It’s the end of the chapter, so does that mean that Sméagol is tamed?
That seems to be the case, with him being so happy right now. However, that makes Sam even more uneasy. Either way, with the dead of night upon them, Frodo, Sam, and Gollum finally move out. Now quite loquacious, Gollum talks about how there’s only one way through the upcoming marshes, and orcs don’t use it. They go around. How lucky they must be to have taken this road, and how lucky they must also be to have found and befriended Gollum! How else would they get through? They start, with Sam threatening Gollum one more time with the rope.
Today’s Gollum Meter: 51 – “Regardless of Sam’s doubts, you’re back on the good side.”
It seems so easy! Just like that, Gollum is in the fold. I totally expected that most of this chapter would be about negotiating with Gollum to act nice, but that happened pretty quickly. Most of the time was really spent with Frodo and Sam wandering around in the Emyn Muil, which is far less exciting.
In fact, when you crunch the numbers, there are 6 pages on which Frodo and Sam directly interact with Gollum. That, in a 17-page chapter, is very little. And, it’s really more like 5 and a half. I’m being generous.
What’s coming up in the next chapter? More walking. Yes, it’s time to cross the marshes. There might be some excitement, but mostly just walking. One of these days, there might be running. But, hold your horses (And, literally, please do. There certainly won’t be any riding), this isn’t Doctor Who. For now, we’re walking. Slow and steady wins the race.
No one dies today.
“Over all the leagues of waste before the gates of Mordor there was a black silence.”