By now, everyone has their own agenda. Frodo wants to get to Mordor, however quickly he can. Sam wants to help Frodo do what he needs to do, but his highest priority is to get rid of Gollum. Gollum, well…he’s the hard one. He wants to save the ring. But he wants to keep Frodo alive because he promised. But he wants to kill Frodo. But…
Gollum says that there’s another way in. Another way? Why haven’t we heard of this before? You’d think that would have saved everyone a lot of time, but Gollum follows orders, and the orders were to go to the Black Gate. So here we are. Gollum goes on and on about how he does nice things for his nice master. Sam, meanwhile, finally lets us know about his feelings – that Gollum is a two-sided, no good, scruffy-looking nerfherder.
Today’s Gollum Meter: 53 – “In a holding pattern until your hand gets shown a little bit more.”
Here are Sam’s two nicknames: Slinker and Stinker. Slinker is Gollum’s Sméagol side, always seeming to do good, but slinking around in the background. Stinker is Gollum proper, the bad side of him that stinks up the place. Make sense? Sam believes that, for now, the two sides have found a middle ground. Neither wants Frodo taken, and both CERTAINLY want the ring to stay out of the reach of Sauron. So, they can work together to steer the hobbits away from the Black Gate. They’ll keep an eye on Frodo for as long as they need to, if it pleases them.
Keep this in mind, too: at one point Gollum talks of the secret way into Mordor in these terms: “Yess! Yess indeed!” Remember, I noticed that Gollum’s, um, Gollum side is the one with poor spelling and grammar. There he is.
No one dies today.
“Sam’s guess was that the Sméagol and Gollum halves (or what in his own mind he called Slinker and Stinker) had made a truce and a temporary alliance: neither wanted the Enemy to get the Ring; both wished to keep Frodo from capture, and under their eye, as long as possible – at any rate as long as Stinker still had a chance of laying hands on his ‘Precious’.”