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RE: Why Gollum had to die...

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  • SHADOWKamen
    Tolkien explained once that Gollum could not live without the existence of the Ring. Consider Bilbo. He seemed to be quite sound of mind before Frodo set out
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 2, 2005
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      Tolkien explained once that Gollum could not live without the
      existence of the Ring. Consider Bilbo. He seemed to be quite sound
      of mind before Frodo set out for Mordor from Rivendell. A short time
      after the destruction of the Ring, he was positively going senile.
      Arwen touches on the subject in Minas Tirith when she says that the
      power of the Ring is gone and that Bilbo is affected by it. So if
      Bilbo, at the age of 129 was so quickly affected by the loss of the
      ring, imagine the effect on Gollum, who was 600 years old and whose
      long life span was the exclusive result of his possession of the
      ring. He would not last long. Even so, after making his vow to
      Frodo that he would never let the Ring get to Sauron, Gollum would,
      in Tolkien's words, have VOLUNTARILY cast himself into the cracks of
      doom when he saw that his weak halfling power could not keep the ring
      from the Nazgul who were fast approaching. Tolkien wrote several
      versions of the destruction of the Ring outside the cracks of doom,
      going so far as to have Frodo get into a debate with the lord of the
      nazgul. Gollum would have seized the ring and killed himself with it
      rather than let the dark lord get it back.

      He says that Frodo, when claiming the Ring would have a vision of the
      futility of his claiming it. But this vision was cut short because
      he was attacked by Gollum. If Gollum had had a few minutes longer,
      he too would have claimed the Ring, seen that it was a waste of time
      to do so and then cast himself into the fire with it. It is quite
      clear that Tolkien never envisaged the possibility of Gollum living
      beyond the cracks of doom.

      We see further insight with the comments on Frodo. Sauron or the
      witch king would have taken the ring from him with no problems.
      Frodo would have been "crushed to dust" (Tolkien's words)
      or "preserved in torment as a gibbering slave". But Frodo was only
      51 years old. Gollum would have met a similar fate and life would
      have become too much of a torment from him, seeing the ring on
      Sauron's hand again, unassailable, never any hope of possessing it
      again.
    • Wilson, Bruce
      ... From: SHADOWKamen [mailto:psycho_neko_king@yahoo.com] Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2005 3:52 PM To: TolkienDiscussions@yahoogroups.com Subject:
      Message 2 of 10 , Mar 2, 2005
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        -----Original Message-----
        From: SHADOWKamen [mailto:psycho_neko_king@...]
        Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2005 3:52 PM
        To: TolkienDiscussions@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [TolkienDiscussions] RE: Why Gollum had to die...





        [Wilson, Bruce] Even so, after making his vow to
        Frodo that he would never let the Ring get to Sauron, Gollum would,
        in Tolkien's words, have VOLUNTARILY cast himself into the cracks of
        doom when he saw that his weak halfling power could not keep the ring
        from the Nazgul who were fast approaching.
        [Wilson, Bruce]
        Remember Frodo's curse when Gollum attacked him on the path: "If you touch me again you will cast yourself into the fire." (or something very like it)?


        Gollum would have met a similar fate and life would
        have become too much of a torment from him, seeing the ring on
        Sauron's hand again, unassailable, never any hope of possessing it
        again.
        [Wilson, Bruce] In Rivendell, after Frodo has recovered from the Morgul-knife, Gandalf said that if the wound had overcome him, Sauron would have tormented him for keeping the Ring, "if any torment could have been greater than seeing it daily on his hand". (Again, this is from memory, so I may not have the wording quite right.)





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      • Morjuc
        ... sound ... time ... of ... ring ... the ... it ... What you re saying is really intersting, but I m just having troubles following it, sorry. Could you
        Message 3 of 10 , Mar 2, 2005
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          --- In TolkienDiscussions@yahoogroups.com, "SHADOWKamen"
          <psycho_neko_king@y...> wrote:
          >
          > Tolkien explained once that Gollum could not live without the
          > existence of the Ring. Consider Bilbo. He seemed to be quite
          sound
          > of mind before Frodo set out for Mordor from Rivendell. A short
          time
          > after the destruction of the Ring, he was positively going senile.
          > Arwen touches on the subject in Minas Tirith when she says that the
          > power of the Ring is gone and that Bilbo is affected by it. So if
          > Bilbo, at the age of 129 was so quickly affected by the loss of the
          > ring, imagine the effect on Gollum, who was 600 years old and whose
          > long life span was the exclusive result of his possession of the
          > ring. He would not last long. Even so, after making his vow to
          > Frodo that he would never let the Ring get to Sauron, Gollum would,
          > in Tolkien's words, have VOLUNTARILY cast himself into the cracks
          of
          > doom when he saw that his weak halfling power could not keep the
          ring
          > from the Nazgul who were fast approaching. Tolkien wrote several
          > versions of the destruction of the Ring outside the cracks of doom,
          > going so far as to have Frodo get into a debate with the lord of
          the
          > nazgul. Gollum would have seized the ring and killed himself with
          it
          > rather than let the dark lord get it back.


          What you're saying is really intersting, but I'm just having
          troubles following it, sorry. Could you help me out?
          One thing thats confusing me: since Sauron put so much of his power
          in the one ring, wouldn't the ringbearer have a slight power to
          influence the Nazgul if he/she claimed it for themself? Also,
          Gollum killing himself with the ring, is that in the cracks of doom
          so the ring gets destroyed too, or would the ring still be there?

          > He says that Frodo, when claiming the Ring would have a vision of
          the
          > futility of his claiming it. But this vision was cut short because
          > he was attacked by Gollum. If Gollum had had a few minutes longer,
          > he too would have claimed the Ring, seen that it was a waste of
          time
          > to do so and then cast himself into the fire with it. It is quite
          > clear that Tolkien never envisaged the possibility of Gollum living
          > beyond the cracks of doom.

          Out of curiosity, what would gollum have done if Frodo had realized
          that seizing the ring was futile and had cast himself into the fire?

          > We see further insight with the comments on Frodo. Sauron or the
          > witch king would have taken the ring from him with no problems.
          > Frodo would have been "crushed to dust" (Tolkien's words)
          > or "preserved in torment as a gibbering slave". But Frodo was only
          > 51 years old. Gollum would have met a similar fate and life would
          > have become too much of a torment from him, seeing the ring on
          > Sauron's hand again, unassailable, never any hope of possessing it
          > again.


          Thanks for putting up with my confusion :)

          Galad
        • Jack
          Gandalf explains that you need a lot of practice and a very strong will, used to dominating others, to control the ring The ring was forged in Mount Doom -
          Message 4 of 10 , Mar 2, 2005
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            Gandalf explains that you need a lot of practice and a very strong will,
            used to dominating others, to control the ring

            The ring was forged in Mount Doom - it's the only place where it can be
            unmade

            I expect that Gollum would have jumped in after him. But I don't think that
            Frodo would have realised that - the ring had been working on his mind for
            months and was acting to protect itself from harm


            :o)
            Jack
            -----Original Message-----
            From: Morjuc [mailto:morjuc@...]
            What you're saying is really intersting, but I'm just having
            troubles following it, sorry. Could you help me out?
            One thing thats confusing me: since Sauron put so much of his power
            in the one ring, wouldn't the ringbearer have a slight power to
            influence the Nazgul if he/she claimed it for themself? Also,
            Gollum killing himself with the ring, is that in the cracks of doom
            so the ring gets destroyed too, or would the ring still be there?

            Out of curiosity, what would gollum have done if Frodo had realized
            that seizing the ring was futile and had cast himself into the fire?
          • ethiercn@aol.com
            Tolkien wrote in one his letters that if Frodo had taken the ring, the Nazgul would have appeared and let him think he was controling them. They would appear
            Message 5 of 10 , Mar 3, 2005
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              Tolkien wrote in one his letters that if Frodo had taken the ring, the Nazgul
              would have appeared and let him think he was controling them. They would
              appear to follow him so they could take the Ring or hold onto Frodo until the
              Dark Lord came.

              Chris



              a message dated 3/3/2005 12:59:15 AM Eastern Standard Time, morjuc@...
              writes:
              What you're saying is really intersting, but I'm just having
              troubles following it, sorry. Could you help me out?
              One thing thats confusing me: since Sauron put so much of his power
              in the one ring, wouldn't the ringbearer have a slight power to
              influence the Nazgul if he/she claimed it for themself? Also,
              Gollum killing himself with the ring, is that in the cracks of doom
              so the ring gets destroyed too, or would the ring still be there?


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • deepcoffee@yahoo.com
              There are two oaths (for lack of a better term) that seemed to indicate Gollum would die if he betrayed Frodo. 1. The oath Frodo made Gollum swear on the
              Message 6 of 10 , Mar 6, 2005
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                There are two oaths (for lack of a better term) that seemed to indicate Gollum would
                die if he betrayed Frodo.

                1. The oath Frodo made Gollum swear on the Precious/Ring.

                2. And at their parting in Ithilien, Faramir said to Gollum something like, "may death
                take you if you betray Frodo."

                I think Gollum's IMMEDIATE death after stealing the Ring back had a lot to do with the
                power of oath-breaking in Tolkien's Middle Earth universe.

                I think the first oath--the one sworn on the Ring--was probably more powerful. But I
                hesitate to disregard Faramir's statement. Maybe Tolkien used Faramir's statement
                more as literary foreshadowing, and the oath on the Ring led to Gollum's quick death.

                Any thoughts?
              • Ink
                I m not saying what you are saying is wrong but didn t he betray Frodo to Shelob long before he died. On Mon, 07 Mar 2005 05:16:18 -0000, deepcoffee@yahoo.com
                Message 7 of 10 , Mar 6, 2005
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                  I'm not saying what you are saying is wrong but didn't he betray Frodo
                  to Shelob long before he died.


                  On Mon, 07 Mar 2005 05:16:18 -0000, deepcoffee@...
                  <deepcoffee@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > There are two oaths (for lack of a better term) that seemed to indicate
                  > Gollum would
                  > die if he betrayed Frodo.
                  >
                  > 1. The oath Frodo made Gollum swear on the Precious/Ring.
                  >
                  > 2. And at their parting in Ithilien, Faramir said to Gollum something
                  > like, "may death
                  > take you if you betray Frodo."
                  >
                  > I think Gollum's IMMEDIATE death after stealing the Ring back had a lot to
                  > do with the
                  > power of oath-breaking in Tolkien's Middle Earth universe.
                  >
                  > I think the first oath--the one sworn on the Ring--was probably more
                  > powerful. But I
                  > hesitate to disregard Faramir's statement. Maybe Tolkien used Faramir's
                  > statement
                  > more as literary foreshadowing, and the oath on the Ring led to Gollum's
                  > quick death.
                  >
                  > Any thoughts?
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Come and visit our Tolkien Discussions group online and take advantage
                  > of our Messages, Chat, Files, Photos, Links, Database, Polls, Members,
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                  "Elen sila lumenn omentilmo"
                • Maeve Carney
                  ... Do you mean to say that consequences must happen immediately after the action to have meaning? Maybe Gollum didn t die straight away because he still
                  Message 8 of 10 , Mar 7, 2005
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                    Ink wrote:
                    >
                    > I'm not saying what you are saying is wrong but didn't he betray Frodo
                    > to Shelob long before he died.
                    >

                    Do you mean to say that consequences must happen immediately after the action to
                    have meaning? Maybe Gollum didn't die straight away because he still hadn't
                    fulfilled his function. All actions have consequences and just because a
                    consequence happens later doesn't mean it isn't directly related to the earlier
                    action. The betrayal of Frodo to Shelob was just another step in the
                    irredeamability (is there such a word?) of Gollum.

                    --

                    Maeve
                  • deepcoffee@yahoo.com
                    ... Yes, I agree with you that the whole thing isn t neat and tidy. In Gollum s mind at least, the oath was unbroken as long as Shelob did the dirty work and
                    Message 9 of 10 , Mar 7, 2005
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                      > I'm not saying what you are saying is wrong but didn't he betray Frodo
                      > to Shelob long before he died.

                      Yes, I agree with you that the whole thing isn't neat and tidy.

                      In Gollum's mind at least, the oath was unbroken as long as Shelob did the dirty work
                      and not Gollum himself. When Gollum snuck up behind Sam and grabbed him (this is
                      when Shelob was bearing down on Frodo to sting him), Gollum said something about
                      his being free to attack Sam but not "Master." A very, very nuanced technicallity.
                    • Wilson, Bruce
                      Exactly. Just because a poison does not kill one straightaway does not make it less of a poison if there is no antidote, or if one does not take it if there
                      Message 10 of 10 , Mar 7, 2005
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                        Exactly. Just because a poison does not kill one straightaway does not
                        make it less of a poison if there is no antidote, or if one does not
                        take it if there is one.

                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Maeve Carney [mailto:Purple1@...]
                        Sent: Monday, March 07, 2005 6:13 AM
                        To: TolkienDiscussions@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [TolkienDiscussions] Another reason Gollum had to die...


                        Ink wrote:
                        >
                        > I'm not saying what you are saying is wrong but didn't he betray Frodo
                        > to Shelob long before he died.
                        >

                        Do you mean to say that consequences must happen immediately after the
                        action to
                        have meaning? Maybe Gollum didn't die straight away because he still
                        hadn't
                        fulfilled his function. All actions have consequences and just because
                        a
                        consequence happens later doesn't mean it isn't directly related to the
                        earlier
                        action. The betrayal of Frodo to Shelob was just another step in the
                        irredeamability (is there such a word?) of Gollum.

                        --

                        Maeve


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