - to make our thinking fit in with LOTR. For it is an imagined world with new boundaries to our own world.

Gerontian - Another really well thought out post there. I agree tha we do not need to classofy Smeagol. Why should we? I think the debate on its own is enough. For our ultimate goal should simply be to deepen our understanding of a character that we all know and love.

mighty ent man 11/Apr/2006 at 01:12 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

NA - Hmm well a case of mistaken identity here! I have never been with Mordor! Been in Fangorn my whole time here on the plaza! So I am not sure who you are thinking of!

I always think that discussions like this make us question our own modern day thinking as we try to apply our own definitions to Tolkiens world. However I do understand the frequent difficulty of trying to use our own classifications. We often cannot make ours fit and it is wrong to set out with that goal in mind - to make our thinking fit in with LOTR. For it is an imagined world with new boundaries to our own world.

Gerontian - Another really well thought out post there. I agree tha we do not need to classofy Smeagol. Why should we? I think the debate on its own is enough. For our ultimate goal should simply be to deepen our understanding of a character that we all know and love.

Wolfbeard 27/Apr/2006 at 07:42 PM
Master of Isengard Points: 168 Posts: 28 Joined: 20/Apr/2006
The ’One Ring’ obviosly corrupted Gollum, it destroyed him, but over a very long amount of time, about five hundred years or so. If someone like Gollum/Smeagol, was with the ’One Ring’ that long don’t you think they would go crazy too? I don’t know wether it was sciztophrener (however you spell it) or pshicoligacly problems. I mean he killed his best friend, on his birthday, just to get some measly old ring. I think all of us would have deffinately ended up like Gollum/Smeagol if we were in the same position.
Wolfbeard 27/Apr/2006 at 07:42 PM
Master of Isengard Points: 168 Posts: 28 Joined: 20/Apr/2006
The ’One Ring’ obviosly corrupted Gollum, it destroyed him, but over a very long amount of time, about five hundred years or so. If someone like Gollum/Smeagol, was with the ’One Ring’ that long don’t you think they would go crazy too? I don’t know wether it was sciztophrener (however you spell it) or pshicoligacly problems. I mean he killed his best friend, on his birthday, just to get some measly old ring. I think all of us would have deffinately ended up like Gollum/Smeagol if we were in the same position.
Luthien. 28/Apr/2006 at 03:35 AM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 771 Posts: 517 Joined: 18/Dec/2003
Well, the schizophrenic interpretation is very ovbious, and i must say well portrayed in the film. However, i think that a Jungian approach might be more enlightening than any other, including Freud. (If you can ever really separate Freud and Jung). How about the idea that Gollum is ’the shadow’? (no, i’m not making a cheap pun about the "shadow rising in the east") The diametrical opposite of what was good in Smeagol- like the id, not intrinsicly evil, but a dark side of all good aspects og his earlier self. The shadow is very much like the idea of a doppelganger- like Dr Jekyll’s Mr Hyde. Smeagol just happens to be unable to unite his two personalities causing the conflict that leads to his violence and rage.
Luthien. 28/Apr/2006 at 03:35 AM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 771 Posts: 517 Joined: 18/Dec/2003
Well, the schizophrenic interpretation is very ovbious, and i must say well portrayed in the film. However, i think that a Jungian approach might be more enlightening than any other, including Freud. (If you can ever really separate Freud and Jung). How about the idea that Gollum is ’the shadow’? (no, i’m not making a cheap pun about the "shadow rising in the east") The diametrical opposite of what was good in Smeagol- like the id, not intrinsicly evil, but a dark side of all good aspects og his earlier self. The shadow is very much like the idea of a doppelganger- like Dr Jekyll’s Mr Hyde. Smeagol just happens to be unable to unite his two personalities causing the conflict that leads to his violence and rage.
mighty ent man 28/Apr/2006 at 07:40 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Wolfbeard - Well it could be said that the Ring destroyed Smeagol quite quickly. He was driven to murder for it after seeing it for perhaps a few minutes. It did work on him for a long time but it was soon to corrupt him.

Luthien - I have to say that I disagree with you that Gollum was shown well in the films. I think they over exaggerated the split personality element of him. They also made him out to be silly which is not the way he is in the books. He is more sinister in the books, not a creature to be made fun of. I think the films did do very well in showing him but failed in some elements of his personality.

The idea of the Gollum side being the shadow of Smeagol is excellent. It is what I hinted at before in this thread with my idea of the scale in his mind. I think that is a great view to take. They are not two separate entities but are linked. As they share the same brain and mind. But they are two different and competing thought patterns.

 

mighty ent man 28/Apr/2006 at 07:40 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Wolfbeard - Well it could be said that the Ring destroyed Smeagol quite quickly. He was driven to murder for it after seeing it for perhaps a few minutes. It did work on him for a long time but it was soon to corrupt him.

Luthien - I have to say that I disagree with you that Gollum was shown well in the films. I think they over exaggerated the split personality element of him. They also made him out to be silly which is not the way he is in the books. He is more sinister in the books, not a creature to be made fun of. I think the films did do very well in showing him but failed in some elements of his personality.

The idea of the Gollum side being the shadow of Smeagol is excellent. It is what I hinted at before in this thread with my idea of the scale in his mind. I think that is a great view to take. They are not two separate entities but are linked. As they share the same brain and mind. But they are two different and competing thought patterns.

 

Aredhriel 10/May/2006 at 11:20 AM
Scribe of Minas Tirith Points: 2724 Posts: 1593 Joined: 31/May/2005
Well, I used to be a Psychology major (a few years back before I had my kids) and while I am not an expert on the subject by any stretch of the imagination, I can definitely understand the view of some that Smeagol/Gollum had a personality disorder (schizophrenia has been mentioned but that is a pretty broad term as there are now various definitions in that one disorder, depending on the traits shown by the individual). However, I don’t think I could jump to the conclusion that Tolkien had this in mind when writing the character, though if anyone knows of any of his references refuting or supporting this would be quite interesting indeed.  
Aredhriel 10/May/2006 at 11:21 AM
Scribe of Minas Tirith Points: 2724 Posts: 1593 Joined: 31/May/2005
Well, I used to be a Psychology major (a few years back before I had my kids) and while I am not an expert on the subject by any stretch of the imagination, I can definitely understand the view of some that Smeagol/Gollum had a personality disorder (schizophrenia has been mentioned but that is a pretty broad term as there are now various definitions in that one disorder, depending on the traits shown by the individual). However, I don’t think I could jump to the conclusion that Tolkien had this in mind when writing the character, though if anyone knows of any of his references refuting or supporting this would be quite interesting indeed.  
gilmenor 11/May/2006 at 11:32 AM
New Soul Points: 217 Posts: 35 Joined: 20/Dec/2004
Quote: Originally posted by Aeleron on Wednesday, February 22, 2006
I hardly think that drowning in boiling lava and volcanic ash was ’dying happy’ even with the Ring, but I can see where you are coming from. The end had a sort of poetic justice to it, but I too wanted Gollum to be saved.
I think that the deciding moment was when he saw Frodo with Faramir. Up to that point (although the movie makes it overt, I have to say that I’ve thought this since I first read the book)Frodo had really done nothing to betray the trust Smeagol had. There is a marked change as Smeagol becomes slightly more dominant in those parts of the book. But the second that Smeagol’s frail trust is gone, he allows Gollum to take over. That is the really sad part for me - had Faramir been just a little gentler, or if things had been just a bit different, maybe Smeagol would have overcome Gollum and surprised us all?
I do not believe that the deciding moment for Gollum was when he saw Frodo with Faramir.  The crucial moment was at the foot of the stairs of Kirith Ungol when Sam called him a "sneak" at which point the possible redemption of Smeagol was irretrievable gone.  Tolkien mentioned in one of his letter that for him, that was the saddest moment in the story.  Had Sam shown more pity and empathy for Smeagol, Tolkien conjectured that Smeagol would like to have redeemed himself by willingly destroy the Ring.  He noted that while Smeagol would eventually give in to his desire to possess the Ring, his waken love for Frodo would lead him to scarifice himself by willingly fall into the Crack of Doom to save Frodo.
gilmenor 11/May/2006 at 11:32 AM
New Soul Points: 217 Posts: 35 Joined: 20/Dec/2004
Quote: Originally posted by Aeleron on Wednesday, February 22, 2006
I hardly think that drowning in boiling lava and volcanic ash was ’dying happy’ even with the Ring, but I can see where you are coming from. The end had a sort of poetic justice to it, but I too wanted Gollum to be saved.
I think that the deciding moment was when he saw Frodo with Faramir. Up to that point (although the movie makes it overt, I have to say that I’ve thought this since I first read the book)Frodo had really done nothing to betray the trust Smeagol had. There is a marked change as Smeagol becomes slightly more dominant in those parts of the book. But the second that Smeagol’s frail trust is gone, he allows Gollum to take over. That is the really sad part for me - had Faramir been just a little gentler, or if things had been just a bit different, maybe Smeagol would have overcome Gollum and surprised us all?
I do not believe that the deciding moment for Gollum was when he saw Frodo with Faramir.  The crucial moment was at the foot of the stairs of Kirith Ungol when Sam called him a "sneak" at which point the possible redemption of Smeagol was irretrievable gone.  Tolkien mentioned in one of his letter that for him, that was the saddest moment in the story.  Had Sam shown more pity and empathy for Smeagol, Tolkien conjectured that Smeagol would like to have redeemed himself by willingly destroy the Ring.  He noted that while Smeagol would eventually give in to his desire to possess the Ring, his waken love for Frodo would lead him to scarifice himself by willingly fall into the Crack of Doom to save Frodo.
mighty ent man 12/May/2006 at 03:21 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Aredhriel - I do not think that Tolkien had any disorder in mind whilst writing the character of Smeagol. It is not in his writing style to do that and it would not be with the spirit of LOTR. Tolkien did not really write his books like that. I think Tolkien wrote the corruption of Smeagol in this way to show the sheer power that the Ring can exert over an individual. Also by making the two personalities split into two contrasting minds it allows the reader to view easily the two sides of the Ring. The good vs the bad so to speak.

gilmenor - Yes I have heard that theory proposed before and I think it is an excellent one and one which has more than one grain of truth in it. I always thought that the possible point for his redemption was on the slopes of Mount Doom when Frodo revealed himself to Gollum and showed him his power and the Ring seemed to speak to him. I know the letter of which you speak I think. Tolkien felt that if Gollum saw the Ring near defeat he would turn sides and redeem himself. But it is true that Sam made things difficult.

mighty ent man 12/May/2006 at 03:21 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Aredhriel - I do not think that Tolkien had any disorder in mind whilst writing the character of Smeagol. It is not in his writing style to do that and it would not be with the spirit of LOTR. Tolkien did not really write his books like that. I think Tolkien wrote the corruption of Smeagol in this way to show the sheer power that the Ring can exert over an individual. Also by making the two personalities split into two contrasting minds it allows the reader to view easily the two sides of the Ring. The good vs the bad so to speak.

gilmenor - Yes I have heard that theory proposed before and I think it is an excellent one and one which has more than one grain of truth in it. I always thought that the possible point for his redemption was on the slopes of Mount Doom when Frodo revealed himself to Gollum and showed him his power and the Ring seemed to speak to him. I know the letter of which you speak I think. Tolkien felt that if Gollum saw the Ring near defeat he would turn sides and redeem himself. But it is true that Sam made things difficult.

Lucentorn 12/May/2006 at 05:42 AM
Messenger of Minas Tirith Points: 856 Posts: 861 Joined: 13/Feb/2004
I don’t know how it is called officially, but I believe Gollum is something the Ring awoke in Smeagol. Of course he had always been there, like his evil side (which we all probably have). But because his people banished him, and he had no one but himself, that side got stronger, and eventually took over. But because of Frodo’s kindness to him and him mentioning his old name again, he was able to drive Gollum away again. The way you see this in the movies however, might make you think that he is scritsofrenic (probable misspelled). They show it as if there are two of them, and that they are talking to each other. I guess he is actually in discussion with himself, and that his evil side (gollum) is trying to take over again.
Lucentorn 12/May/2006 at 05:42 AM
Messenger of Minas Tirith Points: 856 Posts: 861 Joined: 13/Feb/2004
I don’t know how it is called officially, but I believe Gollum is something the Ring awoke in Smeagol. Of course he had always been there, like his evil side (which we all probably have). But because his people banished him, and he had no one but himself, that side got stronger, and eventually took over. But because of Frodo’s kindness to him and him mentioning his old name again, he was able to drive Gollum away again. The way you see this in the movies however, might make you think that he is scritsofrenic (probable misspelled). They show it as if there are two of them, and that they are talking to each other. I guess he is actually in discussion with himself, and that his evil side (gollum) is trying to take over again.
gilmenor 12/May/2006 at 09:18 AM
New Soul Points: 217 Posts: 35 Joined: 20/Dec/2004

mighty ent man - it’s in the famour Letter 246 where Tolkien discussed the possible redemption of Smeagol

gilmenor 12/May/2006 at 09:18 AM
New Soul Points: 217 Posts: 35 Joined: 20/Dec/2004

mighty ent man - it’s in the famour Letter 246 where Tolkien discussed the possible redemption of Smeagol

Ardagon 09/Jul/2006 at 12:22 PM
Gardener of Lothlorien Points: 180 Posts: 30 Joined: 29/Jun/2006
                 I think he had some propensity for evil from the start or else he all but immune to the power of the ring.His real downfall started when he killed his friend for the ring.It was to sudden for even the ring to take effect so soon because as soon as he saw the ring he started coveting it and finally got it for his own by killing his friend.so i think that he was evil from the very beginning.
Ardagon 09/Jul/2006 at 12:22 PM
Gardener of Lothlorien Points: 180 Posts: 30 Joined: 29/Jun/2006
                 I think he had some propensity for evil from the start or else he all but immune to the power of the ring.His real downfall started when he killed his friend for the ring.It was to sudden for even the ring to take effect so soon because as soon as he saw the ring he started coveting it and finally got it for his own by killing his friend.so i think that he was evil from the very beginning.
Brandywine74 09/Jul/2006 at 03:38 PM
Foolhardy Ent of Fangorn Points: 1291 Posts: 562 Joined: 20/Apr/2006

I believe that the ring awoke something in Gollum. I think that the ring does this to anyone who has it. Hobbits as a rule are not interested in power or control over others, hence the ring didn’t awaken that in them, though they did find it hard to give up.

I think this ’evil’ side resides within all people and this is not different in Middle-earth. The ring awakens and strengthens this. When we add the fact that Gollum started his turn with the ring with a murder and then used the ring for under-hand purposes that this tendancy was already within him. The ring accentuated this.

Gollum/Smeagol is one of the most interesting chartacters/creations of Tolkien.

Brandywine74 09/Jul/2006 at 03:38 PM
Foolhardy Ent of Fangorn Points: 1291 Posts: 562 Joined: 20/Apr/2006

I believe that the ring awoke something in Gollum. I think that the ring does this to anyone who has it. Hobbits as a rule are not interested in power or control over others, hence the ring didn’t awaken that in them, though they did find it hard to give up.

I think this ’evil’ side resides within all people and this is not different in Middle-earth. The ring awakens and strengthens this. When we add the fact that Gollum started his turn with the ring with a murder and then used the ring for under-hand purposes that this tendancy was already within him. The ring accentuated this.

Gollum/Smeagol is one of the most interesting chartacters/creations of Tolkien.

Lil Sidhe 11/Jul/2006 at 11:38 AM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005

Brandywine: I completely agree with you.

I also think anyone, who has the ring in  there posession as long as Gollum did, would have the evil sides in them awakened, but each person in a different way. Gollum hid, isolated from others, protecting his ring, where as others might use it openly, being more, less or equally as evil as Gollum, depending on their personality and the circumstances. I think the ring will bring out greed and evil in everyone in a different way. Gollum seems to be more passive aggresse, while other might be more openly agrssive under the rings influence.

Lil Sidhe 11/Jul/2006 at 11:38 AM
Winemaker of Lothlorien Points: 1017 Posts: 1861 Joined: 24/Dec/2005

Brandywine: I completely agree with you.

I also think anyone, who has the ring in  there posession as long as Gollum did, would have the evil sides in them awakened, but each person in a different way. Gollum hid, isolated from others, protecting his ring, where as others might use it openly, being more, less or equally as evil as Gollum, depending on their personality and the circumstances. I think the ring will bring out greed and evil in everyone in a different way. Gollum seems to be more passive aggresse, while other might be more openly agrssive under the rings influence.

Miriame Sárince 12/Jul/2006 at 08:20 PM
Brewer of the Shire Points: 1310 Posts: 569 Joined: 19/Feb/2005
I think, as I posted in a similar thread, that we need to be careful about our diagnosis of Smeagol. Not careful because of any harm we might do to Smeagol (who is beyond any judgement but that of Eru) but careful of any harm we might do to real people in the real world. Tolkien wrote LOTR during a time that psychology was still evolving (which, of course, is still the case). PJ obviously had read some more recent materials and he protrayed Smeagol/Gollum as a multiple personality--a portrayal that makes sense to me. A multiple personality disorder (MPD) is very different than schizophrenia and much more rare. It’s associated with extreme trauma and appears to not have a genetic source but to be caused by trauma such as the influence of the ring in the first place, the murder of a friend, the loss of the ring, the loss of family, torture by Sauron, etc. It’s commonly referred to as a "split personality" which is very different than hearing voices or having other hallucinations. Any of us, exposed to the right trauma at the right times in our lives, could develop MPD. Which, of course, is not to say the Semagol was not a very nice guy to start with and that his early estrangement from friends and family, and his early greed, might have not made him more susceptible than a Frodo or Bilbo might have been to the damage cause by his posession of the ring.

I do like Luthien’s interpretation of the Smeagol/Gollum split in Jungian terms. Very nice as an alternative to the above.
Miriame Sárince 12/Jul/2006 at 08:20 PM
Brewer of the Shire Points: 1310 Posts: 569 Joined: 19/Feb/2005
I think, as I posted in a similar thread, that we need to be careful about our diagnosis of Smeagol. Not careful because of any harm we might do to Smeagol (who is beyond any judgement but that of Eru) but careful of any harm we might do to real people in the real world. Tolkien wrote LOTR during a time that psychology was still evolving (which, of course, is still the case). PJ obviously had read some more recent materials and he protrayed Smeagol/Gollum as a multiple personality--a portrayal that makes sense to me. A multiple personality disorder (MPD) is very different than schizophrenia and much more rare. It’s associated with extreme trauma and appears to not have a genetic source but to be caused by trauma such as the influence of the ring in the first place, the murder of a friend, the loss of the ring, the loss of family, torture by Sauron, etc. It’s commonly referred to as a "split personality" which is very different than hearing voices or having other hallucinations. Any of us, exposed to the right trauma at the right times in our lives, could develop MPD. Which, of course, is not to say the Semagol was not a very nice guy to start with and that his early estrangement from friends and family, and his early greed, might have not made him more susceptible than a Frodo or Bilbo might have been to the damage cause by his posession of the ring.

I do like Luthien’s interpretation of the Smeagol/Gollum split in Jungian terms. Very nice as an alternative to the above.
Lupul Alb 13/Jul/2006 at 01:21 AM
Scavenger of Mordor Points: 466 Posts: 549 Joined: 10/Jul/2006
I don’t know if enyone haveallready writtenthis but what is that Smeagol says to Deagol when he asked for the ring? Is it "Give It to US my love"? "US" as in having a double personality in the begining? And when Deagol answers why to give him the ring Smeagol Says because it’s OUR birthday? Maybe Smeagol had a bad side in the begining and the ring accentuated his disease. I really don’t believe that it was the ring that created Gollum. The ring was the instrument that made Gollum more important. And by staying for 500 years alone in a cave Golum just become an inseparated part of Smeagol’s personality. It’s really interesing to make a paralel to Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe caracther. Only by keeping a regular life style with evident traces of civilisation is that Robinson kept his sanity for such a long time on that island. If not talking to the ring all the time I’m probably sure that Smeagol will have forgotten to speak in the first 100 years.
Lupul Alb 13/Jul/2006 at 01:21 AM
Scavenger of Mordor Points: 466 Posts: 549 Joined: 10/Jul/2006
I don’t know if enyone haveallready writtenthis but what is that Smeagol says to Deagol when he asked for the ring? Is it "Give It to US my love"? "US" as in having a double personality in the begining? And when Deagol answers why to give him the ring Smeagol Says because it’s OUR birthday? Maybe Smeagol had a bad side in the begining and the ring accentuated his disease. I really don’t believe that it was the ring that created Gollum. The ring was the instrument that made Gollum more important. And by staying for 500 years alone in a cave Golum just become an inseparated part of Smeagol’s personality. It’s really interesing to make a paralel to Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe caracther. Only by keeping a regular life style with evident traces of civilisation is that Robinson kept his sanity for such a long time on that island. If not talking to the ring all the time I’m probably sure that Smeagol will have forgotten to speak in the first 100 years.
Nistades 24/Jul/2006 at 04:20 AM
Herald of Imladris Points: 182 Posts: 34 Joined: 23/Jul/2006
yes, I agree that Gollum is the product of an impure obsession with the Ring and thus turning Smeagol into the creature Gollum. But still, Smeagol’s true spirit lingers within him and when he is able to control himself, Smealgol comes out. However, his attachment to the Ring has been long, possibly the longest relation, and thus his obsession with it is very strong and hard to be rid of.

Yes, I feel that there is always to sides to all of us, there is always a gollum and a Smeagol in us and we have to learn to tame them and control ourselves. The longer we allow ourselves to be obsessed with something impurely, and without a firm cause, we get more and more attached to that object and the gollum in us will come out and portray itself.
Nistades 24/Jul/2006 at 04:20 AM
Herald of Imladris Points: 182 Posts: 34 Joined: 23/Jul/2006
yes, I agree that Gollum is the product of an impure obsession with the Ring and thus turning Smeagol into the creature Gollum. But still, Smeagol’s true spirit lingers within him and when he is able to control himself, Smealgol comes out. However, his attachment to the Ring has been long, possibly the longest relation, and thus his obsession with it is very strong and hard to be rid of.

Yes, I feel that there is always to sides to all of us, there is always a gollum and a Smeagol in us and we have to learn to tame them and control ourselves. The longer we allow ourselves to be obsessed with something impurely, and without a firm cause, we get more and more attached to that object and the gollum in us will come out and portray itself.
Arvellas 28/Jul/2006 at 11:03 AM
Warrior of Imladris Points: 5462 Posts: 3016 Joined: 16/May/2006

"So then you are saying one who is pure at heart and of righteous intent COULD bear the ring without suffering it’s consequences?"-KitsunelnuYasha

The trouble is, no one is completely pure, as much as they may seem so.  Righteous intent is certainly a good thing and might help delay the Ring’s effects, but the fact that someone has an intent at all is something that the Ring can and will exploit, regardless of whether it is "righteous."  The character that comes closest, if not reaching purity, is Tom Bombadil, on whom the Ring seems to have no effect, because he is his own master.  I think another major reason for his "immunity" is that he would probably have no intentions of using the Ring for anything, be it good or bad, because he does not need to use it.

I think that Smeagol/Gollum’s condition comes closest to a multiple personality disorder; I remember thinking this when reading the books.  But I also think that since he is fictional, he need not be given a RL diagnosis.  I don’t believe we must put a name to it to understand it; discussing and debating is what helps to make sense of it.  If I had to put a label on his condition at all, I suppose it would simply be "Ring Complex" or something of the like.

Arvellas 28/Jul/2006 at 11:03 AM
Warrior of Imladris Points: 5462 Posts: 3016 Joined: 16/May/2006

"So then you are saying one who is pure at heart and of righteous intent COULD bear the ring without suffering it’s consequences?"-KitsunelnuYasha

The trouble is, no one is completely pure, as much as they may seem so.  Righteous intent is certainly a good thing and might help delay the Ring’s effects, but the fact that someone has an intent at all is something that the Ring can and will exploit, regardless of whether it is "righteous."  The character that comes closest, if not reaching purity, is Tom Bombadil, on whom the Ring seems to have no effect, because he is his own master.  I think another major reason for his "immunity" is that he would probably have no intentions of using the Ring for anything, be it good or bad, because he does not need to use it.

I think that Smeagol/Gollum’s condition comes closest to a multiple personality disorder; I remember thinking this when reading the books.  But I also think that since he is fictional, he need not be given a RL diagnosis.  I don’t believe we must put a name to it to understand it; discussing and debating is what helps to make sense of it.  If I had to put a label on his condition at all, I suppose it would simply be "Ring Complex" or something of the like.

mighty ent man 28/Jul/2006 at 12:46 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Lucentorn - But because his people banished him, and he had no one but himself, that side got stronger, and eventually took over.  - But I would argue back at this that this side was so strong right from the start. I mean he murdered right at the start! Is not muder the strongest thing? I see what you are trying to say, he gradually sunk further into decline as he was banished and then went into Mordor and relied totally on the Ring to survive.

Lupul - I really don’t believe that it was the ring that created Gollum.  - Well technically the Ring did create Gollum. For he was given this name when he started mutteriung to himself after he got the Ring. But I do see what you mean. However I think really the Gollum side that we know was created by the Ring.

I do however love your analysis of his isolation in Moria and the importance that this had on his personality split. Being away from his former family left him with no one to be his normal self to. Which meant this side fell out of use and this let his new side take priority.

 

mighty ent man 28/Jul/2006 at 12:46 PM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Lucentorn - But because his people banished him, and he had no one but himself, that side got stronger, and eventually took over.  - But I would argue back at this that this side was so strong right from the start. I mean he murdered right at the start! Is not muder the strongest thing? I see what you are trying to say, he gradually sunk further into decline as he was banished and then went into Mordor and relied totally on the Ring to survive.

Lupul - I really don’t believe that it was the ring that created Gollum.  - Well technically the Ring did create Gollum. For he was given this name when he started mutteriung to himself after he got the Ring. But I do see what you mean. However I think really the Gollum side that we know was created by the Ring.

I do however love your analysis of his isolation in Moria and the importance that this had on his personality split. Being away from his former family left him with no one to be his normal self to. Which meant this side fell out of use and this let his new side take priority.

 

Arthur Weasley 28/Jul/2006 at 05:20 PM
Banned Points: 4289 Posts: 3987 Joined: 29/Nov/2002
This has probably been described already.  But in my opinion, every person has some darker qualities inside hemselves that they can never overcome completely and constantly have to control.  When I see my neighbor’s wife, I naturally wonder evil thoughts and for a moment have some fantasies.  However, it is my conscious will that then dispells whatever fantasies I was pondering.  As for Smeagol/Gollum and the Ring, I believe in a simple syllogism.  In the beginning, Smeagol was a good person with some hidden darker/evil elements in his character.  The Ring gradually intensifies the darker/evil qualities over time while also slowly degrading the concious will and desire to perform good in people.  Smeagol/Gollum’s personality is the result of possessing the Ring for 478 years.  If you have not already, you guys should check out another thread entitled "Was Gollum the Unwitting Savior of Middle Earth," here in the Advanced Forum.
Arthur Weasley 28/Jul/2006 at 05:20 PM
Banned Points: 4289 Posts: 3987 Joined: 29/Nov/2002
This has probably been described already.  But in my opinion, every person has some darker qualities inside hemselves that they can never overcome completely and constantly have to control.  When I see my neighbor’s wife, I naturally wonder evil thoughts and for a moment have some fantasies.  However, it is my conscious will that then dispells whatever fantasies I was pondering.  As for Smeagol/Gollum and the Ring, I believe in a simple syllogism.  In the beginning, Smeagol was a good person with some hidden darker/evil elements in his character.  The Ring gradually intensifies the darker/evil qualities over time while also slowly degrading the concious will and desire to perform good in people.  Smeagol/Gollum’s personality is the result of possessing the Ring for 478 years.  If you have not already, you guys should check out another thread entitled "Was Gollum the Unwitting Savior of Middle Earth," here in the Advanced Forum.
lalla 19/Sep/2006 at 05:46 AM
Garment-crafter of Lothlorien Points: 627 Posts: 109 Joined: 05/Sep/2006
Quote: Originally posted by Aeleron on Monday, February 20, 2006

I am absolutely fascinated with the whole concept and I’d love to fit it together in my head... are there any ideas or opinions?


I also adored the Gollum/Smeagol story. I think there is a line connecting Frodo - Gollum/Smeagol and Bilbo. It’s a sort of game of mirrors. Gollum is the "dark side" of Smeagol - it’s what Frodo, corrupted by the Ring, could become. Bilbo is the "good side" of Smeagol: it’s what Smeagol could become if he had not been corrupted by the Ring.

Frodo himself admits his life is linked to that of Gollum. They are similar in many aspects. On the other hand, Smeagol still lives in Gollum: he’s the suffering side, the one in need of friendship, love and protection.

lalla 19/Sep/2006 at 05:46 AM
Garment-crafter of Lothlorien Points: 627 Posts: 109 Joined: 05/Sep/2006
Quote: Originally posted by Aeleron on Monday, February 20, 2006

I am absolutely fascinated with the whole concept and I’d love to fit it together in my head... are there any ideas or opinions?


I also adored the Gollum/Smeagol story. I think there is a line connecting Frodo - Gollum/Smeagol and Bilbo. It’s a sort of game of mirrors. Gollum is the "dark side" of Smeagol - it’s what Frodo, corrupted by the Ring, could become. Bilbo is the "good side" of Smeagol: it’s what Smeagol could become if he had not been corrupted by the Ring.

Frodo himself admits his life is linked to that of Gollum. They are similar in many aspects. On the other hand, Smeagol still lives in Gollum: he’s the suffering side, the one in need of friendship, love and protection.

Telemanes 02/Oct/2006 at 06:14 AM
Apprentice of Minas Tirith Points: 193 Posts: 16 Joined: 26/Sep/2006

im not sure i totally agree with you lalla, but there are very close similarities between the three.

the ring corrupts physically and metaphysically as well. its a process of not only a loss of beauty but a loss of physical life as well- a retreat into solitude or an almost loss of being.

gollum is smeagol under the control of the ring and as such is a lesser person as he speaks more primitively than smeagol, and cant control his actions. smeagol is smeagol resisting the ring because of his good qualities he had. if the ring stayed with smeagol for a while longer then it would have taken total control and only gollum would be present in the tale.

Telemanes 02/Oct/2006 at 06:14 AM
Apprentice of Minas Tirith Points: 193 Posts: 16 Joined: 26/Sep/2006

im not sure i totally agree with you lalla, but there are very close similarities between the three.

the ring corrupts physically and metaphysically as well. its a process of not only a loss of beauty but a loss of physical life as well- a retreat into solitude or an almost loss of being.

gollum is smeagol under the control of the ring and as such is a lesser person as he speaks more primitively than smeagol, and cant control his actions. smeagol is smeagol resisting the ring because of his good qualities he had. if the ring stayed with smeagol for a while longer then it would have taken total control and only gollum would be present in the tale.

Bongestab 12/Oct/2006 at 07:34 PM
New Soul Points: 26 Posts: 30 Joined: 09/Apr/2006
Telemanes, Gollum had the ring for 500 hundred years. Even if Gollum could have kept the ring for more years, he still would be Sméagol. I think that Tolkien just wanted to make us think about good/bad. There’s still good out there, but there’s also a turning point, where someone could not go back. As Frodo, Sam and Gollum walks closer to Mount Doom, we come to realize that his situation was hopeless, by the power of the ring, but also by Sam’s reaction towards him. Frodo was kind to Gollum, as he could see him self in Gollum, in a sort of a way. I believe the ring had more power in his personality over Frodo’s kindness, as he was putting faith in goodness again, perhaps. Gollum was kinda made by the ring, so when the ring was destroyed, he had to go to, wether by his own decay or by the ring.
Bongestab 12/Oct/2006 at 07:34 PM
New Soul Points: 26 Posts: 30 Joined: 09/Apr/2006
Telemanes, Gollum had the ring for 500 hundred years. Even if Gollum could have kept the ring for more years, he still would be Sméagol. I think that Tolkien just wanted to make us think about good/bad. There’s still good out there, but there’s also a turning point, where someone could not go back. As Frodo, Sam and Gollum walks closer to Mount Doom, we come to realize that his situation was hopeless, by the power of the ring, but also by Sam’s reaction towards him. Frodo was kind to Gollum, as he could see him self in Gollum, in a sort of a way. I believe the ring had more power in his personality over Frodo’s kindness, as he was putting faith in goodness again, perhaps. Gollum was kinda made by the ring, so when the ring was destroyed, he had to go to, wether by his own decay or by the ring.
Mallow 13/Oct/2006 at 12:48 PM
Vagrant of Minas Tirith Points: 66 Posts: 28 Joined: 11/Oct/2006

I think, that Smeagol was a coward character. When Deagol found the ring, it noticed that Smeagol is weak and he could make him to a slave. Smeagol maybe felt, that he can be stronger and more important with the help of the ring. When he realized, how strong the ring was, it was too late. Frodo just helped him to get out from the influence of the ring, but he could not change Smeagol. So in my opinion Smeagol was a character, who wanted to have more might than others, but he could not control the huge might of the ring.

Mallow 13/Oct/2006 at 12:48 PM
Vagrant of Minas Tirith Points: 66 Posts: 28 Joined: 11/Oct/2006

I think, that Smeagol was a coward character. When Deagol found the ring, it noticed that Smeagol is weak and he could make him to a slave. Smeagol maybe felt, that he can be stronger and more important with the help of the ring. When he realized, how strong the ring was, it was too late. Frodo just helped him to get out from the influence of the ring, but he could not change Smeagol. So in my opinion Smeagol was a character, who wanted to have more might than others, but he could not control the huge might of the ring.

Boromir88 15/Oct/2006 at 09:21 AM
Merchant of Minas Tirith Points: 3627 Posts: 2473 Joined: 24/Mar/2005

I agree with MeM, here.  And if I may say so you have been arguing quite magnificently.   I like the scale representation of Gollum’s mind and couldn’t agree more.  I think unless someone argues that before Smeagol came across the ring he had two seperate ’wills,’ then in this case, I don’t think it’s possible that the Ring created two seperate wills within Gollum.

It’s made quite clear that before coming across the Ring, Smeagol had somewhat of a mean streak.  Though Tolkien did agree that the Ring was too strong for Gollum to withstand...this was probably because of the bad side of Smeagol, even before he comes across the Ring...to paraphrase some descriptions: he ’appears damnable’, he has a ’mean soul’ and is described as a ’mean son of a thief’~Letter 181

I think we all have the capability of doing evil.  Kind of like a good conscience and a bad conscience.  As sociologists argue, we all have this temptation to break a norm within society...because norms are pretty much like laws and it’s not always fun obeying the law.  And there is this side that comes in and says, ’don’t do it’  ’you know it’s wrong, your parents said so...society is telling you this is wrong...etc’  Since we all have these striving factors within ourselves (pretty much within our mind) I certainly don’t think we are all two different people within ourselves.

With Smeagol he had the potential, before the ring, to give into his ’pleasures’ (as sociologists would term)...and when Smeagol comes across the Ring, it only further polarizes the two sides within Gollum.  As MeM says it creates two extremes within Gollum and it polarizes the ’moral behaviour’ versus the ’I want...mine...’ and egotistical behaviour. 

Lets look at Smeagol before getting the Ring.  To him he deserved the ring (ego-tistical behaviour).  The Ring was his birthday present, and because it was his birthday he deserved such a gift as the Ring.  Eventhough if Deagol goes to tell him he already got him a gift and it was probably more than he could afford.  But Smeagol doesn’t care it was his birthday and it was going to be the Ring that was his birthday present.  He lays a justification onto the Ring...since it’s his birthday he deserves it.  Then he goes and kills for the Ring, and that is right there we see the Ring polarize the two extremes within Smeagol.  Now, almost immediately after the Ring:

’No one ever found out what had become of Deagol; he was murdered far from home, and his body was cunningly hidden.  But Smeagol returned alone; and he found that none of his family could see him, when he was wearing the ring.  He was very pleased with his discovery and he concealed it; and he used it to find secrets, and he put his knowledge to crooked and malicious uses.  He became sharp-eyed and keen-eared for all that was hurtfulThe ring had given him power according to his stature.  It is not to be wondered at that he became very unpopular and was shunned (when visible) by all his relations.  They kicked him, and he bit their feet.  He took to thieving, and going about muttering to himself, and gurgling in his throat.  So they called him Gollum, and cursed him, and told him to go far away; and his grandmother, desiring peace, expelled him from the family and turned him out of her hole.’~Shadow in the Past

As Gandalf notes the Ring gives power according to stature.  But it also plays with the nature of the individual.  For why is it that when Bilbo gets the Ring, he still remains a nice and good hobbit?  He uses it to hide from the Sackville-Bagginses and play the trick when he leaves, other than that we don’t see the Ring being used by Bilbo much.  Why is it that Boromir’s idea of the Ring is a weapon and to use it against Sauron?  Again, because it played with Boromir’s nature...Boromir was Gondor’s captain, he was the one leading the fight against Sauron, and so naturally the Ring comes across to him as a powerful weapon to wield.  So, when Smeagol comes across the Ring, we see that it is not the ring that creates Gollum, only that the Ring makes Gollum more noticeable.  Meaning the Ring polarizes Smeagol and Gollum into two sides, and makes the Gollum side more noticeable to the people around him.

Here’s the list of things he does after getting the Ring:

1. Hides the body of Deagol who he killed...Murdering for it is bad enough, but then he goes to try to cover it up and hope that no one ever finds out about what happened to Deagol.  And indeed I don’t believe anyone did until he told Gandalf.

2. Uses it to find secrets and with malicious intent...This right here is a big clue to Smeagol’s nature before he came into contact with the Ring.  The ring here is playing with Gollum’s nature.  Gollum was the ’mean son of a thief’ and the Ring goes further to bring out the Gollum.  When the ring tempts Sam, Sam envisions that the Gorgoroth would be turned into a splendid garden if he put on the Ring, (it’s not coincidence that Sam is a gardener).  Boromir envisions he would be a glorious captain, win great victories, with the Ring (no coincidence that he is Gondor’s captain wishing for the Victory of Gondor).  Here we can see a nice clue as far as Smeagol’s nature.  He already possessed the capability of being a thief, he was already ’damnable’ and the Ring goes further to show this.

3. We can see that it’s not Smeagol’s family in the wrong here.  Now, of course it was rather mean spirited to kick him and curse him, but we see that the family in the outcasting of Smeagol wasn’t wrong...because the Grandmother wanted peace

And to sum it all up in a few words by Gandalf when Frodo thinks Gollum deserves death:  ’Deserves it!  I daresay he does.’

In a way we all have a Gollum and a Smeagol within us.  We all have the awareness of good and bad, right and wrong.  This was the same for Smeagol, before he came across the Ring, and we already know before hand that he had a likely-hood of making the wrong choice.  The Ring just goes further to use that to it’s advantage and the two extremes within him.  The Ring didn’t create Gollum, Smeagol already had the ’Gollum’ within him (as we all do), and the Ring brings out the bad tendancies of Smeagol and uses them.

Boromir88 15/Oct/2006 at 09:21 AM
Merchant of Minas Tirith Points: 3627 Posts: 2473 Joined: 24/Mar/2005

I agree with MeM, here.  And if I may say so you have been arguing quite magnificently.   I like the scale representation of Gollum’s mind and couldn’t agree more.  I think unless someone argues that before Smeagol came across the ring he had two seperate ’wills,’ then in this case, I don’t think it’s possible that the Ring created two seperate wills within Gollum.

It’s made quite clear that before coming across the Ring, Smeagol had somewhat of a mean streak.  Though Tolkien did agree that the Ring was too strong for Gollum to withstand...this was probably because of the bad side of Smeagol, even before he comes across the Ring...to paraphrase some descriptions: he ’appears damnable’, he has a ’mean soul’ and is described as a ’mean son of a thief’~Letter 181

I think we all have the capability of doing evil.  Kind of like a good conscience and a bad conscience.  As sociologists argue, we all have this temptation to break a norm within society...because norms are pretty much like laws and it’s not always fun obeying the law.  And there is this side that comes in and says, ’don’t do it’  ’you know it’s wrong, your parents said so...society is telling you this is wrong...etc’  Since we all have these striving factors within ourselves (pretty much within our mind) I certainly don’t think we are all two different people within ourselves.

With Smeagol he had the potential, before the ring, to give into his ’pleasures’ (as sociologists would term)...and when Smeagol comes across the Ring, it only further polarizes the two sides within Gollum.  As MeM says it creates two extremes within Gollum and it polarizes the ’moral behaviour’ versus the ’I want...mine...’ and egotistical behaviour. 

Lets look at Smeagol before getting the Ring.  To him he deserved the ring (ego-tistical behaviour).  The Ring was his birthday present, and because it was his birthday he deserved such a gift as the Ring.  Eventhough if Deagol goes to tell him he already got him a gift and it was probably more than he could afford.  But Smeagol doesn’t care it was his birthday and it was going to be the Ring that was his birthday present.  He lays a justification onto the Ring...since it’s his birthday he deserves it.  Then he goes and kills for the Ring, and that is right there we see the Ring polarize the two extremes within Smeagol.  Now, almost immediately after the Ring:

’No one ever found out what had become of Deagol; he was murdered far from home, and his body was cunningly hidden.  But Smeagol returned alone; and he found that none of his family could see him, when he was wearing the ring.  He was very pleased with his discovery and he concealed it; and he used it to find secrets, and he put his knowledge to crooked and malicious uses.  He became sharp-eyed and keen-eared for all that was hurtfulThe ring had given him power according to his stature.  It is not to be wondered at that he became very unpopular and was shunned (when visible) by all his relations.  They kicked him, and he bit their feet.  He took to thieving, and going about muttering to himself, and gurgling in his throat.  So they called him Gollum, and cursed him, and told him to go far away; and his grandmother, desiring peace, expelled him from the family and turned him out of her hole.’~Shadow in the Past

As Gandalf notes the Ring gives power according to stature.  But it also plays with the nature of the individual.  For why is it that when Bilbo gets the Ring, he still remains a nice and good hobbit?  He uses it to hide from the Sackville-Bagginses and play the trick when he leaves, other than that we don’t see the Ring being used by Bilbo much.  Why is it that Boromir’s idea of the Ring is a weapon and to use it against Sauron?  Again, because it played with Boromir’s nature...Boromir was Gondor’s captain, he was the one leading the fight against Sauron, and so naturally the Ring comes across to him as a powerful weapon to wield.  So, when Smeagol comes across the Ring, we see that it is not the ring that creates Gollum, only that the Ring makes Gollum more noticeable.  Meaning the Ring polarizes Smeagol and Gollum into two sides, and makes the Gollum side more noticeable to the people around him.

Here’s the list of things he does after getting the Ring:

1. Hides the body of Deagol who he killed...Murdering for it is bad enough, but then he goes to try to cover it up and hope that no one ever finds out about what happened to Deagol.  And indeed I don’t believe anyone did until he told Gandalf.

2. Uses it to find secrets and with malicious intent...This right here is a big clue to Smeagol’s nature before he came into contact with the Ring.  The ring here is playing with Gollum’s nature.  Gollum was the ’mean son of a thief’ and the Ring goes further to bring out the Gollum.  When the ring tempts Sam, Sam envisions that the Gorgoroth would be turned into a splendid garden if he put on the Ring, (it’s not coincidence that Sam is a gardener).  Boromir envisions he would be a glorious captain, win great victories, with the Ring (no coincidence that he is Gondor’s captain wishing for the Victory of Gondor).  Here we can see a nice clue as far as Smeagol’s nature.  He already possessed the capability of being a thief, he was already ’damnable’ and the Ring goes further to show this.

3. We can see that it’s not Smeagol’s family in the wrong here.  Now, of course it was rather mean spirited to kick him and curse him, but we see that the family in the outcasting of Smeagol wasn’t wrong...because the Grandmother wanted peace

And to sum it all up in a few words by Gandalf when Frodo thinks Gollum deserves death:  ’Deserves it!  I daresay he does.’

In a way we all have a Gollum and a Smeagol within us.  We all have the awareness of good and bad, right and wrong.  This was the same for Smeagol, before he came across the Ring, and we already know before hand that he had a likely-hood of making the wrong choice.  The Ring just goes further to use that to it’s advantage and the two extremes within him.  The Ring didn’t create Gollum, Smeagol already had the ’Gollum’ within him (as we all do), and the Ring brings out the bad tendancies of Smeagol and uses them.

Captain Bingo 15/Oct/2006 at 09:50 AM
Messenger of Minas Tirith Points: 1573 Posts: 957 Joined: 31/Jan/2006
Boro

You’ve got me thinking of the ’battle’ Frodo feels taking place inside him on Amon Hen, between the ’Voice’ & the ’Eye’. Whether that also is an indication of the power & influence of the Ring on him in the same way you describe happening with Smeagol/Gollum is another question.

With Frodo the situation is different - he recognises that he is neither the Voice not the Eye & feels himself ’impaled’ on a point between them, ’writhing’. It would seem that rather than, as in Frodo’s case where there were ’three people in the marriage’ - Frodo himself, Sauron & Gandalf, in Smeagol’s case there was a split personality already developing & the Ring simply blew that potential split apart. The ’Gollum’aspect was reinforced by the Ring (with which it was ’in alignment&rsquo & the Smeagol part was effectively overwhelmed. There does not seem to have been a ’Gandalf’ to help him fight the lure of the Ring as there was for Frodo.

(ps, if anyone’s already made that point - sorry, but I’ve just come in on this one & promise to read through the thread later.



Captain Bingo 15/Oct/2006 at 09:50 AM
Messenger of Minas Tirith Points: 1573 Posts: 957 Joined: 31/Jan/2006
Boro

You’ve got me thinking of the ’battle’ Frodo feels taking place inside him on Amon Hen, between the ’Voice’ & the ’Eye’. Whether that also is an indication of the power & influence of the Ring on him in the same way you describe happening with Smeagol/Gollum is another question.

With Frodo the situation is different - he recognises that he is neither the Voice not the Eye & feels himself ’impaled’ on a point between them, ’writhing’. It would seem that rather than, as in Frodo’s case where there were ’three people in the marriage’ - Frodo himself, Sauron & Gandalf, in Smeagol’s case there was a split personality already developing & the Ring simply blew that potential split apart. The ’Gollum’aspect was reinforced by the Ring (with which it was ’in alignment&rsquo & the Smeagol part was effectively overwhelmed. There does not seem to have been a ’Gandalf’ to help him fight the lure of the Ring as there was for Frodo.

(ps, if anyone’s already made that point - sorry, but I’ve just come in on this one & promise to read through the thread later.



Boromir88 15/Oct/2006 at 12:40 PM
Merchant of Minas Tirith Points: 3627 Posts: 2473 Joined: 24/Mar/2005

Captain Bingo......I’m glad you pointed that out.  I think it goes to show just how important names are in Middle-earth.  Your name is your identity and it defines who you are.  The best example I can think of are the Ents, where their real names are the stories of their lives.

Names have a special significance in Middle-earth and to forget your name means you have lost your identity and are controlled by another power.  Take for instance, the Nazgul who are not named, as they are complete servants to Sauron.  Same for the Mouth of Sauron, who forgets his name, as another example.

You mention the scene on Amon Hen with Frodo, the Voice, and the Eye.  In this moment Frodo is able to realize that he is neither the Voice nor the Eye, but he is Frodo, he is his own person:

The two powers strove in him.  For a moment, perfectly balanced between their piercing points, he writhed, tormented.  Suddenly he was aware of himself again.  Frodo, neither the Voice nor the Eye: free to choose, and with one remaining instant in which to do so.  He took the Ring of his finger.~Breaking of the Fellowship

The two striving power are trying to influence Frodo, or even control his actions. Leave it on!  Take it off! But Frodo comes to realize that he is not either of them, he is his own person, and it is his choice to make.  He happens to wisely listen to the Voice, though it’s important to recognize that Frodo is not the Voice, he has his own identity; and he is Frodo.

With Smeagol, for the longest time he loses sight of his real name, because of the Ring.  As MeM points out Gollum is not his true name, it was applied to him after getting the Ring.  It is because of the Ring also that Gollum is the person he becomes.  The difference between Gollum and say, the Nazgul or the Mouth of Sauron, is that he never forgot his true name, he just lost sight of it for a long time.  His small hope of redemption is that he can actually remember his name (as Frodo shows him Pity and reminds him his name is Smeagol).  He is able to remember his real name, and establish back his former identity.  Unfortunately, as Tolkien points out the strong hold the Ring had already over him (along with Sam’s snapping at Gollum’s ’pawing’...the pivotol moment of Gollum’s redemption) makes Gollum’s redemption impossible.

Boromir88 15/Oct/2006 at 12:40 PM
Merchant of Minas Tirith Points: 3627 Posts: 2473 Joined: 24/Mar/2005

Captain Bingo......I’m glad you pointed that out.  I think it goes to show just how important names are in Middle-earth.  Your name is your identity and it defines who you are.  The best example I can think of are the Ents, where their real names are the stories of their lives.

Names have a special significance in Middle-earth and to forget your name means you have lost your identity and are controlled by another power.  Take for instance, the Nazgul who are not named, as they are complete servants to Sauron.  Same for the Mouth of Sauron, who forgets his name, as another example.

You mention the scene on Amon Hen with Frodo, the Voice, and the Eye.  In this moment Frodo is able to realize that he is neither the Voice nor the Eye, but he is Frodo, he is his own person:

The two powers strove in him.  For a moment, perfectly balanced between their piercing points, he writhed, tormented.  Suddenly he was aware of himself again.  Frodo, neither the Voice nor the Eye: free to choose, and with one remaining instant in which to do so.  He took the Ring of his finger.~Breaking of the Fellowship

The two striving power are trying to influence Frodo, or even control his actions. Leave it on!  Take it off! But Frodo comes to realize that he is not either of them, he is his own person, and it is his choice to make.  He happens to wisely listen to the Voice, though it’s important to recognize that Frodo is not the Voice, he has his own identity; and he is Frodo.

With Smeagol, for the longest time he loses sight of his real name, because of the Ring.  As MeM points out Gollum is not his true name, it was applied to him after getting the Ring.  It is because of the Ring also that Gollum is the person he becomes.  The difference between Gollum and say, the Nazgul or the Mouth of Sauron, is that he never forgot his true name, he just lost sight of it for a long time.  His small hope of redemption is that he can actually remember his name (as Frodo shows him Pity and reminds him his name is Smeagol).  He is able to remember his real name, and establish back his former identity.  Unfortunately, as Tolkien points out the strong hold the Ring had already over him (along with Sam’s snapping at Gollum’s ’pawing’...the pivotol moment of Gollum’s redemption) makes Gollum’s redemption impossible.

mighty ent man 06/Nov/2006 at 03:24 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Boromir88 - I agree with MeM, here.  And if I may say so you have been arguing quite magnificently.  - Thankyou! Sorry for the late reply I thought this thread had died! Now it is resurrected I will reply to your post. I apologise if my post does not make huge sense as I have not thought about this issue for a long time!

I agree with you that the Ring polarizes the two sides within Smeagol. However you could in one sense of the word say that the Ring did create Gollum. You see the Ring created the gap for the Gollum side to take over dominance and control of Smeagols mind. It allowed his mind to now become a subject of the Ring and thus a subject of the bad Gollum side.

I think that the instant that Smeagol murdered to aquire the Ring this gave the Ring something more that it could work on. I remember Tolkien saying somewhere (might have been Gandalf, wise man!) that because Bilbo began his ownership of the Ring with pity this lessened the long term and short term effect of the Ring on him. Smeagol killed for it and this I think showed the Ring it had control of him.

Yes you see I like the point about names. Very interesting. Gollum is not his name but he takes it as his name. He forgets his identity and becomes a slave to the Ring, he becomes the identity of the Ring. I love that point about names and Frodo’s choice on Amon Hen!

 

mighty ent man 06/Nov/2006 at 03:24 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Boromir88 - I agree with MeM, here.  And if I may say so you have been arguing quite magnificently.  - Thankyou! Sorry for the late reply I thought this thread had died! Now it is resurrected I will reply to your post. I apologise if my post does not make huge sense as I have not thought about this issue for a long time!

I agree with you that the Ring polarizes the two sides within Smeagol. However you could in one sense of the word say that the Ring did create Gollum. You see the Ring created the gap for the Gollum side to take over dominance and control of Smeagols mind. It allowed his mind to now become a subject of the Ring and thus a subject of the bad Gollum side.

I think that the instant that Smeagol murdered to aquire the Ring this gave the Ring something more that it could work on. I remember Tolkien saying somewhere (might have been Gandalf, wise man!) that because Bilbo began his ownership of the Ring with pity this lessened the long term and short term effect of the Ring on him. Smeagol killed for it and this I think showed the Ring it had control of him.

Yes you see I like the point about names. Very interesting. Gollum is not his name but he takes it as his name. He forgets his identity and becomes a slave to the Ring, he becomes the identity of the Ring. I love that point about names and Frodo’s choice on Amon Hen!

 

Boromir88 06/Nov/2006 at 09:23 PM
Merchant of Minas Tirith Points: 3627 Posts: 2473 Joined: 24/Mar/2005

MeM, I still don’t know if ’create’ would be the best wording for the effects of the Ring.  It’s more of a nit-picky thing, I just don’t know if create is the best word to us.  Now, this is just me tossing some ideas into the fan here, but what I’ve been thinking...

If we look at the individuals that get the Ring and use it, or are tempted by it, I think that is a strong clue as to their nature and their personality.  It’s kind of an ’inside-look’ at what the person wants deep down, and how that individual is as a person.  I’ll take Bilbo, Boromir, and Sam as examples...

Boromir- Boromir was anxious for Gondor’s victory and his own glory that would go along with it.  This wasn’t something ’new’ the Ring created in Boromir, it was already what he wanted.  It was already within him, so the Ring cleverly uses this desire to it’s advantage and tempt Boromir:
"What could not a warrior do in this hour, a great leader? What could not Aragorn do? Or if he refuses, why not Boromir? The Ring would give me power of Command. How I would drive the hosts of Mordor, and all men would flock to my banners."~Breaking of the Fellowship
And as evident by Faramir’s remarks about his brother, we see this wasn’t some new idea the Ring instilled in Boromir:
I can well believe that Boromir, the proud the fearless, often rash, ever anxious for the victory of Minas Tirith (and his own glory therein), might desire such a thing and be allured by it.~Window of the West

Sam- Sam was a gardener, so it’s no coincidence that when the Ring tempts him it offers:
And then all the clouds rolled away, and the white sun shone, and at his command the vale of Gorgoroth became a garden of flowers and trees and brought forth fruit. He had only to put on teh Ring and claim it for his own, and all this could be.~The Tower of Cirith Ungol
I imagine it like to an effect of ’Put me on and claim me.  Whatever you want, I can make happen.’

Bilbo- When Bilbo acquires the Ring he doesn’t go around thieving, hiding, and using it for ’everything that was hurtful.’  He avoids the Sackville-Bagginses and uses it as an occasional joke.  Which shows us the type of hobbit Bilbo was.  He was pretty much a good-natured person that liked to play some pranks and have some fun.

Now you are right in that the circumstances one acquires the Ring effects how soon the Ring gets a hold of you.  But, I don’t know if that really effects the argument I’m trying to make here.  Acquiring the Ring out of good reasons (like Bilbo getting it out of Pity) slows the how strong of the hold the Ring gets on the bearer.  I don’t know if it effects the way the person uses the Ring or not.  I think it only effects the amount of time the Ring gets a hold of you...in the sense that feeling of ’I need to have the Ring,’ ’The Ring is mine and no one else’s.’  Certainly Bilbo’s snap at Gandalf when he asks Bilbo to let go of the Ring is out of his character (and this is because of the Ring).  I think this is a matter of how strong of a hold the ring gets on the bearer, not what the bearer desires/does with the Ring.

Which is why I don’t think ’create’ is the best wording to use.  I guess technically you could say because of the Ring, Smeagol became Gollum...but the Ring didn’t create Gollum.  The ’evil’ (which I will refer to as - the Gollum - since I think that’s a good label for the ’evil factors’ within Smeagol), was already there.  It was already present in Smeagol...so it really didn’t create Gollum.  It more ’awoke Gollum’ from his slumber, from his dormancy.  It made Gollum come out and overpower Smeagol to become the dominant trait, the dominant personality.

Smeagol murdering Deagol almost as soon as he sees the Ring tells us Smeagol had a weak-mind already that was easily corrupted by the Ring.  However, I think what he does once he gets the Ring shows us how his personality was like prior to ever seeing the Ring.  Smeagol was already a ’mean soul’ and ’mean son of the thief’ so it’s no wonder when he receives the ring he takes up thieving, he uses it for all that is hurtful...etc.  Just as the Ring would use Gandalf’s desire to do good/help, just as the Ring used Boromir’s desire for the victory of Gondor and his own glory...and etc.  It didn’t create anything, it used what was already in the person to its own advantage and awoke it.

 

Boromir88 06/Nov/2006 at 09:23 PM
Merchant of Minas Tirith Points: 3627 Posts: 2473 Joined: 24/Mar/2005

MeM, I still don’t know if ’create’ would be the best wording for the effects of the Ring.  It’s more of a nit-picky thing, I just don’t know if create is the best word to us.  Now, this is just me tossing some ideas into the fan here, but what I’ve been thinking...

If we look at the individuals that get the Ring and use it, or are tempted by it, I think that is a strong clue as to their nature and their personality.  It’s kind of an ’inside-look’ at what the person wants deep down, and how that individual is as a person.  I’ll take Bilbo, Boromir, and Sam as examples...

Boromir- Boromir was anxious for Gondor’s victory and his own glory that would go along with it.  This wasn’t something ’new’ the Ring created in Boromir, it was already what he wanted.  It was already within him, so the Ring cleverly uses this desire to it’s advantage and tempt Boromir:
"What could not a warrior do in this hour, a great leader? What could not Aragorn do? Or if he refuses, why not Boromir? The Ring would give me power of Command. How I would drive the hosts of Mordor, and all men would flock to my banners."~Breaking of the Fellowship
And as evident by Faramir’s remarks about his brother, we see this wasn’t some new idea the Ring instilled in Boromir:
I can well believe that Boromir, the proud the fearless, often rash, ever anxious for the victory of Minas Tirith (and his own glory therein), might desire such a thing and be allured by it.~Window of the West

Sam- Sam was a gardener, so it’s no coincidence that when the Ring tempts him it offers:
And then all the clouds rolled away, and the white sun shone, and at his command the vale of Gorgoroth became a garden of flowers and trees and brought forth fruit. He had only to put on teh Ring and claim it for his own, and all this could be.~The Tower of Cirith Ungol
I imagine it like to an effect of ’Put me on and claim me.  Whatever you want, I can make happen.’

Bilbo- When Bilbo acquires the Ring he doesn’t go around thieving, hiding, and using it for ’everything that was hurtful.’  He avoids the Sackville-Bagginses and uses it as an occasional joke.  Which shows us the type of hobbit Bilbo was.  He was pretty much a good-natured person that liked to play some pranks and have some fun.

Now you are right in that the circumstances one acquires the Ring effects how soon the Ring gets a hold of you.  But, I don’t know if that really effects the argument I’m trying to make here.  Acquiring the Ring out of good reasons (like Bilbo getting it out of Pity) slows the how strong of the hold the Ring gets on the bearer.  I don’t know if it effects the way the person uses the Ring or not.  I think it only effects the amount of time the Ring gets a hold of you...in the sense that feeling of ’I need to have the Ring,’ ’The Ring is mine and no one else’s.’  Certainly Bilbo’s snap at Gandalf when he asks Bilbo to let go of the Ring is out of his character (and this is because of the Ring).  I think this is a matter of how strong of a hold the ring gets on the bearer, not what the bearer desires/does with the Ring.

Which is why I don’t think ’create’ is the best wording to use.  I guess technically you could say because of the Ring, Smeagol became Gollum...but the Ring didn’t create Gollum.  The ’evil’ (which I will refer to as - the Gollum - since I think that’s a good label for the ’evil factors’ within Smeagol), was already there.  It was already present in Smeagol...so it really didn’t create Gollum.  It more ’awoke Gollum’ from his slumber, from his dormancy.  It made Gollum come out and overpower Smeagol to become the dominant trait, the dominant personality.

Smeagol murdering Deagol almost as soon as he sees the Ring tells us Smeagol had a weak-mind already that was easily corrupted by the Ring.  However, I think what he does once he gets the Ring shows us how his personality was like prior to ever seeing the Ring.  Smeagol was already a ’mean soul’ and ’mean son of the thief’ so it’s no wonder when he receives the ring he takes up thieving, he uses it for all that is hurtful...etc.  Just as the Ring would use Gandalf’s desire to do good/help, just as the Ring used Boromir’s desire for the victory of Gondor and his own glory...and etc.  It didn’t create anything, it used what was already in the person to its own advantage and awoke it.

 

mighty ent man 07/Nov/2006 at 04:53 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Boromir88 - Oh I know that create is not the best word to use to describe what happened when Smeagol took up ownership of the Ring but let me try and explain first. You mentioned in one post that you liked my idea of the scale for his mind. Now let me go back to that idea. If you remember it we had one end called Smeagol and the other end called Gollum. Now before the Ring entered the equation we had Smeagol at one end which was dominant and then at the other end we simply had the bad side, with no name. It is only when the Ring comes along that this bad side becomes to dominant as to be given its own name, Gollum. This is where I see creation happening. The word Gollum is created and formed.

I agree with you that the Ring did not create what Gollum is, as in the evil inside Smeagol. That was as you say already there. But the Ring did create something more than simply thieving or mischief, it made this bad side of Smeagol much worse. Leading to the creation of the whole form Gollum.

Hmm I do agree that it awoke desires in Smeagol and out of those Gollum was born.

 

mighty ent man 07/Nov/2006 at 04:53 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Boromir88 - Oh I know that create is not the best word to use to describe what happened when Smeagol took up ownership of the Ring but let me try and explain first. You mentioned in one post that you liked my idea of the scale for his mind. Now let me go back to that idea. If you remember it we had one end called Smeagol and the other end called Gollum. Now before the Ring entered the equation we had Smeagol at one end which was dominant and then at the other end we simply had the bad side, with no name. It is only when the Ring comes along that this bad side becomes to dominant as to be given its own name, Gollum. This is where I see creation happening. The word Gollum is created and formed.

I agree with you that the Ring did not create what Gollum is, as in the evil inside Smeagol. That was as you say already there. But the Ring did create something more than simply thieving or mischief, it made this bad side of Smeagol much worse. Leading to the creation of the whole form Gollum.

Hmm I do agree that it awoke desires in Smeagol and out of those Gollum was born.

 

Boromir88 07/Nov/2006 at 08:07 AM
Merchant of Minas Tirith Points: 3627 Posts: 2473 Joined: 24/Mar/2005
Ahhh, I see what you’re saying MeM...the ring didn’t create the ’evil tendancies’ in Smeagol, but it did create Gollum in a sense.  Since Smeagol wasn’t called Gollum until after he got possession of the Ring and used it the way he did. 
Boromir88 07/Nov/2006 at 08:07 AM
Merchant of Minas Tirith Points: 3627 Posts: 2473 Joined: 24/Mar/2005
Ahhh, I see what you’re saying MeM...the ring didn’t create the ’evil tendancies’ in Smeagol, but it did create Gollum in a sense.  Since Smeagol wasn’t called Gollum until after he got possession of the Ring and used it the way he did. 
mighty ent man 08/Nov/2006 at 03:19 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Boromir88 - Yes now you see what I am getting at. The word Gollum did not exist prior to the Ring taking hold of Smeagol. So we have to say that the word Gollum was created by the Ring. Following on from this could we not also say that the identity known as Gollum was created by the Ring. Not the evil inside but the identity that we see named Gollum.

Basically I am just looking at some semantics and the formation of the language!  

mighty ent man 08/Nov/2006 at 03:19 AM
Ent Elder of Fangorn Points: 6964 Posts: 6236 Joined: 04/Nov/2003

Boromir88 - Yes now you see what I am getting at. The word Gollum did not exist prior to the Ring taking hold of Smeagol. So we have to say that the word Gollum was created by the Ring. Following on from this could we not also say that the identity known as Gollum was created by the Ring. Not the evil inside but the identity that we see named Gollum.

Basically I am just looking at some semantics and the formation of the language!  

Faldras 18/Nov/2006 at 09:01 PM
Melkor Points: 11073 Posts: 6600 Joined: 28/Mar/2004
Is there perhaps one we are forgetting?

`Could we not still send messages to him and obtain his help?’ asked Erestor. `It seems that he has a power even over the Ring.’
`No, I should not put it so,’ said Gandalf. `Say rather that the Ring has no power over him. He is his own master. But he cannot alter the Ring itself, nor break its power over others.’
The Fellowship of the Ring: The Council of Elrond


Tom Bombadil seems to be the exception to just about anything, so I don’t think this is too damaging to the theory of the Ring’s inevitable influence over any other bearer.

I do agree with the conclusion that Smeagol/Gollum’s condition should not be subject to classification given that he is a literary character and Tolkien not a psychologist or psychiatrist. From what I’ve learned about cases of split personality in my short span of psychology is that the personalities are not in contact with each other, do not share a memory, and are generally not both present at the same time to be able to hold a conversation, as we see Gollum and Smeagol having.

What it does look like to me, in the one such instance of the conversation I recall in the Dead Marshes, is a common internal conflict that many of us sometimes have (when an angel appears on one shoulder and a devil on the other). It seems to me that he was simply thinking out loud, believing the hobbits to be asleep. It helps the story (and the reader) that Sam was able to hear these thoughts, for little, if anything, was written from Smeagol’s perspective.

Therefore I would say that Smeagol and Gollum are two sides to single personality.
Faldras 18/Nov/2006 at 09:01 PM
Melkor Points: 11073 Posts: 6600 Joined: 28/Mar/2004
Is there perhaps one we are forgetting?

`Could we not still send messages to him and obtain his help?’ asked Erestor. `It seems that he has a power even over the Ring.’
`No, I should not put it so,’ said Gandalf. `Say rather that the Ring has no power over him. He is his own master. But he cannot alter the Ring itself, nor break its power over others.’
The Fellowship of the Ring: The Council of Elrond


Tom Bombadil seems to be the exception to just about anything, so I don’t think this is too damaging to the theory of the Ring’s inevitable influence over any other bearer.

I do agree with the conclusion that Smeagol/Gollum’s condition should not be subject to classification given that he is a literary character and Tolkien not a psychologist or psychiatrist. From what I’ve learned about cases of split personality in my short span of psychology is that the personalities are not in contact with each other, do not share a memory, and are generally not both present at the same time to be able to hold a conversation, as we see Gollum and Smeagol having.

What it does look like to me, in the one such instance of the conversation I recall in the Dead Marshes, is a common internal conflict that many of us sometimes have (when an angel appears on one shoulder and a devil on the other). It seems to me that he was simply thinking out loud, believing the hobbits to be asleep. It helps the story (and the reader) that Sam was able to hear these thoughts, for little, if anything, was written from Smeagol’s perspective.

Therefore I would say that Smeagol and Gollum are two sides to single personality.
Darkrider01 30/Nov/2006 at 07:34 PM
Thief of Mordor Points: 197 Posts: 219 Joined: 07/Dec/2004
it was only a matter of time before this started, the phycology of smeagol and gollum. ive been intrested in it for about 2 years now. i like the idea that the "other person" or gollum is sauron himself. however it was, then why would it want to keep the ring for itself and out of saurons grasp? it wanted the ring for itself. i personally agree with what fladras just said, Smeagol and Gollum are two sides to single personality
Darkrider01 30/Nov/2006 at 07:34 PM
Thief of Mordor Points: 197 Posts: 219 Joined: 07/Dec/2004
it was only a matter of time before this started, the phycology of smeagol and gollum. ive been intrested in it for about 2 years now. i like the idea that the "other person" or gollum is sauron himself. however it was, then why would it want to keep the ring for itself and out of saurons grasp? it wanted the ring for itself. i personally agree with what fladras just said, Smeagol and Gollum are two sides to single personality
Nenarye 30/Nov/2006 at 09:09 PM
Defender of Imladris Points: 839 Posts: 376 Joined: 08/Oct/2006
I don’t really think Gollum or Smeagol are linked to Sauron in any way, because like Darkrider said, why would he want to keep the ring out of his own grasp (Sauron)?

Faldras - "Tom Bombadil seems to be the exception to just about anything"
Very True
Nenarye 30/Nov/2006 at 09:09 PM
Defender of Imladris Points: 839 Posts: 376 Joined: 08/Oct/2006
I don’t really think Gollum or Smeagol are linked to Sauron in any way, because like Darkrider said, why would he want to keep the ring out of his own grasp (Sauron)?

Faldras - "Tom Bombadil seems to be the exception to just about anything"
Very True
elvenboy20 09/Dec/2006 at 09:12 AM
Vagrant of Minas Tirith Points: 41 Posts: 32 Joined: 07/Oct/2006
I think it would have been neat if gollum had met frodo in his regular hobbit way and he didnt kill his friend over a ring and met frodo in the shire years later and actually became friends with bilbo but then they might not have found out there way to mordor so its better that he is the way he is so he could show them the way like he did 
Naduil 16/Dec/2006 at 04:42 AM
Gardener of Lothlorien Points: 182 Posts: 753 Joined: 02/Dec/2006
Smeagol is the good hobbit. Gollum is the bad creature. Gollum has a stronger will which is influenced by suaron, and allows him to control Smeagol. Smeagol is good but weak willed, when something bad happens to him Gollum can take control. Nuff said.
Kaulargorn 17/Dec/2006 at 11:48 AM
Messenger of Minas Tirith Points: 938 Posts: 149 Joined: 30/May/2006
In my opinion the appearance of Gollum in Smeagol’s personality is exclusively the loniless and need of Smeagol to survive. When Smeagol was left alone he found it very hard to survive. At that time Gollum, a strong character able of doing bad things and a leader to Smeagol should be developed in order to survive in the wildness completely alone
Poppy Burrows 26/Dec/2006 at 04:45 AM
Gardener of the Shire Points: 174 Posts: 43 Joined: 25/Dec/2006
Smigol was not a very nice person (hobbit in fact!) to bigin with so it was proberly easyer for the ring to take hold of him, and turn him to evil ways. In a way I think that Tolkien might of created him as a kind of morror of warning to Frodo, showing him what he could become if he has the ring for to long. Alo the Smigol vs Gullum splitt personality could have grown from the fact of Smigol being so lonely. Oh and intresting topic by the way  Hope you can work it out!
Arthur Weasley 29/Dec/2006 at 05:00 AM
Banned Points: 4289 Posts: 3987 Joined: 29/Nov/2002
OOH!  Great thoughts Guys!
Turambar_77 01/Jan/2007 at 04:30 AM
Mercenary of Minas Tirith Points: 417 Posts: 275 Joined: 08/Sep/2006
I agree that Gollum is a warning to Frodo, Poppy Burrows... Perhaps Frodo and Gollum are supposed to be "opposites": they have the same origins, are of the same race, yet, the effect the ring had on them is completely different... and Frodo has to believe he can help Gollum, as he (I think) also says in the movie because otherwise, he couldn’t believe in himself...