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Smeagol and Deagol

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  • Mark Harris
    A disappointment of Jackson s film was the elimination (at least so far) of the Gollum backstory: not just the riddling session with Bilbo, but the murder of
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 5, 2002
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      A disappointment of Jackson's film was the
      elimination (at least so far) of the Gollum backstory:
      not just the riddling session with Bilbo, but the
      murder of Deagol. (If I were writing the adaptation, I
      would spotlight this as a flashback; but if I
      were writing the adaptation, I would put the emphases
      in entirely different places than Jackson puts them.)

      The way the film shows things, Gollum (Smeagol) just
      found the ring, but that is not the case, and it is
      because he obtained it by violence that he took such
      extreme harm from its possession. This is the
      necessary parallel to Bilbo's taking so little harm
      from the ring because he spared Gollum when he could
      have
      killed him:

      "A sudden understanding, a pity mixed with horror,
      welled up in Bilbo's heart: a glimpse of endless
      unmarked days without light or hope of betterment,
      hard stone, cold fish, sneaking and whispering." (The
      Hobbit, Chapter V, "Riddles in the Dark")

      This flash of empathy, crucial for the epic and its
      moral underpinning, has at least a partial basis in
      kinship. Is Jackson going to make it clear that Gollum
      is in fact a degraded hobbit? Gollum's exercise of his
      moral agency, "for good and ill", as Gandalf puts it,
      rests upon these facts, but so far there is little
      indication that Jackson is going to treat him as
      anything but another monster.

      Mark


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    • michael_martinez2
      ... I m not defending Peter s changes to the story, but I m not sure Gollum will be treated as just another monster. Peter has certainly riddled Middle-earth
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 6, 2002
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        --- In mythsoc@y..., Mark Harris <mark_r_harris@y...> wrote:
        >
        > This flash of empathy, crucial for the epic and its
        > moral underpinning, has at least a partial basis in
        > kinship. Is Jackson going to make it clear that Gollum
        > is in fact a degraded hobbit? Gollum's exercise of his
        > moral agency, "for good and ill", as Gandalf puts it,
        > rests upon these facts, but so far there is little
        > indication that Jackson is going to treat him as
        > anything but another monster.

        I'm not defending Peter's changes to the story, but I'm not sure
        Gollum will be treated as just another monster. Peter has certainly
        riddled Middle-earth with monsters, but why would he leave in the
        dialogue where Gandalf tells Frodo that pity stayed Bilbo's hand,
        when he had the chance to kill Gollum?

        I think Peter intends to explore Gollum's character, and though it
        may not be as good a portrayal as that in the book, it's a given that
        much of what appears in the book cannot be translated to the big
        screen so easily anyway.
      • grannygreek
        ... I think that Jackson will put the Smeagol/Deagol story in later. we see a hand lifting the ring from the water, but it doesn t tell us who the hand belongs
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 6, 2002
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          --- In mythsoc@y..., Mark Harris <mark_r_harris@y...> wrote:
          > A disappointment of Jackson's film was the
          > elimination (at least so far) of the Gollum backstory:
          > not just the riddling session with Bilbo, but the
          > murder of Deagol. (If I were writing the adaptation, I
          > would spotlight this as a flashback; but if I
          > were writing the adaptation, I would put the emphases
          > in entirely different places than Jackson puts them.)

          I think that Jackson will put the Smeagol/Deagol story in later. we
          see a hand lifting the ring from the water, but it doesn't tell us
          who the hand belongs too, we then cut to Gollum saying that the ring
          is his - it came to him, as if he is trying to convince himself that
          he was right to murder Deagol. From this I am convinced that Jackson
          will put this part in as a flashback later on. I think it will
          probably work better in the two towers, we didn't see much of Gollum
          in fotr, so those who don't know the story will be more shocked at
          the extent of Gollums crimes when they are seeing more of him, than
          if they were told in fotr but later forgot it because of everything
          else that happened.
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