More Gollum backstory! The last, I think.
Onward! Catch up to the present! So, Gollum found his way to Mordor, where he was invariably captured after sneaking around for a while. Then, he was examined, and Sauron would have learned all he needed to know: Gollum found a ring. It was not one of the Three, as their whereabouts are accounted for. The Seven and the Nine have all either been destroyed or taken by Sauron, so Gollum’s ring must have been the One. From there, Gollum would have told Sauron of the Shire, and the name he knew: Baggins.
Cue whiny Frodo.
But it's HARD...
He literally asks “What am I to do?” twice, and wishes Bilbo had killed Gollum. Again, Gandalf holds him back. Bilbo was stayed by pity, which is a good thing, and likely kept the evil of the ring from harming him. And perhaps Gollum still will be useful…
Today’s Gollum Meter: 40 – “Great. You told the one bad guy about the one thing we don’t want him to know about. Tortured to it, but still. Way to not take one for the team.”
How about that? Bilbo helped himself from the evil of the ring by not killing Gollum. Would you believe it? I know there isn’t such a thing (at least specifically) as karma in Middle-earth, but this has to be the closest thing. If you kill for the ring, like Gollum did, the evil of it will overpower you easier. Act with a virtue, like Bilbo, and you’ll help yourself out against it. If this were a video game, there would be a points system for things like that.
Being evil always means you have more money.
And, while this isn’t a feature, I can’t help discussing sage pieces of advice from Gandalf. Again, one of the better lines in the film: “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them?” First of all, this comes in Moria in the film. Here we are, still in the Shire. Anyway, it’s beautiful. I really can’t hear it in my mind without hearing it in Ian McKellen’s voice, which is such a testament both to the writing and the performance. What makes the line so poignant for me is the juxtaposition of the evil people who live along with the good people that die. You can’t give judgement in either case, which is what makes it all fair. It’s not just saying “Some people should die, but that’s not nice.” No. It’s that, plus those that should live. Sadly, neither can happen.
On a side note, I tend to like fictional universes better that exist with a strong balance between good and evil. Tolkien has it down perfectly. Usually, fictional worlds are too heavy handed with the evil, making the protagonist’s end goal a little overblown. In worlds like this one, good and evil must, and always will, coexist. Think about it: even in the end, evil exists in Middle-earth. Orcs, trolls, dragons, whatever. They don’t go away just because Sauron is defeated. And good still exists in Middle-earth when Sauron is in power aside from just Gandalf and the hobbits. It’s all so well done.
Okay, I don’t need this to become too much of a lovefest here. I can criticize too. I’ve already voiced my annoyances with Frodo.
In other (completely unrelated) news, I am a big Northwestern football fan. The ‘Cats beat the Boston College Eagles today. Somewhere, Radagast is unhappy.
Radagast is a known friend of birds.
“‘In any case we did…'”
Read Full Post »